Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Fantasy football IDP targets from the NFC East: Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Blake Martinez and more

In this weekly series, we're exploring every NFL team’s defense to provide in-depth fantasy football analysis for key IDPs. We'll focus on projected depth charts, what each IDP’s role will be heading into the 2020 NFL season and what we can expect from them for fantasy purposes. Plus, we'll cover a bonus name to watch for each team.

Subscribe to PFF's EDGE or ELITE subscriptions to get access to the following tools, charts, etc.

– All Premium Article Content
– Fantasy Football Rankings & Projections
– Fantasy Football Draft Guide, Cheat Sheets & Advanced Stats
– Fantasy Football Mock Draft Tool (DraftMaster)
– Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Matrix
– NFL Player Grades
– NFL Premium Stats

Subscribe now!

We’ve covered the AFC North, NFC North, AFC South and NFC South. Now we head to the NFC East, where the Cowboys offer two top-tier linebacker options.



The Cowboys’ D-line presents a number of interesting IDPs to consider in the mid- to late rounds of drafts, starting with Demarcus Lawrence. “D-Law” hit some IDP regression last year, posting only six sacks after racking up 13 and 15 over the past two seasons. Lawrence also saw his total tackle numbers decrease from the 50 to 60 tackles per year range to just 41 last season. Lawrence will continue to be the Cowboys' top option off the edge, but we have to lower our expectations. I’d expect him to remain in the area of DE12-15 as opposed to the top-10 option he was in previous seasons.

Dallas also brings in Gerald McCoy at DT, who is now on his second team in as many years after nine seasons in Tampa Bay. The best thing about McCoy at this point is his consistency — since the 2015 season, McCoy has played around 700-800 snaps per season and has posted between six to nine sacks each year. While he may be getting older, his effectiveness has kept him in plenty of IDP lineups, and that should continue in 2020 as he comes in as a top-20 consensus DT for the year.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

    Available with

  • Available with

  • PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players.

    Available with

  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

    Available with

  • PFF’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr