BEHOLD! Our new Messiah.
Week six is in the books and it was a strange one, DFS was a circus and in general a lot of guys who don’t normally produce had big days and a lot of “locks” (Alexander Mattison) were duds. Devin Bush (LB) tore his ACL and is done for the year so once again the injury grim reaper got his due and took out a talented and young producer who was on his way to a monster day. Even the usually “consistent” TJ Watt (EDGE) was nowhere to be seen this week proving once again that if there’s one IDP position that’s anything but “consistent” it’s OLB or EDGE. There was some good, Tyrell Adams (LB), who is our new Messiah, and some bad, Za’Darius Smith (EDGE), Shaq Barrett (EDGE) and many others. In other words it was just another week in an already wild season that continues to be a grind from start to finish.
“Float to the top or sink to the bottom, everything in the middle is the churn.” Amos said it best, this season especially only the best and the most committed will take home those titles, no matter what happens we need to keep making moves and adapting to the changing environment and forcing our opponents to beat our best possible lineups every week. Everything else is in the fantasy God’s hands but we’re sure as hell going to do our part. We can do the little things. Check inactives, use an alarm for 30 minutes before each game if you need to, make sure your lineup is the best it can be, stream based on matchups and not just for cornerbacks. In shallow leagues I’ve even been streaming linebackers to avoid situations like the bad weeks Devin White (LB) and Shaq Thompson (LB) had when they faced bad rushing offenses that were allowing fewer easy run stopping tackles we all count on for the weekly floors for these linebackers.
Make everything into a routine, waivers same time every week, set lineups early and often and adjust as the week continues. Not to be a pessimist but if you do that and something happens (work, life, asteroid or alien invasion) then at the very least you’ve got some kind of lineup already submitted and guarantee yourself some points. Make a trade if you need to and plug holes where they are hurting you the worst. Deny your opponent what he needs to beat you. The guy you’re playing this week has a defensive tackle on bye and you see Javon Hargrave (DT) sitting on waivers? Grab him and plant his butt on your bench, he can’t score points for his team when he’s on your bench. I used that strategy to deny my friend and extremely smart IDP mind @Joeythetooth literally four different waiver wire linebackers he could have used in our championship game matchup last season for the IDPGuys writers all IDP league. He was short on linebackers so I took as many of them as I could successfully sit on my bench just to deny them from him. Some may not see that as sporting but bottom line is you do whatever you can do to win.
Maybe there are some leagues where legitimately you don’t have a shot, I have trouble believing that at this point since we’ve got another eight or so weeks before most playoffs start and I’ve taken teams that have had one or zero wins at this exact point to championship games in the very recent past, last year. It may not be a great shot but it’s still too early to think there’s no shot of getting back into competition and squeaking into playoffs where anything is possible. The fat lady may be warming up but she’s not singing yet. And the nature of this season leads me to believe that a late season comeback and playoff run is more doable now than at any other point in recent history.
Due to corona and the injury grim reaper both being on a rampage this season the number of viable options coming off of waivers at basically every position so far this year has been ridiculous. Not to mention we’re getting into the dog days of the season and guys will be giving up more and more often as the season continues. I was able to grab Alexander Mattison (RB) off waivers in two of thirty something leagues without any other FAB bids or opposing waiver claims on him! That tells me everyone else was asleep at the wheel and already checked out. He may not have done anything for me but the evidence is there for all to see that people are checking out, from whiny tweets explaining why they’re quitting to inactives sitting in lineups and being able to grab prime waiver wire replacements without opposition it’s clear for all to see that people are giving up. Not us, not ever. We made some excellent moves last week with the Tyrell Adams (LB) pickup and Dre Greenlaw (LB) for as long as Kwon Alexander (LB) is out and there will be more this week without a doubt. We’ll keep tweaking our IDP defenses until playoffs get here and the sky’s the limit from there. Let’s figure out what happened this week and how we can use that information to improve our teams and keep competing for the remainder of the season. Here’s what happened in week six.
Texans @ Titans
Flash in the pan: Brennan Scarlett (LB) and Lonnie Johnson (CB) played 53% and 47% of snaps respectively this week, Scarlett might be playable in the deepest of deep leagues but in general this was an outlier week for production due to the absolutely perfect IDP producing scenario the Texans defense ran into this week, I comment further on this below. As for Lonnie Johnson (CB) this isn’t remotely close to enough playing time for me to even consider streaming this guy at corner, this was an obvious lucky outlier week that isn’t likely to happen again any time soon, pass.
Possible waivers: PJ Hall (DT) only played 53% of snaps this week and did benefit from an ideal IDP production scenario but I went back and checked his stats just in case, he’s been a pretty decent defensive tackle two this season and is worth an add as a bye week guy in medium to shallow leagues or playable weekly in deeper leagues as an injury replacement guy. He’s been pretty solid about every other game this season and at defensive tackle specifically that isn’t bad at all. Seven solo tackles and a QB hit on the day isn’t anything to sneeze at either. Tyrell Adams (LB) only played 76% of snaps this week but put up an absolutely massive box score with stats in almost every conceivable IDP category. He is the direct replacement for Bernardrick McKinney (LB) and looks to be very involved in this defense going forward, the playing time wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but the production was utterly ridiculous in the best possible way. I’m plugging him back in basically everywhere again next week without hesitation and my guess is the snap percentage improves as well since the guy put up eight combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, two passes defended and one QB hit on the day. He was all over the field making plays and fell into an already productive role that McKinney had parlayed into linebacker two days for as long as I can remember so the situation is as close to perfect as we can get. This guy could be the waiver wire linebacker of the year if his playing time just goes up another ten % or so and he keeps this role for the rest of the season, so far so good.
Misc notes: The Texans spent 32 minutes on defense due to the nature of this game going to overtime and whatnot, the Titans offense was able to run many many plays and sustain drives all game long and were able to move the ball effectively both through the air and on the ground, short version is this was a dream scenario for the Texans IDP producers. Nearly everyone who was supposed to produce did so this week due to this, easily. This was the ideal setup for IDP production, this is the way. JJ Watt (DE) played 87% of snaps which is a ton but that’s normal for him, the big news here was he was finally able to break through for four solo tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, one pass defended and one QB hit on the day delivering a massive amount of IDP points. I’ve been saying for weeks now that he was due, well here it is. He’s just too talented and plays too much to sit and weeks like this make it worth the wait. Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) played 53% of snaps this week which is less than usual, I can’t find anything saying he was injured and he’s listed as healthy on all the fantasy sites. So it looks like this was just business as usual for an EDGE or OLB like he is. They go off some weeks, other weeks they screw you, there is usually no in-between. He’ll have bigger weeks to come but there will never be consistency, EDGE guys don’t do consistency. That’s why you don’t play them in your regular linebacker slot, score points every weeks not some weeks. Besides that everything else looks good this week.
Flash in the pan: Da’Quan Jones (DT) played 69% of snaps which is plenty but hasn’t done anything else of note this season and plays nose tackle according to NFLGSIS which is traditionally not an IDP relevant position, on the podcast we usually just call it “fat guy who plugs up running lanes” instead of nose tackle, that’s pretty much all they do. Not much pass rushing upside and usually not even much run stopping tackling either, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Titans also played 32 minutes of defense this week due to the overtime nature of this game which was also excellent for their IDP production, the Texans were able to produce quite a bit of offense as well and this game was a massive shootout of epic proportions which is always excellent for IDP. Kevin Byard (S) played 100% of snaps like he always does and finally was able to break through this week with eight combined tackles and half a tackle for loss, it wasn’t his usual splash play production style but he was able to produce this week for the first time this season that I can remember. He’s always been boom or bust, this week it was boom. In general he’s been disappointing this season so I’ve already moved on in the leagues where I had him starting, safeties do grow on trees in IDP so I’d keep looking for a better option. JaDaveon Clowney (EDGE) however was disappointing like always, he hasn’t done anything of note this entire season despite playing more than enough each week, 75% of snaps this week. If you are going to put an EDGE or OLB in your linebacker slot there are far better options than this guy, we’ve been talking about abandoning ship for weeks now in regards to him so I hope by now you’ve all found a better option. Jeffrey Simmons (DT) returned from the Covid list this week and played a massive 89% of snaps while recording six combined tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and two QB hits on the day which is obviously excellent. He’s been an up and coming IDP defensive tackle for awhile now and looks to have arrived this season, the only issue was being on the Covid IR list and missing a game against Buffalo a couple weeks ago, besides that he’s been excellent this season, continue to start him in all league sizes with confidence. Vic Beasley (OLB) only played 15% of snaps this week and the preseason hype around him is now completely dead and gone, I was never on that hype train because I’ve seen that movie before and it sucked the first time. Everything else looked good this week.
