https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-121674386-1
  • The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 11 Start/Sit List: IDP

    Jersey Giveaway

    Embed from Getty Images

    Matchups, snap counts, form. It’s all here in the IDPGuys’ NFL Week 11 Start/Sit article.


    Here’s the IDP Guys NFL Week 11 Start/Sit article. Every noteworthy defensive player on every NFL team, delivered to you every Thursday morning by @FFIDP_Jase and @IDPGuys.

    Table of Contents

    Thursday Night Football
    New England Patriots (6-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
    Sunday Early Afternoon Games
    New Orleans Saints (5-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)
    Miami Dolphins (3-7) at New York Jets (2-7)
    Washington Football Team (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (5-5)
    Indianapolis Colts (5-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-3)
    Detroit Lions (0-8-1) at Cleveland Browns (5-5)
    San Francisco 49ers (3-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7)
    Houston Texans (1-8) at Tennessee Titans (8-2)
    Green Bay Packers (8-2) at Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
    Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at Chicago Bears (3-6)
    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Games
    Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (5-4)
    Arizona Cardinals (8-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-6)
    Dallas Cowboys (7-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
    Sunday Night Football
    Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)
    Monday Night Football
    New York Giants (3-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)

    Disclaimers

    In the first few weeks of the season, I had a list of disclaimers here that explained how my advice is only a suggestion, how your team is your responsibility, and that I will get things wrong. It got too wordy, and I think most reasonable people understand all of this by now. I’m not going to include all that in my NFL Week 11 Start/Sit IDP article.

    I’ll just say this. If you’re the sort of person who feels the need to complain when (not if) I get something wrong, and it costs you points, please read the disclaimers from those early weeks first. I encourage all feedback — even criticism when it’s constructive — but not mindless rants. I do this for fun. It’s a game. Let’s keep it light.

    Article Key

    Tier One Starts

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

    Tier Two Starts

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

    Tier Three Starts

    These players are a bit of a gamble. You should probably only start them in larger leagues and those which start many players at each position. Tier three players can be serviceable as either bye week or injury replacements, but the chances of scoring well are slim. This tier is as close to “sit” as you can get while still retaining some value as a starter.

    Sits

    As the name implies, sit these players. You should not start these players for any number of reasons. They aren’t necessarily bad players. I 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 any of these four 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, so keep an eye out for that tomorrow!

    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 to address that problem.

    In true position scoring, outside linebackers and defensive ends (ends who predominantly line up outside of the tackle) are grouped as ‘Edge’ (rushers). Defensive tackles and defensive ends who play on the interior are grouped as IDL (interior defensive linemen). This leaves all remaining linebackers as off-ball linebackers (I’ve called them ILBs in this NFL Week 11 Start/Sit IDP article to help with clarification).

    The result of these changes is that scoring can be more fairly distributed between groups of players who, in modern defenses, essentially perform near-identical roles.

    Players with EDGE designations in such leagues, and this article, can vary in value from leagues that still use traditional DE and OLB positions. The same is true of IDL vs. DT designations and is complicated further by platforms that simply use DL positions to lump all defensive linemen together (the worst!). There is no easy way I can cater to all of these leagues here. Whatever I choose to do, someone would be missing out.

    While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to value translation between these different designations, I can at least offer to help adjust the IDP start/sit advice mentioned here for your league’s scoring system. If you find yourself in need of help in that sense, or if you find all of this just too complicated, please send me a Twitter DM. I answer every message I receive.

    Without further ado, let’s get into the NFL Week 11 Start/Sit IDP article.

    Thursday Night Football

    New England Patriots (6-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-5)

    Embed from Getty Images
    Patriots
    Starts

    Tier One

    Matt Judon, EDGE; Kyle Dugger, S.

    Judon registered his 11th sack of the season against the Browns last week. This marks a new career-high for the veteran edge rusher. It’s impressive given that it has taken him only 10 games to achieve.

    The former Ravens star will face Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary on Thursday night football. Matthews is a good offensive tackle. McGary is a mediocre player and had his worst game of the season last week.

    Dugger was second on the Patriots with six solo tackles, increasing his total for the season to 63, ranking eight amount all safeties. He also recorded his third interception of the season, picking off Baker Mayfield and almost returning it for a touchdown:

    However, Dugger isn’t an every-down player. He has played 82%, 71%, and 73% of the available defensive snaps in the last three weeks.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Christian Barmore, IDL; Adrian Phillips, S.

    Barmore led the Patriots’ interior defensive linemen with 45 snaps. Unfortunately, he didn’t record a sack, but he was disruptive, ranking second on the team with five total pressures. The rookie also added four total tackles.

    The impressive second-round pick has an average matchup this weekend. The interior of the Falcons offensive line is a mixed bag. Fellow rookie and left guard Jalen Mayfield has been consistently poor. Center Matt Hennessy has shown some recent improvement after a poor start. Right guard Chris Lindstrom has been decent.

    Phillips has played quite well this season. However, despite earning a similar amount of snaps to Dugger, his tackle volume is not quite where you would like it to be for a fantasy starter. He ranks 30th among safeties with 46 total tackles.

    Sits

    Ja’Whaun Bentley, ILB.

    I wrote last week about how Bentley is on the field for barely half of the available defensive snaps in most games. That changed in Week 10 as he had 45 of 59 available snaps. He led the Patriots with seven total tackles despite playing poorly overall.

    Bentley has an unusually high tackle efficiency this season. He ranks 35th among linebackers with 46 total tackles, and every single player who ranks above him, and many who rank below him has far more snaps.

    Bentley has the potential to be an ILB3/4 in fantasy if he can play a prominent role on a more consistent basis.

    Falcons
    Starts

    Tier One

    Deion Jones, ILB; Foyesade Oluokun, ILB.

    Jones played 63 of a possible 77 snaps but had his least productive, and arguably his poorest game of the season. He had just three total tackles and missed three more tackle attempts. In coverage, he allowed 7-of-7 passing attempts for 107 yards, both team-highs.

    The former LSU linebacker still ranks 11th overall among all ILBs with 78 tackles. He’s added two sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup.

    Oluokun had 60 snaps against the Cowboys and led the team with 14 total tackles. He now ranks 3rd in the league with 90 total tackles. He has a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup this season.

    Tier Two

    Grady Jarrett, IDL.

    Jarrett had five total tackles, a QB hit, and a QB hurry. He led all of the Falcons interior defensive linemen with 45 snaps but that only represented only 58% of the available defensive snaps.

    The Cowboys are a difficult matchup for any IDL, so his lack of production as a pass rusher isn’t entirely surprising. He has good pressure numbers, but fantasy managers are understandably disappointed that he’s failed to convert those pressures into just one sack so far this season.

    The interior of the Patriots’ offensive line has allowed only 27 total pressures, and three sacks, in a combined 25 games. It won’t be an easy matchup for Jarrett.

    Tier Three

    Erik Harris, S; Dante Fowler, EDGE.

    Harris has produced steadily, if unspectacularly in fantasy terms. He had seven total tackles against the Cowboys and has 46 total tackles, and six pass breakups in eight games this season.

    The former Raiders safety had 66 of a possible 77 snaps last weekend. He spent 29 of those snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    Fowler is expected to return from a hyperextended knee this weekend. The Falcons hope he can provide some much-needed pass rush. The team has had only two sacks in their last four games.

    Fowler will face both Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown. It was good to see Brown return to the lineup after such a lengthy layoff. It’s a tough matchup for Fowler.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Sunday Early Afternoon Slate

    New Orleans Saints (5-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Saints

    Starts

    Tier One

    Demario Davis, ILB.

    Davis played every down against the Titans. He had five solo tackles in what was a modest performance by his standards.

    The veteran linebacker now has 64 total tackles in nine games and is projected to have 120 total tackles this season.

    Tier Two

    Cameron Jordan, EDGE.

    Jordan’s run of consecutive games with a sack ended last weekend after earning one in each of his previous three. He had just one pressure – a QB hurry – and that marks a season-low for him in that regard.

    However, he did have a season-high in tackles with seven – the most solo tackles of any Saints defender. Now in his 11th year with the Saints, the veteran edge rusher has 31 total pressures, three sacks, and 30 tackles in nine games.

    Jordan will go up against Lane Johnson in Week 11. Johnson has allowed only nine total pressures and zero sacks in seven games. It’s a tough matchup.

    Tier Three

    Malcolm Jenkins, S; Marcus Davenport, EDGE.

    Jenkins joined Davis as the only other Saints defender to play every down. He had four tackles and a pass breakup against his former team. Jenkins now has 53 total tackles, a sack, an interception, and four pass breakups this season.

    Is Davenport developing into the player he was expected to be after being selected 14th overall in the 2018 draft? It’s far too early to call this season a true breakout but he is showing promise in the four games since returning from injury in Week 7.

    Davenport has 15 total pressures and four sacks on only 119 pass rush attempts this season.

    Jordan Mailata will not be an easy ride for the young edge rusher. Mailata has allowed 14 pressures and two sacks in the last eight games. Half of those pressures and sacks came in just one game against the Raiders in Week 7.

    Sits

    Kwon Alexander, ILB; Pete Werner, ILB; Marcus Williams, S.

    Alexander was trending in the right direction ahead of Week 10. His snap share had increased to 46 in comparison to Werner’s 12. However, the two linebackers were much closer in that category against the Titans. Alexander had 34 and Werner had 25.

    If this continues then the two players will hurt each other’s fantasy value to the point where it’s a big risk to start either of them. If I had to choose one of them to insert into a fantasy lineup, Alexander would be my choice.

    Williams earned the highest PFF grade of any Saints player last weekend. Unfortunately, the point I made last week still stands “This is an example of a really good NFL player who just doesn’t produce much in IDP leagues.”

    The star safety spent 45 of his 51 snaps at free safety and had just three solo tackles.

