Hopefully you cleaned up last week. There were a number of really good pickups that should have rounded out your IDP roster for the season. There are always opportunities though. Here we look at what changed this week in the NFC.
Lineman Zach Allen (14) had a sack in week one but played sparingly this week. This is why you don’t trust interior linemen without high volume.
Edge rushers Devon Kennard (42) and Haason Reddick (29) both managed sacks. Superstar Chandler Jones (60) was far less impressive with more volume and didn’t get to the QB. Reddick and Kennard are emergency-use only.
Isaiah Simmons followed up his disappointing week one with… even less time. He played 18 bad snaps last week but just seven in week two. He’s not close to being ready.
LB Foyesade Oluokun (18) incredibly forced three fumbles on his limited snaps before he injured his hamstring and left the game. Rookie Mykal Walker (46) filled in for him.
There were high hopes for this Panthers defense. In terms of freshness of approach if not instant quality. Sadly, they seem to have been overly optimistic. The fact that they’re a three-safety unit is interesting, but they are also extremely vanilla in terms of personnel and package flexibility.
They’re also the worst pass-rushing defense in the NFL by some distance.
LB Danny Trevathan (31) lost significant playing time from last week (when he saw 70 snaps). In his place, no LB really added snaps – but safety Deon Bush (25) did see the field much more as a box player.
The Lions’ LB unit has been a mess since Matt Patricia arrived. Loosely the top names are Jamie Collins (56) and Jahlani Tavai (59), but neither are full-time players. Jarrad Davis (46) and Reggie Ragland (31) will also get to play plenty. Christian Jones (46) is more of an edge player in this scheme.
Green Bay Packers
LB Krys Barnes picked up some hype a week ago. He played just 15 snaps – the same as in week one. You can ignore him.
The only significant changes to this defense this week were at safety. Will Redmond (12) lost playing time with Raven Greene (21) coming in. 21 snaps is borderline insignificant but Green is very much a hybrid box player so keep an eye on him.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams played 71 snaps this week to 72 in week one. And given the lack of major injuries, the weekly splits look almost identical.
In 2019 everyone was aghast at the Seahawks running so much 4-3 base with three LBs on the field. This year the Vikings are doing just that. They’ve lined up that way on 70 snaps in two games (they’ve played 151 snaps) which accounts for 17% of all 43 base snaps in the NFL this year.
New Orleans Saints
There were no huge changes for the Saints this week although against the Raiders’ conservative offense, maybe they were just playing it safe.
Safety DJ Swearinger missed the game but he was a bit-part player anyway.
Rookie LB Zack Baun again failed to play a defensive snap – although he did manage to play special teams this week.
New York Giants
Lorenzo Carter (64) remains head and shoulders above the other edge rushers.
Logan Ryan (55) played 17 more snaps than his debut last week. He also played a bit more in the slot. He’s not really on the IDP radar now in most leagues.
This defense looks like a shadow of its former glory right now.
At LB, Nate Gerry (69) remains the only LB to consider. And he’s not very good.
On the edge Brandon Graham (44) remains good but the supporting cast of Josh Sweat (39), Derek Barnett (33) and Casey Toohill (22) all failed to produce much this week. Vinny Curry and Genard Avery both failed to get on the field
At the corner Marquise Blair (7) was also banged up with Ugo Amadi (47) coming in for him. Both are weak spots.
LB remained similar. Bobby Wagner (72) is playing every snap. KJ Wright (51) significantly fewer with rookie Jordyn Brooks (8) being brought along slowly and Bruce Irvin (54) moving between his Sam/edge spot and orthodox inside LB.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers had a horrific week for injuries, star DE Nick Bosa (11) being right up there with the worst of them. With Dee Ford also missing this week, there is suddenly a big weakness at the position. In their absence, Kerry Hyder (52) and Kentavius Street (25) played much more than last week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have used just 23 different personnel combinations on defense through two games. To put that into context, the Falcons and Jets have both used over 70 each. This Bucs team is relying extremely heavily on starters right now.
There were no major differences week on week – because the same players were rolled out. The only difference was package weight.
Washington Football Team
The Washington defensive line was just as impressive this week – but just had fewer sacks on the box score. Keep faith in them.
There were no significant changes in playing time this week aside from the fact that everyone played about ten snaps more.
The pass rushers remain impressive. Chase Young (55) in particular is the stud we hoped he would be. Kevin Pierre-Louis (75) had a big game at LB – hopefully you added him after reading this column last week and seeing he was an every-down LB.
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