Look who decided to show up and clap those cheeks?!?!
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 on ESPN and NFL websites to check for surprise inactives each Sunday***
Last week I made approximately 224 “decisions” (start or sit) and got 166 of them correctly or in the ballpark and 58 incorrect or not even close for a 75% correct rate. My average for all of last season was 74% correct overall and through this week we are holding at 74.5% 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 two 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.***
Aaron Donald on his way to hurt that piece of man meat, Jimmy GQ, as he puts up a monster performance.
Rams @ Falcons
Los Angeles Rams
Tier one starts: Aaron Donald (DT) Cory Littleton (LB) Rams Cornerbacks *This is an ideal matchup to start or stream Rams corners, preferably Ramsey and Hill*
Sits: Sebastian Joseph Day (DT) *Playing time, possible tier three start but there are better DT options out there this week, the Falcons don’t run all that much anyways*
Tier two starts: Kemal Ishmael (S) Falcons Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Falcons corners, preferably Oliver then Sheffield*
Sits: Foye Oluokon (LB) *Playing time*
As the IDP world rights itself will the trend continue with Tremaine Edmunds putting up a monster this week?
Dolphins @ Bills
Tier one starts: Reshad Jones (LB)
Sits: Sam Eguavoen (LB) Dolphins Cornerbacks *This is a bad matchup to start or stream Dolphins corners, the Bills won’t need to throw in this game they’ll probably just run the ball right down Miami’s throat all day long*
Tier one starts: Tremaine Edmunds (LB) Jordan Poyer (S)
Sits: Phillips & Lotulelei (DT) *Playing time for both, lack of production for both* Siran Neal (S) *Playing time*
Jaguars @ Bengals
Tier two starts: Najee Goode (LB) Josh Allen (DE) Jaguars Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Jags corners, preferably Bouye and Herndon*
Sits: Quincy Williams (LB) *Najee Goode stole his job*
Tier three starts: Geno Atkins (DT) Germaine Pratt (LB) Bengals Cornerbacks *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Bengals corners, preferably Jackson and Webb, honestly though there are better matchups out there and with Kirkpatrick out this week it’s a shot in the dark who takes his role and production. I don’t follow the Bengals closely enough to know that will be*
Damon Harrison squats and takes a shit on the field in front of thousands of horrified fans, Detroit USA circa 2019
Vikings @ Lions
Sits: Jayron Kearse (S) Stephen Weathely (DE) *Playing time for both*
Sits: Miles Killebrew (S) Jalen Reeves Maybin (LB) *Playing time for both*
Raiders @ Packers
Sits: Vontaze Burfict (LB) *Suspended*
Green Bay Packers
Tier one starts: Blake Martinez (LB) Preston Smith (EDGE) Zadarius Smith (EDGE)
Tier three starts: BJ Goodson (LB) Packers Cornerbacks *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Packer corners, preferably King and Alexander*
Sits: Rashaan Gary (LB) Oren Burks (LB) *Playing time for both*
An embarrassed and ashamed Darius Leonard decides to come back and play this week after getting blasted on the Big3IDP podcast.
Texans @ Colts
Tier two starts: Bernardrick Mckinney (LB) Zach Cunningham (LB)
Tier three starts: Tashaun Gipson (S) DJ Reader (DT) Texans Cornerbacks *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Texans corners, preferably Joseph if healthy then it’s a crapshoot between Gaines and Johnson and Roby, if Joseph goes one of those three will sit, I would probably avoid this situation altogether unless Joseph is a go, even if he is this isn’t the best matchup for him the Colts don’t throw a lot*
Sits: Jahleel Addae (S) *Playing time*
Tier one starts: Darius Leonard (LB) Clayton Geathers (S) *If healthy* Colts Cornerbacks *This is an ideal matchup to start or stream Colts corners, preferably Moore then Rock Ya Sin then Desir*
Tier three starts: Jabal Sheard (DE) Al Quadin Muhammed (DE)
Cardinals @ Giants
Tier two starts: Budda Baker (S) Haason Redick (LB) Cardinals Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Cardinals corners, preferably Murphy and Peterson*
Sits: Jalen & Deionte Thompson (S) *Playing time for both*
New York Giants
Tier two starts: Markus Golden (EDGE) David Mayo (LB) or Tae Davis (LB) *This situation is fluid, follow Giants beat writers as kickoff closes in to make sure you get it right or just start Mayo and hope it works out, I’m probably going to do the second in a couple places then have a look before kickoff to see if Davis is a healthy scratch like he was last week, if that’s the case Mayo will be locked and loaded*
Tier three starts: Dexter Lawrence (DE) Markus Giants Cornerbacks *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Giants corners, preferably Jenkins then Baker*
Sits: Dalvin Tomlinson (DT) *Decent playing time but hasn’t done anything with it* Micheal Thomas (S) *Playing time*
Jonathan Allen has been a gift at defensive tackle since returning from injury.
49ers @ Redskins
San Francisco 49ers
Tier one starts: Deforest Buckner (DT) Nick Bosa (DE)
Sits: NA, everyone else
Tier one starts: Landon Collins (S)
Tier two starts: Jon Bostic (LB) Cole Holcomb (LB) Jonathan Allen (DT)
Sits: Shaun Dion Hamilton (LB) *Saw a spike in playing time last week but overall this season hasn’t played much at all or produced when he’s had opportunities* Redskins Cornerbacks *This is not an ideal matchup to start or stream Skins corners, the 49ers likely won’t have to pass much at all this week and will run the ball right down Washingtons throat all day long, if you were to stream corners though it would be Norman and Dunbar*
Joey Bosa has been healthy this season so when does he blow up?
Chargers @ Titans
Los Angeles Chargers
Tier one starts: Joey Bosa (DE)
Tier three starts: Uchenna Nwosu (LB) Denzel Perryman (LB) Kyzir White (LB) Chargers Cornerbacks *This is an OK matchup to start or stream Chargers corners, preferably Teamer and Hayward, Desmond King only playing about 60% of snaps per game*
Tier two starts: Kenny Vaccaro (S) Rashaan Evans (LB) Harold Landry (EDGE) Jurrell Casey (DT) Titans Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Titans corners, preferably Landry then Butler then Jackson*
Tier three starts: Reggie Gilbert (DE)
Sits: NA, all others
Sheldon Rankins thinking about what kind of fixins’ he’ll be putting on the Mitch Trubisky sandwich he’s going to eat this week.
Saints @ Bears
New Orleans Saints
Tier three starts: Marcus Williams (S)
Sits: Kiko Alonso (LB) *Playing time* Saints Cornerbacks *This is not an ideal matchup to start or stream Saints corners, the Bears don’t pass the ball all that well. If you do decide to go with Saints corners though it should be Apple and Lattimore*
Tier two starts: Eddie Jackson (S) Danny Trevethan (LB) Bears Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Bears corners, preferably Fuller and Amukamara*
Sits: Akiem Hicks (DT) *Injured and out*
KJ Wright collapses with exhaustion after having the runs for 36 straight hours after eating two day old Taco Bell.
Ravens @ Seahawks
Tier one starts: Patrick Onwuasor (LB) *If healthy*
Sits: NA, all others
Tier one starts: Bobby Wagner (LB) KJ Wright (LB)
Tier two starts: Bradley McDougald (S) Jadaveon Clowney (DE) Seahawks Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Hawks corners, preferably Flowers and Griffin*
Tier three starts: Quinton Jefferson or Jarran Reed (DT) *Reed can technically come back this week but might be getting eased back in, Jefferson has been the beneficiary of his absence* Mychal Kendricks (LB) Tedric Thompson (S) Ezekiel Ansah (DE)
Sits: LJ Collier (DE) *Playing time* Poona Ford (DT) *No real production despite good playing time so far*
Can the Hotboyz rally and turn things around for the Cowboys this week? Will Dak have more than two seconds to throw the ball? Can Amari Cooper get healthy in time for kickoff? Is this what hell is like?
Eagles @ Cowboys
Tier three starts: Rodney Mcleod (S) Nathan Gerry (LB)
Sits: Zach Brown (LB) *Got cut*
Sits: NA, all others
Will this man finally play a game this week? Should he even bother? Why can’t the Patriots just go away?
Patriots @ Jets
New England Patriots
Tier one starts: Jamie Collins (LB)
Sits: Everyone else, and it’s always a risk expecting any kind of floor from any Patriots IDP
New York Jets
Tier two starts: Neville Hewitt (LB) Jets Cornerbacks *This is a good matchup to start or stream Jets corners, preferably Roberts and Johnson*
Sits: NA, all others
***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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