NFL Week 2 IDP Start/Sits

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Don't set your defensive fantasy lineups for Week 2 of the NFL season without consulting the IDP Guys' Week 2 IDP start/sits article!


Welcome to the NFL Week 2 IDP Start/Sits article!

Table of Contents

Thursday Night Football
Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Early Afternoon Games
Miami Dolphins (1-0) at
Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
New York Jets (0-1) at
Cleveland Browns (1-0)
Washington Commanders (1-0)
at Detroit Lions (0-1)
Indianapolis Colts (0-0-1)
at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
at New Orleans Saints (1-0)
Carolina Panthers (0-1)
at New York Giants (1-0)
New England Patriots (0-1)
at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
   
Mid-Afternoon Games
Seattle Seahawks (1-0) at
San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
Atlanta Falcons (0-1) at
Los Angeles Rams (0-1)
Arizona Cardinals (0-1) at
Las Vegas Raiders (0-1)
Houston Texans (0-0-1) at
Denver Broncos (0-1)
Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at
Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
 
Sunday Night Football
Chicago Bears (1-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)
Monday Night Football
Tennessee Titans (0-1) at
Buffalo Bills (1-0)
Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

It shouldn't be necessary to say this, but these are only suggestions. We don't sit in on team meetings; we simply absorb as much information as possible and then make calls based on that knowledge. If you don't agree with our suggestions, by all means, go in a different direction. Nobody makes these decisions for you.

Article Key

Trust

These players have the best outlook based on their opportunity, past production, talent level, and matchup. They usually have a solid floor and an excellent ceiling. These guys should be the nearest to guaranteed production you can find.

If You Must

These players should earn a reasonable amount of points. Their opportunity, talent, or matchup is typically not on par with a trusted player. Tier two players are usually a good option in deep leagues that start multiple players at each position.

Bust

Sit these players unless you're desperate. You should not start these players for any number of reasons. They aren't necessarily bad players. We just don't predict them to be scoring well this game week. In the case of rookies, for example, they may simply need time to earn more playing time and, therefore, our trust as fantasy starters.

Any player not listed in these three categories should probably be considered a "sit." If they become IDP relevant on a week-to-week basis, they will likely end up in one of the categories above.

No Cornerbacks?

Johnny writes a separate article for CBs that drops on Fridays, you can find it here once it is published.

True Position Designations

In some IDP leagues, certain positions are grouped in a suboptimal way, primarily because of outdated interpretations of what players at each position do. Many IDP leagues are turning towards True Position formats to address that problem. 

To know more about IDP True Position, click here to read the article written by Jase!

Let's get into the NFL Week 2 IDP Start/Sits.

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Thursday Night Game

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs - JA

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Chargers
Trust

Joey Bosa, Edge

Bosa was part of an impressive performance from the Chargers' defensive line in Week 1, generating four pressures, including a sack and a half and two hurries. He also had a solo tackle and a forced fumble. Your team would have to be loaded at the edge or DL position to justify dropping the former Buckeye. He is my Edge3 for a reason.

Bosa remained on his favored left side of the defensive line for most of the game. Andrew Wylie, the Chiefs’ right tackle, had a good game against the Cardinals in Week 1, but Bosa has the advantage in this matchup.

Khalil Mack, Edge

Mack was instrumental in the Chargers' win over his former team. His debut performance had five pressures, including three sacks and a QB hit. Mack also notched three tackles and forced a fumble. It was a hell of a performance.

The veteran edge rusher spent more time on the right side of the Chargers' defensive line. If that continues, he should face plenty of Orlando Brown Jr. in Week 2. Brown allowed five pressures against the Cardinals last week, but he’s usually a capable pass protector, so it’s no easy assignment for Mack.

Derwin James, S

James was impactful in Week 1, starting the season with five solo tackles and two QB pressures, including a sack. It’s the performance level we’ve expected from the dynasty DB1. 

If You Must

Kenneth Murray, LB. Drue Tranquill, LB.

Murray had 71% of the defensive snaps in Week 1, ahead of Drue Tranquill, who had just 60%. Even so, it was Tranquill who had the better game. He also emerged as the more productive player, courtesy of an acrobatic interception to stifle the Raiders’ chances of scoring before the half.

It’s unclear whether Tranquill played fewer snaps because the Chargers view Murray as the superior player (surely not!), or they were easing Tranquill back into game action following the injury. This is a situation to monitor closely. If the usage we saw in Week 1 indicates the team's plans all season, then the fantasy value of both players will suffer.

Nasir Adderley, S

As expected, Adderley played every down against the Raiders but spent only two of his 58 defensive snaps in a box role. The vast majority were spent at free safety (42), and he was aligned as a slot corner on the remaining snaps (14.)

The 25-year-old managed four solo tackles but needed a forced fumble to rescue his fantasy day. Adderley's usage is less than ideal, but I’m not panicking yet. He opened the 2021 season by playing just two box snaps and 31 at free safety, which was an anomaly.

Bust

Sebastian Joseph-Day, IDL

One of my biggest takeaways was the defensive line's interior rotation. Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson played the majority of snaps (32), but it will be challenging to produce in fantasy when they each play only 55% of the snaps as they did in Week 1.

I said this last week, “I have my reservations about Joseph-Day being the pass-rushing presence some fantasy managers are hoping for, but opportunity plays a huge part in determining fantasy value. He will certainly have every chance to produce.” I stand by my first point, but I may be wrong on the second point if this continues.

Chiefs
Trust

Chris Jones, IDL

My co-author, Aaron, wrote that Jones is a risky play. He’s not wrong — Jones can be a streaky player. However, finding performers at the IDL position is challenging, so I’m willing to overlook the unpredictability and low tackle volume. 

Jones made a nuisance of himself against the Cardinals, generating six total pressures — all QB hurries — registered a solo tackle, forced a fumble, and had a batted pass.

The interior of the Chargers' offensive line is solid. Corey Linsley remains one of the best centers in the league, and Zion Johnson and Matt Feiler are the best pair of guards the Chargers have had in a while. As a unit, they allowed just three pressures and no sacks in Week 1.

However, Jones is a disruptive force, and containing him all game won’t be easy. He may get his chances, even against this offensive interior.

Nick Bolton, LB

I may have to eat crow with Bolton. I didn’t expect him to play as many as 88% of the snaps last week. That far exceeds his snap share in any game last season, except for Week 15 when Willie Gay Jr. wasn’t playing.

What’s more, Bolton played very well against the Cardinals. He had 11 tackles (9 solos), including six stops. Bolton also produced two QB hurries. Even more impressive is that PFF gave him the second-highest grade among all LBs in Week 1.

If Bolton can maintain this level of performance, we have to be open-minded about the possibility that he has forced the Chiefs to abandon their typical approach of featuring a heavy three-to-four-man rotation at the LB position. It’s too soon to say with any certainty, but we’ll know soon enough.

If You Must

Justin Reid, S. Juan Thornhill, S

Thornhill and Reid each played 88% of the defensive snaps in Week 1 and were used very similarly. Reid played 13 of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line, eight at slot corner, one at wide corner, and 28 at free safety. Thornhill played eight of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line, nine at slot corner, and 33 at free safety.

I don’t recommend starting either player unless you’re desperate for safety help. I don’t think either player will produce sufficient tackle volume to provide a safe weekly floor. Granted, their fantasy production will be helped by big plays in coverage (Thornhill had two pass breakups in Week 1), but unless I’m in big play-scoring formats, I’m looking elsewhere.

Willie Gay, LB

Gay had five tackles (two solos) but also missed two tackle attempts. However, while he wasn’t hugely productive, his 74% snap share was encouraging. He has surpassed that usage level only once in his young career, in the AFC Championship game against the Bengals last season.

Can he continue to earn that snap share moving forward? He’ll need to play better than he did in Week 1, but as I said in Nick Bolton’s profile above, we’ll be watching closely. Until then, he’s in the bottom tier of ‘if you must’ linebackers.

George Karlaftis, Edge

I thought Karlaftis would have a sizeable role this year, but I didn’t expect it to happen as early as Week 1. Granted, his competition at the position leaves something to be desired, but we’ve grown used to teams easing rookies into rotations while aging veterans are phased out.

Not this Chiefs’ defense. Karlaftis easily led all edge rushers on the team with 89% of the available snaps, and while his contributions don’t show up in the box score, we cannot overlook that he tied for the team lead - and all NFL rookies - with six total pressures.

Karlaftis will probably have weeks when he’s very quiet. That’s the nature of the edge rusher position in fantasy, and even more so where rookies are concerned. Keep your expectations in check, but start him if you are struggling at the position.

