Years ago, when Deone Bucannon introduced himself as a “money linebacker” on Sunday Night Football, the audience had a good laugh. The term was a reference to his defensive responsibilities but conjured images in the minds of viewers of the huge game checks that Bucannon was earning at that time. Memes popped up in the following days of Bucannon on top of piles of money and gold coins. Hopefully, following the guidance given in this column will have your rosters overflowing with a wealth of IDP riches. We’ll primarily focus on edge rushers but will also hit on some of the other players and situations that are likely to impact teams in big play leagues. We will cover risers and fallers in the format, injury situations fantasy general managers need to know, and upcoming matchups to target.
Note: The defensive player injuries covered in this column are not an exhaustive list, but an attempt to cover the situations most likely to impact big play IDP squads. For more extensive coverage of injury situations, see Jene Bramel’s latest Injury Rounds column.
$ Stock up and Bankrupt $
There’s not as much to report here as there will be in season, but there are a few things we should note. They may be significant to remember later when we are making decisions about whom to pick up and whom to cut early in our seasons.
There were a few rookie edge rushers who made noise across their respective camps. Chase Winovich had a great preseason for the Patriots and drew comparisons to Rob Ninkovich. Those who played IDP during Ninkovich’s glory days remember what an impactful player he was for big-play lineups. Winovich played most of his snaps with his hand in the dirt in the preseason game, meaning most league hosting sites may opt to classify him as a defensive end.
Panthers pass rusher Brian Burns had a fantastic preseason and logged multiple sacks during game action. Due to Carolina making the switch to primarily running 3-4, Brian Burns is likely to be classified as an outside linebacker on most league sites before all is said and done.
Montez Sweat earned rave reviews in camp and looks set to start over incumbent Ryan Anderson. Though this outside linebacker didn’t earn as much fanfare as some of the other rushers in this class, he could be relevant sooner rather than later in this format.
The Dolphins cut T.J. McDonald, clearing the way for Reshad Jones to return to prominence in IDP circles. This defense is expected to see extensive time on the field this season, which should only help Jones’ case at returning to DB1 status. Kiko Alonso’s departure elevates Jerome Baker into a starting linebacker for Miami.