Bengals @ Colts
Flash in the pan: Xavier Williams (DT) played 54% of snaps but hasn’t done anything else of note this season and will likely be displaced by Geno Atkins (DT) once he’s completely healthy and back to his normal playing time, pass.
Possible waivers: Logan Wilson (LB) didn’t do much this week but did see a decent upswing in playing time to 52% of snaps played this week, him and Akeem Davis Gather (LB) have both seen increases in playing time in recent weeks but are both still losing out to both Germaine Pratt (LB) and Josh Bynes (LB) as the starting inside linebackers on this defense. This could be a move in deeper leagues for down the line but it looks like they still aren’t willing to throw in the towel and let these rookies have a shot as the starters yet.
Misc notes: Logan Wilson (LB) and Akeem Davis Gather (LB) played 52% and 41% of snaps respectively, they’ve both seen significant increase in playing time since week one but still are playing second fiddle to both Josh Bynes (LB) and Germaine Pratt (LB) as starting inside linebackers. What this has done has made all four of them basically IDP irrelevant which isn’t great, but my guess and the guess of many others in IDP Twitter land is that these two youngsters eventually take over as the starting inside linebackers on this defense sometime this season and will both be IDP relevant at that point. The Bengals surprisingly dominated time of possession in this one 35 minutes to 25 so their defense played far fewer snaps than usual. Unsurprisingly their two stud safeties soaked up the majority of tackles like they always do and easily outperformed warm body shmucks like Germaine Pratt (LB) and Josh Bynes (LB). The pass rush was ineffective and wasn’t able to get to Phillip Rivers (QB) and with Sam Hubbard (DE) currently on IR that’s not all that shocking either. Even with Hubbard injured and out Carlos Dunlap (DE) remained in the dog house only playing 44% of snaps this week which is kind of weird, most of us in IDP Twitter expected him to see an automatic bump in playing time to help fill in for the missing Hubbard. Carl Lawson (DE) still played the most snaps for the Bengals pass rush and is still the defensive end to own here this season. Geno Atkins (DT) played his second game returning from injury but only logged 29% of snaps getting sub par playing time for the second game in a row, my guess is he’s still not 100% healthy yet, he’s been locked into solid playing time and defensive tackle two production for years now so it’s either that or he’s “too old”. We’ll see what next week brings, if he doesn’t see some kind of increase in playing time we can start to panic a little. Shawn Williams (S) still not playing enough to start even in the deepest of deep leagues. Nothing else to see here, move along.
Flash in the pan: Grover Stewart (DT) played 62% of snaps which is plenty for defensive tackle but hasn’t done much else of note this season and is designated as “fat guy who plugs run lanes” which isn’t traditionally IDP relevant, pass. Tyquan Lewis (DE) only played 29% of snaps which isn’t nearly enough for any kind of consistent or sustained production at defensive end, clearly an outlier week, pass.
Possible waivers: Both Bobby Okereke (LB) and Anthony Walker (LB) continue to be excellent waiver wire linebacker options while Darius Leonard (LB) is injured and out, when he returns Bobby Okereke (LB) will be the other IDP relevant inside linebacker option here according to everything we saw while all three were healthy and playing. Justin Blackmon (S) played plenty this week, 100% of snaps, and had a pick as well as a couple tackles and a pass defended on the day but in general looks like he’ll be a big play dependent safety with no tackle floor to speak of and that’s always dangerous, I would look for a better option if you need safety help but in the deepest of leagues it’s not the worst idea ever.
Misc notes: The Colts defense spent a massive 35 minutes on the field this week which helps explain why someone as “meh” as Khari Willis (S) had such a massive box score this week. In all fairness Willis has only had two bad games this season he’s just never been my cup of tea, I’m capable of finding better safeties off waivers in my sleep. The massive amount of time this defense spent on the field this week is important to keep in mind though for some of these corners and also helps explain the flash in the pan guys production as well, it was a product of situation not talent or role for the most part. Justin Houston (DE) played 59% of snaps this week and was a little banged up heading into the game with a hip injury, he usually plays a little more than that and was also unable to log any stats of any kind this week which is strange for him as well. He’ll be fine though this is only his second bad game of the season and he started the year with three excellent games in a row so in general he’s doing better than the majority of defensive ends for IDP production, just the nature of the position you don’t get a sack or splash play every week. Bigger weeks to come. Everything else this week looks good.
Falcons @ Vikings
Flash in the pan: Allen Bailey (DE) played 52% of snaps which is fine for defensive end but hasn’t done anything else of note this season and is part of one of the worst pass rushing units in the league. He’s not good. Pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Falcons defense only spent 20 minutes on the field this week, keep that in mind as I list off any disappointing performances from this teams known IDP producers, this was an outlier performance by this offense of the Falcons. They’ve been crap all year but dominate time of possession and spend 40 minutes on the field against the Vikings, who would’ve guessed. Anyways this was a weird week, great for Vikings IDP, not so much for Falcons IDP. Grady Jarret (DT) played a massive 93% of snaps this week and has been an easy defensive tackle one for years now, this was a clear off week and despite that large snap percentage the actual number of snaps played this week was lower than usual due to the unusual nature of this one with the Falcons offense dominating time of possession so completely. He’ll be fine, bigger weeks to come. Dante Fowler (EDGE) had solid playing time again this week but once again was unable to do anything with it, he continues to be a massive disappointment overall since moving from the Rams to the Falcons. I’ve abandoned ship already, you should do the same if you haven’t already done so. EDGE and OLB guys are a dime a dozen and there are many many better options out there than this guy. Foye Oluokun (LB) was the only Falcons defender to play every single snap this week and had yet another massive day in the box score. He fell into the super productive DeVondre Campbell (LB) role on this defense this season after Campbell was scooped in free agency by Arizona. He’s been as good and sometimes better than Deion Jones (LB) this season and has been an excellent value in IDP this season, continue to plug him in weekly with confidence, especially if it’s in sleeper where you can use him as a cheat code in the DB slot while he’s actually playing the far more consistent and productive inside linebacker role. Nothing else to see here, keep it moving!
Flash in the pan: Armon Watts (DT) and Shamar Steven (DT) likely both benefitted from being on the field a massive amount this week since they usually don’t end up making any splashes in the box score. They played 38% and 55% of snaps respectively and neither has done much else of note this season, this was more about situation and less about talent, role or historical production or consistency. Pass on both.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Vikings defense spent 40 minutes on the field this week so there will very likely be a ton of guys who over produced or are a clear flash in the pan situation, don’t fall for it and grab them off waivers expecting this every week, this was a weird situation that likely won’t happen again soon. Yannick Ngakoue (DE) played 66% of snaps which is fine, he’s been on fire the last month or so after a disappointing week one that had some impatient people preparing their life rafts. Four games in a row of excellent production is not something you normally see for defensive end unless your name is Danielle Hunter (DE) or Myles Garrett (DE) so he was due for an off week, overall he’s been a top ten IDP defensive end this season in most leagues so we just take this for what it is, a bad day, and move on to next week. He’ll be fine, bigger things on the horizon. Mike Hughes (CB) exited after only played 16% of snaps this week due to injury, I didn’t see a direct replacement in regards to equal playing time corner-wise so we’ll have to see how bad the injury is and what next week brings as far as who the third corner to stream here might be. Eric Wilson (LB) played 100% of snaps but had a down week even with being on the field for no shit two thirds of the entire game which is somewhat disappointing all things considered. Still I’ve talked about and him and his production style before, he’s boom or bust just like the man he replaced due to injury, Anthony Barr (OLB), was. He’s going to have more big weeks down the line but he’s never going to be an every week guy like Eric Kendricks (LB) is. If you can accept that he’s perfectly playable weekly. Just know what you’re getting yourself into. Harrison Smith (S) played 99% of snaps this week which is normal for him but once again had a disappointing box score, this one really doesn’t make sense at all. He was on the field for basically 40 minutes against a Falcons offense that put up tons of yards both in the air and on the ground yet somehow was only able to put up two solo tackles on the day, not great. So far this season he’s had one game where he met projection, one game where he blew up for a massive week and four games where he’s totally disappointed. That’s not normal, sure one of those four bad games he got tossed for a helmet to helmet hit but in general he has not been himself this season. He is a senior citizen but most of us in IDP Twitter land figured he had at least one more great season in him, he’s been a safety one for a long long time now. It may be time to start at least looking for other options, I’m sure he’ll have at least a couple more massive games this season and probably will meet or get close to his weekly projection a handful of times as well but there were entire seasons where he had four or fewer bad games, this season he’s at four already in just six games played. Not ideal. Everything else is looking good.
