• The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 4 Start/Sit List: IDP

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    Need a little help with your fantasy IDP lineup for week 4? Look no further. Get your start/sit advice right here.

    Week 3 was a lot of fun. We saw some huge defensive performances. 10 players had multiple sacks, two players had multiple interceptions, one had multiple forced fumbles. These guys will have been real difference-makers in the outcome of your fantasy matchups last week. Check out the week 4 start/sit IDP edition!

    This article is typically only about defense as you know, but it would be remiss not to discuss week 3 without mentioning the incredible efforts from Justin Tucker in breaking the FG record, and Jamal Agnew who returned a missed field goal for 109-yards, the third player ever to do so.

    Last Week's Results

    I made a total of 278 IDP start/sit recommendations in week 3. 69% of my starts were correct, 31% were not.


    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.

    So I'll 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

    These players have the best outlook based on their opportunity, past production, talent level, and match-up. 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 match-up 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 in an effort to address that problem.

    In true position scoring, outside linebackers and defensive ends (ends who predominantly line up outside of the tackle) are grouped together as 'Edge' (rushers). Defensive tackles and defensive ends who play on the interior are grouped together as DI (defensive interior linemen). This leaves all remaining linebackers as off-ball linebackers (I've called them ILBs in this article to help with clarification).

    The result of these changes is that scoring is able to 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 in this article, can vary in value from leagues that still use traditional DE and OLB positions. The same is true of DI 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.

    Let's get into it.

    Thursday Night Football

    Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)

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    Tier One
    Myles Jack, ILB.

    Jack played every snap against the Cards in week 3. He led the Jags with 11 total tackles and has 25 tackles in three games this season. He is in the lower pack of tier-one linebackers, but he should remain a reliable source of tackles.

    Tier Two
    Josh Allen, EDGE. Rayshawn Jenkins, S.

    Allen played 50/66 defensive snaps which led all Jaguars edge rushers last week. He was a disappointment for fantasy managers, he posted only one tackle, and three QB hurries. It was his first game without a sack. I warned last week that the Cards have a decent pair of offensive tackles.

    Allen faces Bengals left tackle, Jonah Williams, this week. Williams has graded poorly but has only surrendered three pressures through three games, all three in game two. Allen will face easier matchups but he's a better pass rusher than Williams is a pass blocker.

    Jenkins played every down. He was in the box or on the defensive line on 31 of his 66 snaps. He had a quiet game by his standards so far this season but very few safeties play as close to the line of scrimmage as often as he does, so he remains a tier-two safety.

    Tier Three
    Damien Wilson, ILB.

    Wilson played a much higher percentage of snaps in week 3 than he did in week 2. 57 of a possible 66, compared with 38 of a possible 69. He earned a respectable nine tackles. I will continue to monitor his snap numbers before considering recommending him as a tier-three starter.


    Tier One
    Vonn Bell, S.

    Bell continues to play every down for the Bengals. He didn't play in the box as often as he normally would, relative to his total snaps, and he managed only three tackles. But he saved his fantasy day with a forced fumble.

    Tier Two
    Logan Wilson, ILB. Trey Hendrickson, EDGE. Sam Hubbard, EDGE.

    The Wilson breakout season continues. The Bengals' defense was on the field a hell of a lot, granted, but even so, 14 tackles, two interceptions, and a QB hurry cannot be overlooked. His fantasy managers probably picked him up from waivers or very late in IDP drafts, and they are reaping the rewards. 29 tackles, and three interceptions in three games.

    Hendrickson has been bringing plenty of pressure this season. 15 hurries in total, three sacks, and a forced fumble. Six of those pressures and one of those sacks came in week 3 against the Steelers. He has only recorded one tackle so far but if you have followed his career you know that racking up tackles isn't really his thing.

    Hubbard registered five tackles, three total pressures, including a sack, a hit, and a hurry in week 3. He has 15 tackles this season which is decent for an edge rusher. His two sacks in three games appear impressive, but earning those on only seven total pressures is a mild cause for concern.

    Hendrickson and Hubbard face a favorable matchup against Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor in week 4.

    Tier Three
    Larry Ogunjobi, DI. D.J. Reader, DI.

    Ogunjobi had three tackles and only one hurry in week 2. He has only three pressures this season. The season is very young, DI linemen will have spells like this, but I'm slightly concerned given he is on a new team and is on pace for his least disruptive season as a pass rusher in four seasons. He is still a tier-three DI lineman at a position where fantasy contributors are scarce.

    Reader had two tackles, two pressures, including a hit, and a hurry. Hardly the sort of production that excites fantasy managers. He is in danger of falling to the sit tier. It's almost a shame as he's a solid player whose ability just doesn't translate in fantasy terms.

    Jags Center, Brandon Linder, and Andrew Norwell are both usually better than they were last week. It isn't the easiest of matchups for Ogunjobi and Reader.

    Germaine Pratt, ILB, Akeem Davis-Gaither, ILB. Jessie Bates, S (injury).

    Pratt is an unreliable fantasy performer. His snap count is all over the place and dipped to only 36 of a possible 83 last week. You can find more consistent linebackers.

    ADG's earned seven tackles in week 3. His snap count increased considerably from 16 in each of the first two weeks, to 45 in week three. It is a notable improvement but it is still barely 50% of the total snaps available.

    Bates is out with a neck injury.

    Sunday Early Afternoon Slate

    Tennessee Titans (2-1) at New York Jets (0-3)

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    Tier One
    Jeffery Simmons, DI.

    Simmons missed two tackles in week 3, and now has a total of seven missed tackles in three games. Not good. The good news is that he is still gifted, and he dominates snaps for the Titans on the defensive interior. Week 3 was his first game without a sack.

    The Jets' offensive line has been extremely poor so far this season. 31 pressures by the three interior players alone. Simmons has a nice matchup.

    Tier Two
    Jayon Brown, ILB. Harold Landry, EDGE.

    Brown missed week 2 with a hamstring injury. He started against the Colts in week 3 but was clearly not ready. He played only 10 snaps. If he is fully healthy I expect him to return to tier-two status. Monitor his status this week.

    I said last week that Landry could stand to benefit from a makeshift, porous, Colts' offensive line and that proved to be the case. He had 10 total pressures, including one sack, four hits, and five QB hurries. He also earned five tackles. Landry now has 20 pressures in just three weeks which are very impressive. He is as near to tier one as a tier two player can be in this matchup against the Jets' offensive tackles.

    Tier Three
    Denico Autry, EDGE. Kevin Byard, S.

    Autry was a productive pass rusher for the second consecutive game, even though it didn't satisfy his fantasy managers. Six total pressures, including two hits, and four hurries, but unfortunately no sacks.

    Byard had four tackles, and a pass breakup. He has only nine tackles in three games. He has played less than a third of his time in the box. Concerning numbers in a fantasy sense.

    Rashaan Evans, ILB. David Long, ILB. Bud Dupree, EDGE. Rashad Weaver, EDGE (IR).

    Evans drops a tier. In the absence of Jayon Brown, David Long played every snap last week whereas Evans mustered only 39.

    I want to see Long continue to earn a similar number of snaps in a second consecutive game. Ideally, a game in which Brown is available. Only then can I recommend him as a starter.

    Dupree is out again with a knee injury.

    Weaver has fractured his fibula and will miss the rest of the season.


    Tier One
    Quinnen Williams, DI.

    I recommended we remained patient with Williams ahead of week 3. Our patience was rewarded, as Williams earned three tackles, three pressures, including two sacks, and a QB hurry.

    My fear with Williams is that although he has the talent to be a top-3 DI lineman in the league, his relative lack of snaps compared with other DI linemen may hold him back from becoming an elite option in fantasy. He has played 113 snaps. 40 DI linemen have earned more snaps so far this season.

    Williams faces the left-side of the Titans offensive line, which is the stronger of the two. But it isn't a terrible matchup.

    Tier Two
    John Franklin-Myers, EDGE. C.J. Mosley, ILB.

    Franklin-Myers managed only three tackles, and two QB hurries in week 3. It was a disappointing performance. He still led all edge rushers in snaps, and pass-rush snaps, and in his defense, it was his first quiet game in fantasy terms.

    This week he faces Titans' right tackle, David Quessenberry. Quessenberry has allowed only two pressures in three games, and none in the last two.

    Mosley had 10 total tackles and a QB hurry against the Broncos. I particularly liked this goal-line stop:

    Tier Three
    Ashtyn Davis, S.

    It is either brave or foolish of me to suggest you start Davis this week. He suffered a foot injury in week 13 of last season. That injury required surgery, and he has only just returned from IR. There is a chance he barely plays or doesn't even play at all this weekend.

    I have listed him here because I want you to monitor for news on his status very carefully. If the Jets indicate he will start, I think you should start him as a tier-three safety.

    Between weeks nine and 13 of last season, Davis spent 133 of his 277 snaps either in the box or on the defensive line. He rushed the passer 45 times during that span. This season, Marcus Maye has been the Jets box safety, but Maye has suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out multiple weeks. Maye's agent also hinted a trade may be in the works.

    Jamien Sherwood, ILB. Bryce Huff, EDGE. Quincy Williams, ILB. Marcus Maye, S.

    Sherwood played only 26 snaps. I had him as a tier-three player last week, I assumed he would occupy the sometimes-productive second linebacker spot for the Jets. But it was Quincy Williams who managed 63 snaps, only four behind Mosley.

    Williams managed six tackles, and he forced a fumble against the Broncos. He remains a sit as I don't trust Sherwood not to eat into his snaps more going forward. Either Sherwood or Williams is likely to become a tier-three player in future weeks, but I'm wary of both at the moment.

    Huff had his first sack of the season, and kudos to him. But it was his only pressure of the game. We can't start an edge player who plays 46% of his teams' defensive snaps, can we?

    Maye has an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out for at least a few weeks.

    Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)

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    Tier One
    Tier Two
    Chris Jones, EDGE. Tyrann Mathieu, S. Nick Bolton, ILB. Anthony Hitchens, ILB.

    Jones' output will have disappointed fantasy managers each of the last two weeks. He had a nice matchup against the Chargers right tackle, Storm Norton, but failed to take advantage. Three tackles, four hurries, including a hit, and three hurries.

    Admittedly Jones wasn't facing Norton on every snap, he did move to the right-hand side of the line, too. And Jones did grade well overall in the game. He just didn't record a big play.

    Jones faces Lane Johnson in week 4. Johnson is a tough matchup and is the primary reason Jones moves down to tier two this week.

    Mathieu was the lone Chiefs defender to play every snap. 23 of his 66 snaps were spent in the box. He had five tackles.

    Bolton had a more modest game after his previous two weeks. Both he and Hitchens played 52 of a possible 66 snaps. Bolton recorded six total tackles. Hitchens had five tackles, a QB hurry, and a pass breakup.

    Tier Three
    Daniel Sorensen, S.
    Jarran Reed, DI. Michael Danna, EDGE. Juan Thornhill, S. Frank Clark, EDGE.

    I said last week that Reed doesn't look like the same player since leaving the Seahawks. I didn't see enough against the Chargers to change my mind. He played 46 snaps which led all Chiefs DI linemen but only translated them into two tackles and two pressures.

    I didn't imagine I'd have Reed in this tier this season, but he now has four tackles and four pressures in three games. I wouldn't be surprised if he returned to form soon, but for now, I'm recommending sitting him.

    Danna had a tackle, four total pressures, including a sack, two hits, and a hurry. It was his best game of the young season so far. Don't start him unless you're desperate, he was still third behind Jones and Alex Okafor in edge snaps, even with Frank Clark out.

    Thornhill has been phased out. He had a solid outing in week 1 in replacement of Mathieu but has since recorded 11 snaps in week 2, and 19 in week 3.

    Clark didn't play last week with a hamstring injury. It wasn't the same hamstring that cost him the week 1 game against the Browns. When he's healthy I will place him in tier three. Monitor his status.


    Tier One
    Tier Two
    Fletcher Cox, DI. Javon Hargrave, DI.

    These two players remain in tier two for this week. The Chiefs' offensive line has some holes. Rookie Creed Humphrey has yet to allow a single pressure this season, Joe Thuney is playing some good football. The others three leave something to be desired. It is a decent matchup for the Eagles' pass rushers.

    Hargrave will be a popular waiver target this week at a shallow position (assuming he's either a DI or a DT in your league, and not DL.) He overtook Fletcher Cox in snaps with 49 and generated three tackles, three pressures, including a sack, a hit, and a hurry.

    This wasn't Hargrave's first good game of the season or even his best. His pass-rush grade through three games is impressive.

    Cox will be remembered for his touchdown in week 3. That aside, he didn't have a very active game. He played 43 snaps, earning a tackle, and a QB hurry.

    Tier Three
    Alex Singleton, LB. Eric Wilson, ILB. Josh Sweat, EDGE. Anthony Harris, S.

    Singleton once again led all linebackers in snaps, recording 56 of a possible 76. He had 12 total tackles. Once again, he graded poorly in some areas, but that won't matter in fantasy terms unless another player eats into his snap count.

    Once again, Wilson was second among Eagles linebackers in snaps. He had 48 for the second week in a row. He managed five total tackles.

    Sweat is the youngest, and best edge rusher on the Eagles roster. He sneaks into tier three despite being second to Barnett in snaps this week. Tier three is as high as any Eagles edge rusher will get until someone emerges. As frustrating as Brandon Graham's injury is for him and Eagles fans, it does give the likes of Sweat an opportunity.

    Harris led the team with 14 total tackles. He played every down. His box usage is increasing relative to his overall snap count, which is encouraging.

    Derek Barnett, EDGE. T.J. Edwards, LB.

    Barnett has generated four total pressures through three games, 131 snaps, and 62 pass-rush snaps. Where has he gone?

    Occasionally I mention players in the sit column despite knowing few managers own them. I do this when that player records a good fantasy score the week prior. Edwards played only 31 of a possible 76 snaps last week, the most snaps he has played through three games so far. He had a sack but don't expect reliable production.

    Carolina Panthers (3-0) at Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

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

    This tier doesn't change for the Panthers.

    Thompson never comes off the field. He had a good game against the Texans but a modest one for fantasy managers. Six solo tackles, and two QB hits.

    Burns led all Panthers edge players in snaps and should do so every week he is healthy. He played 46/55 and registered two tackles, three pressures, including a sack, and two hurries. He also batted down a pass.

    Burns and Haason Reddick face Tyron Smith, and La'el Collins' replacement, Terence Steele. Burns and Reddick rush from either direction. They may be fighting over who faces Steele this week.

    Chinn has fantasy managers concerned. He played every down in week 3 but managed only four tackles. All four were stops but that won't help in fantasy terms. 30 of his 56 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line.

    He has only 11 tackles this season. Our expectations were high after last season and we may have to temper them if things don't change. I'm recommending him as a tier-one safety again, but his output gives me pause for thought.

    Here is what I said about Reddick last week:

    "Reddick had his second consecutive two-sack performance and is now tied for third in the league for sacks. It’s impressive, no doubt about it. It is possible he could keep this up; he had 13 sacks last year on 56 pressures after all. But bear in mind that 30 players in the league have more total pressures so far this season. And pressures are a better indicator of future sack numbers than sacks. Let’s wait and see what happens."

