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  • IDP Rundown: Preseason Week 3 Reaction and Analysis

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    Welcome to the IDP Rundown, preseason Week 3! These are instant reactions and analyses to get you ready for your drafts!


    It’s the final week of the preseason — we made it! We finally got to see many of the IDP players we love out there! Though not for much playing time, it signals that the regular season is almost upon us. So sit back, relax, and let’s talk about what transpired in the third and final week of preseason. To the IDP Rundown, preseason Week 3 analysis!

    Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs

    The Chiefs wrapped up their preseason with a victory over the Packers by a score of 17 to 10.

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    Green Bay Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • I’ve been trying to warn you about Quay Walker. I know it’s preseason, but all he’s done is perform when given the opportunity. Walker was all over the field, grabbing five combined tackles on limited action. De’vondre Campbell is still the LB1 in Green Bay, but if the Packers do what I think they will do with Walker, he will be a steal for you in your draft. Draft as an LB3 and enjoy!
    • Krys Barnes performed as we expected, grabbing two tackles and a pass defended. With Walker in the fold, Barnes’ playing time in the past years is now very much in question. Feel free to ignore him until something changes.
    Surprise performance:
    • Jack Heflin had a great day, adding five combined tackles to a forced fumble and tackle for a loss. Given Heflin could be considered a defensive tackle in your league, you have to take note of this, as this is excellent production for that position. He is still projected to be a backup, so you can ignore this performance for now.
    • Micah Abernathy had a productive day with five combined tackles. He would need a lot to happen for him to reach IDP relevance. You can safely ignore him in drafts for now.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • While the Packers did play some pieces we expect to be relevant in the regular season for a quarter or so, many of the presumed starters stayed out of the game.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Packers kick off their year by heading to Minnesota, their division rival. The Vikings have a fairly well-rounded offense, so we can expect an even spread of opportunities for the Packers’ defensive players to perform.

    Kansas City Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • It’s nice to see Trent McDuffie‘s name on the stat sheet! The promising cornerback has had an uninspiring preseason from an IDP perspective. If he can earn some playing time, I think he’ll be relevant at some point for those leagues that require you to start a few cornerbacks.
    • L’Jarius Sneed is another defensive back who performed as you’d expect. Even with his limited opportunities, he still grabbed a tackle. There is a decent amount of uncertainty in the Chiefs’ defensive backfield, so I wouldn’t blame you for ignoring it all together until we get some more answers in the regular season.
    Surprise performance:
    • Based on the depth chart, we don’t expect Leo Chenal to be relevant in the regular season. That being said, his absence on the stat sheet is still rather surprising. He has had a solid preseason up to this point, so we can safely write this off a surprising performance and that’s all. He’s more of a dynasty stash at this point.
    • Joshua Williams paced the Chiefs with five combined tackles. This was a product of playing time in this game, which is not indicative of regular season playing time. Ignore him with confidence.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • None worth noting
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Chiefs head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. We expect the Cardinals’ offense to be fairly pass-heavy this year, so the Chiefs’ defensive backs should rack up a ton of stats. Stream them when necessary.

    San Francisco 49ers @ Houston Texans

    The Texans blanked the 49ers, winning 17 to 0.

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    San Francisco Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Talanoa Hufanga has been the talk of the town recently, and he had a representative game. He grabbed a solo tackle on only 12 defensive snaps played. If you are looking for a deep sleeper, Hufanga should be on your list. He’s going to get the playing time, we just don’t know where he’s going to line up for the 49ers on defense. Tread carefully!
    Surprise performance:
    • Segun Olubi led the 49ers with eight combined tackles. You can safely ignore him in drafts based on where he is on the depth chart.
    • Charles Omenihu had an all-around great day, adding a sack to his three combined tackles on 21 defensive snaps played. While he had a great day, he’s not projected to have a big enough role on this defense to warrant a spot on your fantasy roster.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The 49ers opted to avoid potential injuries to their presumed starters and held them out of this game, so there isn’t much else to note here!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The 49ers kick off their regular season by traveling to Chicago to take on the Bears. We expect the Bears to heavily feature the run, so the 49ers’ linebackers should have a field day.

