A week after seemingly everybody got hurt, the IDP community collectively had a nice bounce back. Several guys had huge weeks in the tackle department, and there were no major injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Additionally, due to injury or subpar play, there was a general QB shakeup across the league, so defenses will get to feast on the likes of Mark Sanchez, Case Keenum, Brock Osweiler, and potentially T.J. Yates. Backups can take some time to get comfortable with the speed of an actual game, so that opens up opportunities for big plays, and they tend to rely heavily on the run game, which obviously leads to more tackles. So while your NFL team may now be in the hands of a overqualified clipboard holder, your IDP team can potentially benefit.
Mario Edwards – After Justin Tuck went down, Edwards became an attractive waiver wire option due to his anticipated uptick in snaps. His play hasn’t been very consistent, but he rewarded patient owners with an 11 tackle, 1 sack day on Sunday. He’ll likely continue to be boom/bust the rest of the way, and this week looks closer to bust against a rough matchup in Detroit. However, he has two top five matchups in Tennessee and Kansas City in Weeks 12 and 13, so if you’re fighting for a playoff spot, he’s a nice option for that stretch.
Rob Ninkovich – He’s been an utter disappointment this season, but Ninkovich has quietly put together his best two game stretch of the year over the last two weeks. Chandler Jones has been an absolute beast, so opposing teams will be keying on him more than usual, leaving Ninkovich with some nice one-on-one opportunities. The Pats get a great matchup with Buffalo this week, and have a favorable playoff schedule as well, so if a frustrated Ninkovich owner cut ties with him, I like him as a high-floor DL2 the rest of the way.
Jasper Brinkley – Since Antonio Pierce retired, the Giants have had a gaping hole at MLB. This season they’ve rotated between Uani’ Unga and Jon Beason, but with Beason done for the year and Unga both ineffective and nursing a neck injury, they turned to Brinkley on Sunday. The journeyman responded with a huge day, putting up 12 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. The Giants head into their bye this week, but they’ve proven that whoever starts in the middle for them is a viable IDP option, even if they aren’t the most talented linebackers.
Manti Te’o – The Chargers have had a similar revolving door at LB, but when healthy, Te’o has been the guy to own. Before getting hurt, he was on pace for a career year stats-wise, averaging more than 10 points per game, without the benefit of any big plays. Coming off four missed games and a bye, he’s likely available in most leagues, and with a great matchup against the Chiefs, I would have no problem starting Te’o this week if he plays.
Quentin Demps – Like Te’o, Demps’ season long stats are artificially deflated by missing multiple games due to injury. Also like Te’o, Demps has a great matchup this week. But unlike Te’o, Demps is definitely playing, and playing well, after putting up a solid 6 tackle effort against Cincy on MNF. He also has a good matchup next week, so if you’re a pure DB streamer, he’s my pick of the week at safety.
Marcus Peters – I had him highly ranked last week, and Peters looked to reward me immediately with a pick of Peyton Manning. As it turned out, Manning was in the giving mood and nearly everyone in KC’s secondary got in on the fun. But that doesn’t change the fact that Peters is putting together a stellar all around season. He’s not just benefiting from the “Rookie CB Rule” either, as targeting him has been a dangerous proposition for opposing QBs. Peters and the Chiefs get another great matchup this week, and he should be owned in all leagues.