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IDP Watch: Week Fourteen

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. 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 fourteen performances:

Mychal Kendricks, PHI WLB/SLB

We mentioned Kendricks last week and the potential that he may be moved to the weakside at some point. Well, it happened earlier than anticipated. In week fourteen, Kendricks played on the weakside with Akeem Jordan out and Jamar Chaney played on the strongside. Coach Andy Reid did mention that he’s been looking to make this move given the fact that it’s Kendricks’ natural position from his college days. He finished the game with five tackles, two assists, and three passes defended. This is a major move if it sticks. We could see a spike in production if it does. We may find his production up with the other top rookie linebackers of this class over the next few weeks.

Demario Davis, NYJ ILB

After seeing significant snaps in weeks six through twelve with Bart Scott banged up, it looked like a youth movement was on the verge in New York – that couldn’t have been more wrong. Davis struggled mightily against the run on Thanksgiving against the Patriots and since then, he’s only played a total of seven snaps over the last two weeks. Scott, on the other hand, has seen his highest snap count since week four over the last two weeks. The struggles of Davis are a short-term concern, but not headed into 2013. Scott is all but certain to be gone and Davis should find himself in the starting lineup this off-season.

Bruce Irvin, SEA DE

Irvin played his highest percentage of snaps on the season this past week against the Cardinals when he played 65 percent of the team’s snaps. The longstanding criticism of Irvin is his ability to defend the run, but he actually was decent in that phase this week and tallied a tackle and an assist on the day. As usual, he was a pass rushing machine with a sack, two hurries, and two quarterback hits. He’s had a tremendous year for a guy who plays on a limited basis. It’s unclear if he played the higher percentage of snaps because it was against the Cardinals, because it was a blowout, and/or because he’s improving as the season comes to a close. The bottom line is that he has tremendous potential for dynasty purposes. If he continues to see more snaps to close 2012 and potentially into the playoffs and he continues to show improvement, he’s an even better buy this off-season.

Dont’a Hightower, NE SLB

Hightower played his highest snap count of the year with 87 percent of the team’s snaps against the Texans. That translated well as he got to the quarterback with two quarterback hits and one quarterback hurry, as well as five tackles and an assist. He played more snaps than Brandon Spikes, but it’s unclear if that was a result of the fact that he’s been banged up. This is a situation to watch through the end of the year as it may be an indication of things to come in 2013. Regardless, Hightower is likely to change linebacker spots in 2014 when Spikes’ contract is up if he’s stuck on the strongside again in 2013. Two years of being patient may be necessary, but it’ll pay off given the signs he’s showing in his rookie season.

Dwight Freeney OLB, IND

He’s been virtually worthless for IDP purposes as a 3-4 outside linebacker and that’d continue if he stays in a 3-4 scheme, but Freeney is a free agent in 2013. While he’s struggling with injuries and can now be found on the waiver wire of most IDP leagues, he’s a decent stash headed into 2013 given the possibility that he signs with a 4-3 scheme team and moves back to defensive end. He certainly would prefer to ditch this stand up 3-4 role. If he does, he could be a viable short-term option at defensive end for another year or two.

Robert McClain, ATL CB

Since week eight, McClain’s snaps have really increased, which was mostly a result of the season ending injury to Brent Grimes. Since then, he’s often played 70 percent or more of the team’s snaps in a subpackage role – that’s led to decent tackle production since the team’s bye in week seven and double digit IDP production in most leagues for six of the last seven weeks. With the Atlanta offense set up for great things for the foreseeable future, expect Atlanta to play a lot of sub-package formations – that should mean production for three corners in Atlanta. Couple that with aging corners with Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson and you have a nice 2013 stash in corner required leagues.

David Hawthorne, NO SLB

Over the last three weeks, Hawthrone has played between 52 and 65 percent of the team’s snaps. The 27 year-old linebacker is playing on the strongside and is limited to a two-down role with Jonathan Vilma playing the weakside. With that role, his tackle upside is limited. However, given Hawthorne’s age he should be watched and considered as a stash in deeper leagues given his recent seasons of success as it appears he’s finally healthy after missing the early season with an injury.

Buster Skrine, CLE CB

Skrine only had one tackle and an assist in week fourteen on 11 snaps. Disappointing, right? Sort of. His matchup was horrible, so the dip was expected. However, since he’s playing mostly in a sub-package role and the Chiefs don’t often go three-wide, Skrine had an off week. He should pick back up again with the Redskins, Broncos, and Steelers on tap. Sheldon Brown continues to start for the Browns, but that’s liable to change prospectively with Skrine ultimately starting.

Mike Harris, JAX CB

It appears Rashean Mathis is being phased out as Harris started again in week fourteen playing 87 percent of the team’s snaps. He was solid against the run racking up four tackles and an assist. It was his third start of the season and the third game in a row playing more than 75 percent of the team’s snaps. Harris has impressed the Jaguars’ coaching staff since early November and that appears to be translating to Sundays. He’s a stash target in deeper cornerback required leagues as it appears he’s making a case to hold the starting job going forward.

Melvin Ingram, SD OLB

While he wasn’t terribly active in the box score with one assist, Ingram played 28 snaps putting up five quarterback hurries. On the season, he now has 23 hurries, which ranks in the top ten among 3-4 outside linebackers. That’s impressive given the relatively low number of snaps. He’s the only player in the top 10 in hurries who has less than 500 snaps on the year. If there is a guy who could pull an Aldon Smith or Justin Houston in his second year and see a huge spike in sacks, it’s Ingram.

Players and Trends to Watch

James-Michael Johnson, CLE OLB – He put up a goose egg, but played 31 snaps. That’s a fairly disappointing game, but he does continue to see snaps.

Desmond Bryant, OAK DE/DT – He again played a high volume of snaps with 66 snaps on the day. He posted a sack and a hurry in week fourteen to continue his streak of solid play.

Marcus Gilchrist, SD CB – Gilchrist started for the second week in a row and played 51 snaps posting one sack and four tackles. He continues to play well and increase the probability he’s a starter in 2013.

Harrison Smith, MIN FS – He’s started all season often playing 100 percent of the team’s snaps. Quietly, he ranks in the top 15 among safeties. In particular, he’s improved his play over the last three weeks and looks to be a blooming young safety for IDP purposes.

We’ll see you next week for our Weekly IDP Watch.  Follow Steve on Twitter.

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Jeff Huntley
9 years ago

Thanks for that, Love this weekly piece. Great stuff to ponder through the end of the season and players to look at for off-season acquisitions. Thanks for the extensive list!

Reply to  Jeff Huntley
9 years ago

I agree. Very well done Steve.

Zach Levitt
9 years ago

Would you drop Perry Riley, Dannell Ellerbe, or Bruce Carter for Mychal Kendricks?

Zach Levitt
Reply to  Steve Wyremski
9 years ago

We start 2 LBs. I have Bowman and Cushings on IR. So I need one other LB for production now but looking towards the future

Zach Levitt
9 years ago

And what’s your thoughts on Corey Liuget?

Allen Sarvinas
9 years ago

What to do with Flint Session. Deep league, so I cant just drop him, but does anyone have hope he’ll return in ’14, so I can trade his ass?

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