Week 13 Upgrades/Downgrades
Posted 11/28 by Aaron Rudnicki, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
DL Vonnie Holliday, Miami (4 solos, 2 asst, 3 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF)
Holliday hadn't made much of an impact before Sunday, but he came through again with one of his patented multi-sack games. He has 15.5 sacks over his past 4 seasons, but 11 of them came in just 3 games. Playing alongside Jason Taylor should certainly help him, but his past suggests that Holliday still isn't a player you can rely on each week.
DL C.J. Mosley, Minnesota (5 solos, 2 asst, 2 sacks, 1 FF)
Kevin Williams left the game early with a sprained ankle and rookie C.J. Mosley, the only other DT on the Viking roster, came into replace him. He played very well and put up better numbers than Williams has all year. Williams is expected to miss at least a week with the injury, so Mosley should get a chance to start next week against the Lions.
DL Will Smith, New Orleans (5 solos, 1 sack)
Smith was regarded by many as the best pass rusher from last year's draft class and he's starting to live up to that billing. Even though he's not starting in New Orleans, he currently leads the team in sacks and has 10 solos, 2.5 sacks, and a FF in the last two games.
DL Osi Umenyiora, NY Giants (7 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 1 FF)
Umenyiora was matched up against Walter Jones, the premiere Left Tackle in the league on Sunday and he had one of the most impressive performances of any defensive end this year. He has 4 multi-sack games this year and currently ranks #2 in the league.
LB James Darling, Arizona (7 solos, 3 asst)
Darling has been playing like a top-20 linebacker over the past 3 weeks with 20 solos, 6 assists, and a sack.
LB Morlon Greenwood, Houston (9 solos, 5 asst, 2 sacks)
Greenwood was expected by many to put up huge numbers this year after taking over for Jamie Sharper in the Texans defense, but he got off to a pretty slow start. Things do finally appear to be turning around though as Greenwood now has 18 solo tackles, 6 assists, and 2 sacks in his last 2 games.
LB Dashon Polk, Houston (6 solos, 1 asst, 2.5 sacks)
Since entering the starting lineup in midseason to replace an injured Kailee Wong, Polk has performed well and is one of the most productive linebackers in the league over the past three games. During those games, he's registered 23 solos, 4 assists, and 2.5 sacks.
LB Lofa Tatupu, Seattle (11 solos, 2 asst, 1 PD)
Tatupu has already received several upgrades this year, but he is deserving again after finishing with a career-high 11 solo stops against the Giants on Sunday. He has finished with 9 or more solo stops in 4 of his last 8 games and is now tied with fantasy studs London Fletcher and Andra Davis for 11th in solo tackles among linebackers.
LB Marcus Washington, Washington (6 solos, 1 asst, 1.5 sacks, 2 PD)
Marcus Washington continues to be one of the most productive and consistent fantasy linebackers in the league, despite playing on the strongside of the formation. After a big game on Sunday, he now leads the Redskins in tackles and sacks.
DB Jerome Carter, St Louis (9 solos, 2 asst)
The rookie made his first start at strong safety in place of an injured Adam Archuleta on Sunday and put up great numbers in a crazy game against the Texans. He almost won the starting SS job in training camp when the team tried moving Archuleta to free safety, so he's certainly a player to keep an eye on in dynasty leagues.
DB Sammy Knight, Kansas City (6 solos, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 PD)
Knight hasn't been as big of a playmaker for the Chiefs as he was earlier in his career (had at least 5 interceptions in 5 of 6 years with the Saints), but he's playing well and ranks among the top-10 fantasy DBs this year. He suffered a sprained ankle in the game but it didn't appear to be serious.
DB Stuart Schweigert, Oakland (5 solos, 1 asst, 1 INT, 1 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR)
The 2nd year player has been a solid player during his time in Oakland, but he probably had the best fantasy game of his career on Sunday. He set the career interception record at Purdue with 17, but his theft of Gus Frerotte on Sunday was just the first of his NFL career. Hopefully, he can build on that and make more plays going forward. He tweaked his knee in the game but is not expected to miss any time.
