2023 IDP Fantasy Football: Week 8 IDP Start Sit and Week 8 IDP Rankings

Embed from Getty Images

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!

Listen to the top-rated FantasyPros IDP ranker, Steve Hungarter (@IDPHunter), talk through this week's top IDP rankings here!

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

Every Sunday 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!


Embed from Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills

By Steve Hungarter (@IDPHunter)

The 4-3 Bills, who have lost two of their last three games hope to get things right with a good matchup and a home game against the 3-3 Bucs. Both teams protect the quarterback fairly well and play solid defense but there are a few distinctions that could make this matchup become a beatdown early on.

Similarly, the Buccaneers came off a loss too. Their defense as well, could also get after the offense. This Defense boasts a formidable pass rush, the Bucs DST has not pressured QBs at a high rate but held them to good numbers ranking third with a 40.6% blitz rate. It’s uncertain whether the Bills will completely dominate the scoreboard. They might manage a few significant plays downfield, which is always possible with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs on the same team.

As mentioned Todd Bowles Defense likes to blitz a lot. Josh Allen is 50% accurate and 114 QBR rating under a blitz, so this could spell doom for them early on.

Start Your Studs

The Bills’ defensive line, fueled by the performance they had last week, makes it challenging to imagine a sudden breakout from Buc’s Rachaad White on the ground. Enter Ed Oliver, a defensive tackle who leads his team with pressures and hurries this season. I believe, that when Baker Mayfield (a player with a profile for a strong arm with questionable accuracy) finds himself in clear passing situations, the Bills will intensify their pass rush, putting pressure on him and making Oliver a stud play this week.

Solid Starting Options

It the time now to consider Terrel Bernard as a top-10 LB for the rest of the season. This is more of an indication of just how bad the supporting cast has been around him. The LB2 situation is a lot like musical chairs here, with each week getting worse. Just when we thought we figured it out we see the condition change yet again. The latest soapbox had Dorian Williams being benched at halftime in favor of Tyrel Dodson during the Patriots game. I do not want either of them. So stay tuned. By default, Bernard, who was already logging 100% snap weeks is your guy to own here.

The hope here is the Bills will create turnovers and interceptions and in this game it seems likely. Both the running game of the Bucs and its passing offense could be had by experienced players here. I could see Jordan Poyer making a huge play leading this to an early blowout.

Antoine Winfield is a top-three DB almost every week now with 30 solo tackles on the season and nine assists. Where he excels is a knack for kicking balls out with three forced fumbles. Set him and forget him most weeks.

Here’s something. Did you know it was Lavonte David ranked 20th at his position in tackles (38) plus ten more assists? Not Devin White who is having a bad year ranked 47th.

If you have to play in CB-required leagues both Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis bring experience and potential and high-end tackles. Would be worth a look depending on who gets locked on to key receivers.

Hail Mary

Christian Benford, Micah Hyde, and Kalim Elam have had a few weeks of relevance. I could see both getting opportunities due to the quality of the quarterback so this is a streaming option in leagues that need CB.

Tyrel Dodson could merit considerable snap counts so could be startable in the deepest of contests due to the bye weeks

A.J. Epenesa rejuvenated his career in recent weeks. Only 53% of snap count or less I would not start to to the scarcity in playing time which limits any player’s productivity.

You know deeper leagues and during bye week, you might consider playing Vita Vea as your DL3. He has consistently averaged three tackles per game, and his performance also boasts 2 forced fumbles, 3.5 sacks, and 6 pressures. He is profiled as a good run defender too and will always generate a high snap count usage. The only thing keeping him in this tier is health. If he plays, move him up a tier to a solid starter.

I know this shocks you but the truth is for a guy who has had 100% of the snaps this year Devin White hasn’t been getting after it. He is profiled as a good blitzer but hasn’t done that well either this year. He’s a name and will play so start if you have to.

The Bucs protect Baker Mayfield extremely well, ranked 2nd with a 3.8% sack rate is surprisingly low. This is not good news for Shaquil Barrett, who after coming back from injury has seemed to cool off recently.

If Vita Vea does not play, Calijah Kancey or Greg Gaines could be played in DT-required leagues.

No Thanks

Von Miller just can't be in full health yet. He has played just 23%, 35%, and 10% in the last three games that he has been active. We need to hit 50% before even considering him as a Hail Mary play going forward.


