• The IDP Guys’ NFL Week 7 Start/Sit List: IDP

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    It's Thursday, so it's time for another IDPGuys' NFL Week 7 Start/Sit article.

    The NFL Week 7 Start/Sit article will be a bit deeper than usual. Six teams are on a bye, more than any other week of the season. This will mean I may suggest you start certain fringe players who wouldn't ordinarily make the cut.

    Table of Contents

    Article Key
    Thursday Night Football

    Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns
    Sunday Early Afternoon Games
    Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
    New York Jets at New England Patriots
    Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
    Washington Football Team at Green Bay Packers
    Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins
    Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Games
    Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams
    Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
    Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals
    Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Sunday Night Football
    Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers
    Monday Night Football
    New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks


    In the first few weeks of the season, I had a list of disclaimers here that explained how my advice is only a suggestion, how your team is your responsibility, and that I will get things wrong. It got too wordy, and I think most reasonable people understand all of this by now. I'm not going to include all that in my NFL Week 6 Start/Sit IDP article.

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

    Article Key

    Tier One Starts

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

    Tier Two Starts

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

    Tier Three Starts

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


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

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

    No Cornerbacks?

    Johnny writes a separate article for CBs that drops on Fridays, so keep an eye out for that tomorrow!

    True Position Designations

    In some IDP leagues, certain positions are grouped in a suboptimal way, primarily because of outdated interpretations of what players at each position do. Many IDP leagues are turning towards True Position 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 NFL Week 6 Start/Sit IDP 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 fun part of the NFL Week 7 Start/Sit IDP article.

    Thursday Night Football

    Denver Broncos (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (3-3)

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    Tier One

    Von Miller, EDGE.

    Miller had one of the best matchups of Week 6 facing the Raiders Brandon Parker. Parker recently supplanted the struggling Alex Leatherwood at right tackle.

    Unfortunately, Miller failed to take full advantage, recording his second consecutive game without a sack. But he was productive as a pass rusher, matching his season-high of six total pressures.

    The Browns were without Jack Conklin against the Cardinals last weekend as Conklin was struggling with a knee injury. Conklin is expected to be out again:

    Rookie James Hudson is expected to play in Conklin's place again. Miller has made no secret of how he thinks he will have a big game irrespective of who he goes up again. With no Conklin and no Baker Mayfield, I don't disagree with Miller's assessment.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Justin Simmons, S; Malik Reed, EDGE; Kareem Jackson, S; Justin Strnad, ILB; Micah Kiser, ILB.

    I've moved Simmons down a tier. He had four total tackles against the Raiders and now has just 26 tackles in six games - an average of fewer than five tackles per game. He belongs near the top of this tier and could bounce back.

    Simmons has lost none of the ability that made him a good fantasy safety in previous years. His usage could be a factor. In 2019 he averaged 23.1 box snaps per game. Last season he averaged 19.9. This season he averages 12.7.

    Reed faced Kolton Miller more often than not in the Raiders game. I said it would be a tough challenge for Reed, and it proved as such. Miller had his third consecutive game of allowing just one pressure. Reed recorded just two pressures and a tackle.

    If Jedrick Wills recovers from his ankle injury, he will prove to be a difficult matchup for Reed. If Wills misses time, Willis' stand-in Blake Hance will pose an easier challenge.

    Jackson had a sack and five solo tackles in Week 6. He missed just one defensive snap. He now has 34 total tackles this season.

    Strnad played 44 of a possible 55 snaps. His snap share is likely to increase after the unfortunate pectoral injury Alexander Johnson suffered. Strnad has yet to have a game to excite his fantasy managers, but he will have every opportunity to improve his fantasy production going forward.

    Kiser may lack the ability to be a consistent fantasy starter, but he suddenly has the opportunity. This Broncos scheme has typically delivered two fantasy-relevant ILBs.


    Nobody you're considering starting. 


    Tier One

    Myles Garrett, EDGE; Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE.

    Garrett led the Browns in total pressures against the Cards with five, including one sack and four hurries. With 35 pressures and nine sacks in just six games, he has only enhanced his reputation as arguably the no.1 edge rusher in fantasy.

    Garrett faces Garrett Bolles in Week 7. Bolles had an all-pro season in 2020, allowing zero sacks and only 13 pressures all season. So far in 2021, Bolles has allowed four sacks and 11 pressures.

    In defense of Bolles, three of the four sacks he allowed were the only pressure he surrendered in those games. It isn't like he is being consistently beaten. Nonetheless, Garrett will be the best player he has faced this season.

    Clowney had four total pressures and earned his fourth sack of the season. Like Bolles, Broncos' right tackle Bobby Massie has allowed four sacks this season but has also surrendered almost double the pressures with 20. Maxx Crosby had the better of Massie last season, Clowney can do the same.

    Tier Two

    Malik Jackson, IDL; Anthony Walker, ILB.

    Jackson had a tackle, and three QB hurries. He has only one sack this season but he has 18 pressures, the 10th most among all IDLs. Bear with him.

    Broncos center, Lloyd Cushenberry allowed six pressures, including two sacks against the Raiders. Right guard Graham Glasgow allowed five pressures and a sack. Jackson has a decent matchup here.

    Walker was second in snaps to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah again. But JOK's injury makes Walker the Broncos linebacker to own once again, for now at least.

    Walker generated 10 total tackles and added a pass breakup in Week 6.

    Tier Three



    Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB (IR); Malik McDowell, IDL.

    JOK is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain he suffered near the end of the game on Sunday. No injury is well-timed, but the timing of this injury is particularly unfortunate. JOK was gathering momentum and for the second consecutive week, he led all Browns linebackers in snaps.

    JOK was second in total tackles with eight but did miss three tackle attempts. He added a batted pass too. Walker will have to play well to hold off JOK when JOK returns from injury.

    McDowell has dropped off a little in recent games. He has just one pressure in the last two games. There are more reliable IDLs in fantasy.

    Sunday Early Afternoon Slate

    Carolina Panthers (3-3) at New York Giants (1-5)

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    Tier One

    Brian Burns, EDGE; Haason Reddick, EDGE;

    Burns hasn't done too much for fantasy managers lately. He started fast with three sacks in his first three games but has zero sacks in his last three. Brian O'Neill was always going to pose a difficult challenge, but Burns also faced Christian Darrisaw and didn't take advantage of the rookie.

    Burns didn't have a stinker. He had a season-high seven tackles, six of which were stops. He also added two pressures. For the sake of context, I should point out that the Panthers played a whopping 89 defensive snaps.

    Like Burns, Reddick also recorded a season-high of seven tackles. However, Reddick recorded zero pressures. He has eight sacks this season but only has 15 pressures. It is unlikely he maintains this pressure to sacks ratio, it is likely his sack rate regresses.

    Left tackle Andrew Thomas returned for the Giants in Week 6 but left with an ankle injury (a different one this time) and is now on IR. Thomas had taken a big step forward this season and he will be missed.

    Right tackle Nate Solder may move to the left and Matt Peart may start at right tackle. Solder has had a poor start to the season, Peart has allowed two sacks in two and half games. Burns and Haason Reddick can have success against this makeshift offensive line.

    Tier Two

    Jeremy Chinn, S.

    It would seem unfathomable to some that Chinn could be anything but a tier-one safety this season, but here we are. Chinn had seven total tackles and a pass breakup against the Vikings. He now has just 28 tackles and two pass breakups this season.

    There is cause for optimism. Chinn played in the box on 58 of a possible 89 defensive snaps in Week 6. No Safety in the NFL has played a higher percentage of their snaps in the box and/or on the defensive line this season (minimum 100 snaps).

    Tier Three

    Jermaine Carter, ILB.

    Carter didn't deliver in Shaq Thompson's absence in Week 5, but he did in Week 6. Carter led the team with 10 tackles, seven of which were stops. He could have had more but he missed three tackle attempts. He also added a QB hurry.

    Shaq Thompson is questionable with a foot injury. If Thompson plays, Carter has marginal value. If Thompson misses the game, Carter is a borderline tier two linebacker. Monitor Thompson's status before starting Carter.


    Derrick Brown, IDL.

    Brown has the talent to be a starting IDL in fantasy, but he has done nothing this season. He averages just over two tackles and one pressure per game. I had high hopes for him before the season but I'm resigned to suggesting you sit him until he shows why he was drafted seventh overall in the 2020 draft.

    Brown played just 47 of a possible 89 snaps. It is a concerning development that DaQuan Jones played more snaps than Brown for the first time this season.


    Tier One

    Leonard Williams, IDL.

    Williams had six tackles, and three pressures, including two sacks, and a hurry. He now has 29 total tackles, 16 pressures, including four sacks so far this season.

    He is a bit of a cheat code in that he plays more defensive end than many of the IDLs listed in this article. If he has DT or DI eligibility in your league, he has nice value.

    The interior of the Panthers' offensive line is nothing special. Matt Paradis hasn't been the same player since he left the Broncos in 2019. Right guard John Miller has allowed 18 pressures in five games. Left guard Dennis Daley is not great either. Williams and Dexter Lawrence have a nice matchup here.

    Tier Two

    Dexter Lawrence, IDL; Logan Ryan, S; Tae Crowder, ILB.

    Lawrence played 42 snaps to Williams 53. Lawrence had six total tackles, two total pressures, including a sack, and a hurry against the Rams.

    He now has 18 total tackles, and 14 total pressures, including a sack. Not gaudy numbers, but decent for an IDL.

    See Williams' notes above for information on Lawrence's matchup.

    Ryan played 53 of a possible 67 snaps against the Rams. He had seven total tackles and a pass breakup. 

    Ryan has been the model of consistency - he is yet to record fewer than seven total tackles in a single game. He now has 47 total tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and three pass breakups this season.

    The injury to Blake Martinez afforded Crowder the opportunity to step into a more prominent role. He now has 32 tackles in the last four games.

    I have my reservations about Crowder's ability as an NFL player, but while he continues to play almost every down, we have to acknowledge his relevance in fantasy.

    Crowder is questionable for this game with a thigh injury. Bernardrick McKinney has been elevated from the practice squad and may start in Crowder's place. Monitor this situation carefully.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE; Reggie Ragland, ILB; Jabrill Peppers, S.

    Ojulari has faced the typical ups and downs that you expect from a rookie. He started with three sacks in his first three games and even led the entire NFL in PFF pass-rush grade in Week 3, but has been underwhelming since.

    Ojulari hasn't generated any pressure in the last two games and is a very risky starter. He remains here this week largely because of the dearth of options given the number of bye weeks in Week 7. Taylor Moton will be a difficult matchup.

    Ragland had six total tackles and a pass breakup last weekend. Since inheriting a starting role in Week 4, he has 21 total tackles in three games. There are worse tier-three linebackers to start as bye week replacements in Week 7. If Crowder cannot play due to his injury, Ragland's value is elevated.

    Peppers returned from injury to play 53 of a possible 67 snaps. He spent 29 snaps in the slot, 8 at cornerback, and 16 either in the box or on the defensive line. He turned that into nine total tackles and a QB hit.


    Lorenzo Carter, EDGE; Xavier McKinney, S.

    Carter led the Giants edge rushers in snaps against the Rams. He has played 134 snaps this season and has generated just seven total pressures and zero sacks.

    McKinney had two interceptions and will probably be a popular waiver wire target as a result. But interceptions aren't sticky.

    I'm not saying he isn't talented. But there are very few fantasy-relevant safeties who play as deep, as often as McKinney does. He has three or fewer tackles in half the games he has played this season.

    New York Jets (1-4) at New England Patriots (2-4)

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    Tier One

    Quinnen Williams, IDL; John Franklin-Myers, EDGE.

    Quinnen Williams ranks 13th in total pressures at the IDL position despite having a bye in Week 6. He now has 14 tackles, 17 total pressures, including four sacks this season.

    Franklin-Myers is 17th in total pressures at the edge position despite also having a bye in Week 6. He now has 21 pressures, including three sacks. His tackle numbers are not stellar, but the likelihood is that you didn't invest a huge amount to acquire him in IDP fantasy leagues.

    The Patriots' offensive line has really struggled with absences in recent weeks. James Ferentz, David Andrews, and Ted Karras were the starting trio of interior players in Week 6. Andrews has been decent at times. Karras has played well when called upon. Ferentz - not so much.

    Four different players saw time at offensive tackle for the Patriots last weekend. Isaiah Wynn should reclaim his role at the left tackle spot. Michael Onwenu could continue in his new role at right tackle. Belichick said, "I thought he gave us great effort" when talking of Onwenu's performance there in Week 6.

    Tier Two

    Quincy Williams, ILB;

    Quincy Williams had seven solo tackles and two forced fumbles in Week 5. He has been productive in three consecutive games and is playing almost every down. He has 29 tackles, a sack, and three forced fumbles in four games since becoming the starter in Week 2.

    This ILB situation at the Jets is likely to change on a weekly basis. Jarrad Davis is still on I.R. but is apparently nearing a return. C.J. Mosley is doubtful with a hamstring injury and the decision on him will go "down to the wire" according to Robert Salah.

    Tier Three

    Bryce Huff, EDGE.

    Huff played 53 of a possible 78 snaps in London, had three total tackles and two total pressures. It was a sobering performance for fantasy managers still high on his three-sack performance against the Titans in Week 4.

    Huff now has 13 pressures and four sacks this season. Huff will face Wynn more often than not, assuming Wynn reclaims the left tackle role. It isn't an easy matchup. Still, Huff probably belongs in the upper end of tier three edge starters this weekend, given the number of byes in Week 7.


    C.J. Mosley, ILB; Folorunso Fatukasi, IDL; Jamien Sherwood, ILB; Ashtyn Davis, S; Marcus Maye, S.

    Mosley is doubtful with a hamstring injury.

    Fatukasi records a reasonable amount of tackles for an IDL but offers very little as a pass rusher. He has only five pressures this season.

    Sherwood usually doesn't play enough snaps to be productive. He played a season-high 34 in Week 5, but that represented less than half of the 78 defensive snaps available. If Mosley is absent, and if Jarrad Davis is absent this weekend as expected, Sherwood could arguably be a fringe tier-three starting ILB.

