I have returned.
Week eight is in the books and it was another weird one, both for IDP and offense and just football in general. Some of the biggest “locks” of the week ended up backfiring on us including the Packers up against a shredded Vikings secondary that even lost it’s final healthy cornerback early into this game leaving essentially no one to cover the Packers receivers, but even that wasn’t enough as Dalvin Cook (RB) destroyed the Packers run defense and helped pull off the upset. The Browns lost a winnable game but we’ve always known Baker Mayfield (QB) was better at making commercials than winning football games. The Bills were finally able to exorcise their demons and beat the Patriots, the Titans lost a “lock” against the Bengals, the Rams lost to a rookie who couldn’t even put up 100 passing yards while the Broncos came back from a huge deficit to stun the Chargers completing a wild afternoon slate of games. Hell even the Cowboys defense showed up Sunday night. It was a very strange day all around and with the news this morning of Marlon Humphrey (CB) and AJ Dillon (RB) being positive for coronavirus it looks like that circus is back in town as well. The wackiest season I’ve ever seen shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. So we’ll do what we always do and just keep going until the finish line. Update, the corona shit has most definitely hit the fan, not ideal at all. Many, many players sent to Covid IR this week.
There were many situations that developed or further developed in IDP land this week. Despite the coach speak and multiple fantasy sites (I went with it as well, of note though our own @Joeythetooth predicted Harrison would retain the starting safety role) predicting that Karl Joseph (S) would reclaim his starting safety job after returning from injury instead we got another week of Ronnie Harrison (S) and solid playing time again as well, it looks like he’s a solid option going forward but more on that later. Daniel Sorensen (S) had yet another monster day as well so we’ll see how much he played and if it’s just a flash in the pan or if he really is the safety to own in Kansas City going forward. Myles Garrett (DE) hurt his knee and this effected his playing time significantly this week, we’ll have to keep an eye on that going forward as well. Robert Spillane (LB) had a massive day but just as everyone scrambled to put in their waiver claims for him the Avery Williamson (LB) trade was announced and now we can only guess what that linebackers corps looks like when he joins that defense, that’s fun.
The EDGE guys had a decent week, Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) was able to string together a nice box score sans sack and TJ Watt (EDGE) was able to continue his excellent season as well. Khalil Mack (EDGE) and Bud Dupree (EDGE) also had huge weeks so at least the EDGE guys most of us actually use did well for us. Darius Leonard (LB) was back in action after returning from injury and was excellent which was good to see. We got more shenanigans from the Dolphins defense with Andrew Van Ginkel (LB) and Kyle Van Noy (LB) putting up huge weeks that are sure to have people chasing points in waivers the next time that defense plays. We’ve got a wild linebacker situation brewing in Philly and questions aplenty with the Jets. It was a down week for guys like Foye Oluokun (LB), Vince Williams (LB) and Rashaan Evans (LB) and there were multiple massacres from big name safeties with disaster games this week including John Johnson (S), Jonathan Abram (S) and Marcus Maye (S). So obviously there’s a lot to look at this week and figure why things happened the way they did and if these issues and others are symptoms of a larger problem or just an outlier due to poor gamescript or some other factor(s).
We’ll get into all that and more as we look at literally every aspect of each teams defense in regards to their IDP production in week eight. If there are waiver moves we’ll make them and if we can see patterns that may lead to future waiver moves we’ll find them. It’s every teams production, playing time, changes in role or responsibility, waivers and injuries. It’s the information you need to keep your IDP defenses at their peak performance for the rest of the season and throughout playoffs. It’s fifteen thousand plus words of rambling and occasionally incoherent nonsense, every week, all season long written by a crazy person with a questionable infatuation with Jimmy Garapolo (QB). It’s the monster. Let’s go.
Falcons @ Panthers
Flash in the pan: Isaiah Oliver (CB) and Blidi Wreh Wilson (CB) both qualify this week, and both were fallout from the Kendall Sheffield (CB) injury that occurred very early into this ideal matchup for him. Wilson usually doesn’t play at all but due to that injury he was up to 56% of snaps this week, using those snaps, which still aren’t even close to ideal for a corner, he recorded four combined tackles, an interception, pass defense and tackle for loss, clear outlier performance and he wouldn’t have even had the chance without the Sheffield injury. For Oliver he’s been the third cornerback behind Sheffield and Terrell and benefitted from this injury as well plus the ideal matchup against a top ten passing offense that was playing catch up all game long. Oliver does get picked on occasionally but in general I’d rather have a corner that plays every snap and also gets picked on, there are plenty of them out there so need to settle.
Possible waivers: Steven Means (DE) once again saw significant snaps this week but just like last week wasn’t able to do anything with those snaps, just one solo tackle on the day. With Tak McKinley (DE) injured and out this week and reports that the Falcons are shopping him it’s a decent bet that Means remains a good option, at least in terms of playing time, going forward for this defense. He did have an acceptable game last week and in those much deeper leagues where you need to grab guys that play enough first and hope the consistent (as consistent as it can be for defensive end) production comes later this looks to be an option for defensive end waivers. Keep an eye on Tak McKinley (DE) health though, if he doesn’t end up getting traded and returns to the lineup he would be taking snaps from Means in all likelihood.
Misc notes: Not only did Keanu Neal (S) put up another masterful safety one performance this week but he finally saw 100% of snaps for the first time this season. It’s awesome to see him back in the saddle and producing like he used to before the long and horrendous string of injuries that has made him IDP irrelevant the last few seasons. In a season that’s gone to shit in so many different ways this is one of the good stories. Dante Fowler (EDGE) played 76% of snaps and finally recorded a sack, he’s been an incredible disappointment so far this season but his playing time has leveled out and with this solid week maybe he’s turning the corner, I’ve already jumped ship though, there are a bunch of EDGE guys out there that I like better, still if you’re in a deep league and have been forced to play him weekly this is good news for once. Grady Jarrett (DT) played a massive 93% of snaps this week and recorded five combined tackles and a tackle for loss, about eight points in most of my leagues which isn’t bad at all for a defensive tackle who doesn’t land a sack or force a fumble. He’s been in a bit of a slump lately so at least we got an acceptable week and he’s playing a ton. The best ability is availability, he’s going to have a big week here soon he’s too talented and playing too much not to. Also of note both Deion Jones (LB) and Foye Oluokun (LB) played 100% of snaps this week, Foye had a bit of a down week compared to what he’s been doing recently but it was still fine overall while Jones had a monster week and played roughly 15% more than last week which was also good to see, both of these guys are having solid seasons it was just a little worrying seeing Jones at 85% of snaps last week seemingly out of the blue. Everything else looks good.
Flash in the pan: Marquis Haynes (DE) and Efe Odaba (DE) played 51% and 33% of snaps respectively this week and neither have done much else of note this season, Haynes is just barely playing enough and has had two other decent games this season but is really only playable in the deepest of deep leagues and that’s it.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Donte Jackson (CB) only played 36% of snaps before reinjuring himself, however he spent those snaps racking up three solo tackles, one pass defended and one interception so he was able to live up to my recommendation as a streaming corner this week, we’ll have to keep an eye on his health going forward if he’s healthy and playing all his snaps he’s a great option in ideal matchups to stream at corner. Brian Burns (EDGE) wasn’t able to land a sack but had five combined tackles and played 80% of snaps on the day so it was more than acceptable for a non sack day at defensive end. Tahir Whitehead (LB) played his usual 61% or so of snaps but was more productive than usual with six combined tackles on the day, he’s still only playable in deeper leagues and is always in danger of getting benched for being bad, his PFF score of 29 is really bad and he’s always just been a warm body production by default guy that’s fallen into productive roles. If you’re relying on him for weekly production in an, obviously, much deeper league it’s likely only a matter of time before the rug gets pulled out from under you when you least need it to happen, make sure you have a backup plan in place for if and when that does happen. Shaq Thompson (LB) played nearly every snap, 96%, and recorded six combined tackles and a pass defended, twelve points in most of my leagues which is perfectly acceptable, this was never the greatest matchup as the Falcons are far more likely to throw medium to deep rather than run up the gut so his easy run stopping tackle floor was never going to be great this week, he’ll do better against better run games going forward. Jeremy Chinn (S) played 94% of snaps and had a massive box score and continues to be one of the two golden children gifted to us by the IDP Gods in this past draft along with Antoine Winfield Jr (S). Praise be the IDP Gods. Everything else here looks good, moving on.
Patriots @ Bills
New England Patriots
Flash in the pan: Basically everyone except maybe Bentley and Phillips. Usually Gilmore and Winovich but they were injured/out and mysteriously demoted to bench guy who very rarely plays respectively. This defense is not trustworthy for IDP, I’ve explained why over and over again in previous versions of this article, but if you want a real world example of why just look at Chase Winovich (DE), that’s why.
Possible waivers: No one, you shouldn’t be playing anyone on this defense except maybe Bentley, Phillips and Gilmore if the matchup is ideal.
Misc notes: Chase Winovich (DE) only played 9% of snaps this week. Unbelievable. Local New England media still has zero idea why this is, no one in IDP Twitter has shed much light on it either honestly. Some may say they know why, but they don’t, no one does except Belichick. It’s a mystery, and a massively frustrating one for owners who saw him eat for the first month of the season and then disappear into nothingness. He’s unplayable even in the deepest of deep leagues at 9% of snaps per game. Not ideal. Stephon Gilmore (CB) was injured and out this week, he’s been pretty bad anyways this season but in deeper leagues he’s still an acceptable corner to stream in ideal matchups with decent upside still. Adrian Phillips (S) and Ju’Whuan Bentley (LB) had decent games, you can expect a handful of combined tackles from them each week with a smattering of other stuff, pass defenses, tackles for loss, etc, they’re both playable weekly in super deep leagues and about as consistent as it gets for this defense which is generally massively inconsistent, unreliable and a total mystery in terms of playing time, roles and production week to week. I’m sure I could find more to talk about here but that might give you the false indication that I would spend anything more than the absolute minimum amount of time talking about this defense so let’s move on.
Flash in the pan: Quinton Jefferson (DT) was IDP relevant once, last season if I remember correctly while filling in for the injured and out Jarran Reed (DT), I could be wrong about that it was last season but this is how my brain works I remember that like it was yesterday but can’t remember anyones birthday. Anyways, he only played 29% of snaps this week and got a lucky outlier sack, not nearly enough playing time for any kind of consistency and hasn’t done anything else of note this season that I remember, pass.
Possible waivers: Dean Marlowe (S) and AJ Klein (LB), well Klein maybe for another week but only if you’re desperate, I’ll explain. For Marlowe he is the direct replacement for Micah Hyde (S) who was injured and out this week, he played 100% of snaps and recorded six solo tackles and one tackle for loss on the day, if Hyde is out again next game or for whatever the length of the injury Marlowe remains a nice spot start or short term injury replacement option during that span. Keep an eye on Hyde’s health though this move is totally dependent on that. Klein played 78% of snaps this week helping to fill the void from Matt Milano‘s (LB) slow return to his normal playing time after returning from injury, he recorded just three combined tackles on the day however so even if Milano continues to show a slower (than we want anyways) return to his usual playing time than expected Klein may not be a great option anyways. Besides the farther we go the more Milano should play and his playing time goes up Klein’s will go down, this is only really an option is stupid deep leagues where you need a spot start next week and are relying on a hail Mary. Levi Wallace (CB) was back from IR this week, he played 100% of snaps and only had two solo tackles on the day but was also in the furthest thing from an ideal matchup there is on this planet playing against Cam Newtown (QB) and his “throwing ability”. He returns to our recommended streamers in ideal matchups, speaking of which I believe the Bills have the Seahawks this week, that is one hell of an ideal matchup.
Misc notes: Matt Milano (LB) only played 23% of snaps this week as the defensive coaching staff kept good on their promise to ease him back into the lineup as he recovers from injury and build his snaps up week to week. I commented on AJ Klein (LB), who is seeing the biggest boost from his slow return to his normal playing time, above. AJ Epenesa (DE) was declared inactive for this weeks game against the Patriots, I can’t find anything saying he was injured and frankly I haven’t really been tracking him since he barely plays and is just a dynasty futures piece at this point, just saw he was missing from the snap counts so figured I would mention it. Ed Oliver (DT) and Mario Addison (EDGE) both played their normal playing time, 62% of snaps each, but both had down games for the week, nature of the position for both there are bigger weeks to come they’ll be fine. I’m not seeing any significant fluctuations in playing time of note here and the guys who didn’t have good games are all on the defensive line where inconsistent production is a fact of life or are Matt Milano (LB) or Micah Hyde (S) who are not playing much as he’s slowly eased back into the lineup and was injured and out respectively. Jordan Poyer (S) played 100% of snaps as usual and recorded eleven solo tackles and one QB hit on the day, I was half joking when I said he could end up as safety one for the season but it’s a race between him and Budda Baker (S) at the moment and as of today Baker has a lead but not an insurmountable one by any means. With the injuries to Derwin James (S) and Jamal Adams (S) anyone who waited and invested in Poyer a couple few rounds later is more than sitting pretty at the moment. Business as usual other than those notes.
Titans @ Bengals
Flash in the pan: Chris Jackson (CB) only played 60% of snaps as the clear third cornerback this week and with the addition of Desmond King (CB) via trade and the likely return of Adoree Jackson (CB) sometime in the near future I suspect there won’t be a role that even allows this little and not ideal amount of playing time going forward for Mr. Jackson, so I’ll pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, although in deeper leagues that are corner specific I wouldn’t mind taking a stab at Desmond King (CB) if he’s out there, we’ll be able to see his role and snaps within the next couple weeks and that will tell us his value, so add and sit, wait and see, and maybe we get another decent corner to stream out of it, he was barely playing for the Chargers but has been very IDP relevant in the past. Maybe this change of scenery can help make that a reality once more.
Misc notes: Desmond King (CB) was traded to the Titans, along with the likely return of Adoree Jackson (CB) sometime in the near future this cornerback corps is in for a shakeup in the next month or so, we’ll keep an eye on it as it happens and I’ll do my best to keep you up to date on the streaming corners here but in general I really only trust Malcolm Butler (CB) in the short term, we’ll have to see what happens and take it from there. JaDaveon Clowney (EDGE) was back to disappointing this week recording only one solo tackle on the day while playing his usual 62% of snaps on the day. He’s nothing more than a hail Mary spot start or short term injury replacement unless you’re in a stupid deep league. Everyone else here did what they were supposed to do including the always temperamental Kevin Byard (S) who recorded seven combined tackles and a pass defended on the day. There were no significant fluctuations in playing time either, business as usual here. Let’s move on. UPDATE Jonathan Joseph (CB) was released, told you there was a circus coming for this cornerback corps.
Flash in the pan: Logan Wilson (LB) only played 48% of snaps this week but has been slowly gaining playing time as the season continues, I’ve talked about him and Akeem Davis Gaither (LB) as two linebackers to own in much deeper leagues that will likely get their respective shots at starting linebacker at some point this season, it’s getting there but not yet, this was still just a lucky outlier sack and nothing that will be consistent. More below.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, or at least none I haven’t already talked about in previous versions of this article.
Misc notes: Logan Wilson (LB) was up to 48% of snaps played this week and got a lucky sack on the day, him and Akeem Davis Gaither (LB) have gone from essentially not playing at all to both carving out a decent role as substitute linebackers, I still believe they’ll both get their chance to start sometime this season but it’s not there yet. Josh Bynes (LB), who played 61% of snaps, was still the leader in linebacker snaps for the Bengals this week and remains the only “safe” linebacker here currently, and he’s really only an option in much deeper leagues to begin with. The entire situation is still in flux, as soon as we get some clarity or a rock solid option or two I’ll shout it from the mountain tops. Geno Atkins (DT) still only played 31% of snaps this week despite being back from injury for a few weeks now, there are reports that he’s “frustrated” by his role on the defense and all kinds of speculation about a trade in the works, since I’m writing this part of the article on Tuesday, or trade deadline day, I’d look at it like this, if he gets traded he’s obviously got some value going forward, if he doesn’t I would sit or avoid him until something changes in terms of playing time or role. I also read that he’s still recovering from his shoulder injury so that could factor into the sub par playing time as well, I’ll keep an eye on it, for now he’s a sit and hold in deeper leagues and not an option in shallow leagues. That’s really too bad, he’s been a pro bowler and IDP relevant for years now, what a waste of a potential solid IDP defensive tackle option. Carl Lawson (DE) played a massive 89% of snaps this week but once again was unable to do anything with them, just two tackle assists and a QB hit on the day, the playing time is there but the production has been nowhere to be seen. In deeper leagues he’s worth playing just because the best ability is availability and as long as he’s out there on the field there’s always a chance of a sack or splash play, but in shallow to medium leagues I’m jumping ship, the entire Bengals defensive line is a mess and Lawson is in the middle of it. Everything else looked good this week, there are a lot of moving pieces here that haven’t settled down yet, hopefully after the trade deadline and in the next couple weeks we’ll see some stability in the linebackers corps and possibly some production from the defensive line. Onwards.
Raiders @ Browns
Las Vegas Raiders
Flash in the pan: Nicholas Morrow (LB) played only 47% of snaps and only that much likely due to gamescript, the passing game was essentially nonexistent for both teams due to weather so this was an old fashioned two yards and a cloud of dust game so the extra linebacker snaps for added run stopping makes sense here, he only has value if the injury grim reaper gets Kwiatkowski or Littleton, until then it’s just a flash in the pan.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Raiders dominated time of possession by a ridiculous 38 to 22 minute margin this week, their defense barely saw the field so we’re lucky we got the production we did end up getting, I’m probably not freaking out all that much in regards to Jonathan Abram (S) or Maxx Crosby (DE) or really anyone that had a lower than expected day in the box score this week with that in mind. They’ll produce better as a defense against a better offense led by a real quarterback not a fraud who is far better at making commercials than playing football. Also weather played a decent part in this weeks game, the passing game was basically nonexistent for both teams with the ridiculous winds and freezing rain etc, it was not the ideal situation to play football. Maurice Hurst (DT) only played 12% of snaps and is basically not useable with that little playing time, that was the only significant change in playing time or roles this week for this defense. Everything here looked normal they just didn’t get many chances to make plays since their butts were parked on the bench for the majority of this game.
Produced as expected: Ronnie Harrison (S) BJ Goodson (LB) Mack Wilson (LB) Malcolm Smith (LB) Andrew Sendejo (S) Denzel Ward (CB) *somewhat* Olivier Vernon (DE) Sheldon Richardson (DT) & Larry Ogunjobi (DT) *somewhat*
Flash in the pan: Porter Gustin (DE) came in for the injured and out Myles Garrett (DE) and played 47% of snaps after Garrett left with a leg injury, he’s an option if Garrett can’t return to the lineup after the bye week however the headline on literally the first article I found in regards to the Garrett injury states in huge letters “Browns get good news on Myles Garrett” and reports that he’ll be fine to return to the lineup after the bye week, so unless something changes on that front this was just an outlier situation that allowed Gustin to see some playing time he would normally never see, pass.
Possible waivers: Ronnie Harrison (S) played 96% of snaps and recorded ten combined tackles and a host of other stats this week. Despite Karl Joseph (S) being healthy and active this week the starting job was Harrison’s, there was an article that dropped just before Sunday reporting that Harrison would get the start but by that time this last week’s version of this article was already published and out so there was no turning the ship around. I apologize if anyone ended up playing Joseph based on this article, the information I had at the time pointed to Joseph regaining his starting role. No excuses, I wrote it and it didn’t end up happening so that’s on me. I always try and get the most accurate information possible for this article every week but sometimes shit happens. If I may borrow a quote from the late president Raegan, “Trust but verify”. I’m writing this from Sunday night to Wednesday night late weekly, if there’s a situation like this one that’s in flux it’s not a bad idea to make a last minute check via the Google machine on Saturday night or Sunday morning to be sure nothing has changed before kickoff, regardless I’ll do my best to be more cautious in situations like this one going forward and recommend caution and verification before making a potentially disastrous move. Anyways, Harrison looks good to go, that’s not to say this thing won’t get worse and all of a sudden Joseph is the starter again after the bye week but he did play well and has the superior PFF grade over Joseph, 75 to 50, so all signs point to this being Harrison’s job going forward. Just do a quick double check before the next Browns kickoff just to be sure, I know I am. No other new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Browns defense spent 38 minutes on defense this week, keep that in mind when we look at the obviously inflated production for this defense as a whole, this isn’t the norm it’s an outlier caused by wacky weather and running into a Raiders team that was ready to play football. Karl Joseph (S) only played 8% of snaps this week in an epic disaster for IDP rosters all over the globe, despite CBS Sports and others, me included, believing he would retain his starting safety role he did not. He did end up with three solo tackles on the day so it wasn’t a total disaster but it also wasn’t Harrison’s ten combined tackles plus a handful of other stats. I commented on this above. Mack Wilson (LB) and Malcolm Smith (LB) saw a reversal in playing time this week but both ended up producing about what they do normally due to the nature of this game and the Browns spending nearly two thirds of it on defense. Wilson was in for 72% of snaps while Smith was only in for 28%, I haven’t found anything reporting an injury to Smith at all. In fact the sports illustrated article I did find that commented on this situation directly mentioned that Wilson is god awful while Smith is the best linebacker on the team according to PFF among other things, the eye test included. So this one’s a mystery, both of these guys are only relevant in super deep leagues anyways but if Smith is going to lose out on approximately half of his playing time randomly like this that would make him an even riskier weekly play even in those deeper leagues. For now it’s an anomaly. They’ve got a bye week and we’ll circle back after the next game and hopefully this has returned to normal with Smith outsnapping Wilson, if it doesn’t then we probably need to abandon ship immediately on Smith. Regardless neither of these guys are a great IDP option so let’s use the bye week as an opportunity to look for a better option for both. Myles Garrett (DE) left this one early due to injury, he’ll be fine and should be back to splitting cheeks after the bye week. Everything else here looked like business as usual.
Colts @ Lions
Flash in the pan: Tyquan Lewis (DE) only played 41% of snaps this week, hasn’t done much else of note this season, and is, no shit here, the fifth defensive end in terms of playing time. Not ideal at all. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, in fact we actually lost a producer in Anthony Walker (LB) who saw both his playing time and production fall off a cliff with the return of Darius Leonard (LB) to the lineup, but I told everyone that was coming multiple times in previous iterations of this article so no one should’ve had him in their lineup.
Misc notes: Justin Houston (DE) and DeForest Buckner (DT) played 75% and 59% of snaps respectively this week, Houston is likely still not 100% from the hip injury that had him out a couple weeks back but was still able to play the majority of this game. As he’s getting healthier his playing time will increase and the odds of him returning to form will as well, he’s definitely still playable weekly in medium to deep leagues but in shallower leagues I’d give it another week or two before plugging him back in, those ten or twenty percent of snaps may be the difference between an acceptable game and a monster game, regardless he’ll be fine. Buckner played plenty as usual but just had a down week, nature of the position he’ll be fine as well, keep plugging him in big weeks are coming. Anthony Walker (LB) saw only 43% of snaps this week as the clear third linebacker behind the obvious Darius Leonard (LB) and the up and coming Bobby Okereke (LB). This has been trending this way for some time now and I’ve been telling people to prepare for this move to IDP irrelevancy once Leonard returns, here it is. Nothing will change here unless the injury grim reaper strikes, I’m sure he’ll have a decent outlier performance here and there but in general that’s not enough playing time for any kind of consistency and the competition for tackles is high between that defensive line and Okereke & Leonard. Rock Ya Sin (CB) looks to be the odd man out for the corners going forward, he was the clear number three in playing time behind Moore and Rhodes, just a heads up. Justin Blackmon (S) played every snap at the other starting safety position this week, he’s seen fluctuations in both playing time and production so just be careful if you went that route via waivers, it’s going to be very hit or miss it looks like. There were no other significant changes in playing time or role, production was solid across the board except at defensive line and corner where that’s completely normal to see so we’re all set here, moving on.
Flash in the pan: Justin Coleman (CB) only played 51% of snaps this week and hasn’t done much else of note this season, not enough playing time in general, especially at corner, and no significant historical production either, pass.
Possible waivers: Romeo Okwara (DE) has already been pretty solid this season and looks to get a further bump in playing time with Trey Flowers (DE) heading to the short term IR, he would make a nice bye week guy in shallower leagues and is playable weekly right now in deeper leagues even without the likely bump in playing time coming as a result of the Flowers injury. He was in for 55% of snaps this week and recorded six combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one QB hit on the day, not bad at all.
Misc notes: Trey Flowers (DE) was moved to the short term (three week) IR for a wrist injury, with the recent acquisition of Everson Griffen (DE) and the emergence of Romeo Okwara (DE) as a decent option at defensive end it looks like both of those guys should see some decent playing time for at least the duration of that IR stay for Flowers. Reggie Ragland (LB) was once again the second linebacker in terms of playing time this week and once again wasn’t able to do much with that playing time, just two combined tackles on the day, so despite the decent playing time he still doesn’t look like an option for waivers. Jahlani Tavai (LB) and Jarrad Davis (LB) were once again south of 50% of snaps, Davis by quite a bit, so no changes there either. Tracy Walker (S) played 100% of snaps this week! It would appear Fat Patricia (HC) and Bob Quinn (GM) are in full “save our jobs” mode and have finally given in to the outcry from Lions fans and analysts alike demanding that Walker get playing time, that’s not to say they won’t pull the rug out from under us again at some point, this is one of those “Patriots inspired” defenses and Patricia was a “rocket scientist” and has a pencil in his ear so he’s obviously super smart, for now at least it looks safe to keep playing Walker and expecting good things from him. John Penisni (DT) played 61% of snaps this week and recorded two combined tackles and one tackle for loss, he was mentioned on the podcast a couple weeks back due to his unfortunate last name but I’ve seen his playing time creep up now a couple games in a row, he’s not a viable defensive tackle waiver option yet but if that changes I’ll sound the alarm, any excuse to mention him in this article or on the podcast I’ll take it since I’m still a child in a mans body. Jayron Kearse (S) was once again the third safety this week but only played 35% of snaps so nothing significant, this defense has backed off quite a bit on the playing time and responsibility for that third safety over the course of the season I’ve noticed, the first few weeks it was Harmon, Harris and Walker all playing 80% plus of snaps but since then it’s just been Harmon and Walker and that third safety role has essentially vanished, yet another brilliant idea by Patricia that has since swirled down the toilet. Nothing else of note here, no other fluctuations in playing time etc, let’s keep it moving.
Vikings @ Packers
Flash in the pan: All the right names at the top of the box score, normally DJ Wonnum (DE) would qualify for flash in the pan but he’s now a waivers option after the departure of Yannick Ngakoue (DE).
Possible waivers: Jalyn Holmes (DE) and DJ Wonnum (DE) were the two guys who directly saw an increase in playing time after the Yannick Ngakoue (DE) trade. They played 83% and 49% of snaps respectively and neither had a super crazy box score, four combined tackles for Holmes and one solo tackle, one sack and one forced fumble plus a QB hit for Wonnum, despite the questionable playing time Wonnum did have the game sealing strip sack of Rodgers and is the better option in dynasty. Holmes played more and therefore probably the safer option at least for now but that’s what we’ve got, I wouldn’t touch either unless in a stupid deep league but if that’s your situation then here it is.
Misc notes: Cameron Dantzler (CB) was only able to play 19% of snaps before a horrific injury that resulted in him being carted off the field, the Vikings cornerback corps was beat to shit even before this happened and are now truly in trouble. This is an IDP column but I’m a degenerate with varied tastes so for the DFS people out there starting basically any quarterback with a pulse or any decent wide receivers against this defense, pass rush and secondary particularly, is probably a solid idea going forward and at the very least for the duration of this massacre at corner for the Vikings. I had Devante Adams (WR) last week because I knew this already and had no problem paying up for him, it was a slam dunk and it turned out to be a slam dunk. Just a heads up. Harrison Smith (S) played his normal 100% of snaps but looked like his old self this week, eight combined tackles and a pass defended on the day. There’s also talks of a possible trade of him or Anthony Harris (S) to the Raiders or another team that needs safety help and is in a better position than Minnesota to make a playoff push, we’ll see if it happens but it’s almost 6pm right now on Tuesday as I write this and I haven’t seen anything yet so it’s probably not happening. Regardless we got the old Harrison Smith (S) this week, hopefully he’s back on track. Ifeadi Odenigbo (DE) played plenty this week, 79% of snaps for the day, but only recorded four tackle assists, he’s coming off a couple hot weeks in a row so this isn’t a huge surprise, nature of the position and all that, he’s shown us in very recent history here that he’s capable of getting sacks and putting up respectable box scores so if you’re playing him in the right places, deeper leagues that start two or three defensive ends, you should be fine, bigger weeks to come. Eric Wilson (LB) played 100% of snaps as usual but only had four combined tackles so it was an off day, I’ve talked about his production style in here multiple times, he’s never going to be an “every week” linebacker like Eric Kendricks (LB) is but he will give you those blow up weeks every couple or few games, if you can live with that fire away, personally I’ve already blown him out the airlock in favor of more consistent options. Nothing else of note here.
Green Bay Packers
Flash in the pan: NA, all the names make sense at the top of the box score, Josh Jackson (CB) will be irrelevant once Kevin King (CB) returns from injury though.
Possible waivers: Check and see if anyone dropped Christian Kirksey (LB) in your leagues, he’s been practicing and could have returned from IR this past game but they chose to give Barnes and Martin another shot instead and make sure he was 100% healthy. In hindsight that may have been a bad move as the Vikings ran the ball right down their throats, regardless if Kirksey is out there he’s a linebacker one when he’s healthy and playing all his snaps. No other new producers.
Misc notes: So it was Krys Barnes (LB) who led the way for Packers inside linebackers with Kamal Martin (LB) as the second inside linebacker, they played 94% and 81% of snaps respectively this week but neither was able to do much with the playing time despite the fact Minnesota basically ran the ball all game long. They had just four and three combined tackles respectively and should both be IDP irrelevant once Christian Kirksey (LB) returns which should be this next game. If for some reason Kirksey doesn’t play it would very likely be this same setup, Barnes then Martin. I’d double check that before kickoff those, Barnes has been beat up injury-wise and you never know with these type of situations where we’re so far down the depth chart it’s basically absurd, we really are crazy people when you think about it, most of the planet just plugs in a D/ST but here we are looking at the second and third inside linebackers for the Packers and that’s after already giving TY Summers (LB) a try and seeing that come crashing back to earth as well. Anyways, that’s where we are with that. Preston Smith (EDGE) played 79% of snaps which is plenty for an EDGE guy but once again underwhelmed with just three solo tackles on the day, he’s been a shadow of what he was last season but at least I’ve been talking about how bad it is every week so no one should’ve had to suffer through it again against Minnesota. This defense should be getting both Christian Kirksey (LB) and Kevin King (CB) back either this week or the game after so that’s a couple nice and relevant IDP pieces that will be back in play sooner than later which is good, we need all the help we can get this season. Not much else of note here this week, the Dean Lowry (DE) sack was nice but in general he’s not playable unless in crazy deep leagues, those 3/4 defensive linemen usually aren’t all that great to begin with. No other significant fluctuations in playing time or anything else. Onwards.
Jets @ Chiefs
New York Jets
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Blake Cashman (LB) and Ashtyn Davis (S) are both options this week, I talked about Davis last week as I saw McDougald’s snaps falling and recommended adding him then, well I hope you did because since then McDougald has landed on IR and Ashtyn Davis (S) played 100% of snaps this week and was the other starting safety, he was only able to manage four combined tackles but regardless it’s a full time safety off waivers so in deeper leagues this is definitely an option. Cashman I talk about below but it’s a good bet he ends up as the other starting/full time inside linebacker here next to Neville Hewitt (LB) for the remainder of the season.
Misc notes: Avery Williamson (LB) was traded to the Steelers this week, we’ll talk more about that below during the Steelers matchup, as it stands now Blake Cashman (LB) looks to inherit the other inside linebacker job next to Neville Hewitt (LB), he was unable to play last week due to a hamstring injury and if that continues this week their depth chart has Harvey Langi (LB) listed as the person who would play instead, that’s not set in stone at all, I would just sit Cashman and wait if he doesn’t play against New England, God only knows who else they’d plug in there. I touched on the Ashtyn Davis (S) move above, I hope you were able to use the hints we got last week that I wrote about in here to parlay into getting him off waivers before anyone else did, regardless you very likely have another shot at him this week. All of the IDP relevant corners here had solid games this week as predicted in my weekly streaming corners article and all of them played every snap or close to it. This pass offense is last in the league and this team is last in time of possession as well overall so this defense will be spending a ton of time on the field like they have been all season, take advantage of that when the matchup is ideal to stream corners from here, it’s not this week by the way with the Patriots in town, and see if you can grab Blake Cashman (LB) off waivers if he’s out there, both him and Neville Hewitt (LB) will likely be seeing a ton of production by default the rest of the season as well. There wasn’t much else to see here this week, Quinnen Williams (DE/DT) is the only other IDP relevant member of this defense besides the secondary and linebackers we look at weekly and he played 56% of snaps and had an acceptable game with three solo tackles, one tackle for loss and a QB hit on the day, nine points in most of my leagues which is perfectly acceptable for a defensive lineman that doesn’t land a sack. Moving on.
Kansas City Chiefs
Flash in the pan: Tershawn Wharton (DT) only played 54% of snaps which is acceptable at defensive tackle but he’s not someone I knew existed before just now and hasn’t done anything else of note this season, I do see Derick Nnadi (DT) has fewer snaps than usual this week but can’t find anything about him being injured, that would be my first guess as to why this happened. Regardless I’ll need to see this more than once for it to be anything other than an outlier so pass for now.
Possible waivers: Daniel Sorensen (S) played a whopping 95% of snaps this week which was the most for this defense along with honey badger and a couple of the corners, the worries about his playing time are vanishing by the week and he had yet another excellent week with nine combined tackles on the day. He’s been red hot for weeks now and his hybrid safety position he’s been playing looks to be extremely productive, I talked about making a move for him awhile ago then sitting him while we wait and see, well I’ve seen enough. It’s time to let him cook. Frank Clark (DE) played 67% of snaps which was fine, no one on this entire defense played their normal snap counts this week most of them were able to rest early because this blowout was so complete, and recorded four combined tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit, nine points in most of my leagues which is fine for a non sack week at defensive end, bigger days to come. Chris Jones (DT) same deal just worse production, he played plenty, 72% of snaps but only had one solo tackle and three QB hits on the day, he’ll have better days as well, nature of the position for them both. After seeing an increase in both playing time and production Willie Gay (LB) was back to just 16% of snaps played this week for only one solo tackle on the day. It looks like we’ll be waiting a while longer for his day to come, sit and hold for now. Juan Thornhill (S) also saw a minor reduction in playing time down to 84% of snaps this week, part of that was the rest that came from blowing away the Jets so I’m not too concerned, and as for his two combined tackles on the day that’s also not the end of the world, the Chiefs dominated time of possession 32 minutes to 28 which isn’t massive however the Jets only recorded 13 first downs the entire game which isn’t many, their offense was largely ineffective and there weren’t a ton of completed passes, easy run stopping tackles or sustained drives to be found this week for the Chiefs defense and those are the foundation of solid IDP production. This defense as a whole will be better against better competition. No other fluctuations in playing time worth mentioning, no one should have been streaming corner here the Jets pass offense is dead last in the league, so everything looks good, this defense will have a better showing in the box score against Carolina this week.
Rams @ Dolphins
Los Angeles Rams
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Despite this being a Miami blowout basically none of their scoring was done on offense and in general the Rams owned time of possession 37 minutes to 23 and the Dolphins only managed a whole nine first downs the entire game. The Dolphins won with smoke and mirrors and the Rams defense barely set foot on the field, keep that in mind as I list off the ridiculous number of known and consistent IDP producers who had bad weeks on this defense in this game. Everyone who didn’t produce this week, John Johnson (S), Jalen Ramsey (CB), Micheal Brockers (DE) and Leonard Floyd (EDGE) all played their normal amount of playing time there were no fluctuations in regards to that, (Ramsey was actually ruled out due to illness, I just saw that) but just weren’t able to record anything close to their normal production with so few opportunities overall. 23 minutes of defense is bad enough to begin with, on top of that there were only twelve completed passes total for the Miami passing game and just 25 carries for a whole 55 rushing yards as well, hell Miami only recorded eight first downs the entire game! I’ve talked about there being enough offense on the opposing side as something crucial for solid IDP production for a defense and this is an incredible example of what can happen when that doesn’t happen. This Rams defense also has a ton of guys that are relied upon by IDP players for weekly production so the disaster was even worse than if this had happened to a defense like the Patriots where no one in their right mind is playing anyone other than Bentley and maybe Phillips weekly. Bottom line whoever plays this offense next, Arizona is who I believe is next for Miami, I would absolutely think about streaming different linebackers and corners in shallower leagues, this rookie quarterback just isn’t where he needs to be yet to provide enough offense for opposing defenses to flourish yet. Everything else looked good besides that disaster.
Flash in the pan: Elandon Roberts (LB) and Andrew Van Ginkel (LB) played 20% and 48% of snaps respectively, Roberts had a decent game when you factor in the two tackles for loss but still isn’t playing enough and usually plays less than even the 20% he saw this week so I’ll continue to pass, also the factors mentioned above with the Rams apply here also and he saw extra playing time just by this defense being on the field for nearly two thirds of this game, clear outlier. Van Ginkel had a lucky fumble return for a touchdown, that’s not likely to happen again any time soon so despite the better playing time I’m still not interested, this linebacker corps is all over the place with playing time week to week but in general it’s Jerome Baker (LB) and Kyle Van Noy (LB) you want to roll out weekly from this defense, the other guys will have sporadic production but it will never be consistent.
Possible waivers: No one I haven’t mentioned before in previous iterations of this article, Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) has been excellent this season I really hope you were all able to take advantage of that when it was mentioned here in the beginning of the season.
Misc notes: The reverse is true also, since the Dolphins offense was so garbage this week their defense spent a ton of time on the field so their production as a unit is massively bloated this week compared to the norm, this is not business as usual although it could be for however long it takes for Tua to figure out the NFL and start producing some real offense, as much as I hate this defense the pieces I do like could end up being even more valuable for that duration however long it lasts. There were no significant fluctuations in playing time here besides the normal shenanigans for the linebackers where they roll out Jerome Baker (LB) and Kyle Van Noy (LB) anywhere from 70-100% of snaps each week depending on the mood of the defensive coaching staff and then throw a pile of crap at the wall and see what sticks with Roberts, Van Ginkel, Gruger-Hill and Eguavoen. As long as you don’t fall into the point chasing trap with anyone from that second group I mentioned you should be all set here. This defense is always in flux and much like Detroit and New England is always morphing to try and become what it need to be to defeat whatever opponent is in front of them that week, and to their credit Miami has pulled it off much better than both New England and Detroit and is actually in the playoff hunt this season as crazy as that is, any other year and this would be news but in 2020 it’s just another act in the circus. So besides the linebackers everything else is business as usual.
Steelers @ Ravens
Produced as expected: Robert Spilane (LB) Stephon Tuitt (DE) Joe Haden (CB) Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) Cameron Heyward (DT) TJ Watt (EDGE) Vince Williams (LB) *somewhat* Bud Dupree (EDGE) Steven Nelson (CB) *somewhat*
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Robert Spillane (LB) for at least one more week then we’ll see, no new producers beyond that, and realistically I’m not sure I would even play Spillane against Dallas’s “offense”, odds are Pittsburgh dominates time of possession in that one easily by exploiting the Cowboys horrendous run defense and when Dallas does have the ball a backup quarterback has a ton of difficulty completing passes on this defense after Pittsburgh pulls ahead quickly and thoroughly shuts down the Cowboys run game thereby forcing them to be one dimensional and turn the remainder of the game into an unending nightmare for DeNucci or whoever the hell else gets the unlucky opportunity to get annihilated by this defense on national television. Maybe that’s the pessimist Cowboys fan in me talking but I would be less than shocked if it goes exactly like that as my unending nightmare of a season as a fan of this team continues.
Misc notes: With the acquisition of Avery Williamson (LB) from the Jets the good times might be coming to an end for Robert Spilane (LB) owners here shortly, it’s not likely he’ll play this week against Dallas and he could very well be eased into things as he learns the defense but the writing is on the wall here. Spilane wasn’t even supposed to be involved on passing downs but the last minute injury inactive to Ulysses Gilbert (LB) cleared the way for Spilane to play 87% of snaps last week and of course on basically the first passing down he grabs an interception and houses it, because of course he did, me and everyone else who’s been looking at this stuff all read the same thing last week that specifically said he wouldn’t be involved in pass defense, that was Gilberts responsibility. Regardless Gilbert got banged up and all that passing work fell to Spilane and he took full advantage, however beyond next week things get murky for him as a waiver wire linebacker, once Williamson is there we’ll have to circle back and see how things play out before seeing who the other inside linebacker to own there is for the rest of the season, more to be revealed. Terrell Edmunds (S) only played 74% of snaps this week which is a reduction from previous weeks, this impacted his production as well recording only two solo tackles on the day, I checked for an injury and there’s nothing indicating that so for now it’s just an anomaly, it’s more than possible that Pittsburgh rotated in another linebacker or a larger safety (Highsmith or Allen) to help with run stopping as the Ravens went wild for 265 rushing yards on the day but I don’t follow the Steelers anywhere near close enough to know that just by looking at snap counts or the box score. Regardless for now it’s just a blip on the radar, if he see’s decreased snaps again against Dallas who will almost definitely be forced to pass early and often in that game then we can start to panic. Edmunds was the only notable Steelers defender for IDP purposes to see any significant fluctuation in playing time, everything else looked solid. Business as usual for this defense.
Flash in the pan: Jaylon Ferguson (LB) barely played as usual, anything he or LJ Fort (LB) does should always be considered an obvious outlier flash in the pan forever and ever until the end of time. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, check the teams official depth chart and local media outlets for the direct replacements for all the Covid IR guys this week if you need a one week spot start guy, for the linebacker and safety roles that’s not a bad idea, for corner I’m less into it.
Misc notes: The coronavirus is tearing through the Ravens with guys like Patrick Queen (LB), DeShon Elliot (S) and Marlon Humphrey (CB) already heading to Covid IR today (Tuesday, when I wrote this section) and God knows how many more coming as the week continues, to a lesser degree of importance Matt Judon (EDGE) also was sent to Covid IR. Keep all this in mind as you set your lineups this week. Despite losing this game and the Pittsburgh offense scoring enough to win they lost the time of possession battle pretty significantly with the Ravens winning 36 minutes to 24. The Ravens defense spent less time on the field than usual and it shows in the box score, not everyone was able to eat this week and especially because the Ravens weren’t able to jump out in front like they do on occasion there were far fewer opportunities for a pass rush this week as Pittsburgh was able to just run the ball and dink and dunk instead of being forced to drop back and pass time and time again, this hurt Campbell and Ngakoue pretty obviously. Yannick Ngakoue (DE) and Calais Campbell (DE) played 64% and 53% of snaps respectively this week which is fine for both, down a bit for Campbell but like I said earlier the Steelers were able to run more than pass and be fine this week, that will get better against any team the Ravens can get out in front of and force them to play catch up. Neither defensive end had a great day in the box score but both are having fine seasons overall and should be alright going forward, bad gamescript plus nature of the position equals a bad day for production, it happens. Chuck Clark (S) was also a victim of the fewer opportunities than usual due to the Ravens winning time of possession easily this week, he still played 100% of snaps as usual and is having a solid season overall, he’ll be fine as well things just didn’t break right for him this week and with the way this game played out it was obvious not everyone on this defense was going to be able to eat this week. Nothing else to see here, keep an eye on the corona shenanigans and look to local beat writers for the direct replacements to guys like Elliot and Queen, I have no idea who they’re going to plug in and any guess would be a shot in the dark on my part and we don’t do that here, if I don’t know then I don’t know. Onwards.
Chargers @ Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers
Flash in the pan: NA, all names that make sense at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Kyzir White (LB) was a significant drop in playing time this week down to just 57% of snaps played after having multiple weeks of 100% played and excellent production to go along with it. This is why I made all those remarks about Chargers linebackers shenanigans and getting the rug pulled out from under us, this would be precisely what I’m referring to. Their linebackers corps has always been a circus, no one is safe. All last season it was a parade of average Joe’s getting a shot at decent playing time and nothing sticking, this season they spent significant draft capital on Kenneth Murray (LB) and despite playing every single snap this week he was still only able to record just four combined tackles on the day. Bottom line is Murray has the draft capital and investment to continue to play enough the rest of the season, White does not. You need to have a backup plan in place because it looks like this thing could head all the way south at any moment for him, and no there wasn’t anyone who directly took that playing time, it looks like they may have added a third safety instead but it’s unclear from the information I have currently, I even just looked for anything from local Chargers media commenting on the drop in playing time or possible injury and found nothing. He’s listed as healthy by all the fantasy sites so I have no idea what happened here, I just know it’s not good because I’ve seen this movie before with the Chargers and their linebackers, be prepared with your backup plan and hell if it’s a close matchup in the league or leagues you have him in maybe even sub him out for a streaming linebacker with a decent matchup and play it safe while we wait and see what this next game brings. Joey Bosa (DE) is still hobbled by that injury and was only able to play 46% of snaps this week, not ideal either. He suffered a concussion on top of the already lingering injury from a couple weeks ago so he’s got to clear protocol first before we can even worry about the other injury, a leg injury I believe. Regardless things aren’t looking great for Bosa share holders, be prepared with a backup plan for that as well. Everything else looked normal, no other issues.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: I can tell just by looking at this box score that the Chargers dominated time of possession, this thing is as bloated and dangerous as my lower intestines after Taco Bell. Yep, 36 minutes to 24 minutes for Los Angeles, the Broncos defense spent nearly two thirds of this game on defense and it shows. This is not normal production for this group, literally everyone ate this week. No significant disappointments from the known, consistent and reliable IDP producers on this defense this week. No significant fluctuations in playing time for any of them either and even a slight bump for Josey Jewell (LB) who was up to 92% of snaps played this week. So yep everything looks solid across the board here, no need for any ranting and raving, this is the way.
Saints @ Bears
New Orleans Saints
Produced as expected: CJ Gardner Johnson (S) Malcolm Jenkins (S) David Onyemata (DT) Demario Davis (LB) *somewhat* Marcus Davenport (DE) Cameron Jordan (DE) Trey Hendrickson (DE) Sheldon Rankins (DT) *somewhat* Mashon Lattimore (CB) Janoris Jenkins (CB)
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names leading the box score this week despite my personal dislike for Gardner Johnson he is capable of this kind of production sporadically.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, Kwon Alexander (LB) will be joining this team as the other inside linebacker with Demario Davis (LB) and will thoroughly displace Alex Anzalone (LB) and very likely return him to IDP irrelevancy.
Misc notes: This game went right down to the wire in overtime so both defenses played more than usual, the Saints played 33 minutes of defense while the Bears played 35 minutes so there should be bloated production for both units. It was a CJ Gardner Johnson (S) up week with him seeing 99% of snaps and leading all producers with nine combined tackles and two tackles for loss, he’s a decent option we just never know if he’s going to play nearly every snap or 60% of snaps or somewhere around there, his role isn’t set in stone and his playing time along with his production fluctuates week to week. He’s not a bad bye week spot start or short term guy and is playable weekly in deeper leagues but just like safeties Kevin Byard (S), Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) and Eddie Skidmarks Jackson (S) there is no such thing as consistency and for me consistency is king. You can take a big week every two or three weeks I’d rather have a decent week every week and know I can count on that floor constantly. Everyone on this defensive line that we wanted to produce did so this week so that was excellent. Even the corners we rely on for streaming purposes, Jenkins and Lattimore, had very solid weeks in a truly bad matchup against a really inefficient Bears passing attack which was a nice bonus. I believe the added defensive time of possession from the overtime and the back and forth nature of this close game helped make that happen but it is what it is and what we got was basically the perfect week for the Saints IDP producers with the somewhat notable exception of Marcus Williams (S) who still got you four combined tackles so it wasn’t the end of the world, plus he’s not a great option in the first place. Short version is everything looked great here this week, we’ll take it.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Akiem Hicks (DT) and Robert Quinn (EDGE) played their usual snaps this week, 92% and 51% of snaps, so actually more than usual for Hicks, but both had lukewarm weeks with Hicks recording only three combined tackles and a QB hit for about six points in most of my leagues which is decent but not great, he’s cooled off somewhat since the start of the season but still plays plenty and is obviously talented, he remains an excellent defensive tackle option keep plugging him in. For Quinn he was in for two solo tackles and a QB hit, roughly five points in most of my leagues which isn’t great as well, he’s a true EDGE guy though so there’s never going to be a tackle floor so for him it’s a sack or splash play or he’s toast, this week he was toast, plus he doesn’t play as much as most edge guys and hasn’t been as productive this season so he was really only an option in the deepest of leagues anyways. Both should have better weeks to come. Jaylon Johnson (CB) and Kyle Fuller (CB) both played their normal 100% of snaps this week and both had down weeks despite the extra playing time with overtime and the back and forth nature of this game, I had them both downgraded in my weekly streaming corners article because without Micheal Thomas (WR) and Emmanuel Sanders (WR) this offense becomes a lot more dump offs to Kamara and far fewer passes to wide receivers, despite all that there was a path to production here and neither corner was able to follow it so that’s a little disappointing. Fuller has been a bit down recently, he’s always been as close to a “set and forget” corner as you can find since it really doesn’t exist, he should be able to bounce back against better pass offenses though in upcoming games. Danny Trevethan (LB) was still at 77% of snaps this week which is a tiny bit less than the last couple weeks but nothing crazy, the great Deon Bush (S) three safety set scare of 2020 seems to be a thing of the past, thank God for that. Everything else here looks solid, Khalil Mack (EDGE) continues to split opposing quarterbacks butt cheeks at a rate far greater than mortal men.
49ers @ Seahawks
San Francisco 49ers
Flash in the pan: K’Waun Williams (CB) only played 49% of snaps and will likely not even play that much when some of the injured corners come back, Sherman definitely and I believe there was at least one other I just can’t remember who it was, also it’s possible Jamar Taylor (CB) who was rated as the Niners top corner against the Patriots may even return and displace Williams. Regardless that’s not nearly enough playing time at corner so I’ll pass anyways.
Possible waivers: Marcell Harris (S) and Dre Greenlaw (LB) played 100% and 97% of snaps respectively, Harris is a solid option while Jaquiski Tartt (S) is injured and out you would need to track Tartt’s health though each week if you were to do this, for Greenlaw with the trade of Kwon Alexander (LB) to the Saints this locks him in to that other inside linebacker starting job for the remainder of the season and likely much longer. He’s an excellent waiver wire linebacker that I mentioned the second I heard about Alexander’s ankle injury, if you picked him up then you can sure as hell keep him now and start him with confidence as a rock solid linebacker two for any size league for the rest of this season.
Misc notes: Javon Kinlaw (DT) played plenty, 69% of snaps this week, but was only able to record one tackle assist on the day which is less than ideal. He’s still just a rookie and a lot of people, me included, wanted him to instantly be the DeForest Buckner (DT) replacement and essentially a clone of him in terms of IDP production. Even if that happens, which it probably won’t, it’s not going to be any time soon. Rookies really don’t produce at defensive tackle that takes some time for them to develop, we’ve already seen giant leaps forward for guys like Ed Oliver (DT), Quinnen Williams (DT) and Jerry Tillery (DT) from their rookie seasons last year to this year but all three of those guys did next to nothing their rookie seasons. Probably looking at the same thing here, despite getting the playing time every week he’s probably not going to do what we want him to do for at least another year or so. Besides that notable exception basically everyone on this defense that is a known and counted on IDP producer did what we wanted them to do this week, Fred Warner (LB) did a bit less than we expect from him but still played his normal 100% of snaps and recorded four combined tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit on the day for ten points in most of my leagues, in general for me for the last seventeen plus years of playing IDP anything double digits is “fine” for my IDP producers. Certain positions that double digit floor is the minimum, for my linebackers as an example, and for some it’s the ceiling, defensive tackles and corners. For Fred Warner (LB) who is basically a middle linebacker ten points is the minimum I expect out of him every week so I can live with this, is he capable of far more than that? Absolutely, but even the best guys have down weeks and I know without a doubt he’ll be fine and there are bigger weeks to come. Everything else here looked good this week.
Flash in the pan: DJ Reed Jr (S) is a random third safety I’ve never heard of that played 51% of snaps this week and had six solo tackles and two passes defended which is pretty significant, however this is an outlier until I see it again, once is random twice is a pattern. And even if he does play another 51% of snaps next week against the Bills that’s really not enough as a safety for any kind of consistency so I’m not really into it currently, we’ll see what the future brings.
Possible waivers: Because Benson Mayowa (DE) was injured and out this week it was Alton Robinson (DE) who came in for him and played 70% of snaps while recording three combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one QB hit on the day which was pretty solid, this only works if Mayowa is out again though and that also bets that Carlos Dunlap (DE) isn’t the guy that benefits the most from that missing playing time, so in other words it’s not a great option. Speaking of Carlos Dunlap (DE) he was traded to the Seahawks recently and could be playing this next game against Buffalo, I have no idea how much he’s going to play or if it’s this week or the game after but when he does it’s a damned good bet that it’s more than the 20% or so of snaps he was seeing weekly towards the end of his stay with the Bengals. He should be a really nice piece of this defense going forward, I know I’m firing up my shares of him this week as long as I don’t read anything saying he’s not playing, which I haven’t seen as of yet. He’s still best used in medium to deeper leagues and I would check local media through the Google machine just to make sure there’s no shenanigans before kickoff, but if all that looks good I’m firing away with confidence, he’s always been a great IDP defensive end and he’s got a new shot at glory and redemption here in Seattle, terrific move for them in my humble opinion.
Misc notes: Shaq Griffin (CB) was injured and out this week, as has been tradition this season whenever any of the starting corners here, Griffin or Dunbar, are injured and out then Tre Flowers (CB) is back in and becomes a streaming option for that specific week, that held true once again this week. He used to play every snap every game last season but it looks like over the offseason the Seahawks took a liking to Quinton Dunbar (CB) more than Flowers and he’s gotten the nod to join Griffin as the guys who play 100% of snaps every week since that point. KJ Wright (LB) played another 93% of snaps this week and had another perfectly fine week for where he should be played as a linebacker three or four in deeper leagues, he’s rebounded really nice since the first couple weeks of the season in both playing time and production. Jordyn Brooks (LB) and Cody Barton (LB) played 50% and 3% of snaps respectively this week and neither did anything remotely significant in the box score, just four combined tackles and two solo tackles respectively. There were some point chasers grabbing these guys off waivers that I personally witnessed in several of my leagues, it took all my strength not to tell these unfortunate souls about their mistake but that’s not my place to do so and this article is free every week. Neither of those linebackers play enough or are good enough to navigate the significant competition for tackles weekly on this defense and that’s without Jamal Adams (S) playing who will most definitely find a way to get his every week as well. The defensive line didn’t do much here besides Alton Robinson (DE) who I talked about above, there were no significant fluctuations for playing time for Jarran Reed (DT) or LJ Collier (DE). Reed remains a decent defensive tackle two or three in deeper leagues and Collier has never really been an option anywhere and was a total waste of a draft pick, he should further fade into IDP irrelevance once Carlos Dunlap (DE) starts taking snaps here soon, when that happens it should be Dunlap and Mayowa as the guys to own here for the remainder of the season if my guess is correct, we will see soon enough. Nothing else to report, another productive week for this defense.
Cowboys @ Eagles
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: I’ve talked about Donovan Wilson (S) in here before a couple times, he played 92% of snaps this week and it looks like he’s basically displaced Darian Thompson (S) for good as the other starting safety here, he’s had some big weeks and was no slouch this week either with five solo tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one QB hit on the day, I’ve recommended him in deeper leagues and that’s still all I’m comfortable with as far as a waiver wire safety, he’s been too sporadic with the production and his playing time has been fluctuating as well but looked much better this week, in deeper leagues you need to live with crap like that because there are no options via waivers but in shallower leagues I wouldn’t screw around with this. Randy Gregory (DE) saw 49% of snaps this week in his first real playing time in a long time, he recorded four solo tackles and a QB hit on the day, nine points in most of my leagues which isn’t bad at all. I would really only consider him in much deeper leagues but if he slides into that Everson Griffen (DE) playing time and can produce like this every couple weeks he would make a nice option at waiver wire defensive end in those deeper leagues.
Misc notes: Demarcus Lawrence (DE) has been on a freaking tear lately, he led all defensive ends in playing time for the Cowboys for the first time this entire season this week with 71% of snaps and recorded an ungodly six combined tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss and two QB hits on the day, 25 points in most of my leagues and this is the second week in a row and third of the last four with this kind of monster production. The sleeper has awakened. Leighton Vander Esch (LB) played 94% of snaps this week so he’s looking like he’s fully back to his normal playing time and the production was there last week and was solid this week due to a game saving sack, regardless we know what he’s capable of when he’s healthy and playing so let’s take advantage while it’s here since he is made of glass. Just a heads up in regards to Jaylon Smith (LB), his PFF grade is sitting at 52.4 but the eye test is even worse than that, Twitter is filled with threads of him missing easy tackles and misdiagnosing routine run plays left and right, he did just get paid and this season is already swirling the toilet so he’s probably going to be fine for the remainder of this season but in dynasty you may want to try and get out from under him (and Zach Cunningham (LB)). The writing is on the wall and he could end up being replaced somewhere down the line, probably not this season, but it’s coming. Not much else here of note, Xavier Woods (S) was the only notable member of this IDP relevant defense to have a bad day but he’s never been consistent in the first place and I don’t think I’ve ever owned a share of him so I know for sure I’ve never talked him up in here, he’s just a warm body when it comes to IDP so not the end of the world. Everything else was fine.
Flash in the pan: Will Parks (S) and Nickel Robey Coleman (CB) played 35% and 44% of snaps respectively this week, Parks is nothing more than an occasional third safety that hasn’t done much else of note this season and doesn’t play remotely enough for any kind of consistency and Coleman is the third or fourth cornerback playing time wise normally and also hasn’t done much else this season, pass on both. Vinny Curry (DE) played only 46% of snaps which makes him the fourth defensive end in terms of playing time and hasn’t done much else this season either, he might be playable in the deepest of deep leagues, 32 team jobs etc but besides that he’s not relevant at all.
Possible waivers: With Nate Gerry (LB) on the short term IR the Eagles linebackers situation is as follows, TJ Edwards (LB) played 78% of snaps and recorded thirteen combined tackles and a host of other stats, he’s the best waiver option as agreed upon by myself, IDP dude, Joey the Tooth and Lanny1925. Alex Singleton (LB) also played 78% of snaps and recorded eight combined tackles and a QB hit, he is also a solid waiver wire linebacker option in medium to deeper leagues. Duke Riley (LB) saw the least playing time with 70% of snaps and recorded six combined tackles, he’s also a nice option in deeper leagues, this will all shake up again when Nate Gerry (LB) comes back after another two games but for the next couple games all of these guys are waiver wire linebacker options.
Misc notes: Darius Slay (CB) was injured in this one hence the 35% of snaps this week, we’ll keep an eye on it going forward he’s obviously a solid streaming corner when in an ideal matchup against a solid passing offense. Everything was pretty much business as usual here this week the only shenanigans was with the linebackers corps. I touched on that above, keep in mind that until will be in flux once again when Nate Gerry (LB) returns from the short term IR. Everything else looked good here, Brandon Graham (DE) is actually a top five defensive end so far this season and that blows my frigging mind, what a truly wacky year all around. Home stretch.
Bucs @ Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Produced as expected: Jamel Dean (CB) Antoine Winfield Jr (S) Jason Pierre Paul (DE) Devin White (LB) Jordan Whitehead (S) Sean Murphy Bunting (CB) Lavonte David (LB) Carlton Davis (CB) N’Damakong Suh (DT) Shaq Barrett (EDGE) *somewhat*
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: I was completely wrong about this one and couldn’t be happier, I thought for sure this was going to be a Tampa Bay blowout and they would dominate time of possession and this Giants offense would barely see the field and as a result of that there wouldn’t be enough “to eat” for this Bucs defense. Instead we got a really close game that came down to the wire and went back and forth all game long and there was plenty to eat for this defense, Lavonte David (LB) had a bit of a down game but still perfectly acceptable and the vast majority of the known and counted on weekly IDP producers here were able to produce this week in an less than ideal matchup which was a pleasant surprise. Shaq Barrett (EDGE) didn’t get a sack but still had three combined tackles, a pass defended and two QB hits, ten points in most of my leagues which is perfectly fine for an EDGE guy that doesn’t land a sack or splash play. Besides those two players I just mentioned literally everyone else we rely upon for weekly production did what we expected this week and there were no significant fluctuations in playing time or changes in role or responsibility. Everything looks great and they’ve got the Saints this week which is an exponentially better matchup so this defense should be able to feast once more. All systems are go.
New York Giants
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers but David Mayo (LB) gained a ton of snaps this week, I comment more on this below. Also Xavier McKinney (S) should return from IR sometime around week ten, keep that in mind.
Misc notes: Julian Love (S) saw a reduction in snaps this week as David Mayo (LB) saw a large increase in snaps, I have no idea if that was something planned due to gamescript and helping to stuff the run but what I did see was that Kyler Fackrell (LB) didn’t see his playing time move at all so despite the predictions that Mayo would displace him this has not happened so far. Julian Love (S) went from playing nearly every snap the last couple weeks to just 50% of snaps this week and it impacted his production as well with just three combined tackles on the day. Mayo didn’t do anything special either, just three combined tackles as well but it’s also just his second week back from injury so this could be the start of a trend, no matter how it ends up though things can and will change when Xavier McKinney (S) returns from IR as well, for the moment there’s no real move to be made here other than planting Love’s butt on your bench since he’s clearly not playing enough to be consistent anymore, beyond that we’ll keep an eye on it and circle back. Logan Ryan (S) played plenty, 97% of snaps this week, but only recorded three solo tackles on the day and has cooled off significantly since the start of the season, part of that may be a change in role I do remember seeing something about that recently but in general I’m not panicking yet, we’ll see how things look this week against Washington and his production is still iffy we can start to pull the plug, even though that’s not the greatest offense in the world for him to try and produce off of but whatever it will at least give us more information. Everything else here looked pretty solid this week, no fluctuations in playing time for any of the guys we count on weekly and basically everyone we count on was able to produce this week with the notable exceptions of Ryan and Bradberry who I’m not making any calls on yet, they’re both allowed an off week after the seasons they’ve had so far. So that wraps things up for this week’s edition of the monster. If you read this while pooping at work I hope you had a satisfying poop. We’ll see what the fantasy Gods have in store for us this week and circle back right here again next week to ramble endlessly about everything in IDP land like we do every week. Good luck this week in your matchups, cya all next Thursday morning.
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