2023 IDP Football AFC West Breakdown

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

Welcome to the rugged frontier of football, where the clash of rivalries echoes through the valleys and mountains. In the 2023 IDP Football AFC West Breakdown, you'll step into this electrifying realm of high altitudes and thunderbolts, where you will hear the Broncos stampede. Warriors and pirates clash for the greater glory of another division title.

Within this division, though, football is more than just a sport – it's a way of life, a force that unites cities and ignites passion like no other.

Comprising of four storied franchises – the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers – the AFC West paints a vivid picture of bone-jarring hits, hall-of-fame linebackers, unique coaching playing styles, histories, and fan dress-up cultures. From the rugged mountain clashes to the blazing desert showdowns, the AFC West embodies the essence of American football and the IDP we come here to enjoy. Let's dive into the pile and tackle the AFC Wild Wild West without further ado.

2023 IDP Football NFC East Breakdown

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Kansas City Chiefs

Drue TranquilLBGain
Mike EdwardsDBGain
Charles OmenihuDLGain
Khalen SaundersDLLoss
Frank ClarkDLLoss

We get to start here with the Super Bowl winners. As of late, The Chiefs have been dominating this division, winning its seventh consecutive AFC West title and two of the last four Super Bowls. Granted, most of this was done on the offense, but let's not discredit the defense. Here are some of the key IDPs that have made this team great for so long.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft Result
Felix Anudike-UzomahDLKansas StateR1P31
Chamarri ConnerDBVirginia TechR4P119
BJ Thompson DLStephen E. AustinR5P166
Keondre CoburnDTTexasR6P194
Nic JonesDBBall StateR7P250

Chris Jones, DL

Jones had a career-high in tackles and 15.5 sacks in 2022. He is an outstanding pass rusher. He uses various techniques, including speed, power, and finesse moves, to consistently pressure the quarterback. His ability to collapse the pocket disrupts passing plays and creates opportunities for his teammates. He has been known to move around the file but is better suited as an interior line.  He is a must-start in any format and is rated at DL 17 ADP.

Nick Bolton, LB

He is a top 3, no question at his position, and only 24 years of age. This player really came on last season with 108 solo tackles (180 combined), two sacks, and six passes defended. If you were smart enough to draft him, he is a start every week and one of the best in the game already.

George Karlaftis, DL

Don't be fooled. A common strategy for some managers is to target 2nd-year players while the ADP is still low. The same applies to IDP. Karlaftis is another good reason, as in his rookie year, he started out slow like most.  He finally picked it up at the end of the year by closing the season with 5.5 sacks in the last seven games.  He is expected to use his new starting role and pick his play up this season.

L'Jarius Sneed, DB

Sneed was the top statistical player at his true position (Corner) last season. He delivered 75 tackles (108 combined), three interceptions, and three forced fumbles. It is highly unlikely he will maintain this high peak, not to mention that the defensive back position is so volatile. I suggest letting other managers draft him and take value elsewhere. Several late-round players can produce for you here, partially one on his own team. (More on that later)

Justin Reid, DB

As a later-round DB prospect, Reid wasn't really that bad for your roster. In 2022, he produced a decent 83 combined tackles but just 23 solo tackles. (Yes, there is a difference. Bear in mind when solos are worth two points, and assist is just one of those leagues, he will take a hit, so check your scoring for players like these.

He can be all over the place. A quick observation of him on tape, you will notice his game is mostly making and helping tackles. He doesn't do much in the big play department. I do expect this to go up in 2023. Because those stats are so flaky, I am okay with drafting him. He will be on the field often in 2023, so anything is possible.

IDP Wildcards

Charles Omenihu, DL

Internet workout phenom Charles Omenihu is known more as a situation pass rusher but has held that job down well. His participation in 50% or more of the defensive snaps was evident in 11 games, yielding a notable outcome.

Within this span, he contributed 20 tackles (including 7 solo tackles), 3 tackles for a loss, an impressive count of 16 QB hits, 4.5 sacks, a pass defended, and a forced fumble. These statistics showcase his potential to emerge as an unexpected and pleasantly surprising force on the field. I like to grab him last round of deep leagues or off waivers mostly everywhere, and could expect a depth piece starter for free.

