Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 13 of the NFL season.
The Oakland Raiders have stated that they hope to have safety Tyvon Branch back for this week's game. If Branch is announced to play, owners may be tempted to immediately re-insert him in their lineups, but I would use caution. He's been out since Week 2 and is very likely to be on a snap count and/or out of playing condition.
IDP STUD Sean Lee says he's "ready to roll" this week. Get him back in your lineups. Bruce Carter's value is likely to take a hit as a result.
Despite the strong play and even stronger box score numbers of Vincent Rey, the Bengals went back to Rey Maualuga as their starting middle linebacker. The coaching staff is obviously delusional about Rey's on-the-field ability. This is unfortunate for fantasy owners as Rey is the much better option both short and long-term.
The Saints continue to utilize a lot of three safety looks. However, Roman Harper seems to be the odd man out and only played 52% of the snaps last week against a run-heavy Seahawks team. Expect a similar snap percentage this week against the Panthers.
DeAngelo Hall hurt his hip and back in last week's game against the Giants and is questionable to play this week. His matchup against the Chiefs is a poor one as Alex Smith has only thrown 1 INT to a cornerback the entire season. Additionally, Kansas City does not give up many solo tackles to opposing corners. Hall has been very good this season, but this week he's probably best left on your bench.
Panthers RE Greg Hardy did not start Sunday's Week 13 game against Tampa Bay after being late to a team meeting but still finished with a sack.
Cameron Wake's struggles continued again last week. He now only has 1 sack in his last 4 games. Owners should still start him, however. He's been getting solid pressure on the quarterback and with Olivier Vernon destroying offensive lines on the other side, it's only a matter of time before Wake explodes again.
(Please note that a majority of these pickups are long-term, rest of season pickups as opposed to matchup-type recommendations. As the season progresses and the waiver wire becomes more thin and matchup information becomes more reliable, the focus of this article will shift more towards recommendations based on weekly matchup.)
(Previously recommended DLs: Nick Fairley, Dontari Poe, Jason Hunter, Desmond Bryant, Michael Bennett, Jason Hatcher. Brian Robison, Adrian Clayborn, Ezekiel Ansah, Gerald McCoy, George Selvie, Chris Clemons, Marcell Dareus, Ndamukong Suh, Fletcher Cox, Shea McClellin, Ropati Pitoitua, Bruce Irvin, Moise Fokou, Shaun Phillips, Darnell Dockett, Mike Neal, Michael Brockers, Wallace Gilberry, Chris Jones, Olivier Vernon, Matt Shaughnessy, Quinton Coples, Vance Walker, Ropati Pitoitua, Jurrell Casey, Fletcher Cox, Gerald McCoy, John Abraham, Cameron Heyward, Antonio Smith)
RDE Ezekiel Ansah (DET) - Ansah started the season off strong for a rookie, but he fall off the map after he missed a few games due to injury. Now back and healthy, he's picking up where he left off with 4 sacks in his last two games. The matchup against the Eagles isn't a top-notch one and Ansah still isn't playing a full complement of snaps, but his upside is too big to ignore if you are looking for a boom/bust DL3.
RDE John Abraham (ARZ) - After failing to register a sack throughout the first 6 games, Abraham has 7 in his last 6 games and has a good chance to continue that streak against the Rams this week. If your league classifies Abraham has a defensive lineman, get him into your lineup.
LDE Akiem Hicks (NO) - Hicks has been a presence in the box scores over the last few weeks and it's typically a smart move around around this time of the year to ride the hot hand. The Panthers give up the 4th most points to defensive linemen which makes Hicks a solid DL3 play in 12 team leagues.
