After the week eight game there were some questions about De'Vondre Campbell being an every down player for the Falcons. He answered those questions in a big way by playing full time in week nine and finishing as the team's top scoring fantasy option on the defensive side with a mark of 8-1 and a forced fumble. Campbell is a quality every week play at this point.
Adrian Clayborn continued his hot streak with 3 more tackles and another sack in week nine. This makes him 9-6-4 with a turnover for a score over the past three weeks. Philadelphia is a decent matchup in terms of sacks allowed so Clayborn has a good shot at continuing the streak. It is a little surprising how slow most of the IDP community has been to move on this guy so he may still be available in some/many leagues this week.
Desmond Trufant left the week nine game with a shoulder injury and looked to be in considerable pain. As of Wednesday he had not yet returned to practice leaving his week ten in doubt. Jalen Collins stepped in for Trufant last week and would be in line for the start if Trufant is out. Interestingly Collins assumed Trufant's full time role in the game while Brian Poole continued to work in the slot as the third corner.
C.J. Mosley returned to action on an every down basis in week nine, which is the good news for his owners. The bad news is this week's matchup with Cleveland. In the first meeting of these teams Mosley finished with a modest 4 tackles and a couple of assists. His overall point total was saved by an interception but we cannot count on a repeat of that. Start him in a pinch but temper expectations.
Zach Brown owners were shocked to see him finish with a pair of assists on Monday night. For what it is worth his vanishing act cost me a couple of games too. That said it is not time to give up on Brown by any stretch. He was simply a victim of circumstance against Seattle as the Seahawks attempted all of 8 running plays in the game with one of them reaching the second level. Brown simply had no opportunity in this contest. Buffalo is off this week but Brown will be just fine for us down the stretch.
After missing one game Shaq Thompson returned to practice on Wednesday with a brace on his sore knee. It remains to be seen if he will immediately assume the three down role he held for a brief moment before the injury. If he does we need to keep in mind the Chiefs have been a rather solid matchup for linebackers on most weeks this year.
The big news last week was the trade of Jamie Collins to Cleveland. This week we can talk about his role with the team. Many initially assumed he would replace Demario Davis at inside backer. Instead Collins started opposite Cam Johnson at outside backer. That alone would be detrimental to his fantasy value. What saves Collins for us is the fact he is shifting inside on passing downs with Davis heading to the bench. Davis owners are probably feeling pretty good after their guy was 7-3-0 in week nine but they would feel much less comfortable knowing he played 67% of the defensive snaps. I look for a drop off from Davis that will at the least render him even more inconsistent than he has already been.
Cleveland is shuffling four players in and out at the safety positions. In week nine Derrick Kindred and Ibraheim Campbell continued sharing the strong safety spot while Tracy Howard and Ed Reynolds took turns at free safety. All four players were in action on at least 30 plays. There is a lot of potential going to waste here.
Demarcus Lawrence played 73 percent of the defensive snaps in week nine so playing time is no longer an issue with him. Hopefully he will start stepping up in the box scores since there are several good matchups for pass rushers down the stretch.
J.J. Wilcox moved into the strong safety spot replacing Barry Church who is likely to miss at least a couple more weeks. With the Dallas defense on the field for 44 plays there was not a lot of opportunity for anyone in week nine. Wilcox is a decent player with the potential to be productive this week if the Steelers can get their run game back on track.
The Denver defense took another hit last week when Derek Wolfe was lost with a fractured elbow. He was replaced by rookie Adam Gotsis who is in line for a lot of playing time over the next few weeks. Gotsis has shown no sign thus far of being a fantasy contributor but is worth keeping an eye on.
The other situation in Denver we need to monitor is at inside linebacker where Brandon Marshall is ailing. He managed to make the start against Oakland despite the sore hamstring, but was not able to finish the game. When Marshall left the game he was replaced by Corey Nelson who stepped right into the three down role. Nelson finished with a solid 5-2-0 on 50 snaps in the game and could be a decent fill in this week against the Saints if Marshall is not able to go.
Bradley Roby has replaced the injured Aqib Talib as the Broncos starting corner for the past couple of weeks and has put up excellent numbers in both games. Talib could sit another week or two and Denver has a matchup with the Saints this week. New Orleans has a way of helping corners to big statistical games so it is a safe bet Roby will be productive again in week ten.
After a hot start to the season Devin Taylor has disappeared over the past three weeks. There could be a combination of things at work here. Tired legs, more attention from opposing offenses and a few less snaps with the emergence of Kerry Hyder are all likely to be contribution factors. One thing I have learned over the years when it comes to defensive ends, their production comes in waves. If they are good for a few weeks offenses game plan to stop them for a few weeks but the good ones will eventually come around. This usually happens right about the time we get frustrated and bench or cut them. Detroit is off this week so everyone will have some time to recuperate and recover. If you need the roster space Taylor may be on your short list of players to move on from but if you are a dynasty owners or can afford to be patient, I think we will see a few more nice outings from Taylor over the next six games.
