Dynasty League Football


IDP Rookie Review: Week 13

We cover the latest defensive rookie performances and consider who is worthing of starting in the fantasy playoffs.

Chase Young

One of the great things about playing IDP is the leg up it can give you if you pay attention to the defensive side of the ball, as a lot of fantasy owners in IDP leagues are simply too focused on their offensive assets. Hopefully this article has helped you in some way this season – and most importantly, I hope the majority of your teams are in your fantasy playoffs!

That said, outside of Jeremy Chinn and Kamren Curl, I can’t think of any rookies I’d be totally comfortable starting in my IDP lineups during the playoffs, other than maybe some streamers at cornerback when the game scripts look right.

As with each week in this article, I’m keeping watch on a number of IDP rookies to provide a look at playing time and progression. Once the season ends in a few weeks, 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. I truly welcome the feedback and discussion.


K’Lavon Chaisson, DE JAX

48 of 91 (53%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; two quarterback hits

So you’re telling me there’s a chance! Chaisson, who no doubt has topped many a first-round “bust” list, showed some signs of life, getting in a couple of hits on Kirk Cousins. Chaisson has had a hard learning curve, going from a stand-up edge rusher at LSU to trying to function with his hand in the dirt in the NFL. Both of his hits in this game came out of a three-point stance. On the first he utilized his strength – a speed-to-power rush. The second hit came late in the fourth quarter when Cousins couldn’t find an open receiver and moved out of the pocket. Chaisson disengaged from his blocker and tackled Cousins just after he got rid of the ball.

AJ Epenesa, DE BUF

23 of 61 snaps (38%) snaps; one solo tackle

The snaps and the production weren’t eye-popping, but Epenesa again played close to 40 percent of the snaps while veteran Trent Murphy watched as a healthy inactive. It’s the same timeshare that Epenesa saw in week 12, and clearly the Bills had a plan to boost the Iowa product’s usage coming out of the week 11 bye. He passes the eye test as a pass rusher, and now has added some versatility with some drops into coverage – he picked up his lone tackle on a short pass to running back Jeffery Wilson Jr. That versatility is good to see, and bodes well for Epenesa’s usage in year two and beyond.

Javon Kinlaw, DT SF

48 of 73 (66%) snaps; one solo tackle, two assists

Unlike his previous two outings, Kinlaw failed to record any splash plays. So while there may have been no sacks, no interceptions and no touchdowns, Kinlaw did return to his pre-COVID-19 usage, seeing right around two-thirds of the defensive snaps. He still looked effective as a pass rusher, and made a couple of nice stops. Early in the game, he made a great hustle play, coming across the field to help tackle Cole Beasley after a short pass completion. Later, he showed nice athleticism and balance to recover from a low block on a stop of Devin Singletary for no gain.

Chase Young, DE WAS

63 of 71 (89%) snaps; two solo tackles, one quarterback hit

Young continued a solid rookie season and helped lead Washington to a win over the previously unbeaten Steelers. He came up with a big tackle of Benny Snell in the second quarter by flying down the line on a fourth-and-one run at the goal line. He got two hits in on Ben Roethlisberger, but the first – which came on a third-and-nine completion to JuJu Smith-Schuster that came up one yard short of a first down – was negated because of a penalty. On the second hit (the one that counted), he wrapped up Roethlisberger as the veteran forced an ill-advised throw that could have been intercepted by linebacker Jon Bostic.

Others of note:

  • Ross Blacklock, DT HOU – 17 of 69 (25%) snaps
  • Doug Costin, DT JAX – 51 of 91 (56%) snaps; one solo tackle, four assists; one pass defensed
  • Michael Danna, DE KC – 21 of 66 (32%) snaps; one solo tackle, two assists
  • Raekwon Davis, DT MIA – 28 of 52 (54%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one tackle for loss
  • Jordan Elliott, DT CLE – 23 of 72 (32%) snaps; one solo tackle
  • Leki Fotu, DT ARI – 40 of 83 (48%) snaps; two solo tackles; two tackles for loss in return from three-week stint on injured reserve
  • Neville Gallimore, DT DAL – 36 of 55 (65%) snaps; two solo tackles, two assists
  • Khalid Kareem, DE CIN – 17 of 70 (24%) snaps; one assist
  • Niko Lalos, DE NYG – 26 of 72 (36%) snaps; two solo tackles; one fumble recovery; undrafted rookie from Dartmouth saw snaps for second straight week
  • John Penisini, DT DET – 42 of 69 (61%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist; one fumble recovery
  • Tershawn Wharton, DT KC – 26 of 66 (39%) snaps; one assist

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • McTelvin Agim, DT DEN – inactive for first time since week eight
  • Derrick Brown, DT CAR – among several Panthers placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the team’s bye week
  • DaVon Hamilton, DT JAX – on injured reserve with knee injury suffered late in week 12
  • Justin Madubuike, DT BAL – no longer on reserve/COVID-19 list but still inactive, apparently due to the return of Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams
  • Julian Okwara, DE DET – designated to return from injured reserve on Dec. 2; yet to be seen if he actually returns
  • Malcolm Roach, DT NO – inactive for third consecutive week
  • DJ Wonnum, DE MIN – inactive with back and ankle issues


Jordyn Brooks, LB SEA

43 of 56 (77%) snaps; five solo tackles, six assists

With the Giants able to stick with a run-heavy game script, Brooks ended up playing a season-high in snaps and snap share – he hadn’t played more than 51 percent of snaps in a game until this week – and led the Seattle linebacker corps in tackles despite still serving as the third ‘backer.

He did showcase his speed while helping to track down Wayne Gallman on his 60-yard gallop in the third quarter. Always-rosey coach Pete Carroll offered praise on Monday, saying “Jordyn Brooks really showed up. I think this was by far his best game.” As for the negative: rookie linebackers are renowned for their struggles in pass coverage, and Brooks surrendered an early nine-yard completion to Golden Tate III.

Carter Coughlin, LB NYG

45 of 72 (62%) snaps; two solo tackles; one quarterback hit

Tae Crowder, LB NYG

39 of 72 (54%) snaps; six solo tackles, one assist; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

New York’s depth chart at outside linebacker has been decimated, with Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines and Kyler Fackrell all injured, and Markus Golden traded. Crowder has thus been thrust into a major role, and his snaps have been on a rapid rise in the Giants’ past two games. His production came in the fourth quarter as a spy on Russell Wilson. He did a nice job on the second play of the quarter, scraping across the line, disengaging the right guard, and tackling Wilson for a one-yard gain. He also lined up as a stand-up rusher over the “A” gap, first showing blitz and then dropping into the spy role. With just over seven minutes remaining, he de-cleated Wilson with a big hit just after the quarterback released a pass that would fall incomplete. Earlier in the game he was often lined up as a stand-up edge rusher.

Crowder returned from injured reserve in week 12 after a productive start to the season. With a larger number of snaps this week, he again produced nice numbers and logged his first career sack on a not-so-well executed but effective stunt. Crowder has the numbers two linebacker role seemingly locked up, but I can’t say I want him anywhere near my lineups during the playoffs. He has been productive but he’s not playing a three-down role.

Anfernee Jennings, LB NE

44 of 72 (61%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one quarterback hit

Josh Uche, LB NE

36 of 72 (50%) snaps; three quarterback hits

Both Uche and Jennings played large roles in New England’s blowout win in Los Angeles, with Uche logging his highest number of snaps, and Jennings getting his highest usage since week seven. The Patriots dialed up the pressure on Justin Herbert, and Uche showed his immense potential on some of his pass rushes, looking unblockable at times and getting in three hits and another pressure on the Chargers quarterback. The versatile Jennings plays some linebacker and some on the line. In the second quarter, he came in unblocked from the edge and laid a lick on Herbert, who managed to get a pass off in time to Austin Ekeler for an 11-yard gain.

