IDP Improvements: Moves to Make Before Week 16

Jason Abbey

We have abundant data to draw upon when evaluating the 2023 performance of players. Still, there is value in analyzing performances over a smaller, more recent sample size. Most of this week’s suggestions fall into that category.

Richie Grant, S ATL – TRADE AWAY

DeMarcco Hellams, S ATL – ADD

Richie Grant’s 2023 season has been one to forget. The 26-year-old has struggled in coverage, been poor in run support, and has missed 15.8% of his tackle attempts. Therefore, it was no surprise when he began relinquishing snaps to 2023 seventh-round pick Hellams in week 12.

The hit to Grant’s fantasy value was immediate. He produced only 11 tackles over the next three games, and his future as a starting safety appears in doubt after being replaced by Hellams in week 15. Grant played only 11% of the defensive plays, while Hellams earned a 94% snap share.

Hellams was overshadowed in the 2023 draft by his teammate, Jordan Battle, but former scout Jim Nagy took notice of what Hellams had to offer:

Substituting Grant for Hellams has already paid dividends for the Falcons. The woeful Panthers’ offense was a poor test, but the rookie acquitted himself well, producing seven tackles and playing noticeably better than Grant has all season.

Grant, a former second-round pick, may get another shot to prove he belongs; I suggest dynasty managers don’t play the waiting game. Starting defensive backs are easy to come by, and I would swap Grant for any draft pick offered.

Christian Barmore, DT NE – TRADE FOR/ADD

Barmore has amassed 112 pressures since entering the league in 2021 and continues to improve as a pass rusher, posting a career-high with five sacks in 2023. Even so, he has been unlucky not to produce more sacks in his short career, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before he does.

The Patriots’ future may be uncertain as they prepare for life post-Belichick. Still, Barmore is one of a handful of talented youngsters who could help the franchise become competitive once again. Interior defensive linemen with pass-rush upside are a coveted asset in almost every scheme.

Stash Barmore as your dynasty DT2, and prepare to reap the rewards in 2024 and beyond. I’m confident that five to seven sacks will be his yearly floor. His value has dropped in the DLF IDP Rankings, but I suspect he will rise before next season.

Christian Harris, LB HOU – TRADE FOR/ADD

Harris’s performance in 2022 was historically poor, and despite being handed a chance to redeem himself entering 2023, his early season performances left us with little optimism he could develop into an every-down NFL linebacker.

Despite starting as Houston’s second choice behind Denzel Perryman, Harris quickly lost ground to Blake Cashman and rookie Henry To’oTo’o in the pecking order. However, injuries to others meant Harris got another chance to redeem himself.

Harris has grabbed the opportunity with both hands, demonstrating drastic improvement as the season has unfolded. He will never be an elite run defender, but he’s played reasonably well in pass coverage and has missed fewer tackles.

Cashman and Perryman are set to become free agents in 2023. Considering how well he has played this year, the Texans may attempt to bring back Cashman, but Harris should remain in the mix either way.

Malcolm Koonce, EDGE LV –ADD

Admittedly, this nomination is a reach. Koonce barely played in his first two seasons, didn’t register his first sack of 2023 until week nine, and has only flashed in a handful of games this year.

However, he’s gathering steam. Koonce has played at an elite level in three of his last six games, producing three sacks and forcing three fumbles. DLF’s Jason King wrote about the youngster in this week’s waiver wire article.

The Raiders spent the seventh overall pick in the 2023 draft on Tyree Wilson, and the smart money is on the rookie emerging as the leading option to partner Maxx Crosby. But don’t rule out Koonce’s fine performances forcing the Raiders to adopt a committee approach opposite Crosby.

Conclusion

I’m more bullish on the Barmore suggestion than the Harris nomination, and I’m even less confident in the Koonce addition. As always, I try to balance confident claims with more speculative moves to help you stay ahead of the curve. Hopefully, you have the roster space to stash some dynasty players while remaining competitive in the fantasy playoffs. Good luck out there!

jason abbey