    Houston Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Jalen Pitre has continued to excel in preseason action. On 40% of the defensive snaps, he racked up five combined tackles with one tackle for a loss. While it is presently unclear how the Texans will use him in the regular season, it is clear that the NFL stage is not too big for Pitre. Grab the lottery ticket at the end of your drafts, and hope it pays off.
    • Derek Stingley Jr is another rookie CB looking to make a name for himself. While interceptions are hard to come back, you can be a fantasy-relevant cornerback if you get tackles. Stingley did just that in this game, grabbing three combined tackles on 40% of defensive snaps played. He’s more of a dynasty stash at this point, but this is an encouraging stat line.
    Surprise performance:
    • Kamu Grugier-Hill had a bit of a disappointing day, only getting two combined tackles on 39% of defensive snaps. The linebacker core for the Texans is currently up in the air, and many have predicted that Grugier-Hill will make a step up. Let’s not panic just yet, but it’s worth noting that this performance wasn’t stellar.
    • Similar to Grugier-Hill, Christian Kirksey also had a disappointing stat line, only garnering two tackles on 40% of defensive snaps played. We don’t want to read too much into the preseason, but if Grugier-Hill and Kirksey continue to eat into each other’s productivity, neither will be IDP relevant.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Texans rested many of the other presumed starters not mentioned above, so there isn’t much else to analyze at this point. Check back next week!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Texans will host the division rival Colts in Week 1. We don’t know what kind of offense to expect from the Colts this year, but we know they like their run game. The Texan’s linebackers will be worth a look in your starting lineups.

    Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers

    The Panthers ended their preseason on a high note, defeating the Bills 21 to 0.

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    Buffalo Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • The Bills decided to rest all their presumed starters, so I don’t have anyone I had expectations for in this game. Check back next week!
    Surprise performance:
    • Baylon Spector paced the team with eight combined tackles, and a pass defended on only 48% of defensive snaps played. While this was an impressive performance, he is still too far back on the depth chart to warrant drafting at this time.
    • Jaquan Johnson is in a similar boat to Spector. Grabbing six combined tackles in a game is great, but he is buried behind pro-bowl-level athletes. You can safely ignore him in your drafts.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Kaiir Elam is a promising rookie safety, but he only managed one pass defended on 50% of defensive snaps played. You can avoid him in redrafts leagues.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Bills open up the year on the road against the Rams. The Rams feature studs all across the board on offense, so pick your poison for Bill’s defensive players. I expect all the big names to perform as expected.

    Carolina Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Welcome to the NFL season Xavier Woods! On 26 defensive plays, Woods racked up five combined tackles. This is “par for the course” for Woods, as he has been a solid albeit unspectacular IDP safety since he came into the league. You can do worse in the later rounds of drafts than Woods.
    • Frankie Luvu led the team with eight combined tackles on 45% of defensive snaps played. This is the production you want to see from a starting linebacker. He will be rising up draft boards.
    • Jeremy Chinn is good at football. On 24 defensive snaps played, Chinn had two combined tackles, a pass defended, and an interception. He is already going fairly high in drafts, but seeing this kind of production should make you feel slightly better about making that pick.
    Surprise performance:
    • Yetur Gross-Matos had a nice day, nabbing three combined tackles with a tackle for a loss. He’s historically been used as a situational pass-rusher but has a real opportunity to earn some playing time and be relevant.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Brian Burns only played 10 snaps during the game, so don’t be alarmed that he is not on the stat sheet.
    • Only two players played more than 50% of the defensive snaps, so the Panthers really spread the playing time out this week.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Panthers open up the year at home versus the Browns. The Browns will be a run-first team, so the defensive line and linebackers are who will be in action the most.

    Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys took home the win in a close one, beating the Seahawks 27 to 26.

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    Seattle Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Cody Barton has been a hot name in the IDP streets this year. While only grabbing an assist doesn’t look impressive, he only played 13% of defensive snaps. This indicates that he will be a big part of this defense, and he has proven he can produce when given the chance this preseason. Draft with confidence.
    Surprise performance:
    • Joel Dublanko is probably not a name you expected to lead the team with 12 combined tackles, half of a sack, and a pass defended. He is still behind a lot of players on the depth chart, so you can safely ignore this performance during your drafts.
    • Myles Adams has a huge day, grabbing 6 combined tackles, half of a sack, and a tackle for a loss. Adams is too far down the depth chart to warrant any real consideration in your league.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Yet again, the Seahawks decided to rest their presumed starters this game, which is why you will find many unfamiliar names on the stat sheet.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Seahawks will play host to the Broncos next week. The Broncos are a fairly balanced team on offense, so the Seahawks’ defense will have their hands full on all levels. We do know that Russell Wilson rarely throws picks, so if you have to fade anyone, it’d be the defensive backfield.