Trent McDuffie, DB

I have written about this in previous articles, so that I will make this brief.  With the Chiefs going to be involved in quite a few shootouts and passing affairs, you might want to look at both cornerbacks. This former first-round 2022 draft pick has actually produced and is interchangeable with Sneed in the slot.

Many people overlooked this because he was injured and missed the first six games. When he returned in week 10, he received Sneed's key slot role and produced instantly, producing 27 tackles (43 combined), seven passes defended, as well as a QB hit and a sack. You can roster him in more than just CB-required leagues too.

Mike Edwards, DB

Coming over from Tampa Bay, Mike Edwards produced a personal career best. His contract is just a one-year deal worth three million. Follow the money, which will tell you it is a prove-it deal. In 2022, Edwards produced 52 tackles (82 combined) and 3 forced fumbles. All career highs. I believe he can fit in nicely here.

IDP wildcard position battle:

Either Drue Tranquill or Willie Gay, LB

Whoever emerges as the LB2 will see decent to average snap counts resulting in tackles. I guess it will be Tranquill, a journeyman for most of his career who had a top-10 positional finish last season at 96 tackles (146 combined) and five sacks. In real life, he should be a good locker room and team player. However, I won't be buying him at these inflated prices. I prefer to get IDP players at cheaper values vs. the ADP (feel free to read our other articles on the subject)

Gay is coming off a decent season with a 70% snap count and 51 tackles (88 combined). He is known more as a goodbye week fill-in or depth piece.

Denver Broncos

Frank ClarkDLGain
Tremon SmithDBGain
Fabian MoreayDBGain
Zach AllenDLGain
Jacob MartinDLLoss

The main focus this season is if new head coach Sean Payton can turn this team around and restore Russell Wilson to form. He actually inherits a defense that, top to bottom, appears well. Ranked 7th in total defense (9th against the run, 12th against the pass), this team can stampede. Another fun fact here is the team brought back its former head coach from 2017, Vance Joseph, this time as the defensive coordinator. Between the two, they will have to decide the fate of the future.

Vance Joseph tended to utilize two linebackers (please see my AFC Coaching changes article) at a rate exceeding the norm during his tenure in Arizona. This development should evoke anticipation among the managers of Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton, as these two players are currently positioned to assume the roles of starters.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft Results
Drew SandersDL/LBArkansasR3P67
Riley MossDBIowaR3P83
JL SkinnerDBBoise StateR6P183

Key IDP's

Josey Jewell, LB

A good fantasy tip is to bet on the guys within the last year of their contract. This marks the final year of Jewell's contract, and he is determined to secure a substantial contract. He showcased an impressive performance record last season, amassing 70 solo tackles, 7 of which were for a loss, and 128 tackles.

As a pass rusher, he did have two and a half sacks, with four QB hits. As a pass defender, he did have four passes defended, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles within a mere 13 games. Assuming he maintains his health, which has always been his hurdle, Jewell is poised to replicate his per-game statistics from the previous season.

Alex Singleton, LB

On tape, Singleton may not be a good real-life player, but his "makeup tackles" are factors in Fantasy IDP. This is one of those cases where real life and fantasy do not always correlate. He usually factors in on Draft Day as LB44 but will shatter that ADP as a top-30 player.

His numbers have shown consistent enhancement each year; despite being benched. In the 2022 season, Singleton recorded an impressive 101 solo tackles (wih163 tackles) and six tackles for a loss. As a pass rusher and run defender, he had three QB hits, three passes defended, and a forced fumble. Notably, he recently secured a three-year contract worth $18 million during the off-seasons he will be sticking around.

Randy Gregory, DL

This man has job security as he signed a five-year 70 million contract. When Gregory stepped onto the field, his presence was felt profoundly. Across the span of six games, Gregory managed to secure two sacks and seven quarterback hits and exuded relentless pressure from the edge, boasting an impressive 17.5% pressure rate, per fantasydata.com.

