IDP Snap Report: Week 12
Last week was not a good one for 3-4 inside linebackers, as four of them went down with an injury and were unable to return in the game. Most could return this week, but if not below are the players who will see a boost in playing time. On the other hand two 4-3 linebackers returned from their injuries this week, and although they didn’t return to fantasy stardom yet it is only a matter of time before they give more 10 tackle performances for your fantasy playoffs.
Sean Weatherspoon/Akeem Dent
After missing the last three games with an injury, Weatherspoon was back in action for the Falcons without missing a beat. He played all 58 snaps which pushed Akeem Dent back into playing just in the base defense. As long as Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas are active, they will be the every down players while Dent will be limited in snaps. However keep an eye on the injury report to make sure they are playing before you start them.
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If you are an Ellerbe owner, you were probably disappointed by his three tackle performance against the Chargers after he had 11 against the Steelers. The reason why is after 28 snaps he exited the game with an injury. Albert McClellan moved from outside linebacker to inside for the base defense, while Brendon Ayanbadejo came in for the nickel defense. Assuming Ellerbe can play next week, he should be return to his typical fantasy play. If not, you should look elsewhere for a replacement in your lineup because McClellan and Ayanbadejo won’t see enough playing time to give you the points you need.
Ernie Sims/Dan Connor
Week after week I’ve brought up these two players and how the Cowboys have been using them. Last week I thought it would be over, but late in the Cowboys/Redskins game Bruce Carter suffered a season ending injury. Now Ernie Sims will be an every down player, while Dan Connor will only be leaving the field for the dime defense. Of the two Sims is the man to play, as he will play more snaps, and makes a tackle on 10.8% of his snaps this year while Connor has only made a tackle on 8.1% of his.
Bradie James/Darryl Sharpton/Tim Dobbins/Barrett Ruud
The Texans started last week with Bradie James and Darryl Sharpton playing in the base defense, while James would remain in the game for the nickel. Late in the game James suffered an injury, so Sharpton went to playing every down while Barrett Ruud took over in the base defense. Tim Dobbins missed the game with an injury. If James is able to play in the next game, he will likely play every down. If not, Sharpton is the man to play although Tim Dobbins might prevent Sharpton from playing every snap.
Donald Butler/Takeo Spikes/Demorrio Williams
All season long, Donald Butler has been an every down linebacker, while Takeo Spikes has played in the base defense and Demorrio Williams in sub packages. During the game against the Ravens, Butler went down with an injury. This led both Spikes and Williams to become every down players. If Butler can’t go next week, than Spikes is the safer pick over Williams because of their tackle rates. If Butler can play, then he is the player on the team to go with and everything will return to normal.
After missing the majority of Week 9 and part of Week 10, Wright returned to action and went back to playing every down. Leroy Hill went back to his old role as playing just in the base defense, and Michael Morgan returned to not playing any snaps. Prior to his injury, Wright had 10 tackles in both Week 7 and 8. He only had three tackles in his return in 60 snaps, but it is worth seeing if he returns to his old form.