Fantasy Football IDP Preview: Defensive Line Dual Eligibility
Ivar Anderson takes a look at players on the defensive line and who could help you by being eligible at both defensive end and defensive tackle for your 2020 fantasy football leagues
Last week, we began a discussion regarding multi-positional IDP in Yahoo. Unfortunately, as noted last week, most of the other fantasy football platforms, such as ESPN, CBS and the like, tend to assign a primary defensive role to a player and that is simply that. On Yahoo, however, it is possible to find IDPs that qualify at two positions, and allow the savvy owner the option of filling a position that generally supplies lesser point totals with a defensive player that has the potential of providing a windfall.
If you play fantasy baseball, you will be familiar with the concept of the player that is able to be inserted at various different offensive positions to replace an injured starter, or fill in for a player getting a day of rest. In football, lineup decisions are not made day-to-day, of course, but rather on a week-by-week basis, so dual eligibility for an IDP does not translate into quick replacement strategies when setting lineups. Instead, as we discussed last week, finding a linebacker that has defensive line eligibility transforms a lesser-producing IDP into a player that potentially can provide greater point production, since linebackers generally provide a stronger base for fantasy value than a linesman.
In this follow-up installment, let’s take a look at some players that qualify at both defensive tackle and defensive end. These players are most valuable in leagues that are DT mandatory, naturally. In general, a DE will provide better fantasy production than a similar-tiered DT, and thus finding a defensive linesman with dual eligibility enables his owner to pick up those few additional points per week that can at times lead to a close victory.
Projections for the 2020 season are set forth as follows: Total Tackles/Solo Tackles/Sacks/Forced Fumbles/Fumble Recoveries/Pass Deflections
Jordan Phillips, Arizona Cardinals DT/DE
Phillips is coming off a superb year with the Bills, where he collected 9.5 sacks and 31 TT (total tackles). He became expendable with Buffalo relying on Star Lotulelei and Ed Oliver on the interior defensive line, and he is welcomed in Arizona where the Cardinals needed to upgrade their interior pass rush. He is a true DT but Yahoo’s positional designations reflect his pass rush skills.
2020 Projections: 37/24/4/1/.5/2
Marlon Davidson Atlanta Falcons DT/DE
Davidson is a depth player on the Falcons, with the Auburn rookie expected to play interior line on passing downs heading into camp. His weight (303 lbs.) projects him more as a DT in the pros, although the team will likely try to get him snaps to take advantage of their second-round selection during his initial year in the NFL. The Falcon defense needs improvement in the run-stopping aspect, and this could lead to significant snaps for the first-year player in 2020.
2020 Projections: 35/24/4/2/1/.5
James Lynch Minnesota Vikings DT/DE
Lynch was a later selection than Lynch, going in the fourth round in the 2020 draft to the Vikings. As their second DL taken in the fourth round, he is destined for the interior of the line. The Vikings have waved bye-bye to established veteran DLs in Linval Joseph , Stephen Weatherly , and Everson Griffen , so Lynch does have a possibly large role in his first taste of the pros this coming season. Should he demonstrate a strong presence in the middle of the Minnesota defensive front, he could emerge as a starter and thus, be a sneaky late round selection in deeper IDP leagues, or someone to keep on the radar for a waiver wire pickup as the season progresses.
2020 Projections: 30/23/3/2/0/0
John Cominsky Atlanta Falcons DT/DE
Falcon head coach Dan Quinn is talking about Cominsky finding a bigger role in his second season in Atlanta, and if that is true, then the projections below will be too cautious. It is true that as with the Vikings, the Falcon defensive line has suffered some veteran departures heading into this season with Vic Beasley , Adrian Clayborn , and Jack Crawford all going elsewhere as free agents, opening the door for Cominsky to accumulate significant snaps on defense. It should be noted that he is slotted behind starter Grady Jarrett on the depth chart, so increased playing time may not be a guaranteed development this season.
2020 Projections: 20/13/2/1/0/1
Frank Herron Detroit Lions DT/DE
Herron has bounced around the league on various teams’ practice squads, most recently with the Dolphins before landing on the Lions’ roster at the end of 2019. As such, he is decidedly a player you want to note for your watch list but not necessarily consider in your drafts, save for perhaps a best ball league where injury or underperformance could lead to the occasional big game.
2020 Projections: 24/17/0/0/0/0
Next week, we will return to profile the second tier of IDPs that qualify at both LB and DL position on the Yahoo! fantasy football platform. Come back for some more multifaceted defensive player profiling, while the NFL figures out just how the 2020 season will be played in this unique period of history.
As ever, godspeed and best of luck in your fantasy endeavors. If you have any questions regarding IDP, or fantasy football in general, you can send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalized suggestion (or two, if the spirit moves).