We are past the midway point of the fantasy season and it is time to have your roster set for a playoff push. Here is a list of a couple of players who may be late bloomers but can help you win your championships.
Whether you are sitting at 4-4 or 8-0 you are looking to hopefully finalize your roster for a playoff push. If you are still thin at certain positions do not fret, there should still be some viable options available. Some guys went into the season with a lot of hype but have started the season slowly. Some have faded but some just seem to have taken a bit of time to reach their potential. Others are finally starting to live up to their hype and are beginning to produce. Then there are others who have assumed new starting roles moving forward. Let’s take a look into some IDP late bloomers to help you make a championship push.
Derek Barnett – Defensive End Philadelphia Eagles
2019 Stats: 18 tackles (13 solo), four tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Derek Barnett went into this season as a breakout candidate for many. Boy did he get off to a slow start though. Barnett accounted for only eight total tackles over his first three games with zero sacks. Due to his poor start, some fantasy owners may have gotten impatient and dropped Barnett.
Over his last five games, he has really come alive, especially in the pass rush department. During those five games, he produced 10 tackles (seven solo), three tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. If you were one of the patient owners or somebody who took a waiver chance on an unproductive player, you could be reaping the benefits for the rest of the season.
Josh Allen – Defensive End Jacksonville Jaguars
2019 Stats: 23 Tackles (16 solo), eight tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles.
Josh Allen is an incredible talent coming out of Kentucky where he racked up 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss. Unfortunately for him, he landed in a situation that included Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue already. This meant that Allen would be taking a backseat to start the season. This was not really the case as he played on 76% of snaps in his first four games accumulating 12 tackles, three for a loss and two sacks.
Over his last four games, his snap percentage dropped to 60% of the team’s snaps but his production has spiked. In his last four games, he has totaled 11 tackles, five for a loss, and five sacks. He has also recorded a sack in four straight games after recording sacks in only one of his first four. For those who were patient and had him on your taxi squads, feel confident to roll with him starting the rest of the way.
Jerome Baker – Linebacker Miami Dolphins
2019 Stats: 47 Tackles (30 solo), two tackles for a loss and one pass defensed.
Earlier this season I had Jerome Baker pegged as my IDP breakout of the year candidate. Unfortunately, even with the departure of Kiko Alonso, that has not transpired. Baker got off to a hot start coming up with 19 tackles in his first two games. After that, though he fell into a lull of lackluster production. Over his next four games, Baker averaged only 4.5 tackles per game while many people were banking on him to be there LB2, that’s not going to cut it.
The common reaction was to cut bait with Baker as many did. What most do not realize is that Baker is almost an every snap player. Though he had a very poor stretch of games, he still has a ton of talent. In his seventh game this season he looked like his old self where he came up with nine total tackles. Moving forward he has a pretty friendly schedule and still plays every down for the Dolphins. Those who allowed Baker to soak up snaps on their bench for four weeks may reap the benefits going into the playoffs.
Malcolm Jenkins – Safety Philadelphia Eagles
2019 Stats: 37 Tackles (29 solo), two tackles for a loss, three passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
Malcolm Jenkins is coming off of a 2018 season where he finished just three tackles shy of 100 total tackles. To start this season father time seemed to have caught up with Jenkins as he averaged just 3.6 tackles per game while playing every single defensive snap. Jenkins seems to have turned back the clock again though during his last three games where he has upped his average to 6.3 per game over that span. Jenkins has played every single snap for the Eagles defense this season. Continue to put out Jenkins in your weekly lineups especially with him averaging six tackles per game.
Denzel Perryman – Linebacker Los Angeles Chargers
2019 Stats: 33 Tackles (24 solo) and three tackles for a loss.
Denzel Perryman has always been the player with loads of potential but could never stay healthy. This year is not different by any means for Perryman as he missed the first two games this season due to injury. Perryman still is a two-down player, playing mainly on rush downs and only 56.67% of the team’s defensive snaps. His first few games back from injury he was limited. Over his last three games, he has been very productive as a run stopper and has averaged 7.5 tackles over his last two games. Perryman is the team’s best-run stopper and playing fewer snaps seems like the best way to keep him healthy. A healthy Perryman can rack up some tackles.
If you are heading to the fantasy playoffs or making a push to squeak in than you need to shore up your lineup. Many fantasy owners are incredibly impatient with players and if they do not produce for two weeks in a row then they drop that player. You may be able to look at waivers to find some studs who are blooming late in the season. Now is the time to grab them before anybody else notices.
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