“The Amateur Ward” Impact Defensive Line Rookies 2017

I would officially like to welcome all our returning and new owners alike to another season of fantasy football. Over the next couple of months, the writers here will help you gain an in-depth understanding of defensive schemes, players, and why certain ‘breakout’ players are for real, or flukes. If you are an enthusiast like us, you will see what a welcoming and tremendous group we are and how passionate we all are about sports.

With the 2017 Draft officially behind us, we are all left debating what our team’s needs are going forward. For one, as a Falcon fan (yes, get the jokes out), I nearly threw a chair through the window after the Super Bowl, knowing we HAD IT in our grasp. The problem was that our defense had no depth which left our starters gasping for air at the end. Over the next couple of months, I will focus on the first and second level of defenses. I will do my best to help guide you to fantasy dominance through rankings, analyses, and mentioning players you may have not even thought of. Yes, defensive depth is important and hopefully, this article will help IDP leaguers draft smartly. Let’s also not forget for you standard league players that understanding who your offensive players are facing is the key to fantasy success. Without further delay here is my top 5 rookie defensive lineman to target in your IDP leagues for 2017.

Myles Garrett (DE/CLE)- Hands down the best player in the Draft, Garrett offers the Browns a piece they have long been seeking – a franchise player on the defensive side of the football. In college, at Texas A&M, he was a sack machine amassing 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss. He will instantly step in and help a Cleveland defense that finished 31st out of 32 teams in sacks last season. In Gregg Williams’ 4-3 defensive scheme, Garrett will step in and serve as a force opposite Emmanuel Ogbah. Garrett brings quickness, toughness and a physical presence to the Browns, and he should compete for Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROY). Those in IDP leagues need to keep an eye on him and draft him as your DE2. He has the potential to be a perennial All-Pro.

Note: Dynasty owners need to make him the 1st defensive lineman off the boards in your rookie drafts.

Jonathan Allen (DT/DE-WSH)- Allen brings Washington what they have needed the past couple seasons, which is a defensive lineman that can disrupt the run game and get after the passer. He may not have the sack upside of Garrett or some of the other defensive ends, but Allen is a mighty fine lineman and a steal for the Redskins in the draft. After a horrible season against the run and on third down, Allen will provide the Skins a raw yet explosive lineman who can play inside or outside and offers the team some flexibility on defense. With his quickness, he will be able to get after running backs and disrupt the passer. With Baker gone, what the Redskins are in dire need of is an impact defensive lineman that has the ability to anchor them upfront and impact the run game. Allen fits this mold, and his success under Saban at Alabama will enable him to become a top defensive lineman in short order. His play will allow the linebackers to make plays and create turnovers on what could be a vastly improved defensive line. Allen will provide an immediate upgrade to this defensive unit and is very underrated entering the season. He could very well finish as a top 10 lineman in your leagues this season.

Note: Dynasty owners need to make him the 4th defensive lineman off the boards in your rookie drafts.

Solomon Thomas (DE/DT-S.F.)- Thomas brings versatility to a defense that ranked bottoms in scoring defense last season. Like Allen, he can play inside or outside and he is a raw talent that could develop into an All-Pro relatively quickly. With a wicked spin move and violent release, he has shown an ability to leave blockers clueless. The question with him is can he slide inside on third down and become an effective run stopper or will he get moved around by more experienced, physical linemen? The 49ers may have found an anchor for the defense that will stop the run, open up alleys for the linebackers, and help create more turnovers and pressure on the QB.

Note: Dynasty owners should target him as the 3rd defensive lineman of the board in your rookie drafts. I believe he can compete with Garrett for DROY honors.

Takkarist McKinley (DE/ATL)- Dan Quinn made it clear he wants depth and speed on the defensive line and McKinley brings the latter. In Quinn’s system opposite Beasley, McKinley has the chance to lead all rookies in sacks and will provide the Falcons with another edge rusher. He may be raw in his rush approach but he is fast, disruptive and can flat out play. Teams were wary of him as he had shoulder surgery in the offseason, but he is a sure tackler, explosive off the snap, and provides Atlanta with a defensive lineman opposite Beasley that will free up the linebackers to make plays and take the stress off the secondary. He could approach 8-9 sacks and is very stout versus the run. He is a worthy deep sleeper DE3/high DE4 with potential for more, and he needs to be on all IDP owners’ radars. His play will open up Deion Jones and Keanu Neal, among other playmakers, to get after the ball and pursue the passer or take chances. The Falcons’ defense is on the rise and Tak could very well propel them into a top 10 defense this season. He will finish in the top 7 defensive ends if he stays healthy and is recovered from his shoulder injury.

Note: After Garrett, McKinley should be the 2nd defensive lineman off the boards in your dynasty league rookie drafts.

Taco Charlton (DE/DAL)- Due to Randy Gregory’s suspension for the entire 2017 season,
Charlton made sense for a team in dire need of an edge rusher. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli now has an explosive defensive end that played multiple positions at Michigan and is versatile, explosive and quick to the signal caller. His lack of an impact first blow or move could hinder his upside some, but he is relentless and will lead the Cowboys in sacks.  He is not on the same level as the names above him but will start at the right defensive end and contribute to the run game at the very least. He has a knack for the QB, which is a plus, but he needs to refine his technique and work on his first step. Playing alongside Sean Lee will enable the defense to be more aggressive, take more chances and create more turnovers, which should lead to more opportunities for the young, explosive offense. His play will free up the safeties to track receivers and challenge for the ball, as well as lead to more opportunities for Lee and Hitchens.  Expect 5-6 sacks out of him his rookie season.

Note: As he matures, dynasty league owners should look for him to be in the ballpark of 10 sacks after a solid career at Michigan. Take him 5th of the board in your rookie drafts in the defensive line category.

My next article publishes on Saturday May 20th in which I will tackle rookie linebackers to target. In the meantime, feel free to leave any questions you may have and I will gladly answer. I am here to help all our readers, but look forward to destroying my opponents during the season as well. Fantasy sports is life, not just a passion, and we invite you all to join us.

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Major League Fantasy Football 2017 League Openings

(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join guest host Andrea Lamont, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday April 30th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #85 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guest this week is Joe Iannone. Joe is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com, a 5 year veteran in MLFB leagues, and a really handsome guy. His articles publish every Sunday. He helps “Pick Your Spots” for the coming week.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

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(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday May 7th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #86 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.

Our guest this week is Bryan Luhrs. Bryan is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com, and the owner of Real Deal Dynasty Sports.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”



Categories: DE, DE Rookies, Defensive Position Rankings, Draft Analysis, DT, DT Rookies, Fantasy Football, Football Writers, Major League Fantasy Sports, MLFS Authors, position rankings

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