Man, the league is making it hard out there for a gangsta. In the Vikings-Packers game alone there were two plays – one involving Eric Kendricks and one with Clay Matthews – which were literally textbook sacks of the quarterback. You could even go as far to say Kendricks sacrificed himself to “protect” the very quarterback he was taking down as he landed on the crown of his own helmet, driving his head into the ground. Both plays were flagged giving the opposing offenses new life.
This is a real kick to the you-know-what for IDPers like us. These defenders don’t know what is or isn’t legal and these quarterbacks are fearless knowing their “made men” in the eyes of the officials. I’m all for player safety but this is a contact sport and I’m all for watching a pampered #12 get his butt tossed to the ground. I’ll let you decide which #12 I’m talking about… (hint: it’s all of them!)
Darius Leonard, LB IND
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Have yourself a day, sir! Against the Redskins, weakside linebacker Darius Leonard filled up the stat sheet with 15 tackles, three assists, one forced fumble, one sack, and a pass defended. Chosen in the second round of this year’s draft out of South Carolina State, Leonard appears to be a building block for the Colts as they are finally toying around with the notion of fielding a defensive unit.
According to MyFantasyLeague, Leonard is the LB44 in terms of ownership percentage so there is a small chance he is on your league’s waiver wire. He has legitimate IDP difference-making ability and needs to be owned in all formats.
Larry Ogunjobi, DT CLE
Defensive tackle, along with cornerback, is a position a lot of people stream until you fall into someone you really like. Larry Ogunjobi is a player I really like. The Browns have had a rough start to the beginning of the 2018 season: Just ask Zane Gonzalez. But the talent at defensive coordinator Gregg Williams disposal is very strong.
Ogunjobi had two more sacks this weekend against Drew Brees and the Saints, bringing his season total to three. He should’ve had a third but it was nullified due to a penalty in the defensive backfield. The Saints had no answer for his pocket-collapsing ability and found little to no room in the run game.
With Myles Garrett on the outside, Ogunjobi is getting a lot of one on one opportunities and he’s cashing in so far. He’s the 18th most owned defensive tackle on MyFantasyLeague and a player I would start until he gives me a reason not to.
Kyzir White, LB LAC
Throughout the preseason and through the first two weeks, the battle for inside linebacker supremacy has raged on between Kyzir White and Jatavis Brown for the Chargers. While I don’t think the battle is completely put to bed, the leader in the clubhouse is clearly White.
On Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, White played more defensive snaps than any other linebacker on the team. His 38 defensive snaps were 68% of the team’s total while Brown played just 23 (37%). Another strong sign was Brown out-snapped White on special teams 17-10.
It’s hard to fully trust either as more than a LB4 right now but with bye weeks around the corner, we may get there. I like what I see with White because he has the awareness to put himself in position to make plays on the ball, evidenced by his three defended passes and an interception. He’s the LB97 in terms of ownership on MyFantasyLeague and the perfect stash linebacker.
Shawn Williams, S CIN
I thought: “There’s no way Williams has a lower ownership percentage than week one darling, Clayton Fejedelem“. I was wrong. Fejedelem is the 47th most owned safety on MyFantasyLeague, 22 spots above the Bengals’ starter, Shawn Williams.
On one hand, sure, if you were box score hunting, Fejedelem stuck out like Tim Tebow at a Wu-Tang concert or Jon Gruden in the year 2018. On other the hand, Williams is a legitimate proven starter who was ejected for targeting Andrew Luck in week one which led to the abnormal playing time for Fejedelem. (How many times am I going to have to type “Fejedelem”?).
It’s very clear the strong safety position in this Bengals defense is the true player to own, regardless of who mans it. Week one was Fejedelem with nine tackles, an assist and a fumble forced and recovered. Week two was Williams with six tackles, two assists, an interception, a sack, and a forced fumble. Williams is the man to own but it’s worth noting if anything happens to him, you can pick up Fejedelem as he’ll quickly make his way back to waiver wires this Wednesday.
Sam Hubbard, DE CIN
I don’t know what it is about Sam Hubbard but I absolutely love this dude. He’s a third-round pick out of Ohio State and stands at 6’5” and 270 pounds. He has a relentless motor and genuinely looks like he’s having a blast whenever he’s on the field. He reminds me of Jared Allen the way he has fun out there.
He only played seven snaps in week one against the Colts but saw his playing time increase to 50 of 85 snaps in week two against the Ravens. Then Bengals deploy a defensive end rotation and Hubbard is working his way into a lion’s share. He is one of my most coveted young defensive ends and I want all the shares I can get before he’s too expensive. With Michael Johnson due to miss a few weeks, Hubbard has immediate DE2 upside and there’s a great chance he’s on your waiver wire.
Follow me on Twitter @OlingerIDP.