They say one week is a fluke, two weeks is a trend, and three weeks is reality. Who says that? I don’t know, I may have just made it up. But it applies for early season breakouts on both of the offensive and defensive side of the ball. So while you one-dimensional owners debate over Eddie Royal and James Starks, I’ll dive deep on some impressive early-September IDP performers in this week’s Adds/Drops/Rising/Falling:
The following players have already been ruled out for Sunday – get them out of your lineups:
Danny Trevathan – His name makes him sounds like the next great action hero, and his game backs that up. While Nate Irving has disappointed through two weeks, Trevathan has stepped up for a short-handed Broncos D. He has supplemented his 14 total tackles with a sack and a pick, and he gets a nice matchup against Oakland in Week 3.
Robert McClain – He’s not very good at denying his man the ball, but after they catch it, McClain brings them down. With 17 solos on the books after two games, McClain has a pass-happy NFC South schedule, along with games against the Pats, Cards and Packers the rest of the way. His schedule, and his strengths, should make him a breakout IDP corner this year.
Buster Skrine – With the T-Rich trade, the Browns have essentially waved the white flag on this season. That’s great news for their defense, who would have been on the field a lot even when Cleveland was trying to win. Skrine gets the benefit of lining up opposite Joe Haden, and the bounty of targets that go with it. His 16 total tackles through two games are a nice preview of things to come.
Corey Liuget – I know the ability is there, but Liuget has laid an egg in back-to-back games to start the year. Guys like Watt, Atkins and Muhammad might get a pass for that, but once we get down to Liuget’s level, patience might not pay off. With a number of viable DL options on the waiver wire, I wouldn’t blame you for moving on.
Colin McCarthy – Some injuries I’m patient with, and some I’m not. McCarthy has yet to show that he can be counted on every week, and that type of inconsistency drives me crazy. If he has a late game, is it worth risking it? Do I really need to carry an extra LB just in case? If you can get anything for him in a trade, go for it. Otherwise I’m fine with cutting him loose.
Ed Reed – We’ve seen this before. Reed starts the season healthy and productive, then gets nicked up within the first month and is listed as questionable for about 10 straight weeks. Sometimes he plays, sometimes he doesn’t. You’re never quite confident enough to start him, but his potential is so great that you can’t drop him. Well now we have the same situation, but without the production or the potential. Give him the Old Yeller treatment.
Dontari Poe – I wasn’t ready to give him the benefit of the doubt after Week 1, mainly because I don’t trust anyone that the Chiefs draft. But after 10 tackles and 3.5 sacks in two games, will I doubt Poe again? Nevermore…until he stops producing.
Brian Cushing – Just like we held our breath last year for Adrian Peterson and this year for RG3, Cushing’s torn ACL had all football fans nervous that he wouldn’t regain his previous level of performance. The early results look promising: 16 tackles, 2 sacks, and a pick six in two games. If you drafted him as an LB2 (or LB3!), congrats, you have yourself a top 15 LB the rest of the way.
Baccari Rambo – He is the only real challenger to Duke Ihenacho for the “Best Name for an IDP Breakout Candidate” and he has the performance to back it up. 18 tackles and a sack in his first two career games is a nice start, and he should only get better with experience. Ihenacho may have drawn First Blood, but Rambo might be the young DB to own from here on out.
Muhammad Wilkerson – Wilkerson was my boy all preseason, as I thought he could be in for a Watt-like 2013. The talent is clearly there, and he got a sack in Week 1, but he’s already being treated like Watt by opposing O-Lines, commanding a double team on every play. This limits his tackle opportunities, the major source of his value, so I’m slowing down the Wilkerson-as-a-DL1 bandwagon for now. The bright side of the is situation is that his counterpart, Sheldon Richardson, should put up some solid stats as a rookie.
Nick Roach – Honestly…I don’t know. I don’t know what happened to Roach last weekend. No one in their right mind was watching the Oak/Jax game over the Manning Bowl, New Orleans/Tampa, or even NASCAR, but I’d like to hear a good explanation of how Roach got shut out. I’m still a believer in him in the long-run, but if my MLB puts up a goose-egg, I need to pump the brakes on my support. I’m not dropping him by any means, but I would think twice about starting him this week.
Morgan Burnett – Notice that this is a “Falling” and not a full on drop…yet. Despite ranking him as my #1 overall DB in the preseason, Burnett has yet to see the field due to a hamstring injury, and there is no guarantee that he’ll be back next week. This is causing Burnett owners to carry an extra DB, and given the price they likely paid on draft day, it’s tough to stomach dropping him. I would sit tight for another week or two, but considering the lingering nature of hamstring injuries, if you can get anything in return for Burnett, I’d make the move.
Here are my Week 3 IDP Rankings: