Welcome, IDP nerds to the first edition of the 2023 IDP quarterly report. This is where we will look at all things relevant to IDP fantasy football over the season’s first four games. As we move along the season things change so quickly that opening a discussion about it will help IDP managers be more informed on player values. This report will include top performers at all three positions (DL, LB, DB) and buy-low and sell-high players. The goal is to constantly try to improve your roster for both contending and non-contending dynasty teams. I’ll look to make it as informative as possible and would appreciate any feedback to make it better for the readers.
Things to Know
- Khalil Mack’s 77 points in Week 4 are the most of any single player this season. His Week 4 record-setting game accounted for 79% of his total this season.
- The top 12 DLs consist of five players with at least five sacks or more. Three of the top 12 already have one defensive touchdown this season.
- T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith are the only pair of teammates in the top 12. They have combined for 30 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 FF, 2 FR, 1 INT, and two defensive touchdowns.
- Tuli Tuipulotu, Byron Young, and Will Anderson are the top three rookie EDGE rushers. They have combined for 48 tackles and five sacks over their first four games.
Jonathon Cooper, DEN
The third-year pro from Ohio State has been a welcome surprise to IDP managers this season. Cooper is the DL9 in the young season and has been extremely productive. Cooper has 67.5 fantasy points over his last three games. He has the fifth most tackles among the DL position and is tied for fourth in sacks. He’s played at least 50 snaps in three straight games, and it’s likely he will keep that usage going forward with the recent release of veteran EDGE rusher Randy Gregory. The Broncos pass rusher has been a great waiver wire find in 2023.
Haason Reddick DL, PHI
This one is a head-scratcher for IDP managers. Reddick has been a cheat code over his last three seasons, totaling 39.5 sacks and 13 forced fumbles playing for three different teams. He’s had a gigantic falloff this season with just three tackles and one sack through four games. There are currently 200 DL with more fantasy points than Reddick this season. It’s still early, and a player with this type of skill can often draw a lot of attention from opposing offenses. IDP managers have a reason to be worried, as one of the most productive DLs is currently hurting your team. Great players go through slumps. It’s best to be patient and look to your depth to carry you until Reddick can start producing again.
Harold Landry, TEN
IDP dynasty managers were excited to get Landry back after missing the entire 2022 season with a torn ACL. Unfortunately, we have come away very disappointed after four weeks. He has compiled just seven combined tackles and one sack through the first four games. The Titans’ EDGE rusher was regarded as a top 20 dynasty asset among DL. Even coming off his injury, he’s struggled to find his way this season. Landry has just four pressures and has seen a decrease in snaps in each of his last three games.
We have to take into consideration that almost all players not named Adrian Peterson historically struggle after returning from an injury like this. The former Boston College pass rusher is still only 27 years old and has proven he can be effective. As a non-contending team, this is a prime opportunity to potentially swap an overperforming player at the DL position for Landry to a contending team. These are the types of deals that have a long-term payoff and should be taken advantage of.
Leonard Floyd, BUF
The former Chicago Bear and Los Angeles Rams EDGE rusher has found himself being a productive IDP in Buffalo. He ranks tied for seventh in sacks while playing for one of the best defenses in the NFL. Floyd is averaging 12.25 fantasy points per game this season and has been an effective contributor to dynasty teams early on. The savvy dynasty managers are looking to unload a player like Floyd. Even if you can gain a mid-round 2024 rookie pick, it’s likely worth it.
There’s a good chance he may end up with more than seven sacks, as he has in each of his last three seasons, but the inconsistent production isn’t worth the aggravation. Floyd has only finished with double-digit fantasy points in back-to-back games twice over his last 22 starts. The Buffalo Bills system is also one of the most rotation-friendly systems in the NFL. They currently have eight different players playing more than 30% of snaps, and Von Miller is set to return over the next few weeks. The time to unload Floyd would be now before Miller returns, and the situation gets even more cloudy for the Bills defensive line rotation.
DL Risers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Drake Jackson, SFF
Byron Young, LAR
Jalen Carter, PHI
DL Fallers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Tyree Wilson, LVR
Cameron Jordan, NOS
Joey Bosa, LAC
DL Points Per Snap Standouts (Weeks 1-4)
- Chris Jones – 0.47 Fantasy Points Per Snap
- Josh Allen – 0.47 Fantasy Points Per Snap
- T.J. Watt – 0.45 Fantasy Points Per Snap
Most DL Pressures (Weeks 1-4)
- Aidan Hutchinson – 19
- T.J. Watt – 18
- Josh Allen – 15
Things to Know
- Thirteen different LBs are averaging more than 20 fantasy points per game through the first four weeks.
- The top 15 LBs through four weeks consist of four pairs of teammates. The Seahawks, Jets, Bears, and Ravens make up for 8 of the top 15 highest scorers at the position.
- Seven LBs through four weeks have more than 40+ tackles. That’s on a 160+ tackle season pace. Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks have combined for 91 tackles through four games.
- Henry To’oTo’o (LB45), Ivan Pace (LB47), and Jack Campbell (LB55) are the top-scoring rookie LBs. All three are averaging over ten fantasy points per game.
Terrel Bernard, BUF
The Buffalo Bills’ decision to let Tremaine Edmunds leave in free agency opened up a big opportunity for IDP dynasty managers. Bernard was named the starter in the preseason, and he’s been outstanding to start the season. The 2022 third-round pick from Baylor has stepped up and ranks as the LB12 overall early in the season. He’s been all over the field for the Buffalo defense. He ranks second among all qualifying LBs in assisted tackles (16), according to Pro Football Focus. Bernard had a massive game in Week 3, recording seven tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception. He’s the first player to accomplish this since 2007, when Hall of Fame LB Brian Urlacher put up similar numbers. Dynasty managers have to be very pleased with the production from Bernard as an every-down LB in the Buffalo defense.
Devin Lloyd, JAX
The young LB has seen some ups and downs over the past season. Through the first nine games of last season, he averaged 65.5 snaps per game; since that time, he’s only played over 60 snaps four times. He’s shown inconsistent play and has even lost snaps to LB Chad Muma in the LB2 role alongside IDP stud Foyesade Oluokun. Lloyd has averaged 13 fantasy points per game this season but is now dealing with a thumb injury that will cost him at least two games. We often invest too high in top LBs in a draft class to find out they aren’t nearly as effective as we expected. IDP managers who have invested in Lloyd are likely burning two roster spots and stashing Chad Muma in hopes of having a startable LB each week. We can only hope after he returns to the lineup, he can reclaim his spot.
Nakobe Dean, PHI
There are very few LBs in the IDP community that carried as much hype as Nakobe Dean did this off-season. The former Georgia Bulldog was sent to injured reserve after just 49 snaps this season with an injury. Dean is still a high-upside dynasty LB; this is an opportunity to acquire him a lot cheaper than he was before the season.
In his absence, veteran LBs Nicholas Morrow and Zach Cunningham have been solid. This scenario is more team-dependent. If a contender has Dean and could be looking for a higher points-per-game LB at the position, you can make an offer to potentially acquire him and stash him. The ability of a non-contending team to stash young players at LB is a viable strategy in IDP leagues. We often use this practice on the offensive side in dynasty fantasy football, but even contenders are unlikely to part with a struggling young WR or RB because of the ‘what if.’ Those same managers are more likely to part with IDPs because they are deemed more replaceable.
Alex Anzalone, DET
Anzalone is leading the Detroit Lions LBs in snap share at 96% for the season. He hasn’t been spectacular, but he is carrying a near 14 points-per-game average. The former Florida Gator has bounced around the league as a rotational LB but has found an everydown role with the Lions. This is a long-term play that the combination of rookie Jack Campbell and third-year pro Derrick Barnes will take over.
As an IDP dynasty manager, if you can get out of aging IDP assets before it’s too late, that’s a plus. The Lions spent a top 20 pick in the 2023 NFL draft on Jack Campbell, and he’s slowly seeing his snap share rise above the 60% mark. If a contending team is looking for LB help, Anzalone is a perfect candidate to ship off for a mid-round rookie pick or depth at a position of need. IDP managers know the drill: keep it simple, out with the old and in with the new.
