Like a phoenix from the ashes
Week seven has come and gone and it was another wild one with games coming down to the last second and heart break all around. The Titans came roaring back only to miss a last second field goal that would’ve forced overtime in one of the best games on the day. The Lions somehow went length of the field to stun the Falcons in another stunner. Aaron Rodgers (QB) righted the ship and got his revenge this week as Green Bay got back on track, a lot of things went how we thought they would go any many did not. There were some injuries we’ll have to keep an eye on going forward, Landon Collins (S) is probably done for the season (update, yep, he is), Robert Spillane (LB) looked great as the Devin Bush (LB) replacement until he destroyed his shoulder in a high speed collision with Derrick Henry (RB) and many other notable IDP producers got dinged up today as well.
If any of those injuries create situations where we can make a move off waivers we’ll take advantage of that as we continue to improve our IDP defenses weekly. Our lord and savior and new messiah, Tyrell Adams (LB) had eleven combined tackles this week in yet another excellent week as the Bernardrick McKinney (LB) replacement. Krys Barnes (LB) also looks to be the real deal and should continue to be an excellent option until Christian Kirksey (LB) comes back for a game or two then shatters into a million pieces again just like every season, when that happens Barnes will be an option once again so don’t let him leave your team this year I’ve got a feeling he could be relevant for us now and later. (Barnes also got hurt, more on that later) The most consistent of the inconsistent’s, TJ Watt (EDGE) got back to his cheek splitting ways this week but other well known EDGE guys like Whitney Mercilus (EDGE), Bud Dupree (EDGE) and Preston Smith (EDGE) had stinkers. Overall it was an EDGE bounce back week though with Z’Darius Smith (EDGE) and Shaq Barrett (EDGE) having good games as well, so at least the ones most of us actually depend on did well this week.
Daniel Sorensen (S) blew up again this week and depending on his playing time may be starting to look like an option once more, he had some relevance late last season heading into fantasy playoffs as well, his second week of solid production in a row plus some information passed on to me by a reader, that I appreciate greatly by the way, leads me to believe that he may be a more consistent option the rest of the season than the traditional safety to own in Kansas City, the Honey Badger. We’ll get into all that and more as we break down week seven in IDP production, playing time, possible waivers, any changes in role or new trends by every defense in the league. It’s the monster, we’ll look at everything on every defense like we always do. Strap in here we go. This is what happened in week seven and what we can do with what we learned.
Just one last quick thought, this was added after I already started writing this Sunday night but after that Seattle/Arizona game and what came out of it I had to say something. I’m saying this 100% seriously, God wanted me to win 300$ in DFS last week. The amount of crazy things that happened in order for my superflex lineup in FanDuel to win not one but three 3-100 person tournaments and place top twenty in two huge GPP tournaments as well was just beyond ridiculous. They included the Hockenson miracle touchdown catch, the lucky Giovani Bernard (RB) touchdown and excellent day overall, the Todd Gurley (RB) mistake for a second touchdown, Kenny Golloday (WR) essentially doubling his point total in the final drive of the game and much more. The icing on the cake was when Russel Wilson (QB) finally caught me in a five dollar entry 3-100 person superflex tournament and displaced me to second costing me 75$ only to throw an interception the play after then never see the field again the rest of the night, Wilson was deducted one point for that pick and I won that contest by less than a point. It was utter madness the number of crazy things that happened all day Sunday and Sunday night that came together and got me a big DFS win on the day. So I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the fantasy Gods, actual God and everyone on my FanDuel superflex lineup this week. Me and my golf game appreciate it greatly, my Calloway Big Bertha B21 with the graphite shaft and massive sweet spot that will be in the mail shortly is going to look excellent in my golf bag for years to come. Thank you Fantasy Gods, apparently you are, sometimes, merciful. Alright enough shenanigans let’s get to it.
Giants @ Eagles
New York Giants
Possible waivers: Julian Love (S) has now seen significant playing time a couple weeks in a row and looks like he’s back to being part of this defense week to week, I do believe he loses some playing time after week eight when Xavier McKinney (S) is due to return but for the next week at least unless we see something set in stone that says McKinney is back for the next game and starting, which I doubt highly. Even if he does come back next week I doubt he’s stepping into a ton of playing time immediately so I’d be comfortable giving Love a shot next game but beyond that we’ll have to wait and see. He played 93% of snaps this week and recorded seven combined tackles and one pass defended on the day so I have to mention it, this isn’t a game you want to play unless in a very deep league in all likelihood, you would have to monitor the McKinney situation carefully if you were to do this.
Misc notes: David Mayo (LB) was back healthy this week but only played 11% of snaps, it was his first week back from IR so he was likely being eased into things but with Tae Crowder (LB) getting injured and himself heading to IR after last game a good amount of us in IDP Twitter thought he would step into a decent role immediately, so far that isn’t the case, he’s a wait and see from the bench in much deeper leagues at the moment. We’ll see what next game brings. Kyler Fackrell (OLB) still played plenty this week, 90% of snaps, but didn’t have the huge splash play like he did the last three weeks and he doesn’t have a tackle floor to speak of. He’s an outside linebacker or EDGE guy so by nature he’s going to be boom or bust, this week it was bust, still he’s playable weekly in big play leagues that are deeper if you can live with the bad weeks. Leonard Williams (DE/DT) didn’t do much this week but still played 75% of snaps which is plenty, he remains a DL three or four in deeper leagues only like he has been for some time now. There weren’t any noticeable fluctuations in snaps this week for anyone of note. In general everyone who was supposed to produce did so and we even got some bonus production from Julian Love (S) and Markus Golden (EDGE) who probably shouldn’t have been on your IDP defense unless in the deepest of deep leagues. Everything here looks good, the next big things will be to see if David Mayo (LB) can get enough snaps to assume IDP relevancy as another inside linebacker here and what things will look like when Xavier McKinney (S) returns from IR and is part of this defense, everything else is business as usual.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Alex Singleton (LB) remains a solid option, he out snapped Duke Riley (LB) who was back in the lineup this week 67% to 57% on the day. Riley may just be getting eased back into things after being out a week with injury but in deeper leagues Singleton could be someone you got dirt cheap that could end up being the other relevant IDP linebacker to own here for the rest of the season. We’ll see what next week brings, if you’re worried about it see if you can add Duke Riley (LB) as well that way whoever ends up owning this second relevant linebacker slot is on your team or just sit Singleton this next game and see if he remains the second IDP linebacker in terms of playing time. In shallow leagues I’d probably sit both while we see how this shakes out next week but I know a lot of us are in stupid deep leagues and in that case it’s hard to argue against playing Singleton again this next game even with Riley back from injury. Short version is this is still in flux, we should know more after next week. Javon Hargrave (DT) only had two combined tackles this week but continued his upward trend in playing time with 70% of snaps played this week, in general defensive tackle is extremely spotty and inconsistent as an IDP position but if you need defensive tackle help you could do a lot worse then Hargrave, he had an excellent season in Pittsburgh last year and this season has two solid games and two bad games so far after missing the first three of the year with injury. Defensive tackle help via waivers doesn’t happen all that often so when it does even if it’s not perfect it’s still something to consider.
Misc notes: Josh Sweat (DE/EDGE) is still on the outside looking in for playing time only seeing 40% of snaps this week despite being pretty good when he had a shot at a more significant role earlier this season helping to fill in for injuries on the defensive line. He remains a dynasty futures piece only unless the injury grim reaper strikes again. The Eagles cornerbacks corps had a down week but this was the Giants not the greatest show on turf so I wasn’t recommending streaming any Eagles corners in the first place. They’ll be fine against a better passing offense. The Eagles pass rush looked solid and Fletcher Cox (DT) also turned in an acceptable game with four combined tackles and two tackles for loss on the day. Just about everyone who was supposed to produce did so this week so not much else to see here either. The only shenanigans is the Alex Singleton (LB) or Duke Riley (LB) battle for the second IDP relevant linebacker here going forward, we’ll keep an eye on it and have it figured out as soon as possible. Your poop break only lasts so long and this article is truly a monster so we’ll move on to other things.
