IDP Start/Sit: Week 17

Updated: December 28th 2023

 

This is it. Championship week. Or third-place game. Or consolation bracket time. It doesn’t matter! You’re here and you are excited to chop it up on IDP thoughts and lineups, so you are doing it right! Let’s dive into Week 17!

Week 16 Recap

DL:

Start: Jonathan Allen (2 solos, 2 assists, 3 QB hits) 👎 – So close to getting home for the sack(s) 

Sit: Kayvon Thibodeaux (QB hit) 👍

LB:

Start: Dvin Lloyd (2 solos, 3 assist, TFL) 👎 

Sit: Nicholas Morrow (Ended up inactive, hopefully you pivoted in time to have someone) 

DB:

Start: Trenton Thompson (Ended up inactive, hopefully you pivoted in time to have someone) 

Sit: Rayshawn Jenkins (3 solos, 4 assists) 👎

Week 17 Starts & Sits

START: Michael Hoecht, Los Angeles Rams, DL53 (ED39)

Michael Hoecht game into this season as one of the few players from last year with any significant playing experience. He was able to parlay that in a starting role and he took advantage of that delivering a strong year here in 2023. We have seen this all year with a respectable 10.28% pass rush rate. He has shown increased success over the past 5 weeks as well with a good 14.5% win rate and a really good 19.4% pass rush win rate. While this hasn’t given us the sack production we would like to see, this week’s matchup against the Giants can be a nice salve for that drought. The Giants have one of the best matchups with their 30% pressure rate allowed as well as a 17% sack conversion rate, too. This wonderful cross-section of recent strong play and an ideal matchup have Hoecht as a strong play in championship week.

SIT: Justin Madubuike, Baltimore Ravens, DL33 (DT08)

Justin Madubuike has had a transcendent season and saying his name in a sit, or more specifically fade, the situation seems blasphemous entirely. He has delivered 11 straight weeks with a sack, which is insane, but we did finally see this streak come to an end against the 49ers this last week. Additionally, his production has been outpacing expectations. Based on his pressures and rate, I would see him at 10 sacks versus 13, so a bit of negative regressions seems in order at this point. Also, his production has come primarily as a pass-rusher and his tackle floor leaves a bit to be desired (38 combined tackles over 15 games). With a limited floor, if he is not able to deliver in the sack department, he becomes a little more risky of a play. This week against the Dolphins, he is trying to bring down Tua who is one of the least sacked QBs this season. The Dolphins seem able to stay in rhythm and get the ball out quickly consistently limiting pass rush upside for their opponents. Madubuike is still relevant because of his talent, but in the final week, be wary of his upside.

START: Khaleke Hudson, Washington Commanders, LB38

Khaleke Hudson has been an absolute tackling machine at any point this year when he has been giving the starting nod. While this is still a relatively small sample size at this point (226 snaps), he has been absolutely efficient at delivering. He has 43 tackles for an unbelievable 19.0% tackle efficiency! While he is limited in his big plays delivered over this time, his tackle production more than makes up for it, and their matchup against a hyper-efficient 49ers offense, should only offer up further opportunities for him to pile up the tackles, It is as simple as that here in Week 17.

SIT: Nick Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs, LB30

Nick Bolton is starting to experience the wonders of the Steve Spagnuolo LB rotation we have always feared. Now, the question is, is this from injury limitations? Performance? The play of others? A combination of this and more? Either way, Bolton is not playing 100% of snaps, he is closer to 90%. While that is still great, the 100% we came to expect and appreciate is seemingly gone. And since his return from injury over the last two weeks, Bolton has yet to log a play beyond just tackles. This severely limits the upside we have been able to account for with him and the Bengals as an opponent this week is not the matchup we thought we had in Week 1. And Browning seems to be turning back into a pumpkin after his game against the Steelers. A hamstrung Bengals offense and a limited Bolton don’t bode well for a great Week 17 performance.

START: Jordan Battle, Cincinnati Bengals, DB19 (S18)

On the other side of the defensive matchup in the Chiefs vs. Bengals, we have Jordan Battle. And since Jordan Battle stepped in for the injured Nick Scott in week 11, the lowest tackles production we have seen from Battle was 3, but every other game we saw a minimum of 6 tackles with 3 games at 9 or more tackles! His alignment has been very good too as he is getting at least 18 box snaps every game and more like 25+ box snaps per game. But the kicker for this week is actually Patrick Mahomes who has been uncharacteristically presenting more turnover-worthy plays this season and has the 5th most up to this point in the season. While this number is slightly inflated due to the higher number of pass-play runs, this is still a volume that Battle will be seeing all day in their matchup and offers him a very nice upside in a key week for us all.