    Like Sherwood, Davis just isn't playing enough to be productive in fantasy. He played 37 snaps in Week 5. There is too much competition at safety for any of them to be worth starting right now.

    Maye returned to practice on Wednesday but is still listed as questionable. Monitor his status. If he plays, and even if he is not fully healthy, he could still be a tier-three safety given the depleted pool of available players in Week 7.


    Tier One

    Matt Judon, EDGE.

    Judon led the Pats with six total pressures last weekend. Sadly for fantasy managers, none of those pressures were sacks. Judon did add five total tackles.

    He now has 28 pressures, seventh among edge rushers. He has seven sacks.

    Judon will go up against Jets right tackle Morgan Moses a lot in Week 7. Moses allowed six pressures against the derisory pass rush of the Falcons in Week 6 and has allowed 16 pressures in the last four games. This is a good matchup for Judon.

    Tier Two

    Kyle Dugger, S.

    Dugger has emerged as a good option at safety in the last three games. He has 26 games over that span and added an interception against the Cowboys.

    Dugger played 80 of a possible 89 snaps last weekend. 46 of those were in the box or on the defensive line. He played in the slot more than usual even accounting for the increase in team defensive snaps compared with other weeks.

    Tier Three

    Adrian Phillips, S; Christian Barmore, IDL.

    Phillips played 67 snaps. A whopping 49 of those snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line. He had five total tackles and missed two tackle attempts.

    Barmore has had a good start to his career. He is 21st in total pressure at the IDL position. His run defense hasn't been great, but if he continues to generate pressure at this rate then he justifies being a low-end tier-three IDL at a shallow position, especially in a week riddled with byes.

    Rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker is the top-ranked guard in the last two weeks combined, according to PFF. Kudos, young man. Center Connor McGovern has been up and down. Right guard Greg Van Roten has been poor. It's a bit of a middling matchup for Barmore.


    Ja'Whaun Bentley, ILB; Devin McCourty, S.

    Bentley might be the most productive player from Week 6 to be a recommended sit this week. He had 13 total tackles, a forced fumble, and a QB hurry.

    Bentley is not a starter as he played just 40 snaps of a possible 89. He also played just 37 of a possible 59 in Week 5. This isn't a recipe for continued success but start him if you must in Week 7. There are much poorer sit candidates at ILB in this article.

    I've always appreciated McCourty's ability. I think he's been an underrated player for much of his career. He hasn't been featured here until this IDPGuys' NFL Week 7 Start/Sit article because I don't think he is as fantasy relevant since 2020.

    McCourty has 25 tackles, an interception, and two pass breakups in six games.

    Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-2)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Chris Jones, EDGE; Tyrann Mathieu, S; Nick Bolton, ILB.

    Jones is listed as questionable for the game against the Titans. He has missed the last two games. When healthy, he is a difference-maker.

    There have been unconfirmed reports that he could play this weekend, and that he could return to play as an IDL. Monitor for any official updates on either point.

    Mathieu had five total tackles, and two hurries last weekend. He hasn't had a big game since Week 1 and his tackle numbers aren't stellar. He is beginning to slide down my rankings but not my tiers, yet. He's a low-end tier two safety.

    Bolton has led the Chiefs in tackles in each of the last two games despite playing just 75% of snaps in Week 5, and just 66% in Week 6. He had nine solo tackles against Washington in Week 6.

    Hitchen's absence in Week 7 makes Bolton an attractive option at ILB.

    Tier Three

    Ben Niemann, ILB; Frank Clark, EDGE;

    It was Niemann who replaced Hitchens last weekend. Niemann's snap numbers increased from 15 in Week 5 to 43 in Week 6. He didn't play particularly well and if Hitchens has to miss extended time, Willie Gay has a chance to challenge Niemann.

    Clark has led the Chiefs in snaps at the edge position in the last two games. He has nine pressures over that span. He has yet to register a sack but he does have marginal value as an edge rusher while he is earning this volume of pressure.

    The Titans are struggling at offensive tackle. My thoughts are with Taylor Lewan after the injury he suffered last weekend, and it is encouraging to hear he is making progress in his recovery from what appears to be a concussion.

    Clark will face a combination of David Quessenberry, who has been inconsistent at best, and Kendall Lamm assuming Lewan misses the game. It is a good matchup for Clark.


    Anthony Hitchens, ILB (injury); Willie Gay, ILB; Daniel Sorensen, S; Juan Thornhill, S; Michael Danna, EDGE.

    Hitchens is out for Week 7. Willie Gay could play ahead of Niemann, but it was Niemann who the Chiefs trusted after Hitchen's injury last weekend.

    Gay had some preseason hype but unfortunately suffered a toe injury. He returned for Weeks 5 and 6 but only played 25 and 18 snaps in both games. As mentioned above, if Hitchens has to miss extended time, Willie Gay has a chance to challenge for more snaps. But he seemingly has to overtake Niemann first.

    I mentioned last week that Sorensen led the NFL in missed tackles. That appears to have cost him his job, the Chiefs replaced Sorensen with Thornhill last weekend.

    Thornhill played every down and played well. But he only had three tackles.

    Thornhill may have taken Sorensen's starting spot, but he hasn't assumed the same role. Sorensen has played 49% of his snaps in the box or on the defensive line this season. Thornhill played 88% of his snaps at free safety or in the slot. If this continues he may not deliver consistently high tackle numbers.

    Danna delivered in an expanded role in Weeks 3 and 4 when Clark was out. But his snap share has decreased since Clark's return. Danna played 35 of 59 snaps in Week 6 and generated just two total tackles, a QB hurry, and a batted pass.


    Tier One

    Harold Landry, EDGE; Jeffery Simmons, IDL;

    Landry has been one of the elite edge rushers this season. I said neither last week that neither Dion Dawkins nor Daryl Williams could contain Landry and that proved to be correct.

    Landry had six total tackles, five pressures, including two sacks. He now has 31 total tackles, 35 total pressures, including seven sacks. He is joint-second with Myles Garrett behind only Maxx Crosby in total pressures.

    Chiefs' right tackle Lucas Niang was replaced by Mike Remmers against Washington last weekend. Niang had been dealing with a hamstring injury and was questionable for the game.

    Whether Niang or Remmers joins left tackle Orlando Brown is somewhat irrelevant. Landry can take advantage of any of these players. He will face Brown more often than most.

    Simmons has been on a nice run too. In just seven he has already generated half the total pressures that he managed last season, on less than 40% of the pass rush attempts.

    He played a season-high 69 of a possible 77 snaps against the Bills. He had four solo tackles, and five pressures, including two sacks. Simmons now has 19 total tackles, 22 pressures, and four sacks this season.

    Despite playing with a broken hand in the last two games, Chiefs left guard Joe Thuney has allowed just four pressures. He has surrendered only seven total pressures and zero sacks all season.

    Center Creed Humphrey has played well for a rookie, right guard Trey Smith just had his second game of the season in which he has allowed five total pressures and a sack.

    I fancy Simmons' chances against almost anyone while he is in this type of form.

    Tier Two

    David Long, ILB.

    I said last week that Long would be in tier two if he stopped missing so many tackles. Well, I'll move him there because of his tackle volume despite the fact the missed attempts remain a problem.

