We’re starting to near the new season and our drafts are underway, I went ahead and provided my last update before the season kicks off to my DL (DT/DE) Tiers.  There’s a handful of steady floors to be had, limited upside guys and a bunch of lottery picks – so pick your poison if you do not land JJ Watt.


  • JJ Watt, DE (HOU)

self explanatory here and pretty obvious, Watt is in a tier of his own and rightfully so as he’s been so dominant from the get.  He can nearly outscore the DL2 by nearly 100 points, that’s massive.  But, are you willing to go as early as second round to take Watt? As of 22AUG2016, MFL has given the DE tag to Khalil Mack; probably a moment many have been waiting for and he gets a big boost in value now as he becomes my 1b to Watt and arguably the top one to target.  Mack is a game changer and is only getting better.

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  • Robert Quinn, DE (RAM)
  • Aaron Donald, DT (RAM)
  • Muhammad Wilkerson, DE (NYJ)
  • Ziggy Ansah, DE (DET)
  • Carlos Dunlap, DE (CIN)
  • Fletcher Cox, DT (PHI)
  • Cameron Jordan, DE (NOS)
  • Calais Campbell, DE (ARI)
  • Everson Griffen, DE (MIN)
  • Kawann Short, DT (CAR)
  • Olivier Vernon, DE (NYG)
  • Jason Pierre-Paul, DE (NYG)

these guys right here give you that souljah feeling, that feeling that’s so high you can do anything or just feel good about it.  You can do no wrong with either of them if you miss out on Watt, lot of QB Sacks to be had in this unit, handful of consistency and solid DL1 options for your weekly starter.  I do believe Quinn bounces back and comes close to his former self; Ziggy will take the biggest leap amongst this unit with a career year ahead – will battle Mack for league lead in sacks.  Don’t be afraid of Fletcher switching to a DT, will continue to collapse pocket, get after the QB and pile up tackles against there run.  Lot of questions surrounding JPP; he’ll be better than last year as he should be more comfortable from his hand injury.  


  • Cameron Heyward, DE (PIT)
  • Michael Bennett, DE (SEA)
  • Malik Jackson, DT (JAC)
  • Stephon Tuitt, DE (PIT)
  • Jurrell Casey, DE (TEN)
  • Jabaal Sheard, DE (NEP)
  • Mike Daniels, DE (GBP)
  • Geno Atkins, DT (CIN)
  • Gerald McCoy, DT (TBB)
  • Ndamukong Suh, DT (MIA)
  • Jaye Howard, DE (KCC)
  • Robert Ayers, DE (TBB)
  • Connor Barwin, DE (PHI)
  • Cliff Avril, DE (SEA)
  • Derek Wolfe, DE (DEN)

The steady rockin’ guys are pretty much the no ceilings but have a strong floor.  Nothing sexy about these guys in IDP other than production, bunch of them can be DL1’s whereas a couple others are borderline DL1 options but solid DL2 starters.  I like Bennett to mirror his 10 sacks (career high) he posted last season in 2016, even though SEA rotates that front Bennett moves around so you won’t have to worry about him losing snaps or his job anytime soon.  Sheard is on the verge of having a big year for the Patriots, with Jones now gone and Ninkovich battling injuries already the arrow is pointing up for Sheard and shouldn’t have a problem reaching 8 sacks again; i’m going to say he’ll get at least 11 in 2016.  Keep your eye out on Ayers in Tampa, savvy vet whose coming off a career high 9 sacks in NYG, will carry that over to Tampa.  


  • Danielle Hunter, DE (MIN)
  • DeMarcus Lawrence, DE (DAL)
  • Noah Spence, DE (TBB)
  • DeForest Buckner, DE (SF)
  • Leonard Williams, DE (NYJ)
  • Kony Ealy, DE (CAR)
  • Mario Edwards, DE (OAK)
  • Chris Jones, DE (KCC)
  • Dante Fowler, DE (JAC)
  • Hau’oli Kikaha, DE (NOS)
  • Frank Clark, DE (SEA)
  • Devin Taylor, DE (DET)
  • Malcom Brown, DT (NEP)
  • Robert Nkemdiche, DE (ARI)
  • Owa Odighizuwa, DE (NYG)
  • Sheldon Rankins, DT (NOS)
  • Vinny Curry, DE (PHI)
  • Eddie Goldman, DT (CHI)
  • Joey Bosa, DE (SDC)

This is the breakout and bright futures lie ahead group, you’d definitely want to acquire at least two of these guys with Hunter/Fowler leading the group – oh and a suspended DeMarcus Lawrence too (out 4 games in 2016).  Be aware too that Kikaha is already out for the season but this is dynasty and when he gets back we can hope he returns to form, moving back to DE would’ve been value for him in IDP.  His teammate; Sheldon Rankins, is also battling injuries and is expected out about 8 weeks so plan ahead if you draft him and make sure you have backups ready to roll out but Rankins has DT1 (Top 10) upside.  Frank Clark and Devin Taylor are expected to have bigger roles in 2016, both have looked solid so far and Taylor will breakout with career high in sacks and Clark will put up DL3 numbers with his rotational snaps but before you know it he’ll be a Top 20 DE.  


