| Early Game
Alert: Houston at Indianapolis, Thursday 8:20 pm ET
- Lions DE Cliff
Avril had a huge game (four total tackles, 2.0 sacks) against
the Raiders, prompting Hue Jackson to call him "one of the best
pass rushers in the league. At age 25, Avril is starting to
emerge as an IDP beast - especially since he plays a lot more
downs now. He's been an explosive bookend with right end Kyle
Vanden Bosch and will be an unrestricted free agent after
this season. Ndamukong
Suh finally apologized for his Thanksgiving Day stomp. "I
want to address this," he said. "It's something I have dealt
with and I am trying to move forward. About the Thanksgiving
Day game, I made a mistake. The biggest thing for me is, I've
dealt with it and I am moving past it. I am happy to be back
on the field with my team. The biggest thing for me is, sincerely,
I want to move forward." Suh said he had a telephone conversation
with Evan Dietrich-Smith, the Packers' lineman he stomped on
Thanksgiving Day. "I feel that we are on good terms," Suh said.
"He's a great guy once I got a chance to speak to him. I am
happy this is over with. I dealt with my suspension and now
I am back on the team, helping the team win and work toward
- DE Elvis
Dumervil, who's been a big part of the Broncos' success
in the second half of the season, carries a seven-game streak
with at least a half-sack into Saturday's game in Buffalo. Since
Denver's bye week, the athletic OLB has all 8.5 of his sacks
this season (he battled injuries during the first several weeks).
Dumervil had two tackles and a sack Sunday against the Patriots.
- The Pats have issues at DL, losing Andre
Carter for the remainder of the season. OLB Mark
Anderson filled the void nicely after Carter left the game,
finishing with two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
- Ravens DT Haloti
Ngata practiced on a limited basis during the week but had
a solid game against the Chargers on Sunday night, finishing
with eight tackles (five solos). He remains a below-the-radar
DL because he's not a defensive end - one of the glamour spots
- JAC DE Jeremy
Mincey leads the Jaguars with 5.5 sacks, and DE Matt
Roth missed his fourth consecutive game with a concussion;
he will be evaluated again this week but he's not worth consideration
in fantasy leagues.
- Chiefs DE Allen
Bailey has been part of the nickel pass defense unit since
the season's first game, but the rookie out of the University
of Miami went 14 games before he picked up his first sack -
which he snagged when he dropped Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers in
the second half of the Chiefs' upset victory.
- Browns DE Jabaal
Sheard had another excellent game and appears to be for
real. He makes a decent DL2 for fantasy drafts next season.
Sheard had two sacks to increase his total to 7 1/2 this season,
the most by a Browns rookie since Kamerion
Wimbley had 11 in 2006. Sheard has blown right through the
"rookie wall" and continues to improve as the season progresses,
with five sacks in his last five games.
- NT Jay
Ratliff (rib strain) was rested for much of the second half
last week. The team will continue to be cautious with both him
Ware in practice this week leading up to the Eagles game
on Saturday. DE Marcus
Spears had one of his best games of the season against the
Buccaneers, according to Jason Garrett. "Spears was very active,
both as a run defender and as a pass rush guy," Garrett said.
"I thought he pushed the pocket well. He obviously made the
third-and-short stop for negative gain for them, and just seemed
very active, both getting off blocks and making plays."
- DE Jason
Babin had three more sacks Sunday against the Jets after
recording three the previous week against the Dolphins. He's
only the 10th player in NFL history to record three or more
sacks in back-to-back games. He now has a league-high 18, which
is just three less than the franchise record of 21 set by Hall
of Famer Reggie White back in 1987. "I don't come into the game
saying this is what I'm going to do," said Babin, who had just
17.5 sacks in his first six seasons in the league. "I come in
saying I'm going to do exactly what we practiced. I'm going
to go as hard as I can and whatever happens happens." He's made
IDP veterans forget all about Trent
Cole, who's struggled with injuries and hasn't really adjusted
to the new defensive schemes.