    Long played every down against Buffalo, led the team with 13 total tackles, but missed three more. He is now joint-second in missed tackles (behind Daniel Sorensen who has seemingly lost his job) despite missing Week 1.

    The good news is that Long has 44 total tackles in just five games. That is really good for fantasy purposes.

    Tier Three

    Denico Autry, EDGE; Kevin Byard, S; Rashaan Evans, ILB; Amani Hooker, S.

    Autry led all of the Titans with seven total pressures, including two QB hits and five hurries. Fantasy managers who started him were probably frustrated he couldn't earn a sack.

    Autry now has 25 total pressures and three sacks this season. The difficulty with Autry is that if he doesn't earn a sack then he's likely a dud in fantasy as he doesn't record many tackles. He has just six tackles in the last six games. It is that fact that keeps him from being a tier two option more regularly.

    Byard looks a little like the Byard of the 2017-2019 years so far this season. There are safeties who earn more tackles than he does, but he adds value with interceptions. He had only two tackles against Buffalo but recorded his third interception of the season.

    Unfortunately, interceptions aren't as sticky as tackles, hence why Byard is a tier-three player on this list.

    Evans played 58 of a possible 71 snaps and had seven total tackles. He'll likely have marginal value while Jayon Brown is out, and possibly even when Brown returns.

    Hooker played 66 snaps on his return from injury and had one of the best games of his young career, registering nine total tackles and a forced fumble.

    His usage was mildly encouraging, playing 20 snaps in the box. If you're struggling for starters due to byes or injuries, you could start Hooker this week. Just keep an eye on his availability, he is nursing a groin injury and is listed as questionable.


    Avery Williamson, ILB.

    Williamson didn't play last week. Unless the Titans get frustrated by Long's missed tackle attempts, or Evans' limitations, Williamson's role will be minimal.

    Washington Football Team (2-4) at Green Bay Packers (5-1)

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    Tier One

    Chase Young, EDGE; Montez Sweat, EDGE; Jonathan Allen, IDL; Daron Payne, IDL.

    Young had two total tackles, two pressures, including a sack and a hit. Fantasy managers were no doubt pleased to see Young record his second consecutive game with a sack, but it comes with a warning - two pressures on 45 pass rush attempts is not what you expect from an elite-level player.

    Packers right tackle Billy Turner allowed his third sack of the season in Week 6. Young should be able to continue his productive streak.

    Montez Sweat had a tackle and three pressures against the Chiefs. He now has 15 tackles and 19 pressures, including three sacks. His pass-rush grade has been sliding and he needs a good game to solidify his tier-one status here.

    David Bakhtiari returned to practice this week. If Bakhtiari is healthy, and plays, this could be one of the most difficult matchups Sweat faces all season.

    If Bakhtiari doesn't play, Elgton Jenkins should present a slightly easier (but not easy) challenge. Jenkins is not playing in his usual position and has allowed two sacks in three games this season.

    Allen and Payne are both in the top seven IDL players for total pressures this season, with 25 and 21 respectively. Allen has earned three sacks to Payne's one. Payne has added 22 tackles and Allen 20.

    Left guard Jon Runyan and center Josh Myers has played well, but Myers but is doubtful with a knee injury. Right guard Royce Newman has allowed four sacks this season and two last week against the Bears. Allen and Payne face a middling matchup here.

    Tier Two

    Landon Collins, S; Kamren Curl, S; Cole Holcomb, ILB.

    Collins played 68 of a possible 82 snaps which trailed fellow safeties Kamren Curl and Bobby McCain who each played every down.

    Collins played 30 snaps in the box, 8 at cornerback, and 28 in the slot. In contrast, Curl played 13 in the box, 13 in the slot, and 49 at free safety. McCain played 69 at free safety.

    Collins had five total tackles against the Chiefs. Curl had nine total tackles. McCain had five.

    The gap between Collins and Curl is not as pronounced as it was earlier in the season. Collins now has 37 tackles to Curl's 32, and McCain trails on 27. I have Collins as a mid-range tier two safety, Curl a low-end tier two safety, and McCain in the low-end of tier three.

    Holcomb played every down, led the team with 11 tackles, added a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. He has 56 total tackles this season.

    Holcomb has produced like a tier-one linebacker in fantasy this season. I will move him there if he continues this run.

    Tier Three

    Bobby McCain, S; Jamin Davis, ILB.

    See above for info on Bobby McCain.


    Jamin Davis, ILB.

    It's tempting to want to place Davis in tier three after a season-high 46 snaps and 10 total tackles. As a Davis manager on many fantasy teams, nobody wants this to happen more than I do.

    46 snaps sound decent but Washington played a total of 82 defensive snaps. A 56% snap share doesn't excite me enough to start him unless I'm desperate for ILB starters.


    Tier One

    Kenny Clark, IDL.

    I recently said, "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."

    Hill has since generated two total pressures. Clark has generated seven pressures, including two sacks. 

    This is not a criticism of Hill, I think he is a good player who deserves more snaps. He is simply the best example of a point I feel strongly about.

    Clark now has 21 total tackles and 22 total pressures and remains an excellent option at IDL.

    The interior of the Washington offensive line has not allowed a single sack and only 21 pressures in 7 games. This is a challenging matchup for Clark.

    Tier Two

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

    Gary didn't earn a sack in Week 6, but his seven pressures did lead the team. He also added five total tackles.

    Gary now has 25 total pressures which rank 9th among edge rushers. He has two sacks this season.

    He would normally face Samuel Cosmi but Cosmi is questionable with an ankle injury. Cornelius Lucas has ably replaced Cosmi the last two weeks, allowing just one pressure in that span. Gary faces a difficult matchup irrespective of which offensive tackle suits up on Sunday.

    Campbell had seven total tackles. Jaylon Smith didn't put a dent in Campbell's opportunities, as Campbell played every down and now has 52 total tackles this season.

    Amos also played every down in Week 6. He had five total tackles and a pass breakup, likely disappointing fantasy managers. Amos now has 41 total tackles and an interception this season.

    Tier Three

    Preston Smith, EDGE; Dean Lowry, IDL.

    Smith left the game against the Bears early with an oblique injury and is questionable for the Washington game. Monitor his status before starting him this weekend.

    Lowry played 46 of a possible 61 snaps. He had five total tackles, and his second consecutive game with four total pressures, including a sack, and three hurries. He hasn't been a productive pass rusher until the last two weeks but his 18 total tackles mean he creeps into this tier at a shallow position.


    Darnell Savage, S (injury); Jaylon Smith, ILB.

    Unfortunately, Savage suffered a concussion and exited the game early. Fingers crossed he makes a full and quick recovery.

    Smith played just 17 snaps.

    Atlanta Falcons (2-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-5)

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    Tier One

    Grady Jarrett, IDL.

    Jarrett has not looked like the same player this season. He has just 12 total tackles, and 11 pressures, including a sack, in five games.

    Were it not for the fact he is playing the Dolphins - arguably the worst offensive line in pass protection - Jarrett would have dropped a tier. The Dolphins' offensive line may not have allowed a sack against the Jags, but they did allow 19 total pressures.

    C'mon Jarrett!

    Tier Two

    Deion Jones, ILB; Foyesade Oluokun, ILB.