Broncos @ Patriots
Flash in the pan: Anthony Chickillo (LB) only played 23% of snaps this week and hasn’t played more or done anything else of note this season for the most part, not enough playing time for any kind of consistency anyways, pass.
Possible waivers: Malik Reed (EDGE) is someone I’ve talked about in here before, he is the direct Von Miller (EDGE) replacement and played 86% of snaps this week while recording five combined tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and three QB hits on the day, he’s one of those “better options” at EDGE than guys like Dante Fowler (EDGE) who I talked about above in the Falcons matchup. Not a bad idea if you need an EDGE guy, he has the playing time and has had a decent season overall with one excellent game, two decent games and two bad games on the year.
Misc notes: Not much of a difference in time of possession this week which is NOT how I saw this one going, I was more than happy to be wrong here it’s always hilarious when the Patriots lose, especially by all field goals, but yeah I thought the Pats would dominate time of possession and run the football a ton while also being able to complete passes with ease against this poorly ranked Broncos passing defense, that’s not what happened. In general the Broncos defense played less than usual, keep that in mind as we talk about any disappointing performances. Josey Jewell (LB) saw a tiny reduction in playing time to 86% of snaps this week and didn’t have as big a day as I was counting on, this one was just weird overall. He remains a decent linebacker three in most leagues going forward though, nothing to panic about, he still turned in a six combined tackle and one QB hit performance for the day for about ten points in most of my leagues scoring format. Not terrible but I was expecting better. Everything else looked solid here this week.
New England Patriots
Produced as expected: Ju’Whuan Bentley (LB) Adrian Phillips (S/LB)
Flash in the pan: Literally everyone else.
Possible waivers: No one I would feel comfortable playing.
Misc notes: The Patriots defense was on the field for 32 minutes this week which is definitely more than usual, keep in mind their defense changes weekly based on their opponent and roles, playing time and responsibilities fluctuate wildly week to week so besides a handful of guys I really wouldn’t consider playing many Patriots IDP weekly. In general I’m only interested in Chase Winovich (DE), Stephon Gilmore (CB) last year, Ju’Whuan Bentley (LB) and Adrian Phillips (S/LB) but only if designated as a safety. This is one of if not the most inconsistent IDP corps in the league from season to season, the names at the top of the box score are never the same week to week just like the playing time and even individual roles. This defense along with Miami’s and Detroit’s are a circus and that makes finding reliable and consistent IDP producers from them difficult at best. Chase Winovich (DE) is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. He’s been a monster all season and easily their best defensive end, he’s had several sacks already this season and been productive just about every week this season. He only played 34% of snaps this week while John Simon (DE) was in for a massive 81% and even incredibly forgettable Deatrich Wise (DE) outsnapped him with 59% played this week. Why? I have no idea, but this is the kind of crap I see every week when I look at this defense and it’s been this way for years, that’s why I steer clear of them if I can, you should too. Also no he was not injured I checked, “no indication of injury” was the quote I believe, just the usual nonsense. Stephon Gilmore (CB) is one of the very very few players on this defense likely to play all of or at least most of the defensive snaps every week, unfortunately he’s been a shell of the 2019 version of himself this season and was disappointing once again this week. Cornerback is the easiest position to stream so it’s minimally disruptive to remove him from our corners we like to stream and find other options, which is what I’m pretty close to doing. If he doesn’t show us something in the next couple weeks I’m all set for the rest of the season. As for the remainder of this defense it was the same story different week, no pattern, rhyme or reason as to who played how much or what their likely production or snap percentage will be next week so we’ll just put a cork in it here and move on to defenses that make more sense and give us reliable and consistent weekly options unlike this one.
Football Team @ Giants
Washington Football Team
Flash in the pan: Cole Holcomb (LB) played 65% of snaps this week which is enough for relevance but was still the third overall linebacker in terms of playing time behind Jon Bostic (LB) with 100% of snaps and Kevin Pierre Louis (LB) with 71% of snaps, he hasn’t played much at all this season or put up any other relevant IDP production this season so I see this as an outlier until I see it at least one more time. Thomas Davis (LB) was a healthy scratch this week and this move plus the switch at safety which I’ll talk about below is being described as a “shakeup” by local Washington media. It looks like Jon Bostic (LB) is the only “safe” linebacker to own here now, fun. Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) landed a sack this week but only played 15% of snaps, someone is going to see that sack and think he’s safe to play this upcoming week but you’ll all know he only played a very small fraction of this game and isn’t likely to be IDP relevant any time soon playing that few snaps each week.
Possible waivers: DeShazor Everett (S) played 96% of snaps this week and recorded six combined tackles and a pass defended on the day, after a bad outing last week Troy Apke (S) was benched and has been replaced by Everett who led all Washington IDP producers in the box score this week. This is obviously a pretty decent move for waiver wire safety if you need help there. What I can’t promise is that this same thing won’t happen to Everett in a few weeks when he stinks as well, you just got to roll the dice and hope you don’t get snake eyes. Safety help if you need it, anything beyond that isn’t promised.
Misc notes: Troy Apke (S) flew too close to the sun and is no more. After being yanked in last weeks game for a few plays Washington decided to make it permanent this week and replace him with DeShazor Everrett (S). I don’t follow the Washington football team or their beat writers so I missed this, apologies to anyone who played him this week and took the zero due to it, I know I did in a couple places. It happens, that’s part of why I got out of the start/sit game, a million little things like this happen during the week and it’s impossible to catch them all, and if you miss something like this in a start/sit and someone takes a zero you end up taking crap for it and I’m getting too old for that shit. Surprisingly the Washington pass rush was only able to sack Daniel Jones (QB) once on the day and of all people it was Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) playing 15% of snaps. Chase Young (DE) was playing 92% of snaps this week so that was excellent to see but still hasn’t looked as good since that injury a few weeks ago, he’s too good to sit though and big weeks are coming without a doubt. Every other IDP relevant member of this pass rush played their normal snaps this week, Kerrigan was the only flash in the pan or fluctuation in playing time of note. Kendall Fuller (CB) has interceptions in three games in a row now and has been red hot since starting his season after beginning the year sidelined with injury, he played 100% of snaps once again and is the best streaming corner option here by a decent amount. The Washington defense only spent 27 minutes on the field which is less than usual, their offense usually loses the time of possession battle pretty handily but the equally crappy Giants were in town this week so it’s not the strangest thing ever. Obviously there were some wild changes to this defense in regards to the linebacker and safety positions so we’ll keep an eye on that going forward, for now I feel comfortable playing Jon Bostic (LB) and Landon Collins (S) out of those two units and that’s pretty much it unless in deeper leagues where I need to take risks as a way of life. We’ll see what the week brings and circle back for next weeks article and have another look.
