Aaron Donald cements his status as the DT1 with a monster week and is off to a scorching start to the season
Week three has come and gone and the injury grim reaper was still hanging around but seemed to have mostly had his fill in week two so we were spared a second Black Sunday in a row. It was a truly strange DFS week but in the IDP world a lot of the usual suspects returned to their consistent and productive ways. Josh Allen (DE) and Maxx Crosby (DE) both got their seasons started with monster days hopefully giving their shareholders a sigh of relief. Tremaine Edmunds (LB) and Matt Milano (LB) both returned to action this week and while Milano had a massive game Edmunds only gave us a decent game, still it was great to see them both back in action. Antoine Winfield Jr (S) continues to impress everyone, IDP community or not, with his terrific playmaking ability and splash plays seemingly every week including this one.
Many of the “left for dead” guys came back with massive weeks, Shaq Thompson (LB) and KJ Wright (LB) had ridiculous box scores, Keanu Neal (S) returned to the safety one production we always used to see. Shaq Barrett (EDGE), Carlos Dunlap (DE) and Avery Williamson (LB) who were all heralded as likely consistent and reliable producers in the preseason found their stride this week as well, obviously we’ll need to see if the snaps match up but the box scores looked great initially. Tracy Walker (S) led the Lions defense in production this week in what is sure to cause a fire storm in IDP Twitter after basically everyone, including me, spent the week shoveling dirt on him. The snaps will tell the tale there but I’m guessing we’re looking at a roller coaster all season long with his production.
Just like every season things are starting to calm down and the normal patterns of production are emerging, the guys we knew had the talent, opportunity, role and playing time are starting to produce like we thought they would. That’s always good to see. I remember the “Year of the OLB” last season and the chaos that caused, thankfully we aren’t looking at anything that crazy so far, just the normal unrealistic expectations from those who are newer to the IDP format overall. Just like offensive fantasy football there never is such a thing as a “sure thing”. The nature of defensive football allows for more consistency in general, the middle linebacker on a defense that is on the field a lot will likely never give you a zero, especially if he plays all the snaps etc, but even in IDP land there are outlier games.
The idea is to minimize the number of massively inconsistent and unreliable producers overall on your teams IDP defense so that we’re guaranteeing production each week and giving yourself a chance to offset some of the shenanigans from your offensive side of things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone like DeMario Davis (LB) hold off an opponents wide receiver one or two on a Monday night game to secure a win for that week. Those are the types of things a solid IDP defense can do for you, it allows you to make up the difference when your offense lets you down which it undoubtedly will this season. So let’s keep plugging and upgrading all season long, we’ll find those “Best” options for each IDP position and by the time playoffs roll around we’re going to have an incredible defense that will help us take home that title. Alright let’s break down week three.
Josh Allen was back in action this week
Dolphins @ Jaguars
Flash in the pan: Kamu Grugier Hill (LB) only played 30% of snaps and hasn’t played much more than that this season, it’s a trap, don’t fall for it. Elandon Roberts (LB) also only played 30% of snaps, same deal there, don’t fall for it, there’s no possible way to have consistency with that small amount of time spent on the field every week. Jamal Perry (CB) only played 62% of snaps and isn’t someone I knew existed until just now, very flash in the pan as well, avoid all these guys. And finally we can add Andrew Van Ginkel (LB), 30% of snaps as well, to this list. What a mess this defense is. Maybe one or two somewhat reliable players and a bunch of poop shined up to look like gold to the uninitiated.
Possible waivers: Bobby McCain (S) and Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) look like the best waiver wire options here despite them literally being the only guys to NOT blow up the box score this week, the problem is all those guys (listed above) will probably never do it again or if they do it damned sure won’t be weekly or even close to it. There are a handful of guys who play a lot on this defense every week then just a gigantic gaggle of crap with about 30% snaps played every week they throw at the wall to see what sticks. McCain played 97% of snaps and Ogbah played 80%. McCain hasn’t done much with his playing time so far this season though so I’d likely only consider this in very deep leagues. Ogbah however had half a sack and half a tackle for loss along with two tackle assists and two QB hits on the day, not bad if you need help at defensive end in deeper leagues. Shaq Lawson (DE) and Christian Wilkins (DT) remain nice options if designated at those positions, Lawson loses value as an OLB and Wilkins as well as a DE. I’ve mentioned them before but just wanted to put that back on everyone’s radar.
Misc notes: Jerome Baker (LB) saw his playing time decrease for the third game in a row, down to 89% played this week. Meanwhile the Dolphins rolled out a shit storm of warm body inside and outside linebackers and just rotated them all game long it looks like. Many are going to fall into this trap, they’ll get added as waiver wire linebackers and people are going to end up with a rotational linebacker playing 30% of snaps each week and expecting consistency, not gonna happen. Brandon Jones (S) played 59% of snaps and had five combined tackles but once again this defense looks completely different for the third week in a row so I’m about as far away from recommending him as a waiver wire safety as possible currently. Eric Rowe (S) did about what we expected from him this week but his playing time is still far from ideal, 73% played this week, in general I wouldn’t be looking here for safety help if at all possible. Byron Jones (CB) was injured and out this week. Xavien Howard (CB) saved his day with an interception. This defense along with New England’s and Detroit’s are a mess of inconsistency, fluctuating snaps and varying degrees of reliability with no patterns to production or playing time save for a handful of guys. Stay the hell away from it if you can.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score
Possible waivers: Josh Jones (S) played 100% of snaps yet again this week and clearly separated himself as the waiver wire safety to own here blowing past Andrew Wingard (S) in both playing time and production, get him while you can.
Misc notes: Myles Jack (LB) once again led the entire defense in IDP production and played every snap. I may have to eat my words here, I’ve never trusted this guy and currently have zero shares and have no plans to get any either. He’s doing it though, it would appear that without having to wear the green dot he’s free to just “make plays” and is doing so. He’s actually pretty damned close to LB1 at the moment as crazy as that is. We’ll see what happens, obviously for now keep playing him. Josh Allen (DE) played 74% of snaps this week and got back to his productive ways, a lot of people were abandoning ship on him after only two weeks, I for one was not and asked for calm the last two articles, if you held firm you were rewarded with two solo tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and 3 QB hits on the day. If you didn’t practice patience and understand the nature of defensive end production then someone else in your league got those points instead of you. Defensive end is naturally spotty and inconsistent for production, it’s not an “every week” position and never will be unless we’re talking about 2001 Michael Strahan (DE) or some crazy outlier like that. You take the bad with the good, this week it was good. He’ll be fine. Andrew Wingard (S) saw his playing time drop to just 52% of snaps this week and it obviously affected his production, just three solo tackles on the day, it certainly appears Josh Jones (S) will be the only IDP relevant safety here at least for now, I’d find another option if you’re stuck with Wingard currently. Don’t drop him though if you have the space, let’s see one more week of this before blowing him out the airlock, just make sure you don’t start him while we’re waiting to see. K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE) played only 39% of snaps this week but still put up a couple solo tackles and a QB hit, not great but he’s basically just a dynasty futures piece at this point anyways unless in a stupid deep league. This defense looks pretty straightforward unlike Miami’s.
This is the safety one we all remember, welcome back Keanu Neal
Bears @ Falcons
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Possible waivers: Tashaun Gipson (S) is still playing 100% of snaps and has been pretty productive this season, not a bad idea at all if you need safety help. Akiem Hicks (DT/DE) is likely gone in any league that’s even semi-deep or has a significant amount of IDP veterans in it, however his production so far this season reminds me of what he did a couple seasons ago with that career year, he’s been that good so far, not a bad option even in shallow leagues now for help at defensive line.
