It’s no secret that most IDP leagues out there are going to be won or lost on the wire, so we’re going to highlight a few players who are on the rise and might still be out there in your leagues. If you are in a 70-man roster league, this likely isn’t the place for you except to glean some upcoming value and to see some trade targets before the owners get wise. Predominantly based on the snap counts received by players, this short list will hopefully give you some insight on which players teams are starting to turn to on the defensive side of the ball
We are going to make this first week short and sweet while we wait for some more weekly snap counts to roll in this month. Hopefully with some solid snap count data, we can use a difference approach to see whose snaps are also on the rise. Snaps are taken from pro-football-reference.com for now.
Robert Ayers, TB
58 Snaps, 89%
With the injury to Jacquies Smith, Ayers saw more snaps than any other defensive lineman for the Bucs and produced a decent line of 2 tackles and a sack, but should be more involved going forward. The Bucs defense is looking pretty good in the trouncing of Atlanta and if Kwon Alexander doesn’t continue to gobble up all the tackles, there will be room for others.
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Danielle Hunter, MIN
36 Snaps, 54%
I wrestled with even including him in this list because he should be owned in most leagues, but this kid is a freak and if he isn’t owned, you need to make it happen right now. In just half the snaps, he notched four tackles, a TFL, a sack and a fumble recovery he took back for a touchdown. If his snap count rises at all, he could easily flirt with DE1 numbers by the end of the year. Get in now.
Cassius Marsh, SEA
Six Snaps, 11%
This one is a really deep add and a player to keep your eye on. Why should we care about a player with only 11 percent of the snaps? In his six snaps, he had four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. He also blocked a field goal. I know Frank Clark and Cliff Avril are the players to know on that line, but Marsh may be a nice upside play in a deep league.
Will Compton, WAS
68 Snaps, 100%
My top add at the linebacker position, Compton was all over the field and stat sheet on Monday night, notching five solos and adding another eight assists. Stepping into his new role in the middle, he showed up in a big way. This is a strong situation to monitor and having a friendly stat tracker doesn’t hurt one bit.
Kwon Alexander, TB
65 Snaps, 100%
Another name that was a little tough to put on here due to his big 2015, he’s still a player who has to be owned. Putting on a massive 17 tackle performance is only the start to a great year from Alexander. Add a sack to his stat line and here’s a player who I want to be all in on. He has had some off the field issues and Lavonte David is no joke, of course. However, if Alexander can manage an eight tackle floor, here’s a really hot producer whose likely cheaper than his production. Don’t kill yourself to acquire, but this is a name to know.
Manti Te’o, SD
70 Snaps, 99%
Maybe Te’o isn’t the forgotten man on the defense just yet. Many thought (including myself) that Denzel Perryman would be the force on the defense this year, but at only 45% of the snaps, it seems that dream is still a ways off. Te’o managed ten tackles, eight of which were solo, and two tackles for losses. He slots in as a solid LB2 till things change on the inside there.
James Bradberry, CAR
55 Snaps, 95%
He may be my top add this week for your IDP leagues, CB required or not. The rookie was targeted a ton and managed six tackles, which may not seem like a lot, but was second on the team. He’s on a Carolina squad that should be in the lead often, leading to more passing attempts his way. This looks like a player who offensive coordinators will continue to attempt to exploit and that means stats galore for us IDP players.
TJ McDonald, LA
80 Snaps, 99%
After missing a decent chunk of last year, my favorite sleeper DB is back at it with eight tackles, four of which were for a loss. He might be a rostered man already (especially if you are in a league with me) but this is a name to kick the tires on if hes on the wire. He likely will be playing a ton of snaps if that Rams offense doesn’t improve.
Rodney McLeod, PHI
50 Snaps, 96%
Here’s a bit of another deep add, but McLeod spent a ton of time on the field for the Eagles and had a hand in four tackles, an interception, a pass breakup and a TFL on a team that barely pushed the ball down the field. I expect all these numbers to rise going forward and he’s a solid DB2 to keep an eye on.
We’ll be back next week for more IDP waiver advice for you!
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