Sometimes it takes players a few years to find their footing in the NFL. Whether it’s experience, a new coach, or a change of scenery, some guys just need a little extra something to jumpstart their careers. In the case of Mark Barron, he checked pretty much all of those boxes. He played a lot as a rookie, got traded to the Rams in his third year, and had two very different coaching situations in Greg Schiano and Jeff Fisher. Oddly enough, it took a drastic position change to give him his biggest game from an IDP perspective. With Alec Ogletree out for the foreseeable future (and finally officially on IR!), the Rams moved Barron to the WLB slot full time last week, and he responded with a whopping 16 tackles. The fact that he’s still listed as a Safety on all sites means that Barron immediately becomes a must own top 10 DB. My biggest concern is consistency, as he’s never shown it in the past, but his two biggest issues – allowing big plays and missing tackles – become less of a concern at WLB, where he’ll have plenty of help, as opposed to being the last line of defense. This could definitely go poorly, but the upside is impossible to ignore.

As far as the rest of the IDP news heading into Week 8, we start in a familiar spot…


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Jason Pierre-Paul – The single weirdest IDP story I can remember took another turn this past week,  this time for the better as JPP and the Giants agreed to terms. Most reports still have him out a couple more weeks, but given the DL landscape, he’s worth a flier at this point if you’re hurting at the position. I would temper expectations though, as he’s not only likely going to be rusty, but he’s obviously missing more than one finger, which will take some time to get used to. The bigger story to me is what effect JPP’s return will have on the Giants’ DL rotation. They’ve gotten solid, if not consistent, contributions across the board, but this probably makes all of them unstartable until we see how things shake out.

Jared Allen/Kawann Short – Things have certainly broken right for these two. With Charles Johnson already out, Mario Addison went down last week as well, leaving the front four in Carolina desperate for healthy players. There is still some talent here, with Kony Ealy and Ryan Delaire competing for snaps, but Allen is the DE to own, and Short is the top DT option for leagues that require them. Allen had a nice return to action in Week 7, putting up 5 tackles and the first sack of his injury-riddled season. If he’s healthy, I’d consider him a top 20 option moving forward. I’ve always been a fan of Short, however the usual caveats about DTs always applies. He’s had an insane past two weeks with 5 combined sacks, and despite 3 of them coming against the Seahawks’ pitiful excuse for an offensive line, 2 came against the solid line of the Eagles. He gets to feast on a terrible Indy O-Line this week, so I’ve ranked him accordingly.

Jon Beason – It’s been another frustrating year for Beason owners. When he’s been active, he’s either barely played or left early with injury, and he’s seeing Uani Unga thrive in his absence. I’ve been on record as saying that Unga is fool’s gold, a well below average Linebacker who gets stats because other teams target him constantly, and a healthy Beason is a huge upgrade for both the Giants and IDP owners. He showed that with 11 tackles against Dallas, and with Unga now banged up, Beason is worth a flier if you need LB help. There are always going to be injury concerns with him, but he’s always contributed when he’s on the field.

Ryan Shazier – Another one of the walking wounded, Shazier made his long-awaited return as well, after missing four games. His stat line wasn’t as impressive as Beason’s, with only 4 tackles and a half-sack, but his ceiling is considerably higher. If for some reason an impatient owner dropped him, Shazier should be the top LB added this week. Despite his terrible matchup with Cincy this week, he gets a top 5 matchup with Oakland next week before the bye, which should then provide some additional rest for the stretch run.

Jaquiski Tartt – It’s never good to see a player like Antoine Bethea go down for the year with an injury, but given the way San Francisco’s season has been going, he might be the lucky one. Now we’re all lucky because we get to see a guy with an all-time great name. The IDP world has been lacking for great names this year without Vontaze Burfict, and despite a one-week fling with Thurston Armbrister while Posluszny was hurt, I’m all aboard the Tartt train. From and IDP perspective, he’s completely unproven, but he did have a nice stat line (9 tackles) after Bethea left, and he’s shown some ability to rush the passer as well. I’m mostly hoping that he does well so I can lead off next week’s rankings with a Tartt attack.

  1. Scott says:
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    Which LB has better long-term appeal? Minter or Barr?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Scott:

      Long term I like Barr. He’s more talented, and has more big-play potential than Minter. This season may lean towards Minter because he has literally no competition at LB in Arizona, but long term I always lean towards talent.

  2. HELLA WAITS says:
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    Had Sheldon Richardson stashed on my bench all season and with Atkins on bye last week I started him and he looked great. This week every IDP ranking has Atkins over Richardson but Richardson seems to have more upside to me. Who would you go with? This is for a DT slot btw as I already have Wake and McPhee starting in my DE slots. Thanks.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @HELLA WAITS:

      Richardson is a tough one. He was dominant last year, but he’s already dealt with one suspension this year, and has another one potentially looming (though possibly not until next year). He also has to fight for stats with Wilkerson and Williams, which is a new situation for him.

      Atkins, on the other hand, is now 100% healthy and in a comfortable situation. He may have less weekly upside than Richardson, but to me he’s a much safer option and a better pair with both Wake and McPhee.

      • HELLA WAITS says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: Good points. I have room for both as of now on my roster so perhaps I will play them according to match ups which Atkins appears to have the better against PIT this week. Have Malcolm Jenkins on bye this week and picked up Barron last night for my DB slot this week. Fingers crossed!

  3. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    team is about to be .500 since WAS players off this week (entire offense goes through them except for AP), unless i get VERY lucky. now with this IDP roster (start 2 S, 2 CB, 3 LB, 2 DT, 2 DE, all stats based on assisted tackles with 1, sacks 4, picks 5, solo tackles 2). dynasty 20 teamer.
    LB david/anthony/hendricks/minter/trevathan (this 5th LB minter was grabbed when trevathan may have been phased out, it used to be S #3). Oh boy was it fun to draft your top guys in collins/anthony and then waiver Hendricks over my old S.Moore right after realizing he was useless this year. Funny i’m not worried about having traded J.Jenkins (MIA LB) for Moore anymore.
    DT donald/mcdonald
    DE campbell/heyward/long
    S collins/bucannon

    I’m probably better off with a 3rd S then a 5th LB, but K.Alexander just got dropped for Ellerbe.

    1. which LB is my drop for K.Alexander? Even though Trevathan is ranked lowest lately, i seem to remember Minter used to be ranked much lower than Trevathan now is, and i’m guessing that has to do with Minter’s current role more than himself.
    2. What kind of S should i target for one of these LB not named David/Anthony/Hendricks?
    3. in forever value, where would K.Robinson rank with my LB’s? I say this since i’m WAS there’s value in me owning him, and maybe i can get a three way trade with DEN or NO or MIN in which i get K.Robinson, MIN/NO/DEN gets Hendricks or Anthony or Trevathan, IND gets something (that team has Robinson) that owner wants from one of MIN/NO/DEN
    I’m probably better off with a 3rd S then a 5th LB, but K.Alexander just got dropped for Ellerbe.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: i think somebody in league is reading my mail here, so might as well make him pay for what he’s reading
      4. what level of safety should i get for Anthony? options from this one owner are Mathieu/Vaccaro/R.Johnson (ARI)/Conte

      he’s a good guy so if he is doing this, hey buddy!

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: opps, above that’s eric kendricks, not hendricks.

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

          Nice LB situation. I’d definitely hold the David/Anthony/Kendricks trio, even if you can get Robinson. You may be able to get Robinson for Minter, which I would do in a second if you can. I like Minter more than Trevathan because I see their careers going in opposite directions.

          Collins and Buccanon is a very solid safety duo both now and in the future, so I don’t think you need much more than insurance, which is not worth giving up Anthony for. If you can’t get Robinson for Minter/Trevathan, then flipping Minter for Mathieu or Trevathan for Vaccaro isn’t that bad, and you may be able to get more than that. But in general, streaming your third safety when necessary and sitting tight at LB isn’t a bad option.

          • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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            @Kevin Kumpf: keep trevathan over k.alexander?

            • Kevin Kumpf

              Kevin Kumpf says:
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              @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

              I’d go Alexander. Possibly less production this year (but not definitely), and long term he looks like the better option.

  4. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Drop preston brown for burfict? Thanks man keep up the good work.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist:

      After all that he’s been through, as well as the solid play of Vincent Rey, I’m waiting to see how Burfict looks on the field before picking him up. With Brown, you know what you have and there’s little risk. If you’re 1-6 and need a long shot, then maybe, but otherwise I would stand pat.

  5. Mobin Couldn't Hack It says:
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    guessing the burfict news is what’s moving rey down. i have collins/david with rey as bench, better off keeping rey or dropping for minter/k.alexander/barr/m.hendricks/hicks?

