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Fantasy Football: IDP takeaways from Preseason Week 1

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Zaire Franklin (44) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

• With Indianapolis Colts’ star linebacker Shaquille Leonard still out with an injury, Zaire Franklin, not E.J. Speed, replaced him next to Bobby Okereke.

• With an injury to Denver Broncos’ expected starting linebacker Jonas Griffith, the team signed free agent Joe Schobert, but if Josey Jewell remains as the team’s LB1, whoever emerges as LB2 might not have a full-time role anyways.

Washington Commanders’ safety Kamren Curl plays an ideal role in his first game without Landon Collins, creating top-IDP safety vibes should that continue.

Click here for updated IDP rankings for the 2022 season.

With one week’s worth of NFL preseason games in the books, there were a few IDP fantasy football-related takeaways to make note of before most drafts get underway.

While it wasn't the most exciting preseason slate, there is still plenty to dive into and monitor as we head into another week before the regular season.

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The Giants started this game with Darrian Beavers and Tae Crowder at linebacker while Blake Martinez sat out. Crowder appears to still be Martinez's most likely running mate, but at the very least, this should tell us Beavers is the next man up should Crowder or Martinez miss time. The sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati is not worth drafting at this point but should something happen to Martinez or Crowder, he would be worth a waiver claim in deeper leagues.

Giants’ safety Xavier McKinney played noticeably closer to the line of scrimmage than last season, albeit a five-snap sample size is not worth overreacting to. Nonetheless, it deserves monitoring with a new defensive coordinator in New York. McKinney played 70% of his snaps from a deep alignment last season but only aligned there on one of his five snaps in Week 1 of the preseason. The closer he lines up to the line of scrimmage, the more likely he is to accumulate tackles.


With Deion Jones still out due to offseason surgery, Rashaan Evans and Mykal Walker were the Falcons' starting linebackers, as expected. Both are the favorites to start in the regular season if Jones is not back in the lineup. Notably, second-round rookie Troy Andersen and veteran Nick Kwiatkoski did not suit up, so it remains to be seen how they exactly fit into the rotation.

It may also be worth noting that another Falcons’ second-round pick, Arnold Ebiketie, did not start this week, as edge rusherAdetokunbo Ogundeji aligned opposite Lorenzo Carter for the first seven defensive snaps of the game. This is worth monitoring because it may be a sign that Ebiketie isn't locked into a volume-heavy role in Atlanta.

For the Lions, with Alex Anzalone missing in action, last year’s fourth-rounder Derrick Barnes and this year’s sixth-rounder Malcolm Rodriguez started at linebacker. Rodriguez earned a 70.7 overall grade while Barnes’ struggles from last season appear to have carried over, finishing with just a 46.8 overall grade and a 33.3% missed tackle rate. Rodriguez is shaping up to be a late-round draft flier with upside.


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