    Reddick proved he could keep this up, at least for another week! He missed his only two tackle attempts but recorded two sacks for the third week in a row. He also had two hits, and 2 hurries. As I said about Burns above, if he lines up opposite Terence Steele then he could have a good week.

    Tier Two
    None. Reddick moves up a tier, Brown moves down one.
    Tier Three
    Derrick Brown, DI.

    Brown played 36/55 snaps. He only managed three tackles. He hasn't done enough this season to warrant tier two inclusion in this article.

    The interior of the Cowboys offensive line has one stellar player, Zack Martin, but it also has weaknesses, Tyler Biadasz. Brown needs a big game for fantasy managers.

    Morgan Fox, EDGE.

    Fox remains in the sit tier despite two productive games in a row. In week 3 against the Texans, he played 31/55 snaps, had two tackles, two pressures, including a sack, and a hurry.

    He has been a nice compliment to Burns and Reddick as the teams' third edge rusher, but until he plays more snaps, it's easier to envisage his production dropping off than it is to see it continue.


    Tier One
    Micah Parsons, ILB/EDGE.

    Parsons played 37 of a possible 58 snaps against the Eagles on Monday night. He had three tackles, four total pressures, including a sack, and three hurries. He also batted down a pass.

    Parsons now has 15 total pressures, including two sacks, three hits, and 10 hurries through three games. It seemed premature to place him in tier one last week but he's justifying his spot.

    The Panthers' offensive tackles are not stellar. Taylor Moton is usually decent but allowed five total pressures against the Texans last week. Cam Erving is just not very good. Parsons can take advantage of this matchup.

    Tier Two
    Jaylon Smith, ILB.

    Smith played 50 snaps last week which led all Cowboys linebackers. He recorded four tackles and two QB hurries. Consider him a low-end tier two linebacker while Parsons remains on the edge, and Keanu Neal remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

    Tier Three
    Leighton Vander Esch, ILB. Osa Odighizuwa, DI. Jayron Kearse, S. Randy Gregory, EDGE.

    LVE played 44 snaps which were second among linebackers. He managed only four tackles. It is possible his role decreases when Neal returns. If Neal returns this weekend, I would sit LVE.

    Odighizuwa has been a pleasant surprise for a rookie. The third-rounder led all Cowboys DI linemen with 33 of a possible 58 snaps and earned a tackle, four total pressures, including two sacks, and two hurries. He now has 10 total pressures, nine of those have come in the last two games.

    Unfortunately for Odighizuwa, only 12 snaps separated four DI linemen for the Cowboys. That level of rotation will put a cap on his ceiling if it continues.

    Kearse played every down, registered five total tackles, a QB hurry, and a pass breakup. 35 of his 54 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line. He has become a decent waiver pickup for those who were quick off the mark a few weeks ago.

    Gregory generated three total pressures in week 3, all QB hurries. The Cowboys haven't handed him lots of snaps in the absence of Lawrence, they continue to share snaps among all the edge rushers. 16 snaps separated four edge rushers for the Cowboys.

    Damontae Kazee, S. Tarell Basham, EDGE. Chauncey Golston, EDGE.

    Kazee plays a lot of snaps and has a cool name but will rarely be fantasy reliable while he lines up as deep as he does.

    Basham doesn't play enough.

    Golston had a promising game but is buried on the depth chart.

    New York Giants (0-3) at New Orleans Saints (2-1)

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    Tier One
    Leonard Williams, DI.

    Williams played 49 of a possible 62 snaps against the Falcons last week. Unlike weeks 1 and 2, he spent much less time at tackle and more time on the end. This is part of what makes him so valuable in fantasy formats which list him as a DI lineman or a DT.

    The other part of what makes him valuable is that he's simply a good player. He hasn't been as dangerous as a pass rusher so far in 2020 as he was in 2021, but we are starting to see some signs of it. He managed four total tackles, two total pressures, including a sack, and a QB hurry.

    The Saints have two very good offensive tackles in Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. But Armstead is out this week, and center Cesar Ruiz and guard Andrus Peat are players Williams can take advantage of.

    Tier Two
    Dexter Lawrence, DI.

    Lawrence managed 43 snaps in week 3. He recorded just one assisted tackle, but he did have four QB hurries, and a QB hit. With 10 pressures through three weeks, he is set to easily surpass the 29 total pressures he managed in 2020. But his tackle numbers are way down, and it is the tackle numbers that helped provide him with a safe floor in fantasy terms.

    I'm watching Lawrence closely.

    Tier Three
    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE. Logan Ryan, S. Tae Crowder, ILB.

    Ryan continues to put up decent tackle numbers despite playing predominantly in a deep alignment. He had eight tackles, and a pass breakup in week 3.

    Ojulari had another sack last week to increase his season tally to three. He also forced a fumble. Giants fans and his fantasy managers are probably asking what he needs to do to become a tier-two player in this article. This week it's largely about his matchup. As I mentioned above, Armstead and Ramczyk are good players.

    I'd also like to see Ojulari play a little more. He played exactly half of the available defensive snaps against the Falcons. I think he deserves more, but what do I know?

    Crowder stepped into Blake Martinez's shoes admirably. He had nine total tackles, one QB hurry, and a pass breakup. He isn't the player Martinez is, but this spot can be a productive one in fantasy. Joe Judge indicated that Crowder will take over as the signal-caller.

    Blake Martinez, ILB (IR). Lorenzo Carter, EDGE. Jabrill Peppers, S. Xavier McKinney, S.

    Martinez suffered a torn ACL last week and will be out for the season. I'm gutted for him.

    Carter had only three total tackles in week 3. He only has five pressures in three games, 143 snaps in total, 77 spent rushing the passer. We need to see more.

    Peppers mini-comeback continued, he played 43 of 66 snaps. He had eight total tackles and two QB hits. 28 of his 43 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line. He's close to becoming a tier 3 starter again.

    McKinney managed six tackles which are a season-high for him. He also played 61/62 snaps. That is where the good news ends. Only 14 of those 61 snaps were in the box or on the defensive line, the rest were spent as a free safety or in the slot. No matter how talented he is, that type of usage doesn't help his fantasy value.


    Tier One
    Demario Davis, ILB.

    Davis played every down, had nine total tackles, a QB hurry, and two pass breakups. He may be doing this until he is 50.

    Tier Two
    Cameron Jordan, EDGE. Malcolm Jenkins, S.

    Jordan teased his suffering fantasy managers by doing everything except earn a sack against the Patriots. He played 65 of a possible 72 snaps, recorded three tackles, nine total pressures, including three QB hits, and six hurries. Those are the most pressures Jordan has had in a game since week 13 of the 2019 season.

    Jenkins played every down last week. He had seven total tackles, a pass breakup, and an interception which he returned for a touchdown. Only 25 of his 72 snaps were in the box or on the defensive line.

    Tier Three
    Marcus Williams, S. Pete Werner, ILB. Peyton Turner, EDGE. Carl Granderson, EDGE. Tanoh Kpassagnon, DI/EDGE.

    Williams played every snap but 66 of those were spent as a free safety. He only had two tackles.

    Werner managed 35 snaps in his season debut. He only managed two tackles and a QB hurry but it's an encouraging start.

    Turner was quiet. He had only 32 snaps, 30 spent rushing the passer, but generated only one pressure - a QB hurry.

    Granderson generated five total pressures but only played 28 snaps.

    Kpassagnon had a solid game. He had only one tackle but managed four total pressures, including one sack and three hurries. He's not a recommended starter.

    Cleveland Browns (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-2)

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    Tier One
    Myles Garrett, EDGE.

    Garrett was incredible against the Bears in week 3. He completely ruined Justin Fields' day. He generated eight total pressures, including five sacks, one QB hit, two hurries, and two tackles.

