Week 4 IDP Preview

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Week 4 IDP Preview

Welcome to the IDP Weekend Preview. Each week we’ll take a close look at each matchup based on a number of factors, such as roles, where offenses are giving up FP, and snap counts.

Bal @ Was

DLs Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, and Derek Wolfe accounted for 17 of the team's tackles in Week 3. They accounted for 11 the week before. Washington has given up the 7th-most production to DLs, including 43 tackles and 7 sacks. This is great news for those DLs, and bad news for Patrick Queen, who had just 4 solos. There aren't that many tackles left for him, and of those tackle opportunities, he's missing too many of them. Queen was temporarily benched in Week 3, as Andy Reid’s offensive attack had the rookie spun in circles. He’ll get it going forward again, but these are the pitfalls of rookie LBs. Chuck Clark (10 tackles - 6 solo) had a big game cleaning up behind Queen.

Chase Young is out this week as he recovers from a groin injury, and Matt Ioannidis is done for the season with a biceps injury. That means more snaps for Jonathan Allen and DaRon Payne. Allen led the team in tackles with 9 (7solo) while adding 1 sack, a TFL, and a QBH, taking 79% of the snaps. Jon Bostic is still hanging onto the every-down role, as Kevin Pierre-Louis (78%) tries to hold off Thomas Davis (33%). Landon Collins has a bad matchup this week, as the run-heavy Ravens have been 31st in opposing DB production.

LAC @ TB

Last week, no DL had more than 2 tackles, so game script was likely a factor. This week, Joey Bosa, Linval Joseph, and Melvin Ingram III get a much better matchup. The Bucs have given up 4 sacks and 34 tackles to DLs over three games. Where Tampa Bay has been stingy is LB. Kenneth Murray, Jr. and Kyzir White don’t have a great matchup, as the Bucs give up just 15 tackles per game to LBs. Still, White and Murray should put up decent numbers. Look for 6-8 tackles from each. Rayshawn Jenkins is dealing with a groin injury, so he’s a dicey play this week. If he doesn’t play, look for Jahleel Addae and Desmond King II to step in. Since we don’t know how they’ll lean in terms of the bulk of the load if Jenkins misses, I can’t start either of them except in Hail Mary situations.

This looks like a great game for Shaq Barrett and the Tampa Bay D-line, as the Chargers are down a few starting O-linemen, and the team was already the 3rd-best matchup for DLs. The same thing goes for Devin White and Lavonte David, as LAC is the 4th-best matchup for LBs. The Chargers are giving up a whopping 27 tackles per game to LBs. Luckily Antoine Winfield, Jr. plays multiple positions, because the DB unit as a whole might be in a for a slow game. The Chargers just aren’t getting downfield much these days, and will be without wideout Mike Williams.

Sea @ Mia

The Seahawks will be without a few major pieces of their secondary in Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar, and even Shaquill Griffin and Delano Hill are Questionable. Look for Ugo Amadi and Ryan Neal to be busy. They’re both backend DB dart throws on volume alone. I fully expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to attack them.Fitzmagic and the Dolphins are a top-10 team for opposing DB production. Bobby Wagner has been a victim of some poor tackle crews which hasn’t helped his egregious number of assists vs. solos. Hopefully he’ll get a little better luck this week in Miami.

Even though Russell Wilson has been throwing it more this season, Seattle still runs enough and gives enough big play production to DLs to be a great matchup for Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux. The Seahawks give up 18 tackles per game to DLs and have given up 8 sacks on the season. They are, however, a terrible matchup for LBs. Seattle is the worst matchup for linebackers this season, averaging just 16 tackles per game and just 1 big play. This might be a slow week for Jerome Baker, I.E. the only Dolphin linebacker I trust. Look for Wilson to go after rookie Noah Igbinoghene, who will see a ton of work in slot with Byron Joes out.

Min @ Hou

Ifeadi Odenigbo should continue to post 3-4 tackles per game as long as Danielle Hunter is out. Although this isn’t a great matchup for Odenigbo and Yannick Ngakoue by the numbers, the Texans have given up 5 sacks to DLs so far. Eric Kendricks has 33 tackles, which is tied for the league lead. He has a really high tackle floor now that Anthony Barr is out for the year. Kendricks and Eric Wilson have a good matchup this week, as Houston is the 11th best team for LBs. Safeties Harrison Smith (9 tackles) and Anthony Harris (8 tackles) continue to be productive DB2s. Their production has seen a slight uptick with Barr out as well.