    Eagles

    Starts

    Tier One

    Javon Hargrave, IDL.

    Hargrave earned four QB hurries which help him to eighth in overall pressures among all players on the defensive interior. He also ranks second at the spot for total tackles with 42.

    His tackle volume has been steady throughout the last 10 games but his productivity as a pass rusher has declined. Check out the splits:

    First five games: 18 total pressures, five sacks.
    Last five games: 11 total pressures, zero sacks.

    The former Pittsburgh player benefits from Terron Armstead‘s absence. It means James Hurst will likely remain at left tackle instead of moving back to his spot at guard where he would’ve faced Hargrave.

    Instead, Calvin Throckmorton is likely to play left guard, joining Erik McCoy in taking on Hargrave. It’s an easier matchup than the combination of Hurst and McCoy.

    Tier Two

    T.J. Edwards, ILB.

    Edwards appears to be the Eagles linebacker to own in season-long fantasy formats. He led all Eagles linebackers with 54 of 58 snaps and had eight tackles and a pass breakup.

    The third-year player stepped into a more prominent role in Week 8 and has had 33 tackles in the three games since. He’s a low-end ILB2 going forward unless his snap share decreases.

    Tier Three

    Josh Sweat, EDGE; Davion Taylor, ILB.

    A tier separates Sweat and Barnett in this article. Sweat has four sacks to Barnett’s two. I believe Sweat has more potential as a player, but their pressure and tackle numbers are similar this season.

    The young edge rusher played 37 of a possible 58 total snaps and had two tackle assists, and two QB hurries. It’s concerning for Sweat managers that Barnett has played more snaps in every game since Week 6, and it’s perhaps even more worrying that the gap has widened further in that regard in Weeks 9 and 10.

    If losing Armstead wasn’t enough, the Saints will also be missing Ryan Ramczyk this weekend. Ramcyzyk’s absence makes Sweat’s matchup much easier.

    Taylor played 40 of 58 snaps against the Broncos. He had seven total tackles and a forced fumble. Despite the promising production, he still needs time and playing experience to help him develop as a player. Fortunately for his fantasy managers, it appears he’ll be given the opportunity and time to do so.

    Sits

    Alex Singleton, ILB; Fletcher Cox, IDL; Derek Barnett, EDGE.

    I was ready to drop Singleton from this list altogether but have fielded a few questions about him in the last week. He’s played 41 snaps in total over the last three weeks. He surpassed that number in every game between Weeks 1 and 6.

    Singleton is droppable in all but the very deepest of formats. His only route back to fantasy relevance is if Edwards or Taylor get injured, or perhaps if the Eagles begin to throw some of Taylor’s snaps Singleton’s way.

    Cox had his best game of the season as a pass rusher against the Broncos. He generated five total pressures, including a QB hit and four hurries.

    The veteran lineman was second at the Eagles IDL spot with 46 snaps, only 4 behind Hargrave and more than double that of Milton Williams. Cox could force his way into IDL3 contention with a good run of games at what is a shallow position in fantasy.

    Barnett led all Eagles edge rushers with 48 snaps and five total pressures. He was the only player to earn a sack against the Broncos. Despite the productive game, he remains 45th among all edge players in total pressures despite playing an extra game than most.

    With Armstead out, I was tempted to move Barnett up a tier until I noticed that he will face James Hurst. Hurst trails only Andrew Whitworth for the best PFF pass-blocking grade of any offensive lineman this season.

    Miami Dolphins (3-7) at New York Jets (2-7)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Dolphins

    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    Jerome Baker, ILB; Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE; Christian Wilkins, IDL.

    How much fun was it to watch the Dolphins defense last week? (sorry, Ravens fans!) 10 different Dolphins defenders had double-digit pass-rush attempts. Incredible.

    Baker was one of those 10 players and now ranks third among all ILBs with 92 pass rush attempts this season. The young linebacker has 51 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, an interception, and two pass breakups in eight games (I haven’t counted the 10 snap effort before he got injured in Week 7).

    Ogbah failed to record a sack in a favorable matchup against the Ravens but he was second on the team with five total pressures. The former Browns player now ranks 10th among all edge players with 40 total pressures and ranks 16th with six sacks.

    He has a good matchup this weekend against Morgan Moses. Moses has allowed 29 pressures in eight (and-a-bit) games.

    Wilkins played just 34 of a possible 73 snaps. He had a game that is fairly typical for him, with solid tackle volume, but modest pass productivity.

    The 13th overall selection in the 2019 draft has 39 total tackles this season but only 16 total pressures. He’s an IDL2/3 in sack-heavy leagues and a high-end IDL2 in tackle-heavy leagues.

    Tier Three

    Jevon Holland, S.

    Ok, Miami fans, I’ll bite. Holland had one of his best games of the season against the Ravens and was instrumental in the surprise victory. He blitzed Lamar Jackson 22 times, almost equalling the amount of pass rush snaps he had in Weeks 1-9 combined. His 27 snaps on the defensive line were easily a season-high.

    The rookie safety responded with six pressures, including a sack, a batted pass, four total tackles, and a pass breakup.

    Holland’s big plays will undoubtedly make fantasy managers happy. However, he lacks the consistent floor of other safeties in the league as he has only 38 tackles this season, an average of less than four per game. Unless this improves, he remains a boom-or-bust player in IDP leagues.

    Sits

    Andrew Van Ginkel, EDGE; Brandon Jones, S; Eric Rowe, S.

    Van Ginkel has scored more than some of the edge rushers I have in tier three. He has a sack in two consecutive games and had a season-high 67 snaps in Week 10.

    However, he failed to record more than two pressures in a single game between Weeks 3 and 8 and had just one sack before Week 9. I think he has some value as a bye week or injury replacement but that’s as far as it goes.

    Jones played every down and had six tackles against the Ravens, matching his season-high. However, like Holland, he averages less than four tackles per game.

    Rowe has had two productive fantasy games in a row. He had five solo tackles and a forced fumble in Week 9 and followed that up with four total tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in Week 10.

    I’m not sold. His 50 tackles are solid enough on the face of things, but he has played fewer than 28 snaps in four of his last seven games.

    Jets

    Starts

    Tier One

    Quinnen Williams, IDL.

    The third overall pick in the 2019 draft had a quiet game against the Bills. He had one tackle assist and one pressure in the game, but he made that pressure count by recording a sack.

    Williams ranks joint-fourth among all players at the IDL spot with six sacks, but he has only half the total pressures of the leader in that category, Jeffery Simmons. This isn’t entirely surprising given how much the Jets like to rotate their defensive linemen. Williams has played 200 fewer snaps than Simmons.

    The former Alabama star has a very good matchup against the Dolphins this week. Austin Jackson has been very poor in pass protection. The rest of the interior of that Dolphins offensive line hasn’t fared much better.

    Tier Two

    John Franklin-Myers, EDGE; C.J. Mosley, ILB; Ashtyn Davis, S.

    It was encouraging to see Franklin-Myers record a five-pressure game and a sack in Week 9, but he went quiet again in Week 10. He had one tackle assist and one QB hurry.

    The former fourth-round pick needs to maintain value as a pass rusher as he offers less tackle volume than most of his edge counterparts. Tackles aren’t the first thing you consider when determining the value of edge rushers in fantasy but they can help decide between two players with similar pass rush output.

    Franklin-Myers ranks 26th among all edge rushers with 29 total pressures, 31st with four sacks, and 40th in total tackles. He’s still a solid EDGE2 this week as he faces a great matchup. Jesse Davis is one of the worst offensive tackles in football this season, second perhaps only to his teammate, Liam Eichenberg.

    Mosley played every down again in Week 10 and led the Jets with eight total tackles. The veteran linebacker now has 74 total tackles in just eight games. He has had at least eight tackles in every game he has played since Week 2.

    Despite the impressive tackle volumes, Mosley has faced deserved criticism for his performances. He isn’t playing at the same level as he has in previous seasons, he’s missing more tackles, he is generally more inconsistent in coverage.

    However, none of this matters in fantasy while he continues to play such a prominent role at the ILB spot for the Jets. He’ll continue to rack up tackles and remains an asset in tackle-heavy IDP leagues.

    Davis has stepped up recently. The 2020 third-round pick has 17 total tackles and three forced fumbles in the last two games. He has 38 tackles this season despite playing in only six games. It’s impressive when you consider he had a part-time role in the first two of those.

    The good news doesn’t stop there. The young safety had a season-high 22 snaps in the box in Week 10 and has earned his two best PFF grades in each of the last two weeks.

    Tier Three

    None.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Washington Football Team (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (5-5)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Washington

    Starts

    Tier One

    Jonathan Allen, IDL; Daron Payne, IDL; Cole Holcomb, ILB.

    Allen was the most disruptive pass rusher on the team last weekend, as he has been on multiple occasions this season. He didn’t earn a sack (no Washington player did) but he did lead the team with five total pressures.

    The former first-round pick is fourth at his position with 37 total pressures and joint-fourth with six sacks. More will be expected of him going forward with the crushing injury to Chase Young, but Allen was holding his own despite Young’s poor form before the injury anyway.

    Payne has fallen behind Allen as far as pass-rush productivity is concerned, but he still compares favorably to others at the IDL spot, ranking 11th overall in total pressures with 27. He ranks 21st in tackles at the position.

    However, 11 of those pressures came in just one game against the Bills in Week 3. Payne hasn’t surpassed three pressures in a game since then and has just five in his last three games. It would be good to see a few big games from Payne to reward loyal fantasy managers. A sack or two wouldn’t go amiss!

    It’s a good matchup for both Allen and Payne this weekend. The Panthers’ offensive line has struggled with injuries and although the replacement players have acquitted themselves reasonably well, they haven’t faced an IDL with the pedigree, or depth, of Washington’s.

