IDP Rookie Review: Week Five

Jason King

The late, great Al McGuire, the legendary Marquette men’s basketball coach and NBC Sports commentator, once said “the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.” We could say the same about NFL rookies and their progression as players. Some adapt to the mental and physical speed of the game much better than others, and through five weeks we have a pretty good handle on which IDP rookies we can count on for production right now.

Each week in this article, I’ll keep watch of a number of IDP rookies to provide a look at their play and progress. I’ll also keep tabs on playing time and statistics for some of your bench and taxi squad stashes. By the end of the season, we should have a good feel for who to build around, who to keep rostered, and who to let go.

As always, let me know in the comments section if you want more information on anyone covered or not covered.


K’Lavon Chaisson, DE JAX

47 (81%) snaps; one assist; one pass defensed

We wanted a larger share of snaps for Chaisson, and we got it with Josh Allen missing the game due to injury. Unfortunately, the production didn’t follow. As mentioned previously, he’s going to have to add some more sand in his shorts to better play the run. He did manage to get a hand up and bat down a Deshaun Watson pass midway through the third quarter.

Don’t expect the snap rate to follow through going forward. The Jaguars added Jabaal Sheard – a solid edge run defender – to their practice squad on Tuesday. Chaisson remains a stash for future seasons.

Neville Gallimore, DT DAL

22 (32%) snaps; one solo tackle; one quarterback hit

Dak Prescott’s brutal ankle injury wasn’t the only hit the Cowboys took during their week four win over the Giants: second-year defensive tackle Trysten Hill tore an ACL, rendering another blow to a group that lost Gerald McCoy before the season even started. Gallimore, who was inactive in weeks three and four after seeing minimal usage to open the season, is now in line to play a larger role. He’s likely already rostered if you’re in a defensive tackle premium league, but if not he’s worth adding for rest-of-season depth and future potential.

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE CAR

17 (26%) snaps; one assist; one quarterback hit

It was a rough week for injuries along the Panthers’ defensive line, and Gross-Matos was not spared. With a few minutes left in the third quarter, Gross-Matos hobbled off the field before returning early in the fourth quarter. He was ruled out with an ankle injury just before the game ended. Brian Burns left the game with an apparent concussion in the second quarter, while tackle Kawann Short injured his shoulder in the second half and did not return.

Javon Kinlaw, DT SF

45 (67%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist

It was another mostly quiet day in the production day for Kinlaw, who is still looking for his first sack of the season. He did have a couple of stops early in the fourth quarter with Miami running the clock; his tackle of Myles Gaskin featured a nice club and swim move over the right guard that forced Gaskin to cut outside before Kinlaw tracked him down from behind for a one-yard gain. I do think he’s more than just a run-stuffer.

James Lynch, DT MIN

Eight (15%) snaps; one solo tackle; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year was finally active and saw the field for a few snaps. On a frustrating night for Vikings fans, Lynch recorded a highlight by walking Seahawks rookie guard Damien Lewis backward and swallowing up Russell Wilson. It’s a small sample size, but Minnesota’s other options at defensive tackle haven’t been able to generate much of a pass rush – Lynch’s sack was the first of the season registered by a Vikings interior lineman – so we may see more of the high-motor Baylor product going forward.

Justin Madubuike, DT BAL

30 (45%) snaps; one assist; one quarterback hit

Madubuike picked up a nice share of snaps in his debut. He was mostly quiet statistically but got in a nice hit on fellow rookie Joe Burrow late in the first quarter. Working in the three-technique position on the left side, Madubuike easily worked off the right guard and around right tackle Bobby Hart to find Burrow, who rolled right to escape Patrick Queen coming free on a linebacker blitz. Burrow released an incomplete pass just as Madubuike drove into him.

The Ravens were impressed with Madubuike before the third-rounder from Texas A&M suffered a knee injury late in camp. It looks like he’ll play a nice role on the defensive front going forward and has a sweet matchup vs. the Eagles in week six.

