Markus Golden made an impression Thursday night.
Let me take a moment to fess up, I screwed up the Thursday night start or sit in regards to David Mayo. Originally Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis weren’t looking like they were going to play so Mayo looked like a lock in a terrific matchup against a Patriots offense that was going to run a million plays and steamroll the Giants. A few hours before kickoff a bunch of the Giants’ beat writers tweeted that both Tae Davis and Alec Ogletree were going to be active which effectively meant David Mayo would either be sitting or his playing time would be significantly reduced. At that point, I tweeted a warning that the smart play was to sit him and avoid the risk.
Just prior to kickoff it was announced that Tae Davis would be a healthy scratch and Mayo would be getting the start, when that information became available I wasn’t in a position to get that information out quick enough to reverse course on my recommendation from my prior tweet. Mayo played, he crushed it and had a massive game, and if you listened to me you missed out on that production. I sat him as well and will likely lose a matchup or two due to that mistake.
I could say that it’s your responsibility to stay on top of these things but that’s bullshit. The truth is I did what I thought was right to try and save you guys from a surprise zero in your lineup and instead it backfired and anyone who listened lost out on a massive day from David Mayo. So I just wanted to admit that this happened, it was my mistake and if you guys got screwed cause of it I apologize. I’ll do better next time.
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 164 of them correctly or in the ballpark and 60 incorrect or not even close for a 73% correct rate. My average for all of last season was 74% correct overall and through week two 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 this week, it’s been all sunshine and rainbows so far but 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. Buyer beware.***
Shaq Barrett came crashing back to earth last week, can he get back on track and smash the single season sacks record?
Panthers @ Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sits: Either Devin White (LB) or Kevin Minter (LB) *One of these guys won’t play tomorrow, Minter has been playing while White was injured and out and has been doing a terrific job. White was declared active last week but was a healthy scratch, Minter played once again in relief and had an outstanding game. The trick here is to find out which one of these guys will play Sunday and your guess is as good as mine as to how we find that out. Tons of people started White last week and got a zero due to the news saying he was active and playing when in reality he was a healthy scratch. Personally I’m avoiding the entire situation.*
Jonathan Allen has been terrific since returning from injury, can he keep it up?
Redskins @ Dolphins
Tier three starts: Montae Nicholson (S) Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) Da’Ron Payne (DT) Montez Sweat (LB) Redskins Cornerbacks, this is an OK matchup to start or stream Skins corners, preferably Quinton Dunbar and Josh Norman*
Sits: Shaun Dion Hamilton (LB) *Playing time*
Tier one starts: Jerome Baker (LB)
Sits: Dolphins Cornerbacks, there are better matchups to start or stream at corner this week.
Danielle Hunter quietly having another monster season.
Eagles @ Vikings
Tier one starts: Fletcher Cox (DT)
Tier three starts: Anthony Harris (S)
Sits: Jayron Kearse (S) *Playing time*
Damien Wilson has been one of the best waiver wire linebackers all season.
Texans @ Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
Sheldon Rankins came back with a vengeance after starting the season injured.
Saints @ Jaguars
New Orleans Saints
Sits: Kiko Alonso (LB)
Tier two starts: Jarrod Wilson (S) Yannick Ngakoue (DE) Josh Allen (DE) Quincy Williams (LB) Jaguars Cornerbacks, this is a good matchup to start or stream Jags corners, preferably Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
Tier three starts: Marcell Dareus (DT)
Myles Garrett keeps doing his part, now if only Mayfield could live up to the hype.
Seahawks @ Browns
Sits: NA, Jarran Reed is back soon btw so grab him if he’s available
Sits: Morgan Burnett (S) *Playing time*
Nick Vigil‘s slow start seems like it was years ago, he is currently hotter than the runs after Chipotle.
Bengals @ Ravens
Tier three starts: Carl Lawson (DE) Bengals Cornerbacks, this is a decent matchup to start or stream Bengals corners, preferably Dre Kirkpatrick and it’s a shot in the dark after that, Jackson and Webb have the most playing time besides Kirkpatrick though.
Sits: NA, all others
Tier one starts: Patrick Onwuasor (LB)
Tier two starts: Earl Thomas (S)
Tier three starts: Matt Judon (EDGE) Josh Bynes (LB) Ravens Cornerbacks, this is an OK matchup to start or stream Ravens corners, which ones though now that’s another question. Carr and Humphrey get the most playing time. That’s really all I can give you, play a corner from a different team that’s what I would do. There are better matchups than this out there.
Sits: To be honest anyone besides Onwuasor and Thomas is a shot in the dark, the Baltimore depth chart and playing time for its IDP has been all over the place, also their production usually is pretty well spread out every week with no real stud standing out from week to week besides Onwuasor. I’m not playing anyone besides him this week.
Aaron Donald was this close to a monster game last week, can he put it all together and put up that monster we’ve all been waiting for this week?
49ers @ Rams
San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams
Tier two starts: Eric Weddle (S)
Sits: Clay Matthews (EDGE) *Injured and out* Taylor Rapp (S) *Playing time* Rams Cornerbacks, this is not an ideal matchup to start or stream Rams corners. They run too much and throw too little, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for*
Deion Jones has been quietly putting together a nice season, can he reclaim his position as LB one???
Falcons @ Cardinals
Tier two starts: Kemal Ishmael (S) Falcons Cornerbacks, this is a good matchup to start or stream Falcons corners, preferably Trufant and Oliver.
Tier three starts: Tyeler Davison (DT) Falcons Pass Rush (Bailey, Mckinley, Beasley, etc) *They’re all the same person in my mind and they all pretty much suck*
Tier three starts: Terrell Suggs (EDGE) Thompson & Thompson (S) (Deionte & Jalen)
Sits: NA, all others.
Can DLaw and the Hot Boyz shut down the Jets this week and get Dallas back on track?
Cowboys @ Jets
Sits: Sean Lee (LB) *Playing time* Cowboys Cornerbacks, this is not an ideal matchup to start or stream Cowboys corners.
New York Jets
Tier two starts: Blake Cashman (LB) Jets Cornerbacks, this is a good matchup to start or stream Jets corners, preferably Roberts, Johnson, and Poole, which one? No idea. Your guess is as good as mine, Dallas is going to throw the ball though that I am sure of.
Sits: Tarell Basham (LB) *Inconsistency in production and playing time and no set role*
Todd Davis has gotten back on track and is looking good this week.
Titans @ Broncos
Sits: Wesley Woodyard (LB) *Playing time*
Tier three starts: Derek Wolfe (DE) Broncos Cornerbacks, this is an OK matchup to start or stream Broncos corners, preferably Jackson then Harris.
Sits: NA, Johnson if Jewell plays.
Cameron Heyward has quietly been among the best defensive tackles for IDP this season.
Steelers @ Chargers
Sits: Vince Williams (LB) had a nice week last week but hasn’t played much at all prior to that, Marc Barron (LB) saw a lot of playing time until last week and that took a dive, playing either is risky.
Los Angeles Chargers
Tier one starts: Joey Bosa (DE)
Damon Harrison taking a crap on the field in front of thousands of shocked fans, Detroit USA circa 2019
Lions @ Packers
Tier one starts: Tracy Walker (S)
Sits: Jahlani Tavai (LB)
Green Bay Packers
Sits: B.J. Goodson (LB) *Playing time*
***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.
Follow Tony Johns