    Dallas Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Jabril Cox has had an excellent preseason, and he continued that in this game by nabbing six combined tackles on only 34% of defensive snaps played. He is still going to have to fight for playing time, as he sits behind Leighton Vander Esch on the depth chart, but the Cowboys can’t ignore the performances Cox is putting up. He’ll be someone you’ll be picking up mid-season, mark my words.
    • Sam Williams is proving why the Cowboys took him at the end of the second round in this year’s draft, adding five combined tackles to a sack, two tackles for losses, and a quarterback hit. The Cowboys have been looking for young pass rushers to work with Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. If Williams can hit in year one, that would be huge. He has to prove it in the regular season, but this inspires optimism.
    Surprise performance:
    • Devin Harper led the team with seven combined tackles. By the time you are reading this, he might not be on the team anymore, so he shouldn’t be on yours.
    • Tyler Coyle had a lovely game, grabbing six combined tackles. He is in a similar boat to Harper, as unless something crazy happens he won’t be relevant for IDP purposes this year.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Cowboys didn’t play many of their stars in this game, so don’t be discouraged that you didn’t see any production from the likes of Parsons or Trevon Diggs. We will see them suiting up soon enough!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Cowboys will play host to the Buccaneers in Week 1. We know that the Bucs have had some injuries on the offensive line, so I expect the plethora of pass-rushers on the Cowboys’ defense to have a really nice day.

    Los Angeles Chargers @ New Orleans Saints

    The Saints defeated the Chargers 27 to 10.

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    Los Angeles Chargers Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Troy Reeder should end up seeing some regular snaps in the regular season, so it’s not surprising that he grabbed two combined tackles on only 11 defensive snaps played. He will only be used situationally, so unless you are grabbing at the end of a best ball draft, he probably shouldn’t be on your roster.
    Surprise performance:
    • Cole Christiansen had an overall excellent game, leading the team with nine combined tackles while also tacking on a sack. This performance, while great, can be safely ignored from an IDP perspective, as Christiansen is buried on the depth chart.
    • Ja’Sir Taylor and Ben DeLuca had seven combined tackles, which was nice. It would be a surprise if either of them are relevant in the regular season. You can ignore these performances for now!
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Chargers opted to rest all their presumed starters to get a good look at their backups before cuts. Thankfully, we are only a couple of weeks away from seeing the studs on defense come out to play!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Chargers will play host to the Raiders in Week 1. We don’t know what kind of offense the Raiders will trot out there, so play the Chargers’ players you drafted and hope the game plan matches up for your success!

    New Orleans Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Tyrann Mathieu only played 29% of defensive snaps, but his presence was known with a solo tackle. It is yet to be seen if this team switch will vault Mathieu back into IDP relevancy, so it will be something we need to monitor.
    • Demario Davis had a wonderful game, nabbing three combined tackles and a sack on only 15 defensive snaps played. The Saints will be relying on Davis all year, so he is someone you should consider drafting in the later rounds of your drafts.
    Surprise performance:
    • Eric Wilson led the team with six combined tackles. He is presently sitting behind Demario Davis on the depth chart, so it is unlikely Wilson will be relevant unless there is an injury or two.
    • Jon Bostic is a name I haven’t thought about in a while, but he made the most of his playing time this week by grabbing five combined tackles. He isn’t someone you need to be drafting.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • David Onyemata is a sleeper candidate I’ve been putting out there for this year. He played 9 defensive snaps and racked up an assist. You should be looking for diamonds in the rough candidates at the thin defensive tackle position. I think Onyemata can be that guy for you this year.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Saints will travel to Atlanta to open up their season. The Falcons don’t project to have a very good offense, which makes this matchup an IDP dream across the board.

    New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders

    The Raiders took home the victory, defeating the Patriots by a score of 23 to 6.

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    New England Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Jabrill Peppers seemed to turn back the clock, grabbing three combined tackles on only 23 defensive snaps played. We know who Peppers is when he is healthy: a tackling machine. I don’t expect that to change based on how he was used in this game.
    • Cameron McGrone and Raekwon McMillan both had productive outings, each with three combined tackles. This is a classic Patriots move, as each of their performances gave us no insight as to which player will play more in the regular season. Other than Ja’Whaun Bentley, I’m not sure I want to be rostering any of the Patriots’ linebackers until we know who will be getting the playtime.
    Surprise performance:
    • Marcus Jones had the best performance of his rookie year, adding a pass defended to seven combined tackles. There is a real chance Jones emerges as the slot corner for the Patriots this year, and if that leads to tackle performances like this, he will be well worth a roster spot. He’s not there yet, but it’s for sure something we will be monitoring in this column.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Kyle Dugger only played 23% of defensive snaps, which explains why he only ended the night with one tackle. The emergence of Peppers is a little worrisome for Dugger’s overall production, however, as they fill similar roles. I wouldn’t be investing too heavily in the young safety at this point.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Patriots will head down to Miami to open up their year. The Dolphins project to be a pass-heavy team, so I like the defensive backfield for increased production in this game.

