Tom Dahlin/Viking Update

Week 12: Fantasy Football IDP Insider

Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith lists his must-starts and a few IDP recommendations per position heading into Week 12!

MUST-STARTS

The following players should be in IDP lineups each and every week for the foreseeable future. They're not listed in any order, but if you own one of these guys, make sure you're starting him on a weekly basis. And remember that this is a reference for the rest of the 2016 season, not weekly rankings.

Defensive Tackles

Aaron Donald, LAR

Ndamukong Suh, MIA

Damon Harrison, NYG

Fletcher Cox, PHI

Linval Joseph, MIN

Clinton McDonald, TB

Defensive Ends

Derek Wolfe, DEN

Everson Griffen, MIN

Leonard Williams, NYJ

Carlos Dunlap, CIN

Danielle Hunter, MIN

Michael Bennett, SEA

Cameron Jordan, NO

Muhammad Wilkerson, NYJ

Khalil Mack, OAK

Brandon Graham, PHI

Jason Pierre-Paul, NYG

Frank Clark, SEA

Linebackers

Lorenzo Alexander, BUF

C.J. Mosley, BAL

Deion Jones, ATL

Luke Kuechly, CAR

Jerrell Freeman, CHI

Kwon Alexander, TB

Alec Ogletree, LAR

Benardrick McKinney, HOU

Will Compton, WAS

Von Miller, DEN

Telvin Smith, JAX

Zachary Orr, BAL

Sean Lee, DAL

Craig Robertson, NO

Derrick Johnson, KC

Bobby Wagner, SEA

Zach Brown, BUF

Eric Kendricks, MIN

Safeties

T.J. Ward, DEN

Reggie Nelson, OAK

Bradley McDougald, TB

Antoine Bethea, SF

Harrison Smith, MIN

Barry Church, DAL

Landon Collins, NYG

Tony Jefferson, ARI

Rodney McLeod, PHI

Johnathan Cyprien, JAX

Morgan Burnett, GB

Keanu Neal, ATL

Cornerbacks

Casey Hayward, SD

Janoris Jenkins, NYG

Lamarcus Joyner, LAR

Deshawn Shead, SEA

Trumaine Johnson, LAR

Marcus Cooper, ARI

Waiver Wire Adds

Defensive Tackles

DT Chris Baker, Washington Redskins

You can make a strong case Baker is one of the most undervalued IDPs in the league. Of course, defensive tackles don't have the value of other positions, but in comparison to other DTs, he goes completely overlooked. Last season Baker made 53 tackles, six sacks and accounted for five fumbles. Through 10 games this season he has 30 tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles. He sits on waiver wires garnering little interest. If he's sitting there and you need a DT, pick him up and start him. He's not flashy for whatever reason. Nevertheless, the production is there and proven to be sustainable.

Defensive Ends

http://www.scout.com/player/135209-stephon-tuitt?s=532

DE Stephon Tuitt, Pittsburgh Steelers

Tuitt is a guy I predicted to have a breakout season, and I drafted him in every IDP league I am in. To say he disappointed would be an understatement. Through eight games he had zero sacks. All of a sudden he has come to life over the past two weeks with nine tackles and 3.5 sacks. The injury to Cameron Heyward would be the natural explanation. However, that should only make Tuitt’s life more difficult being that they no longer have to account for him. Regardless, he’s playing well and is back on the Fantasy radar.

Linebackers

LB DeAndre Levy, Detroit Lions

This may be a case of holding on to hope, but Levy is finally expected back. It's unlikely he plays on Thanksgiving, but Levy is fully expected back Week 13. This is a guy before missing all of 2015, made 151 tackles in 2014. In 2013 he tackled 119 ball carriers, picked off six passes while defending 15 passes and even found the end zone. It’s possible Levy is a lost cause, but he's at least worth a flier as former elite LB1. If you have the roster space, scoop him up as a potential swing for the fences option.

LB Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs

Houston is another linebacker trying to bounce back from injury. Unlike Levy who is a sure tackler, Houston is a sack specialist. He made his season debut this past week, and the Chiefs were able to ease him in thanks to the emergence of Dee Ford. Well, that didn't last long. Ford injured himself in what appears to be a multi-week injury. This will open the former 22-sack man up for a monster opportunity. No one is expecting him to step in and be an elite pass rusher like he once was. Nonetheless, much like Levy, Fantasy owners don’t forget stars that shined like him. Plus he’s only 27 years old. His prime should be far from concluded.

LB Nick Kwiatkoski, Chicago Bears

Hearing Kwiatkowski doesn’t have quite the impact as big names like Levy and Houston. However, he does have a big opportunity in front of him. Bears star linebacker Jerrell Freeman will miss the next four games due to a suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. Kwiatkowski is expected to start in his place and be the defensive signal caller. There is a chance he racks up a ton of tackles over the next month. I wouldn’t start him right away. Still, he’s worth the add.

Cornerbacks

http://www.scout.com/player/107950-xavier-rhodes?s=532

CB Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota Vikings

It’s time Rhodes starts getting the recognition he deserves as an emerging young corner. He’s coming off a monster game when he picked off two passes, one for a touchdown. He now has 28 tackles and four interceptions in eight games this season as well as nine passes defended and a forced fumble. He showed off impressive ball skills this week and should have caught the eye of IDP owners. He’ll likely be a boom or bust option, but is a high upside prospect as he continues to develop and come into his own.

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CB Rashaan Melvin, Indianapolis Colts

Melvin is playing a ton of snaps in Indy and coming off an 11 solo tackle game. His tackling numbers have increased over the past five games. In his past four games, he's piled up 26 tackles and a fumble recovery. It's been since Week 4 that he didn't have at least three tackles in a game and he's topped three tackles every game since that. Melvin is far from a household name. However, savvy Fantasy owners should scoop him up. Especially with the quarterbacks, he faces in the AFC South.

Safeties

S Deon Bush, Chicago Bears

Last week I suggested picking up Harold Jones-Quartey and even started him in my main league. Talk about your all-time biggest backfires. They decided to bench him, and he played a total of zero snaps. Instead, they gave Bush a chance to start and he played every snap. The rookie out of Miami made seven tackles, and now I'm suggesting him. Am I nervous about it? Slightly. But I do like his upside. He was a baller at The U and has a chance to pick up all of Jones–Quartey’s production and then some since he’s a more gifted player.

S Patrick Chung, New England Patriots

Chung is an outstanding player as long as he’s on the Pats. He’s been having a strong season and the loss of Jamie Collins seems to have opened up more opportunities for him to make tackles and rush the passer. Chung is coming off a nine tackle and one sack game. Don’t be shocked if he emerges as a top option for the remainder of the season. He should be added in all leagues and started immediately. I love his potential for the stretch run.


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