SIT: Jordan Fuller, Los Angeles Rams, DB32 (S28)

Jordan Fuller is only a few years removed from being an IDP darling (in 2021 he piled up 106 total tackles!). He is currently pacing out for 93 total tackles this season (17 games played) so he is far from a disappointment. However, his recent utilization is a bit concerning. In 2 of his last 3 weeks, he has 7 and 5 box snaps and 2 of 3 games with 4 or fewer tackles as well. He is also a product of volume this season with a below-average 8.0% tackle efficiency and having to rely on a big play to save his week, while the big plays are few and far between. His matchup against the Giants does not help his case this week with their offense struggling and switching QBs. Tyrod Taylor might provide some jolt to the offense, but there is a reason he is a backup and this offense will likely struggle against a strong Rams unit, limited by the sheer volume that Fuller will have this week.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 16

Updated: December 20th 2023

 

Hello and welcome to all you first-round bye people and champions of the first round. With only two weeks left in the fantasy football playoffs, things are sure to be intense, stressful, and hopefully, in the end, very successful for you. So let’s find those IDPs we want in a lineup, and those, we might not, for week 16.

Week 15 Recap

DL:

Start: Greg Rousseau (1 solo, 1 assist, TFL, 0.5 sack, 2 QB hits) 👍 

Sit: Boye Mafe (1 solo, 1 PD) 👍

LB:

Start: Josey Jewell (7 solos, 2 assists) 👍 – Good tackle performance, nothing in the pass rush department though

Sit: David Mayo (Did not get the anticipated start) 👎

DB:

Start: Vonn Bell (1 solo, 1 assist) 👎

Sit: Trevon Moehrig (1 assist) 👍

Week 16 Starts & Sits

START: Jonathan Allen, Washington Commanders, DL42 (DT10)

Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are the core of this line after Montez Sweat and Chase Young were shipped off at the trade deadline earlier this year. He has not let that slow him as he has been a strong contributor all season. This shows in his analytics so far this season, with his 15.5% win rate which is 7th among all interior defenders while also delivering 9.13% pressure rate, which is very impressive from an interior defender. While the Commanders have been known for their lack of offensive line play and sacks allowed, there is another team that is right there with them and it is the New York Jets, whom the Commanders happen to play! The Jets have allowed 63 sacks over the 14 games with the majority coming through the interior of that offensive line, meaning fire up Jonathan Allen this week.

SIT: Kayvon Thibadeaux, New York Giants, DL40 (ED31)

Kayvon Thibadeux has really delivered in his sophomore campaign with 13 total sacks already this season. However, his production has been a significant over production, based on the number of pressures he has produced. With only 37 pressures on the season, I would anticipate his sack total to be close to 6.5, not 13. And this has shown in some of his weekly production as well, with 4 games this season with zero pressures compiled while still getting at least 18 pass rush snaps in each of those games. His ability to disappear from games so far this year, combined with a matchup against an Eagles offensive line that has allowed some of the lowest sack conversion rate, Thibadeux is likely in for another one of those low output weeks.

START: Devin Lloyd, Jacksonville Jaguars, LB23

Devin Lloyd has taken a rough end to his rookie season where he lost starts and snaps to Chad Muma. Now, he has had a very strong sophomore season and the last 5 games of his have been amazing! 54 total tackles over the last 5 games with 32 coming in run defense and the other 22 in coverage. This amazing tackle floor will be reinforced with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their strong usage of their backfield, specifically Rachaad White. White has 66 carries and 9 targets over the last 3 weeks and they will not slow down in their usage of the backfield, and Lloyd will be able to take advantage of this with his play-making.

SIT: Nicholas Morrow, Philadelphia Eagles, LB41

Nicholas Morrow seems to be the last linebacker standing in Philadelphia. Nakobe Dean lost to injury, Zach Cunningham injured, Christian Elliss cut, and now Shaq Leonard is the new guy alongside him. Nicholas Morrow is great at getting out on to the field and making sure things are squared away from an NFL perspective, but for his IDP production, he is very average. He is a career 10% tackle efficiency and is on that exact same track this season. He has one boom performance where he compiled 3 sacks in one game and with only 5 other pressures to show for outside of that one performance. Also, the utilization of more 3 safeties as Matt Patricia is the new defensive play caller will likely limit his ability to make plays in coverage as well. And for week 16, they get division rival, the New York Giants and Tommy DeVito. And the Giants’ offense has shown its own inefficiencies and it is shows in their 31st ranked 55.3 plays ran by the offense over the last 3 games. So for Morrow, 10% efficiency over 55 plays, doesn’t give us a great tackle floor to rely on this week.

