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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.
With the 2022 fantasy football season already entering the second half, the Guru and the Godfather have come together again to discuss this week's blockbuster trade involving and IDP stud, some "buy low" and "sell high" targets and to look ahead at Week 9.
1. The IDP landscape received a major jolt in Week 9 when Roquan Smith of the Chicago Bears was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. What does the trade mean for the value of Smith and his new teammates in Chicago and those he left behind in Chicago?
Guru: Smith was already at the top of the heap so there is not much chance his value will go up. It might go down a little but the guy is still the best in the game right now. Once he is settled in, which might take a week or two, I expect it will be business as usual for Smith.
I see nothing positive in terms of IDP value for anyone else on the Ravens’ defense. Smith is a vacuum when it comes to tackles and makes his share of big plays as well. Patrick Queen’s value takes the biggest hit. At best, Baltimore runs with two full-time inside linebackers. At worst, Queen ends up on the sideline on 25-30% of the snaps. Smith’s presence may not have much effect at all on the secondary, though it could mean slightly fewer tackle opportunities each week for Geno Stone.
The ripple effect in Chicago will give us one major upgrade and could provide more. Nicholas Morrow was already playing 100% of the snaps every week and putting up decent numbers most of the time. He steps into the lead role and could be a top-12 linebacker the rest of the way, especially if they move him inside as I expect.
Strong safety Jaquan Brisker could also see a few more opportunities each game but the sleeper to pick up here is Jack Sanborn. He is an undrafted rookie that was listed as the backup to Smith at middle linebacker. Sanborn was highly productive at Wisconsin, earning All-Big Ten honors as a senior last year. The Bears like him a lot and there is a chance he takes over as the middle linebacker.
Godfather: The biggest winner from the Roquan Smith trade has to be Nicholas Morrow of the Bears. It's a case of addition by subtraction—with Smith gone, Morrow is far and away the most proven linebacker on Chicago's roster. He'll be locked into an every-down role, and given the lack of talent around him, Morrow vaults into the top 25 at the position. There should be tackle opportunities galore moving forward.
The biggest loser is no harder to pinpoint. Despite a down Week 8, heading into Week 9, Patrick Queen was a top-10 linebacker in many scoring systems. Queen played over 90 percent of the snaps in five of eight games this season. He was one of the better value picks of 2022 at his position. But that's all over now. This isn't to say that Queen has no value—this week, at least, he should be fine in a plus matchup with the Saints. But given the draft capital that Baltimore has invested in Smith and the near-certainty of a huge contract in 2023, the Ravens didn't bring Smith in as anything but their new No. 1 linebacker.
How the Bears will replace Smith remains to be seen. Jack Sanborn is a fan favorite in Chicago due to his ties to the city, but he's also an undrafted rookie who lacks high-end athleticism. A.J. Klein came over in the trade, but he's a journeyman veteran who struggles in space. Joe Thomas is essentially a poor man's A.J. Klein. As Norton said, if you want to try to get ahead of the situation, Sanborn is the add, But this situation could play out any number of ways.
2. The trade deadline in many IDP leagues is also rapidly approaching. Who are a couple of good Buy-Low and Sell-High candidates for managers who want to make like Monty Hall?
Guru: I’m buying Jamin Davis right now. He played every snap in Week 8 with Cole Holcomb out. The Commanders are not giving us much info on Holcomb’s foot issue, but he is not practicing again this week, and foot injuries tend to linger a lot of the time.
Dre Greenlaw has been on the shelf but should be back after the bye week. Between his suspension and last week’s bye, Willie Gay Jr has not been in the limelight much. I think that is about to change. Christian Harris didn’t post eye-catching numbers last week, but he played every snap as the Texans seem to be looking to the future.
Leonard Williams is finally getting healthy but only has one big game so far. It just so happens that was last week. He’ll be close to 100% coming out of the bye last week.
Jordan Poyer is dealing with an elbow injury and has underperformed. I expect him to rebound late in the season and be the Poyer of old during our playoffs.
Sell Bobby Okereke (see question four) while he still has value. Talanoa Hufanga’s inconsistent tackle numbers are eventually going to bite us. He has the Dolphins, Buccaneers, and Seahawks weeks 13-15. Those teams don’t turn the ball over.
Jonathan Owens may have lost his starting job last week. You can sit on him to see for sure or try to get something before the rest of your league catches up.
Sione Takitaki had big numbers last week and played 85% of the snaps. Some people think this is going to be the norm going forward. Find one of them and make a deal. We have seen enough of Takitaki to know his limitations. Owusu-Koramoah was out last week, and Deion Jones is getting caught up on the scheme as he works his way into football shape.
Godfather: I'm 100 percent in lockstep with the Guru about Leonard Williams. The numbers admittedly haven't been there, but he was hurt and looked to be rounding back into form with eight stops and a sack in Week 8. At linebacker, it would be wise to send out some feelers for Deion Jones of the Browns after his Week 8 clunker. The bye week gives Jones a chance to get up to speed in Cleveland, and I still believe he winds up calling plays and playing full-time in the next few weeks. In the secondary, Donovan Wilson may have won the starting box safety job in Dallas, but Jayron Kearse is playing over 90 percent of the snaps and producing in his own right. Kearse is actually available on the waiver wire in quite a few leagues.
So far as Sell-High candidates go, Deatrich Wise of the New England Patriots has been a great story this year. He has already tied a career-high in sacks. But he has already cooled off in the past couple of weeks. If you can get someone to pay for his season-long numbers, do it—he's already showing they aren't sustainable. Seattle's Cody Barton salvaged a decent Week 9 stat line with a sack, but his playing time has been slashed—any kind of real return would be worth selling him for. Finally, as much as I love me some Talanoa Hufanga, the Guru's right—both he and Mike Edwards of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are more likely to slide down the leaderboard at safety moving forward than rise up it.
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