Alex Highsmith, LB PIT

60 of 72 (83%) snaps; two solo tackles, three assists

With Bud Dupree out for the season, Highsmith got his first start and easily saw his most snaps on the season. In limited action as Pittsburgh’s third outside linebacker, Highsmith was a solid tackler, a promising pass rusher, and a pleasant surprise in coverage. He did nothing against Washington to dispel the notion that he is the long-term answer opposite TJ Watt, showing nice pass-rush moves, getting off blocks in the run game, and bringing a non-stop motor to stay with plays through the tackle.

Kenneth Murray, LB LAC

67 of 67 snaps; 12 solo tackles, two assists; one sack; two tackles for loss; one quarterback hit

I had all but given up on Murray as a usable asset this season, but he turned in a high LB1 performance in the Chargers’ blowout loss to the Patriots. Pass coverage struggles aside – and he did surrender a short pass completion to Ryan Izzo – Murray has been solid but not spectacular this year. That changed in week 13, as the Chargers let the first-round pick rush the backfield a little, and he picked up his first career sack on a designed blitz where Murray worked off the block of running back James White and corralled Cam Newton before he could get off a deep pass. Murray also did a good job minimizing designed runs and scrambles by Newton, and the sheer number of New England rushes helped Murray pile up the tackles.

Patrick Queen, LB BAL

52 of 79 (66%) snaps; three solo tackles, two assists; one interception; one pass defensed

While Queen led the Ravens’ inside linebackers in snaps, he logged his lowest snaps and snap share since week three. He made a nice diving interception off a ball batted into the air at the line by nose tackle Brandon Williams. The Ravens scored a long touchdown on the next play to take a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter.

Isaiah Simmons, LB ARI

32 of 83 (39%) snaps; four solo tackles, one assist

Simmons has settled back into a supporting role after a high LB1 outburst in week 11, when De’Vondre Campbell was limited with an injury. He’s not going to provide any immediate help for you, but at least his dynasty value rebounded from where it was after a disastrous first half of the season. Three of his tackles against the Rams came in pass coverage, with Jared Goff finding receivers for short gains against Arizona’s zone.

Logan Wilson, LB CIN

40 of 70 (57%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed

Wilson appears to be the one off-ball rookie linebacker most adept at providing adequate pass coverage ability, which bodes well for a future three-down role. Wilson made a key play on an early third-and-six against Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins: He lined up over the left “A” gap, showed blitz to occupy the guard, then dropped into coverage and tipped away a pass that if completed would have resulted in a first-down.

Others of note:

  • Krys Barnes, LB GB – special teams snaps only
  • Zack Baun, LB NO – nine of 67 (13%) snaps; two assists
  • Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB CIN – seven of 70 (10%) snaps; one solo tackle
  • Troy Dye, LB MIN – 18 of 71 (25%) snaps; four solo tackles; role did not increase despite injury to Eric Kendricks
  • Willie Gay, LB KC – 17 of 66 (26%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist
  • Trevis Gipson, LB CHI – ten of 68 (15%) snaps; played first snaps since week four
  • Jonathan Greenard, LB HOU – 12 of 69 (17%) snaps; one quarterback hit
  • Malik Harrison, LB BAL – ten of 79 (13%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist
  • Kamal Martin, LB GB – 16 of 62 (26%) snaps; two solo tackles; one tackle for loss
  • Jacob Phillips, LB CLE – 18 of 72 (25%) snaps; two assists
  • Davion Taylor, LB PHI – special teams snaps only; injured a knee and was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 9, ending his season
  • Mykal Walker, LB ATL – 35 of 78 (45%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Terrell Lewis, LB LAR – inactive with recurring knee issue that flared up again prior to week 12


Kamren Curl, S WAS

61 of 71 (86%) snaps; seven solo tackles, one assist

Since week nine, Curl has been either an S1 or S2, and he put together another solid S2 performance against Pittsburgh. On the Steelers’ first drive, he wrapped up Eric Ebron after a short pass completion on third down, forcing a Pittsburgh punt. In the second quarter, he helped to make stops on first- and second-down Benny Snell runs during Washington’s goal-line stand.

