Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller is our feature star in the third edition of the Rookie IDP Rundown after a series of impressive performances to begin his pro career. Highlighted in our Week 2 Rookie Rundown, Fuller has already become a fully fledged IDP star. There is nothing that can make or break an IDP team more than having players who can make big, game changing plays. The rookie corner out of Virginia Tech has forced a startling five turnovers (3 interceptions & 2 forced fumbles) in just three games in his fledgling NFL career. Following in the footsteps of his now injured teammate, Charles Tillman, Fuller has a propensity for the big play and is a truly all action player. His aggressive style of defence has earned him many plaudits from football fans and NFL scouts alike, Fuller is always around the football and offers the kind of game changing ability that can win IDP owners weeks single-handedly. In addition to his play making ability, Fuller is a strong run defender who thrives at cleaning up plays around the line of scrimmage. In IDP leagues that dictate owners must start a Cornerback, it won’t be long before Fuller sits atop these rankings like his teammate Tillman once did. His tackling ability and willingness to take on the run cements a very high floor for Fuller, something that one-dimensional pass defenders can’t offer their fantasy owners.
Fuller may be the rookie standout that IDP owners should be making sure they target but that’s not to say that there aren’t other rookies making a name for themselves in IDP circles. Preston Brown of the Buffalo Bills is the name that owners in tackle heavy leagues simply must own. In the last Rookie IDP Rundown, I warned against owners going all in on Brown, that appears to be a certain mistake. He has forced veteran Linebacker, Keith Rivers to the bench and has slotted straight into the Bills impressive defence. Whilst his on field performance may not match up to the gaudy statistics he’s posted (16 solos & 15 assists), the rookie from Louisville certainly appears to be no slouch. One great advantage that Brown has over other linebackers is that he gets to play in front of the very generous Buffalo Bills stat crew, a notoriously tackle happy group that have created many an IDP superstar, for that, we thank them.
Our final feature player this week is Oakland Raiders’ Outside Linebacker, Khalil Mack. The pass rusher from Buffalo has yet to register a Mack as a pro but has a creditable 19 tackles to his name. He gave Texans’ Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown fits in their Week 2 matchup and it is only a matter of time before he starts finishing off his pass rush attempts with sacks. Mack is an intriguing option for IDP owners as he presents big play upside with a relatively safe floor as he is in a position to put up solid tackle stats every week. For Mack to realise his true big play potential however, it may need Raiders coach Dennis Allen to set Mack free off the edge like his coaches in College often did. Mack will never leave the field in Oakland so he is somebody that fantasy owners should roster wherever possible.
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To finish up this weeks column we have the start of a new weekly feature; The Rookie Waiver Watchlist, featuring players who owners may not have rostered yet but who should be on their radars;
Kyle Van Noy, LB, Detroit. With the injury to Stephen Tulloch and a thriving Lions defence, once Van Noy returns from being on the short term IR, he should thrive in the Lions attack first defence.
Anthony Hitchens, LB, Dallas. Hitchens thrived in Week 3 and should be owned in most leagues. He will feature heavily for the Cowboys depleted linebacker core.Prince Shembo, LB, Atlanta. Shembo continues to creep into Joplo Bartu‘s snaps and should be a Falcons starter before too long.
Bradley Roby, CB, Denver. The Ohio State product continues to be targeted heavily playing opposite Aqib Talib and that should continue all season long. He will post consistent tackles every week.
Jason Verrett, CB, San Diego. If it wasn’t for Kyle Fuller, Verrett would be the rookie corner that everyone was talking about. A scrappy player, he’s getting more and more opportunities in the Chargers’ nickel packages.
For more IDP Rookie knowledge, find Grant on Twitter here Follow @grantharrison91