Week 3 IDP Preview

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Week 3 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.

Was @ Buf

Targets:

Cole Holcomb (LB, Was) — Holcomb remains Washington’s only full-time LB and heads into Week Three with a top-10 matchup. The Bills produce the 8th-most FPG to LBs so far. Holcomb will also enjoy the Buffalo home stat crew that is perennially one of the most generous crews for awarding tackles.

Avoids:

Matt Milano (LB, Buf) — Milano isn’t off to a great start so far this season. He has 9 tackles and a sack, which makes him an LB3. You likely drafted him as such, hoping for some of that LB2 upside he’s capable of. Well, it hasn’t happened yet and this might not be the week for it either. Washington is 25th in fantasy production for LBs. Expect another week of LB3 production, but things should get better soon for Milano. —

Injuries:

OUT

DT Matt Ioannidis, Was – knee

Chi @ Cle

Targets:

John Johnson III (S, Cle) — If you drafted JJIII as your DB1 you’re likely nonplussed with his production so far. Through two weeks, Johnson is DB #98. Yoiks. He’s got just 9 tackles and 1 PD. But all is not lost. This week, Johnson faces a Chicago team starting their shiny new toy at QB in Justin Fields. Chicago’s offense is already 4th-best at producing FPG to DBs and that actually may increase with Fields under center. Let’s give Johnson one more shot.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Sione Takitaki, Cle – hamstring

Doubtful

S Tashaun Gipson, Chi – hamstring

Bal @ Det

Targets:

Derrick Barnes (LB, Det) — We’re talking LB3 value here. With the team ruling out Jamie Collins so they can explore trading him, HC Dan Campbell mentioned Barnes and Jalen Reeves-Maybin as players whose time it is to take over. The reason I think LB3 is a good expectation for this week (versus the LBBench or the LBWho?? he was just days ago) is that the team keeps relying on Alex Anzalone to be their every-down LB. Anzalone moves like he’s auditioning for The Walking Dead. Which is brilliant if you’re the Lions and you’re playing for the 1st overall pick. As long as Anzalone is still their every-down LB, Barnes has limited upside.

Alim McNeill (DT, Det) — If you’re in a deep league that requires a DT, McNeill has some elevated value this week. The rookie DT worked his way into the starting lineup this Summer and has 7 tackles in two games while playing 50%. With Michael Brockers nursing a shoulder injury, McNeill is likely to see more snaps this week. He’s also facing the run-heavy Ravens, who produce the 5th-most FPG to DLs and will likely be playing with a lead. I like McNeill as a DT2 this week.

Avoids:

Chuck Clark (S, Bal) — Clark was a sneaky value last year, but so far he’s not as active in the run game as he was last year. Clark has just 5 tackles while playing every down. His matchup isn’t doing him any favors this week, as the Lions produce a bottom-5 number of tackles to DBs.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Justin Houston, Bal – COVID-19 list

DE Derek Wolfe, Bal – hip/back

LB Jamie Collins, Det – healthy scratch

Questionable

DE Trey Flowers, Det – knee

DT Michael Brockers, Det – shoulder

S DeShon Elliott, Bal – concussion

Ari @ Jax

Targets:

Isaiah Simmons (LB, Ari) — With all talk of Jordan Hicks versus the rookie Zaven Collins, last year’s highly-touted rookie Simmons is quietly leading this LB group. Simmons’ 19 tackles and 5 big plays put him in the top-10 for FPG. He faces a Jacksonville team that runs the fastest offense in the league and has surrendered 5 big plays of their own to LBs through their first two games.

Myles Jack (LB, Jax) — Jack has been an every-down player over Damien Wilson and has 15 tackles and a TFL so far. He gets a juicy matchup this week, as the Cardinals produce 25 tackles per game to LBs so far. Jack is in line to push for double-digit tackles this week.

Avoids:

J.J. Watt (DE, Ari) — This isn’t a full fade. Watt has been playing well and has been unlucky. This is, of course, the nature of DLs. It would appear that being favored against the seemingly hapless Jaguars would be prime feeding grounds for Watt. But Jacksonville is the second-worst matchup in the league for DLs. They’ve allowed just 1 sack — though Watt’s chances of getting one of those are always high — and only 18 tackles to DLs through two games. In other words, Watt’s tackle floor is dangerously low this week.

Injuries:

None of note.

LAC @ KC

Targets:

Daniel Sorensen (S, KC) — Now that Tyrann Mathieu is back in the lineup, Sorensen moved back into his more productive role for the Chiefs. Last week, Sorensen posted 10 tackles and a sack. While that kind of production can’t be expected each week, this game is expected to be one of the highest-scoring affairs of the week. When was the last time Sorensen was highly productive in a high-scoring game? Oh yeah! It was last week.

Avoids:

Derwin James (S, LAC) — You’re starting James. I hesitate to even put him here but James has the worst matchup of the week. The Chiefs produce the second-fewest tackles to DBs so far this season and while James has tons of big-play upside, if he ends up with just 3-4 tackles, blame Andy Reid or Patrick Mahomes.

Injuries:

OUT

CB Chris Harris, Jr, LAC – shoulder

Doubtful

DE Frank Clark, KC – hamstring

Questionable

DL Joey Bosa, LAC – foot/ankle

CB Chavarious Ward, KC – quad

NO @ NE

Targets:

Payton Turner (DE, NO) — May I interest you in a DL2? With Marcus Davenport on IR and Tanoh Kpassagnon banged up for Week Two, the rookie Turner went from the bench to logging a 41% snap share. He impressed, posting 5 tackles (4 solo) and a sack. Kpassagnon didn’t practice much this week, but is off the injury report and expected to play. However, Turner should play plenty until Davenport comes back. He has a good matchup this week, as the Patriots produce the 9th-most FPG to DLs through two games.

Malcolm Jenkins (S, NO) — Jenkins had a nice bounceback game last week (6 tackles) and is in line for another solid game this week. The Patriots are a top-10 team for DB production, including a 2nd-best 68 tackles to DBs through Week Two.

Avoids:

Adrian Phillips (S, NE) — His INT bailed us out last week, but Phillips and fellow safety Kyle Dugger have been involved in a Belichickian timeshare that is normally unreliable but even more so this week. The Saints are the second-worst matchup for DBs so far this season. Add to that the non-injury-related Questionable tag Phillis carries into Sunday, and I’m looking elsewhere for my DB.

Injuries:

Questionable

S Adrian Phillips, NE – not injury related

Atl @ NYG

Targets:

Leonard Williams (DL, NYG) — You drafted Williams expecting his top-10 DL production from last year and his Week One dud made you nervous. Luckily, Week Two brought more stable production from Williams (5 tackles) and it also showed us that his high snap share (80%) has continued from last season. Williams takes that momentum into Week Three and rolls into a glorious matchup. The Falcons allow the 3rd-most FPG to DLs so far this season, including 4 sacks.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

Out

CB A.J. Terrell, Atl – concussion

Questionable

CB Byron Murphy, Ari – ankle

S Logan Ryan, NYG – hamstring

Cin @ Pit

Targets:

Cameron Heyward (DL, Pit) — Although I’d be higher on Heyward if he had either of his starting-caliber DTs next to him this week (they’re both injured), Heyward has too good of a matchup to sit him. Cincinnati’s poor O-line has been a top-5 matchup for opposing DLs. The Bengals have allowed 4 sacks to DLs so far.

Avoids:

Sam Hubbard (DL, Cin) — You won’t find a bigger Samuel L. Hubbard fan than me. Go ahead and try. I’ll wait. OK, now that you’re back, I’ll explain why I’m not nuts about him this week (don’t tell him I said that). Only one team has rushed the ball fewer times than the Steelers, and defending the run is Hubbard’s bread and butter. Pittsburgh is the 5th-worst matchup for DLs, so Hubbard will have a hard time reaching that 5-7 tackle range he’s normally capable of.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Alex Highsmith, Pit – groin

LB T.J. Watt, Pit – groin

Ind @ Ten

Targets:

Kwity Paye (DE, IND) — Have you or someone you love suffered anguish and heartache over Paye’s lack of production? If so, you may be entitled to compensation from the NFL scheduling office. The highly-touted rookie had two of the toughest matchups of the season to start his career: stud OTs Duane Brown and Andrew Whitworth in back-to-back weeks. He still managed 5 tackles (4 solo) and showed veteran poise in the run game in Week Two. He’s also playing a healthy snap share (73%). This week, Paye gets the Titans, whose run-heavy offense produces the 2nd-most FPG to DLs so far this season. And while they have a good O-line, they have surrendered 3 sacks already.

Bobby Okereke (LB, IND) — Okereke — pronounced Oh-KAY-ruh-kay for those of you scoring at home — played well enough last season that the Colts could let Anthony Walker, well, walk. Through two games, Okereke has 13 tackles and is a solid LB3. But this week, he’ll have some extra meat on the bone. The Titans have produced 61 tackles to LBs so far. Tennessee’s offense tends to bleed production to EDGEs and LBs. Last week Bobby Wagner had 20 tackles (though it was an overtime game) and 2nd LB Jordyn Brooks posted 9 tackles. Isaiah Simmons, playing that 2nd LB spot for Arizona had 9 tackles against the Titans the week before. I love Darius Leonard this week but you didn’t need me to tell you that. For those who play 3 or 4 LBs, this is a good week to be oh-KAY with firing up Okereke.

Jeffery Simmons (DT, Ten) — Simmons had another sack in Week Two and is setting himself up to be a solid option in DT-required leagues. He’s currently a DT2/DL3 and has a nice matchup this week. The Colts produce the 5th-most FPG to DLs so far this season.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

Questionable

LB Bud Dupree, Ten – knee

NYJ @ Den

Targets:

Alexander Johnson (LB, Den) — Johnson has had some terrible luck to start the season. The Denver D has played one of the lowest snap counts through two games and consequently, Johnson’s tackle numbers are down. The same can be said for stud safety Justin Simmons. This week has the makings of a get-right game for Johnson as the Jets produce the 5th-most FPG to LBs this season. Expect Johnson to bounce back to his 7-9 tackle range this week. If he doesn’t, it might be time to panic.

Marcus Maye (S, NYJ) and Adrian Colbert (S, NYJ) — Maye is more productive and playing better under new HC Robert Saleh. He now has 14 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, and a PD in his first two games under the new regime. Both he and newly-minted starter Colbert have an excellent matchup. The Broncos are the 5th-best offense for opposing DB production. I like Maye as a DB1 this week and Colbert as a DB3.

Avoids:

Quincy Williams (LB, NYJ) — Williams had 5 tackles and a TFL manning the 2nd LB role next to C.J. Mosley last week, but he might not be as productive this week. Not only is his 91% snap share in danger of going down now that the other LBs are healthier, but Williams also has a poor matchup. Denver has been a bottom-10 offense for LB fantasy production so far. Mosley should soak up most of that production, leaving mere scraps for Williams.

Injuries:

None of note.

Mia @ LV

Targets:

Maxx Crosby (DL, LV) — New DC Gus Bradley has Crosby playing more snaps (90%) than former DC Paul Guenther, who preferred a heavier DL rotation. When Crosby played that much a few years ago, he was a monster. It appears his Godzilla-like production is back. Crosby has 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and 10 pressures so far and this week he faces a weak Dolphins O-line that’s allowed 8 sacks in two games and is playing with a backup QB.

Avoids:

Eric Rowe (S, Mia) — We were hoping that Rowe would be the one steady option in this secondary that deploys six and even seven DBs at times. But he fell victim to the dreaded safety timeshare in Week Two, playing just 41% and recording 2 tackles. He can’t be trusted in your lineups.

Injuries:

None of note.

TB @ LAR

Targets:

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (LB, TB) — With Jason Pierre-Paul out this week, Tryon-Shoyinka is in a prime spot to introduce himself properly to the NFL. He's looked great in his limited snaps this season and when your entire D-line is filled with monsters, you usually get ignored until you prove yourself. I think the rookie is up for the challenge. I like him as a DL2/EDGE3 this week.

