Week 15 IDP Preview

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Week 15 IDP Preview

Welcome to the IDP Weekend Preview. Each week we’ll take a close look at each matchup based on several factors such as roles, where offenses are giving up FP, snap counts, and tackle crews. As always, start your studs. I won’t be advising you to target no-brainers like Aaron Donald or Roquan Smith.

A “target” is a player who has a higher chance to come through than usual. An “avoid” is a player who has a lower chance to come through than usual.

Note: Hold onto your butts. We’ve added a “COVID LIST” section that can change at any minute. Please check carefully before you finalize your rosters.

LV @ Cle

Targets:

Divine Deablo (LB, LV) — It looks like another start for the rookie DB-turned-LB. Deablo racked up 10 tackles (5 solo) playing for Denzel Perryman last week. Perryman looks to be out again this week and Nick Kwiatkoski landed on season-ending IR, so that leaves Deablo to man the middle and take advantage of a good matchup. Cleveland is 7th in FPG to LBs. Also, check his position designation in your league. He’s a DB in some leagues, which is a huge advantage.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

DE Jadeveon Clowney, Cle - knee

CB Troy Hill, Cle - knee

S Ronnie Harrison, Cle - ankle

CB Greg Newsome II, Cle - concussion

LB Denzel Perryman, LV - ankle

CB Trayvon Mullen, LV - toe

QUESTIONABLE

DT Malik Jackson, Cle - knee

DE Carl Nassib, LV - knee

LB Patrick Onwuasor, LV - hamstring

S Johnathan Abram, LV - illness

COVID LIST

S Grant Delpit, Cle

CB A.J. Green, Cle

S Ronnie Harrison Jr., Cle

CB Troy Hill, Cle

S John Johnson III, Cle

DT Malik McDowell, Cle

DE Takkarist McKinley, Cle

DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, Cle

LB Jacob Phillips, Cle

LB Mack Wilson, Cle

NE @ Ind

Targets:

Khari Willis (S, Ind) — Willis had 5 solos against the hapless Texans, playing just 45 snaps in his first game back from IR. His snaps and tackle opportunity should both be plentiful this week, as the Patriots produce the 6th-most FPG to DBs this season.

Avoids:

Bobby Okereke (LB, Ind) — Okereke is dealing with an illness, but they think he will play. However, you might be the sick one if this game goes the way it’s supposed to. Between New England being just 28th in FPG allowed to LBs and this game expected to be one of the slowest games on tap, Okereke’s prospects of LB1 production are limited. I’d still start him as an LB3, but he might have a hard time getting into that 8-12 tackle range he’s hit seven times this season. It’s also not a great week for Darius Leonard, but I can’t sit him.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

DT Antwaun Woods, Ind - calf

QUESTIONABLE

DT Grover Stewart, Ind - illness

LB Bobby Okereke, Ind - illness

DT Christian Barmore, NE - knee

LB JaWhaun Bentley, NE - ribs

S Adrian Phillips, NE - knee

COVID LIST

LB Zaire Franklin, Ind

Car @ Buf

Targets:

Ed Oliver (DT, Buf) — Oliver and the entire Buffalo D-line will think Christmas came early this week. The Panthers have been a top-3 offense for opposing DL production all season. Oliver tends to play some of the higher snap counts in this D-line rotation, but so does Harrison Phillips. Phillips, and possibly even ol’ man Jerry Hughes are also worth a shot this week.

Jeremy Chinn (S, Car) — After starting the season off slowly, Chinn has pulled himself back into the DB1 conversation. He’ll have ample opportunity to strengthen his case this week. The Bills and their potent passing attack produce the 9th-most FPG to DBs this season.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

CB A.J. Bouye, Car - foot

QUESTIONABLE

DT Star Lotulelei, Buf - toe

DE A.J. Epenesa, Bal - ankle

Ari @ Det

Targets:

Isaiah Simmons (LB, Ari) — This is a great week for Simmons and primary LB Jordan Hicks. Both LBs get to face the #1 offense for LB production. Detroit’s 26.4 tackles per game outpace the field by more than 3 tackles per game. You’d be starting Hicks anyway (please tell me you were already planning on starting Hicks, or this entire season’s worth of typing will have been for nothing…), but Simmons has been less usable. He’s mainly been a 6-8 tackle guy and an LB3, but this week I’m expecting him to hit that 8-tackle mark if not push for double-digits for the first time this season. He’s a backend LB2 this week if you need him.

Josh Woods (LB, Det) — Detroit’s top three LBs are banged up, so Woods may again get another start. If so, he’s likely to repeat his double-digit tackle effort from last week (13 tackles). The Cardinals are a two-TD favorite and even in neutral circumstances, they run the ball at a top-10 rate. Granted, this recommendation hinges on whether at least Alex Anzalone and Jalen Reeves-Maybin are indeed out. If either is back, I think Woods drops to an LB3. If both are back, I can’t trust him.

Avoids:

Budda Baker (S, Ari) — After starting the season with 8 tackles in three of his first four games, Baker’s shift to playing the deeper role in single-high sets has killed his once-DB1 value. He hasn’t hit 8 tackles in a game since and has been between 4 and 6 tackles in each of his last four games. His prospects don’t look good this week, either. The Lions are 31st in FPG to DBs, and Baker has been at the back of the line of this secondary — figuratively and literally — over the last several weeks.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

CB Robert Alford, Ari - pectoral

OLB Julian Okwara, Det - ankle

QUESTIONABLE

DT Corey Peters, Ari - knee

NT Zach Kerr, Ari - ribs

DE Jordan Phillips, Ari - thumb

DT Leki Fotu, Ari - shoulder

DE Michael Brockers, Det - knee

LB Alex Anzalone, Det - ankle

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin - Det - shoulder

LB Derrick Barnes, Det - knee

COVID LIST

S Jalen Elliott, Det

Hou @ Jax

Targets:

Myles Jack (LB, Jax) — It’s not a great spot for Jack, but for a player who has hit just 4 tackles twice this season but also hit double digits twice this season, Jack has a chance to be solid this week. The Texans are 6th in run % and 9th in LB fantasy production. And while the game is expected to produce a low volume of plays, the Texans actually have a chance to win this one, so they may run it enough to allow Jack to be your LB2.

Avoids:

Jonathan Greenard (DE, Hou) — Greenard had a strong start to the season but has been hampered by a foot injury over the past month. He finally got back on track last week, posting 4 tackles and a PD, and has been off the injury report this week, just in time for a brutal matchup. The Jacksonville O-line is playing better than people think. Between being decent at pass protection and the Jaguars offense being 30th in run %, Greenard may have a slow game this week. Granted, the Jaguars are under new management, but that’s unlikely to cause them to reverse their offensive identity enough to change Greenard’s prospects. I’m still starting him in 2-or-3 DL leagues, but he’ll be tough to trust as a DL1 this week.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

DB Terrence Brooks, Hou - hamstring

DB Terrance Mitchell, Hou - knee/ankle

S Justin Reid, Hou - concussion/illness

QUESTIONABLE

LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, Hou - hamstring/wrist

COVID LIST

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, Hou

LB Christian Kirksey, Hou

DB A.J. Moore, Hou

DE DeMarcus Walker, Hou

DB Terrance Brooks, Hou

DB Terrance Mitchell, Hou

NYJ @ Mia

Targets:

Quincy Williams (LB, NYJ) — Williams went from filling in for the injured Jarrad Davis to being a full-time starter. He hasn’t let go of the secondary LB spot next to C.J. Mosley, playing over 90% in each of the last two games. He’ll face a Dolphins team that just got two of their RBs back from the COVID list and is 8th in FPG to LBs. This game is also expected to produce the 5th-most production this week, so fire up Williams as your LB2; he just might finish as an LB1.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

S Clayton Fedjelem, Mia - ankle

COVID LIST

S Jevon Holland, Mia

Dal @ NYG

Targets:

Jourdan Lewis (CB, Dal) — The slot CB in Dallas has quietly been a solid play lately. When an offense tries to avoid Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown, they’re left with just a few choices, which includes Lewis. He’s had between 4 and 7 tackles in six of his last seven games, the outlier being a game where the Falcons mustered just 3 points, providing bottom-5 opportunities for the Dallas IDPs. The Giants throw it at a top-10 rate and this game should provide one of the highest snap counts of the week. Expect Lewis to land in the 4-7 tackle range again this week, likely with a PD.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

