IDP Start/Sit: Week 14

Updated: December 6th 2023

This is it. This is our last push for the playoffs (hopefully you wonderful readers have already locked that up though!). But just in case you need a little help finding some decisions or considerations for your lineups this week, let’s dive into my thoughts for week 14.

Week 13 Recap

DL:

Start: Osa Odighizuwa (3 solos, 3 assists,Qb hit, TFL) 👍

Sit: Denico Autry (3 solos, 1assist, 1 sack, QB hit, FF, PD) 👎

LB:

Start: Jack Campbell (4 solos, 5 assists, 2 TFLs) 👍 – Only on 79% snaps, efficient, talent, but not locked in

Sit: Markquese Bell (4 solos, 4 assists) 👎

DB:

Start: Jordan Battle (4 solos, 3 assists, TFL, 1 sack, QB hit, PD) 👍

Sit: Richie Grant (1 solo, 1 assist, 1 sack, 1 FF) 👎 – Big play made the day for him this week

Week 14 Starts & Sits

START: Samson Ebukam, Indianapolis Colts, DL38 (ED31)

7-5 for the Colts is a bit of a surprise with some of the injuries that they have had to overcome. What has been a contributing factor to these surprising results? The play of that defensive front is a big part of this. DeForest Buckner and Kwity Paye for sure, but Samson Ebukam has been very good for this front. But especially good over his last 3 games. 4 sacks, but has a 16.45% pressure rate, which is 6 points higher than his 10.14% pressure rate for the entire season. Enter the Cincinnati Bengals with a 27% pressure rate allowed this season as well as a 15% sack conversion rate on those pressures. Pair that with the Bengals seemingly more willing to utilize their passing attack with backup Jake Browning under center, this should set up for a favorable matchup and a good volume of opportunities for Ebukam.

SIT: Chase Young, San Francisco 49ers, DL20 (ED18)

It seems like nothing can stop the San Francisco 49ers recently. While the offense looks great, the defense is doing its part, too. And the addition of Chase Young was a very solid move for this team. However, in his 4 games with the 49ers, it has been feast or famine. 2 sacks and 1 tackle are his 4 games total. His 14.19% pressure rate over the time would leave us to believe he is an ideal play against the Seahawks this week and their usually favorable matchup. However, last week they showed a changeup in their offense to mitigate a strong Cowboys pass rush. They went to a very quick passing attack with Geno Smith’s time to throw of 2.31 seconds, which was way down from his season average of 2.76 (which includes this most recent game). The offense was successful, they didn’t surrender a sack, and this doesn’t look great for the 49ers pass-rush. Especially Chase Young, who doesn’t seem to have a tackle floor either.

START: Mykal Walker, Pittsburgh Steelers, LB27

Mykal Walker has been a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers for three whole weeks now. And due to some unfortunate health in the linebacker room, Walker has seen his role continue to increase, as well. Elandon Robert’s most recent groin injury is just the latest news in this ongoing saga. With his increased time in Pittsburgh, we have seen his production rise each week as well (from 3 tackles to 5 to 11 this last week). While his overall numbers are average in terms of efficiency, he is getting a very favorable matchup for LB tackle production in the New England Patriots. Their offensive situation over the last 3 games has netted an average of 20 tackles to the LB position for the Patriots’ opponents. This should be an ideal game for Mykal Walker to deliver above-average efficiency and increased volume due to the injuries, which will lead to a very good week for Mykal.

SIT: Nicholas Morrow, Philadelphia Eagles, LB30

Nicholas Morrow has been involved in another linebacker room that has dealt with a litany of injuries this season. It has even seen Morrow go from a starter to a backup role, and back to the starter again. While no one will argue Morrow’s ability to be on the field, align a defense, and play his role, his IDP production has been one of mediocre value at times throughout his career. This season has shown to be similar with a 9.61% tackle efficiency, almost 4 points lower than the league average and closer to safety tackle efficiency. With a crucial week 14 matchup against their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, there is little concern as the last 3 weeks, the Cowboys’ opponents have only seen 15.3 tackles for the LB position. The inefficient play, combined with the less-than-favorable matchup, means Morrow is a fade for me.

START: Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens, DB34 (S26)

Kyle Hamilton has seen his IDP production shift a bit this year, as well as his alignment and utilization. Primarily deep safety, slot role, box safety, deep, and back to slot defender. And this has been his primary role now for the last three weeks taking over 40 snaps a week there. While his tackle production has been average at just under 5 a game during this period (that’s with a 1 tackle performance), we have seen him generate 5 pressures, 4 hurries, and a QB hit. He also has 2 PD’s to boot. The Rams matchup this week is less favorable for safeties overall in terms of tackle production, but Hamilton is more of a slot defender or box safety, which aren’t like your traditional safeties. Hamilton has shown a respectable tackle floor but his big-play upside is a great reason for him to deliver this week against the Los Angeles Rams.

SIT: Jalen Pitre, Houston Texans, DB36 (S28)

Jalen Pitre is less than 1 season removed from an outstanding 144-tackle performance. This season has seen him regress to the mean as he is on a 93-tackle pace over a 17-game span. His alignment this year is a bit down from last year as well with 43% of his snaps coming from the sweet spot. Even with his reduction in production, and shifted utilization, Pitre is still a relatively consistent IDP performer. What makes him less-than-ideal this week, is the matchup against the New York Jets. The Jets are providing league-low tackles to their opponents’ safeties at 9.6 per game, with the last 3 games averaging 6.0. That is an extremely small pie to divide up among others, let alone one’s self. Pitre is a pass for me in week 14

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 12

Updated: November 23rd 2023

 

The goods were good… the bads were misses. With Thanksgiving upon us this week, let’s be thankful for our family, friends, and hopefully some great lineups this weekend!

Week 11 Recap

DL:

Start: Kyle Van Noy (2 solos, 1 TFLs, 1 QB hit. 1 sack) 👍

Sit: Montez Sweat (1 solo, 1 assist, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, 1 sack) 👎

LB:

Start: Elandon Roberts (11 solos, 4 assists, 2 TFLs) 👍 – Great week AND 100% snap count!

Sit: De’Vondre Campbell (6 solos, 1 assists, 1 TFL) 👎 

DB:

Start: Kevin Byard (4 solos, 1 assist, TFL, 2 PDs) 👍

Sit: Jalen Pitre (4 solos, 2 assists, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit) 👎

Week 12 Starts & Sits

START: Will Anderson Jr., Houston Texans, DL35 (ED28)

Will Anderson may not have the gaudy sack numbers so far this rookie campaign. He has three sacks through his first 10 games 32 tackles. But he has made his impact felt in games, look further than week 11 where he recorded a sack but also caused the pressure/hurry on the final play of the game that led to the incompletion on 4th down and sealed the Texans’ victory. He has been winning in his pass rush sets 22.0% of the time (27th among edge rushers) and has a 13.1% pass pressure rate. While this hasn’t create gaudy stats, this week’s matchup against the Jaguars is a plus matchup. Their pressure rate allowed is slightly above average at 25%, but the pressures they do allow are converted into sacks at the third highest rate at 19%. For a player who is winning his matchups consistently, this should be an ideal week for him to capitalize.

SIT: Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DL38 (ED30)

Shaquil Barrett has had a very nice season bouncing back from his Achilles injury. Through his 10 games this year he has delivered 4 sacks and 34 total tackles this season. His overall success in his pass rush sets though has not been as strong at a 14.9% rate. It is above average but not great, but he has delivered a strong 13.1% pass rush pressure rate. This split has given us some solid production, but the matchup this week against the Indianapolis Colts is not the best one if Barrett can’t win his matchups consistently. The Colts have the 5th lowest pressure rate allowed at 23% and the 3rd lowest conversion rate of those pressures into sacks at 8%. Barrett just hasn’t won enough and consistently in his sets to feel good about this week.

START: Ivan Pace, Minnesota Vikings, LB31

Ivan Pace was a draft darling for me, but going undrafted put a damper on that for sure. However, landing in Minnesota gave me hope and he showed up early in the season but saw those quickly fade as well. However, the injury to Jordan Hicks has reignited his opportunity and this week should be a week that continues to showcase Pace. In his last two games as a starter and seeing 50+ snaps he has compiled 15 total tackles (13.5% tackle efficiency) and a forced fumble. This week he gets the Chicago Bears whose tackles allowed to LBs this season have not been ideal, but with the return of Justin Fields, it has seen a nice jump up. And what better way to try and highlight Pace’s ability in a plus matchup against the Bears?

SIT: Frankie Luvu, Carolina Panthers, LB29

Frankie Luvu was an amazing revelation last season for IDP. He did it with a great floor in terms of tackle production (103 combined) but had the boosted upside of his pass rush (7 sacks). This year started off down that same exact path with 12 tackles and 4 sacks over just the first two weeks. Since then? 1 sack and 67 tackles. He has done a wonderful maintaining that tackle production and efficiency this year, however, outside of those first two weeks he has only produced 1 sack and this lack of pass-rush production aligns pretty closely with his switch to the Mike LB after seeing Shaq Thompson get injured. But isn’t his strong tackle floor enough to keep him in the top 30 LBs this week? In most cases, yes, but facing the Titans this week, they have one of the lower tackle productions allowed to the LB position which lowers Luvu’s floor overall. And if his pass rush upside is limited to none, and his tackle floor reduced, he is a fade for me this week.

START: Jonathan Owens, Green Bay Packers, DB31 (S25)

Jonathan Owens got a chance to be a starter in week 8 of this season, but it is how he has been utilized over these last three weeks and the results that have me excited for this week 12 matchup. Over the last three weeks, Owens has seen his sweet spot alignment jump to 53.47%! He has also piled up 20 combined tackles for 6.3 tackles per game. There is no reason for this usage and alignment to change this week which gives us great confidence in his utilization. Also, enter the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving which is a favorable matchup for their opponents’ safeties, like a top 10 favorable matchup! Owens is a very comfortable play this week who can deliver a great tackle floor.

SIT: Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins, DB29 (S23)

Jevon Holland has had a very consistent year so for for IDP. Delivering almost 7 total tackles a game with 62 tackles over his 9 games this season. His utilization is a respectable 46.6% from the sweet spot as well, which is good, but not great. Holland has been able to be IDP relevant with average utilization though. However, one thing that can be killer to a player’s IDP production, is an opponent that cannot sustain drives or push the ball down field where safeties have an opportunity to make more plays. This week, Holland gets the Jets and newly minted starting QB, Tim Boyle. Holland is still likely to deliver some base value due to his ability, but his overall ceiling is drastically lowered and becomes an unfavorable play for me this Friday.

 

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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 9

Updated: November 2nd 2023

 

Week 8 we had every team playing again and lots of options. We looked good and the efficiencies checked out for our starts. For our sits, the process didn’t check out for on Holcomb and Grant. But holy cow, Bryce Huff needs to get a bit more run (or a competing team should have tried to nab him at the deadline) because this man is on fire this year. Might be worth a stash on your dynasty roster if he is available and you have the spot.

Week 8 Recap

DL:

Start: Bryce Huff (2 solos, 3 assists, 1 sack, TFL, QB hit) 👍 – Only on 37% snaps!?!

Sit: Jonathan Allen (1 assist, 2 QB hits) 👍

LB:

Start: Denzel Perryman (6 solos, 3 assists, TFL, QB hit, 0.5 sacks) 👍 – Only on 48% snaps!?!

