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IDP Early Depth Chart Revelations

By Matt Schauf 3:08pm EDT 8/8/19


Who’s about to devalue your IDP lineup with a change in position? Which big-named rookie still has to earn his starting gig? And which of these listings is total BS?

By the end of this weekend, every NFL team will have opened its preseason. That means we’ll finally see in action many of the players we’ve been wondering about through the offseason and early part of camp. This can prove especially important for IDP leagues. Even with all the year-round NFL coverage at this point, we still get just a fraction of the info on defensive players that’s available for the offense.

What we do finally have is an initial depth chart for (almost) every team. Some of these listings will change a lot by the opener. Some probably represent little actually involvement from the team’s coaching staff. But all at least give us an initial look at the position battles playing out around the league.

Here’s a link to every team’s “unofficial” depth chart, along with some key IDP notes for the 30 teams that have bothered to throw us a bone.

(Our 2018 IDP Rankings won the Fantasy Pros accuracy award -- for the 2nd time in 3 years. Check out the full 2019 IDP rankings here.)


Arizona Cardinals

-- After a year as a 4-3 defense, the Cards are back to 3-4 under new DC Vance Joseph.

-- That means Chandler Jones is back to OLB, unfortunately. Terrell Suggs, unsurprisingly, shows up as the starter on the opposite side.

-- Rookie Zach Allen sits behind Rodney Gunter and Darius Philon at DE.

-- Rookie CB Byron Murphy sits behind Patrick Peterson, who will be suspended the 1st 6 games.


Atlanta Falcons

-- The Falcons list 3 DE spots at the expense of 1 LB slot. Takk McKinley, Allen Bailey and Vic Beasley occupy them.

-- That leaves Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell as the 2 LBs. Campbell led all Atlanta LBs at 82.5% playing time last year. But he played less than that -- including games of 54.4% and 70.5% -- in each of the final 4 weeks, after Jones returned from IR.

-- CB Isaiah Oliver shows up as the starter opposite Desmond Trufant after playing just 22.1% of the snaps as a 2018 rookie.

-- 2018 safety revelation Damontae Kazee shows up at CB, pointing to the plan to use him as the nickel corner.


Baltimore Ravens

-- Chris Board, an undrafted rookie from last year, is the starter next to Patrick Onwuasor at ILB. Board never topped 54 total tackles in 4 seasons at North Dakota State. He tallied 54, 17, 31 and 22.

-- OLB Pernell McPhee opens as the starter opposite Matthew Judon after Baltimore let Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith walk.


Buffalo Bills

-- No big surprises here. The most noteworthy spot might be DT Jordan Phillips listed as the starter alongside Star Lotulelei. First-round pick Ed Oliver sits behind him, with intriguing 2nd-year man Harrison Phillips behind Lotulelei.

-- Shaq Lawson unsurprisingly sits behind Trent Murphy at left DE. Lawson reportedly had a nice offseason, but the Bills signed Murphy to a 3-year deal at a $7.5 million annual average last offseason, when he was coming off an ACL tear.


Carolina Panthers

-- They’re “unofficially” 3-4 now after years of 4-3. That probably doesn’t mean a lot for the defense’s performance, but it could mean quite a bit for IDP designations.

-- Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin and rookie Brian Burns land at OLB. All 3 would have been DEs on last year’s squad. Addison and Irvin are the starters at the moment.

-- Gerald McCoy and Kawann Short show up as DEs. Both had been DTs to this point in their careers.

-- Carolina already lists new signee Tre Boston as the FS starter next to Eric Reid.


Chicago Bears

-- DT Bilal Nichols started 6 games and played 36.4% of the snaps as a 2018 rookie. He’s listed on the 1st team next to DT Eddie Goldman. All the other names carry over from last year -- except, of course, newcomer Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who replaces Adrian Amos.


Cincinnati Bengals

-- DE Sam Hubbard looks like the current starter opposite Carlos Dunlap, with Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis behind them. Lawson will rotate in for pass-rushing opportunities, but he hasn’t seen regular enough duty or supplied enough tackles to contribute meaningful IDP value.

-- Jordan Evans sits ahead of buzzy 3rd-round rookie Germaine Pratt. This spot will be one to watch through the preseason to see if Pratt can emerge.


Cleveland Browns

-- Olivier Vernon has assumed his expected starting DE spot opposite Myles Garrett. Interestingly, the Browns list Garrett on the left side and Vernon on the right. Garrett spent a lot more time on the right than the left last year.

