IDP Rookie Review: Week 16

Jason King

For those of you playing for championships in week 16, I hope you all brought home titles. I only won one of the three title games I made it to, and most disappointingly got waxed by @shawn8386 in Gary Davenport’s IDP Championship of the Universe league.

We’re almost through a full season for this year’s crop of rookies. My plan is to write up a week 17 review as well, hopefully focusing on some players we haven’t seen much of so far. Then I’ll put a bow on the rookie reviews with four sets of articles: positional rankings and overviews for edge rushers, interior defensive linemen, linebackers and finally safeties.


Derrick Brown, DT CAR

45 of 71 (63%) snaps; one solo tackle; one quarterback hit; two passes defensed

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE CAR

37 of 71 (52%) snaps; one solo tackle; one sack; one tackle for loss; two quarterback hits

Bravvion Roy, DT CAR

29 of 71 (41%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist

Carolina’s trio of rookie linemen had their moments against Washington. On the Football Team’s first play from scrimmage, Roy, playing nose tackle, plugged both “A” gaps to stymie an Antonio Gibson run.

Some of their success had a lot to do with Dwayne Haskins, who held onto the ball too long while waiting for deep shots to develop. On one such play late in the first quarter, Haskins ignored check-down options Steven Sims and JD McKissic, both of whom were open with room to run. Brown broke down the protection, got a hand on the pass attempt, and hit Haskins on the follow-through. Brown also got a hand on an early fourth-quarter pass attempt to McKissic.

Gross-Matos’ sack was totally on Haskins. On fourth-and-two, the former WFT quarterback inexplicably didn’t see his slot receiver standing uncovered in the middle of the field, four yards past the line of scrimmage. Haskins scrambled out of the pocket once the protection broke down, and Gross-Matos brought him down from behind. It proved to be Haskins’ last snap with Washington, as Taylor Heinicke replaced him to start the next series.

K’Lavon Chaisson, DE JAX

47 of 72 (65%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one quarterback hit

Chaisson continued his streak of improved play and looks less like the bust we thought he might be over the first half of the season. He generated pressure on Mitchell Trubisky a handful of times, and landed a hit on the Bears quarterback on an incomplete pass to Darnell Mooney. Chaisson showed good bend and got a hand on Trubisky on his late third-quarter touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.

Neville Gallimore, DT DAL

31 of 73 (42%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; half a sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Gallimore has provided some much-needed interior disruption for Dallas lately, and he shared a sack – his first – with Randy Gregory after they quickly collapsed on Jalen Hurts as the quarterback started running upfield. He also dropped Miles Sanders for a one-yard loss late in the first quarter by overpowering center Jason Kelce to get into the backfield.

Justin Madubuike, DT BAL

23 of 64 (36%) snaps; one solo tackle; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Madubuike has dealt with injury and COVID-19 during a difficult rookie season, but he’s been solid with some flash mixed in. This week he notched his first sack, lining up over the “B” gap and using a stutter step and violent hands to get inside rookie left guard Shane Lemieux and bring down Daniel Jones.

Julian Okwara, DE DET

20 of 77 (26%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one tackle for loss

It was good to see Okwara return this week, as the Notre Dame edge rusher played just 30 snaps over the first six weeks of the season before going on injured reserve with a leg injury. Okwara really looks the part of a future starter and recorded his first career tackle late in the game. With Tampa Bay in heavy run personnel, Okwara bullied Tanner Hudson, overpowering the tight end’s block and throwing Hudson out of the way before engulfing Ke’Shawn Vaughn for a one-yard loss. I really think Okwara is a nice low-key add before next season.

Alton Robinson, DE SEA

18 of 75 (24%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit

Robinson has been a nice addition to the Seattle front as a pass-rush specialist. He picked up his fourth sack of the season, recovering from a jarring block by Malcolm Brown and then knocking off the inside arm of the left tackle to get to Jared Goff before the Rams quarterback could get rid of the ball.

Chase Young, DE WAS

63 of 68 (93%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; one sack; one tackle for loss; one quarterback hit; one pass defensed; one forced fumble; one fumble recovery

Young was simply awesome against Carolina. Early in the second quarter, he stuffed Rodney Smith on a first-and-goal run from the Washington six-yard line. Just before the half, he came up with two big plays in the final 37 seconds: first, he laid a hit on Teddy Bridgewater on a deep incompletion to DJ Moore, who had beaten the pass coverage. Three plays later he hit Bridgewater’s arm on a rush, and WFT teammate Kamren Curl ran under the errant pass for an interception.

Midway through the third quarter, he used a powerful rip move to get around the left tackle, strip Bridgewater, and recover the fumble. A few minutes later, he overpowered tight end Chris Manhertz to get into the backfield and trip up Smith for a two-yard loss.

I’m sure it stings to have whiffed on the Haskins pick, but Washington hit it big with Young.

Others of note:

  • Ross Blacklock, DT HOU – 20 of 76 (26%) snaps; one solo tackle; one quarterback hit
  • Doug Costin, DT JAX – 49 of 72 (68%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; one tackle for loss
  • Michael Danna, DE KC – 26 of 68 (38%) snaps; one solo tackle
  • Raekwon Davis, DT MIA – 53 of 64 (83%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; one quarterback hit
  • Jordan Elliott, DT CLE – 12 of 69 (17%) snaps; two assists
  • AJ Epenesa, DE BUF – 27 of 50 (54%) snaps; two solo tackles
  • Leki Fotu, DT ARI – 24 of 56 (43%) snaps; one solo tackle; one quarterback hit
  • John Penisini, DT DET – 56 of 77 (73%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist
  • Malcolm Roach, DT NO – 24 of 64 (38%) snaps; one solo tackle; one quarterback hit
  • Teair Tart, DT TEN – 26 of 66 (39%) snaps; two assists
  • Tershawn Wharton, DT KC – 33 of 68 (49%) snaps; one quarterback hit
  • DJ Wonnum, DE MIN – 63 of 75 (84%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist; season high in snaps in an atrocious performance by the Vikings defense against the Saints

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Marlon Davidson, DE ATL – suffered knee injury in week 14 that has kept him out consecutive weeks
  • Javon Kinlaw, DT SF – knee injury kept him from playing; it was his first missed game


Krys Barnes, LB GB

52 of 55 (95%) snaps; five solo tackles, two assists

It seems official now: Barnes is the top inside linebacker in Green Bay, with Christian Kirksey (12 snaps) joining Kamal Martin (13 snaps, one solo tackle) as secondary/backup options. Furthermore, Barnes looked good in the role, demonstrating a nice ability to shed blocks and be physical with linemen. Earlier this season before Barnes went on the reserve/COVID-19 list, I thought Martin looked the better of the two, but Barnes seems to have come around with the mental responsibilities of the position. If you picked him up on the cheap, you now have a nice asset in tackle-heavy formats.

Jordyn Brooks, LB SEA

28 of 75 (37%) snaps; seven solo tackles, one assist; one tackle for loss

Compared to veterans Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright, Brooks stands out for his closing speed, and that helped his tackle numbers on runs by Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, Jared Goff scrambles, and short passes to Robert Woods. It also helped that seven of his eight tackles were credited as solos, making this his best day from a fantasy perspective.

Late in the third quarter, he did a nice job on a Seattle goal-line stand. On first-and-two, he fended off a block of tight end Tyler Higbee to burst through the “C” gap and drop Brown for a two-yard loss. Then on fourth-and-one, he helped stop Brown for no-gain.

Cam Brown, LB NYG

24 of 68 (35%) snaps; three solo tackles

Carter Coughlin, LB NYG

11 of 68 (16%) snaps

Tae Crowder, LB NYG

57 of 68 (84%) snaps; five solo tackles, three assists

Coughlin took a back seat in this game, playing his fewest snaps since week ten, while Brown played a season-high. Brown, a stand-up edge rusher, picked up a trio of shoe-string tackles – two on Devin Durvernay end-arounds in the first half, and a third on a Lamar Jackson scramble that picked up seven yards in the third quarter.

Crowder had a solid fantasy day, but it was mostly an on-field struggle. On Baltimore’s first touchdown, he did a nice job on shallow coverage against Willie Snead, but once he passed off Snead on an in-breaking route, he failed to get enough depth to defend a pass to Marquise Brown near the back pylon. Later in the half, he gave up an 11-yard reception to Mark Andrews.

He had some positive plays as well, and was able to penetrate and stop JK Dobbins for a three-yard gain on a second-and-four run in the second quarter. Later on a third-and-two play, Crowder was solid in zone coverage and helped force an incompletion and keep the Ravens to a field goal.

Willie Gay, LB KC

49 of 68 (72%) snaps; seven solo tackles, two assists; one tackle for loss; one forced fumble

I’m sure we’re all disappointed that the Chiefs won’t commit more snaps to Gay even when all their linebackers are healthy. It’s obvious that he brings more speed and range to the position than anyone else in the linebacker corps, and that’s including safety/linebacker Daniel Sorensen. Even with 49 snaps – his most this season due to the absences of Anthony Hitchens (reserve/COVID-19 list) and Damien Wilson (knee) – he was still out-snapped by Darius Harris, a second-year ‘backer making his debut.

Gay did look unsure of his responsibilities in coverage at times against the Falcons, but still led the team in tackles and delivered a crushing hit on receiver Brandon Powell that jarred the ball free after a short completion. The fumble, recovered by Kansas City, stopped the Falcons in Chiefs territory in a 10-7 game.

Alex Highsmith, LB PIT

58 of 69 (84%) snaps; three solo tackles, four assists; two quarterback hits

Highsmith hasn’t yet landed a sack this season, but he’s been effective as an edge rusher, and landed a couple of hits on Philip Rivers. His biggest plays came after Will Holden left the game with an injury and J’Marcus Webb replaced him at tackle in the fourth quarter. Highsmith pressured Rivers on a pass that was intercepted by Mike Hilton with a little more than six minutes remaining in the game and Pittsburgh leading by four. On Indianapolis’ fourth-and-eight last gap possession, Highsmith beat Webb with a sweet inside spin move and launched into Rivers, whose pass to Zach Pascal fell incomplete.

It wasn’t all seashells and balloons for Highsmith, as the right outside linebacker was ineffective against the Colts’ run game, struggling to get off blocks. And his best work was against Webb, who signed with the Colts on December 12 and was on the practice squad prior to the game at Pittsburgh. Still, he’s athletic, and has been lauded for his work ethic and attitude. He should be a solid starter with upside next season.

Blake Lynch, LB MIN

72 of 75 (96%) snaps; seven solo tackles, three assists

Sans Eric Kendricks, Todd Davis, and Troy Dye, the Vikings were really scraping the bottom of the barrel for anyone to play at linebacker on Christmas. With the likes of Lynch and Hardy Nickerson playing major roles alongside Eric Wilson behind a weak line, is it any wonder Alvin Kamara scored six touchdowns and the Saints ran roughshod for 264 yards?

I didn’t know much about Lynch – no relation to fellow Vikings rookie and former Baylor teammate James Lynch – so I figured I’d give him a look. He was, after all, a big-time recruit who during his college career started games at running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, and linebacker, where he settled in and played his entire senior season.

He did lead the Vikings in tackles, but there is no hidden gem lurking here. Honestly I expected to see a better athlete, but he looked neither quick nor fast. The biggest thing that stuck out was his inability to get off any sort of block, as the Saints’ offensive linemen repeatedly got to the second level on run plays. On his first play, Lynch overran his gap and then got pancaked by Ryan Ramczyk. A few plays later, he was mauled by Erik McCoy on Alvin Kamara’s 40-yard touchdown run. Needless to say, Lynch won’t be on any of my off-season sleeper lists.