Most people won't recognize the breakout he injured his knee, causing him to miss 11 games last season. Buy the dip. He is currently being drafted outside the top DL65s ADP and should smash that as a top-40 producer. If you listen to anything I say, get this player late rounds and as your DL4 (so you could draft other elite players) and dominate your fantasy leagues.

Justin Simmons, DB

Okay. Most of us know he is a top elite option. Consider Simmons tier 2 once the big names come off the board. Currently viewed on Sleeper as DB22, Simmons is one of the finer reasons to wait for the position. Now more than ever, you wait on DBs this season, as has been said here many times before. Teams that are spending 2nd round early picks on DBs are vastly having holes on their IDP teams had they not simply waited for value at this position.

Zach Allen, DL

After a four-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals, Allen sealed the deal with a three-year contract worth $45.75 million. His performance has seen consistent growth year by year, and if this trajectory holds true with the Broncos, there's potential for Allen to notch up 60 tackles paired with 10 sacks.

This has been most people's sleeper this off-season, but it is all speculative, so better to temper expectations. Among them, Zach Allen emerges as a top defensive lineman, likely around the vicinity of DL50. While not at an elevated valuation, he figures to be promising.

IDP Wildcards

Baron Browning, DL/LB

In deeper league play, he usually gets drafted at ADP DL100. As for Baron Browning, his track record reflects a commendable role as a pass rusher, although sack numbers weren't exceptional. Notably, Browning underwent surgery around the same period as Frank Clark. Assuming increased time on the field and expanded snaps, these players stand a solid chance of generating heightened production.

Enter Randy Gregory, initially rated DL83, but a true standout despite being hindered by injury and limited playtime. These two individuals, Browning and Gregory, possess the potential to meet their ADP expectations.

Patrick Surtain II, DB

At cornerback, Pat Surtan is one of the league's elite. Although his appeal might not be as robust for IDP purposes, his exceptional abilities could effectively redirect targets toward the other corners in the defensive lineup. So might not translate in regards to fantasy vs. real-life performers.

Drew Sanders, DL/LB

The rookie doesn't figure to factor in year one, but as the No.67 pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, he has the draft capital to play a key role. Where that is in year one is anyone's guess. He is more of a Dynasty League stash for the moment. Vance Joseph doesn't use the LB3 much in Denver, and the line is figured out, so safe to say he may be a depth piece and employed as a sack linebacker.

He played off-ball linebacker at Arkansas and has the athletism (and draft capital) to make an impact. He was a five-star recruit and finalist for the Dick Butkus Award (top linebacker) in college. Sanders ran a 4.59 at the combine, so be prepared to see flashes, but we might have to wait and see what happens when Jewell's contract ends.

Frank Clark, DL

This isn't much of a wild card but more of a statement. You should not be picking up Clark as a starting option, as he hasn't managed to crack six sacks in four years. He is also 30 years old, so expect a rotational player, and buyer beware.

Los Angeles Chargers

Eric KendricksLBGain
Drue TranquillLBLoss
Nasir AdderlyDBretirement

This Chargers actually finished 7th against the pass in 2022. The nail in the coffin had to be being 28th against the run, finishing as the 20th overall defense. Fixing that one key stat is going to help. Factor in this team has underproduced playmakers on both sides of the ball, a surplus of healthy players this season, and new linebackers should fix them.

A team that was supposed to be led by Bosa and Mack, injuries derailed it, and it had to do this without Bosa most of the year. One can assume that tightening the run defense should also fix the late-season comeback losses. This team does have many interesting pieces to make it happen, but it also has several holes.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft Result
Tuli TuipulotuDL/LBUSCR2P54
Daiyan HenleyLBWashingotn StateR3P85
Scott MatlockDLBoise StateR6P200

Joey Bosa DL/LB

Firstly, if you are in a league with dual eligibility, you play him as a DL, where he would have top-ten positional value. Bosa consistently secures a Pro Bowl spot when he participates most of the season. However, his challenge lies in completing a full season, which he has accomplished only three times out of seven.

In the realm of IDP, availability reigns supreme as the most valuable attribute. While the risk might warrant the potential rewards, it's crucial to have reliable backups in place. During those three seasons where he has played in his entirety, Bosa has amassed a total of 188 tackles (with 137 being solo tackles).

Khalil Mack, DL/LB

At 32 years of age, Mack can still disrupt an offense. Unlike Bosa, he doesn’t miss many games. Playing in all 17 games and achieving 80% or more of the defensive snaps, Mack continues to shine. He isn’t the top-five player he used to be, but he does put up statistics.

The more Bosa plays, the better it is for Mack. The opposing offenses could focus on Mack, with Bosa only playing 165 defensive snaps in 2022. Mack still posted 50 tackles (33 solo), 12 tackles for a loss, 12 QB hits, 8 sacks, 2 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

He is worth rostering. Khalil Mack is starting to regress with age but still puts up the occasional boom week. I don't target him, but if he falls to me (especially in best-ball leagues), I won't hesitate if my redraft format allows it just because of that hybrid title.

Eric Kendricks, LB

Kendricks, a very good efficient player and a victim in the Viking's rebuilding this offseason, comes over from Minnesota, where he played a commendable role over eight years. His veteran presence is set to deliver both leadership and production, as I mentioned above, this a spot they have to get right and fix. Kendricks reached a career-high mark for solo tackles in 2022, further highlighting his impact.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Kendricks is a reliable asset on your roster. He assumes the role vacated by Drue Tranquill, who departed via free agency. Given Tranquill's performance as LB6 in Big 3 Scoring for 2022 and LB10 in IDP 1-2-3 scoring, Kendricks has the potential to bolster the Chargers' defense by himself significantly.

Daiyan Henley, LB

Henley, hailing as a third-round selection from Washington State, appears primed to seize the other starting linebacker position by the season's midway point. His standout feat involves amassing an impressive tally of 59 tackles (77 combined) at Washington State. He also had 8 pass breakups in college and converted five of those into interceptions.

Here in lies a clue to what the Chargers are doing. The decision to forego his fifth-year option and instead invest in Daiyan Henley, a dynamic and athletically gifted linebacker from Washington State, with a third-round pick. Henley's exceptional athleticism positions him as a compelling contender to secure snaps as early as Week 1, potentially edging out the competition.

This is someone I wanted to rookie draft everywhere as Henley emerges as a promising rookie linebacker within this year's class, with his potential rivaled primarily and compared to Jack Campbell and Drew Sanders. Fun fact At the NFL Combine, Henley ran 4.54 and received comparisons and player comps to Eric Kendricks. The Chargers clearly have a plan in place.

Derwin James, DB

Derwin James is the best safety defender in the league. Much like Bosa, his only issue is staying healthy. His ability to play any position on the field allows him to remain a highly productive asset—our DB1 ADP for a reason. If you want to know more about James, please look at my top-tier player's article.

IDP Wildcards

Asante Samuel Jr., DB

Samuel is a must-play in only CB-required leagues. He is likely a CB-15-20, so he holds some value, as I will discuss in our future cornerback article.

Morgan Fox, DL/LB

Blink, and you would miss this, but Fox was 12th amongst DTs in scoring in IDP last season. He is pretty much free everywhere. The 73% of the defensive snaps. helped produce  6.5 and 11 QB hits, a feat that tied him for the twelfth position among all defensive tackles in the league. He is a boom-or-bust player but is playable in most sack-heavy favored leagues and free almost everywhere.

Las Vegas Raiders

Marcus EppsDBGain
Robert SpillaneLBGain
Denzel PerrymanLBGain
Clelin FerrellDLLoss

This team here has either quality IDP or some major holes to fill. Perhaps some players will get increased value and score more points because of it. This is usually how IDP works.  This team appears ready to underachieve again, as it did in 2022. How far has it fallen from the playoff team assembled in 2021?

