IDP Hunter’s NFC East IDP Preview

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IDP Outlook 2024 Fantasy Football Team Previews: NFC East IDP Roster Rundown & Depth Chart Dive Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Commanders, and New York Giants

Ah, the unpredictability and competition that exists in the NFC East. For the past 20 years, the NFC East has witnessed a rotating musical chairs list of division winners, with no team truly securing back-to-back crowns. This interesting phenomenon started after the Philadelphia Eagles clinched four consecutive division titles from 2001 to 2004.

Since '04, it's been anyone's guess as the Eagles have claimed the division crown seven times, followed by the Cowboys with six, the Giants with three, and the Washington Commanders with three. Who will it be this year? It's no secret why these rivalry games are played late in the season, and why they are so close.

Dallas Cowboys IDP Outlook

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Total Defense: 299.7 (5th)

Rushing Defense: 112.4 (16th)

Passing Defense: 187.4 (5th)

The Cowboys have an elite defense and one of the top IDP players in Micah Parsons, but with several free agency losses and salary cap concerns, this year's team may have some questions that come with it. Dan Quinn is gone, but enter Mike Zimmer who is a competent defense mind in his own right. Zimmer coached in Dallas during the 90s and 2000s so he knows this team fairly well.

Zimmer uses a team scheme called a split mug front, which generally plugs linebackers in random gaps between center and guard. This is done to create fake blitzes. These simulated pass rushes involve non-traditional players blitzing and ones not likely to roll into coverage. Because teams can adjust and "pick up blitz" simulated pass rushes are used to throw that pass protection off because they can't account for who is actually blitzing. Simulated pass rush is not a new concept, but the point here is Zimmer has been using this scheme for decades now.

Team needs:

  1. Offensive Line. They also lost two starters (center and left tackle) on the offensive line. Tyron Smith is the player that will hurt, as left tackles are hard to come by in free agency, and will have to draft correctly to find their guy for the future.
  2. Running Back. Take a look at the depth chart. Only Deuce Vaughn and Rico Dowdle are options so they will need to restock after losing Tony Pollard in free agency.
  3. Defensive Line. What was once a proud unit now is thin on the defensive line after the departures of starters Dante Fowler and Dorance Armstrong. Sam Williams and Micah Parsons appear to be the top pass rushers so depth is greatly needed.

Defensive Line

DeMarcus Lawrence continues to defy age and produced four sacks and one force fumble this year. Equally with 4.5 is second-year player Sam Williams who is in store for plenty of naps this season. The brick house known as Mazi Smith lurks over the middle and of course last but certainly not least is Micah Parsons, 14 sacks and eight TFLs. It remains to be seen how Parsons will be deployed at linebacker or edge, but given this team's lack of depth at this position now I could assume he will spend plenty of time here when called upon.

The unit ranked 14th in sacks with 46 but doesn't have much this season after these four players so continue to monitor the draft and FA to see roles develop.


Losing a player like Vander Esch hurts, but Dallas only uses two linebackers so the signing of Eric Kendricks should be a good stopgap this season. The former Pro-Bowler Kendrick's signing is drastically underrated, being that he knows everything there is to know about the Zimmer defense with his time in Minnesota. He just needs to stay healthy.

Markquese Bell is a converted hybrid who went from safety to linebacker due to injuries last year.  His position stands a unique chance to benefit from Zimmer schemes and may be a candidate for more playing time in this simulated pass rush scheme.

DeMarvion Overshown, a Texas favorite, is another candidate for a breakout, but he tore his ACL as a rookie so may start off limited.

Finally, there is mainstay Damone Clark, who is generally a waiver add and has a game now and again but has been inconsistent for this team in previous seasons.

Defensive Backs

Thankfully this is the team's stronger unit. Travon Diggs is one of the NFL's top players in his position. DaRon Bland set the NFL record for interceptions in a season. It will be interesting to see this tandem played together fully healthy.

At Saftey, Donovan Wilson is usually solid and leads that group with two interceptions. Kearse and Hooker are good but not elite starters. Brandon Lewis at Nickelback finally got healthy and provides depth.

Summary: There are going to be growing pains and changes made, but the core is still here and Mike Zimmer is a quality coach who has done more with less. If the offensive could block for DAK and find a rusher expecting another playoff run.

Philadelphia Eagles IDP Outlook

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Total Defense 356.1 (26th)

Rushing Defense  103.4 (10th)

Passing Defense 252.7 (31st)

Yes, you read that right the 26th-ranked defense (they were number two in 2023) tanked its chances away from another division title. You could literally watch this team age on the field, as the defense gave up huge plays and put the team into losing situations. The linebacker corps got blamed plenty, but the secondary was no joy to watch either and ended up being second to last.

