Dynasty League Football


IDP Watch: Week Four

IDP leagues can be won with some preemptive in-season pickups or trading for players who are on the rise, but the masses have not picked up on it. Each week, we’ll detail a handful of IDP players or trends that are essential for dynasty players to be aware of.

Often, things like quarterback hurries, quarterback knockdowns, or snap counts don’t appear in the box scores. These are huge indicators of potential value changes that may be forthcoming as they show a particular player is getting after the quarterback and a string of sacks may be on the horizon or a linebacker may be coming off of the field more than originally expected.

Here are some players and trends to keep an eye on based on week four performances:

Vontaze Burfict, CIN WLB
Burfict was mentioned as a watch in prior weeks and in week four he played 58 of the 60 team snaps and performed extremely well.  In stealing snaps from Vincent Rey, he tallied seven tackles and a sack. Burfict is currently on a number of waiver wires and is a must add for dynasty purposes. He’s arguably the most talented linebacker on the Bengals’ roster. With his head seemingly on straight, there’s no reason why he won’t be a fixture in the Bengals’ defense for years.

Cameron Wake, MIA DE

If there was ever a question about Wake’s slow start to 2012, they were squashed on Sunday with his four and a half sack performance. There were indications that this was on the horizon based on his week three performance when he had eight quarterback hurries, but the week four performance was tremendous. The bottom line is Wake is getting to the quarterback and should continue to tally the sacks as a fantastic 4-3 defensive end option. He’s playing just like we thought Mario Williams would.

Prince Amukamara, NYG CB

In his second game back from injury, Prince started his first game of the season. He performed decently well posting five tackles. Given his limited playing time in 2011, treat Prince like a rookie cornerback as opposing quarterbacks are liable to challenge him to see what he’s capable of. As a result, tackles should be plenty for Prince initially, so he’s a perfect option in required cornerback leagues going forward. Unfortunately for fantasy, he may develop in to a solid cover corner and his tackles will suffer, but in the near term he’s a viable to above-average option.

Olivier Vernon, MIA DE

Vernon will continue to be overshadowed by Wake even if he continues on his current upward trend. The rookie defensive end continues to play a larger role on a weekly basis. He played 45% of Miami’s snaps in week four, which was the highest of the season, and he hurried the quarterback four times. Watch this kid going forward. With the attention that Wake is going to command on the other side, Vernon may be a viable option as a rookie later this season and definitely long-term heading to 2013.

Vinny Curry, PHI DE

Many are wondering what the story is with Curry since he hasn’t shown up in the box score just yet. Curry has been inactive every game so far, but don’t be concerned if you have him rostered. This was expected. There are so many options at defensive end for the Eagles that they haven’t needed to activate him yet. Also, defensive ends typically take some time to develop, especially raw ends like Curry. Be patient if you’re in a deeper league or drop him for a short-term guy in shallower leagues and keep monitoring his progress throughout the season.

Robert Johnson, TEN SS

Johnson looked like he could be a waiver wire gem in deeper leagues a few weeks ago, but it looks like Jordan Babineaux has regained full control of the starting strong safety position in only a few weeks. Last week, Johnson only played seven snaps and in week three only18 snaps. On the flip side, Babineaux played roughly 100% of the team’s snaps in both weeks. Johnson is going to have to wait for an injury or next season based on how things are looking.

Mario Williams, BUF DE

Many, including myself, thought Williams would be a top flight defensive end option in 2012 with the move back to a 4-3 defense with the Bills. Super Mario has been nothing short of disappointing. He isn’t proving to be a leader and, quite frankly, he doesn’t seem to care. That’s leading to mediocre numbers. If you can trade Williams for a top tier defense end, now may be the time to try as it doesn’t look like he’s going to hit the ceiling we expected. There is a silver lining in this mess of a start and it’s that he continues to tally the quarterback hurries. Hopefully those will turn into sacks, but given his lack of passion it may not.

Quinton Coples, NYJ DE

Coples inaugural professional season has been quiet thus far. He’s not playing a significant number of snaps just yet at 37% to date. However, on Sunday he played a bit more at 58% of the team’s snaps. While he’s been frustrating, it’s too early to give up on Coples. The Jets are playing a lot more 4-3 packages than they have in the past and that’s only going to mean long-term positive value for Coples. Most rookie defensive ends struggle initially at the professional level and it doesn’t look like Coples is any different. Rex Ryan recently said he’ll get more playing prior to last week’s game and that’s exactly what happened. Apparently, Ryan has a lot of confidence in Coples and the rookie is improving in practice, so there’s some positive buzz building for the first-round pick.