We might have to accept talking about competing for the first overall pick at some point this season. Things can look very bad, but they can also be beneficial in IDP. Make no mistake about this, this team was the 28th-ranked total defense (19th in rushing and 29th in passing defense), but there are a few treasures to plunder from this pirate ship.

PlayerPositionCollegeDraft result
Tyree WilsonDLTexas TechR1P7
Byron YoungDLAlabamaR3P70
Jakorian BennettDBMarylandR4P104
Christopher SmithDBGeorgiaR5P170
Amari BurneyLBFloridaR6P203
Nesta Jade SilveraDLArizona StateR7P231

Maxx Crosby, DL

Maxx Crosby stands out as one of the most invaluable assets within the realm of IDP, requiring minimal introduction. The year 2022 showcased his prowess, resulting in an impressive stat line with 58 tackles (89 combined). Out of those tackles, he had 22 tackles for a loss and a remarkable 36 QB hits, 12.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He has also had 100 quarterback pressures in just two seasons. Possessing Crosby on your roster is a winning chess move in most leagues.

Divine Deablo, LB

One of the worst-kept secrets in fantasy circles, Divine started to break out during prime-time games, so every experienced owner knows it. Previously as a safety, then an LB/DB eligible player that has since been removed. As a rookie, he started playing a box role and was moved to linebacker in 2022. Diablo was on pace for an amazing 150 tackles when he hurt his forearm on the second play of week nine. He averaged over 10 tackles a game in his seven games in 2022. Get him. Stash him. Whatever it takes.

Marcus Epps, DB

I know who, right, you might not know who this is, so hear me out. This is my year's sleeper; I have him as early as DB30. Such a lousy front seven the Raiders have. It usually leads to some generally good DB tackling, right?

Epps can tackle and can accommodate that need. Epps played 200 snaps and produced 70 solo tackles,24 asst (94 combined). He is a solid signing for a team that needs a tackler and could play snaps. The film study shows him as a hard hitter but doesn't expect good coverage or turnovers in the passing game, but as your DB3 on your roster, this guy could be had virtually free.

Nate Hobbs, DB

Nate Hobbs isn't really good. This is a case of the team picking and targeting the worst guy in coverage. This led to a stat show of 57 tackles (72 combined), 3 tackles for a loss, 1 QB hit, 1 sack, 4 passes defended, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, which is probably why Hobbs is the only one being drafted within the top 100 defensive backs in best ball drafts.

Keep this knowledge cautiously, as corners can be hit or miss, which is another reason to wait late in drafts for one. Hobbs should be roster in CB-required leagues and best ball drafts due to the spike weeks in production.

IDP Wildcards

Robert Spillane, LB

This is a player I am really excited about. Just don't go drafting him early. Spillane's performance on the field during his initial four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers has remained unremarkable. His standout season arrived in 2022, during which he secured 79 tackles (with 52 as solo tackles), 4 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits, 1 sack, and 4 passes defended. Notably, Spillane commenced five games and impressively participated in 100% of the defensive snaps throughout these instances.

However, it's worth noting that he fell short of reaching the 50% mark of defensive snaps in seven out of the remaining 11 games he was part of. Considering the current scenario, it's prudent to consider acquiring this relatively inexpensive 27-year-old player. This decision stems from the promising opportunity that has unfolded for him in the upcoming year.


Chandler Jones, DL/LB

Conversely, Chandler Jones, presently holding the DL 70 spot, appears to be approaching the later stages of his professional journey. Regrettably, the Raiders have invested substantial money in Chandler Jones for performances that haven't yielded significant results.

Notably, a substantial 66% of his 2022 points were accrued across just three games, indicating a lack of consistent contribution. Consequently, he might not be deemed a dependable starter across various formats, excluding the best ball format, but it might be worth going in some deep redraft. All IDP leagues might have some value.

Tyree Wilson, DL

It's really hard to rely on a rookie, but there is potential. Wilson's final two years at Texas A&M showcased remarkable productivity, culminating in a combined tally of 99 tackles (including 62 solo tackles), 27.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He could come in and make an immediate impact. Keep an eye on how OTAs go.

Check out our other great Fantasy Football content from the F6P Team!

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