    Las Vegas Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Luke Masterson put up yet another gem of a game, adding an interception and a pass defended to his four combined tackles. The rookie is making a big case to be a big part of this defense. With older veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, don’t be surprised if Masterson sees the field a lot come the middle of the year.
    Surprise performance:
    • Darien Butler did his best Denzel Perryman impression, grabbing seven combined tackles on his 95% of defensive snaps played. He isn’t someone you need to worry about drafting at this point.
    • Tashawn Bower had one heck of a game, grabbing five tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He is sitting behind Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby, so I don’t expect him to be more than a situational pass rusher this year.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Raiders chose to play all their backups this week and none of their presumed starters, so there isn’t much else to glean from this game.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Raiders will travel to play the Chargers this week. We know that the Charges are good all across the board, and this game projects to be a bit of a shootout. This would typically mean more passing and less running, which favors the Raiders’ defensive backfield.

    Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons

    The Falcons got the home victory, defeating the Jaguars 28 to 12.

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    Jacksonville Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Hey! It’s a Devin Lloyd sighting! And he looked GOOD! Lloyd grabbed five combined tackles on only 38% of defensive snaps played. It’s going to be him and Foyesade Oluokun out of the gate for the Jaguars, and this performance cements in my mind that Lloyd is going to be IDP relevant immediately.
    Surprise performance:
    • De’Shaan Dixon had himself a game, grabbing eight combined tackles and a sack. He is buried on the depth chart, so I don’t expect him to be IDP relevant this year.
    • Shaquille Quarterman has continued his strong preseason, grabbing five combined tackles and a tackle for a loss in this game. I am more excited about the other backup linebackers on this team, but Quarterman produced all preseason long. If there is an injury, it’ll be interesting to see where the Jaguars go.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • For those who, like me, have been tracking Chad Muma this preseason, he did not play in this game. Disappointing, I know, but from what we’ve seen, he is the LB3 on this team. His time will come!
    • Travon Walker also did not suit up, so the Jaguars feel like they’ve seen enough out of him before the regular season.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Jaguars will travel to Washington to take on the Commanders. The Commanders will be a run-first team, so I like the Jaguars’ stable of linebackers to have a great day this week.

    Atlanta Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Arnold Ebiketie finally showed us his upside, grabbing three combined tackles and two tackles for a loss. The promising rookie, drafted in the second round, finally showed us why the Falcons are excited about him. I expect him to be someone who starts the year on the bench, but once the Falcons season is over by Week 9, he will see the field a lot.
    • Troy Andersen continued his strong rookie preseason, grabbing four combined tackles and a pass defended. It’s been noted that there is a big hole to fill on this defense, and Andersen has continued to impress me with his limited opportunities. Much like his fellow rookie Ebiketie, he might start the year on the bench, but I expect the Falcons will end up playing him more as the season progresses.
    Surprise performance:
    • Teez Tabor leading the team with six combined tackles certainly comes as a surprise. He will not be IDP relevant this year, so don’t draft him.
    • Nathan Landman had an overall great game, adding a sack to four combined tackles. He might not even make the team, so he shouldn’t be on yours.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Falcons played almost exclusively their backups, so don’t be surprised that you don’t see the regular names you’d expect on the stat sheet.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Falcons will play host to the Saints in Week 1. The Saints are a fairly balanced team, so go ahead and play and of the Falcons’ defensive players you drafted and hope that the Saints’ game plan matches up for IDP success.

    Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals

    The Bengals got the home victory, defeating the Rams 16 to 7.

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    Los Angeles Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • The Rams decided to rest all of their presumed starters, so no one went into this game with any expectations.
    Surprise performance:
    • Grant Haley paced the team with eight combined tackles. He might not make the team, so he shouldn’t be on yours.
    • Michael Hoecht had a spectacular game, adding a sack to his two combined tackles. Considering he sits behind Aaron Donald on the depth chart, it is unlikely Hoecht will get enough playing time to warrant you drafting him.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Since the Rams elected to sit their starters, there isn’t much to learn from this game. Thankfully the regular season is upon us, and we will see this star-studded defense back in action soon!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Rams will play host to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. Josh Allen is very good at not taking sacks, and we don’t expect the Bills to be running much in this game, so I’m fading the defensive line of the Rams in this one.

