Period Rank Overall High Low Percentile
Week 1 62.7% 8 out of 20 72.6% 42.7% Top 40%
2014 57.0% 3 out of 20 58.4% 48.1% Top 15%

After a weird and injury-filled Week 1, there are arguably more questions than answers. Will Kam Chancellor keep holding out? Will Luke Kuechly play this week? Will J.J. Watt kill Kevin for ranking him as the #7 overall IDP heading into Week 1? Sorry J.J.! The most difficult balance to strike after just one game per team is reacting to what we saw last week, without overreacting. The worst way to do this is to look at stats. I may have gotten a C- in statistics in college, but even I can tell you that one game is not a large enough sample size to make any assumptions moving forward. Luckily, we have snap counts. These are by no means a perfect measure either, but they at least can help answer some of the questions we had going into 2015. I’ll lean heavily on this information as we move into Week 2.


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Leonard Williams – The Jets rookie admitted to being a little bit gassed after his first game as a pro, and who could blame him? He not only played nearly 70% of his team’s snaps, but he also had to unexpectedly chase around Johnny Football for most of the afternoon. Williams racked up 5 total tackles, and even though 4 were of the assisted variety, I like him as a low-DL2/high-DL3 against Indy this week.

Henry Anderson – The rookie on the other side of the ball this weekend will be Anderson, who had an ever better debut against Buffalo. It’s not often that an interior defensive lineman leads his team in tackles or plays 85% of the snaps, let alone in his professional debut, but that’s exactly what Anderson did last week. I don’t expect him to keep up that type of pace, but another matchup against an AFC East team who would much rather pound the ball with their backs than rely on their shaky QB at least looks good on paper. If you’re weak at DL (JPP owners, I’m talking to you!), I’d take a flier on Anderson.

Aaron Donald – Snap counts aside (and he played 72% of them, most among STL’s front four), this guy is going to take the league by storm this year. He’s got a ton of protection from the best D-Line in football, but his talent is impossible to ignore. Last week he lit up the stat sheet for 9 total tackles and 2 sacks, which are Watt-like numbers, and I expect him to continue his domination against the Skins this week. Buy him if you can, but it may already be too late.

Big Name LBs Coming Off 2014 Injuries – There are a few of them, so I’m grouping them together and sorting by snap percentage: Sean Lee (100%), Derrick Johnson (100%), Navorro Bowman (98%), Stephen Tulloch (97%), Kiko Alonso (66%), Jerod Mayo (15%). For the first four, we’re already at all systems go (and the rankings are reflected accordingly). For Alonso and Mayo? I’d definitely hold them, but I wouldn’t be comfortable starting them until I see snap counts in the 80% range.

Anthony Barr – Minnesota has a stacked LB group right now, but Barr clearly led the way in Week 1. With 12 total tackles and 100% of the snaps, he’s the only guy I’m starting for the time being. Chad Greenway is aging quickly, and Gerald Hodges is a placeholder until Erick Kendricks is ready to lead the way, but none of them is likely to be consistent enough at this point.

Clay Matthews – An offseason of practice has Mr. Matthews looking much more comfortable at MLB than he was last year, when he was thrown into the role halfway through the season. I still think it’s a misappropriation of talent (and money) to use Clay this way, but his 6 tackles and a pick were good enough for top 15 numbers at LB. Opposite Matthews, Sam Barrington was just lost for the season, so it looks like Nate Palmer is in line for a huge number of snaps. The Barrington/Palmer duo played 100% of the snaps against Chicago, and unless Green Bay makes a move quickly (Desmond Bishop?), Palmer is a nice speculative pickup moving forward.

Tyvon Branch – All preseason, people have wondered how the Kansas City safety situation would shake out. There is a lot of talent there, some comeback great stories, but only 2-3 positions on the field for each play. After one week, it looks like Branch is the odd man out. Ron Parker (90%), Hussain Abdullah (86%) and Eric Berry (62%) all saw significantly more snaps than Branch (7%), who was primarily relegated to Special Teams. I don’t think the book is closed on Branch, but I’d be fine dropping him until he earns a bigger role.

Calvin Pryor – Now that’s what I’m talking about! Everyone and their mother was high on Pryor last year as a rookie in Rex Ryan’s defense, and everyone was disappointed (including their mothers). By the end of the year, he was barely seeing the field. Fast forward to Sunday, and Pryor looks like the player everyone hoped he would be. With 10 total tackles and a forced fumble, not to mention 90% of the snaps, Pryor is rocketing up my rankings based on raw potential.

 

  1. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    good call on benching branch when i played parker at CB and bucannon/collins at S. So does that mean Parker is playing S, CB, or both? He was ranked by you (and fantasy pros) pretty well even before season started, so i’d rather he play S while i slot him at CB. I’m guessing both from the snap counts, unless they play 3 S fairly often.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: any worry about a chance when/if branch gets playing time parker loses his or would he get moved back to CB full time if that were the case? i could always go back to byrd as backup S, But Branch was ranked so high (esp in a deep league) i’m loath to do that just yet.

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:
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        @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

        KC has been doing a bit of the AZ strategy, where they have multiple safeties on the field at the same time. Parker is getting snaps at both positions, and if he has CB eligibility, ANY snaps at safety make him valuable. His value should maintain no matter what, but I can see Berry (and eventually Branch) making Abdullah useless.

