“Alluhring Strategy” Secondary Opinion: Week 13 Defensive Backs to Activate or Avoid
You may feel a variety of emotions when you hear this word: anger, relief, excitement. Ultimately, this is the first step to reach your goal of winning your league. You have to be in it to win it. You are likely either starting your league playoffs this week or in an elimination game in the final week of the regular season. Otherwise, why would you be reading weekly IDP roster advice. Here at Major League Fantasy Sports, we will do our best to give you sound analysis this week to give you the best chance to take down your opponent. Thanksgiving week marks the fantasy football home stretch and there are no more room for mistakes. We aren’t looking to cover byes or injuries any longer. We need to make decisions on who to play that will get us that “W” so we can move on to the next round. With this in mind, we are done with the waiver wire, desperation plays. Going forward, we are going for the win, but first…lets recap last weeks desperation plays.
These picks are being graded on a slightly lower scale as from past weeks. We were looking for deep waiver wire picks that you could plug-in pinch. We had a few serviceable plays but no one went off.
|Didn’t Hurt You||Didn’t Help You|
|Leon Hall (4 tackles, 1 PD)Glover Quin (8 tackles)Zack Bowman (2 tackles, 1 PD)Chris Culliver (2 tackles, 1 PD)Nate Allen (4 tackles, 1 Fumble Rec)||Da’Norris Searcy (3 tackles)DemetriusMcCray (2 tackles)Marcus Williams (2 tackles)Sergio Brown (2 tackles)Corey White (1 tackle)|
Now, let’s put the regular season in the rear-view mirror. Week 13!!! Love this time of year, Thanksgiving week: family, football, food. This week’s format will be “Activate or Avoid.” Our starting point this week has to be…
Bradley Fletcher, CB (PHI) @ DAL — ACTIVATE
If you play in a IDP scoring format that is driven by impact plays, you want Fletcher in your lineup this week. Over the last four games, he has 10 Passes defensed, a Pick 6 and a Fumble Recovery. He should be extremely busy trying to keep up with Dez Bryant who has 103 targets in eleven games so far this season. I would expect this to be a rather high scoring game and Fletcher is typically on the field for every defensive snap. Good opportunity and matchup, National TV audience and a hot player adds up to a big game for Fletcher this week. At minimum, he should pickup about 5 tackles and 2 PDs. If Romo throws a pick this week, Bradley is a great candidate to receive that interception. Start with confidence on Thursday.
Darius Slay, CB (DET) vs. CHI — AVOID
The Lions had high hopes for Slay this season. He was a 2nd Round pick in 2013 and was a nice story to begin the season. He had productive fantasy performances for five of the first seven weeks of the season. Detroit was a force on defense and the secondary was protected from a fearsome front seven. As the season progressed, Tulloch and Fairley go down with injuries and the Lions defensive backfield gets exposed. Although he leads the team with nine PDs to go with his one interception, he has only one impact play over the last four games. It’s no coincidence that the Lions have somewhat faltered in the standings as well during this time. Their defense helped them survive injuries to Megatron and Reggie Bush. Now, Stafford is struggling and so is the Lions defense. I would not be surprised to see Jay Cutler and company come into Detroit this week and put up 30+ on the reeling Lions defense. Slay is no match one on one with the strength and size of either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffrey. I expect him to be in for a long day and fall short of double-digit fantasy points in all IDP scoring formats.
Sunday Early Games
Adam Jones, CB (CIN) @ TB — ACTIVATE
The artist formally known as Pacman Jones, has put together an outstanding season. In the MLFF scoring format, he has scored in double digits in all eleven weeks that he has played. He is great a IDP play because he is so versatile and has so many ways he can score points. He is the primary Nickel back but has been getting starter snaps over the last few weeks due to the Cincinnati secondary being a little banged up. He has made the most of the chances as he has made 50 tackles, a pick, fumble recovery and 10 PDs. He has been very consistent and has he has registered a pass defensed in all but two games. Jones also benefits by being involved in both the kick and punt return game. Bottom line, you need to have all your Bengals starting this week on both sides of the ball. They should have mild weather down in Tampa. The Bucs have been turning the ball over 2.2 times per game and rank toward the bottom of the league in opponents points per game (27.3). As the Bengals offensive skill position players have gotten healthy, I would expect Cincinnati to get out to a substantial lead in the first half which will force Tampa to the air. This will give Jones opportunity to get a few impact plays this week. 15-20 fantasy points is what we have come to expect from Jones this year. I expect him to continue moving away from his troubled past and have another great week. Start him in all IDP formats this week.
Keenan Lewis, FS (HOU) vs. TEN — AVOID
Let me be clear. I love the Texans defense this week as a unit. Tennessee is only scoring 17.5 points per game this season. They have a young nucleus with Mettenberger at QB, Sankey at RB and Hunter at WR. This provides a great opportunity for JJ Watt and company to have a great day. It’s tempting to want to start their starting Free Safety because, in theory, it should be a great matchup against this young offense. Unfortunately, after a fast start, he does not provide many impact plays (1 INT, 3 FF, 1 FR and 2 PDs). He could be serviceable in tackle heavy leagues as he does average six tackles per game. I would look elsewhere this week as he likely will fall short of double-digit points.