START: Trenton Thompson, Pittsburgh Steelers, DB72 (S51)

Trenton Thompson has stepped in several times throughout the season as the backup safety. However, he will be asked to permanently step up with news of Damontae Kazee’s recent suspension. Thompson has done an admirable job while filling in those times this season. In the three games where has played 40+ snaps this season, he has delivered 9.5%, 10.34%, and 11.76% tackle efficiency. Most notably, in week 15, he took 32 of his 51 snaps in the box, too. While this is a small sample and we don’t want to take away too much, this combined with his former performances when given the volume, gives me confidence for week 16 where the Steelers take on the Bengals. The Bengals offer a very average matchup in terms of safety production for IDP scoring and tackles, but the biggest benefit might come from the play of the Steelers’ offense and its recent inability to sustain drives. And the uncertainty around Kenny Pickett only adds to this at this time.

SIT: Rayshawn Jenkins, Jacksonville Jaguars, DB17 (S17)

Rayshawn Jenkins is coming off a huge performance in week 1 of the fantasy playoffs, but this is not something we have been able to comfortably rely on him, even with some of the best box usage of any safety (2nd with 398 box snaps). He still comes in with a slightly below-average tackle efficiency for a safety, even given his ideal usage, at 8.95%. Jenkins has also under-delivered in splash plays beyond tackles. He recorded his first sack on his 6th pressure, which is about the expected rate. He also has 5 PDs and 2 interceptions on the season whic align with what he has done most seasons, so to consistently rely on more big plays is not likely. This week Jacksonville takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and they are allowing just 9 tackles to the safety position over the last 3 weeks, which leaves a very small pie from which Jenkins can pull from.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 15

Updated: December 14th 2023

 

Well, congratulations. You are reading this because you have made it to your fantasy football playoffs! Or you are just a degenerate of IDP football and you always want to learn. Both deserve congratulations, one just might get you a trophy yet this year though. Let’s dive in.

Week 14 Recap

DL:

Start: Samson Ebukam (1 solo, 1 assist) 👎 

Sit: Chase Young (1 PD) 👍

LB:

Start: Mykal Walker (1 solo, 2 assists, INT, PD) 👍 – Only 44% snaps. Saved by the INT. They seem to be moving on already due to his liability in pass coverage

Sit: Nicholas Morrow (4 solos, 2 assists, 2 PDs) 👎

DB:

Start: Kyle Hamilton (4 solos, 3 assists, TFL) 👍 – Only 56% of snaps, due to injury

Sit: Jalen Pitre (7 solos, 1 assist) 👎 – Apparently this was Zach Wilson’s coming out party???

Week 14 Starts & Sits

START: Greg Rousseau, Buffalo Bills, DL44 (ED33)

Greg Rousseau and the Buffalo Bills have a huge matchup for the season and their playoff push this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Rousseau appears to be a strong option for our lineups this week as well as we make our push through the fantasy playoffs. Over the last 5 weeks, Rousseau has had one of his best stretches of the season with an impressive 22.6% win rate (8th best over that time). He has also produced 17 pressures that resulted in a 14.65% pass rush pressure rate. This is ideal as the Cowboys are one of the better teams in pressures allowed at 26% this season (one of the third best), but when they do allow those pressures, it is converting into a sack 14% of the time (one of third worst this season). But with Rousseau’s recent success, we can be confident in his ability to generate some pressure and that is most likely going to be converted into a sack this weekend. We are definitely chasing upside this week with a lower tackle floor from Rousseau, but the big plays are there for the taking this weekend.

SIT: Boye Mafe, Seattle Seahawks, DL35 (ED27)

Boye Mafe has had an opportunity to step up for the Seahawks this season with some key injuries and he has done a very nice job for the Seahawks (and IDP). In fact, he even had a stretch of 7 straight games with a sack! However this week, he draws a tough matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. While they are middle of the pack at 26% pressures allowed, they are only allowing those to be converted into sacks at the third best rate of 8%. And despite Mafe’s wonderful production earlier in the season, his last 5 games we have seen his overall production dip a bit. His pressures show similar to Rousseau for our start with 18 pressures produced, however, it is done so with a very average win rate of 11.1%. This tends to indicate the pressures created are more flukey or due to broken plays and less sustainable. Mafe is a fade for me this weekend.