    Cincinnati Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Just like their opponents in the game, the Bengals did not play any of their starters. While this is great for them to learn about their backups, it’s awful for us to analyze. Check back next week!
    Surprise performance:
    • Keandre Jones paced the team with nine combined tackles and a tackle for a loss. It is unlikely that he plays a major role on this defense this year, so please don’t draft him onto your team.
    • Tegray Scales had a nice game, racking up six combined tackles. He is not someone you need to worry about rostering on your team.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Nothing else to note this week, as no one of any IDP consequence for the Bengals suited up. See ya in the regular season!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Bengals will play host to the Steelers in Week 1. The Steelers will either be starting a journeyman quarterback or a rookie quarterback, so I expect the game plan to be run-heavy. The Bengals’ linebacking corps gets a boost up in my rankings this week.

    Washington Commanders @ Baltimore Ravens

    The Ravens defeated the Commanders by a score of 17 to 15.

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    Washington Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Jamin Davis only played seven defensive snaps, but he made his presence known with two combined tackles and a tackle for a loss. A major bust last year, Davis has the opportunity to break out this year. I’m not there yet, personally, but go ahead and take a flier on him.
    Surprise performance:
    • Christian Holmes led the team with six combined tackles. He will start the year as a backup, so he shouldn’t be considered for your team due to the limited play time.
    • Jeremy Reaves is in a similar boat to Holmes. His four tackles were nice, but he doesn’t project to play much in the regular season.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • For those looking to see how Kamren Curl would follow up his excellent performance last week, you will be disappointed to know that he did not suit up for this game. In fact, most of the presumed starters for the Commanders didn’t play, so don’t be too discouraged! The hype train continues!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Commanders will play host to the Jaguars in Week 1. The Jaguars will feature a balanced offensive attack this year, so start any of the Commanders you drafted and know they will have an equal opportunity at making plays.

    Baltimore Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • The Ravens decided not to play any of their presumed starters, so no one really had any expectations going into this week.
    Surprise performance:
    • Josh Ross had one heck of a game, garnering 11 combined tackles and a tackle for a loss. He won’t see much playing time come September, so feel free to ignore this performance come draft day.
    • Kristian Welch had a great outing, nabbing nine combined tackles and two and a half sacks. Welch is putting up a solid case to see some playing time in the regular season with performances like this. To start the year, he will be a backup, however, so you don’t need to draft him.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • When a team doesn’t play their starters, it’s hard to draw many conclusions. Check back next week!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Ravens open up their year at the Jets. The Jets often give opposing defenses plenty of opportunities for big plays, so I see a game where the defensive backs get a few interceptions. If I’m streaming cornerbacks, I like the Ravens’ chances at production.

    Philidelphia Eagles @ Miami Dolphins

    The Dolphins destroyed the Eagles this week by a score of 48 to 10.

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    Philidelphia Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Nakobe Dean made the most of his eight defensive snaps played, racking up two tackles. While he is projected to be a backup to start the year, I think Dean is too talented not to be a starter at some point. Draft him and hold on to him if you have the roster spot.
    Surprise performance:
    • Kyron Johnson led the team with seven combined tackles. He is buried on the depth chart, so there is no need to draft him for your squad.
    • Patrick Johnson was the sole Eagle to get to the quarterback, adding that sack to two combined tackles. There is a lot of talent ahead of him, so I don’t expect him to be more than a situational player this year.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Eagles rested all of their presumed starters, which is why you aren’t seeing many familiar names on the stat sheet. The Eagles seem ready for the regular season, and so am I!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Eagles open the year traveling to Detroit to take on the Lions. The Lions will boast a fairly balanced attack, so Eagles players up and down the formation will have opportunities to make plays.

    Miami Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Channing Tindall has continued to impress, adding a sack and a forced fumble to five combined tackles. The Dolphins’ linebacker corp has a lot of young talent, but I can see a path to where Tindall becomes a regular IDP name. It might not be this year, but it’s coming.
    • Brandon Jones looked great out there, grabbing three combined tackles on only 26% of defensive snaps played. He is presently someone you should be targeting for your defensive back two or three.
    • Jaelan Phillips also flashed his breakout potential, grabbing a tackle, a tackle for a loss, and two quarterback hits on only 31% of defensive snaps played. He is someone many have predicted to have a big year this year, and this game certainly lines up with that narrative.
    Surprise performance:
    • Sam Eguavien had a nice day at the office, grabbing seven combined tackles, a sack, and a pass defended. It is unlikely that he is IDP relevant this year based on where he is on the depth chart.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Dolphins played their starters just enough for us to get a taste of what things will look like in Week 1. The main takeaways are really that the players you are already drafting from this team are meeting their expectations. This is awesome to see.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Dolphins will play host to the Patriots in Week 1. Mac Jones is efficient with the ball; the only way the Patriots can win is by running the ball effectively. Because of this, I like the Dolphins’ defensive line to have a big day as the Pats will be running a lot.

    Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns

    The Bears pulled out a narrow victory, defeating the Browns 21 to 20.

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    Chicago Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Nicholas Morrow grabbed a tackle in 23% of defensive snaps played. With Roquan Smith back in the fold, Morrow’s value took a little bit of a hit. He can still be a serviceable player on your IDP roster, it just won’t be the LB1 effort we were hoping for when we drafted him.
    • Trevis Gipson had a great game, nabbing two combined tackles and a tackle for a loss on 49% of defensive snaps played. He is best worth considering at the end of best ball drafts.
    Surprise performance:
    • Jack Sanborn has been a menace all preseason, but his 77% of defensive snaps played only yielded three combined tackles. He was a long shot to be IDP-relevant this year anyway, but it’s a disappointing end to a fun preseason storyline.
    • Davontae Harris leading the team with six combined tackles and adding a pass defended and a forced fumble is certainly surprising. He doesn’t project to be IDP-relevant this year.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Many hoped we would see Roquan Smith out there, but unfortunately, he did not suit up.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Bears will play host to the run-first 49ers in Week 1. Trey Lance is still a question mark, so I expect there to be a lot of run plays in this game for the 49ers. I like the Chicago linebacking crew to have a field day.

    Cleveland Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah only played 30% of defensive snaps, but his one tackle did not go unnoticed! JOK is a player that many have pegged as a breakout candidate. We shouldn’t read too much into a preseason performance, so we will let this only one tackle game slide.
    Surprise performance:
    • Shaun Jolly led the team with six combined tackles, also adding a sack and a forced fumble. He is buried on the depth chart, so don’t go rushing to draft him.
    • Jordan Kunaszyk had an impressive outing, nabbing four combined tackles. He is fairly low on the depth chart, so don’t consider drafting him.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Most of the Browns’ big names on defense did not suit up, hence why they are not on the score sheet. The regular season can’t come soon enough!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Browns open up on the road against the Panthers. The Panthers will be relying on their run game to win them games, so I like the Browns’ linebacking squad to have a big game in Week 1.

    Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans

    The Titans took home the victory, beating the Cardinals by a score of 26-23.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Arizona Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Ah, Zaven Collins, what to do with you? On only 12 defensive snaps played, Collins logged two combined tackles. This is very encouraging for the league of people who are claiming this is Collins’ year. I still want to see it in the regular season, but this is a great start!
    Surprise performance:
    • Chandler Wooten led the team with nine combined tackles. He might not make the roster, so he shouldn’t be on yours.
    • Cameron Thomas added four combined tackles with two sacks. While impressive, he doesn’t project to be a major part of the defense.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Cardinals didn’t play most of their stars, hence why there aren’t many familiar names on the stat sheet.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Cardinals open up their year by playing host to the Chiefs. The Chiefs are all passing, all the time, so I expect the secondary for the Cardinals to be busy in this one.

    Tennessee Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • The Titans opted to rest all of their projected starters, so there weren’t many expectations for anyone we deem IDP relevant in this game.
    Surprise performance:
    • Theo Jackson put up a nice stat line, grabbing nine combined tackles. He doesn’t project to play much in the regular season, so you can safely ignore him in drafts.
    • Sam Okuayinonu had a very nice week, adding a sack to seven combined tackles. He isn’t somehow who warrants drafting.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Titans will be going in the regular season, mostly healthy on defense. Check back in a couple of weeks when the games start to matter for more analysis!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Titans will play host to the Giants in Week 1. The Giants will be another team that is run-first, so I like the Titans’ defensive line to put up big numbers.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts

    The Colts took down the Buccaneers by a score of 27 to 10.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tampa Bay Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Vita Vea only played six defensive snaps but grabbed a tackle in the process. Defensive tackle is a thin position, and I’ve been seeing Vea go fairly late in drafts. You can rely on him to put up at least some stats every week. I like him as a sleeper.
    • Lavonte David only played eight defensive snaps but was able to grab a tackle and a sack. He’s a great player to target for a linebacker spot. All he does is produce!
    Surprise performance:
    • Chris Cooper is certainly not the name you’d expect to lead the team in tackles, yet here we are. It was a great week for Cooper, but he isn’t likely to get much playing time in the regular season. Ignore him in your draft.
    • Olakunle Fatukasi had another productive week, grabbing five combined tackles. He won’t be more than a situational player in the regular season, so you don’t need to draft him.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Devin White only played 15% of defensive snaps, hence why he only was able to grab an assist in the game. He should still be drafted as one of the first five or so linebackers in all formats.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Buccanneers will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in Week 1. The Cowboys should have a balanced offense, so play your Bucs’ starters with confidence that they will have opportunities to perform.

