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  • The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 14 Start/Sit List: IDP

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    The fantasy playoffs loom large. The IDPGuys' NFL Week 14 Start/Sit article will help with those difficult IDP decisions

    Here's the IDP Guys NFL Week 14 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
    Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
    Sunday Early Afternoon Games
    Dallas Cowboys (8-4) at Washington Football Team (6-6)
    Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) at Tennessee Titans (8-4)
    Seattle Seahawks (4-8) at Houston Texans (2-10)
    Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
    New Orleans Saints (5-7) at New York Jets (3-9)
    Atlanta Falcons (5-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-7)
    Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Cleveland Browns (6-6)
    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Games
    New York Giants (4-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)
    Detroit Lions (1-10-1) at Denver Broncos (6-6)
    San Francisco 49ers (6-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
    Buffalo Bills (7-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)
    Sunday Night Football
    Chicago Bears (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (9-3)
    Monday Night Football
    Los Angeles Rams (8-4) at Arizona Cardinals (10-2)


    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 14 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.


    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 14 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 14 Start/Sit IDP article.

    Thursday Night Football

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

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    Tier One

    T.J. Watt, EDGE; Cam Heyward, IDL; Minkah Fitzpatrick, S.

    Watt had a mammoth game against the Ravens in Week 13. 11 pressures, including four sacks, three tackles, and a forced fumble. He was simply unstoppable.

    Watch him bully Tyre Phillips on this play:

    Watt has played only 10 games this season and only finished eight of them due to injuries. In that limited time, he has 40 pressures, 16 sacks, four forced fumbles, 32 tackles, and three batted passes. That production is incredible.

    The Steelers star will face Brian O’Neill on Thursday Night Football. O'Neill has taken his game to a new level this season, allowing only 11 pressures and zero sacks in 12 games. It will be a great battle to watch. As good as O'Neill has been, it's difficult to bet against Watt when he's in this type of form.

    Unusually, Heyward wasn't a pass-rushing force in this game. But he was efficient. He only had one pressure but it was a sack, and he added four solo tackles.

    Heyward ranks seventh at his position with 46 pressures, is tied for third with seven sacks, and has more tackles than anyone else at the IDL spot. He's having an excellent season.

    The interior of the Vikings' offensive line will find life difficult against Heyward. Ezra Cleveland plays well on occasion but not with any level of consistency.

    Fitzpatrick led the Steelers' defense with nine tackles. He also recorded an interception.

    The former Dolphins safety played every down against the Ravens but spent only 10 snaps in a box role. He spent 50 snaps at free safety and 14 in the slot.

    Fitzpatrick ranks fifth among all safeties in tackles this season.

    Tier Two

    Joe Schobert, ILB.

    Schobert played 75 snaps compared with Bush's 65. The former Jaguars linebacker earned seven tackles, a QB hurry, and a pass breakup.

    Consider Schobert a low-end ILB2 going forward. I'll continue to monitor the difference between Schobert and Bush's use closely.

    Tier Three

    Terrell Edmunds, S; Alex Highsmith, EDGE; Chris Wormley, IDL.

    Edmunds played 65 of a possible 74 snaps against the Ravens. He spent 15 snaps in the box, 27 at free safety, and 21 in the slot. He only managed three tackles.

    The fourth-year safety is a low-end Safety3.

    Highsmith had a frustrating game in what has been a disappointing season for his fantasy managers. He was disruptive, managing five pressures, but he failed to record a sack. He did have three solo tackles but missed three more tackle attempts.

    The young edge rusher has shown glimpses of what he can be capable of but needs to produce more consistently. He is 44th in pressures among all edge rushers and 45th in sacks. He does rank fourth in total tackles, but even that doesn't make up for his troubles in getting to the quarterback.

    It doesn't sound hopeful that Christian Darrisaw will play this Thursday. If he can't go, Highsmith will face Oli Udoh. Udoh played as poorly at tackle last weekend as he has as a guard in previous weeks.

    Wormley had the most productive game of his five-year career against the Ravens. He was second on the team with six pressures and recorded three sacks.

    I'm loathed to suggest you start a player based on one standout week, but Wormley does tick certain boxes I'm looking for. He played 55 of a possible 74 snaps, was third on the team in pass-rush attempts, and he had three sacks in the six games before last weekend.

    Wormley comes with a warning. He has six pressures on only 19 pressures this season. Don't expect that level of efficiency to continue long-term.

    See Heyward's notes for information on Wormley's matchup.


    Devin Bush, ILB.

    Bush played 65 of a possible 74 snaps and had three solo tackles. I only mention him here because of his high profile and the fact that I field so many questions about his value.


    Tier One

    Eric Kendricks, ILB; Harrison Smith, S.

    Kendricks missed the Lions game with a biceps injury. He practiced in full on Tuesday and is expected to suit up for the Thursday Night Football showdown with the Steelers.

    Smith played every down last weekend. He spent 18 of his 72 snaps in the box or on the defensive line, 41 at free safety, and 12 in the slot. He had a modest game by his standards, managing five tackles and a QB hit.

    The dynamic playmaker is tied for seventh at the safety position in tackles. He has also added two sacks, a fumble, an interception, and four pass breakups. Smith is playing at an elite level.

    Tier Two

    Xavier Woods, S.

    Woods played all 72 snaps for the Vikings. He was used similarly to Smith as he had 16 snaps in the box or on the defensive line, he spent 41 at free safety and 12 in the slot. Woods was second on the Vikings team with eight tackles in Week 13 but four of his tackles were assists.

    The Lions seemingly took tips from the Packers game in Week 11 as Woods was targetted five times. He only allowed two completions, but both of those completions were touchdowns. He's allowed four touchdowns in his last three games.

    The 26-year-old safety is tied for 14th in tackles at his position.

    Tier Three

    Anthony Barr, ILB.

    Barr was unavailable for the Lions game after injuring his hamstring. He sounds confident about playing against the Steelers on Thursday.

    The linebacker has struggled with injuries all season and has played only six games as a result. He had a slow start to the season, managing only four tackles in his first two weeks. I briefly dropped him a tier as a result, but he looked better more recently, earning 17 tackles in his last two games.

    Barr was nominated for the 2021 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award this week. It doesn't affect his fantasy value one bit, but I enjoy reading this stuff and figured that you might too.


    Nick Vigil, ILB; Blake Lynch, ILB.

    Vigil and Lynch each had productive games in Week 13. Vigil led the Vikings with 14 tackles. Lynch had six tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. Unfortunately for them, it appears that both Kendricks and Barr are likely to be back despite the short week to prepare.

    Sunday Early Afternoon Slate

    Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team

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    Tier One

    Micah Parsons, ILB/EDGE; DeMarcus Lawrence, EDGE; Jayron Kearse, S.

    Parsons has been nothing short of incredible. He has played extremely well in any role the Cowboys have asked of him. His impressive season continued on the center stage of Thursday Night Football.

    The former Nittany Lions star played predominantly as an off-ball linebacker against the Saints after filling in as an edge rusher in Weeks 10 and 11. He rushed the passer only 12 times but still earned five pressures, including a sack, and also added four tackles.

    Look at his closing speed on this play:

    The rookie is not only the overwhelming favorite to win the DROY award, but is also a legitimate contender for the DPOY. His 92.7 PFF pass-rush grade leads all NFL defenders at this point in the season.

    When Parsons rushes the passer, he tends to do so from the LOLB position. If he does so again in Week 14, Cornelius Lucas may be tasked with containing him. Lucas is a good pass protector but this is a tall task. Besides, Lucas may have his hands full with DeMarcus Lawrence.

    Parsons may not be asked to rush the passer quite as often going forward. Randy Gregory may return in Week 14. As far as these fantasy tiers are concerned, it doesn't matter, Parsons is a tier-one player at either the ILB or EDGE position.

    Lawrence played well in his return from injury. He didn't record a sack, but he led the Cowboys with six pressures and batted down a pass. And he did so despite being eased into game action, the veteran only played 37 snaps. That's fewer than fellow edge rushers Chauncey Golston, Dorance Armstrong, and only one snap ahead of Tarell Basham.

    I mentioned above that Lucas is a good offensive tackle and a difficult matchup for most edge rushers, but the prospect of a healthier Lawrence and an in-form Parsons rushing the passer from the same side is scary.