Misc notes: Danny Trevethan (LB) saw his playing time increase to 79% of snaps this week and his production along with it, there was panic in IDP land last week after his snaps fell to around 50% and his output along with it. After talk of three safety sets and Deon Bush (S) being a significant part of this defense going forward instead we got basically what we got in week one, Trevethan as the second IDP relevant inside linebacker and Bush being essentially irrelevant. This situation is obviously in flux, the smart move is to avoid playing both these guys and see how it plays out before committing to a decision. My heart says Trevethan is the more valuable of the two but my brain says the modern NFL loves it’s three safety sets. Either way we’ll find out soon enough. Robert Quinn (EDGE) played 47% of snaps this week, still not where we want him at but getting there. He didn’t produce any stats this week but remains valuable, especially if designated a defensive end still in your league. My guess is we’ll see something out of him before this season is done, sit for now though. Khalil Mack (EDGE) is most definitely back to splitting cheeks like firewood, great to see. Business as usual for this defense besides the Trevethan/Bush shenanigans.
Flash in the pan: Charles Harris (LB) only played 39% of snaps and isn’t someone I knew existed until just now, not enough playing time and not a known producer, pass. Show me something, Chuck, and maybe I’ll change my tune.
Possible waivers: Mykal Walker (LB) had a really nice day and played 88% of snaps but will likely be IDP irrelevant once more as soon as Foye Oluokun (LB) returns from his injury so this is a short term option only and one you would need to monitor up to kickoff. You can’t just plug this guy in and forget about it, you need to track Foye Oluokun (LB) as well and see if he’s playing first, if you’re willing to do all that this is a perfectly acceptable option.
Misc notes: Keanu Neal (S) put up the kind of safety one numbers this week that we remember from way back when he was healthy for an entire season, it was great to see that again this week but once again his playing time remained at 83% of snaps for the week. It sure would be nice to see him play that extra 17% but if that’s the difference between him shattering into a million pieces again and us getting a full season out of him I’ll shut the hell up and take it. So far so good. Damontae Kazee (S) once again played nearly every single snap, 99%, and failed to do anything with them, just three combined tackles on the day. This is what I watched happen basically every week all last season, this guy always gets a ton of playing time and never does anything with it, he should be a nice waiver wire safety but I just can’t recommend it until he’s more productive with that playing time. Dante Fowler (EDGE) only played 34% of snaps this week and had just one QB hit on the day, not ideal at all for the free agent that was supposed to add some much needed pass rush and explosive play capability to this god awful defense. He’s not hurt from what I saw, he’s just losing snaps and as a result will begin to lose production. This isn’t quite an abandon ship yet but I would check the lifeboats for their last inspection date. We’ll keep an eye on it, just thought you should know. Nothing else of note here this week, get well soon Foye.
Like two old friends returning from a long trip Milano and Edmunds were back this week
Rams @ Bills
Los Angeles Rams
Flash in the pan: Morgan Fox (DE) only played 37% of snaps at defensive end, not nearly enough for any kind of consistency, if I’m taking a defensive line option here besides the obvious one it would be Micheal Brockers (DE) who played 65% of snaps and has been a known and fairly consistent IDP producer for years and plays twice as much as fox essentially, pass.
Possible waivers: Taylor Rapp (S) came in for the injured Jordan Fuller (S) and played 89% of snaps doing Taylor Rapp (S) things with those snaps, seven combined tackles on the day. We all thought we’d see him as the other safety but not like this, so who the hell knows what happens when Fuller is healthy again. This might be a short term option at best despite the massive hype Rapp will see from IDP Twitter this week, proceed with caution. The smart move might be to try and get them both, people may very well drop Fuller now that Rapp is in, who’s to say he doesn’t go right back to being the other starter the second he’s good to go. This is going to be a shit show that will screw people over in some way, shape or form, the only way to succeed here is to pay attention to inactives or watch what the beat writers say all week in regards to this situation. Personally I have zero shares of Rapp and my couple shares of Fuller will warm the bench until he’s healthy and we see what this thing actually looks like when everything is back to normal.
Misc notes: Micah Kiser (LB) still played 100% of snaps this week and we know the role he plays, formerly occupied by Cory Littleton (LB), is an extremely consistent and productive one. He certainly had a down week with only four combined tackles and a QB hit but not a total bust by any means. The Bills ran less than they usually do and the Rams owned time of possession 33 minutes to 27 minutes as well. Our own editor, Mike Woellert, a well known IDP Twitter Mount Rushmore member broke down this situation as well in response to one of the readers of this article, on top of the factors I mentioned above Mike also added: Rams line was stout (tackled many of the run plays at the point of attack), short passes away from Kiser (fewer easy tackles after passes in his area) and Josh Allen (QB) averaged 9.4 YPA on his throws (Allen’s average throws were deeper than where Kiser typically plays or lines up). The short version is it was just bad luck, the flow of the game didn’t break his way. He’ll be fine, besides in most leagues he was completely free and he’s still essentially a middle linebacker playing 100% of snaps which is always ideal for IDP production. Aaron Donald (DT) was parting Josh Allen’s (QB) butt cheeks like Moses parted the Red Sea, so business as usual for him. Besides the Rapp/Fuller circus everything else here was business as usual.
Flash in the pan: Taron Johnson (CB) only played 87% of snaps and isn’t named Tre’Davious White (CB) or Levi Wallace (CB) so I’m not into it, White and Wallace are the two most consistent and productive corners here and have been playing 100% of snaps or the majority of snaps every game this season, Johnson was likely only involved this much due to the nature of this game, a shootout that came down to the wire and featured a ton of passing. AJ Epenesa (DE) got the first sack of his career but still only played 35% of snaps and was the fourth defensive end in terms of playing time, still just a futures piece in dynasty for now, his time will come.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Tremaine Edmunds (LB) and Matt Milano (LB) both returned from injury this week and played 99% and 100% of snaps respectively, Milano had a massive game with a ridiculous stat line while Edmunds only recorded five combined tackles on the day. Many may be on the verge of panic with Edmunds, three weeks of no return on a significant investment in most IDP leagues, the temptation is there to go waiver wire surfing for something better. Let me save you some time, there is nothing better. Tremaine Edmunds (LB) when he is 100% healthy and locked in is guaranteed linebacker one numbers every week, I just don’t think we’re there yet, if he still looks like crap this week I’ll start to worry. For basically the last decade plus as long as the human being you put in that Bills middle linebacker slot has a pulse they end up with close to linebacker one numbers on the season, this includes such generational talents as Preston Brown (LB). It is one of the most productive IDP roles on the face of this planet and Edmunds is without a doubt talented as well, give the man a chance, it’s going to work out. Nothing else really stands out this week except Levi Wallace (CB). I keep my eye on cornerback production more than the average Joe, I need to for my streaming corners article. And last season I watched Wallace come screaming out of the gates only to Peter out by the end of the season in both playing time and production, the start of this season is feeling very much like Deja Vu. I don’t think it is though, my gut is telling me he’s here to stay now. Especially with White on the other side essentially being their version of a shut down corner we know the targets will always be there, he’s more and more becoming an excellent streaming option, let’s just hope it lasts.
Myles Garrett put a hurting on Haskins all day long
Football Team @ Browns
Washington Football Team
Flash in the pan: Shaun Dion Hamilton (LB) only played 24% of snaps, some of us thought he would be a “thing” last season, didn’t happen, likely won’t this year either unless the injury grim reaper goes to town on this defense.
Possible waivers: Troy Apke (S) is still playing 100% of snaps and is having a better season than Landon Collins (S) so far, this is not a drill. Pull the trigger if you need safety help, the fact that this offense is steaming hot garbage also helps, this team spent 34 minutes on defense this week and it was the Browns in town not the 2019 Ravens.
