Week 3 IDP Free Agent Focus
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Lions
The #2 overall pick racked up 3 sacks in Sunday’s win over the Commanders. That will likely stand as 1 of his best matchups of the year – and almost certainly his largest single-game output of the season. But Hutchinson has immediately emerged as a full-time player.
His quiet stat line against Philly in Week 1 belied 90% snap share. Someone is bound to pick up Hutchinson where available this week, though, and he’s worth that shot while we assess how regularly he’ll help our fantasy lineups.
Pete Werner, LB, Saints
His bigger Week 1 likely got Werner picked up in many leagues that found him available. He confirmed that with a team-high 6 solos among 8 total tackles in Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers. The 2nd-year LB added a pass breakup.
I mentioned in Saturday’s IDP Hits that Werner trailed Demario Davis in playing time. That’s OK, though, as long as he stays in the 80%+ range – which he did in Week 2.
Mykal Walker, LB, Falcons
One more call for Walker here, after I included him last week. For the 2nd straight game, Walker matched Rashaan Evans in total tackles (7 apiece) while outperforming him overall. Walker tallied 5 solos vs. just 1 for Evans. And he added an INT.
I’m betting on Walker to continue outproducing Evans. And if Deion Jones returns to the lineup once he’s off IR, I’d bet on Walker keeping his full-time role over Evans doing so.
Frankie Luvu, LB, Panthers
Luvu was the surprised playing-time leader among Panthers LBs in Week 1. But his 4 missed tackles in that game – according to Pro Football Focus – made you wonder if the role would be short-lived.
Luvu led Carolina with 10 solos in Sunday’s loss to Carolina. And this time he supplied 4 tackles for loss, as well as a pass breakup. Shaq Thompson tallied 10 tackles as well, including 6 solos. None of his came behind the line of scrimmage, though.
Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Lions
Rodriguez has supplied modest numbers so far: 6 tackles (4 solo) in Week 1, then 8 tackles (5 solo) in Sunday’s win over Washington. His playing time seems to be trending in the right direction, though. Rodriguez went from 60% snap share in the opener to 73% in Week 2.
The rookie still stands behind LB Alex Anzalone in playing time, limiting his upside. But that’s a glass ceiling. Anzalone is a 6th-year veteran on a 1-year deal who has spent just 1 season (2021) as a full-time starter.
Rodriguez doesn’t make sense for all league sizes, but he presents intriguing upside as a stash where sensible.
Ernest Jones, LB, Rams
Jones followed a decent Week 1 – 7 tackles (5 solo) and a forced fumble – with a strong Week 2. He tallied 12 tackles (5 solo, 1 TFL) in the win over the Falcons. Jones’ playing time also jumped to 79% vs. Atlanta, from 58% in the Week 1 loss to Buffalo.
There’s likely still some variability to Jones’ role, which keeps him from being an option for all leagues. But he can be added in deeper IDP formats.
Kamren Curl, S, Commanders
Darrick Forrest has had a pair of big games filling in for Curl to open the year, including 10 tackles (team-high 8 solos) in Sunday’s loss to the Lions. But Curl seems likely to be ready for Week 3. He practiced this past week, but clearly still needed healing time for the injured thumb.
After a buzzy summer, Curl will return to the role that helped Forrest with multi-category production the past 2 weeks. We’ll see whether Forrest has done enough to force Washington to keep him in the mix.
Marcus Williams, S, Ravens
Williams hasn’t been a source of tackle production at any point in his career … until now. He followed a 12-tackle opener with 10 in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins. The key: Baltimore has faced 59 and 50 pass attempts so far. It’s not likely that the team sees 50+ opponent throws every week, but it’s not hard to imagine Baltimore opponents continuing to pass frequently, especially when they fall behind. The next 5 weeks bring matchups:
at New England
at N.Y. Giants
We know the Bills like to throw. We’ve watched Cincinnati fall behind in each game so far. We can easily envision the Giants and Browns falling behind. We’ll see about that Pats game.