2023 IDP Football AFC North Breakdown

by Steve Hungarter (IDPHunter)
2023 IDP Football AFC North Breakdown

Today, you are in for a treat as we will analyze the 2023 IDP Football AFC North Breakdown. This may be the greatest division in all of Football. It's safe to think this is another consistent year, even though the player is one year older. Let's look deeply at some of the best players and rookies that could impact 2023.

Roquan Smith has to be the top player here, the cream of the crop of this division; he consistently is a top player with 100 tackles. T.J. Watt could be argued here, too; he is coming off of a season-ending injury and needs to regain his elite title here, but he will always have the potential to make an impact.

Myles Garrett came off a car accident and produced a 16-sack season. Cole Holcomb is as consistent as any in the league. You will see a very elite and excellent division full of IDP, but maybe older and injured players. Not only that, this division knows how to play real football.

2023 IDP Football NFC East Breakdown

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Cincinnati Bengals

PlayerPositionGain/ Loss
Jessie Bates DBLoss
Vonn BellDBLoss
Nick ScottDBGain
Sidney Jones IVDBGain
Tarell Basham,DLGain

This defense continues to improve and showcase yearly and has some of the better IDP players. It has one of the most formidable edge rushers that combine to create one of the most formidable EDGE duos in the entire league. The linebacker core generally employs only two LBs, but Pratt and Wilson have been as steady as they come.

The only real question, if any, is that the Bengals went through significant changes in their secondary during the offseason, with Vonn Bell, Jessie Bates, and Eli Apple departing in free agency. The team filled one of the vacant safety roles by selecting Dax Hill in the first round of the 2022 draft. Meanwhile, free agent addition Nick Scott currently occupies the other spot.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft Result
Myles MurphyDEClemsonR1P28
DJ TurnerCBMichiganR2P60
Jordan BattleDBAlabamaR3P95
DJ IveyCBMiamiR7P246

Key IDP's

Trey Hendrickson, DL

Trey Hendrickson had 60 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 2022. Despite dealing with some injuries in the 2022 season, Hendrickson would have played nearly 800 snaps if not gotten injured. Known more as a good tackler, expect more of the same productivity here.

Sam Hubbard, DL

Hubbard had 32 tackles, eight sacks last season. Hubbard, solidifying his status as the primary contributor at the EDGE position. He is more of a pass rusher than a tackler, which is the polar opposite of Hendrickson but completes each other's game well.

Logan Wilson, LB

The Bengals run one solid linebacker, and the others get shuffled in. At linebacker, it remains unchanged from 2022. Logan Wilson had 123 tackles and remains a great option in IDP because he is an inside linebacker and gets a high snap count, so this is what you want in IDP linebackers.

Germaine Pratt, LB

Germaine Pratt had 99 tackles last season. He is generally perceived as a top 50 linebacker in the IDP league. He will continue to see production just on the way this defense fuels,  with around 80% of the defensive snaps given to its LB2.

IDP Wildcards

Daxton Hill, DB

With Bates now gone, last year's first-round draft pick Dax Hill must prove he could play. The 4.38 speed he showcased at the Combine will be sorely needed in this revamped secondary.

Jordan Battle, DB

Cincinnati also invested a third-round pick in Alabama safety Jordan Battle, who is expected to compete with Scott and likely surpass him at some point during the season, potentially even before Week 1.

Expect a position battle with Nick Scott for a battle to play the other safety spot next to former first-rounder Daxton Hill. He will need to win this position to be a consistent player. As he has shown in College to be a consistent four-year starter for coach Nick Saben, he has an outstanding landing spot to do the same.

Baltimore Ravens

PlayerPositionGain/ Loss
Calais CampbellDLLoss
Marcus PetersCBLoss
Jason Pierre-PaulLBLoss
Chuck ClarkDBLoss

The Baltimore Ravens employ an extensive rotation on their defensive line, ensuring no player surpasses 700 snaps in the 2022 season. This is indicative of the feeble lack of pass rush. They were once viewed as an elite DST unit that has come crashing down in recent years.

The Ravens signed the NFL's top linebacker and drafted the top safety in 2021, hoping to change that. This year's team will be somewhere in the middle but will have some wild card players, hopefully, ready to step up for key roles and bring this defense back to being respectable.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft Result
Trenton SimpsonLBClemsonR3P86
Tavius RobinsonDEOle MissR4P124
Kyu Blu KellyCBStanfordR5P157

Key IDP's

Roquan Smith, LB

Roquan Smith stands out as the premier IDP asset for his position. Since joining the team via trade in 2022, he has played every single snap and has consistently performed at an LB1 level, and is the top LB to roster in all of IDP for the second straight season.

Patrick Queen, LB

Patrick Queen, the second linebacker behind Smith, accrues fantasy points but lacks exceptional talent on the field. Queen has played around 90% of snaps in the past and is expected to maintain a similar workload in 2023. However, he does carry some risk due to potential fluctuations in playing time, so managers should exercise caution before regarding him as an elite linebacker option.

Marlon Humphrey, DB

Made the Pro Bowl with 71 tackles as a cornerback. If you have to slot CBs in your league, this is one you want.

Kyle Hamilton, DB

Hamilton is a buy for me, and I try to target owners he burned in his rookie season. He started to slow as a rookie, only getting 50% of the snaps, which resulted in him playing out of position often and missing plays; the Ravens were forced to cut his snaps back.

All was forgiven in the last five games of the season when they figured out how to use him, resulting in 62 tackles, a single sack, and a forced fumble. I expect a huge leap forward in year 2 for his player.

IDP Wildcards

David Ojabo, DL

David Ojabo, who has now recovered from his Achilles injury, to receive increased playing time. Despite only playing 23 snaps in 2022, Ojabo was highly regarded as an edge prospect and was selected in the second round. He is a total wild card and a likely stash at this point, so keep an eye on him, but he pencils in for a huge role this season.

Odafe Oweh, LB/DL

It is likely, depending on your league size, that you might be able to find Oweh on waivers. Add him today. This first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft struggled to put together a complete body of work for the entire season but showed flashes and worked hard.

With the departures of Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Houston in free agency, there is an opportunity for Odafe Oweh is expected to maintain his role as the leader in snaps played at the EDGE position. However, his production has been relatively underwhelming in his first two NFL seasons.

Trenton Simpson, LB

The Ravens also selected Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson in the third round of the 2023 draft. While Simpson may not start in Week 1, he has the potential to gradually eat into Queen's playing time as the season progresses and could ultimately secure a starting role in 2024. It's always hard to position a rookie, but he was one of the top in this draft class; so excited to see what he comes out with.

Marcus Williams, DB

Marcus Williams primarily assumes a deep coverage role; he will not be considered a top-tier option but could provide strong bye-week replacement options.

Cleveland Browns

PlayerPositionGain/ Loss
Za'Darius SmithDLGain
Juan ThornhillDBGain
Rodney McLeodDBGain
Ogbo Okoronkwo LBGain
Jadeveon ClowneyDLLoss
Dalvin TomlinsonDLLoss

The Browns Defense was banged up and beaten early last season. Injuries to key personnel did this team in. Despite this, they still finished as a top 15, middle of the team pack in 2021. The most glaring need, particularly in the front seven, should be solved in 2023.

At linebacker, look before injuries. That unit wasn't bad. Expect the players to come in and fix that position quickly. Regarding the defensive line, expect to rotate in the new defensive scheme, keeping everyone fresh outside Myles Garrett.

Regarding Safties, Grant Delpit led the way and should have even more impact this season as the box safety in the new scheme. This season, expect a huge turnaround by default just by implementing the new system.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft Result
Siaki IkaDTBaylorR3P98
Isaiah McGuireDEMissouriR4P126
Cameron MitchellCBNorthwesternR5P142

Key IDPs

Myles Garrett, DL

Despite returning from a car accident, Myles Garrett remains one of the premier defensive players in the NFL and is expected to continue producing at an elite level. His 16 sacks on limited playing time speak volumes about the type of player he is here.

Za'Darius Smith, DL

The team acquired former Viking Za'Darius Smith via trade to fill the EDGE position opposite Garrett, replacing Jadeveon Clowney. Smith had a ten-sack season in 2021.

