by “The Don Piccolo”
This is the 1st Installment of an 8 Part Series during which I’ll be breaking down each division by relevant IDP players. Disclaimer: I will be using stats as well as my own personal opinions. With that being said, let’s dive right in with the AFC EAST.
This is an amazing defense. The Bills have talent at each level and, as a whole, they crush it. Here are the players I think are best suited for IDP relevance.
Left Defensive End: “Mario Addison” was signed by the Bills in the offseason after he had a productive season down in Carolina. They have decided to move him back to his natural position which he prefers.
These are his 2019 Stats:
Total Tackles 34 (20 solo), Sacks 9.5, QB Hits 14 (22 pressures), Forced Fumbles 2.
I can see him improving on these numbers now that he’s in a 4-3 defense at DE. But he doesn’t have my trust.
Advice: Bye week asset/ injury fill in. Don’t rely on him weekly unless you have to start 3 DL, at least until we see what we’re getting.
Defensive Tackle: “Ed Oliver” is going to break out this season, but nothing to write home about when you can start DE and Edge Rushers. In 16 games last year, he accumulated:
Total Tackles 43 (24 solo), Sacks 5, QB Hits 8 (12 pressures), Forced Fumbles 1.
He is definitely going to be better than his rookie season. Advice: Ironman played every game in his rookie campaign for DT leagues. I love him for the future, but for DL I still need to see more. Draft when the value is there.
As for the rest of the DL there is “Jerry Hughes” and Rookie “A.J. Epenesa” the rookie will be intriguing so keep an eye on him for your watch list and rookie draft. Epensa is a great IDP pick for Dynasty Rookie Drafts, just don’t reach too much; mid-late 3rd is my high for him personally.
Linebackers: “Tremaine Edmunds” is my #10 Dynasty LB. I love his production and leadership on that defense. He, oddly enough, had a down year from his rookie year; the so-called “sophomore slump” if you want to call it that.
Total Tackles 115 (66 solo), Sacks 1.5, QB Hits 4 (5 pressures), Interception 1, Pass Deflections 9.
The 2019 season was better. We haven’t scratched the ceiling on this guy. Tremaine will be in this league for a long time and will produce at a high level. Advice: Must Start for Every Week.
“A.J. Klien” and “Matt Milano” are the other starters. Milano is more of the flex position start; he is productive, but his consistency leaves something to be desired. He has gotten better each year since 2017 so he may yet prove to be worth holding onto.
Secondary: “Jordan Poyer” and “Micah Hyde” are both productive veterans, but we want the SS. Jordan Poyer has only missed one game in 3 years with an average of 100 tackles per year. His ADP has been low so he is a steal and locked in starter. Poyer is a solid DB2. Advice: Don’t forget about him. He tends to slip through the cracks a bit in the draft.
“Tre’davious White” and “Josh Norman” should be the starters, and White is the one to own if you want to take a corner; 17 pass deflections with a 60 tackle average over 3 year players puts him as one of the top scoring CB’s in the league. A must own in a CB start league as for DB’s only it could be worse that’s for sure. Advice: White is a must own in all formats generally and we can’t say that about many CB’s.
The Dolphins should be on the field frequently and, despite the dolphins’ ineptitude, there are still usable pieces in this defense.
Defensive End: “Shaq Lawson” is finally out of Buffalo, but he stays in division. Last year was a career year for him but 6.5 sacks isn’t saying much for IDP players. In addition, he’s never played all 16 games in a year. He is a Watchlist/Deep stash for bye weeks and injuries. Stay away from the DL in Miami for the most part my friends. “Christian Wilkins” is an interesting play in a DT start league because he is lining up at DE, but he should be helping the edge rushers more so than himself.
Linebackers: They have a 4 man crew with their 3-4 defense who is controlled by Inside Linebacker “Jerome Baker”
2019 Stats: Total Tackles 126 (76 solo), Sacks 1.5, QB Hits 5 (8 pressures), Interception 1, Pass Deflections 4, Forced Fumble 2 (2019 stats)
As a Sophomore that’s quite the breakout year.
Advice: Don’t let him slip too far. He can help your team for years to come. “Kyle Van Noy”, another in division free agent acquisition who will provide an outside edge presence for the Dolphins, can work in for a LB3 if he gets the help from the interior DL. ”Raekwon McMillan” is worth a stash as well. Nothing major so don’t let him be your starter on the regular if possible.
Secondary: “Eric Rowe” is the starting Strong Safety with the departure of Reshad Jones, and he is a formidable player going into his 6th year, and starting all 16 games last season I can see him reach a 90-100 tackle season after the 81 from last season.
“Bryon Jones” and “Xavien Howard” may be the best CB’s duo in football…if Howard can stay healthy. So in a CB must league I would own either and start them both. They could be DB plays if you have to start 3 in a tough run of bye weeks midseason.
Side note: FS Bobby McCain won’t have enough opportunity to have big games consistently.
New England Patriots
I have to tell you there isn’t much for the Patriots when it comes to fantasy numbers a lot of players rotate in that front seven. So take players from the Patriots at your own risk for real though, but here are a few worth mentioning.
Defensive End: “Lawrence Guy” is the only DL to own, and that’s not saying much. Don’t get it twisted this would be the best year in his career to own him, but the Pats rotate DE far too much for anybody to be particularly relevant.
Linebackers: “Dont’a Hightower” is not productive enough for an Inside Linebacker unless you need a bye week filler. The other LB’s are actually Rookie picks “Josh Uche” and “Anfernee Jennings” who are definitely watchlist candidates if not deep stashes until the question marks to what productivity they will have are answered. Not much to write about here as well.
Secondary: This is the strength of the defense and it starts with “Stephen Gilmore.”
Total Tackles 53 (44 solo), Sacks 0, QB Hits 0 (0 pressures), Interception 6, Pass Deflections 20, Fumble Recovery 1.
In 3 DB leagues he could slide in as your 3rd. Rookie “Kyle Dugger” looks to make an early impact as a Safety just have to wait to see how the Patriots use him. Grab him in Rookie drafts, but don’t expect much just yet.
New York Jets
The Jets are a bit of a mystery right now with the “Jamal Adams” trade craze, but for the sake of the article I will write as if he is playing in New York this season.
Defensive Lineman: “Quinnen Williams” is ownable in DT start leagues, but don’t expect big numbers from him as a startable DL, but he is the only one even worth considering from the DL position.
Linebackers: “C.J. Mosley” missed 14 games in 2019, but before that he’d only missed 3 in 5 years. During that 5 year span in Baltimore he averaged 116.2 tackles per season. He is falling in drafts because of last year and a great buy low option for a plug N play player with All-Pro numbers. “Avery Williamson” is a wildcard. When on the field he is a very startable player for sure. While he didn’t get to play in 2019 , he has been a tackle machine his whole career (99.2 average total tackles between 2014-18) with 1 game missed since 2014 up until last season. As for the other LB’s, they can be useful backups when needed for desperation, but nothing more.
Secondary: “JAMAL ADAMS” IS THE BEST SAFETY IN FOOTBALL PERIOD! Sorry not sorry, I needed to get that out. Here is why: he is a Category 7 Hurricane. What I mean by that is he can and will score in 7 out the 8 stats used for IDP not including the yardage. For the last 2 seasons his averages for those 7 are as follows:
Total Tackles 95 (74 solo), Sacks 5, QB Hits 11,( 13 pressures ),Interception 1 ,Pass Deflections 9.5, Forced Fumble 2.5, Fumble Recovery 1.
He hasn’t scored a TD… YET! He should be the 1st DB off the board hands down, and if your IDP settings are set to my minimum he has an average score of 302 pts per year. Invest in Adams.
Jamal Adams obviously overshadows the rest of the secondary, but I like them bringing in “Logan Ryan” to play CB. He was the highest scoring CB in IDP for 2019.”Marcus Maye” will be in line for some INT’s if your league awards them correctly. He’s worth a stash. Overall, there is value to be had in the Jets defense.