Sit: Cole Holcomb (7 solos, 4 assists, FR) 👎 

DB:

Start: Jamal Adams (5 solos, 3 assists, TFL, PD) 👍

Sit: Richie Grant (6 solos, 3 assists, PD) 👎

Week 9 Starts & Sits

START: JeDeveon Clowney, Baltimore Ravens, DL46 (ED35)

Clowney has had a bit of a career flip here in his season with the Ravens. A defender once known for his strength in run defense and ability to make tackle plays in the backfield is now really showing some chops as a pass rusher. He is pacing out for 72+ pressures this season, his best since 64 in 2017. But he is going to do this on 200 fewer snaps. His efficiency is up and he is delivering strong pass-rush metrics in other spots, too. He is top 25 in the NFL in terms of his win rate at 22.8% this season. The one downside to Clowney’s season is his tackle floor has dropped to its lowest of his career as he is pacing out to have 29 total tackles this season. This week, Clowney gets the Seahawks whose offensive line has been a line that has allowed a 30% pressure rate on the season. This is one of the bottoms in terms of pressures allowed but only 11% sack conversion, one of the better marks this season. So for Clowney, he has been successful in creating pressures and should realize that this week, but his ability to convert a sack is good enough that he will have success this week, too, making him a viable starting option this week.

SIT: Jonathan Greenard, Houston Texans, DL27 (ED21)

Jonathan Greenard had an amazing week last week with 7 pressures and 3 sacks against the Panthers! He has delivered some solid metrics to go along with these recent eye-popping stats. He has a 19.1% win rate in pass rush sets and an 11% pash rush pressure rate. However, he has overproduced a bit on his sack production, where I would expect to see him closer to 3.5 sacks vs. the 7 he has. The potential negative regression in his sack production while coming into a matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week, has me a little concerned about Greenard being a strong play this week. Tampa has the third-lowest pressure rate allowed and the third-lowest sack conversion rate, too.

START: Blake Cashman, Houston Texans, LB26

Blake Cashman has been absolute money once stepping into the full-time role in this Demeco Ryans’ Houston Texans defense. Since getting the full-time role he has delivered a solid 13.42% tackle efficiency. The real kicker on top of that is the splash play he has added to that strong tackle floor. 6 TFL’s, 3 QB hits, 1 sack, and 2 PDs. With the strong tackle production and the addition of the big play upside, Bashman is firmly cemented as an LB2. This week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is a bottom-half matchup scoring-wise, but Cashman is the primary LB in this offense has the best likelihood of absorbing the bulk of the LB scoring this week.

SIT: Kaden Elliss, Atlanta Falcons, LB29

It pains me to say to sit Kaden Elliss, he was a flag plant of mine and someone I was very excited about this season. Now, he hasn’t been a complete busy by any stretch of the imagination either. He is wearing the green dot for the Falcons and he is seeing nearly 100% of all snaps this season. However, is tackle efficiency is below average at 10.9%. While this is not ideal, we can normally work with this when there is upside in other aspects of their game. And with Kaden Elliss with thought we might have that with his pass-rush upside from his time with Saints and his DC Ryan Nielsen. Elliss is actually on pace to surpass his pass rush opportunities from last year by 21 chances while playing well over 400 snaps more than last year. This lower ceiling, plus a matchup against rookie QB Jaren Hall and the Vikings, with an offense that is not likely to be very efficient week 1 with this big change, I am expecting a lower set of opportunities for Elliss this week.

START: Keanu Neal, Pittsburgh Steelers, DB74 (S52)

Minkah Fitzpatrick is out and Keanu Neal was one of the biggest benefactors last week when Fitzpatrick was out due to injury. This gave him the opportunity to see his best utilization in the box and the slot alignments. What did that do for him in terms of his production? His best tackle production of the season with 7 solo tackles. And Minkah is officially out for the Thursday night matchup against the Titans and we should be ready to expect another solid night from Keanu Neal against an offense that maybe has some renewed juice with Will Levis behind center.

SIT: Trevon Moehrig, Las Vegas Raiders, DB39 (S30)

Trevon Moehrig had a wonderful week 8 with 10 total tackles for our IDP lineups. It did not hurt that he also had played all 86 snaps in that game! But that is still a very good 11.1% tackle efficiency, which we would be more than happy to have from a DB. He has also back-to-back weeks of 30 box snaps as well. These are both positive things for IDP production, however, prior to this week, his tackle efficiency sat at 7.5%, a good step below average tackle efficiency for DBs. In a matchup against a struggling New York Giants offense (especially if Daniel Jones sits), I would expect limited upside from most Raiders IDPs, but especially those that play further off the line, like Moehrig.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 8

Updated: October 28th 2023

 

Week 7 was the first of the big “bye-magedon” weeks (we see you week 13 and your 6 teams on bye). However, I feel like we navigated those waters well enough to get us through to week 8 and full rosters again. Now, let’s find those best plays and matchups this week.

Week 7 Recap

DL:

Start: Dexter Lawrence (2 sacks, 2 solos, 4 assists, TFL, 4 QB hits, ) 👍

Sit: Leonard Floyd (0 sacks, 0 tackles) 👍

LB:

Start: Dorian Williams (3 solos, 2 assists) 👎- I have no idea who is going to lock in LB2 in Buffalo

Sit: Eric Kendricks (7 solos, 2 assists, TFL, FF) 👎 

DB:

Start: Grant Delpit (7 solos, 3 assists, TFL) 👍

Sit: Rudy Ford (4 solos, 3 assists) 👎

Week 8 Starts & Sits

START: Bryce Huff, New York Jets, DL37 (ED28)

Bryce Huff has been on an absolute tear this year from an analytical standpoint. It starts with a top 25 win rates out pass rush set at 25%. Even crazier, his pass-rush pressure rate of 29.8%. 1 out of 4 pass rush snaps Huff is winning his rep, he is creating a pressure. His sample is smaller than others at 147 total snaps over 6 games (114 pass rush snaps), but the numbers look too good to pass up on. There is also talk of Carl Lawson trade rumors because he is “looking for more playing time” leads me to believe, Huff has earned his spot in this rotation and it is only trending up at this point. Also, over his last 3 games he is averaging 30 snaps per game and 7.6 pressures per game. Enter the New York Giants who have been experiencing 15.5 pressures per game over the last two weeks with Tyrod Taylor under center, and he is set to start his 3rd game this Sunday. Huff may be a bit “risky” due to lower volume, but the positive matchup and the torrid levels of success, I can’t help but be excited to play Bryce Huff this week!

SIT: Jonathan Allen, Washington Commanders, DL36 (DT09)

Jonathan Allen is one of the elite interior defenders of the NFL for sure, however for IDP, this isn’t an ideal week for him. Jonathan Allen could definitely make his week based on his talent and if you don’t have a better option, I understand that, but Allen has struggled over his last 2 games, only generating 3 pressures over 80 pass rush attempts. He has had a very good pass rush win percentage on the season, 19.6%. The recent down performances are not likely to be remedied in a matchup with arguably the best offensive line in the NFL on the other side of the ball. They are tied for the 11th-lowest pressure percentage allowed this year and the 4th-best in terms of pressures converted into sacks. Allen is looking for a bounce-back performance from two down weeks, but I don’t think this is the week for it.

START: Denzel Perryman, Houston Texans, LB33

Denzel Perryman was a “healthy scratch” in week 6, however, coach Demeco Ryans said this was due to the fact it wasn’t fair to try and have Perryman play with a cast. Pair that with the fact the following week was their bye week, I believe he wanted to get Perryman back to 100%. What does 100% Perryman look like? A highly efficient 16.9% tackle efficiency, near 100% snap count, and his career tackle efficiency supports this at 15.7% too. With both teams coming off their bye weeks, the Texans and Perryman take on the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers come in with an offense that runs the 5th most plays per week at 67.3 and are running 67 over the last three weeks. Now 64% of those plays are pass plays, but 63% of those pass plays are 9 yards or less down field and the zone-heavy scheme the Texans run, should allow Perryman to deliver strong value this week.

SIT: Cole Holcomb, Pittsburgh Steelers, LB30

Holcomb has been the LB1 for the Steelers all season. However, he has not been the LB1 that we like to see in that his snaps have fluctuated a bit, whereas our true LB1’s tend to play close to, if not all 100% of the snaps for their defense. His efficiency with those lower snap counts are quite average as well at 12.2%. Normally we can work through a player with average efficiency and/or even less than ideal utilization. But when we pair that with positional adjusting scoring and the player is facing one of the worst possible matchups for scoring for their position, that turns into a fade for me. Cole Holcomb against the Jacksonville Jaguars is exactly that. The Jaguars allow LB scoring against them at the 8th lowest rates for IDP scoring. Let’s lower our expectations for Holcomb this week.