Green Bay Packers
I have not yet watched the replay of Green Bay's game against Detroit but in the couple of series I was able to scout on Sunday it looked as if both Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez were staying on the field in most nickel situations with Joe Thomas replacing them only in dime packages. The snap counts support this observation with both Ryan and Martinez playing 55 of 68 snap while Thomas worked on 13. Not only is this allowing them enough opportunity to be productive for us now, it can be seen as a positive sign for the young linebackers chances of taking on full time roles in the future. Dynasty owners looking for futures to stash will want to put Ryan and Martinez on your short list.
After playing nearly every snap in week eight and finishing at 4-0-1, Edwin Jackson was relegated to spot duty against the Packers in week nine. The Colts used six defensive backs most of the day leaving scraps (10 snaps) for Jackson. It is rather impressive he was able to make 3 tackles with an assist on such limited opportunity but our hope of getting some use out of him seems to have faded as quickly as is arrived.
When the season started both the Jaguars and most fantasy owners had high expectations for Dante Fowler Jr. Not only has he failed to deliver, he has now been bumped from the starting lineup in favor of veteran Tyson Alualu. Alualu is no threat to become a fantasy factor. Unfortunately is appears as if Fowler is not either.
Kansas City Chiefs
Here we go again with Ramik Wilson. I sometimes wonder what coaches are looking for or looking at when they make some personnel decisions. Wilson looked good both on the field and in the box scores over a three game stint as a rookie last season. After missing five games with an injury he was put on the shelf and never had another sniff of the field as a defender despite the team's lack of a playmaker next to Derrick Johnson. He looked good again during the preseason this year but was stuck on the taxi squad until injuries basically crippled the Chiefs at the position. He was finally called up and given an opportunity starting in week seven. Over the last three games Wilson has played 35% of the defensive snaps (76 total) but has produced 11 solo stops, 4 assists and a pair of turnovers. He has also averaged more than 10 fantasy points. The guys simply seems to be everywhere when they put him on the field; so why will they not put him on the field for more than thirty plays a game? At the end of last season Wilson was one of my favorite stash players. Obviously that has not worked out so far but with Johnson turning 34 in a couple of weeks I have to wonder if Wilson will finally get his opportunity soon. I am seeing a lot of owners pick him up this week. If you are one of those owners, just beware he is not playing a lot right now. Putting him in your lineup now could come back to bite you.
Los Angeles Rams
I have received a couple of emails this week asking what is going on with Robert Quinn. Unfortunately I have no answers here. He has not been healthy since week three but has been active for the past two games with no production. In the week nine game book he was listed as a starter but is completely absent from both the box score and the snap counts. With the Falcons, Seahawks and 49ers on the schedule during our playoffs it would sure be nice to have Quinn available and productive. Until we can figure out what is going on here he is a must sit.
Jelani Jenkins was back in three down role at the outset of last week's game. Unfortunately he was not able to make it out of the first half in one piece. Jenkins missed a little time with a hand injury before returning to suffer a concussion that forced him out of the game. I suppose the good news here is the coaching staff still considered him a three down player when/if he can get healthy.
Like Robert Quinn, Mario Williams has been a colossal bust this year. He too was both a box score and snap count no show in week nine. Meanwhile Cameron Wake continues to get it done. Over the Dolphins last three games he is 6-2-4 with a pair of forced fumbles, including a mark of 4-0-2 with both of the fumbles in week nine. Grab him if you can and start him against San Diego this week. The Chargers are allowing 2.4 sacks per game on average with 1.7 going to outside rushers.
So much for Kentrell Brothers getting on the field. With Eric Kendrick out the Vikings made Chad Greenway a three down linebacker and had Audie Cole and Emmanuel Lamur split time when the team used three linebackers.
New England Patriots
There are plenty of good reasons to avoid starting any of the Patriots linebackers this week. Not only are we unsure who will be starting and where, New England is facing a Seattle team with a struggling running game. I expect we will simply see Elandon Robert assume the role previously held by Jamie Collins but who knows with this team.
New Orleans Saints
With the Saints using Von Bell at linebacker we have seen Jairus Byrd return to a full time role in the last two outings. Byrd seems to have gotten the message sent by the coaching staff when he was benched earlier in the season. He is 8-2 and 7-1 in weeks eight and nine consecutively. New Orleans gets a suddenly struggling Denver squad this week.
Beware trusting Nate Stupar in your lineup going forward. His numbers were strong once again in week nine but be aware his role has been reduced. Stupar worked on 36 of a possible 60 snaps against San Francisco. The wheels are going to come off for Stupar at some point and it will likely be sooner rather than later.
Like most of the country I was engrossed in the elections on Tuesday so my time is a bit short this week and that is all I have time for. For those suffering from IDP roundtable withdraw, we will be back next week with the show. In the meantime, Just Win Baby!