    This week he will line up opposite Vikings' offensive tackle, Rashod Hill. Hill has allowed eight pressures through three games and is the inferior of the two Vikings tackles. Garrett could have another nice performance.

    Tier Two
    Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE. Malik Jackson, DI.

    Clowney is off to a good start with the Browns. In week 3 he earned six total pressures, including two sacks, three QB hits, and a hurry. He now has 14 total pressures this season, including three sacks. He played 39 of a possible 45 snaps.

    Clowney faces Vikings tackle, Brian O'Neill. O'Neill is a good tackle, he has allowed zero pressures so far this season. It isn't the best matchup for Clowney.

    Jackson led all Browns DI linemen with 37 snaps. He had two tackles, two QB pressures, including a sack, and a hurry.

    Tier Three
    Malik McDowell, DI. Ronnie Harrison, S.

    McDowell's performance regressed in week 3. He had one tackle and missed two more. He had two QB hurries. His 30 snaps were second only to Jackson's 37.

    Harrison played well. He played every down, 21 of his 45 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He only managed three tackles, but he also had a sack and a pass breakup.

    Malcolm Smith, ILB. John Johnson, S. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB. Takk McKinley, EDGE. Grant Delpit, S.

    Smith played almost every snap in week 2, but only 30 of 45 in week 3. He had two tackles and a pass breakup.

    Johnson played every down. 35 of his 45 snaps were spent at free safety. He didn't record any fantasy-relevant stats.

    JOK was productive on limited snaps. He played only 23 snaps, barely half of the available total, but he earned two tackles, a sack, and three pass breakups. He graded extremely well in coverage as you would expect.

    McKinley had a sack but he played only 19 snaps. He can't be relied upon as even a fringe starter.

    Delpit played only 17 snaps.


    Tier One
    Danielle Hunter, EDGE. Eric Kendricks, ILB. Harrison Smith, S.

    Hunter followed up his stellar week 2 performance with another good game, albeit a frustrating one for fantasy managers. He had three tackles, seven total pressures, including three hits, and four hurries.

    Browns' offensive tackle, Jack Conklin, would be a difficult matchup. Jedrick Wills Jr. had a good rookie season but did surrender four pressures against the Bears last week. Hunter will likely attack both.

    Kendricks led the Vikings with nine total tackles, he also earned a sack.

    Smith had seven total tackles, and a pass breakup. 18 of his 53 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.

    Tier Two
    Nick Vigil, ILB.

    Vigil played every down, had six tackles, and a QB hurry. He has been a nice fantasy replacement for those managers who have needed one. Barr has hinted he is close to a return, so continue to monitor the situation. Vigil is a low-end tier two linebacker most weeks until Barr does come back.

    Tier Three
    Xavier Woods, S. D.J. Wonnum, EDGE. Everson Griffen, EDGE.

    I said last week that Woods plays too far from the line of scrimmage to earn good tackle numbers on a consistent basis. It limits his fantasy appeal. That was the case in week 3.

    Wonnum doesn't do very much despite rushing the passer quite a bit. He did so 26 times last week and generated zero pressure.

    Griffen played 34 of a possible 53 snaps. He had one assisted tackle, three total pressures, including a sack, a hit, and a hurry. I don't trust him to do this each week but he's a better candidate to do so than Wonnum.

    Detroit Lions (0-3) at Chicago Bears (1-2)

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    Tier One
    Tier Two
    Romeo Okwara, EDGE.

    I suggested that Okwara would earn a sack if he could keep bringing pressure at the level he has the last two games. He did so in week 3. He played every down and recorded three tackles, six total pressures, including a sack, and five hurries.

    Okwara faces the Bears' right tackle, Germain Ifedi, in week 4. Ifedi had an excellent game against the Bengals in week 2 but surrendered two sacks against the Browns last week. Okwara will be hoping the Ifedi of last week turns up for this game.

    Tier Three
    Tracy Walker, S. Alex Anzalone, ILB. Charles Harris, EDGE.

    Walker played 39 snaps, almost all of which he played as a free safety. He earned only two tackles and a pass breakup. He's somewhere between a tier-three safety and a sit.

    Jamie Collins was released this week. Anzalone has been playing a lot already, and while he has been reasonable as a fantasy starter, he hasn't actually been playing particularly well. Collins' release helps keep Anzalone in a starting role despite the poor play, and assumed emergence of Derrick Barnes.

    I was impressed with Harris against the Ravens. In the absence of Trey Flowers, he played more than usual, 45 of a possible 58 snaps. He had two assisted tackles, six total pressures, including a sack, and five hurries.

    Harris faces Jason Peters this week. Peters is 39 years old and had a rough game against the Browns in week 3, but Peters did face Myles Garrett. Obviously, Harris is no Garrett but Peters is not what he once was, either. Harris could be a tier-three player if Flowers is out again. If Flowers returns, swap Harris with Flowers in these tiers.

    Derrick Barnes, ILB. Trey Flowers, EDGE (injury).

    Once news broke of Collins being inactive, I hastily recommended Barnes as a tier-three starter last week. Barnes played only 28 of 58 snaps and earned three solo tackles. I usually don't trust rookies until they prove themselves. That will be the case with Barnes now. Watch him go off this week!

    I'm waiting for news on Flowers. He could rise to tier three if he becomes available. The shoulder and knee injuries concern me enough to leave him here until we know his status.


    Tier One
    Khalil Mack, EDGE. Roquan Smith, ILB.

    Mack played 41 of a possible 81 snaps against the Browns last week. He suffered a foot injury during the game but was able to return. He missed his only two tackle attempts but generated four total pressures, including two sacks, and two hurries.

    The Lions' right tackle, Matt Nelson, has already surrendered 13 pressures in three games. This is a tasty matchup for Mack.

    Smith played every down. He managed ten total tackles. He's a no-brainer tier-one linebacker each week.

    Tier Two
    Akiem Hicks, DI.

    Hicks was mostly kept in check in week 3. He had only three total tackles and a QB hurry. DI linemen, more than any other position, will have quiet games from time to time, but Hicks is due a big game.

    Lions center Frank Ragnow has had an uneven start to the season as a pass blocker but is the best interior lineman the Lions have. If Hicks can isolate right guard Jonah Jackson, he could have a bounceback game.

    Tier Three
    Eddie Jackson, S. Robert Quinn, EDGE.

    Jackson played every down in week 3. Only 25 of his 81 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line. He earned five tackles but you would hope for more considering how often he was on the field.

    I did not see that game coming from Quinn. He was on the field for 63/81 snaps, helped in part by Mack's injury. He had just one assisted tackle but recorded six total pressures, including two sacks, and four QB hurries.

    Bilal Nichols, DI. Mario Edwards Jr., DI.

    Nichols played 59 snaps and registered six tackles. He had a QB hurry. He's somewhere between a tier-three lineman and a sit most weeks.

    Edwards recorded a tackle and two sacks. He is a recommended sit mainly because he did this on only 20 snaps, but also because the sacks were his only two pressures.

    Houston Texans (1-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-1)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two
    Christian Kirksey, ILB.

    Kirksey has played every down for the Texans' defense this season. He turned that into eight tackles last week.

    Tier Three
    Justin Reid, S. Eric Murray, S.

    Reid didn't play last week due to a sprained knee. He did participate in Monday's walkthrough so there is hope he can return this weekend.

    Murray played every down against the Panthers but recorded only four total tackles. He played 38 of his 73 snaps either in the box or on the defensive line, which helps him hold some value going into this game.

    Maliek Collins, DI. Whitney Mercilus, EDGE. Charles Omenihu, EDGE. Zach Cunningham, ILB (reserve/COVID-19).

    Cunningham is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and won't play this week.

