10 IDP Risers Following Free Agency (Fantasy Football)

Apr 18, 2019

With the NFL Draft less than a week away it’s time to look at the free agency signings and trades that have altered the IDP landscape heading into the 2019 season. As always, defensive scheme, as well as player designation changes, will need to be considered when determining the players that will see a boost in fantasy value. Let’s take a look at a few players at each position with the best opportunity for a jump in fantasy production with their new teams.

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Defensive Linemen

Trey Flowers (DET)
Flowers will be reunited with his former defensive coordinator in New England, Matt Patricia. Familiarity with the hybrid 3-4/4-3 scheme Detroit runs will be an advantage for Flowers. This is a solid fit from both a fantasy as well as NFL perspective as Flowers will get the chance to build on the 21 sacks he’s amassed over the past three seasons. Flowers also put up six splash plays last season finishing with low-end DL2 fantasy totals. As the lead edge rushing option for Detroit in 2019, Flowers should flirt with double-digit sacks for the first time in his career and brings high-end DL2 potential.

Olivier Vernon (CLE)
The trade that brought Vernon to Cleveland also brought a big smile to the face of IDP owners. Vernon will be returning to a defensive lineman designation after playing outside linebacker for the Giants. Injuries were also an issue as Vernon missed nine games over the past two seasons. The switch back to a 4-3 scheme suits Vernon better as he’s finished with DL2 or better numbers in three of the five seasons he’s played in that scheme. There will also be the Myles Garrett effect as Vernon will face few double teams lining up as a bookend opposite one of the premier young edge rushers in the NFL. A healthy Vernon brings solid DL2 potential with an upside of low-end DL1 numbers in 2019.

Dee Ford (SF)
The trade that sent Ford to the 49ers should provide a definite fantasy boost in value as he’ll have a defensive lineman designation in the wide-nine scheme San Francisco will employ. Coming off a career-high 13.5 sacks last season, Ford will look to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback. To put the designation change into perspective, consider that the numbers Ford put up last season would have landed him in the top-10 in defensive linemen scoring. Something to keep in mind is that Ford had a career-high six forced fumbles after a previous high of only one. That being said, he brings low-end DL1 potential into the 2019 season.

Robert Quinn (DAL)
Quinn moved from Miami to Dallas in a trade that could lead to some sneaky good IDP production. Quinn was definitely a disappointment in his only season with the Dolphins, managing to post just 6.5 sacks. If there is a ray of sunshine it’s the fact that 5.5 of Quinn’s sacks came over the last seven games of the season. Entering his ninth season, Quinn is still relatively young as he’ll be 29 when the 2019 season kicks off. He will also benefit from lining up as the bookend to the recently re-signed DeMarcus Lawrence. Quinn should be considered a solid DL3 option with an upside to reach DL2 production.

Linebackers

C.J. Mosley (NYJ)
This is a solid signing from both an IDP as well as NFL standpoint with Mosley landing in New York. Despite a dip in splash-play production in 2018 Mosley topped triple-digit total tackles for the third time in his five seasons in the league. The splash play is a big part of his game as Mosley has put up 8.5 sacks, nine interceptions as well as six forced as well as recovered fumbles during those five seasons. Mosley has also averaged 114 total tackles per season over that time. Mosley will remain a top-10 fantasy option at linebacker, but teammate Avery Williamson is likely to see his production dip this season.

Jordan Hicks (ARI)
This is an exciting signing for fantasy purposes as Hicks joins a Cardinals team that is very thin at the linebacker position. With the Cardinals transitioning back to a 3-4 scheme, Hicks will be a three-down middle linebacker with ample opportunity to produce at a high level. Hicks was on his way to a top-10 finish last season before a calf injury would cost him four games. Despite playing just the 12 games, Hicks set career highs in both tackles with 90 as well as interceptions with three. He will face little competition for tackles and Hicks brings solid LB2 potential and the possibility of low-end LB1 numbers if he can play 16 games in 2019.

Kwon Alexander (SF)
The youngster, Alexander will turn just 25 in August, has the chance to get his career back on track with this change of scenery if he can stay on the field. A suspension cost Alexander four games in his rookie season while hamstring and ACL injuries have cost him 14 games over the past two seasons. A healthy Alexander will man the middle of the 49ers defense and hope to replicate the top-five fantasy totals he put up in 2016. That is likely too high of an expectation as second-year linebacker Fred Warner and Alexander are going to eat into each others fantasy production. That being said, Alexander is a solid LB2 option come fantasy draft day.

Defensive Backs

Landon Collins (WAS)
The Giants allowed Collins to walk via free agency and division rival Washington now has a fantasy force at safety. Collins can do it all and put up top-12 fantasy totals in his first three seasons in New York before a shoulder injury cost him four games in 2018 ending the streak. There is every reason to love Collins heading into the 2019 season as over his career he is averaging 107 total tackles per season while posting splash play production as well. Over his career Collins has put up for sacks, eight interceptions with three forced as well as recovered fumbles and a defensive touchdown. Collins is a top-five defensive back option in 2019 IDP fantasy drafts.

Tyrann Mathieu (KC)
After a bounce-back 2018 campaign that saw him post high-end DB2 numbers, Mathieu will be the main man in the Chiefs secondary with the release of Eric Berry. During his one season with Houston, Mathieu tied his career high of 89 total tackles while posting a career high three sacks. Mathieu is a jack-of-all-trades type of player that is willing to help out in run support while also bringing splash play potential in coverage having amassed 12 career interceptions. There is high-end DB2 potential for Mathieu again in 2019.

Antoine Bethea (NYG)
While there have been bigger names to sign with other teams such as Eric Weddle to the Rams and Earl Thomas to Baltimore it’s the veteran Bethea that excites with this move. Coming off the sixth triple-digit tackle performance of his career, Bethea will step in for the departed Landon Collins. Despite being 34 years old, the veteran continues to be a tackling machine and will line up behind a weak linebackers corps in New York. He should easily finish with DB2 numbers and could reach the top 10 if he stays healthy.

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Walton Spurlin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Walton, check out his archive and follow him @waltonspurlin.

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