Taking a look at the NFL week 4 from a IDP perspective; notes on what our writer @Orangeman3142 saw this weekend.
This is a continuation of my 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 effect production for your IDP team. Let’s get into it.
Thursday Night Game:
Minnesota Vikings @ LA Rams
Vikings: Cornerback Mike Hughes (CB) has had his second huge week in a row recording 8 solo tackles and 1 TFL while playing 84% of snaps this week. Trae Waynes (CB) had traditionally been the corner to own on the Vikings for IDP purposes but was quiet this week with 2 solo tackles on 44% of snaps and has been quiet most of the season.
Mike Hughes may be the guy to own now. With opponents avoiding Xavier Rhodes (CB), who had only 1 solo tackle on 76% of snaps, and this year also not throwing at Waynes nearly as much as in recent seasons it would seem they’ve targeted Mike Hughes as the weak link in the Vikings secondary, at this point I have no issue adding him in waivers and giving him a shot.
Eric Kendricks (LB) was a start from me this week and had a great game trying to chase down Todd Gurley, ultimately putting up 7 combined tackles and 1 TFL on 100% of snaps played. He remains a solid option with a great floor.
While Harrison Smith (S) had a clunker with only 1 solo tackle on 100% of snaps his counterpart Andrew Sendejo (S) went off with 6 combined tackles while playing 100% of defensive snaps. Smith will be fine it was just an off game for him and Sendejo has quietly been reliable all year and has both the production and playing time to be a good option for help at Safety if you need it.
The defensive tackle tandem of Sheldon Richardson (DT) and Linval Joseph (DT) continue to be solid with Richardson having the bigger week with 6 combined tackles and 1 TFL on 85% of snaps played while Joseph had a quieter week with only 3 combined tackles on 89% of defensive snaps played. Joseph will be fine, defensive tackle isn’t a position that has huge production every week you’re just looking for more good then bad.
Sheldon Richardson however is not high % owned in many leagues and is a great option if you need defensive tackle help.
Danielle Hunter (DE) had another nice week at defensive end with 6 combined tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 93% of defensive snaps played, he’s an automatic start each week. Stephen Weatherly (DE) subbed in for Everson Griffen (DE) who has been sidelined with mental health issues and despite having a great first game in relief of Griffen put up a real stinker with week with 0 stats of any kind while playing 82% of snaps.
I took the bait on this and was blinded by his first game in relief of Griffen and the nice stats from that game. Bottom line though is this guy isn’t Everson Griffen, not even close. I’m looking elsewhere for defensive line help this week.
Rams: The Rams outstanding second year safety John Johnson III (S) had a massive game after a bit of a down week recording 11 combined tackles and 2 PD while playing 100% of defensive snaps. He has been a great producer all year and is an auto start for me. Cory Littleton (LB) and Ramik Wilson (LB) continue to put in work while Mark Barron (LB) missed another week with injury.
Littleton had 9 combined tackles, 1 TFL and 2 PD on 100% of snaps while Wilson recorded 7 solo tackles and 2 TFL playing 50% of defensive snaps. Littleton is the more trustworthy of these two but is probably already owned by now and if Mark Barron continues to miss time you could do worse than adding Ramik Wilson at linebacker and giving him a shot.
Marcus Peters (CB) seemed like he was everywhere in this game and missed a couple tackles in the backfield where he was causing havoc all game. He ended up with 6 solo tackles while playing 100% of snaps. I have no issue playing him at IDP cornerback his level of talent and knowledge of the game overrides any concerns I have about him not being targeted enough to put up consistent production.
Lamarcus Joyner (S) had a nice game with 6 combined tackles on 100% of snaps played. I’m steering clear of adding him though there isn’t a ton of production to go around in the first place with the Rams offense being so dominant and owning time of possession most games and I haven’t mentioned him much this year.
