2023 IDP Fantasy Football: Week 9 IDP Start Sit and Week 9 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 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!

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

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Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers

By Steve Hungarter (@IDPHunter)

The 3-4 Titans go to Pittsburgh to play the 4-3 Steelers. This is a challenging matchup to predict, given that both offenses have faced difficulties in maintaining consistency. Considering it's a short week and both teams rely on physical, grind-it-out styles it's worth noting that the Titans switched to their rookie quarterback. That could be the difference as the Steelers are a turnover-producing defense and are playing at home.

Start Your Studs

T.J. Watt if you have him you play him as a DL, for his position he is tied for second in sacks with nine and also tied for third in forced fumbles with two.

Alex Highsmith should be played as a defensive lineman also, has 16 tackles on the season, which ranks him 20th. Three sack is nice to add as well.

They both get a Titans team that has a suspect offensive line and is ranked 9th best at the position.

Jeffery Simmons is always a good option week to week, having 4.5 sacks on the season. The Steelers clean a lot of this up so just be mindful that it is not a great option but still would start if I had him and bet on the talent.

Solid Starting Options

Denico Autry is a bit overlooked. Having 5 sacks in seven games, the last three logging over 70% of the snap count. He's a strong fill during the bye-weeks.

Harold Landry, Jack Gibbens, and Amani Hooker all have solid IDP fantasy matchups here.

Honestly, it has been a down year for Landry, but everyone else on this list has had a game or two and been incredibly productive. if you are in deep formats all are worth the spin. Only Jack Gibbens and Autry are in the shallower leagues.

Cameron Heyward you will need to check the injury reports. He seems poised for a return this week, however. This makes him a must-have addition in IDP leagues that specifically require defensive tackles on your roster. Heyward has consistently been one of the most productive interior defensive linemen in recent seasons.

Cole Holcomb has been playing great here lately. Logging 91, 89, and 90% of the snaps in the last three weeks usually gets you 9-11 tackles.

Hail Mary

Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee could be decent options here. Last week, we saw expanded playing time in the absence of Minkah Fitzpatrick, as they haven't been regular starters when Fitzpatrick is on the field. For fantasy managers seeking to capitalize on their increased involvement, Neal should be the primary target due to his significant usage of the box.

Elandon Roberts and Kwon Alexander are always good shots to take but due to their lower snaps consistency, it's hard to view them any greater than an LB4. This week they get a good matchup against a rushing team so expect them to be playable in deeper leagues.

Elijah Molden, of the Tennessee Titans, assumed the role of a full-time safety following Kevin Byard's departure to Philadelphia. Terrell Edmunds may get some run but think Molden is the guy.

Arden Key's production has been meh but he logs the snaps. I have him going in a 32-team league but other than that it's a bit of a punt.

No Thanks

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Roger McCreary have both been ruled out of this game already. Make sure they are not in your starting lineups!

With Cameron Heyward's return, most of the Steelers' DTs outside of Larry Ogunjobi head back to IDP fantasy irrelevancy.

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Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs (GERMANY 9:30 AM)

By Shawn Teague (@shawn8386)

Start Your Studs

Jevon Holland returns this week after a concussion kept him out of last week’s matchup against New England. He gets a great matchup against the Chiefs, who are giving up the sixth most points to safeties. Holland has cooled off over the last few weeks after starting the season with two double-digit tackle games. Look for him to show up big in this AFC heavyweight showdown.

Miami’s “Greatest Show on Surf '' offense will provide Trent McDuffie and L’Jarius Sneed plenty of tackle and big play opportunities. The Dolphins are giving up the sixth most points to cornerbacks, making these two some of this week’s best starting options in all league sizes. Expect these two to do very well this weekend.

Kader Kohou has been solid all season and has another favorable matchup this week. This game has the potential for a big scoring shootout and Kohou is the top fantasy cornerback for the Dolphins. Playing in the slot keeps him near the line of scrimmage for more tackle opportunities and gives him a chance to blitz as well. He has been one of the more consistent cornerbacks and should be rostered in all leagues. Start with confidence.

Solid Starting Options

The Chiefs are giving up the eighth most points to linebackers and that bodes well for Jerome Baker and David Long. Both are capable of having double-digit tackles. Baker has just a little more sack upside than Long. We could see Long trying to cover that guy Taylor Swift made famous. Look for both of these guys to have a solid day-in-the-box score.

DeShon Elliott gets the same great matchup that Jevon Holland gets against Kansas City. His tackle numbers aren’t super impressive, but he has a solid floor. If this game turns into the shootout many are hoping for, then we could see Elliott’s numbers inflate to his Week 1 ceiling of 13 total tackles. He is a solid play this week with some upside.

