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Years ago, when Deone Bucannon introduced himself as a “money linebacker” on Sunday Night Football, the audience had a good laugh. The term was a reference to his defensive responsibilities but conjured images in viewers' minds of the huge game checks that Bucannon was earning at that time. Memes popped up in the following days of Bucannon on top of piles of money and gold coins. Hopefully, following the guidance given in this column will have your rosters overflowing with a wealth of IDP riches. We will primarily focus on edge rushers but will also hit some of the other players and situations that will likely impact teams in big play leagues. We will cover risers and fallers in the format, injury situations about which fantasy general managers need to know, and upcoming matchups to target.
Note: The defensive player injuries covered in this column are not an exhaustive list but an attempt to cover the situations most likely to impact big play IDP squads. For more extensive coverage of injury situations, see Jene Bramel’s latest Injury Rounds column.
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There is very little to report at this time of the year when playing time has largely stabilized and new developments (good and bad) become more injury-dependent.
With David Long Jr out, it was Monty Rice playing 70% of the snaps next to Jayon Brown. Rashaan Evans is droppable in all but the deepest of leagues and dynasty leagues. Rice is serviceable as long as Long remains sidelined, but expect his usage to plunge when Long is able to return to the lineup.
For the second week in a row, T.J. Edwards was the lead linebacker in Philadelphia with a 93% snap share. Their linebacker usage has shifted throughout the year, but it tends to stay stable for weeks at a time. Edwards is safe to trust as a fill-in or in deeper leagues where 3-4 linebackers are starting each week.
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Broncos linebacker Baron Browning hurt his ankle. He did not return against Philadelphia.
Browns cornerback A.J. Green was evaluated for a concussion.
Buccaneers cornerback Richard Sherman missed on Sunday when he experienced pregame calf cramps.
Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward exited the game on Sunday night with a stomach illness.
Jets cornerback Brandin Echols left his contest with a thigh injury.
Steelers cornerback Joe Haden exited Sunday’s contest with a foot injury and is day-to-day. The team also lost pass rusher T.J. Watt to a hip and knee injury. His injury is week-to-week according to the team. Cornerback Minka Fitzpatrick has been added to the COVID-19 list.
Titans pass rusher Bud Dupree left the game with an abdominal injury and did not return.
Washington suffered a big blow when pass rusher Chase Young was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
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Baltimore Ravens Pass Rushers versus Chicago Bears Offensive Line
Chicago’s line is so bad that even after a bye week, it still leads the league in sacks allowed. Outside of Calais Campbell, Tyus Bowser, Justin Houston, and Jayson Oweh are the only three pass rushers to think about playing outside of bye week emergency situations. The playing time of Pernell McPhee and Jaylon Ferguson is just too low to take a chance on either of those guys, despite the juicy matchup.
Cleveland Browns Pass Rushers versus Detroit Lions Offensive Line
Despite the team’s struggles in Week 10, they will get a plush pass-rushing matchup to help bolster them in Week 11. Myles Garrett is unbenchable anyway, but especially this week. Jadavenon Clowney has not been great on his own in a long time, but he can possibly ride Garrett’s coattails to a sack in this one. He is a fine boom-bust play this week.
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