Welcome back IDP degenerates!!! It’s time for another season of playing the only kind of fantasy there is in my personal record book, (Stugotz Army Represent) IDP (Individual Defensive Players) Fantasy Football. All the blue checkmark geniuses out there can argue over the Chiefs backfield until hell freezes over but if you’re here and reading this you are the best of the best. You are on the cutting edge.
Not only do you know and do the usual offense, flex, superflex, PPR or half point PPR but you know the defensive side of the ball as well. You’ve got your inside and outside linebackers ready to go, you have been asking your fantasy sites to add the “Edge” designation, you are streaming corners based on the opposing offenses passing tendencies, you know which defensive tackles are relevant after the top four get drafted. You are playing the entire game not just half of it.
If you are new to IDP then welcome to an entire new world that I know you’ll learn to love. Your eyes will get accustomed to watching the pass rush instead of the ball and you’ll have all your favorite linebackers numbers memorized by week seven. You’ll learn to think in terms of tackles, assisted tackles and passes defensed as well as the usual yards, catches and touchdowns.
And if you’re coming back for another year of individual defensive players then welcome back! We’re going to have you covered from every angle at the idpguys.org this season. We’ll have defensive waivers on the podcast and in article form, start or sit charts and articles, deep dives into sleepers and all things IDP.
It’s going to be another awesome season so let’s get at it and have a look at the week one matchups!
This article series will be set up exactly the same as last years 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.
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.
When I first started writing this start or sit series I would explain why each player ended up in each tier of expected production, and while it was nice to provide the thinking behind these decisions, I was ending up with four thousand word articles and only covering a few of the matchups each week. My goal was to cover EVERY game and EVERY IDP relevant player so I’ve had to sacrifice some of the explanations in order to make sure that happens.
For the record every one of these players that ends up in one of these production tiers has quite a bit of thought that goes into why they ended up there. I look at playing time using nflgsis.com, I look at offensive and defensive team ranks for these matchups including how often each offense these IDP players are going against likes to run and pass and how effective they are at each. Each one of these IDP players talent, experience and injury history is included in these decisions. Past production and projections from sites such as MFL, Yahoo and Sleeper are also included in the decision process. Long story short a lot of thought go into these each week.
I also track every single one of these decisions and include my season long accuracy score in each article. This being week one this years accuracy rate isn’t available yet. However last season I averaged about 120 individual start or sit decisions per article and had a 74% year long accuracy score. I go back and look at this article every Tuesday and check all the box scores against where I had each player for their expected production. I will tell you at the beginning of this article every week how accurate I was the week before and how accurate I’ve been for the season.
This entire process has been and will be massively transparent since we don’t hide behind our mistakes here at idpguys.org. Apologies that the preamble has been lengthy for this week one edition but I wanted to set expectations for this year long start or sit series. Next weeks edition will dive into the matchups much quicker.
***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 sit them and use common sense. Check the inactive list at 11:30 AM Eastern on ESPN and NFL websites to check for surprise inactives each Sunday***
Rams @ Panthers
Tier two starts: Micheal Brockers (DE)
Tier three starts: Marcus Peters (CB) Aqib Talib (CB) *This is not the best matchup for streaming Rams corners, Cam Newton doesn’t complete a lot of passes and most are shorter and to CMC who will likely be tackled by Littleton or John Johnson, there are better matchups to play corners or stream corners from this week*
Sits: All others, the ILB slot next to Cory Littleton and the defensive line besides Donald and Brockers may yield some IDP relevant guys this season but we don’t know exactly who yet in week one.
