Week 11 IDP Free Agent Focus
Vinny Curry, DE, Eagles
You can place a bid on Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn after his 6-sack explosion Sunday against the Cowboys if you’d like. But he arrived at that game following 4 weeks of no QB hits and with just 10 total tackles for the season. He’ll face a much tougher matchup in Seahawks LT Duane Brown next Monday night.
The night before, though, an Eagles defense with a tremendous line will head to Dallas to face the team that allowed Clayborn’s big day.
We’ll see if LT Tyron Smith is ready to return from the back and/or groin injuries that kept him out of Sunday’s loss. But Curry has been on the rise lately anyway.
After tallying just 1 sack and 6 total QB hits over the 1st 7 games, Curry has notched a sack in 2 straight outings, with 4 total hits and 4 tackles for loss over that span.
Derek Barnett, DE, Eagles
The rookie has been splitting time with Vinny Curry at right DE for much of the season, and he has lately been turning up the pressure.
Barnett -- who appeared in this space 2 weeks ago -- has registered 2 QB hits in 4 straight games. His 6 tackles for loss (despite just 2.5 sacks so far) put him just 1 behind the trio that leads the team at 7.
Denzel Perryman, LB, Chargers
Perryman tallied 9 tackles (8 solo) in his 1st game back after missing the 1st half of the season following ankle surgery. The L.A. defense, meanwhile, limited Leonard Fournette to just 1.9 yards per rush on 17 carries.
We’ll see where Perryman settles once Hayes Pullard (neck) returns to action, but he’s a solid bet for a strong snap share and tackle upside going forward. A Week 11 meeting with the Bills raises that tackle ceiling.
Martrell Spaight, ILB, Washington
Will Compton left Sunday's game with a Lisfranc foot sprain that appears likely to end his season prematurely. That makes Spraight the 3rd guy to step in next to Zach Brown and a likely a full-time player the rest of the way.
Spaight already tallied 7 tackles in his lone start this season (vs. Dallas in Week 8), despite sharing time with Compton. He collected 7 tackles in relief of Compton last week as well. We've also seen the tackle upside of his position in both Mason Foster and Compton this season.
A Week 11 matchup with the Saints brings an offense that has been running the ball on 47% of snaps so far, 1 of the league's highest rates.
Christian Jones, ILB, Bears
Both Bears ILBs delivered strong IDP numbers in Sunday’s loss to the Packers. Nick Kwiatkoski actually racked up 10 tackles (9 solo) and a sack to outscore Jones and would be an IDP option for next week as well if Danny Trevathan (calf) remains out.
Jones gets the nod here, though, because he should be in the lineup even if Trevathan returns. Jones has tallied 8+ tackles in 4 of his past 5 games, including 8 solos against Green Bay on Sunday.
Anthony Hitchens, MLB, Cowboys
Sean Lee suffered a hamstring injury Sunday for the 2nd time this season. He missed 2 games leading into the bye last time. We’ll see what this round has in store.
If Lee sits out Sunday night’s visit by the Eagles, then the tackle ceiling rises for the middle man. Hitchens tallied 10 tackles against the Falcons on Sunday and will get a top-8 scoring matchup for LBs when Philly comes to town. That makes him usable in deeper leagues even if Lee returns.
Second-year man Jaylon Smith, by the way, would be in for another start if Lee sits. He would be an upside tackle source as well, especially with a still-developing game that encourages opposing offenses to target him.
Antoine Bethea, S, Cardinals
Bethea’s playing time had already picked up and should be near 100% going forward after Tyvon Branch suffered an ACL tear in Thursday night’s loss to the Seahawks.
Bethea notched 5 solo tackles and notched his 1st sack of the year against Seattle. He also defensed passes in 4 straight games -- including 3 INTs -- before the Week 8 bye.
In deeper leagues, rookie S Budda Baker is also worth a look. He jumped up to Bethea’s previous playing time level in the game Branch left.
T.J. McDonald, S, Dolphins
McDonald became eligible Monday for the 1st time since this season. He started and played 75 of 77 defensive snaps for the Dolphins, who claimed him and then extended him in spite of an 8-game suspension after the Rams cut him in the offseason.
McDonald delivered a team-high 9 tackles (7 solo) against the Panthers and nearly came up with a diving INT. Next comes a Bucs offense that has provided a top-6 scoring matchup for fantasy DBs so far.
Eric Reid, S, 49ers
Reid returned to safety full time last week. On Sunday, he returned to supplying us starter-level fantasy numbers.
Reid collected 8 tackles (7 solo) and a pass breakup in the win over the Giants. He and the Niners will now get a bye in Week 11. But then he’ll return in a defense with little beyond Reuben Foster at LB.