• The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 5 Start/Sit List: IDP

    The NFL Week 5 Start/Sit list for IDP has all the start/sit advice you could possibly need for this week!

    Some unlikely defensive players won the day in Week 4 of fantasy. Bryce Huff, Michael Danna, Quincy Williams, take a bow. We applaud you. Now, let's take a look at the NFL Week 5 Start/Sit for IDP.


    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 IDL (interior defensive 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 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.

    Let's get into the NFL Week 5 Start/Sit list for IDP:

    Thursday Night Football

    Rams (3-1) at Seahawks (2-2)

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    Tier One

    Aaron Donald, IDL

    Donald had a quiet game by his standards against the Cardinals. He recorded just three tackles and two pressures, both of them hurries. He has had just one game with two or fewer hurries since Week 16 of the 2019 season.

    The interior of the Seahawks line is very beatable. Left guard Damien Lewis and Center Kyle Fuller have been quite poor this season.

    Tier Two

    Leonard Floyd, EDGE; Kenny Young, ILB; Taylor Rapp, S

    Sebastian Joseph-Day, IDL

    Floyd has had a solid start to the season as a pass-rusher. He had his third consecutive game with at least five pressures a sack. He also chipped in three tackles.

    Floyd will face right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi if Brandon Shell doesn't recover from his ankle injury. Ogbuehi would represent a nice match-up for Floyd.

    Young wasn't as active against the Cardinals as in Week 3, even though the Rams played more defensive snaps than their previous games. He still played all but one of the 77 snaps available, earned six total tackles and two hurries.

    Rapp has faced some criticism lately. Some believe Terrell Burgess deserves a chance in his place. That may happen for reasons other than Rapp's performance, as Rapp is currently struggling with an ankle injury.

    When Rapp plays, he still racks up the tackles. He had 12 total tackles last week, improving his season total to 34. He was in the slot or lined up as a free safety for 56 of his 78 snaps.

    Joseph-Day has been busy lately. In his last three games he has 15 tackles, and nine total pressures, including two sacks, two hits, and five hurries. These are good numbers for an interior defensive lineman.

    Joseph-Day played 48 of a possible 77 snaps last week. I would like to see how his snap share looks in a game where the Rams defensive is not on the field very much. That is yet to happen this season. He is a low-end tier-two player at a position where fantasy performers are scarce.

    Tier Three

    Jordan Fuller, S

    Fuller played every down and spent 59 of his 78 snaps lined up either in the slot or as a free safety, similar to Rapp's usage. However, Fuller spent more time at free safety than Rapp, and less in the slot.

    Fuller earned seven total tackles against the Cardinals and now has 28 total tackles this season.


    Terrell Lewis, EDGE

    Lewis recorded his first sack of the season. He benefitted from Justin Hollins' absence.


    Tier One

    Bobby Wagner, ILB; Jamal Adams, S

    Wagner led the Seahawks with nine total tackles and a pass breakup. His PFF grade of 37.7 was the lowest he has recorded since Week 1 of the 2015 season. Wagner remains elite at 31 years old; that grade will be an anomaly.

    Adams had seven total tackles and a pass breakup. His fantasy managers are missing the sacks this season. Sadly the pass rush opportunities aren't there for Adams this season. In truth, they dropped right off in the second half of the 2020 season. Despite this, he remains an elite Safety, in my opinion.

    Tier Two

    Jordyn Brooks, ILB

    Like Wagner, Brooks also had a poor PFF grade. His fantasy managers may not care. He had seven total tackles, a sack, and a hurry. Unlike Wagner, Brooks doesn't play every down, and he was on the field for 50 of a possible 76 last week.

    Tier Three

    Quandre Diggs, S

    Diggs continues to line up deep on almost every down, but he records solid tackle numbers. He had seven in Week 4, a pass breakup, and an interception. He now has 28 tackles in four games.


    Poona Ford, IDL. Darrell Taylor, EDGE

    Ford benefits from playing IDL, a shallow position in fantasy terms. He has marginal value. Nonetheless, he continues to lead all Seahawks IDL in snaps.

    I said this of Taylor last week "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."

    Taylor then went on to record his second consecutive sack. However, what I said still holds true. Taylor recorded just 33 of a possible 76 snaps or 43%. If he earns more of the snap share I'll move him into tier three.

    Sunday Early Afternoon Slate

    Jets (1-3) at Falcons (1-3)

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    Tier One

    Quinnen Williams, IDL; John Franklin-Myers, EDGE

    The Jets played an incredible 100 snaps in Week 4 against the Titans. Several Jets players recorded their most productive games of the season, and Williams was among them.

    Williams had four tackles, five total pressures, including two sacks, and three hurries. It was his second consecutive two-sack performance. He is already halfway to achieving his sack total in the 2020 season.

    The interior of the Falcons offensive line is no match for Williams. Right guard Chris Lindstrom is playing well. Center Matt Hennessy has improved after a woeful game against the Eagles in Week 1, but right guard Jalen Mayfield has been playing poorly.

    Franklin-Myers is probably the least-known of any tier one player in this article. That will change. He led the Jets with nine total pressures last week, including a sack, two hits, and six hurries. He now has 17 pressures and three sacks in four games.

    The Jets edge rusher faces right tackle Kaleb McGary in Week 4. McGary is one of the poorer players on the Falcons offensive line. He has surrendered 11 pressures in four games, including two sacks.

    Franklin-Myers is a low-end tier one player at a position where fantasy performers are plentiful, but he's a rising star.

    Tier Two

    C.J. Mosley, ILB; Bryce Huff, EDGE

    Mosley took full advantage of the 100 snaps he played. He recorded 15 tackles, of which nine were stops, and he earned a sack. I have my reservations about certain parts of his game, but this is a start/sit article, and Mosley is producing.

    Huff was one of the top performers of Week 4. He earned six pressures, including three sacks, two hits, and a hurry. He now has four sacks in his last two games, and those who championed him in the preseason are feeling very smug.

    I questioned his snap share last week. That rose from 46% of snaps in Week 3, to 62% in Week 4. This trend is positive news. Despite this and the stellar performance against the Titans, Huff is in the lower-end of players in this tier.

    Tier Three

    Quincy Williams, ILB; Folorunso Fatukasi, IDL

    Williams had a productive game. He played almost every down and registered 11 total tackles, six of which were stops and a sack. Any fantasy manager who had him is likely feeling happy about that output.

    I want to see Williams build on that week and be productive in future games, even when the Jets don't play 100 defensive snaps.

    Fatukasi has played well when given the opportunity. In contrast to other players, and even other Jets players mentioned in this article, he is arguably a better player in the NFL than in fantasy. He just about makes it into tier three.

    He only played half the available snaps in Week 4 but is another IDL who benefits from position scarcity in these tiers. Fatukasi has 17 tackles in four games and five pressures. The 'other' Jets IDL, Nathan Shepherd, has been ineffectual, but he caps Fatukasi's potential to play more and, therefore, his value.