Avoids:

Jalen Ramsey (CB, LAR) — After his big Week One, Ramsey predictably came crashing back to Earth. He had 3 tackles (and just 1 solo) but had an INT, so if you started him based on his Week One production, that INT bailed you out. But random INTs won’t get the job done on a weekly basis.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Jason Pierre-Paul, TB — hand/shoulder

Sea @ Min

Targets:

Nick Vigil (LB, Min) — As long as Anthony Barr is out — and he’s out again — keep rolling with Vigil. He has 18 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, and a pick-six in Barr’s stead. If that smells like a top-5 LB, your nose is on point. And speaking of noses, Vigil seems to have found his when it comes to finding the football. He flashed this skill set in Cincinnati but couldn’t sustain it. Vigil will likely go back to a part-time role when Barr returns, but until then, Vigil should continue producing.

Jamal Adams (S, Sea) — Not normally a player who would need to be highlighted as a target, when you draft Adams as early as you have to in order to roster him, you expect more than the 57th-most productive DB. Adams is still playing more than 2/3 of his snaps near the line of scrimmage, so he’s where he needs to be a stud safety. He’s at least held his own with tackles (14), but he’s thrown doughnuts in every other category. Adams' value is a high tackle floor with tons of big-play upside. We've seen the tackle floor. I believe the big-play upside is coming. Minnesota has allowed 7 big plays to DBs through two games, and should at the least provide a strong tackle floor. No team has produced more DB tackles (72) than Captain Kirk and the Vikings.

Avoids:

Jordyn Brooks (LB, Sea) — Brooks is currently the #18 LB in fantasy. But he has benefitted from Seattle playing 164 snaps in two games — an insanely high number. Granted, all of Seattle's IDPs have benefitted ( Bobby Wagner's 33 tackles in two games says “hi”), but Brooks doesn't stay on the field for every play. I like him for 5-7 tackles a game, not the 8-9 tackles he's produced over the first two weeks.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Anthony Barr, Min – knee

GB @ SF

Targets:

Deommodore Lenoir (CB, SF) — Lenoir did a good job replacing Jason Verrett (IR) last week. He recorded 5 tackles and 3 PD. Aaron Rodgers is known for peppering rookie CBs with targets, which is music to your ears if you’re in a CB-required league. Lenoir’s chances of getting thrown at are very high this week.

Avoids:

Azeez Al-Shaair (LB, SF) — Shaair has had a solid start to the season filling in for Dre Greenlaw, but he has a bad matchup this week. Green Bay’s offense doesn’t produce many opportunities for LBs, and what they do produce this week will likely go more in Fred Warner’s favor. Al-Shaair is unlikely to duplicate that 7-tackle performance from Week One.

Injuries:

Questionable

DE Arik Armstead, SF – abductor

CB Emmanuel Moseley, SF – knee

Phi @ Dal

Targets:

Alex Singleton (LB, Phi) — After a puzzling snap share in the opening game (60%), Singleton bounced back in Week Two with an 80% snap share and 11 tackles (5 solo). His solo-to-assist ratio is frustrating, though. Of his 19 tackles, only 8 are solos. He did outsnap Eric Wilson last week — 57-48 — so hopefully he's past whatever happened to make T.J. Edwards start the game over him in Week One. Singleton and Wilson have a nice matchup this week, as Dallas is top-10 in opposing LB fantasy production.

Jaylon Smith (LB, Dal) — Smith (76%) had 9 tackles taking over for Micah Parsons, who moved to DE and played well (2 solos, 1 sack, 4 QB hits). The team is keeping Parsons at DE for now, and Smith is back to being the lead dog at ILB. With safety Donovan Wilson a long shot to play this week and Keanu Neal still on the COVID list, Smith should see lots of action.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

Questionable

DT Fletcher Cox, Phi – illness

S Donovan Wilson, Dal – groin

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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