IDP Watch: Week Two

Steve Wyremski

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

Often, things like quarterback hurries, quarterback knockdowns or snap counts don’t appear in the box scores – these are key 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.

The goal is to largely avoid stellar IDP players since many of those individuals are already heavily in the eyes of IDP owners. Instead, here are some key trends based on week two performances:

Snap Notes

  • Denzel Perryman, LB only played 45% of the team’s snaps, sitting in favor of Manti Te’o in subpackages.
  • Craig Robertson, LB continues to play 100% of the team’s snaps. Stephone Anthony, for the second week in a row, played single digit snaps. Michael Mauti, for the second straight week, out-snapped Anthony.
  • Lawrence Timmons, LB played 61% of the team’s snaps. The Steelers favored subpackage dime packages with Artie Burns on the field in place of Timmons.
  • Zach Orr, LB played 100% of the team’s snaps and appears to be an every down backer with CJ Mosley.
  • Darron Lee, LB played 77% of the team’s snaps finishing with four tackles and an assist.
  • Justin March, LB posted another  solid week with four tackles and four assists, but he only played  about 40% of the team’s snaps.
  • Keenan Robinson, LB led the Giants in snaps against the Saints. The long-term impact is unclear, but it’s worth monitoring.

[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]

Perryman isn’t worth starting at this point. He’s clearly relegated to a two-down thumper role. Until he can either beat out Manti Te’o or Jatavis Brown for subpackage snaps, his upside is capped. He may be worth a matchup play against a run heavy team, but if he can’t achieve a subpackage role, he becomes an average linebacker option who will often underachieve in an IDP lineup.

There was some speculation towards the end of the last year that the Steelers weren’t comfortable with Timmons in coverage. He’s been subpar in coverage early in 2016 and it appears the Steelers are finally ready to pull Timmons in certain subpackages. Already an inconsistent option, Timmons’ value is headed south.

It didn’t take long, but Darron Lee has now out-snapped Erin Henderson in each of the first two weeks. He’s not quite at the level of snaps we hope for, but he’s leading the team in tackles through two games. His tackle opportunities were below average in week two, as well, so better production can reasonably be expected. He’s still learning only a few years into his linebacker career, but his speed and upside is evident.

Finally, Stephone Anthony continues to become an attractive long-term buy option if he can be acquired at a discounted value. The Saints parking him on the bench is incredulous. His coverage wasn’t stellar last year, but he wasn’t atrocious either.

News to Follow

  • Raiders’ Coach Jack Del Rio said Karl Joseph, SS will see defensive snaps in week three against the Titans.
  • Danny Trevathan, LB is out indefinitely after undergoing thumb surgery earlier this week. It’s not expected to be season ending, but it’s unclear how long Trevathan will be out. Vic Fangio said it’ll be a combination of Jon Anderson, Christian Jones and Nick Kwiatkoski who will fill in, but it’s possible one emerges. This is positive news for Jerrell Freeman who should see an increase in tackle opportunities.
  • Cory James, LB is expected to assume Ben Heeney’s spot beginning week three.
  • Rotoworld recently changed Jadeveon Clowney’s position designation from linebacker to defensive end.
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong, LB was placed on injured reserve and will be replaced by Gerald Hodges in the 49ers starting lineup.
  • Morgan Burnett, SS injured his hamstring against the Vikings. It’s unclear how his week three status will be impacted, but he’s struggled in coverage thus far in 2016.

Cory James, LB replaced Ben Heeney in the last two series of the Raiders’ week two game against Atlanta. Coach Jack Del Rio said Heeney only slightly beat out James in training camp for the starting job and he hasn’t been thrilled with Heeney’s play. Del Rio also praised James’ upside, physicality and speed separate him. He’ll now get a shot to take firm hold of the starting spot and could be a potential breakout as the year progresses.

The Jadeveon Clowney position designation change is anything but a certainty for 2017, but it’s noteworthy, nonetheless. MFL does not make changes mid-season and things could flip back by next September, but a defensive end designation would cause Clowney’s IDP value to spike. Be cautiously optimistic with this, but it’s a good fact to be aware of.

