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 twelve performances:
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- Nick Kwiatkoski, LB played every down with Jerrell Freeman suspended. He finished with two tackles and two assists. He’s a linebacker who could help to start the playoffs and he should see a healthy amount of opportunities.
- For the second consecutive week, Deon Bush, S started and played close to every down. He wasn’t overly productive, but he’s the guy to own in Chicago as he should continue to see snaps at this level.
- As long as Jatavis Brown, LB is out, Korey Toomer is a must start. He’s playing every down and, over the last five weeks, he’s a top five linebacker on a points per game basis.
- While Denzel Perryman, LB returned to the lineup and finished with six tackles and four assists, he only played 61% of snaps. He’s a matchup play with risk. The lack of subpackage play is also concerning for his long-term value.
- With Luke Kuechly, LB out with a concussion, AJ Klein drew the start in week 12 playing 100% of snaps. He finished with five tackles, a forced fumble and a sack. It looks like Kuechly will miss another game, so Klein is a worthy spot start. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, consecutive solid performances could also land Klein a starting gig in free agency this offseason.
News to Follow
- Danny Trevathan, LB is out for the rest of the year with a ruptured patellar tendon. With Jerrell Freeman suspended for a few more weeks, Nick Kwiatkoski is the favorite for a spike in production and consistent snaps. This injury could affect Trevathan’s 2017 season readiness as it can take up to a year to recover from this injury.
- Ronald Darby, CB is expected to miss this week’s game. Expect Corey White to see a ton of action against a Raiders’ offense that throws a lot. He should see ample tackle opportunities.
- Kurt Coleman, SS is expected to miss this week’s game against the Seahawks. Michael Griffin will fill his spot and is worth a spot start if you’re in a bind.
- After a mediocre return against the Buccaneers, Justin Houston, LB lit the Broncos up to the tune of ten tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a safety. He’s a premium big-play asset with risk due to recurring injuries, but don’t get carried away with this performance in tackle-heavy leagues. He’s a boom/bust low-end LB3 in this format. Remember, he only finished as a LB2 in 2014 when he amassed 50 plus solo tackles and 22 sacks.
- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE may be one finger short, but he’s back to form and seeing a tremendous volume of snaps. He’s earned himself a massive contract. The last two weeks are evidence as he’s terrorizing opposing offensive lines. The big question is whether the Giants will use the franchise tag. The cost is forecasted to be massive which could keep the Giants away as opposed to locking up two defensive ends in tremendous contracts. A top offseason storyline to watch.
- Over the last five weeks, Tavon Wilson, S is playing at a high DB2 level. He’s playing over 70% of snaps and a steady performer on the field. Unfortunately, Miles Killebrew is waiting in the wings, so this success may be short lived.
- Maliek Collins, DT is going to be a heck of a defensive tackle and a very viable option in defensive tackle required leagues. He’s not a big active presence in the box score yet, but his ceiling is a sky high especially considering the disruptiveness he’s displaying in rushing the passer.
- Even with Luke Kuechly, LB out, Shaq Thompson only played 23% of snaps posting a goose egg in the box score. Many thought, including me, that Thompson would see a bump in snaps with more subpackage opportunities. However, the coaching staff appears to have a lot of trust in AJ Klein. Both Sean McDermott and Ron Rivera also don’t want to overload him. The Panthers have Thompson tagged as their ‘Buffalo’ or their big nickel hybrid safety/linebacker. In learning this role, in addition to linebacker, the staff believes Thompson already has a lot on his plate. Adding nickel linebacker would be three spots for him to learn and the staff believes that’s too much. Temper your enthusiasm for Thompson in the near term. He’s going to need more development time or Thomas Davis to ship out to maintain meaningful value.
- Demarcus Lawrence, DE is off. After five games back from suspension, he only has one sack. He’s getting to the quarterback, but does not appear to be the same player we saw towards the end of 2015. While the lack of production, technical sloppiness and reduced explosiveness is concerning, Lawrence is still someone who should bounce back with time. You don’t just lose what we saw late in 2015. I believe this is a case where a lingering injury is holding him back.
- Dante Fowler, DE is struggling. He only has 16 tackles and two and a half sacks on the year. However, the struggles may have justification. Allegedly, he’s playing through a shoulder injury suffered in week three which he deems ‘frustrating’. However, he wasn’t on an injury report for it until recently, which introduces skepticism. He clearly needs to mature (ton of penalties) and improve his technique, but all is not lost for Fowler – it’s just been a tough start to his career.
This section is typically reserved for deeper targets, but with the season wrapping up, here are a few stashes to consider for next year in deeper leagues:
- Dexter McCoil, S may need some time to develop, but he’s flashed potential. Considering the Chargers’ lack talent at safety and that he’s only a rookie, McCoil possesses future starter potential with more development.
- Yannick Ngakoue, DE is only 21 and already has six sacks on the season. He leads the Jaguars’ defensive ends in snaps on a weekly basis and appears primed to maintain this pace. He may not be overly active in the box score, but once he develops a repertoire of pass rush moves, he should begin to accumulate sacks. That combined with improvement in run support should be a focus this offseason. He was considered a developmental prospect coming into the league, after all.
- Miles Killebrew, S is playing a hybrid safety role seeing a lot of time near line of scrimmage. He has nine tackles and an assist on 21 snaps over the last two weeks. He should be high on the target or stash list come this offseason. They Lions are saying they won’t move him to linebacker full-time, but keep an eye on this.
- Nick Vigil, LB, among other young players, should see increased reps down the stretch with the Bengals out of playoff contention and older guys like Karlos Dansby and Rey Maulauga ineffective.