Embed from Getty Images

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers

By Joseph Harlow (@joelow63)

Start Your Studs

Derrick Brown is a must-start in leagues with a DT spot. He is averaging 5 tackles per game from the DT spot (even if he has slowed over the past weeks) and has some pass-rush juice as well. DEs are not a good matchup against Houston, but DTs have been solid, so he will be best suited to make plays along the defensive line. With his recent struggles, he moves down a tier in leagues starting DLs and not specific DTs.

Is having rookie Will Anderson, who has one whole sack on the season, in the stud tier bold and maybe irresponsible? Yes, yes it is. However! He has been a dominant rusher so far this season, being in the top 30 in pressures while outside the top 60 in pass rush snaps (per PFF). Carolina is a top-10 matchup for DEs, but even their banged-up OL has not seen many rushers with his talent level this season (Hutchinson, Hunter, and Phillips on a light snap count). Panther QBs have taken over 3 sacks per game, and while they are off the bye, so is the 3rd overall pick, who will be gunning for the 1st overall pick in this class.

Frankie Luvu is still limited in practice so far with a nagging hip injury but is still a borderline stud this week. Houston has been a top 5 matchup for LBs on the season, and Luvu is still clearly the LB1 on this roster, even with his injury. He always can go off for 2 sacks and 2 interceptions, so that upside pushes him into the stud tier, even if he is hobbled and has lower numbers than hoped for this season.

Solid Starting Options

Brian Burns has struggled this season, for his lofty standards (especially as a massive breakout candidate for myself) but is still a top-tier play most weeks. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst matchups for him, with Houston being in the bottom third for points allowed to DEs. He still has the talent to take over any game, so should be in your lineups, but has a lower chance of hitting this week compared to normal.

Henry To'oTo'o has remained the top LB in Houston since Denzel Perryman’s injury after Week 2. With Perryman healthy off the bye, the room seems to be getting murkier (more on that in the next tier), but To’oTo’o has the safest role today. Cashman outproduced him in their last game but has been inconsistent on-field, so is most likely to lose snaps to Perryman.

Cornerback C.J. Henderson has played every snap in 4 games this year (left with injury in weeks 1 and 3). In those games, he had 26 total tackles, a great number for a CB. He is a fine player in CB leagues.

Both Texan safeties are also in the solid start tier, with Jimmie Ward having a great floor and Jalen Pitre still having an elite upside. They have been the safety duo since Week 4 (injuries for both early on) and played almost every snap. Pitre has seen mostly deep safety work but still gets his share of slot work. Each is averaging around 6 tackles per game (4 games apiece), but Pitre has been on fire with almost 20 over the last 2 games. Both are great plays most weeks. The decision between the two comes down to whether you want a floor (Ward) or a ceiling (Pitre).

Vonn Bell has teetered between tiers 1 and 2 this season, but his current injury drops him firmly into 2 if he plays. He has not participated in practices and is trending towards being out. However, if he does play, he is locked into multiple DB/S lineups even with a matchup as bad as Brian Burns’. Over 6.5 tackles per game is a great baseline, but he may be less efficient if active.

Hail Mary

Carolina is a top-12 matchup for both DEs and DTs, which is good news for those managing Jonathan Greenard, Sheldon Rankins, or Maliek Collins. Greenard has been better than Will Anderson on the season, but the long-shot “stud” placement of Anderson pushes Greenard (who has better box score numbers than metrics) down a bit, but is still a fine start in deep leagues.

The DTs are here due to uncertainty with playtime. Rankins has produced more (3 tackles per game) but is seeing similar time to Collins, who kills his floor and takes down his upside. Rankins is the better play, but either is fine in leagues that start multiple DTs.

Kamu Grugier-Hill has been an odd play for Carolina this season. He took over all snaps in the game when Shaq Thompson was hurt, then played two-thirds of snaps in the next game despite not starting, followed by two games under 40% of snaps, and then the clear LB2 before the bye. With that trend, he should be the team’s LB2, but uncertainty pushes him down to tier 3. He has 5 tackles per game, despite weird usage.

The LB conundrum in Houston… Christian Harris time! Just kidding, see below for some words on him. Blake Cashman has been very good in relief of Denzel Perryman. However, Perryman should be back this week after an unsuccessful return in Week 5 (due to the club on his broken hand), a “healthy” scratch in Week 6, and a bye in Week 7. The LB2 will have value going forward (this writer’s money is on Perryman reclaiming the LB1 role once he is 100%), but who will that be this week? Only Ahtohallan knows (that’s right, you get a Frozen reference here, with the IDPGuys).

