“The cream rises to the top” as the saying goes, and when I’m casting my eye over the fantasy rankings through the first nine weeks of the season it certainly feels that way. Finding viable IDP waiver wire grabs certainly gets tougher at this stage of the year, but thankfully the wealth of data points we have here at PFF means that there is often an angle we can exploit for the benefit of our fantasy rosters. One angle that often bears fruit in the second half of the season is keying in on rookies who have begun to establish themselves and this week’s look at potential pickups leans on the 2017 draft class.
The Eagles are using their defensive ends in rotation, and although Brandon Graham is the top dog in Philly, both Curry and rookie Barnett are making a case to see an uptick in playing time. Over the last four weeks, Barnett ranks sixth in pass-rush productivity for 4-3 Ends with 2.5 sacks, five hits, and eight hurries (on 102 pass-rush snaps), while Curry has racked up two sacks, two hits, and seven hurries (on 82 pass-rush snaps) to rank 14th. Both players continue to play approximately 50 percent of snaps in any given week which does cap their upside, but with the Eagles offense continuing to put up points and build leads, it gives their pass rush a chance to pin their ears back and go sack hunting. Although our analysts have been grading Curry as the more impressive performer, its Barnett who is gradually assuming extra snaps, so gun to head I’d take Barnett over Curry on projected playing time, but both players would not surpass low-end DL2 value for the time being.