IDP Corner: TNF Week 4

So far the Thursday night games this season haven’t been as horrific as they were last year, though the week 1 ATL vs. PHI game was rough. This week we have a Minnesota team that will be looking to bounce back from a shocking loss to Buffalo last week and a Rams team looking to keep up its 34 points per game pace.

MIN should certainly take to the air with the Rams’ two starting CBs nursing injuries, Aqib Talib is on IR and Marcus Peters will likely be a game-time decision. Conversely, the Rams of LA should try to take a lead early and then continue to work a running game with MIN DE Everson Griffen out for personal reasons for at least the near future.  

Players that are most likely owned and potentially being started in your league: Harrison Smith, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, John Johnson III, Cory Littleton, Mark Barron, Marcus Peters, and Aaron Donald.

Defensive Linemen:
Stephen Weatherly, DE MIN: He was given the majority of snaps (51, for 76%) opposite Hunter last week, with Tashawn Bower snagging 22 snaps of his own, and both performed well for the amount of time they spent on the field. Weatherly was Griffen’s understudy while Bower falls behind Hunter on the depth chart so I expect that Weatherly will continue to see the majority of snaps while Griffen is out.

While the Rams have Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Michael Brockers on their DL, it’s likely Donald is already owned in your league (as mentioned above) and given my feelings about MIN throwing the ball to test the holes in the secondary, I just am not expecting much out of any of these three.

Defensive Backs:
Marqui Christian, S LAR: Most likely more dependant on if Peters plays or not, Christian could see increased snaps if the Rams move to a defensive structure more similar to when Mark Barron is healthy. I don’t expect that Nickell Robey-Coleman will make much of a jump given he has already been running as the team’s Nickelback which leave Troy Hill and Sam Shields. The two of whom should do fine and if you wanted to pick one I would suggest Shields over Hill given Shields solid career in Green Bay before moving to LAR. That all said, I think in this game Christian will have a chance to shine with such a need for help in the secondary because even if Peters starts he won’t be 100%.

Mike Hughes, CB MIN: I was a big fan of Hughes back at the combine this year, he had solid numbers and more importantly (to me) he carried himself like a professional. With Trae Waynes healthy and back at practice this week, both Hughes and Mackensie Alexander’s snap counts should drop, but Hughes has come up big so far this year when he’s been given chances and with how high powered the Rams’ offense is we could see more chances headed his way.

Linebackers:
Ramik Wilson, ILB LAR: The only other LB that has really produced any fantasy relevant stats this year, Wilson has been filling in for the injured Mark Barron and will continue to do so this week. I don’t expect a monster explosion out of him, but he will be the other ILB on the field for the Rams. I would be great to see Micah Kiser make an appearance, I’m pretty sure he could contribute more than Samson Ebukam, or at least definitely more than Matt Longacre, but I won’t hold my breath.

Anthony Barr, ILB MIN: For someone who has played 100% of defensive snaps this year, Barr has wholly underperformed in fantasy. Because of this, he has been dropped in many leagues, so it’s very likely he’ll be available to add. I think Barr’s worth this week will hinge on if the Rams do get up early and start burning the clock with run plays, until then or if it doesn’t happen, he’s still had a rather ok floor of 4.66 total tackles per game.

Good luck to everyone on your Thursday endeavors. And as always if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me via twitter @decoylife or the other gurus @TFFGurus.

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