At 2-1, Zaven Collins had a slow day at the office versus the Chargers, which was unexpected considering the matchup. Isaiah Simmons picked up the slack, going 8-0-1 with a pass defended. Both players were on the field full time, but their roles might have been a little different at times as Simmons lined up in the middle for a few snaps. This didn’t look like a schematic change but rather a case of matching up with the offense in certain alignments.
Jalen Thompson did next to nothing for a third straight game, finishing at 3-1 as he continues to see time in the deep safety role. The Cardinals used more two-deep looks against the Chargers though, so maybe there is hope after the bye.
J.J. Watt now has six and a half sacks, his highest total since 2018. With four sacks in the last five games, he is a viable option for us after the bye, especially in week 15 when Arizona goes to Denver, where they don’t block pass rushers.
Mykal Walker continues to put up decent point totals for us, but I am concerned nonetheless. It’s not the totals; it’s how they are coming. Against Washington, he finished with nine combined tackles but just one assist, making up points with a pick. That’s all fine, but his play share continues to shrink, dipping below 70% for the first time this season. Walker collected 42 of a possible 68 snaps, while Troy Andersen picked up 30 as his role continues to grow. With fantasy managers in crunch time, this situation is what gives us grey hair.
Marcus Williams was designated to return from IR last week and is practicing in the lead-up to week 13. It seems likely he will be active against Denver and likely return to the lineup. The matchup is terrible and he might not have his usual role, but now is the time to grab him for those games against the Browns and Steelers (X2) during our playoffs.
Apologies to anyone that played Tyrel Dodson (as I did) last week. The Bills forgot to send me the memo when they elected to go with A.J. Klein instead. Tremain Edmunds is expected to practice this week and return to face the Patriots this week.
The news is not so good for Von Miller, who suffered a torn Meniscus and will miss time. The Bills are not shutting him down yet, in the hope he can return for the playoffs, but IDP managers are not likely to get anything from him the rest of the way. Fortunately for the team, Greg Rousseau is expected back this week. Carlos Basham Jr logged 75% of the snaps last week, and Shaq Lawson 69%. These three should make up the edge rotation for the foreseeable future.
Jordan Poyer has not been healthy for most of the season, and his numbers have looked like it. Against Detroit, we saw the Poyer many of us expected when we drafted him. Poyer’s 8-2 is an outlier for now, but it might be the start of a resurgence for him, just in time for our playoff runs. I would suggest picking him up, even if you are leery of playing him right away.
Damar Hamlin’s numbers were down against the Lions, but there is no reason to panic. His role remained the same.
Carolina got Jeremy Chinn back two weeks ago. Now they could be without Xavier Woods, who left Sunday’s contest with a knee injury. As of Tuesday afternoon, there has been no update on the severity of the injury. That is a positive sign as news of serious injuries usually comes early. The team is on bye, so we might not hear much until next week.
Jets quarterback, Mike White, had a great game against a depleted Chicago defense. The Bears have no pass rush and injuries are piling up in their secondary. Jaquan Brisker was out with a concussion versus New York. He was soon joined on the sideline by the other starting safety when Eddie Jackson suffered a non-contact foot injury. Tests are ongoing but there is concern that he could be lost for the rest of the season. DeAndre Houston-Carson covered for Brisker and put up a solid 6-3 against New York. If Brisker returns, Houston-Carson will slide over to cover for Jackson going forward. If neither starter is available, we with see Houston-Carson and Elijah Hicks as the Bears’ safeties against Green Bay.
There are not a lot of corners that consistently put up good tackle totals. Rookie Cam Taylor-Britt is showing signs of being one. He finished 9-3 against the Steelers in Week 11 and was 7-1 with a forced fumble versus Tennessee. The numbers only tell part of the story, though. Unlike many NFL corners, this guy is fearless in run support. It’s a small sample size but watching him hit Derrick Henry last week reminded me of Antoine Winfield Jr Sr, who in his day was pound-for-pound the toughest corner in the game. Cincinnati has the Chiefs this week and then finish up with Cleveland, Tampa Bay, New England, and Buffalo during our playoffs. The moral of this story? Grab Taylor-Britt if you can.
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