START: Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks, DB40 (S34)

Jamal Adams was back last week and he was back in such a good way for IDP. He was 100% snaps, which is just the first part of this story. He took all but 3 snaps either in the box, on the DL, or in the slot. With snaps in the box. Now his efficiency was a bit average with only 6 tackles, we would have liked to see a slightly better performance. But in really only his true second game of playtime, I think we can expect a little bit of ramp-up. With his role seemingly more set now, the Seahawks take on the Cleveland Browns who lead the NFL in plays ran at 71.2 and an average of 69 over the last 3 games. The additional upside of the pass-rushing opportunities he saw last week of 4 chances is what really rounds out Jamal Adams’ value. He has elite alignment/utilization, a favorable matchup, and the usage for some potential big-play upside, too. 

SIT: Richie Grant, Atlanta Falcons, DB38 (S33)

Richie Grant has been an average NFL safety. If you look across the board at his PFF grades, it supports this as well. This has been the case for his IDP performance up to this point for 2023 as well. 42 tackles across his 7 games for 6 tackles a game and a tackle efficiency of 9.4% is right in line of averages for safeties this season. He has provided a consistent floor for sure and can be played with that consideration, but he has provided limited upside with one splash play with an interception last week. He has played 100% of the snaps this year as well, which we can certainly appreciate. But with a fairly limited upside combined with a matchup this week against the Tennessee Titans whose offense was already the 2nd lowest plays ran this season at 55.5 plays per game. Now they are likely missing their QB1 with Tannehill out this week, the offense should likely get weaker and limit the ability of this offense even more, thus reducing Grant’s limited upside even more.

 

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IDP Start/Sit: Week 5

Updated: October 4th 2023

 

We are at the quarter mark of the NFL season and we have plenty of interesting stories. Khalil Mack’s six sack game chief among them. Devon Witherspoon trying to cement his pace in IDP relevance as well. But let’s see who we can find for our lineups this week to deliver some of that awesome IDP value!

Week 4 Recap

DL:

Start: Za’Darius Smith (1 assist) 👎

Sit: Rashan Gary (1 QB hit) 👍

LB:

Start: Alex Singleton (4 solos, 8 assists) 👎 – let’s call it meh

Sit: Tremain Edmunds (6 solos, 2 assists, 1 TFL) 👎

DB:

Start: Rudy Ford (7 solos, 1 assists, 1 INT, 1 PD) 👍

Sit: Tyrann Mathieu (3 solos, 2 assists) 👍

Week 5 Starts & Sits

START: David Onyemata, Atlanta Falcons, DL35 (DT11)

David Onyemata has had a very successful season so far. He has notched 2 sacks, 4 QB hits, 13 total tackles. That success isn’t likely to stall out in his week matchup against the Houston Texans. This is a Texans team that has allowed 63 pressures on CJ Stroud so far this year (6th most) and even with Stroud’s movement in the pocket, he has been sacked 11 times as well (7th most). And the Texans interior defense suffered another injury with their current RG landing on injured reserved after an injury against the Steelers.

Onyemata’s production has been backed by some strong marks, too. He is 6th among all pass-rushers in his True Pass Rush win rate at 33.3%! One-third of his snaps are resulting in a win and his chance to make a play in the backfield on the QB. Add in Houston’s 5th most passing plays ran this year and their willingness to air it out, Onyemata should have a beautiful intersection of opportunity and talent that should lead to a very productive week.

SIT: Sam Hubbard, Cincinnati Bengals, DL34 (ED24)

Sam Hubbard has delivered his standard performance at the quarter mark for the NFL season. 2 sacks, 22 combined tackles, 2 TFLs, 5 QB hits. He takes his solid performance this season to Arizona against the scrappy Cardinals. The Bengals have under-delivered this season as a football team, and I am afraid Sam Hubbard will do the same here in week 5, too.

