We’re just over halfway through the 2017 regular season in the NFL. The IDP team reviewed the 2017 rookie class and what they’ve done this season so far and what we can expect going forward. @DFF_DWIN and @seahawksdan8 will start with the DL rookies from the 1st 3 rounds of the draft and other IDP relevant rookies.
DE, Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns – 1st Round Pick, 1st Overall
The Browns made Garrett the #1 overall pick in the draft, but haven’t gotten the return they were hoping for, just yet. When healthy Garrett is a force to be reckoned with, but staying on the field has been a big issue for him so far. Health was one my biggest knocks on him when doing my draft assessments. He was hurt during his senior year at Texas A&M, and it’s followed him to the pros. He missed first four games of the season and was ruled out again for week 8. With that said, in the three games he played between weeks 5-7, he was a wrecking ball playing 57% of snaps. During that span, he recorded 11 total tackles, 7 solos, 5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. As you can see, he is a legitimate pass rushing monster, but his most prominent opponent is staying healthy. If he can do that, he will be a significant impact in fantasy. His value is tremendous in leagues that score sacks heavily. If you’re willing to take a gamble on him staying healthy, now is time to trade for or pick him up off waivers, while his stock is down.
DE, Solomon Thomas, San Francisco 49ers – 1st Round Pick, 3rd Overall
After playing mostly as a defensive tackle in college at Stanford, the 49ers moved the #3 overall pick in the draft, to defensive end. So far Thomas has exceeded expectations and is the top scoring rookie defensive lineman in most leagues. He has recorded 22 solo tackles, 25 overall, 8 tackles for loss and two sacks up to this point of the season. I see no reason other than an injury that he shouldn’t continue this success. I look for his per game averages to slightly increase, over the second half of the season. He is currently getting 71% of defensive snaps so far this season. His injury may keep him out a week or two but, I do think he will have more QB sacks during the back half of season. The schedule looks favorable the rest of way and has a couple of terrific matchups in weeks 13-16 when fantasy leagues are in playoffs.
DE, Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles – 1st Round Pick, 14th Overall
The Eagles took Barnett from Tennessee in the first round, with the 14th pick. Naturally, the Reggie White comparisons started flying, but he did break White’s college career sack record. He got off to a slow start, but Barnett has picked up the pace recently. Derek recorded seven total tackles and 2½ sacks over the last three games. He also blocked a field goal this week versus the Eagles. Just like Myles Garrett, he is a pass-rushing demon, but the difference is he stays healthy and is a better player. The Eagles have been playing like a well-oiled machine, and these leads allow the defense to pin ears back and eat. This is precisely what Barnett loves and does best. I picked him to be a DROY contender before the season and still stand by that. A must own in sack-heavy scoring leagues and can fill the box score, when he gets rolling. I look for him to have a big second half of the season and you don’t want to miss out on it.
DT, Jonathan Allen, Washington Redskins – 1st Round Pick, 17th Overall
Allen is a player with a lot of upside going forward. This year, however, he’ll be sitting out with a foot injury. In the 5 games Allen played in, he accumulated 3 solo tackles, 7 assists, and a sack. He was also on the field for 50% of snaps. He had surgery on his foot and is expected to be ready for the beginning of 2018. In DT required leagues he is worth the stash and is IR slot eligible.
DE, Takkarist McKinley, Atlanta Falcons – 1st Round Pick, 26th Overall
The Falcons spent a first round pick on Tak to bolster their pass rush. A highly touted prospect out of UCLA, he hasn’t gotten on track, just yet in pros. Through week 8 he has recorded seven total tackles and two sacks, in limited playing time. Hopefully, in the second half of season, he’ll get going, and we can see just what he will be in the future. I think the biggest obstacle is just getting on the field for enough plays to be effective. He plays in a division that has excellent QBs and getting pressure on them is the key. McKinley will get more opportunities to make an impact going forward.
DE, Taco Charlton, Dallas Cowboys – 1st Round Pick, 28th Overall
Taco was a player that was probably overdrafted in rookie drafts this past season. The arguments for taking him made sense: Who else is going to play? Most of Dallas’s defense is suspended. His name is Taco, and I want him on my team. So maybe the last one was irrational, but I’m sure the guy drafting him was excited to call out his name. Well, the hype train won out, and while he is still just a rookie, it’s not looking too good. Taco has had 36% of the snap count and has not done much with it. 4 solo tackles, 1 assist, and a pass defended is all he could manage in 7 games. I wouldn’t give up on him yet, but I think the expectations at the beginning of the season are not likely to be met.
DT, Malik McDowell, Seattle Seahawks – 2nd Round Pick, 35th Overall
We may never see McDowell on the football field. After an ATV accident before training camp, the Seahawks have not said much about McDowell, but they have to be disappointed after spending their 2nd round pick on him. He’s eligible for an IR spot if your league allows, so if your league expands or you have large rosters he might be worth a stash.
DE, DeMarcus Walker, Denver Broncos – 2nd Round Pick, 51st Overall
Walker was not getting much love in rookie drafts and playing in a 3-4 defense limits his value. I don’t see much in the fantasy realm as he only has 2 solo tackles in his 6 games played.
DT, Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants – 2nd Round Pick, 55th Overall
The Giants have always had good players along their defensive front four and may have the next star in line. In the 2nd round the Giants drafted Tomlinson, who is a throwback to the position and exactly what you’d expect in a DT and that’s a run stopping, hole plugging beast. He has amassed 18 total tackles (9 solos), so far this season and has formed an excellent duo with Damon “Snacks” Harrison. Many thought there would be a huge void when Johnathan Hankins left for Indianapolis, but Tomlinson has stepped in and filled that role nicely. The big man isn’t going to give you much of anything extra in the stat box, but he will continue to roll up the tackles. An excellent addition for position specific and dynasty leagues.
