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 nine performances:
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- Sheldon Rankins, DT was activated from injured reserve and played his first NFL game. He saw 63% of team’s snaps finishing with a tackle and a quarterback hit. Tyeler Davison started and played 40% of snaps, but Rankins should assume that spot in short order. Nick Fairley was the other starter and played the highest volume of snaps among the Saints tackles (70%). He wasn’t active in the box score, but it appears the Saints will run both Rankins and Fairley out as their primary options through the end of the year.
- The Saints base defense has become a three-safety set. All three of Vonn Bell, Kenny Vaccaro, and Jairus Byrd have played 80% or more of snaps over the past three weeks. The Saints coaching staff currently believes this package gets their best players on the field. It remains to be seen if a fully healthy Dannell Ellerbe, LB changes this view or if that will purely be an impact on Nathan Stupar and Craig Robertston, but Ellerbe can’t stay healthy. It appears most likely the Saints stick with a three-safety look as their base through the end of the year. While Byrd and Vaccaro are outproducing Bell in the box score as of late, Bell and Vaccaro are the long-term plays and seeing the most time around the line of scrimmage. Something to keep an eye on is a potential four game suspension for Vacarro due to substance abuse.
- The big question coming out of last week was how Jamie Collins, LB was used in the Browns’ 3-4 defense. He started at outside linebacker, but stayed on the field in a two-point stance inside in subpackages with Christian Kirksey. Both Kirksey and Collins played 100% of snaps with Demario Davis (67% of snaps) slated at inside linebacker with Kirksey in base packages. Collins’ value takes a hit since he’s splitting time outside, but he’s still a viable low-end LB2 long-term. Davis’s value, on the other hand, is toast. He can’t hold a starting gig and doesn’t hold any meaningful dynasty value.
- For the fourth straight game, Keenan Robinson, LB led the Giants’ linebackers in snaps. He isn’t quite playing every down, but he’s playing roughly 80% of snaps on a weekly basis. He now has two straight games with six or more tackles and is producing at a LB4 level over the last four weeks. With little competition at linebacker outside of Jonathan Casillas, Robinson is a LB4 with LB3 upside due to his increasing snap share. Don’t forget, he produced at a LB2 level with the Redskins in 2014. Landon Collins, SS still benefits most from the Giants’ thin linebacker group accounting for his monster season.
News to Follow
- Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT is signed with the Jets through 2017, but it appears they’re looking to move on as early as next offseason given recent reports. Currently, the Jets are playing a lot of four-man fronts with Richardson, Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson, but it appears that may change. The Jets are looking to move Richardson who is often criticized for off the field and tardiness issues. This would be big news for IDP owners as Richardson possesses top ten defensive end potential as a starter. Most interesting is Richardson’s potential as a tackle in defensive tackle required leagues. If he were to end up in a 4-3 defense, he would possess top five tackle upside.
- Kam Chancellor, SS is expected to return against the Patriots this weekend per coach Pete Carroll, which will send Kelcie McCray back to the bench. McCray has been a very solid streaming option over the past few weeks averaging a little more than six tackles with Chancellor out. He belongs back on the wire, but could prove serviceable if Chancellor re-aggravates his groin injury.
- Bennie Logan, DT practiced in full and is set to return to the Eagles’ starting lineup this week. There are continued concerns as to whether Logan can excel in Jim Schwartz’s wide-9 scheme. However, Logan appeared to get more comfortable in his last two full games against Detroit and Pittsburgh prior to the groin injury. Keep in mind he’s already at his career sack high (two) after four full games. Known as a solid run defender, adding sacks to his output bodes well for Logan’s long-term value. His return is also a good thing for Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham as offensive lines will have to pick their poison.
- De’Vondre Campbell, LB returned to full strength for the first time since week one after working through a high ankle sprain. He played 100% of snaps and finished with six tackles and four assists. He’s a top long-term option who should continue to play every down.
- Maliek Collins, DT posted two sacks and three tackles on 64% of snaps last week. He continues to flash potential and should be stashed in defensive tackle required leagues as his ceiling is quite high.
- Eric Olinger speculated this could happen in our IDP preview podcast prior to week one, but Clayton Geathers, SS played a significant amount of time in hybrid linebacker role against the Packers. Along with this move, the Colts shifted Darius Butler, CB to safety to handle the Packers four and five wide receiver sets. Geathers flashed in run support and coverage spending most of his time near the line of scrimmage. He finished with seven tackles and an assist on 88% of snaps and over the last five weeks, he’s a top 10 safety. There’s no reason to believe this will change with the Colts’ lack of inside linebacker talent.
- Bobby Wagner, LB is killing it. He’s a top five linebacker on the season and over the last three weeks, he’s averaging 10 tackles and four assists. Admittedly, I always shyed away from Wagner with the volume of capable Seattle defensive playmakers, but he’s performed quite well. His biggest enemy is the Seattle scoring crew who is assist-happy these days.
- Is Cameron Wake, DE back from the dead? Over the last three games, he has four sacks and six tackles. He was being used as a pass-rush specialist earlier in the year, but was recently converted back to a starter. His snap count is expected to be limited, but he will see more tackle opportunities in base packages. He’s old and not going to see a full plate of snaps, but his value is trending up as a match-up play.
- Lavonte David, LB is only a top 40 linebacker through the first half of the season. He’s a massive disappointment due to the Buccaneers’ new 2016 defensive scheme. David is being asked to do different things and it’s not a good thing for his IDP production. In this defense, the middle linebacker is primary tackler – Kwon Alexander, so don’t expect this to change.
- Devin Taylor, DE started strong, but over the last three weeks, he’s accumulated a total of three tackles and no sacks. Kerry Hyder is outplaying Taylor. Hyder now has seven sacks on the year, while Taylor looks overmatched by opposing offensive lines. In defensive tackle required leagues, Hyder is a sneaky defensive tackle option as he has played off the edge.
- Brandon Marshall, LB is struggling with a hamstring injury. He suffered a setback against the Raiders and now hasn’t played a full set of snaps in three weeks missing one of the three games. While Corey Nelson filled in adequately, Marshall represents a decent buy low with the hopes of a healthy hamstring recovery and a return to production in the second half of the year.
Deeper Targets to Watch/Add
- A’Shawn Robinson’s, DT snaps are increasing as the season progresses, even with Haloti Ngata healthy and back in the lineup. It’s important to remember Robinson played in a 3-4 scheme at Alabama and now is in a 4-3 attacking scheme, so there is and has been a learning curve. However, the potential is there.
- Tavon Young, CB is starting and playing every snap with Shareece Wright out. Young is quickly securing the second starting corner spot. He’ll be challenged by opposing quarterbacks in the second half of the year which should bring a nice amount of tackle opportunities.
- Corey Nelson, LB has filled in for Brandon Marshall adequately. If Marshall misses more time with a setback, Nelson is a viable short-term option.
- We’ve mentioned him before, but Sean Spence, LB continues to see a good amount of snaps and more than Wesley Woodyard in recent weeks. His production isn’t stellar yet, but the snap share is favorable.
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