Arguably the best IDP player in the league, Darius Leonard, calls Indianapolis home. But what other hidden gems are hiding in Indianapolis?
The Colts made a big splash and acquired Deforest Buckner in a blockbuster trade with the 49ers, a man widely perceived as the #2 DT in the league behind Aaron Donald. This is a big change for the big man. I think he is going to get back to double-digit sack season in his 1st year with Indy. His QB Hits should go up form 14 last year and back up in the 20+ range.
Here is where things get exciting to let us start talking about 31-year-old Justin Houston. Who registered 11 sacks in his inaugural season for the Colts I can see a career year for him (Adding Buckner helps) 14+ sack’s with his only tick will be his tackles will be low, but that’s not what we are after on the DL it’s, but it is nice to have both. Still, not all of them will bring that to the table.
Of course, Darius Leonard has been the Top LB in the league for the past two seasons and will continue to dominate in 2020. To understand just how dominant he has been, let’s take a look at his average stats for the past two seasons.
Total Tackles: 142 (91 solos)
QB Hits 7: (10 Pressures)
Pass Deflections: 7.5
Forced Fumble: 3
Fumble Recovery: 1
Darius Leonard plays the Weak Side LB position, hence why he has all those PD’s and INT. On top of that, the man flies sideline to sideline while never missing a tackle. A 142 tackle average is bonkers for the NFL, and that’s with missing four games, three of which were in 2019. Even with that injury risk, it’s hard to knock him for missing games when he produces at this level. He is the one IDP player being taken in the first 3 rounds… and for good reason. Is he worth that price? That’s for you to decide, but if you do decide to pay up, you’ll be rewarded.
Anthony Walker, the starting Mike LB, is someone who I think benefits immensely from Buckner coming in on that defensive front. After a rocky rookie campaign, Walker has recorded back to back 100+ tackle seasons. Walker is very underrated when we talk about LB’s, largely thanks to Darius Leonard stealing all the attention, yet he’s a swiss army knife on the field. I like him as a low-mid LB2, a good back-up option, and a bye-week replacement.
There really isn’t much to talk about here; the strength of this defense is its front seven. My one buy would be Khari Willis, the second-year strong safety who had a decent rookie year for the Colts. Unfortunately or IDP purposes, the Colts linebackers rarely let anyone past them, and as such Willis is nothing more than a DB3 who is limited by his team and snap count.
As you can see 3-5 players on this defense are worth owning, and those guys will have a lot of opportunities to accumulate fantasy points. The strength of this defense comes from the LB core, but the addition of Buckner bolsters that front immensely. All we need is for the secondary to pick up the slack when it matters on 3rd down deep in ball games. Invest in the front seven of this defense, but stay as far away from the secondary as you can.