Jalen Thompson has fallen short of expectations for much of the season but had still been a decent DB3. Heading into Week 10, Thompson had turned in at least eight fantasy points in every game. When he went 1-2 against the Rams in Week 10, it was easy to write it off as a bump in the road due to a poor matchup. When he had one tackle in the first half of the Monday night game, it was time to take a closer look. Upon doing so, it was not hard to pinpoint the issue. The Cardinals were playing a lot of single high safety, with Thompson lining up 20 yards deep. This is great news for managers with Budda Baker, who finished 8-2 with a pass breakup, but not so much for those sitting on Thompson.
Isaiah Simmons was disappointing against San Francisco but don’t overreact. He missed some snaps during the game after an unusual hit; then the Cardinals pulled a lot of their starters when the game got out of hand.
Most everyone agrees that Troy Andersen is going to be a future starter at one of the Falcons’ inside linebacker positions. It appears that transition might be underway. Up to Week 9, Rashaan Evans and Mykal Walker were both playing virtually every snap, with Andersen seeing a handful each week. In each of the last two games, Walker’s play share has dropped while Andersen’s has grown. In the win over Chicago, Walker logged 51 of a possible 69 snaps, while Andersen picked up 24.
TaQuon Graham is headed to IR with a knee injury. Abdullah Anderson looks like the next man up at tackle.
Roquan Smith is having the expected impact. On the field, his talent and versatility make the Ravens better against both run and pass. After a short transition period, Smith is picking up right where he left off on the stat sheet as well, going 6-1-1 against the Panthers. The surprise is how Patrick Queen is responding. The twelve combined tackles and nine solos he recorded against Carolina were both season highs for Queen. So much for the concern we once had about how these two would coexist.
Kyle Hamilton had been coming on. He played 75% of the snaps and had six solo stops in Week 10. With four tackles on 21 plays, he was on pace to shatter those season highs before suffering a knee injury against the Panthers. As of Tuesday, there has been no update on the severity of the injury, but it did not look good live. Brandon Stephens should see more playing time going forward.
Tremaine Edmunds missed Week 11 due to a groin injury. Tyrel Dodson got the start against Cleveland and made the most of the opportunity, piling up nine tackles and four assists. Dodson was 7-4-1 in his only other start this year when Edmunds missed Week 5. This is noteworthy because Edmunds is still not practicing as of Tuesday, and there are rumblings that he could miss more games.
Matt Milano picked up his game with Edmunds out as well. At 8-4-1 with a fumble recovery, it was his most productive game of the season. With strong matchups on the horizon, Milano stands to be a bigger fantasy factor if Edmunds misses time.
Gregory Rousseau missed Week 11 with an ankle injury and will be joined in the trainer’s room this week by A.J. Epenesa, who left Sunday’s game also with an ankle. Neither is practicing early in the week, which means Carlos Basham Jr could be in line to start opposite Von Miller versus the Lions. Basham collected a 65% play share in Week 11. Miller, Basham, and Shaq Lawson would be the top three edge defenders if neither Rousseau nor Epenesa play.
C.J. Henderson is not a rookie, but opposing offenses treat him like one. Donte Jackson has battled injuries all season. When he has come out of games early, Henderson has been targeted heavily and put up good tackle totals. With Jackson done for the season, Henderson made his first start against Baltimore, posting a career-best of ten solo tackles and an assist. It’s a pretty safe bet that Denver, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Detroit will continue to pick on him going forward. If you have a need at corner, Henderson might be your guy.
Jeremy Chinn returned to action and didn’t miss a beat. He played every snap, working mostly at strong safety, and finished 7-3.
Cory Littleton went down with an ankle injury.
Jaquan Brisker (7-3 FF) had another strong outing versus the Falcons but keep an eye on his status this week. He was banged up and came off the field late in the game. There has been no mention as of Tuesday night, but he could show up with an injury. There is not much question that Kyler Gordon will. He left Sunday’s game to be evaluated for a concussion, and I do not believe he returned.
Logan Wilson is an every-week play for most of those rostering him. If you are streaming linebackers in a shallow league or have Germaine Pratt on your roster, this would be a good week to start him as well. Cincinnati faces off with the Titans, which means the Bengals will stay in their base defense more than usual and probably over 90% of the game. That spells more playing time for Pratt, who is their best run-stuffing linebacker and a guy that puts up good numbers in situations like this.
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