2023 IDP Fantasy Football: Week 6 IDP Start Sit and Week 6 IDP Rankings

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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.

*Most CB and DT recommendations are meant for CB and/or DT-required leagues. If in DB or DL-only leagues, generally move down one category level.

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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Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (THURSDAY)

By Steve Hungarter (@IDPHunter)

The Denver Broncos, holding a 1-4 record, are set to face off against the 4-1 Chiefs, who are currently enjoying a four-game winning streak. Denver's offense ranks 11th in scoring, averaging 24.2 points per game, while their defense ranks 32nd, allowing an average of 36.2 points per contest. This is where the X-factor in this contest lies. The burning question I have for this week is: Can the Broncos' defense do enough to limit the Chiefs' offense?

As I mentioned the Broncos' defense is severely struggling, having surrendered the highest number of points in the league this season, totaling 181 points. Fun fact here, just a fun practical exercise: even if we exclude the 70 points the Dolphins put up from one game, they would still have allowed 111 points, which still ranks them as the second-worst defense without that particular game.

The Chiefs are coming off a short week. It won't matter. They might consider themselves fortunate that they are facing the Broncos, who are indeed performing poorly on the defensive front. This game potentially has a chance to be a classic division rival shootout, meaning several players could be in play for solid-decent- haily mainly starts. Which I will detail and analyze below.

Start Your Studs

(Check the injury report in this one as lots are questionable)

Chris Jones is elite and, despite missing one game, is having a great season. He is currently ranked first this season (5) in sacks. He will get a pretty good matchup against questionable offensive tackles. The Broncos are giving up in an average of five games, 28.50, and are ranked 21st per fantasydatastats.com at giving up points to the defensive tackle position this season.

L'Jarius Sneed has a nice matchup this week. In recent news, Sean Payton has put his wide receiver corps on notice. Whichever receiver gets the hot hand - likely Courtland Sutton - expects to get the shadow and some decent coverage play.

Honestly, we mentioned Sneed but Trent McDuffie is the slot corner you want. In the last three games, McDuffice has now had 17 tackles which is nice seeing that out of this position. Both Sneed and McDuffie are valued better than just CB-required leagues and could be played on your teams as DB3 this week.

Nick Bolton is very questionable to play. (*update at the time of this writing, it is announced that he's limited in practice) I list him here because he is Nick Bolton. When playing he is a top three linebacker at his position. Expect a solid start for Drue Tranquil, but will go back to the bench after he returns.

Alex Singleton with his 42 (T-29th) and Josey Jewell's 25 (T-57th) combined tackles are interchangeable solid starts at this point. The problem is you drafted them to be your studs so you will be playing them as such. Expect one of these guys to have a strong game, while the other a decent one. Dealers choice.

Justin Simmons is well-regarded as one of the elite players in his position. Expect a bounce-back game, this week as this stud player is generally in the mix anyway, with a high power shoot-out potential of the Chiefs in this matchup, it would not be out of the question to anticipate a big play or two.

Solid Starting Options

I almost put Nik Bonitto in my start your studs. It's close but I have a bunch and will need another week. Since he has become a starter in the last two games he has unleashed 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Should be very active as a pass rusher, with a pass-happy matchup.

Bonitto's partner in crime is Jonathon Cooper, who has quietly been doing a solid job producing three sacks over the last four games as well. Like Bonitto, I am expecting both to be active. It's nice seeing the Broncos put together a decent unit, after failed attempts with Randy Gregory and Frank Clark this resurgence may have come at just the right time. The Broncos ranked 32nd in hurry percentage (2.3%) and 28th (14.8%) in QB hurries and knockdowns, so this was because of the previous players. I expect a better outing with these two.

Michael Danna is a solid player if you are in need of a player during the bye weeks. I personally play him in deep league contests. Currently, he is 14th in sacks (4) and 15th (11) in tackles. He should be a solid play to produce points for owners needing a flex during the bye-weeks.

For the same reasons, George Karlaftis holds dynasty and sleeper appeal each week. He has some games like weeks one and two where he goes off; then simmers down in weeks four and five. The young player needs time to learn his craft and is match-up dependent but this could be a game where he gets moving again.

Hail Mary

For those punting position or looking at hail marys consider a few of the following:
Zach Allen is tied for third (16) and 16th (3) in sacks. The rank is not too shabby, but the number is meh. You could do worse on a short week if you need a quick fill-in.

Did you know that Damarri Mathis is ranked 4th at his position (25) in solo tackles? The next stat is telling, he is also ranked 10th in targets thrown his way. A game like this should keep that trend going.

No Thanks

Everyone else here is just not getting playing time. After a couple of nice fill-in weeks for Justin Simmons, Delarrin Turner-Yell can head back to waivers.

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Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (LONDON)

By Joseph Harlow (@joelow63)

Start Your Studs

Roquan Smith is one of the best players in the league. Matchup, position, scoring system, etc do not matter. Play your superstar. Expect superstar numbers against a run-heavy team with a bad OL.

Coming off of his biggest game of the season, LB Azeez Al-Shaair now faces a Ravens team that has given up the most points to LBs on the season. He sees every snap and is a tackling machine who should feast against Lamar Jackson and Co.

Jeffery Simmons and Roger McCreary are absolute weekly starts in leagues that require a DT or CB play, respectively. Simmons typically sits in this tier even without a DT requirement, but would not be there this week. He is always a threat to make a play on the QB (5 pressures last week) but has struggled against the run. The Ravens have a solid iOL, so this matchup is less than ideal for Simmons. The upside keeps him in DT slots, but a higher floor player would be preferred in DL leagues.

McCreary has been averaging 7.5 tackles and .5 sacks a game, following week 1’s goose. The Ravens should be ahead early and running more often than normal, giving McCreary more opportunities.

Solid Starting Options

Ravens LB2 Patrick Queen is always a solid start. He won’t produce or play like Roquan Smith, but still is averaging over 8 tackles per game with a pass-rush upside (2.5 sacks). The Titans have surprisingly not allowed many points to LBs, but Queen still has a high floor and ceiling.

The Titans LB2, Jack Gibbens, also sees himself in this tier. As mentioned before, the Ravens are yielding the most points to LBs this season (see both Holcomb and Roberts having 8+ tackles for Pittsburgh last week) and Gibbens has played very well.

Justin Madubuike is a great DT play this week. He is second on the team in sacks and pressures, while playing a more outside DT role. The Titans’ atrocious OL has allowed points to DEs, where Madubuike does spend a lot of his alignment playing time.

Denico Autry has been the best and most consistent non-Jeffery Simmons rusher this season. Four sacks so far this season show a solid ceiling. He has a low tackle floor (3 a game), but Baltimore has been friendly to DEs with banged-up OTs.

In the defensive backfield, Kyle Hamilton is still a solid start in DB leagues, whereas Brandon Stephens has become a solid play in leagues that require a CB. Hamilton’s tackle numbers have not been what we hoped yet, but he is still making massive plays in almost every game. Stephens is not an ideal play as a boundary corner but has seen the third-most targets (per PFF) in the league, allowing many big play and tackle opportunities.

The Titans safety duo also ends up in this tier again. Both Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker see pretty much every snap when healthy, including over half in the box/slot. Both are strong tacklers with a nose for the ball. Baltimore’s receivers have bricks for hands lately, so the two ball-hawks have an added deflection-interception potential. Both players are averaging around 7 tackles per game, so the floor alone puts them safely in lineups.

Hail Mary

Odafe Oweh is still yet to practice, but sees himself in this tier due to being the most talented rusher on the roster (at least over this version of Jadeveon Clowney) and is against a bottom-tier OL.

Kyle Van Noy came off the practice squad in Week 4 and is almost up to 50% of snaps. If Oweh misses again, he could see the start, which would give many more playmaking opportunities.

Malik Harrison also saw an uptick in snaps (50% last week) and could be a shot in a deeper league.

Jadeveon Clowney has played well so far, but is on a pitch count and a better run defender than rusher at this point in his career. The upside is not massive, and the floor may be low, which makes him a risk to start.

Keeping the edge rusher theme going, Harold Landry and Arden Key are hail-mary shots this week. Key has produced in a few games, but has been wildly inconsistent. Landry still does not look fully like himself and has not been the edge threat we (and the Titans) hoped for. They both still do have upside against a banged-up OL, but should not be started in most leagues with more typical scoring settings. If you need to take a shot on one of the two, Key is the choice as he has been more explosive this year, with a couple of big games.

No Thanks

The cornerback trio of Rock Ya-Sin, Ronald Darby, and Arthur Maulet seem to have been (at least largely) replaced with healthy reinforcements coming back, including Marcus Williams and Marlon Humphrey. None should be played as they have all lost snaps recently.