    Jamien Sherwood, ILB; Ashtyn Davis, S

    Not long ago, Sherwood appeared to have the inside track on a starting role, but his role is diminishing. 24 total snaps in Week 4.

    Last week I suggested Davis could be a borderline starter with Marcus Maye out. I was wrong. Davis played only 38 snaps as the Jets favored Sharrod Neasman and Jarrod Wilson. I still think Davis is more talented than either of those players, but I recommend you sit him until he plays more snaps.


    Tier One

    Grady Jarrett, IDL

    Jarrett hasn't been quite the same player so far this season. Fantasy managers will be disappointed, and understandably so. He has only nine tackles, seven pressures, including one sack so far this season.

    He's still a tier-one IDL for me. Hopefully, this cheers his fantasy owners up a little:

    Tier Two

    Dante Fowler, EDGE; Deion Jones, ILB; Foyesade Oluokun, ILB

    Fowler didn't record a sack for the first time in three games, but he did earn three tackles and three hurries. He remains the best pass rusher on this Falcons defense.

    Jones had 10 tackles and a QB hurry for the second consecutive game. He continues to play every down.

    Oluokun also played every down and earned nine total tackles, a sack, a QB hit, and a pass breakup.

    I wouldn't argue with anyone who had Jones and/or Oluokun as tier-one starters.

    Tier Three



    Duron Harmon, S. Erik Harris, S. Tyeler Davison, IDL.

    I explained Harmon's situation last week. He plays too deep to record solid tackle numbers on a consistent basis. He peaked with seven tackles in Week 1 but has since had only 10 in the three games since.

    Harris is a slightly better play than Harmon. Harris had his most productive game with seven tackles, a QB hit, and two pass breakups. He is doubtful for this game with a calf injury. If Harris can't play, you could start Richie Grant, but it's a risky move.

    He plays closer to the line of scrimmage more often than Harmon, and his tackle numbers are better as a result. He has 20 tackles in four games. Not awful, but not starter material.

    Davison is not even playing half the available snaps.

    Lions (0-4) at Vikings (1-3)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Alex Anzalone, ILB; Charles Harris, EDGE

    Anzalone isn't necessarily playing well. But he's playing every down and had six tackles and a QB hit, which earned him a place in tier three. You shouldn't be starting him unless your fantasy team has been ravaged by injury or your league and rosters are very deep.

    Harris had the best PFF pass-rush grade of any Lions player in Week 4, but it wasn't particularly high and he didn't have much competition. He had three tackles, but he missed three more. This was his third-straight game with a sack.

    The injuries to Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara have thrust Harris into a more prominent role. As a result, Harris' snap numbers have risen each week. 15 in Week 1, 26 in Week 2, 45 in Week 3, and 52 in Week 4.

    Start him if you must, but I remain a little bit wary of his ability to maintain production level each week. With that said, Harris faces left tackle Rashod Hill this week. Hill has been particularly poor in pass protection this season, so this is a favorable match-up.


    Romeo Okwara, EDGE (IR); Tracy Walker, S; Derrick Barnes, ILB; Trey Flowers, EDGE (injury)

    I had Okwara as the highest-ranked Lions player in this article. Unfortunately, Okwara has torn his Achilles tendon. It's a devastating end to the season for Okwara, I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

    I, too, remember when Walker was a 90+ tackle-a-season safety and was a reasonable fantasy play for that spell. Those days are gone. Walker plays too deep, too often, and only played 35 of 58 possible snaps last week.

    I have high hopes for Barnes. I have him stashed on taxi squads in a few leagues. He could be more talented than any of the four Lions linebackers who played more snaps than him last week. But I can't recommend you start him while he's only playing 18 snaps, as he did last week.

    Monitor Flowers availability this week. He would become a tier-two player if healthy. Flowers is listed as questionable but has practiced this week, so the outlook is optimistic.


    Tier One

    Danielle Hunter, EDGE; Eric Kendricks, ILB; Harrison Smith, S

    I feel obligated to justify some of the players in this tier. These three guys make it very easy for me each week.

    Hunter has immediately reinstated his reputation as an elite pass rusher since returning from injury. He has 23 pressures in four games, five of which were sacks. He adds a decent tackle floor, too - 17 through four games.

    Hunter ordinarily rushes from the left side, so he faces right tackle Matt Nelson in this game. Nelson has allowed 18 pressures in four games. If you have Hunter on your fantasy roster, you start him irrespective of who he faces each week, but Nelson is a great match-up.

    Kendricks led the Vikings in tackles, again, with 10 total tackles, and two QB hurries. He rarely comes off the field. Start him every week with confidence.

    Smith had seven total tackles in Week 4. He played in the box or on the defensive line on 35 of his 78 snaps. There are very few safeties I would play ahead of Smith each week.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Everson Griffen, EDGE; Anthony Barr, ILB

    Griffen just sneaks into tier three. He still played fewer snaps than the ineffectual D.J. Wonnum, but at least Griffen is doing something with the opportunities he has been given. He has eight hurries, including two sacks in two games.

    I don't have much faith this will be a regular thing, but Griffen has marginal value. Therefore he is in tier three. Penei Sewell is doubtful for the game.

    Mike Zimmer thinks Barr will make his debut on Sunday. Monitor this situation. If Barr can't go, Vigil could be a tier-three player for one more week. But Vigil didn't practice on Thursday with an ankle injury.


    Nick Vigil, ILB; Xavier Woods, S

    Vigil played every down, again. He recorded a season-low five tackles, and he missed two more, bringing his missed tackle count to six through four games.

    I'm not sold on Vigil. Mike Zimmer thinks Barr will make his debut on Sunday, and unless something happens to either Kendricks or Barr, I think we will see Vigil's fantasy relevance fade.

    As mentioned above, Vigil didn't practice on Thursday with an ankle injury.

    Woods doesn't record enough tackles to provide a solid fantasy floor.

    Saints (2-2) at Washington (2-2)

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    Tier One

    Demario Davis, ILB

    Davis played every down against the Giants in Week 4, he had seven total tackles and a QB hurry. Not terrible, but not amazing. The fact he was outplayed by a different Saints linebacker is interesting. Check out tier three for more info.

    Tier Two

    Cameron Jordan, EDGE; Malcolm Jenkins, S

    Jordan has been one of the most frustrating players in fantasy this season. He has 18 pressures in four games, including a nine-pressure performance in Week 3, but he is yet to record a sack.

    The injury to Davenport has resulted in an uptick in snap shares for Jordan, but fantasy managers are yet to reap the benefit. Stick with Jordan until the pressures drop off. He is not the player he was in that 2015-2019 spell, but he's on pace to improve on every category from 2020, except sacks. They WILL come.

    Jordan faces a Washington offensive line that has ranked among the best so far in 2021. Rookie Samuel Cosmi is not a weakness, as such, but he has surrendered more total pressures than anyone else. Jordan will face Cosmi, which isn't a terrible matchup. I often bank on the crafty vet over the promising rookie in such situations.