    Tier Two

    Kamren Curl, S; Landon Collins, S.

    Curl played 44 of a possible 48 snaps against the Bucs. He spent 14 of those snaps on the defensive line or in a box role. The young safety led Washington with seven total tackles and he also added a pass breakup.

    The former seventh-round pick has 52 tackles and three pass breakups this season. Fantasy managers might not be too pleased with the lack of big plays, but I suspect they’ll come at some point while he continues to play a prominent role in this defense. In the meantime, his tackle volume offers a nice floor.

    Collins’ fantasy managers were probably a little worried after the Week 7 game against the Packers when he had a reduced role. Thankfully, that game appears to be an anomaly, Collins has played all but 10 snaps in the two games since and has spent more time in the box than in any other role.

    However, the former Giants safety didn’t have his biggest game in Week 10. He recorded only three tackles, his lowest output of the season. I’m not overly worried, I suspect he’ll bounce back in future weeks.

    Tier Three

    None.

    Sits

    Chase Young, EDGE (injury – IR); Montez Sweat, EDGE (injury – IR); Jamin Davis, ILB; Bobby McCain, S; James Smith-Williams, EDGE; Casey Toohill, EDGE.

    Unfortunately, Young tore his ACL in the second quarter of the Bucs game. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

    It’s a disappointing end to a challenging season for the heralded young pass rusher and he’ll be frustrated he won’t get a chance to answer some of the criticism he’s faced for his poor form this season.

    Sweat remains on IR for a few more weeks with a fractured jaw. In the absence of Young, much will be expected of Sweat when he can return.

    Davis had 42 of a possible 53 snaps in Week 8 before Washington’s bye. He had only 27 of a possible 48 in Week 10 and wasn’t particularly impressive in coverage. It’s been a frustrating season for Davis managers.

    There is some reason for optimism with Davis. The 2021 first-round pick was second on the team with six total tackles.

    McCain tends to play every down for this Washington defense, but with Curl and Collins occupying roles near the line of scrimmage, McCain plays in a much deeper role. He struggles to get involved in the game unless he manages to break up passes or snag interceptions.

    Washington turned to Smith-Williams and Toohill for assistance as edge rushers in Week 10. The extra opportunities for fringe players are sometimes the only positive that can be taken from injury situations like these. I doubt either player becomes a fantasy mainstay but crazier things have happened. Good luck to them both.

    Panthers

    Starts

    Tier One

    Shaq Thompson, ILB.

    Thompson has been a fantasy star since his return to the lineup in Week 8. He has 24 tackles, a sack, an interception, and two pass breakups in that three-game period. He could’ve had more tackles had he not missed four attempts in Week 9 vs. the Patriots.

    His overall numbers fall short of other ILB1s, but he missed three games between Week 5 and Week 7. He’s been as impactful as any linebacker in the games he has been healthy for.

    Tier Two

    Brian Burns, EDGE; Haason Reddick, EDGE; Jeremy Chinn, S.

    Burns failed to record a sack against the Cardinals last weekend, his first game without one since Week 6. It was one to forget for the former Seminoles star. He had just two pressures and missed his only two tackle opportunities despite leading the Panthers edge rushers with 38 of a possible 55 snaps.

    He won’t have games like this very often. Burns ranks 20th among all edge rushers with 31 total pressures, joint-13th with six sacks, and 13th with 29 total tackles. He’s a low-end EDGE1 or high-end EDGE2 depending on his matchup each week.

    Burns is in this tier as Washington has two, possibly as many as three offensive tackles who are good pass blockers. Veterans Cornelius Lucas and Charles Leno Jr. have been solid when healthy, and rookie Samuel Cosmi was impressive in limited action earlier in the season.

    Reddick earned three total tackles against the Cardinals, four pressures, including two sacks, and he added a forced fumble. It was his fifth multi-sack performance of the season and we’re only in Week 10.

    The former Cardinals player has been a master at converting a high percentage of pressure into sacks this season. 26 edge rushers have more pressure than him, yet only Garrett has more sacks. It’s incredible.

    I have my doubts that he can maintain this going forward, hence why he is a high-end EDGE2, but I also didn’t think he could keep this level of efficiency up this deep into the season.

    See Burns’ notes for information on Reddick’s matchup.

    Chinn was one snap short of playing every down and 36 of his 54 snaps were spent in a box role. He had five solo tackles, increasing his total for the season to 56.

    The 2020 fantasy darling has probably fallen just short of expectations this season, but a strong second half of the season would change things. His projected numbers aren’t that far off his 2020 output.

    Tier Three

    Jermaine Carter, ILB.

    Carter has been clinging onto fantasy relevance despite the return of Thompson but he continues to lose more value with each passing week. He had eight tackles in Week 8, six in Week 9, and four in Week 10. He’s a low-end ILB3. You can probably find better options on the waiver wire in most IDP leagues.

    Sits

    Derrick Brown, IDL.

    Brown led the Panthers’ interior defensive linemen with 32 snaps of a possible 55, but DaQuan Jones was not far behind with 29. Brown had yet another quiet game, with only one tackle and one QB hit.

    The seventh overall pick in 2020 has so far not produced as I thought he might in 2021. He has just 14 total pressures in ten games and there are no signs yet that this trend is about to change.

    Indianapolis Colts (5-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-3)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Colts

    Starts

    Tier One

    DeForest Buckner, IDL; Darius Leonard, ILB; Bobby Okereke, ILB.

    Buckner was a force to be reckoned with in the Jaguars game. The giant defensive tackle led the Colts with eight total pressures, including two sacks, a QB hit, and five QB hurries.

    The former 49ers star has 20 pressures, five sacks, and 17 tackles in the last five games and yet I get the impression he is only just starting to find his stride.

    I’ve talked in previous weeks about how Mitch Morse is the only steady presence on the interior of the Bills offensive line, but he’s now coming off two poor games. Guard Cody Ford showed signs of improvement but then allowed five pressures and a sack to the Jags last week. At least Ike Boettger has improved.

    This is a nice matchup for Buckner. He has an opportunity to keep this run of form going.

    Leonard played 63 of a possible 66 snaps and had five total tackles. It’s the star linebacker’s worst fantasy outing since Week 1.

    It will be an anomaly. Leonard has 73 tackles, four fumbles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups this season. He remains one of the best linebackers in IDP.

    Okereke was one of only two Colts defenders who played every down. The third-year linebacker had six total tackles and a QB hit.

    The young linebacker ranks sixth in the league with 84 total tackles. He’s also added a sack, an interception, and two pass breakups this season.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Kwity Paye, EDGE; George Odum, S.

    Paye has shown a glimpse of why the Colts selected him in the first round. In his last two games, he has 16 total pressures, fantastic numbers for any player, especially a rookie in only his seventh career game.

    The young edge rusher earned his first career sack against the Jags and if he continues playing as he has in his last two games, it’s the first of quite a few more. The Colts have not held him back, Paye has led the Colts in snaps at the edge position on more than one occasion, and it’s nice to see him showcase the potential to justify that level of opportunity.

    Paye may find it difficult to continue this level of productivity against Dion Dawkins. Dawkins had a game to forget in Week 9 against the Jaguars but has otherwise been one of the top-ranked left tackles over the last month.

    Odum has stepped in for the injured Khari Willis and has been decent for fantasy purposes. He has at least five tackles in three consecutive games. He’s a low-end S3 but could serve as an injury or bye week replacement.

    Sits

    Al-Quadin Muhammad, EDGE.

    Muhammad played 45 of a possible 66 snaps in Week 10 and had two tackles and three total pressures. He has 30 tackles, 20 pressures, and four sacks this season. He’s not a bad player, far from it, but if you’re relying on him to be a fantasy starter in anything but the very deepest of leagues then you should try to find an upgrade.

    Bills

    Starts

    Tier One

    Jordan Poyer, S.

    Poyer played 68 of a possible 77 snaps but spent just 11 of those in the box or on the defensive line. That’s mildly concerning given Micah Hyde played almost double that amount in similar alignments.

    Poyer still had one of his best games of the season. He recorded 10 total tackles, a QB hit, a QB hurry, an interception, and a pass breakup. The veteran safety didn’t allow a catch despite being targetted twice.

    The former Browns player has excelled in coverage this season. He has four pass breakups and four interceptions despite being targetted only 13 times.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Matt Milano, ILB;

    With Tremaine Edmunds sidelined, Milano had his highest tackle volume of the season, pacing all linebackers with nine total tackles. He also added a pass breakup and allowed only 16 yards in coverage despite being targetted six times.

    As mentioned below, it’s still unclear whether Edmunds can return this weekend. If he cannot, consider Milano a high-end ILB3.

    The Bills Hughes had only two QB hurries against the Jets in Week 10. leads all Bill edge rushers

    Sits

    Jerry Hughes, EDGE; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE; Micah Hyde, S; Tremaine Edmunds, ILB (injury); A.J. Klein, ILB.

    Hughes has more value in seasonal fantasy formats than other Bills edge rushers, Rousseau is the favored option in dynasty. However, the Bills are fully committed to a rotation as I’ve mentioned every week.

    This was a point they took to extremes in Week 10, as seven different edge rushers had between 26 and 37 pass-rush snaps. Good luck predicting which one will have any fantasy relevance from week to week.

    Hyde averages less than four tackles per game. He has baited fantasy managers into starting him with some big plays, but it’s risky hoping for those each week. You can do worse if you need a bye or injury replacement in deep leagues.

    Edmunds is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. Monitor his status carefully before inserting him back into fantasy lineups. When healthy, he is an ILB2.

    Klein played in place of the injured Edmunds and had seven solo tackles. If Edmunds cannot play this weekend, Klein has ILB3 value.

    Detroit Lions (0-8-1) at Cleveland Browns (5-5)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Lions

    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Charles Harris, EDGE; Alex Anzalone, ILB; Tracy Walker, S.

    I feel slightly bad for any Lions fans who read this and see they don’t have a defender in either of the first two tiers. I’d be interested to hear from you guys, do you feel I’ve been harsh? Who would you realistically expect to see in those tiers?

    Harris had a four-game spell from Week 2 to Week 5 with a sack in each game. It was no fluke, he earned good PFF pass-rush grades during that spell and, except for one or two games, has continued to do so since.

    Despite grading well as a pass rusher, he hasn’t earned a sack in the last four games. It’s small consolation to fantasy managers that he’s managed 19 tackles in that time, as sacks are what we want from this position.

    Anzalone is a high-end ILB3 but based purely on volume. He ranks 32nd in tackles at the linebacker position but is 11th in total snaps. He also leads the league with 16 missed tackles.

    I’ve made no secret that I’m not Anzalone’s biggest fan. I’m confused why a team without a win wouldn’t give younger, potentially better players an opportunity. With that said, what do I know? While he plays every down as he did last week, he’s worth starting in fantasy, especially in tackle-heavy leagues.

    Walker had only 47 of a possible 86 snaps but was third on the team with seven total tackles. He has 50 total tackles this season, a sack, and four pass breakups. His performance against the Steelers in Week 10 was his best since the Week 5 game against the Vikings.

    Sits

    Trey Flowers, EDGE (injury); Julian Okwara, EDGE. Derrick Barnes, ILB; Jalen Reeves-Maybin, ILB.

    Neither Flowers nor Okwara registered a single pressure in Week 10. It’s slightly confusing, especially in Flower’s case. The former Pats player has only six pressures on 162 pass rush attempts this season and it’s getting worse, he has one pressure in his last three games despite rushing the passer 75 times. That sort of output is pitiful.

    Okwara at least has double the amount of pressure on 91 pass-rush attempts. At this point, he’s a better play than Flowers but neither player is setting the world alight.

    Flowers is out this weekend with a knee injury anyway,

    As mentioned above, I’ve given up trying to work out when Barnes will be given more of an opportunity. I must either underrate Anzalone or overrate Barnes. The rookie had only 15 snaps in Week 10, his fewest since Week 1.

    Reeves-Maybin’s snap share fluctuates from week to week. He played only 26 of a possible 65 snaps in Week 8, then had 56 of 86 in Week 10 after the bye. The fifth-year linebacker produced with the opportunity he was given, earning seven total tackles against the Steelers.

    Browns

    Starts

    Tier One

    Myles Garrett, EDGE; Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE.

    Garrett only had two pressures against the Patriots last weekend, but he wasn’t to be denied. He still recorded a sack, his eighth consecutive game with at least one sack. The elite edge rusher also batted down a pass in the Week 10 contest.

    He leads the league with 15 sacks and is on pace to challenge Strahan’s 22.5 sack record. The new 17 game season affords him an extra game in which to achieve that feat.

    Taylor Decker returned to the Lions startup last week for the first time this season and played well in his usual left tackle position. He is a good tackle but has his hands full with Garrett this week.

    Clowney’s level of play has dropped off in the last three weeks. After starting the season with 31 pressures in his first six games, he has just three total pressures in his last three games.

    The former Texans player still ranks 15th overall in total pressures among all edge rushers, however, he needs to improve his recent form to avoid dropping to EDGE2 status at what is a deep position in fantasy.

    Penei Sewell stands in Clowney’s way in Week 11. Sewell moved to right tackle after playing left tackle in the first eight games of the season. The rookie has been impressive in recent games, he’s allowed only five total pressures and zero sacks in his last four games.

    Tier Two

    Anthony Walker, ILB.

    I expected Walker to lose some snaps to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in Week 10 but JOK was seemingly not ready to play as often as he did in the games pre-injury. Walker played 52 of a possible 66 snaps and took advantage of his opportunity, he led the team with nine total tackles.

    If JOK is being eased back in after his injury then I expect Walker’s snap numbers will drop slightly. Consider him a low-end ILB2 for Week 11.

    Tier Three

    Malik McDowell, IDL; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB.

    McDowell has outplayed Malik Jackson in recent weeks, as I pointed out in the Week 10 version of this article. That trend continued last weekend, as McDowell led the team with three total pressures and a sack in what was a difficult matchup vs. the Patriots.

    I like McDowell’s matchup this week. The interior of the Lions’ offensive line is shaky at best. Only Evan Brown has played with any sort of consistency this season.

    We got too excited about JOK’s return to the lineup last weekend. And by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’. JOK played just 20 snaps, as the Browns appeared to be cautious introducing him to game action after his high ankle sprain. He earned four total tackles.

    Unless the rookie linebacker suffers any setbacks in practice, I expect his snap numbers will increase in future weeks. Until then, play it safe and consider him an ILB3.

    Sits

    Malik Jackson, IDL; John Johnson, S; Grant Delpit, S; Ronnie Harrison, S.

    Jackson has just three total pressures in his last three games. He looks visibly less disruptive in the last month compared with what we saw in the opening month of the season.

    Hands up who started Johnson last week after his big game in Week 9? I’ll forgive you if you’re new to this article, otherwise, you’re dead to me 🙂

    I said this of Johnson last week: “Johnson will be a popular waiver pickup this week. He has the name recognition, and he had a fumble and an interception last weekend. I’m passing. He has failed to surpass four tackles in a game since Week 1.”

    The former Rams’ safety had only two total tackles and he allowed a touchdown in coverage.

    Delpit played just 27 of 66 snaps against the Patriots. He has tidied up the missed tackles that we saw earlier in the season, but he can’t be started when he’s playing so sparingly.

    Harrison had 49 of a possible 66 snaps. 20 of his snaps were spent in a box role or on the defensive line. He earned six total tackles and has only 39 tackles this season.

    San Francisco 49ers (3-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7)

    Embed from Getty Images

    49ers

    Starts

    Tier One

    Nick Bosa, EDGE; Fred Warner, ILB.

    Bosa didn’t disappoint on Monday Night Football against the Rams. He led all 49ers’ edge rushers with 42 of a possible 56 snaps, and he also led the team with four pressures, including one sack.

    The second overall pick in the 2019 draft now ranks 12th overall at the edge position with 37 total pressures and ninth overall with eight sacks.

    Jawaan Taylor will be tasked with slowing down the star edge rusher in Week 11. Taylor has allowed 22 pressures and two sacks this season. Despite recent evidence of improved play from the young offensive tackle, he should be no match for Bosa.

    Warner played all but one down against the Rams and shared the team lead with eight total tackles. The dynamic playmaker is now 10th in total tackles among all linebackers this season. He has also added a sack and two pass breakups.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Arik Armstead, EDGE;  Talanoa Hufanga, S; Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB;

    Armstead played much more snaps at tackle than he did at left defensive end in Week 9 and had his most disruptive game as a pass rusher since Week 2. He returned to a more typical role in Week 10, one where he plays more snaps at the end position.

    Unfortunately, he had a quiet game against the Rams. His only notable stat was a QB hurry. I’ve dropped him a tier assuming he is an edge rusher in most IDP formats. However, if he has IDL, DI, or DT designation in your league, I’d still rank him as an IDL2.

    Armstead will go up against Ben Bartch among others. Bartch has put together three pretty good games in his last three and it will be interesting to see who emerges victorious in this battle. 

    Hufanga was the only 49ers player to play every down. He had a modest game, registering three solo tackles, and a QB hit. He also had a pass breakup.

    This was the rookie’s best game in place of Jaquiski Tartt and it raises the question as to whether he may be a full-time replacement for Tartt, who is only under contract for the 2021 season. Tartt was designated to return from IR on Wednesday.

    Head coach Kyle Shanahan suggested Al-Shaair will not be unseated by Greenlaw’s return. So, Al-Shaair remains an ILB3 until further notice.

    The third-year linebacker has been reasonably productive in Greenlaw’s absence. He has 58 tackles and three pass breakups in eight games.

    Sits

    Arden Key, EDGE; Dre Greenlaw, ILB;

    Key may generate some interest on waivers in some IDP formats because he has two sacks in two games. Unless you’re in a really deep league, let him be someone else’s problem. He isn’t playing even half the available defensive snaps and isn’t generating enough pressure to maintain this level of production.

    As mentioned above, Shanahan suggested it will “take Greenlaw a while to have the chance to pass him (Al-Shaair) up again.”

    Obviously, Greenlaw cannot be started for now.

    Jags

    Starts

    Tier One

    Josh Allen, EDGE.

    Allen followed up his monster Week 9 game with a bizarre stat line in Week 10. Nine total pressures and yet not one of them was a sack. It’s the most pressure he’s had in a single game in his three-year career, and it increases his total to 26 tackles in the last four games.

    The young edge rusher’s recent form has catapulted him up to 11th among edge rushers with 39 total pressures, joint-13th in sacks, and fifth in total tackles.

    Allen will try to get the best of Trent Williams in Week 11. Williams is one of the better left tackles in the NFL and will be a tough test for Allen.

    Tier Two

    Rayshawn Jenkins, S; Dawuane Smoot, EDGE; Myles Jack, ILB.

    Jenkins played every down and spent 31 of his 64 snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. The former Chargers player led the Jags with six total tackles.

    Jenkins has 52 total tackles, and three pass breakups this season. If he could add more big plays in the second half of the season his value would improve immensely.

    Smoot has been a nice surprise playing opposite Allen this season. The fifth-year player is having his best season as a pass rusher, managing 32 total pressures and four sacks in nine games.

    Unfortunately, Smoot had his first game of the season without a single pressure. He did at least manage a game-high five total tackles but this is little consolation for his fantasy managers.

