• Tipster’s Takes Week 5 – Veteran’s Are Showing Up

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    The IDP Tipster is back with The IDP Guys for 2022! Welcome to Tipster’s Takes Week 5!

    This is the @IDPTipster's weekly update and IDP (Individual Defensive Player) hot takes. These are the latest NFL defensive scenarios and how I see them playing out, laid out, and heading into Week 5 with a general take on the situation. Without further ado and in no particular order, here are Tipster’s Takes Week 5!

    Tipster’s Takes Week 5

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    Some of the big names are struggling early this season, and that's not unusual. But defiantly concerning. So we're taking a left and talking positives this week in our Tipster's Takes Week 5. By hitting on those few veterans that are, will, or have resurfaced this year as real solid IDP options.

    A few dependable guys can help fill the void while we wait on those underachievers. Which we hope come around sooner rather than later.


    The Safe Bet

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    If you're not familiar with John Johnson, it's cool. The Browns' safety recently bounced back from a really poor IDP year last season. A year that was quite disappointing for a lot of managers. Frankly, it left most of us IDP writers all fading him this past offseason. So let's talk about  Johnson and his IDP resurgence.

    Johnson had top-tier DB1 written all over him in 2020. The former Ram helped lead that defense. When healthy, every single year, he was there. Johnson always padded the box score with hard-hitting tackles, along with plenty of bonus plays like interceptions, pass defended, and such, all the time. But not last year, when he took on running the Brown's secondary as a new gig.

    He went from elite to barely making an impact at all real quick. For whatever reason, we could point out in hindsight that happen. But it really doesn't matter. What matters is we take note of what this little comeback has had and has in store for us as we sit.

    Johnson's currently averaging top 32 safety points in fantasy and likely higher in some leagues. Recording 18 solos, 4 assists, and a couple of passes defended. The one thing missing, and give it time, were those interceptions he was known for in the past. Johnson is also currently leading Cleveland's defensive players in IDP production.

    That part might not stick because the Browns' inside linebackers are priming too. But Johnson is only getting started. And, next offseason, no one will be fading this tier one and elite safety after this safe bet comeback.

    Welcome To The Lineup

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    Now I know what a lot of veteran writers might say. "Lions inside linebacker Alex Anzalone is really resurfacing." Why? Towards the second half of last season, he was serviceable in deeper formats, hanging more around as an LB3 in some leagues.

    But "lo and behold," basically everyone wrote him off as an average Joe. So now, Anzalone is leading the Lions in fantasy points in most formats and the team overall in combined tackles thus far. He also has a great 3:1solo to assisted tackle ratio, boosting his box score. Which is golden when solos normally score twice as much as assists.

    It also tells me that I don't have to watch all his film to know that Anzalone is getting to the ball first this year. Likely because he's more comfortable in his second year in Detriot and that he's cut his missed tackle percentage in half in the process. It looks like he's doing it legitly.

    Although Anzalone's film is still a bit lackluster, he's far from grading completely. It won't matter as long as the Lions like what they see and he keeps making those stops. That's what's going to keep Anzalone in front of Detroit's young ILBs for at least the rest of this season and welcomed into our deeper lineups.

    Rocky Top

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    So what if Denver's inside linebacker has teased us off and on over the years? From a sure-fire rookie call by some to a few yearly breakout calls by many. When Josey Jewell is healthy, he's the key guy we want from the middle of this Denver defense. He is on par in film, at least at stopping the run. Jewell has great leadership on the field and knows how to run this defense well.

    As we can see, for now, he's holding guys like Alex Singleton and Jonas Griffith off. Both are many to be the main targets for this team heading into this season. Enter Week 3. Jewell returns to the lineup versus the 49ers after missing major time with a serious pectoral injury.

    Were the Broncos shy? Hell no, they weren't! Most teams would ease the guy in, and he might have seen around 50% of the snaps. But not the Broncos. They gave Jewell the lead role and all the major snaps. Since then, in two games being back, he's leading this defense with 28 combined tackles, a sack, and a couple of tackles for loss.

    Some IDP managers might be expecting a huge warning about Jonas Griffith, a talented young linebacker in his own right. Or the fact he could put pressure on Jewell's starting role soon. Don't get me wrong, I believe in Griffith,  but he won't take Jewell's job.

    We've already established who the Broncos favor in Week 3. If there is a warning to be made, it's this — Jewell can't maintain those types of tackles every week. His last two contests are likely outlier performances, especially when the matchups were already hot on paper. But no worries, Mr. Rocky Top will still be an LB1 every given week, as long as the Broncos know he's their best option.

    Setting The Edge

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    The Ravens recently signed edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul since they didn't have a good and healthy pass rusher to speak of. He must have come in hot and ready, playing 85% percent of the snaps like a champ and even recorded four solos in Week 4.

    These aren't exactly the backfield stats we're looking for. But those will start in Week 5 when JPP plays against the Bengals. Right now, the Bengals might be better at protecting the edge but haven't faced a hungry Pierre-Paul that still has plenty to offer.

    Who signs a guy one day just to hand him the full-time gig the next, unless the Ravens realized they hit old IDP gold? After all, the Ravens found a way to extend a much older Justin Houston's career when it seemed all but over a few years ago for him.

    Just imagine what we'll get to see when J.P.P. hits his stride, and the matchups are right. Everyone will all of a sudden remember just how well he is at actually setting the edge.

    Thank you for reading my Tipster's Takes Week 5 article! If you are interested, catch more of my fantasy football and NFL content on Twitter at @TheIDPTipster, or find all my future IDP Guys content at IDPGuys.org. Let's chat! I'll always find time to talk defensive player football.

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