Christian Wilkins's value takes a hit this week as the Chiefs are giving up the fewest points to defensive tackles. Wilkins is sitting as the third-highest-scoring DT and should still be startable even with the tough matchup. His 4.5 sacks have already tied his career best and he is still looking for that new contract. He is too solid to sit this week.

If you are not going to sit Christian Wilkins in a tough matchup, then you won’t sit Chris Jones either. The Dolphins are giving up the sixth-fewest points to defensive tackles and Jones hasn’t recorded a sack in a few weeks. Big-time stars show up in big games, and this feels like the type of big game that Jones will show up for. He is an elite player and could have a solid day.

Drue Tranquill is the top Kansas City linebacker left standing right now. Nick Bolton is on IR and Willie Gay is dealing with a lower back contusion that will most likely keep him out this weekend. Miami is not a good matchup for linebackers, but Tranquill will be the one on the field for nearly every down. He is versatile enough to still have a solid day despite the matchup.

Miami is giving the most points to safeties this season, but Kansas City’s safeties are mostly mediocre. Justin Reid would be the best option to start from this group. He has had a few solid games this year and should be able to have another solid day on Sunday.

Hail Mary

It’s a tough matchup for Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb this week. Phillips was starting to look like the breakout player we expected him to be against the Patriots last week. Chubb has been on a hot streak recording four sacks over the last three games. The bad matchup knocks both of their values down a bit, but you are still playing them in deeper leagues.

Mike Edwards gets a bit of a boost both with the favorable matchup and the Willie Gay injury. Leo Chenal is expected to fill in for Gay, but he is more of a down-hill thumper and will likely be taken off the field in obvious passing scenarios. Chenal coming off the field would open up more plays for Mike Edwards to eat up. Both are a bit of a dart throw in deep leagues.

Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey are finally set to share the field on Sunday. Howard has missed the last two games with a groin injury and Ramsey made an early return from IR last week. Both are streaming options in deeper CB-required leagues. Eli Apple would lose most of his playing time and should not be started in any league this week.

Zach Sieler should probably be avoided in most league sizes with the poor matchup. He would still have value in deep leagues that require more than one starting defensive tackle.

All of Kansas City’s edge rushers will be hard to trust outside of deep leagues. It’s a poor matchup and they will all be boom or bust at best. If you can, look for a better matchup to exploit at edge rusher. If you have to start one, Karlaftis is the most appealing with his talent and he gets the most playing time.

No Thanks

Willie Gay suffered a lower back contusion last week against the Broncos and is projected to miss this week’s matchup against the Dolphins.

Brandon Jones filled in for Jevon Holland (concussion) last week. He is in the concussion protocol and didn’t travel with the team to Germany.

Eli Apple’s role will be drastically reduced with Xavien Howard’s return from a groin injury. There won’t be enough defensive snaps for Apple to make an impact outside of another injury.

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Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons

By Randy Johnson (@OldMan_FF)

Start Your Studs

The Falcons are a very good matchup against all opposing defensive positions except CB. They are just average against opposing CBs. With that in mind, more than half of the Vikings' starting defense will be Studs this week!

Harrison Phillips has been a mega surprise all season at the DT position. He usually plays about 75% of the snaps and already has 49 tackles on the season. Phillips is tied for 4th in DT scoring with 90 points and that is just 3 points behind 1st place. He is a must in DT-required leagues especially this week against this offense.

Danielle Hunter reached 91% of the snaps last week, which was the third time he has broken the 90% mark this season. He has had at least one sack in seven of his eight games played this season. Hunter has 12 tackles for a loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 passes defended thus far. He will show up huge this Sunday.

Jordan Hicks has played nearly every snap this season and produced 69 tackles already. He has scored double-digit scoring for seven games in a row. His tackles have ranged anywhere from 6-13 per game. He has also added 1 tackle for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 passes defended, 1 interception, and 1 TD. Keep him going this weekend.

The three safeties for the Vikings have been solid every game. Camryn Bynum is the #1 scoring safety, while Josh Metellus is #4, and Harrison Smith is #8 overall for 2023. Bynum has 76 tackles thus far while Smith and Metellus each have 55 tackles. As long as these three are playing, they are in your starting lineup.

The Vikings are also a very nice matchup for opposing safeties. Thus, we will put both Jessie Bates and Richie Grant in the Stud category for this game. Both play 100% of the snaps and both have 52 tackles on the year. They also have five double-digit scoring weeks each. Bates has more of the splash plays with 1 tackle for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, 4 passes defended, and 3 interceptions on the year. Grant comes in with 1 tackle for a loss, 3 passes defended, and an interception.

Solid Starting Options

D.J. Wonnum played 93% of the snaps last week and posted 2 sacks, along with 3 tackles (2 solo), and 1 tackle for a loss. Again, the Falcons are a very good matchup for opposing DEs, so play Wonnum with a lot of confidence.

CBs have just an average matchup against the Falcons. The Vikings tandem Akayleb Evans and Byron Murphy plays nearly every snap and produces tackles and pass defends by the bunches. Evans already has 40 tackles on the year, while Murphy has posted 32 tackles on the year. Between the two, they have had 11 passes defended, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. They are both very involved in every play, whether pass or run. They both like football.

The Vikings allow better-than-average scoring to opposing LBs, so get Kaden Elliss and Nathan Landman in your lineups. Elliss already has 53 tackles on the year with a sack on nearly 100% of the snaps. Landman has been playing since Week 4 and has five straight double-digit scoring weeks in his five starts. Fire them both up in your lineup.

Jeff Okudah has three double-digit scoring weeks in his last four games. He has posted a minimum of five tackles in those games. The Vikings are not so good against opposing CBs, so get Okudah in your lineups of CB-required leagues.

Hail Mary

Bud Dupree has had two double-digit scoring weeks in the last three games. He has 8 tackles (4 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks. He did this on about 70% of the snaps, so if you need bye week or injury help, Dupree might be your answer.

Calais Campbell is another player who has had a nice last three weeks. He has produced 9 tackles (5 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 sacks. He also plays about 70% of the snaps. The fountain of youth is working in Atlanta.

Second-year player Arnold Ebiketie is starting to find his place in the Falcons defense. He still isn’t playing 50% of the snaps, but he has posted 2 double-digit scoring weeks with 2 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.

AJ Terrell and Dee Alford are possible CB plays in those CB-required leagues. Terrell has 8 tackles (5 solo) and 3 passes defended in the past 2 games. Alford has 7 tackles (4 solo) and 2 passes defended over the past 2 games. With the Vikings being kind to opposing CBs, they will make some starting rosters.

No Thanks

Due to a lack of playing time and results, you should not have Dean Lowry, Ivan Pace, Brian Asamoah, Andrew Booth, Lewis Cine, Lorenzo Carter, and Tre Flowers in your lineup.

Due to injury, make sure Grady Jarrett and Troy Andersen are not in your lineup.

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Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens

By Joseph Harlow (@joelow63)

Start Your Studs

This is an easy tier this week. You are starting both Seattle linebackers and the top Ravens linebacker, pretty much regardless of scoring settings. Roquan Smith and Bobby Wagner have missed 15 snaps combined on the season (with all of Wagner’s being in a blowout win) and are averaging double-digit tackles per game.

Jordyn Brooks (averaging almost 10 tackles per game) is off his highest snap total of the year, and the Ravens have been a top-10 matchup for LBs thus far (leading to his inclusion as a stud over the Ravens’ LB2).

Solid Starting Options

Boye Mafe is the top edge rusher on the team with Uchenna Nwosu done for the season. He had a great game last week, his first as the lead rusher, and could see similar success in a top 15 DE matchup. Darrell Taylor was the clear 2nd edge, pushing him into the back half of this tier with a top-15 matchup.

With Seattle being only a decent matchup for LBs, Patrick Queen finds himself in tier 2 this week. In a league where sacks have more points, he would jump back to tier 1 because of his pass-rush ability (3.5 sacks on the year). He has been awesome since Roquan Smith’s arrival and is a good-to-great weekly play.

Devon Witherspoon is coming off his worst fantasy game and faces a bottom 5 matchup in Baltimore. However, 'Spoon is still in a great role and should see plenty of opportunities out of the slot with Baltimore playing 3WRs often. In CB leagues he is still a solid play, but should be downgraded due to the matchup in DB leagues.

No player has seen more targets this season (per PFF) than Ravens CB Brandon Stephens. He has been targeted 8 times per game, giving him a great opportunity to make plays. Seattle has been a bad but not terrible matchup for CBs, but Stephens will have many tackle opportunities (6 per game so far) and could always grab an interception as Geno Smith has gotten unlucky on many aggressive passes over the last few weeks.

Jamal Adams has broken back into his (almost) full-time role at box safety again as he continues to get back into game shape. He has accrued 14 tackles over the last two contests and has a decent matchup this week.

Kyle Hamilton has turned his mostly disappointing season around over the last two games with 17 total tackles. He is facing a bottom 3 matchup this week, but seeing every snap and around two-thirds from the box/slot, which raises his floor. He is still a weekly start in multiple DB leagues and has takeover potential, no matter the matchup.

Hail Mary

With the acquisition of Leonard Williams, all iDL (and secondary DEs like Derrick Hall) are pushed down a bit. We do not know how much Williams plays right on the team, nor how long it will take him to get fully acclimated. Jarran Reed and Dre'Mont Jones could see time inside or out (like Williams has done), which should keep them relevant long-term.

Similar to Seattle, the Baltimore DL room is kind of a mess right now. Justin Madubuike has been spectacular this season, with 6.5 sacks and 3 tackles per game. Unfortunately, he is facing a bottom 2 matchup this week. He is startable in DT leagues, but the upside should be capped a bit.

On the edge, there is a heavy rotation between Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy (who loses value with only LB position designation on MFL and other platforms), and the recovering Odafe Oweh with no player seeing 60% of snaps since Week 2. Seattle is an average matchup, but the uncertainty at the position hurts its predictability.

Third safety Julian Love was spectacular as the Jamal Adams fill-in but appears to have been little more than just that. He has seen his role diminish, breaking his floor. In a deep league starting 3+ DBs, he is a good start, but in shallower leagues, he is best left to the bench.

Geno Stone has been great as Marcus Williams's replacement so far this season. However, the bad matchup and typical deep safety role push him down to tier 3. He will most likely need a turnover to produce for your team(s). Williams has also practiced this week and might return to the starting lineup.

No Thanks

Derick Hall and Frank Clark may be the ones most affected by the Leonard Williams trade. Williams, Dre'Mont Jones, and Jarran Reed have inside-outside versatility, so they may use a big-man lineup up front. With both rusher’s statuses in jeopardy, they should not be played in almost any format this weekend.

Marcus Williams was limited at practice, but we need to see how his play-time shapes up when he returns. Geno Stone has been too good to put on the bench, so Williams may end up being “eased” back in.

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Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns

By Randy Johnson (@OldMan_FF)

Start Your Studs

Every defensive position does very well against the Browns. With this news, Budda Baker will be on the Stud list this week. He will be playing his third game after missing the previous five games after suffering a hamstring injury. He immediately jumped to 100% of the snaps and produced double-digit scoring in both of his games back thus far with six tackles in each game.

Kyzir White is beating all pre-season predictions by a bit. He has double-digit scoring in every game this season. He already has 69 tackles (42 solo), 8 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 passes defended, and an interception to date. He has not missed a single snap this season.

Look up the definition of a stud DE/Edge player and Myles Garrett will be pictured. He is a game wrecker all by himself. Garrett has already produced 7 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and a pass defended in just 7 games. The Browns' defense usually stops the opposing offenses, so Garrett does this damage on just 46 snaps on average per game.

Solid Starting Options

The Cardinals CB duo of Marco Wilson and Antonio Hamilton look to be set up for successful games against the Browns QB. Hamilton has 18 tackles and 2 passes defended in his last 3 starts. Wilson has 42 tackles and 3 passes defended in his 8 games. They both average over 12 points per game.

Jalen Thompson is the perfect Robin to Baker’s Batman. Thompson averaged almost 13 points per game in his first five starts. He then missed the next two games with a hamstring injury. In his return last week, he posted 6 tackles (4 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, and 1 pass defended. This was good for his average of 13 points scored.

The Cardinals are a better-than-average matchup for the opponents' safeties. Grant Delpit has had an up-and-down year in the fantasy IDP world. He will get you tackles, with as many as 10 in Week 7. Delpit has had 22 tackles in the last three games. He does have the capability of an occasional splash play as he has 2 tackles for a loss, 1 fumble recovery, 2 passes defended, and an interception.

Hail Mary

Rookie DE/Edge BJ Ojulari just had his season high in snaps with 25 which was good for 38%. He produced 2 solo tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, and 1 sack. This game last week was his first of many double-digit scoring weeks.

Dante Stills has two 17-point performances over the last four weeks. This rookie DT has a combined 17 tackles (8 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks. He is a good option in your DT-required leagues.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has a very nice ceiling but delivers a floor performance once in a while. He played as many as 49 snaps in Week 6 where he posted 5 tackles (3 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass defended. His floor performance is just 3 tackles with 2 of them being solo. Proceed with caution.

Denzel Ward has two straight double-digit scoring games and five of them on the year now. The Cardinals are a bad matchup for opposing CBs, but Ward has delivered a minimum of four tackles in five of his games. That is a nice floor for you in those CB-required leagues. He also has 1 tackle for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 7 passes defended, and 1 interception on the year.

Martin Emerson is a player you might want to stash now in your CB-required leagues. This second-year player is getting the majority of snaps and is starting to produce in a big way. He has two 22+ point games in his last three games. In those 2 games, he posted 12 tackles (11 solo), 3 passes defended, and 2 interceptions.

Juan Thornhill might be a decent safety fill-in this week as he is going against a Cardinal team that allows better-than-average scoring to opposing safeties. He has posted double-digit scoring over the past 2 weeks while recording 14 tackles, of which 11 were solo.

Zaven Collins hasn’t hit double-digit scoring since Week 3.

No Thanks

Due to a lack of playing time and results, you should not have Krys Barnes, Cameron Thomas, Sione Takitaki, Greg Newsome, and Rodney McLeod in your lineup.

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Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers

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