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IDP Rookie Review: Week Ten

We continue to track the usage and play of the NFL’s defensive rookies.

DaVon Hamilton

We had quite a few storylines involving IDP rookies this week: How would Jordan Fuller’s return from injured reserve impact Taylor Rapp? Would Juston Burris reclaim his strong safety role from Sam Franklin in the Panthers’ defensive backfield? Could Isaiah Simmons see significant snaps for the second week in a row after a massively disappointing first half of the season? Would Kenneth Murray’s week nine benching extend into week ten?

As with each week in this article, I’m keeping watch on a number of those IDP rookies to provide a look at playing time and progression. At season’s end, my plan is to provide positional rankings and write-ups to give you a good feel for who you can build around, who you can keep rostered, and who you can let go.

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

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Derrick Brown, DT CAR

53 of 80 snaps (66%); one solo tackle, two assists; one quarterback hit

Bravvion Roy, DT CAR

44 of 80 snaps (55%); three assists; two quarterback hits

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE CAR

46 of 80 snaps (57%); two solo tackles, three assists; one tackle for loss

The Panthers had a poor defensive day, surrendering 46 points to Tampa Bay, but Carolina’s three rookie linemen all had good statistical showings, and Brown and Roy both got hits on Tom Brady.

In the late third quarter, Roy used a nice move to work outside of right guard and really popped Brady on an incomplete pass on second and nine. On a fourth-quarter, fourth-and-three play, Brown used his quickness to get past the center, then brought Brady to the ground and just a tick after he released a pass to Mike Evans that picked up 14 yards. On special teams, Roy got a hand up and blocked the extra point attempt following Ronald Jones’ 98-yard touchdown run.

Gross-Matos, meanwhile, saw his highest total of snaps and snap share due to Stephen Weatherly’s absence. He had a nice play in the third quarter on second-and-one at the goal line, streaking through the “B” gap to corral Jones for a two-yard loss. Two plays later, the Buccaneers settled for a field goal.

For fantasy, it’s likely that none of the three are anything more than desperation plays right now, but the experience is going to pay off.

K’Lavon Chaisson, DE JAC

31 of 65 snaps (48%)

DaVon Hamilton, DT JAC

41 of 65 snaps (63%); four solo tackles; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit; one pass defensed

For the second time in four weeks, Hamilton finished as the DT1 in some formats. He was a monster on Green Bay’s final possession of the first half, getting a great push on center Corey Linsley on first down and getting a hand up to disrupt an Aaron Rodgers pass. Two plays later, lining up over the “A” gap, he released off a block by the right guard and came in clean on a stunt to chase down Rodgers for a sack – the first of Hamilton’s career. He looks like a third-round steal so far and has been a handful for interior offensive linemen.

The same can’t be said for Chaisson, who looks overmatched so far. For the third time this season, he was an absolute zero statistically. You certainly can’t say with any certainty if he will or won’t live up to his potential, but I’ll be interested to see him in 2021 after an off-season in an NFL weight-training program.

Raekwon Davis, DT MIA

36 of 63 snaps (57%); four solo tackles, three assists

Seven total tackles is a lot, for sure, but don’t get carried away with the production. Davis played a nice game as a gap-plugging run clogger, but his snaps were consistent with what he’s seen over the past three weeks. You’re bound to be disappointed if you insert him into your starting lineup, as both his weekly and dynasty upsides are capped by his lack of pass rush ability.

Javon Kinlaw, DT SF

35 of 59 snaps (59%); one solo tackle, two assists; one and a half sacks; one tackle for loss; two quarterback hits

Kinlaw finally broke through for his first sack and first DT1 game. In the third quarter, he recovered after nearly being pulled to the ground by the left guard and wrapped up Taysom Hill around the ankles for a sack on third down, forcing a New Orleans punt. Early in the fourth quarter, Kinlaw and Jordan Willis wrapped up Jameis Winston as the former number one overall pick spun out of the grasp of Kerry Hyder.

Kinlaw was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. The 49ers are on a bye in week 11, so as long as he’s not COVID-positive, he should be cleared to return in time for week 12.

Teair Tart, DT TEN

17 of 70 snaps (24%); one pass defensed

Tart played his second game since being elevated from the practice squad to the active roster before week nine, when he registered a quarterback hit on 22 snaps. I’d never heard of him before then but he popped in limited snaps on Thursday Night Football, getting a finger on a Phillip Rivers pass attempt to Nyheim Hines early in the second quarter, then walking star left guard Quenton Nelson backward to pressure Rivers into an incompletion on second-and-two during the final minute of the first half. He wasn’t even listed in the MyFantasyLeague database for week ten, so he’s very likely available if you want to take a chance in a deep, defensive tackle-premium league.

DJ Wonnum, DE MIN

28 of 50 snaps (56%); two solo tackles; one sack; one tackle for loss; three quarterback hits

Wonnum enjoyed another productive game working as the Vikings’ third defensive end, collecting his third sack of the season and getting in a couple of other hits on Bears quarterbacks. He showed great effort on his first hit on Nick Foles, recovering after getting blocked low by the running back. Then toward the end of the first half, Wonnum sacked Foles with a quick lateral move on a stunt. The fourth-round pick continues to look like a nice find for the Vikings.

Chase Young, DE WAS

49 of 59 snaps (83%); two solo tackles

This was not only a poor fantasy showing from Young, but he committed a bad penalty that set up Detroit for a game-winning field goal. After a Washington field goal to tie the game, the Lions took over at their own 25 with 16 seconds remaining and three timeouts. On the second play of Detroit’s drive, Matthew Stafford sailed a deep pass over the head of Quintez Cephus, but Young shoved Stafford from behind well after the Lions’ quarterback released the throw. The penalty gave Detroit the ball at the 50-yard line with six seconds remaining. After a nine-yard completion, Matt Prater nailed a 59-yard field goal for the win.

Others of note:

  • Ross Blacklock, DT HOU – 14 of 65 snaps (22%); one solo tackle
  • AJ Epenesa, DE BUF – eight of 73 snaps (11%); one solo tackle; left game in second quarter with a possible concussion
  • Khalid Kareem, DE CIN – 26 of 73 snaps (36%); three solo tackles; one tackle for loss
  • Justin Madubuike, DT BAL – 33 of 58 snaps (57%); two solo tackles, one assist
  • John Penisini, DT DET – 37 of 88 snaps (42%); three solo tackles
  • Alton Robinson, DE SEA – 27 of 70 snaps (39%); two solo tackles
  • Jason Strowbridge, DE MIA – 12 of 63 snaps (19%); one solo tackle; one tackle for loss

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Leki Fotu, DT ARI – placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury

LINEBACKERS

Krys Barnes, LB GB

Kamal Martin, LB GB

13 of 64 snaps (20%)

We were wondering if either Barnes or Martin would have value once Christian Kirksey returned from injured reserve, and now we have confirmation: No. Barnes is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and missed this game, while Martin – who missed one game due to his close contact with AJ Dillon – played limited snaps and failed to do anything statistically. The big takeaway is you can’t trust any Packers linebacker other than Kirksey so long as he’s healthy. As long as you’re not desperate for bench space, hold onto Barnes and/or Martin in case Green Bay cuts Kirksey in a cap-saving off-season move or he gets injured again.

Jordyn Brooks, LB SEA

36 of 70 snaps (51%); four solo tackles, two assists; one pass defensed

Brooks has manned the third linebacker spot over the past four weeks, getting fairly consistent usage over that time. The numbers haven’t been eye-popping by any means, and I would recommend seeing if he’s available in trades. He brings speed to the linebacker corps, and Seattle’s struggling defense could use more of that. KJ Wright is 31 years old and a free agent after this season. Bobby Wagner (30) is no spring chicken either, even though he’s productive and under contract for two more years. Expect a three-down role for Brooks as early as next season.

Malik Harrison, LB BAL

49 of 58 snaps (84%); two assists

Patrick Queen, LB BAL

56 of 58 snaps (97%); five solo tackles, four assists; one tackle for loss

Harrison followed up his big week nine with his highest snap total and snap share of the year, which is promising for future production – even if it wasn’t there this week. Hang on and see if the usage represents a trend toward the right direction for Harrison, or if it was more due to the matchup and weather (it was a sloppy weather day and the Patriots ran the ball 39 times). I think Harrison is a good player already, so I’m going to be optimistic about his outlook and will buy a few shares when I can add him for cheap.

Queen is already in a productive, every-down role, of course, and this week was his best since week five. He led the Ravens in tackles, including a big third-down stop on a run by Cam Newton with two minutes remaining and the Ravens trailing by six.

Terrell Lewis, LB LAR

28 of 67 snaps (42%); two solo tackles; two sacks; one tackle for loss; two quarterback hits

Lewis has the look of a nice rotational edge piece for the Rams, and this was his first big game after missing the first four weeks of the season while recovering from COVID-19. With 30 seconds left in the first half, Lewis dropped off coverage on the tight end to spy Russell Wilson, then closed on a scrambling Wilson for the tackle for no gain – scored as a sack. Lewis again got to Wilson early in the fourth quarter for a more traditional sack; he came in clean as neither tight end nor the running back picked him up.

