Welcome, IDP Nerds, to the second edition of the 2023 IDP quarterly report. This officially will go down as the IDP mid-season report. We will give you all that IDP goodness you so deserve to help you navigate through this season as an IDP manager. As you’ve come to expect, this report will include top performers at all three positions (DL, LB, DB) and buy-low and sell-high players. We are already eight weeks into the fantasy season; the more information you have, the easier it becomes to play in IDP leagues. As your IDP team lead of the #IDPNerds, it is my personal goal to make sure your respective IDP league, whether it’s your first time playing or 5th year playing, is one of your favorite leagues.
Things to Know
- Los Angeles Rams Rookie EDGE Byron Young leads all Rookie DL in snaps (461). One of only seven DLs to play 450+ snaps and one of only 4 Rookies to play 400+ snaps.
- Through eight weeks 20 DL have 7+ sacks. T.J. Watt is the only Top 12 DL with less than 20 tackles (18)
- Danielle Hunter is having an outstanding season. His rankings amongst DL this season: 1st in sacks, T-3rd in tackles, and T-2nd in Forced Fumbles. Your #FFIDP DL1 through 8 weeks
- Maxx Crosby leads all DL in snaps (531) and is 2nd in tackles (48). He’s the only top 12 DL through eight weeks with a PFF pass-rush grade over 90.0 and 0 coverage snaps played.
The Youth Movement In Denver
This was too good to leave one off; Jonathan Cooper (DL11) and Nick Bonitto (DL21) have been electric this season. Neither played over 40 snaps in Week 1 and since that time, they’ve played 40 snaps just once each. The two young uprising talents along the Denver defensive front have been solid contributors for IDP managers in the first half of the season. The Broncos’ duo have combined for 10 total sacks since Week 2 and have become must-start players for IDP managers.
The more experienced IDP managers know the difficulty of keeping young EDGE rushers on your roster. The 2023 Denver Broncos are a disaster but have gifted us with two productive defensive linemen under 25. Only the two continue to produce at their current pace and allow us the opportunity to plug them into our lineups as consistently as we have been this season. The Broncos EDGE rushers have combined for 59 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown through their first eight games. The best part of this is there’s an argument that both of these players were free going into Week 2 of this season, and now those IDP managers could be sitting on an investment that could bring back significant draft capital.
The Bosa Brothers
This one has been a pain point for IDP managers, as two of the premier EDGE rushers in the NFL have been ineffective this season. The Bosa brothers have been very dependable for IDP managers over their careers. Between the two of them, they have racked up seven seasons of at least 9 sacks. For different reasons, they have struggled this season; Joey Bosa has battled injuries over the past two seasons. Nick Bosa is playing for his third defensive coordinator in the past three seasons while also dealing with missed time in the off-season because of a contract holdout.
The first half of the 2023 season has been a forgettable one for the Bosa brothers, with a combined 35 tackles and 7 sacks. To put that in perspective, there are currently 13 DLs with 7 sacks or more and nine DLs with 35 tackles or more through eight games. As painful as it has been for IDP managers not to feel like they can depend on two of their most dependable players, it’s a long season, and players go through ups and downs in production. I have confidence we will see two of the NFL’s best EDGE players bounce back; they are just too good not to believe that. Do not fall victim to selling low on a premier IDP that you might regret later.
Mike Danna DL, Kansas City Chiefs
I usually wouldn’t advocate trading for a player during a breakout season, but this particular player is looked at as a flash in the pan by the IDP community. The reality is that Mike Danna has been extremely good in the first half of this season, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The former Michigan Wolverine is currently the DL24 through eight games and has recorded double-digit fantasy points in five of eight games while already posting a career-high in sacks (5.5).
The Kansas City Chiefs defensive line has not been very trustworthy for IDP managers in the past, but Steve Spagnuolo has this unit playing very good football. The Chiefs’ defensive line has been a pleasant surprise. George Karlaftis (DL22), Mike Danna (DL24), and Chris Jones (DL41) have all been plug-and-play starters this season. There’s risk involved as the Chiefs have spent high draft capital in the past two seasons on EDGE rushers, but Mike Danna has earned the trust of the coaching staff; he leads all Kansas City DLs in snap share (77%). The idea here is to play chess, not checkers, and believe in productivity. Even if he doesn’t stay in Kansas City long-term, there’s no doubt the NFL is taking notice of how effective he is. Those teams will likely look to add him in free agency when he becomes available.
Bryce Huff DL, New York Jets
The New York Jets EDGE defender Bryce Huff has been a nice surprise for IDP managers needing DL depth this season. He’s already set career highs in fantasy points and sacks (3.5) this season. The Jets EDGE rusher is on pace to play a career-high in games and sacks in 2023. He’s been highly effective on limited snaps (34%) this season. He’s averaging 0.34 points per snap this season and has recorded three consecutive double-digit performances.
Bryce Huff will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, in which he is on pace to set multiple career highs. There’s no doubt every roster Huff is on was from a waiver claim, so getting anything from him in terms of draft capital or help to your dynasty team is a bonus. There’s hope he will be given a big contract with a new team, but as an experienced IDP manager, I’m willing to take the chance and get what I can for now and not risk carrying a dead roster spot into next season.
DL Risers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Nick Bonitto DL, Denver Broncos
Byron Young DL, Los Angeles Rams
Boye Mafe DL, Seattle Seahawks
DL Fallers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Alex Highsmith DL, Pittsburgh Steelers
Drake Jackson DL, San Francisco 49ers
Joey Bosa DL, Los Angeles Chargers
Most DL Pressures (Weeks 1-8)
- Aidan Hutchinson – 28
- Josh Allen – 26
- Nick Bosa – 24
- Josh Sweat – 23
- Maxx Crosby – 22
Things to Know
- Tight Race for LB1 – Zaire Franklin and Foyesade Oluokun are within one tackle of each other, one fantasy point of each other, and less than a full point apart in fantasy points per game.
- Only three of the top 12 LBs through eight weeks are averaging less than 20 fantasy points per game.
- Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen are the only pair of teammates in the Top 12. The Bears, Seahawks, and Jets all feature two LBs in the top 24.
- Henry To’oTo’o (LB53), and Jack Campbell (LB63) are the top-scoring rookie LBs.
Terrel Bernard LB, Buffalo Bills
We discussed Terrel Bernard through four games in the first quarter report, but he’s been so good he deserves an encore. The Buffalo Bills’ answer to letting Tremaine Edmunds go in free agency was the LB12 through four games, and all he’s done since then is move up to LB3 over the next four games. The Buffalo LB is becoming an absolute beast at the LB position in IDP leagues.
He’s been cashing in on impact plays. His ranks for impact plays among LBs are first in fumble recoveries, second in interceptions, and tied 3rd in sacks. Bernard has produced both with and without All-Pro LB Matt Milano. IDP managers have started to get aggressive in buying shares of the Buffalo stud LB, and you can see why. He’s been one of the steals of the 2023 season, and through eight weeks, he’s earned that elusive title of ‘League Winner’ for IDP managers.
Devin White LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I don’t think this is as big of a surprise as we saw the steady decline even last season with Devin White. The Tampa Bay LB went from being in the conversation as the dynasty LB1 to sitting at LB47 eight games into this season. White has all the skills to be one of the best LBs in the NFL but can’t seem to produce consistently. He’s failed to put together back-to-back 10+ point performances through his first seven games this season. The former LSU product is on pace for his lowest tackle total and fantasy point total of his career. He’s been thoroughly outplayed by his running mate, 33-year-old LB LaVonte David.
There’s not much IDP managers can do at this point with Devin White. His dynasty value is at an all-time low, and selling him off for next to nothing feels like a loss. His usage, PFF grades, and overall performances from week to week leave you scratching your head. You have to hope his prime isn’t over at 25 years old. This is a player who has four straight 220+ point fantasy seasons, including a 350-point season in 2020. Although this is a big disappointment, you can’t help but hope he turns it around and, at the very least, starts being a consistent point producer at some point this season.
Christian Rozeboom LB, Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams LB has been a sneaky value this season playing alongside Ernest Jones. Christian Rozeboom is a South Dakota State product who found himself in a starting role for a very unproven Los Angeles defense this season. He’s stepped up big, recording 41 tackles through his first eight games, and has become a solid depth piece at the LB position for IDP managers. He is the LB49 in his first half-season as a starting NFL linebacker.
I don’t know if I ever saw anyone valuing him very highly, but his tackling upside gives him long-term value. He could be a very easy target for non-contending dynasty managers looking to stash players for next year. I wouldn’t be worried about his age (26). As we know, age isn’t nearly as big of a factor on defense as it can be on offense. There’s a chance a dependable tackler on the cheap can be a consistent IDP fantasy producer. Look at Alex Singleton as a great example of that. I’m not saying Rozeboom is that same player, but what it costs to acquire him is worth the risk if that’s his upside.
Drue Tranquill LB, Kansas City Chiefs
Drue Tranquill has significantly benefited from the injury to Chiefs LB Nick Bolton. Tranquill stepped in for Bolton after he dislocated his wrist and landed on IR. The former Notre Dame LB has scored 10+ points in six straight games; he’s averaged 18.5 fantasy points per game during that stretch. Tranquill is as hot as any LB in football right now, working his way up to the LB25 through the first eight weeks.
IDP managers who are not contending can benefit from shopping Drue Tranquill. Regardless, if a contending manager doesn’t see much long-term value in the LB, it’s hard to ignore the production if you are looking to win it all. This is not Nick Bolton’s first injury scare this season, and there’s a chance we could see a good amount of Tranquill even when he does return. This is another case of acquiring a player for free and looking to flip for any draft capital to help improve your roster in the long term. Dynasty managers might feel like moves like this are not worth the effort, but it could be one you look back on in a few years and are glad you put in that effort to get a deal done.
LB Risers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Terrel Bernard LB, Buffalo Bills
Kyzir White LB, Arizona Cardinals
T.J. Edwards LB, Chicago Bears
DL Fallers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Christian Harris LB, Houston Texans
Devin White LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Isiah Simmons LB, New York Giants
LB Tackles per game Standouts (Weeks 1-8)
- Zaire Franklin – 12.75 TPG
- Foyesade Oluokon – 11.5 TPG
- T.J. Edwards – 10.62 TPG
Top LB Tackle Duos (Weeks 1-8)
- Roquon Smith & Patrick Queen – 151 Tackles – 18.87 Average TPG
- T.J. Edwards & Tremaine Edmunds – 148 Tackles – 18.5 Average TPG
- Bobby Wagner & Jordyn Brooks – 143 Tackles – 20.42 Average TPG
- C.J. Mosley & Quincy Williams – 142 Tackles – 20.28 Average TPG
Things to Know
- Two of the top 5 DBs after four weeks are Cornerbacks – They have combined for 7 INTs and 4 Defensive TDs
- The Minnesota Vikings have 3 of the Top 12 DBs – All three players are averaging more than 15 fantasy points per game
- 15 DBs are on pace for 100+ tackle seasons – Cam Bynum & Kam Curl rank 4th and 15th among all defensive players in solo tackles
- Of the 8 different DBs to have 3+ INTs through eight weeks – Only DaRon Bland and Darious Williams are ranked in the Top 12 DBs
Camryn Bynum DB, Minnesota Vikings
When your DB1 through the mid-way point of the season is not a name you expect, it will be a big surprise, naturally. Camryn Bynum is having a breakout season for the ages. The third-year pro from the University of California is single-handedly keeping IDP managers alive with his 21+ points per game average in 2023.
Camryn Bynum is on pace to shatter his career highs in fantasy points, forced fumbles, sacks, and interceptions this season. He’s just four tackles shy of his 17-game total from last season. Adding Brian Flores as the Vikings defensive coordinator has done wonders for his dynasty value. IDP managers have to hold the Minnesota Vikings DB in high regard. He’s nearly 40 points clear of the next closest DB in fantasy points this season. There’s always depth to find at the DB position in dynasty leagues, but having a player who can score on par with top WRs in your leagues is such an advantage for dynasty managers.