Misc notes: Landon Collins (S) played 98% of snaps this week but only recorded four combined tackles on the day, not ideal. He’s miles away from the Giants days it feels like. Hopefully he can rebound and get back on track, there really is no choice but to play him because he has to blow up at some point, right? We’ll keep an eye on it, it’s just a pain in the ass for now we’re not even close to abandon ship here. Thomas Davis (LB) returned to action this week, he only played 33% of snaps but this is significant, there’s a real chance he could derail the recent Kevin Pierre Louis (LB), 78% of snaps played this week with four combined tackles, waiver moves some of us recently made here. While Davis only put up two solo tackles the snap counts and box score tell a story, he came back and Pierre Louis lost playing time, is that a direct correlation? I have no idea I don’t follow Washington or work for them, but it’s awfully damned suspicious if you ask me. I would sit Pierre Louis this upcoming week if you can while we see how this plays out and even add Davis in stupid deep leagues as a speculative add for a couple weeks down the line if this trend continues. Chase Young (DE) got hurt early in this one but it’s being described as a “minor groin injury” and “day to day” so he should be back to penetrating opposing quarterbacks butt cheeks like an SR 71 over Soviet airspace circa 1983 soon enough.
Flash in the pan: Sione Takitaki (LB) led all Browns IDP producers this week but did so only playing 63% of snaps, Malcolm Smith (LB) once again significantly ate into his playing time and we even saw Mack Wilson (LB) play a few snaps this week, 9% to be exact, so the short version is this is going to be a shit show. I’ll get into it more below.
Possible waivers: Mack Wilson (LB) is likely a good speculative add in much deeper leagues, he’s almost completely healthy and was able to dip his toes into the water this week with 9% of snaps played. He was regarded as one of the only locked in starters for this linebackers corps prior to the start of the season and after seeing this defense having issues at linebacker (Takitaki getting yanked Thursday night a couple weeks ago) there’s a good chance he regains his starting role once he’s feeling 100% and has worked himself back into the lineup, it likely won’t happen next week but if you have the space and need help at linebacker or even just some depth this isn’t the worst idea ever.
Misc notes: Malcolm Smith (LB) and Sione Takitaki (LB) played 40% and 63% of snaps respectively this week and continue to hurt each others chances at a real IDP relevant role or consistent production, neither is a good start right now and this situation is going to be an even bigger mess when Mack Wilson (LB) returns to full health. BJ Goodson (LB) played 92% of snaps this week but only recorded three solo tackles and a pass defense on the day, he’s not all that great either and isn’t immune to the incoming shenanigans here. This linebackers corps could look completely different in a couple weeks, if you can avoid this situation entirely that’s the smart move here. Some of us are in leagues that are ridiculously deep and don’t have a choice though, in that case I would keep playing Goodson and hold off on the other three until there’s more clarity. Regardless this thing will get figured out soon enough, hang in there. Denzel Ward (CB) was iffy to even play this week as a late add to the injury report and checked out after only 45% snaps played this week, I haven’t seen much on his status other than it’s a groin injury and doesn’t look serious so hopefully he’ll be back this week. Myles Garrett (DE) continues to massacre opposing quarterbacks like the Borg did to Starfleet at Wolf 359.
Eric Kendricks has quietly been in contention for LB1 this season
Titans @ Vikings
Flash in the pan: Kristian Fulton (CB) only played 38% of snaps and will likely play even less than that when Adoree Jackson (CB) returns from the short term IR, not remotely enough playing time for any consistency, especially at a naturally inconsistent position like corner, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Kevin Byard (S) and JaDaveon Clowney (EDGE) both had subpar games this week, Byard managed an acceptable four combined tackles and a pass defended while playing 100% of snaps which is actually pretty good for an “off” game for him, usually he either goes completely crazy or gets you nothing, this is fine, there are monster days ahead for Mr. Byard like every season. Clowney however, this guy wanted how much money? 85% of snaps played and two combined tackles, one tackle for loss, a pass defended and two QB hits, depending on scoring that might have been acceptable but what everyone drafted this guy to do was get sacks or splash plays, something he has yet to deliver on this season. I’m sure he’ll do it at some point I just have less confidence in him to get it done than in someone like Josh Allen (DE) or Maxx Crosby (DE). Nothing else really of note here this week, Jeffrey Simmons (DT) is really starting to make a name for himself as an IDP relevant defensive tackle, this guys going to be among the Chris Jones (DT) and Grady Jarrett (DT) over the world if he keeps this up all season.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Possible waivers: Eric Wilson (LB) played 100% of snaps this week in relief of the injured and out for the season Anthony Barr (OLB), he only recorded four solo tackles but had a massive week prior to this, he could very likely end up being boom or bust just like Barr was but still this isn’t a terrible idea if you need linebacker help in a deeper league, we’ll keep an eye on it but at the moment it looks like he’s locked into an every down role which is always good for a waiver wire guy.
Misc notes: Todd Davis (LB) only played 1% of snaps this week, he only joined the team a few days prior to kickoff so that’s not a massive surprise but it is something we’ll keep an eye on, he’s always been very productive over his career if he starts getting a decent snap share he may be worth picking up again. Ifeadi Odenigbo (DE) played 71% of snaps and recorded three solo tackles and four QB hits on the day, depending on scoring that could’ve been acceptable. The bigger news is we’re three weeks in now and still no solid word on the status of Danielle Hunter (DE). The only thing I’ve seen is “Danielle Hunter not reporting back to Vikings in near future” which obviously isn’t ideal at all. If he is out longer than we all expected that locks Odenigbo into that role for the duration of his absence. While he isn’t a great option in shallow to medium leagues there is a role for him in deeper and all IDP leagues, he has the playing time and he’s shown he’s capable of production last season, if you’re rolling him out as your defensive end three or four in a deep league that’s probably just about right, he is going to blow up one of these weeks from everything we’ve seen in the past plus just how often this defense is on the field and his current role.
No need to panic in regards to Mr. Crosby
Raiders @ Patriots
Las Vegas Raiders
Flash in the pan: Carl Nassib (DE) only played 39% of snaps this week and is the fourth defensive end on this team in terms of playing time this week, he’s had flashes of production the last couple seasons but nothing significant or remotely consistent, pass. Maurice Hurst (DT) only played 43% of snaps this week, third most for Raiders defensive tackles, and hasn’t been playing or producing nearly what we all thought he would coming out of college, he’s still just a dynasty hold for now, pass.
Possible waivers: Nicholas Morrow (LB) continues to be the best linebacker on this team until Nick Kwiatkowski (LB) returns from injury, when that happens Morrow will become the second best linebacker on this team. Morrow and Kwiatkowski are standing here, on Earth. Billions of light years in the distance, on some faraway planet that we don’t even know exists yet because it’s light hasn’t reached us, stands Cory Littleton (LB). That is the distance between Morrow, Kwiatkowski and Littleton as IDP producing linebackers on this team. What an absolute waste of draft capital, Jesus Christ I wish someone would’ve told me that you could plug Micah Frigging Kiser (LB) into Littleton’s role on the Rams and you would get the same exact shit. What an epic disappointment so far, Cory, WAKE UP. In all seriousness though Morrow remains a great waiver wire linebacker option until Kwiatkowski is healthy again, when that happens we’ll have another look and re evaluate.
Misc notes: The Raiders corners and defensive ends saw fewer snaps than usual this week while the Raiders IDP corps in general saw inflated production as a whole this week due to a couple things. One would be that they played defense for 35 minutes this week, the Patriots absolutely dominated time of possession in this one and controlled the game from start to finish, many Raiders IDP who are not usually IDP relevant produced this week, don’t let that fool you it’s still just the same names we always talk about here. The other thing ties into the first, 250. That would be 250 rushing yards on the day on 38 rushing attempts, also known as a shitload. Even Cory Littleton (LB) was able to rack up six combined tackles and a tackle for loss and we all know how terrible he’s been this season. With this kind of game flow the Raiders needed far less pass rush and pass defense compared to a normal week, so when I see guys like Jonathan Abram (S), Erik Harris (S), Maxx Crosby (DE) and all three IDP relevant corners with a lower snap percentage than usual I’m not panicking and neither should you, the NFL for the most part is a passing league these days. Belichick doesn’t follow trends, he sets them. Something about this Raiders defense told him he could run it down their throats so he did, things will be back to normal when they play a different offense next week, and besides the lower snap percentage was essentially offset by the ridiculous time spent on defense overall this week and all those guys I mentioned above produced as expected this week. I just thought it was interesting seeing the direct impact of the stuff Belichick comes up with in regards to overall IDP production.
New England Patriots
Flash in the pan: Shilique Calhoun (LB) only played 46% of snaps and is on an already spotty and inconsistent defense, not enough playing time especially with that in mind, pass.
Possible waivers: Nothing different than last weeks recommendations, Bentley, Gilmore, Winovich and that’s it.
Misc notes: Adrian Phillips (S) saw his playing time reduced to just 59% of snaps this week, it’s only a matter of time before that catches up with him, tread carefully. This defense by nature is always fluctuating with roles, playing time and production depending on whatever offense is in town that week and what they want to do to screw with it. Besides Gilmore in ideal matchups and Winovich in deeper leagues I own literally no shares of any of these guys, it’s just not worth the headache trying to keep up and guess who’s going to be relevant and when, it’s different every week just like in Miami and Detroit. I don’t recommend screwing around with this defense, if you choose to be my guest but I’m not going to spend much time breaking down literal chaos every week.
Logan Ryan is officially back in action
49ers @ Giants
San Francisco 49ers
Flash in the pan: Dion Jordan (DE) only played 42% of snaps and was the 6th defensive lineman in terms of playing time overall, he’s not playing enough for any kind of consistency but we’ll keep an eye on it if anything changes, pass for now.
Possible waivers: Kerry Hyder (DE) played the most of any 49ers pass rusher this week, 69% of snaps, nice, and had a couple tackles, sack, tackle for loss and several QB hits, he’s made a very nice waiver wire defensive end so far and looks to keep that going, if he’s still out there and you need DE help this is the way.
Misc notes: Kwon Alexander (LB) and Arik Armstead (DT) played 87% and 63% of snaps respectively this week and both had bad weeks. Armstead will be fine, this is the nature of his position and if he’s designated as a defensive tackle in your league he’s still very valuable going forward, even as a defensive end he’s got value in most leagues, no need to panic there. Kwon Alexander (LB) however is right back to what we’ve all been worrying about the last couple seasons. He played plenty and was not able to produce with those snaps, again. For someone drafted as a LB1 or start of LB2 linebacker in most leagues he’s been extremely disappointing the last couple seasons and when you factor in how often he gets injured it makes holding any shares of him very risky. In general the 49ers IDP corps had a down week overall for production due to their offense owning time of possession 40 minutes to 20 minutes this week. Also this game was over by the fourth quarter and the starters were able to come out early, even Fred Warner (LB) only played 87% of snaps this week. This defense will be more productive against a better offense than what the Giants have to offer, remain calm.
New York Giants
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: Devante Downs (LB) saw significant playing time this week but not a ton of production, 71% of snaps and four combined tackles, this isn’t a move I would make personally but this could be a sign of things to come in a week or two, might be worth a speculative add in much deeper leagues but for the most part not a great idea, I do have some guys in 32 team leagues that read this though and are always looking for changes in playing time that could lead to a new producer down the line, this is that.
Misc notes: The Giants defense spent 40 minutes on the field this week, which obviously is an enormous amount of time overall, so when we look at their production as a unit it’s definitely bloated this week. I wouldn’t expect these kinds of numbers from nearly every IDP relevant producer going forward, especially in closer games, just something to know. Logan Ryan (CB) continues to look better and better every week, he was all the way up to 100% of snaps this week finally the production is looking solid as well, seven combined tackles, two passes defended and a QB hit on the day. Jabrill Peppers (S) got injured early in this one hence the insignificant playing time this week, hopefully he’ll be fine and is able to come back as soon as possible. Lorenzo Carter (LB) played 64% of snaps this week, down a pretty good chunk from the last two weeks if I recall correctly. His production suffered due to this, just two solo tackles, a tackle for loss, pass defended and one QB hit as well, that could be acceptable in leagues that score literally everything but for the majority of us that’s a stinker of a day. He wasn’t much more than a linebacker three or four in deeper leagues anyways but without that consistent majority playing time he was getting the last couple weeks prior his value will dip even further, we’ll keep an eye on it just wanted to mention it. Dexter Lawrence (DE) is still playing a good chunk every week, 71% of snaps this week, but had a bit of a down week with only four tackle assists and half a tackle for loss on the day. He remains an excellent dynasty piece and has been off to a great start this season, even in a down week he didn’t completely screw you so there’s a silver lining as well. Not much out of the ordinary here with this defense except the Lorenzo Carter (LB) stuff which really isn’t the end of the world even if he does end up being irrelevant.
Better put back the shovels, this guy isn’t ready to pack it in just yet
Bengals @ Eagles
Flash in the pan: Logan Wilson (LB) made some splashes in this game and as predicted last week right here is already seeing snaps and a shot with this team swirling the toilet already, still he’s only at 32% of snaps so he’s not there yet, you can add him in deeper leagues since it’s trending the right way but don’t start him yet if possible.
Possible waivers: Both Logan Wilson (LB) and Akeem Davis Gather (LB) saw linebacker snaps this week, 32% and 27% of snaps respectively, while that’s nowhere remotely close at the moment to add and play them this is good news for dynasty shareholders who were betting on both of these guys getting a shot sometime this season knowing full well how god awful this teams linebackers corps is at the moment. It would appear they are both on the road to exactly that. This is excellent for dynasty and if you have the room on your bench in much deeper leagues adding either or one or the other as a speculative add for a few weeks from now might not be a bad idea either. Whoever ends up being the full time, or close to it, linebackers on this team is going to thrive with production by default without a doubt.
Misc notes: Carl Lawson (DE) maintained his playing time, 52% of snaps this week which is around the same as the last two weeks, while Carlos Dunlap (DE) saw his playing time increase to 82% of snaps this week and his production was excellent as well. This is good news on both situations, which we have been monitoring for a couple weeks now, Lawson has been able to maintain his playing time and production while Dunlap is back to what he was usually playing and was able to parlay that solid playing time into a massive week. Geno Atkins (DT) is still injured and out, if he’s been dropped in your league he’ll make a great defensive tackle two when he returns to the lineup, he’s been a known, productive and as reliable as defensive tackles come player for a long time. According to what I read today he is feeling a lot better and should be ready to roll in the next couple weeks. The three IDP relevant corners all played within 6% of snaps of each other this week and all have had a big week or weeks this season so we’re still working out the best option for streaming from this team. Everything looks good here, Shawn Williams (S) only played special teams this week so no threat to Vonn Bell (S) or Jessie Bates (S) as of yet and I don’t think there will be either.
Flash in the pan: Avonte Maddox (CB) only played 54% of snaps this week, it most definitely did not effect his production but that’s not ideal playing time for a streaming corner at all, no one can maintain anything resembling consistency playing that small amount of snaps especially at an already naturally spotty and inconsistent position like cornerback, I’m passing, up to you if you want to keep playing him but just wanted you all to know what’s going on with him.
Possible waivers: Javon Hargrave (DT) saw his playing time increase again this week, only up to 44% of snaps overall but better than last week, he still hasn’t been able to do anything with those snaps yet but that’s very likely coming, they brought him in a free agent for a reason and IDP people were salivating over the idea of a Barnett, Graham, Cox and Hargrave starting defensive line all offseason, we’re getting close to that being a reality. Keep sitting him for now but hopefully within a couple weeks he’ll be feeling 100% healthy and we’ll get to see what he’s capable of on that defensive line playing his full snap share.
Misc notes: Rodney McLeod (S) played 100% of snaps but had somewhat of a down week with only four combined tackles, he remains a decent safety three or so in deeper leagues though. Josh Sweat (DE) has continued to see playing time even with Barnett and Graham back fully healthy and in the lineup which is great for dynasty owners hoping for him to get a shot, however Derek Barnett (DE) has been the one hurt by this most, his playing time is down to 53% of snaps with Sweat continuing to see roughly the same amount of snaps he saw the last couple weeks. Not ideal for Barnett but he still managed to produce this week, just something we’ll have to keep an eye on going forward. TJ Edwards (LB) played 71% of snaps this week and recorded four combined tackles on the day, Nathan Gerry (LB) is still the linebacker to own here for weekly IDP production but it would appear Edwards is gaining momentum as a possible second IDP relevant linebacker going forward, we’ll keep an eye on it, for now he’s probably not worth an add unless in the deepest of leagues.
Zach Cunningham puts up another LB1 day
Texans @ Steelers
Flash in the pan: Carlos Watkins (DE) only played 42% of snaps this week and hasn’t caught my eye at all this season, pass for those reasons at the minimum. Charles Omenihu (DE) played 50% of snaps and I’ve seen him rolled out in some deeper or dynasty leagues but in general he’s not playing enough to be an option in most leagues.
Possible waivers: Apparently Earl Thomas (S) visited the Texans to possibly sign there, I haven’t heard anything since but if we’re being honest he hasn’t been himself in years so even if he does sign here I’m not really into it unless in a massively deep league. Justin Reid (S) played 100% of snaps and still makes a solid waiver wire safety if available in your leagues, the majority of producers here are known and were either drafted or have already been picked up off waivers. UPDATE Earl Thomas (S) did not sign with the Texans.
Misc notes: JJ Watt (DE) played 90% of snaps this week which is a shitload. He’s obviously one of the most talented defensive ends in the league and when you factor in the ridiculous playing time I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him as a top five defensive end at the end of the season assuming he doesn’t shatter into a million pieces as usual, so yes he had a down week with only four combined tackles but as long as he’s healthy he should be fine, plenty of big weeks to come. Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) played 74% of snaps this week and didn’t quite get us what we needed but it’s definitely acceptable for a boom or bust guy, four combined tackles and one tackle for loss, as far as EDGE busts go this one wasn’t too bad at all they’re usually exponentially worse. He remains a splash play dependent boom or bust guy who’s going to be massively inconsistent all season, keep that in mind if you’re plugging him into a regular linebacker slot. Everything else here looks solid, Bradley Roby (CB) had a bit of a down day but played the most of any Texans corners and will have big weeks to come against any pass first offenses that come to town. Zach Cunningham (LB) once again does not, in fact, suck.
Flash in the pan:
Possible waivers: Vince Williams (LB) once again had a great day and played 70% of snaps this week, I still don’t trust him and never will and would never personally make this move but it’s been three weeks so it would appear he’s going to be a “thing”. Add him I guess if you need linebacker help, I still don’t think it’s going to end well but this is happening so I may as well accept reality.
Misc notes: Mike Hilton (CB) had yet another monster day but has been playing the third most of Steelers corners most weeks and has been mostly reliant on sacks and splash plays for his production, that’s likely not sustainable for the season. If you’re playing him weekly I don’t have an issue with it, when he blows up it’s truly ridiculous and corner is going to give you down weeks anyways so it’s worth riding the roller coaster with him for these monster weeks, I just want it on the record somewhere that a drought is likely coming, he’s not playing enough and his floor is not based on tackles so there are some bad weeks on the horizon. Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) once again had a nice game with tackles only! It’s time to tell the overlords to reset the simulation, it’s clearly glitching. For the majority of his career he either puts up some wild ass splash play or gives you nothing, no inbetween. Two of three games this season he’s giving us that in between, I don’t get it, I still don’t have any shares and still don’t plan on getting any and still don’t trust him as far as I can throw him with no arms, but I figured I would at least give credit where it’s due. Cameron Heyward (DT) played 79% of snaps this week and had a bit of a down week with only three combined tackles on the day, real talk he’s coming off a career season where he ended up as a better defensive tackle than Aaron Donald (DT) and his first two games this season were perfectly fine he met his projection in both easily, he’s had something like three or four bad weeks out of the last nineteen, that’s absolutely ridiculous for any defensive lineman at all, especially defensive tackle. He’ll be fine, we can all handle an off week from him he’s done more than his fair share for our fantasy teams over the last year plus, remain calm. Devin Bush (LB) is still playing 100% of snaps which is exactly what we want to see, he had a bit of a down week but overall just about met his projection due to that half sack, half tackle for loss and pass defended, the primary concern with him was always the Steelers cutting his playing time in an effort not to overwhelm him like last season where exactly that occurred, so far we haven’t seen that so no need to panic at all. This defense looks extremely productive and consistent as usual.
Guess who’s back?
Jets @ Colts
New York Jets
Flash in the pan: Brian Poole (CB) played the third most of all Jets corners, 77% of snaps this week, but was able to record five solo tackles on the day, he’s had two pretty solid weeks this season despite the less than ideal playing time overall, it would appear that the fact he’s targeted often when he is on the field along with the Jets tendency to lose the time of possession battle pretty much weekly may be enough to even out all these factors but in general you don’t want to play any corner who’s not seeing 100% of snaps each week, corners are a dime a dozen why would you ever settle for one that doesn’t have as many opportunities per game to score IDP points?
Possible waivers: Avery Williamson (LB) was obviously back to 100% health this week, he played 95% of snaps and recorded nine combined tackles on the day. We always knew he would be an excellent producer on this defense once he was playing his normal snap percentage, we’ve even seen him do it before a couple years back. When you factor in how awful this teams offense is and their 29th ranked time of possession for the season we know Avery Williamson (LB) is in a great role on a defense that will be on the field more than most, everything about this looks solid, pull the trigger if you can.
Misc notes: Quinnen Williams (DE) only played 55% of snaps this week, that could be for any number of reasons from gamescript to the fact that this one was over basically immediately and there was no reason to risk him in the fourth quarter. He remains a decent defensive end three in most leagues and has significantly more value if designated a defensive tackle still in your league of record. Besides that there wasn’t much to see here this week, the two IDP relevant safeties both had solid weeks and it looks like it will be Hewitt and Williamson as the inside linebackers going forward, there should be a nice tackle floor for both from here on out, personally I’d rather have Williamson of the two all things being equal but they both have their value. This team is horrendous and this defense is going to be on the field a lot, anyone owning either safety, either inside linebacker or Bless Austin (CB) is likely going to get a ton of good production out of them for the remainder of the season.