Chase Young, DE WAS

45 (66%) snaps; two solo tackles; one tackle for loss

Young returned after missing most of two games with a groin injury and looked quick. The numbers were nothing to write home about – par for the course with Washington – but perhaps the most important thing is he looked healthy and didn’t reinjure the groin. Toward the end of the first quarter, he dropped Darrell Henderson for a one-yard loss on a play that Rams right tackle Rob Havenstein just seemingly forgot to engage Young with a block.

Others of note:

  • Bradlee Anae, DE DAL – one (1%) snap; one quarterback hit
  • Ross Blacklock, DT HOU – ten (13%) snaps; one solo tackle
  • Derrick Brown, DT CAR – 33 (51%) snaps; started
  • Marlon Davidson, DE ATL – 12 (18%) snaps; one pass defensed; added to reserve-COVID-19 list on Oct. 13
  • Raekwon Davis, DT MIA – 11 (17%) snaps. He could be in line for an increase in playing time due to Davon Godchaux’s torn bicep – just don’t expect much for immediate fantasy production.
  • AJ Epenesa, DE BUF – four (6%) snaps; one solo tackle; one tackle for loss
  • DaVon Hamilton, DT JAX – 30 (52%) snaps; one assist
  • Khalid Kareem, DE CIN – 18 (29%) snaps; one assist. Kareem is a name to monitor with Carlos Dunlap a projected cap casualty next off-season and Carl Lawson in the final year of his rookie deal. We should get a longer look at him with Sam Hubbard projected to miss a few games with an elbow injury.
  • Larrell Murchison, DE TEN – 27 (38%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one tackle for loss. He picked up additional snaps in the defensive line rotation with Jeffery Simmons remaining on the reserve-COVID-19 list.
  • Alton Robinson, DE SEA – 35 (40%) snaps; one solo tackle, two assists. He continues his solid role as part of Seahawks’ defensive end rotation. Robinson is nothing more than a desperation play as his snap percentage remains consistent.
  • James Smith-Williams, DE WAS – five (7%) snaps; one solo tackle; one tackle for loss
  • Tershawn Wharton, DT KC – 19 (27%) snaps; one solo tackle; one assist
  • DJ Wonnum, DE MIN – 27 (50%) snaps; no production despite season high in usage

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Michael Danna, DE KC – placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in week four


Tae Crowder, LB NYG

49 (74%) snaps; three solo tackles, two assists

Crowder has quickly gone from working on special teams only into the starting lineup, and played a nice chunk of the snaps next to Blake Martinez against the pass-happy Cowboys. He was clearly targeted a few times in man coverage against tight end Dalton Schultz but acquitted himself well. Like most rookie linebackers, he needs to improve in zone coverage. I don’t think playing this high a snap count will continue for Crowder, but he’s still worth a deep dynasty stash.

Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB CIN

50 (79%) snaps; started; three solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed

Logan Wilson, LB CIN

30 (48%) snaps; one assist; one quarterback hit; one interception; one pass defensed

Both rookies saw season highs in snaps this week – this was a huge jump in playing time for Davis-Gaither – but I’m not ready to plug either of them in my lineups just yet. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo told us what we need to know earlier this week when discussing the linebackers: “One week we may be very different than the next based on what we are defending.”

Wilson looked surprised to see the ball coming his way during an interception of Lamar Jackson while dropping into zone coverage. Davis-Gaither should have had his own pick on an early fourth-quarter pass intended for Willie Snead, but he couldn’t complete the interception despite the ball hitting him between the numbers.

Willie Gay, LB KC

33 (47%) snaps; five solo tackles, one assist; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Gay’s snap count is growing by the week, and he picked up his second consecutive start. He’s noticeably faster than Kansas City’s other linebackers, which should bring additional tackles. His “sack” of David Carr resulted in a loss of a yard, but happened on a play that Carr scrambled right and slid down short of the line of scrimmage before Gay could get to him. He remains a high-upside dynasty stash but a risky fantasy play for now. He’s at least not a bad option as a bye-week fill-in.

