“The Amateur Ward” The Front Seven: Linebacker/Defensive line plays Week 11
This week, I’m on short rest, but that’s fine as I can get more done later in the week. Last week saw some absolute blowouts, some close games, and gaudy performances by defensive players. When it comes to defense, the main thing to look at is the opposition’s offensive line and quarterback. Offensive lines that are weak and have weak quarterback play tend to give up more sacks and turnovers to the opposing defensive lines. Conversely, strong offensive lines and strong QB play correlate more with dominating offenses. Now this may not always be the case, as some defensive units are just that strong and will get to any quarterback. The 1985 Chicago Bears are a prime example, and potentially the best defensive unit in NFL history, allowing an insane 12.4 points/game, 75.6 rush yards/game, creating 64 turnovers, and 64 sacks. Absurd. What all this means from a fantasy perspective is, you want to stack your defensive slots with as many players against bad offensive lines and QBs as possible. This is not possible every week, as you have your IDPs you will play no matter what, but when looking at bye weeks and key match ups going into any week’s slate of games, quickly scan the wire for players who are in for a huge day, given the opponent. I’ll be sure to share more of my wisdom and strategary next week, but don’t want to spoil the main course this week.
Last Week’s Recap Whatever I said, you better had done the opposite. Seriously, looking at all my predictions from last week, I didn’t get 1 right. I thought the Fantasy Gods would show me some compassion, but no. Thanks anyways ya jerks!
Mychal Kendricks vs. Chris Borland- Yep, I knew Borland (17 tackles, FR, stuff) was going to have a great day, and hopefully you picked him up and started him as he hammered Kendricks (8 tackles, sack) and the Saints (in OT) to the tune of 21-13 FP/MLFF. With Willis (toe) out the rest of the season, Borland is a MUST start. Verdict: LOSS. should have gone with my gut.
Robert Quinn vs. Ezekiel Ansah- After completely lighting the world on fire the past 2 weeks, Quinn looked normal last week versus the Cardinals only posting 10.5 FP and a sack. Ansah, on the other hand, had the stat line Quinn was supposed to have, against the Dolphins: 23 FP, sack, FF). Verdict: LOSS (Photo courtesy of zimbio.com)
Championship Battle Royale: I had Quinn over Kendricks: Both lost in the prelims, and I lose here again.
Paul Worrilow vs. K.J. Wright: Woohoo! The Falcons won again. Bad news: I bet against Worrilow last week and he made me pay by edging out Wright 9 – 5.5 FP. Verdict: LOSS
Henry Melton vs. Clinton McDonald: So close, yet no cigar on this one as McDonald eked out the win versus Melton 6.5 – 6. Melton did have a stuff for those leagues that counting that stat. Yep, a loss is as good as a mile.
Middle Class Championship: There’s a trend here: Got neither right like in the Battle Royale Championship. This one hurts as I was close in both match ups.
Kroy Biermann vs. Olivier Vernon: This one was over before it even started as Biermann just obliterated Vernon by a count of 19.5 – 2. Yep, this was a total KO, like my week. LOSS. Biermann compiled 1.5 sacks and a pass defensed last week in Tampa Bay. Hopefully, this week against the Panthers, the falcons can carry their momentum with them from the win last week in Tampa Bay.
Battle Royale– This week I better own my match ups. Fair warning to my predicted winners.
Ryan Kerrigan LB-WSH (vs. TB) vs. Connor Barwin LB-PHI (@GB)- Barwin is quickly establishing himself as the Eagles top fantasy linebacker. Over the past two weeks, he has torched opposing quarterbacks for 4 sacks, including 3.5 on Monday Night against Cam Newton. This week, let’s see how he fares against a Green Bay team that utterly eviscerated the Bears on Sunday Night Football 55-14. Kerrigan has posted solid stat lines in his own right, with 7 sacks on the season. Considering the Bucs just gave up 4 sacks to a weak Atlanta defensive line unit, Kerrigan should have no problem getting to McCown as well this week. (Photo courtesy of photo file.com)
Prediction: Barwin. I’m reluctantly going with the Eagle here as I think Barwin will continue to produce at an elite level, despite the tall order of stopping the explosive Packer offense this week. Kerrigan, however will give him a run for his money with the favorable matchup.
Julius Peppers DE-GB (vs. PHI) vs. Corey Liuget DE/DT-SD (vs OAK)- Speaking of high-flying offenses, the Eagles just beat up the Panthers Monday Night 45-21 with wait for it…wait for it…Mark Sanchez at QB? Yep that’s right. Can Sanchez and the Eagles continue to score at a high clip against a more stout Packers pass defense ranked 9th in the NFL. Hey, has anyone seen the Chargers defense the past month as they have given up a combined 95 points in their last 3 games (all 3 losses). Perhaps a date with the winless Raiders is what the doctor ordered for this defensive unit. The passing and receiving defense for the Chargers is fine, as they rank in the top 10 in those respective areas. The problem is the 25th overall ranked defense that has only 2 forced fumbles to date. After struggling against the Raiders in their first meeting on October 12, Liuget will be hungry this week in the re-match. The key question is, can Liuget help the Chargers stop the defensive bleeding this week? Chargers fans hope so.
Prediction: Peppers- Something tells me there’s going to be peppered Eagle meat for dinner this Sunday afternoon in Green Bay. Sanchez and the Eagles offense had a great night against the Panthers, but the same won’t be the case this week against Peppers and Co.
Championship: Barwin vs. Peppers- Honestly, with the way the 2 offenses are playing right now, a key matchup could very easily be Barwin vs. the Packers offensive line and Peppers versus the Eagles offensive line. Which defense can apply more pressure on the other QB? I’ve got Barwin here as he is more consistent for fantasy and looks unstoppable as of now with 4.5 sacks in his last 2 games. Both IDP studs will likely put up 15+ fantasy points this week. (Photo courtesy of packers.com)
Battle of the Middle Class
Avery Williamson LB-TEN (vs. PIT) vs. Nigel Bradham LB-BUF (@MIA)- I wrote about Williamson as an emerging linebacker a few weeks back, and now it’s coming to fruition. The rookie Titans linebacker has 20 tackles, 2 stuffs, and a sack in the Titans last 2 games, and now, the Steelers, who were stopped by the Jets last week, are on tap for this week. Can Big Ben rekindle the fire he had going before last week, against the 19th rated defense in the NFL? Williamson is going to have his work cut out for him trying to stop both Le’Veon Bell in the run game, and getting to Ben this week. Bradham is another interesting and emerging linebacker who has earned his spot in fantasy lineups this year. His task this week: Slowing down the Miami offense that seems to be developing chemistry between Tannehill and Wallace. The Bills 26th ranked defense will be challenged this week by Tannehill and the Miami running game, but Bradham seems poised to continue his emergence as he looks to build upon his 18 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass defensed over the last 2 weeks.
Prediction: Williamson- Going against my instinct again this week, but Williamson is for real and he could be in for a big day against the Steelers that have allowed their signal caller to be sacked 25 times this season.
Jared Allen (vs. MIN) vs. Everson Griffen (@CHI)- Hello old team, how ya doing with a rookie at QB? Don’t mind if I do sack him. That’s exactly Allen’s mindset when he faces his former team the Vikings for the first time this week in Chicago. Allen may have lost a step as he’s aged, but he will be blood hungry to meet Bridgewater this week. Conversely, Griffen will be looking to get the last laugh in this one and continue the embarrassment of the Bears after they got thrashed 55-14 on Sunday Night. Griffen has been absolutely crushing it with 9 sacks and 2.5 stuffs through Week 10 of the regular season, and should exacerbate the Bears offensive woes this week. In what figures to be a bloodbath, don’t worry there will be no love lost between these 2 bitter rivals.
Prediction: Griffen by 9. As great as Allen was in his heyday in Minnesota, the new sheriff in town is Griffen. Allen will always be a threat for the sack, but with only 1.5 sacks to date, this one might be lopsided.
Battle of the Middle Class Championship: Williamson vs. Griffen- Griffen. After last week’s humiliation, the Bears will still be butt-hurt, and considering tensions will be running high in Chicago, both defenses will be out to prove a point. Griffen could be in for a 2 sack, 1 FF day in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of article.wn.com)
Ndamukong Suh DT-DET (@ARZ) vs. Earl Mitchell DT-MIA (vs. BUFF)- Suh and the top rated defense take on the Stanton-led Cardinals after Arizona lost Palmer (torn ACL) for the season. Stanton, a career backup with an 8 TD: 9 INT career ratio figures to be Pick City Heaven for the Lions defense in Week 11. Add to the mix Arizona ranks 29th in rush defense, and Suh could very well sit on the couch, drink a beer, and pick up a sack to go with a handful of tackles against Arizona. Mitchell, who has been hit-or-miss most thus far, finds himself in a favorable matchup against the Bills featuring the 26th ranked offense, yet a Kyle Orton who has a 5:0 TD:INT ratio the past 2 weeks to go with a lowly 41.7 Total QBR on the season. This means, Orton’s TD:INT ratio is due to crash back to earth. Without Spiller, the Bills will rely on Fred Jackson and rookie WR Sammy Watkins to provide all the offense for the Bills this week. Considering there are numerous top DTs on byes this week, Mitchell could be worth a speculative add for those needing a solid bye week filler who has produced 22 FP/MLFF against the Chargers and Lions, respectively his last 2 games.
Prediction: Suh. Stanton is simply too error prone to not start defensive players against this week, and Suh is poised for a field day. Mitchell could surprise owners with his production against the Bills sans Spiller.
It is nice getting to pick from all the games this week, including the Thursday Night game, as I can have more players in play to write on, praise, or bash. That’s a wrap for this week. Sorry if this one is a little brief, but life is happening, and ya gotta grab it by the horns and ride her! Thanks for tuning in, dominate this week, and watch college football. I’m the diehard SEC fan, so my lips are smacking at the thought of the slate of games this week!
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