Sunday Late Games
Kemal Ishmael, SS (ATL) vs. ARI — ACTIVATE
Ishmael might not be a household name yet. But he should be. He was drafted in the seventh round on the 2013 NFL draft and has certainly outplayed his grade. Kemal now has three consecutive games with a pick and four on the season. He has 69 tackles and 5 PDs to go along with that total. Not too bad for a player that got less than 50 defensive snaps in the first three games. He is now firmly entrenched as the starting strong safety and represents a safe play this week. Arizona flies across the country and comes in with a backup QB and Larry Fitzgerald is banged up. If Matt Ryan and company can get back on track and start putting up the points at home that we are accustom, Arizona can be forced into mistakes on the offensive side. I realize it’s easier said then done against the league’s 3rd ranked scoring defense (17.7 points per game). Even if this doesn’t happen, Ishmael is good for 6+ tackles and at least one impact play. Start him with confidence this week.
Darrelle Revis, CB (NE) @ GB — AVOID
Shut down corners are typically not great fantasy plays because they don’t get thrown at that much and as a result they generate limited tangible stats. That being said, Revis Island has produced 13 PDs this season and has had four consecutive weeks where he put up respectable fantasy numbers. I expect this to change this week. Its been a long time since Aaron Rodgers avoided Richard Sherman in Week 1. He is the hottest QB in the league and isn’t afraid to throw it to anyone at anyone, anywhere on the field. Revis will have his hands full this week and I see a down week for him. I still think he will have a limited amount of opportunities and Rodgers just isn’t making mistakes right now. The Packers lead the league in giveways at only 0.7 per game. This could be a frustrating day for Revis and I would leave him on your bench this week if you have a decent replacement.
Sunday Night Game — Denver @ Kansas City
Ron Parker, CB (KC) — ACTIVATE
I would like to take this moment to wish Eric Berry all the best as he battles a serious health issue that appears to be lymphoma. This huge loss to the Chiefs secondary will require Parker to take over as the primary play-maker. He is typically the nickel corner but will likely slide over in Berry’s safety position and get every snap. He is capable to fill admirably with his 66 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception and 8 PDs. Prior to Week 12, he had four straight double-digit (MLFF scoring) points. In 14 team leagues or less, he might still be available to be picked up. In deeper leagues where he was probably bye week or injury fill ins, he is now worthy of a start in all formats. Denver averages 416.3 yards per game with 40.7 passing attempts per game. Parker will have plenty of targets and opportunities to rack up the tackles and impact plays. I like him for 12+ points this week.
TJ Ward, SS (DEN) — AVOID
Ward is an elite player that just has a poor matchup this week. He could be productive in tackle heavy leagues as he chases around Jamaal Charles. Kansas City is 31st in the league at passing attempts per game with 29.7. There just aren’t as many opportunities to make impact plays when you are up against Alex Smith and the Chiefs. Kansas gives up the football less than once per game (0.9) and only runs 61.4 offensive plays per game. Ward has had two interceptions in the last three games, but that is his total for the season. With only 48 tackles for a safety and 5 PDs on the season, I just don’t have the confidence that he will give you enough from the safety slot to warrant a start. I would feel more comfortable starting a high tackle guy (like Morgan Burnett or Michael Griffin) or a ball hawk (see Ishmael above) during crunch time.
Monday Night Game — Miami @ New York Jets
Louis Delmas, SS (MIA) — ACTIVATE
I probably could have picked any defensive back from Miami as a good play this week. Grimes is a ball hawk having a Pro Bowl caliber season with 5 picks and 12 PDs. Reshad Jones missed the first four games with a suspension and still has two interceptions and six passes defensed. Louis Delmas has fallen a little under the radar but has put up productive fantasy games in four of the last five weeks. More importantly, he is the starting strong safety and the opponent is the Jets. He will likely be up in the box helping with run support and the short passing game. He has a great chance to rack up a high tackle total this week. Regardless of who plays QB this week for New York, the mistakes should be there for impact plays. Delmas is a solid play this week as well as all your Dolphins.
ALL JETS PLAYERS — AVOID
This might seem to be a cop-out. However, I’m serious about this. As much as you want to start all your Bengals, you should be
benching, dropping all your Jets players. Their secondary is now as inept as their offense. A deadly combination of injuries and poor performances have made the Jets defensive backfield a wasteland to winning fantasy teams. Every few weeks, I try to talk one up, but they keep making me look stupid. You won’t see anymore recommendations for this team for the rest of this season. This once feared defensive unit sits dead last in takeaways for the season with 0.6 per game. I expect Miami to roll on Monday as the Jets season comes one more game closer to being mercifully completed.
Bryan Luhrs Real Deal Dynasty Sports, Creator & Executive Commissioner MajorLeagueFantasySports.com, Fantasy Baseball and Football Writer http://www.realdealdynasty.com @realdealdynasty ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Click the link below to listen live) Major League Fantasy Sports Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday November 30th from 11am-12pm EST for this week’s Thanksgiving episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. Call in live to ask line up questions at 646.915.8596