    Jones played every down and had five total tackles and a QB hurry. He has 39 total tackles in five games.

    Oluokun played every down alongside Jones, and also had five total tackles and a QB hurry. Oluokun has 42 total tackles this season.

    Tier Three

    Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE.

    The injury to Dante Fowler opens the door for Adetokunbo Ogundeji to step into a more prominent role. Ogundeji has been a part-time player so far this season, rotating with Fowler and Steven Means.

    Means has played a bit more but has been ineffectual as a pass rusher. He has six total pressures on 124 pass-rush snaps and no sacks. Ogundeji has seven pressures on 61 pass-rush snaps and a sack. Both players could capitalize on Fowler's absence, but I prefer Ogundeji's chances.

    It works in Ogundeji's favor that the Dolphins' offensive tackles have been terrible in pass protection this season.


    Dante Fowler, EDGE (IR); Steven Means, EDGE.

    Fowler was added to the IR list with a knee injury this week.

    I don't really know what Means adds to this Falcons pass rush. He has 124 pass-rush snaps and has generated just six total pressures. The fact he is playing as often speaks volumes about the Falcons pass rushers.


    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Jerome Baker, ILB; Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE.

    Baker had seven total tackles and four pressures, including three QB hits and a hurry last weekend. He missed just one down all game.

    Baker now has 41 total tackles this season, a sack, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups.

    Ogbah had four total pressures, including a sack, and three QB hurries. He also added a batted pass. He now has 21 pressures and three sacks this season.

    The Falcons' right tackle Kaleb McGary has been placed on IR. Falcons HC Arthur Smith said that either Jason Spriggs or Colby Gossett will replace McGary. This will be a nice matchup for Ogbah.

    Tier Three

    Christian Wilkins, IDL; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE.

    Wilkins had two total tackles, a sack, a hurry, and a forced fumble against the Jaguars. He now has half the number of total pressures and the same number of sacks that he achieved in the whole of 2020, on just 38% of pass rush snaps and 44% of overall snaps.

    If Wilkins hadn't missed as many tackle attempts he would be in consideration for tier two. His seven missed tackles lead all IDL players.

    It is encouraging that Phillips led all Dolphins edge rushers with 54 snaps. But he had just two total tackles and three QB hurries. The talented rookie should continue to earn opportunities to improve his statistical output.

    Phillips will face more of Jake Matthews than anyone else in Week 7. Matthews is a solid player and presents a difficult matchup for Phillips.


    Jevon Holland, S; Raekwon Davis, IDL.

    Jevon Holland had six total tackles and a pass breakup. He has been more productive in the last few games but still has just 22 total tackles in six games this season.

    Davis put a little distance between himself and Adam Butler in snaps. Davis had 35 to Butler's 26. Butler had just one tackle assist and a QB hit, whereas Davis earned three solo tackles.

    For fantasy purposes, it would be nice to see Davis extend that gap in snap share. But that's just not how the NFL is leaning these days.

    Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

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    Tier One

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

    Bell played 49 of a possible 63 defensive snaps against Detroit. He earned six total tackles and a QB hurry. Bell now has 37 total tackles this season.

    Wilson has been a revelation in 2021. He added seven total tackles and an interception to his impressive 2021 resume last weekend. He now has 52 total tackles, a sack, and four interceptions.

    Hendrickson led the Bengals in total pressures in Week 6. He had five total pressures, including a sack. he also added a tackle. He is now sixth among all NFL edge rushers for most total pressures and has six sacks too.

    Unfortunately, Ronnie Stanley is now on IR and is having season-ending ankle surgery. As far as Hendrickson is concerned, this means he likely faces Alejandro Villanueva who has been extremely poor in Stanley's place.

    Hendrickson moves into tier one for this weekend and probably beyond. The lack of tackles makes him a boom or bust type player in fantasy, so I'm not afraid to move him down occasionally when he faces an elite tackle.

    Tier Two

    Sam Hubbard, EDGE; Jessie Bates III, S.

    Hubbard was second on the team in total pressures with three. Ordinarily, Hubbard has a solid floor in terms of tackles, but that aspect of his game has been missing in the last two games.

    He has 24 total tackles this season, 16 pressures, and two sacks. He will go up against Patrick Mekari, who, one or two games aside, has been reasonably solid. It's an average matchup for Hubbard.

    Bates had just three solo tackles and a QB hurry against Detroit. He had the fewest snaps and the fewest box snaps he has played all season.

    Bates now has 34 tackles in five games. He could do with some splash plays to help fantasy managers. He has not got a single pass breakup yet after recording 12 last season.

    Tier Three



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

    Reader, Ogunjobi, and Hill rotated a lot in Week 6. Ogunjobi had 38 snaps, Hill 32, and Reader had 24.

    Reader is having an excellent season, it just doesn't always show up on the stat sheet. And, therefore, his fantasy value is limited.

    Ogunjobi has been quite disappointing this season. Hill has played better than Ogunjobi when given the chance.


    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Chuck Clark, S; Calais Campbell, IDL.

    Clark played every down, had five total tackles and a batted pass. He now has 31 total tackles, a sack, 2 batted passes, and a pass breakup this season.

    17 of Clark's snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.

    Campbell disappeared as a pass rusher against the Chargers. He generated zero pressure but did at least manage four total tackles.

    Campbell will bounce back. He has 21 tackles and 18 total pressures this season. He is the only IDL with more than 14 pressures who is yet to record a sack.

    As a pass protector, Trey Hopkins has been poor. Riley Reiff just had his worst game of the season. Campbell could earn that first sack this weekend.

    Tier Three

    Odafe Oweh, EDGE; Patrick Queen, ILB; DeShon Elliott, S.

    Oweh was quite quiet last weekend. He had just two QB hurries. Oweh sits right on the line between a tier two and tier three starter at the edge spot.

    He faces a combination of Jonah Williams and Riley Reiff against the Bengals. Williams has been a bit inconsistent but hasn't allowed many pressures this season.

    Queen has been thoroughly disappointing this season. He has 36 tackles but is second in missed tackles with 10. His PFF grade is among the lowest at his position.

    Queen left the game against the Chargers with a thigh injury but did return. He managed three tackles on 19 total snaps.

    Elliott played all but one down, earned just two total tackles but recorded two pressures, including a sack, and he intercepted Justin Herbert, too.

    23 of Elliot's snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.



    Sunday Mid-Afternoon Games

    Detroit Lions (0-6) at Los Angeles Rams (5-1)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Trey Flowers, EDGE; Charles Harris, EDGE.

    Flowers had two tackles, and two pressures, including a QB hit and a hurry. He is a low-end tier two edge rusher. He missed Weeks 3 and 4 with injury and needs a good run of form to remain in this tier.

    Harris had five solo tackles and three hurries. He now has 14 total tackles, and 18 total pressures, including four sacks this season.

    The Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth has been excellent this season, and the Rams' right tackle Rob Havenstein has also been good. It's a difficult matchup for both Flowers and Harris this weekend.

    Tier Three

    Alex Anzalone, ILB; Tracy Walker, S.

    Anzalone played every down and had eight total tackles. That concludes the good news. The bad news is that he missed three more tackle attempts, and now shares the lead in missed tackles for off-ball linebackers with David Long of the Titans.

