Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
This article series will be set up exactly the same as last year’s was. For the Thursday night games, I will be tweeting the start or sit on Twitter (@Orangeman3142). This article will publish weekly on Saturday morning and will cover all of the Sunday games and the Monday night game as well.
Last year I was writing four thousand word articles describing the thought process behind all these “decisions” (start or sit and what tier of expected production). In an effort to cover every IDP relevant player and every matchup and team I’ve cut that part of this process out, for the record though I use past production, playing time, expected game flow and trends of the offense each IDP player is going up against as well as gut instinct and projections from places such as MFL, Yahoo, ESPN and Sleeper to inform these decisions.
If you’re looking for an explanation for a particular player feel free to DM me on Twitter, @Orangeman3142.
This is year sixteen of IDP for me so I’m not just throwing darts here and the two articles and one podcast I do weekly take more than enough time so this is what it’s going to be, if you’re looking for more detail for as to why certain players are starts or sits I’m sure there are articles out there that do that, it just won’t be this one. Also, I’m doing this for free and because I enjoy it so I’m going to have fun with it if you can’t handle jokes I would abort mission now, no harm no foul.
These start or sit decisions are only suggestions and in the end, the responsibility for your lineup is ultimately yours and yours alone. I’ll do my best to be as accurate as possible each week. These decisions I’m recommending are the same ones I’m making in my own lineups so we sink or swim together if you do decide to take any of this advice. Good luck in your matchups this week. Let’s get that hardware.
Every single game, team and IDP relevant player will be covered in this article series all year from start to finish. The production will be divided into categories like last year, this is how it looks:
Tier 1 Production: These players have the best matchups based on their playing time, past production, talent level, and opportunity. They have the most solid floor and a terrific ceiling. If you need guaranteed production these players are the best bet to get that for you. These will likely be obvious most of the time.
Tier 2 Production: These players will get you some points but are missing something that makes them your best choice. This could be a lack of playing time, talent or some other factor that hurts their chances at an outstanding performance. These players are usually a good option in deeper leagues with large rosters or all IDP leagues.
Tier 3 Production: These players are a shot in the dark. These are starts you will likely only make in larger leagues with huge rosters or during bye weeks or for short term injury replacements. There’s a chance it could work out but not a great one due to any number of factors including lack of playing time, talent or ideal matchup. This tier is as close to “sit” as you can get while still having some value. These players are mostly used in larger leagues with huge rosters and in all IDP leagues.
Sit: Pretty easy, sit em. For any number of reasons from a nagging injury to lack of playing time, talent or ideal matchup these players should NOT be started this week. I will be wrong on these occasionally throughout the season but at the time of publishing the players in this category are far more likely to bust and get you nothing rather than have a good or great week.
***Player situations change due to injury and other factors, this article was written days before Sunday so please pay attention and adjust your lineup accordingly ***
***If I don’t mention a player they are a sit or just not on my radar yet which likely means they should be a sit. If a player is inactive or injured after this article is published please use common sense and sit them. Check the inactive list at 11:30 AM eastern time and 3:40 PM eastern time on ESPN and NFL websites to check for surprise inactives each Sunday***
Last week I made approximately 236 “decisions” (start or sit) and got 168 of them correct or in the ballpark and 68 incorrect or not even close for a 72% correct rate. My average for all of last season was 74% correct overall and through this week we are holding at 74% correct for this season. Let’s dive into this week’s games.
***For any “EDGE” players listed the rule of thumb is to drop them a level in expected production from where they are listed if you start them as a regular linebacker instead of in a specific “Edge” or “OLB” slot in your league. This is due to the inconsistent nature of production for these players being sack dependent for the majority of their points. If your league has an “Edge” or “OLB” slot to plug them in to then everyone takes the same risk putting those players in that slot each week, however if you choose to use these players in a regular linebacker slot there’s a good chance they don’t get a sack and you end up with little to no points from them.
They are a boom or bust option when used in a regular linebacker slot. Keep that in mind as you play Shaq Barrett or Whitney Mercilus, there will be weeks where they don’t have any sacks and it won’t be pretty if you started them in a regular linebacker slot and your opponent started a guy like KJ Wright in that same slot when KJ gets his usual 4-8 tackles and you’re down that many fantasy points in just that one player to player matchup. We’ve already seen a multiple week stretch where both Mercilus and Barrett did nothing at all and if you played them in a regular linebacker slot it might have cost you a win. Buyer beware.***
To be…or not to be.
Seahawks @ Falcons
Tier one starts: Bobby Wagner (LB) Seahawks Cornerbacks *This is an ideal matchup to start or stream Hawks corners, preferably Griffin and Flowers, if Matt Ryan (QB) doesn’t start however disregard this and sit Hawks corners*
Tier three starts: Marquise Blair (S) or Quandre Diggs (S) or Bradley McDougald (S) *This situation is very much up in the air with the trade and injury to McDougald, I would avoid it entirely if I were you* Mychal Kendricks (LB)
Sits: Quinton Jefferson (DT) LJ Collier (DE) *Playing time for both*
Sits: Foye Oluokun (LB) *Playing time*
Tickle us do we not laugh? Prick us do we not bleed? Wrong us do we not revenge?
Eagles @ Bills
Tier three starts: Eagles Cornerbacks *This is just an OK matchup to start or stream Eagles corners, preferably Douglas and Mills* Kamu Gruger Hill (LB) Akeem Spence (DT)
Tier two starts: Bills Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Bills corners, preferably White & Wallace* Lorenzo Alexander (LB) or Matt Milano (LB) *Alexander if Milano injured and out, if Milano plays move Alexander to tier three* Jerry Hughes (DE) Jordan Phillips (DT)
Sits: Star Lotuleilei (DT) *Playing time*
Now is the winter of our discontent.
Chargers @ Bears
Los Angeles Chargers
Tier one starts: Joey Bosa (DE)
Sits: Chargers Cornerbacks *This is not an ideal matchup to start or stream Chargers corners, there are far better places to stream from this week* Drue Tranquil (LB) Kyzir White (LB) *Playing time*
Tier two starts: Bears Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Bears corners, preferably Fuller then Amukamara* Ha Ha Clinton Dix (S) Leonard Floyd (EDGE)
Sits: Eddie Goldman (DT) *Playing time & lack of production*
Damon Harrison takes a shit on the field in front of tens of thousands of horrified fans, Detroit USA circa 2019
Giants @ Lions
New York Giants
Tier two starts: Giants Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Giants corners, preferably Jenkins then Baker or Haley* Markus Golden (DE)
Sits: David Mayo (LB) *Saw his playing time drop to 45% last game and was only saved by a late sack, it’s a risk if you start him* Oshane Ximines (LB) *Playing time and lack of production*
Tier three starts: Christian Jones (LB) A’Shawn Robinson (DT) Romeo Okwara (DE) Will Harris (S) Lions Cornerbacks *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Lions corners, preferably Coleman and Melvin, Slay could be back to his normal playing time though so it’s a risk starting any Lions corner this week that situation is still fluctuating, I would avoid it entirely honestly*
Sits: NA, all others
We have seen better days.
Buccaneers @ Titans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sits: Andrew Adams (S) *Edwards should be healthy and back in his starting role thereby relegating Adams back to the bench*
Tier one starts: Jayon Brown (LB) *If healthy, if injured and out plug in Wesley Woodyard (LB)* Kevin Byard (S) Titans Cornerbacks *This is an ideal matchup to start or stream Titans corners, preferably Ryan then Butler then Jackson*
Tier three starts: Da’Quan Jones (DT) Cameron Wake (DE)
Sits: Wesley Woodyard (LB) *If Jayon Brown (LB) is healthy and plays then Woodyard does not play*
Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste death but once.
Broncos @ Colts
Tier one starts: Todd Davis (LB)
Sits: Josey Jewell (LB) *Playing time*
Tier one starts: Darius Leonard (LB)
Tier three starts: Khari Willis (S) or Malik Hooker (S) *Hooker if healthy, Willis if not* Colts Cornerbacks *This is just an OK matchup to start or stream Colts corners, preferably Ya-sin, Desir and Moore* Jabal Sheard (DE) Clayton Geathers (S) Anthony Walker (LB) Al Quadin Muhammad (DE)
Sits: Bobby Okereke (LB) *Playing time reduced to non existent when Leonard is healthy*
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
Bengals @ Rams
Tier two starts: Carlos Dunlap (DE) or Carl Lawson (DE) *Lawson if Dunlap injured and out* Geno Atkins (DT) Bengals Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Bengals corners, preferably Dennard then Webb, if Kirkpatrick is healthy and active replace Webb with him*
Sits: Billings, Tupou & Evans *Playing time for all*
Los Angeles Rams
Tier two starts: Taylor Rapp (S) Micheal Brockers (DE) Rams Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Rams corners, preferably Hill, Ramsey then Robey*
Sits: Sebastian Joseph Day (DT) *Playing time*
Cry “HAVOC!” And let slip the dogs of war.
Cardinals @ Saints
Tier two starts: Haason Redick (LB) Cardinals Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Cardinals corners, preferably Peterson and Murphy* Terrell Suggs (EDGE)
Sits: NA, all others
New Orleans Saints
Tier three starts: Saints Cornerbacks *This is just an OK matchup to start or stream Saints corners, preferably Apple and Lattimore* Kiko Alonso (LB) AJ Klein (LB)
Sits: Chauncey Gardner Johnson (S) *Flash in the pan, I need to see it for more than one week* Craig Robertson (LB) *Playing time*
Beware the Ides of March.
Jets @ Jaguars
New York Jets
Tier one starts: Jamal Adams (S)
Sits: CJ Mosley (LB) *Injured and out*
Tier two starts: Yannick Nagkoue (DE) Josh Allen (DE)
Sits: Najee Goode (LB) *Injured and out*
Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?
