Every week throughout the NFL season I will bring you an IDP article talking about anything and everything that consists of IDP. I will talk about IDP Breakout players, keep tabs on possible waiver-wire additions and some IDP Sleeper plays during the year. It should be fun. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite Breakout Performances from IDP Players through the first three weeks of the NFL Season and headed into Week 4.
6 IDP Breakouts You Need to Be Targeting
Brian Branch, CB/S Detroit Lions
Rookie defensive back Brian Branch has moved around a lot in the secondary. The Alabama product has been impressive so far. Some sites have him listed as a cornerback, others have him as a safety. The past week he played 100% of the defensive snaps for the Lions with 46 of the 67 snaps coming in the slot as a nickelback. He has prospered there. This week he had 11 solo tackles, three tackles for a loss, and two passes defended.
For the season, Branch has 16 solo tackles, two assisted tackles, three tackles for loss, three passed defended, and one interception. If he is still on the waiver wire in any format go get him right away. If you have him rostered but have yet to play him, start putting him in that starting lineup.
If you are in a league that starts a CB and Branch qualifies as a CB, get him in the lineup immediately. Even if he is listed as a Safety in your league, he is worth starting at this point.
Daxton Hill, S Cincinnati Bengals
Second-year safety Daxton Hill was in a preseason camp battle to win one of the two starting safety positions for the Cincinnati Bengals. I’m pretty sure he has locked up the Free Safety spot at this point in the season, playing 99% of the Bengals’ defensive snaps.
The nice thing about Hill is he hasn’t just played off the ball. He has gotten opportunities at the line of scrimmage. On Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams, he had eight tackles and one sack. For the season, he has totaled 21 solo tackles, five assisted tackles, four tackles for loss, two passes defended, one QB Hit, one sack, and one interception.
Hill is starting to look like an every-week starter in IDP formats.
Rashan Gary, DE/OLB Green Bay Packers
The former Michigan Edge rusher really started to fill the stat sheet the past few seasons. He was looking to move his name alongside some of the best pass rushers in the game but that was cut short when his 2022 season ended prematurely after nine games and six sacks.
Gary has recovered from the torn ACL injury he suffered nine months ago. While he has started off the 2023 season on a pitch count of sorts, he is doing a lot with his limited opportunities. This past weekend against the New Orleans Saints, Gary recorded three sacks on just 38% of the Packers’ defensive snaps. His first career three-sack game. Gary already has five tackles, 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and five QB hits in the first three games of the season, despite not even playing 40% of the team’s defensive snaps in any game this season.
If people in your league were worried about Gary coming off of the injury, strike now before it is too late. There is a good chance he is still available in many of your leagues. Once that snap share increases, there is no telling what kind of damage Gary can do in IDP this season. He is probably a high-end ceiling flex play currently with the small snap share. But he will become a full-time starter in your lineup as the season moves forward.
Terrel Bernard, LB Buffalo Bills
If you are looking for linebacker help in any of your IDP leagues, Terrel Bernard of the Buffalo Bills has been shot out of a cannon to start this season. With the offseason departure of Tremaine Edmunds, the question was who would replace Edmunds next to Matt Milano?
In his second year, Bernard has already eclipsed all of his rookie numbers just three games into the 2023 season. Bernard has 24 combined tackles, two tackles for a loss, two QB Hits, two sacks, two passes defended, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery. As you can see, he is stuffing the stat sheet.
Can Bernard keep this up? Currently it doesn’t look like anyone is pushing him for playing time with 85% of defensive snaps played. Bernard is an under-the-radar name that many casuals won’t recognize. He is someone you might be able to steal in your league.
Camryn Bynum, S Minnesota Vikings
As an IDP community, we thought Harrison Smith would be the man in Minnesota for all of eternity. But it looks as if Father Time is finally catching up to the multi-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler. The 34-year-old Smith is finally hitting that wall in his 12th season in the league. Third-year Safety Camryn Bynum looks to have unseated Smith as the IDP safety to own for the Vikings.
In three games, Bynam has 31 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and one pass defended. This Vikings defense has been pretty terrible to start the season and should be involved in a lot of shootouts this year. Bynam should have a lot of opportunities to make tackles on plays on the backend of a bad defense.
Tuli Tuipulotu, OLB/Edge Los Angeles Chargers
Originally a second-round draft pick in 2023 out of USC, Tuli Tuipulotu seemed like somewhat of a luxury pick for the Los Angeles Chargers. But three weeks into the season, Tuipulotu is pushing the incumbent edge rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack for playing time, and in many instances is outperforming them.
At 6-3, 266 pounds, and only 21 years old, Tuipulotu has been outstanding to start the season. He really came into his own this past Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, when he tallied four solo tackles, one tackle for a loss, four QB hits, and one sack.
Tuipulotu has outscored his teammates Bosa and Mack this season, while also being the top-scoring rookie edge rusher over the likes of the Houston Texans’ Will Anderson and the Los Angeles Rams’ Byron Young. Go get Tuipulotu immediately before someone else snipes this stud rookie.