We’ve made it through the first week of football, and now it’s time to focus on your week two IDP fantasy football matchups.
In part one of this weekly series we took a look at the Thursday night game and some of the more likely to produce IDP point explosion matchups in the early games Sunday. In this part we’ll look at some of the 4pm games on Sunday as well as the Sunday night and Monday night games. Here we go.
Week Two: Sunday 4pm Games
Arizona @ LA Rams
This one has the biggest spread this week with the Rams being a 13 point favorite at home. The Cardinals couldn’t pass their way out of a paper bag with a map and a flashlight so I’m guessing the Rams will load the box to shut down David Johnson and force Sam BADford to throw into that murderous secondary the Rams have.
Oh yeah they’ll also be rushing Sammy boy with Suh, Brockers and Donald. It’s going to be a long day for the Cardinals. I fully expect the Rams to dominate time of possession and for the Cardinals IDP to have a lot of work to do. Let’s get into it.
Cardinals: The Rams will cram Todd Gurley down Arizonas throat at a steady pace throughout this game and I fully expect him to be running most of the second half while milking the clock with a huge Rams lead. The Rams should own time of possession so if you have any Cardinals IDP players you’re waivering over this is going to be great week to play them.
For me I’m starting Budda Baker (S), Deone Buchanon (WLB), Josh Bynes (MLB), Chandler Jones (DE) and Antoine Bethea (S). Budda Baker is coming off a monster week one performance where he played 99% of snaps, he can go off for a huge week any time, for me he’s an always start.
Buchanon played 100% of snaps last week and had a nice game as well. He’s in a great spot for another great week going against Gurley & company. Josh Bynes played 90% of defensive snaps in week one and is the MLB in a 4 on a team with a bad offense. It’s a no brainer to start him.
Chandler Jones led the league in sacks last season and played 80% of snaps last week. While he may not have as many chances for a sack with the Rams strong ground game he’s an auto start for me this year. Bethea is the other safety and had a nice week one as well. He played 97% of snaps and this matchup certainly favors another nice week for him.
Rams: Unfortunately the Rams offense is really good and the Cardinals offense is not. That’s a recipe for fewer defensive snaps than you would like out of anyone you start for Rams IDP purposes. That being said there are a few guys who I think will still have a nice week.
I’m starting Mark Barron (ILB), Cory Littleton (ILB), John Johnson (S), Micheal Brockers (DE), N’Damakong Suh (DT) and Aaron Donald (DE). Barron has been questionable all week but if he can go he’s a start from me, he’s one of the few experienced and talented linebackers on that squad and should do well if he can go. Littleton played 100% of snaps last week and I am completely sure about if Barron can’t go.
However if Barron plays he may soak up a lot of that production Littleton was able to have last week so I would say buyer beware if Barron is good to go this week.***Writers note it looks like Barron is doubtful and not expected to play this week, start Cory Littleton if you have him.
Johnson played 100% of snaps in week one and had a terrific game. He should be involved in breaking up the passing game and will help contain David Johnson so he’s a go for me. The entire defensive line; Brockers, Suh and Donald, should be in for a feast in a game where Arizona will certainly fall behind and have to pass far more than they want to. The opportunity for sacks for any of these guys will be there this whole game.
New England @ Jacksonville
This is a rematch of last years AFC championship game and should be a good one. The Patriots offense is a well oiled machine that should be able to put some points up in this game as usual. The Jags may be without Fournette this week but TJ Yeldon did fine as a backup last week against the Giants. I’m seeing a mostly close game that the Pats win in the 4th quarter. The Pats should also edge out Jacksonville in the time of possession battle so any Jags IDP players you have this week should be in for a good matchup.
New England: Jacksonville loves to run the ball and play defense. However with the Patriots offense being so electric it may be hard to keep up with them with that playing style. Even without Fournette, who is at this point questionable, I expect the Jags to run as much as they can before being forced to take to the air where Bortles will be sure to make some mistakes.
For me that means I want the Pats secondary and maybe a linebacker if I’m desperate and certainly some defensive line. Give me Devin McCourty (S), Stephon Gilmore (CB), Trey Flowers (DE) and possibly Juwon Bentley (LB).