Xavier Woods is still nursing a hamstring injury and has been limited in practice. Sam Franklin Jr. has been very good in relief of the deep safety, so is also a solid play if Woods missed. Franklin Jr. seems to be the 3rd safety overall and may start if either Woods or Bell misses the game. Should both miss the game, Matthias Farley is the next man up and is worth a deep dart throw as he played in the box/slot mostly in Week 6 and has been better there during his career.

No Thanks

We said we don’t know who the LB2 will be for Houston this week. Barring something highly unforeseen, we know it is not Christian Harris.

Young, hopeful players in Jeremy Chinn and Yetur Gross (Delicious)-Matos have been placed on IR. Chinn will miss a portion of a massively disappointing season, while Gross-Matos has a halt placed on his best season as a pro.

Early-season slot corner Tavierre Thomas may return this week. Jimmie Ward has been manning that role, which should be expected to continue. If Ward is pushed into the box more than the slot, Thomas should take the role back from the medley of Grayland Arnold and M.J. Stewart. Of that non-Ward group, Thomas is the one to take a shot on if you are in a deep league.

With the weirdness at LB, Deion Jones and Chandler Wooten should not be played, even in the deepest of leagues. Wooten saw LB2 snaps in Week 5, while Jones has started multiple games, but neither has displaced Kamu Grugier-Hill as the LB2 at this point.


Embed from Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys

By Steve Tomasin (@DynastySanta)

Start Your Studs

Cornerback DaRon Bland finds himself back as a must-start stud option this week as he figures to be busy in the slot. Matthew Stafford also isn't necessarily allergic to throwing interceptions. We may not get a pick-6 but it should be a double-digit IDP fantasy point day for Bland regardless.

Aaron Donald, come on down! You're the next contestant on Start Your Studs! This might be the first time in a long time Donald should be a top-three option at not just DT, but DL as well. The Cowboys surrender the sixth-most fantasy points to DTs and Donald is due for a throwback game.

Despite Ernest Jones slowing down a bit, this matchup is too good to pass up. As long as he plays, he remains locked into starting lineups that even just use 1 IDP.

Micah Parsons isn't leaving your lineups but man, look at these recent fantasy finishes (tool available to subscribers only! Use promo code: idp+pod - for 10% off any level of membership)! Is this someone worthy of being selected as the #1 overall IDP in just about all leagues that I saw drafted this season???? I have been preaching all off-season that, NO, no he is not! However, the Rams are a plus matchup for Parsons so we should see him return to form in this one.

Solid Starting Options

If you aren't aware of the cheat code who is Markquese Bell, let me introduce you. His position designation on almost all formats is safety/DB. However, with the loss of Leighton Vander Esch, Bell has taken over playing the LB2 while Damone Clark shifts to LB1 for Dallas. Now, his snap counts will be less than ideal, but his opportunity for production in this role is tough to ignore and not take advantage of if you're starting at least 2 DBs.

Christian Rozeboom finds himself here with the uncertainty of Ernest Jones's injury. If Jones plays, I'd likely knock Rozeboom back down a tier. However, he has been playing well as of late and could earn more snaps based on that merit alone. With Dallas surrendering the second-most IDP fantasy points to LBs, Rozeboom toes the line of Hail Mary/Solid Starting Option with no teams on bye this week. If you're a gambler, fire him up!

Jordan Fuller remains a solid option despite the bad IDP fantasy matchup because he has been pretty consistent all year, plays 100% of the snaps, and serves as the Rams' LB2 in many situations.

Hail Mary

Despite the monster breakout game, Michael Hoecht remains a boom/bust option. Dallas is a bad IDP fantasy matchup for DEs so I am likely rendering Hoecht back to the bench until I need him with bye weeks again.

His counterpart, Byron Young, carries a similar start/sit designation and should only be active in your lineups if desperate due to the bad matchup with Dallas.

Five of the six "starting" safeties (not including Bell) from this game are in this tier due to concerns surrounding playing time along with bad IDP fantasy matchups.

The Dallas three-headed monster of Donovan Wilson, Jayron Kearse, and Malik Hooker have all flashed but it seems impossible to pick the right one on the right week. With the Rams only giving up the 27th-most IDP fantasy points to safeties, I don't want the headache.

