• 2023 IDP Fantasy Football: Week 1 IDP Game Previews and IDP Start/Sits

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    Welcome to the IDP Guys' weekly game preview and start/sit articles! Our team has broken down each game and the IDP outlooks for the most relevant IDP players to help you make those tough lineup decisions. May the fantasy gods be forever in your favor!

    This year we are bringing you a new format to help you with those pesky start/sit decisions. In addition to listing players, we hope these categories are more useful to you than a traditional start or sit classification. Here are our definitions for our four categories.

    1. Start Your Studs: These players should always be in your lineup or have SMASH matchups this week. Even your most shallow IDP leagues should include these players in their starting lineups.
    2. Solid Starting Options: These players may vary from week to week and are very matchup-dependent. They are likely weekly starters in 12+ team leagues starting at least two players at each IDP position.
    3. Hail Mary: These players have big question marks surrounding their roles, usage, and murky playing time projections. Lean towards benching them unless you are in very deep leagues (16+32 teams and/or 11+ IDP starters). If they see the field consistently, they have the potential to move up a category as Solid Starting Options but until then, they will likely be big-play-dependent with low tackle floors. Your classic boom/bust options.
    4. No Thank You: Clear sits for the week due to matchups, playing time trends, injuries, etc.

    Of course, your league sizes and scoring settings are going to be different from person to person and league to league. If you need further clarification or suggestions on who to start over another player in a similar tier, we have two additional solutions for you!

    Our expert weekly positional rankings can be found here for subscribers.

    Every Sunday morning at 11 AM EST, our team will be LIVE on our YouTube page answering your specific start/sit concerns - yes, this includes offense! Be sure to follow, subscribe, and turn on notifications!


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    Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs - Thursday, September 7, 2023

    by Steve Tomasin (@DynastySanta)

    Start Your Studs: Nick Bolton, Aidan Hutchinson, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, L'Jarius Sneed

    Of course, you are starting Nick Bolton. However! There is a slight concern that he will be a smash-start right out of the gate. The Lions have a fairly balanced offense but opening night against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs could mean fireworks in the passing game. Cory Moniz broke down why expectations might need to be tempered for Bolton here.

    The same fantasy production concern exists for Aidan Hutchinson as Bolton. Patrick Mahomes allowed the least amount of pressure to convert to sacks in the entire league last year. No reason to think that won’t continue.

    With the expectation that the passing game will be quite busy, both C.J. Gardner-Johnson and L'Jarius Sneed should be top scorers in this game. Trent McDuffie and Cameron Sutton have arguments to be here as well but we need to see how their usage and alignments shake out first.

    Solid Starting Options: Jack Campbell, Alex Anzalone, Trent McDuffie, Brian Branch, Cameron Sutton, Willie Gay, Mike Edwards, Justin Reid

    Will Jack Campbell see a starter’s share worth of snaps in Week 1? That is the most important question and answer we will take away from this game. We know Alex Anzalone will at least “start” the game and likely don the green dot. This guarantee of being on the field alone classifies him as a solid starting option. Campbell is here because we believe coaches won’t be able to justify keeping him off of the field.

    Until we actually see Willie Gay lose snaps to Drue Tranquill (or Leo Chenal), he remains a high-ceiling/low-floor play every week. This will be another situation to closely monitor.

    I mentioned that Trent McDuffie and Cameron Sutton could have broached the Start Your Studs category for this game. Detroit’s defense has seemingly only gotten marginally better. This means we expect a shoot-out and lots of passing which normally equals IDP production. These two CBs could easily push the 7-10 tackle range with pass-break-ups (PBUs) a-plenty. And with targets headed their way of course means interceptions are on the table. These guys are sneaky good starts in deeper/CB-required leagues.

    Similar to the CBs, the safeties in this game could easily border stud territory. Justin Reid was disappointing last year but saw the snaps and has the opportunity to rebound, in a big way. Newcomer Mike Edwards might be playing center field, but for this game that could lead to plenty of big splash plays. Brian Branch seems to have won a starting gig so let’s hope that is set in stone and we don’t see him rotated out frequently between Tracy Walker or Kerby Joseph. If he stays on the field, Branch could be a steal of an IDP pick/play all season long.

    Hail Mary: Tracy Walker, Drue Tranquill, Bryan Cook, Leo Chenal, Kerby Joseph, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, James Houston, George Karlaftis, Derrick Barnes

    Drue Tranquill is coming off of a breakout IDP season and was amongst the leaders in fantasy points per game. However, he enters a deep LB room with seemingly not enough snaps to go around. Leo Chenal suffers the same fate. Don’t get me wrong, both Tranquill and Chenal are talented but it is just tough to see where they will get any consistent playing time without injury or Willie Gay giving away his spot due to bad play. Until we get some clarity, they, especially Tranquill, remain desperate plays in deep leagues.

    Derrick Barnes is listed as the "starter" next to Anzalone on their "official depth chart". This is precisely why you don't pay attention to these pieces of media. If Barnes outsnaps Jack Campbell, that would be a coaching blunder and travesty the likes of which we haven't seen in some while.

    The DBs here in Tracy Walker, Kerby Joseph, and Bryan Cook aren’t expected to see a ton of snaps and should only contribute with lucky big splash plays. They have low/nonexistent tackle floors.

    The pass-rushing groups in this game should struggle. Between more than solid offensive lines (Detroit) and quarterbacks who don’t take sacks often (Goff and Mahomes), this leaves the likes of James Houston and George Karlaftis as high-ceiling/low-floor boom or bust options. With similar reasoning, the rookie pass-rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah isn’t expected to get to the quarterback in his first NFL start.

    No Thank You: Chris Jones, Emmanuel Moseley, Charles Omenihu

    Chris Jones is still unsigned, Emmanuel Moseley lost his job in camp, and Charles Omenihu is suspended for six games. With regards to Chris Jones and any “replacements”, there just isn’t anyone who screams potential. The Chiefs have a bunch of just-a-guys at DT and the Lions have a better-than-average offensive line. Someone might pop for the Chiefs at DT, but we’re not going to sell you magic beans and pretend we know who.

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    Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders - Sunday, September 10, 2023

    by Brandon Jackson (@BJack83)

    Start Your Studs: Budda Baker

    Budda Baker has posted over 100 combined tackles in four of his six NFL seasons. Despite his size (5’9” 195 lbs), he’s one of the premier tackling safeties in the league. I expect Baker to be very busy racking up tackles in this game and all season long playing behind possibly the worst front seven in the NFL. He’s a set-it-and-forget DB1.

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    Buffalo Bills at New York Jets - Monday, September 11, 2023

    by Steve Hungarter (@TheBroNamaths)

    Start Your Studs: C.J. Mosley, Quincy Williams, Matt Milano, Quinnen Williams

    I know you wanted me to say Sauce Gardner vs. Stefon Diggs here right but I’m not doing it! An obvious matchup that will be fun to see but there are other positional units to look at in this game. Both guys think they are the guy and you know what they just might be any given Sunday. I’d rather look the other way at some other positional units.

    The Jets are going to be hard to throw on in this game, regardless. So expect Quinnen Williams, a first-team All-Pro, to make some plays against that suspect offensive line. PFF graded them pretty badly. Josh Allen loves to hold the ball and run so I’m expecting some good Williams impact moments. The rest of the lines may be in rotational use.

    I think ultimately the X-factor in this game is going to be whether the Bills could run the ball or not. Suppose they can’t, then it's a good night for Quinnen Williams. The Bills may try to start with the run, to which case several linebackers above will eat.

    At linebacker, the Jets feature Quincy Williams, who had 106 tackles last season, while C.J. Mosely's 158 tackles lead the group - expect a huge outing out of these two.

    Solid Starting Options: Jordan Poyer, Jordan Whitehead, Tre'Davious White

    Expect this game to start bruising and smashmouth running the ball, but that won’t last it is going to turn into a shootout. Both teams want to be a running team/cold weather team, but they are not built that way and have too many good options at QB and WR not to throw it often, which means these candidates will likely be in line to make plays.

    Jordan Poyer was a Pro Bowler with 4 interceptions last season expect him to be busy in this one. Tre'Davious White looks to be recovered and will team up with the rest of this talented secondary to make Aaron Rodgers's life miserable in his first start.

    Rodgers has a habit of flicking the ball into tight windows so expect all these guys to be busy very often. For the Jets, Jordan Whitehead has been as solid as it gets and will likely be the deep cover guy when Diggs breaks free.

    Hail Mary: Tony Adams, D.J. Reed, Tyrel Dodson, Terrel Bernard, Taylor Rapp, Micah Hyde

    Though these guys may not be well-known IDP names just yet, things might just pan out this game for them. Tony Adams, the surprise preseason starter who beat out Adrian Amos may be targeted in this one heavily and often. Would consider playing him or D.J. Reed in deflection-heavy leagues

    The DBs here to own is likely the guy opposite of Sauce Gardner and that would be D.J. Reed. Once teams realized how great Sauce was he became a strong start. For most IDPs, he is sitting on waivers.

    Terrel Bernard has been named the "starter" for Week 1 at linebacker for the Bills. Expect him and/or Tyrel Dodson to get run on early and often as teams target that weakness to attack. Both should be a hit-or-miss play for the early parts of this season. If the Jets are smart, they are going to watch this pre-season play and realize this guy (Dodson) is a liability in coverage and run it at him. This means he will either have strong stats or nothing at all. Dart throw until we get more information.

    Tyrel Dodson Play

    Micah Hyde is injured and Taylor Rapp, who could be seeing 50-60% of snaps anyway due to the Bills' linebacker deficiencies, might be a sleeper play if Hyde is ruled out.

    No Thank You: Ed Oliver, Jordan Phillips, Leonard Floyd, Carl Lawson, Bryce Huff, Will McDonald IV, Gregory Rousseau, Shaq Lawson

    Both team defensive lines will have a tough go In this one. Except for Quinnen Williams, would like to avoid them. Also, these AFC East rivals historically, make a habit of smashing each other around so expect a heavy rotational out in this one. I would think any particular player here would not be considered a strong start.

    Of course, your league sizes and scoring settings are going to be different from person to person and league to league. If you need further clarification or suggestions on who to start over another player in a similar tier, we have two additional solutions for you!

    Our expert weekly positional rankings can be found here for subscribers.

    Every Sunday morning at 11 AM EST, our team will be LIVE on our YouTube page answering your specific start/sit concerns - yes, this includes offense! Be sure to follow, subscribe, and turn on notifications!

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