2023 IDP Fantasy Football: Nakobe Dean vs Nick Bolton Week 1 Outlook

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Why Nakobe Dean Will Outscore Nick Bolton Week 1

With a lot of IDP fantasy drafts in the books, those drafting this weekend will likely see what we saw in our own leagues. Somewhere around the seventh round, we see Nick Bolton come off the board. Six rounds later, Nakobe Dean. While getting off to a hot start isn't everything, this is a hyper-reactionary world. I'm here today to tell you why Dean's score in Week 1 is going to outpace the highly-ranked Bolton.

Opening night is set to explode

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The NFL knows what it's doing by putting the high-flying Chiefs against the less-than-ideal viewing market Detroit Lions. This baby's about to pop! Among the fireworks and flyovers will be plenty of aerobatics and touchdown passes. These two teams are going 30+ each as the refs tend to keep the laundry in their pockets on opening night. With the extra lubrication from the winked-at refs, these guys will be putting on a show. Roger Goodell will get his fireworks, both on and off the field. The NFL champs leave the victor and everyone wins; well, except Detroit.

The Lions looked explosive at times in 2022. We saw them drop 30 on people weekly, only to see the defense give up 31. Does anyone really see enough improvement in this group that they will suddenly not give up 45 to Patrick Mahomes? Let's look at last year's opener for Detroit vs. the Eagles.

Philadelphia 38-Detroit 35

Leading tacklers? Cornerbacks. T.J. Edwards ended up with 5 solos and 2 assists as the leading LB for the Eagles. The Lions? Both Jeff Okudah and Tracy Walker outpace the leading LB, Alex Anzalone (7 solos and 2 assists).

History would later repeat itself in the form of a 48-45 loss versus the Seahawks. Jordyn Brooks led the Seahawks with 5 solos and 6 assists. Malcolm Rodriguez broke out for the Lions with an 8 solos and 3 assists game, just missing the ten tackle threshold. Safety DeShon Elliott would pace the team and again Okudah got his share.

This game is screaming 38-35 with the corners and safeties getting the tackles. I don't know if we see a ten-tackle game coming from a linebacker.

The Patriots are going to run it right at him

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The Patriots are going to run it this year, I don't think anyone is surprised by this news. I'm betting the offense of Bill Belichick and Bill O'Brien comes out and gives us exactly what we expect. Here comes hard-nosed, smash-mouth football, even if it shows it isn't working. He will stubbornly throw a kite into the air on a day with no wind, then use the ensuing eye injury as a way to duck the press conference.

I expect carries, and I expect many of them to go through the guards as that is their strength on the offensive line. Tackle is a huge question mark going into the season so I would not be surprised at all to see a lot of runs through the guards and center, with outside runs getting extra help from jumbo packages or tight ends.

All this means tackles being funneled to you know who - Nakobe Dean. When he does throw, Mac Jones's career yards per attempt of 7.3 and 6.8 (Patricia) tells us when he throws, it's not that far. Dean will clean up every check-down throw and every toss to safety blanket tight ends in the middle.

Jared Goff fairs a little better at 7.2, 6.6, and 7.6, but that 7.6 in 2022 stands out. Many times we saw Goff open it up and hit guys like Amon-Ra St. Brown. The willingness to chuck it when needed was evident in ways we just haven't seen from Jones and the Patriots' offense. He'll sling it again on opening night, while Belichick still throws his kite into the windless sky.

Dean has no competition

There is no image below this title because that's who Dean's competition is, nobody. Dean is getting the snaps at middle linebacker, with current options Zach Cunningham and Christian Elliss handling the snaps alongside him. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see the Eagles play a lot of one LB this year.

Management or ownership clearly don't prioritize the position in Philadelphia, and it has been this way for some time. They'll run cheap option Nakobe Dean head-on into the tackles all year. Sean Desai's influence on the defense has yet to be seen, but one LB will always be on the field, and I think that's Dean.

In short

The game script is calling for a shootout for poor Bolton. Goff and company will be throwing it all game trying to keep up with the electric Mahomes. The tackles in that game are going to safeties and corners. Dean, on the other hand, has an ideal scenario. An empty LB room, an opponent who wants to run, and the hunger to be an opening-day starter. In short? He's gonna be the guy and he's my personal favorite this week for being a guy that crosses the TTT, AKA the "ten tackle threshold".

When Bill Belichick goes 5 wide all game you can find me on X @Cory_Moniz. I'm new so now's your best chance to get a follow from an IDPGuy!

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