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Reading the Defense: Week 13

A weekly look at IDP trends with a mix of metrics, film study, and matchup strategy

POSITIONAL TIERS

These tiers will not be as extensive as my offseason tiers. During the season, I put players into three categories: Matchup Independent Starters, Matchup Dependent Plays, and Priority Watch List. Dynasty league owners should have an additional category: Stashes you must keep on your roster. In deeper leagues, the matchup dependent list will obviously need to be longer.

This week: Linebacker

LINEBACKER TIERS

Matchup Independent Every-Week Starters
Luke Kuechly, Benardrick McKinney, Alec Ogletree, Bobby Wagner, Kwon Alexander, Zach Brown, Zach Orr, Ryan Shazier, Derrick Johnson, Kiko Alonso, Mark Barron, Jerrell Freeman (susp), Preston Brown, Telvin Smith, Lawrence Timmons, Jamie Collins, Jatavis Brown (inj), Vontaze Burfict, Paul Posluszny, Sean Lee, D'Qwell Jackson, Craig Robertson, Tahir Whitehead, C.J. Mosley, Malcolm Smith, DeAndre Levy (inj), LaVonte David, Nick Kwiatowski, Eric Kendricks, Nigel Bradham, Chris Kirksey

Rosterable Matchup Dependent Plays
Dont'a Hightower, Deone Bucannon, Darron Lee, Dannell Ellerbe, DeVondre Campbell, Will Compton, Jordan Hicks, Avery Williamson, K.J. Wright, Korey Toomer, Deion Jones, Thomas Davis, Kevin Minter, Nick Bellore, Brandon Marshall, Edwin Jackson, Joe Thomas

Big Play Matchup Plays
Von Miller, Justin Houston, Chandler Jones, Vic Beasley, Lorenzo Alexander, Dee Ford, Terrell Suggs, Melvin Ingram, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, Markus Golden, Erik Walden, Jerry Hughes, Shane Ray

Dynasty Watch List / Roster Stashes
NaVorro Bowman (inj), Myles Jack, Su'a Cravens, Shaq Thompson, Preston Smith, Leonard Floyd, Jaylon Smith (inj), Vince Williams, Mychal Kendricks, Denzel Perryman, Reggie Ragland, Blake Martinez, Bud Dupree, Shaq Lawson, Nick Vigil, B.J. Goodson


EVERY-DOWN LINEBACKER PROJECTIONS 

Additions to the every-down column in BOLD. Injury situations to monitor this week in italics.

TEAM
EVERY-DOWN LB
75-100% SNAPS
INJ | SUSP
NOTES
ARIZONA
Chandler Jones : Kevin Minter    
ATLANTA
DeVondre Campbell Sean Weatherspoon (IR)  
BALTIMORE
Zachary Orr : C.J. Mosley
 
 
 
BUFFALO
   
CAROLINA
    Used Klein over Thompson in subpackage last week
CHICAGO
Nick Kwiatkowski : John Timu
 
Jerrell Freeman (susp), Leonard Floyd, Danny Trevathan (IR)  Could move Floyd inside when healthy
CINCINNATI
 
 
 
CLEVELAND
Chris Kirksey : Jamie Collins
   
DALLAS
   
 
DENVER
none
   
DETROIT
  DeAndre Levy Levy could return this week
GREEN BAY
Joe Thomas
Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan
 
HOUSTON
Brian Cushing
Clowney at OLB w/ Simon injured
INDIANAPOLIS
D'Qwell Jackson
Erik Walden : Edwin Jackson
Trent Cole Cole activated from IR, practicing
JACKSONVILLE
     
KANSAS CITY
 
LOS ANGELES
     
MIAMI
 
 
MINNESOTA
     
NEW ENGLAND
Dont'a Hightower
     
NEW ORLEANS
Dannell Ellerbe
 
 
NEW YORK GIANTS
none    
NEW YORK JETS
  Erin Henderson (NFI)
 
OAKLAND
Malcolm Smith : Cory James
Perry Riley, Ben Heeney (IR)  
PHILADELPHIA
   
 
PITTSBURGH
     
SAN DIEGO
Korey Toomer : Melvin Ingram
Jatavis Brown, Manti Te'o (IR), Jeremiah Attaochu (IR)  
SAN FRANCISCO
Ahmad Brooks : Gerald Hodges NaVorro Bowman (IR)   
SEATTLE
     
TAMPA BAY
     
TENNESSEE
none
   
WASHINGTON
   

Subscribe to The Audible on iTunes or download our weekly IDP podcast here every Thursday for injury updates, player analysis, and matchup discussion. Follow and ask questions on Twitter @JeneBramel.