The NFL season is right around the corner, and 2021 fantasy football leagues are starting to take shape. This series will focus on starters, startable players and sleepers for IDPs on every NFL team, working through all eight divisions.
What each category means:
Starters: IDPs who should be drafted highly and expected to be utilized on a regular, if not weekly, basis once the season begins. They are the most trustworthy players who offer the highest upside and fantasy potential.
Startable: IDPs who are likely being drafted in most leagues but aren’t players in the “set it and forget it” category. They can provide value as depth pieces who can fill in on bye weeks or in case of injuries to starters.
Sleepers: IDPs who are more under the radar and not necessarily even in a starting role for their respective teams but are good enough to make an impact if situations work out for them. These players are not always being drafted and most will be easily attainable in the average IDP league.
Let's start things off with the AFC East.
The Bills have had at least one linebacker rack up over 100 tackles every season since 2001. Nine teams didn't have a single 100-tackle LB last season. Edmunds’ PFF grades have been less than stellar, but his IDP contributions have been nothing but solid since entering the NFL. He has played over 900 snaps in each of his NFL seasons and managed at least 115 total tackles every year. Edmunds comes in as LB10 in the most recent IDP rankings.
LB Matt Milano
Milano is coming off a down year in terms of IDP, health and overall performance — 2020 was his lowest-graded season (55.8) and lowest snap total (335) in his career. He clearly wasn't an effective IDP option for the large majority of the season despite being one of the most efficient linebackers in the league in converting his pass-rush attempts to sacks (1.9%). Milano is a likely bounce-back candidate as he looks to regain his every-down role in this Bills defense, which will serve up plenty of opportunities to be productive every week.
Poyer is a vacuum when it comes to making tackles. Even while playing behind high-performing Bills linebackers in that category, he is among the most productive safeties in the NFL for IDP. Since 2017, no safety has accumulated more tackles (412), and his ability to sniff them out only seems to be improving as his numbers continue to rise. An elite IDP option at safety, Poyer should compete to be among the top five players at his position once again for 2021.
Jordan Poyer tackle productivity in Buffalo
|Season||Total tackles||Snaps played|
The Bills' defensive line is going to be a bit frustrating week-to-week. A likely rotation among many capable options will lead to weeks where some of our IDPs do little in terms of box score. Addison is a veteran whose five sacks led the team in 2020, but he played just 56% of snaps on the year. This is not enough to lock him in as a starter each week, but he can provide some value as a fill-in on bye weeks or due to injuries.