2012 IDP Preseason Recap: Week 2 and Week 3

Listed below is a 30,000 foot view of all the major IDP happenings surrounding Week 2 and Week 3 NFL preseason action. My intent is to publish a summary report like this each week leading up to the regular season. This way our readers can stay abreast of all the important, latest breaking news and notes that will help them dominate the IDP portion of their drafts and led them to Fantasy Dominance.

Injury Notes
Curtis Lofton was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and will sit out the remainder of the preseason. He insists that he will be ready to go Week 1, however. Teammate David Hawthorne underwent surgery on his meniscus and his status is in doubt for the season opener and no timetable has been set for his return. These injuries, in addition to suspensions, led the Saints to trade for journeyman linebacker Barrett Ruud. I don't see a ton of value with Ruud as his play has severely declined in a short period of time. He has been beaten out by rookies in two consecutive seasons and will likely only serve as an injury replacement in New Orleans.

James Harrison had a knee scope done on his left knee and may miss some regular season action. He stated that he believes he will be ready for Week 1 however, despite not full-on practicing since 2011. If history is any judge, I think Harrison will be on the field sooner rather than later. If he does miss time, 2nd year player Chris Carter will be first in line for fill-in duties and is worth a look in deep, big-play leagues.

All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher has been suffering through significant knee issues and consequently took a trip to Europe to receive an experimental blood-spinning procedure that has helped other superstars such as Kobe Bryant return more quickly from injury. Even with this said, the Bears are "pessimistic" that Urlacher will be ready for Week 1. He's a notoriously tough guy, so if this injury is keeping him out, it must be quite serious. I'd let someone else take Urlacher in this year's fantasy drafts.

Jon Beason
recently admitted that he suffered a hamstring injury while overcompensating for his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon and is questionable for Week 1. With Thomas Davis' status also up in the air, James Anderson would slide into an every down role with Luke Kuechly if both players were unavailable Week 1.

Fourth round selection Miles Burris will enter the 2012 regular season as the Raiders starting weak side linebacker. Aaron Curry was expected to fill that role but his troublesome knees have now suddenly landed him on the roster bubble. Burris is only a two-down linebacker for now, but that could change later on in the season if he plays well enough. Definitely a player to keep an eye on in dynasty leagues.

Position Battles
Jordan Babineaux, perhaps my top DB sleeper, is now reportedly in a position battle with Robert Johnson for the Titans starting strong safety position. This is definitely a IDP situation to monitor. If Babineaux can hold onto the starting job, he has a solid shot at DB1 numbers.

Erik Coleman has been starting in place of the injured Amari Spievey in preseason and has a good chance to take over the starting strong safety duties. Although his tackle opportunity may be more limited in Detroit than in other places during his career, he's still a player to watch as he's put up 70+ solo tackles five times during his nine year career.

With Darian Stewart sidelined with a hamstring injury, Craig Dahl has been getting valuable playing time and has performed well. Stewart recently returned and played along side Dahl as free safety Quintin Mikell was out with his own injury. At this point, both players seem to have an equal chance at garnering the starting job. Until a starter has been named, it's a situation I'd probably avoid for fantasy purposes (although it will likely be a valuable one once the dust settles).

Subpackage Notes
Lavonte David has been used occasionally in nickel packages so far this preseason but I fully expect him to take over a full-time role in the coming weeks. He's the popular option to lead the Bucs in tackles this season, and while that may be the case, keep your eye on Mason Foster as a dark horse candidate to be Tampa's tackle leader. His play has been much improved over last season and he figures to be a focal point of Greg Schiano's defensive scheme/philosophy.

With Aaron Curry really struggling with knee issues, Phillip Wheeler has been slotted into an every down role in Oakland. Playing on the strong side will ultimately limit his upside, however.

Jonathan Casillas figures to get the lion's share of base and subpackage snaps on the weak side for as long as David Hawthorne is out. I've never been a big fan of the outside linebackers in New Orleans' scheme and don't see much value there. However, Hawthorne's absence does make Curtis Lofton that much more attractive from a fantasy perspective.

Bruce Carter has taken the lead over Dan Connor in the battle for the "TED" linebacker position in Dallas. He's a very good coverage linebacker and has consequently been playing in subpackages along with his base duties. I've bumped Carter way up in my rankings and if he enters the season as the starting every down inside linebacker next to Sean Lee, he has immediate LB3+ value.

Jerrell Freeman was playing alongside Kavell Conner in nickel subpackes and figures to be a nice late round draft/waiver wire selection in those SUPER deep leagues for at least the first handful of games while Pat Angerer is sidelined. Ultimately, Conner is the player to own though.