    Collins had a decent game for a DI lineman, earning three tackles, and three QB hurries. He has yet to have a game that fantasy managers would approve of, so he remains a recommended sit.

    Mercilus is not a fantasy starter. He played 31/73 snaps, earned two tackles, and two QB hurries. Find better players, there are plenty.

    Omenihu played just 23 snaps, earned two tackles, three total pressures, including two QB hits and a hurry. I would personally like to see him earn more time, but the Texans seem to have other ideas.


    Tier One


    Tier Two
    Matt Milano, ILB.

    Milano played every down and earned five total tackles, a QB hit, and a pass breakup. He is playing well but hasn't had a big game in terms of tackles yet.

    Tier Three
    Tremaine Edmunds, ILB. Micah Hyde, S. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE.

    Edmunds played every down. He had six solo tackles, a QB hurry, and he batted a pass too.

    Hyde played 54/54 snaps, had five total tackles, and an interception. He was in the box on 15 of his snaps.

    I warned last week that despite his massive game 2, Rousseau still needs time to develop and will have quiet weeks while playing in a heavy defensive line rotation. That rotation continued in week 3, as five different edge rushers had between 20 and 32 snaps. Rousseau was second in snaps of those five players, managing 30 of a possible 54. Get excited about him, but temper fantasy expectations.

    Ed Oliver, DI. Star Lotulelei, DI. Every other EDGE. Jordan Poyer, S (injury).

    Poyer is out this week with an ankle injury.

    Oliver played only 31 of a possible 54 snaps, but he led all Bills players in pass-rush snaps with 22. He only generated one pressure and remains a recommended sit as a result.

    Lotulelei hasn't really had a fantasy-relevant season since his rookie year. The sack last week will encourage some to pick him up, let it be someone else. Certainly don't start him if you did pick him up.

    All other edge players are in a deep, deep rotation, as mentioned above.

    Indianapolis Colts (0-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-2)

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    Tier One
    DeForest Buckner, DI. Darius Leonard, ILB.

    Buckner led all Colts DI linemen with 52 of a possible 68 snaps. He didn't record a sack for the second week in a row, but he still had four total tackles, and four total pressures, including a QB hit, and three hurries.

    He faces a terrible Dolphins offensive line this week that has surrendered 65 total pressures in just three games. Don't be dismayed by Buckner's lack of sacks in the last two games, we should be encouraged by this matchup.

    Leonard managed six total tackles and an interception. He played every down. By his own admission, he is "fighting through" the pain of an ankle injury. Unless the injury worsens and/or until he stops playing, it's difficult to imagine a time he won't be a tier-one player.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three
    Bobby Okereke, ILB.

    Okereke played every down. He earned seven total tackles and had a sack. He's near the upper end of tier three.

    Grover Stewart, DI. Kemoko Turay, EDGE. Julian Blackmon, S. Tyquan Lewis, EDGE. Kwity Paye, EDGE (injury). Khari Willis, S (injury).

    Blackmon led the Colts with 11 last week, all of which were solo attempts. It is impressive given that 58 of his 66 snaps were spent aligned as a free safety.

    Paye was ruled out early in the game with a hamstring injury, so Turay and Lewis played more than they ordinarily would. Lewis generated four QB pressures but neither player had a game of any relevance in fantasy terms. Paye is out this week.

    Willis is out with ankle and groin injuries this week.


    Tier One
    Tier Two
    Jerome Baker, ILB. Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE.

    Baker played every down and led the team in nine total tackles. He also added a QB hurry. Solid numbers from Baker who now has 23 tackles in three games.

    Ogbah had his second disruptive game in a row. He played 63 snaps, had one tackle, six pressures, including three QB hits, and three hurries. He didn't manage another sack this week but I'm encouraged by the fact he has 15 pressures in three games.

    I've moved Ogbah up a tier in this favorable matchup against the Colts tackles who have not played well this season.

    Tier Three
    Christian Wilkins, DI.

    Wilkins played 58 of a possible 83 snaps. He earned six tackles and he also recorded a sack. It was good to see Wilkins put up a good fantasy game after two quiet weeks.

    Andrew Van Ginkel, EDGE. Jaelen Phillips, EDGE. Eric Rowe, S. Jevon Holland, S. Brandon Jones, S.

    Van Ginkel actually played well when given the opportunity. He drops a tier because it is difficult to recommend starting a player who only played 34/83 snaps the week prior.

    Phillips snaps soared in week 3 and not only because the Dolphins defense was on the field so much. He was an afterthought in Weeks 1 and 2 but played 49 snaps in week 3. That was second only to Ogbah. He earned five tackles, two total pressures, including a QB hit, and a hurry. Monitor his snap numbers going forward.

    Rowe bounced back after not playing much in week 2. 41 of his 65 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. His inconsistent snap numbers keep me from recommending him as a starter.

    Jones will be picked up by some fantasy managers after he recorded two sacks. But he did that on only eight pass rush attempts and 36 snaps in total. Let someone else fall for this trap.

    Washington Football Team (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)

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    Tier One
    Chase Young, EDGE. Montez Sweat, EDGE. Jonathan Allen, DI.

    Young has been the biggest disappointment in IDP so far this season. You likely invested a lot in order to add him to your fantasy roster and he hasn't yet delivered. Young had six total pressures, including two QB hits, and four pressures against the Bills. These are good numbers but are, admittedly, worth nothing in fantasy.

    He faces Kaleb McGary this week. McGary is a former first-round pick himself, but he has surrendered 11 pressures in three games, including two sacks. Keep the faith; the sacks will come.

    Sweat had two sacks in the first two games of the season but had a quieter game against the Bills. He played 55 of a possible 79 snaps and managed only three tackles, a QB hit, and a hurry. The Falcons Jake Matthews is a difficult matchup.

    Allen played 69 of a possible 79 snaps which led all Washington DI linemen. After stellar fantasy performances in weeks 1 and 2, he came back down to earth with a three tackle, one hit, and one hurry game against the Bills. He is still a tier-one DI lineman. The interior of the Falcons line isn't strong with the exception of Chris Lindstrom.

    Tier Two
    Daron Payne, DI. Landon Collins, S. Cole Holcomb, ILB.

    Payne was seemingly tired of being outdone by Jonathan Allen. He may not have won the day in fantasy, but he had a good game. Three tackles, 11 total pressures, including two QB hits, and nine hurries. He earned an excellent pass rush grade as a result. If he can continue to bring pressure on anything near to that level then the sacks should follow.

    Collins had eight total tackles which are respectable. 26 of his 46 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.

    Holcomb played every down, again, and led Washington with 14 total tackles. He has 30 total tackles in three games.

    Tier Three
    Kamren Curl, S.

    Curl barely played in week 1. He was second in safety snaps in week 2 and led with 62 snaps in week 3. 29 of those 62 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He converted the opportunity into nine total tackles, and a QB hit.

    Jon Bostic, ILB. Bobby McCain, S. Jamin Davis, ILB.

    Bostic's snap percentage has reduced each week so far. Davis played more snaps than Bostic in week 3. We can see what is happening here.

    Of the three safeties, McCain is the one who lines up deep. He won't be a reliable fantasy starter.


    Tier One
    Grady Jarrett, DI.

    I said this last week "It is too early to panic about a player who is still in his prime. The Falcons have faced two of the better offensive lines of the young 2021 season. The Bucs rank first in pass blocking, the Eagles seventh. It is good news for Jarrett that the Giants rank 27th."

    Jarrett had his best game of the season. He played 53/70 snaps, earned three total tackles, generated four total pressures, including a sack, a hit, and two hurries.

    The interior of Washington's offensive line is strong. This is not a favorable matchup for Jarrett, but I'm leaving him here as the position is too shallow to find a replacement who is nearly as good.

    Tier Two
    Dante Fowler, EDGE. Deion Jones, ILB. Foyesade Oluokun, ILB.

    Fowler had a good game, he had three tackles, three pressures, including a sack, and two hurries. He also forced a fumble. Washington's offensive tackles, Charles Leno and Samuel Cosmi have both looked very good in the last two games. It isn't the easiest of matchups for Fowler.

    Jones played 68 of a possible 70 snaps, managing 10 total tackles, five of which were stops, and a QB hurry.

    Oluokun played every snap against the Giants. He had 12 total tackles, and a QB hit. Both Jones and Oluokun are proving themselves to be in the upper half of tier two linebackers.

    Tier Three
    Duron Harmon, S. Erik Harris, S. Tyeler Davison, DI. Richie Grant, S.

    Harmon played as the free safety on 42 of his 48 snaps last week, it is unlikely he will earn solid tackle numbers each week if that remains the case.

    Harris played every down, and 31 of those were in the box or on the defensive line. He had three tackles but missed opportunities for a further two.

    Davison was second to Jarrett in snaps for DI linemen. He had a tackle and a QB hurry. Not enough to warrant starting in fantasy.

    When asked about Grant's lack of playing time, Falcons DC Dean Pees explained "just learning the defense better".

    Sunday Mid Afternoon Games

    Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

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    Tier One
    Bobby Wagner, ILB. Jamal Adams, S.

    Wagner followed up that incredible week 2 performance with a solid display against the Vikings in week 3. He had 10 total tackles, and a QB hit.

    Adams played every down and led the team in tackles with 12, 10 of which were solo efforts. After earning 11 sacks in 2020, he has zero in 2021, he doesn't even have a single pressure. That is unlikely to change while he rushes the passer only two times as he did last week.

    Tier Two
    Jordyn Brooks, ILB.

    Brooks played 50 of a possible 75 snaps. He recorded six total tackles, and two pressures, including a QB hit, and a hurry.

    Tier Three
    Quandre Diggs, S. Poona Ford, DI.

    Diggs played every snap and had five total tackles. He lined up as a free safety often, on 68 of his 75 snaps. If that continues it will affect his ability to record consistent tackle numbers each week.

    Ford once again led all of the Seahawks DI linemen in snaps. He had 53/75. He earned four total tackles and two QB hurries. Hardly anything worth getting too excited about.

    Al Woods, DI. Darrell Taylor, EDGE. All Seahawks EDGE rushers.

    Woods had a good game in week 2 but was very, very quiet this week. That happens for DI linemen. What was even more concerning was the snap numbers. He played only 32 of a possible 75, largely due to the return of Brian Mone. I didn't foresee that happening to this extent.

    Taylor recorded a sack so you may be tempted to pick him up, that's fine. Just don't be tempted to start him. No Seahawks edge rusher will have a season strong enough to warrant starting, they rotate them all too heavily.


    Tier One
    Nick Bosa, EDGE. Fred Warner, ILB.

    Bosa played 54 of a possible 63 snaps and was quiet by his standards. Four total tackles, a QB hit, a hurry, and a batted pass. He has a tough test this week in Seahawks left tackle, Duane Brown. Brown is usually excellent, even at 36 years old, but he did surrender two tackles to the Vikings last week.

    Warner played every down and led the team with nine total tackles. Easy tier-one linebacker each week.

    Tier Two
    Javon Kinlaw, DI. Arik Armstead, EDGE.

    Kinlaw led the DI linemen again in snaps again, this time with 40. He had six total tackles, which is fine, but only one pressure. He has yet to get going as a pass rusher this season, but remember, he missed game one and has been hampered by a knee injury. Even so, he has to justify being in this tier at some point.

    I said this of Armstead last week "Armstead hasn’t recorded a sack this season, but once again he did generate plenty of pressure, six hurries to be exact. He has 15 total pressures in two games. While the lack of sacks will be frustrating to his fantasy managers, I advise sticking with him while he’s being this disruptive."

    Armstead had quite a different game against the Packers. He played 48 of a possible 63 snaps, recorded only one pressure, but he converted that into a sack. He had no other fantasy-relevant statistics to speak of. Armstead will match up with the right-hand side of the Seahawks offensive line. It is a middling matchup, neither good nor bad.

    Tier Three
    Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB. Jaquiski Tartt, S.

    Dre Greenlaw was placed on IR, so Al-Shaair played in his place once again. Al-Shaair played much better. He played 60 of a possible 63 snaps, recorded eight total tackles, and a QB hurry. Unlike last week, he didn't miss any tackle attempts.

    Tartt played every snap. 20 of his 63 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He had four total tackles and missed three tackle attempts.

    Dee Ford, EDGE.

    Ford played only 20 snaps in week 2. He generated zero pressures. Sit him and keep him there.

    Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0)

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    Tier One
    Chandler Jones, EDGE. Budda Baker, S.

    Jones played 61 of a possible 68 snaps. He earned three solo tackles, three QB hits, and one hurry. He will face Andrew Whitworth more often than not. Whitworth, even at 39 years old, is still a solid tackle. It will be an interesting matchup.

    Baker had six tackles and a QB hurry against the Jags. He played 67 snaps and 23 of those were spent in the box.

    Tier Two
    Isaiah Simmons, ILB. J.J.Watt, EDGE.

    These two remain tier two players. Both had strong games against the Jags despite missing two tackles each.

    Simmons had five total tackles, a QB hit, and two hurries. He also forced a fumble. He earned 60 of a possible 68 snaps and looks to have turned a corner.

    Watt had his best game for the Cards so far. He had only two total tackles and didn't earn a sack, but he did manage seven total pressures, including two QB hits, and five hurries. It was good to see him return to his disruptive self. Right tackle Rob Havenstein isn't an easy matchup, but Watt has a head of steam and will look to carry this form over.

    Tier Three
    Markus Golden, EDGE. Jordan Hicks, ILB.

    Golden played 45 of a possible 68 snaps. He had one assisted tackle and missed another tackle opportunity, but he had a good day as a pass rusher. He generated five pressures, including a sack, two hits, and two hurries.

    Hicks wasn't grading well before this game despite being on the field plenty. That changed against the Jags, as Hicks led the team with 12 total tackles. He added a sack, a QB hurry, and a forced fumble. He played every down.

    Jalen Thompson, S. Zaven Collins, ILB. Zach Allen, DI.

    Thompson earned seven total tackles, making my sit recommendation look poor from the week beforehand. If he does it again, I'll look bad. But I'm still not ready to recommend you start him.

    Collins is being kept at bay by Hicks. He managed 28 of a possible 68 snaps and earned two solo tackles. You didn't see things working out this way, did you? Neither did I.

    I won't mention Allen here again unless he has at least one fantasy-relevant week. He played only 28 snaps and generated one pressure - a QB hurry.


    Tier One
    Aaron Donald, DI.

    Donald played 60 of a possible 73 snaps. He had only two total tackles but generated five total pressures, including a sack, and four QB hurries. He also forced a fumble and batted down a pass.

    Donald is the closest thing to matchup-proof as a DI lineman can be. The interior of the Cardinals offensive line isn't weak, but in Josh Jones, it has its weaknesses.

    Tier Two
    Leonard Floyd, EDGE. Kenny Young, ILB. Taylor Rapp, S.

    Floyd had his second good game in a row. Three total tackles, five total pressures, including a sack, and four QB hurries. He played 58 of a possible 73 snaps.

    Young played every down, again. He was productive for the second game in three starts. 10 total tackles, a sack, a QB hurry, and a forced fumble.

    Rapp and Fuller both played every down. It feels odd to separate them, I think they are fairly evenly matched in terms of talent. The difference is that Rapp plays in the box more than Fuller does.