Tier two starts: Kawan Short (DT) *If listed as a DE in your league he’s closer to a tier three start, his value is at defensive tackle* Gerald McCoy (DE) Shaq Thompson (LB) James Bradberry (CB) *This is a good matchup to start or stream Panthers corners*
Sits: Dontari Poe (DT) *Playing nose tackle which is not a likely IDP relevant position even though he has name value*
Redskins @ Eagles
Tier three starts: Malik Jackson (DT)
Sits: All Eagles Corners *This is not a good matchup at all for either streaming Eagles corners or starting guys like Ronald Darby, Case Keenum didn’t complete a lot of passes with Thielen and Diggs, he has far far worse receivers in Washington. This is a run first offense and I expect Philly to dominate time of possession anyways*
Bills @ Jets
Sits: Star Lotuleilei (DT) *Nose tackle not traditionally a productive position in IDP* Bills Corners not named Tre’Davious White *Jets offense doesn’t complete a ton of passes in general, there are better places to stream at corner this week*
New York Jets:
Tier one starts: CJ Mosley (LB) Jamal Adams (S)
Tier three starts: Marcus Maye (S)
Sits: Neville Hewitt/Blake Cashman (LB) *Unless there is something that says FOR SURE which one of these guys will be starting next to Mosley before kickoff Sunday I’m avoiding both and will wait and see what happens* Jets Corners *The Bills offense is run first and that includes their quarterback, they don’t complete a lot of passes and there are better places to stream corners this week*
Falcons @ Vikings
Tier two starts: Damonte Kazee (CB)
Tier three starts: Vic Beasley (DE) All other Falcons Corners *This is a solid matchup to stream Falcons corners*
Tier one starts: Danielle Hunter (DE) Harrison Smith (S) *This is a great matchup for Smith but he is generally inconsistent so be careful here, if you need a solid floor this isn’t your guy, but the chances are solid for a home run type game from him with this offensive fireworks matchup*
Tier two starts: Everson Griffen (DE) Linval Joseph (DT) Eric Kendricks (LB) Trae Waynes (CB) Xavier Rhodes (CB) *Vikings corners have a terrific matchup this week, if you need to stream this is the place to do it and Waynes should be very low % owned in most leagues*
Tier three starts: Anthony Barr (OLB) *He’s a dice roll and best used if you have an OLB slot but in bigger leagues or all IDP leagues he’s a decent roll of the dice this week*
Ravens @ Dolphins
Tier two starts: Earl Thomas (S)
Tier three starts: Ravens corners *This isn’t the best matchup to stream corner but the Dolphins should be behind and throwing in this one with Fitzmagic at the helm. Taking a flier on one of the Ravens corners here isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard of*
Tier one starts: Minkah Fitzpatrick (S) *Could be risky but I’ve got faith, he’s too talented not to be on the field the majority of this game and will likely be heavily involved in the action*
Tier three starts: Christian Wilkins (DT) Sam Eguavoen (LB) *Still an unknown quantity despite IDP twitter being in love, need to see playing time and where he actually plays before recommending anything more than a flier*
Sits: Davon Godchaux (DT) *The experiment is over for now, avoid like the plague* Dolphins corners *This is a terrible matchup for streaming or starting any Dolphins corners. Baltimore is going to throw the ball like ten times not even joking*
Chiefs @ Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs:
Tier two starts: Kendall Fuller (CB)
Tier three starts: NA
Sits: Reggie Ragland/Darron Lee/Dorian O’Daniel (LB) *There is massive confusion as to who the second ILB next to Hitchens is going to be, for the time being I would avoid the situation and wait and see who emerges as the guy* Chiefs corners not named Kendall Fuller *Jacksonville passing game likely not good enough to warrant anything more than the most productive and consistent Chiefs corner (Fuller) getting the start*
Tier three starts: Marcell Dareus (DT)
Titans @ Browns
Tier two starts: Rashaan Evans (LB) Kenny Vaccaro (S) Titans Corners *This is a great matchup to start or stream any Titans corner against a Cleveland offense with a bounty of excellent pass catchers and a young stud quarterback pulling the trigger*
Tier three starts: Harold Landry (LB) *If used as OLB in a specific slot he becomes a tier two option, besides that he’s a sack dependent roll of the dice in larger or all IDP leagues*
Sits: Wesley Woodyard (LB) *Unsure if he even has a role this season, we will know more after week one but for now it’s a huge risk playing him without knowing*
