IDP Outlook 2023 Fantasy Football Team Previews: NFC South IDP Roster Rundown and Depth Chart Dive Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints IDP

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NFC South IDP Outlook

At an initial glance, the NFC South might not appear highly competitive. Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask are here. When assessing the teams, a general observation reveals inconsistent offensive performance; most squads feature aging players that are present on both offensive and defensive fronts. Notably, the division's reigning champion (Tampa Bay) didn't secure a winning record last season, finishing at a .500 win percentage.

However, I'm here to convey that all these factors can actually be advantageous in the context of IDP football. Typically, weaker offensive showings lead to increased defensive plays and a more significant number of turnovers, particularly benefiting experienced veterans who are well-versed in the systems. This division promises an intriguing spectacle. Let's delve deeper into the details.

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Atlanta Falcons

Total Defense: 27th - Rushing Defense: 23rd - Passing Defense: 25th

State of the team

Arthur Blanks"s Falcons had to face adversity early on. From losing in the Deshan Watkins sweepstake, to later losing Matt Ryan this team wasn't expected to do much yet they actually won 7 games, including tougher matchups against Seattle and San Francisco. In this lost season, Head Coach Arthur Smith installed the league's top rushing attack. The Defense will still need work though, as the former coordinator Dean Pees decided to retire but left being key pieces.

Defense by the numbers

The Falcons had the 27th ranked Defense (362.1) they were in the bottom in rushing defense 23rd (130.2) and passing (25th) 231.9 The first-year defensive coordinator will have his hands full retooling this unit.

Defense Scheme

Ryan Nielsen is the new defense coordinator, who comes from rival New Orleans Saints and has a defensive line background. The Saints actually valued him and tried to keep him, but Nielsen took this job realizing the massive challenge it brings. He is well renowned for having mentored Cameron Jordan and Trey Hendrickson into the players they are now. Not just on the defensive line, but his fingerprints are all over the Saints' older defense now. The hope is he can turn this defense into a similar one he created with the Saints the last five seasons.

There is enough information to know by now, that Nielsen will try to have the same success and bring in "his guys" to this club. So expect a 4-3 with the edge players being bigger players that can help with the run. His defenses in New Orleans were notorious for stopping the run with just their

Defensive line

Penciled in starters: Grady Jarrett (DL), David Onyemate (DL), Calais Campbell (DL) 

Grady Jarrett had a bounce-back season in 2022, finishing as a lower-end DT1. While he had a disappointing year in 2021, his consistent performance throughout his career indicates that he is a dependable option in a position that lacks depth in fantasy football.

David Onyemata, despite being underrated as a pass rusher in IDP (Individual Defensive Player), has garnered recognition from the Atlanta Falcons, evident from the significant contract they awarded him.

Although Calais Campbell may not be the player he once was, and Bud Dupree's production declined during his time with the Titans, there is still optimism that both players could hold value, especially in deep best ball formats. The team's underperforming pass rush unit in 2022 provides hope for improved performance. Additionally, Zach Harrison, a third-round pick, finds himself in a favorable situation where he is expected to move around the defensive line and contribute wherever needed.


Penciled in starters: Kaden Elliss (LB), Troy Anderson (LB), Bud Dupree, or Arnold Ebiketie

Kaden Elliss (LB) made a strong impact in 2022. While he may not conform to the traditional mold of an off-ball linebacker, concerns arise regarding his adaptability to various defensive schemes. However, it is promising that he reunites with his former defensive coordinator, Ryan Nielsen, from their time together with the Saints.

Arnold Ebiketie (OLB) showcased his dominance in the Big Ten just a year ago. He accumulated an impressive 28 pressures, 16 hurries, and nine quarterback hits, consistently overwhelming opposing tackles in most matchups. Unfortunately, the arrival of Dupree or Elliss could potentially affect Arnold Ebiketie's playing time, and Lorenzo Carter seems to have been overlooked by many at this point.

In his second year, Troy Andersen is expected to transition into a full-time linebacker role. If you haven't already added him to your IDP roster, acquiring him without a significant investment may prove challenging. As of now, there are no further updates or rumors regarding Rashaan Evans' potential re-signing. In his rookie year, Evans demonstrated the potential for big-play sack contributions, making him suitable for the role.

