Eyes of the Guru: Week 11

IDP news, notes, analysis and speculation for Week 11.

Arizona Cardinals

Patrick Peterson is one of the best corners in the game but like other great corners his fantasy value takes a beating when opponents try to avoid him. Chances are Peterson will be on A.J. Green most if not all the time this week. We know the Bengals are going to target Green plenty no matter who is covering him. Owners looking for a spot start at corner may want to give Peterson a look.

Deone Bucannon is an every week starter for most of us who have him. He could have one of his better games of the year in week eleven if Tyler Eifert comes out with a chip on his shoulder after dropping three big passes in week ten.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons should get a trio of defenders back for week eleven. William Moore and Justin Durant returned to practice on Monday and Robert Alford is expected to practice late in the week. In general the Colts have not been a great match up for linebackers and safeties but the Falcons defense has been a great match up for running backs and receivers. Indianapolis is coming off their bye as well and with Andrew Luck out, they may be looking to get the ground game rolling. Call it a gut feeling but I really like Durant in this one.

Baltimore Ravens

Beware starting Daryl Smith this week against the Rams. St. Louis has provided the fewest tackle opportunities in the league thus far and opponents are not having much more luck in the big play columns. We should not expect a lot from C.J. Mosley either but he is one of those players most of us simply cannot bench. Hopefully the Todd Gurley factor will finally come into play for us this week.

Buffalo Bills

If you are wondering what happened to Mario Williams against the Jets; he played 8 snaps in the game before heading to the bench. Williams tried to play through an illness but was too sick/weak to be effective or to continue. Keep an eye on the practice reports this week and keep in mind he was 3-0-1 when these team met in week two. An injury riddles New England offensive line has continued to play pretty well but they could struggle to keep Williams and Jerry Hughes off Tom Brady this week.

Carolina Panthers

Thomas Davis was not injured in week ten when he played every down as usual. His goose egg in the box scores was a complete fluke helped out by the Panthers defense being on the field for 46 total snaps.

Kony Ealy has now recorded a sack in three straight games. Unfortunately he is no longer putting up the solid tackle numbers we were seeing earlier in the year. He is not a good play this week against a Washington offense allowing just over a sack a game. As a reminder, Charles Johnson returned to practice last week and could be activated at any time.

Chicago Bears

Shea McClellin returned to action and to the starting lineup in week ten. He also put up his best numbers of the year with 6 tackles, 2 assists and a forced fumble. While this is great news for those owners who were holding onto McClellin, it was not necessarily the kiss of death for those of us who jumped on Jonathan Anderson after his big week nine outing. Anderson was not in the starting lineup but he did play more snaps (40) than Christian Jones (32). I have not yet had time to watch the tape on this one but I believe Anderson replaced Jones in the both the base and sub packages late in the game. If you picked up Anderson, sit tight for a week or two. Good as he looked in week nine I have a hard time believing the coaching staff would not give him an opportunity to claim a starting spot.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals offense stunk it up on Monday night but the defense was stout as a unit. If you were among those owners in need of production from Vincent Rey, Vontaze Burfict or any other Cincinnati defender, you probably joined me in the loss column. Rey bailed some of us out with a sack but no Bengals linebacker managed more than 3 solo stops. If you watched this game closely it was rather easy to figure out why. In the base packages it was Rey Maualuga in the middle with Burfict on the weak side and A.J. Hawk at strong. In the nickel packages all three of those guys took a seat with Rey and Emmanuel Lamur taking over. Once he is completely healthy and has worked into football shape, Burfict is going to be an every down guy. Until we see that happen however, keep all of these guys on your bench.

Dallas Cowboys

With Sean Lee out, Anthony Hitchens was the Cowboys every down linebacker in week ten. He played 99% of the defensive snaps while Rolando McClain saw action on about 84%. Lee was cleared earlier in the week and returned to practice on Wednesday, which is great news for the Cowboys and his fantasy owners. That said I would not be in a hurry to dump Hitchens. Lee has not been able to stay healthy and has had two concussions in his last five starts. One more and we may not see him for the rest of the season.

Detroit Lions

James Ihedigbo practiced in full last Friday and was probable for an excellent match up against the Packers. He lasted three plays before being replaced by Isa Abduhl-Quddus who went on to finish with 8 solo tackles. As of Wednesday evening there has been nothing from the Lions to confirm why Ihedigbo left the game so we can only assume it was due to his sore shoulder. Keep an eye out for some news on this situation later in the week. Whoever gets the call at strong safety for Detroit should be in for a productive game against the Raiders.

In a surprise move it was not Josh Bynes in the three down role for Detroit in week ten. Instead it was Tahir Whitehead who went on to finish at 7-1-1. It is hard to say if this will stick but the Lions defense played their best game of the year and beat the Packers at their home field for the first time in a quarter century or so. Since it worked it would be a surprise to see the team not stick with it for at least one more look. If you are in dire need of a starter this week, Whitehead could be a solid sleeper play.

