Taking a look at the NFL week 5 from a IDP perspective; notes on what our writer @Orangeman3142 saw this weekend.
This is a continuation of our weekly article series that breaks down what we saw this week in IDP fantasy football. What happened and why, what we got right and what we got wrong and more importantly how to move forward and get better this week. We look at possible waivers and trends, snap counts and issues that affect production for your IDP team. Let’s get into it.
Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots
Colts: This game is now being called “The Thursday Night Massacre” and was a disaster for IDP players all over the globe. The Colts defense has produced many of this seasons best and most consistent IDP studs and in less than two quarters ALL of them were injured and out of the game. It was incredible. Just prior to kickoff we found out that league leader in tackles Darius Leonard (LB) was a scratch with a foot injury but that was expected and in most cases planned for.
What we didn’t plan on was both Anthony Walker (LB) and Clayton Geathers (S) both getting Sony Michel‘s helmet slammed into them one after the other forcing both into concussion protocol towards the end of the first quarter. Walker did not pass the concussion tests and was ruled out while Geathers did pass the tests but injured his neck as well on that play and was also ruled out of the game.
Shortly after that Margus Hunt (DE, DT) suffered a knee injury and was ruled out as well. Then just after halftime Denico Autry (DE) suffered a leg injury and was knocked out of the game as well. Autry was a popular waiver wire add last week after his week four monster performance and solid snap percentage. Just like that, all the IDP studs were gone.
What we were left with was Malik Hooker (S) who had a career day with 12 combined tackles playing 100% of snaps. He has been fairly solid this season but this production was more a result of him being one of the last men left standing than him being actually good.
Mathias Farley (S) took over for the injured Geathers and recorded 6 combined tackles, 2 PD and 1 INT on 65% of snaps played. He will be a nice waiver wire addition for safety help this week if it looks like that neck injury that Geathers had will keep him out for more than just that game.
Jabaal Sheard (DE) had a quiet day despite having more than enough opportunity in this game only putting up 3 combined tackles on 80% of snaps played. He remains a good injury fill-in guy and bye week option but should only be started weekly in much deeper leagues. Zaire Franklin (LB) and Lenzy Pipkins (CB) both had excellent days but those were a result of playing time they normally wouldn’t have had except for the injuries. Same deal with Najee Goode (LB).
The Colts have ten days off after the Thursday night game with the Patriots so I’m guessing most of the Colts IDP studs will be back to healthy after the extended rest period but if not I’ll revisit some of these guys for possible waiver options. For now, though I would bet on Walker, Geathers, Hunt and Leonard to be fine after the bye week so no need to panic and pick one of these guys up no ones heard of.
Patriots: I am definitely not a fan of playing any Patriots IDP due to the nature of Belichick and company. They morph their defense every week to best fit their opponent and because of that you never know who will play how much and who is reliable who isn’t. There’s a lot of guesswork involved in the Patriots IDP. However, historically there have been a couple guys who have been semi-reliable.
One of those has been Devin McCourty (S) who had a monster game with 14 combined tackles and 1 PD on 100% of snaps. McCourty has been bad three games out of five this year but was solid the majority of last season.
Those are great numbers but for me personally I know safeties are a dime a dozen and I’d rather have a guy like Tony Jefferson who maybe doesn’t have as huge a game as McCourty did this week but has a good game every week consistently. For me, reliability and consistency are more important than the occasional huge game which is completely unpredictable.
Fellow safety Patrick Chung (S) also had a huge day with 11 combined tackles, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sack, 1 PD and 1 INT on 94% of snaps played. This is the first time I’ve mentioned Chung all year so this day was a result of game flow more than anything, one great week out of five doesn’t cut it in my book I’m all set with Mr. Chung.
Kyle Van Noy (LB) and Tre Flowers (DE) are the other semi-consistent members of the Patriots IDP defense and both had nice days as well in a game that featured more than enough offense to support both teams IDP production. Van Noy recorded 8 combined tackles on 88% of snaps played while Flowers put up 4 combined tackles, 0.5 TFL and 0.5 sacks playing 61% of snaps. I own Flowers in a couple leagues and he’s a solid bye week or injury fill-in guy and is playable in much deeper leagues.
