***Please note that only 12 of the 16 NFL games are covered below for this week.
Chicago @ Miami
- Julius Peppers (5-1-3.0) absolutely exploded for three sacks in this game, showing why the Bears doled out so much cash for his services. Peppers was dominant from whistle to whistle. Despite the below average matchup for the Bears defense, Lance Briggs (7-0) and his seven solo tackles were a welcome sight for his owners. The Dolphins offense sputtered for most of the game, so for Briggs to reach this plateau is an excellent sign. He was a standout player for the Bears defense, flying around the field all game long.
- Cameron Wake (6-0-1.0) would get my vote for DPOTY if you asked me to vote right now. He absolutely mauled Bears OT J’marcus Webb over and over, often drawing holding penalties. If not for the penalties, Wake could have had four or five sacks. Channing Crowder (5-1) had an above average box score but didn’t play especially well. Don’t be fooled. Embrace the production of Karlos Dansby (10-0) though, who is playing at a very high level.
Baltimore @ Carolina
- This one was a no contest from the start. The Ravens played with a lot of different looks defensively to confuse Brian St. Pierre. Their defense scored two defensive touchdowns on bad passes from St. Pierre. Terrell Suggs (6-1-1.0) blew through the line on a missed assignment to sack St. Pierre in the 3rd quarter. Ray Lewis (8-2-INT) and the Ravens run defense got more than they bargained for against Carolina’s surprisingly strong running game led by Mike Goodson, so the Ravens had better tackle opportunity here than expected.
- Charles Johnson (7-0-1.0) is a player I am very high on for the future as a Panthers fan and as a fantasy football player. Still a young man, Johnson should anchor one of the DE positions for the Panthers for the long term. He can play against both run and pass, and while he lacks the ideal explosiveness to get sacks sometimes, he was very close to getting more than one sack on the day. Richard Marshall (6-2) continues to be trustworthy as a solid CB starter in leagues that require them. Jon Beason’s move back to middle linebacker has been good for him. He appears more comfortable and can make a bigger impact. James Anderson (3-1) had a down game by his standards, but you can’t give up on him given how productive he has been.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
- What an unusual game this was. You can set your watch by Paul Posluszny’s production, people. The guy is playing out of his mind right now. The Cincinnati scorekeeper is not kind with solo tackles, so in reality Poz had more than six solos in this one. Normally consistent NT Kyle Williams (1-2) had a quiet enough game in the box score but still looks like one of the best defenders on the Bills roster.
- Nickel CB Rico Murray (4-0) racked up tackles again this week mainly because of the Bills having to come out in three wide sets after they were down big early on. Don’t be a stats chaser. This production is purely based on game situation. Dhani Jones (6-2) keeps playing hard at the Mike for the Bengals, and Rey Maualuga owners continue to be frustrated with the ageless wonder that is Jones.
Detroit @ Dallas
- SS Amari Spievey (4-0) may have locked down the starting SS position for the Lions long term with his solid play. He has come up in run support really well the last two games and looks the part back there. Ndamukong Suh (5-3-0.5) is simply a dominant player. I still can’t believe he pulled Marion Barber down by his hair. It’s a legal play, by the way. I really like Julian Peterson (4-3) and what he does in this Lions defense. They use his speed aggressively to pressure the QB and he can also chase down ball carriers sideline to sideline.
- Don’t look now, but Sean Lee (4-0-FF) may be edging his way in to this Dallas defensive rotation slowly but surely. Keith Brooking (7-4) is still producing, but Lee should take over that WILB from 2011 onwards. The corners in this game for the Cowboys racked up a lot of tackles, but that more a product of the Lions having to pass for most of the game as their running game was completely ineffective.
Cleveland @ Jacksonville
- Abram Elam (6-0-INT-FF) had a brilliant game and actually intercepted a Maurice Jones-Drew pass as he read the RB’s intentions and came over from the backside to make the play. Ahtyba Rubin (5-0-1.0) is an absolute force on the defensive line and collapses the pocket often. Rookie S T.J. Ward (5-0, 2 INTs) had two picks in this game and keeps showing why the Browns thought so highly of him.
- Rookie DE Jeremy Mincey (3-0-2.0) should be on your radar as a possible breakout DE in 2011 and onwards. Mincey looks the part and is DT eligible in some leagues. Snatch him up before your leaguemates do. Terrance Knighton (4-0-1.0) gives the Jacksonville defense a strong presence against the run and Knighton has to be considered a reliable starter in DT required leagues.
Arizona @ Kansas City
- CB Greg Toler was inactive for this game, and although he was coming into his game listed as questionable, he was benched last week in favor of Mike Adams and it could stay that way. Don’t trust him, period. The Cardinals defense played a pretty subpar game and gave up big yards on the ground, allowing SS Adrian Wilson (7-0) to post good box score numbers. Paris Lenon (3-2) disappointed considering the number of rushing attempts they faced.
