Happy Thanksgiving, and may we all give thanks that the interminable series of bye weeks has come to a conclusion. Even if you don't have to patch holes in your IDP roster, it doesn't mean it's time to sit around and twiddle your thumbs. There are still viable replacement options for your under-performing players, as well as some guys you might want to consider casting aside.
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Von Miller DEN
Paul Posluszny JAX
Rob Ninkovich NE
Pat Angerer IND
Anthony Spencer DAL
For some reason, some of the IDP writers have not been as high on Miller as me, and I don't understand that. He just keeps racking up sacks and other big points as well as a decent number of tackles on a weekly basis. If he is available, he should be your top waiver pick. I loved watching Posluszny on Sunday, blood streaming down his face as he rallied the Jacksonville defense to try to stop Houston. 15 total tackles prolly won't come every week, since the Texans are good source of tackle opportunities, but he is a solid performer who can fill in as a LB2 easily on most rosters. Ninkovich becomes extremely valuable in leagues (Yahoo) that have him as a DL and LB. He's no slouch as a LB straight up, though, and the sacks are certainly welcome. Angerer is still trying to get to 100%, and you can see it coming. Now would be a fine time to snag him for your bench to employ during the fantasy playoffs. Spencer is a boom but not ever really a bust kind of IDP; you'll love him on weeks like the last one where he posted a sack, pass deflection, fumble recovery and 5 solo tackles. In a deep league, he's worth pursuing.
John Abraham DE ATL
Elvis Dumervil DE DEN
Muhammad Wilkerson DE NYJ
Ahtyba Rubin DT CLE
Fletcher Cox DT PHI
Nick Fairley DT DET
Abraham was not showing his worth for a while there, but picked up the pace this past weekend, with 2 sacks and a forced fumble to go with 5 tackles, 3 solo. Dumervil was listed as questionable, and I know I put him on the bench because of that, only to miss out one of this top games this season. Not gonna make that mistake again. Wilkerson is a shining star on the Jets' D-line, and in dynasty leagues looks to be a long-term investment, as much as DLs are worth holding onto. Even if you don't have to play a DT, Rubin, Cox and Fairley make for good DL options. The Eagles are bad right now, but that means lots of defensive opportunities for young Mr. Cox. Fairley is still benefiting from teams doubling down on Suh, but if he keeps picking up sacks and forcing fumbles, that may change. Get him now while the getting is good.
Also, keep in mind that Dumervil, Rubin and Abraham have all been dinged up or worse recently, and you need to peruse the actives list as well as the injury reports if you are relying on them to put up numbers for you.
Reshad Jones S MIA
Quintin Mikell S StL
Jarius Byrd S BUF
Aqib Talib CB NE
Derek Cox CB JAX
Jones managed to tally an impressive 11 solo tackles among his 14 total against Buffalo, along with a forced fumble and a PD. I love me a tackling safety. Mikell is another safety that is forcing fumbles, and he also recorded a sack in Week 11 to go with a side of 8 solo tackles. I was worried he was fading, but it looks like he was just pacing himself. Byrd had a fine game on Thursday vs Miami (4 TT, 2 PD, INT and a fumble recovery), and facing the Colts this week, you should look for more of the same. Talib shone bright in his debut in the Patriot backfield, returning an INT for a pick six TD, while also posting 7 TT (5 solo) and a PD. Expect him to see plenty of action, and therefore, put up nice numbers every week. No way will Cox repeat what he did in Week 11, as you cannot count on any CB to give you 16 solo tackles in a game. He did have an INT and 2 PD while covering Andre Johnson, and if he keeps getting the No. 1 WR assignment, he will continue to post great numbers. Just don't expect what happened on Sunday every game.
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Ernie Sims DAL
I know I recommended him last week, but with Dan Connor resuming a starting role, he is now back up material, and thus not trustworthy as an every down LB. Drop him unless another LB injury hits the Cowboys.
Lamarr Houston DE OAK
Let's all agree that Oakland is terrible, but one sack from a pass rusher in 2012 is grounds to abandon him, and that is exactly what Houston has provided so far.
Adrian Wilson S ARI
Ed Reed S BAL
Wilson did not start in Week 11, and that's a bad sign, especially since the Cardinals D had 5 INTs this past week. I would suggest you move on unless he gets his starting role back. Reed is suspended, so that's an obvious downside this week, even if he appeals and can play. You know he's going to miss a game sometime, and there are other options on the wire.
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All the injury reports below need to be evaluated at kickoff. Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. The list below is intended as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.
Brandon Spikes NE (knee)
Sean Weatherspoon ATL (ankle)
London Fletcher WAS (ankle)
Mario Haggan StL (elbow)
Dont'a Hightower NE (hamstring)
Calais Campbell DE ARI (calf)
Patrick Chung S NE (shoulder, hamstring)
Tyvon Branch S OAK (neck)
Louis Delmas S DET (knee)
As ever, good luck and godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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