Kenneth Murray, LB LAC

74 of 77 (96%) snaps; seven solo tackles, two assists

While Murray piled up the tackles with a fairly high snap count, he was not great in coverage, and dynasty owners need to keep that in mind when considering Murray’s value. The further we are from that first-round selection, the shorter his leash will get. And we’ve already seen him benched for a half due to “communication issues.”

Patrick Queen, LB BAL

60 of 64 (94%) snaps; two solo tackles, two assists; two quarterback hits

Queen was fairly quiet overall despite receiving a high percentage of snaps, and has been hard to trust this season. He did come close to two sacks on Daniel Jones on first-down blitzes, but each time Jones got off a pass that went for a first down.

Isaiah Simmons, LB ARI

21 of 56 (38%) snaps; three solo tackles; one fumble recovery

Simmons ended up with an odd fumble recovery late in the first half when Hasaan Reddick hit CJ Beathard’s arm just as the 49ers quarterback was getting ready to move his arm forward. The ball traveled about seven yards up the field before it bounced, and Simmons stuck his foot out, kicking the ball and keeping it in front of him. He quickly decided to jump on the ball, which was at the feet of Jerick McKinnon. The 49ers running back made no effort to get the ball, believing that Beathard got off the pass.

Otherwise, it was a quiet night for Simmons, who continues to bide his time and await a larger role in 2021.

Others of note:

  • Jonathan Greenard, LB HOU – 47 of 76 (62%) snaps; one solo tackle
  • Malik Harrison, LB BAL – nine of 64 (14%) snaps; two solo tackles
  • Khaleke Hudson, LB WAS – 18 of 68 (26%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist
  • Anfernee Jennings, LB NE – 37 of 72 (51%) snaps; two solo tackles
  • Terrell Lewis, LB LAR – 17 of 63 (27%) snaps; two assists; returned to action after missing four games with knee injury
  • Josh Uche, LB NE – 31 of 72 (43%) snaps; one solo tackle, one assist
  • Mykal Walker, LB ATL – 13 of 67 (19%) snaps; one solo tackle; two assists

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Jacob Phillips, LB CLE – among Browns placed on reserve/COVID-19 list
  • Logan Wilson, LB CIN – missed second straight game with a lingering foot injury


Jeremy Chinn, S CAR

71 of 71 snaps; six solo tackles, two assists

Chinn was pretty quiet against Washington until the fourth quarter, when he made six of his eight tackles with Washington playing from behind. JD McKissic worked Chinn in man and zone coverage a few times, including on McKissic’s late touchdown reception. Chinn was also flagged for defensive pass interference on the play.

Kamren Curl, S WAS

65 of 68 (96%) snaps; six solo tackles, three assists; one interception; one pass defensed

Curl did his usual great job keeping plays in front of him, then closing for tackles. He did his best work in run support in the third quarter. Working as the weakside linebacker, he stuffed Mike Davis on a second-and-three run. Late in the quarter, he worked through blocks in front of him to help Jon Bostic finish off Davis for a one-yard loss. Curl actually punched the ball loose before Davis was down, but officials were too soon to rule Davis’ forward motion had stopped. It cost Curl a forced fumble, and Washington a possible touchdown on the return by Jeremy Reaves.

Jordan Fuller, S LAR

63 of 63 snaps; five solo tackles, two assists

Fuller is typically the deeper safety in split safety looks, or the single-high safety. He’s certainly been solid this year, and did a nice job coming up in run support versus Seattle – hence the decent tackle production. In man coverage, Fuller was soundly beaten by tight end Jacob Hollister for a touchdown that put Seattle up 20-9 with less than three minutes to play.

Xavier McKinney, S NYG

46 of 68 (68%) snaps; seven solo tackles, one assist

The Giants brought McKinney along slowly following his week 12 debut, and his playing time is increasing by the week. This was a bit of a breakout game from a fantasy standpoint. Working as a deep safety for the most part, McKinney worked downfield to make tackles on short and intermediate passes in the middle of the field and against the run on Jackson keepers. In red-zone looks, he almost got a hand on an incomplete pass intended for Mark Andrews at end of first half, and later made a touchdown-saving tackle on a Gus Edwards outside run, bringing down the Ravens running back at the one-yard line.

L’Jarius Sneed, CB KC

48 of 68 (71%) snaps; six solo tackles, one assist; one sack; one tackle for loss; two quarterback hits

Had Sneed not missed six games with a broken collarbone, mainstream media would be talking about him a lot more. With Gay and Sneed, the Chiefs clearly targeted speed with their defensive draft picks, and the latter has been a big play demon with three interceptions. Teams are now going to have to account for him as a possible pass rusher when he’s near the line, as he picked up his second sack in as many games and landed another hit on Matt Ryan with a nice second effort after getting cut down by the running back on a block.

He had some struggles in man coverage, mainly on receivers going into pre-snap motion into the flat. I think it’s simply a matter of Sneed doing a better job of mirroring the pre-snap speed in order to get himself into a better position to defend the pass or not give up yards after the catch.

Antoine Winfield Jr., S TB

39 of 53 (74%) snaps; four solo tackles

With the Buccaneers playing out a 47-7 lead, Winfield got the fourth quarter off, if you’re wondering about the snap count. Also note that if you started Winfield in your championship and you’re in a tight game, stat corrections may cost you: He was credited for a tackle of D’Andre Swift in the first quarter on a play that he blitzed out of the slot and actually missed Swift as he tried to redirect on the run.

Others of note:

  • Damon Arnette, CB LV – 51 of 63 (81%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist; played just ten snaps from weeks 12-15
  • Julian Blackmon, S IND – 68 of 68 snaps; two solo tackles; didn’t get over in time to defend game-winning touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Chris Claybrooks, CB JAX – 40 of 72 (56%) snaps; two solo tackles
  • Cameron Dantzler, CB MIN – 52 of 75 (69%) snaps; one solo tackle; left with injury in third quarter
  • Trevon Diggs, CB DAL – 73 of 73 snaps; one solo tackle; one interception; one pass defensed
  • Kyle Dugger, S NE – 43 of 72 (60%) snaps; two solo tackles, two assists
  • Alohi Gilman, S LAC – 22 of 77 (29%) snaps; one assist; first meaningful role on defense due to Rayshawn Jenkins’ ankle injury. Had played just three snaps all season.
  • Jeff Gladney, CB MIN – 74 of 75 (99%) snaps; four solo tackles, two assists; missed several tackles
  • Bryce Hall, CB NYJ – 81 of 81 snaps; four solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed
  • Harrison Hand, CB MIN – 16 of 75 (21%) snaps; one assist; one interception; two passes defensed
  • Michael Jacquet III, CB PHI – 40 of 70 (57%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; worn out by Michael Gallup
  • Brandon Jones, S MIA – 16 of 64 (25%) snaps; two solo tackles, one assist
  • Michael Ojemudia, CB DEN – 57 of 57 snaps; seven solo tackles
  • John Reid, CB HOU – 60 of 76 (79%) snaps; three solo tackles, one assist; one pass defensed
  • Vernon Scott, S GB – 26 of 55 (47%) snaps; two solo tackles
  • AJ Terrell, CB ATL – 67 of 67 snaps; one solo tackle; one pass defensed

Notable inactives and injuries:

  • Kristian Fulton, CB TEN – hasn’t played since week seven due to knee injury
  • Javelin Guidry, CB NYJ – inactive with a knee injury
  • Darnay Holmes, CB NYG – active but did not play due to lingering knee injury
  • Jaylon Johnson, CB CHI – missed second straight game with shoulder injury suffered in week 14
  • Troy Pride, CB CAR – missed game with hip injury suffered in week 15
jason king