Stephon Gilmore (CB) and Jason McCourty (CB) are two Pats corners who have been playable this season with the right matchup. Gilmore had a down day with only 1 solo tackle and 3 PD playing 93% of snaps while McCourty had a solid day recording 6 combined tackles and 2 PD playing 99% of snaps. I’ve played Gilmore once or twice this season in a very deep league but have found better corners since then. I would recommend you do the same.
Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills
Titans: When Wesley Woodyard (LB) went down with a shoulder injury last week it was Jayon Brown (LB) who stepped in and picked up the slack with a huge game. He continued that trend this week recording 10 combined tackles, 1 sack and 2 TFL on 100% of snaps played.
While Woodyard is injured and out (2-4 weeks) Brown will be a great plug and play replacement for him. Pick him up if you need linebacker help for a couple weeks. Da’Quan Jones (DT) had the next best day with 9 combined tackles and 2 TFL on 65% of snaps played. It’s the first time I’ve mentioned Jones though so I’d steer clear until we get some kind of consistency.
Kevin Byard (S) continues to play well with 6 combined tackles this week on 100% of snaps played, he’s a tier one safety and a weekly autostart for me. Rookie Rashaan Evans (LB) also took advantage of Woodyard’s absence this week with a decent day, 6 combined tackles on 74% of snaps played. He’s had a slow start and is just a dynasty piece for me this year.
Adoree’ Jackson (CB) had a nice day with 4 combined tackles, 1 PD and 1 INT playing 69% of snaps this week and should be a weekly start if your league has return yards. He has a good floor between his tackles, PDs and return yards each week.
Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (DT) continues his solid season with 5 combined tackles and 2 TFL on 82% of defensive snaps played. He’s a set-and-forget DT2 that has been reliable the majority of this season which is all you can ask for from defensive tackle in IDP.
Bills: The two young linebackers for the Bills both had fantastic games this week. Matt Milano (LB) led the way with Tremaine Edmunds (LB) right behind him. Milano recorded 10 combined tackles and 1 TFL on 98% of snaps played while Edmunds had 8 combined tackles and 1 PD playing 100% of snaps this week. Edmunds has been a weekly set-and-forget linebacker for me and Milano has been productive this year as well but is best played as a bye week or injury fill-in guy unless in deeper leagues.
Jerry Hughes (DE) had a surprise solid game this week with 4 solo tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL playing 69% of snaps. It’s his second good week out of five this year so if you have more reliable options I would take them he’s been spotty at best. Jordan Poyer (S) has been great all year but had a bit of a down game with 3 solo tackles and 1 TFL on 100% of snaps played. This is his first “bad” week and it wasn’t a complete disaster by any means so continue to start him with confidence.
Micah Hyde (S) was injured and a late scratch before the game but I hope by this point you’ve listened to my warnings about him and moved on to a more reliable safety option.
Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
Dolphins: I was utterly shocked this week to find Reshad Jones (S) on the waiver wire in not one but two leagues! I immediately picked him up and plugged him in and was rewarded greatly with 8 combined tackles,1 TFL and 2 PD on 100% of snaps played.
He’s a tier one safety and one of the top three IDP safeties in the league end of story. Despite being out the last two weeks with injury if he’s healthy he is a must-start, if anyone in your leagues made the same mistake definitely take advantage and grab him asap!
Minkah Fitzpatrick (S, CB) filled in for Jones the last two weeks but returned to his slot corner spot this week but was still productive with 5 combined tackles and 1 TFL playing 70% of snaps. He’s a must-have in dynasty. When he eventually starts at safety next year or the year after he’s going to be a monster.
Linebacker Jerome Baker (LB) has emerged as the second option next to Kiko Alonso (LB) and has been covered by @FFStompy of the IDP guys in a great article. He had yet another solid game for the third week in a row with 7 combined tackles, 2 sacks and 2 TFL despite playing only 55% of snaps.
It was largely assumed that Raekwon McMillan (LB) would emerge as the second IDP linebacker on the Dolphins this year but continues to disappoint with 6 combined tackles and 1 TFL in what was his “best” output of the season. He also only played 72% of snaps this week and was being out snapped by Baker until this week as well.
Kiko Alonso (LB) has been on fire this season and had a season-low 4 solo tackles but added 1 PD and 1 INT playing 100% of snaps to secure a startable day once again for the leading IDP producer on the Dolphins.
Davon Godchaux (DT) has been quietly putting together a solid season but only had 3 combined tackles this week playing 68% of snaps. The Dolphins released defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (DT) last week in a move that shows their confidence in Godchaux. Despite this down week he has been increasing his snap total each week and has been playable nearly every week this season, you could do worse for a DT2 in a deeper league.
Safety TJ McDonald (S) had the only other IDP relevant game this week with 6 combined tackles playing 98% of snaps. I haven’t mentioned him much this season and would avoid him as there are plenty of hungry players on this team and only so many IDP points available each week.
Bengals: With the return of Vontaze Burfict (LB) this week and a healthy Preston Brown (LB) once again playing I was cautious with massive producer Nick Vigil (LB) this week recommending that you guys sit him a week so we can find out who is in what position and what the snap percentages for all three will end up being. Man was I wrong on this one!
Vigil continues his monster season with 9 combined tackles, 1 TFL and 1 PD on 72% of snaps played. This may have been a game flow thing but it looks like having Burfict and Brown around didn’t bother him one bit he still ate like he has every week this year. He also led the three in snaps this week.
Speaking of Vontaze Burfict (LB) he got off to a great start to his suspension-shortened season with 7 combined tackles on 53% of snaps played. He looked a little rusty but that is great production for him to start and I expect it to remain around this level and better the rest of the season, those of you who picked him up for this week or were keeping him on the bench for this moment were happily rewarded. His snap count should increase as well.
The loser in this star-studded linebacker trio was Preston Brown (LB) who only had 3 solo tackles playing 66% of snaps this week. We all knew that skill-wise he was the worst of the three but it was assumed that by him being the MLB he was in a better position than the other two to rack up stats. So far that’s not the case.
We’ll keep an eye on this entire situation but for now, I would say it’s safe to keep playing Vigil since he led the three in snaps. Burfict may have produced but him and Brown didn’t have enough snaps this week for me to feel comfortable playing either if this is the case going forward though I would bet Burficts snap count will increase.
The two safeties for the Bengals have been solid IDP producers all season and one of them kept it going this week. Jessie Bates (S) and Shawn Williams (S) both had serviceable games with Bates recording 5 combined tackles, 1 PD and 1 INT on 91% of snaps while Williams had 4 combined tackles on 98% of defensive snaps in a down week.
Bates had fewer tackles than usual but the interception sealed a nice day for him while Williams hasn’t had a monster game since week two. Bates has been by far the more consistent of the two and is the one I intend to keep playing routinely.
The well known defensive line monsters for the Bengals both had terrific games again this week. Geno Atkins (DT) and Carlos Dunlap (DE) continue to be very reliable options this season. Atkins had 3 combined tackles, 2 sacks and 2 TFL on 64% of snaps while Dunlap recorded 3 combined tackles and 1 sack playing 78% of snaps this week.
Atkins has been a DT1 this season and is up there with the handful of awesome IDP defensive tackles in my top three this year while Dunlap has been a great DE2 all season and while not having the biggest games has been very consistent and reliable as well as productive each week. Both are weekly starts for me.
