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 seven performances:
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- Donte Whitner, SS and Will Compton, LB were the only two Washington defensive players to play every snap against the Lions. Whitner finished with four tackles and four assists. Duke Ihenacho only played 17% of the team’s snaps. Whitner is the Washington safety to own and represents a viable short-term option through the end of the year.
- With Jordan Poyer, FS on injured reserve, undrafted rookie Tracy Howard started in his place. He played 100% of the snaps and finishing with three tackles and an assist.
- Denzel Perryman, LB won defensive player of the week with six tackles, an assist, a pass defended and an interception, but he only played 52% of the team’s snaps. He can only be relied on against run heavy teams who run a lot of base packages as he’s only a two-down player.
- After being benched in week five, Harold Jones-Quartey, SS has played 98% of the team’s snaps over the last two weeks and is averaging five tackles and one and a half assists. If he continues to perform adequately, he’ll maintain value through the end of the year, but I wouldn’t want to bet on him maintaining long-term value.
- De’Vondre Campbell, LB returned to full strength for the first time since week one after battling a high ankle sprain. He played 100% of snaps and finished with six tackles and four assists. He’s a top long-term option.
- With Leodis McKelvin, CB returning form injury, Jalen Mills’ snaps were cut back significantly to 36%. Don’t be fooled by his four tackles last week, he’s not a viable option without another injury or climbing the depth chart.
- Gerald Hodges, LB played 81% of snaps at the expense of Michael Wilhoite. He’s a compelling watch or stash depending on league depth. He possesses the most raw talent among the 49ers’ healthy linebackers.
We’re seeing a crude game of musical chairs with the Browns’ defensive backfield through the early part of the season. However, with Jordan Poyer, FS on injured reserve, Tracy Howard should assume his snaps. Why this is particularly relevant is Howard is classified as a cornerback. He was drafted as a corner, but defensive coordinator Ray Horton thinks he’s a better fit at safety. He may play some outside cornerback and nickelback, as well, so Howard should continue to see plenty of opportunities through the end of the year. He’s worth adding in deeper corner-required leagues as a cornerback who could provide some consistency from the safety spot. He’s waiver wire fodder in shallow to moderately deep leagues.
News to Follow
- The Lions traded former second round Kyle Van Noy, LB to the Patriots for pennies. Antwione Williams is likely to play on the strongside with Van Noy out of the picture. The position will naturally cap Williams’ production potential. Thurston Armbrister or Josh Bynes will man the weakside until DeAndre Levy is healthy. Williams has the most long-term potential here, but Armbrister and/or Bynes won’t carry value unless either stake a short-term hold on the spot and see consistent snaps. I wouldn’t look to any of these linebackers for help unless in an extremely deep league.
- Sheldon Rankins, DT was activated off injured reserve last week and he can begin practicing. He’s first eligible to return week nine. The biggest question will be how he’s integrated and the related impact on Nick Fairley, who is a top ten defensive tackle in most formats through seven weeks.
- AJ Bouye, CB led the Texans with nine tackles, two assists and two passes defended. This past week He defended the run and pass extremely well. He’s seeing more run with Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph out. In corner-required leagues, he’s a solid short-term option with the two starters injured, but also possesses long-term potential if he maintains this level of play. He’s one of the few bright spots thus far for the Texans defense.
- Jordan Hicks, LB has played 100% of snaps over the last two weeks. He finally broke out in week seven with eight tackles, three assists, a sack and two passes defended. It’s tough to trust his consistent snaps considering how the season started and how fickle Jim Schwartz has been, but things are trending positively for Hicks.
- After three NFL starts, Joey Bosa, DE has nine tackles, two assists and four sacks, along with 20 quarterback pressures and six quarterback hits. A hell of a start, especially considering he’s playing a lot of defensive end in 3-4 base packages. I doubted his fit in a 3-4, especially at defensive end, but he’s proven that doubt wrong in only three games.
- Malcom Brown, DT is beginning to show signs of life. Over the last three weeks, he’s accumulated nine tackles, six assists and two sacks. He’s a blue chip long-term tackle prospect.
- DeForest Buckner, DE continues to play a handful of snaps just short of 100%. Over his past three starts, he’s filling the stat sheet, but he’s also struggling defending the run.
- Frank Clark, DE missed week six, but returned this past week against the Cardinals and played 58% of snaps tallying four tackles, an assist, one and a half sacks and a forced fumble. He’s a pass-rushing beast with top five long-term defensive end potential.
- Landon Collins, SS is a man possessed. He’s everywhere and cleaning up with average production from the Giants linebacker group. He should continue this production trajectory through the end of the season, barring injury.
Malcolm Brown, DT has produced over the last three weeks at a top five defensive tackle pace. Coincidentally, Vincent Valentine’s been out these three weeks. However, Brown’s snap share hasn’t really changed with Valentine out, so Brown’s production pace could be sustained even when Valentine returns. Brown’s long-term potential is tremendous and he remains a top tackle option.
Over his past three games, DeForest Buckner has accumulated 12 tackles, eight assists, two sacks and a fumble recovery. He’s being manhandled in run support, but he should improve as long as he can increase his strength and figure out how to use his height as leverage. If he doesn’t, there’s long-term concern about his ability to stay on the field for a high percentage of snaps. However, it’s early enough where his production in the passing game is positive. His value is cautiously trending up with a need to keep an eye on whether he can improve his play against the run.
- Jatavis Brown, LB played every defensive snap again, but only finished with a tackle and an assist. Don’t be discouraged by the stat line. He was fantastic in coverage covering the Falcons’ running backs and also solid in run support facilitating production for his teammates. He’ll bounce back in the box score.
- Derrick Johnson, LB struggled against the Saints and only tallied three tackles and an assist. No reason to be concerned as this is an unusual occurrence. He should bounce back with his on field play and in the box score.
- Over the last two weeks, Jake Ryan, LB only has four tackles and four assists on 67% of snaps. The long-term potential is there, but he’s missing in action the last two weeks lacking impactful plays. He belongs on the IDP bench until proven otherwise.
- After dominating snaps for two weeks, Cory James played zero snaps in week seven behind Perry Riley who played every snap at middle linebacker. James was exclusively a special teams player. Don’t give up on James yet, but this isn’t a good fact.
- After posting five plus tackles in each of the last three weeks, Bryce Callahan only tallied one tackle against the Packers. However, this was mostly due to his limited status as a result of an injury. He should start going forward and be an active contributor, especially with Jacoby Glenn recently waived.
Deeper Targets to Watch/Add
- Daniel Sorensen, SS/LB is starting alongside Derrick Johnson with Justin March on injured reserve. He has safety eligibility, but is expected to see plenty of linebacker snaps with March out. Unfortunately, he’s splitting snaps with Ramik Wilson and Sio Moore could mix in at some point, but he’s still a worthy watch or stash depending on league depth. The Chiefs’ staff appears to trust Sorenson in subpackages.
- Charles Tapper, DE is likely out for the season with a back injury, but is a worthy stash looking to 2017. While the Cowboys have Demarcus Lawrence, they need talent at defensive end and Tapper has just that.
- Antonio Morrison, LB has only played five total snaps over the last two weeks. Josh McNary is seeing the lion’s share of snaps. Morrison still remains the best long-term option and stash among this group. It may be wise to use his thing snap share as an opportunity to acquire for the future.
- Artie Burns, CB isn’t playing a high volume of snaps yet, but when he’s on the field, he’s being targeted and making tackles. If he gets a high volume of snaps at some point, he’ll be a perfect streaming option at corner.