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It was a busy week for IDP managers with a lot of injuries and some interesting turn of events. Plenty of things you need to know and some potentially golden opportunities.
Isaiah Simmons put up a lot of points in Week 7, but most of them were compliments of an interception return for a score. Take that away, and he was 4-1 on 54 of a possible 72 snaps. The good news is, if he keeps making big plays, sooner or later, the coaching staff will get the hint that he needs to be on the field all the time.
Zaven Collins posted another solid line at 6-3. He is still looking for that breakout game with double-digit tackles, but he continues to play every snap and has been a consistent third starter. 6-3
Atlanta is running out of defensive backs. Add A.J. Terrell (hamstring) and Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion) to the growing list of Falcons DBs on the injury list. Atlanta finished Sunday’s game with Mike Ford, Darren Hall, and Isaiah Oliver in the secondary. Ford finished the game on a sore ankle. Hawkins has been looking good of late. At 7-3 with a pass breakup, he is on a run of three consecutive games with at least 14 fantasy points.
Looking at the numbers from Atlanta’s linebackers, one might assume that Mykal Walker (0-4) and Troy Andersen (4-1) were in some sort of timeshare. That would make sense with Walker banged up and the team looking to get Andersen some experience, but it was not the case. Rashaan Evans finished at 7-6 on 100% of the snaps, while Walker also played every snap and Andersen well under half. Either the snap count stats were skewed, or the Falcons were running a new scheme featuring three inside backers on about 40% of the snaps. I have not had an opportunity to re-watch the game to confirm, but my money is on an error in the snap counts. This one is on the watch list until the mystery is solved.
Kyle Hamilton was a factor both on the field and in the box score, going 3-1-1 versus the Browns, but there is no change in his situation. Geno Stone (8-0 FF/FR) and Chuch Clark (6-3) both played virtually every snap while Hamilton was on the field for 21 plays.
After seeing 81% and 85% of the action in the previous two games, Patrick Queen came off the field for one play against the Browns. The result was a season-best 7-2 in the tackle columns, and he should have been credited with a sack.
Josh Bynes left the game late in the second half with a quad injury. He is not practicing early in the week. That could mean a bigger, potentially every-down, role for Malik Harrison versus the Buccaneers.
Buffalo faces a dysfunctional Green Bay offense this week. The Packers were once a strong matchup for linebackers, safeties, and corners but they have somehow forgotten how to run or pass the ball. At this point, only opposing pass rushers have a plus matchup.
This is where newbies and point chasers learn a valuable lesson. Donte Jackson racked up ten solo tackles against the Buccaneers last week. Some managers will see that and plug him in this week against an Atlanta offense that completed eight of their thirteen pass attempts last week, despite being behind by at least two scores for much of the game. It would seem the coaching staff simply doesn’t trust Marcus Mariota to throw.
For everyone that has been riding the wave with Frankie Luvu, there could be trouble in paradise. Injuries make it hard to tell what will be the norm under the interim coaching staff but Luvu saw action on just 66% of the snaps in Week 7. Cory Littleton played 37%, and Damien Wilson 21%, leaving Shaq Thompson as the only full-time linebacker.
A couple of weeks back, I said I would not continue to be stubborn about Robert Quinn. That said, if you have a need at the position, it might be a good idea to slide him onto your roster ahead of the NFL trade deadline. The Bears are openly shopping the veteran. He has done nothing with the Bears, but a change of scenery to a potentially better supporting cast might get him going.
Every week we see proof that snap count is not everything. As expected, Germaine Pratt took over as the every-down linebacker with Logan Wilson out. He played virtually every snap, going 2-4 against the Falcons. Akeem Davis-Gaither worked in a timeshare, seeing 68% of the snaps and leading the team in tackles at 7-2. Wilson’s shoulder is improving quickly and he may be able to play on Monday night.
Trey Hendrickson (1-1-1) left with a stinger. He is not expected to miss much time but keep an eye on his availability for the week.
Zachary Carter has been high on my watch/dynasty list all year. With the Bengals absorbing injuries to D.J. Reader and his backup Josh Tupou, Jay Tufele was the next man up at the 1-technique tackle position. Tufele and Tyler Shelvin both saw time, but Carter was in the game on 72% of the plays. Some of his time came on the edge after Hendrickson left. Carter was playing end on early downs and shifting inside in passing situations. He finished a solid 4-1 with a pressure on one of the Falcons’ few pass attempts.
Going into Week 7, we wondered what the plan would be for the Browns at linebacker. Cleveland started as usual, with Deion Jones seeing little or no action while Jacob Phillips looked great. Phillips racked up six tackles and an assist on 31 plays before leaving with a torn pectoral. Inset Jones, who played every snap the rest of the way, going 4-1 on 33 plays. Playing middle linebacker for the Browns this year is like being on the cover of the Madden game, but for now, Jones looks like the man. Go get him if you can.
Jadeveon Clowney played against Baltimore but did not see his normal volume (36%). He came through with no setbacks and should be back to his normal 70% or so on Monday night. The Bengals have done a much better job of protecting Joe Burrow since giving up 13 sacks in the first two games, but they have still allowed an average of 2.4 sacks per game since that time.
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