    Jenkins played every down and led the Saints with 12 total tackles. He has 29 tackles this season. He has no splashy plays, yet, which might turn some fantasy managers off, but I like his floor.

    Tier Three

    Pete Werner, ILB

    Werner recorded the best PFF grade of any Saints defender in Week 4. He earned 10 total tackles, he was solid in coverage and run defense, and he was the only Saints defender with double-digit tackles who didn't miss a tackle opportunity.

    He played 40 of a possible 64 snaps. This was a distant second to Demario Davis' 64, but this was a promising performance from the rookie.


    Peyton Turner, EDGE

    Turner's fantasy managers may feel disappointed with his fantasy output in Week 4. He played just 30 of a possible 64 snaps and recorded a solo tackle.

    But there are good reasons for optimism. Turner led the Saints with four total pressures, including two hits, and two hurries. He recorded the second-most pass rush snaps of any Saints player. And his PFF pass-rush grade was the best among all Saints edge-rushers.


    Tier One

    Chase Young, EDGE; Montez Sweat, EDGE; Jonathan Allen, IDL

    I'm getting a little weary of encouraging fantasy owners to keep the faith with Young. He recorded four tackles, and a QB hit in Week 4. He has 11 pressures and zero sacks on the season. This is not close to what we expected from a player of his caliber.

    Young faces Ryan Ramcyzk in Week 5. He has faced much easier match-ups and done little with them, but Ramcyzk has allowed more pressures than he ordinarily would by this point in the season.

    Is it time to panic? Almost. I'm willing to give it a game or two first. Do me a favor, if you're following IDP 'experts' who are suggesting you trade Young for a WR2, add me to your league first, and send the offer to me.

    Sweat has been caught up in this notion that the Washington defense has been poor. It isn't wholly unfair, but Sweat with a sack against the Falcons last week, Sweat has recorded three tackles in four games.

    Sweat faces replacement tackle James Hurst in Week 5. Hurst has played well in the absence of Terron Armstead, but he hasn't faced an edge rusher of Sweat's quality.

    Allen's 93.5 PFF grade in Week 4 was the highest of his career. His fantasy managers may wonder how that didn't translate into fantasy domination, as he earned six total tackles, a QB hit, and a hurry.

    Despite being kept from recording a sack in Week 4, it is a strong start to the season for Allen, who now has three sacks in the four games. He faces the weak interior of the Falcons offensive line, center Cesar Ruiz, and guards Andrus Peat and Calvin Throckmorton have not played well in pass protection.

    Tier Two

    Daron Payne, IDL; Landon Collins, S; Cole Holcomb, ILB

    Payne had five tackles, and a QB hit against the Falcons. He benefits from a favorable matchup, see above for more information. Payne is questionable with a toe injury. Keep an eye on his status.

    Collins played every snap in Week 4, and 52 of his 76 snaps were played in the box or on the defensive line. He earned seven total tackles, but he did miss three tackles attempts.

    Holcomb had eight total tackles and a forced fumble. He has 38 total tackles in four games. He is currently questionable with a shoulder injury. Please monitor his status.

    Tier Three

    Kamren Curl, S

    Curl recorded 60 of a possible 76 snaps, 37 of which he spent either at free safety or at cornerback. He managed five total tackles and now has 20 in four games. Curl's fantasy managers who hoped he would replace Collins as Washington's box safety have been found wanting, and I do sympathize.


    Jon Bostic, ILB (IR); Jamin Davis, ILB

    Unfortunately, Bostic will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a pectoral injury.

    There has been a couple of occasions when I've recommended a rookie as a start, based on a perceived increase in opportunity, only to be found wanting. I'm not going to do the same with Davis.

    The injury to Bostic affords Davis the chance to establish a role. Personally, I would rather be a week late if I had other options on my roster. As a Davis manager in multiple leagues, I hope I am wrong, but my hunch tells me to be patient just one more week.

    Patriots (1-3) at Texans (1-3)

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    Tier One

    Matt Judon, EDGE

    Judon has been every bit the player the Pats hoped for when they signed him. In Week 4 against the Bucs, he had six total tackles, five pressures, including a sack, a hit, and three hurries. He now has 19 total pressures and five sacks in just four games.

    Judon rushes from both the left and right edge. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil is marginally better than right tackle Marcus Cannon, but Judon is in such good form I favor him against either player.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Kyle Dugger, S; Adrian Phillips, S

    Dugger played 59 of a possible 77 snaps last weekend. 37 of Duggers' snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line. He tied Jonathan Jones with eight tackles to lead all Patriots defenders.

    Dugger is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Keep an eye on his status.

    Phillips played 66 snaps, 50 of which were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He has yet to record more than five tackles in a game this season. He is hanging onto tier three by a thin thread.


    Ja’Whaun Bentley, ILB; Dont’a Hightower, ILB; Josh Uche, EDGE

    Bentley was inactive in Week 4 with a shoulder injury. Monitor his status this week.

    It saddens me to drop Hightower to this tier. It has been many years since he was a tackling machine, but he at least buoyed his fantasy value with seven sacks last season. He has zero sacks and only four pressures so far this season.

    Uche played 30 of a possible 77 snaps and earned one tackle. It doesn't matter how promising a player is, it's almost impossible for them to remain fantasy-relevant when they aren't involved.


    Tier One

    Zach Cunningham, ILB.

    Cunningham returns to the lineup and should resume his role as a tackling machine. He has 28 tackles in three games and, "disciplinary reasons" aside, has barely missed a snap.

    Tier Two

    Christian Kirksey, ILB

    Logic dictated that Kirksey would produce in the absence of Zach Cunningham, but it was his quietest game of the season.

    Kirksey played 62 of 73 snaps and recorded five total tackles and a pass breakup. He did earn three pressures, but he did so on only four pass-rush snaps, a rate that isn't nearly sustainable.

    Tier Three

    Charles Omenihu, EDGE;

    Omenihu keeps threatening to produce and yet falling short. He has zero sacks but has 11 pressures on a limited snap share. He's a player who intrigues me but not usually enough to recommend as a start. It works in his favor that the Patriots offensive line is missing four starters this weekend.


    Kamu Grugier-Hill, ILB; Maliek Collins, IDL; Whitney Mercilus, EDGE.

    Grugier-Hill filled in for Cunningham in Q1 of Week 2 when Cunningham was held out for disciplinary reasons, and he replaced Cunningham again in Week 4. With Cunningham back, Grugier-Hill is a recommended sit again.

    Collins had a great PFF grade but unfortunately, it didn't translate to fantasy production. He had one tackle, and three pressures, including a QB hit, and two hurries.

    The Patriots offensive line is struggling with absences. Michael Onwenu and Isaiah Wynn remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Shaq Mason (abdomen) and Trent Brown (calf) are both out too. I've recommended sitting Collins and Mercilus this week but one of them could outperform this ranking.