    He faces Jaylon Moore in Week 11 as the rookie is standing in for the injured Mike McGlinchey. Smoot should be able to take advantage of Moore, although it should be noted that the 2021 fifth-round pick has allowed only three pressures on 55 snaps at tackle.

    Jack played every down again, as he has for the last three contests. His four total tackles are the fewest he has managed in a game this season and he’ll look to bounce back against the 49ers this weekend.

    The linebacker has 59 tackles in eight games but has no other notable fantasy stats this season. Fantasy managers could do with big plays please, Myles.

    Tier Three

    Damien Wilson, ILB.

    Wilson played 53 of a possible 64 snaps and had four total tackles. The veteran linebacker adds little by way of big plays, so it is slightly concerning to see his tackle volume dwindle in each of the last three games.

    Sits

    Andrew Wingard, S.

    Wingard had at least five tackles in each of his first six games. He has three or fewer in each of his last three. Perhaps more worrying is the amount of missed tackles he has amassed. He had four missed attempts in Week 10, and now ties Alex Anzalone in leading the league in that category.

    Houston Texans (1-8) at Tennessee Titans (8-2)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Texans

    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    Justin Reid, S.

    Tier Three

    Kamu Grugier-Hill, ILB; Zach Cunningham, ILB.

    The Texans were without Kirksey in their last game and both Grugier-Hill and Cunningham benefitted.

    Grugier-Hill played 72 of a possible 75 snaps and had his best fantasy game of the season, he recorded eight tackles, forced a fumble, and had three QB hurries. The former Eagles linebacker has 46 tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles, and a pass breakup in the seven games in which he has played a meaningful amount of snaps.

    Grugier-Hill was an ILB3 before Kirksey’s injury and remains so going forward.

    But it was Cunningham who benefitted the most. The former lynchpin of the Texans defense played every down in Week 10. It was the first game since Week 3 that he has featured in a prominent role after being demoted due to poor play.

    The fifth-year linebacker responded with eight total tackles, a QB hit, and a QB hurry. He did miss two tackles, the very same issue that contributed to him losing his starting role earlier in the year.

    Sits

    Christian Kirksey, ILB (injury – IR); Jonathan Greenard, EDGE (injury).

    Kirksey must miss at least three games which means Week 11 is definitely off the cards. Check back on his status next week.

    Greenard has been ruled out of Week 11 with a foot injury. Hopefully, he is back in Week 10.

    Week 9 was his first game without a sack since Week 4. Annoyingly, it was also a new game-high in pressures for Greenard this season. Granted, it was against the Dolphins’ offensive tackles, it was encouraging to see.

    I expect a combination of players will help backfill for Greenard including Jacob Martin, Jordan Jenkins, and DeMarcus Walker.

    Titans

    Starts

    Tier One

    Harold Landry, EDGE; Jeffery Simmons, IDL.

    I mentioned that Ryan Ramczyk would provide Landry with a difficult matchup last week, and that proved the case – for the most part. Landry recorded just one pressure, his fewest of the season and only the second game in which he has managed less than five pressures.

    However, that single pressure was a sack, and it extended his streak to eight games with at least one sack. He ranks third in the NFL with 49 total pressures and fourth with 11 sacks, tied with Matt Judon.

    The one criticism of Landry – and it’s a fair one – is that relative to his counterparts, he has played an incredible amount of snaps. He’s had 624 total snaps, 73 more than the next nearest player. And he has has 345 pass rush attempts, two behind league leader Emmanuel Ogbah.

    Fantasy managers don’t care as long as he remains healthy and keeps delivering. He has every chance to do so against Geron Christian and Charlie Heck. Both players have filled in admirably for Laremy Tunsil and Marcus Cannon but should be no match for Landry.

    Simmons is challenging the usually untouchable Aaron Donald for the honor of best interior defensive player this season. It’s sending the IDP community into a spin as Donald has dominated this position for so long.

    The young Titans player has 46 total pressures and nine sacks this season. He leads the IDL position in both categories. Like Landry, the one thing critics can point to is Simmons’ snap volume. Only two total snaps separate him and Donald but Simmons has had 411 pass rush opportunities compared with Donald’s 363.

    Simmons is impressive no matter how we cut it. He has a chance to assert his dominance in Week 11, as he faces a Texans offensive line that is particularly poor on the interior. 

    Tier Two

    Denico Autry, EDGE; Kevin Byard, S.

    I spoke of how Autry had a difficult matchup last week and that proved to be the case. He recorded his lowest PFF pass-rush grade of the season and generated only a single pressure.

    This was unusual for the veteran edge rusher. He has surprised many by ranking seventh overall among edge rushers for total snaps, even despite the fact he has had the third-most pass rush opportunities at the position.

    Charlie Heck will not be looking forward to facing both Autry and Landry in Week 11. I would wager that one, or both players earn a sack this coming weekend.

    Tier Three

    Amani Hooker, S; Jayon Brown, ILB; Monty Rice, ILB.

    Hooker played 63 of a possible 67 snaps and spent 21 snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. Ahead of Week 11, I was encouraged by the fact he earned at least nine tackles in two of the four games he had played this season, but after a four tackle performance in Week 11, I’m less convinced of his S3 status.

    Time will tell. I’ll be monitoring the former Iowa Hawkeye closely in the coming weeks.

    I think Brown has the potential to be a fantasy ILB2. He has played a prominent role in only three games this season due to injuries but has produced when he has played, earning at least six tackles in each of those three games.

    The former UCLA Bruin played every down in Week 10 and was second on the team with nine total tackles.

    Rice has IDP managers excited. The rookie linebacker was thrust into a bigger role after the injury to Rashaan Evans and has delivered in a fantasy sense. He’s had 19 tackles, a QB hit, and a pass breakup in the last two games.

    Evans is questionable for the game this weekend. If he can play, he’s an ILB3. If he cannot play, roll with Rice as an ILB3 in his place.

    Sits

    David Long, ILB (injury); Rashaan Evans, ILB (injury.)

    Long missed Week 11 with a hamstring injury and missed practice on Wednesday of this week. Monitor his status and have Brown and Rice ready to roll if Long can’t go.

    Both Long and Evans are listed as questionable.

    Green Bay Packers (8-2) at Minnesota Vikings (4-5)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Packers

    Starts

    Tier One

    Kenny Clark, IDL; Rashan Gary, EDGE; De’Vondre Campbell, ILB.

    Clark made life miserable for Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis in Week 10. The former first-round pick failed to record a sack but had eight total pressures and was a key figure in helping the Packers’ defense shut out Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

    The matchup with the Vikings is a favorable one for Clark. Both Ezra Cleveland and Oli Udoh have been poor, and Garrett Bradbury’s return from the reserve/COVID-19 list doesn’t change things.

    It amazes me that Gary even has a chance to play against the Vikings this weekend after the horrible injury he suffered last weekend. It’s a testament to how resilient NFL players are. The former first-round pick has his elbow in a brace and is listed as questionable.

    Gary has been on fire this season. He ranks fifth among all edge rushers with 46 total pressures and, if he is healthy enough to play, will go up against the Vikings’ best pass protector, Brian O’Neill. The fourth-year offensive tackle has allowed only 10 pressures and zero sacks in nine games this season.

    Campbell has dropped off a little in the last three games. He hasn’t played poorly, he just hasn’t been performing at ILB1 levels.

    He continues to play every down, the only Packers linebacker to do so. The former Falcons linebacker ranks seventh in the league with 80 total tackles and has added a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup.

    Tier Two

    Adrian Amos, S.

    Amos was excellent in coverage against the Seahawks. He was targetted six times but allowed only two completions for 10 yards. He also intercepted a pass and broke up two more pass attempts.

    The former Bears safety only had three total tackles but when does have 59 total tackles this season.

    Tier Three

    Dean Lowry, IDL.

    Lowry had his fourth consecutive game with three total pressures and now has 23 this season. That’s good enough to rank 16th at the IDL position. He failed to record a sack but does have four this season.

    See Clark’s notes for information on Lowry’s matchup.

    Sits

    Preston Smith, EDGE; Darnell Savage, S.

    What to do with Preston Smith! The former Washington player had only 15 total pressures on 184 pass rush attempts before Week 10, then erupted with 10 total pressures and a sack against the Seahawks.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and recommend you sit Smith in Week 11, even though he will face more of rookie Christian Darrisaw than any other lineman. Smith was so mediocre in the nine weeks before last week’s performance that he still ranks 34th at the position in total pressures.

    Savage played every down in Week 10 and 54 of his 61 snaps were spent at free safety. He had just one tackle. It’s a disappointing performance and yet it’s not in the least bit surprising, he’s had two or fewer tackles in four games this season. He did add a pass breakup – his fifth of the season – but it’s a risk to consider starting him on that basis.

    Vikings

    Starts

    Tier One

    Eric Kendricks, ILB; Harrison Smith, S.

    Kendricks played every down against the Chargers and led the team with seven total tackles. He also added a sack and an interception.

    The star linebacker ranks fifth in the league with 89 total tackles in nine games. He’s added four sacks, two interceptions, and two pass breakups. I rank very few ILBs above Kendricks in IDP.

    Smith has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list. He immediately returns to S1 status. The veteran safety has 56 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and three pass breakups in just seven games.

    Tier Two

    Everson Griffen, EDGE; Xavier Woods, S.

    Griffen had his least productive game as a pass rusher in Week 10 against the Chargers. He recorded just one QB hurry on 35 pass-rush attempts. He’ll need to produce more than this to help make up for the absence of Danielle Hunter.

    David Bakhtiari is still not ready to return to the lineup, so Griffen will face Elgton Jenkins. Jenkins has played extremely well at left tackle in the last four games, allowing just three total pressures and zero sacks. It’s a tough matchup for Griffen.

    Woods had one of his least productive games of the season as far as tackles are concerned, managing only three solos. However, he did record his third pass breakup of the season.

    The former Cowboys’ safety has 52 total tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups this season. He’s played well.

    Tier Three

    Nick Vigil, ILB.

    Vigil continued to play a prominent role in the absence of Barr but had only two total tackles, and a QB hit. It was a disappointing outing for the veteran linebacker in a game against his former team.

    If Barr can play this weekend, drop Vigil. If Barr can’t play, try to find better than Vigil. And if you cannot find better than Vigil, temper your expectations and start him as a low-end ILB3.

    Sits

    Camryn Bynum, S; Anthony Barr, ILB (injury); Kenny Willekes, EDGE (reserve/COVID-19 list)

    Camryn Bynum played very well in Smith’s absence. Two games is an extremely small sample size, but the rookie raised some eyebrows. He had 16 total tackles, a sack, an interception, and a pass breakup.

    Barr missed the Chargers game with a knee injury and his availability is up in the air for this weekend. I’m genuinely unsure what Barr adds to the Vikings at this point, especially in a fantasy sense.

    At the time of writing, Willekes is still on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It’s expected he will return this week or next, so monitor his status for updates. I’ll update this article if he’s activated.

    Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at Chicago Bears (3-6)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Ravens

    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    Josh Bynes, ILB.

    Bynes led the Vikings linebacker group with 50 of a possible 68 snaps. He only had three solo tackles but added three total pressures, including a sack. He also had a pass breakup.

    The veteran linebacker had the third-highest overall PFF grade at the ILB spot (minimum 20 snaps.)

    I like his outlook. Queen has stepped his game up while playing in a reduced role, and the Ravens have more invested in the youngster, but the Vikings’ current approach to their linebacker situation is working. Why change it?

    Tier Three

    Odafe Oweh, EDGE.

    Oweh bounced back from posting zero pressures against the Vikings in Week 9 with five pressures and a sack against the Dolphins in Week 10. He got his impressive rookie campaign back on track after going three games without a sack.

    The rookie has 29 total pressures, including four sacks, and has added two forced fumbles. He may not add much by way of tackle volume, but I can live with that at the edge spot. He’s already an EDGE3 at just over the halfway point in his rookie season. It’s impressive stuff.

    Oweh will face both Jason Peters and, if Elijah Wilkinson cannot suit up, Larry Borom this weekend. It’s an average matchup for the young edge rusher.

    Sits

    Chuck Clark, S; Patrick Queen, ILB; Tyus Bowser, EDGE; Justin Houston, EDGE; Calais Campbell, IDL.

    Clark has recorded fewer than five tackles in four of his last six games and isn’t helping his fantasy value with any big plays either. It’s time to acknowledge that this season is not going to come close to the 2021 season for the former sixth-round pick.

    His grades have slowly deteriorated across the board all season and he’s failed to make an impact, despite playing a season-high 38 snaps in the box or on the defensive line in Week 10.

    Queen has played much better in a reduced role. He struggled in run defense in Week 9 but otherwise has had an excellent four-game stretch. It must be tempting for the Ravens to make Queen a full-time player in the hope that this form carries over.

    Bynes isn’t the long-term answer at ILB and the Ravens probably want to know what they have in Queen before the end of the season. However, while they’re leading the division and in contention for the playoffs, so why mess with what has worked so far?

    Bowser and Houston each had disruptive games with six total pressures each in Week 10. Both are on my radar as potential low-end EDGE3 players. However, they both remain on the outside looking in until they can put together more than one impressive game at a time.

    Campbell continues to rack up plenty of pressure and has still yet to register his first sack of the season. Quinnen Williams has fewer total pressures but has six sacks. At the edge spot, Haason Reddick has only two more pressures than Campbell, and Reddick has 12 pressures to Campbell’s zero. It’s mind-boggling.

    Bears

    Starts

    Tier One

    Roquan Smith, ILB.

    Smith had another productive fantasy day in the game against the Steelers before the Week 10 bye. He played every down and had eight total tackles and a sack.

    The former first-round pick now ranks fourth in the league with 90 total tackles. He’s also had three sacks, an interception, and two pass breakups this season.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Robert Quinn, EDGE; DeAndre Houston-Carson, S.

    Quinn led the Bears’ edge rushers with 56 snaps in Week 9. He had three solo tackles, three total pressures, including a sack.

    The veteran edge rusher has 23 total pressures and six sacks this season. He has a good chance to add to those totals in a favorable matchup against Alejandro Villanueva this weekend. Villanueva has given up 34 total pressures and six sacks in nine games.

    Houston-Carson has been standing in for the injured Eddie Jackson. In Week 9 he had five solo tackles but missed two more tackle attempts. He has 22 total tackles and two pass breakups in three games.

    Jackson did not practice on Wednesday. If Jackson cannot play, consider Houston-Carson a low-end S3.

    Sits

    Eddie Jackson, S (injury); Khalil Mack, EDGE (injury – IR).

    As I’ve mentioned above, Jackson did not practice due to his hamstring injury. If he can play, replace Houston-Carson with Jackson in these tiers.

    Mack will have season-ending surgery after suffering a foot injury. It’s a huge loss.

    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Slate

    Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (5-4)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Bengals

    Starts

    Tier One

    Vonn Bell, S; Logan Wilson, ILB; Trey Hendrickson, EDGE.

    Bell had a quiet outing in the Bengals last game against the Browns in Week 9. He played 45 of a possible 48 snaps and he spent 27 of those snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. But he had just four total tackles, three of which were tackle assists.

    He still ranks 14th in the league among safeties with 56 total tackles but others have produced more big scoring plays than Bell so far.

    Wilson has cooled after his red-hot start to the season. He continues to earn solid tackle numbers, he has 23 total tackles in the last three games, but most of that production came in a Week 8 matchup against the Jets when he was targetted 16 times and allowed 14 receptions for 136 yards.

    The second-year linebacker ranks 15th among linebackers with 75 tackles. He’s added a sack, a forced fumble, and four interceptions.

    Hendrickson earned only a single pressure in his last game but it was a sack. He ranks eighth among all edge rushers in total pressures and sixth in sacks.

    The former Saints player has a difficult matchup with Kolton Miller this weekend. Miller has allowed only 16 total pressures and one sack in nine games.

    Tier Two

    Sam Hubbard, EDGE; Jessie Bates III, S.

    Hubbard led the Bengals in Week 9 with four total pressures, including a sack. He also added three solo tackles. The fourth-year edge rusher has 30 total pressures, six sacks, and 36 total tackles this season.

    He will have an easier matchup than Hendrickson as he faces right tackle, Brandon Parker. Parker has allowed 20 total pressures in six games.

    Bates played every down against the Browns and spent 15 of his 48 snaps in a box role. Unfortunately, he had a poor game, earning five total tackles but missing two more.

    He’s too talented for me to worry too much about a couple of bad games in the last month. The talented young safety still has 53 total tackles and an interception this season.

    Tier Three

    Larry Ogunjobi, IDL.

    Ogunjobi came into the Browns game with 11 total pressures, three sacks, and nine total tackles in his last two games. He failed to carry that form over to the game against his former team, as he earned just a single QB hurry and added two tackles, but missed three more tackle attempts.

    The fifth-year player has 28 tackles, 19 total pressures, including four sacks. These are hardly mind-blowing numbers, but he is playing at a shallow position in fantasy terms.

    Ogunjobi has a nice matchup this weekend. The interior of the Raiders offensive line has allowed 33 total pressures in the last five games they have started together. Guards Alex Leatherwood and Andre James have been particularly poor.

    Sits

    DJ Reader, IDL; Germaine Pratt, ILB.

    As I’ve mentioned before, Reader is a very good defensive tackle. Unfortunately, he won’t pad the stat sheet in a way that helps you in fantasy.

    Pratt had one of his best games of the season against the Browns. The third-year linebacker was second on the team with five solo tackles. It was interesting to see him play 44 of a possible 48 snaps. If he continues to be that involved moving forward he may become a low-end ILB3 if he isn’t there already.

    Raiders

    Starts

    Tier One

    Maxx Crosby, EDGE. Denzel Perryman, ILB.

    Crosby has been a maddening edge rusher for his fantasy managers this season. He has 63 total pressures, 13 more than second-placed Myles Garrett, but he has only seven sacks, all of which came in just two games.

    This continued in Week 10 against the Chiefs as the young Raiders player generated 13 total pressures, including two QB hits and 11 QB hurries. He did match a season-high five tackles but that’s barely any consolation.

    You still can’t drop him unless you’re in a very shallow league and have someone like Garrett as an alternative. Besides, Crosby has a chance to rectify the situation in a favorable matchup with Riley Reiff. Reiff has been inconsistent this season and has allowed two sacks in his last four games.

    Perryman led the Raiders with 11 total tackles, and in doing so he was the first player to surpass 100 total tackles this season. He leads the NFL with 103 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

    The former Chargers linebacker may not record many big plays but he doesn’t need to while he’s averaging more than 11 total tackles per game.

    Tier Two

    Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE; Cory Littleton, ILB; Jonathan Abram, S.

    Ngakoue had six games in four games between Weeks 5 and 9 but failed to add to his tally against the Chiefs last weekend. It was his first game without a sack since Week 6. 

    The journeyman edge rusher ranks ninth among edge rushers with 41 total pressures. His matchup with Jonah Williams will be an interesting one. Like Reiff, Williams has been a little inconsistent at times and has surrendered three sacks in his last five games.

    Littleton played 58 of a possible 77 snaps and played well, especially in coverage. He allowed only four completions for 18 yards despite being targetted six times. He also had six total tackles.

    The former Rams linebacker now ranks 19th with 68 total tackles. He has also added two pass breakups this season.

    Abram played almost every down. He spent 51 of his 76 snaps in a box role. The former first-round pick had nine total tackles and could have had more but he missed another two attempts.

