Week 10 featured a number of NFL football games to which corresponding fantasy points were assigned. Some players did things. Some did more. Some did less. Now we're going to talk about some of them -- specifically the ones who play defense in a column called Reading the Defense. Pretty clever, huh? Are you still reading this? Good for you. I figured you just started scrolling down and looking at names. Still I thank you for your attention. Now on to the names.
Defensive line: A dastardly d-line duo definitively dominated on Sunday. Robert Ayers got to know Jay Cutler with 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and six total tackles in just his second game since Week 2. Ayers isn't likely to be the name you think of from the Buccaneers offensive line, however. On the other hand, Cameron Jordan is a much more recognizable name and his nine tackles and a sack will certainly help him become more popular with IDP managers.
Linebacker:Kiko Alonso has spent the season proving his IDP bona fides in 2016 ... just in case you hadn't previously been paying attention. The Dolphins linebacker had been having a fairly non-descript day, fantasy-wise, until a late pick-six sealed the game for Miami and locked up the top scoring linebacker spot in Week 10. If Alonso isn't getting weekly starting consideration, what are you doing?
Defensive back: It's strange that Eric Berry is so frightened of horses when he is one. On Sunday, the Chiefs safety was a thoroughbred with nine total tackles and a pick six. Along with Marcus Peters, Berry makes a pretty solid IDP defensive back duo. Next week, the Chiefs host the Bucs with the interception-prone Jameis Winston. Berry could back up big weeks.
What went wrong
» Maybe Robert Ayers took all of the IDP fantasy points. Or maybe it was just simply just a bad day. Whatever the reason, Lavonte David didn't provide much fantasy production in Week 10. Overall David hasn't quite been the IDP stud he'd been in past years, in part because of the ascension of Kwon Alexander. Still, no one would have expected a paltry 1.5 fantasy points. After recording 100-plus tackles in each of his first three seasons, David is on pace to miss the mark for a second straight season.
Week 11 boomer
Jerrell Freeman, LB, Chicago Bears: The Bears defense has been better than many of us anticipated at the start of the season and Freeman deserves some of the credit for that. The veteran linebacker is the team leader in tackles by a wide margin and is a top 12 fantasy linebacker without recording a sack. That part doesn't figure to change this week against Giants, who had allowed just 12 sacks all season heading into Monday night. What also figures to remain the same is Freeman being a tackling machine against a group that hasn't mustered much of a running game all season.
Week 11 buster
Alec Ogletree, LB, Los Angeles Rams: Ogletree has been a monster for most offensive lines to deal with this season. The Dolphins offensive line isn't most offensive lines. The 'Fins have flexed their muscle along the offensive line -- part of the reason Jay Ajayi has been such a beast recently -- making things tough on opposing defenses along the front seven. That doesn't bode well for Ogletree trying to track down the Miami running game this week.
Week 11 sleeper
Brian Orakpo, LB, Tennessee Titans: Orakpo's best value for IDP enthusiasts has been as a pass-rusher and sack master. That means he's had a few up and down fantasy weeks. This week could be an up week with the Titans taking on the division rival Colts. More importantly, it's Orakpo against the Colts shoddy offensive line. This has the makings of a week in which the Titans allow their sack leader to pin his ears back and go after Andrew Luck. A multi-sack day is very possible this week.
First down:Rams defensive end Robert Quinn admitted himself to the hospital with an undisclosed, non-football issue. Not much beyond that is known as we wait for more detail. We don't know how long he'll be out, but if it is an extended period, that means a big loss for one of the league's better defenses. We wish Quinn a speedy recovery.
Second down: A tough season for the Chargers gets even tougher with news that defensive lineman Brandon Mebane will miss the remainder of the season with a torn biceps. While Mebane wasn't a big fantasy option, he was a key in San Diego's underrated run defense. Some combination of Damion Square and Darius Philon will try to fill Mebane's sizeable void.
Third down: The Broncos are expecting to get a pair of key pieces back after the team's Week 11 bye. Cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive end Derek Wolfe have sat out in recent weeks but should be back in action for Week 12's game against Kansas City. That's good news for Denver. Bad news for the Chiefs.