- DE Israel
Idonije scored his first NFL touchdown when he recovered
a fumble in the end zone that was caused by Julius
Peppers' sack of Tarvaris Jackson. That pass-rushing duo
is becoming one of the best in the league, with Peppers as a
quality DL1 and Idonije as a DL2 in most formats.
- After missing San Diego's Week 15 game against the Ravens,
Chargers DL Jacques
Cesaire (ankle) is expected to play this week at Detroit,
the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
- IND DE Robert
Mathis (knee) did not practice Monday, according to CBSSports.com.
He did not take part in practice Wednesday or Thursday but got
a sack on Sunday. He and Dwight
Freeney aren't what they used to be, but they're still week-to-week
IDP options when healthy.
- OAK DL Tommy
Kelly (toe) had a sack and a forced fumble against Detroit
in Week 15. Kelly has been bothered by the toe injury this season,
and the Raiders D-line always seems to feature a different star.
It's a tough unit to figure out.
- NYG DL Justin
Tuck (toe) had four tackles and three assists Sunday after
being listed as questionable all week, while Jason
Pierre-Paul continued his stellar play, registering 16 total
tackles and a sack against the Redskins. The second-year DE
now has 76 tackles (58 solos) and 14.0 sacks on the season.
- TB DL Adrian
Clayborn had four tackles (two solo), one sack, one tackle-for-loss,
and one QB hit in the Bucs' 31-15 loss to the Cowboys on Saturday
night. Clayborn now has 7.5 sacks in his rookie season, and
has at least a half-sack in five straight games. He's also made
37 tackles (27 solos) and has three forced fumbles, making him
a promising IDP sleeper for 2012.
- Chiefs OLB Tamba
Hali registered four solo tackles and 3.0 sacks Sunday in
the shocking upset of the Packers. He now has 12 sacks on the
season and is worth consideration next season as an LB2. Derrick
Johnson (a standout LB1) tallied seven total tackles, all
solo, versus Green Bay on Sunday. He also forced one fumble.
That gives Johnson 158 for the season and leaves him four tackles
short of the team record - set by LB Mike Maslowski in 2002.
Johnson is on pace to finish with 181 total tackles.
- STL LB Josh
Hull suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday against Cincinnati
and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. James
Laurinaitis remains the only LB to own on the Rams.
- Rookie LB Von
Miller was held without a sack Sunday after getting at least
a half-sack in five straight games. It was only the third time
overall the impressive young pass rusher has failed to bring
down the quarterback. He went without a sack versus Oakland
on Sept. 12 and against Detroit on Oct. 30. MLB D.J.
Williams had six tackles Sunday against the Patriots, and
while the elder statesman of the Broncos-D is probably the safest
bet week-to-week, Miller (63 tackles, 12.0 sacks) is making
a strong case for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
- Another prime candidate for the award is 49ers OLB Aldon
Smith, who's racked up 13.0 sacks this season (2.5 on Monday
night) and adds a much-needed pass rush dimension to the vaunted
Willis (hamstring) was inactive for Monday's game against
the Steelers, leaving much of the work to Navorro
Bowman (eight tackles), who leads the team with 121 tackles
on the season (95 solos).
- In Indy, LB Philip
Wheeler (foot) was a pregame inactive. LB Ernie
Sims made his first start of the season at strong-side linebacker,
and he had a team-high 15 tackles (eight solo), although the
standout fantasy performer was Pat
Angerer, who made 12 tackles, had two PD and recorded an
- LB Jamar
Chaney registered his third interception of the season.
He's the first Eagles linebacker to have three interceptions
in a season since William Thomas in 1996.
Barwin had another decent game, finishing with three tackles
(two solo) and 1.0 sacks in Houston's 28-13 loss to Carolina
in Week 15 on Sunday. That gives him 10.5 for the season. The
Texans set a team record with 38 sacks, including two against
the Panthers - a record they're bound to extend this week against
- Cowboys OLB DeMarcus
Ware picked up a sack and three tackles against the Bucs.