I’ve been saying for awhile now not to panic when it comes to Aaron Donald (DE) and that he was due for a big game. A big game he had. Donald recorded 5 combined tackles, 2 sacks and 3 TFL while playing 96% of snaps. Defensive end is just like defensive tackle, even the absolute best of the best can’t deliver a tier one performance every game of the season, it just doesn’t happen.
You’re just looking for more good games than bad and Aaron Donald is certainly capable of delivering that for you, keep plugging him in. N’Damakong Suh (DT) also had a nice game with 2 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL and 1 PD while playing 92% of defensive snaps. He’s an auto start just like Donald.
Micheal Brockers (DE) was a sneaky play at DT last year and has had a slight drop off in production with the switch to defensive end this year but had a serviceable game with 3 combined tackles on 55% of snaps played. He’s a decent option for me but if you’re in a league where he’s a DE,DT then he becomes far more valuable getting defensive end type production from your DT slot.
With the injury to Everson Griffen this is the type of guy I might play until he comes back.
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Jets: Second year star safety Jamal Adams (S) has been a monster this year and continues his rampage with 12 combined tackles and 1 TFL on 100% of defensive snaps played. He is a tier one player and a weekly auto start.
Avery Williamson (LB) continues to rise from the ashes of his horrible first two games performance and is back on track and looking like the guy the majority of the IDP community was hyping up all offseason. He recorded 9 combined tackles and 1 PD on 100% of snaps played. With this being his second big week in a row I’m starting to feel comfortable recommending him again, we’ll see what happens.
Marcus Maye (S) came back and as predicted it negatively impacted both the playing time (1% snaps played) and production (1 solo tackle) of Doug Middleton (S). Keep Middleton on the bench as long as Marcus Maye is healthy and playing. Maye recorded 7 combined tackles while playing 100% of snaps in his first game back from injury this season.
He may be a decent option at safety if you need help there, personally though one game isn’t a big enough sample size so if anything I’m adding him and keeping him on the bench for another week and seeing if he can be consistent. Darron Lee (LB) had a serviceable game at linebacker with 6 combined tackles on 88% of snaps played. He is a solid LB two or three for IDP purposes.
Leonard Williams (DE) hasn’t had any huge games yet this season but went nuts today with 5 combined tackles, 1 sack and 2 TFL while playing 73% of snaps. This is the first time I’ve mentioned him but with injuries to other defensive linemen starting to pile up (Bosa, Griffen, etc) he may not be a bad play for a couple weeks until your studs are back.
Morris Clairborne (CB) and Trumaine Johnson (CB) both had serviceable games with Clairborne putting up 5 combined tackles on 69% of snaps while Johnson had 4 solo tackles on 100% of snaps. It’s the first time I’ve mentioned either of these guys so I might look elsewhere for corner help. Also the Jets offense doesn’t really impress anyone and it’s not like they’re going to go up huge on anyone (except the lions apparently) and force their opponents to throw earlier and more often than they want to.
That’s not ideal for cornerback production.
Jaguars: The Jets were dominated in the time of possession with the Jags controlling the ball for 38 minutes to the Jets 22. That’s not what you want when it comes to IDP production and has been a problem most commonly associated with the Rams this season. The Jets didn’t run many plays at all and weren’t on offense a lot at all this game. Keep that in mind when we talk about these stats, or lack thereof.
Myles Jack (LB) led the way with 5 combined tackles while playing 100% of snaps. He’s an auto start for me despite the two weeks of sub par stats in a row, he should be fine, this weeks lack of production wasn’t his fault it was just a game flow thing. His counterpart Telvin Smith (LB) had 3 solo tackles and 1 TFL on 100% of snaps and will be fine as well, keep playing him.
Tyler Patmon (CB) had the next best day after Jack with 4 solo tackles on 78% of snaps played. This is the first time I’ve mentioned him and he’s not Buoye or Ramsey so I have no interest here at all. Barry Church (S) had 3 solo tackles and 1 TFL while playing 100% of snaps and remains a decent option at safety, he won’t get you that huge game but he’s steady with a solid floor.