-- LB Ray-Ray Armstrong opens as the strong-side starter. Third-round pick Sione Takitaki sits #2 at MLB behind Joe Schobert.

-- Veteran CB Terrance Mitchell remains ahead of Greedy Williams for now.

-- Morgan Burnett sits atop the SS depth chart, next to FS Damarious Randall.


Dallas Cowboys

(not yet updated)


Denver Broncos

-- The Broncos list Todd Davis as the ILB starter next to Josey Jewell even though he’s currently injured. Alexander Johnson has filled in with Davis down.

-- Denver lists Kareem Jackson as the SS next to Justin Simmons. Jackson played both corner and safety in Houston before signing with the Broncos in free agency.


Detroit Lions

-- Da’Shawn Hand spent 81.3% of his 455 snaps at DT last year. This season’s 1st depth chart, though, lists him as the 2nd-team DE behind Trey Flowers.

-- Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson lead the DT spots, with former Packer Mike Daniels and John Atkins behind them.

-- The LB starters remain the same from last year, with 2nd-rounder Jahlani Tavai listed behind Jarrad Davis at MLB.

-- Former Seahawks CB Justin Coleman opens as the starter opposite Darius Slay, with former 1st-rounder Teez Tabor behind him.

-- Tracy Walker takes on the FS role vacated by Glover Quin’s retirement.


Green Bay Packers

-- Montravius Adams gets the 1st crack at the DE spot vacated by Mike Daniels’ release.

-- Rookie Rashan Gary sits behind Za’Darius Smith at OLB, opposite Preston Smith.

-- Rookie S Darnell Savage opens next to Adrian Amos on the 1st team.

-- Oren Burks is the ILB starter next to Blake Martinez. Burks started 4 games as a 3rd-round rookie last year but never reached 50% playing time and only cracked 40% twice. He also played 7 snaps or fewer in each of his final 8 appearances.


Houston Texans

-- Houston still lists Jadeveon Clowney as the OLB starter opposite Whitney Mercilus, even though Clowney has yet to sign his franchise tender and thus isn’t officially on the team.

-- There aren’t any other surprises: New arrivals S Tashaun Gipson and CB Bradley Roby sit in starting spots.


Indianapolis Colts

-- The starting D-Line: DE Justin Houston, DT Tyquan Lewis, DT, Denico Autry, DE Jabaal Sheard. Margus Hunt, a 2018 starter, sits behind Lewis. We'll see what Sheard's recent knee surgery means for the group.

-- Anthony Walker remains at MLB, with Matthew Adams on the strong side. Adams ranked 3rd among Colts LBs in snap share last season, at 20.5%.


Jacksonville Jaguars

-- Yannick Ngakoue ended his holdout Sunday and remains atop the depth chart at DE opposite Calais Campbell. Rookie Josh Allen sits right behind him.

-- Rookie Quincy Williams leads the way at weak-side LB. Unfortunately for him, he’s expected to miss 4-6 with a torn right meniscus. Ramik Wilson sits behind him.

-- Leon Jacobs and James Onwualu open as co-starters, with Jake Ryan behind them.

-- Myles Jack could rack up a bunch of tackles this year.

-- Jarrod Wilson and Ronnie Harrison are your new safety starters.


Kansas City Chiefs

-- Alex Okafor leads the way at left DE, opposite Frank Clark. Breeland Speaks and Emmanuel Ogbah follow him.

-- This season’s 4-3 alignment returns Anthony Hitchens to the weak OLB spot after he spent 2018 inside. He played 4-3 OLB in Dallas and in college. The shift shouldn’t change his IDP outlook much, though.

-- S Daniel Sorensen opens as the FS starter next to SS Tyrann Mathieu. ESPN’s Adam Teicher says 2nd-round rookie Juan Thornhill could take that away by the start of the season, though. Thornhill’s ball skills (13 INTs, 26 passes defensed) makes him the higher-upside candidate.


Los Angeles Chargers

-- Thomas Davis, Denzel Perryman and Uchenna Nwosu occupy the starting LB spots for now. Nwosu was an edge player as a rookie, spending 59.5% of his 309 total defensive snaps in pass rush. That kind of usage seems likely again. Nwosu finished college with 9.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in his final season.

-- 2018 rookie Kyzir White sits behind Davis. Jatavis Brown sits 3rd at both OLB spots.

-- CB Michael Davis leads Trevor Williams at 1 outside spot, opposite Casey Hayward. Davis took over for Williams midway through last season.

