Big Play Payday: Week 5

Helping IDP fantasy general managers prepare for the upcoming week in big play formats.

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.


Most of us were skeptical when Buccaneers' edge rusher Shaq Barrett started the year off on fire after largely disappointing during his days in Denver. He has not cooled off and remains dominant. He posted one more sack, bringing his total to nine in four games. Beyond being disruptive with pressure on Jared Goff, he also forced a fumble and caught an interception. He is most likely rostered in your big play league by now, but if he is not, make sure that changes this week.

There is something strange going on in Chicago. Roquan Smith missed the contest against the Vikings and there have been reports that his behavior was erratic in the week leading up to the game. Head Coach Matt Nagy declines to comment if Smith will play in the contest in London. If this situation does turn out to be something that sidelines Smith for a while, Nick Kwiatkoski is a must-add for fantasy general managers.

Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict is being suspended for the rest of 2019 because of a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jack Doyle and the fact he is a repeat offender. Perhaps Tahir Whitehead’s usage will increase to full-time with this development.

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