Josh Dobbs and the Cardinals have done a nice job avoiding pass rushes and have done so with some young, new talent in Paris Johnson. And a very specific gameplan, 9th fastest time to throw amongst all QBs with at least 50 pass attempts. This has led to Dobbs being the 9th lowest pressures (44) and 8th lowest sacks (6).

Add in the fact that the Bengals offense has been struggling too with injury and performance, the defense can only do so much, after so long. This cross-section for Hubbard does not bode well for him to have an overly productive week. 

START: Chad Muma, Jacksonville Jaguars, LB40

Chad Muma was a LB prospect who had some promise, upside, and excitement last year during the draft process. But he ended up behind a stud in Foyesade and top draft talent, Devin Lloyd. He had a chance to show out a bit last year and he gets his chance this year with an injury to Lloyd this season. In his first game, he totaled 7 total tackles and 2 pass breakups. Now he gets his second game overseas in a row against the Buffalo Bills and their top-ten offense in passing and rushing. This should lead to plenty of opportunities against this Jaguars defense that has struggled against the pass, too.

While his PFF grades leave a lot to be desired, Muma is their best option this week and should see near 100% snap utilization this week again. I also believe in the fact that Jacksonville has a second week in a row overseas and this should play as an advantage for him to put up a better performance overall. This is likely a limited value for Muma, so let’s enjoy this for now and if you are still looking for LB play after this week, we will have to find that value somewhere else moving forward.

SIT: Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints, LB35

Demario Davis has been an IDP stalwart for years, so it feels a bit blasphemous to call him a sit, but we are at that point in his career where it is time to call what we see. Davis dip in production starts at his tackle floor. His tackle efficiency has dipped below 9% so far this season and seems to only be trending downward at this point. His pass-rush upside was usually able to help make up for a lesser tackle rate, but even that has seen a dip. He was rushing the passer every 12.5% of his snaps for his career, but so far this year, it has dropped to 10.25% already this year.

In addition to his declining IDP performance, Pete Werner’s ascension in IDP value has been happening. Between these two things, Demario Davis is an IDP asset that I would be fading at this point with his fading tackle floor and reduced pass-rush upside, but OK starting as a deeper option thanks to the fact that he is still a near 100% snap LB.

START: Jayron Kearse, Dallas Cowboys, DB38 (S34)

Jayron Kearse hasn’t had the highest tackle floor this season, but he has been utilized in a great way to optimize that and deliver a higher tackle floor. He has played 80.55% in the sweet spot (Box, DL, Slot) and the matchup against the San Francisco 49ers has been a very IDP lucrative for LBs. And Kearse is essentially acting and playing as the 2nd or 3rd LB in this Cowboys defense.

Kearse has added a nice bonus to his IDP production with some increased productivity in coverage in the early season. He has 1 interception and 3 pass break ups which we like to see the PBUs as something more indicative of IDP production in coverage, beyond just racking up the tackles. With the matchup, the little bit of upside, and the excellent alignment usage, I am excited to fire up Jayron Kearse this week.

SIT: Jalen Pitre, Houston Texans, DB5 (S5)

Sitting our IDP darling from 2022 feels silly. A guy who was able to compile almost 150 tackles last season from the safety position, feels like a cheat code! But through his two games this season, he has only compiled 4 total tackles and a FF. One of those games was only half the snaps due to injury, but even last week with a full complement of snaps, he only compiled 2 total tackles.

The Houston Texans defense has shown to be a bit more competent under new coaching and some additional talent via the draft and free agency. This has limited the need and opportunity for Jalen Pitre to be such a playmaker. He is still taking 44.7% of his snaps from the sweet spot, but this is not the same usage he had last season.

In week 5, he faces the Atlanta Falcons whose limited offense attack downfield, means reduced opportunity for the Texans safeties when not in an ideal alignment. The Falcons have been a bottom-half matchup for their opponents’ safeties, meaning Texans safeties should see an overall decrease in their IDP production. This still might be enough to keep Pitre in shallower leagues but keep your expectations lowered for Pitre here in week 5.

 

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