Before we get started, let me welcome to the first edition of my weekly column, IDP Thoughts. It is meant to give you some actionable advice for your IDP rosters, some insight to the life of fantasy junkies, and hopefully a bit of humor. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @jjwenner and share any feedback. Here we go…
I am not the first to say this, but this is going to be one strange year in IDP.
There are three major items that we need to pay attention to moving forward: targeting and roughing penalties, changes to the off-season roster cut-down schedule, and snap counts/role players.
Targeting and Roughing Penalties
In week one we saw Shawn Williams ejected for a targeting call and many sacks taken away by the dubious body weight rule.
How does this affect us?
We are going to see anomalies in stats when a player is ejected. Too many teams picked up Clayton Fejedelem in waivers because he had a solid week replacing the ejected Williams. Pay attention to how players received their stats and don’t overreact to high point totals. Conversely, don’t look at a certain Browns DE and think he had a poor week because he had a sack taken away on a bad penalty.
Changes to Offseason Roster Schedule
The league changed the schedule from two separate cuts (the first from 90 to 75 and the second from 75 to 53) to a single cut from 90 to 53 starting with this offseason.
How does this affect us?
Veteran cuts were generally given some opportunity in the past to sign with a new team and get acclimated with the system prior to the start of the season. By pushing the cut date back, all players had less of a chance to get signed by other teams. I predict we will see more in-season tweaking of rosters than in the past. Be patient and aware of what is happening. IDP requires a more nuanced approach during the season.
Snap Counts and Role Players
We are going to see a shift away from focusing on a few big name talents to knowing what roles each player is being assigned. This is going to emulate running back by committee and different receiver packages. Pay attention to what packages are being used and who is getting the snaps.
How does this affect us?
In the draft phase of IDP, we are able to spend more time focused on offense and wait to dive into the IDP portion of our team. In a recent draft, I was the last person to start picking IDP and ended up with a great roster. During the season, we need to pay close attention to trends and make adjustments ahead of our league mates. Make trades ahead of time and leave your opponents holding the bag.
Let’s take a look at some of the performances in Week 1 by defensive lineman...
Defensive Line Notes:
Philadelphia Eagles: The defending Super Bowl Champions have a rotation at the defensive end position with Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, and Chris Long all receiving similar snap counts. While this may not lead to a break out stat leader, you will find that all four will be startable in most leagues. I will keep an eye on this as the season progresses.
Cleveland Browns: Larry Ogunjobi received the vast majority of snaps in Week 1 and performed well. Looks like my sleeper pick has woken up! Ogunjobi is a must-start in DT-required leagues.
Washington: Beware of the Washington line, there are no starters here. If I had to make a prediction for this team? Payne. Da’Ron Payne may be the only roster-worthy player.
Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah was injured during the game and only played 32% of the snaps for the Lions. I traded all my shares of Ansah this offseason because of injuries and lack of consistent production. Wait for a big game and trade him away.
New York Jets: Despite injuring Matthew Stafford twice during the game, the Jets line generated very little pressure in Week 1. This is a long standing issue with the team. PFF is considering Brandon
Copeland as a DE because he rushed the passer on the vast majority of downs, often from a 3-point stance. If I had a nickel for every pressure he generated, I would need to borrow money to purchase anything costing $.05.
New England Patriots: How will the Patriots ever recover from the loss of their bearded Defensive Coordinator? Quite easily, as has been the case throughout Bill Belichick’s tenure in NE. Trey Flowers is the defensive end to own on the Pats and I would stash Deatrich Wise. Wise received only 31% of the snaps, but I expect that to rise over the first half of the season. Adrian Clayborn is a clear cut candidate for anyone rostering him on your team. He was in on only 30% of the snaps and was ineffective on 100% of them.
Indianapolis Colts: My favorite eastern European discus star, Margus Hunt, had quite a week. His 2 sacks nearly equaled his career numbers in Cincinnati. Although possible a fluke, he was in on 76% of the snaps. I would add him in all DT required leagues. Jabaal Sheard and Kemoko Turay combined for a single tackle despite being on the field for 71% and 40% of the defensive snaps respectively. Their production will rebound, but is worth monitoring.
Good luck in Week 2 and talk to you soon. Hit me up on Twitter with any questions or random IDP thoughts.
IDP and Dynasty Writer