It’s sort of hard to believe, but it’s already here. It seems like only yesterday that the season was just beginning, but it’s already Thanksgiving.
That means three things. Too much food, a Thursday triple-dip of NFL action and the stretch run for the fantasy playoffs. In fact, in some formats this is the final week of the regular season. And that means for many teams this week’s game is a playoff all its own. Win and the season continues. Lose and it’s all over but the boo-hoo-hoo.
No pressure though.
Whether you’re scrambling to fill an injury hole or just looking to squeeze out a few extra points in a matchup you have to win, here’s a look at some Week 12 IDP pickups that should be on your league’s waiver wire.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Avery Williamson – ILB, Tennessee Titans
As Rotowire reports via CBS Sports, Williamson didn’t exactly light the world on fire last week against the Jaguars. “Williamson had a solid-but-unspectacular game following last week’s 14-tackle masterpiece against the Panthers,” They said. “The second-year linebacker has really matured into a major presence on Tennessee’s defense this season, with 57 tackles and 2.5 sacks through 10 games.”
However, Williamson also bailed IDP owners out in that game with a sack to go with five tackles, and having watched that mess of a game I’m willing to offer Williamson half a pass for the low tackle total. Williamson’s a top-10 fantasy option at his position the last three weeks playing every down on a defense that’s on the field a lot. Need I say more?
WEEK 12 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Corey Liuget – DE, San Diego Chargers
OK, to say that not much has gone right for the San Diego Chargers in 2015 would be a misnomer, in that it would infer that something at some point did, in fact, go right. And among the Legion of issues that have beset the Bolts this year is innumerable injuries to key contributors on both sides of the ball.
However, the team got one of those injured stars back a week ago, as Liuget returned to action in the Chargers loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Liuget’s five solos and a sack may not have aided San Diego much on the scoreboard, but IDP owners are a different story, and there’s a favorable pass-rush matchup on tap with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12 as well.
Derrick Shelby – DE, Miami Dolphins
Shelby made it clear to Omar Kelly of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he intends to make the most of his extended audition to start in the NFL. It’s good to play in this league, but everyone wants to be a starter,” said Shelby. “Nobody wants to come to the NFL and say, ‘I’m a rotational guy.’ That’s what pushes me to get better.”
Shelby has made good on that pledge over the past two weeks, posting six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble over that span. That’s good for seventh among defensive linemen in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring over that stretch, and certainly good enough to rate a look in leagues starting 2+ defensive linemen per week.
Kelvin Sheppard – OLB, Miami Dolphins
As Reginald James of Fantasy Pros wrote, Sheppard’s been racking up the stops of late. “Last week Kelvin Sheppard led the Dolphins with 11 tackles in a winning effort against the Eagles,” James said. “On Sunday, he had 14 tackles (one for a loss) this time in a losing effort vs the Cowboys. He has 46 tackles on the season.”
“Kelvin, who plays inside linebacker, who rotates out for nickel and dime packages, had to play more reps due to injuries to Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins. For those in need, if the situation remains the same next week, Sheppard might make a good spot IDP play.”
Given that Sheppard ranks fifth in fantasy points among linebackers over that span, I do believe James might be right.
Manti Te’o – ILB, San Diego Chargers
Bleacher Report’s Marcelo Villa reports that San Diego’s linebackers got a boost from Te’o’s return to the lineup last week. “There was some good and bad from the linebacking corps, but mostly good,” Villa said. “Manti Te’o, returning from a five-game absence due to injury, had some good moments and looked healthy.”
Te’o played 47 snaps in his return, the most of any San Diego inside linebacker, turning that into five solos and a sack. Over the first month of the 2015 campaign the third-year pro was a top-25 fantasy linebacker—there’s little reason to think he can’t spend the last month of the season the same way.
Bashaud Breeland – CB, Washington Redskins
One of the reasons why the cornerback position is so fungible in IDP leagues is that the players who make great fantasy options are often on thin ice as starters. They are Buster Skrine—slot guys who can tackle but get torn to pieces when put outside as starters. And as he has shown dating back to last year, Bashaud Breeland is one of those players.
Breeland is back playing significant snaps again in an injury-blasted Washington secondary that isn’t all that good at full strength, and the result has been top-10 fantasy production the past two weeks. If that doesn’t sound appealing enough, how about if I throw in covering Odell Beckham in Week 12?
Walter Thurmond – SS, Philadelphia Eagles
ESPN’s Phil Sheridan singled out Thurmond as a rare bright spot amid last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “On a rough day for the secondary in general,” Sheridan said, “Thurmond looked pretty good. He made five tackles and got the only sack of Jameis Winston. He managed to avoid getting beaten for a touchdown, too, which was rare enough in this game.”
We’re singling out Thurmond because he’s not only on a nice statistical roll of late but also has positional eligibility as a cornerback on some providers. It isn’t quite the Mack-truck-sized loophole afforded Mark Barron’s fantasy owners, but hey…every little bit counts.
It’s playoff push time.
With the fantasy playoff push underway, Fantasy Sharks has you covered. Whether it’s player rankings and projections, waiver wire targets, rookie analysis for dynasty leagues or strategy tips, IDP Staff Writer Walton Spurlin and IDP Senior Staff Writer Gary Davenport have all the information you need to dominate your IDP league in 2015. Also, for the latest IDP news and player updates follow IDP Sharks on Twitter