Malik Jackson (DT) also had 3 solo tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 75% of snaps and is a decent option at defensive tackle if you need help there. Yannick Ngakoue (DE) was a popular IDP option at defensive end last year but is off to a slow start this season and only recorded 1 solo tackle, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 84% of snaps played.
Despite the sack that’s still not exactly the type of day you’re looking for from a starting defensive end and I would be looking elsewhere for help. The Jags IDP production should rebound in their next game against the Chiefs who have a fine tuned offense that will offer up many tackles and stats.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Atlanta Falcons
Bengals: Linebacker Nick Vigil (LB) has been taking full advantage of Vontaze Burficts (LB) four game absence to start the season due to suspension and had another terrific game today with 8 solo tackles and 1 TFL on 100% of snaps played. All that changes next week when Burfict returns to the lineup and with it comes a shuffle with who plays where and how many snaps.
I wouldn’t drop Vigil by any means but I would try to either sell him to the guy in your league who doesn’t know what’s going to happen or simply hold onto him and wait for Burficts next mistake or injury. If there’s one thing that’s been consistent in his career it’s that he gets hurt a lot and makes a ton of stupid decisions, this isn’t the end of Vigil this year by any means.
Preston Brown (LB) did well in his first game back from a multi week injury recording 6 combined tackles on 66% of defensive snaps played. He will also be negatively effected by Burficts return so I would have a plan in place for next week with that in mind, don’t drop him but do try to either sell him or find a way to keep him on the bench until we see how this all shakes out with Burfict back in the lineup.
Safety Jessie Bates (S) had his second nice week in a row with 8 combined tackles on 100% of snaps played. Shawn Williams (S) also did well with 5 combined tackles on 99% of defensive snaps played. Either one is a decent option at safety if you need help in that department. I was more partial to Williams but both seem to be very productive this year so either one works.
The two IDP corners associated with the Bengals had two very different days with Darqueze Dennard (CB) recording 5 solo tackles and 1 PD on 70% of snaps while Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) only had 1 solo tackle on 97% of defensive snaps played. These two have both had big days this year but it’s next to impossible to predict which one is going to go off which week. While they remain solid IDP corner options I might skip the headache entirely and look for corner help elsewhere.
Geno Atkins (DT) and Carlos Dunlap (DE) are the well known and always productive IDP options on the Bengals defensive line. They both excelled this week with Atkins recording 5 combined tackles, 1 sack and 2 TFL on 71% of snaps played while Dunlap had 3 solo tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 74% of defensive snaps played.
Both are excellent options and if for some reason you every see them hit the waiver wire move quickly to scoop either up. Carl Lawson (DE) recorded a sack as well but has been super inconsistent despite the hype regarding him in the offseason, I’m steering clear of that.
Falcons: When Keanu Neal (S) went down earlier this season there was no way we would’ve known that his replacement would be able to produce like he has so far. If Neal owners moved fast and got Damontae Kazee (S) as a replacement they have been more than happy. Kazee recorded 7 solo tackles, 1 PD and 1 INT on 100% of snaps played today.
He has been a terrific replacement and if somehow hasn’t been picked up yet on your waiver wire should be immediately if you need safety help. Both Desmond Trufant (CB) and Brian Poole (CB) had solid work at cornerback this week. Trufant put up 7 combined tackles and 2 PD while playing 97% of snaps while Poole had 5 combined tackles on 77% of defensive snaps. Trufant has been more consistent of the two and is the one I want.
De’Vondre Campbell (LB) took over as the defensive signal caller this week and has been doing his part in chipping in for the missing production due to the Deion Jones (LB) injury. Campbell had 5 solo tackles while playing 88% of snaps this week and has had a good floor the last few weeks, he’s not a bad idea if you need linebacker help in a deeper league.
Duke Riley (LB) is the direct replacement for Deion Jones and played 75% of defensive snaps this week while recording 5 combined tackles and 1 TFL. Riley saw a small reduction in snap count this week but still had decent production so I would be comfortable playing him again next week.
Grady Jarrett (DT) had a decent game with 3 combined tackles and 1 TFL on 51% of snaps played. He remains a solid DT2 type player for IDP purposes. Takkarist McKinley (DE) finally had a huge game with 3 solo tackles, 3 sacks and 3 TFL on 67% of snaps.
This is the first time I’ve had anything good to say about him this year so personally he’s not my cup of tea, those are nice stats but if you’re only going to get that one out every four games I’m good thanks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears
Buccaneers: Normally this is where I would talk about the great game Kwon Alexander (LB) had but this week he was largely a non-factor. He recorded 2 solo tackles and 1 PD on 97% of snaps played in a rare dud. He’ll be fine though it happens even to the best of players.
LaVonte David (LB) however had another nice game with 6 solo tackles and 1 TFL while playing 97% of defensive snaps. He is an end of tier one or start of tier two guy and should be a weekly start. Jason Pierre Paul (DE) had a monster game and is starting to pick up steam. He had 7 combined tackles, 1 sack and 2 TFL while playing 95% of snaps and is an automatic start for me.
Isiah Johnson (S) started for the injured Jordan Whitehead (S) who was a late scratch for todays game. He had a nice game with 5 solo tackles while playing 98% of snaps. That’s pretty good production for safety but the second Whitehead is healthy Johnson will be back on the bench so I’m not buying here.
Brent Grimes (CB) had a good game at corner with 4 solo tackles on 66% of snaps played but it’s been a different Bucs corner every week having the best game for them with no consistency at all so I’m steering clear of the entire headache. Vinny Curry (DE) and Gerald McCoy (DT) were both tier two starts for me this week and I hit on one and missed on the other.
Curry had 4 combined tackles and 1 TFL on 72% of snaps played while McCoy put up only 2 combined tackles while playing 79% of snaps.
I expect a lot more production from guys like Kwon Alexander and McCoy in their next game against Atlanta. No need to panic about either they’ll be fine.
Bears: Cornerback Kevin Tolliver (CB) led the Bears in production this week with 7 combined tackles on 78% of snaps played. It’s the first time I’ve even seen this guys name so I’m not making a move here until we see a little more consistency. Kyle Fuller (CB) had the next best day with 4 solo tackles on 100% of snaps played.
This was Fuller’s best game so far this year and he’s typically been a great IDP corner so I’m not ready to abandon ship yet, 4 solo tackles for a cornerback is definitely serviceable and I think his best games are still ahead of him this year.
Khalil Mack (LB, DE) had another awesome day but I’ll keep saying this, he’s sack dependent for points and one of these games he’s not going to get one. Either that or he’s going to smash Micheal Strahans record but I tend to think the former rather than the latter.
If you’re playing him at defensive end then this isn’t an issue but if you’ve got him going at linebacker he could end up costing you a matchup one of these weeks, just beware. He had 4 combined tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL and 1 PD on 81% of snaps played. He remains a tier one defensive end that’s an auto start but a tier two linebacker for me.
Roquan Smith (LB) and Akiem Hicks (DE) both had sub par performances, one due to production and one due to stupidity. Smith recorded 4 combined tackles while playing 81% of snaps but remains a good option unless you have someone better sitting around. His best aspect is he’s got a floor of around four or five tackles a week and with a sack can turn a good week into a great week in one play.
Hicks got his stats early, 1 solo tackle, 1 sack and 1 TFL on 27% of snaps, then bumped into an official and got himself tossed out of the game. He was in great position for a huge day and flushed it down the toilet with his moronic actions. He is still a solid bye week or injury replacement guy in shallow leagues and a starter in deeper leagues but stuff like this reminds me of Ruben Foster and Vontaze Burfict and both of those players are almost more of a hassle than they are worth sometimes.
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.
Keep an eye out for our other articles and info all week and my start em sit em article dropping Saturday morning. Good luck in your matchups this week!
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