    Indianapolis Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Nick Cross only played 30% of defensive snaps, but his two combined tackles are still worth noting. All he’s done all preseason is live up to the hype. Draft him as a big-time sleeper, and be glad you did.
    • Bobby Okereke made the most of his 14 defensive snaps, grabbing two tackles. He’s a player you should be excited about drafting, especially with the Shaquille Leonard absence.
    Surprise performance:
    • Sterling Weatherford had another great game, grabbing 10 combined tackles. He will start the season on the bench for the Colts, so you shouldn’t worry about drafting him.
    • Ben Banogu had a nice game, grabbing five tackles and adding in a sack. He is another player who won’t see the field enough to warrant drafting in your leagues.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • Yannick Ngakoue only played 19% of defensive snaps, which can help explain his modest output this week. He’s a player many see as a breakout candidate. I liked what I’ve seen so far in the preseason, so draft away!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Colts open up their year on the road against the Texans. The Texans are a wild card in terms of what they will decide to do on offense, but we know the Colts players will be ready to pounce on whatever they decide to do. I like the Colts’ secondary to have a big game against a turnover-prone offense.

    Minnesota Vikings @ Denver Broncos

    The Broncos took home the victory, defeating the Vikings 23 to 13.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Minnesota Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Brian Asamoah looked the part of a third-round draft pick, grabbing seven combined tackles. It will take a lot for him to be relevant this year, but for your dynasty players, take notice!
    Surprise performance:
    • Kris Boyd had a big day, grabbing seven combined tackles and two passes defended. He doesn’t project to be relevant in the regular season, so feel free to ignore him in drafts.
    • Mike Browns also had a huge day, leading the team with 10 combined tackles. He is another player you can avoid in drafts, as it is unlikely he gets the playing time to be relevant.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Vikings did not play any of their presumed starters, so there isn’t much more to analyze here.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Vikings will play host to division rival Green Bay Packers in Week 1. The Packers will trot out a run-first team with a quarterback who can escape the pass rush. Because of this, I’m fading the Vikings’ pass rushers and boosting the defensive backs, as they will be relied on to make tackles.

    Denver Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Hello Nik Bonitto! An excellent prospect, Bonitto finally put a solid game together, grabbing six combined tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. He is more of a dynasty prospect than a redraft candidate, but this is the first sign of life for the rookie.
    Surprise performance:
    • Jonathan Harris had a nice game, grabbing five combined tackles and half of a sack. He is probably going to start the year as a backup, so you can safely avoid him in drafts.
    • Delarrin Turner-Yell had an all-around great game, adding a sack to four combined tackles. He is another player you can safely avoid due to where he is on the depth chart.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Broncos rested all of their presumed starters, which is why none of them show up on the stat sheet.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Broncos will travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in Week 1. Your guess is as good as mine as to what kind of offense the Seahawks will have. We know one thing, it’s not projected to be a good one. Play your Broncos players with confidence that they will have a bunch of opportunities for big splash plays this week.

    New York Giants @ New York Jets

    The Jets defeated the Giants in a close one, winning 31 to 27.

    Embed from Getty Images

    New York Giants Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Blake Martinez continues to look like his former self post-injury, grabbing a tackle on only 18 defensive snaps played. He is a tackling machine, so if your league prioritizes tackles, he looks primed to return to LB1 status.
    • Tae Crowder also had a nice day, nabbing a tackle on only 18 defensive snaps. Just like Martinez, Crowder is in a great position to be worth having on your roster.
    Surprise performance:
    • Nathan Meadors led the team with an impressive 12 combined tackles. He is buried on the depth chart, so he isn’t worth rostering at this time.
    • Austin Calitro filled out the stat sheet, adding an interception and a fumble recovery to his five combined tackles. He’ll need a lot to happen to see the field regularly enough in the regular season to be IDP relevant. Ignore him in your drafts.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Giants did not play their presumed starters for much of this game, hence the modest stats. This will obviously change in a couple of weeks when the regular season is upon us!
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Giants kick off their regular season on the road against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans historically have relied on the run game, so I expect the Giants’ linebackers to be fairly busy in this one.