    The young safety was picked on in coverage. He allowed nine completions for 127 yards and gave up two touchdowns.

    Tier Three

    None.

    Sits

    None.

    Arizona Cardinals (8-2) at Seattle Seahawks (3-6)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Cardinals

    Starts

    Tier One

    Budda Baker, S.

    Baker played 71 of a possible 75 snaps against the Panthers. He spent 28 of those snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    The star safety had a quiet game by his standards as he recorded only four total tackles. But he still ranks 10th among all safeties with 60 total tackles and he’s also added two interceptions and a pass breakup this season.

    Tier Two

    Markus Golden, EDGE; Jordan Hicks, ILB; Isaiah Simmons, ILB; Jalen Thompson, S.

    None of the Cardinals edge rushers had a productive day against Cam Newton and the Panthers.

    Golden had two QB hurries and had one solo tackle. While this level of output is the new norm for fellow pass rusher Chandler Jones, it is the exception for Golden – who has seven sacks in his last five games.

    Golden and Jones switch sides quite often, but Golden will go up against more of Brandon Shell in this game. The veteran edge rusher has the edge based on recent form.

    Hicks played every down and had 10 total tackles and a pass breakup in Week 10. The former Eagles linebacker has 72 total tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup this season. It’s an unexpectedly productive season from a player who looked like he was on his way out before the season began.

    Like Hicks, Simmons also played every down. The young linebacker had seven total tackles. He was picked on in coverage and allowed six completions for the second consecutive game.

    The eighth overall pick in the 2020 draft ranks 20th at the linebacker position with 67 total tackles. He has also added three forced fumbles, an interception, and two pass breakups this season.

    Thompson played 64 of a possible 75 snaps. He spent 22 of those snaps in a box role. The young safety had a productive game, earning six total tackles and an interception.

    The third-year player ranks sixth among safeties in tackles and was only missing big plays, so it is encouraging to see him record his first interception of the season.

    Tier Three

    Chandler Jones, EDGE;

    Jones had a single QB hit and added two tackles last weekend. He has recorded only one sack in his last seven games. All three of his best games as a pass rusher came in the first three weeks of the season.

    The former Patriots player will face his fair share of Duane Brown this weekend. Brown’s level of play has not been up to his usual high standards this season. He has allowed eight sacks in the last seven games.

    Sits

    Zaven Collins, ILB.

    Collins-watch has become a bit repetitive. The 16th overall pick in the 2021 draft has failed to make an impression in limited action. Hicks and Simmons are locked in as the only Cardinals linebackers worth starting in fantasy.

    Seahawks

    Starts

    Tier One

    Bobby Wagner, ILB.

    Wagner played every down against the Packers and had nine total tackles. This increases his total for the season to 99 which ranks second among all players.

    The veteran linebacker has played an incredible 681 snaps this season. He leads all other linebackers in this category by more than 30 snaps despite the fact he has played one game fewer than many of his counterparts.

    Tier Two

    Jamal Adams, S; Jordyn Brooks, ILB.

    Adams played all 74 defensive snaps last weekend and had arguably his best game of the season. He earned 12 total tackles, an interception, and two QB hits. I was critical of his play for a while there but he has bounced back in his last two games.

    The former Jets star ranks second in total tackles behind only Derwin James at the safety position.

    Brooks played 63 snaps and led the Seahawks with 13 total tackles. He also added a QB hurry.

    The young linebacker ranks ninth among all linebackers with 80 total tackles. He has also added a sack and a pass breakup. Questions about his coverage ability remain unanswered, but in a fantasy sense, it doesn’t matter so much providing he continues to play a big role in the Seahawks defense.

    Tier Three

    Quandre Diggs, S.

    Diggs played every down. As is typical for the veteran safety, he spent the vast majority of those snaps at free safety.

    He still managed seven total tackles and has 50 tackles on the season. The former Detroit safety ranks 26th among all safeties in that category.

    Sits

    Everyone else.

    Dallas Cowboys (7-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Cowboys

    Starts

    Tier One

    Micah Parsons, ILB/EDGE.

    I thought the Cowboys might give Parsons more snaps as an edge rusher given the absence of Randy Gregory, but that wasn’t what happened. The dynamic young linebacker was used primarily as an off-ball linebacker.

    He did record a sack and earned the highest PFF pass-rush grade of any player in the league, but he only rushed the passer seven times – his fewest attempts in any game this season.

    Parsons played 40 of a possible 54 snaps, recorded five solo tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in Week 10.

    Tier Two

    Jayron Kearse, S.

    Kearse played 39 of a possible 54 snaps. He spent 14 of those snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. Kearse recorded five total tackles and had a pass breakup.

    The former Vikings’ safety has outplayed expectations this season. He has 54 total tackles and has missed only one tackle attempt. He has also added five pass breakups.

    Tier Three

    Osa Odighizuwa, IDL.

    Odighizuwa had 19 total pressures and three sacks in his first five games but has only four pressures and zero sacks in his last four. Players at the IDL position will have dry spells like these.

    The rookie has performed better overall than many expected. Ideally, he isn’t your starting IDL but he is a good dynasty stash at the position.

    Odighizuwa has a tough matchup this week. Chiefs center Creed Humphrey continues to play well for a rookie and left guard Joe Thuney is one of the best guards in football right now. Right guard Trey Smith is the weak link and it is he who Clark must look to take advantage of this weekend.

    Sits

    Randy Gregory, EDGE (injury – IR); Leighton Vander Esch, ILB; Dorance Armstrong; EDGE; Tarell Basham, EDGE; Chauncey Golston, EDGE.

    I suggested LVE might see more snaps if Parsons played more edge snaps, but I was wrong in that prediction. As I mentioned above, Parsons played in a more traditional off-ball role and LVE had only 20 snaps as a result.

    Armstrong had an impressive game against the Falcons. The young edge rusher had 38 of a possible 54 snaps and led the Cowboys with four total pressures, including a sack. He also graded well in run defense with two solo tackles and three stops.

    I’m not ready to recommend him as anything more than an EDGE4 but he’s on my radar. He has a tough matchup against Orlando Brown this week.

    Basham led the Cowboys’ edge rushers with 40 snaps but generated only a single pressure – a hurry. He has the easier of the matchups this weekend if Andrew Wylie continues to play in Lucas Niang‘s place.

    Golston was the third Cowboys edge rusher in the rotation in Week 10. He had 31 snaps and played well. The rookie generated three total pressures, had two solo tackles and a batted pass.

    Chiefs

    Starts

    Tier One

    None.

    Tier Two

    Chris Jones, DI/EDGE; Tyrann Mathieu, S.

    The Raiders game was the second consecutive game in which Jones saw more time at defensive tackle than defensive end. And although Jones has failed to record a sack in either game, his pass-rush grades have increased significantly. It demonstrates the point that many already knew – Jones is more effective when playing on the interior.

    Jones has 12 total pressures in his last two games and it’s a matter of times before the sacks follow. However, he may not find it easy going against the interior of the Cowboys’ offensive line. Zack MartinConnor Williams, and Tyler Biadasz have combined to allow only 32 total pressures and one sack in the 26 games they have played together.

    If Jones still has IDL designation in your league, he’s a high-end IDL2 and should earn his way back to IDL1 status before long.

    Mathieu played 37 of a possible 54 snaps and played just over half of those snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. He earned four solo tackles and had a pass breakup.

    Honey Badger lacks the tackle volume of other safeties in this tier, and while he makes up for it with the occasional big play, it’s a bit of a gamble to expect them to happen consistently. He’s a low-end S2.

    Tier Three

    Frank Clark, EDGE;

    Clark led the Chiefs’ edge rushers in snaps with 36. He failed to register a sack, but he was disruptive and was second on the team with four total pressures. The former Seahawks edge rusher has 25 total pressures in seven games. The sacks will probably follow if he continues to bring pressure at similar rates.

    Clark will face both Terence Steele and La’el Collins in Week 11. Collins has allowed eight pressures and zero sacks in three games this season (I’m ignoring his single-snap effort in Week 8.) Steele has played reasonably well in most games but had a nightmare in Week 9 when he allowed nine pressures and a sack.

    Sits

    Willie Gay Jr., ILB; Ben Niemann, ILB; Anthony Hitchens, ILB; Nick Bolton, ILB; Melvin Ingram, EDGE;  Juan Thornhill, S.

    The Chiefs continue to rotate four different off-ball linebackers to the charging of fantasy managers everywhere. Gay, Niemann, Hitchens, and Bolton had 29, 25, 22, and 19 snaps respectively, thereby ruining any value each player has as a fantasy starter.

    Bolton and Gay have more value in dynasty leagues but Hitchens is under contract next season.

    Ingram had only 21 snaps of a possible 54. He has no value in fantasy when used so sparingly.

    I included Thornhill as a tier-three safety after Week 7. In that game against the Titans, he played 32 snaps in the box or on the defensive line and had 10 total tackles.

    The young safety has only 21 snaps in similar alignments in the three games since and has recorded only 10 total tackles. Daniel Sorensen also refuses to go away, he had 27 snaps in Week 10, the most he has had since Week 5 when he was still considered a ‘starter’.

    Sunday Night Football

    Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-4)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Steelers

    Starts

    Tier One

    Cam Heyward, IDL.

    Heyward played 67 of a possible 71 snaps and led the team with two sacks. He also added a QB hurry, three total tackles, and paced all Steelers players with four stops.

    The veteran lineman has 41 total tackles, 37 total pressures, including five sacks. He has also forced a fumble and batted down five pass attempts.

    Matt Feiler will play a key role in trying to contain Heyward this week. Feiler started the season poorly, allowing 10 pressures and three sacks in his first four games. He has improved immeasurably since, surrendering just three total pressures and zero sacks in his last five games.

