As dynasty IDP players, we are always looking to add players to our rosters who could see an increase in opportunity. Listed below are a few safeties worth stashing, as their roles/situations could be changing this upcoming season. All league sizes and formats are different. Meaning, these players may available via waiver pickups or acquired via trade cheaply.
Khari Willis – S – Indianapolis Colts
One of the bright spots of the Colts’ 2019 draft class was fourth round, safety, Khari WIllis. Willis was known as a high character, smart player who is strong against the run. The Colts brought him in to compete with presumed starter, Clayton Gaethers, at strong safety. Willis certainly made his presence felt appearing in 14 games and making nine starts while playing 620 (60%) snaps to Gaethers 527 (51%). Showing particularly well against the run as a rookie, Willis amassed 71 total tackles (53 solo) and two tackles for loss.
Gaethers will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. If he isn’t resigned, the Colts would be looking to Willis to hold down their strong safety spot. Willis has shown to be an asset in stopping the run game, but needs to make some improvements in coverage. The young safety makes for a great grab if he’s on your waiver wire or a cheap trade target with a potential full time role in sight for 2020.
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Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – S – New Orleans Saints
Looking to add depth to their secondary, the Saints selected Gardner-Johnson, with the third pick of the fourth round in the 2019 draft. Early on, snaps were hard to come by for CGJ. When injuries hit New Orleans, they called his number and the rookie stepped up. He played particularly well in Weeks 15 and 16 subbing for injured starter, Vonn Bell. Showcasing his ability in run support and aggressive playing style, he made his presence felt. Starting seven regular season games, CGJ had a solid rookie season collecting 46 total tackles (35 solo), six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, eight passes defended, and an interception.
Von Bell is set to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season. If the Saints end up letting Bell walk, they could be looking at Gardner-Johnson to help fill the void at safety. CGJ, is solid stash if he’s available as we wait and see how this situation plays out. Bell or no Bell, I expect his role to grow in the Saints defense either way.
Karl Joseph – S – Las Vegas Raiders
A former first round pick in 2016, Joseph has had an up and down start to his NFL career. The Raiders selected the young promising safety, Johnathan Abram, in the first round of this past year’s draft and it looked as if Joseph would be destined for a lesser role. Abram suffered an unfortunate season ending shoulder injury in Week One of the regular season. This meant more playing time for Joseph, among others, and he was playing well displaying his strength in run support. Unfortunately, Joseph suffered a serious foot injury in Week 10, which ended his season. Playing in and starting eight games this season, Joseph collected 48 total tackles (37 solo), four tackles for loss, three passes defended, and one interception.
Only 26 years old, Joseph is set to hit the free agent market. Teams may look at Joseph as an affordable option to help their safety unit. An ideal fit is a team/scheme where he can work in the box as his strength is in run support. In deeper leagues, Joseph is worth a stash if he’s free as we see how his situation plays out. In IDP, snaps and opportunity are king. If Joseph falls into a good opportunity he could be an asset, and if he doesn’t he’s an easy cut.
As always, feel free to reach me on Twitter @KBellf54 with any questions or feedback you may have.