Sometimes during the preseason things shake out a little differently than how we had anticipated. Sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes it’s not. In the IDP world, it can be a linebacker gaining or losing a role in sub-packages or a position switch from defensive end to linebacker or vice versa. I feel like fantasy loyalty doesn’t go as far in the IDP world as it does on the offensive side of the ball. We’ll hold players like Christine Michael and Rob Housler until they announce their retirement, but we’ll drop a linebacker like a bad habit if he starts coming off the field.
We have a great group of IDP writers here at DLF, so I asked them this question, “Who has impressed you the most this preseason and who has let you down the most?” Here were their answers:
Eric Breeze- @BreezeIDP
Riser- Ramik Wilson, LB KCC
I’ve been impressed with what the rookie has done so far. He has filled in admirably for Josh Mauga and I don’t see him giving this job back when he gets back healthy. Wilson has not been extremely physically dominant but he has been reading plays well and making plays when called upon.
Faller- Preston Brown, LB BUF
The more I watch, the less I like him. He has struggled badly in all facets of the game this preseason. His feet look like they are in quick sand and he has missed quite a few tackles. The Bills need a leader in the middle and he isn’t playing like one.
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Tyler Huggins- @HBombIDP
Riser- Barry Church, S DAL
Seems myself and many others have been quick to dismiss him as just a part of the system, but he is legit good in real life and in fantasy. He will remain one of the safer, more consistent non-elite safeties in the game.
Fallers- San Diego ILB’s
Donald Butler has and likely always will be waiver wire fodder. I have been holding out some hope for Manti Te’o and he continues to disappoint – he just hasn’t looked better this preseason. Denzel Perryman is lost on the field. I just don’t see it with him; he may end up being the best play of the three but it’s purely by default.
Doug Green- @BigBoardIDP
Riser- Navorro Bowman, LB SF
I thought he would be fine as he came back from injury, but I had no idea that he would be this good. Bowman has played like a man possessed this preseason, and as bad as the 49ers defense could be, they need him to be amazing.
Faller- Jared Allen, OLB CHI
I haven’t seen anything that makes me think he’s not close to the end. At this point his name is bigger than his game. I’ll be avoiding him this season.
Mo Brewington- @Smashmouth_Mo
Riser- Bennie Logan, NT PHI
I saw him coming on last year, but he’s come out on fire, commanded double teams and frequently blown plays up in the backfield. His sack total won’t be high, but his tackles for loss will be off the charts, which is just as good in some leagues.
Faller- Quinton Coples, OLB NYJ
I’d like to stay on the defensive line and say Sheldon Richardson for obvious reasons, squandering the potential of that D-line. But of those who’ve played, I’ll stay with the Jets and say Coples. I expected him to benefit from playing with those monsters, and it just isn’t happening. He looks like he’s playing the role of a pass rusher in a musical.
Steve Wyremski- @SteveWyremski
Riser- Kevin Pierre-Louis, WLB/SLB SEA
Pierre-Louis (KPL) received rave reviews from coach Pete Carroll this summer, recently referring to him as “an exciting player.” KPL is now on the verge of earning snaps with the first team defense as part of a regular rotation in 2015. With Bruce Irvin injured over the past two weeks, KJ Wright shifted to the strong side and KPL held down the weak side. This is great news considering several suspected KPL would play on the strong side if Irvin left in free agency or was injured. However, due to Wright’s versatility, he was the linebacker to move. With Irvin a free agent in 2016 and KPL impressing, he could be a big value riser come next season. He’s up in my rankings because of it. Keep a close eye on KPL throughout the year as it’s clear he’ll get a shot with a decent snap share in 2015.
Faller- Jake Ryan, ILB GB
This off-season, the Packers didn’t bring in any competition at inside linebacker other than Ryan. With Sam Barrington the only viable option as a starter, many suspected Ryan was a shoe-in for the other inside linebacker starting spot. Earlier this summer, the coaching staff was less than thrilled claiming he was thinking too much, but he performed well in week one of the preseason. Since then, though, he’s been rather quiet and hasn’t seen a big share of snaps. The Packers will look to Clay Matthews to man the second inside spot until Ryan is ready, so Ryan is down in my rankings currently with it unlikely he’ll make an immediate impact. Ultimately, he should still be a fine play, but patience is going to be needed.
Eric Olinger- @OlingerIDP
Riser- Ryan Shazier, ILB PIT
I was really excited for Shazier’s rookie season in the Steel City but unfortunately it filled with injury and disappointment. He dealt with a sprained MCL along with an ankle injury, but now he’s 100% healthy and looking really good. He has bulked up over the off-season in an effort to become more durable and appears to have kept his trademark speed. He has the potential to be a high end LB2.
Faller- Bruce Carter, LB TBB
After Carter finally put up solid numbers for the Cowboys last year (including a career high five interceptions), the Bucs signed him to a four-year, $17 million dollar contract in free agency. A contract which now looks ridiculous because he not only lost his starting middle linebacker spot to fourth round rookie Kwon Alexander, but he’s also unlikely to beat out Danny Lansanah for the starting strong side linebacker job. Carter has gone from a serviceable LB3 to waiver wire fodder. If it wasn’t for his $4.2 million in guaranteed money, they’d probably just wash their hands of him via a release.
Who has impressed you or let you down this preseason? Let us know in the comments section and make sure you’re following the IDP gang on Twitter.