CB Adoree Jackson, NYG - quad/COVID

QUESTIONABLE

DT Leonard Williams, NYG - triceps

DT Austin Johnson, NYG - foot

DT Danny Shelton, NYG - calf

LB Reggie Ragland, NYG - illness

S Steven Parker, NYG - illness

COVID LIST

LB Cam Brown, NYG

LB Oshane Ximines, NYG

CB Aaron Robinson, NYG

DB Adoree' Jackson, NYG

DB J.R. Reed, NYG

DB Natrell Jamerson, NYG

Was @ Phi

Targets:

Shaka Toney (DE, Was) — Toney posted 4 tackles and a QB hit in his first-ever start last week. The seventh-round rookie was forced into service with so many injuries to the D-line. Now with several other DLs on the COVID list, there’s a good chance Toney starts again. Philadelphia runs at the highest percentage in the league, so Toney’s tackle floor might be pretty cushy.

Jamin Davis (LB, Was) — If Kamren Curl and Troy Apke don’t make it off the COVID list, there’s a strong chance that Landon Collins will move back into a more traditional safety role this week. If that happens, expect to see more of Davis on 3rd downs. He normally cedes to Collins in obvious passing situations, but in Week 13 when Collins was out, Davis played 90% and posted 6 tackles (5 solo) and a PD. If you’re hurting at the back end of your LB roster, Davis could be worth a flier if Curl and Apke are out.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

S Troy Apke, Was - knee

COVID LIST

DT Jonathan Allen, Was

DB Troy Apke, Was

DT Matt Ioannidis, Was

LB Milo Eifler, Was

S Darrick Forrest, Was

LB David Mayo, Was

CB Kendall Fuller, Was

DT Tim Settle, Was

LB Khaleke Hudson, Was

DE James Smith-Williams, Was

DE Montez Sweat, Was

DE Casey Toohill, Was

DB Kamren Curl, Was

DT Daniel Wise, Was

Ten @ Pit

Targets:

Cameron Heyward (DT, Pit) — The weekly DL1 has his best matchup of the season this week. The Titans came into Week 14 with the highest number of tackles to DLs per game. They raised that number by the end of Week 14. No Derrick Henry? No problem for opposing DLs. Heyward has a high tackle floor and some high big-play upside in the cards this week. In fact, so does the entire Pittsburgh D-line.

Avoids:

Jayon Brown (LB, Ten) — Brown has been forced back into starting duties with David Long, Jr. still out. Last week, Brown played 93% and had an INT and basically nothing else, adding just 3 tackles. That won’t get it done. Plus, we don’t know how or if Zach Cunningham will eat into his production yet or not.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

DE Larell Murchison, Ten - knee

LB David Long, Jr., Ten - hamstring

CB Jackrabbit Jenkins, Ten - ankle

Cin @ Den

Targets:

Baron Browning (LB, Den) — After solid outings in all four of his full-time games, Browning posted a dud last week against the Lions. Part of his 3-tackle performance can be hung on Detroit only producing 58 tackles. He should bounce back this week against a much better offense that can keep Browning on the field enough to be fantasy-relevant. Cincinnati is 3rd in FPG to LBs.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

LB Logan Wilson, Cin - shoulder

CB Chidobe Awuzie, Cin - foot/COVID

DOUBTFUL

DE Dre’Mont Jones, Den - foot

LB Kenny Young, Den - concussion

QUESTIONABLE

DE Shelby Harris, Den - ankle

S Kareem Jackson, Den - back

S Kaden Stearns, Den - shoulder/neck

COVID LIST

OLB Malik Reed, Den

Atl @ SF

Targets:

Marcell Harris (LB, Harris) — Another safety-turned-linebacker who has suddenly appeared on fantasy radars, Harris is likely starting at LB next to Fred Warner this week. Dre Greenlaw (groin) is out and Azeez Al-Shaair (elbow) is doubtful. It was Harris who filled in for Al-Shaair when he left the game last week. Harris also might be DB-eligible in your league. He doesn’t have a great matchup — not only is this going to be a slow game, but the Falcons are also just 24th in LB production — he’s worth a spot as your LB3 if you’re scrambling to fill that slot. The Falcons have been running it more lately, so there’s some hope that they lean on Mike Davis as they have been lately.

Avoids:

Jaylinn Hawkins (S, Atl) — WIth Erik Harris out, Hawkins should be next man up at starting safety for Atlanta. And while I’m not saying he’s unusable this week, he sure drew a boring dance card for his first full-time start. Not only do the 49ers create just the 29th-most FPG to DBs, but this game should be the slowest (read: fewest opportunities) of the week. Hawkins will have a tough time making an impact on your team unless he hits a few big plays.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

S Erik Harris, Atl - chest

DL Maurice Hurst, SF - calf

LB Dre Greenlaw, SF - groin

DOUBTFUL

LB Azeez Al-Shaair, SF - elbow

QUESTIONABLE

OLB Dante Fowler, Jr., Atl - calf

DE D.J. Jones, SF - knee

S Jaquiski Tartt, SF - glute

GB @ Bal

Targets:

Rasul Douglas (CB, GB) — Douglas, Adrian Amos, and possibly Eric Stokes should be busy this week. The Ravens produced the 2nd-most FPG to DBs, and they’re expected to be trailing, which would mean extra big-play opportunities for this secondary. There’s a small chance that Jaire Alexander returns this week, but if he’s not out there, I also really like Stokes.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

DOUBTFUL

DT Calais Campbell, Bal - thigh

QUESTIONABLE

CB Chris Westry, Bal - knee

COVID LIST

S Chuck Clark, Bal

DT Kenny Clark, GB

Sea @ LAR

Targets:

Ryan Neal (S, Sea) — With Jamal Adams done for the year, Neal stepped in to replace him last week and posted 7 tackles (4 solo) and an INT. Not bad for a backup. The starting safety role should be Neal’s going forward.

Avoids:

Taylor Rapp (S, LAR) — You’d think Rapp would be in a smash spot with Jordan Fuller on the COVID list (at least for now). But this Rams defense doesn’t quite work like that. Rapp will likely maintain his same role, which tends to produce 4-7 tackles. The larger issue is that his opponent is dreadful at producing enough production for the secondary. Seattle creates the fewest FPG to DBs this season; which you probably can imagine if you’ve seen their plodding, lifeless offense lately.

Notable Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

DT Aaron Donald, LAR - knee

COVID LIST

CB Jalen Ramsey, LAR

DB Terrell Burgess, LAR

NT Sebastian Joseph-Day, LAR

S Jordan Fuller, LAR

LB Justin Hollins, LAR

LB Von Miller, LAR

LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LAR

LB Troy Reeder, LAR

LB Christian Rozeboom, LAR

NO @ TB

Targets:

None of note.

Avoids:

Demario Davis (LB, NO) — Davis has had an up-and-down fantasy season, hitting 8+ tackles six times but also hitting 5 or fewer tackles four times. This looks to be one of those “down” games, as Tampa Bay clearly hates running the football — they’re 32nd in run % — and they produce just the 27th-most FPG to LBs. If there is a bright side, it’s that Davis should get more tackle opps than normal this week. I’m expecting between 6 and 8 tackles this week.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

CB Jamel Dean, TB - illness

QUESTIONABLE

DE Marcus Davenport, NO - shoulder

LB Kaden Ellis, NO - hamstring

S Antoine Winfield, Jr., TB - foot

Min @ Chi

Targets:

Anthony Barr (LB, Min) — Barr plays in the shadow of Eric Kendricks, but lately he’s been a fantasy asset. After posting just 14 tackles in four games (including a donut in Week Nine), Barr now has at least 8 tackles in three straight games. He and Kendricks have a good matchup this week, as Chicago’s run-heavy offense produces top-5 FPG to LBs. Kendricks is banged up, so there may be more tackle opps for Barr than usual (Kendricks has been dealing with back issues, which may explain Barr’s recent LB2 production). If Kendricks is out, fire up Nick Vigil as well.

Avoids:

None of note.

Notable Injuries:

OUT

DB DeAndre Houston-Carson, Chi - forearm

QUESTIONABLE

LB Roquan Smith, Chi - hamstring

LB Eric Kendricks, Min - lower back

COVID LIST

CB Artie Burns, Chi

DL Mario Edwards Jr., Chi

DL Eddie Goldman, Chi

LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Chi

S Eddie Jackson, Chi

DB Duke Shelley, Chi

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.

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