Everyone loves a Monday Morning Quarterback, so why not a Monday Morning Linebacker? If you're like me, you tend to express your consternation when a player or players on your roster don't exactly perform as expected. Many expletive laden tirades have been directed at my computer or smart-phone as I scan the scoreboards. Occasionally I'm pleasantly surprised, but more often than not it's "WTF was that?!" In this weekly article we'll take a look at those players that performed as expected and those that didn't. This won't be a complete review of every player from every game; simply the outliers that deserve recognition, one way or the other.
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Studs That Were Studs (*Notable players that lived up to or exceeded expectations)
Luke Kuechly, LB, CAR vs. ATL- In case you haven't been paying attention, the rookie hasn't had a single-digit performance since Week 4. He had a busy afternoon yesterday, racking up 11 solo tackles and 5 assists. He's a top-10 LB in balanced scoring and a weekly starter in IDP leagues. I think it's safe to say the torch has officially been passed from Beason to Kuechly.
Anthony Spencer, LB, DAL vs. CIN - Spencer has been playing like a stud for well over a month, and yesterday was no different. 5 solos and 6 assists make for a solid day, but coupled with 2 sacks and it's a spectacular performance. He's been a top-5 LB over the past 2 months and is worthy of a weekly play.
Bobby Wagner, LB, SEA vs. ARZ - This kid keeps getting better. If you own him in a dynasty or keeper league, you hit the jackpot. Yesterday in a blowout game, Wagner tallied 4 solo tackles, 4 assists, 2 passes defensed and 2 interceptions. He's a solid LB2 this season and is someone that should be in your lineup every week.
Paul Posluszny, LB, JAX vs. NYJ - Mired in Jacksonville, it's easy to feel sorry for Poz. The good news for IDP owners: he's busy. He's been a top-10 LB this season and yesterday he posted 10 solo tackles and 1 assist. The Jets gave him plenty of chances to make plays, and he did. Keep plugging him in.
Aldon Smith, LB, SFO vs. MIA - I'll admit it; I sat Smith this week in favor of a LB with a 'better matchup'. Oops. He repaid me with 5 solo tackles, 1 assist and 2 sacks against the Dolphins. He's been a borderline LB2 in 12-team leagues and is definitely worth starting in big play leagues. Watch the matchups in balanced and tackle heavy leagues.
Studs That Were Duds (*Notable players that didn't even come close to expectations)
Malcolm Jenkins, DB, NO vs. NYG - Really? A goose-egg? In a game in which the Giants scored 52 points and ran the ball 25 times? He had an off-game last week, but this was his first real stinker this season. If you survive to play again next week, he should fare better against the Bucs.
Daryl Washington, LB, ARZ vs. SEA - This one hurts. He's been so reliable this season, you never think he's even capable of posting these kind of anemic numbers. But just 1 solo tackle and 3 assists in a game where the Seahawks ran the ball over 40 times is just inexplicable. Hopefully this didn't cost you a playoff game, and you can give him a chance for redemption next week.
Elvis Dumervil, DE, DEN vs. OAK - Dumervil has fallen off the map over the last 2 weeks and this week he really screwed the pooch (pardon the expression). He posted a solid ZERO against the Raiders; not a single IDP stat. Hard to imagine a better matchup, but if you're still around next week, he should fare better against the Ravens.
Jared Allen, DE, MIN vs. CHI - Allen has been surprisingly spotty of late, but had a savory matchup this week. A disappointing 3 solo tackles (no sacks) made for a pretty poor outing against the Bears. He gets Sam Bradford and the Rams next week, so if you advance in the playoffs, I'd roll with Allen.