The Rams have formed a bit of a three-headed monster of their own at safety. Russ Yeast is still playing close to 100% of the snaps, but Quentin Lake has been inserting himself into the IDP fantasy conversation with his production on limited snaps.

No Thanks

No one of note to discuss here outside of Leighton Vander Esch being out and droppable in redraft formats. You should have sold him in dynasty leagues a while ago but are probably now forced to hold in hopes of both a recovery and a change of scenery next year.


Embed from Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

By Steve Tomasin (@DynastySanta)

Start Your Studs

If you know, you know. Camryn Bynum, Danielle Hunter, and Quay Walker are all IDP fantasy football studs without much explanation needed. I was somehow able to pick Bynum up off of waivers in a shallow start-one DB league last week and was rewarded handsomely. He has been about the only consistent DB-scoring player this year in IDP fantasy football.

Quay Walker, despite being banged up, returned to play 100% of the snaps last week. Yes, Isaiah McDuffie out-produced him on fewer snaps from an IDP fantasy standpoint, but I wouldn't project that to keep up.

The IDP fantasy points matchup for Danielle Hunter points to potentially a down game but his ceiling is too high to play that game. Start with confidence, just temper expectations this week, and be prepared to eat a dud. Gamble on a different position to potentially make up for a Hunter down game.

Solid Starting Options

Isaiah McDuffie currently sits in this tier but De'Vondre Campbell has practiced in limited fashion twice this week, potentially pointing to his return. Whichever takes on the LB2 role this week would deserve this tier, with the other relegated to a Hail Mary option.

Kenny Clark played 80+% of the snaps last week and gave us a zero-burger. I am not betting on that kind of production to continue on that many snaps played for an interior defensive lineman. The IDP fantasy matchup for DTs against Minnesota isn't great this week but I believe Clark will give us a solid bounceback game.

Rudy Ford is close to entering Stud territory. He is crushing his production and playing 100% of the snaps. With Minnesota giving up the fifth-most IDP fantasy points to safeties and Darnell Savage placed on IR, this points to a spike week for Ford, perfect for streaming. He is truly on the border of Solid/Stud this week.

I will continue to tout "safety" Josh Metellus every chance I get. He is essentially the LB2 for this team in Brian Flores's scheme. A bit of a down week last week despite snap counts remaining high. I expect a nice bounceback and he is a cheat code in many leagues from a position designation standpoint.

Hail Mary

Edge rushers Rashan Gary and Preston Smith are here this week due to a bad IDP fantasy matchup. Gary's ceiling is enormous but he is still ramping up his snaps. And Preston Smith was doing well contributing as an edge rusher and taking some more traditional LB snaps when Campbell went down. His usage is all over the place along with his IDP fantasy points production making him hard to trust. All of that coupled with the fact that Minnesota gives up just the 26th-most IDP fantasy points to DEs means a potentially lean week for this group.

Jonathan Owens has found himself relevant again with Darnell Savage headed to IR. He isn't in the friendliest IDP fantasy system for safeties like Houston last year, so I am not super excited to roll him out in my lineups until I see some consistent production.

No Thanks

After a few promising weeks to start his career, Lukas Van Ness has cooled off. He is still a hold in dynasty leagues but he won't crack your IDP fantasy starting lineup anytime soon.

Devonte Wyatt left last week's game early with a knee injury that was feared to be quite serious at the time. He has practiced in limited fashion twice this week, however, miraculously. This is a wait-and-see situation though. Wyatt's talent is enormous but he is only in year two and hopefully, this injury won't slow his development.


Embed from Getty Images

New Orleans Saints at Indianapolis Colts

By Joseph Harlow (@joelow63)

Start Your Studs

DeForest Buckner has had 5 tackles or a sack in each of the past three weeks, and now faces the league’s best DT matchup in New Orleans. With Grover Stewart suspended, Buckner had his highest snap total this past week, which should maintain. Bucker is locked into DT lineups but is a borderline “stud” in DL lineups with matchup and increased snaps.

Zaire Franklin continues another incredible season. He very well may hit 100 total tackles on the season in this matchup, showing how strong his season has been. New Orleans is a solid LB matchup, and both Jaguars LBs had a good day against them on Thursday night last week.

Multiple Colt DBs have (re)emerged as weekly starts. Julian Blackmon’s tackle pace has slowed over the past few weeks, but he still is averaging 7 tackles per game and has played every snap on the season.

Kenny Moore is back as a top-tier corner, with 8.25 tackles per game over the past 4 while adding an interception and 1.5 sacks. New Orleans is a decent matchup for both DB slots, so both can be started comfortably. There are concerns that the Colts' injuries at CB will push Moore to the outside, which would hurt his stud status.

Solid Starting Options

The Colts are a solid matchup across the board, which helps all Saints’ players. With this, both EDGE players are in the solid start tier, despite varying seasons. Carl Granderson (Go Pokes) has led the team with 4.5 sacks and 4 tackles per game in his breakout, contract extension-earning season while Cameron Jordan has only 1 sack and 2.5 tackles.

Jordan, however, has more pressures than Granderson, so his numbers are coming. Gardner Minshew takes a high among of sacks (12 for him, 7 for Richardson) and has a shaky OT situation due to youth and injuries. Granderson is the hot hand so should be prioritized, but this has all the makings of Jordan’s return to relevance.

Shaquille Leonard came back to his LB2 role over the past two weeks, playing 81 and 72 percent of snaps, respectively. He has 7 tackles in both of those matchups as well, getting back to being a fine play each week. In a solid matchup, he can be played with a decent floor.

Both linebackers for the Saints also find themselves in this tier. Pete Werner has more tackles than Demario Davis but has felt massively disappointing with minimal big plays. Both are fine plays, as the Colts have also run a high amount of plays, giving many opportunities, though neither has a crazy high ceiling.

Marshon Lattimore and Alontae Taylor are both averaging around 5 tackles per game, giving a solid floor and stability for CB-required leagues. Lattimore has added big play potential, while Taylor has the slot role locked down, though has not quite been living up to expectations. While still a fine matchup, this corner is the position the Colts are the worst matchup for, but Gardner Minshew has been very turnover-prone since taking over.

Hail Mary

As stated with DeForest Buckner, the Saints are the best matchup for DTs in the league. Taven Bryan and Eric Johnson have been taking snaps with Grover Stewart suspended, and both can be shots in deeper DT leagues. Johnson played more snaps last week but has not practiced yet this week. Bryan would be the priority as he has produced more this season along with Johnson’s injury.

Zack Baun has been running as the third rusher over the past few weeks, and appears to be the next man up at LB should Demario Davis (limited in practice after missing snaps last week with a knee injury) or Pete Werner miss time. He has had 3+ tackles in three of the last four games, while also adding an interception.

While the Saints are the top DT matchup so far, they are a bottom-3 matchup for DEs. This puts Kwity Paye and Samson Ebukam into tier 3. Both played around two-thirds of snaps last week but did not apply much pressure, even against below-average pass-blocking tackles in Cleveland. Both rushers are on a colder streak, so can be sat in most formats, but do have an upside.

Tyrann Mathieu still has a good role, playing every snap with most coming from the box/slot. However, he has struggled lately, with 7 combined tackles over the last 3 games (with a pick-six in there, to be fair). Off three cold tackle games, seeing him increase the baseline would be needed to start comfortably, though he is still a good player in big-play bonus leagues. Marcus Maye also is a big-play threat, though does not have a high-tackle floor.

E.J. Speed has dropped back to his LB3 role over the past two weeks. He still will see the field and have a chance to make some plays, but should only be played in best-ball or incredibly deep leagues. He needs an injury ahead of him to have true IDP value.

No Thanks

Tanoh Kpassagnon and Isaiah Foskey have seen their snaps drop in recent weeks, to low 20% and single digits, respectively. An injury (or two) would be required for either to have a role.

'Juju" Julius Brents will almost certainly miss this matchup after sustaining a quad injury during the Week 7 matchup with Cleveland. The rookie has made many plays in his few games, so can be played when he returns.

Jordan Howden has had third safety snaps over the past two weeks but has not reached 30% total in either. Should there be an injury, he is a name to keep an eye on.

Nick Cross has not seen the field much in his two seasons in Indianapolis. With another CB injury to Juju Brents, there are murmurs that slot corner Kenny Moore may have to move outside, with one of Cross, Julian Blackmon, or Rodney Thomas moving there (with Cross taking the safety spot if either were to man the slot). He is a player to keep an eye on this week as the Colts play with their lineup options.


You Must Sign In To See The Rest Of This Content

Subscribe Login
for Instant Access to this premium content


Back to top