Lions @ Falcons
Flash in the pan: Jayron Kearse (S) only played 41% of snaps as the third overall safety in terms of playing time and hasn’t seen the field or done anything else of note this season, this is a clear flash in the pan despite leading the team in IDP production this week. He did displace Will Harris (S) as the third safety so we’ll keep an eye on his playing time but for now it’s just an outlier and I doubt anything more will come of it. Da’Shawn Hand (DE) had a decent day with four combined tackles and tied Trey Flowers (DE) for the most playing time at defensive end this week with 57% of snaps played but hasn’t played this much or produced at all this season and without a sack this isn’t something even worth keeping an eye on going forward. It’s still just Trey Flowers (DE) and Romeo Okwara (DE) as the IDP relevant defensive ends here at this point in time.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week that look like they’ll be a “real” option going forward, keep in mind that this defense along with Miami and New England sees massive fluctuations in playing time, role and production week to week. It’s the curse of those Patriots inspired defenses that try and morph into whatever they need to be week to week depending on their opponent and their strengths and trends. There are very few “locks” for weekly playing time and production on this defense just like with Miami and New England as well. If it’s not Jamie Collins (LB), Tracy Walker (S), Trey Flowers (DE) and some of the corners depending on matchup I’m generally not interested unless it’s in a super deep league where you need to look at everything all the time just to get a decent starting lineup.
Misc notes: Trey Flowers (DE) and Duron Harmon (S) played 57% and 92% of snaps respectively which are enough for their positions. Flowers is coming off a huge game the week prior and depending on how many points your league awards for a fumble recovery he may or may not have had an acceptable day for you. Regardless he’s a defensive end and we know they’re not an “every week” position, he’ll be fine bigger weeks to come. Harmon has played plenty all season but his production has been spotty at best, he’s met or exceeded his mediocre projection in every game this season except this one, that generally means about five combined tackles and a pass defense for roughly ten points a week making him a decent safety three in medium to deeper leagues. He still got three solo tackles this week so it wasn’t a total loss but in a juicy matchup like this one it does feel like a letdown. No changes in playing time so he should be fine going forward though. In one of those weird “Patriots wannabe” defense moves that I see all the time with defenses like this one and in Miami or New England. The “left for dead” Jahlani Tavai (LB) who was barely playing at all the last few weeks saw his playing time shoot up to 57% of snaps this week, he was only able to parlay that into four combined tackles though so I’m just mentioning it because that’s what we do here and because it’s an excellent example of the weird stuff I see out of this defense all the time. He’s still IDP irrelevant, if that changes I’ll let you know. Reggie Ragland (LB) is still seeing about half the snaps per game, 49% this week, and still isn’t doing much with the playing time, just four combined tackles and a pass defended on the day, he does remain an option in much much deeper leagues though his playing time has remained constant the last few weeks. Everything else here looked good, Tracy Walker (S) is still seeing enough playing time so we can keep the torches and pitch forks put away for another week at least. UPDATE: Everson Griffen (DE) signed here, I would sit him this week and wait and see what the snaps look like and what kind of role he has before playing him, I’ll let you know what it looks like as soon as I see it and we’ll go from there.
Flash in the pan: Steven Means (DE) may end up being a waiver wire option but this is the first time I’m seeing this so it could also just be an injury replacement deal, I don’t follow the Falcons super close so I don’t know if they’re missing a defensive end this week, McKinley, Fowler and Bailey all played but McKinley (DE) is banged up and limited in practice today so that could be the missing part of this puzzle. Regardless Means played 68% of snaps and recorded five combined tackles and a tackle for loss on the day so if I see this kind of playing time and production again next week I’ll look into it more, for now it’s an outlier since he’s done nothing else of note this season and that includes playing time as well as production.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, I’ll keep an eye on the defensive line though as mentioned above.
Misc notes: Keanu Neal (S) still played his normal 89% of snaps this week but exploded in one of those safety one days we remember from a few years back, he lead all Falcons in IDP production with a massive day. Just awesome to see this I’m beyond happy for him. Grady Jarrett (DT) played a massive 92% of snaps this week but had yet another down game with just two combined tackles and four QB hits on the day, depending on what your league scores for IDP points those QB hits may have gotten you an acceptable day out of him but in general it was a down game. On the season he’s had three excellent games, one decent game and three crappy games, for defensive tackle that’s about par for the course and he’s still one of the best. Obviously he’s playing plenty as well, keep plugging him in there are bigger days coming. Dante Fowler (EDGE) is out of the dog house in terms of playing time he was in for 84% of snaps this week and had a better game with three combined tackles and a tackle for loss, seven points in most of my leagues which isn’t terrible for an EDGE guy who doesn’t get a sack. That was his allure in previous seasons though, his awesome sack potential, and that hasn’t been happening this season. EDGE guys are a dime a dozen and I’ve been talking about finding better options than him for weeks now. If you’re stuck with him in a much deeper league though at least the news is good about the playing time, he was down around 40% of snaps a few weeks back and that has not been the case the last few weeks here. Foye Oluokun (LB) and Deion Jones (LB) are starting to look like De’Vondre Campbell (LB) and Deion Jones (LB) last season, like exactly like that even down to playing time. The role Oluokun inherited seems to be more productive overall than the role Jones has, Campbell showed us that last season and Foye is showing us that this season. He’s also playing more than Jones at the moment, 100% of snaps to 85% this week. That’s great news for Oluokun owners especially in dynasty but the silver lining is Jones has been excellent this season as well. None of that really matters I just figured I would mention it, I’ve seen this movie before last season. Business as usual besides those notes.
Browns @ Bengals
Flash in the pan: Mack Wilson (LB) only played 41% of snaps this week and hasn’t seen anything North of that in quite some time, not even a really great box score just didn’t want anyone to fall into this trap.
Possible waivers: Ronnie Harrison (S) would look like a slam dunk upon first inspection but that is likely not the case here, at least not yet anyways. Karl Joseph (S) was active for this weeks game but only played 16% of snaps as he was still not 100% healthy from his recent injury. The Browns were down to their third string safety Sheldrick Redwine (S) last week and upgraded to their second string safety Ronnie Harrison (S) this week, odds are Karl Joseph (S) is back to his starting role next week as usual once he’s had the week to continue to get healthy. In deeper leagues it’s not a bad idea to acquire Harrison in case this doesn’t happen, but everything I’ve read says this was just a one week thing and Joseph should be back as the starter next game. Harrison played 84% of snaps and recorded nine combined tackles and host of other stats including a sack on the week and will absolutely be a popular point chasing waiver wire pickup this week, the less informed will assume that he’s a slam dunk waiver wire safety but you’ll all know that likely isn’t the case. Here’s a direct quote from CBS Sports on this exact situation: “It was an excellent game for Harrison but that may not translate into much future success as an IDP contributor since (Karl) Joseph’s workload should ramp back up soon.” There were other articles mentioning that Karl Joseph (S) was on a pitch count due to his hamstring injury and trying not to re-aggravate that injury.
Misc notes: The Bengals won the time of possession battle 33 minutes to 27 so the Browns defense spent more time on the field than usual and that’s apparent when looking at the box score, their IDP production was excellent across the board and mostly everyone who was supposed to produce did so this week. Oliver Vernon (DE) was the most obvious exception to that statement this week, he did play a massive 88% of snaps this week but was only able to turn that into two tackles assists, half a tackle for loss and a QB hit on the day so nothing special, he’s playing plenty but hasn’t been able to do much this season. He’s not really a guy you want to be playing unless in those much deeper leagues where you need to bank on playing time turning to production sporadically throughout the season. Malcolm Smith (LB) played 59% of snaps and has played well enough to keep Sione Takitaki (LB), who was in for only 16% of snaps this week, and his booty firmly planted on the bench. Smith doesn’t have the greatest playing time but has been averaging about five combined tackles a game since displacing Takitaki during that Thursday night shoot out against Cincy a few weeks back, he remains a decent option as a linebacker three or four in much deeper leagues. Myles Garrett (DE) played a massive 93% of snaps and had yet another outstanding day and continues to part opposing quarterbacks butt cheeks like Moses parted the Red Sea. Nothing else of note this week in Cleveland.
