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Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 15 of the NFL season.
Stephon Tuitt exited last Sunday's game with a right knee injury and did not return. Initial tests didn't reveal any significant damage but the Steelers have yet to report on Tuitt's chances of playing in Week 16.
Derek Wolfe injured his neck against the Patriots and was forced from the game. This has been a re-occurring injury for Wolfe but he's listed as "day-to-day" and Head Coach Gary Kubiak said he will be "fine."
William Gholston dislocated his elbow against the Cowboys on Sunday night and is expected to miss this week's game.
49ers linebacker Nick Bellore was placed on injured reserve with an elbow injury. With Gerald Hodges inactive due to violating team rules, Michael Wilhoite was the team's lone every down linebacker. If/once Hodges return this week, I would expect both players to be at 90%+ snaps.
Devondre Campbell left the game this past Sunday with a concussion and did not return. Paul Worrilow replaced him and played every down but did not produce much in the box scores.
Marcus Cooper was limited all week in practice with a back injury and wound up aggravating the injury during the Cardinals game against the Saints. We should know more about his status in the coming days.
Byron Maxwell recently stated that he doesn't know if he will play in Week 16 as he is trying to recover from an ankle injury.
CB1- Jason McCourty suffered a chest injury in Week 15. His status is questionable heading into the penultimate week of the regular season.
Jets safety Calvin Pryor had to be helped off the field by trainers against the Dolphins on Saturday. The exact severity of his injury has yet to be released.
General Player Notes
David Irving looked unstoppable during the 4th quarter of the Cowboys/Bucs game. During the brief span of one quarter, he had 2 sacks, multiple QB pressures, and a pass deflection. Irving has shown flashes of brilliance before (e.g. Week 6 against the Packers where he had 3 forced fumbles and a sack) and has the body/skill combo to be a force in the league. He's still a rotational player however and I'd be hard-pressed to use him as a fantasy starter with a championship on the line.
Jerrell Freeman returns this week from his four game suspension and should be back in your fantasy lineups for the championship week. I see no reason why he wouldn't return to an every down role and LB1-/LB2+ status. Conversely, Nick Kwiatkoski becomes a risky play for the rest of the season and should be looked at as a low ceiling LB4.
As expected, Jatavis Brown saw a healthy increase in snaps in his second week back from injury. It was Brown and Denzel Perryman who saw the bulk of the playing time at inside linebacker (75%+ for each) while Korey Toomer was relegated back to a minimal role on the defense.
DeAndre Levy saw his playing time increase in his second week back from injury. This increase in playing time came at the expense of both Tahir Whitehead and Josh Bynes. Whitehead saw his snap percentage decrease into the low 70%s. This makes him a slightly riskier play for Week 16.
Dont'a Hightower continues to see a wide variance in playing time from week-to-week. He only played in 68% of the snaps this past week where as Kyle Van Noy saw 82% and continues to get more and more playing time. This said, the Patriots linebacking situation is one to avoid for fantasy purposes in most leagues.
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 16!
(Please note that a majority of these pickups early on 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: Chris Long, Danielle Hunter, Devin Taylor, Dante Fowler, Frank Clark, Timmy Jernigan, Kerry Hyder, Yannick Ngakoue, Damon Harrison, Nick Fairley, Clinton McDonald, Derek Wolfe, Calais Campbell, Joey Bosa, Trent Murphy, Deforest Buckner, Danny Shelton, Willie Young, Joey Bosa, Gerald McCoy, Cameron Wake, Frank Clark, Marcell Dareus, Mike Daniels, Cameron Wake, Adrian Clayborn, Timmy Jernigan, Trey Flowers, Jurrell Casey, Robert Ayers, Stephon Tuitt, Marcell Dareus, Mario Addison, Noah Spence, Javon Hargrave, Andre Branch, Derek Wolfe, Michael Johnson, Stephon Tuitt, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley, Sheldon Rankins, Romeo Okwara)
DE Ezekiel Ansah (DET) - Ansah finally got off the schneid last week and registered his first sack of the regular season. It's quite amazing that it took him 15 weeks to do so considering he had 14.5 sacks last year and 31 over his three year career. But as they say, better late than never. Ansah has been increasing his pressure stats as the season has progressed and looks to be as healthy as he's been all year. The matchup against the Cowboys isn't great but they've been getting sacked more in recent weeks and Ansah could serve as a nice home run play for owners coming into their championship games as underdogs.
DE Frank Clark (SEA) - Clark was one of the league's top fantasy ends through the season's first 10 games. But the return of Michael Bennett and four straight weeks of lackluster performance caused him to be dropped in many leagues. He put up 1.5 sacks in a beneficial matchup against the Rams last week however and this week he gets the Cardinals who are allowing the most points to DEs and DTs. This makes Clark an attractive option for what most people call the last week of fantasy.
DE Andre Branch (MIA) - Most of the attention on Miami's defensive line has gone to Cameron Wake as he makes a serious run at comeback player of the year. However, Branch has been very solid in his own right. He's been a top 20 fantasy DL since Week 10 and had a top 5 matchup against the Bills this week. This said, he has a nice shot at 2-3 solos and a sack.
(Previously recommended LBs: Sio Moore, Todd Davis, Tahir Whitehead, Will Compton, Mason Foster, Craig Robertson, Justin March, Jonathan Casillas, Craig Robertson, Zach Brown, Deion Jones, Sean Weatherspoon, Tahir Whitehead, Zach Orr, Denzel Perryman, Bernardrick McKinney, Cory James, Darron Lee, Christian Kirksey, Jatavis Brown, Vince Williams, Cory James, Michael Wilhoite, Christian Kirksey, Nick Bellore, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Markus Golden, Nick Bellore, Albert McClellan, Dont'a Hightower, Tyler Matakevich, Jordan Hicks, De'Vondre Campbell, Christian Kirksey, Demario Davis, Nate Stupar, Kiko Alonso, Dont'a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, Nigel Bradham, Korey Toomer, Ryan Shazier, De'Vondre Campbell, Korey Toomer, Gerald Hodges, Chad Greenway, Dannell Ellerbe, Blake Martinez, Gerald Hodges, Leonard Floyd, Jatavis Brown, Danny Trevathan, Shaq Thompson, Su'a Cravens, Justin Houston, Nick Kwiatkoski, Darron Lee, Nick Kwiatkoski, Edwin Jackson, Perry Riley, Josh Bynes, Mason Foster, Edwin Jackson, Ramik Wilson, Stephone Anthony)
LB Sio Moore (ARZ) - Moore was mentioned in this article last week as a potential late season fill-in for owners in deeper leagues. Well, he came through with an 11 solo tackle performance. Now, the Cardinals saw a lot of tackle opportunity last week so his numbers are inflated and the matchup next week in Seattle isn't a great one. But, he's still worth a flyer as a LB3- in 12 team leagues given his upside as a player.
LB Martrell Spaight (WAS) - Spaight led the team with 15 total tackles (11 solos) against the Panthers on Monday Night Football. If Will Compton misses another game, Spaight becomes a nice high variance LB3+ for underdog owners looking for potential big points.
LB Bruce Irvin (OAK) - Irvin has been on fire since the Raiders came out of their Week 10 bye. During that five game stretch, he's had five sacks to go along with a respectable 28 total tackles. He gets the Colts this week who have allowed sacks to outside linebackers by the handful and with teams focusing a ton of attention on Kahlil Mack, I fully expect Irvin to have 5-6 total tackles and at least one sack in this contest.
LB Jake Ryan (GB) - After seeing minimal playing time over the last several weeks, the Packers elevated Ryan to near every down status against the Bears in Week 15. This could have been situational or just a sign that Ryan is finally back to full health. With a very favorable matchup in the Vikings up next on the schedule plus an expectation of a very run-heavy game due to the cold weather, Ryan has a shot at a ton of tackle opportunity on a defense with little competition in the front seven. He's a risky play as it's not 100% known if he will continue his every down role, but he's likely available even in deep leagues and may be worth a shot for desperate owners in a pinch.
(Previously recommended DBs: Tony Jefferson, Da'Norris Searcy, Shareece Wright, Tyvon Branch, Andrew Sendejo, Kemal Ishmael, Karl Joseph, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jacoby Glenn, Vonn Bell, Logan Ryan, Kendell Fuller, Clayton Geathers, Duke Ihenacho, D.J. Swearinger, Bashaud Breeland, Rodney McLeod, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Donte Whitner, DeShawn Shead, Michael Thomas, Troy Hill, Bradley McDougald, Robert Blanton, Daniel Sorensen, Bradley Roby, Phillip Gaines, Andrew Adams, Kevin Byard, Bashaud Breeland, Byron Jones, Jimmie Ward, Jacquiski Tartt, Patrick Chung, Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, Tavon Wilson, Bashaud Breeland, Jalen Collins, Jahleel Addae, Michael Griffin, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Keith Tandy, Jacquiski Tartt, Nate Allen, Sean Davis)
S Eric Berry (KC) - Berry's tackle production this year as been relatively modest but a handful of big plays (including two defensive touchdowns) have saved his fantasy season. With Derrick Johnson out, Berry was much more active in stopping the run as evidenced by his season-high 11 tackle performance. If he's still out on your waiver wire, now may be the time to ride the hot hand and pick him up.
S Anthony Harris (MIN) - Harris has been a tackle beast since taking over at safety for the injured Harrison Smith in Week 14. During that two week span he's compiled an impressive 22 total tackles. Smith is likely to miss the remainder of the season and as long as he's out and Harris is starting, the latter is worth a pickup as a DB2 in most leagues.
S Keith Tandy (TB) - Even with Chris Conte back healthy, the Buccaneers opted to stick with Tandy at safety. He played nearly every down against the Cowboys and came through with 14 total tackles. With the Cowboys dominating the time of possession, several Tampa players had gaudy tackle lines but Tandy has shown for the third straight game that he's capable of producing DB1/DB2 numbers for us. If you're looking for someone to plug into a starting DB position, Tandy makes for a nice option especially with the Saints up on the schedule next.
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Last Updated: December 13, 2016 Related Posts: