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  • Buy, Sell, Keep: Dynasty Defensive Linemen

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    Dynasty fantasy football is all about the offseason. Here are some defensive linemen to Buy, Sell, and Keep in 2022.


    Only two defensive linemen finished in the IDP top 25 fantasy points scored per game via FantasyPros in 2021: Aaron Donald and Cameron Heyward

    In this article, I will be diving into a few defensive linemen. I will look at how they finished in fantasy points per game (fppg) scoring in 2021 and what led to that. Also, I will give you the players’ outlook in the future and whether I would personally buy, sell, or keep each player in dynasty formats.

    I have broken down the top thirty fantasy IDP points per game finishers into three brackets of 10 points each. From each of those brackets, I will review two players. All stats stated are per PFF and all contract information is from spotrac

     

    Defensive Linemen, and where they fall in FPPG:

    The Top 10 Range (12.4-10.1)

    Danielle Hunter, DE, Minnesota Vikings

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    2021 Review

    Danielle Hunter missed the entire 2020 season due to neck surgery.  He got off to a hot start last season, appearing in seven games and averaging 12.1 fppg. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to a torn pectoral in Week 8.

    This past season Hunter was on track to have the second-most pressures on the quarterback in his six years played. He averaged 54 snaps per contest and tackled the ball carrier a combined 31 times. Hunter did not see any targets and was on the defensive line for all but two plays in 2021. He had one multiple sack game in Week 2 against Arizona.

    Contract Details/ADP 

    The 27-year-old former third-round selection is currently in the fourth year of a five-year contract. He is scheduled to be a $26 million cap hit, with almost $7.5 in dead cap in 2022. Hunter is currently being drafted as the DL6 in the IDP Guys mock drafts.

    ADP: 113.33 in conjoined leagues

    What Is the Move?

    Danielle Hunter, when healthy, is a phenomenal player to have slotted in your DL2 spot. I wouldn’t be mad having him as my DL1, just not with a long-term mindset. If a general manager has had Hunter rostered for a few years, they may be looking to sell. If this is the case, I’m buying.

    Whether Hunter stays in Minnesota or is moved in some fashion (cut/traded), I would anticipate a decent year from him. Try to slide him in for a second or third-rounder and a player at a position you have a surplus of that the opposing team needs.

     

    Josh Allen, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    2021 Review

    In his third season in the NFL, Allen had arguably his best year to date. He pressured the quarterback 50 times, finished the year with 8 sacks, and added 63 combined tackles — the most of his career. Just under 60% of Allen’s snaps were in pass rush. It should be noted 7% of Allen’s snaps were in coverage. He was targeted five times and intercepted one pass in coverage, and he has never broken up a pass at the NFL level.

    Contract Details/ADP 

    Josh Allen is currently in the fourth year of his rookie contract, with an option at the end of this season. He is scheduled to be a free agent in 2024 and is the DL18 off-the-board IDP Guys mock drafts.

    ADP: 198 in conjoined leagues

    What Is the Move?

    The former NFL first-round selection is really what you are looking for out of your DL1 position. If you drafted Josh Allen, then you shouldn’t be letting him go any time soon. If you are trading for him, be prepared to pay up in a big way. Allen finished as the DL9 finish in fppg in 2021 for players who played in seven games or more this season.

     

    The 11-20 Range (10.1-8.4)

    Sebastian Joseph-Day, DI, Los Angeles Rams

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    2021 Review

    In 2021, Joseph-Day was having his breakout year. He posted fifteen pressures, his career-high in a season. Joseph-Day averaged 9.4 fppg in 2021, which is a reasonably lovely jump above his 5.9 average in the 14 games he played in his second season with the Rams in 2020.

    Unfortunately, Joseph-Day only appeared in seven games in 2021. He was sidelined due to a pectoral muscle injury in Week 8 and decided to have surgery.

    Contract Details/ADP 

    Sebastian Joseph-Day is scheduled to be a free agent in 2022, as his four-year contract with the Rams ends after this season. Joseph-Day is currently the DL28 in mock drafts here at IDP Guys.

    ADP: 298 in conjoined leagues

    What Is the Move?

    Joseph-Day is due for a new contract, and Los Angeles is 27th in terms of most cap space in the NFL (negative $8 million and change). With that said, I feel with his ability, teams looking for a steady interior player may offer up a more lucrative offer than Los Angeles. Joseph-Day is only going to improve his numbers, thus helping one’s fantasy roster.

    I am holding if I currently have him rostered, and I wouldn’t mind sending a late-second for him in IDP-only leagues to fulfill your DL2/DL3 roles.

     

    Jeffery Simmons, DT, Tennesse Titans

    2021 Review

    Jeffery Simmons had three contests with at least one sack in the 2021 regular season and one in the postseason, despite only hitting the quarterback five times all year. He brought down the ball carrier 47 times in 2021, 44 of those being solo tackles.

    Simmons did have three games this past season with one or fewer pressures and finished with 66 pressures on the season. Only 69% of his snaps came in pass-rushing, and he only was in pass coverage for one play in 2021.

    Contract Details/ADP

    In 2022, Simmons will be in the fourth year of his rookie deal, with a fifth-year option. The 24-year-old is currently DL22 off the board in IDP Guys mock drafts.

    ADP: 237 in conjoined leagues

    What Is the Move?

    In startups, Simmons is an excellent player to draft for your roster later on when it feels like everyone around you is tossing darts. He seems to be gaining more of a workload for the Titans every season and could be a significant piece of their defensive front for years to come.

    In 2020, Simmons’ PPG was 6.5 in 15 games, so seeing his PPG jump to 8.5 was notable. He is a huge hold for me personally, especially as early as he is in his career. I feel Simmons is just scratching the surface as to what he is capable of. If Tennesee can add a few more key players to the defense, I think Jeffery Simmons could consistently finish as a top 25 DL for years to come. 

     

    The 21-30 Range (8.5-7.5)

    Quinnen Williams, DI, New York Jets

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    2021 Review

    With 7.5 fppg in 14 games in 2021, Quinnen Williams was a consistent scorer for fantasy rosters. He had 34 pressures, 7 sacks, and only 4 quarterback hits on the season. Williams finished the season with 45 tackles, seven of those tackles being assists. A total of 40% of his 613 snaps were in run defense, and Williams averaged 43.7 snaps per game.

    Contract Details/ADP

    The Jets are taking a $10.5 million cap hit in 2022. Williams is in the fourth year of his rookie deal with an option for a fifth year. He will be 25 next season and a free agent in 2024. In the IDP Guys February 2022 mock drafts, Williams is the DL23 off the board.

    ADP: 246 in conjoined leagues

    What Is the Move?

    Although Williams finished in the top 30 this season in fppg, he has yet to play an entire football season. The New York Jets are sixth overall in total cap space with over $40 million. Williams is a player I am now targeting in leagues with players on both sides of the ball.

     

    Chris Jones, DI, Kansas City Chiefs

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    2021 Review

    The six-year veteran from Mississippi State posted his second least amount of snaps in a single season this past year. He finished 2021 with 65 pressures, 10 sacks, and 5 batted balls. Jones has never been a stand-out tackler, but his 18 combined tackles in 2021 were also the least amount of his career.

    Only 69% percent of Jones’ snaps were in the form of pass-rushing, with only two plays in coverage all season. He averaged 7.5 fantasy points per game last year.

    Contract Details/ADP 

    Chris Jones is the DL34 in IDP Guys February 2022 mock drafts. The Chiefs have him on the roster until the 2024 season. However, they have an out clause in 2023, which would constitute around a $7 million dead cap hit. Jones’ contract holds a dead cap of just over $32 million and a cap hit of $29.4 million.

    ADP: 321.67 in conjoined leagues

    What Is the Move?

    Chris Jones is suitable for anyone roster as a DL3, although if he were my DL2-DL3, I would be looking to add some youth this coming offseason. I am unsure if Jones will raise any eyebrows as standalone trade negotiations. He is a hold for me unless you can get around a third-round pick for him in IDP-only leagues.

    Jarran Reed is the other defensive lineman in Kansas City. In 2021, he finished with 83 more snaps than Chris Jones. Reed was only on a one-year deal, so I would look to sell Jones and possibly pick up whoever head coach Andy Reid brings in this offseason. 


    A thousand thank yous for reading my Buy, Sell, or Keep article on Dynasty Defensive Linemen! If you enjoyed it, be sure to read all my work on my IDP Guys author page, and follow me on Twitter @Caliking49er17

    Mason Riney

    Proud father, Army veteran, and lover of all that is football. IDP is my main focus, but I also enjoy scouting collegiate players and rank on Fantasypros.

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