Welcome back, IDP Nerds; it’s officially the best time of the year, with food, family, and football all day. I’m thankful for all of you and my members of the Dynasty Nerds staff. I know you’re all looking forward to a good time with your families today, and I hope you enjoy that. We had an average week in week 11 with 58.3% accuracy, which brought our season total to 57.1%. I’m excited to dive into week 12 with a full slate of games.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- QB: Mike Hicks (@DroptheMikeFF) – Changing the Call
- RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback
- WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern
- TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation
- FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Let’s Talk About Flex
- IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
Jonathan Owens DB, Green Bay Packers
Jonathan Owens has impressed over the past few weeks with starting DB Darnell Savage on injured reserve. The veteran DB isn’t going to come close to the numbers he posted last season with the Houston Texans, but he’s been effective as of late. The Detroit Lions rank as the third most favorable matchup for the safety position. Jonathan Owens has averaged 17.3 fantasy points per game over his last three games. He has some upside in this one with the Lions offense, who have allowed seven DB1 weeks this season.
Washington Commanders @ Dallas Cowboys
Cody Barton LB, Washington Commanders
Cody Barton makes his anticipated return on Thanksgiving. The Washington Commanders have been missing him, as have IDP managers. The former Utah Utes linebacker has already collected 10+ tackles in three games this season. Before his injury, he was riding a five-game stretch of at least 13 fantasy points, including 20+ in two of those games.
The Dallas Cowboys offense has been a machine lately and keeps opposing defenses on the field regularly. The Cowboys have surrendered three LB1 weeks this season. It’s natural to shy away from players returning from injury, but Cody Barton was close last week and had a full week of practice. I love him in this matchup, and he should be back to producing like he was before his short stint on injured reserve.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Boye Mafe DL, Seattle Seahawks
I don’t like sitting a player as hot as Boye Mafe has been. Before last week, the Seahawks EDGE rusher had a streak of one sack in seven straight games. He faces another tough matchup this week against the San Francisco 49ers offense, who have only allowed two sacks per game this season while only giving up one DL1 week. I’m a fan of Boye Mafe, who is having a career year, but this isn’t one I’m willing to bank on him starting a new sack streak. I’m looking to fade him this week with no teams on the bye. You should be able to find a better option.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Jordan Whitehead DB, New York Jets
The New York Jets were embarrassed a week ago against a Buffalo offense itching to bounce back after a few bad performances. The Jets’ defense is a championship-level unit, but the problems on offense have just made them look very average as of late. The Jets host the explosive Miami Dolphins offense in the NFL’s first-ever ‘Black Friday’ game on Amazon Prime. I like this matchup for Jordan Whitehead in the Jets secondary. He has finished with 10+ fantasy points in five straight games. Whitehead has been the deep safety in the New York scheme, but his tackle numbers have been very solid over the past month; he’s made eight stops or more in three of his past five games. Take advantage of a plus matchup and a player on a hot streak.
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
Carl Granderson DL, New Orleans Saints
I haven’t had the chance to show Carl Granderson enough love this season. The Wyoming product is having a breakout season. Granderson is on pace to set career highs in tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries. He’s been a must-start in most scenarios this season in most games, but coming off his worst game in Week 10, followed by a bye, gives me a window of opportunity.
I’ll keep it short and sweet. This is a great matchup for one of the best young EDGE rushers in the league. The Atlanta Falcons have allowed eight DL1 performances this week and allow over 20 tackles per game to the DL position. Let’s make sure Carl Granderson is in our lineups this week, and let’s watch him work.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Elandon Roberts LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Elandon Roberts has been a sneaky IDP find over the past few weeks, as many injuries have happened at the LB position. The veteran LB has averaged 21.5 points per game over his last four. He steps in as the safest play among the Pittsburgh linebackers as the team has struggled to keep players healthy this season.
I expect the Bengals offense to take a significant hit with Joe Burrow out for the season. The Cincinnati offense will likely turn to Joe Mixon and the short passing game with the tight ends to move the ball. This should give Elandon Roberts plenty of opportunities to rack up tackles like he has been doing over the past month of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Christian Harris LB, Houston Texans
Christian Harris had a big week in Week 11 with 18 fantasy points while playing 100% of the defensive snaps. The former Alabama LB has been hot and cold to start his NFL career but surely has the upside to be an every-down LB in the NFL. The Houston Texans are still dealing with injuries at the LB position, providing opportunities for others.
Blake Cashman has been the most reliable option for the Houston defense with Denzel Perryman out. Harris stepped in for stud rookie Henry To’oTo’o, who was out with an injury. It appears that Henry To’oTo’o may return this week, which should temper expectations for Christian Harris. This is shaping up to potentially, at best, be a split at LB among the Texans’ three healthy players, which is not good for IDP managers. I would fade Christian Harris in this one and resist the recency bias forcing you to make a tough lineup decision.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts
Kwity Paye DL, Indianapolis Colts
This one isn’t my favorite, as I have multiple shares of Kwity Paye across my leagues. It boils down to me not loving this matchup for him and the Colts’ defensive front. The Tampa Bay offensive line has been good this season, allowing just two sacks per game. They’ve surrendered just two DL1 weeks this season. This could be a defensive battle, but my gut says that Kwity Paye will not have his third straight week with at least a half-sack. I’m looking at better options if you can find them this week.