New York Giants
Flash in the pan: Tae Crowder (LB) could qualify if local New York media is correct in their thinking that David Mayo (LB) eventually splits time or straight up takes the other inside linebacker position on this team as he gets closer and closer to being 100% healthy. For at least this next week it looks like Crowder will be able to parlay his massive game into one more week of decent playing time and another shot at good production but the long term prospects aren’t great, just a heads up. Julian Love (S) played plenty, 86% of snaps, but has been an after thought for a couple weeks now, I’ll buy it if I see it again, and again after that, maybe then, not now. More below.
Possible waivers: Tae Crowder (LB) played 85% of snaps and had a massive stat line this week that included ten combined tackles and a touchdown. At first glance this is a slam dunk waiver wire move, however the Giants defense spent 33 minutes on the field this week in a surprisingly competitive back and forth game so it was a pretty decent situation for him to produce in the first place. Traditionally this other inside linebacker position on this team this season has been hit or miss, Blake Martinez (LB) is the linebacker to own here by a gigantic ass margin. Also David Mayo (LB) will likely be eating into Crowder’s playing time sometime in the near future so this is a short term option only in all likelihood. Still in deeper leagues it’s probably not a bad idea for at least the next game and we can always keep an eye on both Crowder and Mayo’s playing time and jump ship if or when it looks like Mayo is feeling 100% healthy and is starting to eat into Crowder’s playing time. Short version of all this is be careful, I’ve got a feeling this isn’t going to end well for Crowder or anyone who picks him up and tries to rely on him going forward. UPDATE: TAE CROWDER (LB) was placed on IR, David Mayo (LB) waiver wire linebacker move looks like a GO! Add him but don’t play him unless you’re crazy desperate, let’s have a wait and see week then re evaluate.
Misc notes: Julian Love (S) like a zombie crawling out of the graveyard dirt returned from the dead this week to play 86% of snaps and recorded four combined tackles on the day. This season he’s had two really good games, two really bad games and two games where he essentially didn’t play at all. He was banged up for one of those but he was seeing a sharp decline in snaps in recent weeks and there are numerous local New York media articles talking about him being on his way to riding the bench in past weeks. In short both his playing time and production have fluctuated massively all season and the absolute last thing he could be considered this year is “consistent” or “reliable”. Play him at your own peril, I won’t be. Markus Golden (EDGE) after seeing a spike in playing time last week was back down to 33% of snaps played this week and his production suffered as a result, despite numerous injuries to the pass rushers on this team Golden has still not seen a return to form from last season where he had double digit sacks and was an excellent option as an EDGE in even a regular linebacker slot or even as DE in some leagues if I remember correctly. Unless something drastically changes it doesn’t look like he’s going to be IDP relevant this season with the exception of the random flash in the pan week here or there. Jabrill Peppers (S) is finally looking healthy and playing his normal playing time, 99% of snaps this week, and the production was there as well for the second time this season and also the second week in a row. He’s still not back to his early 2019 season form where he was a clear top ten IDP safety until the injury that derailed his season but at least he’s back to playable at this point which is good news for anyone who sank decent draft capital into him in drafts prior to this season, progress not perfection. This defense, much like the Washington defense as well, is in flux and will likely see even more changes as their season continues to spiral down the toilet and they move to “see what we’ve got” mode and turn their attention towards next season. Be prepared for that, the guys we know are locked in will be fine, Martinez, Ryan, Bradberry, but these less relevant guys like Crowder and Love will very likely not be “locked” into their roles this season and could be displaced at any point any week without warning. I only mention it because if and when it does happen I’ll probably miss it because I’m not reading Giants beat writer articles like Stephen King novels so I won’t see it happen until after it happens. The best we can do is adjust as these things occur and adapt to the new circumstances as they change and just keep trying all season, beyond that it’s in the hands of these teams defensive coaching staffs and the fantasy Gods.
Ravens @ Eagles
Flash in the pan: LJ Fort (LB) only played 43% of snaps this week and has been a somewhat frequent flyer in this category over the course of this season, he’s never played enough for anything resembling consistency but every few games has a decent box score and people run out and pick him up in waivers and play him without knowing how little he really plays. I’ll say this, he’s done more with less than a lot of guys have that’s for sure, bottom line is he’s never going to be reliable playing this little every week and he’s had more than a couple stinkers this season so I’ll continue to pass. Pernell McPhee (LB) and Jihad Ward (DE) played 56% and 28% of snaps respectively and haven’t done anything else of note this season, they both got a lucky outlier sack that probably won’t happen again any time soon and both don’t play nearly enough at their respective positions for any reliability. Pass on both.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Patrick Queen (LB) played 88% of snaps this week which was plenty. However the Ravens defense was only on the field for 23 minutes total this entire ballgame. This will help explain the list of names starting here that I’m about to talk about having bad weeks, they just didn’t play enough and the Eagles offense didn’t have many sustained drives leading to easy tackles, when they did score they did it quickly at the end of the game which doesn’t help for IDP, long, sustained drives with a good mix of pass and run help the opposing defense’s IDP corps produce efficiently. The Ravens defense was barely on the field this week and when they were the Eagles were either going three and out or scoring quickly so a variety of factors led to a less than ideal outing for the Ravens IDP corps this week. DeShon Elliot (S) and Chuck Clark (S) both played 100% of snaps as usual and were both able to turn in decent enough box scores considering what I just commented on above with the nature of this game. It was definitely a down week for both IDP relevant safeties but at least they were both able to get us a handful of combined tackles and in Elliot’s case a pass defense as well so it wasn’t a total loss, both will be fine, bigger weeks ahead. Marcus Peters (CB) played 100% of snaps along with Marlon Humphrey (CB) as usual but was quiet this week with only three solo tackles on the day. He’s been and will continue to be an excellent IDP corner especially in ideal matchups so I have no worries he’ll bounce back soon. Cornerback is spotty by nature this was just a bad week, he had a monster performance the week before and overall has been outstanding all season so I’ll continue to start him with confidence. Matt Judon (OLB) played 75% of snaps but was unable to land a sack or splash play so had a down week overall, nature of the position and this is the deal with the Devil you make when you plug these OLB or EDGE guys into your regular linebacker slot, if you can’t accept the bad weeks then blow them out the airlock and find a solid tackle floor linebacker to play instead and score points every week instead of some weeks. Everything else looked good here.
Flash in the pan: Malik Jackson (DT) played 44% of snaps which is at the end of acceptable for a defensive tackle but was the third defensive tackle overall in terms of playing time behind both Fletcher Cox (DT) and Javon Hargrave (DT) who I would both rather have other Jackson any day of the week even with Hargrave putting up the goose egg this week, besides this week Jackson has not had any other solid games this season so we’re clearly looking at an outlier, pass.
Possible waivers: With Duke Riley (LB) injured and out this week it was Alex Singleton (LB) who came in for him and played 89% of snaps while recording nine combined tackles and half a tackle for loss, as long as Riley is out this is an excellent waiver wire linebacker option but you need to keep an eye on Duke Riley’s (LB) status. Javon Hargrave (DT) didn’t do anything in the box score but continues to see his playing time look better and better each week and is coming off a two or three game stretch where he was very productive, he played 58% of snaps this week and is the clear starter besides Fletcher Cox (DT). He still makes an excellent waiver wire defensive tackle if you need help in that department despite the bad day for production, that’s normal for defensive tackle it’s not an every week position like linebacker or safety. This weeks zero does nothing to change my opinion of him or his situation.
Misc notes: Not a whole lot to say here this week in regards to this defense, there were no massive fluctuations in playing time and the guys who had bad weeks were on the defensive line where a bad week is a part of life. The Alex Singleton (LB) move looks decent but I wasn’t completely sold on Duke Riley (LB) being a super relevant IDP producer either, I’m more of the mind that Nathan Gerry (LB) is the only linebacker here who is capable of consistency and besides that you’ll get decent weeks from guys like Riley and Singleton and they’re both options in deeper leagues but it’s far from a slam dunk for either. Just keep that in mind if you pick either up, whichever one ends up playing this week depending on Riley’s injury status, and expect another nine combined tackles out the gate, I wouldn’t count on that. Not much else to report.
Browns @ Steelers
Flash in the pan: Sheldrick Redwine (S) played 98% of snaps and had six combined tackles plus a smattering of other stats this week because both Karl Joseph (S) and Ronnie Harrison (S) were injured and out, that’s probably not going to happen again.