Bust

Frank Clark, Edge. Carlos Dunlap, Edge.

Karlaftis’ high usage level came at the expense of Clark and Dunlap. Clark managed just 61% of snaps, and Dunlap had only 46%. Even Mike Danna out-snapped both of the veterans and produced more pressure.

Dunlap managed one of the Chiefs’ three sacks, but that was his sole QB pressure. Unless they can earn more playing time, Clark and Dunlap will be very streaky and have limited value as weekly starters.

Early Afternoon Games

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens - JA

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Dolphins
Trust

Brandon Jones, S

In last week’s article, I said this of Jones, “I have tipped him for a breakout season. I want to monitor his snap share before suggesting him as a ‘must’ start.” Jones played 100% of the defensive snaps and had himself a day, earning 10 tackles (seven solos), a sack, a pass breakup, and he also forced a fumble. Moreover, Jones spent a whopping 73% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

It’s a very encouraging start. Clearly, he won’t deliver every week as he did against the Patriots, but he should remain productive.

Christian Wilkins, IDL

We know Wilkins’ game isn’t about generating pressure, and his value is rooted in tackle volume, but even so, the former Clemson star opened his 2022 campaign in a modest fashion. He didn’t generate any pressure, but he had four solo tackles.

Don’t panic yet. This performance is close to Wilkins’ floor, and I’m confident better days are ahead. We could see that improvement as early as this week; the interior of the Ravens’ offensive line comprises two capable guards in Kevin Zeitler and Ben Powers, but rookie center Tyler Linderbaum struggled in his debut.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Edge

Ogbah earned a sack last weekend, but he only managed two pressures. He was more productive in run defense, producing four tackles (3 solos) and earning an impressive 84.3 PFF run grade.

The 28-year-old has an average matchup in Week 2. The Ravens lost offensive tackle Ju’Wuan James to a torn Achilles in the win against the Jets, and Ronnie Stanley is currently listed as questionable. Still, as backups go, Patrick Mekari and Morgan Moses can be competent on their day.

If You Must

Jevon Holland, S

Holland’s Week 1 usage and production was a microcosm of his 2021 season. He played well but lined up deep so often that it made it hard for him to generate solid tackle volume. He made up for it with a big play in coverage, coming up with an interception, but we can’t rely on that happening weekly.

It’s a shame that such a talented player has modest fantasy value, which is another reason to try the All-22 fantasy platform. In most other formats, expect Holland to be boom or bust, having as many big weeks as he will quiet outings.

Jaelan Phillips, Edge

Phillips had 70% of the available defensive snaps but had fewer pass rush attempts than Ogbah because he spent seven snaps in coverage. It was a disappointing day for the sophomore edge rusher. He didn’t pressure Mac Jones and missed two of his three tackle opportunities. The fumble recovery made his fantasy day look better than it was.

We listed him as an ‘if you must’ start last week, warning that he would need to be more consistent and generate more pressure than he did in 2021. It wasn’t the best start to the 2022 campaign, but it’s a long season ahead.

See Ogbah’s notes for information on Phillips’ Week 2 matchup.

Jerome Baker, LB

Baker played every down in the Dolphins’ opener. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was a forgettable outing. He missed two of his six tackle opportunities and generally played poorly. I think Baker is replaceable. This isn’t an overreaction to one poor game; I don’t think he’s been the answer for some time.

Sadly, his contract extension makes him difficult to move on even if the Dolphins wanted to. Neither Elandon Roberts nor Duke Riley represents an upgrade, so Channing Tindall may be the biggest threat to Baker somewhere down the line IF Tindall can prove his performances in the preseason were no fluke.

For now, while Baker is dominating snaps at the linebacker position for the Dolphins, it’s difficult to drop him from fantasy lineups.

Bust

None.

Ravens
Trust

Odafe Oweh, Edge

Oweh led all Ravens’ edge rushers with 81% of the Ravens’ defensive snaps last week. He had an incredible 50 pass rush attempts, ranking second in the league in that category, and he earned five QB hurries. Sadly, QB hurries don’t score points in many IDP formats. So, for most fantasy managers, this was a disappointing game for Oweh.

There is a reason for optimism in Week 2. The Ravens will probably try to align Oweh on the left of the defensive line so that he faces right tackle Austin Jackson more instead of left tackle Terron Armstead. Jackson had a good game against the Patriots last week, but it’s hard to believe he’s completely turned the corner after two disappointing seasons in 2020 and 2021.

If You Must

Patrick Queen, LB

Queen played every down last weekend, and he had a productive game. He recorded seven solo tackles and four total pressures, including a sack.

It’s not all positive. The 23-year-old linebacker didn’t grade well according to PFF; he missed a couple of tackles, was poor in run defense, and was picked on in coverage, allowing nine receptions for 64 yards.

However, as I said about Queen in the Week 1 article, linebackers can play poorly and still be fantasy-relevant.

Marcus Williams, S

Williams had a massive week in his first game for the Ravens. He played every down and earned 12 total tackles, had a QB hurry, and notched an interception.

Seeing him deliver good tackle volume is encouraging, but we must temper expectations. He was primarily a deep safety in his tenure with the Ravens, and he spent 67% of his snaps lined up as a free safety for the Ravens.

Chuck Clark, S

I had Clark and Hamilton in the wrong order last week. I expected the rookie to earn more snaps, relegating Clark to a bit part role. The opposite happened. Clark played every down, and Hamilton had just 50%.

Clark delivered nine tackles (four solos), forced a fumble, and played well when called upon in coverage. He also spent 41% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line. The veteran wasn’t perfect, as he missed three tackles, but that was the only negative to speak of on an otherwise good day for Clark.

Bust

Kyle Hamilton, S

I don’t believe Hamilton will stay in this tier, but any safety who plays only half the defensive snaps cannot be reliably started in fantasy. The rookie had a shaky start to his NFL career. He managed two tackles but missed two more opportunities.

Hamilton’s usage was interesting; he spent 39 of his 42 snaps in coverage. He allowed all four passes thrown to his coverage assignment. We need to be patient. Better days are ahead for the youngster.

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns - JA

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Jets
Trust

C.J. Mosley, LB

Mosley picked up right where he left off last season. He played every down and had great tackle volume. He managed 11 tackles (six solos).

The veteran didn’t excel in any particular area, which will likely continue if his performance in 2021 indicates things to come. Fantasy managers probably don’t care; while Mosley continues delivering double-digit tackles, he’s got to be started.

Quinnen Williams, IDL

Williams’ stat line won’t wow, he had three QB hurries, and he batted a pass. It was disappointing from a fantasy perspective. There are positive signs to take from his performance. The former first overall pick led all of the Jets’ interior linemen with 64% of the available defensive snaps, and he played well. PFF gave him the sixth-highest grade of any defensive player in Week 1.

The interior of the Browns' offensive line is a mixed bag. Wyatt Teller and Joel Bitonio are talented pass blockers, but center Ethan Pocic is not on the same level. It will be an interesting matchup for Williams.

If You Must

John Franklin-Myers, Edge

It pained me a little to list Franklin-Myers in this category last week. It says more about the defensive rotation that the Jets employ than Franklin-Myers’ ability.

That rotation was employed in full force against the Ravens last weekend. Five different Jets’ edge rushers had between a 34% and 52% snap share. It’s an approach many teams have adopted, and there’s evidence it works well in the NFL, but it’s horrible for fantasy purposes.

Franklin-Myers was the best of the Jets’ edge rushers, but his value is limited in this scheme.

Jordan Whitehead, S

I assumed Whitehead, Lamarcus Joyner, and Ashtyn Davis would all play some defensive snaps, but I was wrong. Whitehead had a 98% snap share, Joyner played every down, and Davis was relegated to special teams duties.

Whitehead spent 35% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line and delivered six tackles (5 solos). Not bad. You could do a lot worse than to start the 25-year-old.

Quincy Williams, LB     

Williams played 91% of the defensive snaps, second to Mosley, who played every down, but ahead of Kwon Alexander, who had just 66%. Both Williams and Alexander spent significant time in the slot, but Alexander played a much higher percentage of his time in that role (40%) than Williams (27%).

That’s noteworthy because tackle efficiency can be negatively affected when off-ball linebackers play unorthodox roles. Thankfully, Williams still managed six tackles (five solos) and registered a sack, but his alignment does take the shine off his outlook just a little.

Bust

Carl Lawson, Edge. Jermaine Johnson, Edge

For the reasons outlined in Franklin-Myers’ profile, neither Lawson nor Johnson should be started outside the deepest leagues or in best ball formats. They’ll occasionally have big performances but will also have maddeningly quiet weeks.

Browns
Trust

Myles Garrett, Edge

Everyone knows that Garrett is undroppable in fantasy. He performed like the elite edge rusher we know him to be in Week 1, recording six total pressures, including two sacks, and forcing a fumble. He is as close to a matchup-proof player as it gets at the position.

If You Must

Jadeveon Clowney, Edge

Clowney played reasonably well but managed just two pressures. Thankfully, one of those was a sack. He also batted two passes. The former first overall pick was in on 83% of the defensive snaps, just a shade behind Garrett in that category.

Clowney is ordinarily a serviceable option as a low-end Edge2 or high-end Edge3, but he has a favorable matchup this week. The Jets lost Mekhi Becton to a knee injury in August and Duane Brown to a shoulder injury last week, so fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell got the start at right tackle in Week 1.

Grant Delpit, S

Delpit played every down in Week 1. He only managed four tackles (three solos) but saved his fantasy managers with an interception.

His usage was promising; Delpit spent 54.7% of his time in the box or on the defensive line. He should be able to produce more tackles if he continues to spend so much of his time close to the line of scrimmage.

Bust

Anthony Walker, LB

Walker trailed JOK with 68% of the snaps against the Ravens. He was comfortably ahead of Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki as the Browns’ number two linebacker, but he will struggle to produce consistently while he spends so much time on the bench.

The 27-year-old linebacker managed three solo tackles and two QB hurries in Week 1. Start him only in very deep leagues if you’re absolutely desperate.

Ronnie Harrison, S. John Johnson, S

Ronnie Harrison played only 42% of the defensive snaps. He cannot be relied upon as a solid fantasy option while playing so little.

Johnson had a nice fantasy day. He earned five tackles (four solos) and recorded the second sack of his career. Unfortunately, he spent 78.9% of his snaps lined up deep.  He was used similarly last season and managed only 53 tackles. Don’t be fooled by one big week.

Washington Commanders at Detroit Lions - AM

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Commanders
Trust

Cole Holcomb, LB

Holcomb played 100% of snaps in Week 1 and totaled five tackles. He should be in for a higher tackle rate this week against the Lions.

Daron Payne, IDL. Jonathan Allen, IDL

The Commanders' interior lineman duo recorded one sack and three tackles each in Week 1, playing nearly 80% of snaps. Their value is primarily limited to DT-required leagues, but they should continue to be involved in both run-stopping and pass rush.

If You Must

Darrick Forrest, S

I expect Kamren Curl to miss Week 2 with the thumb injury that kept him out Week 1. In relief of Curl, Forrest played 96% of snaps and recorded five tackles, two passes defended, and one interception. Should Curl miss more time, I'd be happy to slide Forrest into my lineup. If Curl is back, however, I would bench both just in case they ease Curl back in.

Montez Sweat, EDGE

Sweat failed to record a sack in Week 1 but managed three pressures, three QB hits, and three tackles on 73% of snaps. He is a solid DE2 or DE3 for your team and has a chance to get to the quarterback weekly.

Jamin Davis, LB

Davis was the other full-time linebacker in Week 1, playing 93% of snaps. He's a borderline start, but I'd prefer to see another week of action before putting him in. If you don't have a better option, he should still have a large snap share week-to-week, but it may take an injury to Holcomb to thrust Davis into a true full-time role.

Lions
Trust

Alex Anzalone, LB

Hold your nose on this one. Anzalone is not a great player and could easily get replaced as the season goes on. For now, he's the closest thing the Lions have to a full-time linebacker playing 92% of snaps in Week 1 and racking up 9 tackles and a tackle for a loss.

Tracy Walker, S

Walker had a great Week 1 with 11 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pass defended. His 75% of snaps is a little misleading because he got ejected late in the third quarter. I expect he'll be a full-time player barring further ejections.

If You Must

Charles Harris, EDGE

Harris played 83% of snaps in Week 1 and recorded seven tackles, including a tackle for a loss. He may be listed as a linebacker on your platform, but if he maintains a decent tackle rate and adds a sack every now and then, he should be a good lower-tier option for Week 2.

Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE

Hutchinson didn't show up much in the stat sheet with just one tackle but played 90% of snaps and had one pressure to his name. I prefer to leave him on the bench in favor of a more proven edge rusher, but his usage is extremely promising. Don't be surprised if he has a splash game soon.

Bust

Malcolm Rodriguez, LB

Rodriguez has some buzz as a young player that could take over the Lions' linebacker room. He should be on your bench until his snap share improves. His 6 tackles and 1 TFL don't tell the story of his 60% snap share from Week 1.

DeShon Elliott, S

I'm not confident enough in Elliott's role in the defense to start him with so many other good safety options. He was a full-time player with a 96% snap share and 6 tackles in Week 1. Keep him benched until we see if his tackle rate will stay consistent.

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars - JA

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Colts
Trust

DeForest Buckner, IDL

Buckner played 86% of the Colts’ defensive snaps against the Texans. He didn’t set the world alight with his performance, but he played pretty well. He had five tackles (two solos) and generated three QB hurries.

Veteran guard Brandon Scherff should be an upgrade for the interior of the Jaguars’ offensive line in 2022, but he did allow a sack against the Commanders last week. Center Luke Fortner and left guard Ben Bartch are not great in pass protection. This is a matchup Buckner should relish.

Kwity Paye, Edge

Paye had a fast start to the campaign. The 2021 first-round pick had seven tackles (six solos) and four pressures, including two sacks. He played 79% of the snaps and led all Colts’ edge rushers in pass rush attempts.

Jawaan Taylor showed improvement as a pass protector last season and didn’t allow any pressures last week. Paye has the advantage in this matchup, but Taylor is no pushover.

Bobby Okereke, LB

The pressure was on Okereke in the absence of his running mate, Shaquille Leonard. As always, he didn’t play particularly well but still managed to produce good tackle volume, managing six tackles and recording a pass breakup. He is in line to have a similarly productive season once again.

Zaire Franklin, LB

Franklin replaced Shaquille Leonard last week. Any fantasy managers active enough to insert him into their lineups were probably happy with the outcome. Franklin led the team with eight tackles (six solos).

Monitor Leonard’s availability this week. If he can play, Franklin should be benched. If Leonard cannot play, Franklin is a solid fantasy starter once again.

Nick Cross, S

Cross played every down in his Colts debut. He managed just four tackles and a QB hurry. Don’t panic. The rookie played 56.7% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line, so he should be able to produce solid tackle volume going forward.

If You Must

Yannick Ngakoue, Edge

Ngakoue tied for second on the team with three pressures and had two solo tackles. It was encouraging to note that he played 81% of the available defensive snaps, and if that level of usage continues, he will do what he always does and get near double-digit sacks this season.

He’s in this column as, unless he records a sack, Ngakoue will have next to no value each week as his tackle volume has always been inferior. He’s a good option in best ball, but he isn’t quite as valuable in all other formats.

Cam Robinson showed evidence of improvement last season, but he struggled in Week 1, allowing five pressures. I was tempted to bump Ngakoue into the ‘trust’ tier for this reason but decided to leave him here. Consider him one of the better options in this category for Week 2.

Bust

None

Jaguars

Trust

Josh Allen, Edge

Allen played 83% of the available defensive snaps and rushed the passer 37 times. Unfortunately, he generated only two pressures. However, he did add four tackles (two solos) and forced a fumble.

Allen predominantly spent time at the LOLB position, so he will spend most of his time facing right tackle Braden Smith. Smith is usually a proficient pass protector, but he allowed four pressures and surrendered a sack last week.

Foyesade Oluokun, LB

Predictably, Oluokun played every down against the Commanders. He led the team with 10 tackles (nine solos). It was a solid start for Oluokun’s 2022 campaign. He should continue being the machine we’ve come to expect.

Devin Lloyd, LB

Lloyd’s debut was highly anticipated. He played 90% of the snaps and finished second on the team with nine tackles (seven solos.)

The rookie took his lumps, allowing a 118.8 passer rating in coverage. However, it’s early in his career, and rookie linebackers often struggle in coverage early in their careers. Give him time.

If You Must

Travon Walker, Edge

Walker was thrust into a sizeable role in his first NFL game; he led all Jaguars’ edge rushers with 83% of the snaps. His performance will be remembered for his first NFL sack and his impressive interception of Carson Wentz. It may be overlooked that his sack was his only pressure despite rushing the passer 38 times. Temper your expectations while Walker continues to develop.

