I'm going to continue rotating through the tier series once more and then focus on playoff matchups in Week 14 before cycling through the tiers one final time. Time limitations will prevent me from providing the same amount of context as I do in the offseason, but this should provide a snapshot of where I feel these players are currently. During the season, I approach my lineups and roster with three categories in mind -- matchup independent every week starter / matchup play / too much upside to cut. Everyone else is on the watch list.
I'm going to roll through these team-by-team.
EVERY-DOWN LINEBACKER PROJECTION
|TEAM||EVERY-DOWN LB||75-100% SNAPS||INJ | SUSP||NOTES|
|ARIZONA||Kevin Minter : Deone Bucannon||Alex Okafor||Daryl Washington (susp)|
|ATLANTA||Paul Worrilow : Justin Durant|
|BALTIMORE||C.J. Mosley : Daryl Smith||Elvis Dumervil : Courtney Upshaw||Terrell Suggs (IR)|
|BUFFALO||Preston Brown : Nigel Bradham|
|CAROLINA||Luke Kuechly : Thomas Davis|
|CHICAGO||Shea McClellin||Pernell McPhee||McClellin healthy enough to play every down, Jones/Anderson rotate|
|CINCINNATI||Five man rotation continues|
|DALLAS||Sean Lee||Rolando McClain||McClain near every down vs MIA last week|
|DENVER||Brandon Marshall||Von Miller : Danny Trevathan||DeMarcus Ware|
|DETROIT||Tahir Whitehead||DeAndre Levy (IR)||Whitehead 86%, Tulloch and Bynes 60-70%|
|GREEN BAY||Clay Matthews||Julius Peppers : Nate Palmer||Sam Barrington (IR)|
|HOUSTON||Brian Cushing||Whitney Mercilus|
|INDIANAPOLIS||D'Qwell Jackson : Jerrell Freeman|
|JACKSONVILLE||Paul Posluszny : Telvin Smith|
|KANSAS CITY||Derrick Johnson : Justin Houston||Tamba Hali|
|MIAMI||Kelvin Sheppard||Jelani Jenkins : Koa Misi||Jenkins will be 100% when healthy, Misi 80-90%|
|MINNESOTA||Eric Kendricks : Anthony Barr|
|NEW ENGLAND||Dont'a Hightower||Jonathan Freeny||Jamie Collins|
|NEW ORLEANS||Stephone Anthony||Hau'oli Kikaha : Dannell Ellerbe|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||Devon Kennard : Jonathan Casillas||Jon Beason (IR)|
|NEW YORK JETS||David Harris : Demario Davis|
|OAKLAND||Malcolm Smith||Khalil Mack||Aldon Smith (susp)||Heeney seeing more playing time, but not every down|
|PHILADELPHIA||Connor Barwin : Brandon Graham||Jordan Hicks (IR)||ILB rotation w/ Kendricks, Alonso, Ryans continues|
|ST. LOUIS||James Laurinaitis : Mark Barron||Alec Ogletree (IR-R)|
|SAN DIEGO||Melvin Ingram||Manti Te'o||Return of Te'o (76%) and Perryman (52%) sent Butler and Conner to minor roles|
|SAN FRANCISCO||NaVorro Bowman||Aaron Lynch : Ahmad Brooks|
|SEATTLE||Bobby Wagner : K.J. Wright||Bruce Irvin|
|TAMPA BAY||Lavonte David : Kwon Alexander||Alexander appealing four game suspension, watch for Carter v Lansanah|
|TENNESSEE||Avery Williamson||Brian Orakpo||Derrick Morgan||Morgan nickel only last week due to shoulder injury|
|WASHINGTON||Will Compton||Ryan Kerrigan : Perry Riley||Keenan Robinson|
I'll update this table every week between now and Week 17.
WAIVER WIRE PRIORITIES
I'm checking the waiver wire in a mix of my most and least competitive leagues, including expanded lineups. If there's someone on your list who hasn't made mine, shoot me a note and I'll add them here.
It's a short list of priorities this week.
Charles Johnson is back for Carolina on an improving defensive line. He'll rotate early, but could find his stride during the playoffs. He's a speculative add in moderately deep leagues. With Kwon Alexnander about to be suspended for four games, the Buccaneers will have to decide whether to roll with Bruce Carter (their preseason choice) or Danny Lansanah as an every down linebacker. I'd lean toward adding Lansanah, mostly because Carter isn't likely to be a consistent fantasy option. Finally, Prince Amukamara is back for the Giants this week. He's a must add in any CB-required league if available and could immediately become DB2+ worthy in all tackle-heavy DB setups.