Week 2 IDP Preview

season

We hope you're enjoying this old content for FREE. You can view more current content marked with a FREE banner, but you'll have to sign up in order to access our other articles and content!

Week 2 IDP Preview

Welcome to the IDP Weekend Preview. Each week we’ll take a close look at each matchup based on several factors such as roles, where offenses are giving up FP, snap counts, and tackle crews. As always, start your studs. I won’t be advising you to target no-brainers like Aaron Donald or Devin White.

NO @ Car

Targets:

Demario Davis (LB, NO) - Davis is in no danger of losing snaps to his fellow LBs, because well, they’re all injured. We weren’t too worried about that anyway, but it’s nice to know that Davis should be an every-down player against Christian McCaffrey. CMC and the Panthers produced 20 tackles to LBs in Week One, which is about their average from the previous few seasons. Ignore Davis’ low production last week. The Saints rested him late in a blowout.

Zack Baun (LB, NO) - Baun is in a similar position as Demario Davis. A week ago, Baun had 5 solos on just 40% usage. This week with Kwon Alexander and Pete Werner OUT, Baun should be an every-down player (or close to it) and could be an LB2.

Jermaine Carter (LB, Car) - You should be starting Shaq Thompson if you have him, but his running mate played all but 3 snaps and had a good game despite getting just 5 tackles. Run Carter out as your LB3 if you can. The Saints should produce about 16-18 tackles to LBs, and Carter would be in line for about 6-8 of them.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

OUT

DE Marcus Davenport, NO - shoulder - IR

LB Kwon Alexander, NO - elbow - IR

LB Pete Werner, NO - hamstring

CB Marshon Lattimore, NO - hand

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, NO - knee

Cin @ Chi

Targets:

Vonn Bell (S, Cin) - As safeties around the league morph into ugly 3-man rotations, Bell and Jessie Bates III have so far remained a productive duo. Bell, however, seems to get less love than Bates. If you’ve already suffered from one of your other DBs not playing enough snaps in surprising fashion, lean on Bell. He totaled 7 tackles and a TFL last week.

Logan Wilson (LB, Cin) - Wilson was indeed the every-down LB for the Bengals in Week One - confirming what we saw this preseason - making him the only LB worth starting here. Because safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III are so active in the run game, Wilson’s tackle ceiling is a bit lower than other 3-down LBs across the league, but his floor is pretty high. Chicago produced 22 tackles in ILBs last week.

Eddie Jackson (S, Chi) - Last week, I mentioned that “Steady Eddie” somehow gets 5 tackles every game. Then he went out and tallied 5 solos in Week One. He’s not likely to blow up very often (though it does happen a few times a season), he’s as solid as they come as your DB2/DB3.

Avoids:

Germaine Pratt (LB, Cin) - As I feared, Pratt split time with Akeem Davis-Gaither and Jordan Evans to form a three-headed useless-for-fantasy monster. Pratt did have 8 tackles and his 50% snap share led this trio, which I guess is something, but nothing I want a part of. And neither do you. 8 tackles on 37 snaps is not sustainable.

Alec Ogletree (LB, Chi) - Ogletree is a fill-in for Danny Trevathan, and although the word out of camp was that Ogletree looked like his former LB1 self, he sure didn’t play like it in Week One. He looked slow to the naked eye, and PFF wasn’t kind to him either. Ogletree (79%) had 5 tackles (just 2 solo).

Injuries:

None of note.

Hou @ Cle

Targets:

Zach Cunningham (LB, Hou) - Don’t let last week’s game scare you. The Jaguars were behind from the start and threw the ball 51 times (versus just 16 rushes). This typically produces high tackle numbers for DBs, while LBs and DLs get shorted. That’s what happened in Week One for Cunningham and Christian Kirksey, who both had 6 tackles. Cunningham played every snap and we’re not expecting Cleveland to collapse in Jaguarian fashion. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt should be awfully busy.

Avoids:

Mack Wilson (LB, Cle) - Really, you should avoid all Cleveland LBs this week until we can figure out what they’re doing. Last year, the Browns ran out a frustrating rotation because they didn’t have a true 3-down LB. Enter Anthony Walker, Jr. Annnd then exit Anthony Walker, Jr. Their 3-down hope just hit the short-term IR, which has me assuming it will be a mess again at LB until he returns. Wilson is the presumed starter in place of Walker, but I don’t see him being a 3-down player. Maybe he is, but I’m not taking that chance without seeing it first. And even then, I’ll be skeptical.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Anthony Walker, Cle - IR

LAR @ Ind

Targets:

Aaron Donald (DL, LAR) - As soon as I wrote that opening paragraph about not needing to mention that you should target Donald, I knew it would come back to bite me. Donald’s role is boom/bust. Each snap, he takes a straight shot to the QB - often dragging two or three defenders with him - and spends the majority of the game in their grill. Such was the case Sunday night when AD pressured Andy Dalton 6 times and had several “this close” sacks. He did end up with a sack, but he was dropped in some shallow leagues because he doesn’t have much of a tackle floor. But when AD hits, it’s Yahtzee. And this week, he faces Carson Wentz - a QB who never met a sack he didn’t like to take. Please keep rolling with Donald.

Kenny Young (LB, LAR) - Although safety Jordan Fuller (100% - 11 tackles) is the play-caller for the defense, Young still played every snap and posted 10 tackles in Week One. Often, a DB calling the plays is an indication of a rotation at LB, but so far that’s not the case. Young faces an Indy team that produced 24 tackles to Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks last week.

Bobby Okereke (LB, Ind) - Okereke flashed last season in a rotation with Anthony Walker. The Colts let Walker walk (for the first time in my life, that pun was unintentional), partly due to their faith in Okereke. That faith was rewarded at least for fantasy purposes last week, as Okereke posted 7 tackles while playing every down. With Darius Leonard Questionable (ankle/illness), Okereke’s LB2/LB3 status could get a bump this week.

Avoids:

Troy Reeder (LB, LAR) - Although the team really likes Reeder, he only managed 19 snaps (28%). He’s a sit until/unless that changes.

Injuries:

Questionable

DE Kwity Paye, Ind - hamstring

LB Darius Leonard, Ind - ankle/illness

Den @ Jax

Targets:

Pat Surtain II (CB, Den) - With so many DBs dropping like flies after Week One, you may be in need of a streamer. If so, Surtain’s your man. I’m gonna be optimistic and assume most know that “Surtain” and “man” rhyme. I’ve already used too many words trying to justify this. Where was I? Oh right! Surtain the man. The impressive rookie will get a lot more action this week, as Ronald Darby is on the IR. Surtain is expected to see a lot of D.J. Chark, who had 12 targets in Week One. With the Jaguars expected to be behind and throwing often, this is a good game for Surtain to post solid tackle numbers and possibly a big play or two.

Avoids:

Alexander Johnson (LB, Den) - Johnson should bounce back from his 2-tackle showing in Week One. But it might not be a massive bounceback this week. The Jaguars are likely to throw often, which was dismal for their opposing LBs last week. Add to that Johnson (84%) took a slightly depressed number of snaps last week, and you get a player who should be either on your bench for one more week, or at the least an LB3.

K’Lavon Chaisson (DL, Jax) - I was really pulling for a Chaisson breakout year. Now I’m just pulling for him to play above a 50% snap share. Chaisson posted 2 tackles on 37 snaps and was outplayed by Jihad Ward. Chaisson is droppable in redraft.

Damien Wilson (LB, Jax) - This is what we were worried about. Wilson’s role might not be a full-time one. He played 60% in Week One and although he had 7 tackles, only 1 of them was a solo. It’s not looking like Wilson will be the next Joe Schobert for this defense.

Injuries:

Questionable

LB Bradley Chubb, Den - ankle

Buf @ Mia

Targets:

Taron Johnson (CB, Buf) - Just like last season, the slot specialist is a full-time player again this year. Buffalo’s defense is almost exclusively nickel, which leaves Johnson in a position to be targeted often as teams avoid Tre’Davious White. It also leaves Johnson close to the line of scrimmage to be a factor in the run game as well. TJ finished as a top-20 DB last season and his 7 solos and 2 PD last week have him in that range to start this season.

Eric Rowe (S, Mia) - Rowe might be the only reliable safety in Miami for fantasy, and even he only played 84%. But his role is more suited for tackle production than Jason McCourty, and Jevon Holland (32% - 2 tackles) isn’t a factor yet. The Bills are one of the most pass-heavy units, including last week when they threw almost 70% of the time. That should give Rowe a good chance to near or match his 9-tackle output from last week.

Avoids:

Jaelan Phillips (DE, Mia) - We have high hopes for Phillips, but rookie DLs often start slow in the NFL. Phillips played just 22 snaps (29%) in his debut. He’s a bench stash for now.

Injuries:

None of note.

NE @ NYJ

Targets:

Matt Judon (DE, NE) - The word in training camp was that Judon was a great fit for this defense. Judon’s first regular-season action as a Patriot seemed to confirm that. The former Raven played the highest snap share of any DL (89%) and posted 4 tackles (3 solo) and a TFL. We may have a reliable DL in NE again. His matchup looks good, too. EDGEs Haason Reddick and Brian Burns combined for 8 pressures against the Jets last week, who just lost starting OT Mekhi Becton. And with Kyle Van Noy Out this week, Judon should see a ton of snaps.

Marcus Maye (S, NYJ) - Maye is a high-level talent who was miscast under the old regime, partly out of necessity and partly due to taking a backseat to Jamal Adams for the first few years. It appears that new HC and defensive wizard Robert Saleh is using Maye in a more productive role, as Maye posted 8 tackles (6 solo) in Week One. I also see Maye’s big-play chances heightened this week against a composed but still rookie QB in Mac Jones.

Avoids:

Adrian Phillips (S, NE) - Phillips and Kyle Dugger spent the preseason jockeying back and forth for snaps. This created concern that neither would be reliable for fantasy. We’re just one week in, but so far the trend we saw in preseason that Dugger may play more than Phillips continued. Phillips (61%) had just 3 tackles after having a breakout season in 2020. It’s still early, and I’m not handing a DB1 tag to Dugger yet, but the main takeaway here is that Phillips can’t be trusted yet.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Kyle Van Noy, NE - throat

SF @ Phi

Targets:

Azeez Al-Shaair (LB, SF) - When Dre Greenlaw went down last week, Al-Shaair stepped up and posted 7 tackles (4 solo), 2 TFL, and 2 PD. He’s in line for a full workload this week and I expect Philly to attack him early and often.

Avoids:

Alex Singleton (LB, Phi) - Singleton was supposed to be an every-down LB after what looked to be a strong preseason. But T.J. Edwards (40%) started the game next to Eric Wilson (85%), eventually ceding to Singleton (60%). Singleton still managed 8 tackles (though just 3 solo), so he’s startable if you’re hurting at LB. But I’d rather bench him for a week and see what shakes out after Week Two.

Injuries:

Doubtful

CB Emmanuel Moseley, SF - knee

Questionable

DT Javon Kinlaw, SF - knee

DE Arik Armstead, SF - abductor

LV @ Pit

Targets:

Jonathan Abram (LB, LV) - Abram is the perfect DB for fantasy, playing a role that few play these days. Abrams was basically an LB in Week One. He lined up in the box, the slot, and occasionally on the line of scrimmage. He played just 1 deep snap. This is the prototypical Gus Bradley strong safety role. In contrast, fellow safety Tre’von Moerhig played deep safety exclusively. Abram racked up 10 tackles and a PD last week and should be in line for 6-8 tackles this week.

Maxx Crosby (DL, LV) - It looks like Mad Maxx is back. After being mired in a rotation last season, Crosby played a 91% snap share in Week One under new DC Gus Bradley. Crosby made good use of those snaps, posting 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 QB hits. Welcome back to the Thunderdome, Maxx.

Avoids:

Joe Schobert (LB, Pit) - This isn't a true “avoid,” but rather a caution sign. Schobert played a 78% snap share, disproving the theory that he would immediately be inserted into an every-down role. His snap share and production (6 tackles - 2 solo) aren’t hideous, but certainly not what you want if you were considering starting him in leagues where you start one or two LBs. Devin Bush (86% - 10 tackles) out-snapped and out-produced Schobert, though Bush is Questionable, so this blurb may be pointless if Bush is Out.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Nick Kwiatkoski, LV - concussion

S Rodney McLeod, Phi - knee

Questionable

LB Devin Bush, Pit - groin

CB Joe Haden, Pit - groin

Min @ Ari

Targets:

Eric Kendricks (LB, Min) - Kendricks should be too obvious to mention, but his roster % and start % are far lower than they should be for a perennial 100+ tackle guy. If you need further proof that he’s a weekly start, Kendricks (100%) posted 15 tackles last week.

Nick Vigil (LB, Min) - Vigil balled out in place of the injured Anthony Barr last week. Vigil racked up 10 tackles (8 solo) and a sack while playing every down. Barr is Out again, so fire up Vigil again this week.

Avoids:

Zaven Collins (LB, Ari) - NFL Insider Adam Caplan mentioned that supposed backup and veteran Jordan Hicks got the start last week possibly as a reward for being a good teammate and helping Collins and Isaiah Simmons take over at LB. It may have also had something to do with the game plan to stop Derrick Henry (which worked, by the way). Either way, I expect to see more of Collins this week and going forward…but I still need to see it with my own eyes before I trust him in a lineup.

Injuries:

LB Anthony Barr - leg

DE Everson Griffen - concussion

Atl @ TB

Targets:

Steven Means (DL, Atl) - We had heard that Means had taken hold of the starting DE spot this preseason, and Week One brought confirmation…and production. Means posted 4 tackles on an 89% snap share. Fire him up as your DL3. with upside.

Avoids:

Mykal Walker (LB, Atl) - I was already highly skeptical that the reports of Walker being a big factor this year were overblown. Walker took just 4 snaps in Week One. He’ll likely be more involved down the line, but he’s no threat to Deion Jones or Foye Oluokun.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (OLB, TB) - Mark my words: Tryon-Shoyinka will be a major factor down the stretch. But for now, the rookie is waiting for veteran Jason Pierre-Paul to be spelled. And that might take a while. It certainly didn’t happen in Week One.