    Rapp managed six total tackles, and a QB hurry. Fuller had four tackles and a QB hurry.

    Tier Three
    Jordan Fuller, S. Sebastian Joseph-Day, DI.

    For Fuller, see above.

    Joseph-Day is beginning to get going a little bit. He played 49 of 73 snaps which were second to Donald. He had three total tackles, four total pressures, including a QB hit, and three hurries. In his last two games, Joseph-Day has nine tackles, and seven pressures, including a sack.

    Troy Reeder, ILB. Justin Hollins, EDGE (IR).

    The Rams rewarded Reeder's excellent week 2 grade with only 16 snaps in week 3.

    Hollins is on IR with a pectoral injury.

    Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-1)

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    Tier One
    Cam Heyward, DI. T.J. Watt, EDGE.

    The whole Steelers defense struggled last week. They missed Watt. According to Tomlin, Watt is likely to return this week.

    Heyward played 42 of 47 snaps. He managed four total tackles and a QB hurry. He will have a reasonable matchup against the interior of the Packers' defense. Don't be tempted to drop Heyward after one quiet week.

    If Watt returns, he will face the Packers' right tackle, Billy Turner, more often than not. Turner surrendered zero pressures against the 49ers last week, but seven pressures in the two games prior. Watt is a much stronger pass rusher than Turner is a pass protector.

    Tier Two
    Melvin Ingram, EDGE. Devin Bush, ILB.

    Unfortunately for the Steelers, Ingram's wasn't a productive edge rusher in the one game they lacked any other edge-rushing options. He played every down, earned three solo tackles, and had a QB hit.

    Bush played 38 of a possible 47 snaps. He only recorded two tackles. This should represent a low point for him this season, but it is concerning that Schobert outperformed him and earned more snaps.

    Tier Three
    Joe Schobert, ILB. Terrell Edmunds, Alex Highsmith, EDGE. S. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S.

    Schobert outperformed Bush last week, but it isn't like Schobert had a great game. He was just better than Bush. Schobert had five total tackles and a QB hurry. He played 42 of a possible 47 snaps.

    Edmunds played 37 snaps, had five total tackles, and was one of the very few bright spots for the Steelers as he intercepted Burrow. 24 of those 37 snaps were spent playing in the box.

    Highsmith, like Watt, is expected to return this week. He has yet to become the pass rusher that the IDP community expected, but the season is young.

    It feels wrong to recommend anyone starts Fitzpatrick at all, even as a tier-three player. I know he's very talented, but he played 15 snaps in the box or on the defensive line in week 1, 16 snaps in week 2, and only one of his 47 snaps in week 3. He recorded four total tackles. What really concerns me is how he looks in coverage. Hopefully, he bounces back and proves me wrong.

    Robert Spillane, ILB.

    Spillane played when Bush couldn't, and he was productive. But you have to sit him again now.


    Tier One
    Kenny Clark, DI.

    Clark played 62 of 70 snaps against the 49ers. He had three solo tackles, six total pressures, including a QB hit, and five hurries. It's a shame he couldn't record his fantasy managers the first sack of the season, but he will get there. He has 14 pressures through three games, which is very solid for a DI lineman.

    Tier Two
    Adrian Amos, S. Rashan Gary, EDGE. De’Vondre Campbell, ILB.

    Amos played every down in week 3. 29 of his 70 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He earned five total tackles and now has 22 total tackles in three games.

    Gary played 51 of 70 snaps. He didn't record a tackle but he was active as a pass rusher, registering four total pressures, a sack, a QB hit, and two hurries. Gary should face the Steelers' right tackle, Chukwuma Okorafor. It's a matchup that works in Gary's favor.

    Campbell played every down and had nine total tackles. He has 28 tackles in three games.

    Tier Three
    Preston Smith, EDGE.

    Smith was on the field for 57 snaps against the 49ers. He had three solo tackles, a sack, two QB hits, and a hurry. He could rise a tier if he can continue playing like this in Za'Darius Smith's absence. It feels like a long time since Smith was an effective pass-rusher so I'm exercising caution for now.

    Darnell Savage, S.

    Savage typically plays every down each week. But he lines up so deep that he doesn't get too involved in the action. This week was an exception, he earned six solo tackles. He could've had two more but he missed a few tackle attempts.

    Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Denver Broncos (3-0)

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    Tier One
    Patrick Queen, ILB.

    Queen played 62 of a possible 63 snaps. He earned seven total tackles and missed two tackle attempts. He has 24 total tackles and a sack in three games.

    Tier Two
    Chuck Clark, S.

    Clark played every down against Detroit. He led the team with eight tackles, he also added a sack, and a hurry. He returned to a box role in week 3 after lining up as a free safety more often than usual in week 2. 32 of his 63 snaps in week 3 were spent either in the box or on the defensive line.

    Tier Three
    Odafe Oweh, EDGE. DeShon Elliott, S.

    For the second week in a row, rookie Oweh led all Ravens' edge rushers in both snaps (50) and pass-rush attempts (30). He converted those opportunities into four total tackles, a QB hit, and a hurry. He switches from left to right, so could face both Garrett Bolles and Bobby Massie. Neither is an easy matchup, especially Bolles.

    Elliott had to leave the game with a quad injury. Until that point, he had played 39 snaps and recorded two tackles. 15 of his 39 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. Harbaugh called Elliott's injury an "ongoing" issue earlier in the week, so monitor his status closely.

    Tyus Bowser, ILB/EDGE. Justin Houston, EDGE. Calais Campbell, DI. Brandon Williams, DI.

    Campbell played well, he was on the field for 47 snaps, recorded four tackles, and generated five pressures. I may have been hasty recommending him as a sit, but as it was the most pressure he has generated since week six of the 2020 seasons, I'll leave him here until I see it happen again. He's a good injury/BYE week replacement until that happens.

    Bowser played 47 snaps, earned three tackles, and generated two pressures. He has four pressures so far this season.

    Houston and Williams were on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the last game. I don't see either making a huge amount of noise in 2021. Not nearly enough to be recommended as starters each week.


    Tier One
    Von Miller, EDGE.

    The Ravens are without Ronnie Stanley, meaning Alejandro Villanueva could once again start at left tackle, with Patrick Mekari being asked to fill in for Villanueva at right tackle.

    Villanueva is the more accomplished player but has been terrible in two of three games so far this season, allowing 18 total pressures against the Raiders and Lions in weeks 1 and 3.

    Miller has rushed almost exclusively from the left this season, meaning Mekari will likely be the one to face him. It is a matchup Miller will be relishing.

    Miller generated four total pressures against the Jets, one sack, one QB hit, and two hurries. He also had one assisted tackle.

    Tier Two
    Justin Simmons, S. Alexander Johnson, ILB.

    Johnson had a good game for fantasy managers. He played 50 of a possible 54 snaps, earned 4 total tackles, two sacks, and a pass breakup.

    I've been talking about Simmons's lack of box snaps for weeks in this article. That didn't change in week 3. He earned just two tackles and only rescued his fantasy day with an interception. He has just six total tackles and will drop a tier next week if he lines up in a similar fashion this week. There is no difference between his role and that of Kareem Jackson lately.

    Tier Three
    Malik Reed, EDGE. Dre’Mont Jones, DI. Kareem Jackson, S.

    Reed justified his promotion to this tier last week. Like Von, he had four total pressures against the Jets, one sack, one QB hit, and two hurries. Reed added two total tackles. He played 45 of a possible 54 snaps which led all Broncos edge rushers.

    Jones had a tackle and three QB hurries. He played 38 snaps. For the second week in a row, he played fewer snaps at tackle than he did at defensive end. Try to benefit from this if he has DI or DT designation in your league.

