Welcome, fellow IDP fantasy owners to 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. We will look at how they did in the past week, what it means going forward and, most importantly, the impact in the fantasy world. I hope this will help your fantasy rosters. Let’s jump right into this week’s write up.
LB, Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
Leonard is back at the top again this week, with his ten tackle and one sack performance versus the Miami Dolphins. He’s filling the box score each and every week and now has one hundred thirteen tackles and six sacks total on the season. He’ll face a Jacksonville Jaguar team that will be without RB Leonard Fournette and Blake Bortles. A prime chance for Leonard to dominate. He’s the top defender in fantasy right now.
LB, Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
The next great Cowboy linebacker is here and here to stay. Vander Esch has seized the role left open by Sean Lee’s inability to stay healthy. Over the last three games, Vander Esch has recorded thirty tackles and two interceptions. His latest outing saw him register nine tackles versus the Washington Redskins. He has a big task ahead this week in stopping the New Orleans Saints high powered attack and multiple weapons. He’s a top play this week and should produce big numbers. He’s the #2 linebacker fantasy option behind Leonard.
LB, Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears
Like the Cowboys, the Bears have found their next star linebacker to continue in the steps of their the hall of fame lineage at the position. Roquan has been on a tear recently and is an impact fantasy player. Over the last four games, he’s tallied forty tackles and two sacks. He has a big chance to feast coming up this week, versus the New York Giants. Make sure you get him in your lineups.
S, Jordan Whitehead, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jordan Whitehead is a newcomer to the weekly rookie recap. He had a terrific breakout performance versus the San Francisco 49ers, with eleven tackles and two pass breakups. He’s one of the few bright spots for the struggling Bucs. He’ll get more opportunities going forward and should be owned in all deep roster or dynasty leagues.
S, Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
James is not only becoming a star for the Chargers defense but one of the best Safties in the league. This week, versus the Arizona Cardinals, he added seven more tackles and another interception to his season totals. He now has seventy-nine tackles, two interceptions and three and a half sacks on the season. He’s had at least seven tackles in eight of the eleven games this season. James is a must-start in all leagues.
DT, Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In what’s been such a disappointing season due to injuries, Vea makes this list for the first time. He gave the San Francisco 49ers o-line fits this past week, as he recorded four tackles, three for a loss and one sack. That’s an impressive performance for an interior d-lineman. Now that he appears to finally healthy, we should expect more performances like this.
Thanks for reading my article and, if enjoyed it, you can read more of my articles below on my author page. You can also follow me on social media, on Twitter at Hollywood @DFF_DWin, on Facebook on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasy football IDP sub I’m user KingTitan1, and you can tune in each week and listen to the IDP EdgeCrushers podcast that I co-host. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have, as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers.