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IDP Watch: Week Ten

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 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 ten performances:

David Hawthorne, NO SLB

Hawthorne is finally back in the lineup after missing six weeks due to a torn hamstring. He finished this week’s game against the Falcons with three tackles and an assist. The one issue for his fantasy prospects is that he played the strong side spot and only played 26 percent of the team’s snaps. A two-down player on the strong side is going to be pretty useless in an IDP lineup. The opportunities just aren’t going to be there consistently. It’s unclear if Hawthorne will steal any sub-package snaps from Jonathan Vilma at this point given that it was his first week back, but it doesn’t look good for him in the short-term where his value looks to be limited unless Vilma’s role changes or he gets hurt. With Hawthorne signed through 2016, his long-term prospects are iffy, at best.

Bruce Irvin, SEA DE

Irvin is only playing situationally, but this kid flat out gets to the quarterback. Against the Jets, he only played 26 percent of snaps, but registered two sacks and now has seven on the year. He’s the only defensive end within the top ten in sacks with fewer than 300 snaps. He still needs to develop in his ability to defend the run as exhibited in his snaps breakdown, but he is having a phenomenal rookie season. If he develops in to a complete player and improves against the run, there’s no reason why he can’t be a top ten defensive end for IDP purposes. Robert Quinn was also known for his pass rushing skills, played situationally in pass rushing situations as a rookie, and was known as a liability against the run. He’s improved greatly in year two and is seeing regular snaps and become a fantasy starter. Irvin should be watched for that same progression throughout the off-season in 2013. Now may be a good time to acquire Irvin with the expectation that his snaps increase beginning in 2013.

Dontari Poe, KC DT

Since week five, Poe has played over 70 percent of the snaps. Over that time, he has eight quarterback hurries, seven tackles, and three assists. He hasn’t taken the quarterback down yet, but the eight hurries are a sign that the sacks may be coming. He’s on the wire in a number of defensive tackle required leagues and could prove to be a viable option later this season or in future seasons if his current trajectory continues. Many were skeptical of his ability to perform at the NFL level, but the past five weeks are a positive indicator.

Vontaze Burfict, CIN MLB

After a period of solid production, Burfict has dropped off a bit the last two weeks with only three tackles and 11 assists total. The three solo tackles haven’t helped many IDP teams, but the assists show he’s at least getting to the ball carrier. There’s no need to be concerned with his production just yet given that he continues to play every down and is getting to the ball. The assists should hopefully translate to tackles, ultimately.

Chris Long, STL DE

Talk about getting to the quarterback, Long had eight quarterback hurries against the 49ers. He now has 38 hurries on year and ranks second among defensive ends. Unfortunately, that’s only translated to five sacks on the year. Double digit sacks are still within reach, but having to compete long-term with Robert Quinn on the other side is going to limit his fantasy upside. Nothing’s more clear than the comparative sack numbers between Long and Quinn thus far.

Nick Fairley, DET DT

Since getting his first start of the season in week six against the Eagles, Fairley has played extremely well. He’s been solid in defending the run and has eight quarterback hurries, along with four quarterback hits, ten tackles, and a sack and a half. In fact, Fairley has outplayed Ndamukong Suh over that same stretch. Given Suh’s struggles, that’s not a huge feat, but a positive step nonetheless. It’s apparent that Fairley’s benefiting from Suh’s presence, but he’s also seen and beaten double teams himself. Many have written off Fairley given his early NFL issues, but he’s worth a stash in defensive tackle required leagues if not already rostered. His solid pass rushing ability and ultimate sack potential provide noteworthy potential at the tackle spot. It’s possible that things have finally “clicked” for the young tackle.

Mychal Kendricks, PHI SLB

His performance this past week against the Cowboys with seven tackles and a sack is exactly what fantasy owners were expecting of the rookie linebacker. It’s unlikely to continue on a consistent basis given his position, but expect this kind of production from Kendricks when he moves to the middle or weakside down the road. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be patient, but the every down linebacker has top five to ten potential once he moves to the middle or weakside. With the coaching staff likely turning over next season given recent reports, it’s possible Kendricks finds himself in an improved IDP situation in 2013 as a result of a position move. Keep an eye on this situation.

Derrick Morgan, TEN DE

Another pass rushing beast, Morgan has 24 quarterback hurries on the season, which ranks seventh among defensive ends, and 13 hits, which ranks second among ends. He only has three sacks on the year, but is an active tackler with 27 on the year, which ranks seventh among defensive ends. Given that he’s two years removed from his ACL injury, it looks like Morgan is finally up to speed and becoming the top defensive end that many expected. He currently ranks in the top ten in most IDP leagues and has a tremendous ceiling as he continues to improve and return to form.

Everson Griffen, MIN DE

Griffen is only playing limited snaps, but is getting to the quarterback. Thus far in 2012, he has 13 quarterback hurries, six quarterback hits, and four sacks. Two times in the last four weeks he’s played more than 60 percent of the team’s snaps, so he’s definitely an end to stash in very deep leagues.

Nolan Carroll, MIA CB

Carroll finished week ten with a goose egg, but don’t be concerned as the Titans only completed nine passes. In fact, Carroll has been thrown at more than most cornerbacks and ranks sixth in targets. That’s solid alone, but he’s also the only corner in top 20 with less than 500 snaps. That tells you his opportunities are tremendous, which should equate to fantasy production for the remainder of the season.

Players and Trends to Watch

Eagles DEs – The defensive end rotation continues in Philly. This past week’s snap breakdown was consistent again with Brandon Graham and Philip Hunt seeing <40%, and Trent Cole / Jason Babin playing <60%. Babin’s snaps were actually down from week nine and may be an indicator of things to come.

Buffalo Safety Rotation Update – In week ten, Da’Norris Searcy played 28 snaps and George Wilson played 46 snaps. It doesn’t look like things are going to go back to Wilson playing most of the snaps. Searcy is clearly the long-term play here.

Dre Kirkpatrick, CIN CB – Kirkpatrick only played special teams in his first week back in week nine, but played 15 snaps this past week. He doesn’t have a tackle yet and it looks like he’s slowly being worked in after returning from injury in week nine.

Pat Angerer, IND ILB – Angerer only played four snaps against the Jaguars and it looks like his snaps are actually decreasing. Moise Fokou played over both Angerer and Kavell Conner (six snaps).

Brandon Spikes, NE MLB – Spikes continues to play more snaps and in more sub-packages than Dont’a Hightower with 61 snaps for Spikes and 29 snaps for Hightower.

Aqib Talib, NE CB – Talib’s suspension was lifted this week. It’s unclear whether Kyle Arrington or Alfonzo Dennard will be the odd man out. My guess would be Arrington given Dennard’s natural talent and recent play, but it’s impossible to anticipate Belichik. If Talib starts and plays regular snaps, he could be a fantastic cornerback play given the Patriots’ offensive production and the need for many team’s to play from behind.

Kelvin Sheppard, BUF MLB – It’s been mentioned before, but Sheppard’s sleeper status for the 2012 season continues to be demolished by the fact that he’s relegated to a two-down role. That continues to be the case as he only played 13 snaps this past week against the Patriots. Unless Nick Barnett leaves Buffalo or gets injured, Sheppard is pretty worthless. It looks like he will be for the foreseeable future, as well, with Barnett signed through 2013.

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NaptownMVP
9 years ago

Thoughts on Denver’s Robert Ayers?

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