By Jim Coventry, RotoWire Football Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports
Here’s a look at IDPs who have favorable Week 15 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.
Danielle Hunter, Vikings vs. Bengals – There’s no question that the Cincinnati O-line has improved over the course of the season, but they’re still far from being a team strength. This week, the Vikings will be on the fast track of their home field in a game that their elite run defense is sure to put Andy Dalton in numerous obvious passing situations. After failing to record a sack in four of his first six games, Hunter’s been on fire ever since, feasting mostly on weaker offensive lines. The Bengals clearly qualify as another opponent to attack. Look for Hunter to stay hot this week.
Linval Joseph, Vikings at Bengals – While teammate Danielle Hunter should have a big game, this also could be a game for Joseph to get back on track. Between Weeks 3 through 7, he had gotten into the sack column three times, but he’s run into a four-game sackless streak before getting one last week. The Bengals O-line is going to have issues with the entire Vikings pass rush, as it’s impossible to double-team them all. That should leave him in position to collapse the pocket, leading to quick and direct pressure on Andy Dalton, which should lead to a productive afternoon.
Fletcher Cox, Eagles at Giants – As great as Cox is from an NFL perspective, he’s not always a consistent IDP contributor. He’s coming into his matchup against the Giants with just a single sack over his last four games. However, not only has New York had a weak offensive line over the course of the season, but injuries have taken their toll to make this unit one of the more vulnerable in the league, and this is a fantastic opportunity for him to have one of his best games of the year. The Eagles should play most of this game with a lead, so the expected game script should see him harassing Eli Manning for much of the day.
Michael Bennett, Seahawks at Rams – Although Frank Clark has been on a rampage over the last month, his D-line teammate Bennett has cooled off significantly, collecting just a single sack over his last four games. However, he has a great chance to get rolling against the Rams this week. Since opposing rushing attacks are struggling against the Seahawks, they should be able to somewhat contain Todd Gurley. As a result, Los Angeles should find themselves in more obvious passing situations than they’d prefer, and Jared Goff doesn’t yet have the needed pocket presence to deal with this pass rush, and Bennett should find himself spending plenty of time in the backfield and chasing down the QB.
Von Miller, Broncos at Colts – As the Broncos have circled the drain since a great start to the season, it’s clearly had an impact on Miller’s performance. Very rarely are they playing with a lead, and that’s been killing his chances to pile up sacks. Last week, they finally played with a lead and he had his first full sack in his last five games, and facing the Colts could be just the tonic he needs to turn last week’s performance into a trend. Over the last month or so, Jacoby Brissett’s been holding the ball too long as he seems to have lost confidence in his protection. Miller should be able to abuse the turnstile that’s also known as the Indy O-line.
Jarrad Davis, Lions vs Bears – Davis has been quite inconsistent over the course of the season. However, he’s posted at least eight tackles on seven different occasions, and this is looking like another ceiling week for him. He’ll be at home against a Chicago offense that’s as conservative as they come. With many of the plays being run in front of him, he’ll be in position to have one of his most productive games of the season. Even when the Bears are trailing, they usually don’t shy away from running the football, which makes this one of the better LB matchups of the week.
Christian Kirksey, Browns vs. Ravens – Few LBs have Kirksey’s upside. He’s had four weeks with at least 10 tackles, with single-game totals of 14 and 17. With the Browns playing at home against a limited Ravens offense, Baltimore will likely look to run the football early and often. The Ravens also have a great chance of playing with a lead in the second half, and should that happen, they’ll run the ball even more. If there was a week when he had a good week to be projected for double-digit tackles, this would be it.
Chandler Jones, Cardinals at Redskins – It’s almost too easy to list Jones here, as he’s collected a sack in 11 out of 12 games played this year. However, he’s had three games with multiple sacks, and this week’s contest against the Redskins has the look of being another blowup spot for the veteran. Washington’s O-line has been decimated by injuries and are extremely vulnerable to elite rushers, and Jones certainly qualifies. He has a great chance to post another multi-sack performance.
Daniel Sorensen, Chiefs vs Chargers – Sorensen’s been a fantastic performer this year, and he’s posted at least six tackles in eight of his last nine games. In addition to an amazing floor, he’s started to show playmaking ability over the last month. During that time, he’s picked off a pass, recorded a sack while adding an 11-tackle effort. From a tactical standpoint, he matches up very well with the Chargers. Not only do they try to run the ball often, but they also throw a high volume of passes over the middle of the field. When he faced this defense on the road in Week 3, he piled up eight tackles, and that could be his floor in this home rematch.
Marcus Maye, Jets at Saints – It’s been an impressive rookie season for Maye, who hasn’t posted fewer than four tackles in any game this season. In addition, he’s picked off a pair of passes, though he hasn’t had one since Week 7. Although the Saints clearly want to come into each game looking to run the football, the Jets have been a very strong unit against the run. That should lead to New Orleans throwing the ball more than they’d like, and that potential should give Maye the opportunity to patrol the middle of the field, where Drew Brees frequently likes to operate.
Tre Boston, Chargers at Chiefs – Over the past few weeks, Boston hasn’t been the dynamic playmaker he was earlier in the season. He particularly hasn’t performed well in easy wins over the Redskins, Browns, Broncos and Cowboys, even though all were games that the Chargers controlled. He’s had his better performances of the season in games that were competitive, and with the AFC West potentially on the line this week, Boston could find himself chasing down the RBs and TEs of the Chiefs in a game that could easily be a shootout with high play volume.
Mike Hilton, Steelers vs. Patriots – Speaking of high-volume, Hilton faces the Patriots, who are always among the league leaders in plays run per game. Also, New England will often tailor their game plan to take advantage of an opponent’s perceived weakness, and the best way to attack the Steelers is through the air. Hilton’s been a reliable tackler all year, though he typically collects three-to-five stops per game. With the Pats likely throwing the ball more than Pittsburgh’s typically used to, Hilton could have one of his best tackle totals of the season.