The fantasy playoffs roll on, as do our IDP streaming suggestions. There are still several stud players who can’t go due to injury, so you might still be fishing in the waiver pool. But before we see who’s on tap for Week 15, let’s so how we fared with our Week 14 suggestions.
Lineman Jerry Hughes didn’t have any sacks but had a bump up in tackles with five, his second-most on the season. Meanwhile, our other lineman, Gerald McCoy, was knocked out early and played only 12 snaps. The same went for linebacker K.J. Wright, who had only three tackles before leaving the game with a concussion. Luckily, our defensive backs came through with George Iloka racking up eight tackles while Glover Quin totaled nine and a forced fumble.
So, injury luck aside, let’s see if we can keep up the good work for your fantasy playoff matchups.
After 3.5 sacks in his first five games of this season, Ioannidis cooled off, recording no sacks over the next five games. However, he was back on the board last week with a sack and is in a great position to do it again this week.
For starters, Ioannidis has been one of the more productive interior linemen, with a pass-rush productivity of 9.7 percent. In other words, he’s creating a quarterback pressure once out of every 10 pass rushes, a rate good for eighth in the league, and that has resulted in him being the most productive lineman in Washington. He now draws the Cardinals, a favorite punching bag of this series and why not? They’re second in the league in sacks allowed per game at 3.4, their offensive line has the second-worst pass-blocking grade in the league and they’re coming off a game where they allowed eight sacks, and seven sacks in the game before. Ioannidis will be going after QB Blaine Gabbert who has literally been sacked on 12.2 percent of his pass attempts, which is first (worst?) in the league among quarterbacks with at least 130 pass attempts.
On top of all that, Cardinals pass the fourth-most times per game at 37.5, which should result in at least a few pressures from Ioannidis if not a few sacks. They also give up the fourth-most fantasy points too interior defensemen. In short, the stars have aligned for Ioannidis to have a big day.
While Aaron Donald is the Rams lineman who gets the most attention, Brockers has quietly been productive as well. He only has four sacks but has a pass-rush productivity of 6 percent, good for 13th among all 3-4 lineman. That should come in handy this week as he plays Seattle whose offensive line has the third-worst pass-blocking grade in the NFL and has given up multiple sacks to Russell Wilson in all but three games this season. Brockers has been even better against the run. His 12.3 percent run-stop percentage ranks first among 3-4 linemen. Meanwhile, Seattle’s offensive line doesn’t fare much better against the run, as they have the sixth-worst run-blocking grade in the NFL. So whether it’s the run or the pass, Brockers will have plenty of chances. He’s played 70 percent of the Rams defensive snaps, second along the Rams defensive line behind only Donald, and will go against a Seattle offense that is 10th in the league in plays per game with 65.
After barely seeing the field all season, Evans was thrust into the starting lineup after injuries took down starting Bengals linebackers Nick Vigil and Vontaze Burfict. In his first significant action three weeks ago, he totaled seven tackles on just 38 snaps. He added five more two weeks ago and 10 last week after playing nearly every defensive snap. Both Vigil (ankle) and Burfict (concussion) are suffering from fairly significant injuries, which means Evans should continue to see a lot of snaps.
Beyond the tackle totals, Evans has been very efficient. His 12.1 percent run-stop percentage is seventh among all linebackers over the two weeks that he started. That will be useful as he squares off against a Minnesota team that is fourth in the league with 30.6 rush attempts per game but has an offensive line that ranks seventh-worst in run-blocking grades. Evans hasn’t been used to rush the passer a lot over these last two weeks, rushing him just twice, but if he does this week the Vikings are coming off a game where they gave up six sacks and have given up 10 total over the last three weeks.
So whether it’s the pass or run, the Vikings as a team have given up the third-most fantasy points to linebackers. With Evans expected to handle three-down duty again this week, he should see plenty of chances to fill the stat sheet.
Sometimes, a streamer is about quantity over quality. That’s what we have in Wilhoite this week with both Seattle linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are expected to miss the game — Wagner due to a hamstring injury and Wright due to a concussion. Up to this point in the season, Wagner played 94 percent of the defensive snaps while Wright was in on 92 percent, which means if one or both miss Week 15, a ton of snaps will go Wilhoite’s way. As far as Wilhoite’s opponent, it’s not necessarily a plus matchup. The Rams run an average of 62 plays-per-game, good for 24th in the league. The Rams also only give up the 19th-most fantasy points to linebackers.
But despite the Rams stoutness against linebackers, Wagner was still able to total eight tackles in their last meeting which should give Wilhoite streamers some hope. Tackling is something Wilhoite can do, as in all three games where he saw more than 40 snaps this season, his tackling efficiency was 100 percent.
Anytime a team leads the league in pass attempts per game at 38.7 and gives up the most fantasy points to safeties, it’s good to have some exposure, which is what Chung represents in Week 15. It’s a perfect matchup for Chung who has seen the fourth-most targets among all safeties this season. Furthermore, the Steelers are coming off a game where they gave up 11 tackles to a safety, in this case the Ravens’ Tony Jefferson. It was one of five games the Steelers have given up double-digit tackles to a defensive back this season.
While Devin McCourty is typically the more owned Patriots defensive back, Chung has actually been just as productive. He has 71 tackles compared to McCourty’s 78 and has six passed defended compared to McCourty’s four. Part of the reason why Chung doesn’t turn a lot of heads is because besides tackling, where he ranks 11th in the league with 71 and is eighth in tackling efficiency, he hasn’t been very good. He’s just 55th in run-stop percentage, 39th in pass rush productivity and, while he’s seen the third-most targets among safeties, he’s also given up the fifth-most receptions. Tackles are Chung’s MO and there will be no better matchup for him all season.