    Kearse missed only one defensive down against the Saints and spent 42 of his 69 snaps in a box role or on the defensive line. He had eight solo tackles and an interception.

    The 27-year-old safety has come from nowhere to deliver a top-10 performance this season. His 77 tackles rank eighth at the position, and he's added seven pass breakups and two interceptions.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Osa Odighizuwa, IDL.

    Odighizuwa led the Cowboys' interior defensive linemen with 39 snaps. He recorded four solo tackles and had four pressures.

    The talented rookie hasn't found sacks easy to come by - he hasn't had a sack in his last eight games - but he has potential as a pass-rusher. He ranks 14th at the IDL position in pressures.

    The interior of Washington's offensive line has played well in pass protection. Brandon Scherff, Ereck Flowers, and Wes Schweitzer have surrendered only 4 sacks in 30 combined games this season.


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

    LVE had 39 snaps of a possible 70. Neal had 23. The return of Gregory isn't likely to help their cause - Parsons has been so effective at rushing the quarterback that he's likely to continue doing so - but when the Cowboys have both Gregory and Lawrence in the lineup there is a possibility that Parsons plays more of an off-ball linebacker role.

    Gregory was excellent before his injury. He performed at a level that easily justified tier one status in this article. Monitor his status closely this week.

    Armstrong, Basham, and Gholston have marginal value. Gregory's return will only further hurt any opportunity they have for fantasy relevance.


    Tier One

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

    Allen had a tackle, two pressures, including one of Washington's two sacks of the day against the Raiders.

    The former Alabama star ranks fourth at the IDL position with 46 pressures, and third with seven sacks. Allen's fifth season in the league is easily proving to be the most productive of his career as a pass rusher.

    Payne had three tackles, three pressures, and three stops last weekend. He hasn't posed the same threat as a pass rusher as Allen has this season, but he still ranks 10th among all DTs with 36 pressures, is tied for 21st with three sacks, and is 16th with 36 tackles.

    The interior of Washington's defensive line is formidable. However, the Cowboys boast an offensive line better equipped to handle them than most. Zack Martin is at his usual best and Tyler Biadasz looks very good lately - he's completely turned his season around after a poor start to the season.

    Holcomb led Washington in Week 13 with 11 tackles and he also had two pass breakups.

    The 25-year-old linebacker ranks 9th among all ILBs with 101 tackles. This is the first time he has surpassed 100 tackles in his three-year career. He has added several big plays to help boost his fantasy value.

    Tier Two

    Kamren Curl, S.

    It was Jamin Davis and not Curl who benefitted most from the absence of Collins. We generally prefer Safeties who play closer to the line of scrimmage so it's concerning that Curl has only eight snaps in the box in each of the last two weeks - his fewest of the season.

    Curl's 70 tackles still rank 15th at the safety spot.

    Tier Three

    Jamin Davis, ILB.

    Davis had an opportunity to show what he can do with Collins out. The rookie linebacker played 53 of a possible 59 snaps and had five tackles. Unfortunately, he also missed four tackle attempts.

    He may get a chance to redeem himself if Collins is out again.


    Landon Collins, S (injury).

    Monitor Collins' status closely this week. If he can play, he's a tier two safety, and Davis would drop to the sit tier.

    Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

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

    Remember the Josh Allen vs Josh Allen showdown in Week 9? That was the last time Josh Allen the edge rusher had a sack. He has since gone four games without a sack and has only two pressures in his last three games. It's slightly concerning.

    Allen's strong start to the season means that despite his poor recent form he is still tied for 13th in pressures and 18th in sacks at the edge rusher spot.

    Things won't be easy against Taylor Lewan this weekend. Lewan is two years removed from his best seasons but is still no pushover.

    Jenkins played every down and spent 44 of his 68 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He was third on the Jaguars with six tackles.

    The fifth-year safety is tied for 19th at the safety position in tackles. He remains a solid Safety2.

    Smoot had four solo tackles, three pressures, a sack, and a batted pass. He's tied for 20th in pressures among all edge rushers. He's still two sacks short of his 2020 total, but he's had five more pressures and has only had 316 pass-rush snaps compared with the 403 he had last season.

    David Quessenberry's performances have dropped off lately. He's allowed four sacks in his last four games. Smoot has the advantage in this matchup.

    Jack played 59 snaps, 16 more than the next nearest ILB, Damien Wilson. Jack had six tackles but did miss two more tackle attempts.

    The 26-year-old linebacker has 84 tackles this season. The lack of big plays is conspicuous by their absence.

    Tier Three



    Damien Wilson, ILB; Roy Robertson-Harris, DI.

    Wilson had 43 of a possible 68 snaps. He had four total tackles. The 75 tackles he has managed this season look reasonably impressive at first glance, but he has had four or fewer tackles in three of his last four games.

    I said this of Robertson-Harris last week:

    "Robertson-Harris has recorded a sack in each of his last two games. IDL is a premium position with fewer fantasy contributors than other positions, but I’m not too excited about the 28-year-old unless I’m desperate for help at the IDL spot. I suspect this may be a flash in the pan given his career production so far."

    Robertson-Harris had 38 snaps last weekend. He had an assisted tackle and a QB hurry.


    Tier One

    Harold Landry, EDGE; Jeffery Simmons, IDL.

    The Titans had a bye in Week 13. It came at a good time for Landry. The fourth-year edge rusher has been incredibly disruptive this season, ranking 6th pressures, 7th in sacks, and 1st in total tackles, but he only has three pressures in his last three games combined.

    Landry has played more snaps than any other edge rusher - much as he did last season - so he probably appreciated the week off.

    Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor will be tasked with keeping Landry quiet this weekend. The pair of young offensive tackles have allowed only three sacks in the last six games they have played together. However, Landry has got the better of superior pass protectors this season.

    Simmons was held to zero pressures against the Patriots in Week 12. It was the first time since the 2019 season that he didn't pressure the QB at least once in a game.

    This lack of productivity is in stark contrast to the performances he has managed so far this season. The former star of the Mississippi State Bulldogs have been on fire this season, rankings second at the IDL spot with 49 pressures and tied for first with nine sacks.

    Simmons has a favorable matchup this weekend. The interior of the Jags offensive line has been inconsistent this season, even Andrew Norwell had a particularly poor game against the Rams last weekend.

    Tier Two

    Denico Autry, EDGE; Kevin Byard, S.

    Autry only had two hurries against the Patriots and has gone three games without a sack. Some edge rushers can weather short spells without earning a sack due to contributions in other areas, but Autry doesn't contribute much by way of sacks. He's managed only 15 tackles in 12 games.

    Autry will go up against Jawaan Taylor more than any other Jaguars offensive lineman. While Taylor has looked decent at times, Autry has been one of the more dangerous edge rushers in the league this season. He ranks 12th at the edge position with 47 pressures.

    Byard played 59 of a possible 60 snaps. He spent 24 of those snaps in a box role. He led the Titans with 10 solo tackles and also earned two pressures, including a sack.

    The dynamic playmaker did allow 97 yards and two touchdowns in coverage, but these were the first touchdowns he's allowed since Week 1.

    Byard ranks 29th in tackles at the safety position but has more than made up for the lack of tackle volume with several big plays. He has a sack, a forced fumble, five interceptions, and five pass breakups this season.

    Tier Three

    Jayon Brown, ILB.

    Brown played all 60 snaps for the Titans in Week 12. He was second on the team with eight tackles and a pass breakup. He also missed two tackles, increasing his tally to five in the last three games.

    The fifth-year linebacker has 44 tackles in seven games. That looks more impressive when you consider he played fewer than 20 snaps in two of those games.


    Amani Hooker, S; David Long, ILB (injury); Rashaan Evans, ILB (injury); Monty Rice, ILB (injury); Zach Cunningham, ILB.

    Hooker is a talented player who doesn't have much fantasy relevance. He has four or fewer tackles in the six games he's played this season.

    The Titans are struggling at the ILB position. Rice and Evans have missed multiple games. Now Rice has been added to IR after suffering an ankle injury in the Week 12 Patriots game.

    Long has been ruled out again.

    Cunningham won't play this weekend due to a coach's decision.

    Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans

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    Tier One

    Bobby Wagner, ILB; Jordyn Brooks, ILB.

