Wesley Woodyard Expected To Return This Week rotoballer.com Mon 10/15/18 1:10 PM

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said linebacker Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) should be able to return in Week 7 against the Chargers in London. It's great news for a defense that is losing Derrick Morgan (shoulder) for at least a few weeks. Tennessee's defense will need to tighten up for a trip to London to face the Chargers and their bevy of offensive weapons.

Kenny Vaccaro, Wesley Woodyard Won't Play Sunday rotoballer.com Fri 10/5/18 3:56 PM

Tennessee Titans strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (elbow) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) both missed practice all week and will not play in Week 5 against the Bills. It's a downgrade for Tennessee's defense overall, but they should still be a strong fantasy play against a Buffalo offense that was shut out last week by a mediocre Packers unit. Vaccaro is looking at a two- to four-week absence.

Youth Will Be Served: Young LBs on the Verge of IDP Stardom fantasysharks.com Fri 2/27/15 8:00 AM

With the

2015 NFL Combine in our rear view mirror and the NFL Draft just over two months

away, it’s time to continue looking ahead to Individual Defensive Player (IDP)

fantasy drafts.

Yes, some

folks may be inclined to say it’s a wee bit early to be dissecting players and

making preliminary draft rankings. To those folks I say, “I live in Michigan

and am trying to survive another Polar Vortex so cut a guy some slack!”

There, I

feel so much better.

So let’s

take look at some more young linebackers (I know you have already checked out

the first installment of this series) who are poised to take that next step in

helping to lead IDP squads to fantasy championships.

I’ve often

joked in past articles that the University of Kentucky is becoming ‘Linebacker

U’ over the last few years.


Woodyard and


Trevathan have both had varying degrees of fantasy success over the

past few seasons.


fifth-round selection in the 2014 draft


Williamson is the latest Kentucky linebacker to arrive on the IDP


A season

ending injury to inside linebacker


Brown opened the door for Williamson to hit the field and he acquitted

himself very well. According to


Football Focus, he graded out as the 18th-ranked inside linebacker out of a

possible 60 graded players.

He finished

his rookie season with 79 total tackles along with three sacks and two fumble



importantly is the fact that over the season’s final eight games Williamson was

a three-down linebacker playing 95.2 percent of the snaps. He was credited with

four passes defended on the season and reached double-digit tackles in a pair

of games.


showed big play potential, racking up those three sacks and being credited with

seven quarterback hurries and another three hits. While his coverage skills

could use some work, he was serviceable in that capacity and will continue to



is in a great position to flourish as a fantasy option playing under newly

signed Dick LeBeau (who was named assistant head coach) as well as returning defensive

coordinator Ray Horton, who worked under LeBeau in Pittsburgh from 2002-10.

In New York,

the Giants had a bit of a revolving door situation at the linebacker position

as they scrambled to replace the injured




managed to play only 162 snaps in four ...

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Week 12 IDP Waiver Wire fantasysharks.com Tue 11/18/14 9:06 AM

During the dark season of 2014, the year of the injuredlinebacker, a legend arose in the west, of a brave warrior from the Kingdom ofSanta Clara.

The legend of Borland the Barbarian.

Over his past three starts, rookie linebacker ChrisBorland of the San Francisco 49ers has done everything for his team saveslaying a dragon and saving a fair young maiden.

He might even have done that last one, although hopefullythere's no video of it, if you get my drift.

Over the past three games, Borland has piled up astaggering 48 total tackles, ranking as the no. 1 overall linebacker in FantasySharks Default IDP Scoring over that span by a large margin.

It's a performance that has impressed, but not surprised,The NFLNetwork's Daniel Jeremiah. "He's just dripping with instincts," Jeremiahsaid. "We like to say in scouting, 'You really want a linebacker to shoothis gun and make a decision.' ... And he does that."

It's also a performance that has been a game-changer inmany IDP leagues. Granted, it isn't that often that a player snatched off thewaiver wire has this sort of ridiculous impact this quickly, but Borland theBarbarian has IDP squads far and wide pillaging their waiver wires in the hopesof finding his sequel.

Perhaps that player is even contained in this column.


AveryWilliamson -- ILB, Tennessee Titans

It's happened with very little fanfare (largely becausethe Titans kind of suck), but young Avery Williamson has had quite the rookieseason for the Titans. Over his last three games, the former Kentucky standouthas tallied 27 tackles and three sacks, including a seven-tackle, two-sackeffort in Monday night's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Since Zach Brown went down earlier this season, it's beenWilliamson, and not free-agent acquisition Wesley Woodyard, who has emerged asthe team's leader at inside linebacker, as evidenced by his roles as defensivesignal-caller and dime linebacker. That's equated to solid fantasy productionof late, and Williamson is a fine fill-in for IDP owners who were once againbitten by the injury bug at the position.


