Who were last week’s IDP hotshots who helped your team to victory? Will those same IDPs repeat success in Week 5?
In this series, I take a look back at the previous week’s performances and recap the IDP hotshots from that week. Who had the big week that helped fantasy managers win their match-ups? Who were the players no one expected to have that big of an impact? From rookies to veterans, I will find the best performers of the past week and breakdown their performance. All fantasy points are based on IDP Nation Listener League 2 scoring. Let’s get started with a look back at the Week 4 IDP hotshots.
DT, PJ Hall, Houston Texans
Week 4: 43 snaps, 65%, 7 total tackles, 2 solos, 1 TFL, 1 QB Hit, 1 sack, 23.0 FPTs
Amid the turnover in Houston, the Texans’ new defensive tackle has been a pleasant surprise. After two below-average seasons in Oakland, Hall is on pace to shatter all his statistical highs – likely by midseason. He’s been a solid run stopper and has provided a decent pass rush from the interior. He set a personal best last week versus Minnesota, with seven tackles. Has it finally clicked for Hall? Or was it a one-hit-wonder type of performance? We’ll see this week as he has a juicy matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have allowed 13 sacks through four games played this season. Another big performance from Hall this week and he could be looked at as a viable option in position-specific leagues.
DT, Mike Pennel, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 4: 46 snaps, 61%, 10 total tackles, 5 solos, 22.5 FPTs
Among IDP hotshots this week, Mike Pennel was unexpected. Pennel is a seven-year journeyman who has been a backup for most of his career. However, he didn’t look like a backup last week versus New England. Pennel set a career-high with ten tackles. With superstar Chris Jones out of the lineup, the veteran Pennel stepped up and played his best Jones imitation. Once Jones returns, you can expect Pennel to fall back to being a depth piece. With that said if Jones were to miss more time, Pennel might be a great quick play option until he returns. In three games versus the Raiders, his opponent this week, he’s averaged three tackles per contest, but none of those were starts.
DE, Yannick Ngakoue, Minnesota Vikings
Week 4: 54 snaps, 83%, 5 total tackles, 5 solos, 1 TFL, 2 QB Hits, 2 sacks, 25.5 FPTs
Ngakoue has been everything the Vikings had hoped he’d be. He’s currently ranked 3rd in the league in sacks with four. With the loss of superstar Danielle Hunter, the Vikings have needed Ngakoue to fill his shoes. Once Hunter returns and hopefully soon, Minnesota will have one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league. Ngakoue has been an 8-10 sack guy for his career except for a 12 sack outburst in his second year. However, he is on pace to shatter that mark. He has a great matchup this week versus the Seattle Seahawks, who have allowed 11 sacks this year. In his one matchup against them, Ngakoue has one tackle and one sack. The Vikes will need Ngakoue to put the heat on Russell “the Hustle” Wilson if they want to win.
DE, Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers
Week 4: 59 snaps, 91%, 5 total tackles, 4 solos, 1 TFL, 6 QB Hits, ½ sack, 22.3 FPTs
We continue another DL IDP hotshot – Arik Armstead. Armstead had a breakout season last year for the 49ers, with 54 tackles and 10 sacks. They rewarded him with a 5yr/$85 million deal and now they need him to continue to play at that high level, especially with all the injuries suffered on the defensive line. He made a big impact last week versus the Eagles with six QB hits but just couldn’t get the sack. He has a good matchup this week versus the Miami Dolphins, who have allowed six sacks. He’ll have to be a lot better at finishing off plays and getting those sacks. If you’re in need of help at the defensive end position, he’s a solid scoring option that can hold your team together until your stars produce.
OLB, Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay Packers
Week 4: 6 snaps, 91%, 8 total tackles, 6 solos, 4 TFLs, 5 QB Hits, 3 sacks, 34.5 FPTs
Smith signed with the Packers two offseasons ago and finished 6th in the league with 13.5 sacks. This year, he has been even better with his fast start. Smith is leading the league in sacks with five, after his huge three sack domination of the Atlanta Falcons. Typically, you don’t target OLBs for your fantasy rosters unless the scoring for sacks is heavily favored. In those sack heavy scoring leagues, he’s a legit fantasy option. The Packers offense can score with anyone in the league, Smith will get plenty of opportunities to pin his ears back and go get the quarterback.