Anthony Walker, LB

The Browns were smart to resign Walker. All eyes will be on Walker and if he can return from a  quadriceps injury; if so, this will be huge for this group. Before the injury, Walker was having a strong season, and when he got hurt, it showed in the team's performance.

He hopes to wear the green dot for them again in 2023 and put the injuries behind him. Anthony Walker wore the green dot the last two seasons and even wore it and outplayed JOK before the injury. He could be found off waivers in most formats.

Grant Delpit, DB

Delpit is coming off a strong 105 tackles season, which puts him in the top ten at his position at just 24 years old. He looks even better playing in the Schwartz system, where he should get added time in the box.

IDP Wildcards

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB

JOK is the only certainty at the position. He was a highly-rated prospect two years ago coming out of Notre Dame. Many thought he would be elite, and some still think it; however, he has shown to be a solid LB2 so far, and you could likely trade for him cheaper from frustrated owners who drafted him way too early.

Juan Thornhill, DB

The team signed Juan Thornhill in free agency, who is currently slated to start; he projects a two-high safety and could provide value on bye weeks.

Pittsburgh Steelers

PlayerPositionGain/ Loss
Cole HolcombLBGain
Elandon RobertsLBGain
Myle JackLBLoss
Terrell EdmundsDBLoss
Patrick PetersonCBGain
Damontae Kazee DBGain
Devin BushLBLoss

The Steelers want to get back to being an elite DST option. Because of this, this team holds some very intriguing IDP names. In real-life Football, there is competition all over the defensive line, with rookies and veterans trying to make spots.

The edge spots seem consistent and appealing, so look for Highsmith and Watt to hold that down the same. Incoming free agent Cole Holcomb could be the inside piece the team was missing in recent seasons.

The secondary still has questions, but with Mikah Fitzpatrick as an elite IDP option and rookie Joey Porter, this team may be able to get back to it and turn it around in 2023.

PlayerPositionGain/ LossDraft Result
Joey Porter Jr. CBPenn StateR2P32
Keeanu Benton DLWisconsin R2P49
Nick Herbig LBWisconsin R4P132
Cory Trice Jr. DBPurdueR7P241

Key IDPs

T.J. Watt, LB/DL

T.J. Watt is undoubtedly an exceptional player, having been named the Defensive Player of the Year. Returning to full health, he is expected to maintain his elite performance.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB

Minkah Fitzpatrick is an elite player and is Tier-1, no question. Despite primarily lining up deep in coverage, he accumulates fantasy points. He had a few bad games last year, which dropped him down to DB7, take those games away, and he is a top player.

You don't see a high safety score in IDP as he does, so consider this an outlier. He s a ball hawk who generates turnovers and is an exception to the rule.

Alex Highsmith, LB/DL

Alex Highsmith has made significant progress and emerged as a reliable EDGE player alongside Watt. Watt and Highsmith will receive ample playing time and can be relied upon to produce, provided they consistently avoid injuries.

Cameron Heyward, DL

Cameron Heyward continues to defy the aging process and remains one of the premier defensive tackles in the league. He is often overlooked but can substantially contribute to your fantasy team's championship aspirations. He was often used as a DL3 in most championship-winning IDP leagues, taking advantage of his absurd ADP placed on him.

Cole Holcomb, LB

Cole Holcomb looks to have the green dot and play the role of the Steelers. The team typically employs only one primary linebacker, with Holcomb expected to fill that role. I was expecting a huge year out of him.

IDP Wild Cards

Elandon Roberts, LB

Look for Elandon Roberts to log significant LB2 snaps as well. The Steelers generally utilize, per Fantasydata.com, LB2. The second linebacker should still see approximately 70% of the snaps.

Joey Porter Jr., CB

The Steelers drafted Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. in the second round, and he is expected to fit in as the cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson seamlessly. Players such as Levi Wallace, Arthur Maulet, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Tre Norwood should not be heavily relied upon. It is wide open for him in this depth chart, so a player name with his pedigree should be the ultimate team wildcard.


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