    Wagner played every down against the 49ers. He had nine tackles and an interception:

    The veteran linebacker did miss two tackle attempts, but we can forgive that considering he leads the league in tackles and has missed only nine tackles all season. He's been very, very productive this season.

    Brooks played 57 of a possible 59 snaps and led the Seahawks with 10 tackles. The young linebacker has been almost as productive as Wagner this season. He ranks fourth at the ILB position with 120 tackles and has added a sack and a pass breakup. That's where the comparison ends. Wagner is a far superior player.

    It's a crazy prospect to consider that the injury to Adams could lead to an uptick in tackle opportunities for two players who already combine for 254 tackles this season.

    Tier Two

    Quandre Diggs, S.

    Diggs played every down. He only managed a pedestrian four tackles, but he recorded his fourth interception of the season.

    Consider the former Detroit safety as a high-end Safety2. Despite playing only 57 snaps in a box role all season, he's ranked 13th in tackles at the safety position. There is some opportunity for increased tackle opportunities in the absence of Adams.

    Tier Three

    Ryan Neal, S.

    Neal filled the void left by Adams in the second half of the 49ers game. He is the man most likely to replace Adams the rest of the season.

    He isn't the same physical presence as Adams but it's entirely possible he will be used in a similar role if last weekend taught us anything, and this is a productive role. Adams was tied for third in tackles at the safety position.

    17 of Neal's 34 snaps were spent in a box role. He earned three tackles.


    Jamal Adams, S (injury).

    Adams suffered a torn labrum against the 49ers and is reportedly out for the season. His injury leaves a big hole in this Seahawks defense:


    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Jonathan Greenard, EDGE; Kamu Grugier-Hill, ILB.

    Greenard was limited in practice with a foot injury in the build-up to the Colts game. He played through the injury in Week 12 and seemingly did so again in Week 13, as he totaled only 38 of a possible 72 snaps.

    The young edge rusher failed to record a sack but still led the team with three pressures. He also added two tackles.

    Greenard will face both Duane Brown in Week 14. Brown established himself as one of the best offensive tackles over the last decade but has allowed as many sacks this season as he did in 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined.

    Grugier-Hill has gone from strength to strength over the last few months and capped off his meteoric rise (in fantasy terms) with the best game of his five-year career last weekend. He recorded 17 tackles and a sack against the Colts.

    The 27-year-old linebacker ranks 25th at his position with 81 tackles, but he's achieved this in only 11 games, one of which he only played 16 snaps. He's also added three sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception, and two pass breakups.

    Tier Three

    Jacob Martin, EDGE; Christian Kirksey, ILB.

    Martin had three consecutive weeks with a sack between Weeks 9 ad 12, but that run ended against the Colts last weekend. The former Seahawks man played 56 of 72 snaps and managed just two QB hurries and two tackles.

    All edge rushers have games like these from time to time. What we're waiting to see in Martin's case is whether his form in earlier weeks is a sign of things to come or a bit of a fluke. Time will tell. I have him as a tier-three edge rusher at what is the deepest position in this article.

    See Greenard's notes for information on Martin's matchup.

    Kirksey had a good fantasy outing. The former Browns player played 62 of a possible 72 snaps - the same amount as Grugier Hill - and recorded seven tackles, a QB hit, and a pass breakup. Barring injury, the Texans should roll with Grugier-Hill and Kirksey at ILB the rest of the way.


    Everyone else.

    Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    Maxx Crosby, EDGE; Denzel Perryman, ILB; Jonathan Abram, S.

    I don't remember witnessing a season like Crosby's. He leads the league by 16 pressures and yet has recorded sacks in only two games. Granted, he probably won the matchup for fantasy managers in those two games, but what of the other 10 games?

    The Chiefs Lucas Niang has missed multiple games and Andrew Wylie has replaced him. Wylie has been particularly poor. He held the Broncos to a single QB hurry last weekend but he should be outmatched by Crosby. Niang is currently questionable.

    I'm open-minded to being wrong on him - as I am about every player in this article - but at some point this situation will come to a head. I believe he'll end the season with double-digit sacks.

    Guess who led the Raiders in tackles last weekend? No prizes for this one I'm afraid. It was Perryman again. The former Chargers man played 47 of a possible 67 snaps and had 12 total tackles and a QB hit.

    As I do most weeks, I'll point to how crazy his level of production is considering how few snaps he has played relative to other tackle leaders. Perryman has played exactly 200 snaps fewer than Bobby Wagner, and over 100 fewer than Foyesade Oluokun. It's incredible.

    However, Perryman is doubtful for the Chiefs game with an ankle injury. Monitor his status closely before starting him this weekend.

    Abram played every down against Washington, and he spent 41 of his 67 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He had a quiet game, recording just three tackles and a pass breakup.

    The timing of this modest game may be frustrating for fantasy managers, but it's a rarity for Abram. The third-year safety is tied for third at the position with 88 tackles and has added a sack, an interception, and three pass breakups.

    Tier Two

    Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE; Cory Littleton, ILB.

    Ngakoue has been on a hot streak lately. The former Jaguars player came into the Washington game with 8 sacks in his last seven games, ranking 11th in both pressures and sacks at his position.

    That streak came to a halt last weekend. He managed a QB hit, a QB hurry, and two tackles. He'll go up against Orlando Brown who has found his form after an uncharacteristic poor start to the season. Tough matchup for Ngakoue.

    Littleton suffered a stinger in the loss to Washington and is considered day-to-day. He played just 23 snaps in the game. Monitor his status this week before inserting him into lineups. I'll update this article with any news.

    He has been productive when he's played. His 92 tackles rank 14th at the ILB position.

    Tier Three

    Quinton Jefferson, IDL.

    Jefferson didn't do a whole lot against Washington. He played 45 of a possible 67 snaps and managed just two solo tackles and two pressures.

    He's 35th in tackles among all IDL players and is tied for 24th in pressures. Jefferson is one of seven players at his position tied for 14th with four sacks. He's a low-end IDL3.

    The interior of the Texans' offensive line is poor. It's a good matchup for Jefferson.


    Divine Deablo, ILB.

    Deablo did well with his opportunity after the injury to Littleton. He may have earned more snaps going forward. The rookie played 38 snaps and earned eight tackles.

    Unless I see him earn snaps over Littleton (or Littleton misses time), I'm placing Deablo in this tier. It's tempting and certainly trendy to champion rookies over vets, especially rookies with cool names, but more often than not it doesn't work out. I'm not saying don't pick him up, but don't start him.

    Monitor Littleton's status. Deablo may split time with K.J. Wright even if Littleton is out.


    Tier One

    Chris Jones, DI.

    Jones failed to record a sack against the Broncos in Week 13, but he still led the Chiefs with five pressures. He also batted down two passes and added two tackles.

    The talented IDL has been incredibly disruptive since moving back to his role at defensive tackle in Week 9. In the four games since he has 25 pressures, four sacks, five batted passes, and a forced fumble.

    He'll go up against a Raiders offensive line that has struggled. The interior has been particularly poor. Third-year center Andre James has improved after a bad start but left guard John Simpson has been disappointing and right guard Alex Leatherwood has been abysmal. It's a nice matchup for Jones.

    Tier Two

    Tyrann Mathieu, S.

    Last week I pointed to how Mathieu ranked only 41st at his position in tackles despite playing often and so close to the line of scrimmage. He subscribes to this article and set out to prove me wrong! The talismanic safety led the Chiefs with eight solo tackles and had a QB hit against the Broncos.

    He has moved up to 37th in tackles after that game. He's added a sack, a batted pass, two interceptions, and two pass breakups this season.

    Tier Three

    Frank Clark, EDGE.

    Clark led the Chiefs' edge rushers with 48 snaps in Week 13. However, he didn't do much. He had zero tackles and only two pressures.

    I was encouraged by the 18 pressures and two sacks that Clark in the four games between Week 7 and Week 11. Hopefully, he can return to that level of production for fantasy managers against the Raiders in Week 14. He has every chance to do so but may have more success against right tackle Brandon Parker than left tackle Kolton Miller.


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

    The great Chiefs linebacker rotation of 2021 continues. Their defense played 77 snaps. Gay, Hitchens, Niemann, and Bolton had 47, 41, 29, and 22 snaps respectively. It's difficult for any of them to have sustained fantasy value when sharing time in this way.

    Gay did flash this week with seven tackles and a sack. Unless things change, this will be the exception rather than the rule. He had 10 tackles combined in three games between Week 9 and Week 11.

    Ingram had two pressures including a sack against the Broncos. It was his first sack dating back to Week 2. I don't think he will perform at a consistent level enough to start.

    Thornhill played 68 of a possible 77 snaps. He spent 15 of those snaps in a box role. The young safety had six tackles and an interception.

    I have doubts Thornhill can continue that level of production. He still averages fewer than four tackles per game this season.

    New Orleans Saints at New York Jets

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Demario Davis, ILB.

    Davis played every down against the Cowboys on TNF. He had four tackles and three pressures, including two QB hits, and a QB hurry.

    I questioned myself in demoting Davis to tier two a while ago. The veteran linebacker is still playing at a high level after all. I did so because he hasn't been quite as productive in terms of tackles this season, ranking 26th at his position after 14 weeks. I still consider him a high-end ILB2 for the foreseeable.

    Tier Three

    Malcolm Jenkins, S; Kwon Alexander, ILB.

    Jenkins played every down against the Cowboys and spent 38 of his 70 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He had four tackles. Unfortunately for Jenkins, it was the tackle he should've made that he will be remembered for:

    The veteran safety ranks 20th at the safety position with 66 tackles.

    Alexander played 57 snaps compared with Davis' 70, but it was Alexander who led the Saints with nine tackles. The former Bucs linebacker only has 32 tackles this season, but he hasn't played a prominent role in many of those games. He's been reasonably productive when he has played.


    Pete Werner, ILB (injury); Marcus Williams, S; Marcus Davenport, EDGE (injury); Cameron Jordan, EDGE (reserve/COVID-19.)

    Werner played 13 snaps last weekend and won't get involved unless something happens to Davis or Alexander. He's been ruled out of this game with an elbow injury anyway.

    I mention each week that Williams is a talented player who just doesn't contribute in ways that make him a fantasy asset.

    Davenport missed his second consecutive game last week with a shoulder injury. Monitor his status closely this week. I'll update this article daily with injury updates.

    Jordan tested positive for the virus on Monday.


    Tier One

    Quinnen Williams, IDL; C.J. Mosley, ILB.

    Williams offered very little as a pass rusher in this game, earning just a single QB hurry. He did, however, contribute six tackles.

    Once again, Williams ceded snaps to inferior Jets linemen. The talented former first-round pick has played 170 fewer than Jeffery Simmons, 142 snaps fewer than Aaron Donald, and 103 fewer than Cameron Heyward. Despite this, Williams still ranks 15th in total pressures and is tied for third in sacks. I often wonder what he could do given the workload of other elite IDL players.

    Erik McCoy, Calvin Throckmorton, and Cesar Ruiz don't match up well with Williams. The Jets DT could have a good game.

    Mosley played every down and led the team with 13 tackles. He rises the ranks to the eighth spot in total tackles this season and is good value for an ILB1 in fantasy after a gap of almost three years.

    Jets fans won't appreciate me saying so, but I think his production is more a product of the role rather than the talent level of the player.

    Tier Two

    John Franklin-Myers, EDGE; Quincy Williams, ILB.

    One week after his stellar performance against the Texans, Franklin-Myers did very little. Zero pressures and just two tackles are likely to frustrate fantasy managers, to say the least.

    The young edge rusher has fallen to 17th in total pressures among all edge rushers. That's not bad, but he offers little by way of tackle volume to help improve or support his fantasy value.

    The Saints were without Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk last weekend. Ramczyk is out for this game, but capable veteran James Hurst is likely to play at right tackle. That would be a tough matchup for Franklin-Myers.

    Williams gets a bump in tiers after his third strong showing in three games since becoming the Jets' no.2 ILB. He had 11 tackles against the Eagles in Week 13, increasing his total to 33 in the last three games. Impressive production.

    The young linebacker played 68 of a possible 71 snaps last weekend. Plug him into fantasy lineups as an ILB2.

    Tier Three

    Ashtyn Davis, S.

    Davis had me interested after posting two weeks with double-digit tackles in Week 7 and Week 9. He has since had only 14 tackles in his last four games. It's disappointing considering he continues to see plenty of snaps in the box.

    Consider him a low-end Safety3 until further notice.


    Everyone else.

    Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

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    Tier One

    Deion Jones, ILB; Foyesade Oluokun, ILB.

    Jones played 69 of a possible 70 snaps and was second on the team with eight tackles. He was targetted 10 times in coverage and allowed seven receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. However, he did record two pass breakups. It was good to see him have a productive fantasy game after two duds in Weeks 10 and 11.

    The 27-year-old linebacker ranks 17th among all ILBs with 90 tackles this season.

    Oluokun led the Falcons with 15 tackles and a QB hurry against the Bucs. He has at least seven tackles in all but one game this season. He's already matched his tackle total from the 2020 season with four games to go.

    The 2018 sixth-round pick ranks third in the NFL with 122 tackles.

    Tier Two

    Grady Jarrett, IDL.

    Jarrett had one QB hit and four tackles last weekend. It's the latest in what has been a series of disappointing performances this season. He is tied for 18th at the IDL spot with 29 pressures but has just one sack. If he didn't rank 15th at his position with 39 tackles he would already be in the tier below.

    The seventh-year DT has a chance to improve his fortunes against this Panthers offensive line. The interior is the weakest part of a poor unit in pass protection.

    Tier Three

    Erik Harris, S; Dante Fowler, EDGE.

    Harris had his least productive game of the season against the Bucs in Week 13. He played 60 of a possible 70 snaps and recorded just two tackle assists. He also allowed a touchdown in coverage.

    The former Raiders' safety now ranks a lowly 34th among all safeties with 59 tackles.

    The Falcons failed to record a sack and managed only four pressures in Week 13. More was expected of Fowler in this game and in general.

    The journeyman edge rusher has only 19 pressures and four sacks in nine games this season. He'll try to improve his fortunes against Dennis Daley, rookie Brady Christensen or possibly even Cameron Erving this weekend. It's an indictment of the Panthers' offensive tackles that Christensen - a rookie - might already be the best player of the three.


    Everyone else.


    Tier One

    Shaq Thompson, ILB; Brian Burns, EDGE; Haason Reddick, EDGE; Jeremy Chinn, S.

    Thompson played every down against the Dolphins before the Panthers bye last week. He led the team with 13 tackles.

    The talented linebacker has only played in nine games this season, but he is already the Panthers' second-leading tackler and is only 11 behind Chinn.

    Burns had a good game in Week 12. He led the Panthers with three pressures, including a sack. He also had three solo tackles and a forced fumble. This type of production was expected given he was playing against the Dolphins' offensive line, but it was good to see all the same.

    He'll go up against Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary in Week 13. Matthews will be a tough test. McGary has played better in his last two games, but he'll be the easier of the two for Burns.

    Reddick has had double-digit sacks in six games this season, and a single sack in two more. So it was a surprise to see him fail to take advantage of a porous Dolphins offensive line.

    He will try to rectify that situation and in doing so stay in touch with sack leaders T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett. See Burns notes for information on Reddick's matchup.

    Chinn played 71 of a possible 74 snaps in his last game. 44 of his 71 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He was third on the team with seven tackles.

    The 2020 second-round pick ranks 10th at the safety position with 76 tackles. He's added a forced fumble and three pass breakups.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three



    Jermaine Carter, ILB.

    Carter played 56 of a possible 74 snaps in Week 12. He had six tackles, increasing his total to 71 this season. The 26-year-old linebacker ranks 44th at the position in tackles. He's a decent bye or injury replacement in deep leagues.

    Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

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    Tier One

    Odafe Oweh, EDGE.

    Oweh failed to record a single pressure in Week 13 for only the second time this season. It's a disappointing end to what was a productive three-week spell in which he earned 16 pressures, two sacks, and a forced fumble. He did manage five tackles but missed two more tackle attempts.

    He will attempt to get back on track against Jedrick Wills Jr. and Blake Hance. Willis Jr. has shown glimpses of his 2020 form but is struggling to do so consistently. Hance remains a liability in pass protection.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Patrick Queen, ILB; Josh Bynes, ILB; Tyus Bowser, EDGE.