DB Greg Wesley, Kansas City (3 solos, 1 asst, 3 INT, 3 PD)
After a year off in 2004 and a position change, Wesley has returned to prominence as one of the elite fantasy DBs in the game. His huge game on Sunday that saw him pick off Tom Brady 3 times has vaulted him into a #6 ranking in fantasy points. He's averaging almost 5 solo tackles/game and now has 6 interceptions in 3 of the past 4 seasons.
DL John Abraham, NY Jets (1 solos)
With the Jets season looking more and more hopeless, Abraham's numbers appear to be suffering. He had 24 solo tackles and 5.5 sacks in his first 8 games, but has just 6 solos and 0 sacks in his last 3.
DL Kalimba Edwards, Detroit (0 tackles)
Edwards continues to be a totally hit or miss player this year. He has 17 solo tackles combined in the 5 games when he has recorded a sack, but just 4 solo tackles combined in the 6 games that he's gone sackless in.
DL Robert Geathers, Cincinnati (0 tackles)
With just 2 sacks, Geathers hasn't made nearly the impact he was expected to this year, and this was his second game this year in which he finished with 0 tackles.
DL Charles Grant, New Orleans (2 solos)
Grant has been one of the bigger fantasy disappointments this year. He was regarded as one of the top 2 or 3 fantasy DL to start the year, but currently ranks just 45 th. He's regularly being outplayed by Will Smith this year.
DL Warren Sapp, Oakland (placed on IR)
Sapp was having a great season for the Raiders, but was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and will be lost for the rest of the season.
DL Kevin Williams, Minnesota (0 tackles)
Williams suffered a sprained ankle on the 2nd play of the game on Sunday and is expected to miss at least a week. Making matters worse, his replacement (a 6th round rookie) put up the type of numbers everyone was expecting from Williams this year.
DL Bryant Young, San Francisco (did not play)
Young missed the game on Sunday with a knee injury and is expected to miss several more weeks.
LB Brad Kassell, Tennessee (2 asst, 1 FR)
Kassell has shown flashes of being the fantasy force some expected him to be this year, but he just hasn't been able to sustain it for any considerable length of time. His numbers this week could likely be blamed on a bad matchup against the 49ers, but he also had just 1 solo last week against the Jaguars.
LB Dat Nguyen, Dallas (placed on IR)
After suffering from a neck injury all year, Dat Nguyen was placed on IR today and is considering retirement. The Cowboys signed veteran Michael Barrow to a 1-year contract to replace him on the roster, but Bradie James will likely take over his spot in the middle.
LB Al Wilson, Denver (1 solo, 1 asst)
Wilson is a key reason for the Broncos success on defense this year, but his fantasy numbers have been very disappointing lately. He has just 9 solo tackles over the last 4 weeks, which would be terrible for any starting MLB in the NFL, but especially so for one as good and talented as Wilson is.
DB Will Demps, Baltimore (0 tackles - injured)
The Ravens have already had to deal with the loss of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis for a lengthy period of time, but now they will be without Will Demps as well. He suffered a torn ACL in the 2nd quarter on Sunday and will be lost for the rest of the season.
DB Kelly Herndon, Seattle (1 solo, 1 PD)
Herndon has been very productive over the last couple months as opposing QBs targeted him frequently, but he suffered a knee injury yesterday and is expected to miss a few weeks.
DB Terrence Kiel, San Diego (2 solos)
Kiel missed a game earlier this year with an ankle injury, and it looks like playing through it may be hurting his performance. Despite starting off the season with 31 solo tackles in his first 4 games, Kiel has just 3 solo tackles in his last 2 games since returning from the injury.
DB Troy Vincent, Buffalo (3 asst)
Vincent has had a decent season fantasy wise, but he's been missing a surprising number of tackles in recent weeks and has now gone 6 games without an interception. The Bills used him to double team Steve Smith on Sunday, and it worked as Smith had one of his worst days of the year, but it resulted in a terrible fantasy day for Vincent.
DB Tank Williams, Tennessee (1 solo)
Williams averaged nearly 4 solo tackles/game for the first 9 games of the season, but he's now had 2 disappointing 1-solo games in a row. He's an athletic player with great size, but doesn't do enough as a playmaker (5 career interceptions in 4 seasons) to ever become a great fantasy DB.