There is still a lot to like. The team won 11 games for the third time and has several key pieces to run it back if they get hot and can fix these holes that the team needs.

Team needs:

  1. Linebacker. Nakobe Dean has not lived up to expectations and the team did not invest here either, with an assorted list of castaways like Zach Cunningham, Nicholas Morrow, and Shaq Leonard, while also kicking the tires on Raashan Evans.
  2. Cornerback. I know it does not seem on paper to be a weakness but the team was 31st last season. Bringing back CJ Gardner-Johnson will help but the Eagles should invest in one of the cornerbacks in this talented draft class because Slay and Bradbury are aging.
  3. Wide receiver. The third receiver here is Davante Parker or Parris Campbell both of which are not threatening and could stand a chance at an upgrade.

Defensive Line

This unit was not the problem.  PFF had this unit highly ranked in both the run and defending the pass, fourth- and eighth-best team grades in run defense and pass rush in '23 with 43 sacks. This just further illustrates just how bad the back eight players were here.

The biggest news is while not an actual trade we had a player swap in happenstance;  Haasan Reddick went to the Jets, and Bryce Huff is a superior pass-and-run stuffer who could play both inside and outside.

Jalen Carter is on the cusp of becoming a pro bowler, with six sacks from his interior position in 2023. Jordan Davis should cover down for Fletcher Cox retiring giving the Eagles a nice young tandem to utilize.

Josh Sweat had an early hot start but sort of cooled off as older Veterans do. Sweat and Brandon Graham will provide quality rotation in this lineup as older Veterans and help support the team.


This position is littered with question marks and where to start.

First, all eyes will be on Nakobe Dean as we still don't know if this third-round pick, could be the LB1 as due to injuries.

The team also brought in Devin White (who himself had a bad year) to see if he could turn this thing around but ironically had injuries himself making the 26-year-old a free agent.

It's hard to believe that these guys are intended to replace T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White from three years ago. I just don't see that, so this team will have to reach in the draft.

Defensive Back

There's turnover and suspense with this unit not to mention some sleeper candidates so let's dive in!

I mentioned above that Darius Slay (33) and James Bradbury (31) are older, they also did not get to enjoy the superior pass rush of the team that set the NFL franchise record of 70 in 2022, so their coverage got exposed.

If that is not enough to contend with, Sydney Brown (last season's ranked DB3 rookie draft IDP) tore his ACL. This unit will need time to recover. Unfortunately, teams will scheme to beat them here, knowing they gave up the 2nd most in passing yards (4,296) and TDs (35) in the league.

Reed Blankenship is a breath of fresh air here and is a tier-one DB. Pro tip: He is buried in sleeper ADP so set your cue and steal him late. You're welcome.

CJ Gardner-Johnson resigning here is significant news as he was one of the key players in the Super Bowl run. He will be needed to help this team generate turnovers and hide their glaring weaknesses.


Despite everything I just wrote I believe the offense is too talented that it could offset whatever this unit blunders. If the Defense could do anything. I mean anything. Then we have a playoff team semi-contender looking to compete with the 49ers for another run. There are several question marks but a strong draft might be able to help bolster than defense back up.

Washington Commanders IDP Outlook

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Total Defense: 388.9 (32nd)

Rushing Defense 126.8 (32nd)

Passing Defense 262.2 (32nd)

This is a case where the stats tell the story almost too well. In 2023 this was the absolute worst defense in the NFL. Tape shows this team being victimized in the passing game almost at will, giving up the most TDs by any team to go with all those passing yards.

New Coach Dan Quinn will try to work his magic as he has done on all his stops. What is interesting about Quinn is he does not have a single tell, as his schemes have changed from each team he has been on. Whether it's the "race car package" we seen in Dallas, or "the Legion of Boom" we seen in Seattle, Washington would be happy with some competent continuity. Believe it or not, as bad as this team appears there are a few pieces to rebuild with and they spent money in free agency not on elite players, but on decent ones to fill the talent cup across the board.

Team needs:

  1. Quarterback. By having an early draft pick, and then jettisoning Sam Howell to the Seahawks this almost assures that they will take a rookie signal caller and start him at the helm for the 2024 season.
  2. Offensive line. Remember this team let Sam Howell get sacked 65 times last season.
  3. Defensive line. This team traded both Chase Young and Montez Sweat and did not get the replacement they thought they had. What was once an elite D-line ended up giving up the most points in the NFL last season. Hopefully, reinforcement is on its way.

Defensive Line

This entire unit is screaming for an upgrade pulling up the stats. The run defense gave up a whopping 4.4 average and then another 1.25 after contact

Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are an elite tandem still. However, since traded away Chase Young and Montez Sweat their games have clearly been exposed, and needing help at the defensive end to produce.

Daron Payne's game has always been as a tackling for a loss guy, which dropped substantially to a personal career low of 12%, I just wanted to give you a comparison of just how bad that is, compared to 2022 when he was ranked sixth in the entire league with 18% earning him his hefty contract. He also regressed from his 11.5 sack season in '22 to just four in 2023. Ouch.

Jonathan Allen did not fair much better. Known as a pressure guy he ended with 5.5 sacks, which was good enough for the 42nd PFF win rate. Ouch.

Free agent signing Dorrance Armstong joins Coach Quinn from Dallas and should play a key role here. I am expecting a ton of snaps here in this key role.

Penciled in starter in April here is Cowboy FA is Dante Fowler, who is sort of a journeyman but this could be a sneaky add if not overlooked. He actually gave a strong pressure rate last year with 17.5%  on 189 attempts so Fowler has shown he still got it if called upon to just rush the passer.

The former 1.4 draft pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, Clelin Ferrell was also signed for depth but has shown next to nothing so no expectation here. The same goes with last season's rookie KJ Henry who logged significant playing time also underwhelmed. If anyone could get squeeze production out of these two it would be Dan Quinn.


This might be the best unit now and a retooled room for '24.

Bobby Wagner, who lead the league with 183 total tackles is perhaps the best signing for a team that needed a run-stopper this off-season. An under-the-radar story here is that Wagner worked with Quinn in his earlier days with the Seahawk's "Legion of Boom" Defense. So this is a very sneaky signing.

Frankie Luvu was stolen away from the Panthers. Given 31 million dollars and provides another solid linebacker option. Luvu excels as a pass-rushing specialist (Got pressure on 20% of his blitzes) which given this team's edge history will sorely need.

Jamin Davis is your third option but I am actually more interested in Khaleke Hudson, who got to start the last three games and graded out 74.4 per PFF. Both these guys are adequate depth pieces.

Defensive Back

Another overhaul is needed.

Jeremy Chinn is the direct replacement now for Kamren Curl. Which Chinn we will get (his recent struggles or the outstanding play we saw as a rookie) will be determined by how Quinn could employ his new weapon.

Darrick Forrest was a decent safety before his injury. You would have to go back to 2022 when he had four interceptions and 88 tackles to remember it.

At cornerback, 2023 first-rounder and top 50 picks on both CB Emmanuel Forbes and Nickelback Jartavius Martin last season. You would have to think they get to play just on draft capital and are expected to steadily improve. For depth, Quan Martin may get called upon to control the slot. Benjamin St- Juste will look to re-establish himself. There is room for snaps in the DB room now that Kendall Fuller is gone to the Dolphins. I was not impressed with this group but it is young so we could see signs of life soon.


With major questions in this secondary, I don't see a scenario where Quinn could win in year one so expect much out of this team. The funny thing is when teams aren't expected to win, and they develop this underdog mentality that is when they start grinding out Ws all of a sudden (Lions come to mind)

Like the Lions, if you could generate enough pass rush it might disguise how bad the man coverage is. That may be what Dan Quinn is thinking. For the first time in forever, the Commanders did not sign a high-profile player just spent money wisely all around and brought in some component ones. They will need to fill holes, particularly on the lines, but there should be at least a tougher team mentality this season.

New York Giants IDP Outlook

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Total Defense: 361.4 (27th)
Rushing: Defense 132.4 (29th)
Passing Defense 229.4 (19th)
The Giants are a team that desperately wants to win now. They made that point clear by firing two coaches (offensive line and special teams) and then the third one (Wink Martindale, defense coordinator) resigning. In addition to turnover, the Giants will have to deal with change not just in free agency (signing a marker player in Burns) but holding a top-six rookie pick.
On that note, no one knows what the team is doing at the 1.06 it could be a QB or WR whichever is now the team number team needs ironically, and if this suspense wasn't good enough there are still players I had to list that were left unsigned this April that are sort of penciled in starters. This is all going to make a fun conversation with plenty of unknowns.
What does remain to be seen is quality coach Brian Daboll deserves a mulligan and the Giants think so too, so it's a question of how quickly can this team inset the new pieces into this philosophy whether it's through FA or the draft.

Team needs:

  1. Wide receiver or Quarterback. It could honestly very well be Quarterback here also. If you remember, there were rumors at the Combine about replacing Daniel Jones, This one comes down to whether you believe in Daniel Jones or not. After multiple seasons I still don't know. Because the team invested so much money in the Quarterback I think they give him some weapon with that early draft pick.
  2. Saftey. Massive hole left by Xavier McKinney, but this is a year could find someone in FA>
  3. Cornerback. Adoree Jackson left so that CB2 spot is up for grabs. This draft class has an amazing cornerback draft class (seriously I am targeting eight players) so they could fill this one too rather easily.


Defensive Line

Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and new free agent Brain Burns lead an impressive talented front. A'Shawn Robinson left as FA.  Giants were 28th in the League with 34 sacks, and just 29th in pressure rate. They added Brian Burns to help cultivate this front.

Dexter Lawrence has the unfortunate task of playing as a 0-technique, the Giants are one of the few teams playing this front heading into 2024, so he doesn't get you many sacks (4.5 in '23) but the man sure does rumble in some pressure at 15.3%, which ranked third according to PFF amongst DTs, and that is an amazing stat and just outstanding for a nose guard.

A down year for Brian Burns and the entire Panthers. Even still, produced 7.5 sacks. That was good enough for the 11th win-pass rate per PFF. He is highly regarded as a top-tier talent. You can't help but think he is going to excel in his new home.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is entering year three and even though struggled at times ended up with 11.5 sacks last season.

Rakeem Nunez- Roches currently is just a player and hopefully can be upgraded in the draft.


Sometimes at linebacker availability is your best ability.

Everyone considers Bobby Okereke a top linebacker option and he delivered this season leading the team in tackles with 149 (92 solo)

No one expects much out of Micah McFadden but he delivered solid snap plays. He and Bobby O amassed 1,865 snaps together for this unit on the field.

Azeez Ojulari is more of an up-front edge rusher. He likely will be depth here behind Burns, being this team needs so much help getting to the Quarterback except him in some packages.

Another depth player here is Isaiah Simmons, a hybrid LB/DB player traded from Arizona. He had a hard time getting on the field, with only 378 snaps. At the time of this writing in April, he remains unsigned. So guessing he signs somewhere else.

Defensive Backs

Speaking of unsigned: Adoree Jackson still is not despite playing over 750 snaps last season. Why are the Giants taking their sweet time filling up key weaknesses?

Continuing to go with this theme, there is some significant turmoil in the cornerback room.

Deonte Banks was a '23 first-rounder and held the other corner spot down. He gave up 6.3 per target which is not bad considering the rest of the team's woes. I am guessing he is one of the starters.

Now it gets murky. Nick McCloud only allowed 84.0 passer rating when thrown at him. It was limited playing time but I am guessing he will slot as the Nickelback. He will compete with Cor'Dale Flott (last year's slot corner) and current starter Tre Hawkins which I think will be an excellent camp battle. The other depth player here is Danay Holmes, but he is mostly a special teamer.

At Saftey, all you need to know is Jason Pinnock is the real deal. Finishing 67.8 overall PFF grade, 44th among safeties. For you, IDP owners check your scoring big play leagues got rewarded with players of this arch type with a whopping DB17 season. Tackle heavy don't even bother.

The Giants brought in the green-haired Jalen Mills, who played corner in his Eagles days and converted to Saftey. He has proven he could do it before as he did last season with New England. Since the team lost Xavier McKinney in free agency (that has to hurt) I am guessing he would be a stopgap. There is a camp battle brewing with former fourth-round pick in 2022, Dane Belton so have to watch how that plays out.


In the last two seasons, this team is night and day. I think they overachieved in '22 but also underachieved in '23. I am expecting somewhere in the middle of 2024. Given how bad the offense has been, and how many elite pieces the Giants now have on Defense it should be a good unit to exploit in our IDP Drafts.

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Steve Hungarter (IDPHunter)

Steve is U.S Army retired Veteran who's been playing in IDP leagues since 2004. He is currently ranked #4 in IDP accuracy on Fantasy Pros and recently selected into The Fantasy Sports Writers Association for his content. In addition to being an ECR ranker on Fantasy Pros, Steve also writes articles for both Fantasy Six Pack and IDP Plus. When Steve was a kid he got in trouble a lot. He would be held after school for trading his Football cards and comic books. He spent his time in the hallways, doing his own original content. The teachers would say not to do those silly things and obide by the rules. Fortunately, Steve was not a good listener.


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