Possible waivers: Sheldrick Redwine (S) if both Karl Joseph (S) and Ronnie Harrison (S) are injured and out again next week, the odds of that happening again though are about equal to me crapping solid after Chipotle so I would just keep this in mind for a last minute thing for Sunday morning lineups that very likely won’t be an option, I’m obligated to mention it though.
Misc notes: BJ Goodson (LB) was once again the real only “safe” linebacker here this week with 88% of snaps played, Malcolm Smith (LB) was alright for deeper leagues with 52% played but both Mack Wilson (LB) and Sione Takitaki (LB) played south of 50% of snaps on the day and both saw their production suffer significantly because of it, I would play neither going forward just like I’ve been saying for weeks now. Denzel Ward (CB) had an acceptable day playing 100% of snaps as usual while recording three combined tackles and a pass defense, roughly seven points in most of my leagues, in a less than ideal matchup. He remains an excellent streaming corner option especially in ideal matchups going forward. Myles Garrett (DE) continues to part opposing quarterbacks butt cheeks like Moses parted the Red Sea. Nothing really crazy here this week except the shenanigans at safety where a third string guy got the start due to the injuries for both Karl Joseph (S) and Ronnie Harrison (S), the less informed will claim Sheldrick Redwine (S) off waivers and plug him in next game where he very likely will play zero snaps or close to it, don’t let that guy be you. The Linebackers situation here hasn’t changed and it was nice to see the two IDP relevant defensive tackles come back to form this week, business as usual besides those things.
Flash in the pan: Cameron Sutton (CB) only played 46% of snaps this week and had an outlier interception, he’s not good and hasn’t done anything else of note this season and doesn’t play enough, pass.
Possible waivers: Robert Spillane (LB) came in for the injured Devin Bush (LB) and played the final 53% of snaps this week while recording six combined tackles and a tackle for loss with far less playing time than he’ll see next game, this makes him an excellent waiver wire linebacker option. This is the way.
Misc notes: Devin Bush (LB) tore his ACL this week and is done for the season, Robert Spillane (LB) is his direct replacement and obviously makes a very fine waiver wire linebacker for the rest of the season. TJ Watt (EDGE) played his normal amount of playing time, 89% of snaps this week, but failed to record a sack or splash play and finished with just three combined tackles and one and a half tackles for loss on the day. While he’s clearly the best of the OLB or EDGE guys and the most consistent he is still an OLB or EDGE and they are not an every week position for scoring solid IDP points, they are splash play dependent and the nature of splash plays make them inconsistent and unreliable for weekly production, even the best of these guys are going to have shit weeks, keep that in mind if you choose to play one of these guys in your regular linebacker slot, this is what happens no matter how good they are. If it’s sleeper or a site where you can play these guys on the defensive line then it’s a totally different story, your opponent is taking the same risk at that point instead of you taking a massive risk while he plays a solid tackle floor linebacker in that same slot instead, or if your league has a designated EDGE or OLB position like ESPN has then obviously it’s fine there as well, your opponent also has to fill that position weekly and once again you’re taking the same risk at that point. But playing these sack dependent guys in your regular linebacker slot, big play league or not, will screw you eventually no matter who the player is, TJ Watt (EDGE) just happens to screw you less often than others but this week is living breathing proof that he can and will screw you. What if this was playoffs? What if this was the title game? I’m all about taking risk but the whole EDGE or OLB in the regular linebacker slot risk is just a stupid one, you could have gotten Micah Kiser (LB) off waivers going into week two or before the season and plugged him in that same slot instead for a massive fraction of the cost of a guy like TJ Watt (EDGE) and he would’ve gotten you thirteen combined tackles this week which is obviously exponentially more IDP points than Watt got you. Shit even guys like Krys Barnes (LB) and Alex Singleton (LB) massively outscored TJ Watt (EDGE) this week and they absolutely would have cost you nothing more than a mouse click and the knowledge that they were decent options this week after seeing some injury reports and depth charts. This whole OLB or EDGE love thing has always been stupid and always will be if it’s for a regular linebacker slot, but that’s just me, in the end it’s your team and your call. I would just hate to see you bomb out of playoffs or a title game because you started TJ Watt (EDGE) and he didn’t land a sack when someone like Tyrell Adams (LB) or Robert Spillane (LB) was available via waivers that same week and you already knew the tackle floor was there for them before the games even kicked off.
The Steelers absolutely destroyed the Browns in this one and dominated time of possession 35 minutes to 25 minutes so when I see guys like Terrell Edmunds (S) and Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) with few tackles and down weeks it makes sense, Fitzpatrick was still able to get a pick six so his day was still solid but it’s obvious with gamescript like this someone was going to get left out in the cold, looks like it was Terrell Edmunds (S) this week. He’ll be fine, overall he’s having a very solid safety two season, continue to start him with confidence. Mike Hilton (CB) was injured in this one, we’ll have to keep an eye on that, he’s been obviously a very good streaming corner or even set and forget corner in big play leagues this season. This defense looks as dominant as ever and while the Browns are in the same division as the Steelers they most certainly are not in the same league as them.
Bears @ Panthers
Flash in the pan: Buster Skrine (CB) and James Vaughters (LB) played 71% and 49% of snaps respectively this week, neither of which are close to ideal for their position. If you’re not streaming a corner who’s in on 100% of snaps or close to it you’re missing out on the chance for extra points every week and for linebacker that’s Mack Wilson (LB) and Germaine Pratt (LB territory and you’ve all seen what their numbers look like these days, pass on both. Mario Edwards (DT) only played 24% of snaps and got a luck sack, clearly outlier production and probably won’t happen again any time soon, pass here as well.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Akiem Hicks (DT) played plenty this week, 87% of snaps, but had a bit of a down week with only two solo tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit on the day, six points in most of the leagues I’m in so not the end of the world but also clearly not what he’s capable of, nature of the position he’ll be fine, bigger weeks to come. Danny Trevethan (LB) once again had solid playing time this week, 85% of snaps, and his resurgence continues, another huge week in the box score. I’m feeling pretty good about him these days, there was a scare earlier this season when his playing time took a dive and took his production along with it. He’s had solid playing time the last three weeks now minimum and the production has returned as well, so things are looking better, keep plugging him in, if things start to look bad I’ll ring the alarm bells. Robert Quinn (EDGE) still isn’t playing enough, just 44% of snaps this week, still isn’t designated ideally, EDGE instead of defensive end, and still isn’t producing anywhere near what he’s capable of this season. He was an excellent producer both on the Cowboys last year and the Rams prior to that. That ship has sailed though, time to move on and has been for a minute now. Eddie Skidmarks Jackson (S) played 100% of snaps as usual but had a down week but I’ve talked about his production style before so this shouldn’t be a shock, he’s always been boom or bust, this week it was bust. Better weeks to come I’m sure. Everything else here looks good.
Flash in the pan: Corn Elder (CB) only played 42% of snaps at corner which is not even remotely close to enough, his day wasn’t that great anyways but he was towards the top of the box score so I figured I would mention it, avoid obvisouly.
Possible waivers: Sam Franklin (S/LB) looks like the Justin Burris (S) replacement, he’s designated as a LB/S in yahoo which could be valuable for bye weeks and injury shenanigans, he only got to play the final 35% of snaps this week after Burris got injured so we’ll have a better read on his production next week. Still this isn’t a bad idea in deeper leagues, his dual designation, which I’m sure he probably has in sleeper too, will help with bye weeks and if he can produce a decent fraction of what Burris was doing weekly he’ll be worth it in those deeper leagues, grab him and sit this upcoming week unless you’re desperate and out of options, then we’ll see how it shakes out and circle back right here next week to look at how he did and how much he played etc.