It looks like Zach Cunningham is good to go after getting a full practice in on Friday and is off the injury report. Cunningham (33 tackles) has been dealing with a few groin/leg issues. He and Benardrick McKinney (28 tackles) have been highly productive. Through three games, they've both been in the top 5 in tackles. The Vikings have been a poor option for DLs so far this season - just 26 tackles surrendered to DLs - but Kirk Cousins has been sacked 4 times. Where Minnesota has been vulnerable is to opposing secondaries. Justin Reid could be in for a good game, as Minnesota has given up 65 tackles, 2, sacks, and 6 INTs to DBs so far.

NO @ Det

C.J. Gardner-Johnson played mostly in the slot, and could be a consistent fantasy asset if he can stay on the field this much even with P.J. Williams’s involvement. With Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins both Out for Week 4, both CJGJ and Williams will be on the field a ton. This looks like a good game for Demario Davis, as the Lions give up 26 tackles per game to LBs, which is 3rd-most. Cameron Jordan can’t catch a break. He's dealt with three of the best O-lines in the league. The Raiders allow just 1 sack per game, Bucs about 1.5 sacks per game, and Green Bay hasn't allowed a DL sack yet. Detroit is another bad matchup, giving up just 25 tackles and 3 sacks total. The Lions are dead last in FPA to opposing DLs.

Can I just skip the Lions? No matter what I type here, this team will do something nonsensical. Oh well, here goes. After Will Harris was useless in Week 2, Tracy Walker was re-installed as the starting FS. Let's hope it stays that way. Walker had 12 tackles (10 solo), but continues to struggle in coverage. The only LB worth rostering is Jamie Collins, Sr., who is a decent LB4 as long as he can keep his big play production high. His 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 TFL, and 2 PD big play tally this season is just enough to overcome his 13 tackles on the season. Most DLs have more tackles than that. Trey Flowers hasn’t been put in the best position to be successful so far and this week isn’t looking good, either. The Saints O-line has surrendered just 2 sacks and 23 tackles so far. That’s 30th-best.

Cle @ Dal

DLs Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, and Larry Ogunjobi all had 4 tackles each in Week 3. They may have similar numbers this week, as Dallas is a top-5 option for DLs. I really hope Mack Wilson gets up to a full snap count this week. He should be the lead Dawg here. Look for Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph to have good games. The Cowboys give up 98 tackles to DBs, which is 5th-most in the league.

Aldon Smith is playing on another level. He may eventually tire out in his first season back in the NFL, but until then, enjoy this unprecedented season. LBs Jaylon Smith and Joe Thomas both posted 8 tackles (4 solo) in Week 3. The Browns are a middle-of-the-road matchup, so Smith and Thomas should see a similar line this week. Although Darian Thompson (95%) saw his snaps get back to an almost full-time role, he still posted just 4 tackles. That’s not bad, but it might not get any better this week for Thompson or the rest of the Dallas secondary. Cleveland is dead last in DB production.

Jax @ Cin

Josh Allen finally got home, posting his first sack of the season. He's still not gathering many tackles, so while this is encouraging, I need to see more tackles before I move him into a starting slot. At least he has the best matchup for DLs this week, so if he can’t produce against this Bengals offense that gives up a whopping 54 tackles and 11.5 sacks to DLs, then color me worried for his season-long value. Another game, another 11 tackles for Myles Jack. He's had 11 tackles in all three games this season. Joe Schobert is doing fine, with 26 tackles through three games. While Jack is the more productive of the two, Schobert is humming along at a nice LB2 clip. Josh Jones had a nice bounceback game with 8 tackles (7 solo). You can ignore the outlier from Week 2. Those will happen from time to time, but for the most part, you'll get a 6-9 tackle guy.

Those of you who have rostered Carlos Dunlap in the past know that this is who he is. He disappears for a few weeks, then makes everything alright with a blowup game. Dunlap led the team in tackles with 9 solos. Sam Hubbard is starting to heat up as well. I think he’s going to be the most reliable DL on this line. With Logan Wilson Out with a concussion, we should see tons of Josh Bynes and Germaine Pratt. Wilson cut into their snaps in Week 3. This is a good matchup for Bynes and Pratt, as the Jags are a Top-10 matchup for opposing LBs. Vonn Bell has a solid matchup and hopefully will get some home cooking by his tackle crew. The good news is that Bell has produced 8, 8, and 7 tackles so far. The bad news is that of those 23 tackles, only 8 are solos. The potentially good news is that the one game with the most solos came at home in Week 1, where he will play this week.

Ind @ Chi

Don't pull DeForest Buckner out of your lineups, even if he hits a few slow patches. This 80-90% usage and talent is an elite combination. D-Buck had 6 tackles (4 solo) in Week 3. The Bears give up the 13th-most production to DLs. Hopefully, you kept Darius Leonard in your lineups and enjoyed his 11-tackle (7 solo) game, and even that game only had 57 snaps. Leonard should see his numbers increase as he gets better matchups. Although Anthony Walker started, Bobby Okereke out-snapped him 81-to-44%. It’s officially RIP time for Walker’s fantasy value. Look for Julian Blackmon and Khari Willis to have solid games. Nick Foles should provide solid tackle production on the back end.

I don't know what the question is, but the answer is "Start Akiem Hicks." The dude has at least 1 sack in each game so far, and has 16 total tackles. He's a top 5 DL. This whole Bears D-line is producing. I think the increased tackle production from this D-line is hurting the tackle floors for Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, especially Trevathan, who is no longer a 3-down LB. Man I love me some "Steady” Eddie Jackson. His first three games have produced 6, 8, and 7 tackles. It's hard to find a more stable option at CB than {Kyle Fuller|DB|CHI}}. He posted 4 solos and a PD, which is what we expect from him: 4-6 solos and a PD or 2. And sometimes - like in Week 2 - those PDs turn into INTs. Phillip Rivers and the Colts have been kind to opposing DBs, surrendering 2 INTs along with an eye-popping 100 tackles.

Ari @ Car

Although the Panthers offense has produced a brutally-low number of tackles to DLs (26), they have surrendered 5 sacks so far. This could be the week that Chandler Jones puts up some big plays. With Chris Banjo, Jalen Thompson, and Budda Baker Out, the team is likely to turn to Isaiah Simmons at safety. This is a great spot for Jordan Hicks and De’Vondre Campbell, as the Panthers are top-10 in opposing LB scoring.

Rookie DT Derrick Brown is starting to heat up. He's playing 60-70% and posted 5 tackles (4 solo) in Week 3. Shaq Thompson sandwiched a dismal Week 2 - just 3 tackles - in between two double-digit tackle games (12 in Week 1, 13 in Week 3). He’s outproducing fellow ILB Tahir Whitehead, who is more in the 6-8 tackle range. Jeremy Chinn - already off to a good start - has a great matchup this week. The Cardinals are a top-5 team for DBs and top-12 team for LBs. Chinn plays a mix of both.

NYG @ LAR

Leonard Williams may have found his groove again. With 13 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 TFL and playing on a 70% snap share, he's the 13th ranked DL so far. After a slow Week 1, Dalvin Tomlinson has had back-to-back games of 5 tackles. He's a sneaky tackle-heavy and/or DT-required play. The Rams are an above-average team for DL production, ranking 12th with 49 tackles and 3 sacks to DLs. Those numbers are slightly skewed away from DLs due to their shootout last week with Buffalo. This should be a prime game for the Rams to run the ball early and often. That’s also good news for Blake Martinez owners. Martinez has been as solid as they come, and is a top-5 LB for fantasy. With Jabrill Peppers Out, I expect to see a lot of Logan Ryan at safety. Ryan posted 7 tackles (4 solo) last week.

This is just a reminder about all elite DLs. Aaron Donald had just 1 assist in Week 2. In Week 3, he also 1 assist, but added 5 solos, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. If you know they're an elite talent, and they're playing above 70% (preferably 80 or 90%), you just gotta coast through the valleys to benefit from the peaks. I remain unsold on Micah Kiser as a strong LB for fantasy. If not for his Week 2 outlier of 16(!) tackles, he'd be an LB3/LB4. Kiser had 4 tackles (1 solo) in Week 3, and 7 tackles (6 solo) in week 1. Those are DB numbers, not elite LB numbers. However, he’s got a good matchup this week. The Giants are the 3rd-best option for opposing LB production. A lot of that comes from giving up 4 sacks and 2 INTs, so Kiser might need some big plays to bust through. Jordan Fuller is Questionable with a shoulder injury, so we may see more of Taylor Rapp. I may avoid both, and invest heavily in John Johnson III. Johnson had another strong game in Week 3, and looks to be a productive DB2 for us.

Buf @ LV

Week 3 was a bad week for the Buffalo D-line. Each lineman had either 1 or 2 tackles. Almost all the production happened behind them. In previous weeks, the tackle production was double their Week 3 output. I’m expecting guys like Ed Oliver and Jerry Hughes to have bounceback games. The Raiders allow the 5th-most FPG to opposing DLs. With a hefty number of D-linemen, the Bills are likely to be cautious with Mario Addison, who is Questionable with a knee injury. Now that Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano are back as full-time participants in this defense, things should settle in production-wise. This isn’t a great matchup on paper, but these guys stay heavily involved, so I’m looking at a 5-7 tackle range, instead of their usual 7-10 tackle range. SCB Levi Wallace continues to be targeted heavily, which has been great for his fantasy production. Wallace has 19 tackles in his last two games.