    Dolphins (1-3) at Buccaneers (3-1)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Jerome Baker, ILB; Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE

    Ogbah has recorded three of his four highest career PFF grades in 2021. He only has 10 tackles in the first four games, but he has 17 total pressures, including two sacks.

    Ogbah faces Tristan Wirft in Week 5. Wirfs is already among the best right tackles in football and represents a difficult match-up for Ogbah.

    Baker played every down but recorded just four tackles, a QB hit, and a pass breakup against the Colts.

    Tier Three

    Christian Wilkins, IDL

    Wilkins played 41 of a possible 71 snaps. He had five solo tackles, including four stops. He had four total pressures, including two QB hits, and two hurries. Despite not recording his second sack in 2021, it was arguably his best game of the season so far.


    Jaelen Phillips, EDGE

    Phillips was productive in Week 4. He led all Dolphins with six total pressures. He had a sack, a QB hit, and four hurries. His PFF pass-rush grade was second only to Ogbah's among all Dolphins defenders.

    So why isn't he a recommended start? I hear you ask. He had only 29 snaps of a possible 71. I'm not dragging my heels. I just need to see him play a higher percentage of the snap share.


    Tier One

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

    White has been a slight disappointment for fantasy managers who likely drafted him as a top two or three linebacker. 28 tackles is not a poor number through four games, but it pales in comparison to his 2020 numbers.

    White does average 10 pass rush attempts per game and has 10 total pressures through four games, but has yet to record a sack after earning nine in 2020. Continue to start him in Week 5. He's extremely talented.

    David has been particularly good in coverage throughout his career, but he wasn't as good in that department in Week 4. He still recorded six tackles, a QB hit, and a batted pass. Continue to fire him up as a tier-one linebacker with confidence.

    Barrett led the Bucs in snaps and total pressures against the Pats. He registered two tackles, six total pressures, including a sack, a QB hit, and four hurries. He also added two pass breakups. Barrett now has two sacks in four games and 17 total pressures.

    Barrett faces Dolphins right tackle Liam Eichenberg this week. Eichenberg has allowed three sacks in the last two games.

    Tier Two

    Antoine Winfield, S

    Winfield had his best game of the season so far. He earned seven total tackles, four of which were stops. He added a forced fumble and recorded an interception.

    However, Winfield is listed as doubtful for this weekend with a concussion. Bruce Arians said it "Will be hard" for Winfield to clear protocols in time.

    Tier Three

    Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE. Jason Pierre-Paul, EDGE. Ndamukong Suh, IDL; Vita Vea, IDL.

    Tryon-Shoyinka played 50 of a possible 59 snaps in the absence of Jason Pierre-Paul. He was active as a pass rusher, earned four total pressures, including two sacks, and two QB hits. He did miss his two tackle attempts.

    JPP is currently listed as questionable but is expected to play according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.

    If JPP is fully healthy, he will be a tier-two EDGE player. But it's possible he doesn't see his usual snap share while he recovers from the shoulder injury. Tryon-Shoyinka may not represent a huge drop-off and may steal snaps.

    Suh played 43 snaps which led all Bucs IDL. He recorded no stats at all in a thoroughly disappointing performance, even for an IDL.

    Vea did fantasy managers no favors in Week 4 either. He recorded one QB hurry.

    All four of these players face a favorable match-up this week. The entire Dolphins offensive line has been extremely poor so far this season.



    Packers (3-1) at Bengals (3-1) Sunday

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    Tier One

    Kenny Clark, IDL

    Clark played 50 of a possible 60 snaps and earned three solo tackles, all three of which were stops. He also earned a QB hit. Clark is yet to earn his first sack of 2021 but ranks joint third among IDL with 15 pressures.

    Let those who don't rate pressures pick up and start players like three-sack B.J. Hill, while you play the sensible game and continue playing IDL studs like Clark.

    The interior of the Bengals' offensive line has been poor in pass protection. Clark has a favorable matchup.

    Tier Two

    Adrian Amos, S; Rashan Gary, EDGE; De’Vondre Campbell, ILB

    Amos played every down. 23 of his 60 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He registered five total tackles. Some big plays wouldn't go amiss.

    Gary led all of the Packers' edge rushers in snaps, with 38 of a possible 60. It still isn't the sort of numbers I want to see, but six sacks, three pressures, including a sack, a hit, and a hurry are the sort of numbers that make me happy.

    Gary's matchup isn't as good as Kenny Clark's. Both of the Bengals' tackles are reasonable pass blockers. Riley Reiff and Jonah Williams aren't unbeatable but have surrendered just three sacks between them this season.

    Campbell recorded eight total tackles, a pass breakup, and a QB hit in Week 4. He played every down and earned good PFF grades in all categories.

    Jaylon Smith has signed with the Packers. Campbell has been solid, but it's fair to wonder how the Packers' plans for Smith might affect Campbell.

    Tier Three

    Preston Smith, EDGE

    Smith was blanked by right tackle Joe Haeg of the Steelers in Week 4. It was a disappointing game for Smith, who only just remains in tier three because of the amount of pass rush snaps he plays, and by virtue of Za'Darius Smith's absence. But it's a short leash now.


    Darnell Savage, S; Jaylon Smith, ILB

    I said this of Savage in this tier last week:

    "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."

    The same rings true now. Savage played every snap in Week 4, played 87% of them as a free safety, recorded one tackle, and missed one more. Unless his role changes, I will be removing him entirely from any future start/sit articles.


    Tier One

    Vonn Bell, S

    Bell continues to play every down. 27 of his 56 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line. He only recorded five tackles in his lowest fantasy outing so far this season.

    Tier Two

    Logan Wilson, ILB; Trey Hendrickson, EDGE; Sam Hubbard, EDGE; Jessie Bates, S

    Wilson had nine tackles and a sack against the Jaguars in Week 4. He has been one of the biggest success stories of the young season so far and is making a strong case to become a tier-one starter in this article.

    Both Hendrickson and Hubbard face a nice matchup this week against the Packers' offensive tackles. Yosh Nijman has been filling in for Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner is the Packers' right tackle. They surrendered five pressures and a sack between them last week.

    Hendrickson recorded one tackle, and five QB hurries last weekend. He failed to record a sack, but this was his first in three games without taking down the quarterback. He has 20 pressures over four games.

    Hubbard did Hubbard-like things. He recorded good tackle numbers but didn't bring as much pressure as Hendrickson. Hubbard had six total tackles, and three QB hurries.

    Bates returned to practice this week.

    Tier Three

    Larry Ogunjobi, IDL; D.J. Reader, IDL

    Ogunjobi has been disappointing this season and has marginal value. He had three solo tackles against the Jags, all three of which were stops. He played just 36 of a possible 56 snaps.

    Ogunjobi is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Check back on his status before kick-off.

    Reader fared better. He also had three tackles but added three QB hurries, too. He played 41 of a possible 56 snaps.

