IDP leagues can be won with some preemptive in-season pickups or trading for players who are on the rise, but whom the masses have not picked up on. Each week, we’ll detail a handful of IDP players or trends essential for dynasty players to monitor.
Often, things like quarterback hurries, quarterback knockdowns or snap counts don’t appear in the box scores – these are key indicators of potential value changes that may be forthcoming as they show a particular player is getting after the quarterback and a string of sacks may be on the horizon or a linebacker may be coming off of the field more than originally expected.
The goal is to largely avoid stellar IDP players since many of those individuals are already heavily in the eyes of IDP owners. Instead, here are some key trends based on week five performances:
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- With Malcolm Smith injured, newly acquired Perry Riley started and played 100% of snaps accumulating six tackles, an assist and a forced fumble. Cory James also played 100% of snaps, but only tallied a tackle and an assist in what was perceived as a let down.
- Thomas Davis is still working through a hamstring injury. Because of it, Shaq Thompson played 68% of snaps finishing with four tackles and three assists in week five. As noted in prior weeks, Thompson is an elite prospect who will excel as he sees an increase in snaps. We’re just starting to see that potential.
- Sean Spence, LB played 89% of snaps beating out Wesley Woodyard (42%) for the first time this year. Spence finished with four tackles and three assists.
- For two straight weeks, Clayton Geathers, SS has played 100% of snaps. It seemed TJ Green may eat into his snaps early in the season based on Green’s preseason play and Geathers foot injury. That hasn’t been the case over the last two weeks. Geathers has taken hold of the role and is averaging five tackles and an assist.
While Malcolm Smith, LB was out last week, he should return in week six and the newly acquired Perry Riley should head back to the bench. He’s was sold against the Chargers, so Cory James best be looking over his shoulder because Riley appears to be carrying a chip after being released by the Redskins this summer.
Sean Spence, LB is a must watch and stash. He possesses the ability to play in various capacities and it appears he may be beginning to get an opportunity with Wesley Woodyard’s snaps scaled back.
News to Follow
- Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers continues to refer to Joe Thomas, LB as their dime linebacker. Jake Ryan is leading the team in snaps, but Thomas is eating into Blake Martinez’s short-term value.
- With David Bruton, SS on injured reserve, the Redskins signed Donte Whitner. It’s not clear how Whitner, Will Blackmon and Duke Ihenacho will be used yet, but one of them is likely to hit the bench. Not the most popular view currently, but it may make more sense for Blackmon to stick at nickel corner giving both Whitner and Ihenacho snaps at free and strong safety. Stay tuned.
- Deion Jones, LB is expected to return in week six. If so, Kemal Ishmael, S will return to his safety spot. If not and De’Vonte Campbell is still out (he’s expected to return), Ishmael should again see linebacker snaps and offer nice value close to the line of scrimmage with the safety designation.
- Harold Jones-Quartey, S was benched early week five after Dwayne Allen beat him for a touchdown and he also missed an assignment on a fourth down soon after. Chris Prosinski assumed his spot playing 84% of the team’s snaps finishing with six tackles and two assists.
- Sean Davis, S has played slot corner and safety in recent weeks. However, the Steelers feel it’s too much him at this point in his young career. They are scaling back his responsibilities. He’s expected to stick to safety. This will give Artie Burns, CB more snaps on the outside in nickel packages.
Blake Martinez, LB may not be playing every down currently, but he should play that role long-term. Jake Ryan is the only Green Bay option to consider weekly in 2016, but Blake Martinez is a viable long-term target. His scaled back snaps early in 2016 may present a nice buy low opportunity.
Harold Jones-Quartey, S struggled last week, but Chris Prosinski isn’t the answer. He’s a mediocre depth player. Deon Bush is someone to watch should Jones-Quartey continue to struggle.
- Nick Bellore, LB led the 49ers in snaps with Navarro Bowman out for the year. He racked up seven tackles, four assists, a forced fumble and half a sack. He’s a worthy short-term option.
- Joey Bosa, DE/OLB made his NFL debut finishing with four tackles, an assist and two sacks on 38% of the team’s snaps.
- Vic Beasley, LB finally showed up accumulating seven tackles, an assist, two forced fumbles and three and a half sacks on 60% of snaps. While positive, he’s too unpredictable and disappears too often to rely on. He’s a matchup play, at best.
- Malcom Brown, DT had a mini breakout with three tackles, two assists and two sacks on 67% of snaps. While his snap count has been high the last two weeks, he can’t yet be consistently relied on considering the Patriots defensive line rotation.
Nick Bellore, LB is a worthy addition in most formats considering his immediate opportunity and apparent role. He’s unlikely to be a long-term option, but appears to be viable 2016 play. However, there is risk Michael Wilhoite and Bellore swap production with Wilhoite leading the pack on any given week. We could see a seesaw with Bellore and Wilhoite on a weekly basis. It’s too early to say. If deciding between the two, though, Bellore would be my current choice. However, Gerald Hodges should still be watched.
Joey Bosa, DE/LB was extremely productive with a small volume of snaps, which bodes well. The key piece of information from last week’s game is he played a mix of outside linebacker and defensive end – 18 snaps at defensive end and nine snaps at outside linebacker. He was most successful rushing the passer off the edge. A good sign for his long-term prospects as his snap share increases. However, he played outside linebacker in base packages and defensive end in subpackages. His base package play could mean a position change to linebacker next year if it continues, which is horrible news. However, if he plays there in the short-term, he’ll be a solid short-term play in 2016 with the defensive end designation.
- Muhammad Wilkerson, DE is struggling to start the year, as is the Jets defense, with the exception of Leonard Williams. After opening the year with 1.5 sacks and five tackles, Wilkerson is averaging roughly two tackles over the last four games. The Jets defense, especially Wilkerson, should turn things around in the coming weeks. Patience is key, as Wilkerson is still only 26 years old and one of the better 3-4 ends in the league.
- Vinny Curry, DE may appear to have had a good week with two tackles, two assists and a sack, but he only played 26% of snaps. He should beat out the underperforming Connor Barwin at some point this season, but it’s concerning he’s not seeing more snaps yet.
- Jordan Hicks, LB is only playing about 78% of the team’s snaps and is struggling in the box score. However, he’s actually playing decently well in coverage, which should keep him on the field. The stats should come if he continues to see snaps and play well in coverage. Jim Schwartz continues to make questionable decisions with playing time across the linebacker group, but Hicks appears to be in favor which is positive.
- Mario Williams, DE was expected to experience a rebirth on a defense expected to fit his skillset. Thus, far he’s only tallied five tackles, two assists and a sack, though.
Mario Williams, DE was a dark horse for double digit sacks in 2016, but his 2015 struggles with Buffalo has carried over to Miami. The coaching staff’s public criticism of his effort has begun, which is not a good sign.
Deeper Targets to Watch/Add
- Elandon Roberts, LB has quickly become a Belichick favorite. Pats Pulpit did a fantastic review of his week five play and is worth checking out.
- With DeAndre Levy, LB still out, Thurston Armbrister saw an increase in snaps last week (38%). He’s worth monitoring for 2016 as a short-term option only.
- Patrick Robinson, CB is starting for the Colts. As long as he maintains the starting role, he should see a high volume of tackle opportunities with his sub-par coverage and the Colts’ offense.
Elandon Roberts, LB played 49% of the team’s snaps with Dont’a Hightower banged up in his first meaningful game of his NFL career. Manning the middle, he excelled tallying six tackles, an assist and a tackle for loss. Not only did he produce in limited action, but he looked fantastic doing so. He’s a must stash in deeper leagues.
PS – Jatavis Brown, LB is for real. He’s everywhere.