IDP Divisional Report: AFC East
The IDP Divisional Report is meant to identify the most relevant Individual Defensive Players (IDP), for each position within each NFL Division. These are players that should be Starting or at the least Rostered. I will cover each division, as we inch closer and closer to the beginning of the season. The three main positions are Defensive Line, Linebacker, and Defensive Back. There is typically not much value in Free Safeties, Defensive Tackles, Outside Linebackers, or Cornerbacks. So, we will concentrate on Strong Safeties, Defensive Ends, Middle Linebackers, and Will Linebackers. If your league forces you to start the scarcer positions, check out my weekly IDP waiver wire articles during the season, I will include all positions there; depending on their matchups of course. For now, let’s go over the IDP players, from each division, that you should have on your roster heading into the season:
Buffalo Bills ** Miami Dolphins ** New England Patriots ** New York Jets
Kiko Alonso – Miami Dolphins, Kiko is in a great position to put up strong LB1 (Top-12) numbers, he will play from the Will (Weak-Side LB) in a 4-3 defense, he just signed a 4-year extension ($28.8 Million), so he and the Dolphins are on the same page here. The addition of Lawrence Timmons and Raekwon McMillan should not deter you, they will fight for the Mike (MLB) role, while Kiko is solidified at Will, and will produce as a starting LB for us.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 1,049 (91% of Team Snaps), Solos: 69, Total Tackles: 115, Sacks: 0
Preston Brown – Buffalo Bills, an underrated star at the Mike LB, he played virtually every snap last season, and Reggie Ragland who was drafted by the previous regime, wants Reggie at SAM (Strong-side), this according to new Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier. I like Brown’s chances to remain as the Mike, and see the same type of workload and success, as he did last season. He’s a very strong starting LB.
2016 ~ Snaps: 1,065 (99% of Team Snaps), Solos: 81, Total Tackles: 139, Sacks: 1
Gerald Hodges – Buffalo Bills, it cannot be overstated how important it is to have a good team of statisticians for defense, and the Bills have just that. Hodges was very efficient with limited work in San Francisco last season, he could really hit big for us and is on a one-year prove it deal. He’s a starting LB, he’ll likely play the Will (Weak-side) and it wouldn’t surprise me if he put up a Top-15 year.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 585 (50% of Team Snaps), Solos: 55, Total Tackles: 83, Sacks: 3
Darron Lee – New York Jets, Lee is a super athletic LB, he plays out of a 3-4 defense, so cannibalizing at the MLB position will be a problem, his off the field issues could prove to be a problem too, he’s had two this year, one with his girlfriend at a music festival, and another at an Ohio State Bar. He’s a little crazy, but you kind of must be to play the position, I think we can rely on him as a solid LB2, and he can be safely rostered.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 641 (61% of Team Snaps), Solos: 45, Total Tackles: 73, Sacks: 1
D’onta Hightower – New England Patriots, a reliable two-down thumper, but like most Patriots, we’ll have no idea who the star will be until game day. My rule of thumb for most Patriot players, both on Defense and Offense, is to stay away because you will get frustrated. With that said, I think D’onta Hightower is worth being rostered and could provide solid depth for you on bye weeks, or once the injury bug bites, which it bites the hardest at the Linebacker position.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 709 (68% of Team Snaps), Solos: 31, Total Tackles: 65, Sacks: 2.5
Leonard Williams – New York Jets, he is the Jets’ best player, which isn’t saying a whole lot, considering the Jets have virtually packed in before the season has even started, but nonetheless Leonard is the real deal, and at only 23 years old he can match-up against anyone in the league, he is playing out of a 3-4 defense, so his opportunities will be limited, but he plays a lot, and puts up a solid floor of stats each week. He’s a starting DE and is capable of putting up a Top-5 season.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 897 (86% of Team Snaps), Solos: 36, Total Tackles: 68, Sacks: 7
Trey Flowers – New England Patriots, with Rob Ninkovich’s recent retirement, Flowers is assured to see more defensive snaps, he will likely set the edge and rush the passer. Patriots run a 4-3 defense, so that makes Flowers an even better play at Defensive End, I like Flowers to finish as a Top-12 Defensive Lineman and is a solid starting DE.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 564 (54% of Team Snaps), Solos: 22, Total Tackles: 45, Sacks: 7
Jerry Hughes – Buffalo Bills, now in Sean McDermott’s 4-3 defensive scheme, Jerry is back on the radar for us as a very talented DE. He was a LB last year in a 3-4 and was virtually worthless for us, but as a DE he is a strong starting DE in all formats and could easily have a Top-12 year.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 856 (80% of Team Snaps), Solos: 31, Total Tackles: 48, Sacks: 6
Cameron Wake – Miami Dolphins, He was signed to a BIG contract extension (two-year $19 million) and was rewarded for putting up Top-5 numbers at the position last season. He is 35 years old, but with the contract extension, the Miami Dolphins are clearly not worried about his age and are investing into him with zero apprehension. I think he has at least one more very good year left and is a starting DE in a strong 4-3 defense.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 589 (51% of Team Snaps), Solos: 22, Total Tackles: 29, Sacks: 11.5
Kony Ealy – New England Patriots, I have another Patriot here, and with Ninkovich and Chris Long gone, the Patriots traded for Carolina Panther’s Kony Ealy, and he will be starting opposite Trey Flowers. I like Ealy’s ability to be a solid DL2, and possibly put up a Top-20 season. He can be rostered and be a fine fill-in for match-up plays, injuries, and or bye weeks.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 623 (58% of Team Snaps), Solos: 19, Total Tackles: 32, Sacks: 5
Reshad Jones – Miami Dolphins, after an amazing 2015 as the No.1 DB, a shoulder injury in 2016 put him out for 10 games, but the Dolphins signed him to a five year $60 million deal this past March, so they believe in him, and so should you. If he remains healthy, you should expect similar numbers from 2015, he’s a starting strong safety, and is capable of putting up Top-5 numbers from the position.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 431 (37% of Team Snaps), Solos: 31, Total Tackles: 51, Sacks: 0.5
Micah Hyde – Buffalo Bills, Hyde is a swiss army knife and can play any defensive back position, but lucky for us in Sean McDermott’s Cover 3 scheme, Hyde will be playing strong safety, which is our favorite DB position by far. Hyde was a part-time player for the Packers, but he’ll be a full-time starter for the Bills, and expect Hyde to put up a solid DB1 year. He is a starting DB in 2017 and beyond.
2016 Stats ~ Snaps: 820 (79% of Team Snaps), Solos: 47, Total Tackles: 58, Sacks: 1
Authored By: Donny Hamilton