FFD260 IDP: Future Stockholdings
Buffalo Rookie Linebacker Matt Milano was selected in the mid-fifth round of the 2017 draft. Being a little undersized he fell to Buffalo in the fifth when his tangibles could have easily warranted an earlier round. This season Milano has taken a backseat to Ramon Humber as his backup at the weakside linebacker position so far this season. He had a few game stretch as a starter when Humber was recovering from a hand injury and performed at a nice level. Milano didn’t stack the stat box with tackles or snaps on the field, but he showed the knack to be in the right place at the right time when it counted. Let’s take a look at the point in week four when Humber was hurt thru week 8 before Humber returned in week 9.
WK 4: Didn’t start, 43% of the snaps with 4 combined tackles.
WK 5: Started, 62% of the snaps with 4 combined tackles.
WK 6: BYE
WK 7: Didn’t start (Buff. opened with only 2 starting LB), 65% of the snaps with 5 total tackles (2 for a loss) and an interception with 1 pass defended.
WK 8: Didn’t start (again opened with 2 LB), 80% of the snaps with 4 combined and a forced fumble with recovery for a touchdown.
As I mentioned he didn’t stack the tackle stat box, but there is a nice progression going on there to Milano’s game. And being a playmaker in week 7 and 8 shows the potential for 2018. Playmakers at LB is what Buffalo Is lacking. By that, I mean with game-changing attributes. At the time Milano was running with the starting defense there were nothing but positives coming out of Buffalo on Milano’s development. And not to say Milano single-handedly was the reason, but Buffalo went 3-1 in that stretch he was on the field with two key plays in week 7 and 8 for the cause. Since then Buffalo has lost three in a row. Playmakers at linebacker are a must, and Milano showed enough in that time I believe not only will he have a bigger role in 2018 but it is possible if Buffalo’s defense continues to struggle this season we could see Milano in sooner rather than later to get him experience for next season. Buffalo will surely work on Miano’s weight and strength this coming offseason and if h can maintain his “knack” for playmaking he could be a great later round find for them as well as for us here in fantasy football land. Like to add here, Humber is an older player who only recently found himself in a starting role for teams. He is currently on a one year deal with Buffalo for this 2017 season. And as another side note, I’d like to thank Brian Serrano @Ano_611 for never letting me forget Milano was out there. Got to give the credit to where that credit is due.
San Francisco rookie safety Adrian Colbert was snagged up in the seventh round and found himself in a similar situation as Milano. If it wasn’t for him breaking his thumb and having surgery after hurting it in week 10 we might not be able to even talk about him here. The short look at him as the Niners endured major injuries to the starting safeties ahead of him stifled his momentum. Which in turn was a good thing in my case as he had been picked up in my flagship league, only to be dropped after the injury. I bided my time and managed to pick him up at the league minimum. He is still in recovery mode right now and not playing this week. But from what I read he could return as soon as next week if the thumb can heal up enough. Either way, I like his outlook for 2018. Colbert came into play during week 8 when Ward broke his arm. He ended up playing 79% of the snaps that came but with little fanfare as he didn’t produce in the stat box much with only two tackles against the Eagles. Then in week 9 versus the Cardinals, he came in for Tartt after he also broke his arm, what’s the odds? In that contest, Colbert played 81% of the snaps with five combined tackles and one pass defended. This sent me back again to check out his game recap. As I always with potential viable players I looked into this little-known rookie and found that he received some praise from the coaching staff for his efforts in each contest. When I hear a seventh-round rookie didn’t look out of place while playing an opponent such as the Eagles and Cardinals I take notice. Then we enter week 10 when they faced the Giants and he is named the default starter going forward. In this contest, he breaks his thumb fairly early but plays the entire game anyhow. That speaks well of him as a rookie in itself to me. He finished the game with 100% of the snaps and four combined tackles with two passes defended. Again, praise for his poise on the field.
So with all that being said let’s talk about how I see him having a role in 2018 and actually as soon as he can be cleared this season to play. First and foremost let’s figure that Eric Reid will not be with the Niners in 2018. He currently is on the roster for $5,676,000 and will be a free agent in 2018. I do not see them resigning him when he hasn’t actually lived up to his draft status. The Niners are in build mode and getting younger, that cash can be so much better well spent elsewhere. The Niners as an organization has paid Ried over 14 million dollars in his five-season career and it’s normally been for just “par” type play on the field. I can’t see the Niners giving him anymore no matter how the rest of this season plays out. He actually had lost his starting strong safety position to Tartt as they inserted Ward into the free safety position at one point before the injuries started. Now let’s take a look at Jimmie Ward‘s and his $8,526,000 due in 2018 on his current contract. Yes, that’s an 8.5 million dollar deal for a free safety. Now here’s the catch, according to what I see there is no dead money in 2018 if Ward is released. Ward has been a solid enough player, but this contract he is in was not a deal that the new general manager Lynch agreed to. Not to mention that Ward hasn’t actually lived up to his draft status either. His type of play can be bought for much less. I do not see either of these players on the roster in 2018, Lynch needs that cash to build and pay for better talent on the field in too many other areas.
