Zach Allen was well on the way to a big game when he was forced out with a hand injury early in the second half. He has not yet been officially ruled out for week 15 but is not expected to play. This is a big loss for both the Cardinals and all of us IDP managers that have been relying on Allen all season.
With Michael Dogbe gone, the loss of Allen means more playing time for Jonathan Ledbetter and rookie third-round pick Cameron Thomas. Unless you are hurting and willing to gamble, he is not someone I would trust to pick up and start this week, but keep an eye on Thomas. He has played well in a limited role and is quite possibly the long-term heir to J.J. Watt.
Corner Marco Wilson left the Monday night game with a stinger and did not return. He has been rather useful for those in corner-required leagues, so watch for an update on his status later in the week.
The Falcons were on bye in Week 14teen, so as expected, we got nothing from the team about the ankle injury that knocked Troy Andersen out of the Week 13 game. As I write this on Tuesday evening, Andersen’s status remains up in the air. For those of us rostering Mykal Walker, the update on this situation could be vital to our playoff success. If Andersen is not ready to go, Walker will return to the every-down role and be a quality start against the Saints.
Managers that have been sitting on Kyle Hamilton all season might finally be getting some reward for their patience. Hamilton’s numbers have been inching up over the last several games. With the return to action of Marcus Williams, Baltimore turned to a big nickel base defense, deploying three safeties on about 90% of the defensive snaps against Pittsburgh. Williams worked on 98% of the snaps, but unlike the beginning of the season, he played a deep, centerfield role much of the time, going 2-1 with a pick. Chuck Clark played every snap in the strong safety role, going 4-2. Hamilton looked to be in more of a rover role, moving around and seeing more action as a box safety than earlier in the year.
No one has to be told to play Patrick Queen or Roquan Smith, but let this sink in. How good a matchup are the Browns for linebackers? Even in a game where their running attack was shut down, Logan Wilson had a career day, going 14-3-.5.
When Von Miller was hurt, the initial report suggested he would not miss much time. Upon further review, Miller was sent to IR late last week. With their starter on the shelf, Buffalo had one less mouth to feed in terms of playing time at defensive end. Gregory Rousseau is on a roster in every real IDP league, but there is someone else here worth adding if you are in need. A. J. Epenessa missed weeks eleven and twelve but a look at the last three games he’s finished, we see a guy that has quietly posted 9-1-3 with a pair of forced fumbles, two batted passes, three consecutive games with double-digit fantasy points, and an average of nearly 15 points per game.
Trey Hendrickson suffered a broken wrist in the win over Cleveland. The team is not putting him on IR and has not given up on his chance to play this week. At best, Hendrickson would have some limitations as he would have to play with a cast/club on the hand/wrist. If he does not go this week, look for Cameron Sample to get the start, with Joseph Ossai and possibly Zach Carter getting a few more snaps as well.
When I put a spotlight on rookie corner Cam Taylor-Britt a couple of weeks back, he wilted under the heat. Taylor-Britt bounced back nicely last week, however, going 5-1 with a pair of pass breakups. He has another excellent matchup this week with a Buccaneers squad that has been among the best matchups for corners since week eight. Opponents’ corners, as a position, are averaging 12.2 tackles, 4.2 assists, 2.5 passes defended, and almost half a turnover per game over that stretch.
Another game, another linebacker placed on injured reserve for the Browns. Last week’s victim was Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who landed on IR Tuesday with a foot injury that he suffered late in the contest against Cincinnati.
Before Owusu-Koramoah went down, the Browns were running a nickel-base defense with him and Deion Jones seeing nearly all the action at linebacker. Jones looked the part of a starting MLB. His tackle totals were a modest 4-3, but he added a pick and an additional pass breakup to finish just short of 18 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Tony Fields II, who we thought might get the start, instead was relegated to scraps, seeing eleven total snaps.
With the team running out of healthy, warm bodies, Jones is all but certain to hold the lead role in this week’s plus matchup with the Ravens. Fields could be the other starter or the ream could turn to Jordan Kunaszyk or recent addition Reggie Ragland for some snaps.
Lots of folks are wondering what happened to Jayron Kearse, who finished 1-2 with a pass defended. He pulled up lame during warm-ups. Kearse played through it but was not 100%, and it showed. The Cowboys have still not told us what his issue was/is, so we have no idea if it will be an issue again this week.
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