    New York Jets Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Quinnen Williams looked as destructive as ever, grabbing two combined tackles and a half of a sack on only 7 defensive snaps played. He’s a stud and should be drafted as such.
    • C.J. Mosley only played 12% of defensive snaps, but that didn’t stop him from nabbing an assist. He’s the primary linebacker on this Jets team, and this performance and playing time did nothing to indicate to me that that has changed. Draft with confidence.
    Surprise performance:
    • Jamien Sherwood continued his strong preseason with a five combined tackle game. He has flashed some potential this preseason, but there are just too many people ahead of him on the depth chart to warrant roster consideration.
    • Hamsah Nasirildeen paced the team with eight combined tackles. While impressive, he isn’t worth drafting at this point.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Jets rested most of their presumed starters after the first few drives of the game, hence the modest production from most of your favorite players.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Jets host the Baltimore Ravens in their first action of the regular season. The Ravens boast a balanced offense and typically run a lot of plays, so players on all levels of the defense will be worthy of starting. Lamar Jackson is fairly good at escaping the rush, however, so the Jets’ edge players take a hit in my rankings.

    Detroit Lions @ Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Steelers took home the win, defeating the Lions 19 to 9.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Detroit Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Tracy Walker has always been a serviceable defensive back for IDP purposes, and he picked up where he left off last season by grabbing two combined tackles and a sack on only 31% of defensive snaps played. You know what you are going to get with Walker, which at that position is sometimes more than you can ask for.
    • Aidan Hutchinson continues to look sharp, grabbing half of a sack on 20 defensive snaps played. He has certainly looked the part of a star in his first preseason, so draft away!
    Surprise performance:
    • Jeff Okudah continues to play well after his rehab last year, grabbing two combined tackles and a pass defended on 31% of the defensive snaps played. It’s a wonderful surprise that he’s able to play and be productive. He’s not worth drafting yet, but at this rate, he might become an under-rate post-hype cornerback for the back end of your roster.
    • Kerby Joseph has had a very productive preseason, wrapping things up with a seven combined tackle effort. The Lions’ secondary is fairly loaded at the moment, so he isn’t worth drafting in redraft leagues. The arrow is pointing straight up in dynasty, however.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • The Lions played their presumed starters minimally, and with no new injuries to note things are looking stable going into the regular season.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Lions open up the season hosting the Philidelphia Eagles. My only note here is that Jalen Hurts is very good at escaping the rush, so I expect the edge players for the Lions to not have as good a day as we’d normally expect, while the linebackers will be very busy.

    Pittsburgh Analysis

    The Stats:

    Image Credit: National Football League

    Performed as Expected:
    • Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the better safeties in the NFL, and he performed like it in this game. Four tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble later, Fitzpatrick continues to show why he is drafted as a top-10 safety for IDP.
    • Larry Ogunjobi will be a steal for you as a defensive tackle this year. He grabbed three tackles on only 29% of defensive snaps played. At such a thin position, getting this kind of production is huge for your team, especially at the price tag it’ll take to get him.
    Surprise performance:
    • Tre Norwood had a really nice game, pacing the team with five combined tackles. Based on where he is on the depth chart you can safely ignore him in drafts.
    • Carlos Davis had an all-around nice day, adding a sack to two combined tackles. He is someone you can safely ignore in drafts.
    Other Playing Time/Performance Notes:
    • T.J. Watt looked impressive in his limited snaps, but note that he did leave the field injured. As the former top finisher across all positions in IDP, his health will certainly be worth monitoring.
    Looking to Next Week:

    The Steelers open up their regular season on the road against the Bengals. The Bengals are very well balanced, so the Steelers’ defense should have an equal opportunity to put up stats across all three levels.


    Thank you for reading the IDP Rundown, preseason Week 3! If you like what you read, be sure to come back every Monday for more of the same analysis! You can find my IDP Guys author page here if you want to read my other content. You can find me on Twitter at @mrecord21. Be sure to follow @IDPGuys to keep up with all the latest fantasy news!

    Matt Record

    I got started in Fantasy Football over 15 years ago and have never looked back! I'm just a regular guy who loves to analyze data and watch and talk about sports. Outside of all things fantasy, I enjoy playing disc golf, playing board games, and enjoying a nice hazy IPA. I can't wait to share with you all my thoughts on Fantasy Football!
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