-- S Rayshawn Jenkins opens as the leader of a 3-way battle to start next to Derwin James. Desmond King appears behind Jenkins on the initial depth chart, but King is the starting slot corner. Jenkins is fighting Jaylen Watkins and rookie 2nd-rounder Nasir Adderley for the job.


Los Angeles Rams

-- DT Sebastian Joseph-Day opens as the Ndamukong Suh replacement, with rookie Greg Gaines behind him.

-- Clay Matthews draws an OLB listing, opposite Dante Fowler. There had been some talk of him playing inside, but 2nd-year LB Micah Kiser sits in the top spot next to Cory Littleton there.


Miami Dolphins

-- Charles Harris and Tank Carradine man the starting DE spots, with Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn gone from last year. Jonathan Woodard and Nate Orchard sit next. That entire quartet has totaled just 14.5 career sacks. Carradine leads with 5.5 -- in 6 seasons. This is not a good group.

-- Former Patriot Eric Rowe opens as the CB starter opposite Xavien Howard.

-- The safety depth chart looks odd, with Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain in the top spots, T.J. McDonald and Minkah Fitzpatrick behind them. Bet on Fitzpatrick manning a starting spot in the regular season, though. He has reportedly seen reps -- 1st and 2nd team -- at safety, corner and even LB. We’ll see about the rest of the group.


Minnesota Vikings

-- After a year away in Seattle, DT Shamar Stephen returns to take over Sheldon Richardson’s vacated starting role next to Linval Joseph.

-- There are no surprises elsewhere. S Anthony Harris takes over Andrew Sendejo’s spot.


New England Patriots

-- The starting D-line: DE Deatrich Wise, DT Lawrence Guy, DT Mike Pennel, DE Michael Bennett.

-- John Simon sits behind Bennett, with former 3rd-rounder Derek Rivers behind Simon. Second-round rookie Chase Winovich sits 4th at left DE.

-- The starting LBs: Dont’a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy. Jamie Collins checks in behind Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley behind Roberts.


New York Giants

-- First-round rookie Dexter Lawrence sits 1st team, alongside Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill.

-- Tae Davis occupies the ILB spot next to Alec Ogletree, which belonged primarily to B.J. Goodson last season. Goodson sits behind Ogletree, with rookie Ryan Connelly backing the other spot. Davis starting 4 games as a 2018 undrafted free agent and played every snap in the final 2 contests. He switched from safety to LB before his senior year at Chattanooga and led the team with 74 total tackles.

-- First-rounder DeAndre Baker looks like the CB starter opposite Janoris Jenkins, with Grant Haley the leader for slot duties.

-- Newcomers Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea man the top safety spots, as expected.


New York Jets

-- After the failed free-agent bid for Anthony Barr, the JEts open with Brandon Copeland and Jordan Jenkins in the top spots on the depth chart. Third-round rookie Jachai Polite sits 3rd behind Copeland.

-- Top pick DT Quinnen Williams sits behind Steve McLendon for the moment. Perhaps we’ll see a rotation/time share there.

-- S Marcus Maye remains on the PUP with a nerve issue following shoulder surgery and reportedly isn’t close to returning. That leaves Rontez Miles atop the depth chart.

-- Darryl Roberts mans a top CB spot for now, at least, after spending most of last season’s final 12 games playing full time at either corner or safety.


Oakland Raiders

-- Fourth pick Clelin Ferrell will start right away. Arden Key sits behind him on the initial depth chart. Josh Mauro opens at the other DE spot, with rookie Maxx Crosby on the 3rd team. Expect a bigger impact from Crosby right away than that indicates.

-- 2018 rookie Maurice Hurst surprisingly opens on the 2nd team. He started 10 games last season and ranked 2nd among Raiders DTs in snaps played. Hurst sits behind Hankins -- who led 2018 Raiders DTs in snaps -- with Justin Ellis manning the other spot.

-- The starting LBs: Tahir Whitehead on the strong side, Vontaze Burfict in the middle and Brandon Marshall on the weak side. Who stays on for passing sub packages will be worth watching through August.

-- Lamarcus Joyner and Johnathan Abram open as co-starters at FS. Expect both to actually start for this team. Both players arrive with corner ability as well.


Philadelphia Eagles

-- DE Derek Barnett reclaims his starting spot on the right edge, with returnee Vinny Curry behind him.

-- DT Malik Jackson opens ahead of Tim Jernigan.

-- Philly lists Kamu Grugier-Hill in the top spot at right OLB, but we’ll see if he holds on through the MCL sprain that has him sidelined.

-- Zach Brown appears to lead at the other outside spot for now but reportedly hasn’t stood out, despite injuries to several corps mates. Nigel Bradham appears at MLB after spending his previous seasons on the outside. He’s the best IDP bet among Eagles LBs at least for now.

-- CB Avonte Maddox claims the starting spot opposite Ronald Darby on the initial depth chart. Darby has had a quiet start coming off his ACL tear, while 2018 starter Jalen Mills remains on the PUP. Sidney Jones appears behind Darby on the initial depth chart but seems likely to grab a top-3 spot.


Pittsburgh Steelers

-- Veteran Mark Barron opens ahead of 1st-round pick Devin Bush. If that holds into the season, it’ll be bad news for the early development of the guy Pittsburgh moved up to draft.

-- Steven Nelson, an offseason import from Kansas City, has stepped in front of former 1st-round pick Artie Burns at right CB.


San Francisco 49ers

-- Nick Bosa -- and his recently sprained ankle -- shows up behind left DE Dee Ford on the initial depth chart. Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas own the top spots at the other end. We’ll see if Bosa can make it back in time to change that by Week 1.

-- DT Sheldon Day is the starter on the left side, next to DeForest Buckner -- with Solomon Thomas apparently headed for more time on the edge.

-- The LB crew has Fred Warner in the middle, Kwon Alexander on the weak side and Malcolm Smith on the strong. Expect Warner and Alexander to be the 3-down guys. Unfortunately, we also shouldn’t expect to see Alexander on a preseason field.

-- Ahkello Witherspoon gets another shot atop the CB depth chart. Import Jason Verrett sits behind him.

-- Adrian Colbert leads the battle at FS for now, ahead of Tarvarius Moore and Antone Exum.

Seattle Seahawks

(not yet updated)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

-- It’s a 3-4 base for the Bucs this season. That means different positions for some key players.

-- Ndamukong Suh shows up at DE. Carl Nassib and Noah Spence are the 1st-team OLBs, rather than DEs. MyFantasyLeague.com lists Spence at LB but still has Nassib at DE. Be aware that could change.

-- The ILB spots show 1st-rounder Devin White and former Cardinal Deone Bucannon as the starters. That’s because Lavonte David recently had his left knee scoped to repair a meniscus tear. The Bucs seem to think he’ll be ready for the regular season. We’ll see. Whenever he’s back, David will push Bucannon out of the way.

-- Carlton Davis and Vernon Hargreaves own the top spots at CB right now. M.J. Stewart has reportedly been working as the primary nickel corner. He shows up on the 3rd team in the initial depth chart, with 2nd-round rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting between Stewart and Hargreaves.

-- Mike Edwards and Jordan Whitehead own the top safety spots. There’s still no word Justin Evans’ return from his foot issues.


Tennessee Titans

-- It’s Rashaan Evans over Wesley Woodyard at 1 ILB spot, next to Jayon Brown. That’s noteworthy because Tennessee played the veteran ahead of the 1st-round rookie all last year.

-- Cameron Wake and Harold Landry make up what could be a sneaky starting duo at OLB. Wake tallied just 6 sacks last season, but his 54 total pressures ranked a solid 21st among all edge players, according to Pro Football Focus. Landry ranked 2nd among Titans, behind DE Jurrell Casey, as a rookie with 34.

-- With former starters Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan gone, Kamalei Correa and Sharif Finch back up Wake and Landry. This is a shallow position.


Washington

-- Ryan Anderson gets the 1st shot at replacing OLB Preston Smith, sitting ahead of 1st-rounder Montez Sweat on the initial depth chart. Sweat is dealing with a calf injury, but it’s obviously not a big deal. He might even play in Thursday night’s preseason opener. This will be a battle to watch, but Washington likely hopes Sweat will win.

-- The renovated ILB duo -- minus injured Reuben Foster -- sports Jon Bostic and Shaun Dion Hamilton in the starting roles. Bet on veteran Bostic playing 3 downs and leading this group in tackles.

-- CB Quinton Dunbar keeps the starting gig opposite Josh Norman, coming off last year’s nagging calf problem. Dunbar scored as a DB1 on fantasy points per game last season and could be a steal in drafts (or off waivers) in 2019.

-- The new safety duo is SS Landon Collins and FS Montae Nicholson. Collins should be obvious. Nicholson spent the 1st half of last season as a full-timer, but then Washington traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Then the team let him walk in free agency.

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