Top Defensive Backs Underperforming
It’s been a rough start to the season for those IDP managers who bought the hype on the top DBs from a season ago. Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers, who is coming off back-to-back 115+ tackle seasons and back-to-back 250+ point fantasy seasons, has been awful. The star DB is the DB72 through the first half of the season; he has missed a full game due to injury and had a bye week already this season. Regardless, he’s on pace for his low tackle season in seasons he’s played at least six games. IDP managers expecting at minimum 15+ points per game average have been down big time this season.
The Young Guns
Jalen Pitre is regarded as the DB1 in most IDP ranking lists headed into this season and has also struggled. A huge part of his struggles has been his availability. The second-year pro from Baylor had a magnificent season as a rookie last season, recording 147 tackles and 5 interceptions. He was unfortunately hurt in the opening game of the season and has been working his way back, only playing five of the team’s first seven games. The young DB has just 28 tackles in five games and is on pace to score roughly half the number of fantasy points he did as a rookie last season.
Jaquan Brisker is another second-year DB coming off a monster rookie season with poor numbers in 2023. The Penn State standout posted 100+ tackles and 200+ fantasy points last season. He’s also struggled with injuries this season but has only missed one game. His ineffective play in the Chicago defense has been noticeable. The biggest hit to his production has been tackle volume, which is affected by the Chicago linebackers, who are second in the NFL and averaging 18.5 tackles per game. This has hurt Brisker’s consistency as he’s being turned into an impact play-dependent DB. Those types of safeties are the hardest to rely on for IDP managers, as impact plays are one of the hardest things to project when valuing a player’s production over a 17-game season.
I’ll look here to piggyback off my point above. As a dynasty manager of a struggling team that you have full confidence won’t make the playoffs, now is the time to send offers out for those struggling DBs who are having a down season. The players I broke down above are all DB63 or worse on the season, but all have proven they can be effective players for your IDP teams.
On the flip side, when you are competing in a given year, there are moves you are willing to make to ensure you are prepared ahead of the league’s trade deadline to compete for a dynasty championship. Remember, it’s not about winning trades on the IDP side as much as about having the right players to make a run at being crowned league champion. Will you be frustrated in a year trading away a perceived top 5 DB for a veteran player having a good year? It’s likely, yes, but knowing you won the league will easily trump that. Just ask the Los Angeles Rams from a real football perspective.
Devon Witherspoon DB, Seattle Seahawks
Deon Witherspoon has had a strong rookie season for Seattle. He’s helping shape that secondary into a mini version of the ‘Legion of Boom’ that helped the team reach multiple Super Bowls. He burst onto the season with high-volume tackle numbers and even posted a 50+ point game against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. I’ve given recent examples above of why you can’t be over-reactionary to players being effective as a rookie and thinking it will last. The Seattle defense is very talented, and they have multiple players at LB and DB who have the potential to record double-digit tackles in a given week. Unfortunately, Witherspoon is not one of those players currently. This is an easy sell for future draft capital, especially in non-CB-required leagues.
DB Risers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Trevon Moehrig DB, Las Vegas Raiders
Kyle Hamilton DB, Baltimore Ravens
Jevon Holland DB, Miami Dolphins
DB Fallers DynastyGM IDP Rankings
Jeremy Chinn DB, Carolina Panthers
Jalen Pitre DB, Houston Texans
Jaquan Brisker DB, Chicago Bears
DB Points per Snap Standouts (Weeks 1-8)
- DaRon Bland – 0.36 PPS
- Brian Branch – 0.34 PPS
- Reed Blankenship – 0.33 PPS
DB Impact Play Leaders (Weeks 1-8)
- Antoine Winfield – 7
- Harrison Smith – 6
- Kyle Hamilton – 5
That does it for our mid-season IDP report, my fellow IDP nerds. As always, this is one of my favorite articles to put together during the year. I wish I had the time to do more in-depth breakdowns like this to give you an inside look at how I approach some of my IDP leagues during the season. I hope you continue to use all the data available to you to give you that edge you need to compete yearly in your leagues. Keep building those IDP dynasty powerhouses, and I look forward to seeing some of those dynasty championship trophies at the end of the year.