NFC East - IDP Outlook 2018
Rising Star: Demarcus Lawrence - The NFL’s second leading sack producer is ready to storm the league in 2018. He may not have many tackles from year to year, but it is of no concern. The guy is a problem for offensive lines. He will be a key component to a young Dallas defense that is trying to make the postseason. He is a top 5 DL in most rankings lists. Draft the ‘‘War Daddy.”
Falling Star: Sean Lee - He is a stud. His tackle numbers are always top tier. He is a general on the field. A true veteran that can dictate the game few can on the defensive side of the ball. A hero always has an Achilles heel. Unfortunately, for Sean Lee, it’s his hamstring that curtails his ultimate value. If you draft him, realize it’s a huge risk, but with that risk comes elite LB production.
Sleeper: Jaylon Smith - Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “I mean, you can see it. His movement and everything is good, but you can see he knows what he’s doing and that really quickens you up. He’s done a great job of studying and all those things, so that is helping him look faster, and he’s getting healthier and healthier every day.” The regeneration of his peroneal nerve has allowed Smith to ditch the brace in 2018, according to sources. He seems poised to reach his potential in 2018.
Rising Star: Derek Barnett – The Eagles were formidable in 2017. Barnett came along as the season progressed so he seems to be on the upswing. His performance in the Super Bowl was a good indicator of his ability. He looks to build on his postseason play from a year ago and wants to add another title belt in the city of Brotherly Love.
Falling Star: Brandon Graham – The veteran LB is coming off ankle surgery. He had a career best season in 2017 with 9.5 sacks. He was a big time play maker in the Super Bowl. A veteran play-maker is always helpful. However, he seems to be in a slow injury recovery process at this point so be cautious if you draft him.
Sleeper: Fletcher Cox - As far as Defensive Lineman go, Cox is a stable force in the league. Dude is a true problem in the interior; Cox has the ability to, sack, strip and take a pigskin to the end zone. I like him late because he will be there, and this allows you to take other players that can dominate either side of the ball before Fletcher. He is a veteran and will give you some added points, big plays and solidarity to your front.
New York Giants
Rising Star: Landon Collins - Collins star is still rising. The 24 year old is coming off forearm surgery. Yet, there is no need to even think twice about adding Landon to your squad. This dude is a force. He is a tackle machine and is a ball hawk. Expect 85 tackles, 3 picks, and a handful or more of defended passes. He is omnipotent, you will draft him!
Falling Star: Olivier Vernon – Olivier Vernon is more than a man, he is a big man. He is a brute force tactician that has speed to reach the edge and demolish running backs. He has the strength to reach the quarterback as well. Since 2012 he has 44 sacks. He is moving from his natural position of DE in a 4-3 base, to play a 3-4 scheme in 2018. How this affects him, we will have to see. It seems that the new responsibility could give Olivier a new way of racking up IDP points because he will be freer to roam the field now, and even dropping back in coverage. He could either get lost in all the new responsibility, find it challenging to settle in, or he could take his play to another level. Either way he a stud that needs to be drafted.
Sleeper: Alec Ogletree - Mr. Ogletree has top 10 upside this year. Alec is a top tier tackle monster. In his 2nd season with the Giants, Alec has a chance to regain his elite status. The defensive coordinator is changing the scheme to 3-4 so again (see Vernon Olivier) look out for a schematic change to adjust the production numbers. With that said, listen to me. This dude is another tackle monster. 80+ tackles in each of the past 3 season’s leads the position in New York easily. Draft the guy. Don’t wait too long, but I see him past the 11th round and ready to give you productivity levels nearing elite status!
Rising Star: Zach Brown – His best year tackling-wise was 2016 with 149. Brown had 105 tackles last year in his first year with Washington. Add my man Zach Brown to the Stud Muffin, Tackle Monster category. He is a very talented LB that can sack the QB. Look for 110 tackles this year. I predict a better year this year now that he has settled in with his team for a full season. He is a reliable athlete too; you cannot discount availability in IDP. Stock up on your Tackle Monsters!
Falling Star: Ryan Kerrigan – Here is a player who is talented and still not quite elite. Kerrigan has made some big plays throughout his career and that’s why I like him, but I don’t have any problem avoiding said player until desperation time sets in to fill the need at his position.
Sleeper: D.J. Swearinger - Hey, this guy gets his hands on a lot of balls! 10 defended passes last year. 4 INT’s. 79 combined tackles in 2017 means D.J. gets busy when it comes to taking down opponents and making plays on the ball. He is not elite, but he is a well-rounded DB who scores points. Gusto! This is a player who can keep your fantasy IDP team in good shape if you need a late round guy with certain value. 102 total fantasy points last season averages out to almost 8 FPS a game. That’s actually very valuable for his position. Wait for him, and grab him late when you need this type of player.
Kevin Pollard Jr.