Walker is in this tier primarily because of his snap volume and not for the big plays he delivered. The 21-year-old edge rusher primarily spent time at the ROLB position

Rayshawn Jenkins, S

Jenkins played 100% of the 77 defensive snaps available. He spent 31.1% of his time in the box or on the defensive line. He also spent time in the slot and lined up deep.

It was a disappointing performance for the veteran safety. Jenkins managed two solo tackles but missed two more tackle opportunities. He also allowed a 118.8 passer rating in coverage.

We need to see more from Jenkins if he is to justify his inclusion in this tier going forward.

Andre Cisco, S

Cisco produced five solo tackles in Week 1. He spent 71.4% of his 77 snaps lined up as the deep safety. The snap volume is promising, but his usage will make it difficult for him to generate solid tackle volume.

Bust

None

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints - AM

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Bucs
Trust

Lavonte David, LB. Devin White, LB

Very few teams have two full-time linebackers that are valuable for IDP, but the Bucs still manage to do it. You can feel confident putting both White and David in your lineups for Week 2.

Antoine Winfield Jr., S

Winfield is a start every week.

If You Must

Shaquil Barrett, EDGE

Barrett played 71% of snaps and finished the game with just 2 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 QB hit. He did, however, manage to record a team-high six pressures. Sacks are what score points, but pressures are more consistent. The sacks will come eventually. Play Barrett as a DE3 this week.

Vita Vea, IDL

Vea is only valuable in DT-required leagues, but his 61% of snaps and three pressures suggest some upside. He was able to convert one of his pressures to a sack and managed an additional QB hit in Week 1.

Bust

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE

Tryon-Shoyinka played just one less snap than fellow edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, put up just one tackle, and failed to record a pressure. I’m keeping Tryon-Shoyinka on the bench until I see some pressures.

Anthony Nelson, LB

Don’t be fooled by Nelson’s sack. He played just 32% of snaps and is unlikely to have relevance in Week 2.

Saints
Trust

Demario Davis, LB

As expected, Davis played 100% of snaps and had a solid game with 6 tackles and 1 QB hit in Week 1. He’s an every-week start.

Cameron Jordan, EDGE

 Jordan was the snap leader on the defensive line in Week 1 with 81% of snaps. He failed to generate any pressure but saved his day with 7 tackles and 1 TFL. He should be a solid option in Week 2 against a banged-up Buccaneers offensive line.

If You Must

Pete Werner, LB

Werner had a solid 81% of snaps, 12 tackles, 1 TFL, and a forced fumble. It’s possible that his snaps will fluctuate week-to-week but I’m comfortable putting him in as an LB3 or even an LB2 if I don’t have a bunch of elite options. Even with a rotational role, I think Werner has the play-making ability to stay relevant this season.

Tyrann Mathieu, S. Marcus Maye, S

Both Saints’ safeties played 100% of snaps and had good tackle numbers (7 for Mathieu and 9 for Maye). Mathieu and Maye seem to both have full-time roles that should support strong tackle opportunities.

Marcus Davenport, EDGE

Davenport had 60% of the snaps and recorded just two tackles and one pressure. Davenport should have better games ahead of him, and the Buccaneers allowed six pressures and two sacks against the Cowboys last week. He can be started in deeper leagues as a DE2 or DE3.

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants - AM

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Panthers
Trust

Jeremy Chinn, S

The pre-season usage of Chinn deep didn’t continue in Week 1. Chinn played all of the snaps and recorded seven tackles. He should continue to be started as an S1.

Brian Burns, EDGE

Burns led the defensive line with 81 % of snaps and eight tackles in Week 1. He also led the team with two pressures, even though he failed to record a sack. Burns continues to be a DE1 in Week 2.

If You Must

Xavier Woods, S

Woods recorded 10 tackles, and a pass defended on 99% of defensive snaps. He should continue to have IDP value, but I’ll be curious to see if both Woods and Chinn can continue to have solid tackle numbers. Start Woods as an S2 in Week 2.

Frankie Luvu, LB

Surprisingly, Luvu led all Panthers’ linebackers with 85% of snaps in Week 1. Luvu had 6 tackles and 1 QB hit and should continue to have value in Week 2 against a Giants team that rushed the ball 32 times in Week 1.

Shaq Thompson, LB

Thompson had a solid game with 6 tackles on 75% of snaps in Week 1. Even though Thompson appears to be more of a rotational player this season, the matchup against the run-heavy Giants should provide plenty of tackle opportunities in Week 2.

Derrick Brown, IDL

Brown should have plenty of tackle opportunities this week and can be started in DT-required leagues as a DT2. Burns played 60% of snaps in Week 1 and recorded 5 tackles but no pressures.

Bust

Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE

Gross-Matos is a sit for me this week against a Giants team that passed the ball just 21 times. He should have more value in other weeks after playing 70% of snaps in Week 1.

Giants
Trust

Tae Crowder, LB

Crowder may not be known for elite NFL play, but he is a full-time linebacker for the time being and should be played in Week 2. He recorded seven tackles in Week 1 on 100% of snaps.

Leonard Williams, IDL

Williams played 82% of snaps and recorded five tackles and two pressures in Week 1. He’s an every-week start in DT-required leagues and should be solid most weeks, even in non-DT leagues.

If You Must

Julian Love, S. Xavier McKinney, S

Love and McKinney both played 100% of snaps and recorded 5 tackles each in Week 1. I prefer McKinney of the two, but both can be played as an S2 or 3 in Week 2.

Bust

Jihad Ward, EDGE

I want to see some more weeks from Ward before I put him in, but he played 88% of snaps in Week 1 and recorded six tackles. Let’s see if he maintains a major role in Week 2.

Oshane Ximines, LB. Austin Calitro, LB

The rotational linebackers on the Giants should only be rostered in deep leagues. Even though Ximines and Calitro had good statistical days, they only played 66% and 68% of snaps, respectively. This may have been more of a gameplan role, so keep watching playing time for now.

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers - JA

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Patriots
Trust

Matt Judon, Edge

Judon isn’t an elite pass rusher, but he’s a solid starter who shouldn’t be benched unless you have excellent options at the edge position. He produced for fantasy managers in Week 1, tying first on the team with four pressures, generating a sack, and three tackles (two solos).

The veteran played 82% of the defensive snaps and tied Deatrich Wise for the most pass rush attempts among all Patriots’ defenders. Dan Moore Jr. had a surprisingly good game in pass protection last weekend, and Chuckwuma Okorafor allowed only a single pressure, but Judon still has the advantage in this matchup.

If You Must

Christian Barmore, IDL

Barmore had a very quiet game against the Dolphins. That alone isn’t cause for panic, but his usage was worrying; the sophomore DT played only 55% of the available defensive snaps, second to Davon Godchaux and only marginally ahead of Lawrence Guy.

I mentioned last week that my only reservation with Barmore was whether he would play enough snaps to realize his fantasy potential. Those concerns seem justified after a week in which we saw similar usage to last year.

The Steelers' offensive line interior features James Daniels, Kevin Dotson, and Mason Cole. Barmore could get the better of them but may not have many opportunities to do so.

Deatrich Wise Jr, Edge

Wise outperformed his ranking in this column last week. He led all Patriots edge rushers with an 83% snap share and tied for the team lead with four pressures, one of which included a sack. He also added two tackles, and he forced a fumble. His 90.2% overall PFF pass-rush grade was impressive.

I’m leaving Wise in this tier as I’m put off a little by the fact that he spends a reasonable percentage of his time on the interior of the defensive line. However, you could do much worse than starting him as a high-end Edge3 in your fantasy lineups.

See Judon’s and – to a lesser degree - Barmore’s notes for information on Wise’s matchup against the Steelers.

Kyle Dugger, S

Dugger benefitted from the absence of Adrian Phillips after Phillips left in the second quarter last week. Dugger played 85% of the defensive snaps, a number he surpassed only four times last season.

The 26-year-old safety was moderately productive, managing five tackles (four solos) and a QB hurry. His usage was encouraging, as he played 62.7% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

He’s a good fantasy option if Phillips remains out but is otherwise a risky start.

Bust

Adrian Phillips, S

Phillips injured his ribs and had to leave the game last week. The Pats are “cautiously optimistic” about his status, according to Jordan Schultz of TheScore. Before suffering the injury, Phillips had played almost every down, which bodes well for his fantasy value going forward.

If Philips can play this week, I see him as a low-end safety2 and Dugger as a high-end safety3. If Phillips can’t go, bump Dugger from being a low-end safety2 to a high-end safety2. Oh, and continue to ignore Jabrill Peppers, irrespective of what happens.

Devin McCourty, S

I listed McCourty as a bust candidate last week, and he went on to deliver six solo tackles. I feel my call was justified, and I’m leaving him in this tier again, as he matched or surpassed six tackles only three times last season.

McCourty’s usage was roughly similar to what it has been for the last few years, so I suspect he will end the season with somewhere between 55-65 tackles, as he has done every year since 2018.

Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB

Bentley had 72% of the defensive snaps against the Dolphins. He recorded five solo tackles. Nothing remarkable to see here. He’s one of the better options in this tier but be warned that he will occasionally frustrate with dud weeks.

Raekwon McMillan, LB

You weren’t planning on starting him, right? Don’t. He’s a terrible, very limited player. Even Bill & co. will grow tired of playing him on 70% of the defensive snaps before long.

You guys will be the first to know if I'm proven wrong.

Steelers
Trust

Cameron Heyward, IDL

Heyward did Heyward things in Week 1. He managed five pressures, including a sack, and he also added a solo tackle.

Heyward moves around the defensive line more than most and can, therefore, take advantage of advantageous matchups, but this will be a tough matchup for the veteran. The interior of the Patriots’ offensive line is very good, anchored by Michael Onwenu and David Andrews. Rookie Cole Strange also had an excellent debut in pass protection.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S

Fitzpatrick was a star last weekend. He managed 13 tackles (11 solos) without missing a single tackle opportunity. He recorded an interception and added a QB hurry.

The dynamic safety was excellent in 2019 and 2020, but he didn’t always play well last season. This was just one game, but it was an encouraging start to his 2022 campaign.

Can he be similarly productive each week? No. After all, he did play an incredible 100 defensive snaps. But this wasn’t just about counting stats; Fitzpatrick played very well. More of the same, please, Fitzpatrick!

Alex Highsmith, Edge

Highsmith was as impactful as any Steelers player in the overtime win against the Bengals. He finished the game with six pressures, including three sacks. He added six tackles (three solos) and forced a fumble.

Context is essential; no edge rusher had more total snaps or pass rush attempts in Week 1. All the same, it was a positive sign that the young edge rusher could become more disruptive in his third year.

The loss of T.J. Watt is undoubtedly huge. He’s irreplaceable, but the pressure will be on Highsmith to generate more pressure on an ongoing basis. The Patriots’ Trent Brown is the kind of player who could halt Highsmith’s bid to do so, but the veteran tackle allowed two sacks against the Dolphins last week.

Myles Jack, LB

Jack played an insane amount of snaps in Week 1. 87, to be exact. It was, therefore, no great surprise that he piled up 12 tackles (eight solos), added a QB hurry, and a pass breakup.

Arguably the more important takeaway is that he dominated snaps at the linebacker position. Devin Bush only had 51%, and Robert Spillane had 29%.

Jack will have quieter days when the Steelers’ defense isn’t on the field as often, but his usage, and the fact that he played pretty well, give me a reason for optimism.

If You Must

Terrell Edmunds, S

I’m not a huge Edmunds fan. As I said last week, he’s never surpassed 100 tackles despite playing a huge number of snaps each year in the league.

His counting stats look decent from Week 1. The 25-year-old accrued seven tackles (six solos) and added a QB hurry. However, he needed 100 snaps to do so and missed three tackle opportunities.

Bust

Malik Reed, Edge

Reed was the next man up after the loss of T.J. Watt. He didn’t do much if anything at all. However, he’ll get more opportunities moving forward and could become startable in very deep leagues if you find yourself struggling for edge rushers. I’m in no hurry to start Reed unless I’m desperate.

Devin Bush, LB

Bush was clearly the second option behind Myles Jack last week. He managed only 51% of the snaps. He will remain in this tier unless something drastic happens.

Larry Ogunjobi, IDL

Ogunjobi wasn’t as bad as I expected him to be. Four tackles and three QB hurries look promising, and he will occasionally earn a sack, but I’m not confident he can be consistently productive.

You can do worse than roster Ogunjobi as a DT2, but I don’t recommend him as a starting option.

Mid-Afternoon Games

Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams - AM

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Falcons
Trust

Mykal Walker, LB

Walker played 100% of snaps and recorded six tackles and one sack in Week 1. He should be started at least until Deion Jones returns.

Richie Grant, S

Grant is a safety I targeted in rookie drafts often last year, and he seems to have taken over a productive role this year. Grant played 100% of snaps and recorded 10 tackles in Week 1. He won’t get 10 tackles every week but should have a full-time role locked up. Play him as an S2 in Week 2.

Grady Jarrett, IDL

Jarrett had a big Week 1 with 1.5 sacks on three pressures and five tackles with a 74% snap share. Jarrett should be started in DT-required leagues but is risky in leagues that lump all defensive linemen together.

If You Must

Rashaan Evans, LB

Evans should hold value as an LB3 until Deion Jones returns. Evans played all but one snap in Week 1 and recorded six tackles.

Bust

Lorenzo Carter, EDGE. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE

I’m sitting the Falcons’ edge rushers until I see some more games. Carter had the higher snap share with 84% compared to Ebiketie’s 43%. Ebiketie recorded a sack on three pressures, while Carter recorded 0.5 sacks on two pressures. I need more information before I feel confident starting either one.

Rams
Trust

Bobby Wagner, LB

As expected, Wagner played 100% of snaps and had a productive day with seven tackles and one sack. He should be started in all formats.

Aaron Donald, IDL

Donald played 86% of snaps and finished with one sack and two tackles. Start him every week.

If You Must

Nick Scott, S

Scott played 88% of snaps and appeared to have the more valuable safety role in Week 1 with seven tackles. Teammate Jordan Fuller played just 31% of snaps. We’ll have to monitor this situation to see if this was the Rams easing Fuller back in from his injury or if Scott has displaced Fuller for the season. I’m comfortable slotting Scott in as an S2 if you need an injury replacement in Week 2.

Ernest Jones, LB

Jones played just 58 % of snaps but recorded seven tackles and one forced fumble. Jones’ usage isn’t ideal, and I’ll be continuing to monitor his snaps in the coming weeks. I’m still okay with playing him in deeper leagues if needed because of his play-making ability. However, he may disappear in games if he doesn’t have more consistent playtime.

Bust

Taylor Rapp, S

Rapp played 100% of snaps but had just four tackles. He shouldn’t be counted on week-to-week.

Justin Hollins, EDGE. Leonard Floyd, EDGE

I’m not starting either of these options for now. Neither Rams edge rusher recorded a pressure in Week 1, and the duo combined for five tackles. Aaron Donald will open up some sack opportunities, but they’ll be tough to predict week-to-week.

Seattle Seahawks at San Franciso 49ers - AM

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Seahawks
Trust

Jordyn Brooks, LB

Brooks was one of three Seahawks players to play 100% of snaps. He recorded 12 tackles and should be a locked-in LB1.

If You Must

Cody Barton, LB

Barton became the Seahawks’ second full-time linebacker in Week 1 alongside Brooks playing 94% of snaps and racking up 10 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 TFLs. Keep an eye on Barton’s practice involvement this week since he exited Week 1 with an injury, but if he’s active, he should be in your lineup.

Josh Jones, S

Jones appears to be the replacement for Jamal Adams, having played 80% in Week 1 and recording seven tackles. If you need a fill-in this week, feel free to plug Jones in as an S2.

Bust

Uchenna Nwosu, LB

I’m skeptical that Nwosu will maintain his performance level in Week 1. Nwosu played 89% of snaps and recorded seven tackles and one sack. He’s worth an add in deeper leagues where he’s labeled an edge, but I’d leave him on the bench until we see some more action.

Darrell Taylor, EDGE

Taylor is another wait-and-see player. He played on 82% of snaps and managed 2 QB hits but failed to land a tackle or a sack. The QB hits may indicate that there’s room for optimism but check back after a few more weeks.

Quandre Diggs, S

Diggs played 100% of snaps and recorded 6 tackles in Week 1. He’s known for playing more of a deeper role, so the six tackles may be about as good as it gets. He’s not a bad desperation play if you have to pivot late, but I would try to avoid going into Week 2 relying on Diggs.

49ers
Trust

Fred Warner, LB

Warner played 100% of snaps and recorded six tackles in Week 1. His job is locked up, and Week 1 will likely be the low end of his performances this season.

Nick Bosa, EDGE

Bosa is an every-week start if healthy.

If You Must

Talanoa Hufanga, S

It looks like the 49ers have finally provided us with an IDP-relevant safety. Hufanga played 100% of snaps in Week 1 and recorded a team-high 11 tackles. Hufanga should be an every-week start if his usage continues.

