• Edge Rushers with Room to Grow in 2022

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    Which edge rushers will see an increase in quarterback sacks in 2022? Will it only be those who started all season or can it also be those who missed games?

    Some IDP leagues place an enormous bonus on sacks, so identifying players that may have an uptick in 2022 can give you an advantage over your league mates. For example, a player could receive 10 total points for each sack: sack, four points; tackle for loss, 3 points; and a DE tackle, three points.

    Listed below are six defensive linemen I expect to have a decent increase in sack production.

    Maxx Crosby, DL, Las Vegas Raiders

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    Sleeper ADP: DL9    Sleeper Position: DL    MFL Position: LB

    2021 Sacks: 8.0 — 2022 Projected Sacks: 11.0

    In 2021, Crosby led all edge rushers in QB hits, QB hurries, and total QB pressures, but his sack count was below several of his peers. Since he has a high-pressure rate per pass rush snap and a PFF Pass rush grade over 90, I expect Crosby to gain three sacks in 2022. Crosby, and free-agent acquisition Chandler Jones, should make for a formidable duo in 2022.

    Danielle Hunter, DL, Minnesota Vikings

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    Sleeper ADP: DL12    Sleeper Position: DL    MFL Position: LB

    2021 Sacks: 6.0 — 2022 Projected Sacks: 10.0

    Hunter will be learning a new defensive scheme in 2022, but I'm not expecting a drop in sacks as he learns Ed Donatell's new 3-4 base defense. Donatell replaces Mike Zimmer and is a Vic Fangio disciple.  Von Miller had several double-digit sack seasons in this defensive system, and I expect similar results for Danielle Hunter.

    Hunter will be paired up with fellow edge defender Za'Darius Smith, who missed most of the prior season. Hunter also had a top 5 True Pass Set win rate in 2021, according to PFF.

    Kwity Paye, DL, Indianapolis Colts

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    Sleeper ADP: DL42

    2021 Sacks: 4.0 — 2022 Projected Sacks: 9.0

    Paye came into the league with elite athleticism, boasting a 4.57 40-yard dash and 6.37-second three-cone time. His stats weren't all that impressive in his rookie season, but I predict Paye will leap in year two as he better understands the NFL game. Also, playing on a defensive line with DeForest Buckner and Yannick Ngakoue should only help his chances for 1-on-1 coverage.

    DeMarcus Lawrence, DL, Dallas Cowboys

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    Sleeper ADP: DL45

    2021 Sacks: 3.0 — 2022 Projected Sacks: 7.0

    In 2021, DeMarcus Lawrence only played seven games and had limited snaps but was productive in his time on the field and had a solid pass rush grade. I envision he will be needed for a full slate of games and increased snaps this season. With Micah Parsons a threat to blitz on any given play, the opposing offensive line can't always double-team Lawrence.

    Aidan Hutchinson, DL, Detroit Lions

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    Sleeper ADP: DL10

    2021 Sacks: N/A — 2022 Projected Sacks: 8.0

    Hutchinson was drafted with the second pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Usually, I am pessimistic about rookie edge rushers since they usually take time to adjust to the NFL game and have limited snaps. However, I am optimistic that Hutchinson will be an exception, and he will be able to rack up the sacks from day one.

    The Detroit Lions will be switching their base defense from a 3-4 to 4-3 and drafted Hutchinson to anchor their new-look defensive line. He grades out favorably in several college PFF metrics. In particular, Hutchinson had 74 pressures, a 25% win rate, and a 37% true pass set win rate.

    Carl Lawson, DL, New York Jets

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    Sleeper ADP: DL73

    2021 Sacks: 0 — 2022 Projected Sacks: 6.5

    If you are in a deep league or one where you are required to start two defensive ends, you may want to keep an eye on Carl Lawson. He missed all of 2021 after tearing his Achilles in the preseason. If you recall, Lawson was a massive free agent signing for the Jets during the last offseason and was expected to lead the defensive line.

    In 2020, Lawson had 5.5 sacks for the Bengals and a PFF pass-rush grade of 84.9, so there were high expectations for him in 2021. He is currently on the PUP list, but there is hope he will return before the start of the season.  

    Thank you for reading!  Follow me on Twitter at @MasterIDP. For my previous work, check out my Author Page.  Please subscribe to IDPGuys.org for all your fantasy football needs and check out our customizable IDP scoring tool.

    Leo (@MasterIDP)

    Leo joined IDP Guys as a writer and ranker on June 30, 2022. He is passionate about IDP and helping you win your fantasy leagues. Leo has been competing in IDP since 2013 in the Brooklyn Fantasy Football League (Ohio league established in 1991)
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