Linebacker Foyesade Oluokon managed 23 snaps. He’s played more every single week so far and seems to be on the rise.
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C.J. Mosley returned at linebacker to play 63 snaps which led the team. Patrick Onwuasor managed just six snaps, but Kenny Young only played 25. Mosley is the only startable linebacker for now until we see what shakes out.
It’s worth noting that Tremaine Edmunds has played every single defensive snap so far, including 76 this week. Only four LBs have played more than Edmunds and he’s on pace for 96 solos and 32 assists. He’s the instant stud we expected him to be.
No snaps due to the bye week.
Prince Amukamara missed this game at corner through injury. With him out, Kevin Toliver played 49 snaps.
Roquan Smith played 51 snaps this week. That’s good but he’s played only 89% and 82% respectively in the last two weeks. Hopefully, this picks up but at the moment, he’s not that close to being an IDP superstar.
Carlos Dunlap is leading the committee at DE but even he is getting rotated. He’s averaged 74% of snaps per week and not hit 80% yet. He’s certainly playing well (on pace for twelve sacks) but it’s a worry.
Preston Brown returned at LB this week to 46 snaps. Nick Vigil was the only every-down ‘backer with 70 snaps. Vontaze Burfict’s return will further muddy the waters. Avoid starting any Bengal LB for now.
Myles Garrett played an incredible 87 snaps this week. He now leads all DEs with 293 snaps. So much for the rotation, eh? The Browns have played two games over 80 snaps now which could easily not happen again this season. Don’t expect the sort of volume Browns IDPs have recorded so far simply to continue.
Glover Quin was the only full-time safety for the Lions. He played 69 snaps. Tavon Wilson played just four snaps, Tracy Walker 27, Miles Killebrew one and Quandre Diggs 43 in his corner/slot/safety/box/wildcard role.
Green Bay Packers
Linebacker Oren Burks stepped up his development with 20 snaps this week. Antonio Morrison saw just ten snaps with Blake Martinez the only full-time LB on 58. Jermaine Whitehead did, however, play 39 snaps in a hybrid slot/box role in their easy win over the Bills. Burks will likely start playing more of those snaps as he gets up to speed.
Aaron Colvin played 75 snaps at slot corner this week but picked up an injury. The other corners are currently Jonathan Joseph (87) and Shareece Wright (78). This is a horrible unit and it will get worse with Johnson Bademosi likely playing next week. If Natrell Jamerson doesn’t get some playing time soon, I will riot.
With Dylan Cole hurt, Zach Cunningham played every single one of the Texans’ 90 snaps this week.
Duke Ejiofor managed 32 snaps on the edge. That was comfortably the highest total of his young career.
The Colts’ defensive line is fascinating. Denico Autry (76) returned this week after two weeks out. However, he played mostly on the edge instead of his natural three-tech spot. Margus Hunt played 80 snaps mostly on the inside. He’s played like a man on fire so far this year. You’ll recall this very column called him a “priority add” in week one so you no doubt own him.
Ronnie Harrison created a little bit of buzz early on in the season but this week he was back to playing just four snaps. Barry Church (55) is the clear starter with Harrison a matchup weapon. I do fully expect Church to move on after the season and Harrison take over though.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are the most consistent defensive team in the league personnel-wise at the moment. They’ve barely deviated at all across weeks.
This does mean that cornerback Orlando Scandrick is a slightly tricky start at corner. He’s playing around 70-80% of snaps. The Chiefs have played the sixth most defensive snaps in the league so far so he’s been OK but it’s something to be aware of.
Chris Jones played 48 snaps this week at end to bring his seasonal total to 213. That places him 15th amongst DEs. He’s yet to record a sack but he has 15 pressures. That’s the same amount as Larry Ogunjobi and Akiem Hicks who are must-start players.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers again switched their safeties with Derwin James (59) playing in the box and Jahleel Addae (60) deep. It seems that James is going to produce whatever his alignment at this stage, but he will have low weeks. He can’t sack the QB every game.
Los Angeles Rams
Even with 74 snaps this week, the Rams defense has played just 61 on average per game. Only the Bears and Lions have been on the field less.
Aaron Donald finally got his first sacks of the year last week. He’d been producing consistent pressure, but this time got home twice. He also played 71 snaps – his highest total of the season.
Ramik Wilson had a big day at LB but beware: he played just 37 snaps – literally half as much as Cory Littleton (74). With Mark Barron nearing a return, Wilson’s value is fleeting at best. I would not be comfortable using him as a starter.
Marqui Christian (35) had a day too. He’s consistently playing about half the snaps in a hybrid LB/S role.
Reshad Jones missed his second straight game at safety leaving Minkah Fitzpatrick (81) to play there instead of his “normal” role in the slot. Fitzpatrick now has played two games at each position as a pro. Whilst he’s been at safety, Bobby McCain has been playing a fair amount in his old slot position. McCain was injured this week so the team is in a spot of bother.
If Jones can return, he’ll play safety, Fitzpatrick will move back to the slot and Torry McTyer will be on the outside with Xavien Howard. If Jones is not fit, then it’s anyone’s guess. Maurice Smith (26 snaps this week and just 28 for the season) will likely have to step up.
At LB, Jerome Baker played a career-high 65 snaps. Kiko Alonso is locked in as the top LB but Baker and his Ohio State teammate Raekwon McMillan (54) are fighting for playing time. This is another example of teams being willing to play matchups more for LBs rather than the traditional approach of leaving them out there for every down.
Mike Zimmer is a top defensive coach and corners are his strong suit. He continues to use his in interesting ways. Xavier Rhodes (42) plays every down he can but Mike Hughes (46), Trae Waynes (24), Mackensie Alexander (29) and even Holton Hill (12) have their own roles. It’s tough to use any of them for IDP purposes.
New England Patriots
The Patriots played just 49 defensive snaps this game. They played more than 70 in the first three games of the year. This naturally led to decreased production.
Trey Flowers made a welcome return at DE but played just 28 snaps. He’ll be a top DE start again from next week. John Simon (20), Deatrich Wise Jr. (19) and Adrian Clayborn (18) shared the other edge snaps. None of them are good starting options on this evidence. Rookie Keionta Davis missed the game.
All Patriots LBs played sparingly. Kyle Van Noy led the way with just 31 snaps and continued to play mostly at OLB. Dont’a Hightower managed 26 snaps (also mainly on the edge) and Elandon Roberts 28 in the middle. Roberts did take a nasty hit though and may miss some time. Special teamer Nicholas Grigsby had to play 11 snaps. He’s not the answer here.
New Orleans Saints
Kurt Coleman saw his lowest weekly total with just 13 snaps at safety. Vonn Bell, meanwhile, played 49. Bell is the far superior player which seemed obvious to us from the start. The coaching staff appears to have caught on.
At linebacker, we saw less clarity than a week ago. Craig Robertson played just 20 snaps but A.J. Klein (43), Alex Anzalone (33) and Demario Davis (44) all played enough to muddy the waters. Davis is the only startable option here.
New York Giants
Linebacker B.J. Goodson played just 11 snaps this week. He’s managed just 101 for the season. Ray-Ray Armstrong meanwhile is on 151 with 57 of them coming this week. He’s looking like a good pick-up for those in real need at LB. Alec Ogletree (70) is the only every-down player. He’s played 254 on the season.
New York Jets
Deep safety Marcus Maye returned to play all 77 snaps in this game. Doug Middleton was immediately benched and played just one snap on defense.
Rookie OLB Frankie Luvu missed the game. In his absence, Kevin Pierre-Louis (seven) and Josh Martin (19) helped pick up the slack but the clear starters are Brandon Copeland (47) and Jordan Jenkins (53). Both are useful in very deep leagues only. This means at least 60 starting LBs across the league.
At this stage, Derrick Johnson seems droppable. He played just 22 snaps this week compared to Marquel Lee’s 65. Johnson has just 118 for the season. 97 LBs have played more than him and he’s trending down.
At DE, the situation is clarifying. Frostee Rucker (53) is starting across from rookie Arden Key (50) with Brice Irvin paying for his lackluster approach. Key currently leads all rookie DEs in playing time.
DE Derek Barnett played 54 snaps this week to lead the rotation. That’s twice in a row he’s played the most at the position.
At linebacker, Nigel Bradham is losing snaps. He played just 57 this week (of 71) with Kamu Grugier-Hill (18) coming in on passing downs. That’s been consistently the case for the past three weeks. All Eagles LBs currently have very poor tackle efficiency numbers. Bradham and Jordan Hicks are both under nine percent.
After playing mostly in the box in week one, rookie safety Terrell Edmunds has played much deeper in the last two games. At least he’s playing full-time – he has 150 snaps over the past two games. Only seven safeties have played more during that period.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks played 48 snaps last week. Only Bobby Wagner had more at linebacker (with 60). Unfortunately, Kendricks is now banned indefinitely for his legal issues. The Seahawks will have to use either Austin Calitro (one snap this week) or Shaquem Griffen (no defensive snaps since week one) until K.J. Wright is healthy.
With Earl Thomas breaking his leg, Tedric Thompson will step into a bigger role. He’s averaged 15 snaps per week so far with his highest being 23 last week. Thompson will man the deep role with Bradly McDougald (60) continuing as the strong safety.
San Francisco 49ers
Richard Sherman missed the last game which meant Greg Mabin stepped up to play 29 snaps. This is an extremely weak unit with Ahkello Witherspoon (50) and K’Waun Williams (45) looking very leaky too. Jimmie Ward has been playing outside corner too. He’s surrendering an averaging of 10.8 yards per target.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rookie tackle Vita Vea made his debut with 33 snaps this week. He recorded no stats of any kind. Given he’s a nose tackle, this will happen more than those who drafted him will be happy with.
Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander (59 snaps each) continue to play every down but be absolute liabilities against the pass. Together, they’ve allowed 43 catches from 48 targets for 468 yards and two TDs. The QB rating against them as a pair is 120.9. We don’t care about that in the IDP world though given they have amassed 28 and 20 solos tackles respectively.
LB Wesley Woodyard went down injured this week early in the game. Jayon Brown played a career-high 77 snaps as a result of the injury and overtime. But rookie Rashaan Evans also clocked up 60 snaps. These two will get the chance to show they’re a capable starting pair whilst Woodyard is out.
No snaps due to the bye week.
Thanks for reading.
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