Dre Greenlaw, LB

Greenlaw played 100% of snaps with just 4 tackles in a game where Azeez Al-Shaair also played 52% of snaps and recorded five tackles. Greenlaw may not hang on to the second full-time role all season, but he should be a solid LB3 while he does.

Bust

Azeez Al-Shaair, LB

Al-Shaair looks to have a rotational role in starting the season. Keep him on your bench or even on waivers in shallower leagues unless he is able to displace Dre Greenlaw.

Samson Ebukam, EDGE

Ebukam recorded a sack in Week 1 but only played 50% of snaps. He’s a risky play that I’m happy to leave on waivers for now.

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys - AM

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Bengals
Trust

Logan Wilson, LB

Wilson played 100% of snaps and recorded 8 tackles in Week 1. He should be a solid start every week.

Trey Hendrickson, EDGE

Hendrickson got the playing time with a 94% snap share but didn’t record a sack in Week 1 but did get a QB hit and four tackles. Better days are ahead for Hendrickson, and he should be a solid DE2 most weeks.

If You Must

Vonn Bell, S. Jessie Bates, S

Like last season, the Bengals’ safeties played nearly all of the snaps but split the stats. Bell had three tackles and one pressure, while Bates recorded two tackles. They each could have value during bye weeks later this season, but you should be able to find more reliable options in Week 2.

Sam Hubbard, EDGE

Hubbard played an impressive 94% of snaps in Week 1 and should be a decent start in tackle-heavy leagues. Don’t expect Hubbard to put up many sacks, though. His previous seasons have proven that he’s just not a huge sack generator.

Bust

None

Cowboys
Trust

Micah Parsons, LB

Parsons is an incredible player and should be started every week.

If You Must

Leighton Vander Esch, LB

Vander Esch played 85% of snaps and recorded nine tackles. He’s not an exciting name, but you could do worse as an LB3.

Donovan Wilson, S

Wilson appears to be the replacement for the injured Jayron Kearse, who left Week 1 with a sprained MCL. He finished Week 1 with an 82% snap share and five tackles. Wilson should be started as an S2 or S3.

Bust

Demarcus Lawrence, EDGE

Lawrence was unable to generate a pressure on a 60% snap share but did record four tackles. I’m not sure that we can count on Lawrence every week, but he may be necessary when bye weeks start hitting.

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos - JA

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Texans
Trust

Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB

I said I thought Grugier-Hill could be fantasy relevant to start the 2022 campaign, but nobody could have predicted he would rack up 18 tackles in Week 1!

That’s the good news for fantasy managers. What dampens my enthusiasm is that he had more snaps than any other linebacker in the league and was picked on in coverage, allowing 81.3% of the targets thrown to his coverage assignment for 116 yards.

However, Grugier-Hill will see plenty of volume going forward, and the Texans’ defense may have trouble getting off the field, similar to what we saw with the Seahawks last year. If you have him, you have to start him.

Christian Kirksey, LB

Kirksey matched Grugier-Hill’s incredible snap volume, playing 100% of the 92 defensive snaps available. Kirksey wasn’t as productive, but he made fantasy managers reasonably happy, totaling nine tackles (three solos) and adding two pressures.

I don’t think there will be such a vast disparity between the production of Kirksey and Grugier-Hill from now on, assuming both players continue to play 100% of the snaps. Do with that information what you will.

If You Must

Jonathan Owens, S

Owens won a starting role at Eric Murray’s expense. He never came off the field, delivered 15 tackles (13 solos), and broke up a pass.

That production level will be extremely difficult to sustain; the Texans' defense won’t play 92 snaps every week, and Owens’ usage isn’t ideal. He lined up deep on 75% of his snaps. It’s for these reasons that he belongs in this tier for now.

Jalen Pitre, S

Pitre played 100% of the 92 snaps, but he struggled. He managed 10 tackles (six solos) but missed a league-leading five tackles. His usage was more promising; Pitre played 43% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line. This is a positive sign that he should be able to deliver better tackle efficiency in the future, providing he doesn’t miss such a high percentage of his opportunities.

Jonathan Greenard, Edge

I was keen to see whether Greenard could carry some of the momentum he generated in 2021 over into 2022. The early signs weren’t promising. He had 41 pass rush attempts and generated only a single pressure.

Furthermore, while Greenard led all Texans’ edge rushers in snap share with 67%, Jerry Hughes wasn’t far behind with 60%. Preseason star Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had 41%, and even Demone Harris had 42%. It’s a sign of things to come, and it’s concerning.

Greenard remains in this tier as one game doesn’t define a player’s worth, and he was reasonably impressive in 2021. However, he’s on thin ice. The youngster splits his time at both the LEO and REO positions. Left tackle Garrett Bolles will be a challenge, but Cameron Fleming is nothing special in pass protection.

Jerry Hughes, Edge

Hughes was the best player on the Texans’ defense against the Colts. The veteran edge rusher managed only a single solo tackle, but he generated four pressures, including two sacks, forced a fumble, and recorded the second interception of his career. Not bad for a 34-year-old!

Unfortunately, if the Texans continue to rotate their edge rushers, as we saw in Week 1, Hughes will be a boom or bust player, best suited to bestball formats. Like Greenard, Hughes splits his time at the Texans' LEO and REO positions. See Greenard’s notes for Hughes’ Week 2 matchup information against the Broncos.

Bust

None

Broncos
Trust

None

If You Must

Dre’Mont Jones, IDL

Jones played 93% of the defensive snaps, led the team with 32 pass rush attempts, and recorded four QB hurries. He recorded a single solo tackle.

What I like about Jones is the fact that he splits time between spending time on the interior and the offensive tackle. He even moves outside of the tackle on occasion. This helps his value if he has a DT or IDL position designation in your league.

The Texans’ offensive line is a mixed bag. Laremy Tunsil is a good pass protector, and Tytus Howard is capable on his day, but Justin Britt and A.J. Cann are sub-par players, and Justin McCray is terrible. Jones could have a good day.

Randy Gregory, Edge

Gregory carried a shoulder injury in the build-up to Week 1, so I’m not overly concerned with his low 47% snap share. I suspect he will play more snaps in Week 2 at the expense of Baron Browning. It is a situation to monitor over the next week or two.

It’s encouraging that despite only rushing the passer 14 times, Gregory still tied for the team lead with four pressures, and he forced a fumble. Gregory split time between LOLB and ROLB, so he will face both Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard in Week 2. Neither player is a pushover; Gregory will face easier matchups.

Bradley Chubb, Edge

Seeing Chubb return to form after such a poor, injury-riddled 2021 campaign was great. Granted, his finishing rate of two sacks on only three pressures is unsustainable, but he passed the eye check. PFF concur, giving the 26-year-old the second-highest pass-rush grade of any edge rusher in Week 1.

Like Gregory, Chubb can line up at LOLB or ROLB, but he does favor the ROLB spot, meaning he’ll go up against Tunsil a fair amount. He will have to be at his best to have another productive week.

Justin Simmons, S

Simmons played every down, as he always does. He had a decent day, earning seven tackles (four solos). The veteran safety spent 38% of his time in the box or on the defensive line. That’s not particularly impressive, but it was interesting to note that Kareem Jackson spent just 0.5%, or three snaps out of 55, in a similar role.

Bust

Alex Singleton, LB. Josey Jewell, LB. Jonas Griffith, LB.

Singleton dominated snaps at linebacker for the Broncos, missing only two of the 55 snaps available. Griffith had only 58% of the snaps, but Griffith may not have been fully back from his elbow injury.

I want no part of this situation until we see how Griffith is used once he’s fully recovered and until we know Jewell’s status. When Jewell is fully healthy, I suspect he will lead the group in snap share, followed by Singleton, then Griffith. However, I will add that I think Griffith can supplant Singleton in time.

Baron Browning, Edge

Browning had a decent game, but I suspect he may lose opportunities once Gregory is fully healthy. I’m interested in rostering him as I think he has potential, but I don’t recommend starting him.

Kareem Jackson, S

Jackson almost exclusively lined up as the deep safety in Week 1. He produced only three tackles. His level of play also dropped off significantly last year. He has had an excellent career, but I think his best days are behind him.

Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders - JA

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Cardinals
Trust

Budda Baker, S. Jalen Thompson, S

As my co-author Aaron pointed out last week, both of these safeties are must-starts in IDP.

Neither player let down fantasy managers in Week 1. Baker opened the season with 12 tackles (eight solos) and a QB hurry. Thompson has eight solos. Baker was on the field for 93% of the snaps while Thompson played every down.

Thompson spent 27% of his snaps in a box role. Baker generally played closer to the line of scrimmage, playing 52% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

Neither player played particularly well, but their roles are secure, and they will have better games.

If You Must

Zaven Collins, LB

Collins led all Cardinals’ linebackers with 96% of the snaps, despite preseason concerns that the youngster would concede opportunities to Nick Vigil.

It wasn’t an awe-inspiring performance. Collins earned seven tackles but missed three more opportunities and sometimes struggled in coverage.

However, if he continues to earn a similar snap share and his role remains unchanged, Collins should be a productive fantasy starter.

Isaiah Simmons, LB

Simmons played 87% of the defensive snaps, but he recorded just three tackles. His usage remains a concern — he spent 59% of those snaps in the slot, at cornerback, or as a free safety. The 24-year-old earns accolades for his versatility, but we want him to spend more time in the box for fantasy purposes. His tackle efficiency will continue to suffer unless that changes.

Zach Allen, IDL

Allen led the team with five pressures last week. He also added two solo tackles. It’s not the type of performance to excite fantasy managers. Still, we list him here because he’s one of those guys who splits time between the interior and outside of the defensive line, and that gives him some appeal in DT-required and leagues that use DT-premium scoring.

It works in Allen’s favor that he faces the Raiders’ offensive line in Week 2. Andre James was one of the Raiders’ best offensive linemen against the Chargers, but he’s being evaluated for a concussion.

Bust

Devon Kennard, Edge. Markus Golden, Edge. Dennis Gardeck, Edge

I want no part of these edge rushers if they continue to rotate as they did in Week 1. Kennard led the way with 50% of the available snaps, Golden had 40%, and Gardeck had 29%. 2021 sixth-round pick Victor Dimukeje was also involved with 29%.

I expected Golden to be fantasy-relevant this year, but he’ll struggle unless this rotation changes. He’s still worth rostering in bestball formats.

Raiders
Trust

Maxx Crosby, Edge

Crosby led all NFL edge rushers with seven pressures in Week 1, but he failed to record a sack. His fantasy managers in 2021 will be all too familiar with this story. Crosby led the league in pressures last year but recorded a sack in only four games. The 25-year-old rescued his day with 10 tackles (eight solos), and he forced a fumble.

I’m a big fan and expect him to soon get his first sack of the season. He will go up against Kelvin Beachum in Week 2. Beachum is a good pass blocker, so Crosby may have to be at his best to deliver in this game.

Divine Deablo, LB

The youngster barely came off the field in Week 1. Deablo played 94% of the snaps available. In contrast, Perryman had just 39%, second to Jayon Brown with 66%.

I know Perryman left the game with an ankle injury; I’m not attempting to mislead anyone. Even so, Deablo’s usage before Perryman’s injury was still encouraging. He finished with seven tackles (three solos).

What was slightly less encouraging was Deablo’s play in coverage. He allowed 6 of 7 completions and two touchdowns. He’ll have an opportunity to put that right going forward.

Jonathan Abram, S

Abram played every down on Sunday, and he led the team with 13 tackles (nine solos). His usage was typical — the 25-year-old spent 47.8% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

I spoke about how Abram was a limited player last week. That remains true, and we saw that against the Chargers. I also mentioned that he is locked into a starting role and would be productive. Nothing has changed here.

If You Must

Trevon Moehrig, S

Moehrig left the Chargers game with a hip injury. He had 25 snaps before his exit and finished the game with two solo tackles. The sophomore safety spent only 20% of his time in a box role. That’s the kind of usage we saw last year. The concerns we shared last week about his tackle volume look justified. There is no reason to expect his role to change.

He falls into the unfortunate category of good players with limited fantasy value.

Chandler Jones, Edge

Jones had 30 pass rush attempts and generated two pressures. Clelin Ferrell had eight pass rush attempts and generated three pressures. We need to be careful not to read too much into one game, but this is a continuation of what we saw from Jones last season.

As I said last week, I don’t think we’ll ever see Jones produce 60+ pressures as he has in the past.

Jones still played 90% of the snaps; he will have better performances. His main opponent in Week 2 will be D.J. Humphries. The Cardinals tackle didn’t play as well in 2021 as he did the two years prior, allowing seven sacks. However, Humphries did play well last week. It’s an interesting and favorable matchup for Jones.

Bust

Jayon Brown, LB. Denzel Perryman, LB

The only Raiders linebacker I feel comfortable starting is Deablo. Perryman could return to fantasy relevance, but I’m not overly confident. He’s a limited player who landed in a fortunate situation last season.

Bilal Nicols, IDL

I expected Nichols to do a little more with his last week's opportunities. He had 73% of the available defensive snaps and 26 pass rush attempts but generated only a single pressure.

I’m still intrigued by what Nichols can do in this Raiders defense, but let’s see him do it first.

Sunday Night Football

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers - AM

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Bears
Trust

Roquan Smith, LB

Smith played every snap in Week 1 and recorded 9 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He’s a locked-in LB1, even without the green dot.

Nicholas Morrow, LB

It was Morrow who called the defense in Week 1 and played 100% of the snaps. He had a decent five tackles and should be a solid weekly LB2 so long as he maintains his full-time role.

If You Must

Jaquan Brisker, S

The rookie safety played 100% of snaps and recorded four tackles in Week 1. He also missed two tackles, which isn’t ideal, but it’s very encouraging to see a rookie get a full-time role right out the gate.

Robert Quinn, EDGE

Quinn only had two tackles in Week 1 but played on 72% of snaps. Better days are ahead, but I would turn to better options if I have them. Quinn has a Week 2 matchup against the Packers, who allowed four sacks to the Vikings in Week 1. So, if you have to put him in as a DE2 or DE3, there’s some hope for a sack.

Bust

Dominique Robinson, EDGE

Robinson made a huge splash in Week 1 with 1.5 sacks and 7 tackles. I’m not starting Robinson until I see him have more than 41% of snaps, though. That level of production will be practically impossible to maintain on that low of a snap share.

Packers
Trust

De’Vondre Campbell, LB

Campbell picked up where he left off last season with 100% of snaps and 11 tackles. He has LB1 value again this season.

Rashan Gary, EDGE

Gary had a big Week 1 with seven tackles and one sack on two pressures. Gary played 79% of snaps and should be a solid start weekly this season.

Kenny Clark, IDL

Clark played a nice 69% of snaps in Week 1 and generated three pressures, four tackles, and two QB hits. In DT-required leagues, he’s a fine play, but I prefer other options in non-DT leagues.

If You Must

Quay Walker, LB

Walker left Week 1 in the fourth quarter after playing 61% of snaps and totaling eight tackles. He could be a decent start as the season goes on, but even if active in Week 2, I’d like to see a full game before putting him in my lineup.

Preston Smith, EDGE

Smith played the most snaps amongst the edge rushers at 85% but only recorded three tackles and two QB hits. He did, however, match Kenny Clark’s team-high three pressures and should have value as a DE3 moving forward.

Bust

None

Monday Night Football

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills - JA

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Titans
Trust

Jeffery Simmons, IDL

Simmons had a great game against the Giants. He led the team with six pressures, including two sacks. He added four tackles (two solos) and also forced a fumble.

The interior of the Bills’ offensive line will have trouble with Simmons. Roger Saffold is not what he once was as a pass protector. Guard Ryan Bates had an abysmal game against the Rams last week. Center Mitch Morse isn’t bad, but Simmons has started on a tear, and that could continue in Week 2.

Kevin Byard, IDL

Byard came off the field for just one snap last weekend. He led the team with 11 tackles (eight solos). The veteran safety uncharacteristically allowed a 150.4 passer rating when targeted. I’m confident this will be an outlier; Byard allowed an 80.2 passer rating in 2021, and his career average is just 75.9.

Byard spent 30.5% of his time in the box or on the defensive line against the Giants. This doesn’t concern me much when we’re discussing a player who has made big plays in coverage. He remains a must-start in fantasy.

David Long, LB

As expected, Long dominated snaps at the linebacker position, playing every down in Week 1. He delivered seven tackles (six solos) and, surprisingly, generated five pressures despite rushing the passer only six times.

He won’t sustain that pressure rate, but the snap share is what really matters. He’s in line for what should be a career year.

If You Must

Zach Cunningham, LB

Cunningham played 78% of the defensive snaps against the Giants. He turned that into six tackles (five solos). Cunningham remains in this tier based on that level of usage. If you are in deep leagues that start three linebackers, he’s not a bad option as your LB3.

