Period Accuracy Ranking High Low Percentile
Week 3 50.40% 10 out of 20 60.60% 37.00% Top 50%
2015 60.9% 3 out of 19 62.7% 49.5% Top 20%

In IDP leagues, it’s rare for a player to come completely out of nowhere. So much of a defensive player’s stats comes down to opportunity (rather than talent), and it is typically pretty clear who will be on the field each week. Chris Borland is an obvious exception, and he led many teams to championships in 2014. I’m not saying that he’ll be this year’s Borland, but Jordan Hicks is off to a better start than anyone could have imagined. After coming in for the injured Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso, he put up 7 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in Week 2. He outdid himself last week in his first start, with 10 tackles, and interception and a fumble recovery. Most impressively to me, Hicks was on the field for 23 more snaps than presumptive starter DeMeco Ryans. The immediate (and long-term) future is cloudy for both Kendricks and Alonso, but as long as they’re out, Hicks looks like a must-start.


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Jared Allen – The only upside to Charles Johnson’s injury is that Carolina went out and traded for Allen. He’s mostly lived in anonymity while miscast as a 3-4 OLB in Chicago, but he should be back in his comfort zone now. We’re no longer talking about a 15-20 sack guy, but Allen can still contribute to what has been a miserable DL position so far this year. Fantasy Pros doesn’t list him as DE-eligible yet, but I consider him a DL3 right now, though I wouldn’t start him this week.

Jaye Howard – One week is a fluke, two weeks is a trend, but three weeks of production? That’s enough to move up my rankings. Howard is improbably DL3 on the year so far, and even with Dontari Poe working his way back to full strength, KC is finding a way to get him on the field. Poe is still the guy to own here, but I can’t see Andy Reid and Co. forgetting what Howard has done so far. In DT-required leagues, I would absolutely pick him up.

Uani’ Unga – I’m usually not big on recommending players who are benefiting from their lack of talent, but Unga’s results have been hard to argue with. Similar to Paul Worrilow, Unga puts up stats due to an insane amount of effort, but also because teams continually target him. Jon Beason was back last week, but played sparingly, and for some reason the Giants are continuing to feature Unga over him (and Devon Kennard, who is also more talented). I’m ranking Unga higher in the short term, but I wouldn’t be actively seeking to acquire him. If you own him and can get anything for him, I would make the move now.

Kwon Alexander – Don’t look now but there is another LB to own in Tampa. Lavonte David is still a stud, but he’s been outscored by his rookie counterpart through three games. More highly touted rookies like Stephone Anthony, Eric Kendricks and Bernardrick McKinney have yet to really make an impact, so Alexander is really the only IDP success story so far this year. I wouldn’t expect him to continue to outproduce David, but I have no issue starting Alexander moving forward.

Corey Graham – His season-long stat line is a little bit deceiving because he left Week 1 after exactly one snap, but Graham has been the top tackling DB in the last two weeks. When Aaron Williams comes back from his scary injury, Graham may see a dip in his opportunities, but when they’ve both been on the field, he’s clearly been the better player. If I lost a guy like DeAngelo Hall, Graham is a nice pickup if he’s still available, especially in tackle heavy leagues.

Charles Woodson – Before the season, I was scared that Woodson’s production would fall off a cliff, given his age. When he dislocated his shoulder, I assume that my fears came true. Then he goes out there on Sunday and puts up 6 tackles and a game-sealing interception. That’s what I get for doubting (and not ranking!) him. Sorry Chuck!

 

 

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  1. Scott says:
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    is Fletcher Cox an upgrade to Ninkovitch?
    how about Mario Williams?
    I ask because I’m in a bind this week

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Scott:

      I like Ninkovich over both of them ROS, but given the bye situation I think you’re fine dropping him for Mario.

  2. Scott says:
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    where is Cyprien?

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @Scott: Injured

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: @Scott:

      He practiced today, and if he practices again tomorrow I’ll add him back, likely at DB9 ahead of Amukamara.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: was about to ask this one myself.

        • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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          @Crapshoot Kershaw: but i’m guessing i shouldn’t drop cyprien if i have him and pryor for church, somebody just dropped church. I would suppose when he’s healthier he goes back to being a top 2 guy like you had him in the preseason (cyprien). 20 team league where we start 1 S, 1 IDP flex (and i have both of quinn/c.jones), 1 DE, 1 DT,2 LB, 2 CB. I had added Pryor over a LB on the bench when Cyprien went out.

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Crapshoot Kershaw:

            Given your roster setup, I’d hold onto the higher ceiling guy as a backup, so that’s Cyprien. If you started two safeties, then I can see dropping Cyp for Church if he misses another game.

  3. Ryan says:
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    Currently have Wagner, Weddle, Quinn, Lee, Ogletree, and K. Robinson. Hicks better than any of them?

    We play 1 Def player, 1 LB, 1 DL and 1 DB. Basically standard scoring.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Ryan:

      Not at this point, and his playing time is contingent on injuries for now, which the others are not. That’s a hell of a lineup there, no need to mess with it.

  4. Mobin Couldn't Hack It says:
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    kendricks ahead of rey if he plays? it’s looking like he will play.

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:
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        @Mobin Couldn’t Hack It:

        Kendricks or Hendricks? Either way I like Rey a lot this week, but Kendricks still is barely cracking 50% of the snaps in Minny. I’m not ranking Levy until I see him playing significant snaps in a game. His injury was too weird and the way the team handled it was even weirder.

        • Mobin Couldn't Hack It says:
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          @Kevin Kumpf: PHI kendricks.

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Mobin Couldn’t Hack It:

            Went and confused myself…

            I’m going to wait for tomorrow’s news on Kendricks similar to Cyprien. If it looks like he’s going to play, I’ll probably rank all three of Kendricks/Hicks/Ryans in that order, but none of them will be higher than Rey.

  5. Hella Waits says:
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    Yeah…love me some Rey this week against KC. Debating who to start between Dansby and Preston Brown. SD usually does not give up opps to LBs but I could also see SD being ahead in this one and running a bunch late. Although BUF is at home and Preston Brown is playing silly good right now. Also saw Dansby did not practice in full this week.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Hella Waits:

      Brown has been absurd so far, but he’s been fueled a bit by big plays that won’t come every week, and he’s still fighting for tackles with Bradham. I love Rey this week as well.

      But Dansby is still a no-doubt top 10 LB. He’s been banged up so far this year, but he’s still putting up numbers. If he’s playing and not considered limited (which I don’t see anywhere), I’m starting him.

  6. Wani says:
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    Guru,(you’ve been phenomenal this year as ALWAYS!!Do you like Demorrio Williams vs 49ers bteter than Derrick Johnson vs Browns? DJ has some terrible matchups in upcoming weeks. Also, WHO do you like best-D Manning(hou), B Ruud(hou),Ninkovich(Ne)D. MCcourty(Ne) or Aquib Talib(Ne) for Monday night?I just made it to 1st place this week!! HUGE GAME COMING UP!Thank you so MUCH!!Ty

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Wani:

      Congrats on first place!

      I like Johnson over Williams at LB, and Ninkovich as the best of the rest.

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