    Tier Two

    None.

    Tier Three

    Terrell Edmunds, S; Joe Schobert, ILB.

    Edmunds played every down against the Lions. He spent 41 of his 71 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He recorded just three solo tackles but added a sack and a pass breakup.

    Schobert played 68 of a possible 71 snaps in Week 10 and led the team with 13 total tackles. He now has 60 tackles, a forced fumble, and three pass breakups this season. Interestingly, Schobert and Devin Bush have played the same number of snaps in each of the last two games.

    Sits

    T.J. Watt, EDGE (injury); Alex Highsmith, EDGE; Devin Bush, ILB; Minkah Fitzpatrick, S (illness.)

    Watt will miss the Chargers game. He left the Week 10 game against Detroit in the third quarter after suffering a hip/knee injury on a sack of Jared Goff.

    He is obviously a huge loss for the Steelers’ defense this weekend. Watt ties Haason Reddick for second in the league with 12 sacks despite only playing in eight games, two of which he has had to leave early.

    Highsmith had an impressive 11 total tackles last weekend. Despite recording three pressures, he had his third consecutive game without a sack. He has earned a sack in only one game so far this season.

    The young edge rusher has the potential to become an EDGE3 starter but he’s not there yet.

    Bush played 68 snaps and was third on the team with eight tackles and a QB hurry. It is his highest tackle output since Week 1. I’m not ready to suggest starting him as an ILB3 again yet, but if he continues to be this involved on an ongoing basis then he could have some value again.

    Fitzpatrick was ruled out by head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday. He will be missed. The former Dolphins safety ranks ninth in total tackles at his position.

    Chargers

    Starts

    Tier One

    Derwin James, S.

    James played every down against the Vikings in Week 10 and was second on the team with 12 total tackles. He also added a pass breakup.

    The dynamic playmaker leads all safeties in tackles with 77.

    Tier Two

    Kyzir White, ILB.

    White led all Chargers linebackers with 77 snaps and he paced the team with 13 total tackles.

    It was interesting to see White play ahead of Kenneth Murray who had 58 snaps in his return from injury. It will be even more interesting to see how snaps are divided among White, Murray, and Drue Tranquill when Tranquill returns to the lineup.

    White ranks 22nd among all linebackers with 67 total tackles. He’s added a sack, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

    Tier Three

    Linval Joseph, IDL; Nasir Adderley, S; Kenneth Murray, ILB

    Joseph had 50 of a possible 79 snaps and had two solo tackles and three QB hurries.

    The veteran defensive tackle offers little as a pass rusher, but he leads the league in total tackles at the position with 44. This provides him with a decent floor in tackle-heavy IDP formats.

    Keep a close eye on Joseph’s status. He is listed as doubtful with a shoulder injury. The Chargers are already very short-handed on the defensive line and could really use Joseph’s presence.

    Adderley returned to practice this week after missing the game against the Vikings in Week 10. The young safety has 51 total tackles and three pass breakups in the seven games he has played.

    As mentioned above, Murray had 58 snaps in his return to the lineup. He had four total tackles but missed two more tackle attempts. I have him as an ILB3 right now but things will probably change once Tranquill enters the equation once again.

    Sits

    Drue Tranquill, ILB (reserve/COVID-19 list); Joey Bosa, EDGE (reserve/COVID-19 list); Jerry Tillery, IDL (reserve/COVID-19 list); 

    Bosa and Tillery have been added to the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss this game.

    Tranquill has been on the list since last Friday and remained so as of Wednesday. He has a chance to play but we’ll have to monitor for updates in the next few days.

    Monday Night Football

    New York Giants (3-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Giants

    Starts

    Tier One

    Leonard Williams, IDL.

    Williams failed to record a sack in the Giants last game in Week 9. It was his first game without at least one sack since Week 4. However, he did earn six QB hurries, matching his best output for the season in terms of total pressures. He also added four total tackles and a batted pass.

    The former USC Trojan is tied for fourth at the IDL spot with 32 pressures, tied for second with seven sacks, and ranks fourth with 40 total tackles.

    Like Cameron Heyward of the Steelers, Williams is a bit of a cheat code in IDP in that he spends almost as much time as a defensive end as he does at tackle. But that doesn’t take away from the fact he is an elite player. After all, he’d rank 18th, 10th, and second respectively in those same categories among all edge rushers.

    Williams will face plenty of Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith in Week 11. It will be difficult for Williams to produce on the same level as he has done recently. Marpet is a solid guard, Smith is a top-five offensive tackle this season.

    Tier Two

    Dexter Lawrence, IDL; Xavier McKinney, S.

    Like Williams, Lawrence failed to record a sack against the Raiders. But also like Williams, Lawrence was active as a pass rusher. The huge defensive tackle was second on the team with four total pressures, and he also added five total tackles.

    Lawrence is tied for 14th at the IDL spot with 24 total pressures, and 25th with 28 total tackles. It’s rare for a team to have two players in the top 32 positions at such a shallow position.

    Alex Cappa doesn’t present as difficult a matchup for Lawrence as Ali Marpet does for Williams.

    McKinney last game was the best of his young career so far. He recorded eight total tackles and had two interceptions.

    The young safety played every down, but continues to play in a deep alignment the vast majority of the time; he recorded only 11 snaps in the box in Week 10.

    McKinney ranks 29th among all safeties in total tackles this season. He has also added two pass breakups and four interceptions.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE; Tae Crowder, ILB.

    Ojulari had two total pressures, two QB hurries, and a batted pass in his last game. He led the Giants edge rushers in total snaps and pass-rush attempts.

    The youngster has endured the usual inconsistencies expected of a rookie, but considering he is still only 21 years old, the Giants must be satisfied with his performance to this point. The second-round pick has 20 tackles, 21 pressures, including six tackles.

    Ojulari will go up against face both Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs this weekend. It’s a very difficult matchup. Both offensive tackles grade in the top 10 so far this season.

    Crowder played every down and tied with Logan Ryan for the team lead in tackles with 10. He also added two pass breakups.

    The veteran linebacker ranks 25th at the ILB position with 68 total tackles.

    Sits

    Logan Ryan, S (injury).

    Ryan was played on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. He will be missed. He was the Giant’s leading tackler last weekend and ranks fourth among all safeties in that category with 68.

    Bucs

    Starts

    Tier One

    Devin White, ILB; Shaq Barrett, EDGE; Lavonte David, ILB.

    White played every down against Washington last week. The young linebacker erupted for 15 total tackles, two sacks, and nine stops.

    White now ranks 12th at the linebacker position for total tackles. He’s also added two pass breakups, and, thanks to his last game, has two sacks this season.

    Barrett tied for the team lead in total pressures with White, but unlike White, Barrett failed to record a sack.

    The former Broncos edge rusher ranks sixth among all edge rushers with 45 total pressures, and is tied for 13th with six sacks.

    The Giants designated Andrew Thomas to return from IR this week. However, it may be too soon for him to suit up. If so, Matt Peart will place at left tackle again. Thomas would present a difficult matchup, Peart wouldn’t present much of a challenge for one of the best pass rushers in the league.

    David had an excellent game against Washington in Week 10. The veteran linebacker had 14 total tackles, a forced fumble, a QB hurry, and nine stops.

    The veteran linebacker has 56 total tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in seven games. Bear in mind that he had to leave the Week 5 game against the Dolphins early.

    Tier Two

    Antoine Winfield, S.

    Winfield had 10 total tackles last weekend. It was his most productive game of the season in that category. The second-year safety has 42 tackles in seven games and has added a sack, two forced fumbles, an interception, and two pass breakups.

    Tier Three

    Jason Pierre-Paul, EDGE.

    JPP has struggled this season. He’s dealt with injuries and has been ineffective in all but one game this season. The veteran linebacker is 32, in the final year of his contract, and has a more productive, first-round pick waiting to replace him. It doesn’t take a genius to see how this plays out over the next season.

    He will face his former team this week and his matchup is a good one. Nate Solder is nowhere near the player he once was.

    Sits

    Vita Vea, IDL; Jordan Whitehead, S; Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE.

    Vea had three solo tackles, and four QB hurries in Week 10. He’s a solid bye or injury replacement, but if he’s your starting IDL then you should probably look for someone more productive.

    The giant defensive tackle is doubtful for this weekend with a knee injury.

    Whitehead had 10 total tackles last weekend. He should have had more but he missed three tackle attempts. The safety only averages four tackles a game but has had some big plays, recording a forced fumble, an interception, and two pass breakups.

    Tryon-Shoyinka has rushed the passer 135 times compared with JPP’s 249. It speaks volumes about how productive each player has been that they have identical total pressures and sacks.

    The talented young edge rusher’s time will come.

    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.

    This NFL Week 11 Start/Sit IDP article was published days before kick-off. I will try to keep it updated with injury news if it affects start/sit recommendations. I will update it at least three times, once before the Thursday night game, once before the early games on Sunday, and again before the mid-afternoon games.

    Please check the IDPGuys IDP Injury Report article from @FF_Skinnychef for the latest injury news.


    Thanks for taking the time to read my NFL Week 11 Start/Sit article for IDP leagues! I hope you find it useful. You can find more of my work here at IDPguys.org, and you can follow me on Twitter @FFIDP_Jase. I will do my best to be available for questions or feedback. My DMs are always open.

    For start/sit advice for players on offense, please check out the article here from the IDPGuys @FantasyLadder.

    Jase Abbey

    I'm an IDP-obsessive and have been playing fantasy football for 20 years. I write the weekly IDP start/sit for IDP Guys in-season, redraft IDP content during the offseason, and appear on the odd podcast from time to time. I am a big, big believer in data-driven and evidence-based content. I'm UK-based, love most sports, and study sports journalism at university. My favorite two things in life are family and sarcasm.
    Back to top
    %d bloggers like this: