IDP Start/Sit: Week 2

Updated: September 16th 2022

It is week 2 of the NFL season! We now have a full game of “real” NFL football and data points to analyze and help guide our decision-making, but before we jump into this, a friendly reminder of what I am trying to do here. This article aims to help you identify those truly start-worthy players who might be more on the fringe of the 2nd or 3rd or even 4th tier of their IDP position groups¬†(based on FantasyPros weekly rankings) but have the right situation to be a startable asset for each given week (or maybe more!). The layout of this series will focus on DL, LB, and DB position groups, however, I will try to get some nuggets in there for those “True Position” leagues that get down with DT and CB requirements. Additionally, where I can find the long-term value, we will also call that out to help you with some of that season-long planning.

As a quick refresher too, here were last week’s recommendations:
DL: Start Danielle Hunter. Sit Sam Hubbard
LB: Start Isaiah Simmons. Sit Anthony Walker Jr.
DB: Start Kyler Gordon. Sit (Fade) Jeremey Chinn

START: Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee Titans, DL27

Jeffery Simmons had a standout first week, and generally speaking, you don’t want to chase box scores. However, Simmons supports his outcomes with some strong analytics. There are things that we have talked about needing from your defensive linemen to support the most likely successful outcomes for IDP assets. He meets the most basic foundation with a strong snap count at 87% (52 snaps in week 1) and along with that, strong pass-rush metrics that indicate continued success. His 2 sacks, 6 tackles, and a forced fumble were a strong week 1, but his strong performance should just be the beginning. He posted a pass rush grade of 90+ (via PFF) and an elite 21.4% pass rush win rate!

These indicators show us that he should continue to be a successful IDP contributor. Simmons as a DL27 this week is a crime and should be a candidate for trade target to pursue long-term if you don’t already have him on your roster. Tennessee’s offense looks like a shell of last year’s team, they will lean into this defense and Simmons looks to be the leader of it. Buy in now!

SIT: Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Chargers, DL18

The ‘Mack Attack’ is back! Khalil Mack looked like prime Mack and me having him in the ‘Sit’ category probably has you wondering, what the heck am I talking about? Mack posted strong snap counts, a solid pass-rush win rate at 14.2%, and a very good PFF pash-rush grade of 79. So let’s cut to the point. These numbers came from the matchup with a bottom-third-rated offensive line in the Las Vegas Raiders. What I believe I saw was over-inflated production due to that favorable matchup. Mack is a solid contributor and in a much stronger defense than he has played with for the last few years in Chicago, and as such his production week-to-week will fluctuate more significantly. Chasing his high-weeks in managed lineups will be tricky, but a game against Kansas City and an offense with Mahomes that will find a way to slow down this pass rush with a Chiefs offensive line that now boosts itself as one of its strengths.

START: David Long, Tennessee Titans, LB16

David Long is shaping up to be a top 12-15 LB for the remainder of the season. Long showed flashes last season and now he is getting the chance to be the lead guy in Tennessee and it is paying off. He saw the field for 100% of the snaps (60 total in week 1) and he was able to be efficient with the snaps he was given. 8 tackles on 60 snaps equates to a tackle efficiency of 13.3%. This is slightly above average for LBs as it tends to float around 12% which is positive for his season-long productivity. He also had 3 missed tackles in week 1, both concerning as that is a bit high, but also exciting because there are more opportunities to rack up the production. This makes Long a great weekly starter in its own rights, but now combine that with the upside he showed in pass-rush, 5 pressures.

For this week he should see the tackle floor increase, as well as Josh Allen, has consistently funneled targets into the middle of the field in week 1 and we can see those right into the heart of David Long and his efforts making him a top 10 play this week.

SIT (SELL): Kamu Grugier-Hill, Houston Texans, LB4

Kamu Grugier-Hill absolutely balled out for IDP in week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts with an absurd 18 tackles (14 solo! and 4 assisted) along with a pass defensed. He is played as a true 3-down LB with 100% snaps of a ridiculous 92 SNAPS! This was also an, in my opinion, an unsustainable 19.5% tackle efficiency. He is still a very viable LB to play week in and week out, however, the LB4 ranking of Grugier-Hill for week 2 feels like a strong over-correction. 92 snaps is close to a 50% more than what you would expect in an average NFL game for defensive snaps, so paired with reduced snap and unsustainable tackle efficiency, now is the time to sell this belief that he is a top 5 IDP LB, especially in dynasty.

He was also in a very positive matchup against the Colts who focused heavily on the utilization of Jonathan Taylor which was very friendly to the Texans Cover 2 defense and Matt Ryan’s passing attack that focused on shorter to intermediate targets. With a matchup in week 2 against the Broncos, I believe we will see Russell Wilson actually begin to attack downfield versus the dump-off game we saw on Monday.

And the cherry on-top, Kamu is racking up IDP stats, however, his PFF grade leaves a ton to be desired (37.4 overall, ouch!) which for a Texans team that doesn’t seem to be likely competing for a playoff spot would have every reason to pull an underperformer and give a 3rd round rookie LB a chance to prove themself at some point this season too (Christian Harris anyone?). Along with the face that Grugier-Hill is in the final year of his contract too.

All this to say, sell high!

START: Jaquan Brisker, Chicago Bears, DB29

If you haven’t guess the theme here for people we want to have, let’s start with the full-time player for Brisker at 100% of the 68 snaps for the Chicago Bears. But for the secondary, we need those snaps and we need the ideal alignment which is in that “sweet spot” (21 box, 4 slot, 5 DL) for a total of 30 snaps there, for a very strong 44% there.

Now, this didn’t equate to top-tier IDP success with 4 solo tackles, 1 TFL, FR, but he showed to be around the ball consistently. Now looking forward to week 2, the Green Bay Packers will refocus on their run game with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to control the game, coach La Fleur has stated as much. But with more opportunities in the run game, will come more opportunities for people playing at or near the line of scrimmage to make more plays… enter, Brisker! Game script leans heavily towards Brisker getting these chances, making him a clear DB2 for this week.

SIT: Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins, DB22

Jevon Holland had a standout rookie year and respectable week 1 for the Dolphins against the Patriots. He was only able to deliver 3 tackles but had the rest of his day propped up by an interception which is a bet I am not willing to place week in and week out. Holland saw the full complement of snaps, 100% of the 57 snaps which is a great baseline to IDP relevance. However, Holland took 45 of those 57 at deep safety which are some of the least valuable IDP aligned snap we can get.

Week 2 Miami has the Ravens coming to town and their pass-to-rush ratio is close to 50% and that was with a depleted and inefficient backfield. If they can find any support with more talent in their backfield from J.K. Dobbins or the recently acquired Kenyan Drake gets more comfortable with the team, you should see even more plays at or around the line of scrimmage in this game, devaluing those deep snaps for IDP. Holland is a talented football player and play-maker, but for IDP, he is someone we might want to find a better DB2 option.

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