Kenneth Murray, LB LAC

76 (100%) snaps; two solo tackles, three assists; one pass defensed

This was another blasé statistical showing from Murray; Kyzir White has been stuffing the stat sheet for the Bolts instead. Murray did showcase his range while closing in to deflect a pass intended for Bennie Fowler in the second quarter, and tracking down Emmanuel Sanders after a short completion midway through the third quarter. But he also gave up some receptions in pass coverage. I’d consider him a so-so start going forward given the limited upside but solid floor. At least the full-time role is guaranteed.

Patrick Queen, LB BAL

52 (78%) snaps; six solo tackles, three assists; one sack; one quarterback hit; one forced fumble; two fumble recoveries; touchdown

Queen is around the ball a lot, and it showed up in the box score with a big game against the Bengals. While he did rack up several tackles toward the end of the game with the Bengals trailing by four scores and practicing Joe Mixon runs, he also made two big splash plays: a second-quarter sack of Burrow that forced a fumble, and a fourth-quarter scoop-and-score after Marlon Humphrey stripped the ball away from receiver Mike Thomas.

Others of note:

  • Zack Baun, LB NO – 12 (17%) snaps; started; one solo tackle, one assist
  • Shaun Bradley, LB PHI – four (5%) snaps; two solo tackles; one tackle for loss
  • Malik Harrison, LB BAL – 14 (21%) snaps; two solo tackles; one assist
  • Alex Highsmith, LB PIT – 13 (22%) snaps; one solo tackle. He saw some additional work when T.J. Watt missed snaps with some sort of shoulder or arm injury.
  • Terrell Lewis, LB LAR – special teams snaps only in his debut after spending the first four weeks on injured reserve
  • Jacob Phillips, LB CLE – nine (16%) snaps; one solo tackle. He was fifth in the linebacker pecking order behind B.J. Goodson, Malcolm Smith, Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki.
  • Isaiah Simmons, LB ARI – 13 (19%) snaps
  • Davion Taylor, LB PHI – special teams snaps only for the fifth week in a row
  • Mykal Walker, LB ATL – ten (15%) snaps; one assist. He saw minimal usage with Foye Oluokun playing out of his mind.

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Jordyn Brooks, LB SEA – has managed to avoid injured reserve while working his way back from a sprained MCL suffered in week three


Julian Blackmon, S IND

64 (88%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist

The late third-rounder continues to impress and looks like a great find for the Colts. While he didn’t break up the pass, he made a great read on a Browns’ trick play toward the end of the first half that former Rams safety Adam Archuletta highlighted on the the CBS television broadcast. With the Browns showing hard run action left, Baker Mayfield took the snap and pitched it back to Kareem Hunt, who pitched back to Odell Beckham Jr. on an end-around to the right. Beckham completed a long pass downfield to tight end Austin Hooper, who made the catch just as Blackmon met him for the tackle. If Blackmon had not read the play from the start and closed on the spot where the ball would find Hooper, the play likely would have gone for a touchdown.

From a fantasy perspective, Blackmon is just a depth piece due to his deep safety role, but he has at least shown that he belongs on the field in the four games he’s played.

Jeremy Chinn, S CAR

64 (98%) snaps; six solo tackles, three assists; one pass defensed

The big production continued for Chinn, who is second to Queen among rookies in solo tackles and first in total tackles. In addition to the tackles, he added a nice pass breakup in zone coverage on Atlanta’s final possession. Keep rolling him out with confidence.

Trevon Diggs, CB DAL

50 (74%) snaps; started; three solo tackles; one pass defensed

Fighting through a shoulder injury, this was the first time this season that Diggs did not play 100 percent of defensive snaps. If you’ve been streaming him at cornerback, you’ll need to be cautious as the injury could limit him. He nearly picked off Daniel Jones’ pass to Darius Slayton on the first play of the Giants’ final possession in week five.

