IDP Corner: Week 2

I feel the NFL season is split into 4 quarters. Given this is only week 2, we are in the first quarter, which for fantasy players means we have to wade through all of the hype coming out of the preseason to determine if the choices we made in building our team were the correct ones. As with most of you I am finding after only one week I’m already looking at some players like, “I like the way you work it.” So my mind this week is slightly less focused on “Who will go crazy levels of off this week?” and more to the “What players hold some long term potential?”

Defensive Linemen:
Cameron Heyward: With almost a 50/50 split in run/pass calls last week, the Vikings will continue to test the defensive lines of opponents. While the rest of the Steelers’ d-line will get work too, I think Heyward will draw the long straw this week and see his side getting more rushing attempts.

Demarcus Lawrence: In 2015 he put up some good statistics, since then he hasn’t been able to put together a healthy season. He was certainly healthy last week with 5 total tackles and 2 sacks. Denver has a better o-line than the Giants, so I expect this week could be a slight down for production, but I think Lawrence is worth keeping on your radar, or a deep bench in preparation of him catching his stride this year.

Nick Kwiatkoski: Given a great opportunity with Jerrell Freeman on the IR, the 4th round pick from last year will be shifting into a starting role. While I do expect Tampa Bay to do more work through the air, they will still test Kwiatkoski’s side of the field with the veteran Danny Trevathan on the other side. More importantly Chicago has Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara at starting cornerbacks, so you could see a decent amount of passing going to tight ends 5 to 7 yards down field right into Kwiatkoski’s zone responsibility area. No matter what, he should be on your radar now for long term growth due to Freeman on the IR.

Jayon Brown: In deeper leagues it is a good time to start looking at Brown, and even add him to your bench if you have the room. Tennessee already has Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson playing the inside linebacker spots, but Brown had the third most snaps at LB last week for the Titans. Woodyard is already 31, and games like he had last week seem to now be the exception more than the rule. I think Brown’s role will continue to grow as the season progresses.

Defensive Backs:
Malik Hooker: Just named starter, and the Cardinals will likely try to push their passing game hard with David Johnson out for the next couple months. I expect Hooker, at Free Safety, to get plenty of chances at clean up tackles given how often Arizona will take deeper shots. I believe in Hooker’s ability to produce due to how bad the Indy defense is as a whole more than his specific set of talents wow me, that is not to say his talent is absent, but this defense is going to get worked hard and often until something changes.

Marcus Maye: The Raiders worked the Tennessee Safeties pretty well last week, and I expect that there will be plenty of down field shots after an established running game happens, which leads me to think that Free Safety Maye will be able to put up a stat line surpassing his production from last week against the Bills. I expect Jamal Adams to be productive this week too but, you’ll be able to get Maye much more easily.

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