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IDP Analysis: Tartt Taking Over At Safety

Mario Puig

Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.

RISING

Ryan Shazier, (3-4) ILB, PIT


He needs to stay healthy to be a reliable IDP asset going forward, but with his return from a shoulder injury as Pittsburgh takes on Kansas City, Shazier should be back on rosters in most IDP leagues. He remains the likely most athletic linebacker in the league, and he posted 22 tackles and one sack in his two 2015 starts. Shazier's return likely moves Sean Spence to the bench.

Jaquiski Tartt, S, SF

With Antoine Bethea (shoulder) out for the rest of the year, Tartt will likely take over as a starting safety for San Francisco. A surprise second-round pick out of Samford, Tartt has the size (6-foot-1, 221 pounds) and athleticism (4.52 40-yard dash, 124-inch broad jump) to project as an impact defender in the NFL, and his production to this point in the year has been encouraging, too. He had 12 tackles and a sack heading into Thursday's loss against Seattle while playing just 94 snaps and 100 special teams plays, then he made nine tackles against the Seahawks.

Everson Griffen, DE, MIN

Griffen missed last week's game against Kansas City with illness concerns, but he's cleared to return against the Lions on Sunday. He sacked Matt Stafford once when they previously played, and he can probably find success against Detroit again this week. Even if not, Griffen is a strong candidate to hit the double-digit sack mark before the year concludes.

Jordan Hicks, (3-4) ILB, PHI

Kiko Alonso (knee) remains out, and the duo of DeMeco Ryans (hamstring) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) are listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Carolina. Kendricks is generally expected to play after practicing fully all week, but Ryans is less certain after logging just one limited practice on Friday. Hicks had impressed his way into the Philadelphia linebacker rotation regardless of Ryans' health, so it would seem like Hicks should be in for an elevated role this week. With 37 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble in 333 snaps, Hick should be able to put together LB2 value for one more week.

William Hayes, DE, STL

Chris Long will sit out at least this week with a knee injury, which likely opens the door for Hayes to start at end opposite Robert Quinn. He's not a high-upside play, but Hayes saw 43 snaps off the bench against Green Bay in Week 5, so he might be able to push for something in the 50-snap range against Cleveland on Sunday. Hayes has 12 tackles in 155 snaps so far this year, and he had a three-year total of 16 sacks with St. Louis prior to 2015.

FALLING

Antoine Bethea, S, SF


A shoulder injury suffered against the Seahawks on Thursday will end Bethea's season after seven games, stopping him at the 44-tackle mark. Bethea has been one of the most remarkably consistent IDPs going back to his 2006 rookie season, when he began a stretch in which he exceeded 90 tackles seven times in eight years, as well as five over 100 tackles. It's not clear if San Francisco will have a place in the starting lineup for Bethea in 2016, as the 49ers selected Tartt in the second round of the most recent draft.

Eric Weddle, S, SD

Weddle will miss this week's game against Oakland with a groin injury, and he was unable to make any practice appearances through the week. With two straight seasons with over 110 tackles heading into 2015, Weddle is generally worth making room for on the bench until he recovers from the injury, though this week the Chargers will likely need to lean on some combination of Jimmy Wilson and Darrell Stuckey.

Demarcus Lawrence, DE, DAL

His strong finish to his 2014 rookie season and generally high expectations after a promising career at Boise State gave reason to hope for a breakout season for Lawrence in 2015, especially as an IDP. The former second-round pick has been a disappointment so far, though, posting just 14 tackles (seven solo) and one sack in five games. The snap count (247) has been there, but the stats haven't. He could still get going after posting a sack in each of his playoff games a year ago, but the return of Randy Gregory (ankle) might eat into his snap count now, too.