START: Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos, LB32

Josey Jewell has had a bit of an up-and-down season. He started as the green dot and 100% snap, 3-down linebacker for the Broncos. He got hurt, missed time, and seemingly lost his role to Alex Singleton. He saw reduction in his snaps and even a week 10 “demotion” to a non-starter role. However, his last 4 games since that week 10 have been very pleasing. His tackle production has been fairly average (24 tackles on 216 snaps, 11.1% efficiency), but what is exciting is the utilization as a pass-rusher that was not there to start the season. Over that same span he has 27 pass rush opportunities (24 opportunities in his previous 8 games) and he is making the most of it. He has 8 pressures, 5 hurries, a QB hit, and 2 sacks. This week he gets the Detroit Lions who are averaging 17.7 tackles to the LB position, which is one of the better matchups for LB production and this should help bring his floor up a little bit while providing a path to big-play upside.

SIT: David Mayo, Washington Commanders, LB46

David Mayo is coming back to the lineup, this time due to Jamin Davis’ injury. Mayo is a very plain LB. He comes in, does his job. He is not overly efficient, in fact, his tackle efficiency sits below league average for LB when he is in a starting role at 11.9% tackle efficiency. This is acceptable if you are looking for just a simple tackle floor, but at this point, I want to find players for our lineups that can help us WIN our playoff matchup. Mayo brings no real upside either with his pass-rush. His 2 sack game was more of a fluke than something we want to rely on going forward. He averages less than 3 pass rush attempts a game as a starter and the Los Angeles Rams are an overall negative matchup as well for LB scoring for IDP with only 14.9 tackles average to the position and a bottom third scoring overall. Mayo may help your sandwich this week, but I don’t see him helping your lineup in the playoffs.

START: Vonn Bell, Carolina Panthers, DB55 (S42)

Vonn Bell has been an IDP darling for many years from his time in Cincinatti. 1,000+ snap seasons, 90+ tackle seasons, and plenty of other splash plays to go along with it. His first year in Carolina has been a bit of a disappointment though, the uncertainty of the role alongside Chinn and Woods, as well as injuries. However, he seems to be back into a role he is familiar with as the box safety for a defense. Since coming back in week 10, in his 3 full games, he is playing 41.83% of his snaps in the box alignment. Along that same stretch he has provided 4, 7, and 7 tackle games. Enter the Atlanta Falcons and their 4th highest run rate in the NFL. This run rate and Bell’s alignment set him up for a very nice tackle game, but with the upside comes from Desmond Ridder’s 9 interceptions and 10 fumbles this season already through 13 games. It helps provide a nice boost to Bell’s range of outcomes this week along with his steady floor.

SIT: Trevon Moehrig, Las Vegas Raiders, DB42 (S33)

Trevon Moehrig has had a very nice IDP season this year as he has transitioned into more optimal alignment this season. Over the last two seasons we saw him go from 61 box snaps (out of 1,214), to 210 (out of 906), and this season he already has 266 box snaps. He has seen his best tackle totals already through 13 games as well. So why would we fade Moehrig, it is primarily due to his alignment shifting a bit away from the box recently, as well as a potentially bad matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. Of his last 5 games, 4 have seen 15 or fewer box snaps with the peak being 21 and during that same stretch, he is averaging 5.2 tackles per game (that is with a 1 game spike of 10 tackles, too). Then his matchup against the Chargers with Easton Stick at QB, are likely to struggle to move the ball like last week and a short week with the Thursday night game, won’t do the Chargers any favors to keep the offense on the field and Moehrig with enough opportunities to support his production. Moehrig is a great story this season, but he is a fade this week.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 13

Updated: November 29th 2023

 

Welcome to week 13, our penultimate matchup before the playoffs! Let’s get those lineups ready again as we secure our first-round byes, or our spots in the playoff, or at the very least, play spoiler to those still in it!