    The interior of the Packers' offensive line is not particularly strong. Jon Runyan, Josh Myers and Royce Newman don't represent a particularly difficult match-up.


    Germaine Pratt, ILB; Akeem Davis-Gaither, ILB

    Pratt had his best game of the season in a nine-tackle effort. He also added a QB hurry. His snap share was the highest it has been all season, he played 44 of a possible 56 snaps. If he continues to perform on this level he could be a tier-three player. I have my doubts.

    ADG had 11 snaps. Not enough.

    Broncos (3-1) at Steelers (1-3) Sunday

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    Tier One

    Von Miller, EDGE.

    Joe Haeg stepped in to replace Chukwuma Okorafor at right tackle for the Steelers in Week 4. Okorafor has returned to practice this week.

    He may wish he waited another week before returning as he faces Von Miller this week, and Miller is on a tear. He has at least one sack in every game so far this season and has 17 pressures in total. Okorafor had a good game against the Bengals in Week 3 before his injury, but he is usually a subpar pass protector.

    Tier Two

    Justin Simmons, S. Alexander Johnson, ILB.

    I've been moaning about Simmons' lack of box snaps for weeks. Vic Fangio is obviously reading this article as he made amends last weekend! Simmons played 25 snaps in the box, almost equalling the combined box snaps in Weeks 1-3, and his tackle numbers improved immeasurably.

    Simmons had eight total tackles and two pass breakups. His fantasy managers will be hoping for more of the same going forward.

    Alexander Johnson had 10 total tackles, and four QB hurries last weekend. He rushed the passer 16 times, the most since Week 4 of the 2020 season. His fantasy output has improved since Jewell suffered his injury. It may just be a coincidence was they were co-starters, but it's worth noting.

    Tier Three

    Malik Reed, EDGE. Dre’Mont Jones, DI. Shelby Harris, DI. Kareem Jackson, S.

    Reed played 66 of a possible 72 snaps as he continues to fill in for Bradley Chubb. He had one tackle assist, a QB hit, and two hurries. He has had seven pressures in the last two games.

    Reed will face the Steelers' rookie left tackle Dan Moore more often than not. Moore hasn't been terrible for a rookie, but he has allowed 14 total pressures and two sacks. Reed could take advantage.

    Jones had 47 snaps and registered just one solo tackle. He was outplayed by Shelby Harris who played 39 snaps, had three solo tackles, had four total pressures, including a hit, and three hurries. Both players have marginal value for now.

    The interior of the Steelers offensive line has been reasonably good. They have collectively surrendered just two sacks in four games. Jones and Harris will face easier match-ups.

    Kareem Jackson led the team with 11 total tackles. He played every down. Only 12 of his 72 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.


    Caden Sterns, S. McTelvin Agim, DI. Justin Strnad, ILB.

    Sterns had two sacks. However, he managed this on three pass-rush attempts and only seven snaps in total. It's entirely possible that Sterns earns more snaps going forward, but don't be tempted to start him, please.

    Agim is listed here because he had a sack, and a batted pass. However, he did so on 17 total snaps and nine pass-rush attempts. These numbers don't come close to making him worth considering as a starter.

    Strnad had 58 snaps of a possible 72. Unfortunately, he managed just two solo tackles. Hopefully, he continues to get opportunities to show he can achieve better.


    Tier One

    Cam Heyward, DI. T.J. Watt, EDGE.

    Heyward had nine total tackles, a hit, and a hurry against the Packers in Week 4. He hasn't had a sack since Week 1, but he's playing well and his tackles numbers provide a decent fantasy floor.

    Left guard Dalton Risner, and center Lloyd Cushenberry are playing well in pass protection. Heyward will face easier match-ups.

    Watt played 61 of a possible 72 snaps. He had two tackles, a sack, and a hit. He will face right tackle, Bobby Massie. Massie has surrendered 15 pressures and two sacks in the last four games and is no match for Watt.

    Tier Two

    Melvin Ingram, EDGE. Devin Bush, ILB.

    Ingram led the Steelers with three total pressures, including two QB hits and a hurry. He also added a tackle. He played only 35 of a possible 72 snaps which are slightly concerning. I will watch his snap share closely this weekend.

    Bush played 65 snaps. He had four solo tackles, a sack, and a QB hit. He has only one game with solid tackle numbers this season but has been nursing a groin injury which kept him from playing in Week 2.

    Tier Three

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

    Schobert had eight total tackles. He played almost every down. While a tier separates Schobert and Bush, the gap in fantasy output is quite close.

    Edmunds played every down and had eight total tackles. He played in the box on 38 of his 72 snaps. He has 24 total tackles through four games.

    Highsmith played 40 of a possible 72 snaps, ranking second amongst edge rushers. He had four tackles and a QB hurry. Highsmith will face Garrett Bolles. Bolles had an excellent 2020 season in which he allowed zero sacks all season, but he has surrendered a sack in each of his last three games.

    Minkah played every down and had eight total tackles. 60 of his 72 snaps were spent in a free safety alignment.


    Chris Wormley, IDL.

    Wormley had a solid game. He had four solo tackles, three of which were stops. he also added two QB hurries a forced fumble. His PFF run grade was superb.

    Wormley has never been a consistent fantasy performer in his career. But he's also never played as often as he did against the Packers. His 56 snaps represent a career-high.

    It was just one game so I'm not getting carried away, the chances are it's an anomaly, but I'll keep an eye on him going forward.

    Eagles (1-3) at Panthers (3-1) Sunday

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    Tier One

    Javon Hargrave, IDL

    Hargrave didn't have his strongest game against the Chiefs, but he still managed to earn five tackles, and a sack. He has 19 total tackles, 12 total pressures, including four sacks this season. He becomes a low-end tier-one IDL this week.

    The interior of the Panthers' offensive line is poor in pass protection. Matt Paradis was once a good center but isn't the same player anymore. Right guard John Miller has given up 10 pressures in just the last two games. Hargrave could capitalize.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Fletcher Cox, IDL; Alex Singleton, LB; Eric Wilson, ILB

    Cox has looked poor this season. He has just five total tackles, and five pressures. He hasn't performed like an IDL worthy of even tier three this season. 2018 was his peak but at only 30 years old, this drop-off seems premature. Find younger and better talent if you can.

    Singleton has arguably recorded fantasy numbers worthy of a tier-two linebacker. He had nine total tackles against the Chiefs and has 40 total tackles this season.

    Eric Wilson had a tier-two worthy week last week, too. He had 10 total tackles, a QB hit, and an interception.

    Singleton and Wilson are both poor players and I'm struggling to justify promoting either of them while that remains the case. However, if this output continues, I will be forced to do so, particularly in Singleton's case.


    Josh Sweat, EDGE; Derek Barnett, EDGE; Anthony Harris, S

    Sweat has failed to distance himself from other Eagles edge rushers despite the loss of Brandon Graham. He led all Eagles edge rushers with 46 snaps but earned only two tackles and two QB hits.