Flash in the pan: Anthony Walker (LB) Yes, I’m just as shocked as you are to see his name here instead of one row up. He only played 44% of snaps this week to Bobby Okereke‘s (LB) 81%, it would appear that youth has won out as the other IDP relevant linebacker on this team. Walker will very likely have more of these flash in the pan days but we really can’t start him with any confidence going forward if he’s playing less than half the snaps. Tavon Wilson (S) only played 36% of snaps so we can ignore his pretty decent box score, he won’t be able to consistently do that playing this little amount of time going forward.
Possible waivers: Bobby Okereke (LB) played 81% of snaps this week and looks to have taken over as the other IDP relevant linebacker on this team, he only recorded four combined tackles but this was also the Jets offense we’re talking about here, there weren’t a lot of tackles go around in the first place. We’ll see if this trend continues next week but it’s probably a good idea to acquire Okereke if you can and need linebacker help.
Misc notes: Julian Blackmon (S) only played 64% of snaps this week, after coming in for the injured Malik Hooker (S) last week and putting up some nice numbers it would appear the Colts don’t plan on having another safety play full snaps at this point. That could always change but for now Blackmon isn’t all that valuable, we’ll keep an eye on it though. Justin Houston (DE), Darius Leonard (LB) and Khari Willis (S) all played fewer snaps than normal this week, 89% for both Leonard and Willis and only 50% for Houston, this is no reason to panic though they all produced just fine and this was obviously the result of the Colts blasting the living shit out of the Jets and letting their starters take off a good chunk of the fourth quarter because they didn’t need them in a blowout, nothing to see here. Rock Ya Sin (CB) should be returning from injury soon and that may shake up the cornerback roles and playing time/production here but we’ll deal with that when it happens. For the most part everything looks normal here besides the Walker/Okereke stuff.
In what’s becoming a trend this week another possible LB1 left for dead returns to glory
Panthers @ Chargers
Flash in the pan: Marquis Haynes (DE) only played 46% of snaps and isn’t a known or even semi consistent producer, pass for now.
Possible waivers: Derrick Brown (DT) finally justified his draft capital with five combined tackles and two tackles for loss on 54% of snaps played this week, as my co host and known pessimist @Lanny1925 would say “This is an outlier, a blip, he’s just a space eater nothing more”. When asked for an actual comment he said “His skill set and usage are not conducive to weekly production”. So yes, this was nice, and yes he was drafted high, but no we don’t think he’ll ever be Aaron Donald (DT) or Chris Jones (DT), if you need help in a stupid deep league though it’s not the worst idea ever.
Misc notes: Yetur Gross Matos (DE) saw 31% of snaps this week and didn’t do much with them, still just a dynasty futures piece for now. Shaq Thompson (LB) bounced back in a big way this week putting up a massive box score but only playing 85% of snaps, that doesn’t really concern me though he was still the lead linebacker in both playing time and production, Tahir Whitehead (LB) was at 64% of snaps which is a little more concerning but there was a lot of weird stuff going on this week with this defense, like Donte Jackson (CB) only playing 49% of snaps, he’s currently listed as questionable so it looks like he got dinged up. There really wasn’t anything crazy to see here this week, it was really nice to see Shaq Thompson (LB) do what we all knew he could, I told you all to remain calm.
Los Angeles Chargers
Flash in the pan: Denzel Perryman (LB) only played 35% of snaps this week and is clearly the odd man out in this LB corps, if it’s not Murray or, I guess for now, White, I’m not interested, pass.
Possible waivers: Kyzir White (LB) might still be available in some places, either because he didn’t have this role and playing time week one or because you’re in a league with IDP vets like me that will never pick him up because we’ve seen this movie before, either way he is currently playing nearly every snap, 98% this week, and recorded eleven combined tackles and one and a half tackles for loss on the day so he is a “thing” currently. Not a bad idea if you need linebacker help until they pull the rug out from under us like they always do with this linebackers corps. Who knows, this could be the year it sticks, regardless for now he’s productive and plays and we play for the now.
Misc notes: Uchenna Nwosu (LB) was listed a defensive end this week and played 92% of snaps on the day, it’s possible he’s the Melvin Ingram (DE) short term replacement but it likely won’t actually help anyone even if he is and that’s his new role until Ingram gets back, that’s because he’s still a linebacker on I would guess every site, maybe MFL would move him to DE if this continues but they’re behind the times on things like this just like everyone else. He only put up three combined tackles anyways so it’s not a huge deal but it is strange and something we’ll keep an eye on. Jerry Tillery (DT) played a massive 90% of snaps this week but wasn’t able to do anything with it only recording one solo tackle on the day, good news on the playing time, bad news on the production, overall it’s a good sign for dynasty shareholders who remember him playing like 30% every week last season so at least that’s moving in the right direction. Everything else here looked pretty good, the usually productive corners had a down week but Teddy Bridgewater (QB) only completed 22 passes on the day for 235 yards, translation he dinked and dunked all game long like he always does, not great for corner production. These guys will have better days to come against better passing offenses, remain calm.
Back to splitting cheeks
Buccaneers @ Broncos
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Flash in the pan: Mike Edwards (S) only played 67% of snaps, not enough for any kind of consistency, yet anyways, we’ll keep an eye on it but usually the best case scenario for these “third safeties” that never see full playing time is the kind of unreliable and inconsistent production that what we get from Chauncey Gardner Johnson (S) and others like him. I’m all set with that.
Possible waivers: The train has left the station for Antoine Winfield (S) and Jordan Whitehead (S), I hope you were able to make those moves the last two weeks when I mentioned them in each article.
Misc notes: It was nice to see Shaq Barrett (EDGE) get back in the swing of things, it certainly doesn’t look like he’ll be getting close to his 19.5 sacks he put up last season but one of these type of games every couple weeks in a big play league makes him valuable. I’ve talked about EDGE production many times already you all know my thoughts on it. Lavonte David (LB) had a bit of a down week but still played 100% of snaps as usual and will be fine, depending on scoring that interception may have even gotten him to his projection, even Devin White (LB) barely met his projection this week, this was just a product of how this game went. The Bucs owned time of possession 34 minutes to 26 and their defense didn’t see as many snaps overall as usual, they’ll produce better as a unit against better offenses in coming weeks, remain calm.
Flash in the pan: Jeremiah Attaochu (LB) only played 38% of snaps, not enough for any kind of consistency and regardless he only put up four solo tackles on the day which isn’t all that impressive in the first place, pass.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: Jurrell Casey (DT) is injured and out for the season. He’s always been an excellent IDP defensive tackle and he will be missed, I highly doubt whatever warm body they slide into his place will be even a shadow of what he is, we’ll find out who that is next week but I can already confidently say they’ll very likely not be IDP relevant. Bradley Chubb (EDGE) played 71% of snaps this week and looked better, I watched this game and could have sworn he sacked brady but they only ended up giving him a solo tackle on the play, Brady must have just barely crossed the line or scrimmage as a runner, the point is he was a few inches away from a sack this week and if he had landed it we wouldn’t be having this conversation because his name would be up top with the other guys who “produced as expected”. EDGE is like this, if he doesn’t land a sack or get some kind of splash play his week is going to suck, there just isn’t the tackle floor for guys like him. The silver lining here is that I saw him look noticeably better this week, I have a feeling a big week is right around the corner, I’m remaining calm on him and will continue to play him. Alexander Johnson (LB) played 100% of snaps as usual but only had three combined tackles this week, without looking at this more closely it just looks like the game didn’t break his way, runs were towards Josey Jewell (LB) side of the field, no easy tackles after the catch, things like that. There is always a random element to these things, the bigger picture is he’s a starting inside linebacker on a very bad team that is beat to hell on offense and defense, his competition for tackles is minimal and due to the ineffectiveness of his offense he will be spending more time playing defense than most. He remains a solid IDP linebacker, let’s not let one bad day shake our confidence, better days are coming.