(Previously recommended LBs: Zach Brown, Akeem Dent, Erin Henderson, Jasper Brinkley, Alec Ogletree, Phillip Wheeler, Pat Angerer, Geno Hayes, Danny Trevathan, DeAndre Levy, Daryl Smith, Reggie Walker, Daryl Washington, Spencer Paysinger, Ahmad Brooks, Rey Maualuga, A.J. Hawk, Brandon Spikes, Jon Beason, Von Miller, Jon Bostic, Brandon Spikes, Jamari Lattimore, LaMarr Woodley, Malcolm Smith, James Anderson, Craig Robertson, Dont'a Hightower, David Hawthorne, Paul Worrilow, Colin McCarthy, Pat Angerer, Aldon Smith, Vincent Rey, Sio Moore, Lance Briggs, Bruce Carter)
ROLB Jason Worilds (PIT) - Worilds' play has improved significantly over his last several games and especially over his last three contests in which he has 23 total tackles, 3 sacks, and a forced fumble. He has a tasty matchup against the Dolphins this week who have given up the most sacks to opposing defenses so far this season. He's pretty much a must start in most big play leagues.
MLB Audie Cole (MIN) - Cole has racked up an impressive 23 total tackles and a sack in the two games he's started since taking over for Erin Henderson. The Vikings announced this week that Cole will remain the starter at MLB with the returning Henderson sliding to the weak side. The Vikings travel to Baltimore this week to take on the Ravens who are currently giving up the #1 most points to linebackers. Consider Cole a very strong LB3-LB3+ this week.
MLB Jon Beason (NYG) - Beason has had somewhat of a career resurgence since joining the Giants. There are still times when his wear shows through, but he's managed to fill the box scores in most games due to the severe lack of competition for tackles on the Giants defense. Coming off a 17 tackle performance last week, he has an outstanding matchup in Week 14 against the Chargers who have given out tackles to linebackers in boatloads this season (e.g. Sean Lee 15-3, Kevin Burnett 12-2, Paul Posluszny 13-1, Vontaze Burfict 11-1). He's a top 12 play this week.
(Previously recommended DBs: Duke Ihenacho, Da'Norris Searcy, Tyrann Mathieu, Ryan Mundy, Aaron Williams, Quintin Mikell, Usama Young, Robert McClain, Barry Church, Brandon Meriweather, Charles Woodson, Major Wright, Rodney McLeod, Buster Skrine, Nate Allen, Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Donte Whitner, Devin McCourty, Will Hill, Josh Robinson, Reed Doughty, Jamarca Sanford, T.J. Ward, Quintin Mikell, Mike Mitchell, Marcus Cooper, Roman Harper, Aaron Williams, Bacarri Rambo, Trumaine Johnson, Jamarca Sanford, D.J. Swearinger, Chris Conte, Antrel Rolle, Troy Polamalu, Will Hill, Aaron Williams, Terrell Thomas, Andrew Sendejo, Tramon Williams, James Ihedigbo)
SS Andrew Sendejo (MIN) - For a while it looked as though Jamarca Sanford was going to be the safety to own in Minnesota; however, a mid-season injury to Sanford allowed Sendejo more exposure in the defense and he hasn't stopped performing since. He's averaged 9 tackles a game since Week 9 and has a solid matchup against the Ravens this week.
LCB Jason McCourty (IND) - There's no doubt McCourty has been a disappointment this season. However he's still a strong tackler in a CB-friendly scheme. And more importantly, he plays Peyton Manning and the Broncos this week. This means he will be seeing a lot of balls thrown his way while trying to cover any three of Denver's stud wide receivers. If there were a week to start him, it's this week. Same goes for Alterraun Verner.
LCB Richard Marshall (SD) - Marshall started in place of a benched Derek Cox in Week 13 and posted 6 solo tackles and 2 assists. Historically, he's been a very strong tackle producer for us and I like the matchup this week against the Giants. Eli Manning throws a TON of interceptions and New York has given up their fair share of tackles to cornerbacks. Consider him a sneaky CB2+/DB3 start this week.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter. Also, feel free to post any questions or comments for me in the comments section of this post.
Last Updated: December 4, 2013 Related Posts: