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Jene Bramel

Member Since 11 Apr 2003
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:13 PM
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Topics I've Started

Reading the Defense: Offseason Features [Running blog w/ FA analysis]

04 March 2014 - 07:31 PM

After being more or less AWOL for the past two months with a big increase in non-FBG stuff, I'm starting to work my way back into the offseason rotation with what I'm hoping to be regular RTD releases.
 
The first feature to go live is a discussion on the 2014 coaching and scheme changes -- which are becoming less and less important. I'll have a free agency primer ready next week, with coverage of the major signings, draft prospect previews, early tier discussions and a in-depth draft review and early combined draft board to follow over the next two months.
 
Here's the link to the coaching and scheme change feature ~ http://subscribers.f...oaching_changes.
 
I'll use this thread to answer questions, especially after I get the prep done for the first set of tiers following the initial wave of free agency.

 

EVERGREEN UPDATED FEATURES

March 27 ~ Position by position look at free agent signings

March 15 ~ Running blog with free agent signings and analysis

March 5 ~ Analysis of coach and scheme changes

 

FULL LIST OF FEATURES

March 10 ~ Free agency primer

March 6 ~ Analysis of D'Qwell Jackson signing by Indianapolis


Sunday AM IDP Notes -- W17

29 December 2013 - 06:57 AM

For those unfortunate souls with a W17 championship game...and the true IDP diehards.

 

http://subscribers.f...sundayAM_idp_17

 

Thanks for reading this season, everyone. :football:


Sunday AM IDP Notes -- W16

22 December 2013 - 07:10 AM

Link to full set of notes ~ http://subscribers.f...sundayAM_idp_16

 

Highlights ~ It's Championship Week, My Forum Friends!!

 

EARLY GAMES
Cleveland at New York Jets
 
Joe Haden is struggling through a hip injury but should play today. He's not a great play against a struggling Jets' offense. You're gambling for a turnover, but the opportunities are likely to be too few to give an injured Haden a strong chance at one. T.J. Ward has a shoulder injury but has practiced fully all week. His upside remains high with Craig Robertson struggling and not playing in subpackages.
 
The Jets are healthy. Quinton Coples has been hot in the box scores, but his on-field pass rush really hasn't been inspiring and his tackle counts are inconsistent at best. He's got a tough matchup opposite Joe Thomas today. Consider him a boom-bust option in sack-heavy leagues only.
 
Dallas at Washington
 
The Cowboys get Bruce Carter back today, but Ernie Sims and Sean Lee are both out. The expectation late this week was that Ernie Sims and Kyle Wilbur would start outside with Devonte Holloman playing middle linebacker. One beat writer wrote that Holloman is considered a subpackage starter. That likely means that Holloman and Carter will see the bulk of the nickel snaps, with Wilbur a rotational player in all packages. If you can use Wilbur as a defensive lineman, there's enough value against a Washington team who could run the ball 30 times at home to stick with him. And I think it's worth risking Holloman as a potential LB2 upside play if you're looking for lightning in a bottle. The favorable stat crew and chance of a heavy dose of Alfred Morris is promising.
 
London Fletcher played only 60% of his team's snaps last week. On Tuesday, I wrote that -- despite the favorable stat crew and matchup -- it'd be risky to use him in a championship situation. On Wednesday, Fletcher announced his retirement. That's enough to turn the tide for me. He'll be motivated against a long-time rival and may not rotate as much as expected now. There's still some risk here, but I'd roll with Fletcher if you have him.
 
Denver at Houston
 
Wesley Woodyard and Duke Ihenacho have been heavily rotated out of base packages over the past two weeks. The value has spilled toward Danny Trevathan and Mike Adams. The matchup isn't great here, dropping both Trevathan and Adams down at least a tier, but those are your targets if you're looking at options here. Von Miller has high upside today despite an inconsistent month. Use him if you have him.
 
Joe Mays had a solid week last week, but is an extreme risk as a base defense only player. Darryl Sharpton and D.J. Swearinger are your only legitimate targets here. And it's unfortunately a tough matchup for J.J. Watt against Peyton Manning's otherworldly ability to avoid sacks. Don't bench Watt, but err on the side of higher upside options in your other lineup slots this week.
 
Indianapolis at Kansas City
 
The Colts dumped Pat Angerer on injured reserve this week, but there's no advantage to be found since the Colts are employing a heavy rotation next to Jerrell Freeman. Those in deeper leagues might consider Kelvin Sheppard against a solid Kansas City matchup, but it's a desperation LB3 play only in tackle-heavy leagues. 
 
Justin Houston will reportedly try to go today. He's been back to limited practices for the past two weeks. Frank Zombo likely still plays on base defensive downs but Houston will see lots of good pass rushing opportunity if active. He's an all-or-nothing play in sack-heavy scoring leagues (where a sack is worth at least 5x the value of a solo tackle) against a strong matchup.
 
Miami at Buffalo
 
It's a solid matchup for all levels of the Miami defense today. Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Dannell Ellerbe and Reshad Jones are all good IDP plays. Dynasty leaguers will get another chance to evaluate Jelani Jenkins, who's continuing to see subpackage snaps over Philip Wheeler.
 
Aaron Williams has been ruled out today, which will put Da'Norris Searcy back into a full time role. That's enough to consider starting him as your DB2/DB3 today. Kiko Alonso is not on the injury report this week, but his recent struggles may have you skittish. Thankfully, he gets his favorable home stat crew as a buffer. He's a LB2 value today.
 
Minnesota at Cincinnati
 
Harrison Smith was sore after last week's 60 snap effort and the Vikings are saying that they want to limit his snaps more this week. Smith will start, but likely rotates with Sendejo and Sanford. I think Smith sees enough snaps to be effective today, but the DB1 upside won't be there. The Bengals offensive line is beat up, but still playing well. Don't elevate Jared Allen or Brian Robison above the boom-bust DL2 tier this week.
 
Early in the week, there was doubt over Carlos Dunlap's availability. He practiced fully on Friday, however, which suggests he's been cleared for contact. Barring a setback in warmups, expect him to play his usual role.
 
New Orleans at Carolina
 
The Saints are healthy, aside from rotational safety Rafael Bush. Roman Harper has officially slipped back into a subpackage only player. Curtis Lofton, Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Jenkins are your primary targets here today.
 
Carolina is also healthy. Drew Brees has been an easier sack recently and the Saints struggle on the road, making Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy easier to trust as boom-bust DL1 options today. Robert Lester has barely played over the past three weeks. Though they're both high variance plays, Quintin Mikell and Mike Mitchell will be full time players again today.
 
Tampa Bay at St. Louis
 
Mark Barron is out today. Keith Tandy will start in his place. Tandy is a consideration in deep leagues only. Mason Foster should have produced more last week, but I'd roll with him again today. I'd also consider Adrian Clayborn a boom-bust DL2 in sack heavy systems this week.
 
The Rams are healthy and straightforward. Robert Quinn, James Laurinaitis, Alec Ogletree and T.J. McDonald are all high floor plays with upside today. 
 
Tennessee at Jacksonville
 
The Titans are healthy but messy. Colin McCarthy didn't take a single snap last week. Zach Brown was benched during the first series. Zaviar Gooden may start today but won't play every down. And they've rotated Akeem Ayers out heavily in recent weeks. Moise Fokou is your only consideration and he's at risk of a very low floor in this matchup. Bernard Pollard would be the only player I'd trust here today.
 
Jacksonville gets Jonathan Cyprien back today. It's not yet clear to me who will start opposite him at safety; I'll update when the lineup card is posted. Geno Hayes didn't practice this week and may not go. John Lotulelei was already likely to see lots of snaps with Russell Allen on injured reserve, but he would become a clear every-down player if Hayes sits. Dynasty leagues will want to see if LaRoy Reynolds gets some work in the base defense, too.
 
 
LATE GAMES
Arizona at Seattle
 
Rashad Johnson is doubtful to play this week. Tony Jefferson will replace him at free safety. Johnson was more productive than I expected last week and the Seatlle matchup is solid. Still, risk Jefferson only in very deep leagues. Both Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby should be top plays today. John Abraham is a trustworthy DL2+ against Seattle. Matt Shaughnessy was added to the injury report late this week with a groin injury. He was able to practice on Friday, but he's risky against a mobile quarterback like Russell Wilson.
 
K.J. Wright remains out. Despite their losses in the secondary, the Seahawks were deep enough to play dime packages on a signficant number of passing downs last week. That kept Malcolm Smith from playing every down. Consider Smith a boom-bust LB3 at best today. Any Seahawk pass rusher (Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin, Cliff Avril) or cornerback (Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane) is a strong boom-bust play today if you're an underdog. Assuming Sherman is rostered in CB-required leagues already, I'd target Avril and Maxwell as my upside picks of choice here.
 
New England at Baltimore
 
Dont'a Hightower had a monster tackle week against Miami but only played 2/3 of his team's snaps. Dane Fletcher is struggling with a groin injury and may not see as many subpackage snaps, but the Patriots showed last week that they're willing to use Jamie Collins more. It's becoming a New York Giant like rotation here. I'd avoid everyone other than Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich this week unless you feel you have a strong read on Bill Belichick's rotation and want to roll the dice on a linebacker.
 
Today could be a coming out party for Arthur Brown, but it's too hard to trust him to get 40+ snaps despite the spread offense matchup with Josh Bynes still seeing some rotational time. Daryl Smith and James Ihedigbo (who's averaging 3-4 assists per home game) should be trustworthy, high floor options today.
 
New York Giants at Detroit
 
Jason Pierre-Paul is out. Justin Tuck has been playing very well, but the Lions have been one of the worst pass rushing matchups in the league this year. Consider other options if you have them. I think this game is too fast for Jon Beason. He has a very low floor. Err on the side of using Antrel Rolle and Prince Amukamara in close decisions. Consider Spencer Paysinger as an high variance upside play in deep, tackle-heavy leagues.
 
DeAndre Levy didn't practice this week. He's questionable but looking doubtful. The matchup is suspect anyway and Levy is best avoided. Rocky McIntosh would start for Levy. That leaves a glimmer of hope for Glover Quin's Week 16 value, but I don't think I'm bold enough to recommend him. I like the pass rushing matchup for Ezekiel Ansah, Devin Taylor and Willie Young today. All are boom-bust options.
 
Oakland at San Diego
 
Charles Woodson returned to practice Friday and is probable. The rest of the Oakland defense is healthy. Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett and Lamarr Houston are the best options here. Only Roach would be a sure starter for me.
 
The Chargers have Melvin Ingram and Jarret Johnson back. Neither are trustworthy big play options. That hasn't affected the inside linebacker rotation, where Donad Butler is the only viable IDP option. Marcus Gilchrist has been solid as a slot corner, but I don't like the matchup for him today.
 
Pittsburgh at Green Bay
 
The Steelers are healthy. I'd really like to recommend Lawrence Timmons, but his stat line never seems to match his play. He's around the ball and pressuring the pocket often enough, but there's too many 4-1 stat lines in his wake this year. Use him if you're looking for a high floor option with a little upside. The Packers are a much better matchup for Cameron Heyward this week. He's a viable DL2 again.
 
Brad Jones won't play every down but has LB2 upside anyway today. Sit him only if you've got a close decision and looking at another player with similar pass rush upside. It's doubtful that you've been using M.D. Jennings, but he should be avoided now that he's rotating with Sean Richardson.
 
 
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Chicago at Philadelphia
 
Lance Briggs has been cleared to play but isn't guaranteed to be active. He's also admitted his conditioning will be an issue, especially against a speed offense like Philadelphia who will run more than the usual number of plays. He's likely to rotate with Khaseem Greene and should be avoided this week. The Bears are otherwise healthy. It's a slightly above-average matchup for Jon Bostic. The pass rush matchup is neutral, so consider Julius Peppers and company boom-bust plays.
 
Earl Wolff is probable and could be back this week. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are both above-average corner plays today, but avoid the safeties. I'd trust Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans as well.
 
 
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Atlanta at San Francisco
 
Sean Weatherspoon didn't practice all week. He looked like he was carrying an elephant on his interception return last week. He's listed questionable but is likely more on the doubtful side of the ledger. Stephen Nicholas would get more snaps, with Joplo Bartu a possible every-down player. It's continued good news for Paul Worrilow, who gets a great matchup and a ever-weakening surrounding cast.
 
The Niners are healthy. It's not a great matchup for NaVorro Bowman or Patrick Willis but they are matchup independent players. Bowman is a must start. Only consider sitting Willis if you have another top 20 option with upside.

Sunday AM IDP Notes -- W15

15 December 2013 - 06:54 AM

Link to full notes ~ http://subscribers.f...sundayAM_idp_15

 

Highlights:

 

Kiko Alonso has been limited all week with a nagging knee injury. He's been guessing more lately and finding himself out of position. The Jaguars are likely without Maurice Jones-Drew and Cecil Shorts today and the Bills are away from their favorable home stat keeper. That combination makes Alonso a less attractive play today. Call him a high variance LB3.
 
Both Chad Greenway and Audie Cole should be good plays today. The secondary is a tougher call. Harrison Smith should be back but there's no guarantee he plays every down with Andrew Sendejo and Jamarca Sanford healthy. I'd hold on using Smith in fantasy leagues today unless there's a very favorable pregame report.
 
Malcolm Smith replaces K.J. Wright today and has a shot to play every down as he did when Bobby Wagner was down. The matchup is solid enough that Smith can be considered a LB3 today. It's a good spot for Wagner, who gets a solid running back matchup away from his assist-happy home stat crew. Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril have favorable pass rushing matchups. They'd be must plays, but their rotation limits their chances.
 
The Titans are listing Akeem Ayers and Alterraun Verner questionable, but both fully practiced Friday and should play. The linebacker rotation was a mess last week, with five players taking at least 30 snaps. Moise Fokou is the closest thing to an every-down linebacker, but none of this group can be trusted in a critical playoff matchup except in deeper leagues where you've no other 30+ snap options.
 
Sean Lee is out this week -- and very possibly for the rest of the season -- with a sprained ligament in his neck. Bruce Carter is also out today with a hamstring injury. That puts Justin Durant in the middle, with Ernie Sims on the weak side and Kyle Wilbur on the strong side. Sims should play every down, but there's risk with all three against Green Bay. I think Wilbur gets enough snaps to hold value if he's classified as a defensive lineman in your league. Jeff Heath is a solid DB2 play today; he's continued to start over J.J. Wilcox.
 

 


Sunday AM IDP Notes -- W14

08 December 2013 - 07:19 AM

Link to today's full set of notes ~ http://subscribers.f...sundayAM_idp_14

 

Highlights:

 

The rotation between Pat Angerer and Kelvin Sheppard continued last week. The stat crew in Cincinnati has leaned more favorable recently, but it's not enough to fully trust Angerer in a must win playoff matchup. Robert Mathis has a better than expected matchup with the Bengals deciding to move Andrew Whitworth to guard to cover for injuries.
 
This is a big week for Cameron Wake. If he's not able to break through in this matchup, he'll be very hard to trust against New England next week. The pressures are there for Wake, but he's not finishing in the pocket. That's a strength for Roethlisberger. I'd use Wake today, but his leash is short
 
Audie Cole has won the starting middle linebacker job. Erin Henderson will move to weak side linebacker. I expect that Cole will stick in the subpackages. His coverage has been a pleasant surprise thus far. Jamarca Sanford is questionable with an ankle injury, but fully practiced on Friday. Andrew Sendejo has been the better fantasy option at safety, however, and should be again today.
 
Byron Maxwell started for Brandon Browner last week. Jeremy Lane was in the slot. Maxwell didn't run up as many tackles as you might expect from a player opposite Richard Sherman, but the Saints aren't deep at wide receiver. That could change for Maxwell today. Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor and K.J. Wright get a good matchup today. The stat crew situation is a huge change from last week. Seattle's home crew doles out assists in bunches and depresses solo tackle counts. San Francisco's crew gives out very few assists but is generally more favorable for fantasy production.
 
Zach Brown is an extremely tough call today. Last week, he played every down and looked good. That may have been due to Michael Griffin's suspension, though George Wilson wasn't stealing many snaps in recent weeks. If the Titans feel Wilson is a better player in coverage on Julius Thomas and/or want the flexibility of Akeem Ayers in zone and pass rush, Brown won't play many snaps against Denver. But if Brown is an every-down player today, he has LB1 upside. In the end, I think there's too much risk unless you are an extreme underdog.