JaredAllen -- DE, Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears have been a disaster in 2014, but afterdowning the Minnesota Vikings for their first home win of 2014 last week,defensive end Jared Allen told FredMitchell of The Chicago Tribune that for one week at least the doubtershave been quieted. "I think the sense of urgency was there. You can onlyget beat up so many ...

IDP Sleepers - Week 13 fantasysharks.com Fri 11/29/13 5:00 AM

For most fantasy leagues, this is the final week before the playoffs begin. Teams are scratching and clawing for every advantage to get to the big dance.

With three games taking place on Thanksgiving and this article not being published until the Friday after Thanksgiving, the talent pool was definitely compromised.

That's why I love my job so much, as finding these sleeper candidates was by no means easy, but it was a ton of fun!

Without further ado ...


Pat Angerer, ILB, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee: Angerer struggled mightily in coverage last week against Arizona and played the lowest amount of snaps he's registered in the past five games (36). Look for a bounceback week against a Titans team that he racked up nine tackles (eight solo) against two weeks ago. Tennessee will look to establish running back Chris Johnson on the ground, leading to more playing time and production for Angerer.

Brandon Spikes, MLB, New England at Houston: Spikes totaled nine tackles last week and also recovered a fumble in the comeback victory over Denver. This week he has a prime matchup to reach double-digit tackles. Jacksonville middle linebacker Paul Posluszny racked up 15 total stops last week against Houston. Where does Spikes line up? In the middle, baby, and he belongs in starting lineups this week.

David Hawthorne, ILB, New Orleans at Seattle: The Seahawks have not been an ideal matchup for allowing points to linebackers but have given up the occasional big week. Atlanta's Paul Worrilow went off for 19 tackles against them in Week 10 and Tampa Bay's Lavonte David also reached double-digit stops in Week 9. The weather is shaping up to be nasty on Monday night and that could mean a lot of handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch. Hawthorne has put up 14 tackles in his last two games and 61 for the season. He also brings big play potential and has three sacks and a forced fumble through 11 games.

Darryl Sharpton, ILB, Houston vs. New England: Sharpton has 25 total tackles over the past three weeks, with 17 of those being solos. In each of their past two games the New England Patriots have seen a pair of opposing linebackers reach double-digit stops against them (Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis in Week 11 /Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard in Week 12). Sharpton is an excellent start this week on a defense that will be on the field a lot.

Aldon Smith, OLB, San Francisco vs. St. Louis: Smith did not play in the Week 4 matchup between the teams and the ...

IDP Waiver Wire - Week 13 fantasysharks.com Tue 11/26/13 9:06 AM

Well folks, here we are. In many IDP leagues, this is it. Week 13 brings with it the end of the regular season in most fantasy leagues. Hopefully, Week 13 is absolutely meaningless (in a good way) for you. Worst-case, this week is a fight for a first-round playoff bye.

If only it were that easy. Many IDP squads are battling for their postseason lives in a one-week mini-playoff all its own, and whether Week 13 is the most important week of the season or you're already looking ahead to Week 14, every IDP owner with something to play for has one thing in common.

They all want to get better.

With that in mind, here's a look at some of this week's top waiver wire pickups in Individual Defensive Player leagues.


Wesley Woodyard -- MLB, Denver Broncos

Woodyard entered the 2013 season as an IDP LB2, but injuries and a slow start to the year led to the 27-year-old getting the gate in more than a few leagues. However, Woodyard turned in his best performance of 2013 in last week's loss to the New England Patriots, tallying 15 total tackles and a forced fumble. This week the Broncos travel to Arrowhead in a huge AFC West matchup with the Chiefs, and while Woodyard didn't have a great statistical game against Kansas City two weeks ago the sixth-year veteran is easily one of the top linebackers available this week.


Akiem Hicks -- DE, New Orleans Saints

It's something of an anomaly for a 3-4 defensive end to be a steady IDP producer. For both ends in a 3-4 defense to have fantasy value is almost unheard of. Yet, that's what happening in the Big Easy, where Rob Ryan's 3-4 is producing a huge year for end Cameron Jordan . Now batterymate Akiem Hicks is joining the party, posting back-to-back top-10 finishes in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring the past two weeks. Add in a plus matchup with the Seattle Seahawks this week, and Hicks is a viable (albeit unlikely) candidate to help IDP owners with a Week 13 need up front.

Sheldon Richardson -- DE, New York Jets

Much like the aforementioned Hicks, Sheldon Richardson is a young 3-4 defensive end benefitting from playing opposite an end having a monster season. This week though, it isn't just having Muhammad Wilkerson to attract double-teams that's of interest to IDP owners where Richardson is concerned. In Week 13, the Jets face a Miami Dolphins' offensive line that couldn't stop an overweight nine-year old from getting to a box of Twinkies (which are back, by the way....

Wild, Wild West: An IDP Breakdown of the AFC West fantasysharks.com Thu 8/15/13 9:06 AM

Preseason football is well underway, and redraft fantasy draft season is upon us. The Individual Defensive Player (IDP) landscape will be taking shape over the next few weeks as rookies look to make their mark in actual game action. Veterans will battle to keep their roster spots and it all makes for must-see TV for IDP owners.

Is there anything better than having NFL games being replayed at 3 a.m.? OK, regular season games being replayed at 3 a.m. I suppose, but you get the point.

We continue our look at the IDP prospects division by division with an examination of the AFC West. Denver is the heavy favorite to repeat as division champs while the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers play catch up.


1. Derrick Johnson, ILB, Kansas City: Johnson is the anchor in the middle of the Chiefs defense and has totaled 255 tackles the past two seasons. He's also averaged two sacks per season while adding two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Johnson is a three down player and a top 10 overall linebacker in 2013 that is the best the division offers.

2. Von Miller, OLB, Denver: Miller has racked up 132 total tackles, eight forced fumbles, one interception (returned for a score) and an amazing 30 sacks in his first two seasons. He is already arguably the best edge rusher in the NFL. The loss of Elvis Dumervil may impact his sack totals a bit in 2013 but the kid is a wrecking ball off the edge. Miller is appealing his four-game suspension for violating NFL policy. The Broncos are confident that Miller will be successful in this appeal (scheduled for Aug. 15), so monitor the situation closely and alter draft boards accordingly. I am leaving him here for the time being.

3. Wesley Woodyard, WLB, Denver: The Broncos finally gave Woodyard a shot at an every down role at the weakside linebacker position and he stepped up posting 117 total tackles (73 solo). He also added 5½ sacks and is an above-average linebacker in coverage that hauled in three interceptions. Forget about Woodyard being undersized at 6-foot, 229 pounds because the kid has a nose for the ball and a non-stop motor.

4. Nick Roach, MLB, Oakland: I am high on Roach this season as he appears to be set up in the perfect spot to produce excellent fantasy totals. Once he took over for the injured Brian Urlacher last year in Chicago down the stretch, he averaged 7.1 tackles per game and was solid in coverage. Manning the middle on a less-than-stellar Raiders defense, he...

IDP Waiver Wire - Week 9 fantasysharks.com Tue 10/30/12 9:30 AM

It's Week 9 of the 2012 NFL season, and, as another fantasy football campaign chugs along, the push for the playoffs is beginning in earnest. For some teams that means tweaking the roster in the hopes of locking up a first-round bye, while for others it means a more extensive overhaul as they scramble to try to squeak into the postseason.

Injuries and lackluster performances continue to take a toll on Individual Defensive Player (IDP) rosters no matter how good your team is, leaving holes that have to be plugged, so, taking that into consideration, here is a look at some individual defensive players who should be available in the majority of fantasy football leagues that can help your squad out.


Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Denver: It's been an up-and-down season for Denver Broncos weak side linebacker Wesley Woodyard, but Week 8 was definitely an "up" week, as the fifth-year pro racked up 13 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception in a win over the New Orleans Saints. With Joe Mays out for the season with a broken leg, Keith Brooking should remain at middle linebacker for the Broncos, which means a three-down role for Woodyard that should equate to steady fantasy production.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Tampa Bay: The second-year pro has made a remarkable recovery from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in May, making his season debut in last Thursday's win over the Minnesota Vikings. The 22-year-old played limited snaps and didn't record any stats, but, more importantly, Bowers emerged from the game without experiencing a setback, and, as his snaps increase over the next few weeks, so should his statistical output.

Jeremy Mincey, DE, Jacksonville: After racking up 57 tackles and eight sacks in 2011, Mincey got off to a woefully slow start this year, and no sacks in his first five games got the fifth-year veteran his walking papers from a number of IDP rosters. However, the 28-year-old has now recorded nine total tackles and two sacks over his past two games, so fantasy owners with a need along the defensive line should look to scoop Mincey up ahead of a fairly favorable Week 9 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Demario Davis, ILB, New York Jets: After starting 119 straight games, veteran linebacker Bart Scott was inactive for last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins, opening the door for rookie Demario Davis to see significant playing time for the second consecutive week. Davis' six total tackles on the day was far from eye-popping, but...

Late Round Linebackers for 2012 IDP Drafts fantasysharks.com Wed 8/15/12 9:06 AM

The glamour boys of the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) world are the linebackers, and bolstering your fantasy squad with elite level fantasy producers is vital. After the big names have flown off the board, it is time to identify and target the players who offer value late in drafts to support your stud linebackers and offer solid fantasy contribution.

They are there and they will be available at a value-position after you add some quality defensive lineman and defensive backs. As always, know the specific scoring format of the league you are participating in as some of the following names will be ‘big-play,' sack-producing options, while others will offer above-average tackle numbers with a chance at producing the occasional big play via interception or forced fumble. Let's go fishing for those late-round options that can help to keep fantasy teams in the hunt for championships.

Thomas Howard, OLB, Cincinnati : Howard was a Top 25 fantasy linebacker in four of his five seasons for the Oakland Raiders from 2006-10, actually finishing in the Top 15 in 2007 and 2008. He was signed by the Bengals prior to last season as injury insurance to their linebacker position and paid immediate dividends when called upon to replace the injured Keith Rivers. Howard finished the season leading the Bengals in tackles, with just under 100 total stops, a sack and one forced fumble. Howard finished the season once again among the Top 20 fantasy linebackers, showing the experience and leadership skills that Cincinnati lacked on the defensive side of the ball. He was impressive enough that Cincinnati made the decision to ship Rivers to the Giants, and he is entrenched as a starting outside linebacker for the Bengals heading into 2012. While Howard may never match the 110 total stops he amassed back in 2006, as a three-down linebacker for the Bengals he has an excellent chance at leading the team in tackles once again in 2012. Draft him late as a solid LB3 and insurance for your studs, should they suffer an injury.

Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Denver: Woodyard is often dismissed in fantasy circles due entirely to his size. At 6-foot and 227 pounds, he is considered too small to be a consistent fantasy producer. All Woodyard has done when called upon is put up excellent tackle numbers and prove proficient enough at the position to be a three-down player. He racked up 97 total tackles last season and forced two fumbles while starting in seven games and playing in 15 total ...

IDP ROUNDUP: News, Notes, and Opening Night Start/Sit fantasysharks.com Sun 9/4/11 1:06 AM

The 2011 NFL preseason is in the rearview mirror, and now just a few scant sunsets stand between us and getting down to the nitty-gritty of the 2011 fantasy football campaign. So, as you're counting down the hours to opening night's game, here's an update on some injuries and player news of significant interest to Individual Defensive Players league owners, as well as a quick peek at Thursday's New Orleans Saints-Green Bay Packers tilt from a Start/Sit standpoint.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get it on!

The Indianapolis Colts rested a multitude of starters in their preseason finale, among them injured defensive stalwarts Robert Mathis and Antoine Bethea. Mathis is expected to be fine, but the Colts may rotate the defensive end early on to avoid re-aggravating his hamstring injury, leaving Mathis in DL2 territory on opening weekend in a so-so matchup with the Houston Texans. The matchup is a better one for Bethea but his health status is cloudier, and while there have been no reports that Bethea's hamstring could cause him to sit out he played very sparingly in the preseason, so if you have comparable alternatives to the low-end DB1 it's time to explore them, at least for Week 1.

We'll start our trip around the linebacker recovery ward in Charlotte, with Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason. Beason, who was ranked as high as second overall in my Redraft LB Rankings before Aug. 22, when Beason had surgery on an injured foot, says he intends to play in the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. The doctors say otherwise, and while the fifth-year pro has yet to miss a start in his career it looks like it will be Dan Connor in the middle for the Panthers in Week 1. Connor will almost certainly leave the field in the nickel in favor of James Anderson and Thomas Davis, however, so he's a deep-league LB3 play at best.

The news isn't any better in Denver for Broncos WILL linebacker D.J. Williams, who got a January DUI trial date to go along with the dislocated elbow suffered in Denver's third preseason game, which is expected to sideline him for up to a month. Wesley Woodyard will step into an every down role on the weak side in Williams' stead, and with a tilt against Oakland on tap that should showcase a whole lot of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. You could do worse than Woodyard as a desperation start at linebacker.

Despite a so-so preseason, all indications are that the Philadelphia Eagles intend to roll out rookie Casey Matthews at middle...