It wasn’t all good. Curl is a much better downhill player and can be had in coverage. Ebron burned him for a 15-yard completion early in the second quarter. He was shaken up late in the third quarter on a tackle of Anthony McFarland but returned to the game.

Cameron Dantzler, CB MIN

71 of 71 snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; one interception; one pass defensed; one forced fumble; one fumble recovery

Jeff Gladney, CB MIN

47 of 71 (66%) snaps; three solo tackles, two assists; one quarterback hit

After missing two full games with a concussion and then handling partial workloads the past two weeks, Dantzler seems to be back to full health and a full workload. That’s good for fantasy purposes, as he’s streamable at cornerback. He had plenty of splash plays this week, including his first career interception on a short pass intended for Eric Saubert. Later in the game he allowed a short completion to Chris Conley, but ripped the ball away from the receiver and recovered the fumble.

Gladney, meanwhile, saw his fewest snaps since week one. If you’re working him into your cornerback rotation, you need to be sure the Vikings are playing a team that runs heavy “11” personnel since he has been working in the slot.

Ashtyn Davis, S NYJ

44 of 78 (56%) snaps; five solo tackles, one assist

Javelin Guidry, CB NYJ

36 of 78 (46%) snaps; four solo tackles, two assists; two forced fumbles

Bryce Hall, CB NYJ

78 of 78 snaps; seven solo tackles

Lamar Jackson, CB NYJ

78 of 78 snaps; four solo tackles

Say this for the Jets’ defensive backs: they don’t have to work for Gregg Williams anymore! The cornerbacks don’t offer any dynasty value, but Hall has been a nice streamer over the past few weeks. Both Jackson and Guidry are undrafted rookies forced into major roles. Davis does have a place in our dynasty plans though, and it’s painful to lose him for the fantasy playoffs. He was having another productive tackle day before suffering a foot injury that has likely ended his season.

Kyle Dugger, S NE

56 of 72 (78%) snaps; three solo tackles, two assists

I keep waiting for Bill Belichick to pull the rug out from under us, but Dugger has seen 73 percent or more of defensive snaps for four straight weeks, so I’d say he is indeed entrenched as a key cog in the defense. He showcased his sideline-to-sideline speed in the first quarter on a tackle of Kalen Ballage, who took a pitch and ran to the field side. Dugger was in the box on the boundary hash, and sprinted to the opposite side of the field to meet Ballage on the sideline.

AJ Terrell, CB ATL

76 of 78 (97%) snaps; eight solo tackles, one assist; one tackle for loss; one pass defensed; one forced fumble

One of this season’s better rookie corners, Terrell had a superb week 13 for fantasy, as Taysom Hill targeted him often. It meant good tackle numbers for Terrell, who did come up with a handful of big plays, including a forced fumble on a late Hill run – fortunately for New Orleans the ball rolled out of bounds.

Others of note:

  • Luq Barcoo, CB JAX – 69 of 91 (76%) snaps; five solo tackles; one pass defensed; this is what it has come to at cornerback for Jacksonville
  • Julian Blackmon, S IND – 64 of 64 snaps; three solo tackles, one assist
  • Jordan Fuller, S LAR – 64 of 64 snaps; three solo tackles
  • Darnay Holmes, CB NYG – 56 of 72 (78%) snaps; four solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed; landed first career interception
  • Jaylon Johnson, CB CHI – 68 of 68 snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed
  • Brandon Jones, S MIA – 28 of 52 (54%) snaps; two solo tackles, two assists
  • Xavier McKinney, S NYG – six of 72 (8%) snaps; Giants are serious about easing him back into action
  • Michael Ojemudia, CB DEN – 64 of 64 snaps; six solo tackles, one assist; pressed back into full-time duty due to injury to Bryce Callahan. He’s likely to keep a full-time role with starter A.J. Bouye suspended six games, so consider him a viable streamer.
  • L’Jarius Sneed, CB KC – 48 of 66 (73%) snaps; four solo tackles, two assists

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Jeff Okudah, CB DET – inactive again with shoulder injury suffered in week 11
IDP Rookie Review: Week 13
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