IDP Corner: TNF Week 12
My favorite holiday of the year is here, and while I have something like 200 miles of travel today, I am still excited for the food, friends, family, and girlfriend I will get to spend it with, and I hope you are just as excited even if your travel plans are from bed to couch today.
With such a cornucopia of games and players that will be going on today, I’m going to take advantage of having more than one game to highlight players form this week and make a couple tweaks to my Thursday format. I’ll throw out a little synopsis, the normal rundown of who is likely on a fantasy team in the game, and then I’ll highlight from the players who are left, the most likely to have an advantage in that game. So, on to the fun in these “Thursday not-just-Night Football” games:
I expect the Chicago/Detroit game to be a bit of an American old-fashioned showdown of stout mid-western teams, almost like watching a tug-o-war between two pickups. There are two major offensive injuries (Mitch Trubisky for CHI and Kerryon Johnson for DET) which will force each team to play a different from their normal plan of attack, the result will be an interesting defensive chess match that I’m excited to watch.
Likely owned or starting players: Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, Akiem Hicks, Jarrad Davis, and Damon Harrison.
Eddie Jackson, S CHI: Wow the difference two weeks make, going into the Detroit game two weeks ago I was of the mindset that his big game against Buffalo was a fluke and a result of the bad offense the Bills have supplied this year. Yet, here we are, Jackson, playing three solid weeks of heads-up football, closely followed by Prince Amukamara (CB) with back to back weeks of solid play. With Kerryon out, Detroit will likely try to get vertical and often only to the benefit of Eddie, Prince, Kyler, and Bryce. I think Jackson and Amukamara have just as much chance to put up plenty of fantasy points as Fuller and Callahan this week, and they are much more available.
Devon Kennard, OLB DET: Witch Chicago basically announcing they are shifting to a run-heavy offense many will look to linemen like Romeo Okwara or Da’Shawn Hand to step up (of these two I like Okwara) especially with questionable tags on A’Shawn Robinson and Ezekiel Ansah. I think this week will be a chance for Detroit’s LBs to step up, most will look to Christian Jones (who played in Chicago last year, so he could have some extra insight, though we didn’t really see it two weeks ago), but his production is relatively flat across teams of different play selection this year. Kennard, on the other hand, has stepped up when playing against run-heavy play calls.
Another matchup that will be affected by injury will be the Washington and Dallas game. The Dallas defense is a lot better than we all think it is (or it even looks statistically), but I think there is a real good chance for one of the most American things “an underdog comeback story” on one of the most American holidays for Colt McCoy. That said I expect turnovers and some bold play calling this afternoon.
Likely owned or starting players: Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence, Jeff Heath, D.J. Swearinger, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Ryan Kerrigan, Zach Brown, and Mason Foster.
Preston Smith, OLB WAS: A bit of a reach as the other three linebackers in Washington are widely owned, Smith still sees as many snaps as the others, but he is the type of player that produces non-tackle type stats. So, fumbles, interceptions, passes defended, and sacks are all a possibility from Smith in any given week. Add in the up/down play style of Dak Prescot this season and I think Smith will be a sneaky good play, as we are due a bigger meltdown than Dak’s ho-hum week last week against a nowhere near as good Atlanta defense.
Xavier Woods, S DAL: Coming off of the week 8 bye, Woods’ head has got back into the football flow. I don’t expect him to be lights out amazing, but if we do see Colt McCoy’s return to relevance or an attempt at it Woods should benefit from the less controlled passing style compared to what Alex Smith would have produced. That said Smith had the golf club equivalent of a putter when it came to deep passes so Woods and Heath will likely see extra work just because passes will be going deeper than 5 yards significantly more often with McCoy.
Thus far in the games today we have the stalwart classic mid-western matchup, we have the underdog potentially rising up, and to close out the night we will likely have another classic American theme… a shoot out, this time featuring Atlanta at New Orleans! Atlanta really needs a win here (and really the rest of the season) to stay relevant for any playoff hopes so I expect plenty of work downfield from the start. Be ready to fire up the Defensive Backs from this game, as I expect that Atlanta will get some deep passing in early or as a result of an early NO score, either way, this should be some fun to watch.
Likely owned or starting players: Deion Jones, Damontae Kazee, Demario Davis, Cameron Jordan, Marshon Lattimore, and Eli Apple.
Foyesade Oluokun, LB ATL: I really should be highlighting a DB like Jordan Richards, who has the most solo tackles by an ATL DB over the past 4 weeks, but every game that Deion Jones is not playing Oluokun needs to be used. Deion Jones will not be playing this week, play Oluokun. If you are in the hunt for a lineman, I’ve been ignoring him too long, Jack Crawford has had relatively consistent play since about week four, if you are in dire needs of a DL, he’s not a bad guy to consider.
Vonn Bell, S NO: A highlight mainly due to the process of elimination, Apple, Lattimore, and P.J. Williams have all been on a roll of late and Marcus Williams already sees close to 100% of the snaps each week. Given my expectation of a shootout, Bell has the most to gain since he’s not used as much in non-nickel/quarter packages. I did want to highlight Alex Okafor (DE, he played the most snaps there last week), he’s starting to look like he did midseason last year over the past couple of weeks and would be a bold play this week with the hopes that Matt Ryan holds on to the ball too long a couple times and Okafor can get a sack or two.