This is going to be a roller coaster isn’t it
Lions @ Cardinals
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Tracy Walker (S) saga continues, he was magically back to 100% of snaps this week while Will Harris (S) saw his playing time plummet off a cliff down to 29% this week, the only one of these three IDP relevant safeties with consistent playing time every week so far has been Duron Harmon (S) who was once again at 100% played. This entire situation is a mess. Walker is obviously a safety one when he’s getting full snaps, we saw that all last season and have seen him flourish when he gets ideal playing time this season, the issue is whether or not he’ll get that playing time week in and week out, your guess is as good as mine with that. Personally I’ve moved on in all the leagues I had him starting, I cashed in on Antoine Winfield (S) in my shallower leagues and had backup plans in place, mostly Vonn Bell (S) in my deeper leagues, I’m not playing this game. Trey Flowers (DE) played 62% of snaps and recorded three combined tackles but no sacks this week, he remains a defensive end two preferably three in deeper leagues and is due to give a good game here soon after being quiet since week one. Jarrad Davis (LB) only played 23% of snaps this week and is clearly on the outside looking in as far as relevant IDP producers go for this defense, long gone are the days where he was a heralded rookie from Florida and a hyped inside linebacker with tons of talent and a promising career in front of him, he’s droppable at this point unless the injury grim reaper does some serious work on this linebacker corps. Jahlani Tavai (LB) saw his playing time shoot up to 89% of snaps this week but was only able to record two combined tackles even with the ideal snap percentage, I don’t think he’s going to be what everyone wanted him to be either, but at least the playing time looked good this week, hold for now I guess.
Flash in the pan: Haason Redick (LB) only played 52% of snaps and got the majority of his IDP points on that one sack, that will likely not be happening again any time soon, pass.
Possible waivers: Isaiah Simmons (LB) may end up playing some safety with the injuries to Budda Baker (S) and Chris Banjo (S), I read a story about it today, since he hasn’t cleared even 20% of snaps any game this season yet I’m hesitant to buy into this but it could happen, if you have the room maybe add Simmons and we’ll see what happens. Deionte Thompson (S) played 55% of snaps this week and may be in line for more playing time than that with all the safety injuries, we’ll have to see how this all shakes out next week but he could be worth a speculative add as well in deeper leagues if you need safety help or depth.
Misc notes: Budda Baker (S) needs thumb surgery and will be out for awhile, Chris Banjo (S) is also injured and out for an unknown amount of time, the Cardinals have reportedly brought in Tony Jefferson (S) for a workout, if he signs here that’s an instant waiver move for me because I HAVE seen that movie before and it was awesome. He’s older now and it likely won’t go like I remember it but whatever, it’s what I’m doing. Simmons is definitely the smarter move overall if you have room to add someone in regards to this safety situation. Chandler Jones (EDGE) didn’t land a sack but still had four combined tackles on the day, not bad at all for an “off day” with an EDGE guy, he’ll have massive weeks to come remain calm. Jordan Phillips (DT) is looking like he’s back on that ridiculous hot streak he had going in Buffalo last season, two weeks in a row of solid production now and played 63% of snaps this week which was better as well, if he’s still designated a defensive tackle in your league his value should only increase as the season continues and your leaguemates start to realize who and what he is. Nothing else really of note here, I sure do wish Patrick Peterson (CB) would wake the hell up, him and Tre’Davious White (CB) in Buffalo both have been really quiet to start this season, I highly doubt it will stay that way all year though, patience is a virtue. Get well soon, Budda.
Yet another linebacker given the cold shoulder possibly too early
Cowboys @ Seahawks
Flash in the pan: Antwuan Woods (DT) only played 41% of snaps this week and hasn’t done much else of note this season, pass for now.
Possible waivers: Trevon Diggs (CB) has taken advantage of the injuries to this secondary and cornerback corps in particular and is now playing 100% of snaps and will likely continue to do so or close to it even when Chidobe Awuzie (CB) returns from injury, he recorded nine solo tackles and a pass defended on the day and has vaulted up the streaming corner rankings going forward, he may not ever be a “set and forget” corner like Logan Ryan (CB) was last season or James Bradberry (CB) has been for years now but he’s most definitely worth streaming at corner if the matchup looks good.
Misc notes: Everson Griffen (DE) and DeMarcus Lawrence (DE) played 53% and 41% of snaps respectively this week and the Cowboys pass rush besides Aldon Smith (DE) looked god awful, Griffen has been decent this season but Lawrence isn’t looking so good in either playing time or production, the only reason I’d hold onto Lawrence is because Aldon Smith (DE) is just one bad decision from being irrelevant once more, I looked back on his history this week since he’s a topic for the podcast and good God there’s a lot there, I only remember a fraction of it honestly but there is a long history of bad decision making and I couldn’t say if he’s grown past all that or not. Regardless Griffen is playing almost enough to be OK, Lawrence is not. If you have the bench space I’d hold them in case there’s an injury to Smith or he does something stupid to get him suspended again, but in a shallow league with a short bench I’d be looking for other options. Darian Thompson (S) played 95% of snaps this week and recorded four combined tackles on the day, the bump in playing time makes sense with the way this game went, it was an air show essentially and the Cowboys played with a ton of defensive backs for the majority of this one, I wouldn’t be surprised if Thompson’s playing time was back around 50% or 60% of snaps this week with Cleveland in town, so it looks like he remains a not so great option if you need safety help after fooling us week one with that monster performance. Same Cowboys, different year.
Flash in the pan: Ugo Amadi (S) played 84% of snaps which is plenty and recorded seven combined tackles and two defended passes but we don’t know if this a permanent role with all the injuries or just a third safety they played this week due to gamescript, as mentioned earlier this one was an epic shoot out for the history books. If we see another week of this playing time and production I’m all about it, for now maybe add him and sit him in leagues where you need safety help while we wait and see what happens in week 4. Speculative add only at this point. Alton Robinson (DE) only played 37% of snaps and is someone I didn’t know existed until just now, pass.
Possible waivers: Tre Flowers (CB) seems to be a “thing” again with the massacre of the Seahawks secondary, however if Quinton Dunbar (CB) returns next week I doubt Flowers will see 98% of snaps again so proceed with caution, the streamers here are Griffin and Dunbar, after that it gets messy. Only add and play him if Dunbar is inactive this week.
Misc notes: Jamal Adams (S) was only able to play 65% of snaps this week before an injury took him out, he recorded just two tackle assists, one pass defended and a QB hit on the day. The injury is being described as “groin strain that bothered him a lot after the game” so he could be good to go for this week or maybe not, just make sure you have a backup plan if he can’t go this week. KJ Wright (LB) saw his playing time rocket up to 100% of snaps this week and his production along with it, ten combined tackles and two tackles for loss, this defense is absolutely shredded with injuries so I am almost comfortable enough to recommend starting him again but I’d like to see one more week of snaps before making a solid call one way or the other, it does look promising for him though. Benson Mayowa (DE) was down to just 63% of snaps this week but played clear of 90% the first two weeks if I recall correctly, he still led all defensive ends in playing time and remains a nice waiver wire defensive end in deeper leagues, it’s really just him and Kerry Hyder (DE) for those deeper leagues as guys I’m looking at for defensive end replacements, maybe Carl Lawson (DE) too. Nothing else to see here this week, they letting Russ cook and he’s creating a culinary masterpiece so far.