If Colbert and rejoin the lineup this season and perform at a level that even shows promise for next year he’ll get his chance at that starting position. Sure the Niners could bring in a free agent for cheaper or they could draft a safety this coming spring. But I think Lynch helped draft Colbert late in the seventh for a reason. Colbert wasn’t even invited to the combine, exactly what did the former safety Lynch see here, a big body with 4.4 speed? There is something here I haven’t quite put my finger on, I’m hoping for his return soon to see exactly what he has to offer. Colbert’s odds aren’t as high as some of these other players I’m “taking” on, but I’m sure interested to buy some stock for low to see how this plays out.
Miami fifth-round defensive tackle Davon Godchaux has been a real pleasant surprise for the Dolphins, earning a mainstay in the starting defensive line rotation the past few weeks. When you look at his production versus his snap count he is out producing nearly all the other defensive lineman for Miami. I can’t lie, this guy reminds me 100% of Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett and in how he is coming on as a player to watch. I picked up Jarrett last season about this time and also did a “take” on him over the offseason. In that “take” I stated I’d think Jarrett would be a top-tier defensive tackle and a nice defensive lineman play for fantasy football this season and so far so good. But let’s talk about Godchaux, he flew onto on my radar after I wrote my first “In or Out of the Huddle” article. In the article, I stated how no Miami defensive linemen should be in that weekend versus Oakland who at the time was allowing the least amount of points to DLs in the NFL. And I was correct in that fact if you look at the starters, but Godchaux was that one exception out of nowhere. The rookie had not had any real meaningful games to be on my radar to that point. He leads all Miami DLs with five combined tackles (4 tackles / 1 assist) and one pass defended. And not just led them, the second most on the team that game was Branch with three combined (1 tackle / 2 assists). Needless to say, Godchaux had my attention. From that point on he has firmly been on my radar. Here’s a look at the last three weeks.
WK 9: Started, 59% of the snaps with 4 tackles, 1 assists while adding 1 pass defended versus Raiders (31st at points allowed to DT)
WK 10: Didn’t Start, 49% of the snaps with 2 tackles, 2 assists versus Panthers (10th at points allowed to DT)
WK 11: Didn’t Start, 53% of the snaps with 5 tackles, 1 for a loss versus Buccaneers (21st at points allowed to DT)
That’s leading each of the last three weeks for the Miami defensive lineman. And not just by one tackle. I’m all in on this rookie for 2018. He’ll only get better. The one thing about any defensive linemen play in fantasy football is consistency each week you can depend on. And this rookie has that going on. At this point, if he can manage to maintain even 75% of his current production for the remainder of this season he’ll be worth a stash knowing that he’ll show up in 2018. NFL teams just don’t let that go to waste. At this rate, I’m thinking he’ll help me in my playoff run.
Kansas City traded their backup linebacker D.J. Alexander who went to the Pro-Bowl for his special teams attributes to Seattle for backup linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis in late July, which was a bit of a head-scratcher at the time. Why trade a pro-bowl level player for just another one that wasn’t? It seems we have that answer over the last few weeks. All indications are that K.C. is grooming KPL to replace an aging Derrick Johnson in the lineup. Whether it is this year or in 2018, it looks like it’ll happen. Over the last few weeks, Reggie Ragland and KPL have been inserted into the starting line up at Johnson’s expense one way or another. I could try and list snap counts and such as I did above, but with three players involved and exactly how each week has played out, it would only be more confusing over me stating that I have read this fact. And not just one blurb. If you’re a Chiefs fan you have an idea of what I’m talking about. If I’m lucky Johnson’s snap count continues to go down as it has and within the next few weeks KPL is the main in the middle. I could use him thru the playoffs. Everything I’ve read about the situation, even going back to the day of the trade, comes up to exactly what I’ve stated with no reasoning. They made the trade, D.J. is aging, KPL has been the guy they replace him with on the field and gaining momentum. We can say they may draft a linebacker next year or sign one, anything is possible. As a buy stock low now, I have and await the end of the story in 2018.
The Giants selected defensive end Avery Moss in this year’s draft in the fifth round. The rookie got his shot to show what he had on the field when Vernon sat out in weeks seven and nine. Moss is basically my long shot out of this group because Vernon and JPP are both signed thru 2019 respectively with high dollar contracts. But Moss warrants a stash on my roster just in case the Giants decide to clean house and let the high dollar guys go on defense as it isn’t translated into wins. Moss took advantage of his two spot starts, let take a look.
WK 7: Didn’t Start, 45% of the snaps with 2 tackles, 2 assists and a forced fumble versus Seattle (20th in points allowed to DE)
WK 8: BYE
WK 9: Started, 88% of the snaps with 5 tackles, 1 assists and 1 pass defended versus Los Angeles Rams (25th in points allowed to DE)
He has some spot play during most games other than I’ve listed there. But not enough to make a solid “take” on. But I saw some tape and the kid has some skills and relentless as they get. If the Giants were smart I’d guess they would start getting this rookie some more snaps now to prepare him for 2018 and the option of having him in a larger portion of the rotation at the least. I will note here that in between now and next season when I find another player I like more he will be the first to go for a roster spot. That’s unless the Giants allow him to show more on the field of course.
There you have it, my current stockholdings. If I can have at least two of them work out I’ll feel good about this buy-low option at this time. I’ll be excited if there is three, as we all know picking any fliers this far ahead of a season is next to impossible. But I have to say I have a good feeling on this group and expect good returns in 2018 if not this season with a couple of them.
As always, you can contact me at @HBogart on Twitter for anything IDP.
Thanks for reading.