He's got 16 sacks on the year, but given the nagging stinger
injury the chances of him matching his career high of 20 seem
to be dwindling. He's got a shot to snag a couple in Week 16
against the Bucs.
- Falcons LB Stephen
Nicholas, who missed the previous two games with a quadriceps
injury, returned to the starting lineup, but left the game with
a knee injury. Sean
Weatherspoon and Curtis
Lofton continue to be the IDP players of note on that team.
- Detroit OLB Justin
Durant, despite missing practice all week with a hamstring
injury, posted seven tackles and forced a key fumble in the
third quarter. Stephen
Tulloch finished with 10 tackles.
- MLB Jonathan
Vilma (knee) was active Sunday and recorded just three total
tackles against the Vikings. He's no longer the IDP force he
was in his youth.
- Carolina OLB Jordan
Senn had a big game in Week 15 and could have a bright future
in that scheme next season if Dan
Connor and Omar
Gaither keep getting hurt and/or play poorly.
- CB Cedric
Griffin finally lost his starting job after struggling all
season to return to form from a torn ACL in both knees the past
two seasons. Griffin stood on the sideline with a towel over
his head for most of the game and didn't even play when starting
Allen left the game with a concussion midway through the
first quarter. There's no real standout in the Vikings secondary,
even for IDP purposes.
- CB Lardarius
Webb, the defense's leader with four interceptions, didn't
start Sunday, but he played sporadically. He did not practice
last week because of an injured toe on his left foot. Jimmy
Smith, making his first start as a pro, was picked on throughout
the night by Philip Rivers. IDP owners should revisit his status
but he appears to be a risky start.
- Lions safety Louis
Delmas has not been ruled out for Saturday, even though
he had a minor surgical procedure on his right knee a few days
ago. Coach Jim Schwartz said there was a chance Delmas could
be ready to play. S John
Wendling had three tackles in his first extended playing
time of the season Sunday. He was pressed into duty with Delmas
out and his replacement - veteran DB Chris
Harris - suffering a concussion in the first half. Wendling
is a standout on special teams, where he leads the NFL with
- STL CB Justin
King, who injured his shoulder in a light Wednesday practice,
was inactive for the game against Cincinnati. Safety Quintin
Mikell remains the best DB start for the Rams.
- IND DB Chris
Rucker had 11 total tackles in Sunday's win over Tennessee.
He's moved into a starting role at cornerback after several
injuries to key players. Rucker will get decent tackle totals
going forward since cornerbacks are required to make tackles
against the run in Indy's Cover-2 scheme.
- NYJ safety Brodney
Pool stepped into a full-time starting role with the loss
of S Jim
Leonhard to season ending knee surgery. Pool and the rest
of the secondary had difficulties covering the Eagles' receivers,
especially TE Brent Celek, who exploded for 5-156-1 in the decisive
victory for Philly.
- CB Corey
Webster's interception of a first-quarter Rex Grossman pass
was the Giants' first takeaway on an opponent's initial offensive
play since Sept. 24, 2006 at Seattle, where Matt Hasselbeck's
pass was intercepted by Webster. The Giants will probably reshuffle
their ragtag, gambling secondary before next season.
Hall recorded six tackles and an interception (his third
of the season) in Week 15. Teammate Josh
Wilson suffered concussion-like symptoms against the Giants,
leaving his status for Sunday's game against Minnesota in question.
Atogwe was benched in favor of rookie DeJon Gomes but still
intercepted his second pass of the season. Atogwe's knee is
apparently still bothering him, because the demotion isn't being
referred to as permanent or performance-related. Take Atogwe
off the IDP radar for now.
- Atlanta FS Thomas
DeCoud got his fourth interception of the season in the
fourth quarter, and remains a marginal IDP performer. He shows
hints of brilliance, but has never been consistent enough o
warrant every-week play.
- SS Charles
Godfrey could barely put his shirt on after Sunday's game
and he remains sore. It's unsure if he will play this week against