McCourty is as steady and reliable as they get for the Pats IDP players and he played 97% of snaps last week. Gilmore played 100% of snaps in week one and should be highly involved in disrupting the Jags passing game. Flowers is in my opinion the best option for the Pats defensive line. He’s coming off a huge week one game and played 68% of snaps which is pretty good for a rotating defensive line.
He should have plenty of sack opportunities when the Jags are inevitably forced to pass often to try and keep up with the Pats offense. Bentley is the linebacker who had the highest defensive snap share last week with 69% of snaps played. There are far better options at linebacker out there but this is an ideal matchup against a team that loves to run the ball if you do have to play him this week.
Jacksonville: The Patriots offense is a finely tuned machine that works in all conditions and against all defenses. They will mix up run and pass and probably dominate time of possession. This should be a great game to start all your Jags IDP studs.
For me I’m starting Myles Jack (MLB), Telvin Smith (WLB), Calais Campbell (DE), Barry Church (S), M Jackson (DT) and Ramsey/Buoye (CB). Both Myles Jack and Telvin Smith are top IDP linebackers and should never not be started, ever. Campbell will have plenty of chances to sack an older and less mobile Tom Brady while Jackson will opportunities to stuff the Pats run game.
Since the Pats should own time of possession playing guys on the Jags defensive line is ideal since sacks and tackles for loss are impossible to predict so the best you can do is start these guys against an opponent that will be on offense the majority of the game. Barry Church is reliable and always has been and should put up some decent numbers. Church played 97% of defensive snaps last week so he should be on the field the majority of this game as well.
Ramsey and Buoye will have their hands full with Tom Brady and his ability to spread the ball out to multiple receivers and come away with a ton of completions per game. These two will have chances for interceptions and tackles after completed passes.
Sunday Night Game
NY Giants @ Dallas
Both of these teams struggled in week one with Dallas having the harder time and only scoring eight points against the Panthers. The Cowboys passing game was horrid and they had trouble moving the ball all game. The Giants looked pretty good but went up against a great Jacksonville team that edged them out.
Barkley was not having a good game but was saved by a run he took to the house late in the game, most of his runs were stopped before or around the line of scrimmage and many people were commenting on how his dancing behind the line run style wasn’t working out.
Both of these defenses aren’t great so I expect both of these running backs to have nice days and a decent amount of points to be scored. With both teams wanting to use their premier stud running backs early and often I expect there to be some easy IDP points to be had from both defenses.
NY Giants: The Cowboys will look to run with Zeke early and often. And as they showed last week anything more than short passing attempts weren’t having any success. I expect this to be a recipe for another solid game for the Giants big three. I’m starting Damon Harrison (DT), Alec Ogletree (ILB) and Landon Collins (S).
Those are the guys I’m comfortable with this week. Snacks will be in great position to make tackles at the line of scrimmage and possibly a tackle for loss or two. Ogletree will be in good position for run stopping and some tackles on short passes to Beasley & company. And Collins is an always start no matter what, he could explode for a huge week at any time.
Olivier Vernon is listed as out this week he’s the only other guy I would consider but since he’s a scratch those are the three I’d go with. Collins and Ogletree both played 100% of snaps in week one while Harrison played 71%.
Dallas Cowboys: The Giants were able to move the ball against the Jags last week but were only able to score one touchdown on a Barkley house call. I expect them to feed Saquon early and often as well as passes to Beckham and Engram. The Cowboys defensive line should be able to grab some sacks going against the leaky Giants offensive line and there should be some easy run stopping tackles as well as tackles on completed passes for the secondary.
For me I’m starting Sean Lee (LB), Jaylon Smith (LB), Demarcus Lawrence (DE) and Kavon Frazier (S). Sean Lee is an auto start if he’s healthy and played 88% of snaps in week one. Smith had a decent game last week and played 93% of snaps to start the year. Both linebackers should see some easy run stopping tackles with Barkley getting fed the rock early and often.
Lawrence is an auto start when healthy as well and played 72% of snaps in week one while putting together a monster game in the stat column. Kavon Frazier played 100% of snaps last game and had a really nice game as well and could be a waiver wire safety if you need help in that department this week. With safety Xavier Woods out again this week Frazier looks like a done deal to get another start. While Frazier may not be a long term solution he could help you out this week.
He checks the right boxes in that he’ll be on the field the majority of defensive snaps and will be in position to make plays. Also if the Cowboys can’t fix their awful passing game the Giants will just load the box to shut down Zeke and force Dak to throw more than he wants to. This could be a recipe for the Giants dominating time of possession and Cowboys IDP being on the field the majority of this game.
Monday Night Game
Seattle @ Chicago
This game could spell disaster for the Seahawks who have been hurting on the offensive line for two seasons now. The Bears pass rush caused havoc in the first half of the week one game against the Packers and could do even more damage against this seriously weak offensive line. I expect Russel Wilson to be running for his life most of this game and the Seahawks run game to be an important part of keeping Wilson alive past this week.
The Bears offense is nothing special from what we’ve seen so far even with the pieces they acquired in the offseason. The Hawks, even with their injuries on defense, should be able to keep this game close so I don’t expect one team or the other to really dominate time of possession. Both run games should be doing work all game so I expect the linebackers on both teams to get some easy points here.
Seattle: The Bears are going to run Jordan Howard quite a bit I would assume while also throwing short passes to Cohen and taking some shots to Allen Robinson & company. For the Hawks I’m starting Bobby Wagner (LB), KJ Wright (LB), (If he plays, he’s doubtful as of the time of writing this) Frank Clark (DE) and Bradley McDougald (S).
You could also roll the dice with Tre Flowers (S/CB) in your corner slot (I wouldn’t start him at safety, too big a risk and there are more reliable safeties available) and hope he replicates his week one stats. Flowers played 97% of week one snaps so the opportunity should be there. Wagner is an always start as long as he’s healthy and a top five IDP linebacker every year he plays close to 16 games.
KJ Wright has been banged up and Shaq Griffin (LB) came in for him last week and didn’t put up the kind of numbers we’re looking for. If Wright can’t go there’s a chance that Griffin or newly acquired financial genius Mychal Kendricks could take that spot and the start. ***Writers note: Both Wagner and KJ Wright are OUT for the Monday night game. Mychal Kendricks will certainly see some playing time but since he’s been with the team less than a week I would use another option if available. Shaq Griffin (LB) came in for Wright last week and did NOT impress, I would steer clear of him as well.
Either way it’s too big a risk for me so I’m not recommending it. If Wright is ok to play though definitely start him. Clark had a nice week one but only played 58% of defensive snaps so if you have a better option go with that. McDougald had an awesome week one and played 82% of snaps and could get plenty of work in this weeks matchup I’m starting him in several places.
Chicago: The Seahawks are without Doug Baldwin this week and an encore of the Will Dissly show seems unlikely so I expect them to try and run the ball and hope their defense can keep them in this game. If they are forced to pass it’s not going to be pretty missing their best wide receiver and trying to protect Wilson from Mack and Hicks with a terrible offensive line.
For the Bears IDP players I’m going with Khalil Mack (DE/LB), Danny Trevethan (ILB), Adrian Amos (S) and Akiem Hicks (DE). Roquan Smith only had a few snaps last week and that lucky sack saved his day from being a total bust. Until he’s more involved in this defense I feel like he’s a huge risk to start. If you’re forced into it that’s one thing but if you have options I would steer clear.
Mack is an always start as a defensive end and a start at linebacker if you like taking risks. The risk being if he doesn’t get a sack or some kind of big play he won’t have enough tackles as a linebacker to be worth the start. That’s your decision, for me if he’s a DE I’m starting him, as a linebacker I’m looking elsewhere. Trevethan played 95% of defensive snaps in week one so he’s the Bears LB I would trust most this week.
Amos played 100% of snaps and had a really nice week one stat line. Hicks took advantage of the Packers worrying about Mack and had a really nice day himself in week one while also playing 73% of defensive snaps. Mack only played 70% in week one but that should increase as the year continues.
As always good luck in your week two matchups and feel free to hit me or any of the IDP Guys team up for advice or waiver options any time. You can reach me on Twitter @Orangeman3142 and reach a member of our team by filling out the “Contact Us” form on www.idpguys.org.