The biggest news coming out of Sunday Night Football is that the Patriots finally lost. The second biggest news is the fortunately non-serious injury to Gronk. But for IDP purposes, the news that matters the most is that Dont’a Hightower went down with an MCL sprain and is likely out for the rest of the fantasy season. He joins Jamie Collins (still out with a mysterious illness) on the shelf, which leaves a lot of opportunity for stats in New England. Jonathan Freeny has stepped in nicely so far, and is very possibly owned in your league. But the more intriguing name to me is Jerod Mayo, who is thrust back into the spotlight after an extremely disappointing season so far. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to a large increase in snaps, but he’s got one of the highest ceilings of any available LB in most leagues.


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Jared Crick – I don’t typically recommend streaming the DL position, especially this year, but if you are streaming, Crick is a nice option for Week 13. His stats have been terrible over the last month, but prior to that he was having a very respectable season. His more famous counterpart has been on an absolute tear, with 9.5 sacks in the last five games, so any offense is going to plan their entire week around stopping Watt. That should only be a good thing for Crick, who gets to face off against Buffalo’s top ranked matchup for DEs.

Brandon Marshall/Danny Trevathan – They’ve traded weeks of domination and disappointment all season, and I’m done trying to predict who will score more in a given week. Denver gets a great matchup for LBs in the Chargers this week, and at least one of these guys is going to put up huge numbers. I’m absolutely hedging by putting them each at low end LB2, but that feels about right in terms of how confident I am in them individually.

Philip Wheeler/Justin Durant – Another pair of teammates who are primed for big numbers, at least these two Falcons don’t share the field at the same time. Durant had his share of big games earlier this year, but then went down with injuries. That eventually opened the door for Wheeler, who exploded for 10+ tackles in each of the weeks that he saw extended playing time. Regardless of who suits up for Atlanta, they face top 5 matchups for LBs in each of the three playoff weeks, so whoever is seeing time opposite Paul Worrilow is a sneaky top 20 play.

Tyrann Mathieu – Arizona’s secondary is similar to Denver’s LB situation in that it’s hard to predict who will have a big game in a given week. The difference is in the positional expectations. Linebackers are supposed to be high scorers, but there is an expectation of consistency from your studs. Defensive backs are more volatile in general, so it’s often worth gambling on a high ceiling player at the risk of a potential dud. The Honey Badger embodies this boom/bust potential, and he rewarded owners last week with 13 tackles and a pick. You can’t rely on this type of output on a weekly basis, but that’s what makes pairing Mathieu with a more consistent tackler like Corey Graham or Barry Church a great combo at DB.

Morgan Burnett – He was the DB1 overall not too long ago, but Burnett has been battling injuries for over a year, and has recently been overshadowed by the great play of teammate Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Over the last month, however, Burnett has gotten healthy and has started putting up consistently solid numbers. Solid, but not spectacular. This presents an opportunity if he’s not owned in your league, because he has a top matchup against Detroit on Thursday, where Matthew Stafford has been dishing out DB stats all season long.

  1. Blake says:
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    I have seann lee – however kwon alexander is on waivers. worth making the switch? this week and for the rest of the season?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Blake:

      Kwon has a great matchup this week, but he also has a looming suspension that could take effect at any time. If you already have him, I’d play him until he’s forced to miss time. But Lee isn’t much of a downgrade this week, and is much safer ROS, so I’d hold.

  2. HELLA WAITS says:
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    Subbed in Corey Liuget last week because P McPhee was looking slow after a few dud weeks. Of course Liguet did zilch and McPhee looked back to normal in a 6 tackle performance. I have to start 2 DE’s this week out of McPhee/Liuget and Jerry Hughes. Right now I am leaning McPhee and Hughes as McPhee has highest upside and Hughes is home. Liuget has a nice match up but I’m scared he will post another goose egg. Need to win to get in playoffs this week! Your opinion? Thanks.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @HELLA WAITS:

      I’d definitely go McPhee (FantasyPros only has him as an LB), and alongside him I think Liuget is safer. Hughes can always go off with a few sacks, but with Mario banged up as is, I think Liuget bounces back with at least a few tackles against Denver’s run heavy attack.

  3. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    in dynasty go with compton as LB #5 (have robinson also, along with higher ranked david/kendricks/anthony) or mayo. from rankings these guys aren’t likely to start of course.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

      Mayo’s future is a bit unknown given his injuries and contract situation, but his ceiling is also higher. The only way I’d keep Compton over him is if you want to meet your quota of Wash players, and be guaranteed to have their MLB no matter what.

  4. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    if jenkins NO doesn’t play (? now, and has a late day sunday game) grab any of
    crawford DAL (you had him higher than anybody else one week lately) and he plays late enough
    lotulelei
    hill TEN
    carradine SF
    odrick or miller JAX

    or anybody else you can think of, since neither pros nor you have any body this week showing that is available. Jenkins has been useful in the 2 or 3 weeks i’ve used him (15, 9, 10 pts in those weeks), so could hold out and grab Crawford/Lotulelei if he doesn’t play.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

      I’d hold Jenkins for now, and use Crawford if he doesn’t play.

  5. JD says:
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    Walter Thurmond Phi – S,CB also has a good match up this week vs NE (5th vs S/CB)

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @JD:

      Yup, and Carroll is out as well. This is the highest I’ve had him this season.

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