    Queen played more snaps than Bynes for the third week in a row. The gap in snap share between the two has grown in each of those weeks. In Weeks 11-13, Queen had 44, 38, and 54 snaps compared with Bynes' 43, 32, and 40 snaps, respectively.

    Last week, Queen managed six tackles compared with Bynes' eight. However, four of Bynes' tackles were assists.

    Neither player has a huge amount of fantasy value right now. But if I have to side with one of them, it's Queen based on the snap share. I have Queen as a high-end ILB3 and Bynes as a low-end ILB3.

    Bowser has been playing well lately, so it's disappointing that he was so ineffective against the Steelers. The 26-year-old edge rusher had one QB hurry and three tackles.

    Like Oweh, he'll have an opportunity to improve on last week's numbers, especially against Blake Hance.


    Chuck Clark, S; Justin Houston, EDGE; Calais Campbell, IDL.

    Clark played 58 of a possible 59 snaps and spent 31 of those in the box or on the defensive line. He recorded five tackles and a pass breakup - identical output to his Week 12 performance.

    I'm encouraged to see Clark get involved but he still ranks 42nd at his position in tackles.

    Houston had zero pressures in Week 13. He had one tackle assist and he missed a tackle attempt. He did, however, record a pass breakup - only the fourth of his career.

    Campbell had the Ravens' only sack of last weekend. It was the first of the season for the former Jaguars player. IDL is a shallow position and Campbell compares favorably with others in tackles and pressures, so he could rise into tier three with a decent run of form.


    Tier One

    Myles Garrett, EDGE.

    Garrett has had an incredible season so far. He has 59 pressures and 16 sacks in just 12 games. He's had three multi-sack games including a Week 3 game where he recorded five sacks against the Bears.

    The Browns' last game was against the Ravens in Week 12 before their Week 13 bye. Garrett led the Browns with five pressures in that game, had a sack, recorded four tackles, and batted down an attempted pass.

    I wouldn't put it past Garrett to have a similar performance this weekend. He went up against Alejandro Villanueva in Week 12 and will do so again in this game. Villanueva has been one of the worst offensive tackles in the league in pass protection this season.

    Tier Two

    Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB;

    Clowney had a great start to the season, recording 31 pressures and five sacks in his first six games. He then had only four three pressures and zero sacks in his next four.

    However, I'm encouraged by his performance in Week 12 against the Ravens. He failed to record a sack in that game but he tied with Garrett for a team-leading five pressures. He also added four solo tackles and batted down a pass.

    Clowney will face Tyre Phillips as Patrick Mekari is likely to miss a few weeks with a hand injury, according to John Harbaugh. Phillips represents a nice matchup for Clowney.

    Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB.

    JOK showed no signs of the ankle injury that limited his snaps in Weeks 10 and 11. He recorded 12 tackles and had three pressures, including a sack.

    Crucially, he played 68 snaps of a possible 80, one ahead of Walker. This should be a sign of things to come given his performance, so consider him a low-end ILB2. Walker is out for this game, so JOK as an opportunity to have a big game.

    Tier Three

    Malik McDowell, IDL; Ronnie Harrison, S.

    McDowell just squeezes into this tier. The young defensive tackle has had only three pressures and zero sacks in his last few games. He doesn't contribute as many tackles as his peers in this tier so he relies on generating a pass rush to justify IDL3 status.

    McDowell's matchup is just as I had it in the Week 12 version of this article. Kevin Zeitler is still a very good guard, Bradley Bozeman is playing better than last season, but overall it's an average unit in pass protection.

    Harrison led the team with 13 tackles, a hurry, and an interception in his last game. He ranks a lowly 36th in tackles at the safety position, but he has essentially only played in 10 games (he had five snaps in Week 1 and two in Week 4).

    The young safety plays close to the line of scrimmage. He was in the box or on the defensive line on 41 of his 73 snaps in Week 12.


    Malik Jackson, IDL; John Johnson, S; Grant Delpit, S; Anthony Walker, ILB (undisclosed).

    Jackson has two pressures in his last five games and doesn't have a sack since Week 3.

    Johnson has at least six tackles in each of his last two games, and he had an interception in Week 12. He's seemingly improving but there are many better options out there.

    It's encouraging that Delpit had 44 snaps in Week 12, his third-most of the season. He recorded two tackles and an interception. He still doesn't have enough fantasy value to become a weekly starter until he begins playing more regularly.

    Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Walker won't play this weekend.

    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Slate

    New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    Leonard Williams, IDL; Logan Ryan, S.

    Williams had a modest game against the Dolphins by his standards. He had four tackles and just two QB hurries. The talented lineman has now gone four games without a sack dating back to Week 8.

    His production in November was a shame for fantasy owners, but I'm not concerned about his value going forward. He still managed 14 pressures over that period, good numbers for the IDL position. And he was always going to find it difficult to match his output between Week 5 and Week 8 during which he had six sacks in four games.

    Williams moves around a bit along the Giants' defensive line, but he'll undoubtedly see a lot of Matt Feiler and Corey Linsley. Linsley has once again been one of the best centers in football.

    Feiler began his Chargers tenure very poorly, then improved from Week 5 onwards. He played poorly again in Week 13 after returning to the lineup following an ankle injury but he may be a tough test if he can regain his mid-season form.

    It was good to see Ryan return to the lineup after missing two games. The former Pats and Titans player picked up right where he left off. He played every down, recorded seven tackles, and had a QB hurry.

    The veteran safety still ranks 11th at the position in tackles despite playing fewer games than his counterparts. He's added a sack, two forced fumbles, and four pass breakups. He's produced like a Safety1 this season.

    Tier Two

    Dexter Lawrence, IDL; Xavier McKinney, S; Tae Crowder, ILB.

    Lawrence didn't generate any pressure in the Week 13 game against the Dolphins. Fantasy managers had to settle for his four solo tackles.

    The huge defensive tackle ranks 27th at the position in tackles, and 20th in pressure. He'll have an opportunity to add to his 2021 numbers in this matchup with Michael Schofield. Schofield has only allowed one sack in nine games but he's not one of the better players on this offensive line. It's an average matchup for Lawrence.

    McKinney played every down last weekend. He spent seven snaps in the box, 44 at free safety, and 15 in the slot. The second-year safety added five tackles to his season total and is now tied for 25th at his position with 65 tackles.

    Crowder played every down in Week 13. He led the team with nine tackles, five stops and a QB hit.

    This game marked one of the best performances from the young ILB (in NFL teams, not fantasy). He's now ranked 21st in tackles at the position. He's also added an interception and four pass breakups.

    I've made no secret of the fact that I have serious doubts about his ability as a player, but I never let personal feelings overrule fantasy production. He's producing like a low-end ILB2.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE.

    Ojulari needed a good game. He had gone four games without a sack and was in danger of dropping off the fantasy radar as a weekly starter. The rookie rectified that situation, leading the Giants with four pressures, including a sack against the Dolphins. He also added four tackles and four stops.

    The youngster rushes the passer from both the LEO and REO position in this scheme, but he favors the LEO spot. That plays to the Chargers' weaknesses on their offensive line, meaning he'll face more of Storm Norton than Rashawn Slater. Norton has been awful in pass protection, allowing 42 pressures and six sacks this season. It's a nice matchup for Ojulari.


    Julian Love, S.

    Love retained something of a role despite Ryan's return to the lineup. The youngster played 38 snaps of a possible 69. He managed three tackles and a pass breakup. Unfortunately, he doesn't have starter value while playing so little.


    Tier One

    Derwin James, S; Joey Bosa, EDGE.

    James played 73 of a possible 75 snaps and spent 23 of those in the box or on the defensive line.

    The former first-round pick had five tackles, a sack, and a QB hurry. He currently leads all safeties with 96 tackles and has added three sacks, three fumbles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups. He's a joy to watch.

    Bosa left the game against the Bengals early in the first quarter to be evaluated for concussion symptoms. Staley said Bosa was cleared medically but he didn't return to the game.

    The Chargers fared well without him which is unusual given he is usually relied upon so heavily to produce a pass rush for the team.

    The older Bosa brother will relish the opportunity to face Nate Solder in Week 14. Despite showing signs of improvement in his last few games, Solder is a shadow of the player he once was. Bosa should take advantage.

    Tier Two

    Kyzir White, ILB; Nasir Adderley, S.