Sits: All Browns corners not named Denzel Ward *Horrible matchup to start or stream corners against a run first Titans offense that can’t throw to save it’s life. Ward may be talented enough to overcome this but still should only be used as a dice roll in larger and all IDP leagues*
Colts @ Chargers
Tier three starts: Denico Autry (DT) *Inconsistent*
Sits: Jabal Sheard (DE) *Injury* Anthony Walker/Bobby Okereke (LB) *General confusion on who will be playing MLB next to Leonard, I would avoid the situation until week two when we have more information*
Los Angeles Chargers:
Tier one starts: Joey Bosa (DE) Adrian Philips (S)
Tier three starts: Jerry Tillery (DT) *He will likely be a tier two or better option going forward but is currently listed as a rotational defensive tackle* Thomas Davis (LB) Desmond King (CB) Reyshawn Jenkins (S)
Sits: Chargers corners not named Desmond King *This is not a good matchup at all for Chargers corners or streaming Chargers corners, it used to be then Andrew Luck retired*
Bengals @ Seahawks
Sits: Jordan EvansGermaine Pratt (LB) *No concrete information on which one will start and how much either will play, will have a better grip on it week two* Bengals Corners *Not an ideal matchup to stream Bengals corners, Seattle passes only when they need to*
Tier one starts: Bobby Wagner (LB) JaDaveon Clowney (DE)
Tier three starts: LJ Collier (DE) Tedric Thompson (S)
Sits: Seahawks Corners *With no AJ Green and Andy Dalton being generally terrible there are much better places to start or stream at corner this seek*
49ers @ Bucs
San Francisco 49ers
Tier three starts: Arik Armstead (DE)
Sits: NA (All others not listed)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tier two starts: N’Damukong Suh (DT) Justin Evans (S)
Tier three starts: Bucs Corners *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Bucs corners*
Sits: NA (All others)
Giants @ Cowboys
New York Giants:
Sits: Giants corners not named Janoris Jenkins *Cowboys don’t throw enough to stream this matchup and Jenkins will likely be on Cooper and if not is talented enough to produce even in a not ideal matchup*
Tier two starts: Taco Charlton (DE)
Sits: Cowboys corners not named Chidobe Awuzie *He’s pretty productive but this isn’t a great matchup for Cowboys corners, the Giants have no one at wide receiver currently so I don’t expect a ton of completed passes*
Lions @ Cardinals
Tier one starts: Damon Snacks Harrison (DT) Trey Flowers (DE)
Sits: Lions corners *Kyler Murray is still a rookie and this is his first ever real NFL game, I highly doubt he’ll be completing a ton of passes*
Tier two starts: Haason Redick (LB) DJ Swearinger (S)
Tier three starts: Terrell Suggs (LB) Cardinals corners *This is an OK matchup to stream or start any Cardinals corners*
Steelers @ Patriots
Tier one starts: Devin Bush (LB) TJ Watt (EDGE) *Tier two as regular LB*
Sits: Marc Barron (LB) *He sucks*
New England Patriots:
Tier one starts: NA Too inconsistent as a team
Sits: Everyone else, massive week to week inconsistency. And frankly starting anyone other than Micheal Bennett and Van Noy in larger leagues is asking for it.
Texans @ Saints
Tier one starts: JJ Watt (DE) Justin Reid (S)
Tier two starts: Zach Cunningham (LB) Bernardrick McKinney (LB) Texans Corners *This is a great matchup to stream or start any Texans corners*
Tier three starts: Whitney Mercilus (LB) *Tier two if used as an EDGE or OLB*
Sits: DJ Reader (DT)
New Orleans Saints:
Tier three starts: Von Bell (S) Marcus Williams (S)
Sits: NA (All others)
Broncos @ Raiders
Tier three starts: Broncos corners *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Broncos corners*
Sits: NA (All others)
Tier one starts: Vontaze Burfict (LB)
Tier three starts: LaMarcus Joyner (S) Jonathan Hankins (DT) Maurice Hurst (DT)
Sits: Karl Joseph (S) Raiders corners *This is not an ideal matchup to start or stream any Raiders corners*
***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***
Keep an eye out for my instant reaction and defensive waivers article dropping during the week next week. 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 one results and make sure you are ahead of the curve for getting any of those surprise studs AKA Darius Leonard last year. The week 2 start or sit will drop next Saturday 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 pod catching sites dropping Tuesday night 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 all your week one matchups. Follow Tony Johns.