If you read through my preseason article on IDP tackle opportunity trends, you probably kept a closer eye on the tackle situations in the AFC East and West. The East appears strong again and potentially stronger as the Jets and Dolphins ran far more effective offenses that moved the ball through the middle of the field which is great for IDP. The AFC West was down but one week of data is not even close to a proper sample set. I will check in on this throughout the season.
I’m highlighting a few of the key IDP situations for you. If you have more specific questions hit me up here or on Twitter.
Buffalo Linebacker Situation
If you are in a shallow league, Preston Brown is most likely available. It’s also very likely that you will experience a high amount of competition for his services as everyone still remembers Alonso’s freakish numbers in this defense.
Instead of blowing your FA budget on Brown, I would advise to zig here and grab the more talented and proven Nigel Bradham for 1 percent of your free agent budget as he will be on the field for three downs and he is an ace in pass coverage. Bradham was serving a one-game suspension but all indications are strong that he has his job back this week.
On another Buffalo LB note, Brandon Spikes was pulled in obvious passing subpackages so I think he should be a sell right now to anyone in your league that doesn’t look at snap counts as his stats weren’t terrible but he missed out on around 20 snaps and that’s not what you drafted him for most likely.
My advice: Bid on Bradham for the value and let someone else overbid for Brown.
Sio Moore, Raiders
Like Brown, Moore’s fantastic outing should come with some caution for waiver wire seekers. First, the New York Jets gave up the most tackle opportunities for the week and next week Oakland will face Houston who created ⅓ less tackle opportunities than the Jets. Also consider that Nick Roach was out with a concussion and Moore filled the void admirably. Moore will have to compete with Roach for tackles going forward so note that before blowing your wad this week.
My advice: Bid 2-5 percent of your budget
Emmanuel Lamur, Bengals
Arthur Brown was supposed to be be the Kansas State LB breaking into the box scores but now his teammate Lamur has secured a three down starting job with his divisional rival Cincinnati. Considering that Vontaze Burfict left the game with a concussion. I’d call this situation interesting and with the Bengals stat crew to help with extra assists I’d call it decent. The upcoming schedule includes back-to-back home games against average to below average tackle opportunity opponents.
My advice: Bid 2-5 percent of your budget
Arthur Brown, Currently Ravens
Today Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens were actively shopping Brown for a trade (another source denied this). Brown failed to crack the starting lineup thanks to the Ravens drafting CJ Mosley. Now he is expendable and there are a ton of teams that could use a talented LB. Kansas City makes the most sense as its LB core is quite laughable at this point. This is a cheap option that could pay off big if you are in a deeper league and need the help at LB.
My advice: Bid the minimum amount if you have the roster space but don’t get too excited.
Nick Roach, Oakland
The possibility is there that an over-panicking owner dumps Roach after missing a game with a concussion in order to grab the hot pickup like Brown or Moore. If they do, scoop up Roach if your league will allow due to Oakland’s IDP-friendly schedule which kicks back into gear starting in Week 3. Jump all over Roach if he gets dropped.
Josh Mauga, Kansas City
He’s got a three-down role at ILB in a key division to rack up tackles this year so I’m all for adding him and expect LB3 production at worst each week. Mauga’s upcoming schedule of games looks promising for continued success.
My advice: Bid 2-5 percent of your budget if you are hurting at LB
Deeper Leagues (16-32 teams)
These are names to preemptively stash or acquire as they are getting some snaps and could be moving toward a larger role. These guys are nothing special but they can fill a box score for you if you are hurting.
Gerald Hodges, Vikings – Decent talent in his second year as a pro and had four tackles in limited opportunity last week but he’s versatile and has that Penn State LB pedigree which has had a lot of success in the NFL.
Tahir Whitehead, Lions – If I didn’t know what I was doing in IDP I’d probably consider dropping Whitehead as he was a dud in the box score this week. But do note that the Lions mostly played out of the nickel this week and Whitehead only received eight chances for tackles. Whitehead comps closest to Lawrence Timmons on the incredible mockdraftable.com and that’s great company in IDP. Next up for Whitehead is the Panthers who will require a base 4-3 defense to defend and Whitehead should be on the field for much of the game. I’ve got Tahir in a few leagues where I am going to sub him in over a rush LB next week with a bad matchup.