Kenneth Murray, LB LAC

52 of 58 snaps (90%); two solo tackles, two assists

Benched for the second half of week nine’s game for what coach Anthony Lynn called “communication issues,” Murray was back on the field in a near-full time role. Unfortunately, he was just as unproductive as ever in the tackle department. He had a chance for an interception late in the third quarter, but he let a Tua Tagovailoa pass to Adam Shaheen slip through his hands. Hopefully you can keep Murray stashed on your bench or taxi squad. We’ll have to hope an off-season of growth and knowledge will propel him into a more disruptive, productive role in 2021. It’s just not happening in his rookie campaign.

Isaiah Simmons, LB ARI

32 of 73 snaps (44%); two solo tackles, two assists; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Simmons got a shot at full-time work after De’Vondre Campbell left the game with a calf injury, and he didn’t disappoint, looking like a man possessed in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals lined up with some six- and seven-man fronts with everyone in a two-point stance. One Buffalo’s first possession of the quarter, Simmons rushed from the left and spun quarterback Josh Allen to the ground. Just before Allen went to the ground, though, he got off a pass to Devin Singletary. Simmons got up and tracked down Singletary from behind for a five-yard loss on third down. We of course need to keep an eye on Campbell’s injury status for week 11. If he’s out, it looks like we’ll finally see what Simmons can do statistically with a high number of snaps. You might even consider (gasp!) starting him – something that seemed unfathomable a couple of weeks ago.

Josh Uche, LB NE

21 of 66 snaps (32%); one solo tackle; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Uche only played a third of the snaps but had an impact, using quick steps to juke Baltimore right tackle DJ Fluker and get to Lamar Jackson for a sack – the first of Uche’s career – on first down with a minute left in the first half. Keep in mind this was only his third game of the season, as he’d been inactive or on injured reserve with a foot/ankle injury prior to week eight. Also note that he’s predominantly being used as an edge lineman (he carries a linebacker designation on MyFantasyLeague).

Others of note:

  • Shaun Bradley, LB PHI – five of 71 snaps (7%); one assist
  • Cam Brown, LB NYG – two of 67 snaps (3%); one quarterback hit
  • Carter Coughlin, LB NYG – three of 67 snaps (4%); one pass defensed
  • Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB CIN – 13 of 73 snaps (18%); one assist
  • Troy Dye, LB MIN – 20 of 50 snaps (40%); two assists; one quarterback hit; one pass defensed
  • Jonathan Greenard, LB HOU – 23 of 65 snaps (35%); three assists
  • Alex Highsmith, LB PIT – 19 of 65 snaps (29%); one solo tackle; one tackle for loss
  • Anfernee Jennings, LB NE – 11 of 66 snaps (17%); one solo tackle
  • Davion Taylor, LB PHI – three of 71 snaps (4%)
  • Logan Wilson, LB CIN – 35 of 73 snaps (48%); one solo tackle

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Jacob Phillips, LB CLE – inactive; still struggling with knee injury but got in limited practices leading up to week ten

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Julian Blackmon, S IND

60 of 65 snaps (92%); three solo tackles, one assist; one tackle for loss

Blackmon enjoyed a decent tackle day that included a stop in the backfield on Derrick Henry mid-way through the first quarter. With the Titans in “21” personnel and no receiver to his side of the field, Blackmon walked up into the box and sprinted toward the “B” gap at the snap, coming through clean and staying low to wrap up Henry around the right ankle for a four-yard loss. Toward the end of the second quarter, Blackmon jumped a shallow cross to break up a pass to AJ Brown at the goal line on a play that Indianapolis was flagged for roughing the passer. Blackmon continues to impress but for fantasy purposes remains a low-ceiling play at safety.

Jeremy Chinn, S CAR

72 of 80 snaps (90%); two solo tackles, one assist

Sam Franklin, S CAR

32 of 80 snaps (40%); three solo tackles, one assist

Troy Pride, CB CAR

54 of 80 snaps (68%); five solo tackles, two assists

Chinn just missed one game due to injury, and looked a bit rusty. Cameron Brate got the better of Chinn for the Buccaneers’ first touchdown of the day toward the end of the first quarter. Late in the half, he let Rob Gronkowski get behind him and break a tackle attempt en route to a 44-yard gain. And then midway through the third quarter, he almost tracked down Ronald Jones on his 98-yard touchdown gallop. It doesn’t appear he re-aggravated his knee injury, so that’s one positive.