Week 12 Recap

DL:

Start: Will Anderson Jr. (2 solos, 2 assists, TFL) 👎

Sit: Shaquil Barrett (3 solos, assist) 👍

LB:

Start: Ivan Pace Jr. (7 solos, 2 assists, sack, TFL, QB hit) 👍

Sit: Frankie Luvu (Solo, assist) 👎

DB:

Start: Jonathan Owens (8 solos, 4 assists, TFL, FR, Def TD) 👍

Sit: Jevon Holland (5 solos, INT, PD, Def TD) 👎

Week 13 Starts & Sits

START: Osa Odighizuwa, Dallas Cowboys, DL60 (DT18)

Osa Odighizuwa, he not only has a fun name to say, but he also has the production to get into our IDP lineups. This is especially true in week 13. Osa has had a great year in terms of his pass rush success. He has a pass-rush pressure rate of 13.65% and he has a pass-rush win rate of 24.25% on the season. These are outstanding numbers, however, they have not resulted fully in the sack numbers you’d expect. I’d expect to see him with close to 5 sacks versus the 3 he has produced year-to-date. Getting a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks should help with that this week. They are allowing pressures on 32% of all dropbacks while 15% of those are being converted into sacks. This is a strong matchup for Odighizuwa to add to his sack total this season.

SIT: Denico Autry, Tennessee Titans, DL40 (ED27)

Denico Autry has had a wonderful season. 8 sacks is a great season for most pass-rushers, but Autry is at that number through 11 games and obviously pushing for more. Autry has been an bit of an over-producer this season though, with those 8 sacks coming on 32 pressures. And as we looked at with Osa, we would expect his sack total to be closer to 5 sacks at this point. His pass-rush production numbers are solid, but not elite either that it would lead me to believe that he is a true outlier with 10.22% pass rush rate and a 15.0% pass rush win rate. This week, Autry gets a less than ideal matchup in the Indianapolis Colts who are allowing only a 23% pressure rate per dropback this season and only 7% of those pressures are converted into sacks. This is a week where Autry likely regresses back to the mean.

START: Jack Campbell, Detroit Lions, LB41

Jack Campbell has been an IDP rookie darling of mine since the draft cycles this off-season. Now, due to an unfortunate injury, he might get the full-time role I was hoping he’d have secured by this point. Either way, Campbell has been quietly delivering a respectable baseline for IDP production. He has 49 tackles at a 12.82% efficiency. This is very average, but for a first year player, that is a good baseline to be achieving already. He has added a handful of splash plays, too. Week 13 is a good matchup as well, heading to New Orleans Jack Campbell is facing a Saints offense that is providing an average of 19.2 tackles per game to the linebacker position. Even at an even split with Derrick Barnes, that is still likely to yield an 8 – 10 tackle floor for them and Campbell is should easily take advantage this week.

SIT: Markquese Bell, Dallas Cowboys, LB36

Markquese Bell has stepped up in his role with the injuries and uncertainty at linebacker this year for the Cowboys. Starting in week 6 we have seen snap percentages of 53%, 73%, 94%, 39%, 85%, and 77%. The numbers have been relatively consistent, but Rashaan Evans has slowly been seeing his integration and snaps increasing as well, even if smaller. But that reduction is coming at the extent of someone else at times, and it seems to be Bell. It also doesn’t help that they already have an established safety group of three as well in Kearse, Wilson, and Malik Hooker that limits Bell’s ability to stay on the field. Pair the snap count concerns with the Seattle Seahawks matchup this weekend in a team that is only yielding 14.7 tackles per game to the linebabcker position, I do not like Bell’s range of outcomes this week.

START: Jordan Battle, Cincinnati Bengals, DB32 (S28)

Rookie Jordan Battle is getting his opportunity this season due to injuries, but he has gone ahead and made the most of that. Filling in early two weeks ago and getting his frist fultime starting game, Battle quickly made the most of it with 19 total tackles. He projected as a strong tackling safety during the NFL draft process but has shown he can deliver that on the NFL field. While this is a small sample size, we love the production, but we also love the utilization. 58.26% of his snaps these last two weeks have come from the sweet spot alignments but his box utilization saw a jump from 18 snaps to 31 once after a week of preparing the defense with Battle known as the starter. Again, small sample sizes, but we are at the end of the season and we cannot wait several weeks to figure out some of these new roles and opportunities. But we can react to the information we have seen the teams already do. Battle should be a strong start while he maintains this role.

SIT: Richie Grant, Atlanta Falcons, DB25 (S23)

Richie Grants was a defensive back I had a lot of belief in coming into this season. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for his third season in the NFL. It has shown not only in his reduction in IDP production, but some of his worst PFF grades, especially is his overall defense and coverage grades. Most concerning though, is the last two weeks he has dipped below 100% snap percentage and this last week it was down to 75%! Up to this point, he has delivered slightly above average tackle efficiency, but if he isn’t producing outlier numbers and his utilization is going to drop, his IDP production becomes concerning on a week-to-week basis. Enter the New York Jets for this week, they are allowing the lowest numbers of tackles to opposing safeties at 9.9 per game.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 11

Updated: November 16th 2023

IDP Start/Sit: Week 11

 

Week 10 was not our best outcome of the season with only 2 good picks, but the process looked good for most of them. Variance can be our friend, but this week, it was not. But let’s move forward to week 11 and talk through our lineups as we near playoff time.

Week 10 Recap

DL:

Start: Calijah Kancey (3 solos, 2 TFLs, 2 QB hits) 👍 – 2 big plays in the backfield, I like this as a good week.

Sit: Khalil Mack (4 solos, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit) 👎 – A borderline game, I took the W on Kancey, I’ll take the L on Mack

LB:

Start: Patrick Queen (6 solos, 3 assists) 👎 – I thought we would see more beyond on just standard tackles this week. I’ll take the L on that.

Sit: Alex Anzalone (4 solos, 5 assists, PD, QB hit) 👎 

DB:

Start: Alontae Taylor (4 solos, 1 assist, TFL, 2 PDs) 👍

Sit: Keisean Nixon (2 solos, 2 assists, PD, 151 return yards) 👎

Week 11 Starts & Sits

START: Kyle Van Noy, Baltimore Ravens, DL42 (ED33)

Kyle Van Noy has done it again, he has found a team, he has found a role, and he is finding a way to deliver IDP value. The Ravens’ defense as a whole has been excellent this year and many are finding success but it is fun to see a veteran role player making such an impact. He has had a nice run over his last three games as well. 12 pressures, 2 sacks, but he has been so close on quite a few, too. Add an additional QB hit and 9 hurries to go along and you can see how he has been not only delivering, but the potential to have more on top of that. He was dealing with a groin injury this week but was a full participant on practice on Wednesday so you can feel confident about his usage this week which over the last 3 weeks has been good as a more of the pass rush specialist, at 36 snaps per game. This does limit his tackle floor and explain his lowered ranking, but when you need to stream that DL spot or are chasing sack upside, Van Noy is our guy this week. His matchup against the Bengals should be a plus matchup overall as well with the Bengals allowing just over 17 pressures per game over their last 3 as well. The Ravens offense has played very well this season and his likely to keep this in a negative game script or at least neutral for the Bengals, meaning more pass rushing opportunities overall. The intersection of Van Noy’s performance and the Bengals looking like a plus matchup make Van Noy a great streaming candidate.

SIT: Montez Sweat, Chicago Bears, DL15 (ED14)

Montez Sweat has had a very good IDP season so far and has done so in a consistent fashion that really shouldn’t warrant a sitting or fading of him in our lineups. 27 pressures on 239 pass rush snaps for a very respectable 12.29% pass rush pressure rate. He has done well to convert those pressures into sacks with 8 on the season already. Additionally, he has delivered an average of 3 tackles a game too as a nice little baseline. So why are we considering fading Sweat? It is a little bit his change of scenery and a lot more his unfavorable matchup against the Detroit Lions. In his 2 games, he has shown a lot less activity in the run defense of the game and has only compiled 2 total tackles. Small sample, I know, but it is still a bit concerning at this point and takes away from the floor he had in Washington. Then, enter the Detroit Lions and their 3rd best pressure rate allowed 2nd best sack conversion percentage. Sweat has shown an ability to deliver and if you don’t have many other options, he is still capable from talent alone to make his week on one big play, but for me, I am lowering my expectations on Montez Sweat this week.

START: Elandon Roberts, Pittsburgh Steelers, LB26

Elandon Roberts seems to be the last man standing in Pittsburgh with Kwon Alexander suffering a significant injury last week, and Holcomb is already on IR, it is Robert’s show to run at this point for the Steelers’ LB room. Roberts is well known as a solid run defender but not so much for his coverage skills, well enter a Cleveland Browns team that already surrenders some of the most tackles per game to their opponents’ linebackers and now has lost their starting QB in Deshaun Watson for the season. And a team without its starting QB is likely to lean into its run game to help “cover up” its lesser QB. To say this is an ideal matchup for Roberts, might be one of the biggest understatements. Roberts should be in all of our lineups this week.

