If you are still reading my weekly reports, then good for you as you are most likely in the playoffs in your league. Or perhaps your league plays for playoff positions in Week 14, and runs through Week 17. I will be posting my IDP Report until the end of the regular season, including Week 17, so do not fret. I would suggest that you give careful consideration to ending your fantasy season in Week 16 next season and going forward. Far too much uncertainty exists when you rely on coaches to decide on which players are going to rest in the final week of the season. I have preached this before, and will continue to do so. If you are not the commissioner, then ask him to put this to a vote. Week 17 games basically suck and blow simultaneously, to quote Bart Simpson.

Plenty of options this week if you are suffering from injuries or lack of performance, especially at defensive line and defensive back (not much in the way of linebacker help, though, I am sorry to say). Not quite as much on the injury front, but still some significant players that you will need to monitor before their games kick off.

Bye Weeks coming up: The bye weeks are done. Hurrah!

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

Perry Riley OAK -- Riley has not been on the radar of many IDP owners, at least until he put up 10 total tackles against the visiting Bills in Week13 (eight solo). He gets to face off against the Chiefs on Thursday night in Week 14, a team that is in the middle of the pack when it comes to allowing points to linebackers. Expect the Chiefs to follow their formula of running the ball as their primary attack, which should set up Riley for another big tackle production week. Wilson is the other LB being profiled this week, in a week without a ton of waiver wire potential at the position.

Ramik Wilson LB KC -- Wilson also gets to start on Thursday night, albeit on the other side of the field from Riley. He is nowhere near a full time LB, but has been putting up good tackle production, including eight solos in Week 13 against the Falcons in just 40 snaps on defense. Oakland is not as favorable a LB matchup as Wilson's own team is on the season, but he is worth consideration in a tackle-oriented league.

Defensive Linemen

Unlike the linebacker options, there are a nice bunch of DL to choose from in Week 14.

Danielle Hunter DE MIN -- Hunter filled up the stat sheet Week 13 against the Cowboys: six total tackles (three solo, two for a loss), two sacks and 3 QH (QB hits). He is a part-time player, used mostly as a pass rusher, but is coming on as the season progresses.

Leonard Williams DE NYJ -- Williams was the Jets' leading tackler against the Colts last Monday night, racking up 10 total (three solo), and also collecting a sack to go along with three QH. His Week 14 opponent, the 49ers, are ranked 10th in points allowed to DEs, so look for another productive week.

Derek Wolfe DE DEN -- Wolfe had a good Week 13 effort against a team that does not usually allow a ton of points to DEs, the Titans, so I am not so concerned that he has another poor matchup in Week 14 against the Titans. He is coming off a six solo tackle effort against the Jags, and should be able to put up similar results in Week 14.

Michael Johnson DE CIN -- Johnson is up against the Browns in Week 14, a team that ranks 2nd in allowing points to DEs. He is coming off a one solo tackle effort against the Eagles, but was able to collect 16 total tackles in the previous three games (13 solo), and I would expect a return to form when he heads to Cleveland for this upcoming week's game.

Sheldon Rankins DT NO -- Rankins is the first of the two DTs profiled here, and his Week 14 opponent, the Buccaneers, are the 10th best team for a DT to face through Week 13 in terms of fantasy points allowed. The rookie is no longer out with injury, and is starting for the Saints. With three sacks over the past four games, including one against Detroit in a Week 13 loss, it looks as though he is ready to produce.

Javon Hargrave DT PIT -- Hargrave wraps up this week's DL options, but before you add him to your squad, realize he left the Week 13 contest against the Giants with a concussion. He is certainly not a high ceiling player, but he has been credited with two sacks and eight tackles over the past three games (seven solo), so he is a steady performer when on the field.

Defensive Backs

Barry Church S DAL -- Church did not seem slowed by the cast he was wearing on his arm, even after missing four games with his broken limb. He collected nine tackles (seven solo) and also added a QH.

Byron Jones S DAL (CB eligible on Yahoo, S only on ESPN) -- Jones upped that production by one additional tackle (nine solos, one assist) and also added a PD (pass deflection) to his stat line. Although he plays safety, you can benefit from his dual eligibility on Yahoo if you like tackling cornerbacks (I know I do). Their Week 14 opponent, the Giants, are ranked 11th against DBs on the season, so look for another week of solid production in an important division rivalry game.

Isa Abdul-Quddus S MIA -- I looked back in these articles, and noted that I profiled Abdul-Quddus as a good add back in Week 7, following the season-ending injury to Reshad Jones. He deserves another mention, though, as an excellent source of tackles. He puts up the occasional big play, as he did against the Ravens with a PD, and he led the Dolphins with 19 total tackles (seven solo). Generally, I want a safety who puts up tackles, and he fits the bill precisely.

Jaheel Addae S SD -- Addae was credited with 10 total tackles in Week 13 (eight solo), and he has 18 total tackles over his last two games since returning from injury. Admittedly, his Week 14 opponent is only a mid-tier option when it comes to allowing points to a safety, but he has the potential to shine every week he is on the field.

Michael Griffin S CAR -- Griffin winds up our safety recommendations, and he has an excellent matchup in Week 14 when the Chargers come to visit the Panthers. He is coming off a superb effort against the Seahawks in Week 13, where he amassed 14 total tackles (seven solo). There are hints that Luke Kuechly may practice this week, which would cut into his production potentially, so keep an eye on the injury report, and realize that this was a season high for him, as he tends to split his time between special teams and the defense.  

Byron Maxwell CB MIA -- Maxwell gets to face the Cardinals in Week 14, making him an extremely desirable addition to your CB ranks. The Cardinals, led by the faltering Carson Palmer, are the most generous NFL team when it comes to allowing fantasy production to corners. He is playing a ton of snaps on defense, and was able to collect three tackles (all solo), a PD, an INT and a forced fumble against the Ravens on the road. I really like him to shine against Arizona at home in Week 14.

Vernon Hargreaves III CB TB -- Hargreaves also gets a good matchup in Week 14, with the Bucs taking on the Saints at home. Drew Breese tends to struggle against Tampa Bay, and he is riding a seven tackle performance at San Diego (six solo) with a PD.

 

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Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

Preston Smith WAS -- I realize that I suggested Smith as a player to add back in Week 11, but the tides have turned on him for me. He has just four tackles (three solo, two of those in Week 13) and no sacks over the past three games. Perhaps my praise of his play went to his head? In any event, he is not worth starting but as a second-year player, is someone to hold onto in dynasty leagues.

C.J. Mosley BAL -- Mosley has been struggling to produce since his hamstring injury, so perhaps his underwhelming stat line since Week 5 is due to lingering injury issues. Hope you picked up Zach Orr when I told you to earlier this season.

Defensive Linemen

Fletcher Cox DT PHI -- Cox came to Philly with huge expectations, but those have not been realized to date. He has just 31 tackles on the season (19 solo) and has not collected a sack since Week 5. Because of his name, you may have been holding on hoping for increased production, but I would cut him for one of those DTs listed above in DT-mandatory league, and there are plenty of DLs available on the wire that can outproduce him in non-DT leagues.

Defensive Backs

None to mention this week, save for those listed in the injury report below.

Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Colts on the Texans squad, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Texans that you can plug in against the Colts, for the most part. And feel free to use your linebackers in the Viking-Jaguar game on Sunday or the Patriot-Baltimore matchup on Monday night.

Linebackers

Indianapolis vs Houston

Minnesota @ Jacksonville

Jacksonville vs Minnesota

New England vs Baltimore

Baltimore @ New England

Defensive Ends

Buffalo vs Pittsburgh

Cleveland vs Cincinnati

San Diego @ Carolina

Defensive Tackles

Arizona @ Miami

Los Angeles vs Atlanta

Denver @ Tennessee

Chicago @ Detroit

Safeties

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

Atlanta @ Los Angeles

Houston @ Indianapolis

Philadelphia vs Washington

San Diego @ Carolina

Washington @ Philadelphia

Cornerbacks

Arizona @ Miami

Jacksonville vs Minnesota

Carolina vs San Diego

 

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Waiver Wire Targets

All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. Not all the players I comment on are here, however, as I am not going to waste your time searching for players that are heavily owned. This group consists of those that you may have a chance of locating on your league's waiver wire in that they are owned in significantly less than 50% of leagues. Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.

