This season could be a turning point for the careers of Stephon Tuitt and Shaq Lawson. They have both shown growth over the past couple of years. This article will discuss why I believe each player has the potential to be an IDP breakout candidate.
I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes the off-season seems like it goes on forever. Maybe it seems like it’s taking longer because of all the shutdowns around the country. Being stuck around the house without many opportunities for fun makes the time go by slowly. Thankfully, we can still use our imaginations to enjoy fantasy football. This is the time of the year where we create different scenarios in our heads for all the players on our teams. We always imagine how well they will all do. Guys like Stephon Tuitt and Shaq Lawson are on the cusp of breaking out for their perspective teams. This could be the season when fans around the world start to remember their names.
Stephon Tuitt’s 2019 Statistics: 18 Solo, 4 Ast, 3.5 Sacks, 6 TFL and 7 QBH
As you may have recently learned, my favorite college football team is Notre Dame. So it comes as no surprise that I’m a fan of Stephon Tuitt. I love watching the way Tuitt plays on the field. He’s a monster in the trenches. As we know, it takes awhile for some players to come into their own. Getting used to the speed of the NFL doesn’t happen overnight. Some guys are stuck behind other players on the depth chart for a few seasons. Tuitt just happens to be one of those players. During his tenure in the NFL, he has played on the stout defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was drafted in 2014 in the 2nd round and has since been waiting for his chance to make his mark.
At the beginning of last season, Stephon Tuitt looked like everything I thought he would be coming out of college. He was making his presence felt along the defensive line, and making impact plays on a more consistent basis. Unfortunately, in week 6 against the Chargers, Tuitt sustained a torn pectoral muscle. He ended the season on the IR. He was on pace for a career-best 9 sacks before the injury. He’s under contract until 2023. He should regain his starting defensive end position when the 2020 season begins. He only played 282 snaps last season. If he would have stayed healthy, he probably would’ve blown all his statistics from previous seasons out of the water.
Stephon Tuitt only played 6 games in 2019, but in those games, he was absolutely dominant.
It can not be understated how much his return will help this defense on the interior. Here are some of Tuitt's best plays from his dominant stretch at the beginning of the 2019 season. pic.twitter.com/wowFpwNsip
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 11, 2020
Tuitt’s biggest competition along the defensive line is Cameron Heyward. Both are well established NFL veterans at this point in their careers. As the Steelers defensive tackle, Heyward has been a wrecking ball in the backfield. At 27, Tuitt is now entering his prime. Heyward is looking at the twilight years of his career. With Tuitt healthy again, the two of them together will make for a good duo like they were at the beginning of last season. If he can repeat what he started to do last year, Tuitt will climb the defensive line rankings. In my opinion, he has DL2 potential. His current ADP is 299.75, which has him going around the 24th or 25th rounds. I’d say that’s a good spot to grab an IDP breakout candidate.
Shaq Lawson’s 2019 Statistics: 21 Solo, 11 Ast, 6.5 Sacks,13 TFL,1 FF, 2 PD and 18 QBH
Shaq Lawson is another great IDP breakout candidate for a breakout season. He recently signed a deal with the Miami Dolphins in free agency. In 2016, he was a first round pick by the Buffalo Bills. Lawson struggled with injuries early on in his career. He didn’t even play until week 8 of his rookie year after being injured during off-season drills. Finally in 2018, he managed to stay healthy and put together a fine season. He played behind Trent Murphy most of that year. Although he did receive a good amount of playing time because the Bills rotated their defensive line personnel throughout the game. The 2019 season ended up being his best yet.
Shaq played roughly 482 snaps in 2019. It was definitely his most complete season. He looked like the first rounder Buffalo drafted. After the 2018 season, the Bills declined his 5th year option. That gave him the chance to sign with Miami during this off-season. I believe Miami is about to get the best version of Shaq Lawson. After being hampered with injuries early on, Lawson has continuously grown as a NFL player. He’s got the right amount of experience to bring to a young locker room. Miami also signed formed Chief, Emmanuel Ogbah. Flores likes to use a wide variety of fronts on his defense. So, I expect Lawson to a get a good amount of snaps considering his veteran appeal.
Shaq Lawson beating Tyron Smith as Elliott is forced back inside on toss. pic.twitter.com/qCDWZ6kifh
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) November 30, 2019
The main four on the Dolphins defensive line should be Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux. I expect them all to take a leap together this year. Wilkins and Godchaux looked decent last season. They are practically the only players worth naming from the defensive line last season. Lawson’s current ADP is 289.50. He has started to get looked at around the 23rd or 24th rounds. I think Lawson is an underrated defensive linemen. He’s a strong player against the run. Depending on how many roster spots your team has, he may carry DL 2/3 potential. If you have a deep league, he’s worth taking a shot at. He may not be a league winner, but he is one of those players who could help get you there.