Generally speaking in IDP (Individual Defensive Player) leagues, the better a cornerback’s reputation, the less value he has for fantasy owners. Elite cornerbacks like Arizona’s Patrick Peterson aren’t of much use in IDP leagues. He just isn’t targeted enough, and those targets are where fantasy value comes from.
However, sometimes a big name draws a matchup so delicious that fantasy owners would be wise to take note. And that’s part of the reason that the New York Giants’ Janoris Jenkins leads off this week’s edition of cornering the market.
Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (vs New Orleans)
This week Jenkins and the Giants welcome the New Orleans Saints to town, and no team in the NFL is giving up more fantasy points to cornerbacks so far this year. For his part, Jenkins told Matt Lombardo of NJ.com that there’s no secret to slowing down Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and the Saints’ high-octane offense.
“Just come out and play defense,” Jenkins said. “Everybody just swarm to the ball, play as a team, and we’ll be OK.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done — especially at this point in Jenkins’ career. The 29-year-old has been to a Pro Bowl and was once considered a “lockdown” corner, but not many quarterbacks are going to be reluctant to throw at Jenkins given the way he’s played of late.
And given that Jenkins will likely spend much of Sunday on Thomas (the most-targeted receiver in the NFL), you can bet the rent that the veteran’s going to have plenty of those opportunities I mentioned. When that’s the case, “Jackrabbit” has shown the ability to get the job done for IDP owners — he has five solos in two of three games so far this season.
If Jenkins isn’t available or you prefer another direction, here are some other streaming options for cornerback-required IDP leagues in Week 4.
Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore (at Pittsburgh)
As Ryan Mink of the team’s website wrote, Humphrey has a lofty goal for his career — going down in history as the best cornerback of the class of 2017.
“I kind of want to go down in history,” Humphrey said. “[I want] people looking back 10 years from now and we’re still in the league and they’re like, ‘Man, we can’t even figure out who’s the best corner in that class.’ Definitely, I’m trying to raise the bar and get up there like those guys.”
Humphrey hasn’t gotten the run of classmate (and 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year) Marshon Lattimore (New Orleans), but the former Alabama standout (something of a theme in this week’s “Cornering The Market”) has grown into a solid young corner. Humphrey has his work cut out for him Sunday night though — in Week 4 Baltimore travels to face Pittsburgh and the NFL’s best wideout in Antonio Brown. No wideout in the AFC has more targets than Brown’s 42 through three games.
Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati (at Atlanta)
Kirkpatrick and Julio Jones both played at the University of Alabama, but as the seventh-year defensive back told Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer, once the game begins their friendship goes on siesta.
“That stuff is personal this week,” Kirkpatrick said. “I already know it, they’re not going to say it. For me. I played with Mo, I played with Julio (in college). Calvin played at ’Bama. I know the buzz going around there because that’s where we’re from. I already know I’ve got to have my (stuff) together. It’s going to be real. I already know it.”
Kirkpatrick was limited early in the week by groin and back injuries, but it appears he’ll be ready to go against Atlanta. Technically, it’s William Jackson who lines up opposite Jones, but Kirkpatrick has a much better history of putting up stats in plus matchups. Week 4 certainly counts as one — Atlanta is surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points per game to cornerbacks in 2018.
Kenny Moore, Indianapolis (vs. Houston)
According to Nick Merlina of the Colts website, Moore wasted no time making an impression on new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus in the offseason.
“I really didn’t know much about him, I’ll be honest, when I first took the job,” Eberflus said of Moore. “Then I started researching all the guys that were on the roster and once I saw that, I certainly liked his quickness and his ability to play inside or out. Going forward, what I now know about him personally as a man is that he is a fighter, a competitor and he is a guy that really shows what our system is about in terms of those types of things. He is a gritty, tough, scrappy corner and that’s exactly what we are looking for really in all of our defensive backs and our defensive players.”
In just over one season in the league, Moore’s gone from an unknown undrafted free agent with New England to an unknown every-down starter for Indianapolis. Moore has already posted one IDP-relevant start this season, a nine-tackle effort against Washington in Week 2. Heading into a showdown with Houston, wideout DeAndre Hopkins and his 11-plus targets a game sets up well for a second.
Kevin Toliver, Chicago (vs. Tampa Bay)
“They obviously went after him a little bit there towards the end,” Fangio said. “We helped them some. Sometimes we didn’t. And I thought he responded well. They caught some balls in front of him and he got double-moved. So it was baptism under fire. But I didn’t see a guy out there who looked out of place. And I’m glad he got those 20-something reps, because I think it helps him for this week.”
With both Amukamara and Marcus Cooper battling hamstring injuries and unlikely to play Sunday against Tampa Bay, it appears that Toliver will be making his first NFL start against the league’s No. 1-rated passing attack — a team passing for 400 yards per game. As if that wasn’t enough, the undrafted rookie free agent will be lined up opposite Mike Evans, who has been targeted an average of 10 times per game this season.