Flash in the pan: Logan Wilson (LB) only played 42% of snaps this week and despite my belief, and the belief of many others in IDP Twitter land, that he will eventually get his shot as a starting linebacker on this defense this season that hasn’t come to pass yet. So for now it’s an outlier flash in the pan. We’ll see what the future brings. Shawn Williams (S) only played 13% of snaps so his three solo tackles are an outlier there is no Shawn Williams (S) resurgence coming any time soon. Mackensie Alexander (CB) is the third cornerback in terms of playing time, 73% of snaps this week, and on the season he’s had two good games and three bad with some time missed for injury, regardless I’m not streaming a corner that only plays 3/4 of the game, corners are incredibly easy to find in general so why settle for one that doesn’t play every snap? I say this all the time, that extra 27% of snaps he didn’t play could be the difference between another tackle or pass defense and those IDP points could be the difference between a win and a loss on the week. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week. Or at least none I haven’t already talked about in this article in previous weeks.
Misc notes: Josh Bynes (LB) and Germaine Pratt (LB) stopped their backwards momentum this week in terms of both playing time and production so it looks like the likely inevitable rookie takeover of this linebacker corps will be delayed at least another week or so. They played 73% of snaps each and both had nice box scores on the day. They’ve both been really bad recently and this linebacker corps as a whole has been basically unplayable in recent weeks but this is what happened so I’m talking about it. In deeper leagues it looks alright to play either of these two for at least another week but I still believe that Logan Wilson (LB), 42% of snaps this week, and Akeem Davis Gather (LB), 27% of snaps this week, will get their shot as the starters here at some point before this season is done and each game they lose is another nail in the coffin for Bynes and Pratt and another reason to see what they’ve got with these youngsters. We’ll keep an eye on it. The Bengals pass rush is a freaking mess. Carl Lawson (DE) still led all defensive ends with 63% of snaps played on the day but recorded zero stats of any relevance, he had four QB hits if you’re in a league that records those. Not ideal. Sam Hubbard (DE) remains on IR, Carlos Dunlap (DE) saw only 23% of snaps this week and blasted the team on social media so that’s also not going well. Amani Bledsoe (DE) was a new name in the box score and playing time list this week with 54% of snaps played but was only able to turn that into one tackle assist on the day so I obviously won’t be recommending him for waivers with that in mind. The bottom line is this unit recorded no sacks on the day and is in massive flux overall. Lawson seems to be the only “safe” defensive end here currently and even he’s been horrible recently. We’ll keep an eye on it but for now I’m looking for other options even if I do have just Lawson and it’s a deeper league, this unit isn’t creating production as a whole. Not much else to see here, Jessie Bates (S) had a rare off day but still put up two solo tackles, one assist and one tackle for loss, around six points total in most of my leagues. This is his only bad game on the season so we can forgive him I think. UPDATE Carlos Dunlap (DE) Traded to the Seahawks. This obviously helps make him relevant once more. We’ll see how it looks after he plays and circle back.
Steelers @ Titans
Flash in the pan: Cameron Sutton (CB) had a huge box score but only played 58% of snaps this week and was only playing that much due to the injury to Mike Hilton (CB). This playing time is already not ideal, especially at cornerback, and when you factor in his impending disappearing act as soon as Hilton is healthy it makes him pretty much irrelevant going forward. I would pass, even if Hilton is out again this week that’s not enough playing time for any kind of consistency at cornerback.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, if the Robert Spillane (LB) shoulder injury is more serious than it appears he may be out this week and someone would take his place, I have no idea who to be honest, and whoever that would be would likely have the same role as Spillane which was playing about 75% of snaps and subbing out during clear passing downs for Ulysses Gilbert (LB) who is better in pass coverage. It looks like the Steelers are using both linebackers to fill in for the super talented Devin Bush (LB) who played all the snaps whether they were pass or run.
Misc notes: Cameron Heyward (DT) had a rare down week with only one tackle assist and one QB hit on the day while playing 88% of snaps on the day. He was the overall defensive tackle one last season and has always been consistent and productive (as much as any defensive tackle can be, a naturally spotty and inconsistent position) for as long as I can remember. He’s allowed a bad week here and there, he’ll be fine. Same deal for Stephon Tuitt (DE) who was in for 84% of snaps this week but is only a defensive end two or three in most leagues, same deal different guy pretty much, defensive end is also spotty and inconsistent, better days to come here as well. TJ Watt (EDGE) was back to himself this week and remains the most consistent of the inconsistent’s as far as these EDGE guys go. He’s been excellent most weeks this season but I’ll never be able to bring myself to rely on splash plays for a floor every week, that seems really stupid overall. However what I have done in recent seasons in leagues where I’m starting three or four linebackers or a couple linebackers and an IDP flex is plugging one of these EDGE guys into that flex spot or as the third or fourth linebacker, obviously only if it’s a big play league but if you can surround one of these guys like Watt or Barrett or Smith (the good one, Za’Darius) with solid tackle floor linebackers that can and do score points every week you can offset some of the bad weeks for these EDGE guys and on the weeks where they do go off it helps you win your week quite a bit. I would never play a lineup of all EDGE or OLB guys and would never have more of them than I do solid tackle floor guys but I do see the appeal of the big weeks these guys can put up. I also see what happens when Shaq Barrett (EDGE) puts up two combined tackles in championship week for fantasy last season, you lose your title game. I’ve always said this though, if you can live with the bad with these guys and you know what you’re doing knock yourself out, just don’t expect the good every week because that’s not how sacks, strip sacks, forced fumbles and interceptions work. They’re outlier plays not the norm. Tackles are the norm. Anyways back to your regular programming. Terrell Edmunds (S) had a good game if your league scores passes defended correctly, in the majority of leagues I’m in they’re worth at least three points, this allows for a bigger player pool and makes corners more than just an afterthought in your IDP lineup. If that’s the case in your league Edmunds did fine this week, if not he had a down week, he still played 84% of snaps and has been a nice safety two this season overall. It’s still very strange to see Vince Williams (LB) doing well basically every week but 2020 has been strange all around, he used to stink up the joint on a routine basis, not this season I guess. Nothing else of note here this week.
Flash in the pan: Amani Hooker (S), Dane Cruikshank (S) and Tye Smith (CB) played 25%, 1% and 29% of snaps respectively and all had lucky interceptions that likely won’t happen again anytime soon. None of these guys play remotely enough for any kind of consistency, pass on all three.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Jadaveon Clowney (EDGE) finally did something! He played his normal 73% of snaps or so this week but recorded four combined tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass defended on the day, twelve points in most of my leagues. He’s been a massive disappointment all season so it was nice to see him do something this week, also notable was this was decent production without a sack, he’s still not been able to record one yet this season. Progress not perfection, we’ll take it. I’ll especially take it where I had to start him using some smoke and mirrors in an all IDP league against some other industry guys and managed to destroy the guy who was in first place until this week. Overall he’s still been far less than ideal and there are better EDGE guys out there, his value was when he was designated a defensive end in seasons past. He remains playable weekly only in the deepest of leagues or as a bye week spot start like how I used him this week. No significant fluctuations in playing time for any of the known and relevant producers here on this defense and everyone who was supposed to produce did so this week so business as usual across the board. Let’s keep going.
Panthers @ Saints
Flash in the pan: Adarius Taylor (LB) only played 26% of snaps this week which isn’t remotely enough for any kind of consistency at linebacker, outlier performance nothing more.
Possible waivers: Donte Jackson (CB) was finally healthy and back to his normal playing time this week, he was in for 97% of snaps but in a solid matchup (despite no Micheal Thomas (WR) or Emmanuel Sanders (WR) that saints still threw for 29 completions and 289 yards on the day, more than enough to expect a decent day for opposing corners) he was unable to record any stats of any kind which is obviously less than ideal. He’s been incredibly productive in the past but so far this season it’s been nagging injuries and sub par performances the few times he has seen the field, looks like we’ll wait and see what next week brings I won’t be adding him to my recommended streaming corners just yet, not with a donut in a matchup like this while basically playing the entire game.
Misc notes: Eli Apple (CB) was also back from injury this week but only logged 40% of snaps so he’s also not where we need him to be for me to be comfortable recommending him as a streaming cornerback yet either, we’ll see what the next game or two brings. In the past he’s been one of those corners that plays a lot and is targeted a lot because he wasn’t very good, while that’s not great for any actual Panthers fans it is great for IDP so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Derrick Brown (DT) once again returned to IDP irrelevance as just a “big fat guy who stuffs running lanes” with 77% of snaps played this week recording just one tackle assist on the day. Despite his high draft capital he was never going to be the kind of defensive tackle we want for IDP, at least not yet anyways. Besides those couple notes everything else looks solid here this week. Shaq Thompson (LB) is on a tear, Jeremy Chinn (S) has quietly been the best rookie IDP safety this season and his future remains bright. Brian Burns (EDGE) had a good week and even Tahir Whitehead (LB) was able to put up five solo tackles on the day while only playing his usual 60% of snaps this week. Everyone who was supposed to produce did so, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. UPDATE Eli Apple (CB) Was released after this article was written, told you he wasn’t good.
New Orleans Saints
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Marcus Davenport (DE) in just his second game back from injury showed us what he’s capable of despite only playing 50% of snaps on the day. He recorded two combined tackles, one sack, one and a half tackles for loss and one QB hit on the day and is still available in some leagues off waivers due to the fact that he missed more than a few games to start the season, not a bad option at all for either a bye week spot start or a short term injury replacement guy or even a weekly starter in deeper leagues.
Misc notes: Demario Davis (LB) and Cameron Jordan (DE) both had down games this week. That’s exceedingly rare for Davis but par for the course for Jordan keeping in mind what position he plays and how production works for defensive line or EDGE guys. Part of this was the domination of time of possession by the Saints to the tune of 35 minutes to 25 minutes on the day, the other part was the Panthers offense only had 23 whole completions and just 14 rushing attempts on the day, besides a pair of outlier DJ Moore (WR) touchdowns this offense was basically ineffective all game long. For ideal IDP production the offense your IDP producers play against needs to dominate time of possession if possible but absolutely needs to at least sustain most of their drives for a good portion of the game using a good mix of pass and run, that’s the formula for best possible IDP production for your guys. We see this all the time when defenses go up against the Bears “offense”, they have no run game to speak of and because of that we get fewer easy run stopping tackles that those inside linebackers on opposing defenses rely on for their tackle floor, also their pass game is not great at all, with fewer completions there are fewer tackles by the corners, safeties and linebackers that help add to that IDP production. That’s just an example but this is something I see all the time, without your IDP producers having a good offense to go up against there’s an elevated chance for a bad day in the box score and that’s what happened to DeMario Davis (LB) this week, he’ll be fine though they’ve got the Bears this week. Oh shit maybe not. He’ll be fine when they face a good offense again whenever that happens. Malcolm Jenkins (S) same deal different position, still played his normal playing time, 100% of snaps, just had a down day due to facing an ineffective offense. Janoris Jenkins (CB) was back from injury this week and played 100% of snaps, he only had three solo tackles on the day but will do better against a better passing offense down the road, the good news here is he’s back from injury and they didn’t even ease him in, directly back to full playing time which is excellent. Everything else here was fine.
Bills @ Jets
Flash in the pan: AJ Epenesa (DE) made a splash with half a sack and a handful of other stats this week but still only played 16% of snaps so he’s not there yet, pass and hold in dynasty.
Possible waivers: Matt Milano (LB) and AJ Klein (LB) didn’t go exactly how I thought it would this week. Milano came back from injury last week and barely played, most of us thought he would at least see a little bump in playing time this week but instead he remained at only 33% of snaps on the day while AJ Klein (LB) played the other 67% this week and obviously had a much better game. Klein was the waiver wire linebacker while Milano was gone but now that he’s back it’s strange to see Milano playing so little still. This could be a “It’s the Jets we can keep him on a snap count” thing, in fact let me check and see what I can find. Yep that’s it exactly, Coach McDermott commented on the situation saying they are in fact easing him back in and have to build his reps back up since he’s still not 100% healthy. So crisis averted. For now Klein remains a waiver wire option at linebacker but probably only for another game and by then hopefully Milano is back to his normal playing time and displaces Klein like normal. Carry on.
Misc notes: Despite being only able to score field goals the Bills dominated time of possession in this one 35 minutes to 25 minutes so their defense didn’t see the field as much as normal, when they did it was against the Jets “offense” so the sustained drives and effective running and passing combination needed for ideal IDP production was light years away. This was always going to be a crappy game for the Bills linebackers, safeties and corners, their defensive line however had a chance to split Sam Darnolds (QB) butt cheeks like firewood and they took full advantage of that chance with six sacks on the day! Full disclosure I sat Tremaine Edmunds (LB) where I could in shallower leagues and streamed a guy with a better matchup because I knew this one was going to be rough for the majority of the Bills IDP and it sure was. Mycah Hyde (S) suffered the worst of the known and productive IDP producers here with only two combined tackles this week but still played 95% of snaps and will be fine going forward as a safety two or three in deeper leagues. Tremaine Edmunds (LB) managed five combined tackles and one and a half tackles for loss even with this awful matchup so it wasn’t a total loss if you did play him this week. Basically any of the Bills defensive line was solid for you this week except for Mario Addison (EDGE) of course because he’s usually the only productive one so of course he doesn’t get involved when there’s six sacks on the day, the fantasy Gods are sometimes fickle and definitely have a sense of irony. He’ll be fine going forward, nature of the position and all that. Besides the AJ Klein (LB) & Matt Milano (LB) shenanigans there were so other significant fluctuations in normal playing time so we’re looking good besides the fact that they played the Jets. The Patriots are next which is usually a terrific matchup for inside linebackers, it’s too bad we don’t know if Milano will play enough to be a slam dunk but Tremaine Edmunds (LB) should be absolutely solid this upcoming game. Alrighty that’s it.
New York Jets
Flash in the pan: Tarrell Basham (OLB) only played 51% of snaps which isn’t the worst ever but has only produced in three of seven games this season and only has a sack in two of seven which is where the majority of his points would usually come from as an outside linebacker. So he’s basically an EDGE guy and there are many, many others I’d rather play than him if I were to choose to score points every once in awhile instead of every week by playing an EDGE or OLB in my linebacker slot. Bottom line is technically he is an option I just wouldn’t do it, maybe in big play leagues that are crazy deep but that’s it.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week. Bless Austin (CB) is a streaming option once more but I talk about that below.
Misc notes: Bless Austin (CB) was finally healthy enough to return to his usual playing time this week, 100% of snaps on the day and five combined tackles with two passes defended in the box score, he returns to our recommended corners list when the matchup is correct, which it most certainly is this week against Kansas City. Bradley McDougald (S) has not only been awful in terms of production recently but his playing time has taken a hit now as well, he was in for just 68% of snaps turning that into just two combined tackles and a pass defended on the day. It’s been trending bad for a couple weeks now, time to start looking for a backup plan, I know I am. In fact I just took a five minute break from writing this to put in waiver claims on Daniel Sorensen (S) and Deshazor Everett (S), I know I’m breaking my own rule about “third safeties” with Sorensen but we’ll get into it later during the Chiefs portion of this article why that could be in name only. Back to the Jets. Something of note here, as McDougald saw his snaps decline Ashtyn Davis (S) saw an increase in snaps, his chance at starting in this defense could be right around the corner. That’s obviously only a move in much deeper leagues or if you already have him in dynasty and finally get to yank him off that taxi squad and use him, regardless it could be reality soon enough. As the Jets season circles the drain we could and should see them shake up things on this defense to “see what they’ve got”, something we see multiple teams do every season once they’re past the point of any hope of playoffs or a competitive season, as their thoughts turn towards next season and the future we could see some new names in the box score and starting or playing significant snaps for this defense, if and when that happens I’ll give you a heads up when I see it. There were no other fluctuations in playing time for any of the known IDP producers here and basically everyone who was supposed to produce did so this week besides McDougald. Onwards to the next matchup.
Dallas @ Washington
Flash in the pan: Neville Gallimore (DT) does play the most of the Cowboys defensive tackles, 55% of snaps this week, but hasn’t done anything else of note this season, none of the defensive tackles here have really, pass and hold in dynasty that’s about it for now. We’ll sound the alarm bells if that changes. Besides it was just four combined tackles and a tackle for loss nothing truly amazing in the first place.
Possible waivers: Leighton Vander Esch (LB) may have been dropped in some shallower leagues, worth a look see, he’s most definitely back to his full workload and productivity. DeMarcus Lawrence (DE) may see a bump in playing time due to the Everson Griffen (DE) news I mention below, that could help get him back to where he was a couple seasons ago in terms of productivity. Worth a shot if you have the bench space and he’s out there.
Misc notes: Everson Griffen (DE) was traded to the Lions today for a sixth round pick, yay. This should help Aldon Smith (DE) and DeMarcus Lawrence (DE) with their playing time a little bit, Lawrence more so. What a fun season it’s been as a Cowboys fan, the hits just keep on coming. Donovan Wilson (S) continues his roller coaster of playing time and production, he’s truly a shot in the dark every week I wouldn’t play him unless truly desperate in a super deep league. There were no other significant fluctuations in playing time and basically everyone who was supposed to produce did so this week with the notable exception of Aldon Smith (DE) who played 61% of snaps this week. For the first time I can remember this season he did NOT lead the Cowboys defensive ends in playing time and his production has fallen off a cliff after a fast start to the season. I did not blow half my FAB on him and advised caution and tempered expectations in regards to him when he was all the rage earlier this season, this is why. Sure he did have a fast start, but yes he’s also been gone from the game for years plural and is constantly making bad life choices that result in him not being available to play football. I was never into it, regardless he’s still playing enough each week for a decent chance at production so if you have him as a defensive end two or three in deeper leagues he’s still worth playing. Everything else looks good here, and by good I mean horrendous and the worst possible outcome for this season I had imagined. Pain.
Washington Football Team
Flash in the pan: Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) and Tim Settle (DT) played 29% and 36% of snaps respectively this week, for the second week in a row Kerrigan lucked into a sack that saved his day for production but this can’t last forever playing that little every week, I’m still all set. Settle hasn’t done anything else this season besides one other outlier week earlier in the year and also isn’t playing nearly enough to be a solid option. Pass on both.
Possible waivers: I mentioned that Cole Holcomb (LB) saw massively elevated snaps in respect to his other games this season last week in part of the “massive shakeup” of this defense that occurred last week. He was up to 70% of snaps this week and recorded five combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, one pass defended and one QB hit on the day. So yeah, he’s back. Pull the trigger now while you maybe still can. DeShazor Everett (S) also played a ton again this week as part of that same shake up, 100% of snaps but only three solo tackles and one pass defended on the day. Not an incredible day production-wise but it’s solid safety help in deeper leagues if you need it. Kamren Curl (S) appears to be the direct Landon Collins (S) replacement, he came in for the final 70% of snaps and recorded three solo tackles on the day, in deeper leagues this isn’t a bad idea at all he could end up being another full time safety and those are always valuable in those deeper leagues even if it’s just a bye week or short term injury replacement guy.
Misc notes: Chase Young (DE) was back to his normal playing time this week and seems to be fully recovered from that injury, 82% of snaps on the day and six combined tackles on the day, five of them solo, eleven points in most leagues I’m in which is perfectly acceptable for a defensive end that doesn’t land a sack for the week. He’s back to looking good and producing so that’s good to see. Kevin Pierre Louis (LB) is still hanging in there with the playing time despite the Cole Holcomb (LB) resurgence, his production however has been far less than ideal since Holcomb became relevant again, just four and three combined tackles the last two weeks, a pass defended each game may have saved his week for you if your league scores them ideally but without the tackle floor and with the increased competition for those tackles I’m not playing him anywhere at this point. He still has some value in the deepest of leagues as long as he plays this much but his production will be sporadic at best. Kendall Fuller (CB) had a down week but this wasn’t the greatest matchup in the first place with the Red Rifle in there instead of Dak and it quickly got worse when Jon Bostic (LB) blasted Andy Dalton (QB) back into the stone age with a helmet to helmet hit. Any chance of a good game at streaming corner went out the window at that point. Regardless he’s still playing 100% of snaps and remains a nice corner to stream in better matchups. Landon Collins (S) is done for the season, the injury grim reaper strikes again, what a season this has been. I talked about his replacement above. Everything here looked pretty good this week, no other significant fluctuations in playing time or changes in role and the guys who didn’t produce this week, Jonathan Allen (DT), Daron Payne (DT), are both just nature of the position things they’ll be fine they both played their normal snaps. Onwards.
Packers @ Texans
Green Bay Packers
Flash in the pan: Raven Greene (S) only played 50% of snaps and isn’t a name I’ve seen before so he hasn’t been relevant at any other point this season, he did have a nice game but that’s not enough playing time at safety and this feels like an extra defensive back they threw in there to help offset the Texans third ranked (going in to the game) passing attack. Pass for now, if it continues I’ll let you know.
Possible waivers: Darnell Savage (S) was injured and out this week, Will Redmond (S) took his place as is tradition, and had a nice game playing 100% of snaps and recording six combined tackles on the day, if Savage is out then Redmond is in but it looks like the Savage injury isn’t serious and he’ll likely be back next week so this is dependent on the health of Savage. Jamal Martin (LB) came in for Krys Barnes (LB) when he re injured his shoulder this week, if both Barnes and Kirksey are out this week he makes a decent spot start but is far from a long term option.
Misc notes: Krys Barnes (LB) did go nuts this week like we all thought, however unlike we all thought he only played 40% of snaps on the day due to re injuring his shoulder. If he’s healthy for this next game and Kirksey is still out he should be a solid waiver wire linebacker option, Jamal Martin (LB) is his backup so if both Kirksey and Barnes are out Jamal Martin (LB) would make a hail Mary one week waiver wire linebacker. Jaire Alexander (CB) played all the snaps as usual but even in a great matchup had a bad game for IDP production, they likely avoided throwing at him like the plague. He’ll be fine, corner is naturally spotty and inconsistent position to begin with. Preston Smith (EDGE) had a better game this week but most people have already abandoned ship and he still hasn’t landed a sack this season, he had a half sack a few weeks back but that’s it. No significant changes in playing time for anyone of note except the Krys Barnes (LB) stuff that was just injury related. Kenny Clark (DT) played 63% of snaps this week but only had one solo tackle on the day, between the injury and the slow start to the season he’s been a shadow of what we know he’s capable of. Still if he’s available on waivers and you have the bench space he’s worth holding on to in case something happens to your starting defensive tackle, he’s not a bad backup at all and makes a perfect bye week fill in, pure overkill as a bye week or short term injury replacement guy. Not much else to see here, can’t wait until Christian Kirksey (LB) gets back from injury so we can get another full time solid tackle floor linebacker back in the mix, at least for a week or two anyways until he gets hurt again. On to the Texans.
Flash in the pan: Phillip Gaines (CB) had a really nice week and played 95% of snaps on the day, slam dunk streaming corner right? Not so fast, the reason why he played that much is because Bradley Roby (CB) got injured after playing only the first 5% of snaps this week and Gaines was his direct replacement. This could be a short term option but the injury is being described as “nothing major” so I doubt Gaines will be relevant next game. This was a true flash in the pan and basically the reason why Devante Adams (WR) was able to shred this defense, he went from being covered by one of the best corners in the league with a PFF score of 68 to an average Joe, in this case an average Phil, with a PFF score of 51. That may not seem like much of a difference but Roby also plays against the best talent every week and Gaines has barely seen the field this season. It showed. Short version is pass on Gaines.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Thank God. Tyrell Adams (LB) sky rocketed up to 100% of snaps played this week AND displaced Zach Cunningham (LB) as the green dot guy. He is truly our messiah. Every snap played, eleven combined tackles and one tackle for loss on the day. This guy could be the waiver wire linebacker of the season, Donald Payne (LB) version 2.0, I hope all of you were able to pull the trigger when I strongly encouraged you to the second I saw this situation develop. So far it’s a thing of beauty. The yang to this yin is Zach Cunningham (LB) who has looked bad in actual football all season, he’s been great for IDP but it looks like it’s starting to catch up to him, he saw his playing time drop to 79% of snaps this week and lost his playcalling responsibilities on defense. His PFF score of 42 is really bad and things are not trending well in general for him. If you can now may be the time to try and ship him off, especially in dynasty or deeper leagues where you can’t plug that hole via waivers or stream linebacker to fill that slot for the rest of the season. He was still able to record eleven combined tackles even with the reduced playing time this week but none of this is good. We’ll keep an eye on it but I wanted to ring the alarm now so you’d have time to get out from under this before it’s too late. Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) played his normal snaps, 63%, but didn’t do anything this week, nature of the position EDGE is boom or bust, this week it was bust. “When you play the game of thrones (EDGE) you win or you die.” There were no significant fluctuations in playing time or role besides the Zach Cunningham (LB) shenanigans and the Bradley Roby (CB) injury. Everything else here was fine.
Jaguars @ Chargers
Flash in the pan: Davon Hamilton (DT) and Brandon Watson (CB) played 68% and 100% of snaps respectively which is plenty for these positions. Hamilton played more than enough this week but hasn’t done anything else of note this season, if he can string together a few weeks of decent production and playing time he’ll become a waiver wire recommendation, not until then though. Watson only played because DJ Hayden (CB) is out and Sidney Jones (CB) was concussed early in this one it looks like, I could be off on that I’m not exactly onto the pulse of the Jaguars to be honest. That’s what it looks like from the data. Regardless Hayden isn’t coming back anytime soon and Jones health and availability is up in the air after the possible concussion so besides Tre Herndon (CB) and CJ Henderson (CB) I wouldn’t look at any other corners here for streaming until things look a little more concrete.
Possible waivers: Quincy Williams (LB) replaced Dakota Allen (LB) this week after he injured his ankle shortly into the first quarter, if both Myles Jack (LB) and Dakota Allen (LB) are injured this next game then Quincy Williams (LB) becomes a decent spot start, but that’s the order of operations here. Myles Jack (LB) then Dakota Allen (LB) then Quincy Williams in that order. Jesus we go deep down the rabbit hole here don’t we.
Misc notes: Josh Allen (DE) is back healthy once more and played 79% of snaps this week, he wasn’t able to land a sack or splash play but that’s more because of his position and less because of opportunity or talent, he’ll be fine, people shoveled dirt on him earlier this season and he came roaring back just like he’ll do this time as well. K’Lavon Chaison (EDGE) was down to just 32% of snaps this week and as is tradition so far in his young career produced precisely nothing of value. He remains a dynasty futures piece only at this point and isn’t even playable with that kind of playing time. The Jaguars cornerbacks situation is a total and complete shit show. I touched on that above. Jarod Wilson (S) injured his hamstring prior to the game this week and was inactive, with Andrew Wingard (S) on IR there was no direct backup to play this week that was worth a waiver move, the closest thing was Daniel Thomas (S) who was only in for 5% of snaps which is clearly not enough for a waiver wire safety. I only mention it because they really only ran out one safety this week so some might be wondering where the other one was, injured that’s where. Besides that there were no significant fluctuations in playing time or changes in role so we’re looking good to keep it moving here.
Los Angeles Chargers
Flash in the pan: Desmond King (CB) and Damion Square (DT) and Isaiah Rochell (DE) played 76%, 22% and 24% of snaps respectively, that’s not nearly enough for those positions. At corner King has had some decent games this season but in general there are better options out there that play more and you can always ensure an ideal matchup by streaming and giving it more than two seconds thought, I drop a streaming corner article every Friday morning that could help with that. The two defensive linemen here are not even playing a quarter of the game and lucked into a sack and a half sack on the day, clear outlier production, pass on that as well. Uchenna Nwosu (LB/DE) also counts this week unfortunately with Melvin Ingram (DE) back from injury he’s seen his playing time drop significantly to just just 33% of snaps played this week. He likely won’t be a viable option again unless Ingram gets hurt again. If that changes I’ll let you know.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Kyzir White (LB) saw a small decrease in playing time this week down to 81% of snaps this week, it didn’t effect his production but if that continues it’s not going to end well. The Chargers linebackers have a long and distinguished history of shenanigans, anyone besides Kenneth Murray (LB), who has been solid this season and has the draft capital plus a PFF score of 55 which isn’t amazing but also isn’t terrible and is better than White’s which is currently at 42, is vulnerable to these shenanigans. Keep that in mind if he’s one of the guys you’re depending on weekly in your IDP lineup as a set and forget linebacker, the rug could get pulled out from under you at any point and this decrease in playing time might just be the start of that, have a backup plan in place just in case. Melvin Ingram (DE) is back healthy again and played 68% of snaps this week but only recorded two QB hits on the day, better days to come for him as long as he’s healthy and playing, he’s always been a decent defensive end two or three in deeper leagues, nature of the position for the bad production this week it sure as hell isn’t a lack of talent or playing time. Nothing much else of note this week, no significant fluctuations in playing time or anything else for the rest of the pack here, both Micheal Davis (CB) and Casey Hayward (CB) played their normal 100% of snaps but didn’t do much in the box score in a pretty decent shoot out which is disappointing, however Gardner Minshew (QB) only completed 14 passes on the day so opportunities were limited for the Chargers corners overall, Jacksonville did most of it’s damage in the rushing game in this one, both corners will be fine if streamed against a more effective passing game down the road.
Chiefs @ Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
Flash in the pan: Willie Gay (LB) is playing more, 51% of snaps this week, but just isn’t to the point where he’s startable weekly in most leagues, the increased playing time over the last couple weeks and increased production along with it is excellent news for everyone with dynasty shares of him but for the majority of IDP leagues he’s still not playing enough or producing consistently enough yet. It’s getting there though, in deeper leagues he’s probably worth an add at this point for somewhere down the line this season but odds are in most deeper and dynasty leagues he’s already owned, he was a very popular rookie pick this year in dynasty. Anyways that’s where he’s at, close but no cigar, yet anways.
Possible waivers: Damien Wilson (LB) and Daniel Sorensen (S) played 69% and 64% of snaps respectively, that’s a little bit skewed though, no one played 100% of snaps this week because the Chiefs blew away the Broncos so completely they were able to rest their starters towards the end of this one, if this were a more competitive game I would add another 10% of snaps to each of these guys and when we factor that in they’re both playable, especially Sorensen who’s been playing quite a bit lately and has been producing a ton as well, I had a reader let me know (with the help of PFF) that Tyrann Mathieu (S) has been playing a lot more corner than safety these days, this clearly has been effecting his production as he’s far more sporadic this season than in seasons past. Sorensen could be the more consistent safety here playing his “hybrid safety” role that has had him put up two ridiculous weeks in a row in the box score. I’ve personally made this move and will be rolling him out the game after this one, the Jets offense isn’t the place to test this out, they’re going to be destroyed by the Chiefs and lose time of possession along with everything else. However five of their remaining eight games this season are against legit offenses and he could be a terrific boom or bust option in those matchups, he’s been excellent in four of seven games this season and since he’s been seeing more snaps a few weeks back has been ridiculous. This could totally back fire on us but I’m going to give it a go, after the Jets game.