    Jackson played every snap, again, but didn't do much with them last week. He earned just two tackles. Hopefully, bigger days are ahead as 10 tackles through three games doesn't cut it. He's sliding tiers unless things change.

    Shelby Harris, DI. Micah Kiser, ILB. Justin Strnad, ILB.

    For Harris, 28 snaps of a possible 54 are not enough to be considered a fantasy starter.

    Kiser only played four snaps. They clearly only consider him a depth addition at this point.

    Strnad played 41 snaps and earned six tackles, including four stops. All three are respectable numbers. I hope he can continue in this fashion so I can recommend him as a tier-three starter going forward. He was close this week.

    Sunday Night Football

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at New England Patriots (1-2)

    Embed from Getty Images


    Tier One
    Devin White, ILB. Lavonte David, ILB. Shaq Barrett, EDGE.

    Both White and David played every down. White managed seven tackles to David's six. Both had a QB hurry, White added a QB hit too.

    Barrett had a quiet game as a pass rusher, generating only a hit, and a hurry. He recorded five solo tackles which compensated somewhat. Justin Herron, the Patriots' right tackle, represents a nice matchup for Barrett.

    Tier Two
    Antoine Winfield, S. Ndamukong Suh, DI. Vita Vea, DI.

    Vea played 34 snaps. He earned two solo tackles and registered three pressures, including a QB hit, and two hurries. Not bad given his lack of snaps. But not enough to remain in tier two. He's in the lower half of tier two players if that level of usage continues.

    Suh only had 35 snaps. He managed two tackles and a QB hurry. Like Vea, it isn't enough to remain in tier two. The Bucs rotated Williams Gholston, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, and even Steve McLendon in just enough to hurt Vea and Suh's fantasy value. I'll monitor to see if it's a trend going forward.

    Winfield recorded five total tackles. He played 65 snaps, he lined up deep on 52 of those and was in the slot on 7 more. Unless he plays closer to the line of scrimmage or comes up with big plays, he isn't likely to be the tier one safety you were used to last season.

    Tier Three
    Jordan Whitehead, S. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE.

    Whitehead played 41 snaps against the Rams, 21 of those he spent playing in the box. He had four total tackles and forced a fumble too.

    Tryon-Shoyinka filed in pretty well in Jason Pierre-Paul's absence. He recorded three solo tackles, three pressures, including a QB hit, and two hurries. He also batted a pass. Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn will be a tough matchup. But Wynn has allowed more pressures than he ordinarily would this early in the season.

    Jason Pierre-Paul, EDGE (injury)

    Arians suggested JPP could miss the Patriots game. Doctors have suggested he rest his hand and shoulder injuries.


    Tier One
    Tier Two
    Matt Judon, EDGE.

    Judon played 50 snaps against the Saints, generated four pressures, including three sacks, and a QB hit. He has 14 total pressures, including four sacks, in just three games.

    The only thing stopping me from moving him up a tier is the difficult matchup he has this week. Judon can, and is, moved between the left and right-hand of the line to take advantage of mismatches. The Bucs are a rare team that has two good offensive tackles, in Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Wilson. It's not an easy matchup for Judon.

    As much as Brady is still revered by the Patriots fanbase, they would love to see Judon take him down, surely?!

    Tier Three
    Kyle Dugger, S. Adrian Phillips, S. Dont’a Hightower, ILB. Ja’Whaun Bentley, ILB.

    Dugger had three tackles, and a QB hit against in week 3. He played 57 snaps and 40 of them were either in the box or on the defensive line. I'd like to see his tackle numbers nearer where they were in week 1 and will monitor him closely going forward.

    Phillips played 57 snaps and had five total tackles. 40 of his snaps were spent in the box. His tackle numbers also need to increase to remain in this tier. Like Dugger, I like how he is used.

    Hightower completes what was an unimpressive group in week 3. He managed two tackles, missed a further two, and added a QB hurry. He played 42 snaps.

    Bentley played only 30 snaps because he left the game with an injury. Prior to that, he was playing well, earning seven total tackles after putting up eight tackles last week. I haven't seen any update on his injury status this week, so please monitor his status carefully.

    Josh Uche, EDGE.

    If Uche is healthy, I'd want to place him in tier three but would have a hard time doing so until he had at least one game where he earned a reasonable number of snaps. Even in his breakout game against the Jets, he still played less than half the total defensive snaps available.

    I'm not saying he hasn't earned more playing time. I just want to see it first.

    Monday Night Football

    Las Vegas Raiders (3-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)

    Embed from Getty Images


    Tier One
    Jonathan Abram, S. Maxx Crosby, EDGE.

    Abram played every down, 83 snaps in total. He spent 44 of those either in the box or on the defensive line. He earned six total tackles and added a QB hurry.

    Crosby earned six pressures for the second consecutive week, taking his tally for the season to an extremely impressive 25. He hasn't had a sack in his last two games, but he faces Storm Norton, the tackle who Micah Parsons schooled a few weeks ago. It's a great matchup for Crosby.

    Tier Two
    Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE. Cory Littleton, ILB. Denzel Perryman, ILB.

    All three players are in the lower half of this tier for week 4 against the Chargers.

    Ngakoue has yet to earn a sack for the Raiders in 2021. He isn't playing poorly, he has generated 15 total pressures in three games, he just hasn't got home yet. But he will. Unfortunately for his fantasy managers, he doesn't record many tackles so we haven't got that to help bridge these quiet times.

    Rashawn Slater poses a challenging matchup for Ngakoue.

    Perryman has been a tackling machine this season. He played 76 of 83 snaps against Miami in week 3 and earned 13 total tackles, adding two hurries. He will be relishing the opportunity to beat the Chargers, his first NFL team.

    Littleton played 62 snaps last week and managed 11 total tackles and a QB hurry.

    Tier Three
    Nobody you were considering starting.


    Tier One
    Joey Bosa, EDGE. Derwin James, S.

    Bosa struggled to practice last week and was a game-time decision with a foot injury. He did play, and still managed 55 of a possible 79 snaps despite coming out for certain plays.

    He went on to earn two tackles, 10 total pressures, including a sack, a hit, and eight hurries. Impressive numbers considering he was struggling with injury.

    He says his foot felt better on Monday than it did the previous week, which is encouraging news for his fantasy managers. The extra day of rest before the Monday night game will also help.

    James had five total tackles against the Chiefs. He separated his shoulder, missed part of the second quarter but returned to the game a short time later. He managed 72 of a possible 79 snaps. Only 18 of those were spent in the box or on the defensive line

    Monitor the status of both Bosa and James this week.

    Tier Two
    Tier Three
    Kenneth Murray, ILB. Nasir Adderley, S. Jerry Tillery, DI. Kyzir White, ILB.

    Murray's snap totals decreased for the third straight game. He played 40 snaps and managed two total tackles. Kyzir White's snap totals increased for the third straight game. He earned 55 snaps, had nine total tackles, a sack, and a QB hurry. Make of that what you will. I made my feelings clear on the Chargers linebacker situation in the offseason and found myself to be in the minority.

    Adderley played every down, all 79 snaps. He spent 68 of those lined up deep which is fairly typical for him. What wasn't typical was his tackle numbers, he led the Chargers with 12 total tackles. Don't expect this on a weekly basis.

    Tillery played 53 snaps. He had three total tackles, four total pressures, including two QB hits, and two QB hurries. I was his biggest fan coming into the league, but he doesn't look like the player I hoped he would become. There is still time for that to change.

    Drue Tranquill, ILB.

    Tranquill earned seven total tackles and shared a sack with Bosa. Fantasy managers will have noticed. Hopefully, they also notice he played less than half of the available defensive snaps. He's not a recommended starter.

    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 IDP start/sit advice 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 IDP start/sit advice. 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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