Misc notes: Justin Burris (S) went down in this one late and landed on IR this week which is highly unfortunate he’s been an excellent waiver wire safety in deeper leagues and a perfect hidden safety cornerback in most leagues where a ton of sites had him incorrectly designated. It looks like the short term three week IR for a rib injury so he will be back most likely and Sam Franklin (S/LB) looks to be only a short term option. Brian Burns (EDGE/DE) played plenty, 86% of snaps this week, but wasn’t able to do much with them only recording three combined tackles and three QB hits on the day, the nature of his position is boom or bust and this week it was bust, he’ll have some big weeks down the road especially playing this much but it’s going to be sporadic just like every other EDGE or defensive end. Donte Jackson (CB was back from injury this week but only played 50% of snaps as they likely ease him back into the lineup, due to the lower than usual playing time his production suffered as well. There are a million corners to stream each week so we can afford to wait until he’s back at his normal snap percentage and production before recommending him again so we’ll just take our time on this one. Not much else of note, no fluctuations in playing time of any significance for the known and relevant IDP producers here and it was nice to see Shaq Thompson (LB) put up a nice game, six combined tackles and half a tackle for loss or about eleven points in most of my leagues, in a less than ideal matchup against a really crappy Bears run game that doesn’t give up a ton of easy run stopping tackles which are the bread and butter for guys like Thompson and help give him and inside linebacker like him a solid floor every week. Carry on.
Lions @ Jaguars
Flash in the pan: Jahlani Tavai (LB) and Jarrad Davis (LB) still are on the outside looking in for linebacker snaps on this defense, just 38% and 17% of snaps played this week respectively, anything either of these guys does at this point is a flash in the pan. They’re IDP irrelevant unless something changes.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week. Reggie Ragland (LB) was the second highest snap percentage for Lions linebackers behind Jamie Collins (LB) with 58% of snaps played this week but only recorded two solo tackles on the day so that’s not a move you want to be making, anyone not named Jamie Collins (LB) on this defense’s linebackers corps is worthless at this point in time.
Misc notes: There was some concern about Jeff Okudah (CB) in regards to his playing time against the Saints a couple weeks ago but he was back up to 97% of snaps this week and led all Lions IDP in production in the box score so crisis averted for now, my thoughts were the gamescript against the Saints wasn’t ideal for corner production, they basically just ran it down the Lions throats that entire game so there wasn’t a ton of passing to begin with unlike this week where the Lions jumped out in front quickly and forced Jacksonville to throw early and often which was an ideal situation for Lions corner production, in a game like this Okudah was supposed to play a ton and produce a good deal and he did so we’re looking good there at the moment. Tracy Walker (S) played 88% of snaps this week and was therefore able to produce effectively with six combined tackles and a pass defended on the day, he’s solid when they play him the problem is we never know when they’re going to try something wacky and sit him to give a guy like Jayron Kearse (S) a bunch of snaps. Matt Patricia thinks he’s a genius and likes to do wild and wacky things with this defense so as great as Walker is there are going to be weeks where he sees massively reduced playing time for whatever reason and his production will likely be crap when that happens, just keep that in mind. Not much else to see here besides a defense that thinks it’s the Patriots but is really just mediocre at best and is trapped in purgatory season after season never making any progress but not getting exponentially worse either.
Flash in the pan: Brandon Watson (CB) only played 38% of snaps and only played due to this cornerback corps being beat to hell with injury recently, he’s not a great option short or long term and doesn’t play nearly enough for an IDP corner, pass.
Possible waivers: Jarrod Wilson (S) continues to look like a nice waiver wire safety option after returning from injury and taking his role back from Andrew Wingard (S) who was placed on IR last week. He played 66% of snaps which isn’t the greatest thing ever but this defense does see the field more often than most and he played more than this his first week back, this could just be a natural fluctuation in snaps but still I would look at that and only want to make this move in deeper leagues due to that.
Misc notes: Myles Jack (LB) injured his ankle and left this one early after playing the first 75% of snaps, here’s where it gets tricky, when that happened a week or two ago Dakota Allen (LB) came in as the direct replacement and was an excellent waiver wire linebacker who played all the same snaps in the same role, this week though when he left the game we saw both Dakota Allen (LB) and Quincy Williams (LB) come in with neither making much of a splash. So I can’t say for sure who the replacement will be if he can’t go this next game, I just checked for any articles or beat writer information on the status of Myles Jack (LB) and there was none, honestly I’m probably going to just avoid this like the plague. This team in particular has a recent history of pulling the rug out from under IDP Twitter when it comes to waiver wire linebackers, the whole Quincy Williams (LB), Najee Goode (LB) game last year was a massive pain in the ass and we could be heading for a repeat of that with this situation. Feel free to add Dakota Allen (LB) or Quincy Williams (LB) or both but I wouldn’t play either this week, let’s wait and see what it looks like and circle back next week. Besides this all only is relevant if Myles Jack (LB) is beat up enough that he can’t play this week, best case scenario he’s fine and is able to play and we can just avoid this whole shit show. Josh Allen (DE) didn’t play this week due to injury, hopefully he comes back soon we need all the young cheek clappers we can get these days. Allen’s direct replacement, Duwuane Smoot (DE) played plenty but didn’t do anything with those snaps and is obviously a short term option only with Allen hopefully being back this next game. K’Lavon Chaison (EDGE) continues to play plenty each week but hasn’t been productive really at all this season and remains just a dynasty futures piece. Tre Herndon (CB) saw his playing time reduced significantly down to just 57% of snaps on the day as the shit show that is the Jags cornerbacks corps continues, trying to keep up with all these shenanigans for my streaming corners article each week is a giant pain in the ass but that’s par for the course this season. Not much else to see here.
Jets @ Dolphins
New York Jets
Flash in the pan: Tarell Basham (LB) and Bryce Huff (DE) played 43% and 25% of snaps respectively this week, neither of which is remotely close to ideal, and both lucked into a sack that probably won’t happen again any time soon, pass on both.
Possible waivers: The Avery Williamson (LB) waiver wire linebacker acquisition window is almost closed, if for some reason he’s still out there pull the trigger now or forever hold your peace. He played 95% of snaps and recorded eleven solo tackles on the day, both him and Neville Hewitt (LB) will see a ton of action every week due to the nature of this team’s offense which is god awful and loses time of possession basically every week without fail. Neither of these guys are a great dynasty option but as a warm body waiver wire linebacker for the remainder of season they’re both terrific options.
Misc notes: Bradley McDougald (S) played 100% of snaps as usual but had a down week overall, I would think he bounces back this week when they get absolutely dominated and annihilated by the Bills in the beat down of the century. They should spend like 40 minutes on defense and if McDougald can’t rack up a decent game then we can start to ring the alarm bells, overall he’s been fine this season as a safety three or so in deeper leagues. He plays plenty and has been fairly productive so unless I see a bunch of crappy weeks in a row I’m not all that worried, just like Hewitt and Williamson he’s going to be on defense an awful lot this season and is a great candidate for warm body production for the rest of the season but is also not a great dynasty option. No other real disappointments this week or significant fluctuations in playing time or production. Say a prayer for the Jets this week they’re going to need all the help they can get when the Bills come to town this week after losing two in a row. Blood bath.
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, Sam Eguavoen (LB) saw an uptick in snaps this week due to the Kyle Van Noy (LB) injury but that’s the only reason, he’s not good or a good option, we saw him get a legit shot at production for a significant portion of last year and he did nothing with it, he wasn’t able to do anything with his 69% of snaps this week besides two combined tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass defense on the day which is not all that significant. I’ve seen some questions if it’s worth making a move to grab Eguavoen so I wanted to address it quickly, in a word: no.
