Sunday IDP Notes: Week 11

Updating game-time injury decisions and depth chart situations around the league and providing matchup advice for IDP owners.

NOTE: This column is a living document and may be updated throughout the morning. Major changes to the content will be in red. Check back often for additions as gameday inactives are announced and lineup / depth chart changes are reported. I'll also be retweeting those reports with quick bits of analysis, so make sure you're following @JeneBramel and checking my timeline on Twitter.

EARLY GAMES

Atlanta at Carolina

Prince Shembo began seeing base defensive snaps again last week. He's now entirely off the injury report and could see a higher percentage snaps than Joplo Bartu. The Falcons are otherwise healthy.

Star Lotulelei is out with an ankle sprain. Charles Johnson is questionable after not practicing with the team while away with his family. He's expected to play but it's not yet been confirmed. 

Cincinnati at New Orleans

Vontaze Burfict is out again this week. He will again be replaced by Vinny Rey. Rey Maualuga is questionable, but fully practiced on Friday and should be back in his base middle linebacker role. Terence Newman is listed questionable but did not practice this week. He's unlikely to be active. If he is, he'll have a reduced role.

Curtis Lofton is fighting knee soreness but should play despite his questionable tag. David Hawthorne should be back this week, though it's unclear whether he'll play every down. Keenan Lewis was treated for a swollen knee this week and was able to take a limited practice on Friday. He's questionable but hopeful to play.

Denver at St. Louis

Nate Irving was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Steven Johnson will continue in the middle in the base defense, but the Broncos will continue to use a Big Nickel alignment on passing downs, with T.J. Ward playing a linebacker role.

Lamarcus Joyner will miss today's game with a groin injury. Mark Barron played a very aggressive in-the-box role in passing situations last week. He was a pass rusher on half of his snaps and was also tasked with zone coverage from the slot and run blitzes. If he plays the same role today, he'll be on the field for more than 40 snaps and an upside DB3.

Houston at Cleveland

The Texans expect both Brian Cushing and Jadeveon Clowney to be active today. Neither is likely to play more than a limited rotational role, however. It's much more likely Cushing plays a base role, but he may rotate with Akeem Dent in those situations, too.

Phil Taylor is still out with a knee injury but Desmond Bryant is probable to play this week. The Browns continue to rotate Chris Kirksey and Craig Robertson. This matchup sets up better for Kirksey. If you're in a big bye week bind, Kirksey has a little LB4+ upside today.

Minnesota at Chicago

The Vikings are healthy. Sharrif Floyd, Chad Greenway, Harrison Smith and Everson Griffen are all off the injury report. It's a tremendous matchup for Griffen. Brian Robison is also a strong upside bet in sack-heavy scoring leagues.

Darryl Sharpton is again out with a hamstring injury. Last week, the Bears rotated D.J. Williams and Jon Bostic. That makes Bostic a risky bet today. The Bears are otherwise healthy and have no expected depth chart changes.  

San Francisco at New York Giants

NaVorro Bowman will begin practicing again, but Chris Borland and Michael Wilhoite remain locked in as every-down inside linebackers. The Giants home stat crew is among the most favorable in the league. With the return of Rashad Jennings, Borland is a borderline elite LB play today. Aldon Smith was activated and will play. He won't play every down but will see enough high leverage snaps to use in sack-heavy leagues.

Cullen Jenkins is still out with a calf injury. Jacquian Williams will miss today's game with a concussion and may be out next week, too. Spencer Paysinger will start for Williams and has a good chance to play every down. It's possible we may see Mark Herzlich rotate in on base downs, however, but Paysinger should see enough snaps to put up LB4+ numbers with his favorable home stat crew. Quintin Demps and Stevie Brown are now sharing time at safety and should be avoided today.

Seattle at Kansas City

The Seahawks are still without Bobby Wagner, who's yet to practice after an October toe injury. Brock Coyle won't play today, which should put K.J. Wright back inside. Malcolm Smith is back and will probably play every down at outside linebacker, though there's a chance Kevin Pierre-Louis will see nickel snaps in rotation. Kam Chancellor is also back and ready to return to his pre-injury role. Marcus Burley is out. The Seahawks expect to drop Byron Maxwell into the slot in nickel downs. It's a great role for fantasy value, but the Chiefs don't have a slot threat to ensure Maxwell's upside.

Joe Mays was active last week but did not play a defensive snap. There was no indication he'd be moved back into a starting base defensive role this week. Josh Mauga is the lone inside linebacker of value again this week. 

Tampa Bay at Washington

Michael Johnson was inactive last week with a hand injury but fully practiced Thursday and Friday and should play today. This week's matchup isn't quite as favorable at last week's vs Atlanta, but Johnson will be an upside DL2 today. Jacquies Smith will continue to see snaps and could also be worth a look in very deep leagues. Alterraun Verner has been ruled out.

Washington is healthy and has no expected depth chart changes.

LATE GAMES

Detroit at Arizona

Nick Fairley is out today but the Lions are otherwise healthy, as James Ihedigbo will play through a back injury. Tahir Whitehead (base middle linebacker) and Josh Bynes (nickel) will likely split time again today.

The Cardinals continue to rotate safeties, with Tony Jefferson being at highest risk of missing more snaps than projected. Jefferson has missed time in the base defense twice in the past month. This should be an above average matchup for Tyrann Mathieu. He'll be a high variance DB2 today.

Oakland at San Diego

Justin Tuck has had issues with his neck off and on over the past two seasons. He was again limited this week, but is expected to play. The Raiders had limited his snaps last month due to a knee injury and could do so again today. It's not a great matchup for him. D.J. Hayden is expected to play through a groin injury, but was limited at times last week.

Jason Verrett is out with a shoulder injury and there have been rumors he may decide to have surgery that would end his season. Jeremiah Attaochu and Manti Te'o are both expected back today. Te'o is unlikely to play more than a base defensive role. Attaochu was looking good before his injury. He's a very risky play as a situational pass rusher, but he fully practiced all week and ~30 snaps against Oakland at home will give him a chance at hitting value in sack-heavy leagues today.

Philadelphia at Green Bay

The Eagles continue to rotate Casey Matthews and Emmaunel Acho at inside linebacker. Neither see time in the nickel package and neither are viable options, even in deep leagues, against the Green Bay offense. Philadelphia is otherwise healthy and there are no expected depth chart changes.

Clay Matthews was moved inside on base downs last week and will be there again today, with rare snaps for Sam Barrington. Matthews played outside the box frequently, however, and has very good upside regardless of the game script today. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

New England at Indianapolis

The Patriots are always tough to figure, but expect Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins Sr to play every down tonight. The Indianapolis stat crew is very assist heavy, however, so look for potential 1-6 stat lines and consider shying away from Collins if you don't get equal points for assists and solos. Domininque Easley is working through knee soreness but will play a rotational role. 

Arthur Jones is out tonight with an aggravated high ankle sprain. Jonathan Newsome has been very productive in a rotational outside linebacker role. Erik Walden was back to full practice this week and Tom Brady can be a tough sack, so use caution with Newsome in all formats.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Pittsburgh at Tennessee

The Steelers will be without Ryan Shazier, Troy Polamalu and Steve McClendon on Monday night. Sean Spence (base) and Vince Williams (nickel) will rotate for Shazier. Neither is a strong fantasy play. Will Allen will start for Polamalu.

Avery Williamson is essentially an every-down player now. Wesley Woodyard should have LB3 value this week against a solid Pittsburgh matchup if the game script holds. Blidi Wreh-Wilson is listed questionable with a back injury and considered hopeful to play but a game time decision.

Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. Reading the Defense returns on Tuesday. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.