D.J. Smith has big shoes to fill.
IDP fantasy owners' hearts dropped when Desmond Bishop fell to the ground with a leg injury against the Chargers and was helped off the field. Now, D.J. Smith will fill in for the all-world fantasy stud, but playing against the 49ers won’t be the first time he’s replaced Bishop.
Last season, Bishop missed three games with an injury and Smith stepped up to provide respectable fantasy numbers. What I like about Smith is that he has had plenty of reps and preseason action with the first team to come out of the gates and perform like a LB2 for us.
Bishop was arguably the top linebacker for IDP leagues, and Smith, while not as talented as Bishop, will inherit a terrific situation in Dom Capers' defense. Hopefully you were wise enough to land Smith on draft day, and if he’s still sitting around on your waiver wire, pick him up right away.
Sean’s Watch List
While rookie Mychal Kendricks is slated to be the Eagles' strong-side linebacker, his skill set is that of a future stud middle linebacker. Kendricks may be off my top 35 this week, but it’s more because Philadelphia is playing a weak opponent in Cleveland.
I can’t confirm Kendricks has a three-down job yet, but it’s coming, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is in for sub-package this weekend. Keep an eye on this budding star, because if something should happen to DeMeco Ryans, Kendricks could fill in as the middle backer and would explode in that role for possible high end, LB1 production.
As it stands right now, if Kendricks holds a three-down role, we should target him as a possible LB3 most weeks.
In Carolina, I’m thinking about giving Ron Rivera the Shanahanigans tag for IDP purposes. The guy is killing me with 4-3 and 3-4 fronts that hurt Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy, and he continues to meddle with the linebackers.
Will Jon Beason and Luke Kuechly hold down sub-package roles?
Will we see Thomas Davis work in sub-packages?
Can James Anderson work his way back to begin a regular LB2 or fall off the radar as a bench player?
I really have no idea at this point, and we could be in for a ever-changing situation throughout the season. For now, look to Kuechly and Beason as LB3 options and Anderson is best left on the bench.
|1||James Laurinaitis||@ Lions|
|4||Patrick Willis||@ Packers|
|5||London Fletcher||@ Saints|
|8||Donald Butler||@ Raiders|
|9||Derrick Johnson (I)||Falcons|
|10||Sean Weatherspoon||@ Chiefs|
|11||Sean Lee||@ Giants|
|12||Lawrence Timmons||@ Broncos|
|13||Karlos Dansby||@ Texans|
|15||NaVorro Bowman||@ Packers|
|16||Mason Foster (I)||Panthers|
|17||Paul Posluszny||@ Vikings|
|18||Nick Barnett||@ Jets|
|21||DeMeco Ryans||@ Browns|
|23||DeMarcus Ware||@ Giants|
|25||Kavell Conner||@ Bears|
|26||Curtis Lofton (I)||Redskins|
|27||Perry Riley||@ Saints|
|29||Luke Kuechly||@ Bucs|
|30||Jon Beason (I)||@ Bucs|
|31||Jerod Mayo||@ Titans|
|32||Aldon Smith||@ Packers|
|33||Jerrell Freeman||@ Bears|
|34||Bobby Wagner||@ Cardinals|