        I’d hold Branch over Byrd for now. Both aren’t at 100%, and Branch has the higher ceiling.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Kevin Kumpf: yep, and one defunct team (he was a new guy, who somehow still has s-jax and welker) was just replaced and newer (today) owner grabbed byrd anyway. Best options out there if Branch doesn’t eventually play have moved all the way back to swearinger/harper/reid/mcdougald/s.thomas levels. That’s right, last year i grabbed Bucannon while he was sometimes on bench, sometimes being used as a LB pretty much, and now he’s moved quite up the ranks. Me liking a S that counts as CB, it’s like Sano as SS in yahoo (not quite hehe)

  2. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    i see fantasy pros must’ve still left m.johnson listed at TB, since i know you know he’s on CIN. I guess you export their rankings and then cut paste the movement you put in for yours.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

      These rankings are from a Fantasy Pros widget, so it pulls directly from there. No idea why they still list Johnson as TB, but I like him (and all of Cincy’s DLs) this week.

  3. Scott says:
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    Somebody dropped Cyprien in my IDP league. Should I make the claim for him using Ihedigbo as the drop?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Scott:

      I’m higher on Ihedigbo than most (especially this week), but I would definitely drop him for Cyprien long-term.

  4. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Hey man well done. Why is Cyprien continually ranked so high? Also, do you like Preston Brown or Zach Brown more Ros? Not sure which is in a better situation, thanks.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist:

      Cyprien has both the talent and situation to be the #1 DB for the year. He’s definitely banged up right now, with both hand and leg injuries, but if he suits up, I’m starting him over pretty much anyone.

      I’m a big Preston Brown fan. Zach Brown is arguably more talented, but is constantly hurt, and doesn’t play in as good an IDP scheme as Preston does in Buffalo. Zach will move up my rankings if he can stay healthy, but I’m not willing to bet on that.

  5. Blake says:
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    I have Calais Campbell – should I do Henry Anderson instead? or just hold?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Blake:

      DEFINITELY hold Campbell. Anderson could easily be a flash in the pan (although he looked good). Campbell is a stud.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: in that same league last year somebody dropped campbell when he was out i think only 4 weeks or so. it was great. dropping a top 5 guy at any position in dynasty is nut balls (not saying B-Lak-E is in one of those)

  6. J-FOH says:
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    If it wasn’t for my auto drafted team I wouldn’t of been forced to add Aaron Donald last week. Wooooooooooo ala Ric Flair!

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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      @J-FOH: i’m guessing you don’t have to play DT if he was out there. probably just 2 DL type league. still, even in those people must not have been following anything like Kevin’s rankings, he was 18th DL there.

  7. Clint says:
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    Does this Reshad Jones injury scare you at all, Kevin? Weddle’s available but I was hoping to stick to your #1 ranked DB heading into the season if I can.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Clint:

      Definitely scares me, and I have Jones, Kuechly and Cyprien in my RazzDP league. The last two I’ve already assumed are out, but Jones seems a bit more promising. Weddle isn’t a bad consolation prize, but I’d wait until Jones is officially ruled out before dropping him.

  8. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    similar to right above, but i have church/jones/cyprien for 2 spots and burnett was just dropped. Take the slight loss if Jones doesn’t go or drop one of Cyprien or Jones for Burnett?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now:

      Because Burnett plays on SNF, you have the luxury of waiting if you want. If Jones doesn’t play and you’ need points from that second DB slot, I would drop Cyprien for Burnett. If it won’t matter then I would take the loss.

  9. BillieBeeen says:
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    For tonights game, which of these would you think would be best. Position doesnt matter…
    Marcus Gilchrist, NYJ CB, S;
    Trevor Reilly, NYJ LB
    Antonio Cromartie, NYJ CB
    Jerrell Freeman, Ind LB
    Mike Adams, Ind S
    Calvin Pryor, NYJ S
    Leonard Williams, NYJ DE
    Demario Davis, NYJ LB

    • BillieBeeen says:
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      @BillieBeeen:
      Or Robert Mathis

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:
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        @BillieBeeen:

        It’s between Freeman and Pryor for me. Freeman definitely safer but Pryor has a higher ceiling.

        • BillieBeeen says:
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          @Kevin Kumpf: thanks!

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Kevin Kumpf: wow, pryor is REALLY shooting up the ranks, both yours and pros.

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

            I literally just submitted Week 3 ranks, and I was shocked myself. This is what everyone wanted for him last year and he’s delivering.

  10. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    20 teamer, start all the same positions. still am holding branch, along with having bucannon/collins at S starting, and hall/parker at CB, with breeland backup. other than guys at the end of your S ranks, searcy just got dropped. merriweather has also done well at NYG, but ranked much lower by pretty much everybody. branch’s upside as backup still trumping those 2?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

      I’ll hit on Branch in my rankings tomorrow, but he looks droppable at this point. However, given your league’s format, I still like his upside more than guys like Searcy for now. I would definitely not start him unless something changes, but I don’t think he’s work dropping for guys with low upside.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: cool, thanks, good to know searcy’s lack of upside, and unless collins/bucannon get hurt i have no need to waste branch’s. only other S’s available are back end of preseason ranks (and they haven’t seemed to moved up either). in another league with cyprien’s injury i had to grab pryor as my BN IDP guy (much shallower league clearly) for week 2, dropping anthony when about 2 other LB ranked like him are still around.

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