The big names, such as Blake Martinez, Joe Schobert, and Jadeveon Clowney will garner the most attention. That’s all well and good. However, there are quite a few under the radar IDP free agents that have been signed that can be drafted at a position of value.
Under the radar IDP free agents are vital to building a championship roster. With all the tension and turmoil in the real world it can be a nice diversion to look into the IDP fantasy realm. A brief respite from the daily deluge of bad news, if you will. Let’s face it. We are all basically home bound so let’s find something a bit lighter to read. Let’s take a look at some under the radar IDP free agent signings with upside for the 2020 season.
Jatavis Brown signs with Philadelphia Eagles
After playing a starting role during his first three seasons, Brown saw a drastic drop in playing time last season. How drastic? From 2016- 2018 he averaged 580 snaps per season for the chargers’ defense. In 2019 he was on the field for just 94 defensive snaps. That’s a bit surprising, especially when you consider that in 2018 he posted 95 total tackles along with four tackles for a loss. He also added a sack, and a forced fumble.
Jatavis Brown is one of the quickest linebackers in the league.
Racked up 116 tackles and 11.5 sacks in his last season at Akron. pic.twitter.com/ajV2KbSM1x
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) March 21, 2020
The landing spot for Brown is a perfect one in Philadelphia. The Eagles’ defense is razor thin as they released veteran Nigel Bradham. That should lead to a three-down role for him and the real chance to lead the team in tackles. He has above average speed and has also shown big play capabilities. Over his career, he has put up 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. He is an excellent under the radar IDP free agent signing heading into 2020.
Josh Bynes signs with Cincinnati Bengals
Let’s go way under the radar with this selection, shall we? After his second tour of duty in Baltimore the veteran signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati. It is a great landing spot for a player, that while not a big name, has always put up solid production when called upon. The Bengals’ linebacking corps is a depleted unit after losing Nick Vigil via free agency. Just two years ago, while playing in Arizona, Bynes had a very nice season. He finished with 75 total tackles, 2 sacks, a fumble recovery, and added a defensive touchdown.
Great read by Josh Bynes to see the opening and fill the gap. I like this guy pic.twitter.com/Px35msorWu
— Blake Jewell (@bjewell43_) March 30, 2020
While not the flashiest of signings, he could be a sneaky good, late round draft selection, that brings production at a position of value. As it stands now he should secure an every down role along side youngster Germaine Pratt. Let’s not overlook a player that has amassed 11.5 big plays, including 2 defensive touchdowns, while often times playing a part time role. He is a very nice under the radar IDP free agent with upside.
Nick Vigil signs with Los Angeles Chargers
It was more than a little surprising that Cincinnati allowed Vigil to leave via free agency. Especially with their linebacking corps being among the thinnest in the league. Also, he is coming off a season that saw him post a career high 111 total tackles. For good measure, he also added a sack, forced fumble, and 3 fumble recoveries. Playing on a less than stellar defense (I’m being kind), he managed solid LB3 totals in most 12-team balanced scoring formats.
— NFL (@NFL) October 1, 2019
The Chargers’ defense needed a solid linebacking option after allowing veteran Thomas Davis to leave town. Enter Vigil. This landing spot is a great one for him to at least post LB3 totals again with the real chance to reach LB2 numbers. Once again, he’s not the flashiest of players, but he is consistent. He has put up at least 79 or more total tackles in each of the past three seasons. Vigil has also played at least 672 snaps in each of those seasons and added 8 big plays. He should slide in alongside Denzel Perryman, always a better NFL than fantasy option, and the youngster Drue Tranquill. He is another sneaky-good under the radar IDP free agent.
Javon Hargrave signs with Philadelphia Eagles
This is a great under the radar IDP free agent signing with upside and also a great move by Philadelphia for NFL purposes. Still just 27 years old, Hargrave has turned into an interior force and has racked up 10.5 sacks in the past two years. Hargrave was also credited with 14 total quarterback pressures in 2019. He set a career high for solo (35) as well as total tackles, having notched 60. He has top-10 value in leagues that require the defensive tackle.
The more I dive into the Javon Hargrave signing, the more I love it. He is going to be a monster beside Fletcher Cox. pic.twitter.com/5C1qVNEP1v
— Brenden Deeg (@eaglestalk_) March 24, 2020
Hargrave is an ascending IDP interior lineman that benefitted greatly from lining up next Cameron Heyward while in Pittsburgh. That will remain the case as he will be playing alongside Fletcher Cox along the Eagles’ defensive front. Opposing offensive lines are going to face a ‘pick your poison’ scenario when lining up against Philadelphia. They now boast one of the top defensive lines in the league. Teams will have to contend with the aforementioned Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Malik Jackson, as well as Hargrave. He has the potential to surpass his career high of 6.5 sacks, which he put up in 2018.
Adrian Phillips signs with New England Patriots
This is perhaps my favorite under the radar IDP free agents with upside for 2020. A broken arm, suffered in Week 2, derailed Phillips’ 2019 campaign. He ended up playing just seven games and only 282 defensive snaps. Out of sight, out of mind comes into effect here. The lazy IDP owner may not have kept track of where Phillips landed. Don’t be that lazy IDP owner. The Patriots’ defense is a perfect landing spot for Phillips to far outperform his likely draft position.
Patriots new S/LB Adrian Phillips pic.twitter.com/jKShKAyBpp
— King Brycen 👑 (@BrycenNFL) March 19, 2020
Let’s look past the lost 2019 season and take a peek at just what the Patriots have in Phillips. In 2018, he put up 88 total tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, an interception, and a forced fumble. In standard scoring 12-team league formats, those are top-24 totals. Phillips is solid against the run having racked up 150 total tackles, in the 2017-2018 seasons. He also put up 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles in that time. Lining up in the box is something he excels at. That works in his favor perfectly, especially in New England, as the team lacks quality linebackers.
Recognizing under the radar free agent signings that have upside in IDP leagues, allowing them to fall to a draft position of value, is crucial to success. We will continue to monitor off season movement to pinpoint more players that warrant mentioning.
Please stay safe during these trying times folks. Hopefully, if only for a little while, this article was a fun distraction. Continue to follow me @WaltonSpurlin on Twitter and find my other articles here. Hit me up to talk anything fantasy football related. Again, be careful, and let’s get through this.