    • Kevin Kumpf

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

      I’ve kept Rey in the same ballpark for now, but if he loses even 25% of his snaps to Burfict, that obviously diminishes his value, so this week is a bit of a hedge for if Burfict plays.

      I’d have no problem holding him for one more week to see how Burfict looks, but if Minter is available, he’s certainly not losing snaps, and will likely put up similar if not better stats.

  6. Moscowitz says:
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    What do you think about ellerbe ? Dude has been one of the best LBs in the league since coming off injury. In my league tackles specially the solo ones are very important and he is been great in that category.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Moscowitz:

      In tackles-heavy leagues he’s startable right now. But Anthony and Kikaha are clearly the future in NOLA, so I would expect him to take a back seat at some point. I have no problem riding the hot hand for now though.

  7. HELLA WAITS says:
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    Well I lost Cam Wake for the season last night so here is a new question for you. With Geno Atkins starting at DT and Sheldon Richardson on my bench would you drop Richardson for Fletcher Cox or Jerry Hughes? People dropped Cox/Hughes in my league this week due to bye weeks and roster limits. Keep in mind in this league Atkins and Richardson are listed as DT so I cannot use Richardson in my DE slot. I would love to hold onto Atkins and Richardson but to get a shot at Cox or Hughes I would have to drop Richardson or a RB or WR which in a 16 team league would be hard to take. Thanks!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @HELLA WAITS:

      Tough break on Wake (as a Miami fan I can relate), but I think you need to cut bait on Richardson unless there’s an obvious RB/WR to drop. Given his DT eligibility, I might first try to trade Richardson to someone who has some DE depth, but even then I doubt you’ll do better than Cox and Hughes, who I would pick up in that order.

  8. Moscowitz says:
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    What actually is up with TJ McDonald. The Rams fan in me prevented from dropping him for some other options but he keeps getting ranked high in your rankings. Everything is down, he is not tackling as much as he did last year and he generally seems to be a bit more hesitant about everything he does on the field.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Moscowitz:

      I haven’t seen enough of his games to comment on general hesitancy, but I think it’s a combination of things. The biggest issue is just that the tackles he gets aren’t solos (which might speak to being hesitant as you’re saying). Last year, 80% of his tackles were solo, which is down to 64% this year. I would expect that number to go up a bit. He also isn’t defending passes, which should also change.

      In general, his ceiling isn’t as high as I would have guessed before the season, but I still like him for weekly consistency.

      • Moscowitz says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: Yes he has taken a more passive approach this year and i dont understand why. Last year he led the way when it came down to tackling people, he actively went for it, this year however he seems to join others rather then being the initiator when it comes to tackling. I will keep him for one or two more weeks but i am seriously playing with the idea of replacing him with a guy like Ward.

  9. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    super deep PPR. drop either of a.wilson or funchess for kerley, owuso dropped by NYJ and decker gametime decision.

  10. s.h says:
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    Kevin in a head to head dynasty league and a start of LB,LB, DB,DB, Flex, my personal consists of LB.D>johnson, S.Lee, C.Dansby,Burfict,Meyo and McKinney DB’s I have McDonald, Beatha, Branch, Moore and Mathieu. On my F/A list I have Chandler Jones, JPP Sio Moore, Greenway,Gipson,Pryor , E.Berry are any of these guys worth picking up at the expense of one of my guys.?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @s.h:

      Your LB group is very solid, if not a little bit old, so I wouldn’t make any major changes there. For DBs, Branch is droppable given what we’ve seen this year, and if you don’t have an IR slot and need a roster spot, Bethea might be as well.

      I would definitely pick up Chandler Jones as a flex option, and drop Branch, and then probably add Pryor for Bethea.

  11. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    guy beat me to kwon alexander, but with already having anthony/david (WTF is going on there)/e.kendricks/minter/trevathan i might be better off with a backup S or just a roving roster need spot there than LB #5. I sent offer of Trevathan to DEN owner for T.J. Ward. DEN’s LB’s are weak in this league. If i don’t get that done, best off holding Trevathan or grabbing one of
    searcy TEN (ranks every week, has a 7.57 per game average)
    t.robinson (Who TF is this guy, averaging 12.37 pts per game in my league, just under collins) AND counts as WAS player.
    r.allen (11.86 pts per game average)

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: or maybe this roster spot is better off with
      1. 3rd string QB (i have cousins/RG 3) could grab McCoy in case WAS benches Cousins again
      2. DT to replace McDonald in case he misses another week. options are: reid DET (highest ranked at pros)

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:
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        @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

        I don’t think any of those moves (including keeping Trevathan) is a no-brainer, so it really comes down to where you want to use the roster spot. Trevathan is probably the best player of your options (unless you get Ward), but Trenton Robinson has been great this year and checks two boxes (DB and WAS player) for you. I can also understand the peace of mind surrounding Colt, but I’d probably only make that move if you’re going to be contending for the championship this year. I don’t think going for another DT is worth it at this point because the pickings seem slim.

        I would probably keep trying to work some sort of trade of Trevathan to the Denver owner, even getting a draft pick if that’s all I could get. If that doesn’t work, then I would stay with Trevathan for now.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Kevin Kumpf: now mcdonald out for year. i have IR stash room. which of these DT’s is best for this week. I’m in that crappy part of the week where you can’t see last week’s fantasy pros rankings and this week’s aren’t out yet, and yours don’t go deep enough at DT to help me either, so i’ll just list the names by average points per game or so. T.Robinson also owned now. i looked up these guys by average solo, then assisted tackles. we also get pts for tackle for loss, and sack obviously.
          C.Bryant (i added him just now, he’s apparently filling in for k.williams, in case he’s best option, and i don’t want to get beat to best option)
          t.crawford DAL
          roy miller JAX (most total pts)
          parry IND
          a.jones JAX
          al woods TEN
          d.williams OAK
          pennel or raji GB
          dorsey SF (this used to be a name, seems to have floor, averages exactly 4 per game, and plays every game for sure)

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

            I’d go Crawford here. I have him at DL43 for this week, and he’s been pretty consistent by DL standards.

  12. HELLA WAITS says:
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    Sorry for the early week question but would like your opinion on this one. Tackle heavy IDP league my LB corp consists of Dansby/P Brown and Rey. Need to start two. Dansby faces CIN on Thursday eve and CIN usually is a terrible point supply for LBs but Dansby has been solid and CLE could be blown out and facing garbage time runs. P Brown faces MIA who are mid ground for LB points but BUF is home and their scorekeepers are beyond kind. Rey faces CLE who are great supply for LBs but I am not 100% sure of whats going on in CIN now that Burfict is kind of back. Rey played all snaps last week but I don’t know if that had to do with Mauauga’s inury? Your feel? thanks!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @HELLA WAITS:

      I’d go with Dansby and Brown. I’m as interested as you are to see how Cincy operates with everyone at full strength, so I have no problem keeping Rey rostered, but I wouldn’t start him over your guys.

      • Hella Waits says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: @Kevin Kumpf: Yes. I agree. What do you think about trading high on Rey and picking up Burfict on waivers. I was thinking about pitching a deal sending Sheldon Richardson and Rey (since I have Atkins) to someone who is RB or QB heavy. Thanks!

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @Hella Waits:

          If you can get anyone to bite on Rey, then absolutely. I spec-added Burfict in my RazzDP league this morning, and his ceiling is certainly high.

  13. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    with all of c.campbell/bucannon/parker on bye and Long not for sure to play should i grab (i’m going off available guys from last week’s list, could easily be some bye week guys back now that would make it this week) any of these for my 2nd DE this week. Long would have to be dropped.
    Hayes (done well, but of course only with Long out)
    j.jenkins CHI
    t.crawford DAL
    delaire CAR (projected high for some reason)
    reyes SD
    branch JAX
    ealy CAR
    m.edwards OAK
    biermann ATL

    i’ll probably get some other names off Fantasy pros list tomorrow too. If i want to really try to win i’ll need to drop Trevathan for a S this week too.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

      I like both Edwards and Biermann here (assuming you go Crawford for DT), and I have Edwards slightly higher.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: grabbed edwards. interesting both crawford/biermann both count at DT/DE so i could flip them around if campbell/heyward were to get hurt. Here’s some others to compare to Edwards now that Pros ranks for week out. If Edwards didn’t play in weeks 1-3 (or if his job changed around week 3) he’s got a 7.75 per game average.
        Autry OAK

        Wish i would’ve figured in week who c.baker (WAS) was earlier, since after week 2 he’s averaged 14.2 pts per game as a DT. That’s better than Donald over course of his full season (13.57 for him)

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: it was only 1 guy, as like 4 others ranked higher than Edwards by those guys were already listed abofe.

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

            Edwards became a starter after Tuck went down, and his snaps have been steadily increasing, so I’d definitely keep him.

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