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  • Tipster’s Takes Week 16 – IDP Free Agency LB Primer

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    The IDP Tipster is back with The IDP Guys for 2022! Welcome to Tipster's Takes Week 16!


    IDP Free Agency LB Primer

    Let's take this opportunity to get in a quick hot take or two on the 2023 IDP free-agency situation at a quick glance. It's not that far off, and from what I saw, It's worth bringing up because this NFL offseason could quickly get interesting.

    There are a lot of big NFL names on the 2023 unrestricted ILB free-agent list. As a long-time IDP writer, I can say there's a hot take behind every one of them. In this case, a few big ones will really stand out this offseason. Especially knowing that an action by a team means an equal reaction will soon follow.

    That door opens the chance to grab the advantage of a few things in this huge class of 2023 free agents. How huge? Let's just say my IDP mind's eye saw at least 20 linebackers who, whether they resign, get paid, or sign elsewhere, will have some sort of impact worth noting. Some could open up or shut down key doors on many players' dynasty values. And that's just the ones who looked notable enough to matter.

    I just thought I'd share what I saw and bring it up now because you might want to look at who might or might not be in the same situation they're in. Before I list my favorites and fades based on deep dynasty values I think might be hidden away.

    The Tipster's Week 16 Hot Take

    For the last few years, there have been way way more free agents that have hit and stuck than any rookies. Especially, with the changes in the NFL and how they rotate defensive personnel and how they treated the second year of adding a week in the NFL.

    This year might have been exceptionally IDP waiver wire friendly too. So those guys like Frankie Luvu, Zaire Franklin, Jonathon Owens, and Soine Taki Taki add to the idea that deep dynasty IDP might be in the middle of a strategic change.

    So this is the final hot take on my part. Make sure you have a great IDP resource like IDPGuys.org. You will need it to keep up on who's in and out like this year, but likely even more across the board.

    FA Dynasty Value Targets

    Over the years, I've seen numerous free-agent linebackers that fit certain "profiles." Ones that aren't exact but hold certain qualities that regularly have success when locating IDP values. From their projected ADP to potential tier jump in production, and maybe a long or short-term dynasty option, best of all.

    The following are my personal preferred "value" guys for next year based on that profile. Whether it's drafting, trading, or even watching for drops as the rookie draft approaches and fantasy football managers clear rosters for those NFL rookie selections. Either way, these defensive players are on my IDP radar for the 2023 dynasty season.

    Germaine Pratt and Bobby Okereke

    Pairing these two together in the same projected hot take 2023 profile is easy. They likely could swap teams, and no one would notice a thing. They aren't that far off from their traditional secondary-linebacker role as a starter to their normal production averages over the years. And, in my IDP mind's eye, they are entering this coming off-season hot.

    Both have years of experience as starters and quality IDP play that basically have them sitting as LB2 options their entire career, with the potential for every contest to slip into the tier 1 realm in production. It's their attention to the finer details that'll have these two on NFL team's radars since either is very capable of stepping in and running a defensive scheme as a ready-made NFL linebacker.

    Pratt

    When it comes to Germaine Pratt, he's worked hard in a contract year to get noticed. It's paid off big with his statistics and performance on the field, as PFF can confirm. The most intriguing part about targeting Pratt? The Bengals are basically going to be strapped for money, and they know it, at least if they want to keep that offensive juggernaut rolling.

    Jessie Bates may not be a Bengal in 2023, and Pratt will get paid to come in and run or help run a defensive somewhere that's struggling or needs major help.

    Okereke

    The same goes for Bobby Okereke, who also stood up with Shaquille Leonard in and out of the lineup this season. The only difference is that Okereke is not returning to Indianapolis because of competition. Zaire Franklin has made him expendable.

    The Colts already have one highly-paid linebacker in Leonard. There are so many other needs to address. Including other contracts that we don't see the team matching any offers.

    Nicholas Morrow

    Morrow is far from perfect, but he also plays a little out of position. We saw his
    "one-year-to-prove-it contract" pay off, earning him at least another year or two with the team. That isn't much of a window, and you should consider that when placing your order for more Morrow in 2023.

    We also see his ADP falling with rookie Jack Sanborn and any potential signing or drafting by the Bears. This one might be just like our next player, and fall off the map despite being a full-time player the year before.

    So yep, we flipped-flopped a bit. Because with Morrow, we're targeting him whether he signs somewhere else or not, as long as it's at a very low or reasonable cost/investment. I'll take a guess in this week's 16 Tipster's Takes primer edition that it could be pretty cheap as soon as the 2023 NFL draft happens.

    Alex Anzalone

    At 28 years of age, Alex Anzalone won't charge the Lions much to stay home. He has to realize the last couple of years' worth of performances isn't exactly NFL eye-catching material. Unlike Anzalone's 2023 IDP production for his managers, it won't matter to other teams. Detriot likes what they have with him, which is obvious at this point.

    There isn't anyone currently on this roster to unseat him, which may also be by design. If anyone else dares to overpay him for his services, that will likely be a great indication that the team wants him to "stop-gap" fill-in start for them too.

    Either way, at the right investment, I'm buying the idea Anzalone isn't done as an LB1 option in Detriot or anywhere else.

    Kaden Elliss

    Interestingly enough, Kaden Elliss busted out like a stud on film for IDP, and according to PFF. The aging  Demario Davis does have a window that the team could use to take a small cap hit, but a larger dead money hit for the year by releasing Davis in the 2023 offseason.

    With the state of this aging and struggling team, that's a real possibility. So right now, a tandem of Pete Werner and Elliss looks pretty darn good. And, on paper, it makes sense to keep what isn't broken and focus on what is this coming season.

    We also think this little break-out performance will get a few other teams' attention. At just 27 years old, Elliss could very well go the way of Alex Anzalone and be a late bloomer somewhere if given half the chance.

    Best of all, if Werner and Davis stay healthy for the rest of this season, Elliss might be found on a lot of waiver wires. Especially when people don't know he's a hot free agent in the NFL. Elliss includes hidden dynasty value that's just waiting to happen at no cost when things go right and could be the best value in this Tipster's Take Week 16 special edition.

    The Tipster's Take Week 16 Special Mention

    Alex Highsmith

    Highsmith is only here because he'll hold dynasty value as an edge rusher or DL in some formats. He had a higher-end performance this year that could have the Steelers looking to pay him. But only at those designated positions or in a very sack-friendly IDP scoring format.

    And as a late reminder, Bud Dupree was a first-rounder that, not too long ago, the Steelers let walk. Granted, it was earlier in T.J. Watt's huge contract, but where do we think they need to spend the cash on defense?

    So Highsmith might get that chance at a team's number-one edge-rushing gig, and if he hits big. I want to be there again for the upper DL1 potential that won't play second fiddle to a stud like Watt when he's healthy.

    Did I miss someone that deserves to be in the Tipster's Takes in Week 16? Then go look up the IDP Guys on Twitter. We love talking football and like to hear from you anytime you want to talk IDP or offense. As always, we have you covered when it comes to the NFL. No matter what side of the ball you're talking about.


    Thank you for reading my Tipster's Takes Week 16 – League Losers And Missed Opportunities! And if you're interested, catch more of me and my NFL and defensive fantasy football on Twitter at @TheIDPTipster, or find all my future IDP Guys content at IDPGuys.org

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