Misc notes: Shaq Lawson (DE/EDGE) played 61% of snaps this week which was nice to see after being questionable all the way up to kickoff this week but wasn’t able to do much and had a down week overall. He remains a decent option if designated as a DE or DL in your league but as an EDGE guy there are better options out there. Kyle Van Noy (LB) was injured and out this week, he’s the other linebacker to own here for IDP purposes besides the always entertaining Jerome Baker (LB). Neither are on any of my thirty plus IDP defenses because I strongly dislike this defense overall, it fluctuates massively week to week in playing time, role and production for basically everyone except a couple guys on the defensive line whose roles are set in stone and the corners. Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) played 75% of snaps this week which is about normal and had an absolutely monster day in the box score, I’ve been talking about him as an excellent bye week or short term injury replacement guy or as a legit waiver wire defensive end in deeper leagues and this is why, five combined tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and four QB hits on the day for the under the radar defensive end. Christian Wilkins (DE) also had a very solid day overall and played plenty with 65% of snaps on the day, the defensive line is the most reliable part of this defense and what I’m interested in most here. Byron Jones (CB) was back to his normal playing time this week, 97% of snaps on the day, he didn’t do much in the box score but this was the Jets offense not the greatest show on turf so that’s not really surprising, he remains a nice option to stream in better matchups. Jerome Baker (LB) was back to 100% of snaps this week but underwhelmed with just six combined tackles, only four of them solo, and no other stats on the day, not what you’re looking for when you’ve dumped a large portion of your FAB budget on him chasing that clear outlier week one performance that I said was a flash in the pan. Everything else looks good.
Packers @ Buccaneers
Green Bay Packers
Flash in the pan: Ty Summers (LB) and Josh Jackson (CB) for different reasons but hear me out. Summers was supposed to be the guy with Kirksey gone but instead it’s Krys Barnes (LB) who I talk about below, Summers only saw 34% of snaps this week and lost the green dot as well, he’s a clear flash in the pan at this point. Jackson played all 100% of snaps so his production this week makes sense but he’s only relevant currently because Kevin King (CB) is injured and out and will be returning shortly, the second he’s back Jackson’s snaps will plummet massively, he’s a short term option at best and you would need to keep tabs on Kevin King’s (CB) health as well even if you wanted to use him which is a ton of work for cornerback where there are a million healthy guys who play every snap every week and have better matchups also, pass here as well. Kenny Clark (DT) returned from injury this week and played 62% of snaps while recording four combined tackles on the day which isn’t amazing but also isn’t terrible at all for IDP defensive tackle. He makes an excellent waiver wire defensive tackle option if someone in your league panicked and dropped him instead of riding out the month long injury or whatever it was.
Possible waivers: Krys Barnes (LB) looks to be the short term injury replacement for Christian Kirksey (LB) instead of TY Summers (LB), Summers initially took over the game where the injury occurred and produced immediately and then wore the green dot and had a decent game the week after, since then things have changed though and this week Barnes was in for 88% of snaps while recording ten combined tackles on the day. Whoever is taking the massively productive role that Blake Martinez (LB) then Christian Kirksey (LB) had in Green Bay is worth their weight in gold, it’s still only a short term option, Kirksey will be back but he is made of glass and will probably be out again this season so this is a great option for waiver wire linebacker now and likely down the road this season as well. This is the way.
Misc notes: Despite getting blown out of the water in this game the Packers, who have the best time of possession ranking in the league by a decent margin and as of last week were averaging more time of possession than the 2019 Ravens did, that’s super impressive by the way, somehow managed to win time of possession this week despite only being able to score ten points and looking inept on offense for the majority of this game. Looking at this final score their defense should have seen the field more than it did. The usual suspects weren’t able to do much this week, neither Smith had a sack, Jaire Alexander (CB) wasn’t able to parlay covering Mike Evans (WR) and the host of other solid weapons on the Bucs into anything great for IDP production either and besides Kenny Clark (DT) and Darnell Savage (S) no one here really excelled this week for IDP production besides the two waiver wire linebackers who were fighting for Christian Kirksey’s (LB) role and playing time. This defense will recover just like this team will recover, chock this one up to a bad week across the board and reload for next week. At least Aaron Rodgers (QB) got two pumps in.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Flash in the pan: Jamel Dean (CB) had a huge game with a pick six but still isn’t playing enough for me to really want to stream him as a corner weekly, only 71% of snaps this week and around that weekly most of this season. Why settle for a guy that plays 71% when there a ton of guys who play every snap, that extra 29% of snaps could be the difference between another combined tackle or two or an extra pass defense, and those IDP points could be the difference between winning a close matchup against your opponent or not. So despite the obvious outlier performance this week that some people will chase this via waivers I’m all set.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: I told everyone not to panic in regards to Devin White (LB) and somewhat with Lavonte David (LB). This team just needed to play against a real offense, that’s a large part of IDP whether we like it or not, if the opposing offense isn’t running a ton of plays both pass and run and controlling the ball on time of possession for at least half the game preferably more then someone, often more than just one, is going to get left out in the cold for IDP production. Especially on a defense like this one where you’ve got, no bullshit, like four or five tier one guys on one defense and everyone wants them all to blow up every week, that’s just not possible unless the offense they’re facing is legit. The Bears weren’t able to provide enough of the easy run stopping tackles to get a decent floor for both Devin White (LB) and LaVonte David (LB), the Packers were. The Bears weren’t able to complete enough passes to the middle of the field or just in general to get Antoine Winfield Jr (S) involved, the Packers were. The Bears passing game wasn’t good enough for both Carlton Davis (CB) and Sean Murphy Bunting (CB) to feast but the Packers was. The Bears didn’t drop back enough for guys like Jason Pierre Paul (DE) and N’Damakong Suh (DT) to both get enough pass rushing opportunities to get them a decent chance at a sack, the Packers did. In shallow leagues this is the stuff you need to think about, maybe you’ve got Devin White (LB) but the Bears are in town and you know their run game is hot dog crap but on waivers you see Alexander Johnson (LB) against the Patriots who do nothing but run the ball it seems like, so that week you make the switch, toss White onto the bench and stream Johnson for one week to avoid a crappy matchup and give yourself a chance at excellent production instead of just riding out the bad matchup and likely bad production from it with Devin White (LB) then kicking yourself for it after you lose against your opponent by a handful of points. That kind of stuff is doable in shallow leagues. In deeper leagues and most dynasty leagues it is what it is, there’s no one on waivers and you dumped a ton of draft capital into getting Devin White (LB) in the first place so you ride the train no matter what station it’s going to. Just something to think about, another possible factor to consider when setting your lineups every week and whatnot. Jordan Whitehead (S) was the only IDP relevant member of this defense to have a bad day this week, considering the names I’ve listed so far I would say it’s an understatement when I say there are a lot of mouths to feed here each week, some of them are bound to go hungry even with an excellent offense like the Packers in town, this week it was Whitehead who wasn’t able to meet his usual standards for production, overall on the season this is his only bad game so far and he’s been a rock solid safety two so we just take it for what it is and plug him back in next week where he’ll hopefully do better. Literally everyone else who was supposed to produce here this week did so, carry on.
Rams @ 49ers
Los Angeles Rams
Flash in the pan: NA, all names that make sense at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers although it’s possible someone in your league dropped Taylor Rapp (S) or Micah Kiser (LB) during the injury shenanigans where they weren’t relevant for a week or two, in Rapp’s case longer than that, it’s worth having a look they’re both solid at their respective positions. Keep in mind that Rapp is still only a short term option, Jordan Fuller (S) will likely be back at some point down the road and has already shown that he owns that other starting safety role and can/will displace Rapp when he’s back healthy. It’s the three game IR not the season ending IR for Mr. Fuller.
Misc notes: Micah Kiser (LB) was back this week after missing a game due to injury, he led all Rams defenders in IDP production and remains one of the best waiver wire linebackers this season. I played against a guy or two that obviously didn’t read my article and had Troy Reeder (LB), 74% of snaps played, all on special teams none on defense lol and just one tackle on the day, in their lineup this week. I clearly stated that if you wanted to make that move you needed to monitor Micah Kiser (LB) and his injury and be prepared to yank Reeder out of your lineup the second you saw Kiser was healthy and active, that is why. Aaron Donald (DT) played his usual amount of snaps, 86% this week, but wasn’t able to clap cheeks at the rate he normally does. He’ll be fine. He is a man. Not much else to see here this week, the guys that were supposed to produce did so, the ones that didn’t were on the defensive line and we all know the nature of their production is spotty and inconsistent as a rule. Let’s keep it moving.
San Francisco 49ers
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Emmanuel Moseley (CB) returned from injury to help this massively injured cornerback corps this week, he played 100% of snaps and recorded seven solo tackles and three passes defended on the day for roughly 23 points in most of my IDP leagues, he was a great corner to stream last season and so far looks like he hasn’t slowed down a bit, he instantly becomes one of it not the only solid option for streaming corner from this defense until the always annoying and occasionally good Richard Sherman (CB) returns from injury sometime in the next few weeks. Dre Greenlaw (LB) obviously remains an excellent waiver wire linebacker while Kwon Alexander (LB) is injured and out as well.
Misc notes: Arik Armstead (DT), Kerry Hyder (DE) and Javon Kinlaw (DT) all had down weeks this week but still played their normal snaps, no significant fluctuations in playing time. This was just a nature of the position thing, all will be fine and all will have bigger weeks to come down the road. Remain calm across the board. Jaquiski Tartt (S) played only 53% of snaps this week due to a groin injury and isn’t practicing to start the week, Marcell Harris (S) is his direct replacement and makes a decent short term injury replacement if Tartt can’t go next game but only in the deepest of deep leagues and only if Tartt doesn’t play, you’ll need to monitor his health and make sure he isn’t active if you want to do this. Not much else of note this week, those who were supposed to produce did so and those that didn’t were on the naturally spotty and inconsistent defensive line or in Tartt’s case got injured.
Chiefs @ Bills
Kansas City Chiefs
Flash in the pan: Damien Wilson (LB) only played 44% of snaps which isn’t remotely enough for any kind of consistency, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Just looking at the snap counts and knowing the Bills had the number two overall passing offense going into this game I’m not shocked seeing an extra safety, Daniel Sorensen (S) playing 100% of snaps plus two corners who usually don’t play every snap doing the same, Bashaud Breeland (CB) and Chavarious Ward (CB). They expected a shootout and came ready. Frank Clark (DE) and Chris Jones (DT) also both played a ton, 89% and 78% of snaps respectively, so I wouldn’t go running out adding Daniel Sorensen (S) off waivers, their typical base defense weekly features Tyran Mathieu (S) and Juan Thornhill (S) as the two safeties that play every snap and the corners have been fluctuating all over the place this entire season I still don’t have a complete grasp on that situation yet in regards to streaming. Just a quick heads up, this wasn’t normal for Sorensen and the production wasn’t either, you can play him at safety if you choose to but he’s normally just the third safety playing 60% or 70% snaps per game and putting up a handful of tackles at best, he’s had three good games and three bad games this season. The Chiefs dominated time of possession in this one by a massive 38 to 22 minute margin and ran the ball effectively from start to finish, part of their defense not logging a ton of production this week was this fact right here. So when I see that the honey badger didn’t do so well I’m not super concerned, he’ll be better against a better offense in upcoming games. Frank Clark (DE) and Chris Jones (DT) both were in good spots to produce since the Bills were forced to pass early and often in this one but neither was able to land a sack or splash play, they’ll be fine though, nature of the position and all that. This whole defense didn’t see much action this week so I’m essentially just taking the loss of production for most of these guys in stride and giving them another go next week, not much else you can do.
Flash in the pan: Justin Zimmer (DT) only played 44% of snaps and likely benefitted greatly from the massive amount of time this defense spent on the field this week plus the easy run stopping tackles that were plentiful this week as well with KC running it down the Bills throats all game long, bottom line is this was a clear outlier performance and he hasn’t done anything else of note this season and isn’t likely to do this again any time soon, especially against the Jets vomit worthy “offense” this upcoming week.
Possible waivers: AJ Klein (LB) saw an uptick in playing time to help make up for the loss of Matt Milano (LB) who was injured and out this week, he has a minor role when Milano does play but nothing IDP relevant. He’s a fine option if Milano is out again next game but it’s short term at best and you need to monitor Milano’s situation as well if you want to make this move.
Misc notes: None of the Bills pass rush with the noteable exception of Mario Addison (EDGE) were able to produce anything significant this week. Ed Oliver (DT) still remains a top twelve IDP defensive tackle who will have some monster games down the line but guys like Trent Murphy (DE) and Jerry Hughes (DE) shouldn’t be played weekly unless in a stupid deep league to begin with or as a bye week guy in medium to deeper leagues. AJ Epenesa (DE) still only saw 30% of snaps this week and remains just a dynasty futures piece. No significant fluctuations in playing time for the defensive line guys. Micah Hyde (S) played 100% of snaps as usual but failed to down anything with them, I used to play him years ago but he’s been far too spotty in recent seasons for my liking, he remains a safety three or so in deeper leagues going forward. Not much else to see here, Tremaine Edmunds (LB) has come back from injury like a phoenix rising from the ashes and has put up three excellent weeks in a row now and is completely back on track just like I said he would be. Let’s wrap it up, I’m sure your poop break at work is now bordering on being obscenely long at this point.
Cardinals @ Cowboys
Flash in the pan: Isaiah Simmons (LB) only played 24% of snaps this week so we can ignore the slightly better than usual production of four combined tackles and a pass defended on the day, he’s obviously still not seeing anything remotely close to ideal playing time and remains a dynasty futures piece still.
Possible waivers: Haasan Redick (LB) has basically taken over the Chandler Jones (EDGE) role and was able to parlay that into five combined tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, one pass defended and two QB hits on the day, his playing time still wasn’t what Chandler Jones (EDGE) usually was, just 61% of snaps played this week but a decent part of that was the fact that this game was over by half time and none of the Cardinals defenders played 100% of snaps this week, they all got rest of some kind in the fourth quarter. Redick will be a boom or bust option that will be sack and big play dependent going forward but when I talk about there being other EDGE guys out there that are better options if you choose to go that route this guy is one of those better options, not bad at all in big play leagues if you can live with the unavoidable bad weeks that can and will come.
Misc notes: The Cowboys, despite having their booty holes turned inside out on national television in front of millions, somehow managed to win time of possession this week in one of those mysteries that truly boggles the mind. The Cardinals defense spent a little less time on the field than average, 26 minutes this week, so their overall production is slightly reduced but in general mostly everyone who was supposed to feast did so. The only IDP relevant members of this defense to have bad days were Devon Kennard (EDGE) and Jordan Phillips (DT) who played 69% and 45% of snaps respectively and are really only guys that even get considered in the deepest of deep leagues, both play positions where every week production doesn’t exist so this is just par for the course. Everyone else was able to eat this week.
Produced as expected: Jaylon Smith (LB) And I’m not even kidding, that’s it.
Flash in the pan: Anthony Brown (CB) was the clear third corner in terms of playing time with only 79% of snaps played on the day, that’s not ideal and the sack was an outlier, besides this week on the season he’s only played two other games in total and he’s done well in both but the lack of consistent or ideal playing time can and will catch up to him. I’m all set with playing those types of games, give me a guy who plays every snap every week and I know he will all season.
Possible waivers: It looks like Donovan Wilson (S) once again supplanted Darian Thompson (S) as the other starting safety here, he played 87% of snaps and recorded nine combined tackles on the day. I would only recommend doing this in the deepest of deep leagues since it’s been a guessing game as to who will be playing and how much between him and Darian Thompson (S) for the last few weeks and the only place you would need to mess around with crap like this is in a stupid deep league where this is a way of life, besides that I’m not touching this with a ten foot pole.
Misc notes: Leighton Vander Esch (LB) was obviously being eased back into the lineup in his first game back from injury, he only played 52% of snaps and this had an obvious impact on his production or lack thereof, just three combined tackles on the day. My guess is he plays more next week and produces better as well, he’ll be back to his full snaps in no time and hopefully his old form with the production as well. Neither Xavier Woods (S) or any of the IDP relevant Cowboys defensive linemen, Everson Griffen (DE), DeMarcus Lawrence (DE) or Aldon Smith (DE) were able to produce anything of any significance this week. There were no fluctuations in playing time they just didn’t do anything. It was a forgettable week for this entire team on both sides of the ball. Being a fan of this team is like someone scooping your eyes out with a spoon every week all season every season since 1995. Better games are ahead for the IDP relevant members of this defense, I hope anyways. We’ll see you guys next week, hope you enjoyed my 15,500 plus words of nonsensical ramblings on the finer points of IDP strategy.
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