  • Brandon Graham, DE (PHI)
  • Marcell Dareus, DT (BUF)
  • Corey Liuget, DE (SDC)
  • Sheldon Richardson, DE (NYJ)
  • Jacquies Smith, DE (TBB)
  • Dontari Poe, DT (KCC)
  • Allen Bailey, DE (KCC)
  • Randy Gregory, DE (DAL)
  • Sharrif Floyd, DT (MIN)
  • Cassius Marsh, DE (SEA)

Past performers who enter the season with question marks, Graham is moving back to DE and should do better and be a bit more relevant for IDP usage.  Jacquies got a battle now with Gholston/Spence and at best it could spell rotational snaps.  Gregory just got to get his mind right if he wants to play football, already suspended for the first four games of the season and the Cowboys could sure use him but its your call if you want to take the chance on rostering Gregory.  I’d like to think Richardson bounces back some time in 2016, he has been a tackling machine but they got another version of him in Leonard Williams.  


  • Matt Judon, DE (BAL)
  • Vernon Butler, DT (CAR)
  • Jonathan Bullard, DE (CHI)
  • Jarran Reed, DT (SEA)
  • Hassan Ridgeway, DE (IND)
  • Kenny Clark, DT (GBP)
  • Bronson Kaufusi, DE (BAL)
  • DaQuan Jones, DE (TEN)
  • Bennie Logan, DT (PHI)
  • Yannick Ngakoue, DE (JAC)
  • Carl Nassib, DE (CLE)
  • Jihad Ward, DE (OAK)
  • Charles Tapper, DE (DAL)
  • Arik Armstead, DE (SF)
  • Ryan DeLaire, DE (CAR)
  • Geneo Grissom, DE (NEP)
  • Quinton Jefferson, DT (SEA)
  • Kasim Edebali, DE (NOS)
  • Ronald Blair, DE (SF)

all the upside lies with this unit (outside of the sky the limit unit) but you could pretty much get majority of these guys towards the end of your draft or they’re all on your waiver wire right now.  Will these guys contribute in 2016? possible – especially if an injury occurs and they’re next man up.  If you ask me who do I think has the highest upside in this group – the answer is Matt Judon, Vernon Butler and Jihad Ward.  Now, go stash them away. 


  • Mario Williams, DE (MIA)
  • Rob Ninkovich, DE (NEP)
  • Chris Long, DE (NEP)
  • Michael Johnson, DE (CIN)
  • Akiem Hicks, DE (CHI)
  • Tim Jernigan, DE (BAL)
  • Wallace Gilberry, DE (DET)

now, there’s a couple viable vets in here (Ninkovich, Hicks) but Nink is already battling injuries and how much longer before it catches up to him? He definitely racks up tackles in bunches, solid DL2 option if you’re a contender.  Hicks is riding momentum off a late season surge with the Patriots, can he bring that to him in Chicago? they’re going to need it but i’m not wanting to find out as I like to take shots with upside as my DL3/4 options.  


  • Cameron Wake, DE (MIA)
  • Henry Anderson, DE (IND)
  • Sen’Derrick Marks, DT (JAC)
  • Jonathan Hankins, DT (NYG)
  • Charles Johnson, DE (CAR)

Whether they’re coming off injury, continue to battle injuries or haven’t even threw on the pads yet for training camp – these guys are risk, some are free, some cost you a 2nd round rookie pick and others on waivers.  Wake is well worth the risk as his big games could win you some weeks but you’d also have to keep your cool when he gives you those 1-2 tackle games and nothing more.   Johnson and Wake could be headaches when owning them as some games they give you 0-2 tackles and then a couple games later they’ll burst out with 2 sacks, got to hope you’re starting them during that time.  


  • William Gholston, DE (TBB)
  • Ian Williams, DT (SF)
  • Xavier Cooper, DE (CLE)
  • Clinton McDonald, DT (TBB)
  • Tyrunn Walker, DT (DET)
  • Chris Baker, DE (WAS)
  • Carl Davis, DE (BAL)
  • Rashede Hageman, DT (ATL)
  • William Hayes, DE (RAM)
  • Tyson Alualu, DT (JAC)
  • Jared Odrick, DE (JAC)
  • Howard Jones, DE (TBB)
  • Mario Addison, DE (CAR)
  • A’Shawn Robinson, DT (DET)
  • Jordan Phillips, DT (MIA)
  • Grady Jarrett, DT (ATL)
  • Adolphus Washington, DE (BUF)
  • Will Clarke, DE (CIN)
  • Jared Crick, DE (DEN)
  • Derrick Shelby, DE (ATL)

this is the non-sexy name guys here, the ones you take a third or fourth look at to make sure you know who you’re drafting.  A handful of question marks with some guys here, some guys we know what they give us (Hayes, Addison, Crick, McDonald) and then there’s a couple that have the chance to seize the opportunity that lies in front of them (Cooper, Washington, Davis) but these guys are also the lottery picks toward the end of your draft when you need some depth and who can potentially be bye week starters or even flex starters if  need be.  




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