SIT: De’Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers, LB27

De’Vondre Campbell, after missing some time earlier this season, has ended up back in the lead role with Quay Walker experiencing his own injury issues. His production was strong in his first week back against Minnesota with 14 tackles and a handful of other plays. However, the last two weeks he has averaged 5.5 tackles, with only 4 of them as the solo variety. And early in this week, he might be moving back into a smaller role with Quary Walker logging a limited practice on Wednesday already and McDuffie showing his viability during the injuries of Campbell and Walker, too. Reduced opportunities aren’t always the end of an LB’s IDP viability, however, the lowered opportunities paired with a matchup against the team allowing the lowest tackles and IDP scoring to their opposing linebackers is not a good thing. And that is what Campbell has in facing off against the Los Angeles Chargers.

START: Kevin Byard, Philadelphia Eagles, DB35 (S27)

Kevin Byard had his chance of scenery this year, just like Montez Sweat, and Byard has done a nice job maintaining his IDP production with the Eagles. His tackle floor has dipped just shy of 1 tackle per game, but he has maintained a great “sweet spot” utilization at 51.7% the last two games. In week 11, Byard gets the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has normally been a QB who doesn’t make many mistakes, however, this year has been a bit different, he already has 13 turnover-worthy plays this season through 9 games, whereas last 3 years he has averaged closer to 20 a season. Byard, who is normally a consistent play-maker, has yet to make that mark this season. And in a matchup with a team that has the 6th highest pass rate, a QB who is making more mistakes than usual, and a defender in Byard who likely has positive regression towards making a splash play to go along with a solid tackle floor, gives me a lot of confidence in firing up Kevin Byard in all my lineups.

SIT: Jalen Pitre, Houston Texans, DB23 (S18)

Jalen Pitre was the IDP darling last season with his other-worldly tackle production. His 2023 production has not matched this at all, but has been viable for our IDP lineups this year. However, last week we saw a shift away from Pitre as a box safety and get his lowest “sweet spot” utilization at 25% and it resulted in his worst tackle performance of the season with 1 solo tackle. Week 11 opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, don’t help Pitre’s overall opportunities with their bottom-third plays run per game at 61 plays. Even with Murray back last week, they still only ran 60 plays. They are not the higher-tempo offense we saw under Kliff Kingsbury. With the potential shift in his alignment and usage and the lowered ceiling of opportunities in fewer plays to defend, I am lower on Pitre’s potential outcomes.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 10

Updated: November 8th 2023

 

Week 10 is upon, we are halfway through the NFL season and a bit further through our fantasy seasons. Week 9 was a bit of a hit and miss, but we definitely found some values and we have some great values for you here going into week 10 that will hopefully help you make your push into the fantasy playoffs.

Week 9 Recap

DL:

Start: Jadeveon Clowney (2 solos, 1 assist, 2 PD) 👎 – 2 PDs keep this from being a bad week at least

Sit: Jonathan Greenard (2 solos, 3 QB hits) 👍 – Very close to being a big week though!

LB:

Start: Blake Cashman (5 solos, 5 assists, 2 TFLs) 👍 

Sit: Kaden Elliss (5 solos, 4 assists, PD) 👎 

DB:

Start: Trent McDuffie (8 solos, 2 assists, FF) 👍

Sit: Trevon Moehrig (5 solos, 1 sack, TFL, QB hit) 👎

Week 9 Starts & Sits

START: Calijah Kancey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DL61 (DT16)

If you heard any of my offseason chatter, you probably know that Kancey was one of my favorites and I really loved the landing spot in Tampa Bay for him. He got off to a rough start battling injuries. He saw 11 snaps week 1 and then didn’t play again until week 6. But since then, Kancey has 4 straight games of 40+ snaps and just saw 59 in week 9. He is averaging 4 pressures, 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks over that span as well. While these are not “stop-the-presses” type of numbers, what they are is consistent. And this is for a rookie has already missed a quarter of the season. I feel good about his continue prospects with what he has shown in his smaller sample this season. This week he gets to face off against the Tennessee Titans, who are allowing the 2nd most pressures per drop back at 33% this season. It’s not just the pressures, but also the conversions into sacks is 6th worst in the NFL at 17%. This is an ideal pass-rush matchup for the Buccaneers as a unit, but I think we see more growth and more importantly, production, from Calijah Kancey this week.