    He has 36 tackles so far this season which is pretty decent. But he's played poorly. I can't for the life of me see what he has, that Derrick Barnes doesn't.

    Walker played 61 snaps. 45 of those were either at free safety or in the slot. He recorded four total tackles and a pass breakup and now has 29 tackles this season.

    Walker has marginal value as a starter on a week where fantasy managers will be scrabbling for options.


    Jalen Reeves-Maybin, ILB; Julian Okwara, EDGE. Derrick Barnes, ILB.

    Reeves-Maybin played less than half the available snaps, 34 of a possible 72. He did have seven solo tackles but will find it incredibly difficult to maintain that level of production if he continues to play so little.

    Julian Okwara has barely played this season or last season for that matter. Five players had more pass-rush snaps in Week 6 alone than the 44 Okwara has had all season.

    Okwara has been generating pressure when given the opportunity. He had four in Week 3 against the Ravens, and three last week against the Bengals. He also recorded his first career sack.

    Obviously, we need to see Okwara play more often before we can even begin to evaluate him properly.

    Barnes played well on limited snaps. He had eight total tackles and a pass breakup. He will need to play more than 32 snaps before he can become consistently productive, but I particularly liked this play:



    Tier One

    Aaron Donald, IDL; Leonard Floyd, EDGE.

    Donald had four pressures, including a sack and three hurries against the Giants He also added a batted pass and a tackle.

    Donald now has 21 total tackles, 32 total pressures, including four sacks. He's added three batted passes and a forced fumble too. Unsurprisingly, he leads all IDL in total pressures this season.

    Floyd had four total pressures, including two sacks and two hurries. He also forced a fumble.

    Floyd's 25 total pressures rank ninth among edge rushers in the NFL.

    The Lions' offensive line ranks among the league's worst in pass protection this season. The only Lions offensive lineman who has played with any consistency is, or was, the highest-paid center in the league, Frank Ragnow. Unfortunately, Ragnow will miss the rest of the season with a toe injury.

    Fire up Donald, Floyd, and, if you lack options, Terrell Lewis.

    Tier Two

    Sebastian Joseph-Day, IDL; Jordan Fuller, S.

    Joseph-Day had just three tackles and a QB hurry last weekend. His snap share decreased while Greg Gaines' and Jonah Williams' increased. I'll keep an eye on this going forward.

    Joseph-Day is a low-end tier-two IDL until things become clearer. He has 32 total tackles, 14 total pressures, and two sacks this season.

    Fuller came to play in Week 6. He led the team with 12 total tackles, seven of which were stops. He now has 45 total tackles this season.

    Fantasy managers would really appreciate it if Fuller could add a few big plays to his solid tackle numbers.

    Tier Three

    Terrell Lewis, EDGE; Taylor Rapp, S.

    Lewis had four total pressures against the Giants, matching Donald and Floyd for the team lead in that category. Lewis's sack was his third of the season.

    He now has 15 pressures and three sacks. Moderate numbers for an edge rusher, perhaps, but more impressive when you consider he played very little in Weeks 1 and 2.

    Rapp had only four total tackles, but more than rescued the day for loyal fantasy managers with two interceptions. Rapp had allowed a completion on 15 of 20 targets before this game, prompting some to call for changes. He allowed zero receptions on four targets against the Giants.

    This should go without saying, but please don't depend on this sort of production on a regular basis.


    Kenny Young, ILB; Troy Reeder, ILB.

    A week since Reeder leapfrogged Young for snaps, the situations were reversed, again, as Young played almost double the snaps of Reeder.

    I don't trust either of them. Ernest Jones muddies the water even further, he played a season-high 26 snaps. If pressed to start any of them, I'd start Young, but only if I was desperate.

    Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) at Oakland Raiders (4-2)

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    Tier One

    Javon Hargrave, IDL.

    Hargrave had his least productive game of the season as a pass rusher last week. He had had just QB hurry on 33 pass-rush attempts.

    Hargrave did rescue fantasy managers to some degree with five total tackles, but tackles are boring - we want sacks, right?

    The good news is that it was kind of predictable. I warned matchups do come easier than the Bucs offensive line. And his matchup this weekend is far easier. Outside of left tackle Kolton Miller (who is having an all-pro type season) the rest of the Raiders' offensive line is abysmal.

    Tier Two

    Alex Singleton, ILB.

    Singleton is probably the most difficult player to rank in this article each week. He is not a good player, even the most ardent of Eagles fans will admit as such, but for fantasy purposes, he racks up the tackles.

    Singleton now has 67 tackles, second only to Denzel Perryman and Bobby Wagner. This, despite playing 38 fewer snaps than Perryman, and 145 fewer snaps than Wagner.

    Singleton remains in tier two for two reasons. He played just 47 of a possible 75 snaps in Week 6. Conversely, Davion Taylor's snap share has increased each of the past two weeks.

    Secondly, Singleton missed four more tackle attempts in Week 6 and is now tied for third in the NFL in that category.

    Tier Three

    Fletcher Cox, IDL; Anthony Harris, S; Josh Sweat, EDGE;

    Cox played 62 of a possible 75 snaps in Week 6. He had two total tackles, and three QB hurries. He now has 14 total pressures this season, which ranks 20th amongst the IDL position.

    However, he only has eight total tackles. This makes him a boom or bust type player, even at a shallow position, and someone I'm personally not willing to take a risk on unless desperate.

    I've neglected Harris in this article, and I have to hold my hands up to that fact. Harris added seven total tackles and an interception last weekend, and now has 40 total tackles and an interception this season. This is easily worthy of being a tier-three starter.

    Harris is questionable with hand and groin injuries, so monitor his status before starting him.

    I'm on record as one of the biggest Sweat fans (please note I said 'Sweat', not 'sweat') before the season started. When Brandon Graham suffered his unfortunate Achilles injury, I thought Sweat would probably ascend to at least tier-three starter material as an edge rusher.

    It took some time, but Sweat and Barnett have now distanced themselves from the other edge rushers in snap counts.

    Sweat had six total tackles and three total pressures against a very good Bucs offensive line last week, and now has nine total tackles, nine total pressures, including a sack in the last two weeks. He has a good chance to continue that form against Brandon Parker in Week 7.


    Eric Wilson, ILB; Derek Barnett, EDGE.

    No player has suffered more due to Davion Taylor's increase in snaps more than Eric Wilson. Wilson played just 29 snaps in Week 5 and 23 snaps in Week 6. Start him at your peril.

    Barnett had three tackles and a QB hit last weekend. He now has 18 total tackles, 14 pressures, and zero sacks on 151 pass-rush attempts.


    Tier One

    Maxx Crosby, EDGE. Denzel Perryman, ILB.

    Crosby had an incredible game against the Broncos last weekend. 12 total pressures, including three sacks and seven hurries. He also added a batted pass.

    Granted, he has played more total snaps and pass-rush snaps than most edge rushers, but even so, he is playing at an elite level this season and leads the NFL with 43 total pressures.

    Jordan Mailata will present a difficult matchup for Crosby in Week 7. As well as Mailata has played, Crosby will be a handful for anyone when in this form.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Perryman led the Raiders in tackles in Week 6. He had 13 total tackles and now leads the NFL with 76 total tackles. He has no fewer than nine tackles in a single game this season. It's an amazing feat for a player many, including me, didn't think he had what it takes to deliver on this level.

    Tier Two

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

    Ngakoue led the Raiders edge rushers with 60 of a possible 81 snaps but had just one assisted tackle and two pressures, neither of which was a sack.

    He will face Andre Dillard in Week 7. Dillard has played reasonably well in most games. He hasn't allowed a sack in the four games he has started.

    Littleton is essentially a poor man's version of Perryman this season. High tackle numbers, but little contribution in other areas. Littleton now has 52 tackles this season.

    Abram was one of only two Raiders who played every down against the Broncos. He matched his season-high of nine tackles and had his first interception of the season. Abram now has 41 total tackles.

    Tier Three



    Quinton Jefferson, IDL; Damion Squire, IDL.

    Jefferson had a tackle, five pressures, including two sacks last weekend. Square had two tackles, four pressures, including two sacks.

    I am hesitant to suggest starting either player. In Jefferson's case, he had managed just six pressures on almost 200 pass rush attempts prior to the Broncos game. This was Squire's first game for the Raiders, and he is not renowned for his pass-rushing prowess.

    Houston Texans (1-5) at Arizona Cardinals (6-0)

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    Tier One


    Tier Two

    Christian Kirksey, ILB; 

    Kirksey was one of two Texans linebackers who played every down, and he was second on the team with five total tackles. Kirksey now has 38 total tackles this season.

    Tier Three

    Kamu Grugier-Hill, ILB; Jonathan Greenard, EDGE; Justin Reid, S.

    Like Kirksey, Grugier-Hill played every down. Grugier-Hill led the Texans with seven total tackles. He could have had more but missed three tackle attempts.

    Reid has not kept pace with the leading tacklers at the safety position this season but has at least helped his value with some big plays - specifically a forced fumble and two interceptions. It's risky to rely on these.

    Greenard earned a starting role in Week 3. He has nine tackles and nine pressures in the four games since, including four sacks, and a forced fumble.

    Earning four sacks on only nine pressures is extremely efficient, but unless he can increase his pressure numbers, it is very unlikely that he will be able to maintain these sack numbers going forward.

    Neither of the Cardinals' offensive tackles has surrendered many pressures or sacks this season. It isn't an easy matchup for Greenard.


    Zach Cunningham, ILB.

    Cunningham played only 14 snaps last weekend. It's a sharp drop-off in value for his fantasy managers.


    Tier One

    Budda Baker, S.

    Baker played every down but had just four total tackles last weekend in what was an uncharacteristically quiet game. He now has 40 total tackles this season and remains a solid tier one safety.

    Tier Two

    J.J.Watt, EDGE; Chandler Jones, EDGE.

    Watt had four total tackles, and four total pressures, including a sack against the Browns. He also forced a fumble. Watt now has 27 total pressures this season but only one sack. 

    His sack-to-pressure conversation rate should improve. It seems fated that he will do so against his former team.

    If Jones can return from the reserve/COVID-19 list, he will be desperate to prove his five-sack performance in Week 1 was no fluke. He has gone four games without a sack since and has recorded just three tackles in that time.

    The Texans' offensive tackles have played reasonably well in general. The interior of their offensive line has fared less well. Watt plays inside almost as often as he does outside. Jones is strictly an edge rusher so this may be more of a challenge for him than Watt.

    Tier Three

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

    Golden had a good game in the absence of Chandler Jones. Three total tackles, seven total pressures, including two sacks. He also added a forced fumble.

    If Jones returns, Golen remains a tier-three edge rusher. If Jones is out again, Golden is a borderline tier-two edge rusher.

    Hicks played every down and had five total tackles and two sacks last weekend. He is in the upper end of this tier as his Cardinals career renaissance continues.

    Thompson played 56 of a possible 59 snaps and had six total tackles. He now has 39 total tackles and a pass breakup and, like Hicks, belongs in the upper end of this tier.

    Simmons played every down against the Browns and had six solo tackles. He now has 37 tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble this season. He completes the four tier-three Cardinals players this week who are pushing for tier two status.


    Zaven Collins, ILB.

    Collins had just 16 snaps, his second-lowest of the season. Boo!

    Chicago Bears (3-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    Khalil Mack, EDGE; Roquan Smith, ILB.

    Mack played 48 snaps against the Packers which led all Bears edge rushers. He had three total tackles and three pressures, including a sack. Mack now has 20 total pressures this season, including six sacks.

    Tristan Wirfs will be a tough challenge for Mack in Week 7. This matchup is definitely one to watch.

    Smith played every down and led the team with 13 total tackles. He increased his season total to 62 which ranks fourth in the NFL.

    Tier Two


    Tier Three

    Bilal Nichols, IDL; Eddie Jackson, S.

    I've elevated Nichols on the basis that Hicks is out for this game. I believe Nichols is the next most likely Bears IDL to be fantasy relevant and he may capitalize on Hicks' absence. Watch Nichols status carefully as he is nursing an injury of his own - a knee injury. He's currently listed as questionable.

    Jackson played every down and had a season-high eight total tackles last weekend, but still has just 27 tackles this season.

    It is encouraging that Jackson is playing slightly more snaps in the box and on the defensive line in the last two games, but his inclusion in tier three is more about the lack of other options in Week 7. Jackson has marginal value as a starter.


    Akiem Hicks, IDL (injury); Robert Quinn, EDGE (reserve/COVID-19).

    Hicks earned a sack in Week 6, but in doing so aggravated the same groin injury that has cost him the last two games. He only managed to play 24 snaps as a result.

    Hicks is out for this game

    Quinn tested positive on Tuesday and will miss the game this weekend.


    Tier One

    Devin White, ILB; Shaq Barrett, EDGE.

    White played every down against the Eagles and had five total tackles, a hit, two hurries, and a pass breakup. He has 42 total tackles and two pass breakups this season. Not bad, but not what fantasy managers who drafted him as the first overall IDP were expecting.

    Barrett had a really good game against the Eagles. Four solo tackles and nine total pressures, including a sack. The sack was his fifth of the season. His 31 total pressures rank fifth among all edge rushers.

    Jason Peters is still a good offensive tackle and will be a challenging matchup for Barrett. But Barrett still has the advantage. Germain Ifedi has been placed on IR. His replacement, Elijah Wilkson, is someone the Bucs edge rushers can take advantage of.

    Tier Two

    Antoine Winfield, S.

    Winfield returned to practice this week. If he plays this weekend he is a tier two safety. He has missed the last two games, but still had 24 total tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup in four games.

    Monitor his status carefully.

    Tier Three

    Vita Vea, IDL; Jason Pierre-Paul, EDGE; Kevin Minter, ILB.

    Vea's 14 total pressures, including two sacks, rank high enough for me to rank him a tier two. But he only has eight total tackles which hurt his value.

    JPP played 41 of a possible 52 snaps. He had just one pressure, but it was his first sack of the season. He has now played four games and has 13 total tackles, eight pressures, and a sack.