Misc notes: Frank Clark (DE) and Juan Thornhill (S) both played their normal amount of time this week, 66% and 68% of snaps respectively which when you factor in the fact that everyone on this defense came out early in this blowout means it was fine. They both had down weeks, for Clark it was just nature of the position and he still had two solo tackles and a fumble recovery which depending on your leagues scoring could have given him an acceptable day overall, regardless he’ll be fine he’s due for a big week here soon. For Thornhill this was fewer snaps than usual due to the blowout and the Broncos offense wasn’t exactly productive this week so there wasn’t a lot for him to work with in terms of tackles and pass break ups plus the Chiefs dominated time of possession 35 minutes to 25 minutes so the Chiefs defense overall saw fewer snaps than usual on top of the early exit due to the blowout. Fewer chances plus less playing time equals a bad day for IDP for Mr. Thornhill, he’ll be fine as well. It’s actually pretty shocking that as many Chiefs known and relevant IDP producers were able to have solid days as we saw keeping all that in mind. Rashad Fenton (CB) looks like the odd man out for corner streaming, he came in at only 40% of snaps on the day with Breeland being the best option at 90% on the day and Ward as the second option with 83% on the day, none of those corners will be a good option this week with the NFL’s worst offense coming to town in the Jets. Nothing else to see here we’re looking good besides those notes.
Flash in the pan: Dra’Mont Jones (DT) did play 61% of snaps this week and has only really played in a couple other games this season and has done nothing else of note this year, clear outlier performance, I’ll need to see it again at least another time or two before this would interest me.
Possible waivers: AJ Bouye (CB) was back from injury this week and played 100% of snaps which was nice to see, despite being in what most would consider an ideal matchup the Chiefs were able to crush the Broncos with defense and special teams and didn’t need to throw all that much in this one so the Broncos corners got less of a workout than most, including me, expected this week. Regardless Bouye has always been a very nice streaming corner option when healthy and playing all his snaps in the correct matchups.
Misc notes: Josey Jewell (LB) played 92% of snaps this week which is obviously plenty he just had a down week, I’ve always said that Alexander Johnson (LB) is the linebacker to own here in the first place but Jewell has been a decent linebacker three or so in deeper leagues this season and has had a solid game or two, he usually gives you more than the three combined tackles we got this week so it was a down week but at least he’s playing plenty so there should be a rebound in the near future. Justin Simmons (S) also had a down week compared to what he normally does but there was no change in his playing time or role either so it was just an off week, he’ll be fine as well. Everyone else who we normally depend on for production on this defense did what we expected this week so we’re looking good besides those couple notes. Moving on.
Bucs @ Raiders
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Flash in the pan: Steve McLendon (DT) only played 38% of snaps and hasn’t done anything else of note this year that I can remember, not enough playing time and not enough production for the season, clear outlier game, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: N’Damakong Suh (DT) and Jason Pierre Paul (DE) played 66% and 86% of snaps respectively this week and both have had very fine seasons overall, they were both unable to land a sack or splash play and since their respective positions both depend on splash plays for production they were in for a bad week without any. They’ll both be fine. Remember a few weeks back when everyone was freaking out about Devin White (LB) and I spoke about how he was going up against bad offenses and that was a large part of the decreased production? Well the last two weeks against the Packers and Raiders, both of which have pretty solid offenses, White has blown up for massive days. This week however he gets the Giants, if you are in a shallow league and have the bench space I would look for another option to stream this week instead, he could end up being fine but I think more likely the Bucs just annihilate the Giants and absolutely dominate time of possession and the Giants offense barely does anything, if that occurs it will not be ideal for IDP production for the Bucs. Not everyone on this defense is going to be able to eat this week with the Giants in town. Just a heads up. Everything else here looked terrific, this is the best defense in football currently. It shows.
Las Vegas Raiders
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week including Cory Littleton (LB) of all people!
Possible waivers: No new producers this week and the Raiders defensive tackle situation continues to be in flux so we still haven’t found anyone solid there yet either.
Misc notes: Clelin Ferrell (DE) only played 53% of snaps this week and was the third defensive end behind the obvious Maxx Crosby (DE) (71% of snaps) and the not so obvious Carl Nassib (DE) who was in for 54% of snaps this week. That’s not a great look for a draft pick taken so early but we’ve known for a minute now that they screwed that one up royally, regardless it looks like the tiny hot streak he had going in playing time and production has come and gone and he’s back to being just an option in stupid deep leagues or a dynasty futures piece with a future very much in doubt. Cory Littleton (LB) played his normal 100% of snaps this week and has looked much better in the past month with just a slight hiccup in the game against Kansas City where the Raiders dominated time of possession anyways. He’s finally starting to pay back some of that IDP draft capital tons of guys sunk in to him before the season, hopefully it continues. Not much else here this week, everyone who was supposed to produce did so and even Maxx Crosby (DE) who didn’t get a sack turned in a decent game with four combined tackles and a tackle for loss, about seven points in most of my leagues which isn’t bad at all for a sack dependent defensive end that doesn’t get a sack.
49ers @ Patriots
San Francisco 49ers
Flash in the pan: Joe Walker (LB) and Azeez Al-Shaair (LB) played 6% and 58% of snaps respectively this week, for Walker it’s blindingly obvious that it’s a bad idea and he got a lucky four solo tackles with basically zero playing time. For Al-Shaair I read somewhere that he’s seeing increased snaps while Alexander is out but in general he’s a short term option dependent on Alexander remaining injured and hasn’t done much else this season so unless it’s a really deep league he’s not someone you want any part of in the first place. Jamar Taylor (CB) is the third cornerback in terms of playing time on this defense and only played 58% of snaps this week which isn’t remotely enough for a corner, pass. Kevin Givens (DT) did play 60% of snaps this week but hasn’t done anything else of note this season so it looks like he lucked into a sack and it’s not likely to happen again any time soon, pass here as well.
Possible waivers: Tavarious Moore (S) and Marcell Harris (S) replaced the injured and out Jaquiski Tartt (S) and Jimmy Ward (S) this week, I don’t follow the Niners close enough to know which one replaces which but that’s what depth charts are for so let me have a look real quick. If Jimmy Ward (S) is still out this next game then you can play Tavarious Moore (S), if Jaquiski Tartt (S) is out this next game you can play Marcell Harris (S). These moves are dependent on the health of the two starters so keep that in mind if you plan on doing this, both of these replacement safeties did have good games and did play every snap so it’s not the worst short term move in the world if you’re in a jam and need a hail Mary.
Misc notes: Kwon Alexander (LB) still isn’t practicing as of today so it looks like another week of Dre Greenlaw (LB) is more than likely at this exact moment in time. He remains an excellent waiver wire linebacker as long as Alexander is injured and out. Kerry Hyder (DE) was in for 54% of snaps this week which is fewer than normal however this entire defense got to rest towards the end of this one since the blowout was so very complete so that doesn’t worry me. He’s been among the best waiver wire defensive ends this season so we can forgive him a crappy week here and there, hopefully he can get back in the swing of things soon. Javon Kinlaw (DT) also saw fewer snaps than average due to the blowout nature of this game I’m thinking, just 48% on the day, and the production suffered as well, just two combined tackles this week, but overall has been a decent IDP defensive tackle this season and is still only a rookie with all kinds of room to grow so not the end of the world. I would be worried about the production from the corners here but it was the Patriots in town not the Colts led by prime Peyton Manning (QB) so we already knew there weren’t going to be a ton of completed passes and I told everyone to avoid streaming corner here like the plague in my streaming corners article, this is why. Looking good besides those notes.
New England Patriots
Flash in the pan: NA, all names that make at least some sense at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No one I feel comfortable recommending.
Misc notes: There are very few productive and even semi consistent members of this defense, the few that fit that description all produced this week, even Stephon Gilmore (CB). Chase Winovich (DE) continues to see his playing time plummet drastically and after starting the season on fire and playing a ton every game plus producing like a machine with two and a half sacks in the first four games and a solid game every week the first month of the season, he’s now basically worthless. This is why I can’t stand the Patriots for IDP, stuff like this that makes zero sense. I’ve even read article after article from Patriots beat writers looking for answers on this and they don’t know either, no one does. It’s just one of those things Belichick does that we’ll never know why like the Malcolm Butler (CB) benching against Long Pole Foles in the Super Bowl. Anyways, he’s the only real weird situation here currently, everyone else who was supposed to produce did so, we’re moving on I’ve already spent too much time on this shit show of a defense. If you want more information on why I dislike the Patriots defense for IDP feel free to read literally any version of this article from literally any week the last three seasons on idpguys.org and you’ll see a different version of the same rant over and over again.
Seahawks @ Cardinals
Flash in the pan: Jordyn Brooks (LB) only played 45% of snaps and like Cody Barton (LB) before him some poor fool is going to grab him off waivers after seeing the clear outlier flash in the pan production and expect it again, if they aren’t named Bobby Wagner (LB) or KJ Wright (LB) they aren’t going to be playing enough at linebacker on this team to be relevant for anything more than a sporadic decent box score every few weeks or so. Of course the injury grim reaper could change that but for now that’s how it is.
Possible waivers: Ryan Neal (S/CB) for as long as Jamal Adams (S) is out obviously.
Misc notes: Shaq Griffin (CB) left this one early with an injury, Tre Flowers (CB) came in for him and had a solid day. I’ve said this before, if Quinton Dunbar (CB) or Shaq Griffin (CB) is injured and out then Tre Flowers (CB) is in and relevant, but so far this season that’s the only scenario where he has been. Besides that he barely plays. The playing time for all the known and relevant producers here looked normal this week, no fluctuations. LJ Collier (DE) still stinks, Jarran Reed (DT) had an off day but still played plenty and had three combined tackles so not a total loss, Benson Mayowa (DE) remains a decent bye week or short term injury replacement in medium to deep leagues and startable weekly in crazy deep leagues, his three solo tackles this week were acceptable for a guy everyone got for free off the waiver wire considering he didn’t get a sack. KJ Wright (LB) played 89% of snaps and has been red hot since we all panicked early in the season, the Seahawks coaching staff must have gotten the memo because since that point he’s played a ton and produced a ton. Everything else looks good, Jamal Adams (S) needs to come back soon this defense gets carved up weekly. UPDATE Carlos Dunlap (DE) was acquired by the Seahawks, this should help give him value once more, we’ll see what it looks like after a game or two and re evaluate, for now I’d still sit him unless desperate.
Flash in the pan: Surprisingly Byron Murphy (CB) qualifies this week, he’s now the third cornerback overall in terms of playing time and was only in for 61% of snaps on the day, plus he’s probably not going to be getting a sack very often so that was an outlier as well. Murphy and Kirkpatrick have been going back and forth as the second cornerback here in terms of playing time with Patrick Peterson (CB) firmly planted as the guy to own, luckily the entire cornerback corps blew up for the Cardinals this week so if you streamed any of them it worked out perfectly.
Possible waivers: I hope you were able to take advantage of the Haasan Redick (LB) recommendation from my previous article(s) he blew the hell up this week. See below for options on the Jordan Hicks (LB) injury.
Misc notes: Jordan Hicks (LB) was injured in this one and left after only playing 79% of snaps, his direct replacement was Tanner Vallejo (LB) but if he’s still out after the bye week maybe Isaiah Simmons (LB) gets a shot after making that game saving interception on Russel Wilson (QB) deep into overtime in this one, it’s a wait and see, for now we just hope Hicks is healthy and we can avoid the guessing game entirely. Jordan Phillips (DT) only saw 32% of snaps this week, that could be due to the shootout nature of this game but in general he’s been trending downwards with production recently and hasn’t been North of 50% of snaps in some time now so I’m looking for other options in regards to his situation. Isaiah Simmons (LB) only played 6% of snaps on the day but he sure as hell made them count with that interception, if the Jordan Hicks (LB) injury is more serious than expected this could be his shot to finally play some meaningful snaps. Devon Kennard (EDGE) had a crappy game but still played 68% of snaps and this kind of thing is normal for EDGE guys, plus compared to other EDGE or OLB he’s on the bad end of the spectrum in the first place, he’ll recover and have a nice game at some point. Everything else was good, we need to keep an eye on the Jordan Hicks (LB) injury that could have major ramifications if he can’t play after the bye week both for him and Simmons or even Tanner Vallejo (LB) whoever that is.
Bears @ Rams
Flash in the pan: Buster Skrine (CB) and Barkevious Mingo (LB) played 57% and 38% of snaps respectively, not nearly enough at either position for any kind of consisteny. Skrine could have some value as an “Eli Apple (CB)” type corner, a corner that is so bad they just get automatically targeted by every team every week and despite the lack of playing time is still able to produce IDP points because they are that bad, but that’s not sustainable, in fact it’s a recipe for getting a random zero one week when the coaching staff has had enough and yank Skrine or whoever it is out for someone else because trying anything is better than living with a clear and obvious weakness on the passing defense. So yes, despite the big game I’m passing on Skrine. Give me a guy who plays every snap and is good enough to keep his job all season so I can come back to him again and again to stream when the matchup is correct and ideal.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Danny Trevethan (LB) only had five combined tackles which wasn’t amazing but still played 78% of snaps and gave us an acceptable game for an off week, it looks like we’re clear of the early panic with him in terms of playing time and production things are somewhat back to normal which is great to see. Robert Quinn (EDGE) may have been a candidate for flash in the pan this week depending on how your league scores forced fumbles but I’ve been telling people for weeks that he’s not playing enough and hasn’t done anything else of note this season, just 43% of snaps this week and only two combined tackles beyond that forced fumble so nothing has really changed in that respect either, just thought I would mention it. Deon Bush (S) played exactly 1% of defensive snaps this week and recorded one tackle on the day, exactly what some people in IDP Twitter thought we would see halfway into the season. Nothing else to see here, it was a good week for Skidmarks Jackson, don’t expect him to do this every week though he’s notoriously inconsistent that’s why he’s as reliable as me having skidmark free underwear after Chipotle.
Los Angeles Rams
Produced as expected: Micah Kiser (LB) Troy Hill (CB) Micheal Brockers (DE) Taylor Rapp (S) Leonard Floyd (EDGE) John Johnson (S) Jalen Ramsey (CB) Aaron Donald (DT) *not a massive game but still acceptable*
Flash in the pan: Justin Hollins (LB) only played 24% of snaps and isn’t someone I knew existed until this very second, he also hasn’t done anything else of note this season except for another outlier sack with far less than ideal playing time in week four against the Giants and he still doesn’t play nearly enough for any kind of consistency, pass. Terrell Burgess (S) only played 19% of snaps, also not nearly enough for any kind of consistency, pass there as well.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week, I’ve talked about Leonard Floyd (EDGE) before in this article, I hope you were able to take advantage of his massive week in the box score if you had to use him this week.
Misc notes: There were no fluctuations in playing time or changes in role this week, all the guys who produced were expected to or were waiver wire guys I’ve talked about in past articles. Aaron Donald (DT) didn’t go off like he would in a normal explosion but still got you half a sack, three combined tackles and a QB hit on the day while playing 89% of snaps which is more production and playing time than the majority of defensive tackles every week overall. He can’t go off for a monster week every week, there are more of those to come though. Micah Kiser (LB) was back from injury and managed to give us a decent day even against this less than ideal Bears rushing attack that hasn’t given many middle linebackers the easy run stopping floor they feast off of this season so that was nice to see. Troy Hill (CB) managed to do very well even in a bad matchup against a bad offense with a really bad passing attack, so that was nice too, he’s having a great season. Nothing to see here, move along. Thanks again for reading all 15,000 plus words of my rambling incoherent shenanigans where we discuss the finer points of IDP strategy, expectations and options moving forward. I’ll cya all next week when we do it again. I hope you enjoyed your poop break if that’s what you were doing. Good luck with week.
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