Bobby Wagner continues to leave the field on the majority of third downs. This has me a bit concerned and I've dropped him not my rankings 10-15 spots. With the linebacker position being so deep, I just don't think it makes sense to take a gamble on Wagner as a starter (LB3) in 12 team leagues until we can be confident he will be an every down player.

Performance Notes

Derek Wolfe, a 2nd round selection in this year's draft, has impressed the coaching staff and quickly moved into the starting LDE role opposite Elvis Dumervil. He will play end on base downs and bump inside in subpackages. He's quickly shaping up to be a nice late round, upside selection in deeper leagues (especially if he's classified as a DT).

Miscellaneous Notes

According to Rotoworld, the NFL has suspended Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali one game for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The Colts acquired Vontae Davis from the Dolphins for a 2nd round and conditional 6th round pick in 2013. He's just what the doctor ordered for the Colts as they needed a big, physical press corner man like Davis. Much like the rest of the Colts IDPs, expect Davis to see above average tackle opportunity for his position. He's worth a flyer in deep CB-required leagues.

Like what you've read? Looking to dominate your 2012 Fantasy Football draft(s)? For $5 you can get complete access to The IDP Guru's comprehensive and exhaustive 2012 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.


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Last Updated: August 27, 2012
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John said...

whats your take on Navorro Bowman's injury? should i drop him for linebackers like sean lee or colin mccarthy?

My dbs are tyvon branch and morgan burnett. Im also considering just dropping one of them and picking up a linebacker for insurance behind bowman.

what would you do?

Mr Neil el Jefe said...

Just completed a 25 round Offense and IDP draft. 2 LBs, 2 DBs, 2 Flex Spots, and a DL. Here is my starters. I felt pretty good about:
LBs: McCarthy, Witherspoon, Perry Riley, Woodyard
DBs: Branch, Berry, TJ Ward
DLs: Wake, Dumerveil
Does this look borderline awesome lineup or am i just being overhype? I drafted with some IDP newbies mixed into the 12 team league

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Bowman should be fine. I wouldn't be concerned about his status for Week 1. However, I'd rather own McCarthy as I think he has less competition for tackles and has a better shot at 100+ solos.

The DBs question depends on how many starters you have at each IDP position. You have two top 10 DBs, though.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Mr Neil el Jefe
I think your team looks pretty darn solid. Woodyard is a better value than most think.

Anonymous said...

Here's the IDP side of my team (starting; 2DL, 2LB, 1CB, 1S). I stockpiled RB's and wanted to pick up lesser known studs on the Def side. My plan is to cut a couple RB's that don't pan out to patch up my lineup for the bye weeks (particularly at CB or in the case of injury). Should I be confindent?

LB; McCarthy, D Washington, D Butler, DJ Smith
DE; M Williams, Tuck, Chandler Jones
S; P Chung, M Barron
CB; A Verneer

Ryan Sitzmann said...

LBs are rock solid. DLs are rock solid. DBs are pretty good (hard to land sure things). I like Verner a lot this season. Looks good to me!

Anonymous said...

ryan, you the man, love the site. bought the ap, etc, and you really helped last year.
drafted 10 team O and IDP 4 D (LB's) , 3 DB , 2 DL . Curious how you think I did. I'm feeling great -
LBs: WIllis, McCarthy, Weatherspoon, Timmons
DBs: G.Wilson, T.Branch, RomanHarper
OL: Mario Williams, tuck
Bench: Pollard, K.Conner
what do you think?
- Jeremiah

Anonymous said...

Hi Ryan,
Was hoping for a draft grade from you. Starting Line-ups are 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB. Here's what I got-
DL-Suh, Chandler Jones
LB- McCarthy, Kuechly, Donald Butler, Stephen Tulloch, Kavell Connor
DB- Kam Chancellor, Mike Griffin
Scoring is tackle heavy.


Ryan Sitzmann said...

Your team looks fantastic. Don't see really anywhere you might look to improve. Only guy I would keep an eye on is Conner as there's a chance he goes to a two down backer when Angerer returns.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I'd give it an A- (without knowing what the rest of the teams look like). See my notes in my previous comment about Conner. Not the biggest Mike Griffin fan in the world but I really like everyone else on your team. I would start Butler over Kuechly.

Randy said...

Hi Ryan,

Also looking for the start of season draft grade. It's a mix offense/IDP league, but I lasted til the 9th before grabbing any IDP players. Balanced IDP. Start 2 DL, 2LB, 2DB, 1 flex. 16 teams.

DL: M. Williams, Wake, Wimbley
LB: McCarthy, Dansby, Beason, DJ Smith
DB: Chancellor, G. Wilson

That's all my depth there since I opted for offensive depth with limited bench space.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Awesome roster, especially for not drafting IDPs until the 9th. Absolutely no weak spots defensively.

jeramiehieb said...

Sitz, would love your take.

I am in a 22 Round 12 person 1/2 Point PPR/IDP Keeper League

(Keepers Note: We lose the round the player was drafted or corresponding week picked up)

I am keeping:
Ryan Matthews Round 5
Demarco Murray Round 7
DeQwell Jackson Round 18 (thank you for that by the way!!)

We start
Offense- 1QB, 2RB, 3WR/TE, 1 FLEX, NO TE ONLY!!
Defense- 3DB, 3D(FLEX)

Scoring goes:

Tackle Solo 1
Tackle Assist .5
Sack 2
Int 4
Fum Force 2
Fum Rec 2
Defensive TD 6
Safety 2
Pass Def 1
Block Kick 3

My questionS:

1 How should I change your overall rankings due to my Def starting positions?

2 Do I even bother drafting DL's? (Even the likes of JPP and Allen) or who should I consider and when?

3 How should I adjust my rankings due to having NO TE ONLY POSITION?

Thanks for all the help,

Jeramie J. Hieb

jeramiehieb said...

my draft is sunday night...

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I probably wouldn't bother with drafting a DL since this is a pretty tackle heavy league. I would keep the rankings the same just ignore the DLs in the list and elevate guys who are strong tackle performers (D'Qwell Jackson, Patrick Willis, George Wilson, etc.) and take down guys who are more sack reliant (DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Clay Matthews, etc.).

Gronk and Graham are arguably low-end WR1 with Hernandez and Gates producing WR3 type numbers. So I wouldn't bother drafting a "starting" TE unless you were really desperate to fill that 3rd WR/TE spot and go after Finley, Witten, Gates, etc.

jeramiehieb said...

@Ryan Sitzmann

Thanks! for the timely late-night response.

I will post my results for your review.

Theo said...

I'm usually not in the business of asking for personal fantasy advice, but since you seem willing to help, I'm happy to ask.

I'm in a 20-team league that starts 11 IDPs (3 LBs, 3 DBs, and 5 D of any position), but I have an extra defensive player whom I need to drop for a kicker prior to Week 1. Here is my Week 1 lineup as of right now.

LB-Donald Butler
LB-DJ Smith
LB-Daryl Smith
DB-Charles Tillman
DB-Kerry Rhodes
DB-Daniel Manning
D-Kavell Conner
D-Thomas Howard
D-Tom Zbikowski
D-Bruce Carter
D-Jerraud Powers
Bench-Robert Johnson (Tennessee Safety)

My questions are: Is this my best lineup? Assuming Carter and Johnson win starting jobs, who should I drop? Or should I hold onto all of them and drop an offensive player like Bilal Powell, Ryan Broyles, Vick Ballard, or Domenik Hixon?

I feel hesitant to drop Carter or Johnson, so right now I'm leaning towards dropping Powers after INDY traded for Vontae Davis. Any advice you could give to steer me in the right direction would be awesome

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Yes, I would drop Powers. CBs are a dime a dozen and there will be some nice IDPs that emerge from that position during the season. No guarantee that Johnson wins the position. I think Carter has a good chance though.

jeramiehieb said...

@Ryan Sitzmann
drafting right now

D'Qwell Jackson (LB, CLE, 10)
Ray Lewis (LB, BAL, 8)
Colin McCarthy (LB, TEN, 11)
Lawrence Timmons (LB, PIT, 4)


George Wilson
Morgan Burnett
Patrick Chung
LaRon Landry

do i take
Donald Butler (LB, SD, 7)
Jordan Babineaux
Darian Stewart
T.J. Ward
Yeremiah Bell (since i have laron landry)

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I'd go with Donald Butler.

Aaron Clark said...

Which 2 of these 3 should I start......Dawan Landry, Polamalu and Weddle? Of these LB, which should I start.....Jared Allen or Perry Riley? My other LBs who will start are Patrick Willis (will start), Weatherspoon (will start), Nick Barnett (will start), Daryl Smith (will start)

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Aaron Clark
I'd start Weddle and Landry. Jared Allen. I'd probably start Riley over Daryl Smith as well.

Need some DT help said...

In a deep DT-required league where Derek Wolfe is DT-eligible, would you take him over Fletcher Cox (sack-6pts, tackle-1pt)?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Need some DT help
Yes, I would definitely take Wolfe or Cox.

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