Maurice Hurst had a monster game, with 6 tackles (5 solo) and 2 TFL, but he's hovering around 30% usage, so he can't be trusted until/unless he gets those snaps up. Most of the tackles came via the D-line. The problem is that the 22 tackles were spread out among 8 players. This is where these heavy DL rotations are frustrating. For what it’s worth, Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell have the highest usage, playing around 60-70%. Nicholas Morrow led the team in tackles with 9 (7 solo) but Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) likely returns this week. He’s listed as Questionable but had a full practice on Friday. The Raiders want Kwiatkoski out there every down. When do they pair him with Morrow and let the Cory Littleton experiment die? Littleton continues to underwhelm. After three games, he's sandwiched between part-time players Ben Niemann and Kamu Grugier-Hill on the LB leaderboard. Yoikes. After a strong start to the season, Johnathan Abram has been slowed by shoulder and thumb injuries. He’s listed as Questionable this week. I'm expecting him to play. Hopefully he can start climbing back up to what he established during training camp and the start to his season. This is a good matchup if you need to use him or anyone Raiders secondary. Josh Allen and the Bills give up the most tackles to DBs, with 103.

NE @ KC

Lawrence Guy is a player I love in deep tackle-heavy leagues. Largely ignored, he already has 10 tackles on the season. KC doesn’t surrender many sacks, but they do give up DL tackles. Ja'Whaun Bentley is a lock for 4 tackles a game. That's not the good kind of lock for an every-down LB. Hybrid S/LB Adrian Phillips continues to produce on limited snaps. He saw 35 snaps (59%), but racked up 7 tackles. Bill Belichick clearly puts him in productive positions on the field. Overall, this is a bad week for Patriots IDPs. The Chiefs are bottom-10 for IDP production on all three levels. They aren’t giving up big plays, and no one can seem to tackle them.

Chris Jones had a monster game last week, with 5 tackles and 2 sacks. He’s nursing a groin injury, but the Chiefs expect him to play. Frank Clark had another sack last week as well. The Chiefs DLs have a good matchup, as the Patriots give up the 11th-most FPG to DLs. KC keeps rotating Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Ben Neimann, so none of them are producing at more than an LB3/LB4 clip. They also use Daniel Sorensen at LB, and he has back-to-back games of 4 and 5 tackles. He's doing more to ruin the value of the other three actual LBs than he is productive for us as a DB. Still, I like the tackle floor he provides as essentially an LB.

*The NE @ KC game is postponed until possibly Monday or Tuesday, with no Cam Newton.

Phi @ SF

This Eagles D-line exploded for 8 sacks last week, led by Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox (2 sacks each). The 49ers have given up 5 sacks to DLs this season. Nathan Gerry led the team with 8 tackles (4 solo) and he added a PD, but he’s getting owned in coverage. The every-down LB has given up 13 catches on 13 targets for 158 yards and 2 TDs so far this season. San Francisco gives up the 6th-most FPG to opposing LBs, so Gerry should be busy again this week.

Kerry Hyder, Jr. took 69% of the snaps and posted 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL and 3 QBH as Nick Bosa’s replacement. The team did add Ezekiel Ansah and will rotate Dion Jordan in, but both figure to piece together snaps as Dee Ford’s replacement (who is still Out with a back injury). The other DL to roster here is Arik Armstead, who played 63% of the snaps and recorded 3 tackles. This is a good matchup on paper, as the Eagles are the #2 team for opposing DL production. However, of the 10 sacks they’ve surrendered to DLs, 7 of them came in Week 1. Keep firing up Fred Warner, but his buddy Kwon Alexander has crashed back down to Earth after his 10-tackle performance in Week 1. Since then, Kwon has 5 tackles and then 1 tackle in back-to-back weeks.

Atl @ GB

The Falcons need Grady Jarrett to play if they have any hope in this game. Jarrett was practicing late in the week and HC Dan Quinn said he thinks Jarrett will play. A lot of players got a rest day on Thursday, so the Friday practice report was the important one. Quinn also thinks Foyesade Oluokun will play, who was off to a strong start before his injury. Similar to the Chiefs, the Packers are stingy across the board to opposing IDPs. Aaron Rodgers has time in the pocket and has just never been a guy who throws many INTs. Rodgers is likely to be the 4th QB in a row to pick on this decimated secondary. Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen are Out, so rookie Jaylinn Hawkins will be incredibly busy trying to help cover Davante Adams and track down Aaron Jones.

Speaking of getting back stud DTs, there’s optimism that the Packers should get Kenny Clark back this week. That will help keep Ty Summers clean as he subs in for Christian Kirksey. Summers took over for Kirksey (shoulder), and promptly gave up 8 of 8 for 70 yards, but still, Summers did post 9 tackles (6 solo). The Falcons will assuredly be throwing it a ton, and so far this season that’s produced the 8th-most FPG for opposing DBs. This should be a good week for your Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos shares.

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.

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