Sam Hubbard (DE) and Micheal Johnson (DE) both had monster games with a touchdown each on super athletic plays. However, this is the first time I’ve mentioned either and if you saw the game you know how incredibly random both those plays were. That kind of thing is light years away from being predictable so don’t take the bait and pick either up on waivers expecting anything like that again anytime soon.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Ravens: Safety Tony Jefferson (S) has quietly been the most consistent IDP safety this year with five excellent games and zero duds so far this season. He finally recorded not just a productive game but a monster this week with 9 combined tackles and 1 TFL playing 98% of snaps.
He has been a weekly start for me and I’ve even been playing him in a flex defensive player spot in one of my leagues over linebackers such as Todd Davis and Denzel Perryman breaking my own rule that you don’t play anyone but linebackers in a flex D spot. He’s been that good and reliable this year.
C.J. Mosley (LB) is once again at the top of the Ravens defensive box score and all is right in the world. He had a great game for the second week in a row with 9 combined tackles and 1 TFL playing 100% of snaps this week. He’s a tier one linebacker and an automatic start every week.
Eric Weddle (S) finished third in IDP production for the Ravens this week with 8 combined tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 100% of snaps. That kind of production is tempting but Weddle has had dud weeks as often as good weeks this year and is massively inconsistent.
Defensive tackle Brandon Williams (DT) had a noteworthy game with 6 combined tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 48% of snaps played this week. It’s the first time I’ve seen this guys name all year so that tells you what you need to know about his consistency, I’ll pass.
Terrel Suggs (LB, EDGE) had one solo tackle, one sack and one TFL this week so he may have just barely had a serviceable week for you but that’s not a ton of production, don’t play guys like him (edge linebackers, rush linebackers) unless you have a specific spot for it in your league or you’re ok with massive risk every week playing a guy who is completely sack-dependent for their points.
Browns: I was truly shocked to see Jamie Collins (LB) at the top of the Browns defensive box score this week but it’s not a hallucination. He recorded 12 combined tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL playing 79% of snaps this week. He used to be a huge producer on the Patriots but days like this now are few and far between. It’s entirely possible this will be his best day all year so I’m steering clear or chasing these points with a waiver pickup.
I fully expected to see these next two at the top of the box score, Christian Kirksey (LB) and Joe Schobert (LB) are well known IDP producers and both had solid days. Kirksey has been recovering from injury and has started the year slow but really warmed up this week with 12 combined tackles and 1 TFL playing 97% of snaps. I found him on the waiver wire in a couple places this week and couldn’t believe it, peoples memories are too short.
This guy had 135 tackles last year and is a monster when healthy, keep playing him. Schobert had another solid game with 9 combined tackles and 2 PD playing 100% of snaps this week. He’s been great all year keep starting him with confidence.
Damarious Randall (S) has been the only playable safety in Cleveland this season despite the off-season hype regarding Jabrill Peppers (S) being used more in the defense this year. That hasn’t happened and Randal continues to be a reliable start with 6 combined tackles on 100% of snaps this week.
Peppers disappointed again this week with 4 combined tackles and 2 PD on 55% of snaps played in what was his best performance of the year. Four combined tackles and a couple pass defenses as his “best” performance is a gigantic waste of talent.
Denzel Ward (CB) got back into the swing of things this week after last weeks dud with 5 combined tackles, 3 PD and 1 INT on 100% of snaps played. He’s been very reliable all season with only one bad week out of five and remains a great option for IDP cornerback.
Larry Ogunjobi (DT) had a rare donut this week with no defensive stats of any kind while playing 86% of snaps. It was really strange to see him not do anything this week but he’s been too good this season to give up on after one down week and one bad week, I’m going to keep playing him.
Myles Garrett (DE) had a down week as well with 2 combined tackles and 0.5 sacks playing 89% of snaps this week. He’s still a tier one defensive end and a weekly automatic start, his ceiling is just too good to pass up.
Make sure you catch part two of this article and keep an eye out for my start or sit article dropping Saturday. My bad habit of going too far into detail means this article is in multiple parts instead of one novel. If you have any questions or need some advice feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@OrangeMan3142) or use the “Contact Us” box on our website (idpguys.org) to reach us.