DE, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Kansas City Chiefs – 2nd Round Pick, 59th Overall
Tanoh has only played 14 snaps this season and won’t make much impact fantasy wise this season, and I don’t see much going forward either.
DT, Larry Ogunjobi, Cleveland Browns – 3rd Round Pick, 65th Overall
As far as defensive tackles go, you could do worse than Ogunjobi. This season he has 5 solo tackles, 7 assists and is playing a quarter of the snaps. A rotation player for the Browns that would only be rostered in super deep leagues.
DE, Dawuane Smoot, Jacksonville Jaguars – 3rd Round Pick, 68th Overall
The Jacksonville defense has been a formidable force this season. Smoot has been a reserve that has 6 solos and 2 assists. He’s currently seeing 20 percent of the snaps and probably isn’t roster worthy, but an injury could earn him more playing time.
DE, Jordan Willis, Cincinnati Bengals – 3rd Round Pick, 73rd Overall
Willis was selected in the 3rd round by the Bengals out of Kansas State. He has shown flashes of his talents when he has been given a chance, but is buried (for now) on the depth chart, limiting those opportunities. He has totaled fourteen tackles and one sack so far this season. I look for him to become more involved in a rotation to keep everyone a little fresher. This could just be the opportunity he needs to breakout. A nice dynasty leagues stash and a decent bye week fill in this year.
DE, Chris Wormley, Baltimore Ravens – 3rd Round Pick, 74th Overall
In 4 games this season Wormley has 5 solos. He is seeing over a third of the defensive snaps. With Brandon Williams returning last week, Wormley saw his snap count go way down, so don’t expect much the rest of the season. Not a recommended add for me because the 3-4 DE isn’t a guy I target with big play and sack potential.
DE, Daeshon Hall, Carolina Panthers – 3rd Round Pick, 77th Overall
Hall has played 9 snaps and got injured before recording a fantasy point. He’s currently on IR, so if you have a deep IR stash, you could grab him, but probably not worth it.
DT, Eddie Vanderdoes, Oakland Raiders – 3rd Round, 88th Overall
Vanderdoes was a hot DT name early in the season and is a guy I would roster in 2 DT leagues or large IDP leagues. He’s playing 49% of the snaps and has 4 solo tackles and 2 assists. He’s not a starter in 1 DT leagues.
DT, Montravius Adams, Green Bay Packers – 3rd Round, 93rd Overall
Adams has been inactive for the Packers most weeks, and the one day he saw the field he only registered 4 snaps. He’s fantasy irrelevant. He’s Packer irrelevant too so far.
DT, Nazair Jones, Seattle Seahawks – 3rd Round Pick, 102nd Overall
It’s a rarity that rookie defensive tackles make an immediate impact in the pros. This is a position that has a high premium placed on it, by both NFL teams and fantasy owners that are required to start a DT. While this is a position that I dig into during draft season, I missed on Nazair. He was an okay prospect at North Carolina. When Seattle drafted him in the 3rd round, I only saw him as a depth piece at best. He has proved me wrong, as he has seen a real good amount of playing time (29% of snaps) and has been efficient. Usually, DT’s are run stoppers and don’t offer much else, but Jones has filled the box score each week. On the season he has recorded 10 total tackles, ½ sack, 1 interception and three passes defended. A big reason for his success is that he has an outstanding supporting cast around him, that just allows him to play freely. The schedule ahead gets a little tougher, but he should still make a decent impact. Jones doesn’t have a lot of value in standard redraft IDP leagues. His stock is rising in dynasty or position specific leagues though.
DE, Trey Hendrickson, New Orleans Saints – 3rd Round Pick, 103rd Overall
Not a name that is popular in fantasy circles or even in NFL, unless you’re a Saints fan, but Hendrickson is a name to keep an eye on. He was drafted in the 3rd round from Florida Atlantic. Up to this point of the season, he has been used mostly in a backup role but has made some plays. In the five games that he has played in so far, he has recorded 9 total tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. The Saints have a much-improved defense than they’ve had last few years and Hendrickson could be a nice rotational piece for them. Could see an increase in playing time if an injury to a starter were to occur. If you have a deep bench or taxi squad, he is worth stashing.
DE, Deatrich Wise, New England Patriots – 4th Round Pick, 131st Overall
The Patriots have found another late round gem it appears in Wise. They drafted him in the 4th round out of Arkansas, and he has not disappointed. He got off to a hot start on the season but has slowed down the last few weeks. On the season he has totaled 12 tackles, 8 solos, 4 tackles for loss and three sacks. Wise gets a much needed week off, as the Patriots are on a bye during week 9. I look for him to have a solid second half of the season. A possible bye week fill in, and a good dynasty league pick up.
DT, Davon Godchaux, Miami Dolphins – 5th Round Pick, 178th Overall
Godchaux earned the starting job in Miami towards the end of the preseason and has been a decent DT play. He has 7 solo tackles, 5 assists, and a forced fumble. He’s also playing 52% of the snaps so he should see some good opportunities especially with linemates of Suh and Wake.
DT, Caleb Brantley, Cleveland Browns – 6th Round Pick, 185th Overall
The Browns drafted the Florida Gator in the 6th round after he fell due to some off the field issues. A top round talent no question, according to most scouts. Has been playing mostly as a back up due to the emergence of Trevon Coley. Coley has been hurt, and that could open the door for Brantley. He has eight tackles and one sack in limited action so far this season. I see him having a big second half of season especially if Myles Garrett can get healthy and stay on the field. Garrett will draw double teams. A high risk/reward pick up for those who play in leagues that require you to play a DT.
We’ll be back with the LBs next. Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think on Twitter or comment below. Check out our weekly IDP in-season content and make DFF your place for IDP content!