There weren't quite as many injuries in Week 12 as there were in the catastrophic Week 11. But still there's plenty of ground to cover. Let's get after it:
New York (A) plus 20.
This upgrade is based primarily on the health of All-Pro center Nick Mangold. Mangold, easily the best offensive player on the squad, recovered quickly from both a hand laceration and a neck injury that had been bothering him the last few weeks. Contrary to our prediction, Mangold didn't miss a snap in last week's win over the Dolphins. The Jets have a favorable matchup this weekend against the Giants, and clock in at 3rd in the overall line rankings. With Chris Ivory back producing, they are a top-tier unit.
Miami plus 2.
Right tackle Ju'Wuan James did not practice on Wednesday (toe) but he is likely to return to the lineup this week. James (who has missed the last four games) is an upgrade over Jason Fox, who has been penalty prone and victimized in pass protection. There is uncertainty about center Mike Pouncey. Pouncey left the Jets game before halftime and returned to the sideline in a walking boot. However after the contest all the tests came back negative and he is referred to as day-to-day with a minor foot sprain. Look to see if Pouncey practices on Thursday for an indicator of his status. The team turned to rookie Jamil Douglas durng the game, and it was rough going. Jacques McClendon was signed for insurance. We are leaving Pouncey in the rankings for now but be aware this situation is still fluid. With their center and right tackle in the lineup, the Dolphins' grade out at 8th overall in the rankings.
Baltimore Plus 4.
The Ravens got some good news as talented left guard Kelechi Osemele was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. Osemele, who had been dealing with a knee injury, is a huge upgrade over Ryan Jensen, who had been starting in his place. However, there is still no sign of left tackle Eugene Monroe, who appears to be still out with a shoulder injury. With their starting left guard back in the lineup, the Ravens' line moves up to 11th overall, just inside the cut line of top-tier.
Green Bay minus 9.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga left the game last week against the Bears with a sprained ankle. Don Barclay took his place. Barclay is a decent backup but he's not the same level of athlete as Bulaga, who was a first round pick. It is not likely that Bulaga will be healthy in time for the Thursday game this week at Detroit. Other players such as T.J. Lang and Corey Linsley are also banged up. Lang is likely to play but Linsley will probably need another week. In general this line has been hampered by injuries and their inconsistency has led to the injuries of other skill players. Currently the Packers' line is listed at 13th overall in the rankings, a mid-tier unit.
Kansas City minus 2.
Last week starting tackle Eric Fisher left the game with a scary looking neck injury. Fisher was cleared of serious injury and is considered a decent bet to play next week. Should Fisher be inactive, Donald Stephenson would likely take his place. In similar neck-related news, Ben Grubbs was placed on the injured reserve with his neck problem, which will likely require surgery. Grubbs had not been in the lineup in recent weeks, and there was a serious shortage of linemen last week when both center Mitch Morse and Jeff Allen got hurt. Allen played through his injury, in what was clearly a heroric effort. But Mitch Morse did not pass the concussion protocol and Zach Fulton could get the start. There is a significant amount of uncertainty on this Chiefs unit, and fantasy players should be aware of the situation. Currently the Chiefs check in at 19th overall in the rankings.
New York (N) minus 1.
Starting guard Geoff Schwartz broke his leg last week against Washington and he is done for the season. Schwartz is a solid lineman, and the team will miss his veteran leadership. Bobby Hart replaced him in the game. However Justin Pugh is back and practice and likely will rejoin the lineup, pending his passing of the concussion protocol. Hart will likely be needed at right tackle, where Marshall Newhouse has been missing with a lower body injury. Newhouse missed Wednesday's practice and will likely miss the game. There are also problems at center, Weston Richburg missed last week's game and Dallas Reynolds had an up and down day. Richburg is likely back in the lineup for next weekend. The team signed Adam Gettis as insurance for several interior spots. Overall the Giants' line is ranked 27th, clearly a low-tier unit. They face a tough matchup against the Jets' defensive front seven this week.
Week 13's Match-Ups Of Note
- 3rd NYJ O-Line @ 26th NYG defensive front seven (+23).*Away game but actually home stadium
- 14th CAR O-Line @ 32nd NO defensive front seven (+20).
- 7th CIN O-Line @ 21st CLE defensive front seven (+14).
- 1st DAL O-Line @ 15th WAS defensive front seven (+14).
- 12h JAX O-Line @ 22nd TEN defensive front seven (+10).
- 29th NE O-Line vs. 5th PHI defensive front seven (-24).*Fade rushing only, Brady always produces passing.
- 28th SEA O-Line @ 11th MIN defensive front seven (-17).
- 25th SD O-Line vs. 14th DEN defensive front seven (-11).
A Look Back at Week 12's Match-Up's Of Note
Last week the predictions went 6-3 (whoo-hoo!) which brings the total to 67 good predictions and 49 bad predictions on the year. Note that the Jets prediction was removed from the board as Nick Mangold did actually play and the fade prediction was based on him missing the game.
NO - Andrus Peat starting at LG
The team has elevated their first round pick Peat to the starting lineup, in place of Tim Lelito. This could be a small upgrade as Peat is an elite athlete but he doesn't have much experience at guard. The Saints' ranking remains essentially unchanged at 10th overall.
OAK - Rodney Hudson still not practicing.
Hudson has a high-ankle sprain and the team clearly misses this player. It is not likely that he will play against a tough Kansas City front seven.
BUF - John Miller still not practicing.
Miller has a stubborn ankle injury and is unlikely to play this weekend against Houston.
SD - D.J. Fluker and King Dunlap still out of action.
There was a disturbing article about Fluker's concussion, and how it was so bad he needed to go to the hospital after the game two weeks ago. Don't bet on this player returning any time soon. Dunlap's injury is also lingering, he's not a safe bet for a quick return.
CLE - Joel Bitonio getting better.
The team is "hopeful" that Bitonio will return against the Bengals. Having the extra day for Monday Night Football should help. As there's no significant difference between Bitonio and Cam Erving, this news doesn't effect the Browns' upper-tier ranking.
IND - Anthony Castonzo remains out.
As discussed last week, the team moved Joe Reitz to left tackle and elevated Denzelle Good, a rookie seventh round pick from Division II school Mars Hill, to right tackle in his place. Good was penalized four times last week.
As usual, if you have a question about a team not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact me via twitter or in the Shark Pool.
Week 13 Offensive Line Rankings
|8||MIA||10||2||30.05||B+||B||B+||Ju'Wuan James returns.|
|19||KC||17||-2||28.65||C+||B||C||Grubbs to IR.|
|25||SD||25||0||27.65||C-||C-||C-||Dunlap & Fluker likely out.|
|27||NYG||26||-1||27.6||C-||C-||C||Pugh & Richberg practicing.|
|32||IND||31||-1||26.1||D||D||D||Castonzo still out.|
Week 13 Defensive Front Seven Rankings
|5||New York (A)|
|14||Buffalo||K. Williams to IR.|
|26||New York (N)|