IDP Stock Up/Stock Down
Can you feel it? The NFL season is right around the corner. The entire league has had their Week 3 dry run, and rosters are starting to take shape. Some defenders’ IDP stock has taken a hit, while others have taken advantage of their opportunity and see their stock on the rise. After three weeks of preseason football, here’s a look at whose IDP stock is up….and whose is down.
IDP Stock Up
Christian Kirksey, ILB, Cleveland Browns
Christian Kirksey is entering his third year and finally looks to have solidified his role. He’s been starting and has also appeared in nickel packages during the preseason. Kirksey’s 11 solo tackles have resulted in a near 14-percent tackle rate, and he’s looking like a solid LB4 in drafts who could return LB3 numbers.
Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
I know what you’re asking, “Mike, how, can an already elite IDP’s, stock get any higher?” Simple. Khalil Mack’s position designation changed from LB to DL/DE. I had him ranked among the top-25 LBs, but his move to DE boosts his IDP value, as I now have him as a DL2. His fantasy scoring will look much better among defensive linemen.
Justin March, ILB, Kansas City Chiefs
Justin March saw 55 preseason snaps and received the start alongside Derrick Johnson in the third preseason game. As of now, signs are pointing to him starting and receiving nickel snaps this season. I would look at him as an LB5 in deeper leagues if you’re starting three or more linebackers and have a deep bench.
Erin Henderson, ILB, New York Jets
Erin Henderson has held off rookie Derron Lee through most of the preseason and has notched eight tackles in two preseason games. Henderson has been a two-down thumper throughout most of his career, but he’s played well alongside David Harris this preseason. With Harris already questionable for Week 1, Henderson’s stock is on the rise.
T.J. Green, SS, Indianapolis Colts
Clayton Geathers may become a victim of the “never let them see your backup” adage. Geathers has been dealing with a broken foot, and Green has produced a 13.9-percent tackle rate in 72 preseason snaps, Green could get a shot and significant playing time this season and is worth a look as a DB streamer.
Zach Brown, ILB, Buffalo Bills
Zach Brown will be the beneficiary of the Reggie Ragland injury. Brown received 54 preseason snaps and was the WILL inside linebacker opposite Preston Brown (who should see nickel snaps, as well). Brandon Spikes is familiar with the Bills system, but is more of a run stopper. I prefer Brown for IDP purposes.
Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Jacksonville Jaguars
James Sample was put on IR, thus opening the door for Jonathan Cyprien, once again. Cyp has had tackle issues, but he’s still averaged nearly 108 tackles per season. He’s on the DB1 radar.
Chris Long, DE, New England Patriots
Rob Ninkovich was already dealing with a triceps injury, but now is dealing with a four-game suspension for a banned substance. Jabaal Sheard is also dealing with an injury, so Chris Long could step in and play some significant snaps at the outset. His value is rising and I'm looking at him as a potential DE3.
IDP Stock Down
Derron Lee, ILB, New York Jets
Derron Lee was drafted in the first round and it was thought he’d be playing alongside David Harris. Instead, Lee has lost out to Erin Henderson and could see very few snaps each week during the regular season. He's still a dynasty chip, but Lee is off the re-draft radar.
Clayton Geathers, SS, Indianapolis Colts
Clayton Geathers’ broken foot has allowed T.J. Green to emerge during the preseason. Geathers may not land on the PUP list, but his status for Week 1 and beyond is in doubt.
Jelani Jenkins, WLB, Miami Dolphins
Jelani Jenkins is dealing with a knee injury and his status for Week 1 is now in question. He has does some time to recover as he most likely won’t play in the final preseason game, but Jenkins is one of the Dolphins better cover ‘backers so his absence will hurt.
Mario Edwards, DE, Oakland Raiders
A hip injury has made Mario Edwards a candidate for the IR/Designated to Return list. Edwards has been out since the preseason opener, and hip injuries can be tricky. He was originally scheduled to be out 4-6 weeks, and will be out for the first six games if placed on IR.
Nate Irving, ILB, Indianapolis Colts
Turned in a decent preseason and it was expected that he'd play alongside D'Qwell Jackson at ILB. His role in nickel packages was unknown, but he was decent run stopper. As of now, he was part of the Colt roster cuts and may not land in a spot that warrants IDP consideration.
IDP Stock Up
Harold Jones-Quartey, SS, Chicago Bears
HJQ has turned in a solid preseason, playing well in the box and in coverage. He received 41 snaps in Week 3 of the preseason and 82 total snaps through three games. He’s produced a 10.8-percent tackle rate in those snaps and is set to be the starting strong safety for the Bears.
Kasim Edebali, DE, New Orleans Saints
Kasim Edebali is set to start alongside Cameron Jordan on the defensive line. Edebali received 74 defensive snaps during the preseason and notched two sacks and two QB hits. Edebali is a deep sleeper on a line that should be busy, and if Jordan sees extra attention, he could excel in single coverage.
Nigel Bradham, ILB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nigel Bradham received the start in Week 3 of the preseason and also saw the nickel snaps alongside Jordan Hicks. He’s still playing the SAM spot in the Eagles base defense, but his presence in nickel packages should give him a boost in IDP value. Over the next several weeks, Bradham’s usage will be something to keep an eye on.
Benson Mayowa, DE, Dallas Cowboys
Benson Mayowa has emerged as the DE to own in Dallas, as suspensions and injuries have thrust him into significant playing time. Mayowa got the start and appeared in 13 snaps in Week 3 of the preseason, recording two tackles (including one for a loss). He’s a target in deeper leagues.
Ray-Ray Armstrong, ILB, San Francisco 49ers
Ray-Ray Armstrong has thrust him himself into the conversation for starting ILB alongside Navorro Bowman. He was solid during the preseason in coverage, taking good angles and making good tackles. He’s logged 71 preseason snaps and has notched eight tackles, including one for a loss and a defended pass. Armstrong is someone worth watching if Michael Wilhoite and Gerald Hodges struggle.
Frank Clark, DE, Seattle Seahawks
Frank Clark should be part of the ‘Hawks DE rotation. He was a force in Weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason, producing six tackles, 1.5 sacks and two QB hits. Clark should be a situational pass rusher and looks to be a solid target in big-play scoring formats.
James Bradberry, CB, Carolina Panthers
James Bradberry has stepped in and solidified a starting role at RCB. He started the three preseason games and logged 90 defensive snaps, notching nine tackles and a defended pass. He’ll be a target in CB-required leagues.
Blake Martinez/Jake Ryan, ILBs, Green Bay Packers
Martinez was wearing the green dot throughout preseason and Ryan looks like he'll get the start and snaps alongside Martinez now that Sam Barrington has been released. There's sleeper appeal in leagues that require three or more LB starters.
IDP Stock Down
New York Giants LBs
There hasn’t been a Giants linebacker to emerge as a defender to own, and there could be heavy rotations between all three spots. Jonathan Casillas has been wearing the dot, but he suffered a rib injury in Week 3. Jasper Brinkley and Keenan Robinson have been sharing snaps at MIKE. Devon Kennard has the most talent among the LB group, but doesn’t have a three-down role nailed down. At this point, this is a situation to avoid.
Anthony Hitchens, MLB, Dallas Cowboys
The addition of Justin Durant has put Hitchens’ role in doubt. Durant received the start and nickel snaps in Week 3 of the preseason. It’s hard to trust Hitchens as anything more than bench depth at this point.
Datone Jones, OLB, Green Bay Packers
Datone Jones’ positional change from DE to LB has put a ding in his IDP value, as he’s behind Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Nick Perry on the depth chart. Jones would have had more IDP value had he stuck at DE.