Lavonte David, TB WLB

David is playing every down and is proving to be the early most valuable rookie linebacker from the 2012 draft class. He’s playing fast and making plays. Against the Redskins on Sunday he really broke out with 12 tackles. It’s only a matter of time before he starts popping the ball loose and making other plays on the field. Overall, he’s playing extremely well and looks to be the most valuable rookie linebacker.

Kelvin Sheppard, BUF MLB

Sheppard was a favorite sleeper of many since the end of last season, but he’s been a disappointment in limited action. Unfortunately, with Sheppard not playing much outside of the base defense, his tackle opportunities have been limited. This past Sunday against the Patriots was a perfect example of why he’s a tough hold or start right now. He played 10 snaps and didn’t post a tackle. Long-term he has the ability to play every down, so it’s not a bad idea to hold, but don’t expect anything in the near term to change. That’s not going to happen unless Nick Barnett or Byron Scott leave or get injured. I would be very careful in analyzing match-ups before starting Sheppard this season as he’s only played on 40% on the team’s snaps to date.

Kamerion Wimbley, TEN DE

Apparently I’m focusing on disappointments this week as Wimbley is yet another sleeper who’s failed to come through. In week 2, Wimbley hurried the quarterback nine times, but aside from that the Titans’ offseason acquisition has been non-existent. He’s struggled both against the run and rushing the quarterback. At this point, he should be benched if he hasn’t already. It’s not worth selling him considering his low level of performance to date. It’s unlikely you’ll get anything worthwhile in return.

Bobby Wagner, SEA MLB

When Wagner gets a full-time every down role, he’s going to be scary. In the past two weeks, he’s posted seven tackles playing 56% of the team’s snaps. Talk about production. This kid is tremendous. He isn’t picking up as much steam as Lavonte David due to the limited snaps, but Wagner presents comparable long-term upside and value.

Shea McClellin, CHI DE

He hasn’t posted tackles yet and he was dreadful against the run on Monday night, but McClellin is getting to the quarterback. In particular, he has three hurries in each of the last two games. Like many of the other young defensive ends, he needs time to develop, but he’s showing that he can get to the quarterback at least. He represents a great defensive end option long-term.

Danny McCray, DAL SS

As a follow up from last week’s deep dynasty watch, McCray started Monday night in place of the injured Barry Church and played 50 of the 58 snaps posting six tackles. He’s a viable 2012 option at safety with long-term upside given the immediate tackle opportunities he’s presented with.

Sherrod Martin, CAR FS

It appears that Haruki Nakamura is at risk of losing his starting spot after a dreadful performance against the Falcons on Sunday. According to head coach Ron Rivera, Martin is going to see first-team reps in practice before a decision is made on the starter for week five, but things don’t look good for Nakamura.

Elvis Dumervil, DEN DE

Many already know it, but if you don’t – Dumervil is an elite option at defensive end. He has three sacks on the season with two coming this past Sunday along with 18 quarterback hurries. Those hurries rank third among defensive ends. Like Cameron Wake, Dumervil flat out gets to the quarterback. The sacks have started coming and they should continue all season. He was dynamite in the second half of 2011 and that’s continued in to 2012.

Sam Acho, ARI OLB

For those big-play leagues, Acho may belong in the same conversation as Aldon Smith and DeMarcus Ware, but he’s a fraction of the price. The second year outside linebacker has 12 hurries (ranks second among OLB) and 3 sacks (ranks eighth among OLB). Given that this is only his second year playing on the outside, Acho is still developing and is making a case to be included as one of the top pass-rushing linebackers in the league.

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9 years ago

When do you think its a go to start Burfict? I have Bowman, C. Greenway, David Harris, Lavonte David as my starters. Then my bench is set up for the future with Wagner and Burfict. I have decent corners with Woodson, J. Byrd, P. Robinson, And Tim Jennings. You can start 2 LB’s, 2 CB’s, 2 DL, and 2 Flex spots.

Since, David is on a bye this week, should I start Burfict over one of my DB’s because he is getting 98% of the snaps now, or should I wait another week with Burfict and see what he does as a full time starter?

I took DLF’s advice with Patrick Robinson as he has been a double digit start every week. I just like starting LB’s over CB’s.

Thanks again.

9 years ago

Great stuff Steve! How would you rate Vontaze Burfict against Bruce Carter and Mychal Kendricks? Scoring system favors tackles.

Chad Benner
9 years ago

Burfict or Fletcher?

Zach Levitt
9 years ago


Which two LBs would you take: Akeem Ayers, DJ Smith, Bruce Carter?


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