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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 viewers' minds 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 will primarily focus on edge rushers but will also hit some of the other players and situations that will likely impact teams in big play leagues. We will cover risers and fallers in the format, injury situations about which 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 $
The Browns had a lot of interesting IDP developments in week five action. Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah hit 91% playing time, even with the return of Anthony Walker. If this continues, Owusu-Koramoah becomes very valuable going forward. Safety Ronnie Harrison got 100% playing time, which is something of a surprise after Grant Delpit’s 97% snap share last week. It will be interesting to see if that becomes a trend, but Harrison is worth a speculative pickup on the chance that it does.
The Cowboys cut Jaylon Smith last week and general managers were anxious to see how that might impact linebacker snaps across the group. Micah Parsons continues to get the bulk of the playing time, but it was both Keanu Neal and Leighton Vander Esch splitting time about equally at 50% and 46% of the snaps respectively. IDP sleeper Jabril Cox logged 6% of the snaps on the day.
Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham’s fall out of favor continues. Cunningham’s playing time descended to 52% this week. It appears that Kamu Grugier-Hill is the player to target, as he is getting full-time work next to Christian Kirksey.
Titans linebacker David Long Jr is the only full-time option right now with Jayon Brown moving to injured reserve and Rashaan Evans’ injury. He should be super productive on a defense that just is not good across the board.
$ INJURY SETTLEMENTS $
- Browns cornerback Denzel Ward left Sunday’s contest with a neck injury and was unable to come back.
- Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David sustained a low ankle sprain and is slated to miss some time.
- Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack exited early against the Titans with a back injury.
- Packers cornerback Kevin King exited early against the Bengals.
- Steelers linebacker Devin Bush suffered a leg injury against the Broncos.
- Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans left with a quad injury and Kristian Fulton could not return after a hamstring injury.
$ MONEY IN THE BANK $
Buffalo Bills Pass Rushers versus Tennessee Titans Offensive Line
The Titans are so banged up along their offensive line, recently losing Roger Saffold and Nate Davis in the Jaguars contest. They gave up three sacks against the Jaguars and are bound to surrender more against the very aggressive Buffalo Bills. Start Gregory Rousseau with confidence this week. Jerry Huges and Carlos Basham Jr could also get in on the action. Even the pass rushers not getting a lot of playing time such as Mario Addison, A.J. Epenesa, and Efe Obada are better-than-normal desperation plays this week.
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