Congratulations on winning your playoff game! At least I assume everyone who reads this column is in that boat.
David Amerson has started at corner for the past two weeks now. He’s a good streamer for the playoffs.
Gerald Hodges has played every snap at LB alongside Haason Reddick since Josh Bynes got hurt three weeks ago at LB.
Budda Baker hasn’t played 100% of Cardinals defensive snaps since week six. It’s hard to consistently rack up tackles from the slot.
Deion Jones has played 129 snaps in the last two weeks since his return from injury. De’Vondre Campbell is on 123, Foyasade Oluokon 79 and Duke Riley ten. That’s a pretty clear hierarchy.
Safety Sharrod Neasman had a big day on the stat sheet but plays limited snaps. He’s one to avoid.
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The Ravens played 86 snaps in their overtime game against the Chiefs. The last time they were over 60 was week nine before then. No surprise they managed to rack up stats. Chuck Clark played all 86 snaps at safety with Tony Jefferson out.
DE Trent Murphy has managed a decent IDP season. For his price at least. He played just 26 snaps this week though and has averaged just 38 over the season. It’s tough to trust anyone who plays less than Shaq Lawson.
Mario Addison has just half a sack over the past five games. However he plays the most of all Panthers edge players and has 14 pressures in that time. He’s still an OK start.
Shaq Thompson has played just 50 combined snaps over the last two games. Thomas Davis has 113 in that period.
Apparently Sean McVay is a genius because he can name the Bears’ defensive line-up. He can probably also tell you that rookie LB Roquan Smith is up to 43 solo tackles in his past six games. He’s starting to pick up pace but he’s still a long way away from the finished product in NFL terms.
Another overhyped player is Eddie Jackson. He’s scored five defensive TDs in his first two seasons which is great – but the calls of “all he does is score” are way over the top. Also, he has 88 solo tackles in his career so far. And just 26 assists. That’s about half of what you’d hope for from a top 12 safety in IDP terms.
Carlos Dunlap continues to be the lead dog on the edge for the Bengals. He has eight sacks for the season – his sixth straight year of seven and a half or more.
At LB this week were Nick Vigil (57) and Hardy Nickerson (49). It’s not worth trying to pick the weekly starters unless you’re totally desperate. Sell any of them for whatever you can get.
The Browns have played over 70 defensive snaps nine times out of 13 games this season. That is extraordinary. They play about ten snaps more than the average each and every week. So, for a player with a 10% tackle efficiency (lowish for a LB, high for a safety) that’s a free tackle every game just because of the team volume. Lovely.
Jamie Collins has been the chief recipient and put together an excellent IDP season but it could easily evaporate. He’s been excellent because he’s had to play inside with Christian Kirksey hurt. It’s possible he stays there in 2019 but not a given even with the emergence of Genard Avery.
Players who might lose out on volume ahead of 2019 include safety Damarious Randall and Myles Garrett. Expect them both to play less.
The Cowboys’ defense is very settled which is contributing to how well they’ve been playing. There’s been almost no weekly variation or injuries in the past three weeks.
Isaac Yiadom has finally taken over at corner with Chris Harris out hurt. He hasn’t shown up on the stat-sheet yet but he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Todd Davis continues to be the lead dog at LB. IDP is hard to predict isn’t it?
The Lions have been settled most of the season but with Devon Kennard out, it’s worth noting Eli Harold has been playing the strong side role. It’s not a very productive role for IDP.
The only DE playing full time is Romeo Okwara. He managed 60 snaps this week and leads the position over the season by some distance.
Green Bay Packers
At safety Ibraheim Campbell has played the last two weeks now. He is emphatically not a target for you.
Disappointingly, rookie Oren Burks (three) is only playing a handful of snaps per game. With this being a lost season it would have been nice for him to get some more game-time. His future will clearly depend on whatever happens to the coaching staff in the off-season.
After returning from injury in week 13 Aaron Colvin missed out in week 14 with injury. He’s played just 236 snaps after his big-money deal. The Texans have been winning so it’s gone a little under the radar but the defense has been pretty underwhelming. They have two good pass rushers but struggle to produce any other pressure, the LB group lacks mobility and the cornerback group needs overhauling. It’s been an excellent coaching job from Romeo Crennel.
Rookie DE Kemoko Turay has failed to reach 20 snaps in each of the past three weeks. Fellow rookie end Tyquan Lewis has averaged 43 snaps per game since his week ten debut. Turay has just one less pressure though. Playing time is important but with pass rushers it’s important to separate pure edge rushers from edge-setters.
Darius Leonard has been utterly ridiculous of course. What a great debut season.
In the early part of this season lots of people were asking why Myles Jack (60) was so unproductive. He has 83 total tackles after 13 games, compared to 90 from last season. His 57 solos are not amazing but he’s still got plenty of room to grow into his job.
Rookie safety Ronnie Harrison has started the past two games and played all 136 snaps in that time. With Barry Church very likely to leave the team in the off-season, Harrison is a priority add right now in leagues that start two or more safeties.
Kansas City Chiefs
I wrote above that the Browns had played over 70 snaps nine times this year. The Chiefs have done it ten times! The nature of their team and offense means they’re playing heavy loads which has contributed to their corners and pass rushers being such good options. Bear that in mind before assuming people like Dee Ford or Steven Nelson will have much value in 2019.
Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa has played 56 and 54 snaps the last two weeks – out of a possible 68 and 67. It’s great he’s back and he’s certainly playing well but it’s notable he’s not at 100% yet. Over the same time frame, Melvin Ingram managed 66 snaps in each week.
Jatavis Brown has played 61 and 64 snaps at LB with the other one being “safety” Adrian Phillips. He’s played 57 and 61 snaps and is very much a weekly starter at this point.
Los Angeles Rams
Aqib Talib played all the snaps this week and is fully back, while Sam Shields and Troy Hill both failed to see the field.
LB Mark Barron is playing about 75-80%. He’s been very inefficient though. Just another reminder that the Rams are not a great defense for IDPs in the main. Cory Littleton has outperformed expectations (mine anyway) but don’t assume that he’ll just be really productive every season going forward.
Robert Quinn now has four sacks in four weeks. In that period he’s played just 166 of a possible 280 snaps. As with all Dolphins pass rushers, he’s stuck in a deep rotation. It’s clear the staff think this is the best way to behave. Sell him if you can.
Minkah Fitzpatrick (82) continues to play wide corner. He’s doing it because of injuries but his versatility is not necessarily an asset in IDP leagues. He’s really only played orthodox safety in three games this year when Reshad Jones was out.
DT Sheldon Richardson (45) continues to play heavy snaps. He’s been really good this year – just not converted much of his pressure into sacks. That makes him a buy candidate.
If you’re wondering why the Vikings defense has been so underwhelming look no further than cornerback. Holton Hill (64) is a starter right now.
New England Patriots
There were mostly disappointing numbers from the Pats this week. This was due to volume. They played just 48 snaps against Miami. The Dolphins have averaged just 57 offensive snaps per game over the season. The lowest in the league. Only the Cardinals are close.
Only Devin McCourty managed five solo tackles this week which shows exactly how few opportunities there were.
A notable exception was Trey Flowers (41) with two sacks. He now has four sacks from eighteen pressures in his last three games. He is an elite player at his position and is undervalued as an IDP.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have now played over 70 defensive snaps three games in a row. Over that time Alex Anzalone has played over 40 snaps every time. He’s only really an LB4 at best but if he can stay fit he’s got breakout potential.
Marcus Davenport continues to play just 25-30 snaps per week. Make sure you talk to your league-mates about how disappointing he’s been. He’s a major 2019 breakout/buy candidate.
New York Jets
With Darron Lee suspended, Neville Hewitt (62) stepped in to start. He’s a great option if you need some depth in playoff season.
Cornerback Darryl Roberts (76) is playing free safety for the Jets. That’s not a productive or efficient job but it’s better than corner. He’s interesting in very deep leagues.
New York Giants
Alec Ogletree is tearing up the stat sheet isn’t he? Remember he’s the only full-time Giants LB. B.J. Goodson (28), Tae Davis (19) and Ukeme Eligwe (six) are part time players at best.
With Landon Collins out last week Michael Thomas played 58 snaps. He’s not a direct replacement at all but is a decent emergency option. He’s got nine solo tackles in his last two games.
LB Nicholas Morrow (47) has been playing second fiddle to Tahir Whitehead (60) in recent weeks. That sounds exciting but it’s really not. This is a single productive LB team. Leave Morrow for someone else.
Karl Joseph is playing full time for now and looking OK in NFL terms but this is a bad defense for IDP safeties. Sell him if you have any shares remaining.
The Eagles played 99 defensive snaps last week in their overtime loss to Dallas. No wonder some players had such high totals. Obviously don’t let it make you think these players are studs now. In particular LB Kamu Grugier-Hill saw 64 snaps. He’s still a part-time, stand-in player. It’s just that this week part time looked like full-time.
In the previous two games the team totaled 107 defensive snaps. This is a volume game.
Jon Bostic has played just 11 and 14 snaps the last two weeks with L.J. Fort playing 52 and 53. Bostic is droppable. Fort isn’t worth picking up. Ryan Shazier’s replacement is just not on this roster.
Mychal Kendricks played 44 snaps this week for the Seahawks. That’s a lot better than being in jail isn’t it? If you have any shares sell him now. For some reason loads of people think he’s a really good player still.
San Francisco 49ers
Arik Armstead (38) managed a sack this week. He’s quietly having a good season. He’s due $9m in 2019 and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see him moved on given they probably don’t want to admit Solomon Thomas is a bust and it also seems likely they’ll invest in a true edge rusher. Armstead is worth stashing.
Elijah Lee (74) played LB next to Fred Warner (74) last week with Malcolm Smith missing the game.
Jaquiski Tartt just can’t stay healthy and missed the game. It’s such a huge shame.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rookie nose tackle Vita Vea played a career-high 51 snaps this week. That coincided with three solo tackles bringing his season tally to nine. It would be great if no DLF readers invested rookie picks into nose tackles this year. Even ones drafted in the early first round.
Andrew Adams (64) started at safety next to Justin Evans (51). Twitter favourite Isaiah Johnson did not play. Let that be a lesson to you.
At LB it’s been a muddled situation almost all year. That’s been no surprise. This week Wesley Woodyard (49) played behind Jayon Brown (57) with Rashaan Evans (37) coming up fast. Evans had a fine stop on fourth down that showed his penetration. Evans is another target ahead of a potential year two breakout.
Safety Kevin Byard (71) continues to fall foul of the two-deep system this season. He has a quarter of the total INTs and PDs he managed last season. Another lesson that shows coverage-plays is just not something that can be relied on across years.
LB Zach Brown played just 28 snaps this week with Shaun Dion Hamilton (28) filling in. Brown took a knock but it seems he’s unlikely to return to the team in 2019. Dion Hamilton is very much a target. He had a fine career at Alabama but was derailed by injuries. Now he’s fit he could potentially take off.
Thanks for reading everyone.