Welcome fellow IDP fantasy owners to volume 5 of my newest weekly article. For those of you just reading this for the first time, each week I am going to recap the top performances of a handful of rookies. Not only will we look at how they did this past week, but also what it means going forward and, most importantly, the impact in the fantasy world. I hope this will help your fantasy rosters. So let’s jump right into this week’s write up.
LB, Jerome Baker, Miami Dolphins The Dolphins seem to have gotten a steal when they drafted Baker in the 3rd round of this past year’s draft. While everyone thought Raekwon McMillan would be the impact linebacker to team with Kiko Alonso, it’s been Baker who has been making a high number of plays. In week five versus the Bengals, he recorded seven tackles and two sacks. This is his third straight game with seven or more tackles and now has added the pass rush to his game. His totals so far this season are thirty-four tackles and two sacks. He’ll be a huge piece for Miami to build around and is a consistent fantasy play. He is still available on waivers in some leagues, so look and see if you can snatch him up.
CB, Denzel Ward , Cleveland Browns The Browns continue to look smart with their decision to draft Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick. He continues to make big plays each week, and as long as teams continue to test him, he’s a must-start in fantasy. Last Sunday versus the Ravens he recorded five tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception. On the season he has twenty-four tackles and six pass breakups along with the three picks. As long as he continues to be targeted, the opportunity for big plays will be there, so take advantage of it while you can. I expect teams to begin going away from his side if he continues to play at this high of a level. But until that happens, get him on your roster and in your lineup.
DT, Da’Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions In a year chock full of highly touted superstar rookies, it’s easy to overlook a player that plays one of the less recognized positions: Defensive tackle. But don’t be fooled. Hand is as good as any rookie in this year’s class. Last Sunday against the Packers, he recorded four tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. This is the second week in a row he had a sack, and there is a premium for interior pass rushers both in NFL and fantasy. On the year, he has eighteen tackles, two sacks, and three forced fumbles, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Another huge plus for fantasy owners: he also plays defensive end which is a huge boost to his value. If you play position specific leagues, he is a must own.
LB, Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills Edmunds is one of the most consistent rookies in the league, and that’s something fantasy owners love to have on their teams. He’s had seven or more tackles in four of five games and six in the other. He’s as reliable as any rookie has been in a while, and that will continue. While Leonard, Warner, and others are grabbing the most attention, Edmunds is just as good. On the season he has tallied thirty-eight tackles, five pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. Fantasy owners should feel confident starting him each week
S, Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals I mentioned Bates last week and offer him again this week. This may be the last time you can get him cheaply before everyone catches on to him. So far this season he has recorded thirty-two tackles, two interceptions and is one of the bigger surprises this year. He earned more trust from the coaching staff and should be getting more from fantasy owners as well. Get him now before it’s too late.
S, Terrell Edmunds, Pittsburgh Steelers While his brother Tremaine gets more attention, Terrell is beginning to receive his share of fame. While many questioned why the Steelers drafted him so high, Terrell has shown over the last couple of weeks why they were right to do so. He has received more playing time, and for the second straight week, he recorded seven tackles. He now has a total of nineteen tackles, one forced fumble and an interception on the season. If you play in a league with deep rosters or dynasty leagues, and he’s available, go ahead and grab him.
Thanks for reading my article, and if you enjoyed it you can read more of my articles at dynastyfootballfactory.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at Hollywood @DFF_DWIN, on Facebook, on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasyfootballidpsub (I’m user KingTitan1) and you can tune in each week and listen to the IDP EdgeCrushers podcast which I co-host. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers.