IDP Players to Target or Fade Following Week 3 of the Preseason – Stock Up or Stock Down

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Following the third set of preseason games, who is looking up and who is looking down for IDP FFL?


Notes on this weekly report

I’m leaving this same disclaimer here regarding reading into the preseason games and performances too far. We’re in the preseason right now. This information is nice, but do not over commit either way based on preseason games. Every year we see preseason studs fizzle out when the regular season rolls around and vice-versa. It can give you an edge to see who teams are rolling out with the starters, who is winning position battles, and who seems to be progressing. But again, don’t sell the farm or go crazy over the information.

The preseason reports will be going a little deeper down on the rosters than what we can expect to see in the regular season. This is mostly due to the fact that the young guys and the guys fighting for jobs and roster spots are getting the most run. Most of the stud players are playing limited series or staying on the sideline preserving their health. We are seeing more snaps from some of the more notable players in weeks 2 and 3 though.

Stock Up

Carl Lawson

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Week 1: 3 tackles (2 solo), 2 QB hits

Week 2: 1 tackle (1 solo), 1 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits

Week 3: 3 tackles (2 solo), 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 3 QB hits

The best news for Carl Lawson this preseason was the news that he would be remaining at DE for this season. Lawson showed elite pass rush efficiency as a rookie and has been consistently getting pressure all preseason. The consistent pressure paid off to the tune of 2.5 sacks in week 3 of the preseason. Playing next to talented teammates like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Jordan Willis, and others also helps open up opportunities for everybody across the line. He remains one of my favorite young pass rushers in the league.

Darron Lee

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Week 3: 8 tackles (6 solos)

Darron Lee has mostly struggled throughout his career, including making the stock down list after another disappointing performance last week. Lee looked much better this week. He’s not playing up to the potential that made him up a first round pick, but still a big improvement for him. The missed tackles are still a bit concerning. The coverage was better but still needs to improve.  He really lucked out on a missed throw to an open Evan Engram. The Jets experimented with him coming off the edge at times as well. Lee should be rostered, but I don’t buy at this point despite signs of improvement.

Avery Williamson

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Week 3: 9 tackles (2 solos), 1 FF (a second FF overturned)

While his running mate Lee improved, Avery Williamson continued his solid preseason performance. He’s replacing DeMario Davis in a super productive every down ILB role after playing mostly on running downs last year in Tennessee. This has made him a frequently identified sleeper within the IDP community and he’s shown why with his play in the preseason. The Jets have to be happy with their acquisition and IDP owners will be as well.

Shaq Thompson

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Week 3: 7 tackles (5 solos), 2 TFL

It seems like the IDP community has been predicting a Shaq Thompson breakout every year since he has entered the league. With the Thomas Davis suspension, Thompson will get an opportunity to prove himself in a bigger role. I like Shaq Thompson at his current IDP draft position and think he could have even more upside if Keuchly continues to struggle with concussions.

Matthew Thomas

Week 3: 9 tackles (5 solos)

Undrafted free agent, Matthew Thomas, has had a very impressive preseason for the Steelers. He’s been so impressive that they added a “Seminole” package to work Thomas in with the first team defense. In this package Vince Williams (also a Seminole) slid outside as an edge rusher, Anthony Chickillo came off the field, and Matthew Thomas slid into the inside linebacker position.

This 3-2-6 formation looked a lot more like a traditional dime package with 4 rushers, Thomas in the middle and 6 defensive backs. Thomas has looked excellent running with tight ends and others in coverage, something the rest of the linebackers and even the safeties have struggled with.

Kenny Young

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Week 3: 4 tackles (4 solos), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit

Kenny Young continues to battle Patrick Onwuasor for the second inside linebacker position in Baltimore. Both players have looked good at times, but the one area Young continues to stand out in is in pass coverage. Young has been able to run stride for stride with his man in coverage whereas Onwuasor has occasionally been beaten in coverage including giving up a 36 yard gain to Kenyan Drake this week.

Kyzir White

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Week 3: 3 tackles (2 solos)

White is on the list more because of his snaps than his play. He didn’t necessarily stand out but the good news is he plays with ones alongside Perryman and Emmanuel. He was clearly playing ahead of Jatavis Brown at WLB. It will be interesting to see what happens here, but it seems like the Chargers want to get the rookie on the field.

Ja’Whaun Bentley

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Week 1: 6 tackles (5 solo), 2 TFL, 1 QB hit

Week 2: 5 tackles (1 solo), 1 PD, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD

Week 3: 5 tackles (4 solo)

Not much more too say on Bentley, the outstanding rookie lead the team in tackles again. He’s seeing some reps with the starters, but his role is yet to be determined. The Patriots typically do an excellent job mixing and matching their personnel to exploit different situations. Bentley will likely be a role player as a rookie but definitely has a bright future.

Darius Leonard (and Skai Moore)

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Week 1: 4 tackles (1 solo)

Week 2: 7 tackles (6 solo)

Week 3 (Leonard): 5 tackles (4 solo), 2 PD

Week 3 (Moore): 6 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL

Both rookies continue to impress, so much so that the Colts felt they were able to move on from veteran linebacker Antonio Morrison. Leonard is a sure starter and should be a useful IDP play somewhere within the LB2/3 tier. I believe Moore has earned the MLB role and would prefer to see Walker moved to SLB going into the season, but Moore’s role is definitely an unknown making him more of a deep stash or watch list candidate at the moment.

Deone Bucannon

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Week 3: 8 tackles (5 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit

Bucannon saw his first action of this preseason and looked the part of a strong IDP starter. He’s the known every-down linebacker in Arizona and should have a big year if he stays healthy. Don’t forget about Bucannon in the LB2 tier.

Myles Garrett

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Week 3: 3 tackles (3 solos), 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QB hits, 1 safety

Myles Garrett shared a blurb with a couple other pass rushers on the stock up list last week but gets his own blurb this week after a monster performance. Everybody will be on him now, but my advice is to feel out a trade before its way too late.  If he stays healthy I believe he’s easily in the top tier of DL with Bosa and Mack, he’s that good

Stock Down

Oren Burks

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Week 1: 6 tackles (5 solos)

Week 2: 6 tackles (6 solos), 1 TFL

Week 3: Shoulder Injury in Pregames

Early reports are that Burks’ shoulder popped out of socket during pregame, McCarthy seemed to indicate this will not be a long-term issue. The Packers made a corresponding move to acquire ILB Antonio Morrison from the Colts. Morrison could replace Burks early on while he heals, but may also be a candidate to hold onto some early down work. Burks appears to the more talented player and should find his way back onto the field as soon as he is healthy.

Raekwon McMillan

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Repeat from last week, McMillan was again disappointing. Raekwon still had an every-down role in this one but doesn’t look like the player the Dolphins were hoping for.  He may still be relevant as a stat compiler this year by default but his future is looking cloudier each week.

Jatavis Brown

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I have two concerns here:

  1. Kyzir White was playing with the starters ahead of Brown.
  2. When Brown did get his chance he struggled. His athleticism shines at times, but he struggles too much in play diagnosis, reaction and angles.

If you haven’t already, you may want to move on from Brown and look to grab White if he’s available.

BJ Goodson

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This one should not surprise, but the Giants second inside linebacker looks to be ticketed for an early down role. Ray-Ray Armstrong replaced BJ Goodson in passing situations.


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Former college football player, team leader in personal fouls for two straight seasons. Work as an engineer when I'm not engulfed in fantasy football. Follow me on twitter @ONUtyjo to talk anything fantasy football related: IDP, dynasty, contract leagues, superflex, devy, etc.