IDP Injuries of note:
- Star Lotulelei (CAR DT): Lotulelei injured his ankle when it got rolled up on making a play. It appears it is only a low ankle sprain but he has already been ruled out for week 11. He wasn’t lighting up the IDP scoreboard so this probably isn’t a big blow to anyone.
- Brandon Mebane (SEA DT): Mebane was placed on IR with a torn hamstring. This is a much bigger deal to the Seattle defense than it is to the IDP world.
- Ian Williams (SF DT): Williams fractured his lower leg in week 10. I am not sure what it is with the run-stuffing defensive tackles this week but they are all going down. Not a huge impact to the IDP landscape unless you are in defensive tackle required leagues.
- Vontaze Burfict (Cin LB): Burfict missed his second straight game after a knee scope and there hasn’t been any word on when he is expected back. I think he is safe to drop as it has just been one injury after another.
- Patrick Willis (SF LB): Willis was placed on season ending IR with a toe issue. It appears that he will need surgery and it now becomes a question of whether he will get back to his previous level of studliness. He is a real question mark going forward in dynasty leagues. This does make Chris Borland a must-add and likely LB1 for the rest of the year.
- NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman is still not up to speed and it is looking more and more likely he will not make an impact this year. I think he is safe to drop if you had been stashing him hoping for a return.
- Ryan Shazier (PIT LB): Shazier has already been ruled out for the Monday Night game against Tennessee. This is not a good sign for his progress of coming back. He might be a good buy-low candidate for dynasty league gamers if his owner is in the hunt this year.
- Brian Cushing (HOU LB): Cushing may be back this week after Houston’s bye. I wouldn’t rush to get him in your IDP lineup though. He wasn’t performing all that well leading up to his injury with seven total tackles over the last three games he played.
- Rolando McClain (DAL LB): McClain was active for week 10 but didn’t get on the field. If you listened to The Fantasy Forecaster on Sunday morning, I had recommended staying away from the Dallas front seven due to the chance of minimal tackle opportunities against the Jaguars. Hopefully you listened! He is on bye this week so he should be back and ready to go in week 12.
- Eric Berry (KC DB): Berry finally had a full complement of snaps, however he only but up 6 combined tackles. I expect him to shoot right back into DB1 status moving forward. Get him active.
- Matt Elam (BAL DB): Elam has been benched in favor of Will Hill. It’s not an injury to be concerned about but he has been terrible this year. Safe to drop and move on.
- Tashaun Gipson (CLE DB): Gipson suffered a concussion. I am sure you are well aware of the process that goes along with that. As of Wednesday he still hasn’t been cleared to practice. You may want to look elsewhere this week to be safe.
Who’s on the wire?
- Marcell Dareus (BUF DT): Dareus has been on fire this year. He leads all defensive tackles with 10 sacks, including the 3 he had in week 10. This was his second three-sack game of the year. He has 26 tackles as well and is a must-start, even in leagues that don’t require a player at his position.
- Cameron Wake (MIA DE): Wake is as hot as any defensive end in the league right now. With two sacks on Sunday, he sits at 8.5 on the year. The Bills are up next and with Orton back in the pocket I expect another big game for Wake in this one.
- Desmond Bryant (CLE DE): Bryant is playing really well and put up 2 sacks against the Bengals last Thursday. The Browns defense is playing great and Bryant is benefiting. He hasn’t been putting up the snaps but he has played well. Don’t expect another 2 sack game but at this point in the season if you need some help on the defensive line you could do worse. Next up is Ryan Mallet and the Texans.
- Ziggy Ansah (DET DE): Anash has sacks in two straight and 4.5 over his four games. The pressure has been there all year and now those are translating into production. He is a bit dinged up but his schedule down the stretch is great with games against the Vikings, Bucs and Bears (twice).
- Chris Borland (SF LB): OK, now it’s official. Borland is here to stay with Willis going on IR. He is a must own LB1 for the rest of the season. He is a much better fantasy performer than real life player but that’s what we really want. If by some chance he is still out there you need to go add him.
- Aldon Smith (SF – LB): Staying in San Francisco, Aldon Smith has served his suspension and has been reinstated. He is practicing this week and expected to play on Sunday. He is a must-add and start in any big play scoring league as he has averaged about a sack a game when active. If you were able to get him he is like making a trade for a stud in week 10 without giving up anything.
- Clay Matthews (GB LB): For those not paying attention, the Packers decided to come out of the bye with a little experiment. They moved Matthews to inside linebacker and turned him lose. He flew all over the field, coming up with 9 solos and a sack. I think it’s safe to say the experiment worked – although it was against the Bears. If he stays in this role he is a high-end LB1 for the remainder of the year. I say take a chance and roll with him, just hope he doesn’t pull a hamstring.
- Nico Johnson (CIN LB): Johnson is a guy to keep an eye on. He was filling in for Burfict and while he is only a two-down player, he put up 6 solos and 4 assists in his latest opportunity. He’s worth a mention.
- James Ihedigbo (DET DB): Ihedigbo has been putting up great IDP numbers as part of an outstanding Detroit defense. Last week he had 4 solos and a pick. Now, the Lions get Drew Stanton and Cardinals this week. I think he has another big day.
- Byron Maxwell (SEA DB): Maxwell was back in the lineup on a limited basis. I expect him to get a bigger workload and as the guy opposite Richard Sherman he should get plenty of opportunities.
- Jaiquawn Jarrett (NYJ DB): Jarrett replaced Calvin Pryor in the starting lineup and had a huge day, putting up a sack, 2 picks, a fumble recovery and 7 solo tackles. Don’t expect another day like this but as long as he is starting he should be worth a play. He is on bye this week, but pick him up and stash him for week 12’s game against Buffalo.
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Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!