LB Risers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Terrel Bernard, BUF
Patrick Queen, BAL
Kenneth Murray, LAC
DL Fallers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Brian Asomoah, MIN
Devin Lloyd, JAX
Shaq Leonard, IND
LB Tackles per game Standouts (Weeks 1-4)
- Zaire Franklin – 14.25 TPG
- Bobby Wagner – 12.5 TPG
- Quay Walker – 11.75 TPG
Top LB Tackle Duos (Weeks 1-4)
- Bobby Wagner & Jordyn Brooks – 91 Tackles – 22.75 Average TPG
- T.J. Edwards & Tremaine Edmunds – 90 Tackles – 22.5 Average TPG
- Roquon Smith & Patrick Queen – 79 Tackles – 19.75 Average TPG
Things to Know
- Two of the top six DBs after four weeks are rookies – Devon Witherspoon and Brian Branch
- Twelve DBs are averaging over 20 fantasy points per game through four weeks. Daron Bland is the only DB in the top 12 without 20 tackles on the season
- A youth movement – Second-year safeties Dax Hill (DB1) and Kyle Hamilton (DB8) are shining as starters
- Camryn Bynum, Jevon Holland, and Kamren Curl are all on pace for their first 100+ tackle seasons
Brian Branch, DET
The IDP community as a whole was all in on the player Branch but was disappointed after he was drafted to a crowded depth chart. The Detroit Lions have three DBs who all seemingly were ahead of the former Alabama DB. Branch was relegated to the nickel back, which is a role he would thrive in but could hurt his value from a fantasy-scoring perspective. A few injuries have changed the landscape for the rookie DB. He is averaging 20.25 fantasy points per game and already has a pick-six on his resume through the first four games. Branch has been as good as expected and, with a little luck, finds himself firmly as a top 12 DB in the early part of his rookie season.
Jordan Poyer, BUF
Poyer returning to the Buffalo Bills after testing free agency early in the off-season seemed to be the best-case scenario for IDP managers. The hope was he could continue the consistent play that saw him finish as a top 15 DB yearly. Through the first four weeks, as good as the Buffalo defense has been, he hasn’t been a huge part of that. He’s averaging just ten fantasy points per game and currently ranks as the DB141 on the season.
The Bills defense is bottom five in the NFL in snaps played per game, which is surely hurting his chances to score points. With the combination of declined play, missed games due to injury, and his team has potential to blow out bad teams, he is on pace for his worst fantasy finish since joining the Bills in 2017. He’s not droppable, but he’s not a trustworthy IDP to have in your lineup at this point.
Russ Yeast, LAR
Yeast is a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft from Kansas State. He takes over as the most IDP-relevant DB for the Los Angeles Rams this season. He has played 99% of the defensive snaps for the Rams this season, and although he’s not scoring at a top-tier rate, he’s a player that should be on your radar. The Los Angeles Rams have produced consistent DBs in the past in this system. Yeast has also scored in double-digit figures in three of his four starts. It’s not going to cost you much to acquire the Los Angeles DB; he can even be acquired as a throw-in on a bigger trade. I’m not sure he ever carries a 15+ FPPG pace, but he’s young enough and playing in a favorable system for fantasy scoring.
DaRon Bland, DAL
The Dallas Cowboys cornerback is the DB7 on the season in large part due to his three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. He has 66.6 of his 80 fantasy points in those games; he returned an interception for a score. Bland is the perfect example of a big play-dependent fantasy scorer at the DB position. Even in CB-required leagues, he’s an easy sell as this type of scoring will even itself out, and he will slowly be a replaceable DB as the season goes on. In IDP leagues, it’s a viable strategy to ride the hot hand, but with a player who has a very low tackle ceiling, it’s never a good idea to think he will continue to record impact plays weekly.
DB Risers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Devon Witherspoon, SEA
Dax Hill, CIN
Jabrill Peppers, NEP
DB Fallers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Jordan Poyer, BUF
John Johnson, LAR
Jeremy Chinn, CAR
DB Tackles per game Standouts (Weeks 1-4)
- Camryn Bynum – 10.75 TPG
- Jevon Holland – 9.75 TPG
- Kam Curl – 9.25 TPG
DB Interception Leaders (Weeks 1-4)
- Daron Bland – 3
- Jordan Whitehead – 3
- Jessie Bates III – 3
That will do it for the first quarter of the season’s IDP report. There’s an abundance of data to consume in these, which is why we only put them out every four games. We hope that this is beneficial to IDP managers, both new and old. The IDP side of dynasty fantasy football doesn’t get the attention it deserves, so we will do whatever we can to do our part.
We will be back later this week with the ‘Man Coverage’ series to give you all that weekly IDP goodness you’ve grown used to reading. The Dynasty Nerds IDP team appreciates your support, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions that we can help you answer. Until next time, keep building those dynasty-contending teams, and remember, defense can win championships, too.