This is it!! Fantasy football championship weekend is upon us and if you are reading this then chances are that your team is in the running for all the marbles. Congrats!
If you are reading this and your team has been knocked out of the playoffs then…wow…I am honored and thank you.
This is the final ’53 Deep’ of the 2012 season and it has been my pleasure to try and bring to light some names each week for IDP owners in deeper formats who may need players ranked outside the top 30 or so at each position (actually top 50 at the linebacker position) to stay competitive in their leagues.
If you’ve made it this far chances are that your IDP team is pretty well set at the starters position and unless you have suffered some late season injuries as always it is advisable to roll with your studs.
If by chance you do find yourself in need of some help due to injury, suspension or benching then let’s take one last stroll deep down some rosters for championship weekend help. Without further ado…
Chandler Jones, DE, NEW ENGLAND, at JACKSONVILLE: Jones has really struggled since returning from his ankle injury and hasn’t recorded a sack since week eight. He’s averaged 37 snaps per game since returning two weeks ago and has put up four total tackles and one batted down pass. He has been credited with a pair of QB hurries and has an attractive matchup this week to end his sack drought. Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne has been sacked 15 times in the last four games and that bodes very well for Jones this week, he will get healthy in a hurry against the struggling Jaguars.
Corey Wootton, DE, CHICAGO, at ARIZONA: Wootton had a nice week against the Packers with 1.5 sacks and five total stops last week and has really played well since seeing his playing time increase. The Cardinals have been better at protecting the quarterback lately, only allowing six sacks in their last three games (trust me, that’s an improvement) but still lead the NFL with 52 sacks allowed on the season. Wootton benefits from the attention that Julius Peppers draws from the offensive line and will continue his hot streak by getting to rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley at least once this week.
Gerald McCoy, DT, TAMPA BAY, vs. ST LOUIS: McCoy is enjoying a career best season and looks to be on his way to playing his first complete NFL season as well. He’s put up two sacks in the last two weeks and now has five sacks and 30 total tackles through 14 weeks. The Rams are susceptible to pressure from the middle of the defensive line and that is where McCoy excels. Look for him to put up decent tackle numbers this week while also being a constant source of pressure from the inside on St Louis quarterback Sam Bradford. The Bucs were humiliated last week in New Orleans and will be looking for some payback this week at the Rams expense.
Osi Umenyiora, DE, NEW YORK GIANTS, at BALTIMORE: The Giants are in their annual dogfight to make the playoffs and it’s this time of year that their veteran players usually step up. Umenyiora has two sacks in his last four games and six on the season, which makes him due for a big game. The Ravens have given up eight sacks in the last three games and pocket presence has never been Joe Flacco’s strong suit. Umenyiora has five QB hurries and two QB hits over his past three games and look for him to cash in on those opportunities this week.
Marcell Dareus, DT, BUFFALO, at MIAMI: Dareus is looking to salvage what has been a disappointing sophomore season and has been getting consistent pressure up the middle for Buffalo lately. He has eight QB hurries and a couple of QB hit over the last four weeks and has contributed nine combined tackles in those games. He amassed four total tackles in the first meeting with Miami and was credited with a QB hit back in week 11. Defensive end Mario Williams has really come on in the second half of the season and is drawing some of the offensive line attention away from Dareus, which will work to his benefit this week.
Kroy Biermann, DE, ATLANTA, at DETROIT: Biermann and the entire Falcons defensive line have to be licking their chops heading into the Saturday night matchup in Detroit. He’s coming off a two solo tackle, one sack performance against the Giants last week and now has four sacks on the season. In the last four games Biermann has been credited with four QB hurries and ten total stops. The Lions offensive line was horrendous last week as quarterback Matt Stafford was pummeled to the tune of two sacks as well as being hurried nine times and hit another seven. Detroit is a mess and the Falcons defense is going to have a field day and Biermann will be a key part of their success.
Fletcher Cox, DT, PHILADELPHIA, vs. WASHINGTON: Over the last four games the rookie from Mississippi State has been very impressive with 17 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He’s played 51 snaps in each of the past two games and has been anchoring the inside for the Eagles defense. This week’s matchup with the Redskins is a favorable one for defensive linemen as they are a top five opponent for giving up fantasy points to the position. Cox has amassed 37 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble with four passes defended in his first NFL season and looks to be finishing with a flourish.
Cory Redding, DE, INDIANAPOLIS, at KANSAS CITY: Redding has played his usual solid game against the run and has eight solo tackles over the past three weeks. He also has been credited with one QB hit and two QB hurries during those games. As the Colts head to Kansas City this week look for Redding to turn those hurries into at least one sack as Kansas City quarterback Brady Quinn (assuming he is still starting) was sacked four times by the Raiders last week. With bookend outside linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis drawing the attention of the offensive line, Redding will have a big fantasy week 16.