Even with Juston Burris back from injured reserve, Franklin started the game at safety next to Tre Boston, but played just 40 percent of the snaps to Burris’ 62 percent. They were on the field at the same time, at times, and even though Franklin did injure an ankle in the third quarter, he was able to return, and practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday. Keep Franklin on your bench if you do have room to hang on to him.

Pride, like almost all cornerbacks, has no dynasty value, but he’s been productive when he sees a healthy snap share. Donte Jackson may miss the week 11 matchup with Detroit, so Pride isn’t a bad streaming option if Jackson indeed sits.

Kamren Curl, S WAS

59 of 59 snaps; six solo tackles, two assists; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Curl is likely an S1 for you for the rest of the season as he’s locked into a full-time, box safety role. It helps that Washington has been aggressive with its use of Curl, who played a lot in the box and picked up a nice second-effort sack of Matthew Stafford on third down in the fourth quarter, with Washington trailing by seven. I think Curl could certainly render Landon Collins expendable should Washington wish to save some money against the cap, although it’s not likely in 2021. Making Collins a post-June 1 cut would result in $9.2 million in dead money and $8 million in cap savings, according to Over the Cap. The move makes total sense after 2021, however.

Kyle Dugger, S NE

56 of 66 snaps (85%); seven solo tackles, five assists

Dugger easily set a new high for snaps played, and led New England in tackles while splitting time between box safety and slot corner. The high usage and productivity may have been game-specific against the run-heavy Ravens, but coach Bill Belichick had praise for Dugger following the win: “He was involved in quite a few plays, but I thought he pursued well, tackled well and gave us some perimeter run force, which was a big part of the game. A lot of the running game was directed toward the perimeter and the outside, so he definitely helped us there and we got some good interior play, as well, on some of the inside plays.” It’s Belichick, so you really can’t expect a similar workload from week-to-week, but it’s promising nonetheless from a dynasty perspective.

Jordan Fuller, S LAR

58 of 67 snaps (87%); three solo tackles

We knew the Rams loved Fuller. But there was still some question of whether, after a four-week absence due to a shoulder injury, he would displace Taylor Rapp in the full-time safety spot opposite John Johnson III. That’s just what happened though, as Rapp was relegated to a nickel safety role before leaving the game with a sprained MCL. Now, with Rapp likely headed to injured reserve with a sprained MCL, there is no question that this is Fuller’s job both now and the long-haul. He’s not a top safety option, but fire him up if needed.

Daniel Thomas, S JAC

65 of 65 snaps; five solo tackles, three assists

Thomas was already starting to eat into Josh Jones’ snaps in week nine, playing 34 percent of the defensive snaps. Now, with Jones on injured reserve, the job is seemingly Thomas’ for the remainder of the season as the Jaguars look to see what they have in the former Auburn Tiger. He’s worth grabbing off of your waiver wire if he’s still out there since the strong safety position in Jacksonville has been a productive spot for fantasy.

Antoine Winfield Jr., S TB

48 of 48 snaps; one assist

It didn’t help that the Buccaneers played a mere 48 defensive snaps, but I thought Winfield had a higher floor than this. His showing was a bit of a dud in real football as well, as he was notably late to react to tight end Colin Thompson’s route into the end zone that resulted in Carolina’s first score of the day. From a fantasy perspective, he’s only had two poor showings, so no need to panic.

Others of note:

  • Chris Claybrooks, CB JAX – six of 65 snaps (9%); one solo tackle; one tackle for loss
  • Jeff Gladney, CB MIN – 50 of 50 snaps; four solo tackles; two tackles for loss
  • CJ Henderson, CB JAX – 64 of 65 snaps (98%); three solo tackles; one pass defensed; one forced fumble
  • Darnay Holmes, CB NYG – 44 of 67 snaps (66%); one solo tackle; one pass defensed
  • Jaylon Johnson, CB CHI – 63 of 73 snaps (86%); five solo tackles; one pass defensed
  • Brandon Jones, S MIA – 26 of 63 snaps (41%); three solo tackles, two assists
  • Jeff Okudah, CB DET – 34 of 88 snaps (39%); three solo tackles; one tackle for loss

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Cameron Dantzler, CB MIN – continues to recover from concussion suffered in week eight
  • Xavier McKinney, S NYG – reportedly set to return following Giants’ week 11 bye
IDP Rookie Review: Week Ten
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