    Barnett played 38 of a possible 67 snaps, had five total tackles, four pressures, including two QB hits, and two hurries. It's an indictment on his season so far that this was his most productive game as a pass rusher.

    Harris played every down but had just three total tackles. It was disappointing given he had produced 24 tackles in the two previous games.


    Tier One

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

    There were few bright spots on the Panthers' defense against the Cowboys.

    Burns recorded five total tackles, three QB hurries, and a batted pass.

    Reddick managed three tackles but had zero pressures. He was earning sacks at an unsustainable rate (6 sacks on 13 total pressures) but even so, it was still a disappointing drop-off.

    The Eagles' offensive line has been struggling with absences at offensive tackle. First, Jordan Mailata missed time with a knee injury, and now Lane Johnson will miss this game with a personal matter. Mailata practiced in a limited capacity so there is hope he can return.

    The concern about Chinn continues. He had seven solo tackles but missed three more attempts. His PFF grade was easily the lowest of his young career. 38 of his 60 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line, which gives us hope, but fantasy managers will be frustrated with his output so far.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Derrick Brown, IDL; Jermaine Carter, ILB

    Brown continued his slow start to the season against the Cowboys. He had two total tackles and a QB hurry. He now has just nine total tackles this season and four pressures. Brown remains in tier three as I believe he is better than this, and because there are so few fantasy-relevant IDLs.

    Carter gets a slight bump in value with Thompson out. He had just three tackles last weekend and missed three more, but someone has to step up in Thompson's absence and he is best placed to do so.


    Shaq Thompson, ILB (injury)

    Thompson suffered a foot injury and is expected to miss some time.

    Titans (2-2) at Jaguars (0-4)

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    Tier One

    Jeffery Simmons, IDL; Harold Landry, EDGE

    Simmons had four tackles, and three QB hurries. He didn't set the world alight but this is a reasonable output for an IDL. He has two sacks this season but none in his last two games.

    Left guard Andrew Norwell is the only Jaguars interior offensive lineman who is solid in pass protection. Simmons has a nice match-up.

    Landry more than deserves the promotion to tier one, he has been fantastic this season. He had six total tackles, including a sack, and four hurries against the Jets. The edge rusher now has 20 tackles and 25 total pressures in just four games.

    Neither Jawaan Taylor nor Cam Robinson is capable of containing Landry while he is in this form.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    David Long, ILB; Denico Autry, EDGE; Kevin Byard, S

    Long started ahead of Brown last weekend, and it doesn't appear this was solely due to Brown's lingering hamstring injury. He led all linebackers in snaps, missing only one down all game.

    Long only managed three tackles but seems to have the best fantasy outlook of any Titans ILB going forward.

    Autry had two solo tackles, three pressures, including a sack, and two QB hurries. He now has 17 total pressures, and three sacks this season and is making a push to become a low-end tier two starter. Like Landry above, Autry's match-up is a good one this week.

    Byard played every down and had six total tackles and a pass breakup. 23 of his 61 snaps were in the box.


    Jayon Brown, ILB (IR); Bud Dupree, EDGE (injury); Rashaan Evans, ILB.

    Brown is on IR with a knee injury.

    Dupree returned to practice this week but it out with a knee injuruy.. He can become a tier-three recommendation again, but he started slowly, doing very little in his first two games.

    Evans had six total tackles and a QB hurry. I could make a case for him to be a low-end tier-three starter. If he has a good outing against the Jags, I may move him up next week.


    Tier One

    Myles Jack, ILB

    As I said last week, Jack is in the lower-end of tier-one linebackers. He played every down against the Bengals last weekend, recorded six solo tackles and a QB hurry. He isn't playing particularly well and I may drop him a tier if his fantasy output begins to follow suit.

    Tier Two

    Josh Allen, EDGE; Rayshawn Jenkins, S

    Allen had a fast start to the season with sacks in each of his first two games, but he has none in his last two and had zero pressures last weekend.

    Allen faces Taylor Lewan this weekend. Lewan hasn't quite been himself so far this season so there is some reason for optimism with Allen.

    Jenkins played every down and 34 of his 58 snaps were spent in either a box role or on the defensive line. He had six total tackles.

    Tier Three

    Damien Wilson, ILB

    Wilson seems to have carved out a role for himself at ILB. He played 51 of a possible 58 snaps, and recorded seven total tackles. He has 16 tackles in his last two games.



    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Games

    Browns (3-1) at Chargers (3-1) Sunday PM

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    Tier One

    Myles Garrett, EDGE; Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE.

    Garrett dominated last weekend, as he does in most games. He had four total tackles, nine total pressures, including a sack, three QB hits, and five hurries. He's a beast.

    Rayshawn Slater has been very good so far this season, but Garrett is as good as they come.

    Garrett is dealing with knee and ankle soreness but is expected to play.

    Clowney deserves to be in this tier. He had no sacks last week but had seven QB hurries to bring his season total to 21. He has converted three of those pressures into sacks and has added nine tackles too.

    Brian Bulaga reprieved his role as the Chargers' right tackle after returning from injury last week, but he isn't the player he once was. Advantage Clowney.

    Clowney is listed as questionable with an elbow injury, so keep an eye on his status.

    Tier Two

    Malik Jackson, IDL. Anthony Walker, ILB.

    Jackson played 51 of 67 snaps against the Vikings. He two total tackles, five total pressures, including a QB hit, and four hurries. He also batted two passes.

    Chargers center Corey Linsley and right guard Oday Aboushi have played well in pass protection, left guard Matt Feiler has not. Feiler surrendered two sacks last week.

    Walker returns this weekend and should regain his starting spot. He started fast with 10 total tackles in Week 1, so should be a solid start this week. When asked about Walker's chances of starting this week, Kevin Stefanski said "Yeah, he has looked good".

    Tier Three

    Malik McDowell, IDL.

    McDowell played 44 of a possible 67 snaps last week. He had two total tackles, four total pressures, including two QB hits, and two hurries. He missed his third tackle in three games which doesn't sound like a lot, but he has only attempted six in that same span.


    John Johnson, S; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB; Takk McKinley, EDGE; Grant Delpit, S

    JOK's snap share is improving each week. Hopefully, the trend continues. He had 35 of a possible 67 snaps last weekend. He produced 7 total tackles and a QB hurry.

    Johnson played every down but continues to be worthless in fantasy terms.

    McKinley registered a sack, and two QB hurries. There are better and more reliable options out there.

    Delpit played 65 snaps, almost every down. He was in the box or on the defensive line on 28 of those snaps but recorded just one tackle.


    Tier One

    Joey Bosa, EDGE; Derwin James, S.

    Bosa continues to show how dominant he is. He had seven total pressures, including a sack, a hit, and five hurries against the Raiders. He also added a forced fumble.

    Bosa faces a difficult match-up in Jack Conklin. Conklin is a solid player but hasn't been as consistent as he normally is. He is also Bosa could take advantage.