Injuries:

None of note.

Dal @ LAC

Targets:

Asante Samuel, Jr. (CB, LAC) - With CB Chris Harris Out (shoulder), Samuel will pick up a much bigger snap share this week. As we saw last week, Dak Prescott has no qualms about putting a backup CB on blast. Samuel is in line for 7-10 tackles this week.

Kenneth Murray, Jr. (LB, LAC) - Murray was the only every-down LB for the Chargers, and posted 10 tackles (6 solo) and a fumble recovery in Week One. It looks like all systems go for Murray’s sophomore season, and he gets a good matchup in Week Two.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

OUT

CB Chris Harris, LAC - shoulder

Questionable

S Donovan Wilson, Dal - groin

S Damontae Kazee, Dal - thigh

Ten @ Sea

Targets:

Jordyn Brooks (LB, Sea) - Brooks was being used as a hybrid LB/EDGE but mostly LB. He posted 11 tackles (7 solo) on an 89% snap share and has big-play upside due to those DL snaps. He played 13 snaps on the D-Line, so expect K.J. Wright-when-he-was-a-Seahawk (i.e. LB2) production with some upside against a Tennessee O-line that got shellacked last week.

Bradley McDougald (S, Ten) - With Amani Hooker Out, beat writers expect McDougald to fill in at safety this week partly because McDougald took over for Hooker during the game when Hooker went down. While this might not be a monster role this week, with so many DBs banged up, McDougald is a solid reach this week if you need him.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

Questionable

LB Bud Dupree, Ten - knee

LB Jayon Brown, Ten - hamstring

CB D.J. Reed, Sea - foot

KC @ Bal

Targets:

Chris Jones (DE, KC) - Moving Jones to the edge has proven brilliant so far. The big man who normally dominated interior lines looked dominant in his preseason snaps and posted 2 sacks in Week One. The Ravens gave up 3 sacks and near double-digit pressure to Las Vegas last week. If KC can keep the pressure on Lamar Jackson, Jones could hit again this week.

Nick Bolton (LB, KC) - While it’s still too early to fully trust KC’s LB usage, it was encouraging to see Bolton receive 76% of the snaps. What was more encouraging was his 7 tackles, which led the KC LBs and tied for the team lead. If you can use Bolton as an LB3, do it. Anthony Hitchens (80%) did leave the game briefly with an elbow injury, but I still like Bolton to get 6-9 tackles this week.

Patrick Queen (LB, Bal) - Queen still isn’t an every-down LB, but at 84%, he’s still productive. Case in point: the 9 tackles (6 solo) and a sack in Week One.

Avoids:

Juan Thornhill (S, KC) - Thornhill had 7 tackles, a PD, and a forced fumble, but that was because he was starting for Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu came off the COVID list in time to play, but the coaches thought it best to rest him. Mathieu is in line to get his starting job back this week, so Thornhill’s production turns back into a pumpkin as Thornhill moves back to 3rd safety.

Injuries:

None of note.

Det @ GB

Targets:

De’Vondre Campbell (LB, GB) - It was the veteran Campbel who emerged over Krys Barnes with the larger LB role in Week One. Campbell had 6 tackles on 93%, while Barnes was on the field for 78% but out-produced Campbell by 1 tackle. Both these LBs should have better games, and their snaps were lower than usual given the blowout the team suffered. But considering the snap counts and the poor grade PFF dropped on Barnes, Campbell looks to be the lead dog.

Rashan Gary (OLB, GB) - Gary, who has been ascending this preseason, gets a shot at meaningful snaps this Sunday, as Za’Darius Smith is on IR. Detroit’s O-line surrendered 5 TFL and 3 sacks last week, so Gary has a better chance to come through - particularly if Green Bay gets their offense back on track. I like Gary as an EDGE2 or DL3 in big play leagues.

Tracy Walker (S, Det) - Walker looks to be back to his pre-Matt Patricia self. This is what we were predicting, but it’s nice to see it on the field. In Week One, Walker posted 7 solos and a sack playing virtually every snap. Last season, Walker’s snap counts were all over the place but one week into the 2021 season, Walker looks to be back on track as a fantasy asset.

Trey Flowers (DE, Det) - I almost copied the above blurb, since it’s almost the same thing: Flowers looks to be a productive player in a more settled position on his defense. He posted 4 solos and a forced fumble on an 89% snap share, which is comfortably high for a DL these days. Flowers - like Tracy Walker - looks to be back.

Avoids:

Alex Anzalone (LB, Det) - Ouch. Anzalone had a rough game. He played 100% but posted just 3 tackles (1 solo) and a dismal PFF grade. Consider me worried about his role on this defense that needs a lot of help.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Za'Darius Smith, GB - back - IR

Questionable

S Darnell Savage, GB - shoulder

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.

Recent Articles