IDP – Defensive Linemen Buyers Market 2016

Danielle Hunter

It’s that time of year again and we’re trying to get that leg up on our competition; especially in deep dynasty leagues as the fantasy community continues to evolve.  One of my goals is to try and be ahead of the curve on some guys; I brought up Everson Griffen & Jamie Collins before they blew up and I do have my misses, I admit that (Kevin Minter for one *sigh*) but that’s what fantasy football is all about, you win some you lose some.  I’m here to tell you about five guys (not the burger joint) but defensive linemen (DE/DT) who are on the verge of having breakouts and more than become relevant; if you follow me on twitter (@IDPwithBEE_8o8) you’ll notice I haven’t been shy about a few of these guys.

Their value will be at their cheapest (right now) and it’s the best time to strike a deal; so with that being said lets take a look at some defensive linemen who are on my buy list/targets in every league!

  • DANIELLE HUNTER (DE, Vikings):  2015 stats – 32 tackles, 8 TFL, 6 sacks - Hunter will just be turning 21 at the beginning of the 2016 season; came into the league raw and needed to develop.  He finally got in the rotation and got some playing time by week four and that’s when things started looking up for the promising rookie.  He started for the injured Griffen in week six against the Chiefs and put up 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble & 0.5 sacks.  Hunter was the top backup at defensive end; mainly in rotation with Brian Robison and ended the 2015 season on a high note where Hunter put up 3.5 sacks and 12 tackles in the last four games.  We can expect that momentum to carry over as Hunter bulked up this off-season and looking to increase his power and his quickness off the ball to wreck havoc on opposing offensive linemen.  He’s going to push Robison for starter snaps in 2016 and once he gets it there is no turning back, Zimmer is going to have a hard time NOT fielding Hunter which will then lead to his breakout of things to come.  Hunter is presumably cheap right now, some know of him but I’d be trying to trade for him as I view Hunter as a strong DL2 option in 2016 with a top 10 ceiling in dynasty! He’ll definitely flirt with 10+ sacks so go get Hunter now before it’s too late.

Vinny Curry

  • VINNY CURRY (DE, Eagles):  (2015 stats – 11 tackles 4 sacks) first things first after putting up a career high 9 sacks in 2014, Curry was disrespected last season where he only played 35% of snaps.  Curry is arguably the best pass rushing linemen; he’s explosive & quick.  Welcome in the new regime and Curry has the opportunity to start in 2016, he also signed a new contract (5 years – 47.3 mil) that’s not sit on the bench money so Vinny Curry is in store for a career year under Schwartz.  Someone similar to Curry who played under Schwarts is Jerry Hughes in Buffalo, in 2013 Hughes put up 46 tackles & 9.5 sacks, we’ll say this is Curry’s floor because the ceiling I have painted for Vinny is somewhere in the area of 55 tackles 11.5 sacks.  His price tag is very affordable right now, worth targeting in trades as your DL2/DE2 weekly starter.
  • MALCOM BROWN (DT, Patriots):  (2015 stats – 48 tackles, 6 TFL, 2 FR and 3 sacks) Let’s just say that Patriots got a steal in the draft with the acquisition of Malcom Brown, he played in all 16 games as a rookie (started 12 of them) and he’s just getting started.  As any rookie he needed to improve in some aspects and he did just that because as the season progressed so did Brown’s pass rushing ability, he eats up space in the middle and his strength and athleticism helps collapse the pocket.  Brown is well on his way into becoming an interior playmaker for the Patriots; already considered a leader as he enters his second season.  As he took command of the DT position down the stretch (played about 60% of snaps) he helped the Patriots defense hold the Dolphins to 2.5 yards per carry in their week 17 matchup.  As we head into 2016 you can bet Malcom rises to the occasion as Hicks is gone, Easley got released and he’ll be playing alongside another big boy (Knighton) as I look at Brown’s 2015 totals, I envision a nice uptick in every category to where he can rack up close to 60 total tackles and flirt with 5-7 sacks which makes him a viable DT1 option in DT required leagues.  Now, if you’re in a DT required league I’d definitely feel comfortable rolling out Brown on a weekly basis but time to get him now because he’s picking up steam.

ryan delaire

  • RYAN DeLAIRE (DE, Panthers):  (2015 stats – 8 tackles 2.5 sacks) You might’ve heard about Delaire rising to the occasion against the Bucs in week four as he racked up 2 sacks on Winston.  But, from there everything was downhill from the newly signed off the Redskins practice squad; Ryan Delaire, as he only racked up 0.5 sacks before his season ending injury (torn labrum).  He was used in a rotation, had limited pass rushing moves and teams caught on so with that being said he knew what his focus had to be during the 2016 off-season (improve & apply new moves instead of just relying on speed) and he’s doing just that as he’s been working on a power rush.  He’ll carve out a role to get in the rotation behind Johnson/Ealy that’ll make him spot start worthy as a DL2 option.  I’ve been targeting Delaire because 1. he’s super cheap 2. on random starts he can provide one of the highest weekly upsides and 3. worth a spot in deep leagues for depth.
  • DEVIN TAYLOR (DE, Lions):  (2015 stats – 35 tackles, 8 TFL, 7 sacks) Been preaching Taylor’s name for some time now (even when he’s just in a rotation) but time for him to get some real recognition in 2016 as he’s heading into the season as the favorite to start at LDE opposite Ziggy.  He played the second most snaps last season (53%) behind Ziggy’s (63%) and with him starting now you can see it spike up to mirror Ziggy’s or floating around the 60% mark, either way that’s a jump in snaps for Devin and more opportunity to get after the QB.  Taylor is entering his fourth season, has shown growth & improvement in all aspects, can become the difference maker as he’s poised to have a career year in 2016.  With that being said, you probably snuck in Taylor in a couple spot starts last season but now it’s the time to buy as your DL2/DE2 option in 2016 with an increase in snaps and chance to start I will not be surprised if Taylor hits 11-12 sacks and becomes a staple in the top 22.  He’s another cheap option currently as well, not really a household name yet so you’d definitely be able to make an affordable offer for him in trades (maybe as a throw in in package deals) or in drafts he’s definitely one you can wait on to solidify depth.

 

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