    James sealed the Chargers victory with an interception on Monday night football. He added five tackles. He was on the field for every down. James spent 20 of those snaps either in the box or on the defensive line.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Drue Tranquill, ILB; Kyzir White, ILB; Jerry Tillery, IDL

    In the absence of Murray, Tranquill played 51 snaps, White played 44.

    Tranquill had five total tackles, three total pressures, including a hit, and a hurry. White had four total tackles, including a hurry.

    Tillery had three total tackles, a sack, and a hurry against the Raiders. He played 48 snaps.


    Kenneth Murray, ILB (IR)

    Murray is on IR so is an obvious sit this week. He was already beginning to trend in the wrong direction in terms of snap share.

    Bears (2-2) at Raiders (3-1)

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    Renfrow? An offensive player as the feature pic for the Raiders? Yep. He made one of the best tackles in the game on MNF.


    Tier One

    Khalil Mack, EDGE; Roquan Smith, ILB

    Mack sat out practice on Wednesday with rib and foot injuries and is listed as questionable. Monitor his status as we approach the weekend. When healthy, Mack is an easy tier-one edge rusher.

    He didn't even play half the available snaps due to the aforementioned foot injury. But he still earned five pressures, including a sack, and four hurries.

    If he plays, Mack has a great matchup against the Raiders Alex Leatherwood.

    Smith played every down, recorded nine total tackles, a sack, and a QB hurry. He did miss two tackle attempts but we'll forgive that.

    Tier Two

    Akiem Hicks, IDL; Robert Quinn, EDGE

    Hicks injured his groin on the Lions' first play last weekend. He missed practice this week. Monitor his status and start him if he's healthy. He is currently listed as doubtful.

    Quinn has had a career revival so far this season. He had four solo tackles, five pressures, including a sack, a hit, and three hurries. Quinn also forced a fumble. He now has four sacks in the last three games.

    Quinn faces Kolton Miller who is by far the better of two Raiders offensive tackles. Miller represents quite a difficult match-up for Quinn.

    Tier Three

    Eddie Jackson, S

    I was tempted to sit Jackson this weekend. He has been quite disappointing as both an NFL player and a fantasy option so far. He played every down but recorded just two total tackles. 21 of his 71 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line.


    Bilal Nichols, IDL

    Nichols isn't quite producing at the level where I would recommend starting him, even as a tier-three player. Three total tackles, a QB hit, and a hurry just doesn't quite cut it, and is fairly typical of his output so far this season.


    Tier One

    Maxx Crosby, EDGE

    Crosby's fantasy managers may feel disappointed by his last three outings, especially after he got off to such a fast start in Week 1. Please be patient, he is generating plenty of pressure each week and the sacks will almost certainly follow. He is playing at an elite level.

    Germain Ifedi is not a terrible tackle, but he's not great either. It's a middling match-up for Crosby this week.

    Tier Two

    Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE; Cory Littleton, ILB; Denzel Perryman, ILB; Jonathan Abram, S

    Ngakoue had a tackle, two hits, and a hurry against the Chargers. Jason Peters has surrendered two sacks this season, but only five pressures. He is a challenging match-up for Ngakoue.

    Littleton played almost every down, had 11 tackles, and a hurry.

    Perryman is a limited player but had 14 total tackles on Monday night. He's second in the NFL in tackles.

    Abram drops a tier. He played every down, 43 of his 76 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He had seven total tackles.

    Tier Three



    Darius Philon, IDL

    I mention Philon because he had two sacks against the Chargers. He achieved this on just 26 snaps, and 18 pass-rush snaps. It is very efficient, but he won't maintain this finishing rate. Don't start him.

    49ers (2-2) at Cardinals (4-0)

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    Tier One

    Nick Bosa, EDGE; Fred Warner, ILB

    Bosa led the team with five pressures, including a sack, two hits, and two hurries. He also added two tackle assists.

    Bosa's match-up with D.J Humphries will be a good battle to watch. Humphries is a solid tackle, but Bosa is on top of his game.

    Warner played every snap and had eight total tackles. He has faced some criticism for some of his play from certain quarters, but he remains an easy tier-one linebacker for me.

    Tier Two

    Javon Kinlaw, IDL; Arik Armstead, EDGE

    Kinlaw played 31 of 56 snaps, recorded two total tackles, a sack, and a hit. Hopefully, this is the start of a run of form. He didn't start the season in the most productive of fashions.

    Kinlaw is questionable with a knee injury so monitor his status.

    All three players on the interior of the Cardinals offensive line are playing well, with perhaps the exception of Josh Jones.

    Armstead had four total tackles, and zero pressures last weekend. After registering 15 total pressures in the first two games, he has just one in the two games since.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB; Jaquiski Tartt, S

    Al-Shaair played every down and had 10 total tackles. He remains a solid plug-in, especially for Dre Greenlaw fantasy managers.

    Tartt also played every down and had six total tackles. 16 of his 56 snaps were in the box or on the defensive line.


    Dee Ford, EDGE

    Ford is a frustrating fantasy play. He is playing very little, only 12 snaps and eight pass rush snaps last week, but he's producing, with two sacks, a tackle, and a forced fumble. I would advise not starting such a player until he plays more, much more than this.


    Tier One

    Chandler Jones, EDGE; Budda Baker, S

    Jones had 61 snaps and generated just one QB hit. He has zero sacks in the three games since his five sack performance in Week 1. He has also generated just eight total pressures in Weeks 2-4. We need, and expect, more.

    Trent Williams represents a difficult match-up for Jones this week. However, Williams did not practice with a shoulder injury on Thursday.

    Baker played every snap and had seven total tackles. He's an easy tier-one safety.

    Tier Two

    Isaiah Simmons, ILB; J.J.Watt, EDGE

    Simmons played almost every snap and had six tackles. He has been a bit up and down, but has 28 tackles through four games. He has also chipped in with some splashy plays to help boost his value.

    Watt didn't record a sack last weekend, but he did lead the team in pressure, and that bodes well. He had five total pressures, including two hits, three hurries, and a tackle.

    Tier Three

    Markus Golden, EDGE; Jordan Hicks, ILB; Jalen Thompson, S

    Golden played 48 snaps, had two tackles, a hit, three hurries, and he forced fumble. He remains active as a pass rusher with nine pressures, and a sack, in his last two games.

    Hicks played every down and had seven solo tackles.

    Thompson had 10 total tackles to bring his tally for the season to 27. Solid numbers.


    Zaven Collins, ILB; Zach Allen, IDL

    Collins played just four snaps. Boo!

    Allen played only 29 snaps. Sit him unless his snap share increases.

    Giants (1-3) at Cowboys (3-1)

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    Tier One

    Leonard Williams, IDL

    Williams had six total tackles and two hurries. The tackles provide a nice floor but we hope to see the pressures and sack numbers increase.

    That might be difficult against this Cowboys offensive line. Cowboys guards Zack Martin and Connor McGovern are playing very well. Center Tyler Biadasz is not so there is some hope for Williams.