Elijah Molden filled in well for a defensive backfield that was very injured early on in the season. However, he is the only DB appearing on injury reports now and is at risk of losing more of his vastly diminished playtime. It would take another injury to take a shot on Molden.

Breakout safety Geno Stone left early last week and has not practiced to start the week. Stone has been wonderful to start the year, but the injury dampens his outlook for the next weeks.

Teair Tart still is not practicing after missing the week 5 contest. It is trending towards Tart missing or being extremely limited, so he should be benched.

Top reserve Kyle Peko has not had the lion’s share of reps over Naquan Jones, so would not be trusted to see potential volume stats like Tart is able to pile up against the run when healthy.

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Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins

By Steve Scholz (@BigSteveFF)

In this game, we have a matchup of two franchises heading in completely different directions. The Dolphins bounced back from their first defeat of the season to the Bills in Week 4 by easily dispatching the Giants at home. Miami stays at Hard Rock for Week 6 where they will face the only winless team in the NFL: the Carolina Panthers. The pressure is all on the Fins here to take care of business against a team that is at the beginning of a long-term rebuild.

Start Your Studs

Both teams have studs in their secondaries that we recommend you start. Safety Jevon Holland has secured 43 tackles (31 solo) and forced 3 fumbles this season. The Panthers allow the fourth most points to safeties and there is little doubt that Holland will take full advantage of this juicy matchup. Rookie quarterback Bryce Young is struggling in his debut campaign and there will be chances for turnovers.

The Dolphins also present the Panthers’ defensive backfield with the opportunity to score a lot of fantasy points. They are actually ranked higher than Carolina in points surrendered to safeties and top the chart. That’s primarily due to the ability of their running backs and receivers to break through to the third level.

Miami is averaging 36.2 points per game and should have no trouble putting together drives against this defense. That will keep safety Vonn Bell very busy and I think there’s a good chance he puts up his best statistical game of the year from an IDP lens. He’s averaged 6.6 tackles per game and has not missed a single snap for the Panthers. The floor is a 10-12 point outing, but the ceiling is 30+. He’s a must-start in all formats.

Second-year edge Jaelan Phillips started off the year with a bang in Week 1 against the Chargers and racked up 11 tackles (6 solo) and a half sack. He looked ready to fulfill the breakout that many IDP analysts predicted. Unfortunately, he’s suffered multiple injuries (oblique and back) and that’s derailed his promising start. He’s questionable to play this week and it could be a game-time decision.

He practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday. If he sits out then Andrew Van Ginkel will move from interior linebacker to the outside and take most of those snaps.

Solid Starting Options

Dolphins edge Bradley Chubb isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire this season with only a single sack. He does have 21 tackles (14 solo) and a forced fumble, which is helping make up for the absence of big play points. The Panthers allow the eighth most points to defensive ends. They are giving up an average of 3 sacks per game.

I like the chances of Chubb notching at least one on Sunday. With skilled pass rushers, it’s always worth betting on them when they face a rookie signal caller. I’d be happy to start him in most leagues.

Defensive tackle Derrick Brown is an interesting option this week. He’s surprisingly accumulated good tackle numbers with 29 combined (17 solo) and a sack. He’s going to see 80%+ of snaps. There is a decent possibility that the Dolphins pull away in this game and start to lean on the run to kill the clock. That is a recipe for the big man to eat and reward his fantasy teams. Don’t be afraid to take a shot and put Brown in your DT spot.

Hail Mary

In The Godfather, there is a famous scene where Marlon Brando’s character Vito Corleone breaks down upon seeing his dead son, Sonny. He remarks, “Look how they massacred my boy.” That’s pretty much how anybody who’s admired Jeremy Chinn should feel about the Panthers' safety now.

He’s moved into a cover-first nickel role that offers much less IDP value than when he played as a linebacker during his rookie year or in the box as a safety in 2022. Yes, he is still an athletic freak and can make enough plays to have some good weeks, but this is a far cry from what we expected. His snap percentages through the first five games are 73%, 35%, 77%, 65%, and 30%. That’s way too risky for my taste. I’d lean towards benching or cutting him depending on league size. Farewell, sweet prince.

No Thanks

It’s tough to write off a pass rusher with the resume of 112 career sacks like Justin Houston. The problem is that he’s 34 years old and his value for the Panthers is probably in the locker room more so than the field. He played 60% of snaps in Week 2, but that’s fallen all the way down to 20% in Week 5. Meanwhile, Yetur Gross-Matos is playing 50-60% and D.J. Johnson is earning more of a share. I don’t see a reason to start him even if you are in a 32-team league. Move on.

For those in cornerback-required leagues, the Dolphins' targets for the position are Xavien Howard and Kader Kohou. I’d avoid Cam Smith and Justin Bethel like the plague. This is frankly a really messy situation and Vic Fangio clearly doesn’t have a third option he likes because snap counts are bouncing up and down.

Heck, even Eli Apple might wind up in this section soon. He’s been called out several times due to poor tackling and coverage. I’d monitor and let this one work itself out before playing any other Dolphins cornerbacks.

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Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

By Shawn Teague (@shawn8386)

Start Your Studs

After Tampa Bay’s bye week, Vita Vea is still the sixteenth-highest-scoring DT, which isn’t an overly impressive stat. However, when we look at a per-game average, he is the sixth-highest-scoring DT. He has quietly been very efficient this year, and he has a favorable matchup against Detroit this week. The only defensive tackles with more sacks than Vea (3.5) are Chris Jones (4.5) and Ed Oliver (4). Look for the big man to have another strong game and possibly walk away with a higher sack total.

Antoine Winfield fooled us all this offseason into thinking he would have a new role and a down year. He has put together 31 tackles, three QB hits, two tackles for a loss, two sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and added six pass deflections. He is the ninth-highest-scoring safety on the season and didn’t even play last week. He has a very favorable matchup against the Lions and is one of the easiest smash starts every week at safety.

Solid Starting Options

Looking again at the plus safety matchup, we can’t leave out Ryan Neal. Neal had three solid games in the first weeks of the season until a concussion ended his Week 4 contest early. Neal was injured on the second defensive snap but received credit for making both tackles before leaving. The bye week provided Neal extra time to recover and he is fully healthy heading into this week’s matchup. Start him with full confidence.

The Buccaneers allowing the least amount of fantasy points to edge rushers doesn’t bode well for Aidan Hutchinson. After collecting 4.5 sacks in the first three weeks, Hutchinson has been quiet over the last two weeks. His talent is enough to keep him in your starting lineup, even with the poor matchup. Expect some decent production this week and hope he hits home for a sack.

Much to the chagrin of fantasy managers, Alex Anzalone remains the only three-down linebacker for the Lions. He had a good game last week with 11 tackles and a pair of QB hits, and he has a decent matchup this week against Tampa Bay. We get it, he isn’t a sexy pick at linebacker, he doesn’t rack up the most points, and he makes you feel dirty about starting him. But he has value in those deeper leagues where you need a stable tackle floor.

Hail Mary

With Brian Branch’s absence last week, it was Will Harris who inherited the third safety/slot role. Branch has yet to practice this week as he is recovering from an ankle injury, leaving Harris as the one to benefit against the Buccaneers. He is worth starting in deeper leagues with the high volume that role provides on Detroit’s defense. Just keep an eye on Branch’s availability.

Jerry Jacobs deserves some love for how he has been producing recently. 27 of his 29 tackles have been solo, he has five pass deflections, and he has grabbed three interceptions over the last two weeks. The matchup on paper against Tampa Bay isn’t the greatest, but it would be hard to sit him with how well he has been playing.

Tracy Walker and Kerby Joseph were the two starting in the traditional safety roles last week. We know they are capable of decent tackle floors, and we have seen Walker have big days in the past. Tampa Bay has been a poor matchup for safeties this year with their offensive limitations and that makes these two less appealing this week. Their value doesn’t change much in deeper leagues, but in shallow leagues, you could probably look elsewhere for help at safety.

Carlton Davis is usually one of the more consistent cornerbacks in the league. He has only played two games this season, but he has been about where we would expect him statistically. It’s surprising that Lions are not a better matchup for cornerbacks given all of the different receivers they involve each week. Davis should have a decent tackle floor this week for deeper leagues, but you may want to find a better matchup in shallow leagues.

No Thanks

Emmanuel Moseley suffered an ACL injury in his game back from injury the opposite ACL last year. It’s a brutal run of luck for him and hopefully, he gets another chance at continuing his career next year.

Jack Campbell continues to wait patiently in the shadows for the Lions to finally start him over literally any other linebacker on the roster. He’s going to be a great player, but it’s not his time just yet. So be patient folks, they told us he wouldn’t start when they drafted him.

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Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

By Shawn Teague (@shawn8386)

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