Defensive Back

Penciled in starters: Jessie Bates (DB), Richie Grant (DB), AJ Terrell (CB), Jeff Okudah (CB)

Richie Grant, a defensive back, possesses the potential to thrive in the box safety role favored by Ryan Nielsen. The acquisition of Jessie Bates, another defensive back, adds to the intrigue, and Bates' value in IDP leagues will rely on his ability to make impactful plays as the deep safety.

AJ Terrell, a cornerback, has demonstrated his proficiency against top-tier receivers and showcases his tackling prowess in run support. He is expected to effectively lock down his side of the field. However, the situation is less stable on the other corner, as Jeff Okudah, acquired through a trade, had a disappointing performance in the last two months of the season and was among the worst at his position. It is hoped that a change of scenery will lead to a positive transformation for Okudah.

Rookie Watch

Zach Harrison - DL (round 3. No 75) The Falcons did sign veterans Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree but I don't see that as a long-term solution. Look for Harrison to have an early role on this defense like on the interior, produce volume, and be moved around everywhere on the front four.

Clark Phillips III - CB (round 4. No 113) Hails from Utah and is profiled as a ball-in-the-air attacker, he is smaller so he projects as a slot player next level, probably a depth piece.

Demarcco Hellams - CB (round 7. No 224) Remember Jalin Hyatt's big game vs Alabama? He victimized Hellams who has that reputation now but wasn't that bad of a player. He projects a special teamer next level.

Falcons summary:

Expect an exciting offense and a much-improved defense, particularly with the defensive line. This is going to be some transition but the new regime is doing well by NFL standards, with nine of their 17 draft picks being starters. The team will need time to tell and like always, this division game should be competitively closer.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Total Defense: 9th - Rushing Defense: 15th - Passing Defense: 9th

State of the team

Let's start by saying that The Todd Bowles era has now commenced. You might assume this occurred last year, correct? However, it was in his second year as head coach that a pivotal shift occurred for the team, solidifying the sense that it is now undeniably his team. The franchise has just concluded its most prosperous two-year span in its history, parting ways with Tom Brady, the influence of Bruce Arians fading into the background, and Byron Leftwich being replaced from his role.

Despite finishing the previous year with a .500 record, the team successfully clinched their division title, although they faced challenges due to injuries. As we gaze ahead to this upcoming year, what should we anticipate? Envision Todd Bowles taking the lead in fortifying and guiding the defense with a resolute and pragmatic approach to aid the developmental struggles on offense, particularly in the quarterback position, which might be met with a certain skepticism.

Defense by the numbers

In terms of statistical rankings, the team finished tied for ninth place in total defense with an average of 324.3 yards allowed per game, placing them in the bottom tier of tier-one defenses. They performed well against the run, ranking 15th, and were decent against the pass, ranking ninth. An interesting observation is that Todd Bowles' crew recorded 45 sacks, ranking seventh in the league, with a significant number coming from aggressive quarterback blitzes.

Defensive scheme

Regarding the defensive scheme, the Buccaneers have been running a 3-4 defense since Bowles took over in 2019, adopting the same system he used during his time with the Jets. At first glance, the defense seems familiar with players like Devin White, Lavonte David, and Antoine Winfield leading the way. However, there have been changes in terms of depth and an overhaul in the defensive line.

The team decided not to re-sign players like William Gholston, or Akiem Hicks. They did bring in Greg Gaines, re-signed Vita Vea, and drafted rookie Calijah Kancey, all of whom are expected to start. If this new defensive line performs well, it could be seen as an upgrade and represents the most significant change. It's worth noting that either Gaines or Logan Hall may be paired up with Vea and rookie Kancey as one of the three starters heading into training camp.

Defensive line

Penciled starters: Vita Vea, Calijah Kancey, (position battle- Greg Gaines or Logan Hall)

Vita Vea often goes unnoticed despite consistently receiving high snap counts when compared with DT and being an integral part of the team's defensive success. In the previous season, he recorded an impressive 6.5 sacks. The Buccaneers used their first-round pick to draft Calijah Kancey, a talented young player who brings valuable interior pass-rushing skills to the team. However, it is unlikely that Kancey will immediately step into a full-time starting role and may see playing time in intermittent spurts.

In contrast, Vita Vea faces limited competition for snaps, allowing him to consistently contribute and produce impressive numbers compared to other players in his position. Greg Gaines, who was acquired as a free agent, is also expected to see playing time and make an impact. Logan Hall, selected 33rd overall by the team in 2022, served as a third-down interior rusher in the Buccaneers' nickel packages but had a somewhat lackluster performance during the 2022 season while being part of a rotation. However, he is anticipated to have a more prominent role in the team's plans moving forward.

The departures of Akiem Hicks, William Gholston, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches in free agency have opened up opportunities for these two young players to step up and seize their chance to contribute on the defensive line.

The Buccaneers invested a first-round pick in Calijah Kancey, a talented young player who will bring interior pass-rushing skills to the team. However, he is unlikely to be an immediate full-time starter. Vita Vea is just the opposite; he doesn't log have much competition so usually produces snap counts as some compared to some of the other names at the position, can produce.

Logan Hall had a lackluster performance in 2022 while being part of a rotation, but he is expected to have a more prominent role moving forward. The departures of Akiem Hicks, William Gholston, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches in free agency create opportunities for these two young players.


Penciled starters: Shaquil Barrett, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Lavontae David, and Devin White

The Buccaneers suffered from the absence of Shaquil Barrett last season, and it was evident on film that the team struggled to recover from his injury. Shaq has been an exceptional performer for the Buccaneers, but his 2022 season was cut short due to a torn Achilles. The hope is that he will make a full recovery and return to his top form. In redraft formats, he can be a valuable asset for contending teams. Currently, Barrett's ranking as the DL49 in best ball formats seems low, which could present a buying opportunity for savvy fantasy managers.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, the team's first-round pick in 2021, has faced challenges and has not made the expected progress during his second year. However, due to limited competition on the roster, he will continue to receive significant playing time despite not meeting expectations. On the other hand, Yaya Diaby, the team's third-round pick, is not expected to have a major role early on.

Devin White has expressed his desire for a trade, primarily motivated by his contract aspirations. He excels in best ball formats, where his ability to generate sacks holds significant value. However, compared to traditional off-ball linebackers, his tackle production may be lower due to his involvement in blitzing. Although his coverage and rushing abilities may be questionable in real-life football, in fantasy football, he is likely to finish as an LB1 despite these concerns, providing big boom weeks in the final year of his rookie deal.

Despite turning 33 in January, Lavonte David remains a top-notch player and is just as effective as he was earlier in his career. Last year, he finished as the LB18, and it would not be surprising to see him deliver a similarly strong season in 2023, especially after signing a contract extension in April. David is often overlooked in fantasy drafts, usually going around LB28 in draft rooms, but he performs as a top 13-15 player. He presents a sneaky value in redraft leagues, where you can draft him as an LB3 but utilize him as an LB2-caliber player.

Defensive Backs

Penciled in starters: Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Antoine Winfield, and Ryan Neal

Antoine Winfield is an outstanding player whose impact on the Buccaneers' defense extends beyond his fantasy value unless you are participating in an All-22 league. He will be partnered with Ryan Neal at safety, and they are part of a deep group of safeties who have the potential to put up solid fantasy numbers. While stats and metrics may have Neal praised, I won't be so bullish, but he is a deep player to take a shot at later in drafts.

From an IDP perspective, the focus is primarily on Winfield, who is often drafted as a top-five defensive back and is considered an elite defender in real football. His ability to read the game and react quickly sets him apart from most players. He is a great young safety who is expected to assume a role similar to the one he played last year, likely as a nickel corner slot defender.

Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis had underwhelming fantasy performances last year, and it is anticipated that their outlook for 2023 will be similar. While Dean is a talented cornerback and Davis has consistently achieved double-digit pass breakups over the past four years, there are few positive factors for these two players in IDP formats.

 Nickel is up for grabs and the biggest position battle going into camp. Expect Dee Delaney, Zyon McCollum, or rookie Josh Hayes, and rookie safety Christian Izien.

Rookie watch

Calijah Kancey - DT (round 1. No 19) An undersized player with a high motor, projected to not be elite but has great upside as a pass rusher as a three-technique player. Great player to retool the defense around.

Yaya Diaby - LB (round 3. No 82) Was profiled as an outside linebacker in sub defenses packages. Worth noting that head coach Todd Bowles has already said may consider moving him around DE and DT if he could bulk up.

Sirvocea Dennis - LB (round 5. No 153) With both LBs on one-year deals he could be a guy plugged in. He profiles as a good-read playmaker who could transcend as an above-average starter next level. In his first season, he will be asked to contribute to special teams.

Josh Hayes - DB (round 6. No 181) Decent press coverage player who projects as a nickel back/depth piece at the next level.

Jose Ramirez - DE (round 6 No 196) Hard to make this depth chart he will have to work really hard in minicamps. Not much upside at the time of writing this article.

Buccaneer's summary:

Look for this season to be more of the same with a revamped defensive line, while next season looks to fix the aging players like Lavonte David and rotate some youth on this side of the ball. It is worth noting that Bowles himself, a defensive guy who was a top prospect who played for Arians in college will likely look to find a player to put his staple on this team.

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Carolina Panthers

Total Defense: 22nd - Rushing Defense: 18th - Passing Defense: 22nd

State of the team:

Despite negative viewpoints regarding Matt Rhule, he built this team strong on the defense side of football. It's undeniable that he effectively utilized the 2020 draft to acquire impactful defensive players who not only made valuable contributions to the team but also became its cornerstone and these are going to pay off for the new coach. It's plausible that this emphasis on defense might have led to certain shortcomings on the offensive front.

Given this context, Carolina has enlisted Frank Reich to introduce his interpretation of the West Coast offense. Concurrently, the defense will maintain a largely consistent lineup, albeit under an entirely new system introduced by a fresh defensive coordinator. Despite the team's struggles in the year 2022, they were merely a single game away from securing the division title, resulting in a three-way tie for the second spot in the NFC South. The primary reason for this outcome is evident: the defense consistently came to the rescue of the team despite the challenges encountered on the offensive side.

Defense by the numbers:

The rise of the defense became evident as the offense struggled to find the end zone and settled for field goals. The defense managed to hold three opponents to ten points or less in three games. In terms of overall rankings, this DST unit finished 22nd with a total of 350.2 yards allowed per game. They were 18th against the rush and 22nd against the pass. While these numbers may not appear elite, it's important to note that this unit was frequently on the field due to the offense's struggles.

From a fantasy perspective, the Carolina defense offers potential value as individual defensive players (IDPs) due to their significant snap counts and playing time, even if their real-life performance was not outstanding.

Defensive scheme

Previously operating as a 4-3 defense, the team has a new coordinator in Ejiro Evero, formerly from the Denver Broncos. With Evero's arrival, it is expected that the defense will transition to a base 3-4 scheme, which aligns with the team's needs and objectives in real games.

Defensive line

Penciled in starters: Brian Burns, Shy Tuttle, Derrick Brown, Yetur Gross-Matos, or DeShawn Williams

This defensive line offers a variety of options for individual defensive players (IDPs), starting with the standout player Derrick Brown, who also contributed 40 pressures and 65 combined tackles. Brown has already established himself as a reliable choice in tackle-heavy DT-premium scoring formats, and he has the potential to increase his value by improving his sack production from last season.

With an impressive record of 12.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, opponents will likely need to double-team him to limit his disruptive impact. In the new defensive scheme, Brown is expected to play as a 3-4 edge DE, which will lead to a different style of play for him, as he will be positioned wider and tasked with covering more gaps than before.

Shy Tuttle, a 6'3", 300-pound free agent signing, is the obvious choice to fill the team's nose tackle (NT) position. Tuttle, who hails from North Carolina, was brought in to excel at occupying space and playing significant snap counts. This is a skill he demonstrated effectively during his time with the New Orleans Saints, and it is expected that he will continue to contribute in a similar manner.

Another free agent to keep an eye on is DeShawn Williams, who has previous experience playing under the new defensive coordinator, coach Evero, during his time with the Denver Broncos. Despite being one of the older players on the defense at 30 years old, Williams possesses a deep understanding of the defensive system, which allowed him to start 15 out of 17 games for Denver last year. He achieved career-high numbers in tackles (37), sacks (4.5), tackles for loss (4), and QB hits (8). Williams was brought in to compete with Gross-Matos for the final spot on the defensive line, and considering his familiarity with the system and his impressive performance, he appears to be the favored choice.

Yetur Gross-Matos, a former second-round pick, has not lived up to the high expectations placed upon him thus far. He will need to have a significant year to change the perception surrounding his performance. Despite accumulating 60 pressures and 10 sacks over three years, his output has been considered underwhelming.


Penciled in: Brian Burns, Frankie Luvu, Shaq Thompson, Jeremy Chinn

Brian Burns (OLB), who had a breakout season last year as a DE, recorded an impressive 68 pressures and 13 sacks, both career highs. There is a strong chance that he will be able to replicate that performance in 2023. The Panthers plan to utilize him as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Ejiro Evero's new defensive system. Burns is not only an elite pass rusher but also excels in tackling. His ability to perform well against the run adds further intrigue to his position switch.

While he may not be considered tier-one, he consistently plays at an elite level. At just 25 years old, with 12 sacks last season, Burns is a player who often goes underappreciated as a current elite DL in fantasy drafts. Depending on the scoring format, he finished seventh in the Big Three scoring format and fifth in the IDP123 scoring format for DL positional scoring. Despite not receiving much help on the other side, Burns continues to produce impressive numbers.

Frankie Luvu (ILB) and Shaq Thompson can coexist in the new defensive scheme under coordinator Ejiro Evero. Thompson is likely to secure a full-time role and has the potential to finish as an LB2. Luvu may not see every snap but is expected to play a significant number of snaps, making him an enticing IDP option, especially in best-ball formats and leagues that heavily reward sacks.

Luvu had a solid season with 117 combined tackles, including 87 solo tackles, playing all 17 games with 500 snaps. While his ADP may be a bit high, it is expected that his snaps and stats may decrease slightly. Nevertheless, he remains a strong performer for your lineups.

Defensive Back

Penciled in starters: Vonn Bell (DB), Xavier Woods (DB), Jaycee Horn (CB) either Donte Jackson or C.J. Henderson (CB)

The addition of Vonn Bell at safety brings an interesting dynamic to the team. Throughout his career, Bell has primarily played (43% of snaps) as a box safety, which also happens to be Jeremy Chinn's strong suit. It is likely that Bell will take on a deeper role alongside Xavier Woods, while Chinn continues to excel closer to the line of scrimmage, possibly in the slot position once again. Jammie Robinson, who was chosen with the 145th pick, seems to be a luxury addition to the safety group.

In the cornerback position, there appeared to be a weakness last year. However, that changed with the breakout performance of Jaycee Horn, a name you may not know, who had a remarkable sophomore season and solidified his status as one of the league's top young cornerbacks. Horn displayed the ability to effectively cover some of the best wide receivers in the game, earning himself the CB1 role on the team. It wouldn't be surprising to see him earn a Pro Bowl selection next season.

As for the other cornerbacks on the roster, Donte Jackson and C.J. Henderson are expected to lead the rest of the group. However, if Chinn continues in the nickel role, there may only be one full-time position available for them to occupy.

Rookie Watch

The Panthers gave away some serious draft capital but still have a name worth watching.

D.J. Johnson - EDGE (round 3. No 80) Profiled as a run-stuff defender that can possess good pass rushers next level. It is worth mentioning here, that the Panthers traded up to get him so may have plans.

Jammie Robinson - DB (round 5. No 145). Bell and Woods should be your starters with Chinn in some out outside of this that is all in the secondary, Robinson could fill an early role. selected in the fifth round, he produced 319 tackles at Florida State so could be used early on in run support downs.

Panthers Summary

The most glaring weakness of this group lies in the cornerback position, but they compensate for it with strength at safety. Addressing the cornerback position and finding solutions to prevent injuries, such as Jaycee Horn's second stint on injured reserve late last season, will be crucial. Additionally, the adjustment of the three superstars, Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, and Jeremy Chinn, to their new positions under the new defensive scheme, as well as adapting to a new defense, coordinator, and head coach, will be key factors in the team's success.

While there may be some growing pains, keeping an eye on the positional switches during minicamp will provide valuable insights into the team's progress. Overall, with the necessary adjustments and development, this group has the potential to become a solid unit.

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New Orleans Saints

Total Defense: 5th - Rushing Defense: 24th - Passing Defense 2nd

The New Orleans Saints are experiencing the harsh reality of life without their main leadership. Having navigated two seasons without Drew Brees and one season subsequent to the departure of their former "retired" head coach, Sean Payton, the Saints find themselves on a challenging path to recapture their momentum. Concluding the season with a disappointing 7-10 record, they recorded their weakest performance since 2005.

Despite implementing various tactics, such as quarterback rotations and experimenting with one of them in the flex position, the team's offensive endeavors proved fruitless, leading to feelings of frustration. In contrast, the defense emerged as a striking counterpoint to the struggling offense, showcasing commendable performance.

Defensive scheme

The Saints recognized the need to address this issue in the 2023 draft and viewed it as an opportunity to infuse younger talent into the defensive lineup. As a team that flexes between a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive scheme, having versatile players who can adapt to different formations is highly valued. The Saints prefer not to pigeonhole themselves to one specific scheme, allowing them the flexibility to adjust the lineup as needed based on the strengths of their players.

While the team chart officially indicates a 4-3 defense for the upcoming season, it's important for the Saints to remain adaptable and not get overly fixated on how each player will fit into a specific scheme. The focus should be on acquiring unique and talented individuals who can contribute effectively to the team's defensive efforts.

Defense by the numbers

In 2022, the New Orleans Saints defense, under the leadership of head coach Dennis Allen and co-defensive coordinators Ryan Nielsen and Kris Richard, emerged as the lone bright spot for the team. As the season progressed, the defense started to find its stride, particularly in the latter half. In fact, during the final six games, three of which were against playoff teams, the defense held opponents to fewer than 18 points per game.

Overall, the defense showcased its strength, finishing fifth overall in the league, allowing an average of 314.8 yards per game. The passing defense was particularly impressive, ranking second in the league, surrendering only 184.4 passing yards per game. However, the run defense struggled, ranking 24th with opponents averaging 130.5 rushing yards per game. It became evident, through film analysis as the season progressed, that while the older players on the defense still had skills, they tended to wear down in later stages of games, leading to vulnerabilities in defending the run. Opposing teams capitalized on this weakness by exploiting the run game.

Defensive lineman

Penciled in: Cameron Jordan, Bryan Bresee, Nathan Shepherd, and Carl Granderson 

Bryan Bresee, a highly touted former five-star college recruit who was once the nation's top-ranked prospect, has found himself in an advantageous situation. With the departures of David Onyemata and Shy Tuttle in free agency, and the newly acquired Khalen Saunders considered below average, Bresee has landed in an ideal spot. As a rookie, he will need to outperform Saunders and Shephard to secure a starting position. The expectations for Bresee are high, but he has the potential to meet them.

Despite struggling to match the college production of his draft peers, he now has an excellent opportunity to prove his worth and silence his critics. It's also worth considering Isiah Foskey, who could be the eventual successor to Cameron Jordan and has been compared to Marcus Davenport in terms of draft potential.

Cameron Jordan, a defensive lineman, had a decent season with nine sacks and 56 combined tackles. However, those that watch the game tapes will notice that he is no longer the dominant force he once was, as indicated by his career-low pressure rate of 7.9%. Jordan also seemed to slow down in the later stages of the games primarily in the fourth quarter of games. Since we play fantasy football the stat line is all we care about but the team brought in reinforcements to help reinforce that idea.

In the 2022 season, five players saw significant rotation opposite Jordan, but three of them departed during free agency. Carl Granderson and Payton Turner may step into more prominent roles, but they will face competition from second-round pick Isaiah Foskey and veteran Tanoh Kpassagnon. The competition for these positions will be fierce as the team looks to fill the void and find a suitable complement to Jordan on the defensive line.


Penciled in starters: Demario Davis, Pete Werner, (position battle) Zack Baun vs Ryan Connelly vs Jaylon Smith

As for Demario Davis, he had 109 tackles with a career-high of 6.5 sacks. It's worth noting that he had the lowest tackle rate in the league and an increased missed tackle rate. In drafts, it would be advisable to adjust expectations and consider him as an LB3/4 option, although he remains an excellent blitzer. With no significant challengers to his role at the moment (Werner plus Ellis leaving), Davis could be a cost-effective starter in redraft leagues.

Werner has patiently awaited an opportunity to take on an every-down role and replace the veteran Demario Davis. However, Davis continues to defy the effects of time and remains the primary full-time option in the heart of the Saints' defense. 

With the arrival of a new defensive coordinator, there may be potential changes on the horizon. Kaden Elliss, who previously served in the EDGE rotation and as a hybrid LB/edge player, has departed to join the Falcons, leaving a void that Pete Werner could potentially fill in off-ball linebacker snaps.

Werner's sophomore season was impacted by a five-game absence due to an ankle injury, and he failed to live up to the expectations set by his promising rookie campaign. As a dynasty asset, Werner could be valuable for teams considering the potential for Davis to age. However, his outlook in the short term may be more uncertain, and it could be a good opportunity to acquire him at a lower cost following his injury-affected year.

On the other side, Zack Baun, nicknamed "Sack Baun" from college, hasn't done much but special teams on the NFL level. Baun will battle with Ryan Connelly, but both lack significant experience. The lack of linebacker depth is a genuine concern for the Saints. However, there may be an under-the-radar player from the defensive back group who could potentially challenge for a linebacker role. Don't be surprised if they bring someone in as well (Jaylon Smith). This will play out in OTAS.

Defensive Backs
Penciled in: Marcus Maye (DB), Tyrann Mathieu (DB), Marshon Lattimore (CB), Paulson Adeo vs. Bradley Roby (CB)

Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye are expected to assume starting roles at safety. However, with Joe Woods as the defensive coordinator, the traditional split between the box and deep safety responsibilities may be slightly reduced. This adjustment could potentially have a negative impact on Mathieu's production, despite his impressive 88 combined tackles from last year, which was the second-highest total of his career.

Marshon Lattimore faced significant injuries in the 2022 season. While he averaged six fantasy points per game, it serves as a reminder of how scoring for defensive backs (DBs) can be unpredictable. Nevertheless, given his talent, Lattimore will remain one of the more coveted fantasy cornerbacks.

It's worth monitoring the competition for the CB2 position, as a legitimate battle may be brewing between second-year player Alontae Taylor and third-year player Paulson Adebo, who struggled last year. One of them will likely secure the job during OTAs. Bradley Roby is also on the roster, but he tends to excel in the slot coverage position.

Additionally, the under-the-radar signing of former Raider and defensive back Johnathan Abram brings intriguing possibilities. If he adds 10-15 pounds, he could potentially play the role of an outside linebacker.

Rookie watch

Brian Bresee - DT (round 1. No 29) A former 5-star recruit and number one prospect in college, Bresee is slotted already to start at DT. He doesn't have much in front of him to play out and win that position outright and start immediately.

Isaiah Foskey - DL (round 2. No 40) Who holds the sack record at Notre Dame? Looks like a Marcus Davenport comp. With the Saints having 3-4 Cameron Jordan they will have time to develop him

Jordan Howden - FS (round 5. No 146) 4.4-speed comp to C.J. Gardner-Johnson for his ability to use his speed and swoop in to make big plays.

Saints Summary

Fun Fact- Did you have knowledge of the fact that according to Draft Kings, the New Orleans Saints are presently regarded as the frontrunners to secure victory in their division? Nevertheless, attaining this accomplishment is another matter. It relies on the premise of capable quarterback performance and the effective assimilation of young defensive talent. While this outcome is conceivable, I wouldn't personally go "all in" on that.

Thank you for checking out my article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @TheBroNamaths and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!

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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