    Williams didn't practice with a knee injury on Wednesday. Monitor his status.

    Tier Two

    Dexter Lawrence, IDL

    Lawrence had seven tackles and a QB hurry. Like Williams, the tackles help maintain his value even though he isn't registering much by way of sacks.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE; Logan Ryan, S; Tae Crowder, ILB

    Ojulari played 37 of a possible 68 snaps. He had four total tackles and two hurries. Tyron Smith and La'el Collins will be difficult match-ups for him this week.

    19 of Ryan's 68 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He managed eight total tackles and a pass breakup. He has at least seven tackles in every game this season.

    Crowder played every down. He had nine total tackles and a QB hurry. He did miss three more tackle attempts.

    Both Ryan and Crowder are nearer the top end of tier three.


    Lorenzo Carter, EDGE; Jabrill Peppers, S (injury); Xavier McKinney, S

    Carter continues to do little with his opportunities. Seven pressures and zero sacks on 93 pass-rush snaps.

    Peppers played only 19 snaps. He is out this week with a hamstring injury.

    McKinney continues to play every down. He has six tackles and has 18 tackles on the season.


    Tier One

    Micah Parsons, ILB/EDGE

    Parsons played almost every down, had three total tackles, a sack, and a hurry.

    The Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas is playing very well but didn't practice on Thursday with a foot injury. Right tackle Nate Solder is playing poorly in pass protection. Parsons moves around and could take advantage of Solder's poor form, and Thomas' injury or replacement.

    Tier Two

    Leighton Vander Esch, ILB; Osa Odighizuwa, IDL; Jayron Kearse, S; Randy Gregory, EDGE; Keanu Neal, ILB.

    LVE and Neal benefit from Jaylon Smith's departure. Quite how it plays out remains to be seen.

    LVE played 40 snaps last week and had five total tackles. Neal is expected to return to the lineup this weekend.

    Odighizuwa now has 15 pressures, including three sacks, in the first four games of his career. He only has five tackles but is playing at a shallow position in fantasy terms, so he scrapes into tier two this week. Way to go rookie!

    Gregory had a nice game last weekend. He only had one tackle, but he had four pressures, including two sacks, and two hits. Gregory is listed as questionable with a knee injury but is expected to play.

    Kearse had five tackles and a QB hit. 37 of his 67 snaps were spent either in the box or on the defensive line.

    Tier Three




    Sunday Night Football

    Bills (3-1) at Chiefs (2-2)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Matt Milano, ILB

    Milano is day-to-day with a hamstring injury suffered during the game against the Texans. He didn't practice on Wednesday. Monitor his status closely before inserting him into your lineup.

    Tier Three

    Tremaine Edmunds, ILB

    Edmunds is a tier two linebacker if Milano can't go. Edmunds played 34 of a possible 47 snaps, had six total tackles, and an interception last weekend.


    Jordan Poyer, S (injury). Micah Hyde, S.; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE; All defensive linemen.

    Poyer was limited in practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury. If he plays he is a tier one safety.

    Rousseau played just 18 snaps last weekend. He is talented and has flashed at times, but you can't start a player who plays so little. Rousseau did not practice on Wednesday with a toe injury.

    Hyde had just one tackle against the Texans. He will have better weeks most weeks, but I doubt his ability to be a consistent fantasy performer.

    The Bills have a talented defensive line, but they rotate them a hell of a lot. Each will appear in the sack column at times, but probably not the same player with any regularity. It's a shame for us fantasy managers but it's just the way it is.


    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Chris Jones, EDGE; Tyrann Mathieu, S; Anthony Hitchens, ILB

    Jones had seven pressures, including a QB hit, and six hurries. None of the Bills' offensive tackles are playing well enough in pass protection to contain Jones, or at least that is the theory.

    Mathieu had five tackles, two hurries, and he batted a pass. He played every down.

    Hitchens had five tackles and a QB hit. He led all Chiefs linebackers with 49 snaps of a possible 74.

    Tier Three

    Nick Bolton, ILB; Michael Danna, EDGE; Daniel Sorensen, S

    Bolton played only 37 of a possible 74 snaps. Ben Niemann played more snaps with 43. If this continues, Bolton could drop to the sit column.

    Danna has had two consecutive weeks as a productive pass-rusher. He had five pressures, and two sacks last weekend. He also had four pressures and a sack in Week 3. Danna played 55 snaps against the Eagles, which is encouraging.

    Sorensen had nine tackles and a QB hurry against the Eagles. He played almost every down.


    Juan Thornhill, S; Derrick Nnadi, IDL

    Thornhill played only 31 snaps. He is some way behind Mathieu and Sorensen in the pecking order.

    I mention Nnadi as he had a sack. Don't pick him up, don't start him. He played only 22 snaps.

    Monday Night Football

    Colts (1-3) at Ravens (3-1)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    DeForest Buckner, IDL; Darius Leonard, ILB

    Leonard had eight tackles and two QB hurries against Miami. He played every down. The ankle pain remains a concern but for the time being, he is still producing.

    Buckner had two tackles and three QB hurries. It was a quiet game for him, but this happens for IDL at times. In Ronnie Stanley's absence, the only Ravens offensive lineman who has acquitted himself well is center Bradley Bozeman.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Bobby Okereke, ILB

    Okereke had eight total tackles, a pass breakup, and a QB hurry. He played very well compared to his previous games.


    Kemoko Turay, EDGE; Khari Willis, S (injury); Kwity Paye, EDGE (injury)

    Turay had two sacks which were great to see, but he played less than half the available snaps. If his snap share increases, he will rise on this list. Arguably he deserves more opportunities going forward.

    If Willis is playing, he's a tier two Safety. He was listed as questionable on Tuesday. Monitor his status.

    Paye is out with a hamstring injury.


    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Patrick Queen, ILB; Chuck Clark, S; Calais Campbell, IDL

    Queen played 57 of a possible 61 snaps against the Broncos. He had four tackles and missed three more. He has played poorly the last three games and desperately needs a bounceback game.

    Clark tied for a team-leading six tackles last weekend. He also added a QB hurry. Only 15 of his 61 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.

    Campbell played 42 of 61 snaps. He had five tackles and seven pressures but didn't convert any of those pressures into a sack. He looks like his old self in the last two games. At a shallow position, I'm willing to gamble on him as a low-end tier two IDL this weekend.

    Tier Three

    Odafe Oweh, EDGE; DeShon Elliott, S; Tyus Bowser, ILB/EDGE

    Oweh had four total pressures and a sack against the Broncos. Considering the difficulty of the match-up it was a good performance.

    Elliott missed the game with a quad injury. If he returns, he becomes a tier-three starter at safety.

    Bowser had six pressures, including two sacks, and four hurries last weekend. His 44 snaps led all Ravens' edge rushers.



    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 5 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 5 Start/Sit list for IDP! 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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