Bud Dupree, Edge

Dupree led the Titan’s edge rushers with 78% of the snaps on offer. He finished with three pressures, including a sack.

In Week 1, the former first-round pick split his time between LOLB and ROLB. If that continues, he’ll face Dion Dawkins and Spencer Brown in this matchup. Dawkins will be a challenge, but Brown is very beatable.

Bust

Amani Hooker, S

Hooker was on the field for 93% of the Titan’s defensive snaps. He only managed four tackles (three solos), but he did come down with an interception.

The tackle volume wasn’t impressive, but It was encouraging that the young safety spent a higher percentage of his time in the box or on the defensive line than he typically has in the last three years. 45.6% is a significant improvement on his 24.7% career average. If that continues, his tackle efficiency could improve. I’ll keep my eye on developments in the next few weeks.

Rashad Weaver, Edge. Denico Autry, Edge

Both players will occasionally pop up with a sack, as Weaver did last weekend, but while they split time, I’m not optimistic either can produce consistently. Autry played 62% of the snaps, Weaver 48%. Weaver has dynasty appeal, but you need a roster deep enough to carry him.

Bills
Trust

Von Miller, Edge

Miller wowed against his former team on Thursday Night Football. The veteran edge rusher was constantly disruptive, generating four pressures, including two sacks. He also added two solo tackles.

His inclusion in this tier comes with a warning not to expect this production level each week. That might seem obvious to most people, but based on the Twitter hype, it felt necessary to mention it. The Bills are famous for rotating edge rushers, and Miller played only 53% of the available snaps.

However, based on what we saw towards the end of last season and in Week 1, Miller is still an elite edge rusher at 33 years old. I like him in standard formats, and I love him in best ball. Miller split time between LOLB and ROLB against the Rams. Taylor Lewan can be a formidable pass protector, but I like Miller’s chances against rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere.

Tremaine Edmunds, LB

Edmunds has justifiably received criticism for his level of play in recent years. Fortunately for the Titans, he played better than usual last week, especially in coverage. The former first-round pick finished with nine solo tackles, including seven stops.

It’s unlikely he has turned a corner after four years in the league. However, while he remains an every-down linebacker, he should be started in fantasy.

Matt Milano, LB

I prefer Milano to Edmunds. The ‘other’ Bills linebacker also played every down and recorded nine tackles (six solos).

Milano received some criticism for his poor tackle efficiency last year, so it was good to see him start the 2022 campaign in a positive fashion. He wasn’t just producing. He also played well and remains a solid starting option in fantasy.

If You Must

Micah Hyde, S. Jordan Poyer, S

Hyde and Poyer are an excellent safety duo. In many ways, they are a vital part of Leslie Frazier’s dominant defense. They are in this tier because both players line up so deep. Hyde spent 84.6% of his time lined up as a deep safety, and Poyer spent 80% of his snaps in a similar role.

Both players will have big plays in coverage, helping their value in big play-scoring leagues, but they will struggle to keep pace with the leading tacklers at the safety position. They combined for just six tackles (four solos) against the Rams.

I am mindful that the game script worked against them.

Jordan Phillips, IDL

Phillips had a hell of a game in the first game since he returned to the Bills. We saw shades of the player he was before he left for the Cardinals. He was a key part of the dominant defensive line, finishing with six pressures, including two sacks. Phillips also added two tackles (one solo).

Phillips’ 53% snap share puts me off. That usage level will probably continue, making him a boom or bust player. However, this matchup is a good one. The Titans’ offensive line's interior has some problems in pass protection. Phillips may be in line for more snaps this week if Ed Oliver cannot play.

Ed Oliver, IDL

Oliver did not practice on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury during the game against the Rams. Unfortunately, he had to leave the game, as he was disruptive before his exit. Monitor his status ahead of this matchup. See Phillips’ notes for information on Oliver’s matchup if he can go.

Gregory Rousseau, Edge

Rousseau produced three pressures in Week 1, including a sack. He earned three solo tackles, and he also batted a pass. It was a good start to his sophomore campaign.

I’d love to see Rousseau play more snaps, but it’s not what the Bills do. However, the talented young edge rusher led all the edge rushers with 68% of the snaps. That provides some optimism that he can be moderately productive despite playing in a rotation.

Rousseau spends most of his time on the Bills’ defensive line left, so he will face more rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere than Taylor Lewan. That’s good news for his fantasy managers.

Bust

A.J. Epenesa, Edge

Epenesa will be a popular waiver target in shallow fantasy leagues after recording four pressures, including two sacks. Unfortunately, he will also struggle to match that production level in this scheme. I’ll be the first to admit if I am proven wrong.

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles - AM

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Vikings
Trust

Eric Kendricks, LB

Kendricks played every snap but only recorded four tackles, and one pass defended. He’s still an every-week start and should have a better Week 2.

Harrison Smith, S

Smith played 100% of snaps and matched teammate Bynum’s 7 tackles. Like Bynum, Smith should be a solid starter at S this season.

Danielle Hunter, EDGE

Hunter played % of snaps and recorded 1 sack and 3 tackles on 79% of snaps. He’s an every-week start as long as he’s healthy.

If You Must

Za’Darius Smith, EDGE

Smith got his revenge game in Week 1 against the Packers, scoring not only the win but also one sack and two tackles. Smith should be a solid DE3 with upside week-to-week.

Camryn Bynum, S

Bynum played 100% of snaps and recorded seven tackles. He should be a solid option as an S2 in deeper leagues and may provide more value as the season progresses.

Jordan Hicks, LB

Hicks played 97% of snaps and recorded a team-high 14 tackles to go with one sack. Hicks should be a solid start again in Week 2 now that we know there won’t be a rotation behind Kendricks.

Bust

D.J. Wonnum, EDGE

Wonnum landed a sack in Week 1 but only played 34% of snaps. Don’t be fooled by the sack. Wonnum should be on your bench in all but the deepest of leagues.

Eagles
Trust

Marcus Epps, S

Epps was one of only two Eagles players to play 100% of snaps in Week 1 and recorded a team-high 10 tackles. He should be a solid start at safety as long as he keeps up the tackle efficiency.

T.J. Edwards, LB

The other full-time player in Week 1 was Edwards, the only linebacker on the team to play more than 75% of snaps. Edwards had 7 tackles in Week 1 and should be a solid LB2 in Week 2.

Fletcher Cox, IDL

Cox landed 0.5 sacks on 2 pressures and added 2 tackles while playing 57% of snaps. Cox should be a solid start in DT-required leagues.

If You Must

C.J. Gardner-Johnson, S

Gardner-Johnson hit the ground running with the Eagles, playing 97% of snaps and recording five tackles. It wasn’t a spectacular outing, but he should have decent value in a full-time role for the Eagles this season, especially in leagues that list him as a CB.

Kyzir White, LB

White played 74% of snaps and recorded five tackles. If he continues in this rotational role, his IDP value will be volatile. I prefer more steady options for Week 2.

Haason Reddick, EDGE

Reddick had a disappointing Week 1 with just two tackles, no sacks, and no pressures. Not the start we were hoping for, but Reddick played 68% of snaps, just two behind the team’s edge snap leader Josh Sweat. Reddick is in for a bounce back at some point and should still be started as a DE3 if you need him in your lineup.

Josh Sweat, EDGE

Sweat played 71% of snaps in Week 1 and recorded three tackles and two QB hits while generating two pressures. Like Reddick, he should be deployed as a DE3 if you need him in Week 2.

Bust

None

Final Reminder

Please remember to check inactive players before submitting your final lineups on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Players can — and will — suddenly become inactive at the last moment.

Please bear in mind that this article was published on Thursday. We will try to update it with injury news if it affects start/sit recommendations, but the responsibility of keeping on top of the latest news is your own.

Click here to read the Week 2 Fantasy Football Start/Sits article.


Thanks for taking the time to read our NFL Week 2 IDP Start/Sits article We hope you find it useful. You can find more of our work here at IDPguys.org, and you can follow us on Twitter @DynastyDVM and @JaseAbbey. We will do our best to be available for questions or feedback. Our DMs are open.

Aaron Maberry

I am a veterinarian who has been playing fantasy football off and on since high school. About 12 years ago, I got more competitive and serious about fantasy football when I started a league with some other friends who were in vet school with me at the time. I started playing IDP about 3 years ago and have become even more obsessed with fantasy football. I have what I would call an evidence-based approach to fantasy football and love to track data in spreadsheets. I began writing for IDP Guys in the summer of 2021 and look forward to contributing to the amazing team moving forward. Thanks for reading!
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