Panthers @ 49ers
Tier two starts: Eric Reid (S)
Tier three starts: Tre Boston (S) Mario Addison (EDGE) Bruce Irvin (EDGE) Gerald McCoy (DT) Dontari Poe (DT) Brian Burns (DE) Panthers Cornerbacks *This is just an OK matchup to start or stream Panthers corners, preferably Bradberry and Jackson then Cockrell*
Sits: NA, all others
San Francisco 49ers
Tier two starts: Jimmy Ward (S) Arik Armstead (DE)
Sits: Dee Ford (EDGE) *He’s been saving his weeks with a sack last couple games but is only playing around 30% of snaps each week so the odds of him continuing to be able to do that are not great, buyer beware*
All that glitters is not gold.
Browns @ Patriots
Tier two starts: Mack Wilson (LB) Jermaine Whitehead (S) Damarious Randal (S) Sheldon Richardson (DT) Browns Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Browns corners, preferably Carrie and Mitchell, if Denzel Ward is healthy he’ll displace and replace one of those two, I don’t know which though cause I don’t know enough about the Browns corners*
Tier three starts: Olivier Vernon (DE)
Sits: Morgan Burnett (S) *Playing time*
New England Patriots
Tier one starts: None *Playing time, production, consistency and even individual roles fluctuate wildly week to week for every single Patriots IDP player, playing any of them as a tier one is like playing Russian roulette*
Tier two starts: Patriots Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Pats corners, preferably McCourty, Jones and Gilmore*
Tier three starts: Jamie Collins (LB) Kyle Van Noy (LB) Chase Winovich (DE) & Any other IDP relevant Patriots. I don’t recommend you play any of them so if you want to know who they are that’s on you.
Sits: Realistically, every single Patriots IDP every week. It’s a massive risk playing or relying on any of them, ever.
Nothing will come of nothing.
Raiders @ Texans
Tier one starts: Raiders Cornerbacks *This is an ideal matchup to start or stream Raiders corners, preferably Worley*
Sits: NA, all others
Tier one starts: Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) JJ Watt (DE)
Tier two starts: Bernardrick Mckinney (LB) Zach Cunningham (LB) Texans Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Texans corners, preferably Johnson and Gaines, Joseph if he’s healthy would trump both of these two and likely displace and replace one of them, I don’t know which one though cause I don’t know enough about the Texans corners*
Sits: NA, all others
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Packers @ Chiefs
Green Bay Packers
Tier three starts: Packers Cornerbacks *This is just an OK matchup to start or stream Packers corners, preferably King and Alexander, with no Mahomes this went from an ideal matchup to a shit matchup real quick* BJ Goodson (LB)
Sits: Rashaan Gary (EDGE) Oren Burks (LB) *Playing time for both*
Kansas City Chiefs
Sits: Frank Clark (DE) Chris Jones (DT) *Both injured and out* Chiefs Linebackers *Last week all four IDP relevant linebackers all saw between 37%-51% of snaps as a unit, none stood out and all had sub par playing time, Hitchens is the only safe one to start this week in my opinion, Ragland had a splash play but only played 37% of snaps so the odds of it happening again with that little playing time are astronomically bad, starting any Chiefs linebacker besides Hitchens this week is a risk*
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
Dolphins @ Steelers
Tier one starts: Reshad Jones (S) *If healthy*
Sits: Sam Eguavoen (LB) *Playing time* All others
Tier one starts: Mincah Fitzpatrick (S) Devin Bush (LB) TJ Watt (EDGE)
Sits: NA, all others, Stephon Tuitt (DE) Injured and out
***Please make sure to check the inactives that come out each Sunday before the games start to make sure your players aren’t a surprise inactive due to a surprise injury. Obviously, if I have any of these guys listed as a start of any kind and they are inactive DO NOT START THEM. This article is written usually days before the games and surprise injuries can and will happen, make sure you stay up to date to avoid getting a surprise zero in your lineup***
***These are only suggestions ultimately it’s your decision who you start or sit. If a player gets hurt or has a bad game it happens it’s part of the game and not the result of me using a voodoo doll with your fantasy team’s name on it. I wish you all nothing but the best and hope you win all your matchups this and every week. Take home that hardware.***
Keep an eye out for my instant reaction and defensive waivers article dropping during the week next week, likely Thursday morning. I’ll be covering all the production and playing time from every single IDP relevant player and giving you options for defensive waivers. We’ll go over the week’s results and make sure you are ahead of the curve for getting any of those surprise studs AKA Darius Leonard last year. The next week’s start or sit will drop next Saturday morning and the Thursday night games start or sit will be in Tweet form (@Orangeman3142). Also, make sure and catch our weekly podcast on all your podcatching sites dropping Tuesday night or Wednesday morning all season long. Idpguys.org will continue to be your one-stop-shop for all things IDP.
Thank you for reading and good luck in this week’s matchups. Make sure you’re following @IDP_Dude and @JoeythetoothIDP to make sure you’re covered from all angles in regards to waivers, starts and sits and general IDP information, the three of us handle the Lions share of the IDP writing here at the site.
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