SIT: Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Chargers, DL29 (ED24)

Khalil Mack has shown us some explosive performances already this season. In week 4 he has 6 sacks and week 9 he had 2 sacks. These 8 sacks came against a rookie QB who just kept holding on to the ball in first regular season start, Aidan O’ Connell,  and a QB who is constantly being questioned if he should be a starting QB in Zach Wilson. This accounts for 8 of his 9 sacks and also 18 of his 39 total pressures this season. He is capable of capitalizing in ideal matchups, however, week 10 does not appear to be one of those matchups as the Chargers take on the Detroit Lions. The Lions have the 5th best pressure rate allowed (23%) and 2nd best sack conversion percentage (8%) and have shown a clear desire to run the ball with the 9th highest run percentage and Mack has not been the Mack of his prime and his tackle floor is severely limited to less than 2 tackles per game as well this season.

START: Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens, LB15

Telling you to start a top 15 LB rank maybe seems like a silly thing to say, but Patrick Queen has shown that he can deliver an average tackle floor, but what is the real kicker is he has consistent pass-rush utilization. He averages over 7 pass rush attempts a game and has converted 4 of his 64 pass rush attempts into sacks this season. Queen has the clear upside each week with his pass rush ability, but this week, against the Cleveland Browns, we will see his tackle floor and production increase. The Cleveland Browns are the 2nd most friendly team for LBs in terms of tackle production, with an average of 19.3 tackles per games to LBs. And Roquan and Queen are the essential LBs that play nearly every snap, so most of the tackles should be piled up between them.

SIT: Alex Anzalone, Detroit Lions, LB32

Alex Anzalone continues to be the lead LB in Detriot even after they spent a first round pick on Jack Campbell. And Jack Campbell seems to be coming on as the LB2 (maybe LB1 of the near future), but even with Anzalone holding down the lead role, he has not been the pinnacle of efficiency. His tackle efficiency on the season is below league average with his 11.6%. This shows too as he has only had 7 or more tackles twice this season. His upside has been relatively limited outside of his week 8 game against Las Vegas where he had 8 pass rush attempts and converted it into 2 sacks. Every other game this year he had less than 5 pass rush attempts and only converted it into 1 sack. Now with his week 10 matchup against the Chargers, we have a less than ideal one as the Chargers are providing the lowest number of tackles per game to LB’s at 13.4 (thank you to PFF’s Jon Macri for this tidbit).

START: Alontae Taylor, New Orleans Saints, UNRANKED

Alontae Taylor has a seen the football plenty this year. He is tied for first among all defenders for total targets faced this season at 66. He hasn’t turned this into earth-shattering numbers, but very stable numbers. He is averaging 4.25 tackles and 1 PD per game. While 5 of his 8 PDs did come in week 3 against the Packers, this highlights the kind of boom upside he can deliver along with a solid tackle floor. It helps that he is playing a lot of his snaps out of the slot defender position to the tune of 391 of his 487 snaps coming from the slot alignment. Then enter the Minnesota Vikings and their 3rd highest passing percentage this year at 65.3% of all their plays being pass plays. And don’t fret that Joshua Dobbs is coming into to town, he took 38 drop backs after coming in for the injured Jaren Hall. With a full week of prep and learning, I think it is safe to say they will still be passing at a higher volume. The safe floor, the volume of opportunities he should see this week, and his ability to show us boom weeks are the reasons we should be getting Alontae Taylor into our lineups this week.

SIT: Keisean Nixon, Green Bay Packers, DB38 (CB8)

Keisean Nixon burst onto the scene last year thanks to his explosive play on special teams and some injuries to the Packers’ secondary. He has done a great job carving out his role as the primary slot defender and delivered IDP relevance as well this year. He has taken 279 of his 364 snaps in the slot alignment and delivered 33 tackles and 3 PDs this season. While this is very viable in our lineups (especially CB required), this week he faces off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are 11th in percentage of plays that are passing plays, however, the do not like to utilize their slot WRs with regularity. Over the last 3 games, they have only targeted them a combined 7 times. Whereas Nixon, over that same span, has seen 14 targets. If you are going to cut the tackle floor of my IDP in half potentially based on the matchup and utilization, he quickly becomes a concern for me and since the new kickoff role and the limited returns seen this season, I lose confidence in starting them.

 

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