    White led the Chargers linebackers with 70 snaps, and he paced the team with 10 tackles.

    The young linebacker has forced himself into the teams' plans after initially playing behind Kenneth Murray to start the season. He's now 12th at the ILB position with 98 tackles, and he's added a sack, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

    Adderley was on the field for every down against the Bengals. He played 16 snaps in the box, 50 at free safety, and nine in the slot. He recorded four tackles and had a sack.

    The youngster is tied for 20th in tackles at the safety spot despite playing only 10 games. 

    Tier Three

    Drue Tranquill, ILB.

    Tranquill was the second Chargers ILB with 66 snaps but was only four behind White. Crucially, he remains far ahead of Murray who had only seven snaps. Tranquill managed seven tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup.

    It was a relief for fantasy managers that he managed to be productive after his output had dropped off in Weeks 11 and 12.


    Kenneth Murray, ILB; Jerry Tillery, IDL; Linval Joseph, IDL; Uchenna Nwosu, EDGE.

    As I've mentioned above, Murray had only seven snaps. His value has plummeted. I'll rarely toot my own horn, but I was never on board.

    Tillery had four pressures and a tackle, but he missed two tackle attempts. He occasionally flashes as a pass rusher but has been a liability in run defense.

    Joseph missed his third straight game and has marginal value when healthy unless you are in a tackle-heavy league. He was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

    Nwosu will be a popular waiver pickup after generating seven pressures, two sacks, and forcing a fumble against the Bengals. I think he has some talent, but I'm tempering expectations about his ability to capitalize on performances in recent weeks. I've been waiting for him to break out for four years and I've grown a little pessimistic that he can do so.

    Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Alex Anzalone, ILB.

    Anzalone has been a talking point in IDP circles this week. The linebacker has undoubtedly produced some nice fantasy weeks for fantasy managers who expected little of him this season. His performance in Week 13 was another solid outing, with five tackles and a pass breakup.

    He has 77 tackles in 12 games this season and has added a sack, an interception, and four pass breakups. I rate him as a low-end ILB2 in fantasy.

    For the record, I have serious doubts about his ability to be a solid contributor in the league on a long-term basis. He has trouble tackling (he leads the league in that category) and he struggles in coverage. But as of right now, he commands an every-down, productive role for fantasy purposes. And that's all I care about in this article.

    Tier Three

    Charles Harris, EDGE.

    Harris, where have you been? After failing to record a sack in six straight games, Harris erupted for seven pressures, two sacks, and a forced fumble against the Vikings in Week 13. It was arguably his best performance of the season.

    The former Dolphins man jumps multiple places in the edge rusher ranks for pressures and sacks. I'd almost written off his early-season form as a flash in the pan, but the Vikings game makes me think twice.

    Harris is a tier-three edge rusher despite his strong performance due partly because of that barren spell and partly because of his matchup. Garrett Bolles returned for the Broncos last weekend and looked more like the player we saw in 2020.


    Trey Flowers, EDGE (injury - IR); Jalen Reeves-Maybin, ILB; Josh Woods, ILB; Tracy Walker, S (injury).

    The Lions added Flowers to IR with a knee injury.

    Reeves-Maybin missed Week 13 with a shoulder injury and is out for Week 14 too. Josh Woods took his place and had a productive day, recording nine tackles. Woods is near to tier three given both Reeves-Maybin and Walker are out for this game. Start him if you're desperate.

    Walker was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. He's a tier two safety when he returns. He is tied for 11th at the safety position with 75 tackles and has added a sack and four pass breakups.


    Tier One

    Kareem Jackson, S.

    Jackson had his least productive game of the season in his return from injury against the Chiefs in Week 13. He played 55 of a possible 57 snaps, played just nine snaps in the box, and recorded a single solo tackle.

    The veteran safety is usually a much more reliable source of tackles. He ranks 18th in tackles at the safety position despite missing a game.

    Tier Two

    Justin Simmons, S; Dre’Mont Jones, IDL; Baron Browning, ILB.

    Simmons played every down and played 17 of his 57 snaps in the box. He recorded just two solo tackles.

    The talented safety ranks a lowly 38th at the safety spot in tackles. He has at least helped his value with four interceptions and seven pass breakups.

    Jones failed to register a sack but he at least led the Broncos with two pressures. He also added three solo tackles.

    The young lineman ranks 11th in total pressures at the IDL spot. He doesn't tend to record enough tackles which hurt his fantasy value.

    Jones' matchup is made easier by the absence of the Lions' best interior pass protector, Evan Brown.

    Browning played all 57 of the available defensive snaps (compared with Kenny Young's 45) and the youngster was second on the team with eight tackles.

    He creeps into tier two in what might seem a premature move partly because he's suddenly an every-down player, and partly because this ILB role is usually a productive one in the Broncos scheme.

    Tier Three

    Bradley Chubb, EDGE; Malik Reed, EDGE; Kenny Young, ILB.

    Chubb didn't play well against the Chiefs. He had 38 total snaps, 20 pass-rush snaps, and had just a single QB hurry and three solo tackles.

    The young edge rusher will face both Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker in Week 14. Sewell has played well after starting slowly, and Decker has played well since returning from injury despite giving up a sack in each of the last two weeks. It's a tough matchup for Chubb.

    Reed led the Broncos edge rushers with 45 snaps but had just 19 pass-rush snaps. He had four tackles and zero pressures. It was his first outing without a sack in four games.

    See Chubb's notes for information on Reed's matchup.

    Young had 45 of a possible 57 snaps and led the Broncos with nine tackles. He has 30 tackles in five games since joining Denver. He has played fewer snaps than Browning in the last two games, and it is this point that separates the two players in this article.


    Shelby Harris, IDL; Jonathon Cooper, EDGE.

    Harris recorded three tackles and zero pressures against the Chiefs. He's close to being a tier-three tackle but falls just short in both pressures and tackles.

    Cooper played only 16 snaps in Week 13. Chubb has regained enough fitness to relegate Cooper to a smaller role.

    San Francisco 49ers at Cincinatti Bengals

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    Tier One

    Nick Bosa, EDGE; Fred Warner, ILB.

    Bosa paced the 49ers with six pressures against the Seahawks in Week 13. He had a sack, two tackles, a forced fumble, and a batted pass. He did miss two tackle attempts.

    The third-year edge rusher is tied for seventh at the edge position with 50 pressures, and sixth with 12 sacks.

    Riley Reiff was back at practice this week after missing Week 13. He has the unenviable task of keeping Bosa at bay this weekend. Reiff hasn't performed as well as he has in previous seasons. Bosa has the advantage here.

    Warner couldn't suit up in Week 13 due to a hamstring injury but practiced in full on Wednesday. His absence was felt in the loss to the Seahawks and the 49ers will be glad to have him back.

    The talented linebacker has only finished 10 games and yet is tied for 17th among all ILBs with 90 tackles.

    Tier Two

    Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB.

    I elevated Al-Shaair into tier two last week for several reasons. The absence of Warner and Greenlaw certainly factored into the equation, but so did Al-Shaair's level of productivity. The young linebacker didn't disappoint, earning a season-high 13 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.

    Al-Shaair has eighty tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, an interception, and three pass breakups in only 11 games. Maybe now people will start to believe Shanahan's comments about Al-Shaair when he spoke about how it may take Greenlaw a while to "pass him up".

    Tier Three

    Arik Armstead, IDL/EDGE.

    Armstead played 55 of a possible 71 snaps and was second on the team with five pressures, including a sack. He added three solo tackles but did miss two tackle attempts.

    If the towering lineman has IDL or DT eligibility in your league, he's a high-end IDL3. If he only has EDGE eligibility, you should probably sit him.

    Armstead plays as a DT and LE within the 49ers scheme. The Bengals will hope Trey Hopkins returns in Week 13 otherwise Armstead may cause them problems. He may be disruptive even if Hopkins can play given the state of the Bengals offensive line in pass protection last week.


    Dre Greenlaw, ILB (injury); Talanoa Hufanga, S; Jaquiski Tartt, S.

    Greenlaw has been ruled out of the game. I'm unconvinced he has a sizeable role waiting for him when he does return.

    Hufanga played 49 of a possible 71 snaps and played more than half of those snaps in a box role. Tartt played 35 snaps and spent more time at free safety compared to Hufanga. 

    Jimmie Ward's role remains unchanged, he played every down. It appears Hufanga has simply started to eat into Tartt's snap share after initially taking a back seat in Week 11.


    Tier One

    Vonn Bell, S; Trey Hendrickson, EDGE.

    Bell has been steady if unspectacular this season. He ranks 14th in tackles at the safety spot but has had very few standout performances that fantasy managers could point to as being difference-makers.

    He at least recorded his first sack of the season against the Chargers last weekend. Bell also added five more tackles. The former Saints player played every down and spent 40 of his 64 snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    Hendrickson was tied for the team-lead with five pressures against the Chargers. Bell had a sack and two tackles. He remains fifth among edge rushers in both pressures and sacks. He just keeps on impressing.

    Trent Williams will pose a difficult challenge for Hendrickson this weekend. The veteran left tackle is playing very well this season. He's allowed just one sack all year.

    Tier Two

    Sam Hubbard, EDGE; Jessie Bates III, S.

    Hubbard's season has been overshadowed by Hendrickson's achievements, but he's quietly had a good season. The fourth-year edge rusher had his fourth consecutive game with a sack and is now tied for 12th among all edge rushers in sacks.

    He's also third among all edge players in tackles after adding another five against the Chargers.

    Hubbard has an easier matchup than Henderson this weekend. He'll face Tom Compton. Compton has stood in for the injured Mike McGlinchey. Compton has allowed three sacks in five games.

    Bates played 63 of a possible 64 snaps against the Chargers and spent 45 of those at free safety. He had six tackles. He was targetted six times in coverage and allowed six completions including two touchdowns.

    The young safety has had a disappointing season by his standards. He has 64 tackles which ranks 27th at his position but that's some way off the pace of his 2020 season. He's had one interception and only one pass breakup compared to three interceptions and 12 pass breakups in 2020.

    Consider him a low-end Safety2 or high-end Safety3.

    Tier Three

    Larry Ogunjobi, IDL; Germaine Pratt, ILB.

    Ogunjobi had 51 snaps of a possible 64 against the Chargers. He had three pressures including a sack. He also added a tackle assist.

    The fifth-year DT has improved as a pass rusher. He had just seven pressures and a sack in his first six games but has since had 21 pressures and four sacks in his last six performances.

    Left guard Laken Tomlinson and center Alex Mack have played well at times. They'll present a challenge for Ogunjobi in Week 14.

    Pratt will replace Wilson in handling playcalling responsibilities and he may replace some of Wilson's production too. The third-year linebacker has 57 tackles so far this season.


    Logan Wilson, ILB.

    Wilson suffered a dislocated shoulder in the game against the Chargers last week. He's expected to miss extended time.

    Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Tier One

    Jordan Poyer, S.

    Poyer played every down against the Patriots and he spent 30 of his 50 snaps in the box or on the defensive line. He led the Bills with eight tackles.

    He's tied for 28th in tackles at the safety position, but he's delivered enough big plays to make him an easy Safety1. The veteran has a sack, five interceptions, and four pass breakups this season.

    Tier Two

    Tremaine Edmunds, ILB.

    Edmunds played every defensive snap and was tied for second on the team with seven tackles.

    The towering ILB started the season slowly, managing only six tackles in his first two games combined. He's since had six or more tackles in every game since then. He's only had 68 tackles in total but he's only played in 10 games.

    Tier Three

    Matt Milano, ILB.

    Milano played all 51 snaps against the Patriots and recorded five tackles. He also missed two tackle attempts.

    It's been a disappointing season for Milano. Fantasy managers were no doubt hoping he could return to the levels of production we saw in 2019. We saw flashes but he was only at his most productive when Edmunds missed time.

    He has 57 tackles in 11 games.


    Jerry Hughes, EDGE; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE; Micah Hyde, S; Ed Oliver, IDL.

    I always mention the Bills rotation at the edge rusher position and this week is no different. Five different players had between 16 and 25 snaps at the position. It caps the value of all players involved. It's a shame for guys like Hughes and Rousseau in particular, as they can do much more if given the opportunity.

    Hyde played every down in Week 13. 16 of his 51 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He registered just three tackles.

    He has a recognizable name and people often ask me about him. Hyde's a good NFL player but has been poor in fantasy this year. The former Packers player averages less than four tackles per game. He's added some value by way of big plays but they are too few and far between.

    Oliver has piqued my interest in recent games. His best game was in Week 12 when he had six pressures, a sack, three solo tackles, and four stops. Unfortunately, he generated zero pressures in Week 13.

    The jury is out on whether Oliver's recent play is indicative of what's to come or was just a handful of good games out of the blue. I'm monitoring him closely.


    Tier One

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

    White played every down against the Falcons and was tied for the team lead with 10 tackles. He also generated three pressures, including a QB hit and two hurries.

    The third-year ILB now has 97 tackles this season. He moves up to 14th in tackles among all linebackers after his big week. He's added two sacks, and three pass breakups this season. He's only two pressures short of his total in the 2020 season but has only two sacks compared to last season's nine.

    Barrett failed to record a sack in Week 13. He generated just two pressures, matching his lowest total of the season so far. He also added three solo tackles.

    The 29-year-old edge rusher has had an impressive season. He ranks second among all edge rushers with 60 pressures, is tied for 14th with eight sacks, and is tied for ninth with 36 tackles.

    He will face Dion Dawkins and Daryl Williams in Week 14. Except for a few games, Dawkins has generally been excellent. Williams has been a steady presence at both right tackle and right guard when called upon to cover for injuries. Barrett will face easier matchups.

    David played 69 of a possible 71 snaps and had six tackles. The talented veteran is some way behind the league leaders in tackles this season, but he's only played in 10 games.

    I still consider David a low-end ILB1.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Antoine Winfield, S; Vita Vea, IDL.

    Winfield had a productive game for fantasy managers. He played every down, and his 10 tackles tied with White for the team lead. He also added a pass breakup.

    Unfortunately for Winfield, and the Bucs, he missed a league-leading five tackles against the Falcons. His missed tackle rate for the season now sits at an alarming 19.7%.

    The young safety is tied for the lowly 37th position among all safeties in tackles. At least he has boosted his value with some big plays, earning a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and four pass breakups. He's been a bit boom or bust.

    Vea was disruptive against the Falcons. The giant defensive tackle only played a fraction of the total snaps - as is typical for Bucs players at the IDL position - but he led the team with seven pressures, including two sacks.

    The interior of the Bills offensive line is pretty solid. Vea is unlikely to have everything his way as he did in Week 13.


    Jason Pierre-Paul, EDGE; Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE; Mike Edwards, S (suspension); Jordan Whitehead, S (injury.)

    JPP was ineffective again. He rushed the passer 22 times but had only two QB hurries.

    Tryon-Shoyinka wasn't too impressive either. He rushed the passer 20 times and had only a single QB hurry.

    Edwards remains suspended for a few more games.

    Whitehead has been ruled out with a calf injury.

    Sunday Night Football

    Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    Roquan Smith, ILB.

    Smith played every down against the Cardinals last weekend. He led the Bears with eight tackles.

    The young ILB ranks fifth at the position with 117 tackles. He's also had three sacks, an interception, and a pass breakup. Continue starting him as your ILB1.

    Tier Two

    Robert Quinn, EDGE.

    Quinn has played very well this season. I've talked often about how he stepped up in the absence of Mack in the last month. Unfortunately, he had a very quiet game against the Cardinals as he didn't manage a single pressure and recorded just two tackles.

    This kind of game happens for all players. Quinn was on a tear with six sacks in three games before last weekend. I'm sure he'll bounce back.

    David Bakhtiari is still not ready to return and has been ruled out of this game which helps Quinn.

    Tier Three

    Eddie Jackson, S.

    Jackson had four tackles against the Cardinals despite playing all but one of the available defensive snaps.

    He has 44 tackles this season which means he averages just under five tackles a game considering he all but missed Week 8 and has only played in only nine other games. The fact he has only one big play to speak of hurts his value. He needs to pick it up to avoid becoming someone I recommend you sit.


    Trevis Gipson, EDGE.

    Gipson looks like a player with the potential to become something. I'm not too discouraged by his lone pressure against the Cardinals as he only rushed the passer 11 times, but I am concerned that he only played 31 of a possible 54 snaps. It's going to be difficult for him to keep the run of good form he had going when he plays so few snaps.


    Tier One

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

    Clark played 52 of a possible 62 snaps against the Rams before the Packers Week 13 bye. He generated three pressures, recorded one of the Packers' two sacks, had four total tackles, and forced a fumble.

    It was good to see the big DT back among the sacks. He's been generating plenty of pressure (he ranks 3rd at the IDL position with 47) but he has failed to take down QBs with the same frequency that he's managed in years gone by. Hopefully, this is the start of a strong run to end the regular season.

    I don't fancy the Bears' offensive line to contain Clark. James Daniels is the only interior lineman to play with any real consistency.

    Gary had four pressures, a sack, two tackles, and a forced fumble. It was his third consecutive game with a sack.

    The talented edge rusher has performed consistently well this season. He's ranked seventh at the edge position with 50 pressures and is tied for 18th with seven sacks.

    Gary has played predominantly at LOLB most of the season but played exclusively at ROLB in Week 12. It will be interesting to see how the return of Za'Darius Smith affects things in that sense.

    Rookie Larry Borom has acquitted himself pretty well considering he was a 5th round rookie. He's allowed 11 pressures and a sack in six games. Jason Peters has also played pretty well most of the year given that he's 40 years-old next month.

    The former Falcons linebacker had just four tackles against the Rams. His production has tailed off a little after a fast start but he's still ranked 16th at the ILB position. It helps that he's produced several big plays, including a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup.

    Campbell is due to rejoin the team on Friday according to Matt LaFleur. He should be ready for this divisional grudge match with the Bears.

    Tier Two

    Adrian Amos, S.

    Amos played every down in Week 12. He spent 16 of his 62 snaps in a box role. He had four solo tackles and a pass breakup.

    The veteran safety is currently tied for 20th at the position in tackles. He's helped increase his fantasy value with two interceptions and five pass breakups this season. He will be motivated to add to those numbers against his former team on Sunday night.

    Tier Three

    Preston Smith, EDGE.

    Smith failed to record a sack against the Rams, but he led the Packers with five pressures and he also added two solo tackles.

    As mentioned above, Za'Darius Smith may play in this game. If Za'Darius Smith can play, Preston Smith has marginal value. If not, Preston Smith remains a tier-three starter at the edge position.

    See Gary's notes for information about Smith's matchup.


    Dean Lowry, IDL; Za'Darius Smith, EDGE.

    Lowry hasn't had a sack since Week 8. He played only 29 of a possible 62 snaps in Week 12 and has little value as a result. It's somewhat frustrating as, statistically, he's performed as well as many IDL players in tier three. It counts for nothing if he isn't given the same opportunity going forward. I'll monitor his snap share.

    If Smith can play, I'd start him as a low-end EDGE2 in his first game back. See the links above for more details.

    Monday Night Football

    Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    Aaron Donald, IDL; Leonard Floyd, EDGE; Jordan Fuller, S.

    All of us got excited when someone other than Donald led the IDL position in pressures and sacks. Donald leads the way in both categories once again after generating five pressures in Week 12, and seven pressures, including two sacks in Week 13 against the Jags. The dominant DT has also added nine solo tackles and a forced fumble in those two games.

    He'll face a competent Cardinals offensive line on Monday night. Sean Harlow, Max Garcia, and Rodney Hudson have collectively allowed only 11 pressures and three sacks in the 24 games they have combined for this season. But, this is Donald we're talking about. He has the advantage, of course.

    Floyd only had one pressure in Week 13 but he made it count. It was his 11th sack of the season. He is tied for 13th in pressures and is tied for seventh in sacks. It's been a great year for the former Bears player.

    The veteran edge rusher has played both LOLB and ROLB positions since Miller's arrival. This means he'll go up against both D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum on Monday.

    Humphries has recovered to play his two best games of the season after a shaky spell. However, Beachum is playing at a mediocre level in pass protection this year. Floyd may have success when rushing the passer from the LOLB spot.

    Fuller played 54 of a possible 59 snaps. He played only 11 snaps in the box or on the defensive line but he was second on the team with seven tackles.

    The young safety is ranked fourth at the safety position with 84 tackles.

    Tier Two

    Von Miller, EDGE; Taylor Rapp, S; Ernest Jones, ILB.

    It feels wrong placing Miller in this tier, and I wouldn't be surprised if he made a mockery of this by blowing up for 10 pressures and three sacks at some point! For now, tier two feels right.

    The former Broncos player rushed the passer 23 times last weekend but failed to generate any pressure. He managed just one tackle and had a pass breakup.

    See Floyd's notes for information on Miller's matchup.

    Much like Fuller, Rapp played 54 of a possible 59 snaps in Week 13, and he spent 12 snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    Unlike Fuller, Rapp only had four tackles. The 2019 second-round pick ranks 25th at the safety spot with 65 tackles.

    Jones led all of the Rams linebackers with 56 snaps last weekend. He also led the team with eight solo tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup. It was an excellent game for the rookie ILB.

    It may be hasty placing him in this tier, so consider him a low-end ILB2 until he further justifies his spot here.

    Tier Three

    Greg Gaines, IDL.

    Gaines was second on the team with four pressures. He failed to record a sack but he at least added four tackles.

    As I have mentioned in previous weeks, if Gaines has IDL or DT eligibility in your league, he's a high-end tier-three player with tier two upside. If he only has EDGE eligibility, he's more of a bye week or injury replacement.

    See Donald's notes for info on Gaines' matchup.


    Troy Reeder, ILB.

    Reeder only managed 29 snaps.


    Tier One

    Budda Baker, S; Jordan Hicks, ILB; Isaiah Simmons, ILB; Jalen Thompson, S.

    Baker played 59 of a possible 76 snaps against the Bears. He spent 21 snaps in the box or on the defensive line.

    The fifth-year safety had five tackles and recorded his third interception of the season. He ranks 17th among all safeties this season. It hasn't been the sort of season we're used to seeing from Baker. Hopefully, he can finish strongly and reward loyal fantasy managers in their playoffs.

    Hicks played 74 of a possible 76 snaps in Week 13. He led the Cardinals with 11 tackles and also added a sack.

    The veteran linebacker has had an excellent season in fantasy terms. He's tied for 15th at the ILB position with 91 tackles, and he's added four sacks, a forced fumble, and four pass breakups this season.

    Simmons led the Cardinals linebackers with 75 snaps last weekend. He spent much of his time in coverage and was targetted eight times, but only allowed three completions for 43 yards. The 2020 first-round pick also added four tackles and two pressures.

    The youngster is tied for 30th in tackles at the ILB spot. He's had more big plays than most of his counterparts, recording a sack, three forced fumbles, an interception, and two pass breakups.

    Thompson has been a nice surprise this year. He ranks sixth at the safety position with 79 tackles and has added two interceptions and three pass breakups to solidify his position as a Safet1.

    The 23-year-old had a strong showing against the Bears in Week 13. He played 69 of a possible 76 snaps and spent 26 of those snaps in a box role. He was second on the team with 10 tackles and he also picked off a pass.

    Tier Two

    Markus Golden, EDGE; Chandler Jones, EDGE.

    Golden had 29 pass rush attempts in Week 13 but only managed a single QB hurry. He added two solo tackles.

    The veteran edge rusher is tied for 20th with 37 pressures and is tied for 10th with 10 sacks. He'll try to improve on those numbers while facing Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein this weekend. Whitworth has had a superb year in his 16th season in the league. Havenstein is no pushover but is the easier of the two matchups for Golden.

    I consider Golden a high-end EDGE2.

    Jones had three pressures, a sack, and five total tackles in last week's game. The sack was his fourth in four games after going through a barren spell of five games without a sack. The former Patriots player has 32 pressures, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles in 10 games.

    See Golden's notes for information on Jones' matchup. Jones is a solid EDGE2 for this matchup based on his recent form.

    Tier Three

    Zaven Collins, ILB.

    Time is running out for Collins to make any sort of impact this year. He'll need Hicks or Simmons to miss time to play a meaningful amount of snaps. Even then, Dennis Gardeck had more snaps than the first-round rookie last weekend. Fantasy managers everywhere are gutted with Collins' lack of involvement this season.


    Everyone else.

    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 14 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 14 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.
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