IDP Thoughts: Week 2


​​The Fun Police

Let’s start with a quick discussion of two plays I believe should be made illegal in football. They take an exception to the normal rules of the game and exploit it for an unfair advantage.

1. The first play to be banned is the fake fair catch return, which we saw last week in college football. If you missed it, the returner fielded the punt and acted as if he had made a fair catch. He stood still for a second and then began to walk towards the sideline. The rest of the team were simultaneously walking toward the bench, when they stopped and formed a wall. The returner sprinted towards the wall and scored a touchdown.

Everyone loved it. It made the top plays on the network and people were praising the team on social media.

Not this guy.

It made me angry.

The fair catch is allowed in football to prevent a player from getting crushed on a high punt. It prevents serious injuries every game, by allowing a returner to offer an agreement to the defense. I won’t run this back and you won’t murder me. Simple.

If teams are faking fair catches, special teams players are going to start hitting returners in error. This didn’t work in the XFL and it won’t work in the NFL. Let’s nip this in the bud and eliminate the option. Ban the fake fair catch return!

2. I view the fake spike play with an unhealthy amount of disdain. It may be because I am a Jets fan or maybe because I abhor cheating. Either way, this play needs to be removed from the game.

The spike play is an exception to the intentional grounding rule. The ball is not being thrown towards a receiver, the QB is not out of the pocket, and the ball doesn’t cross the line of scrimmage. This play is beneficial because it allows for teams to control the clock in the last three minutes of each half and creates comeback opportunities. Defensive linemen do not rush on spike plays and offensive linemen stand up, barely touching their counterparts.

This is the agreement. The QB is not getting called for intentional grounding, the clocks stops to save time, and other players do not engage as they would normally do.

The fake spike voids that agreement. How would you feel if your team is trying to spike the ball and a safety hurdles the line to hammer the QB? Or if the nose tackle dives at the knees of your star guard? You wouldn’t like it at all, much like Doug Marrone coaching his players to dive at the knees of the Giants when they were taking a knee to run out the clock.

So, as a duly appointed member of the fun police (as my wife often tells me), I am hereby banning these two plays. You’re welcome.

Random Observations

Last week we discussed the new penalties and how they affect how we play in our IDP leagues. This week we saw the Minnesota Vikings get bailed out by a bogus call on Clay Matthews. The Great White Wail was heard across the land as Packers fans lost their collective minds. The league needs to make these penalties reviewable before next season, they happen too fast for a ref to make an accurate call 100% of the time.

On a positive note, Damontae went Kazee hitting Cam Newton in the head after he had started his slide. He was ejected which was the right call on the play. Oddly, after taking a hard shot to the head, Cam was observed for about 10 seconds before being allowed back onto the field. Are we to believe the medical staff adequately examined him in that time? Not likely.

Charles Chill (@charleschillffb) noted Duke Riley saw a huge uptick in usage for Atlanta this weekend, playing 58/67 snaps. He is clearly receiving the snaps lost due to the Deion Jones injury. If he is on your waiver wire, pick him up.

Tom Kislingbury (@TomDegenerate) continues to provide great visuals via twitter to help understand defensive usage. He compared player’s QB pressures to their sack totals, to give us an idea of players that you should pick up on the cheap or trade while they are high. Grady Jarrett, Carl Lawson, Aaron Donald, and Yannick Ngakoue are getting to the QB a ton. See if you can pick them up from a disgruntled owner. Conversely, TJ Watt, DeForest Buckner, Von Miller, and Larry Ogunjobi are getting sacks at an unsustainable rate. Outside of Ogunjobi, who was my sleeper pick on the Browns, I would try to trade these players at peak value.

Davon Godchaux is playing like a man among boys. I was watching the game with my son and told him to watch Godchaux due to his relentlessness. He seemed to be collapsing pockets and stuffing runs on every other play. Look upon his Works and despair! Get him on your team before everyone finds out.

Defensive Line and Linebacker Notes

Let's take a look at the NFC and AFC North defensive lines and linebackers.

Baltimore Ravens:

  • After the week 1 blowout of the Cardinals, the Ravens resumed normal usage in week 2.

  • Kenny Young has seen an uptick in usage after CJ Mosley left the game with an injury. However, the Ravens are looking to Patrick Onwuasor to pick up the slack as well. He put up 8 total tackles with Kenny Young contributing 7 total tackles. Monitor the situation and see what happens when Mosley returns.

  • Za’Darius Smith has played 56% and 71% of snaps in weeks 1 and 2 respectively. With 6 total tackles and 1 sack, keep Za’Darius on your radar.

Cleveland Browns:

  • With Christian Kirksey out, Jamie Collins saw an increase in snaps. With 5 total tackles, Jamie is not a threat to Christian.

  • Emmanuel Ogbah missed the game with an ankle injury. Chris Smith started in his place, but saw fewer snaps than the first week. Anthony Zettel, Chad Thomas, and Carl Davis saw some snaps, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

Cincinnati Bengals:

  • Michael Johnson was hurt early in the game. Sam Hubbard filled in for him and the cupboard wasn’t bare. Sam had 5 total tackles and a sack.

  • Preston Brown was inactive for Thursday night and Hardy Nickerson held down the position for the Bengals. He performed well with 8 total tackles.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

  • This defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed this week.

  • Usage remained the same from week 1.

Chicago Bears:

  • Jake and Elwood are happy to see Roquan Smith playing 89% of the snaps on Sunday. Posting 7 solo tackles, Roquan is now following in the steps of Butkus, Urlacher, and Singletary as the starting MLB for the Monsters of the Midway.

  • Other than the Roquan Smith for Nick Kwiatkoski swap, usage remained steady from week 1.

Detroit Lions:

  • Kerry Hyder saw a large decrease in usage in week 2. I’m not sure if there was an injury or if it was performance based, but I can’t find Hyder on the injury report. Romeo Okwara seemed to benefit, but he failed to register any stats.

  • Jalen Reeves-Maybin also saw a significant decrease, playing only 5% of the snaps. Christian Jones benefited from the increased playing time and registered 6 total tackles and a sack. He is worth a speculative add if you have roster space.

  • A’Shawn Robinson returned from injury and posted 4 total tackles. Look for him to continue to improve and be a top 10 DT this season. He is a must add in DT required leagues.

Green Bay Packers:

  • Clay Matthews was robbed of a game winning tackle by a roughing-the-passer penalty. However, it is good to remember that bad calls happen both ways during games and they had every opportunity to avoid the dreaded tie. BTW, can we stop saying a tie is like kissing your sister? I don’t know where this phrase comes from, but it is creepy and needs to stop.

  • Similar LB usage compared to week 1, with Korey Toomer, Kyler Fackrell, and Antonio Morrison receiving slight bumps.

Minnesota Vikings:

  • Usage on the defensive line was remained steady. The stars of the line, Griffen, Joseph, and Richardson all saw slight bumps, while Hunter remained the same.

  • Ben Gedeon lost snaps in nickel packages to Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes.

Alright IDPers, good luck in week 3 and, as always, hit me up on Twitter (@jjwenner) with any questions.

JJ Wenner

IDP and Dynasty Writer

@jjwenner

#IDP #DefensivePlayers #2018 #fantasyfootball247 #Advice #Predictions #Analysis #DamontaeKazee #CamNewton #DukeRiley #GradyJarrett #CarlLawson #AaronDonald #YannickNgakoue #TJWatt #DeForestBuckner #VonMiller #LarryOgunjobi #DavonGodchaux #KennyYoung #PatrickOnwuasor #CJMosley #ZaDariusSmith #ChristianKirksey #JamieCollins #EmmanuelOgbah #ChrisSmith #AnthonyZettel #ChadThomas #CarlDavis #MichaelJohnson #SamHubbard #PrestonBrown #HardyNickerson #RoquanSmith #KerryHyder #JalenReevesMaybin #AShawnRobinson #ClayMatthews

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