Streaming IDP options for Week 3 of the fantasy season
First, a quick recap of our streaming IDP options from last week. Our most successful position was in the secondary, where Matthias Farley and Daniel Sorensen both excelled. Farley led the Colts in tackles with eight, plus two passes defended. Sorensen, taking over for the injured Eric Berry, was a beast in the backfield, rushed the quarterback nine times and created five quarterback pressures, which resulted in three quarterback hits. Meanwhile, Ramon Humber had another double-digit tackle game with 11, including one for a loss. Our lineman picks, Anthony Zettel and Alex Okafor, each had four tackles. For a defensive lineman, that isn’t horrible, but a goose egg in the sack department is not what we wanted. Our last pick, Nick Kwiatkoski, was injured after just 16 snaps but was well on his way to a big game with four tackles in that span. Now it’s on to Week 3 for your IDP streamers.
To be fair, the entire Patriots defensive line should be on streamer watch as they play Houston. The Texans boast PFF’s worst run-blocking unit through the first two weeks of the season and have given up 13 sacks through two games. They are without Pro Bowler Duane Brown, who is holding out, and they’re attempting to replace him with not one but two bad players in Kendall Lamm and Chris Clark — both of whom grade near the bottom in PFF grading. On the right side is equally bad tackle Breno Giacomini, also graded toward the bottom of all tackles according to PFF. Needless to say, the Patriots defensive line should be licking their chops.
For streaming purposes, we’ll zero in on the rookie Wise. He has a sack in each game this season and is currently PFF’s seventh-graded 4-3 end. In 34 pass-rush snaps so far, he has an impressive seven pressures, or 16.9 percent of those snaps. That’s good for third among all 4-3 ends. All of this is on only 45 total snaps. However, that could soon change, as he’s trending toward seeing more action after playing over 40 percent of the Patriots snaps in Week 2 after just a quarter in Week 1.
The streaming of Lawson isn’t so much about him as it is the player he’s facing off against. He should be drawing Broncos lineman Menelik Watson. Watson is currently ranked 71st among all tackles according to PFF grading and has never had a grade above 60 in his entire four-year career. Perhaps the most promising statistic for Lawson:
Menelik Watson has already allowed 6 sacks. Only 12 OTs allowed more than that all of last season.
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) September 18, 2017
Now, that’s not to say Lawson isn’t able to produce on his own. He was a first-round pick last year but was playing in a new system along with being hurt most of the year. This year, under new coach Sean McDermott, he’s playing in a 4-3, which is the same formation he played in at Clemson that made him a first-round pick. Lawson’s comfort in the 4-3 shows as he has nine tackles and a sack through the first two games. He’s shown to be even more proficient in the run game as he has five defensive stops on 28 rush snaps for a 1.7 percent stop percentage, good for — third among 4-3 ends. Lawson figures to see even more run plays this week as the Broncos come to town averaging 37.5 rushes per game.
The inside linebacker position is almost becoming a curse in Chicago. First, Jerrell Freeman goes down with a season-ending injury, tearing his pectoral muscle. His immediate replacement, Nick Kwiatkoski (one of last week’s IDP streamers), goes down early in Week 2, playing 16 snaps before his own pectoral injury. Luckily for Kwiatkoski, that injury doesn’t appear as serious as Freeman’s, but he’s still going to miss a few weeks. Enter Christian Jones, who played 47 snaps after Kwiatkoski’s injury last week, tallying six tackles. Only fellow linebacker Danny Trevathan (whose pectoral muscle is just fine) played more snaps than Jones last week, a trend that is sure to continue.
Now, Jones is a third-stringer, so there’s a reason he wasn’t playing with the 1s or 2s. But half the battle in fantasy football (on offense or defense) is finding opportunity, and Jones will have it. He performed adequately enough last week, not allowing any missed tackles, so the Bears should stick with him for at least Week 3. The Bears play the Steelers, who are 7.5 favorites and, despite averaging “only” 23 points per game, are top 10 in time of possession, which could spell a long day for the Chicago defense. However, it could mean plenty of tackle opportunities for Jones.
As with Jones above, Hull’s main appeal is the opportunity he has with the Dolphins. Hull is essentially the last man standing among the Miami linebacker corps after rookie Raekwon McMillan tore his ACL, and free agent signee Lawrence Timmons went AWOL and got himself suspended. In their place last week, Hull played every snap and racked up the tackles with 10, including one for a loss. He also had three stops on 40 passing snaps.
Some linebackers have a lot of tackles because they’re good, while others have a lot of tackles because teams pick on them. Hull is in the latter. The Chargers threw seven times in Hull’s direction last week, and their receivers caught all seven passes, turning them into 70 yards. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had an absurd seven catches for 65 yards. Now, Hull gets the Jets, whose running backs had 11 targets in Week 1 and eight in Week 2. In general, the Dolphins have faced the least amount of runs so far, seeing just 28 rush attempts over both games. Hull is unlikely to have any picks or passes defended, but if you’re in a tackle-heavy league, he’s a fine choice.
While Harrison Smith is the Minnesota safety that typically garners most of the IDP attention, Sendejo isn’t a bad choice either. He’s been on the field for every snap, just like Smith, and actually has more tackles this year than Smith, 16-11. But much like Hull and Jones above, the reason for Sendejo’s fantasy success may be due to his lack of it on the actual field. For example, he currently ranks as PFF’s 65th-rated safety. And it’s not as if this is anything new for Sendejo, as he ranked 62nd last year and 77th the year before. The fact that the Vikings keep giving him significant snaps is odd, but fantasy players won’t be complaining.
For example, he’s currently 10th among safeties in snaps. Week 3 should see more of the same as the Vikings play Tampa Bay who ran 67 plays last week. Sendejo isn’t an every-week play by any means, but against a team that runs a lot of plays like the Bucs, he’s a good streamer.