John "The Guru" Norton and Gary "The Godfather of IDP" Davenport are two of the most experienced and knowledgeable IDP analysts in the fantasy football industry. Every week during the 2022 season here at Footballguys, The Guru and the Godfather will come together to answer five of that week's most pressing questions.
As we clear Thanksgiving and the playoff stretch run ramps up in IDP leagues, the Guru and the Godfather have come together to ponder on the latest surprise studs, offer some seasonal thanks for the biggest defensive values of 2022, and look ahead to a week that will make (or break) the season for many fantasy managers.
In recent weeks, we have seen a number of players like Jack Sanborn of the Bears and Kaden Elliss of the Saints go from IDP Zero to IDP Hero. Can they keep it up? Is there another player (or two) you think could follow the same trajectory? Is there a player you are concerned will do the opposite?
Guru: The Chicago defense is not good at this point so the organization might have a different opinion, but from what I see, the team may have a long-term solution in Sanborn. At the least, he is going to be the solution for the rest of this season, so there is no reason to think his numbers fall off.
After seeing Ellis in the starting role, I fully understand why he moved past Zach Baun on the depth chart this year. It was business as usual for the Saints’ defense in week eleven and business as usual for IDP managers that grabbed Ellis as a replacement for Pete Werner. It’s a small sampling, but Ellis looked good. With Werner’s recent ankle surgery, it looks like Ellis will be in the Saints lineup the rest of the way.
Rasul Douglas is a corner with a long history of good fantasy production when the situation allows. As the Packers’ nickel/slot corner, he gave us some good weeks and some bad ones through the first ten games. With the injury to Eric Stokes, Douglas becomes an every-down player, so we should get a lot more good ones the rest of the way.
Two other backup linebackers made the top ten in week eleven. Tyrel Dodson stood in for Tremaine Edmunds, and Krys Barnes has been seeing an increased role with De'Vondre Campbell out. Dodson was replaced by A.J. Klein in Week 12, but with Edmunds and Campbell expected back soon, the IDP value of those fill-ins is hitting its expiration date.
Godfather: There's no reason to think that what Sanborn has done the past few weeks isn't sustainable, and it’s not like there's someone lurking behind him on the depth chart who could step in if he struggles a bit. Provided he stays healthy, Sanborn is the sort of late-season add that swings leagues. Elliss has been similarly productive, but since Pete Werner hasn't been relegated to injured reserve yet, there's some concern he'll come back at the worst possible time for IDP managers who have been relying on Elliss.
It's not easy to identify similar potential diamonds because the circumstances that create them are inherently unpredictable. However, there are a couple of safeties who have recently returned from injury in New England's Kyle Dugger and Carolina's Jeremy Chinn, who have fallen under the radar in some leagues. Both players are back in full-time roles, and both were highly regarded before the season for a reason.
Then there's Alex Singleton of the Broncos, who is going to either win folks a lot of IDP leagues or lose them. Singleton has piled up 20 stops the past two games despite not playing more than 65 percent of the snaps in either contest. That per-snap productivity is outstanding. That snap share feels like a clunker waiting to happen.
2. Since Thanksgiving was this week, which IDPs are you most thankful for in 2022?
Guru: I am a Bengals fan by birth and a Raiders fan by choice. Cincinnati is easy to watch right now, even with their ups and downs, but without having Maxx Crosby on some of my teams, it would be hard to stomach what Josh McDaniels has done to the Raiders.
I’m thankful for L'Jarius Sneed, who I have in almost all my ten IDP leagues. I expected good numbers from him, but he has exceeded those expectations by a large margin and is one of the few corners that can be counted on every week.
Last but not least, I’m thankful for Bobby Okereke, who I was counting on as a good LB3 but has been much better than that. I picked him up as a handcuff to Shaquille Leonard in a couple of leagues, which has proven to be a great move, and have him in a few other leagues as well. He has been an outstanding contributor to my success in those leagues.
Godfather: I'm no Raiders fan, but I'm in lockstep with Mr. Norton on Crosby. The tackle numbers. The sacks. The week-to-week consistency. What Crosby has accomplished this year is remarkable—even more so when you consider the lack of help around him. We're watching the birth of the next star edge-rusher—and it's been a badly-needed bright spot in a long year for Raider Nation.
There may not be an IDP I am more thankful for in 2022 than Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu. It's not just the top-10 numbers in terms of points per game, although those are nice. Or the fact he was essentially free, which is even better. It's that watching Luvu play is just fun. Dude goes all-out from the first play to the last and attacks the ball like it insulted his mother.
Finally, I'm thankful for Simone Biles. Because apparently after watching his bae win all the gold medals ever, Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens decided he needed to up his game. In 10 games this season, Owens has hit the 10-tackle mark seven times. He leads all defensive backs in solo tackles, and only Derwin James of the Chargers has more total tackles. That kind of production off the waiver wire is almost as tasty as my world-famous cheesy potatoes. Almost.
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