2nd Year IDP Tsunamis
By Joe Goodwin
Hopefully by this point in your off-season research, you have read my 3 part series on the 2nd year IDP Surges in each of the position groupings. If not, click the position headers.
And if you haven’t had the chance, here is a summary of the players from each position group that I believe are not just Surges in IDP, but are Tsunamis in IDP and should be drafted/traded for/stashed for this year and the future. Not all of these picks will be instant starters in all formats, but this may be the last year to draft these IDP Tsunamis before their draft stock is too high. These players are my favorites of the 2nd year defensive players that I believe will be IDP elite now or in the near future.
Jermaine Johnson (DE, Jets)
In 14 games for the Jets, Johnson logged 29 total tackles, with 3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 safety. Those numbers are pretty impressive for a player that only notched 1 game over a 30% snap share. Two factors could lead to a huge breakout for Johnson in 2023: 1) A snap share that consistently exceeds 50%, 2) He improves his ability to get out of his stance. In watching tape, Johnson tends to be slow off the snap. That slight hesitation could just be a result of coaching and not wanting him to be offside. Either way, if he can time his “get off” better and be on the field for at least 50% of the snaps, Johnson could be worth a late round flier in your IDP draft based on upside. If you are in a Dynasty League, there is a lot to like long term and Johnson is an interesting pick as you build depth; especially if your taxi squad allows 2nd year players. Or, you start at least 3 defensive lineman, in that case, Johnson is a solid depth pick with a lot of room to improve.
George Karlaftis (DE, Chiefs)
Karlaftis is one of the most interesting 2nd year IDP potential surges heading into the 2023 season. His usage rate was between 35 to 50%. He recorded 33 total tackles. The most intriguing statistics about Karlaftis were his sacks (6.5) and his tackles for loss (8); both of those are impressive for his snap share. With the Chiefs allowing Frank Clark to explore employment options, it may indicate the Chiefs are comfortable moving forward with Karlaftis being a main component on the offensive line. The “Greek Freak” is a young player ascending as an IDP player. If your league values tackles for loss, his upside is worth targeting later in drafts. If your league leans heavier on tackles, Karlaftis has not proven to be as effective as the other DL players; although 33 tackles is solid for his snap share. In deeper IDP leagues, I fully endorse Karlaftis as a starting DL heading into this year based on his sack and tackles for loss potential. And, as his snap share heads into the 60% area, he may record enough tackles to be a mainstay in IDP lineups for years to come.
Aiden Hutchinson (DE, Lions)
Aiden Hutchinson was the first overall selection in the 2022 NFL draft and he proved he was a valid choice by the Detroit Lions. In his first year, Hutchinson had 52 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries. In short, Hutchinson is one of the up and coming stars in the NFL. He will require some serious draft capital to acquire his services. In my last C2C draft (which included IDP), Hutchinson was drafted at 8.1. Each draft is different, but if our site draft is any indication, Hutchinson will be drafted as one of the top 5 defensive lineman.
Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE, Giants)
Kayvon Thibodeaux was, at some points in his college career, projected as the #1 pick in the draft. However, things change quickly in professional sports and Thibodeaux saw his draft stock drop as a potential top pick. One thing that did not change was his immense talent. Last year, Thibodeaux tallied 48 total tackles in 14 games. He also added 4 sacks, 5 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries. It is clear Thibodeaux is a contributor in all IDP areas. This may be the last year to draft Thibodeaux outside the top 10 of defensive lineman, so grab him quick in dynasty formats. Thibodeaux will be a major factor in IDP for years to come.
Quay Walker (LB, Packers)
Walker made a big splash last year starting 16 of 17 games. Walker tallied 121 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 7 passes defended. In short, Walker was an instant impact player for the Packers. And Walker’s IDP future is bright. Last year, Walker’s snap share hovered in the 50-60% range. As Walker becomes a complete player, he will enter the “elite” level of linebackers and log 75-80% of the snaps. I foresee Walker easily entering the 150+ tackle level with improved sack numbers. Walker will be drafted in startup leagues fairly early. You will need to make an investment to land Quay, and I highly endorse it. His numbers will improve as he stays on the field and you will be thankful you locked up one of the top up and coming linebackers for years to come.
Nakobe Dean (LB, Eagles)
If any player is destined to see a massive jump in IDP value in 2023, it's Nakobe Dean. With both starting linebackers gone, Dean has first chance to assume a large amount of playing time on the Eagles defense. And with a defensive line that occupies offensive lineman better than most teams, the Eagles rely on their linebackers to make a ton of tackles. Dean is one of my favorite 2nd year IDP breakouts. He has an immense amount of talent with the opportunity in the Eagles defense to take full advantage of it. He may not rack up a lot of sacks, but his tackles, passes defended, and tackles for loss will add up quickly. And, as a dynasty player, Nakobe Dean should be considered a top 20 linebacker now and a future top 12 player for years to come.
Micah McFadden (LB, Giants)
Micah McFadden played in all 17 games and started 7 of them. With 59 total tackles, 2 sacks, and 6 tackles for loss, McFadden appears to be headed into fantasy relevance. After the week 9 bye, McFadden saw at least a 24% snap share, and a high of 57%. In year 2, if McFadden can consistently get 40 to 50% snap share, McFadden is worth a late round pick to keep on your taxi squad. I love his upside and find him to be an interesting dynasty player. McFadden may not be as locked in as Quay or Nakobe, but I project a solid player with a ton of upside.
Chad Muma (LB, Jaguars)
After logging 16 games with 2 starts, Chad Muma totaled 47 tackles, with 3 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Muma had inconsistent playing time as he received as low as 2% snap share all the way up to 72%. In the latter game, Muma had 9 tackles and in the following game (58% snap share), he recorded 11 tackles and 1 sack. If Muma can see playing time in between 50-70%, Muma will turn into a very reliable IDP contributor. However, if Muma does not see consistent playing time, his value decreases substantially. I foresee Muma getting between 50 to 65% snap share (hopefully more) and turning into a 100+ tackler with 3 to 5 sacks. Muma has a lot of competition for playing time with Devin Lloyd. Foyesade Oloukun is assured of a starting spot and is a top 10 linebacker in IDP. If Muma can stay on the field, he is worth a late round selection in your IDP draft, however, Lloyd and Muma may be the players that get in each other’s way of the flourishing.
Ahmad (Sauce) Gardner (CB, Jets)
Sauce was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2022. He not only was an impressive rookie, he is an impressive player. He has immediately challenged Jalen Ramsey as the best cornerback in football. Last year, Gardner had 75 total tackles, 2 interceptions, and led the league with 20 passes defended. This may be a case of a player being too good too soon. NFL offenses will most likely shy away from Sauce’s side of the field and take their chances throwing the ball elsewhere. Due to that, Gardner may have less opportunities to accumulate stats to be a top IDP target, but is worthy of drafting regardless. Gardner is a top cornerback and will continue to perform that way.
Roger McCreary (CB, Titans)
Roger McCreary was an instant starter for the Titans in his rookie year; starting all 17 games. In those contests, McCreary recorded 84 total tackles, 8 passes defended, 1 interception, and 2 tackles for loss. Those 84 tackles ranks McCreary 5th among cornerbacks (excluding players that log time at both safety and corner). For a rookie cornerback, those numbers are fantastic and bode well for his future IDP success. However, one statistic that has nothing to do with IDP, but has plenty to do with playing time, Roger McCreary gave up 7 touchdowns. McCreary is a must start if your league requires cornerbacks to start. If your league just starts DB’s, he’s only useful in deeper leagues as there are just too many safeties that log as good or better tackle numbers, and provide extra in the sacks and interception categories.
Andrew Booth (CB, Vikings)
Like Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth’s rookie campaign for the Vikings ended early due to injury. Unlike Cine, heading into 2023, Booth is set to start for the Vikings. Booth’s sample size is extremely small; he only saw action in 2 games. With a 68% snap share in week 11 against Dallas, Booth recorded 9 tackles. Those types of numbers over the course of an entire season would make Booth a “must start.” I worry the Vikings might not stay pat at the position and add a veteran to the depth chart. I love Booth’s potential and would suggest adding him to your taxi squad and hope the Vikings allow Booth to grow into the position.
Jaquan Brisker (DB, Bears)
Jaquan Brisker was a breakout IDP rookie last year. In 15 games (all starts), Brisker tallied 104 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovered. Brisker is on his way to the IDP elite and should be drafted accordingly. You may have to invest some serious draft capital to get Brisker; for context, in my latest C2C startup draft, I took Brisker at 15.9. He is an easy start in just about every IDP setup and your draft plans at DB should include him!
Alontae Taylor (CB, Saints)
Alontae Taylor had some injuries in his rookie year that made his numbers look less impressive. He played in 13 games (9 started) while recording 46 total tackles with 11 passes defended; that’s a 0.846 pd/g. For context, the league leader, Ahmad Gardner, had a 1.17 pd/g and Darius Slay (12th) was at .823 pd/g. Taylor is keeping good company as a top 12 performer in passes defended per game. Of the top 12, Cam Sutton had the least amount of tackles at 43. So, Taylor’s 46 tackles are solid for only playing in 13 games. In all, if your league starts cornerbacks and scores passes defended, Taylor is a solid starter who provides top 12 potential and if he plays a full season, Taylor can easily be a top 10 performer in your IDP leagues. If your league is just tackles and interceptions, Taylor is worth a bench spot if you can afford the space. Taylor is an ascending player that I believe can be a valuable IDP player.
Martin Emerson (CB, Browns)
Having played in all 17 games last year (with 6 starts), Emerson had 63 combined tackles and 15 passes defended (tied for 6th in the league). Emerson is an elite corner defending the pass, the only knock on his fantasy potential is the ZERO interceptions he had last year. As Emerson enters his 2nd season, he will need to convert some of those passes defended to interceptions. If that happens, Emerson will turn into an elite fantasy contributor. If your league does not count passes defended, his value is diminished a lot. Pay attention to your league’s settings!!
Did I miss one of your favorite 2nd year IDP targets?
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Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I try to look at fantasy sports through my own lens and share that vision with my readers I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: C2C, dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
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