Demario Davis, consistent as always
Packers @ Saints
Green Bay Packers
Flash in the pan: Krys Barnes (LB) only played 28% of snaps and won’t be able to remain consistent with that little amount of playing time, pass, people are going to fall into this trap this week without a doubt, don’t be one of them. Kingsley Keke (DE) only played 46% of snaps and lucked into two sacks, that will very likely never happen again, pass. Oren Burks (LB) only played 21% of snaps and had an outlier performance as well, pass here as well.
Possible waivers: Ty Summers (LB) came in for the injured Christian Kirksey (LB) and immediately racked up nine combined tackles on just 72% of snaps played, everything I’ve read points to him getting the start while Kirksey is out which will definitely be this week and likely at least one more after that, short term option but a damned good one.
Misc notes: Christian Kirksey (LB) only played 28% of snaps before getting hurt this week, he should be back in a week or two, this was the concern about him going into the season, he’s literally made of glass. This probably isn’t the last injury for the season, if Ty Summers (LB) looks good in relief the next couple weeks he’s probably worth hanging on to for when this happens again down the road. Preston Smith (EDGE) and Za’Darius Smith (EDGE) played 95% and 92% of snaps respectively and both had down weeks, nothing to see here just the nature of the position, they’ll both have big days to come but they’ll be solely based on sacks and splash plays which are notoriously inconsistent and unpredictable, they will happen we just don’t know when. Rashan Gary (EDGE) was down to 30% of snaps this week, this is looking a lot like what we saw last year, he started pretty decently but has slowed down significantly with both production and playing time. He’s a hold in dynasty and getting close to droppable in redraft, we’ll see what next week brings but there’s too many chefs in the kitchen here and unless one of the “Smiths” gets hurt he likely won’t see a significant role any time soon. Nothing else to see here, move along.
New Orleans Saints
Flash in the pan: All the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Possible waivers: No new producers.
Misc notes: Chauncey Gardner Johnson (S) continues his roller coaster ride this season, he was back up to 97% of snaps this week after playing 69% last week and the production was back as well, seven combined tackles on the day so not bad there. He’s never going to be consistent, we can just establish that, again, right now. His playing time will fluctuate week to week depending on defensive game plan and on those weeks he doesn’t play as much his production will likely dip. In 2019 he had five “bad” weeks and five “good” weeks and his playing time fluctuated wildly week to week all season long, so far I’m seeing the exact same shit. You can use this guy if you want but that’s how it’s going to go, just a heads up. Cameron Jordan (DE) was at 77% of snaps this week and logged four combined tackles with no sacks, he’s due for a massive week here soon, he’ll come through I’m not worried, especially when Marcus Davenport (DE) comes back or if Sheldon Rankins (DT) ever wakes the hell up. Remain calm. Sheldon Rankins (DT) played 60% of snaps this week and has played around that all season so far but has yet to do anything with that playing time, we all keep hoping in IDP Twitter that he regains the form we once all saw but at this point I don’t have him actively starting anywhere and have no plans to anytime soon unless things change pretty obviously. Alex Anzalone (LB) played 87% of snaps this week and recorded three solo tackles, the playing time is significant but traditionally there hasn’t been an IDP relevant linebacker on this defense besides DeMario Davis (LB), I’ll keep an eye on it but even if he played every snap I doubt the production would be there, that’s just not how this defense has produced the last few years. Marcus Williams (S) played every snap once again as usual but was back to a pedestrian two combined tackles on the day which is about what he usually does, last week was definitely an outlier. Nothing else of note here this week.
The Honey Badger had an ideal matchup this week, how did he do?
Chiefs @ Ravens
Kansas City Chiefs
Flash in the pan: Ben Niemann (LB) only played 43% of snaps this week and got the majority of his IDP points from that one sack, this linebackers corps is a mess in general I want no part of it until Willie Gay (LB) establishes himself as the man in the middle for this defense which still appears to be a ways away, pass on Niemann and the rest of them for now.
Possible waivers: No new producers this week.
Misc notes: The Chiefs owned time of possession 34 minutes to 26 this week so their defense overall had lower production than usual simply due to playing less overall, keep that in mind if you’re looking at this box score wondering why no one has double digit tackles etc. Frank Clark (DE) and Chris Jones (DT) were destroying the Ravens offensive line all game long and annihilated Lamar Jackson (QB) like I annihilate my toilet when I fail to successfully digest Chipotle. The Chiefs cornerbacks, Sneed, Ward and Fenton all saw reduced snaps and massively reduced production due to the nature of this game, even while behind the Ravens were unable to put together anything resembling a passing attack, only fifteen completions for 97 yards on the day, so the Chiefs corners were not targeted nearly enough to be productive and were generally playing less in favor of a third safety and more linebacker snaps. They’ll be fine when they play against a better passing offense. Damien Wilson (LB) and Anthony Hitchens (LB) led the way with 64% of snaps for the Chiefs linebackers this week followed by Ben Niemann (LB) and Willie Gay (LB) playing 43% and 16% of snaps respectively, short version is this is a shit show, slightly longer version is there isn’t a linebacker here playing enough or producing consistently enough for me to be interested in unless in a stupid deep league. Willie Gay (LB) should eventually fit that description but it doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon. All good besides those notes. UPDATE L’Jarius Sneed (CB) broke his collarbone and will be out for obviously a good chunk of time.
Flash in the pan: Brandon Williams (DT) only played 41% of snaps and hasn’t done much else this season, pass for now. Jimmy Smith (CB) played 88% of snaps and had a nice week in the box score but don’t get led astray here, Peters and Humphrey are the IDP streamers you want here and that’s it. LJ Fort (LB) only played 57% of snaps and hasn’t played anything north of that this season, he is the ultimate flash in the pan guy, this guy has done more with less than pretty much anyone besides Jordan Phillips (DT) last year on Buffalo. It’s going to catch up to him at some point, if you keep playing him you’re going to get burned at some point, just a heads up.
Possible waivers: Last call for the DeShon Elliot (S) train, this is probably it for chances to grab him off waivers, especially with Budda Baker (S) and Chris Banjo (S) and even Jamal Adams (S) going down this week, Jordan Fuller (S) too. People are going to be starving for safety help so if you want a share of this guy it’s now or never. 100% snaps played, again, solid box score again, five combined tackles and a pass defended, twelve points in my home league from a safety no one knew about and that costs you literally nothing.
Misc notes: Matthew Judon (OLB) was up to 75% of snaps played this week but once again came up empty in the splash play department, just three combined tackles and a QB hit on the day. He’s been without any splash plays this year and because of that he’s been a bust so far, he’s one of those EDGE linebackers that only is worth playing when they have a blow up week and due to the nature of his production style we literally never know when that’s going to happen. I’m sure he’ll have a big week at some point but for my money I’d rather play a guy like Joe Thomas (LB) or Micah Kiser (LB) who cost me nothing and has a solid tackle floor every week, when those guys have a bad week you’re still talking four combined tackles or so and those weeks occur far less often than with guys like Judon. Ultimately it’s your call for those decisions, I can only tell you why I do what I do and that it’s worked out well for seventeen plus years now. Everything else here looked good, Patrick Queen (LB) had a bit of a down week with only four solo tackles but still played 63% which was the most for any inside linebacker on the Ravens this week, in general the Ravens had more corner snaps with guys like Jimmy Smith (CB) seeing elevated playing time and guys that usually don’t play much at all like Anthony Averett (CB) seeing 37% of snaps when I didn’t even know he was a person until this week, it makes sense, the Chiefs love to air it out and they did so effectively this week, the Ravens tried to play defense with that in mind. Queen should see a bump in snaps against a less efficient passing attack, plus he’s been excellent so far this season so no reason to panic yet. Everything else here looks good, even Campbell and Wolfe were able to put up acceptable games without a sack and that’s always nice to see.
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