Well Played

  • Preston Brown, LB and Zach Brown, LB excelled in week two against the Jets. Preston finished with seven tackles and nine assists, while Zach finished with eight tackles and six assists.
  • Linval Joseph, DT posted eight tackles, three assists and two sacks on 63% of the team’s snaps through the first two weeks. He’s the top defensive tackle in most leagues early in the season. He was a top five option before getting injured last year, so this pace is not unexpected.
  • Brandon Flowers, CB is being targeted a lot across from Jason Verrett. He’s averaging six and a half tackles and an assist through two weeks. This should continue with Verrett’s improved coverage play as team’s shy away from his side of the field.
  • Frank Clark, DE played 56% of the team’s snaps, which may be where his snap share settles in 2016. In week two, he continued the fast starting accumulating three tackles, an assist and two sacks.
  • Brandon Graham, DE is outplaying Connor Barwin and Vinny Curry thus far in what appears to be a big step in the direction of a potential breakout season.

Brandon Graham is reaping the benefits of Jim Schwartz’s aggressive scheme. Through two weeks, he’s accumulated six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. He’s making plays defending the run and rushing the passer. He was previously criticized for his lack of pass-rushing moves, but he’s effectively leveraged his bull-rush and continues to add counters to his repertoire. He’s off to a fantastic start and appears situated for a breakout season in a highly favorable scheme.

The Browns in Buffalo possess nice chemistry and are playing exceptionally well through two weeks. Zach has often been criticized for his unwillingness to initiate contact – looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane – but through the first two weeks of 2016, his play against the run is stellar. If it continues, LB2/LB3 production is realistic.

Through two weeks, Aaron Donald owners are gazing in resentment and jealously at Linval Joseph production. Especially with Shariff Floyd going under the knife for a knee cleanup, there’s no reason to believe Joseph won’t be a top five defensive tackle at year end. He’s proving to be not only consistent, but an elite defensive tackle option.


  • Malcom Brown, DT has only one tackle and one assist through two games on 63% of the team’s snaps. The rotation on the Patriots defensive line is too heavy to rely on Brown right now.
  • Ibraheim Campbell, SS played 27% of the team’s snaps after playing 100% in week one. Many claimed he was benched in favor of rookie Derrick Kindred.
  • Lavonte David, LB posted zero tackles for the first time in his career on 100% of the team’s snaps.
  • Vinny Curry, DE played fewer snaps than Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin finishing with a goose egg statistically. The rotation was close to even, but Graham and Barwin played slightly more reps and each notched a sack. Curry owners don’t need to be concerned yet.

There is no reason to be concerned with Lavonte David despite the disappearance from the box score. The lack of production was a result of opportunities and the scheme the Cardinals ran to throw double teams his way. His production will come. Use it as a buy opportunity, if you can.

It’s unclear if Ibraheim Campbell’s snap reduction was a result of a benching or an injury. Considering he’s missing practice this week it seems likely it was related to that. However, rookie Derrick Kindred is playing exceptionally well, so Campbell isn’t a safe start until the haze clears. Kindred is worth an add in deeper leagues considering his play thus far.

Deeper Targets to Watch/Add

  • Jatavis Brown, LB played 54% of snaps and finished with four tackles and two assists in week two. He’s currently playing in subpackages over Denzel Perryman.
  • Thurmon Armbrister, LB played nine snaps last week with DeAndre Levy out and Antwione Williams injured midway through last week’s game. Armbrister posted four tackles in an efficient short outing. With Williams still not practicing, Armbrister is worth a look in deeper leagues, especially considering he could draw the start this week.
  • After starting the season as a healthy inactive in each of the first two games, Nick Kwiatkoski, LB  is likely to see snaps in the near term with Danny Trevathan injured. He didn’t play much this preseason either, but Vic Fangio was impressed with his preseason week four play. He’s a dark horse to assume Trevathan’s role.

After not playing much this preseason, Jatavis Brown, LB is commanding more snaps quickly navigating a steep learning curve.  He posted four tackles and two assists in week two and appears to be earning increased snaps as the season progresses. The coaching staff certainly appears to like him. He’s playing subpackages and Coach Mike McCoy says he’s ‘a very instinctive and explosive player who truly loves to play the game.’ While Manti Te’o is receiving the lion’s share of snaps, he’s not a long-term answer and is struggling in coverage. He’s also a free agent in 2017.  Brown possesses appealing upside.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveWyremski