Week 12 IDP Hits
The Bills’ team success is probably overshadowing just how tough a season the defense is having.
Buffalo most recently lost EDGE Von Miller to a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. It sounds like he’ll at least miss next Thursday’s game against the Patriots, but we don’t yet know whether he’ll be able to play the following week or miss the rest of the season. (NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Miller will be re-evaluated sometime around next weekend and will need surgery on the issue at some point.)
That left Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr. and Shaq Lawson as the top 2 EDGE players for the Bills in Thursday’s narrow win over the Lions. The defense entered the game without Greg Rousseau (ankle) and A.J. Epenesa (ankle). It was the 3rd straight missed game for Rousseau, who has yet to practice since suffering the Week 9 sprain.
The D was also missing MLB Tremaine Edmunds (groin, heel) for the 2nd straight week. Veteran A.J. Klein filled in for 100% playing time on this occasion, replacing Week 11 fill-in Tyrel Dodson. Buffalo did still start Dodson as well, but he played just 10 snaps.
Klein has only been back with Buffalo since Nov. 17. Baltimore sent him to the Bears in the Roquan Smith trade at the end of October. The Bills scooped him up after Chicago waived him Nov. 16. He finished 2 on the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) against the Lions. We’ll start to see about Edmunds’ outlook for Week 13 with Monday’s initial injury report.
The defense, of course, has also been without S Micah Hyde since a Week 2 neck injury that sent him to the hospital.
On the positive side, CB Tre’Davious White did see his 1st game action of the season on Thanksgiving Day since his 2021 campaign ended with an ACL tear. White made it through just 16 snaps, as the Bills pulled him for Christian Benford in the 3rd series. We’ll see about the playing time plan for White going forward.
S Jordan Poyer also played full time in the win over Detroit. That wouldn’t normally be news but marked just the 2nd time this year that he played 100% of snaps in consecutive outings. Poyer also racked up a season-high 10 tackles (8 solo).
We’ll keep an eye on all those injury situations for the Patriots game … and likely beyond in many cases.
- Lions EDGE James Houston made his NFL debut with a pair of sacks in that loss to the Bills. He came from about as out-of-nowhere as possible. Detroit did draft him in Round 6, but Houston was elevated from the practice squad ahead of the Buffalo game. He also spent most of his college career quiet, collective just 4.5 sacks across 3 years at Florida. But Houston closed out his college run with 16.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss in a single season at Jackson State. At 6 feet, 244 pounds and with just a 29th-percentile speed score, Houston doesn’t appear built for long-term EDGE production. But we’ll see where he goes.
- Lions rookie LB Malcolm Rodriguez has played in 2 straight games since missing Week 10 for his injured elbow. Derrick Barnes started over him Thursday for the 2nd straight game, but Rodriguez pulled back ahead in playing time: 49% to 36%. That marked a rise from Rordiguez’s 37% and 26% (injury game) the previous 2 weeks. But he’ll need to keep going before we can put him back into IDP lineups. It would be nice if he can get there in time for us to use him over the final 3 fantasy weeks. Detroit has the 2nd most favorable schedule for LB scoring weeks 15-17, according to our adjusted fantasy points allowed.
- In case you haven’t become a DS Insider and are dying to know the other top LB playoff schedules: Only the Chargers sit ahead of the Lions, with the Chiefs checking in 3rd.
- And here are the best remaining schedules for DL/EDGE and DB. (Chris Jones and Maxx Crosby should be happy …)
- Packers LB De’Vondre Campbell (knee) is doubtful for Sunday night’s game against the Eagles, meaning he’s likely to miss his 4th straight contest. The 12 tackles and a sack Krys Barnes delivered last Thursday against the Titans would seem to make him a shoo-in for IDP lineups this week, but beware: Barnes played only 67% of Packers defensive snaps in that game. As he showed, it’s possible to deliver quality numbers at that level – but it’s far from a lock. Rookie Quay Walker continued to lead Green Bay LBs, playing 86% for that contest. He’s the safer bet for IDP lineups – and did just fine in that game himself (11 tackles, 0.5 sack).
- With LB Denzel Perryman back last week following his latest missed game, it was still Jayon Brown leading Raiders non-edge LBs in playing time. Brown played 97% of snaps vs. Perryman’s 69%. Perryman still beat Brown 6-4 in tackles, though. You can check our Week 12 IDP rankings to see how I’m feeling about both Raiders LBs this week.
- On the other side of that Raiders-Broncos game from last week was Denver LB Alex Singleton, who racked up a game-high (tying) 11 tackles despite playing just 65% of snaps. I wrote more about him in Tuesday’s waiver-wire recommendations. (And you can read that portion even if you’re not a DS Insider.)
- Chargers S Nasir Adderley (thumb) is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. I didn’t think that impactful enough for a Shark Bite on Friday, but it’s worth noting that it should give Alohi Gilman his 2nd start of the season. Gilman started over Adderley back in Week 5, collecting 7 tackles and an INT in the win over the Browns. Arizona presents a mildly positive scoring matchup for DBs on the year. Gilman now sits in our Week 12 IDP rankings.
- Cole Holcomb’s absence the past 4 games has boosted the playing time for Commanders 2nd-year LB Jamin Davis, but it hasn’t done much for his stat line. Davis did reach 9 tackles in the Week 10 victory over the Eagles, but that marks the only time this season he has exceeded 6 total stops. And he has sandwiched that between 5-tackle games. Davis has gotten back to rushing the passer more over the past 3 games, at least, a role that he’d faded from the previous 3 weeks. That’s good for his upside the rest of the way, with Holcomb just this week landing on IR.
- Here are his weekly totals for pass rushes, according to Pro Football Focus, and his rates of rushing vs. total pass snaps: