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Each Team's Most Intriguing IDP Camp Battles
Evan Ronda goes team-by-team to find the ambiguous position groups that could potentially be profitable for IDP.
With mandatory minicamps wrapping up yesterday, we’re about to enter the dark period on the NFL schedule. This is the perfect opportunity to pause and get our bearings as we wait for training camps to start in late July/early August. There are ambiguous position groups on each team that could produce gold for IDP in 2023. Let’s go through each team to highlight the position battles worth watching.
Listen to this discussion on The IDP After Show here:
Myjai Sanders vs. B.J. Ojulari
Zaven Collins has been working out with defensive linemen, and if he converts to a full-time edge rusher, one of these two players will likely see fewer snaps.
Kyzir White vs. Owen Pappoe vs. Krys Barnes
With Collins working out with the defensive linemen and Isaiah Simmons working out with the defensive backs, their LB spots are potentially up for grabs. White will likely secure one of the full-time roles after following new head coach Jonathan Gannon from Philadelphia. Pappoe is being drafted as the favorite to land the LB2 spot, but don’t count out the veteran Barnes as a possibility.
Troy Andersen vs. Kaden Elliss vs. Mykal Walker
Andersen is the favorite to land the full-time MLB role in Atlanta right now. Elliss played an EDGE/LB hybrid role in New Orleans under defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, whom he followed to Atlanta. He could fill the other linebacker role or spend time on the edge, but he will absolutely be used. Walker played over Andersen for some time last season before eventually losing snaps to him down the stretch. He’s not expected to lead in snap volume, but he could make it onto the field.
Lorenzo Carter vs. Arnold Ebiketie vs. Bud Dupree
One of these is your likely snap leader but it probably won’t be Dupree. The DL is much improved in 2023, so the leading edge rushers should be more productive.
Richie Grant vs. Jaylinn Hawkins
With the newly-paid Jessie Bates locked in, it seems Hawkins will be the odd man out and will likely play significantly fewer snaps than he did in 2022.
Patrick Queen vs. Trenton Simpson
Roquan Smith is locked as Baltimore’s LB1. Queen or Simpson will see significant snaps alongside Roquan Smith. Queen has the experience but has struggled many times in the past. Simpson could take over the role at any time.
Terrell Bernard vs. Dorian Williams vs. Tyrel Dodson vs. AJ Klein
One of these four linebackers will fill the full-time role alongside Matt Milano. Bernard is the current favorite to start the season, but the rookie Williams is an exciting prospect who could take over the job sometime during the season.
Jeremy Chinn vs. Vonn Bell vs. Xavier Woods
This is less about “winning a job” (because all three safeties will play this season) and more about deployment under new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. As it stands, Woods may see a reduction in snaps compared to previous seasons.
Rasheem Green vs. Trevis Gipson
Neither of these players is all that exciting, but one should have a sizeable allotment of snaps alongside DeMarcus Walker and could be productive for fantasy.
Nick Scott vs. Jordan Battle
Dax Hill is almost certainly locked in as one of the starters, but Battle and Scott are both in contention for the other starting role. As the vet, Scott may start at the beginning of the season, but Battle could take over the role at any time.
Anthony Walker vs. Jacob Phillips
We’re assuming here that Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is one of the starters, which is the most likely scenario but definitely not guaranteed. Walker began the 2022 season with the green dot and a full allotment of snaps. Once he was injured, Phillips stepped in. Walker should return to his previous role, but again, we can’t be certain.
Damone Clark vs. DeMarvion Overshown vs. Jabril Cox
One of these three linebackers should play the part-time linebacker role behind Leighton Vander Esch. Clark is getting the most love, but this is one to follow.
Baron Browning vs. Jonathon Cooper vs. Frank Clark vs. Drew Sanders
All four of these edge rushers will see time alongside Randy Gregory, and given his injury history, that role could be expanded this season. Browning is apparently going to start the season on the PUP list after undergoing knee surgery, opening to door for Cooper and the newly signed Clark. How much time does Sanders see at EDGE?
Alex Singleton vs. Drew Sanders
Josey Jewell is all but locked into the full-time MLB role in this defense. Singleton should play a generous amount of snaps next to him. Sanders is an exciting prospect, though, and may merit playtime as the season progresses at both LB and EDGE.
John Cominsky vs. Josh Paschal vs. James Houston
We know Aidan Hutchinson is a stud and will see a ton of snaps. One of these three edge rushers could earn a sizeable workload on this exciting defensive line. Houston is being drafted as the favorite, but camp reports may tell a different story.
Alex Anzalone vs. Jack Campbell
Campbell is not a lock to start at MLB. He probably will, but Anzalone is in the mix as well. The LB2 role in Detroit still plays a good, albeit fewer, number of snaps.
CJ Gardner-Johnson vs. Brian Branch vs. Tracy Walker III vs. Kerby Joseph
Walker and Joseph are prototypical deep safeties. Gardner-Johnson and Branch are both capable of playing strong safety and nickel cornerback. So you’ve got three roles for four players. Someone will see a reduction in snaps, likely Walker (recovering from Achilles surgery) or Joseph unless Branch needs time to acclimate to the NFL.
Green Bay Packers
Preston Smith vs. Lukas Van Ness
While Rashan Gary continues his rehab from ACL surgery, Van Ness and Smith should both lead in snaps at the position. However, when Gary returns, one of those two will see a reduction in snaps. We’d lean toward the rookie taking a backseat.
Rudy Ford vs. Jonathan Owens vs. Anthony Jonhson Jr.
Assuming Darnell Savage is locked in, one of these three safeties will start and play a full-time role. This position is rife with value for deeper fantasy leagues.
Denzel Perryman vs. Christian Harris vs. Christian Kirksey vs. Henry To’o To’o
Houston should have two highly productive linebacker roles. Harris seems likely to fill one, but the other is up for grabs. Perryman is being drafted as the favorite to start week one, but Kirksey had the role in 2022 with the previous coaching staff.
Samson Ebukam vs. Dayo Odeyingbo
The departure of Yannick Ngakoue leaves a lot of vacated EDGE snaps. Kwity Paye should absorb some of that, but how do the Colts split up the rest?
Rodney Thomas vs. Nick Cross vs. Julian Blackmon
Recent reports have Blackmon converting to box safety. If this holds true, he’s a screaming value and should be added in most leagues (he’s likely on waivers). Thomas is the favorite to fill the free safety role, but don’t count Cross out yet.
Devin Lloyd vs. Chad Muma
Lloyd will almost certainly return as the other full-time linebacker alongside Foyesade Oluokun, but Muma earned snaps for a portion of 2022, so we’re watching this battle.
Andre Cisco vs. Antonio Johnson
One of these two safeties (almost certainly Cisco) should play the deep safety role alongside the strong safety Jenkins, but Johnson is a talented rookie to watch.
Kansas City Chiefs
Charles Omenihu vs. Felix Anudike-Uzomah
Frank Clark’s departure leaves an opportunity for snaps alongside George Karlaftis. Omenihu has NFL experience and has been a productive player, but FAU was drafted in the 1st round and could very well earn snaps as the season progresses.
Willie Gay Jr. vs. Drue Tranquil vs. Leo Chenal
Gay was productive in 2022, but the team signed Tranquil to a room with sophomore Chenal in the mix as well. Nick Bolton should continue to lead the group in snaps, but behind him is a mess that could see clarity after further reporting.
L’Jarius Sneed vs. Trent McDuffie
Sneed started 2022 with the productive slot role, but McDuffie manned the slot for the latter half of the season. Whoever secures the role in 2023 should be great for fantasy.
Bryan Cook vs. Mike Edwards
With Juan Thornhill departing in free agency, one of these two safeties should take over his role beside Justin Reid. Mike Edwards is currently the favorite to start.
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Las Vegas Raiders
Chandler Jones vs. Tyree Wilson
Jones, who declined in 2022, will be challenged by the rookie Wilson, who will need time to develop. But it might not take much for him to earn the start over Jones.
Robert Spillane vs. Luke Masterson vs. Darien Butler
One of these three will start alongside Divine Deablo. Spillane is being drafted as the favorite and we agree. This role should come at a massive value to managers.
Marcus Epps vs. Christopher Smith II vs. Roderic Teamer
With Trevon Moehrig locked in, this uninspiring bunch is competing for a role that should still be productive. Epps, an early free agent add, is the current favorite.
Los Angeles Chargers
Kenneth Murray vs. Daiyan Henley
Murray has been a disappointment for fantasy managers so far in his career and the team brought in Henley to challenge for the limited LB2 role behind Kendricks.
Alohi Gilman vs. JT Woods
This free safety role will be free in every league format, and while Gilman and Woods aren’t exciting, there is still value to be had alongside King Derwin.
Los Angeles Rams
Christian Rozeboom vs. Jake Hummel
The LB2 role on the Rams isn’t the most productive, but will still be worth rostering in many formats. Christian Rozeboom is currently being drafted above Hummel as the expected leader behind Ernest Jones, but follow the camp reports to be sure.
Russ Yeast vs. Quentin Lake vs. Timarcus Davis
The Rams run two deep safeties at a high rate, so the other starting safety role alongside Jordan Fuller won’t be a league-winning producer, but should still have at least a few good weeks of production. One of the above players will earn it.