New England Patriots @ New York Giants
Davon Godchaux DL, New England Patriots
Davon Godchaux gets the nod this week in the DT-premium leagues. The New England defensive tackle has been great in back-to-back games with 16 tackles and a fumble recovery. Godchaux has produced at least 12 fantasy points in his last two games. This is a great matchup against the New York Giants, who have allowed 9 DL1 performances and, frankly, are just a gold mine for any IDP you want to start against them. If you’re looking for some free production at the defensive tackle position, this is your guy this week.
Carolina Panthers @ Tennessee Titans
Harold Landry DL, Tennessee Titans
Harold Landry had a very slow start to the season after recovering from a torn ACL last season. The Titans’ young EDGE rusher has been finding himself more recently. He has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five games, with over 20 points in three of those four games. The Titans’ defense has struggled this season but has a very winnable game against the Carolina Panthers this week.
The Carolina offense has allowed nearly four sacks per game, including eight DL1 weeks this season. The Titans EDGE rusher has been producing more tackles than sacks this season, with five or more stops in four of his last five games. He has a chance to continue his high-volume tackling as well as notching a sack in Week 12.
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Josh Woods LB, Arizona Cardinals
At this point, you guys can call me the president of the ‘Josh Woods Fanclub’ with how much I’ve been recommending him over the past few weeks. The former Maryland Terrapins LB will now step into the top LB role with Kyzir White being sent to injured reserve.
Josh Woods has been in and out of the lineup this season, dealing with a few nagging injuries, but will now be given the keys to the defense. Woods has had four double-digit performances since Week 6, and I expect a big uptick in his tackle numbers now with Kyzir White not playing. The Los Angeles Rams have been a fair matchup for opposing LBs. I expect the Rams to lean on their running game more with Kyren Williams returning, providing more tackle opportunities.
Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos
Ja’Quan McMillian DB, Denver Broncos
I want to start with the fact that I love players like this who come out of nowhere and put up big performances for IDP managers. Ja’Quan McMillian has been a huge reason the Denver Broncos have been on this win streak as of late. His effectiveness as a nickel cornerback has been fun to watch. McMillian has five impact plays in seven games since he took over the slot CB role.
I don’t love this week with the Cleveland Browns, who play a scrappy style of football. Dorian Thompson-Robinson at QB will be asked not to lose the game for them. I see this game as a defensive battle that might not have enough opportunities for McMillian to have rough tackles to finish as a fantasy-relevant defensive back.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders
Drue Tranquill LB, Kansas City Chiefs
Drue Tranquill continued to produce after taking over as the LB1 for the Kansas City defense when Nick Bolton went down. The former Notre Dame LB has eight consecutive games with 10+ points. The Chiefs defense has been carrying this team in 2023 and Tranquill has been a huge part of that. Tranquill has averaged 8.6 tackles per game over his last three games. The Las Vegas Raiders have leaned heavily on last season’s NFL rushing leader, Josh Jacobs, since they fired Josh McDaniels. This should be a good opportunity for Drue Tranquill to continue to produce big tackle numbers for IDP managers.
Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles
Zach Cunningham LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Zach Cunningham fits the mold of the year of the veteran linebacker in IDP leagues. Cunningham has found new life with the Eagles and has been a tackling machine for them. The impact plays haven’t been there, but his consistent tackle volume has been good enough to make him a strong starter this season.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills have a huge matchup this week in a game we expect to be won on the offensive side of the ball. The Buffalo offense has allowed five LB1 performances this season. Zach Cunningham plays consistent snaps and has seventeen tackles in his last two games.
Baltimore Ravens @ Los Angeles Chargers
Eric Kendricks LB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers defense has been a solid unit this season. IDP managers were under the impression that veteran LB Eric Kendricks would be the top linebacker in this system, but that hasn’t been the case this season. He’s on pace for one of the worst fantasy seasons of his career, mostly due to injuries and the stellar play of his teammate Kenneth Murray. However, I do like the matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens offense, who have allowed five LB1 weeks. The Ravens have also surrendered an average of 19 tackles per game to linebackers this season. I’m confident in Eric Kendricks ahead of this Week 12 matchup.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Tremaine Edmunds LB, Chicago Bears
It seems like everywhere Tremaine Edmunds plays, he becomes an afterthought. He was considered replaceable with Buffalo playing with Matt Milano, and now with Chicago, T.J. Edwards is the leading LB. The reality is that Tremaine Edmunds continues to produce as a top IDP linebacker.
Tremaine Edmunds returned last week, recording his third 20+ point game of the season. He has scored at least 11 fantasy points in every game besides the one he was injured in this season. Edmunds continues to find his way in this new-look Bears defense. He has a good matchup on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings defense, who have allowed seven LB1 performances this season.
That’s a wrap for this week’s ‘Man Coverage’ article, IDP Nerds. We want to officially wrap up the third quarter of the dynasty fantasy football season this week. I look forward to breaking down each position for you in next week’s IDP quarterly report. The injuries continue to pile up, so keeping your nose to the grind and knowing which players on waiver wires can help you continue to win games is big. I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving, and I look forward to a full slate of games this week.