Following the fourth 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. Week 4 tells us almost nothing about what to expect this year, most of these guys won’t have roles and many won’t even make rosters. That tells us this information means very little for this year. If you are playing dynasty or just looking to keep some young guys on your radar then this information can still have some use.
Week 4: 8 tackles (5 solo), 2 PD
Malik Jefferson has show the athleticism that made him a third round pick. This included some excellent efforts in pass coverage. On one instance he blanketed his guy down the sideline then deflected the pass out of bounds. Jefferson doesn’t appear that he will have a week one role, but there are definitely opportunities in Cincinnati.
Burfict is the best of the bunch but obviously carries risk of injury and suspension. Preston Brown is coming off a huge year in Buffalo but definitely does not excel in coverage. Nick Vigil, Vincent Rey, Jordan Evans and Hardy Nickerson Jr. do not appear to be much more than replacement level players. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jefferson earn a passing down role.
For now Jefferson is a dynasty stash and has little chance of being relevant in redraft this year.
Week 4: 7 tackles (7 solo), 1 FF
O’Daniel has had a quiet preseason and camp. This has been a disappointment considering the third round pick spent on him in this years draft. He did fly around and find the ball a little more in this game. He even managed to punch the ball out of punt returner Trevor Davis‘ hands.
I wouldn’t recommend more him as any more than a dynasty stash, but there is still a lot of rookie linebackers I would rather own. The good news here is the biggest competition to get on the field is Reggie Ragland, a guy who has struggled a lot early in his career.
Week 4: 1 tackle (1 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit
After notching a half sack in week 3, Carter managed a full sack in week 4. Top pass rusher Olivier Vernon is nursing an ankle sprain but is expected to be ready for week 1. Even with Vernon available, the Giants are lacking depth in their pass rushing group. Carter has the athleticism to develop into a deadly pass rusher off the edge. He should be monitored closely in all sack heavy league.
Week 4: 6 tackles (5 solo), 3 sacks, 1 TFL, 3 QB hits
Means is on the roster bubble in Philadelphia simply due to the incredible depth they have amasses at the defensive end position. Means is known to be a great teammate and spends extensive time watching film of opposing defensive ends and mirroring their games to give the offense a good look in practice.
On top of being a player that coaches have to absolutely love, Means has been a huge preseason performer throughout his whole career. Watch what happens with Means during cuts. If he finds a better landing spot, he might be able to contribute to another teams’ pass rush.
Week 4: 11 tackles (6 solo), 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR
Thomas continues to stand out, even in a game that also featured presumed starter Jon Bostic and top backup Tyler Matakevich. Thomas is really impressing with this athleticism and coverage skills. I believe Thomas has carved out a role in coverage packages and may continue to carve out a bigger role.
The question seems to be when Thomas gets his chance at the second inside linebacker spot beside Vince Williams. I believe it will be soon because he provides the speed and ability to cover backs and tight ends the Steelers have sorely missed without Shazier. He is a great stash in dynasty and should be fully on the radar in redraft leagues.
Week 4: 10 tackles (6 solo)
Good performance for a fringe roster guy. Allen is worth monitoring because of his style of play. He is a true in the box safety, the kind of role that can net big points. Allen’s special teams ability probably earns him a spot on the 53 man roster, but its hard to see him finding meaningful playing time anytime soon.
Week 4: 10 tackles (8 solo), 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 3 QB hits
I honestly do not know much about this guy, but wanted to recognize one hell of a performance. May be just enough to help the 2016 3rd rounder make the team. The Ravens appear to have a lot of potential at both defensive end and outside linebacker so it is hard to project any regular season impact.
Week 4: 7 tackles (3 solo), 1 TFL
Shaun Dion Hamilton slipped in the draft due to his college injuries, but may prove to be a late round steal. Unfortunately he looks to be another young player buried in a deep position group. I definitely want SDH stashed on all my dynasty teams, but I do not see much chance of a redraft impact in 2018.
Week 4: 10 tackles (8 solo)
Neal is another safety that’s good in run support. He takes good angles to the ball and is a sure tackler. The Buffalo safety positions have been very productive with Hyde and Poyer. He has a long way to go before he is pushing those two for playing time but if he does ever get a chance he would be worth a look.
Week 4: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits
Nichols has cemented his spot on the roster and is pushing for a bigger role in the defensive line rotation. He should continue to earn more and more playing time throughout the year. As a 3-4 defensive lineman its unlikely he’ll ever be an impact player in IDP leagues so while he looks like a solid player, I’d look elsewhere for IDP production.
Week 4: 7 tackles (5 solo), 3 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 PD, 3 QB hits
One hell of a performance from the 30 year old journeyman. The Saints are reportedly gauging trade interest at the cut deadline, but Stupar is unlikely to make an impact anywhere.
Week 4: 12 tackles (4 solo)
Kiser finished second in the preseason with 26 tackles. Head coach Sean McVay recently praised him as a consistently productive player that continues to get better and better. Kiser only has unproven Cory Littleton and oft-injured Mark Barron in front of him for significant snaps. Kiser should be owned in dynasty and monitored closely in redraft, he could definitely be productive beside Barron in the Rams defense.
Week 4: 8 tackles (4 solo)
Griffin was a tackling machine in the preseason. With veteran KJ Wright recovering from a knee surgery, Griffin could get the start in week one. If you are desperate at linebacker he could be a potential fill in. Once Wright is back, Griffin will not have much value in redraft but given his early tackle numbers he’s definitely worth a stash in dynasty leagues and maybe even deeper dynasty leagues.
Week 4: 11 tackles (11 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits
Zeke Turner is converting from S to LB and showed some promise in this one. Assuming he makes the team, this is a player I will be monitoring closely. The appeal here is mostly due to the Cardinals lack of linebacker depth.
Even the starters carry huge question marks Hasaan Reddick and Josh Bynes are unproven commodities, while Deone Bucannon has struggled with injuries. There will be some unknowns making an impact in Arizona and Zeke Turner could be one of them.
Young is in an intense position battle with Patrick Onwuasor for the second inside linebacker position in Baltimore. The rookie tweaked his knee in this game. An MRI was scheduled for Friday, but results do not yet appear to be public. A major injury would be extremely disappointing given his early performance. If he proves to be okay, he could certainly make a big impact this year.
Dante Fowler Jr
Not much to say about these guys. When veterans are playing late into the fourth preseason game it is a bad sign for their future with the team. They are either on the chopping block, not ticketed for a big role, or auditioning for a trade.
None of these guys seemed to have much of an impact against the depth guys either. Fowler might be explainable as reps or punishment due to his suspension to start the season, but I still have very little hope for any of these guys going into the season.