Fantasy Football IDP Start/Sit: Week 12 (2019)
Chances are that if you are still reading this weekly article then your IDP team is either battling for or has clinched a playoff berth. Congratulations. Let’s see if we can’t keep folks engaged for at least another month or so, shall we?
The good news is that Week 12 is upon us and is the final week that we will have to suffer through teams on their bye weeks. The bad news is that multiple elite linebackers, as well as edge-rushing options, are unavailable this week due to their byes. Never the less, we have found an excellent group of players to either start or sit this week.
Keep in mind that Arizona, Kansas City, LA Chargers and Minnesota are on their bye weeks.
Clelin Ferrell (DL – OAK)
With teammate Maxx Crosby putting up four sacks last week there wasn’t a whole lot of production for Ferrell to account for. He finished the game with just one solo tackle and a pass defended. That performance doesn’t diminish the fact that Ferrell has been playing his best football over the past three weeks. In that time, he has 13 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and has been credited with three quarterback hits. With Crosby bringing the pressure opposite him the Jet’s offensive line will have to sell out to stop him leaving Ferrell in plenty of single blocker situations. Look for the Raiders’ other rookie defensive end to have a big Week 12 against an offense that has allowed 27.5 sacks to opposing defensive linemen this season.
Arik Armstead (DL – SF)
Please raise your hand if you are aware that Armstead is currently a top-10 defensive lineman in balanced scoring formats. The fifth-year defensive end is having a breakout season and setting career highs across the board. He is averaging 3.3 tackles per game, which puts him on pace to surpass his career-high of 48, which he had last year. He has already set career highs in sacks with eight, forced fumbles with two, and recovered fumbles with one. Already averaging 73% of the snaps he may see a bit of an uptick as Dee Ford is likely to miss time due to a hamstring issue. On Sunday night he will face off with a Packers’ offense that has allowed an average of just under two sacks per game to opposing defensive linemen. Start him with confidence in Week 12.
De’Vondre Campbell (LB – ATL)
The torch has officially been passed. Actually, it was passed much earlier this season but it’s time to make it official. Campbell is the top fantasy linebacker on the Falcons’ defense, supplanting Deion Jones moving forward. Last week, he kept his breakout season rolling with a top-10 linebacker performance in balanced scoring formats. He had 11 total tackles and now has 87 on the season with four being for a loss. He also had an interception last week and now has four big plays on the season. He is currently a top-12 linebacker in balanced scoring formats this season while Jones sits outside the top-35. The matchup this week is a positive one as the Buccaneers’ offense is a top-5 unit in allowing production to opposing linebackers this season.
Jerome Baker (LB – MIA)
The second-year linebacker out of Ohio State has officially arrived as an IDP factor on a struggling Miami defense. On the season, the Dolphins’ defense faces an average of 64 plays per game from opposing offenses and Baker has benefitted from being a three-down linebacker this season. In the past four games, he has put up 36 total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Those are top-10 linebacker totals in balanced scoring formats. With Raekwon McMillan dealing with a knee issue he faces little competition for tackles. He also has a strong matchup this week against a Browns’ offense that is a top-10 unit in allowing production to the linebacker position.
Juston Burris (DB – CLE)
While officially designated as a cornerback, look for Burris to slide over to a safety role with Morgan Burnett (Achilles) out for the season. Stepping in for Burnett last week he played 57% of the snaps and had a very big game. He finished with five total tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and an interception. Before we write that performance off as a one-hit-wonder let’s take a look at his Week 3 stat line. Called upon to play 100% of the snaps, he finished with four solo tackles and an interception. The youngster is the real deal and a must-start this week in a depleted Browns’ secondary.
Xavier Woods (DB – DAL)
Woods started his 2019 campaign with 11 total tackles and one forced fumble performance in Week 1. That would be a harbinger of things to come as he has been doing a bit of everything in the Dallas secondary. He did miss one game due to a lower leg injury but has proven to be durable playing at least 96% of the snaps in eight of nine games. Through those nine games, he has put up 53 total tackles, two interceptions, as well as a pair of forced fumbles. He is a must-start this week against a Patriots offense that averages 70 offensive plays per game, with 40 being pass attempts and an average of 26 completions per game. They are a top-5 unit in allowing production to the DB position.
Carlos Dunlap (DL – CIN)
The 2019 season has not been kind to the veteran defensive end as he has dealt with injuries as well as being part of one of the leagues’ worst teams. He has been dealing with a knee issue that forced him to miss time and has struggled to regain the consistency that he’s exhibited throughout his career. He has managed just half a sack in his past seven games and has been credited with just five QB hurries over that time. Things will not improve this week against a Steelers’ offense that has allowed only 8.5 sacks to opposing defensive linemen on the season. When the teams squared off in Week 4, he had a goose egg despite playing 53 snaps.
Jurrell Casey (DL – TEN)
The bye week seems to have come at the right time for Casey as he has returned to full practice after missing a couple of games due to a shoulder injury. All in all, the 2019 campaign has been a disappointing one for the veteran defensive end. Over the first eight games of the season when he was healthy he averaged playing 77% of the defensive snaps. The production has not been there this season as he has just 25 total tackles, two sacks, along with one forced fumble. More concerning is that he has managed just nine quarterback pressures in eight games. Over their last four games, the Jaguars’ offense is allowing an average of just one sack per game to opposing defensive linemen. Chances are that Casey is in for a down game upon his return to the field this week.
Myles Jack (LB – JAX)
In what was his juiciest matchup of the season last week Jack once again came up short production-wise. That is pretty much the theme of his entire 2019 campaign. Against a Colts’ offense that is a top-5 unit in allowing production to the linebacker position, he failed to crack the top-25 at the position in balanced scoring formats last week. While the nine tackles he put up tied his season-high, he once again failed to register a big play and has just 1.5 on the season. After quite a bit of expectation that he would take the next step this season, it’s time to accept that it’s not happening for Jack. At this critical point in the fantasy season, there are much better options than him this week.
Patrick Onwuasor (LB – BAL)
2019 began full of promise for Onwuasor, as he was tabbed to be a three-down starting linebacker on the Ravens’ defense. Through the first five games, things seemed to be on track as he averaged 95% of the snaps played and had 30 total tackles along with a sack. He then dealt with an ankle injury that forced him to miss time and everything went south. Over the past three games, he is playing an average of just 25% of the defensive snaps. Do not be fooled by the three total tackles and a sack that he put up last week against the Texans. He has been losing snaps since returning from the injury and played a season-low nine last week.
Quandre Diggs (DB – SEA)
After being acquired via trade from Detroit weeks ago, Diggs finally played his first snaps as a member of the Seahawks’ secondary in Week 10, after battling through a hamstring issue. He immediately assumed an every-down role at free safety and played 100% of the snaps. He made a nice first impression by posting a late interception to help seal the victory over the 49ers. That being said, he also finished the game with just two total tackles. He will be the deep, ball-hawking free safety option in the secondary which severely limits his tackle opportunities. That is not the type of player that IDP owners can rely on at this critical point in the season. There is no reason to start him this week.