IDP Injuries of note:
- Phil Taylor (CLE DL): Taylor has been placed on IR and is out for the year. He is safe to drop in all leagues.
- Ian Williams (SF DL): Williams has been placed on IR with a broken leg. Taking his place will be Glenn Dorsey, who has been activated from the PUP list after injuring his bicep in training camp. Dorsey is a nice speculative add in DT-required leagues.
- Chandler Jones (NE DL): Jones has been out for five weeks now. The original estimate was 4-6 weeks, so his return may be nearing. There’s nothing to do right now until there is new information. This is New England, so we may not get anything new. Hold tight for now.
- Karlos Dansby (CLE LB): Dansby sprained his knee and is likely out about a month. This will be a blow to the Browns defense, but look to Christian Kirksey to get a boost in value.
- Jabaal Sheard (CLE LB): Sheard was originally thought to have a serious foot injury that could require surgery. After further review, it looks a lot better and he may only miss a week or two.
- Ahmad Brooks (SF LB): Brooks had his feelings hurt since the coaching staff wasn’t using him as he thought they should. Because of his bruised pride (which can be debilitating) he missed the second half (self-imposed) when he took off his cleats and pouted on the sideline.
- Trent Murphy (WAS LB): Murphy injured his knee and may have a slight tear of the PCL. It looks like he will try and play through it but he isn’t a tremendous talent so he is probably safe to drop.
- NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman appears to have been cleared to return to practice. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of an impact for your fantasy squad this year. Let someone else use the roster spot.
- Keenan Lewis (NO DB): Lewis played last week but totaled only 11 snaps. He wasn’t himself and it showed. I would keep him on the bench for a couple weeks until he is fully healthy. This probably hurts the NFL Saints more than your fantasy team.
- Jason Verrett (SD DB): Verrett sees his rookie season end with shoulder surgery. He was impressive early and is someone to look at for next year in leagues that require the use of a corner.
- Leodis McKelvin (BUF DB): McKelvin broke his ankle and was placed on IR. He was good this year and should recover from the injury in time for the 2015 season.
Who to use (or not):
- Clinton McDonald (TB DL): McDonald has been solid as an under the radar defensive tackle this year. If you are in a DT-required league, he is worth the pickup as he has continued his strong play all season. Obviously it helps when Gerald McCoy is getting all the attention, but putting up 3 sacks, 25 solos and an interception is solid regardless.
- Mario Williams (BUF DL): Williams is coming off a huge 3.5 sack game last week and gets the Jets in week 12. The chances of another sack and continuing his string of at least a half sack in 7-straight games should continue. There’s only been one game this season where he didn’t put up at least a partial sack, and in that game he had 4 solo tackles. Consistency is what we have here.
- Rob Ninkovich (NE DL): Some leagues may have Ninkovich as a linebacker and some as a defensive end. Either way, I expect him to put some pressure on Stafford this week and pick up a sack.
- Robert Quinn (STL DL): You are probably thinking, of course I should play Quinn, but I am saying he gets at least 2 sacks this week against a hobbled Philip Rivers.
- Aldon Smith (SF LB): Last week I cautioned about using Smith in his first game back. It turned out to be a good call as he put up a goose egg. Although, he was putting pressure on the quarterback and I expect him to get one or two sacks this week against RG3. Get him in your lineup.
- Jamie Collins & Dont’e Hightower (NE LB): I expect big things from the Patriot defense this week against the Lions. Both of these guys should be in your lineups.
- Justin Houston (KC LB): The NFL’s sack leader hasn’t brought down a quarterback in two weeks. Surprisingly, the Raiders haven’t given up a ton of sacks this year (probably because their defense can’t get off the field) but I have a feeling Houston is going to beast in this game. His sacks come in bunches and I see 2+ on the horizon.
- Reshad Jones (MIA DB): Jones will get a lot of opportunities going against the Broncos this week. He will be up to the task and should be fantasy gold in week 12.
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (GB DB): Ha Ha has put up a solid floor due to high tackle numbers. He is locked into playing every down and I have a hunch he gets his first pick since week 3. He put up 5 solo tackles in his last game against the Vikings. He should do that again this week.
- Michael Griffin (TEN DB): Griffin gets the safety dream matchup against the Eagles; big game coming.
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/kw4BG8
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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!