Week 13 IDP Free Agent Focus
Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
Let’s hope you picked him up before Sunday’s 2 sacks against the Cardinals. That game is why we were grabbing Bosa as soon as he returned to the field -- and why we were all waiting so impatiently in the 1st place.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions
Deeper IDP leagues might have found Ansah held through the time he lost to a shoulder injury earlier this year. He now appears ready for use in leagues beyond that level. The veteran pass rusher reached 50% in snap share Thursday for the 1st time all season. He also tallied 2 QB hits for the 2nd straight week and delivered his 4th sack in just 5 total appearances.
Ansah gets a negative matchup with the Rams in Week 13 but then closes with a stretch -- Cardinals, Bills, Vikings -- that presents more than enough upside to make him worth stashing now.
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Cardinals
Nkemdiche returned from 2 games down with a calf injury to post a huge stat line against the Chargers: 8 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks -- all against a Chargers team that had been a negative scoring matchup for D-linemen.
Nkemdiche is far from a lock to continue even good production. He opened the season with 4 pressures in a loss to Washington, according to Pro Football Focus, but then totaled just 3 more across his next 6 appearances before Sunday’s breakthrough.
Even if we don’t end up being able to use Nkemdiche through the fantasy playoffs, we can at least take a shot on him against the Packers this Sunday. Green Bay has supplied the league’s 2nd most points to D-linemen this year and yielded 9 sacks over just the past 2 games.
Deion Jones, MLB, Falcons
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said this week that he thought Jones was “very close” to returning. The starting middle man put in limited practices the past 2 weeks but has yet to return to game action since the Week 1 foot injury. We’ll track Jones’ progress heading into Week 13, but he’s worth stashing early if you can spare the spot. It wouldn’t seem to make much sense for Atlanta to bring Jones back unless he’s ready to play his usual role.
Gerald Hodges, MLB, Cardinals
Hodges racked up a game-high 10 tackles in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, taking advantage of Josh Bynes’ early departure for a thumb injury. Arizona has since placed Bynes on IR. That clears a path for Hodges to remain in the lineup for the defense that has played the 4th most snaps to date.
Hodges started 2 games earlier this season, playing 50% of the snaps in Week 2 and then 78% the following week for a Cardinals D that was trying to sort out a troubled LB corps at that point. So far this year, Hodges has delivered a tackle on a strong 16.6% of the snaps he has played. For some context, league tackle leader Darius Leonard sits at 17.7%; #2 Blake Martinez at 13.4%.
Bynes’ season ends with him tied for 28th in the league in total tackles and sitting 16th among LBs in fantasy points (depending on your format).
Matt Judon, OLB, Ravens
Judon reached Week 9 with just 1.5 sacks for the year. His past 3 games, however, have produced 4.5 more. His 8 total QB hits over that span has more than doubled his season total.
The next 3 weeks include solid sack matchups with the Falcons and Buccaneers, plus a clash with a Chiefs team that has allowed more pressure than the sack numbers indicate. In sack-friendly leagues, Judon’s coming on at the right time.
Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Packers
Fackrell’s sitting on 8 sacks for the season. That ties him for 14th in the league with Cameron Jordan, Ryan Kerrigan and Khalil Mack. So he might already be owned in your league, especially after Week 11 brought his 2nd 3-sack outing of the year.
But his outlook changed over the past week. That’s when Green Bay placed OLB Nick Perry on IR with a knee injury. The move should clear Fackrell’s path for starting duty the rest of the way, a stretch that begins with this week’s upside matchup against the Cardinals.
Bradley McDougald, S, Seahawks
McDougald should already be owned in most leagues where he makes sense, but the knee injury that limited his availability and cut into his production recently might have gotten him dumped in some places.
He has returned to 100% playing the past 2 weeks, though -- after 3 well short of that -- and tallied 7 tackles plus an INT at Carolina on Sunday.
McDougald remains among the top 20 fantasy scorers at DB (depending on your format) and now gets 3 straight positive scoring matchups (49ers, Vikings and 49ers).
Patrick Chung, S, Patriots
You’re not picking up Chung this week just because he racked up 13 tackles in Sunday’s win over the Jets. That game reminded us of the upside Chung presents, though. And a Week 13 date in Foxboro with the Vikings should present another opportunity to explore that upside.
Minnesota hit Week 12 as a top-3 scoring matchup for fantasy DBs. That included supplying the league’s 2nd most tackles per game to the position.
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Cowboys
Awuzie should be in for at least a nice tackle-volume night in Thursday’s clash with the Saints.
New Orleans has supplied more tackles to DBs than any other team so far. Awuzie, meanwhile, has been the most picked-on Dallas corner. That has helped him generate 7 tackles in 2 of the past 4 weeks and 2 passes defensed in each of the other 2.
Awuzie should be usable in deeper IDP leagues beyond the Saints game for positive scoring matchups with the Eagles, Colts and Buccaneers as well.