IDP Hunter’s NFC South IDP Team Preview

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2024 IDP Outlook Fantasy Football Team Previews: NFC South IDP Roster Rundown & Depth Chart Dive

Welcome to the NFC South preview. Two key points could sum up this division for you. Point one: Say what you want about the NFC South but it has been surprisingly a good place to find IDP options. (Whenever you have bad offenses linked with Quarterback carrousels it usually results in big plays and good chances at turnovers)

The Falcons, Panthers, and Saints came over from the NFC West, while the Buccaneers came over from NFC Central to forge this division. Due to this change, all the teams were already familiar with each other before ever turning this into a rivalry, and oh boy what a rivalry this has become.

My Second point: I want to observe just how remarkably competitive this division has been at least within itself. Since the NFC South was formed in 2022 all of these teams have won crowns, The Saints (7), The Buccaneers (6), The Panthers (5), and the Falcons (4) all have been division winners multiple times and appeared in a Super Bowl during this stretch. During the NFC South's earlier years, the joke would be that the last-place team would finish on top the following year due to every single team's familiarity with each other, but that has changed since the Panthers broke that cycle to become the division's first three-peat winner during 2013-2015 season. Sadly both the Panthers and Falcons are in the middle of rebuilds and it has come down to just two teams lately.

The Saints may lead with most division wins, but that was mostly done with Drew Brees throwing touchdowns. Since Drew Brees retired, Tampa Bay has secured three consecutive division titles, bringing an end to New Orleans' four consecutive years. This is a relevant point to make as it is shaping up for another head-to-head this '24 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers IDP Outlook

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Total Defense: 344.2 (23rd)

Rushing Defense: 95.3 (5th)

Passing Defense: 248.9 (29th)

Last season, the Bucs achieved a 9-8 record and made a playoff run, losing to the Detroit Lions in the Divisional round. This team overachieved despite over 70 million dollars in dead cap space via a post-Tom Brady era. Even though all the experts counted them out we quickly learned all the tools were still there.  Winning five of its last six games to win the NFC South and make the playoffs was an achievement for any front office to feel proud of.

A point to make here is the fact that this team gets it right by drafting really well put a lot of the concerns to bed. With no more cap space lurking over their shoulders, this season have already made key moves and locked up IDP players in Lavontae David (LB2 in points per game big three scoring) and Antoine Winfield (DB1 most formats) as well as signal-caller Baker Mayfield.

Team needs:

  1. Offensive Line. Particularly, left guard and center need to be re-tooled. The team got by with moving around players but needs mainstays.
  2. Defensive line. Could use another end to help YaYa Diaby. At any rate, this should be a draft target because the team needs depth.
  3. Linebacker. Whether you think it's inside or outside the team's needs will be based on the newly assembled question marks between the new starters. Depth could make this unit a lot better and ensure camp battles.

Defensive Line

This line is solid but has no depth for injuries.  The pass rush is 20th ranked and could use more pieces than the four guys below.

Calijah Kancey (4 sacks) was a top draft prospect often compared to Aaron Donald. Kancey and YaYa Diaby (7.5 sacks) were rookies who stole the show immediately by re-stocking this depth chart, which last season this time of year was considered a weakness.

Vita Vea is one of those guys you could rely on each week for snap counts and pressures in IDP. Routinely written up as a waiver wire pickup last season he notched 607 snaps and produced  5.5 sacks so his numbers speak for himself. In real-life football, he continues to get double teams and makes those around him better.

Logan Hall, another top pick in the '22 draft class, experienced a challenging first couple of seasons in the league; however, in '23  he began to figure things out. Starting in 13 games, he nearly doubled his total tackles, from 12 to now 22. He doesn't provide much in the sack department just three sacks in two seasons so have to look elsewhere.


The fifth-best rushing defense has some numbers worth mentioning and a few depth pieces that could still get the chance to make noise.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka DL/LB can play up front, or off-ball depending on the situation. That is where Todd Bowles will use him in sort of a "joker" type of role. Since being a first-round draft pick for this team the Bucs elected (at the time of this writing in April) The Bucs elected not to re-sign him so he will be heading into a contract year and free agent in 2025. Since being a first-round selection and possessing 4.6 speed he never panned out to be a Pierre-Paul or Shaq Barrett replacement, but in this joker role expect him to be moved around all over the field to exploit matchups in a serviceable role. Leave it to Bowles to get use out of him but I do not think he will re-sign (he was benched last season) IDP manager should consider trading the name while he still is relevant to do so.
Lavonte David has a breakout in 2023 you say? No. The truth here is he has been doing this his entire career and is one of those linebackers who never gets his due when speaking about elite players. His career stats of 1,480 tackles, 33.5 sacks, 28 forced fumbles, 18 fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions, 64 pass deflections, and three defensive touchdowns perhaps paint a better picture. No longer in Devin White's shadow and getting paid this off-season make sure to make him a target and be rewarded in your drafts.
Here is something K.J. Britt was the Buc's best tackler of players over 100 snaps. His run defense grade of 72.0 was slightly behind Lavonte David at 75.0 per PFF, but the missed tackle rate is the stat you want with an amazing 3.8%, By comparison, Devin White’s 8.3% missed tackle rate is likely one of the reasons he was jettisoned out of town and the coaching staff is happy with Britt in this new role.
We are still waiting to see if SirVocea Dennis could carve himself out a role. Dennis was a fifth-round rookie selection in 2023 and remains in most IDP player's taxi squads. At the moment, he's only had 101 snaps on defense and mostly played special teams. Anthony Nelson and JJ Russell look to sub in.

Defensive Backs

This unit gives up big plays on the passing defense but produces for us in IDP and it should be a lot more of the same thing this season. Expect high turnovers and tackle production out of this corps.

Antoine Winfield Jr. enjoyed an All-Pro season with 122 tackles and six sacks. His three interceptions are just a bonus but prove how versatile of a player he can be, so expect this player to be flying all over the field. Winfield is drafted as DB1 in IDP regardless of format.

A fun story here is the return of Jordan Whitehead, who formerly played for this team and won a Super Bowl here in 2020. It's a leadership move for this locker room, as he started 55 games for this team from 2018-2021.

Jamel Dean didn't have great stats to the untrained eye but actually faired well. Dean missed four games and had no interceptions just four passes defended. But the metrics tell a different story. In coverage allowed a 75.1 passer rating when targeted last season, 13th-lowest among starting corners.

Expecting Zyon McCollum (41 tackles) to step up and lock this job down but he will likely be pushed by whatever rookie, or free agent the team brings in as a camp battle this pre-season. He was an interchangeable part of the defense, per PFF able to play inside and outside amassing 59 snaps at slot corner, 665 snaps at outside corner,  and 31 at safety in 2023.  I believe his rise allowed the team to trade Carlton Davis to the Lions.

Undrafted rookie Christian Izien made waves by snagging two interceptions in his first two games and finished with 719 defensive snaps mostly at nickel. He'll get the opportunity to start here.

Rookie corner Josh Hayes primarily worked on special teams so do not see him carving out a role.


This team's success ultimately comes down to what the Saints do. Whoever wins this division can be expected to make a run in the playoffs, as both teams have done in the past. Because of the landscape of the NFC currently, I only see one team making it to the playoffs so division games will be key in this one.

New Orleans Saints IDP Outlook

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Total Defense 327.2 (13th)

Rushing Defense  119.9 (22nd)

Passing Defense 207.3 (10th)

To the untrained eye, finishing 9-8 and tying for first place may have seemed like a successful season. It was not. This team was head to toe the superior team and a favorite to win this division. With the newly signed Derek Carr, it vastly underperformed. Now there is pressure on this coaching staff in year three, to get something done in the post Sean Payton/Drew Brees era.

The defensive scheme team the team runs here is called a Cover-5, not too many teams employ this anymore but is essentially what Cover-2 would look like in man coverage. This sort of defense allows the defensive lineman, and sometimes the cornerbacks to pinch and get massive tackles from their positions. The linebackers are used to the contrary, more covering and into coverage. This is the only team currently that runs a Cover-5 as their base.

Team needs:

  1. Defensive Line. The stats below tell you all you need to know someone has to be consistent other than Granderson
  2. Quarterback. Do you really like Carr as a replacement for Drew Brees, because I don't.
  3. Offensive line.  The Saints were ranked 23rd on pass protection and had to bench first-round selection Trevor Penning.

Defensive Line

This unit wasn't good and could explain why it lost games down the stretch. They ranked 28th in sacks, with a sack rate of just 5.4%, and allowed the 14th most rushing yards as well. The unit will have to be better considering the big names here.

The exception was only Carl Granderson ranked 7th best PFF and had a breakout as we expected, with a career highest of 73 tackles and 8.5 sacks.

Cameron Jordan (2 sacks) did not have his usual year, ranking just 42nd in overall PFF grade. He will be 35 years old this season, well over the age cliff matrix in Dynasty and it showed. The writing is on the wall with Jordan, so trade him before it's too late.

Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd were expecting to be better than they were. The hope here is that one or both of the rookies could eventually replace them off the rotation. Saunders is playable, his game is a better run-stopper but gives you nothing in the pass rush which isn't necessarily expected out of defensive tackle anyway.

Rookies Isaiah Foskey and Bryan Bresee will have to be counted on for the future of this team. Both were top 40 picks. Bresee was effective in penetrating and should improve. Foskey got hurt so the jury is still out on this second-round draft selection.


Demario Davis, now the oldest starting linebacker in the NFL will be called upon again as the Saints don't have many other options. A model of consistency and productivity. For six seasons in a row now, Davis has had at least two or more sacks with 100+ tackles for six seasons and another Pro Bowl.

Pete Werner is considered to have had a poor season, despite the fact his tackle numbers went up from the previous season. He is a solid real-life starter, who is a victim of not enough tackles to go around. As everyone else around seems to be making plays. His game isn't one to have big plays either, despite having the occasional few, If he could only make a few more tackles a game you would consider him a top-40 LB, most of us will punt him because his stats won't produce at his current ADP.

Willie Gay was an interesting signing 231 tackles in 47 starts. I am interested to see how he gets deployed. Gay replaces Zack Baun who signed with Eagles. Baun was a situation pass rusher. His nickname in College was "Senior Sack" and has yet to live up to that nickname.

Defensive Back

Playing in the league's only Cover-5 scheme allows several rotating players in these positions. It also helped create the League's top ten NFL passing defense, because teams could accurately match up here.

Marshon Lattimore is the big name to know here. A shutdown corner, but what you need to know is this is his second injured season in a row missing seven games last season. Currently at the time of this writing in April, rumors circle of him being traded, the team has good depth here so it's possible.

There was a position battle at the other position but ended up being good for the nickel back.

PFF believes Paulson Adebo had a secret superstar season per PFF: " His 80.5 PFF coverage grade ranked 15th among all cornerbacks in the NFL and only Benjamin St-Juste had more forced incompletions when targets. Adebo fully cemented himself as a lockdown corner. Adebo also showed up with four interceptions on the season and allowed a completion percentage of just 54.1% — only three other cornerbacks allowed a lower percentage. "

Alontae Taylor challenged Adebo for the position last season before he himself got exposed. Most NFL teams know he is an outside corner and playing in the slot is a perpetual weakness and he is cooked. Opposing teams took advantage of this: Taylor was targeted more frequently than any other corner in the slot. He plays much better on the outside than he does in the slot but hopefully could clean this up next season.

Jordan Howden got to play 16 of the 17 games last season. The 5th-round rookie replaced Marcus Maye producing (43 total tackles, 5 pass breakups) This allowed Maye not to be resigned, as he missed 17 games in the last two seasons.  He can play and be moved around the field so I am expecting bigger things and will look to be the starter now and could be picked off waivers in the deepest of leagues.

Tyrann Mathieu will suit up another season but has had serious talks about retirement. He hasn't been a top player since being here, but he's steady. In the last two seasons, he has played mostly 100% of snaps starting all 34 games, and leads this group with seven interceptions and takeaways. He's an okay-ish option with upsides when you are drafting in leagues that require multiple DB spots.


Much like I said about the Bucs above, I only see one playoff spot so the winner of this slug match will determine who makes a rumble in the playoffs. The Saints have several again players and will need to have a strong draft to keep this going, if they struggle ( this combination of younger blue chip players+ aging slumping older players)  I could see a rebuild happening in the near future.

Atlanta Falcons IDP Outlook

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Total Defense: 321.1 (11th)

Rushing Defense 118.2 (20th)

Passing Defense 202.9 (8th)

A team that finished third in its division, with a 7-10 record you would think it was the defense's fault. Surprisingly his Defense held up despite missing Troy Anderson this season, and a Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the final nine games. Quality coach Ryan Nielson jettisoned to Jacksonville, so it's up to new defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake to make these pieces all work again.

Lake runs a  3-4 scheme so this will be a speculation of what this team is. It could use an edge, but the team might change this which might affect the approach.

Team needs:

  1. Defensive line/Edge. Lorenzo Carter is not a starter and has not had five sacks or more in any of his six seasons. Anyone would be an instant upgrade.
  2.  Wide receiver other than Drake London and Darnell Mooney anyone you worried about here? I'm not.
  3. Cornerback. With a quality CB Draft class consider this a primary need for the Falcons, potentially warranting a high draft pick. Someone competent outside of AJ Terrell.

Defensive Line

This team is bad at creating pressures at 32.7% (24th) and allowed 3.8 yards per carry-on running back after contact runs, ranking 14th in yards before contact allowed per RB carry last season.

The tandem of Grady Jarrett and David Oneymata could work here and held up well for the first eight games before Grady fell to injuries.

David Onyemata is penciled in to start here coming off an impressive season, registering 12 run stuff (ranking 18th among defensive linemen).

However, there are questions on depth. Could third-round pick Zach Harrison struggle in a 3-4 scheme? Ta’Quon Graham (knee injury lingers). Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree, who each tallied 6.5 sacks, remain unsigned.


Troy Andersen, a second-round pick in 2022, played just two games before suffering a torn pec last season. He should be a full potential and ready to go this season.

Kaden Ellis has 122 tackles, second on the team to only Nate Landman who at the time of this writing is expecting to leave in free agency.

Arnold Ebiketie was drafted under Dean Pees, who ran a 3-4, and is considered for this role so I am expecting a huge potential breakout star this season. Despite being drastically held back by the old system he still achieved six sacks and 12 QB hits. He has been a sneaky pick-up of mine.

Lorenzo Carter is labeled a starter for now but stands to reason to be replaced. Cartr's performance was meh with just 3 sacks and has an underwhelming career and should not be starting. I am expecting him to be replaced in this quality DL draft.

Defensive Back

The Falcons gave up  6.8 yards per pass attempt and looked good in pass defense (10th) but look at the stat though the proper lense ranked 20th per dropback last season because it was easier to run at them than pass I assume this to be a misnomer.

AJ Terrell is the only one who could cover. So there are concerns outside of him.

Dee Alford was a decent slot corner tackler last season, while Clark Phillips III, a fourth-round pick in 2023, doesn't have top-end speed and gets burned a lot. Antonio Hamilton mixes in here, cornerback as a primary need for the Falcons, potentially warranting a high draft pick.

Safety Jessie Bates played most of last season in a cover six coverage and generated 132 (89 solo) 6 interceptions and three FFs, earning himself The two-time second-team All-Pro selection.

Richie Grant, although playing the most snaps beside Bates, struggled and saw his role diminish late in the year. He was benched and is currently behind Hellams.

DeMarcco Hellams stepped in to replace Grant and showed he could play.  Hellams is an interesting case study, playing for Alabama and was a seventh-round pick in 2023. He was drafted lower than what his player profile anticipated because of just one game. He was the victim of Jalen Hyatt's 5 TD performance when Tenness played Alabama and most of those were at Hellams expense. After that game, he was off the radar. Despite this, he had a good pedigree in his College career. I drafted him in the last round of startups as managers are still taking Grant unaware of the current starting news.


Overall, the Falcons are young in key areas and possess talent across the board. Particularly at tight end, wide receiver, and their IDPS.

However before we could expect success there are a few weak areas of this team still left particularly pass rush, wide receiver depth, cornerback, and linebacker depth. This team will come down to the draft and just how many pieces could it install quickly.

Carolina Panthers IDP Outlook

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Total Defense: 293.9 (4th)
Rushing: Defense 122.4 (23rd)
Passing Defense 171.5(3rd)
To the untrained eye, this defense looked good on paper but got gashed in real life. This is a common theme when comparing real-life football vs. IDP. Here are some important advanced stats to know before we begin here.
This Panthers defense only generated 11 turnovers all last season, which could easily be explained because of the lack of pass rush this team generated. An elite pass rush (or teams that can effectively blitz) could disguise holes on the defense, but this defense had neither one. This team let all their top pass rushers leave town and replaced them with players looking to prove themselves.
The story here this season is those players but also the coach.  Ejiro Evero returns for another year to tinker with his defense, this time bringing in some Veterans who are familiar with his systems. Plenty of guys on prove-it situations so will be interesting to see if it all works.

Team needs:

  1. Wide receiver. Need a better player so Bryce Young can advance to the next level
  2. Offensive Line. allowing 65 sacks needs to plug up this weak spot.
  3. Cornerback. None of these guys are the answer.

Defensive Line

The Panthers at times looked like a strong unit but were left on the field so much it became exhausted. Ranking sixth in allowing only 6.5 yards per attempt last season, but could not generate turnovers when needed. Finishing with just 27 sacks and 8 interceptions.

Departures here hurt with Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos leaving, taking 12.5 of Carolina’s 27 sacks from last season with them. Additionally, linebacker Frankie Luvu, who contributed another 5.5 sacks, is no longer with the team. This accounts for 70.5% of the team pass rush production.

The replacements here are Jadeveon Clowney, D.J. Wonnum, and K’Lavon Chaisson.

Clowney now 32 years old, journeys to another team. With the Ravens in the previous season, tallying 9.5 sacks and boasting a commendable 15.7% pressure rate.

Wonnum is labeled DL/LB, so assuming he plays here is coming off an eight-sack campaign, marking the second-highest sack total of his career.

Derrick Brown was second on the team with 103 total tackles, which is incredible out of a defensive tackle.

He will be paired up with recently signed A'Shawn Robinson, a strong interior lineman who played all 17 games last year. He got less than half of the Giants' defensive plays, still registering a total of 62 tackles (with six resulting in a loss). Expect a rise for him in production.

For depth is K'Lavon Chaisson who has five career sacks including two last season on 147 pass rush snaps.



Josey Jewell has also never been a plus in coverage, but he is familiar with Ejiro Evero’s system and should be able to hit the ground running. He is coming off a down year but has been a tackle machine in previous seasons.

Shaq Thompson is back after playing just two games last season. He has been a quality option when healthy, giving the Panthers a solid combo at the top of the depth chart assuming he can get back to 100%. Take advantage of this injury as he is buried in ADP and could be had cheap if drafted early.

The third linebacker figures to be Wonnum or Clowney but will have to see this rotation.

Defensive Back

Jaycee Horn pre-injury was a statical shutdown corner. Since then he has only appeared in 22 games (and only five games last year) in three seasons. 

Troy Hill held his own as a slot corner last season, conceding 6.3 yards per target in coverage, though his advancing age raises concerns about his longevity.

Dane Jackson was a decent player who had his ups and downs. Despite having a down year with the Bills, previously he was able to make himself into a starter in 2023. However, neither Hill nor Jackson are considered sufficient to forestall the need for further additions, especially considering Horn's injury woes.  The team will need to get better with this unit.

Jordan Fuller will be a starter at Saftey. Like Josey Jewell having worked under Evero on previous stops will be an advantage, should be a playable IDP in deeper leagues.

Xavier Woods secretly had a good season, ranking fourth in passing coverage among safeties. His game has always been limiting yards per target in coverage so he's the best ball favorite of mine.

Depth is thin but last year's fifth-round pick Jammie Robinson, there's no established backup other than him so expect him to get some use.


Looking at those above trends the Panthers have picked up a lot of "what ifs" on prove-it deals. As this team is trying to figure out its identity consider this a rebuilding season.

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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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