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“The Amateur Ward”: The Front Seven (Linebacker, Defensive line) Week 8

As I sit here watching the World Series and sipping back on whiskey, I’m playing over the last week in the NFL, and all I have to say is damn, the Bills run game has gone from solid to nonexistent in one week. I’m also peeved that my Falcons are 2-5, but I’m confident they will turn it around at some point this season. Could that happen starting this week in London against the London Silly Nannies, I mean Detroit Lions? Ah yes, London gets to host a football game this week, and the teams they will see both generally have explosive offenses. Though they’ll likely miss MegaTron in uniform this week, as he is still hampered by a bad ankle.

Last week, in my inaugural post using this new format, I had a pretty bad week, as I didn’t take any titles and only had one clean W. Hopefully, this week, as I break out my 2nd week in this format, I’ll have better luck. Hey, some weeks you dominate, others you get dominated, but that’s the life of the sports world. Yes, outside of being an accounting major, my life revolves around sports on the weekends.

Last Week’s Recap

Levy vs. Mosley:  Levy won with 14.5 FP/MLFF vs. Mosley’s 5.5 FP. While the Ravens completely dominated the Falcons last week, the rookie out of ‘Bama struggled with only 5 solo tackles. Levy, on the other hand had a solid day, tallying 11 tackles, 3 solo. I picked Mosley over Levy. Verdict:  LOSS. (Photo courtesy of

Watt vs. All other DEs:  Yeah, umm, that’s the last time I ever pit one player against all others. Watt had a very pedestrian day by his standards, only going for 9.5 FP/MLFF, a forced fumble, and a sack for counting stats. If you look at some of the other big name DEs, JPP (21 FP), Peppers (13.5 FP), and Dunlap (19.5 FP) all outpaced Watt. This was a blip on the radar for Watt, but I definitely pulled a Mark Sanchez.

By losing both my preliminary predictions, I automatically lost the Championship round, but Watt (9.5) did outpace Mosley (5.5). Let’s chalk last week up as the exception for both.

Allen vs. JPP:  Speaking of JPP, I got shafted again by going against him. I knew I was gonna eat my words on that one, but had to try my hand at luck once more. He completely dominated Allen last week, to the tune of 21 to 5.5 FP. If you haven’t already, the time is NOW to get JPP up and in your lineups, as he’s starting to remind me of the JPP of old.

Dareus vs. Marks:  Well, ya gotta get at least one right every now and then. I got this one correct, as I had Dareus over Marks. It was a close call, but Dareus just eked out the victory 13.5 FP to 11 over Marks. Both have been providing a nice point total from the DT and should continue the trend going forward.

I was half right in my Championship Round prediction, Dareus defeated Marks, but Allen got demolished by JPP. At 21 FP, JPP had the highest total of the foursome, so I lose another Championship Round prediction.

J. Williams (NYG) vs. Williamson:  From a points stand, I lost by 0.3 with Williamson (6.2) < Williams(6.5), however, from a counting stats perspective Williamson won as he tallied a fumble recovery, while Williams only had 7 tackles. This is a tossup at the end of the day as I said Williamson would defeat Williams. If you go based on counting stats, I won, if by FP, I lost.

Battle Royale

Luke Kuechly vs. Lavonte David – I was hoping to hold off on this match up until the Panthers and Bucs played, but I’m not that patient. Yes, this is the match of the week! Kuechly has a tough match up against Russell Wilson, who has a 10:2 TD:INT ratio and has only been sacked 14 times this season. David, on the other hand gets a cupcake match up against Teddy Bridgewater, who has a 1:5 TD:INT ratio and has been sacked 15 times. Head to head, David leads Kuechly by 1 tackle, as both are virtually locked for points in fantasy this season (David leads 111.5-110.5), and they will be close the rest of the season. (Photo courtesy of

Winner:  David – This is going to be close, but David’s match up is too tasty this week to not go with him. Bridgewater has a ton of learning to do, and the absence of AP won’t help matters either. It’s not inconceivable that David goes J.J. Watt on the Vikings this week.

Muhammad Wilkerson vs. Mario Williams – As the Jets and Bills get together for a brouhaha this week, the victor may well come down to the play of the defenses. Smith has been sacked 15 times versus 13 for Orton, but without Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, the Bills run game is suddenly in danger. Given the state of both offenses, look for the Bills to try to go more pass heavy this week, while the Jets try to establish the run to open the field up for Smith.