The Packers tried desperately to pick on second year man Nevin Lawson on Sunday. The young man held up well before leaving with a concussion. He has not yet been cleared for week eleven but if he is able to go, expect the Raiders to find him early and often as well.

Green Bay Packers

Nate Palmer is still not playing in all the sub packages but he continues to be productive when the opportunity is there. He was 6-2-0 on 51 snaps against the Lions and should have plenty of opportunity again this week against the Vikings who do not use a lot of multiple receiver sets. Green Bay should be in their base personnel package most of the time in week eleven and Adrian Peterson has made Minnesota a pretty good match up.

Houston Texans

Rookie Bernardrick McKinney saw his first significant playing time in week four. In week five he started and recorded 6 solo tackles and an assist on 43 snaps. He was injured early in week six but returned to the starting role versus the Bengals going 6-3-0 on 42 plays. He has not yet earned a three down role but has looked as good on the field as in the box scores. Dynasty owners should have McKinney on the radar and redraft owners need to keep track of his opportunity. At this point he is a match up based LB3 at best but the future could be bright.

Indianapolis Colts

Atlanta has provided a quality match up for just about everyone except pass rushers. Vontae Davis is expected to shadow Julio Jones which should mean a lot of opportunity. Jerrell Freeman, D'Qwell Jackson and Mike Adams are all guys most of us are starting every week when they are healthy. They should all have quality numbers this week if they play. Adams (ankle) and Jackson (hamstring) have not yet practiced this week so keep a close eye on their injury situations late this week. Colt Anderson would start at safety if Adam sits. Josh McNary and/or Sio Moore would cover for Jackson if he is not able to go.

Kansas City Chiefs

Marcus Peters, Sean Smith, Derrick Johnson, Ron Parker and maybe even Eric Berry are guys who belong in most of our lineups this week. Despite their record the Chargers offense has been excellent all season. San Diego is middle of the pack in most big play columns but they have provided the second most tackle opportunity in the league and are among the top ten in passes defended against.

Miami Dolphins

Last week I told everyone to start Jelani Jenkins because I was benching him. The mo-jo was working as expected when he has 5 tackles on the Dolphins first 17 defensive snaps. He was on the way to a huge day when his ankle injury was aggravated and he was forced from the game. Both Jenkins and Koa Misi (abdomen) were out of practice on Wednesday. If neither are able to go against Dallas, Kelvin Sheppard would be the team's three down middle linebacker with Neville Hewitt the second and either Mike Hull or Chris McCain as the third option.

Both Derrick Shelby (3-1-1) and Ndamukong Suh (7-1-1) had strong outings in week ten. Olivier Vernon failed to get to the quarterback but added a solid tackle count (4-2). It is hard to say what the Cowboys will look like as a match up after seven weeks without Tony Romo but these Miami linemen have become solid starting considerations for us ever since Dan Campbell took over the reins.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings should get Eric Kendrick back this week. Both he and Anthony Barr were able t practice on Wednesday. It is safe to let go of Chad Greenway if you picked him up for a fill in last week.

Oakland Raiders

Rookie end Mario Edwards had a break out game going 8-3-1 against the Vikings. He now has at least 3 solo tackles in four of the Raiders last five games. Edwards was not known as a great pass rusher at Florida State but he was a standout run defender who is an excellent fit in the Raiders hybrid scheme. With games against the Lions (this week) Tennessee, Kansas City and a week sixteen match up with the struggling Chargers, Edwards has a chance to be a considerable fantasy factor down the stretch.

The return of safety Nate Allen allowed the Oakland secondary to line up more like they had anticipated at the beginning of the season. Travis Carrie went back to his starting corner spot pushing David Amerson into a sub package role. Amerson could be back in the starting role this week if D.J. Hayden is not able to go against the Lions. Hayden left the Vikings game late with an ankle injury and was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday.

Philadelphia Eagles

In week ten Michael Kendricks led Eagles linebackers in production with a mark of 6-0-1 but it was DeMeco Ryans who led the group in terms of snap count. Ryans was on the field for 48 of 67 snaps with Kendricks playing 40 and Kiko Alonso seeing action on 30. The numbers from Kendricks were encouraging but the snap count is enough to make me seriously second guess starting him this week against a Tampa Bay team that is an average match up.


DeAngelo Hall was active and in the starting lineup on Sunday but he played only 18 snaps before giving way to Bashaud Breeland who went on to have a big game at 6-3-0 with a forced fumble. This may have been a case of the coaching staff easing Hall back into action. He was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday. This makes it clear the Redskins still consider Hall their starter. If you have Breeland I would not be too quick to let him go as he can obviously be very productive for us if he is starting. Hall is battling a toe injury and those can easily be aggravated even when they are mostly healed.

Will Compton was 2-6-0 as the replacement for an injured Keenan Robinson who was inactive on Sunday. Robinson was a full participant in practice Wednesday so look for Compton to share time with Perry Riley again in week eleven.

That is all I have time for this week. Best of luck to you in week eleven. It’s crunch time!

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