We have much to be thankful for in IDP leagues this year.
We’ve seen studs like linebackers Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers and Lavonte David of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who is sadly nursing a sore hammy and questionable for Week 13) post the big numbers we expected. Youngsters like Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and Washington Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson have exceeded expectations and then some.
And Chris Borland? Don’t even get me started on Chris Borland.
However, most importantly of all we have friends and family who haven’t had us committed for pursuing our little hobby with a passion that (for some) borders on the maniacal.
Of course, they may enjoy all that time off they get from having to actually talk to us from September to December. That’s possible, too.
In any event, Happy Thanksgiving!
- J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (vs. TEN)
- Cameron Wake – DE, MIA (at NYJ)
- Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, NYG (at JAX)
- Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (at ATL
- DeMarcus Ware – DE, DEN (at KC)
- Mario Williams – DE, BUF (vs. CLE)
- Robert Quinn – DE, STL (vs. OAK)
- Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (vs. CAR)
- Rob Ninkovich – DE, NE (at GB)
- Olivier Vernon – DE, MIA (at NYJ)
Jared Allen – DE, CHI (at DET)
We’re going all- Turkey Day with our “under-the-radar” picks this week. With Allen that’s apt, because for most of the year he’s been a big fat turkey. However, Allen does have seven tackles and a sack over his last two games, and if ever there was a time for him to break out it’s against a Lions team that was having all sorts of problems protecting Matthew Stafford before left tackle Riley Reiff got hurt.
Justin Smith – DE, SF (vs. SF)
Smith finally broke out of a long sackless streak in Week 12, notching his first takedown of a quarterback since Week 2 in the Niners win over the Washington Redskins. Granted, a lone sack doesn’t necessarily spell a rebound, but Smith draws a favorable fantasy matchup this week in their hated rivals from Seattle. The same Seahawks who allowed three sacks to defensive end Calais Campbell a week ago.
- Luke Kuechly – MLB, CAR (at MIN)
- Chris Borland – ILB, SF (vs. SEA)
- DeAndre Levy – OLB, DET (vs. CHI)
- Paul Worrilow – ILB, ATL (vs. ARI)
- C.J. Mosley – ILB, BAL (vs. SD)
- Jamie Collins – ILB, NE (at GB)
- Bobby Wagner – ILB, SEA (at SF)
- Keenan Robinson – ILB, WAS (at IND)
- Mychal Kendricks – ILB, PHI (at DAL)
- Jelani Jenkins – OLB, MIA (at NYJ)
Connor Barwin – OLB, PHI (at DAL)
I will freely admit that I’m generally a huge fan of pass-rushing outside linebackers. However, there’s no denying the impact Barwin has made, both for the Eagles and in Fantasy Throwdown IDP games. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis chalked Barwin’s big year up to increased familiarity with the scheme while speaking with Reuben Frank of CSN Philadelphia. “Really, they got a feel for each other now,” Davis said. “They know who they’re rushing with, what the guy’s strengths and weaknesses [are], what they do well. So I think Connor has just got a second year in the system and second year with his teammates.”
K.J. Wright – OLB, SEA (at SF)
Wright has been manning the middle for the Seahawks with Bobby Wagner sidelined by a toe injury, but with Wagner back in the fold it’s back to the outside for the fourth-year pro. Yes, that switch outside (and Wagner’s return) knocks quite a bit of the meat off Wright’s IDP drumstick. But, all is not lost – in gravy matchups (such as Thursday night’s showdown in San Fran) Wright still maintains more than a little fantasy value.
- Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (vs. NE)
- Harrison Smith – FS, MIN (vs. CAR)
- Charles Woodson – SS, OAK (at STL)
- Jonathan Cyprien – SS, JAX (vs. NYG)
- Barry Church – SS, DAL (vs. PHI)
- Eric Weddle – FS, SD (at BAL)
- James Ihedigbo – SS, DET (vs. CHI)
- Reshad Jones – SS, MIA (at NYJ)
- Antrel Rolle – FS, NYG (at JAX)
- Rashad Johnson – FS, AZ (at ATL)
Antoine Bethea – SS, San Francisco 49ers (vs. SEA)
On its surface, the 49ers matchup with a Seattle Seahawks team that ranks 30th in fantasy points per game allowed to defensive backs wouldn’t appear to be one that would behoove rolling Bethea out there. Of course, the veteran has been proving people wrong his entire career, including pundits who said Bethea’s fantasy production would fall off a cliff in his new digs in San Francisco this season. What can I say? Hard as it is to believe, I am occasionally wrong.
Kam Chancellor – SS, Seattle Seahawks (at SF)
According to Jayson Jenks of The Seattle Times, Chancellor gave an impassioned pre-game speech a week ago that teammate K.J. Wright credited with helping propel the team past the Arizona Cardinals. “It was probably the best one I’ve ever heard in my life,” Wright said. “Usually guys are just talking to talk, but I actually felt him and he just spoke from the heart.” Hopefully Chancellor has another one of those in his hip pocket, because the Seahawks need this win every bit as much as last week’s.
Have a question regarding a specific player or game? Hit me up on Twitter and I’ll do my best to help!
Gary Davenport is a Senior Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks, an NFL and Fantasy Football Analyst at Bleacher Report, a Contributing Author and Associate Editor at Football Diehards and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America. Gary’s work has been featured in a number of national print publications and on both satellite and terrestrial radio, and he was a finalist for the FSWA Web Article of the Year in 2013.