Winner:  Williams – Geno Smith is simply too fringy of a QB for the Jets offense to be effective, and the Bills offense is better organized, even sans Jackson and Spiller.

Championship:  David vs. Williams – Both defensive players have great match ups, but David takes the cake this week. Although David currently doesn’t have a sack, he will dominate the Vikings this week, likely collecting his first sack and 3rd forced fumble.

Battle of the Middle Class

Ndamukong Suh vs. Aaron Donald – This week’s defensive tackle showdown features one player playing in London! Suh and the Lions square off against Matt Ryan and the Falcons in London, and let’s just hope Londoners don’t look confused when they see the American version of football. London, I promise you, it’s not a bunch of idiots bashing heads, it’s known as ‘competitive violence’ and the American Sunday pastime. The Falcons are mightily struggling right now, and with the Lions aggressive pass defense (top 10) and top 5 run defense, the Falcons will need to get creative to score. Donald, who is coming off a great game against the Seahawks, draws Jamaal Charles, who will be a tall order to stop. With a little luck, Donald will create turnovers against the league’s worst pass offense and supply solid numbers. (Photo courtesy of 

Winner:  Donald – Donald is going to be boom/bust most weeks, but this is a boom week for Donald, who will carry steam from last week into Sunday. Suh, while he should have a decent day in London and is the more consistent option, is the hard luck loser this week.

Khalil Mack vs. Lawrence Timmons – Timmons leads the 16th ranked Steelers pass D against Luck and the Colts. Timmons has been solid of late, tallying 22 solo tackles the past 3 weeks, but should be held in check against the emerging stud Luck. Mack and the Raiders lock horns with a solid Browns squad in Cleveland, while the Raiders offense is in transition with rookie Derek Carr at the command. Oakland’s overall defense is a solid 10th in the league, but until their offense shows consistency, they’ll struggle to win.

Winner:  Mack – The Raiders will lose on Sunday, but Mack takes this match up, as Luck is going to carve up the Steelers this week. Timmons will get his stats, but it won’t be enough to top Mack, who is emerging at linebacker for fantasy owners.

Championship: Mack-Donald – Can I get an E-I-E-I-O?!?! This is going to be close, but Mack gets the edge here, as he’s more versatile and will see more opportunities to make plays against the Browns. Donald is rounding into a solid DT contributor, but stopping Charles  will prove too tall a task for the rookie DT this week.

Russian Roulette

Jonathan Massaquoi vs. Cameron Jordan – If the Falcons are going to have a shot at victory this week, they must produce some turnovers. Their defense is dead last, and only has 8 sacks on the season. Massaquoi has four of the Falcons sacks, and they’ll need 1-2 more from him this week against a potentially MegaTron-less Stafford-led Lions offense to keep the Lions offense honest. The good news here is Stafford’s pass protection has allowed him to be sacked 24 times, so there’s a high probability of a sack this week. While the Falcons and Lions are dueling it out in London, the Packers and Saints will be in an aerial assault in N’Awlins. Throw the defenses out already, as this is going to be a shootout. The Saints are 2-4, but they are very good at home. In terms of fantasy production for Cameron, the usually top tier DE has a mere 1 sack and 3 passes defensed this season. Both Massaquoi and Jordan are going to be high risk/reward plays this week, hence the categorization of them against one another this week in Russian Roulette. (Photo courtesy of

Winner:  Massaquoi – There’s not going to be much defense in New Orleans this Sunday, and the Falcons will look to right the ship in London. I generally stray away from Atlanta DEs, but this week, take a frequent flier on Massaquoi against a lousy Lions offensive line.

As we head into the heart of the NFL season, the college football season keeps getting juicier and juicier. 4 top 5 SEC West teams. Our treat this week:  Ole Miss visits LSU in Death Valley. I got my spot warmed on the coup already. The season will come to a head the last week of the CFB season when Ole Miss and Mississippi State square off on the same day as the Iron Bowl. That day will ultimately determine the college football playoff, so stay tuned. Oh wait, we were talking about the NFL right? Yeah, Week 8 has some intriguing games, and remember to pay attention to injuries to nab waiver wire steals on offense and defense. For any last-minute IDP advice, email me at, or tune in on Sunday morning from 10-[12:30] on Reddit as I battle Reddit Mods for posting space (savages if you ask me).


I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I'm a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

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