By Jim Coventry, RotoWire Football Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports
Here’s a look at IDPs who have favorable Week 12 matchups. IDP formats can be quite different, so we’ll list players of varying levels. Some will be players found on the waiver wire while in other leagues players will be automatic starters.
Myles Garrett, Browns at Bengals – The rookie’s sure been good as advertised by collecting four sacks in his first five professional games. Now he’ll take aim at one of the worst pass-blocking O-lines in the league in the Bengals. Although this is an excellent matchup, game script could limit him from having a massive game, as Cinci could end up calling a significant number of run plays. However, the Browns are nails against the run, and there should be plenty of obvious passing downs for Garrett to add at least another sack to his total.
Jurrell Casey, Titans at Colts – Another player who’s been on the disappointing side this year has been Casey. He’s recorded just a single sack over his last five games and he has just three on the year, making him a player who likely found his way on to the waiver wire in many leagues. This could be the week that he gets back on track, as he’ll face the Colts – a team the Titans should be able to get a lead on. He should face little resistance from a weak interior O-line, which should lead to him not only getting a few tackles, but he’ll have a great opportunity to get back into the sack column.
Malik Jackson, Jaguars at Cardinals – There’s no question that the Jaguars have an amazing defense this year and, certainly, Jackson has a big part of that dominance. He’s recorded at least half a sack in four different games while notching 3.5 over his last four matchups. In this week’s game, the struggling Arizona offensive line will have their hands full in terms of how they’ll try to stop this defense from being in their backfield the entire afternoon. With the edge rushers likely seeing the majority of the attention, Jackson should be able to have one of his best performances of the season, and it also helps that the Cards will have a backup QB under center.
Carlos Dunlap, Bengals vs. Browns – In a home game against the hapless Browns, the Bengals should be able to play with a lead for much of this contest. Once the game script turns in a positive direction for the Bengals and Cleveland is forced to go to a pass-heavy approach, Dunlap should be able to have one of his few good games of the year. During a disappointing season, he’s only recorded four sacks, with two of those coming in his best performance of the year last week. He may be getting hot just in time for the stretch run.
Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins vs. Giants – It’s been a quiet few weeks for the pass-rushing specialist, but this is a great spot for him to begin a strong finish to the season. Kerrigan recorded six sacks over his first seven games, but his pace has fallen off dramatically. Fortunately, the Giants have one of the leakiest O-lines in the league in terms of pass protection, and they’ve been struggling to consistently move the football. Look for the Redskins to grab a lead in this game, which should allow Kerrigan to start another hot streak.
Terrell Suggs, Ravens vs. Texans – Sure, he’s not the same disruptive force that he was earlier in his career, but Suggs has been remarkably productive this year. The veteran’s recorded at least half a sack in six different games, and he seems to be faring well in his battle with Father Time. Not only will he face a line that he’ll have little trouble breaking through, but the Texans have the equivalent of a statue in the pocket with Tom Savage. It would almost be a shock if Suggs didn’t get at least one sack this week, as he’s been on fire with three sacks over his last two games, which came on the heels of a two-game drought.
Zach Cunningham, Texans at Ravens – Cunningham’s certainly not a big name in IDP leagues, but he’s established upside by posting six tackles in four different games with a season-high of nine. He’ll likely be in line for another ‘ceiling’ game when facing the Ravens. Baltimore definitely prefers to run the football as often as possible, and this contest sets up well for the Ravens to run the ball more than usual. That should allow Cunningham to have a busy and productive afternoon.
Karlos Dansby, Cardinals vs. Jaguars – The veteran linebacker had a great start to the season with 17 tackles in two games before recording just 20 in the following five games. Fortunately, he’s gotten back on track with his best three-game stretch of the season as he comes into this week. He should have plenty of opportunities in a matchup that projects to be conservative and low-scoring, as the Jaguars go into most games looking to run the ball. With this having the making of a low-scoring game, there should be plenty of tackle opportunities for Dansby to have a fourth straight solid performance.
Trae Waynes, Vikings at Lions – Waynes has been quiet lately with three or fewer tackles in three of his last five games. However, he’s been a high-upside option based on recording at least six tackles (with a high of 11) three times this year. Since the Lions have difficulties running the football, and they may not even waste their time trying against the Vikings’ excellent run defense, expect Matt Stafford to throw the ball early and often. It’s unlikely that the QB tests No. 1 corner Xavier Rhodes frequently, which should lead to Waynes having to tackle receivers after the catch for most of the day.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Giants at Redskins – The Giants’ slot corner has been more “miss” than “hit” this year, but he’s had a game with 11 tackles and a few others with five or six. New York has also become a unit to attack through the air, and that’s something that Kirk Cousins will have little trouble doing. Also, Cousins has been locking in on slot receiver Jamison Crowder lately, and that means that Rodgers-Cromartie should be chasing him around, potentially leading to one of his better performances of the year.
Adrian Amos, Bears at Eagles – Playing for the Bears, many fantasy owners may not be well aware of how well Amos has been playing. Since entering the lineup in Week 4, he’s has recorded between six and eight tackles in each game in addition to making a couple big plays as well. The Eagles should have plenty of play volume in this game, which should ensure that Amos continues his run as one of the better IDPs at defensive back this year.
Harrison Smith, Vikings at Lions – Smith hasn’t had the dominant season that many expected, as he’s had a number of quiet games this season. On the year, he’s intercepted three passes along with inconsistent weekly tackle totals, but he’s having better success lately, as he’s posted at least seven tackles in two of his last three games. He’ll be in position to keep rolling in a great matchup against the Lions, who run many of their plays in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field. With the likelihood of Detroit using heavy pass volume, he could also add an INT to strong tackle numbers.