Jordan Fuller, S LAR

54 (100%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; two passes defensed

We were wondering what Fuller would return to after Taylor Rapp stepped in and produced at an S2 level during Fuller’s absence. Now we know: Fuller pulled full-time duty, while Rapp managed just 13 snaps. This was a relatively low total snap count week for the Rams, offering a smaller opportunity for production. Unfortunately, Fuller was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday with a stinger, so you’ll have to wait a few weeks to return him to your lineup if you need him.

Taking a step back from fantasy, if you subscribe to The Athletic, check out Jourdan Rodrigue’s awesome, in-depth article last week on Fuller. It includes a lot of insight into the Rams’ evaluation and player development process. You’ll come away with positive impressions of Fuller the person and of the Rams’ internal makeup in general, and get a great book suggestion! It’s also pretty revealing of how the Rams view Fuller and why he immediately returned to a full-time role at safety this week.

Darnay Holmes, CB NYG

50 (76%) snaps; started; two solo tackles, one assist; half a sack; one quarterback hit; two passes defensed

Don’t get too excited by Holmes’ nice day in the stats column. You can’t count on the splash plays week-in and week-out, and Holmes hasn’t been much to write home about as a rookie in pass coverage. Look elsewhere for streaming help at corner.

Daniel Thomas, S JAX

28 (48%) snaps; seven solo tackles

Those seven solos are going to pop off the page, but Thomas only got the opportunity this week due to Josh Jones’ targeting ejection for a helmet-to-helmet hit on the oft-concussed Brandin Cooks in the third quarter. If you have a deep bench in a large league, he’s worth a stash in case of injury to Jones. The strong safety position in Jacksonville has been a productive one for fantasy.

Antoine Winfield Jr., S TB

62 (98%) snaps; four solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed

This is Winfield’s second straight game without a splash play – he had sacks in weeks two and three – but his tackle numbers were solid. He had a nice breakup of a pass to Allen Robinson near the beginning of the second quarter, and otherwise continued to show an elite ability to quickly diagnose plays and close on the ball.

Others of note:

  • Chris Claybrooks, CB JAX – 58 (100%) snaps; five solo tackles; two passes defensed. Forced into full-time action due to injuries, Claybrooks was predictably picked on. The seventh-round pick is likely headed back to a reserve role this week, assuming CJ Henderson is able to return to the lineup.
  • Kamren Curl, S WAS – 36 (53%) snaps; started; one solo tackle, two assists
  • Cameron Dantzler, CB MIN – 54 (100%) snaps; four solo tackles, one assist. He drew a tough assignment on DK Metcalf, and Seattle exploited the mismatch.
  • Ashtyn Davis, S NYJ – 22 (29%) snaps; two assists
  • Jeff Gladney, CB MIN – 54 (100%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist
  • Noah Igbinoghene, CB MIA – ten (16%) snaps
  • Jaylon Johnson, CB CHI – 71 (100%) snaps; two solo tackles
  • Brandon Jones, S MIA – nine (14 %) snaps
  • Troy Pride, CB CAR – 63 (97%) snaps; five solo tackles, one assist. Donte Jackson re-aggravated a toe injury early in the game, creating a large role for Pride. Give him a look as a streamer if Jackson is ruled out for week six.
  • AJ Terrell, CB ATL – 64 (98%) snaps; three solo tackles
  • K’Von Wallace, S PHI – 13 (17%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Kristian Fulton, CB TEN – inactive but returned from the reserve-COVID-19 list prior to Tuesday’s game
  • Jaylinn Hawkins, S ATL – suffered a concussion in week four
  • CJ Henderson, CB JAX – missed this week after injuring a shoulder in week four
  • Geno Stone, S BAL – was waived last week and signed to the Ravens’ practice squad
jason king