IDP Corner: Week 4

To open the IDP Corner this week, I wanted to restate my intentions for what I write about each week.

First, some history. I started my fantasy football career with a 14 team redraft league that had 5 starting IDP slots (2 LB, 2 DB, 1 D flex), and I fell in love with the mini-sized tackle monster that was London Fletcher. Yahoo, even then, was ranking random players as the highest ranked IDP players. Soon after I started there was what seemed like an 8-year stretch where Mike Vrabel was the “highest ranked” IDP player by them. From then (2004) and for about a decade after you had to search high and low to find ANYONE talking about IDP on any mainstream sites and there was actually no one talking IDP on television. The worst of it all was that even when you did find anyone writing about IDP the general message was effectively “start elite players”. Are you kidding me? In a 14 team league, all the elite players are gone, and everyone still needs to fill 4 more starting spots!

This is what motivates me to write about the players that I write about. I don’t always follow stats, sometimes I do point at elite players (especially when there has been a trend in dropping them), but what I am always doing is digging to find an answer to “who am I starting in those 4 other slots?” Because, only 1 team in your league was going to get Deion Jones this year at draft time, and if he’s not on your team, it becomes wonderfully annoying to read that he was the guy you should start (until he got hurt). So, as always thank you for reading these brain droppings. They certainly are not perfect, but I’m always trying to find those second or third tier guys that will hopefully make a difference this week or season.

Defensive Linemen:
Margus Hunt, DE IND: Before you roll your eyes at my yearly ballad of man crush love for Hunt, take note that it is statistically justified this year! He is easily the most productive lineman for the Colts so far this year with 9 solo tackles (only 1 assisted tackle), 3 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. What may be a huge thing for you if your league uses the stat is that he has 8 tackles for loss so far this season. Teams are going to continue to try to beat up on the Colts, and I think this will finally be the year that Hunt is a relevant IDP lineman (for the whole season!).

Markus Golden, DE ARZ: A tough decision will have to be made pretty quick in Arizona, Benson Mayowa is certainly on pace for a career year, which he only needs 2 more solo tackles to effectively eclipse. Comparatively, Golden was a sack machine when healthy and positioned correctly of his first three seasons. Golden at defensive end, with Chandler Jones on the other side, should be as dangerous a duo as Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa for the Chargers. It might take another week, but eventually, Golden will be starting and producing at DE.

Defensive Backs:
Antone Exum Jr., S/CB SF: With an ailing Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, and Richard Sherman, the San Francisco secondary is suddenly in need of some serious help. Exum was that answer last week and looks like he’ll be starting at safety along with D.J. Reed. The Chargers would be wise to test the secondary all game so expect to see some tackles come this way this week.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S MIA: While T.J. McDonald has had the most snaps at Safety this season, Fitzpatrick is certainly getting involved week to week, whether Reshad Jones is healthy or not. Fitzpatrick actually leads all of Miami’s DBs in total tackles (19), the problem currently is that he also leads them in assisted tackles (12). The good news with players that are getting snaps (which he is) and that get a high number of assisted tackles (check), is that these players are showing they have a nose for the ball and will often over time start to change those assisted tackles into solo tackles. Now for Fitzpatrick, this may not happen overnight, but it can over the course of a season.

Joe Haden, CB PIT: Pittsburgh’s offense is certainly not broken, so they will score better than Buffalo or Denver did against Baltimore. If we look at games where Flacco has to pass more often, he throws Interceptions (even happened in their shootout earlier this season with Cincinnati). Haden is easily the best CB in PIT and with Terrell Edmunds hanging back due to Morgan Burnett being out, he’ll likely be the closest to such opportunities. Due to a quiet start to the season and being a CB he is very likely to be available for your use this week.

Linebackers:
Gerald Hodges, OLB ARZ: After out snapping both Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick last week (58 to their combined 5), it’s hard to know what to expect out of the Arizona Linebackers. That said Heach Coach Steve Wilks says he has trust who he puts on the field and Hodges wasn’t a disappointment last week. Now for the fun part, Seattle gives up the most Sacks to LBs in the league, Hodges certainly isn’t known for collecting handfuls of sacks, but starting MLB Josh Bynes is even less proficient at getting them. In the end, Hodges will be the one rushing the Wilson this week, so he’ll be a gamble of a play, but there are plenty of odds in his favor.

Oren Burks, MLB GB: Likely the well read IDP nerd in your league has added and then dropped Burks already in your league (depending on bench depth), as he created quite the stir in the preseason. Green Bay has a history of slow playing the development of their LBs, it’s going to be a couple more games before we are going to see a full-time Burks, but now (after a 1 tackle, 8 snap game) is a great time to be targeting him, you have probably another week or two before we will see any drastic upturn in production, but all signs points to that it is coming.

Christian Kirksey, MLB CLE: After 2 missed games we should see Kirksey back into the mix for Cleveland. When healthy he is a top 10 fantasy linebacker the past two seasons. Yes, Cleveland has a crowded defense of young talented players, yes it looks like their offense might come around, no I’m not worried about that. He is woefully under-owned, go change that.

Good luck to you all this week. If you have any questions of the Guru family, be sure to reach out to us through any of the ways listed below. We are in fact everywhere, so join in the fun!

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