Linebackers

Perry Riley OAK

Ramik Wilson LB KC

Defensive Linesmen

Danielle Hunter DE MIN (owned in 34.9% of ESPN leagues, 24% of Yahoo leagues)

Leonard Williams DE NYJ (owned in 36.4% of ESPN leagues, 21% of Yahoo leagues)

Derek Wolfe DE DEN

Michael Johnson DE CIN

Sheldon Rankins DT NO

Javon Hargrave DT PIT

Defensive Backs

Barry Church S DAL

Byron Jones S/CB DAL

Isa Abdul-Quddus S MIA

Jaheel Addae S SD

Michael Griffin S CAR

Byron Maxwell CB MIA

Vernon Hargreaves III CB TB

Ouch (My Aching Roster)

All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff.  Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.

Linebackers

Jamari Lattimore BAL nose (this has gone on long enough for a nose injury-he will not be discussed again until he can play)

Lerentt McCray BAL concussion

David Mayo CAR concussion

Luke Kuechly CAR concussion

Vincent Rey CIN thumb

Jackson Jeffcoat CLE hamstring

Justin Durant DAL hamstring

Brandon Marshall DEN hamstring

DeAndre Levy DET knee

Tahir Whitehead DET knee

Nick Pery GB hand

Kyler Fackrell GB hamstring

Blake Martinez GB knee (MCL)

John Simon HOU chest

Jadeveon Clowney HOU elbow

Robert Mathis IND biceps

Dan Skuta JAX elbow

Tamba Hali KC knee

Jelani Jenkins MIA knee

Kiko Alonso MIA thumb

Mark Herzlich NYG concussion

Lorenzo Mauldin NYJ ankle

Shilique Calhoun OAK knee

Cory James OAK shoulder

Jatavis Brown SD knee

Brock Coyle SEA foot

Aaron Lynch SF ankle

Defensive Linemen

DE

Adrian Clayborn ATL knee

Mario Addison CAR foot

Wallace Gilberry CIN calf

Billy Winn DEN neck

Jared Odrick JAX shoulder

Yannick Ngakoue JAX ankle

Robert Quinn LA concussion

Jason Pierre-Paul NYG groin

Owamaghe Odighizuwa NYG knee

Stacy McGee OAK ankle

William Gholston TB ankle

Jurrell Casey TEN foot

Anthony Lanier WAS lower leg

DT

Sharrif Floyd MIN knee

Woodrow Hamilton NE illness

Johnathan Hankins NYG thigh

Steve McLendon NYJ hamstring

Darius Latham OAK ankle

Javon Hargrave PIT head/concussion

Defensive Backs

S

Tyrann Mathieu ARI shoulder

Kurt Coleman CAR concussion

Adrian Amos CHI foot

Derron Smith CIN thigh

J.J. Wilcox DAL thigh

Don Carey DET hamstring

Clayton Geathers IND concussion

Peyton Thompson JAX ankle

Harrison Smith MIN ankle

Jordan Richards NE knee

Nat Berhe NYG concussion

Calvin Pryon NYJ concussion

Karl Joseph OAK toe

Shamarko Thomas PIT concussion

Chris Conte TB chest

Daimion Stafford TEN hamstring

Kyshoen Jarrett WAS shoulder

Will Blackmon WAS concussion

CB

Daryl Worley CAR concussion

Deiondre' Hall CHI ankle

Tramon Williams CLE knee

Morris Claiborne DAL sports hernia

Johnathan Joseph HOU ribs

Patrick Robinson IND groin

Jalil Brown IND ankle

Tevin Mitchel IND hamstring

E.J. Gaines LA quadriceps

Chimdi Chekwa MIA hamstring

Tony Lippett MIA concussion

Xavier Howard MIA knee (meniscus)

Marcus Sherels MIN ribs

Mackensie Alexander MIN groin

Eric Rowe NE hamstring

Coty Sensabaugh NYG ribs

Brandon Flowers SD concussion

Jason McCourty TEN 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 ia@fantasyalarm.com.