- I know I rave about this kid every week, but Brandon Flowers (5-2) is impressive every week. He doesn’t do anything brilliantly, but he does everything well. Eric Berry, the 2010 1st round pick, continues to be a force for the Chiefs secondary. He is so quick in recognition of plays and then making the play. There are some rumblings that Javier Arenas (6-2-1.0) may take over the starting CB job from Brandon Carr. Keep an eye on that, but this performance will certainly help his cause.
Green Bay @ Minnesota
- Desmond Bishop (5-0) is a guy I hope a lot of you picked up when the Guru suggested it, because the Packers have just extended his contract, so he figures to be a good long term option at LB. Frank Zombo (3-1) is a great story and his contribution to the Packers has been considerable.
- It is concerning that CB Chris Cook (4-0) is possibly going to lose his starting job again. Vikings corners are valuable in IDP leagues because of the scheme they play in. Stay clear of this until we hear more. Ray Edwards managed to get two sacks on Rodgers, not an easy feat considering the mobility of the quarterback. I expect the Vikes to play harder now that Chilly is gone.
Houston @ New York Jets
- Mario Williams (4-0-2.0) looked to be back to his dominant self in this game, getting great push on the Jets offensive line, a very good unit, for two sacks. Kevin Bentley (6-2-INT) had a pretty good game in this one with Zac Diles out, but this may be a temporary thing. Don’t get too excited.
- The Jets defense is not the unit they were last year. The Texans are a good offensive team, and they were in catch-up mode in this one. Brodney Pool (7-0) had an outlier of a game statistically, but played pretty well and covered a lot of ground for the Jets secondary. The linebacker tandem of Bart Scott and David Harris played good football but just failed to make a big dent in the box score.
Washington @ Tennessee
- London Fletcher (5-2) is one of my favorite football players, no question. The guy just comes to play every week, gives one hundred percent and yet people don’t take notice. It’s a crime. HB Blades (3-1) took the place of Rocky McIntosh after he picked up an injury in this one, so Blades will be a hot pickup on waiver wires this week.
- This Titans defensive front continues to rotate bodies in and out, which makes them a very effective pass rushing unit but caps their value somewhat. The Redskins offensive line did a great job against them despite being riddled by injuries. Dave Ball (3-1-1.0) and Jason Babin (3-1-1.0) both had sacks, and William Hayes (3-1) was close to getting one as well. Stephen Tulloch (6-3) is a consistent LB1 who not enough people talk about.
Indianapolis @ New England
- Dwight Freeney (2-1-1.0) got a nice sack on Tom Brady, but overall he was shut down along with Robert Mathis by the Patriots solid pair of offensive tackles. Pat Angerer (9-3) was all over the field and looked great in closing on the receivers in zone coverage and being decisive with attacking his gaps in run support.
- Gary Guyton (6-3) saw an above average number of tackle opportunities with the Colts playing from behind, but every time I see this guy play I think he deserves more playing time. Rookie CB Devin McCourty (5-1-INT) has another interception to his name and the tackle numbers keep coming, so he is a good start any week. Jerod Mayo (11-4) is playing at a very high level. Ride his good form to the playoffs.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia
- Terrell Thomas (9-1) played a terrific game on Sunday night, often making tackles on the speedy Maclin and Jackson pairing in space. He also played really aggressive coverage and made some nice plays on the ball in the air. Justin Tuck (6-1-3.0) had perhaps his most dominant game of the season. The Giants defensive line got to Vick a lot of the time, and Tuck was an all-effort performer for the entire game.
- The Eagles just placed CB Ellis Hobbs on IR, so it’s safe to trust Dimitri Patterson (6-1) for the rest of the season. The kid kept up his hot streak playing opposite Asante Samuel, who had another pick in this game as he squatted on a route and jumped it. Rookie Brandon Graham (2-0-FF) is getting more snaps, so he could have sneaky value down the stretch.
Denver @ San Diego
- D.J. Williams went out of this game with a concussion, allowing Joe Mays to take over the WILB role. He ran with for a 6-3 box score and should be a hot pickup in your leagues this week. Champ Bailey (3-0-INT) had a stunning interception in this game where he leaped high and seized the ball away from the intended receiver.
- Former first round pick Antoine Cason (7-2-INT) jumped out at me straight away in watching this one. He was fast to the ball, not afraid to stick his nose in and got an interception as well. Shaun Phillips (3-0-2.0) obviously came to play, as he terrorized Kyle Orton after the Broncos first drive. Phillips was able to notch up a couple of sacks. This Chargers defense as a whole unit played very well and that bodes well for the stretch.
Written by David Larkin
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Last Updated: November 24, 2010