Zach Sieler vs. Emmanuel Ogbah
On a stacked defensive line in Miami, even the rotational edge rushers will score points. Follow camp reports to see who looks like the #3 guy in the room.
David Long vs. Jerome Baker
This new defensive scheme (orchestrated by Vic Fangio) will find a way to deploy both players, but how they are deployed is what we hope to learn from camp reports. Long needs to stay healthy if he wants to play snaps, though (he played 12 games in 2022).
DeShon Elliott vs. Brandon Jones
We know Jevon Holland will get snaps. Jones was productive as a box safety before tearing his ACL in 2022. The team brought in Elliot to fill that role in his absence, but it remains to be seen if they anticipate starting Jones over him once he returns.
Kader Kohou vs. Cam Smith vs. Jalen Ramsey
Slot cornerbacks can be productive in moderately deep leagues. Miami’s slot role is up for grabs and one of these three players should earn it.
DJ Wonnum vs. Patrick Jones
If Danielle Hunter is traded (reports indicate teams are calling, the team says they want to keep him), the EDGE role opposite Davenport is available for the taking. Wonnum played the role in the past, but Jones will contend for it as well.
Lewis Cine vs. Camryn Bynum vs. Josh Metellus
The other safety role alongside Harrison Smith is currently undecided. Cine was drafted in the first round in 2022, but an ankle injury kept him out for the entirety of the season. Bynum played the role in his stead. However, Cine is returning and might steal the job back. Early reports aren’t optimistic, though.
New England Patriots
Marte Mapu vs. Everyone
We really just want to know how much Marte Mapu will be used. The LB/S hybrid is getting work at both positions, which makes the waters (somehow) even murkier.
New Orleans Saints
Nathan Shepherd vs. Khalen Saunders vs. Bran Bresee
There are tons of vacated in the interior of this D-line, and two of the above players could earn a sizeable amount of snaps leading to production for DT leagues.
Alontae Taylor vs. Paulson Adebo vs. Bradley Roby
One of the above players should start at outside corner (opposite Marshon Lattimore), and another should start in the slot. Follow the camp reports to find out who.
New York Giants
Micah McFadden vs. Darrian Beavers vs. Jarrad Davis
One of the above players should earn a rotational role at linebacker behind the newly-paid Bobby Okereke. McFadden is being drafted as the favorite to win it.
Dane Belton vs. Nick McCloud vs. Jason Pinnock
Julian Love’s departure means an opening at strong safety is up for grabs. This productive role is likely going to Belton, but check the reports to be sure.
New York Jets
Chuck Clark vs. Adrian Amos
Chuck Clark is reported to have suffered a torn ACL, leaving newly-added Adrian Amos to replace him as a starter alongside Jordan Whitehead.
Terrell Edmunds vs. Sydney Brown vs. Reed Blankenship
Both safety roles are up for grabs and should lead to solid fantasy production. Sydney Brown and Terrell Edmunds are being drafted as the favorites to fill them, as Blankenship was a backup in 2022 and only started as an injury fill-in.
Damontae Kazee vs. Keanu Neal vs. Miles Killebrew
The box safety role in Pittsburgh will be filled by one of these players. Whoever wins the job should be a decent fantasy option alongside Minkah Fitzpatrick.
San Francisco 49ers
Tashaun Gipson vs. Ji’Ayir Brown vs. George Odum
Gipson is the incumbent free safety alongside Talanoa Hufanga, but Brown brings a unique skill set that could earn him a larger box safety role if he wins out.
Darrell Taylor vs. Derick Hall vs. Mike Morris vs. Boye Mafe
This rotation should feature many names, but someone has to lead the bunch in snaps. Stay plugged into camp reports to see if anyone steps up alongside Uchenna Nwosu.
Jordyn Brooks vs. Devin Bush
Brooks is recovering from an injury and won’t be ready until later in the season, so the reports worth monitoring in camp are when he’ll make his debut. In his absence, Bush should be a productive (if gross) linebacker option. Remember Cody Barton?
Jamal Adams vs. Julian Love
Adams is also recovering from an injury. Once he returns, there will be a battle for the starting box safety role, and the winner is going to be a fantasy starter.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dee Delaney vs. Zyon McCollum
Antoine Winfield Jr. is moving from the nickel back to deep safety. With Ryan Neal filling the box safety role, one of these two players should play at slot corner.
Monty Rice vs. Jack Gibbens vs. Ben Niemann
The second linebacker job in Tennessee is available for the taking and Rice is the favorite to snag it. Don’t be surprised if the team looks to free agency to fill it.
Jamin Davis vs. Cody Barton
One linebacker will play a full-time role. The other will play a part-time role. We expect Davis to be the full-time LB, but camp reports will be worth monitoring.
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