ILB, Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos
Week 4: 73 snaps, 95%, 10 total tackles, 8 solos, 2 TFLs, 2 QB hits, 2 sacks, 1 PBU, 32.0 FPTs
Up until now, Jewell has been quite the disappointment. I was as high on him as anyone, but he just wasn’t producing like I believed he could. Here we are in year three, those of us that were patient enough to sit it out are reaping the rewards. With veteran Todd Davis no longer around, it was Jewell who was the next man up and he’s been what we expected with this 2nd chance as a starter. His performance last Thursday night versus the New York Jets was excellent and hopefully just the beginning of a long run of elite play. This week he has a great matchup versus the New England Patriots who will be without QB Cam Newton and RB Sony Michel. Jewell should have another big performance and help lead your fantasy teams to victory. Make sure you add this IDP hotshot to all your teams.
CB, Pierre Desir, New York Jets
Week 4: 70 snaps, 100%, 8 total tackles, 7 solos, 2 Ints, 35 return yards, 2 PBUs, 1 TD, 40.6 FPTS
What a game the seven-year journeyman CB had last Thursday night versus the Denver Broncos. In fact, it was his best overall game as a pro. Now let’s hit the brakes a bit here, as we must keep in mind he was facing a 1st time starting QB that had very few practice reps and was more or less thrown in the fire. Taking nothing away from Desir, it was a great game, but before I can trust him on my fantasy teams, I want to see if he can build off that game and keep it going. He’ll get that chance this week versus an Arizona Cardinal team that likes to sling the rock around the yard. We’ll see if he’s a one-hit-wonder.
CB, Terrance Mitchell, Cleveland Browns
Week 4: 82 snaps, 100%, 12 total tackles, 11 solos, 31.6FPTS
What a week it was for journeyman cornerbacks in the IDP hotshots! First, it was Desir and now Mitchell. With Greedy Williams being banged up, Williams got the start opposite star Denzel Ward. All Mitchell would do is set personal best in both total tackles (12) and solos (11). With the Browns playing with a lead from the beginning, it forced the Dallas Cowboys to play catch up and throw the ball a lot. As we all know that’s more opportunities for CBs to make plays. Mitchell did just that. Don’t go chasing those big points, but I will mention that he’s started all four games in Greedy’s absence and is playing 100% of the snaps.
FS, Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 4: 73 snaps, 100%, 9 total tackles, 8 solos, 1 Int, 21 return yards, 1 PBU, 28.3 FPTS
McLeod is one of the underrated IDP hotshots in the league. Surprisingly, he’s been one of the more consistent week in and week out. He has a solid safe floor that fantasy managers don’t have to worry about. He’ll get to face a Pittsburgh Steelers team, that in two games against them, he has twelve tackles and an interception. If you’re looking for a cheap option at safety, this IDP hotshot is a must roster addition.
FS, Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 4: 68 snaps, 100%, 10 total tackles, 6 solos, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs, 28.0 FPTs
One of my favorite players in the entire NFL! If you have followed my work, you know I was one of the first to jump on his train and I have been enjoying the ride ever since. He’s one of the few legit plug-n-play options at the safety position. Plays every defensive snap and is a regular on special teams. Last week’s 10 tackle game marked the seventh time he accomplished that feat – the second time this season. This is one of the few players I aggressively try to acquire, as I know I can trust him on a weekly basis.
LB, Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens
Week 4: 57 snaps, 80%, 12 total tackles, 9 solos, 3 TFLs, 28.5 FPTs
Queen quickly became a favorite among fantasy managers, long before he took his 1st NFL snap. The hype and potential of what he could do in the Ravens defense seemed too high, but he hasn’t disappointed. Queen is averaging over eight tackles per game and is a front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. A plug-n-play option that is producing a high return for the Ravens and fantasy managers. A great dynasty asset that will be elite and will be part of the IDP hotshots for a long time.
CB, Chris Claybrooks, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 4: 54 snaps, 72%, 8 total tackles, 6 solos, 1 PBU, 22.0 FPTs
I’ll be honest here, I don’t know much about Claybrooks. He got the call when fellow rookie teammate CJ Henderson left the game with a shoulder injury. If Henderson misses any time, I expect Claybrooks to continue to get the call. He also returns kickoffs which is an added bonus, but I am not rushing to pick him up until I see A) how Henderson is and B) see Claybrooks put a string of solid performances together.
Thanks for reading my article and if you enjoyed it, you can read more of my articles on my author page at IDP Guys and Dynasty Football Digest. I am a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers of America) and you can also follow me on social media, on Twitter at @HollywoodTitan, on Facebook on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasy football IDP sub I’m user KingTitan1 and you can tune in each week and listen to the podcasts, IDP Nation & Devy IDP Grind, that I co-host, on a number of different platforms. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have, as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers. #IDPNation #IDP #IDPDevy