    JPP didn't practice on Weds due to an undisclosed injury. If he can't go, Tryon-Shoyinka immediately becomes a high-end tier-three starter. Tryon-Shoyinka has looked the better player of the two this season. Monitor JPP's status carefully before starting either player.

    Minter has a chance to be fantasy-relevant with Lavonte David missing the game. I'm in no hurry to start him but again, this week may leave us scrabbling for starters.


    Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE; Lavonte David, ILB.

    As I mentioned above, Tryon-Shoyinka becomes a starter if JPP can't suit up this weekend. Unless that happens he remains a sit. Tryon has played just 17 and 19 snaps in the last two weeks with JPP in the lineup.

    See Barrett's notes for details of Tryon-Shoyinka's matchup.

    David is out with an ankle injury.

    Sunday Night Football

    Indianapolis Colts (2-4) at San Francisco 49ers (2-3)

    Embed from Getty Images

    Tier One

    DeForest Buckner, IDL; Darius Leonard, ILB.

    As usual, Buckner led all Colts IDL players in snaps last weekend. He had five total tackles, and three pressures, including a sack.

    Buckner now has 25 total tackles, 20 total pressures, and 2 sacks this season.

    49ers center Alex Mack and left guard Laken Tomlinson have performed well this season. Right guard Daniel Brunskill has played quite poorly, and it is Brunskill who will see more of Buckner than anyone else.

    Leonard had six total tackles, a forced fumble, an interception, and a QB hit. He now has 45 total tackles, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and two pass breakups this season.

    Tier Two

    Bobby Okereke, ILB; Khari Willis, S.

    Okereke's tackle numbers have improved in four consecutive games. He had 13 total tackles against the Texans and added a QB hit and a hurry too. He now has 50 total tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup this season.

    Willis was limited by ankle and knee injuries in Week 5. There were no such limitations in Week 6. He played 73 of a possible 75 snaps, tallied eight total tackles, recorded a sack, and had a pass breakup.

    Tier Three



    Tyquan Lewis, EDGE.

    Lewis had two tackles and three hurries last weekend. He has only 10 tackles this season.


    Tier One

    Nick Bosa, EDGE; Fred Warner, ILB.

    The 49ers last played the Cardinals in Week 5. Bosa had three tackles, four pressures, including a sack in that game.

    In the five games Bosa has played, he has recorded 13 total tackles, 19 total pressures, including five sacks. He has also added a forced fumble and a batted pass.

    Bosa will face the Colts' left tackle, Eric Fisher, in a Week 7 showdown. Fisher has been a steady presence in recent years but has started poorly this season, perhaps as he continues to recover from his Achilles injury.

    Fisher has allowed 19 pressures and four sacks despite only playing in 5 games. Bosa could add to Fisher's troubles.

    Warner played every down and led the team in nine total tackles. He now has 44 tackles and a pass breakup this season.

    Tier Two

    Arik Armstead, EDGE

    Armstead has a solid number of pressures this season, but he lacks the sacks. I'm often forgiving when this is the case as pressures are a good indicator of future sacks. However, Armstead also lacks good tackle volume, having recorded just nine tackles in five games.

    Armstead is playing well, and the sacks may be close. I'm willing to keep him here, especially while he plays one of the worst offensive lines at pass protection in football.

    Tier Three

    Azeez Al-Shaair, ILB; Jaquiski Tartt, S

    Al-Shaair played 56 of a possible 61 snaps in Week 5 but managed just three total tackles. He now has 32 tackles in five games since replacing Dre Greenlaw.

    Tartt played every down and saw more time at free safety than in previous games. He still earned eight total tackles. He has 31 tackles and a pass breakup in five games.


    Javon Kinlaw, IDL (injury).

    Kinlaw has played just four games after missing Week 1 and given the 49ers were on a bye in week 6. When he has played, he has been ineffectual, recording just five total pressures and a sack.

    We need to see more before we can start Kinlaw again. He won't get the opportunity this weekend, as he's out with a knee injury. That knee injury may even land him on I.R.

    Monday Night Football

    New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-4)

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    Tier One

    Demario Davis, ILB

    Davis played every down in the Saints last game. He had seven total tackles, and five total pressures, including a sack.

    Davis now has 40 tackles, a sack, and three pass breakups in just five games.

    Tier Two

    Cameron Jordan, EDGE.

    Jordan had four tackles, three pressures, and a batted pass. His efforts to infuriate fantasy managers this season continued, as he extends his streak to five games, and 21 total pressures, without a sack.

    This is odd. 44 edge players have 14 pressures or more. Jordan is the only one without a sack!

    If you have dropped him that's understandable, but just be mindful that he leads the Saints' edge rushers in snaps and pass rush snaps by a wide margin. It should be just a matter of time before he takes down a quarterback.

    Jordan will play opposite Seahawks right tackle Brandon Shell on Monday night. Shell can be decent at times but his PFF pass protection grade has steadily deteriorated lately. Geno Smith lacks the pocket presence of Russell Wilson, and Jordan will hope to capitalize.

    Tier Three

    Malcolm Jenkins, S; Pete Werner, ILB; Kwon Alexander, ILB.

    Jenkins played every down and had five solo tackles. 27 of his 83 snaps were spent in the box or on the defensive line.

    Jenkins now has 34 total tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup in 5 games. He is the upper end of this tier.

    Werner played just 63% of the available defensive snaps in Week 4, but he did well and recorded the highest PFF grade of any Saints defender. Sean Payton obviously took note of Werner's performance, as Werner played every down in Week 5, and easily led the team with 12 total tackles.

    Werner is a rookie with potential and plenty of opportunities. Arguably, he deserves to remain in a prominent role despite Alexander's return from IR this week.

    Considering Davis is recommended as a starter, it is probably a little ambitious to have both Werner and Alexander as starting linebackers too - even within tier three. The likelihood is that either Werner or Alexander will disappoint, possibly both if the Saints ease Alexander back in and the two share snaps.

    If you have the luxury of solid alternatives and choose to sit both of these guys this week, you'll get no argument from me.

    Special thanks to @DanRoy169 on Twitter for pointing out I'd overlooked Kwon's return in the article when it first went live. Appreciate the feedback!


    Carl Granderson, EDGE.

    I mention Granderson because he had five total pressures, including a sack in his last game. I think Granderson has an intriguing skill set but he played less than half of the available defensive snaps. While that continues, we cannot start him.


    Tier One

    Bobby Wagner, ILB.

    Wagner played every down against the Steelers. He led the team with 14 total tackles, six of which were stops.

    He is second in total tackles only to the Raiders Denzel Perryman with 70. Wagner has also added a sack and two pass breakups.

    Tier Two

    Jamal Adams, S; Jordyn Brooks, ILB.

    I never imagined Adams would be anything but a tier-one safety this season. Looking at tackle numbers alone, he arguably deserves to remain in that tier. However, it has taken him a league-leading 457 snaps to earn that tackle volume.

    I don't know whether the Seahawks will continue to play such a high amount of defensive snaps, they may well do. But I am uncomfortable recommending a player who needs that sort of volume in order to compete with his peers.

    Adams is not himself this season. It is evident to anyone who watches defense, and even to those who don't.

    Like Adams, Brooks is not playing particularly well right now. But his fantasy managers may not care too much while he continues to rack up double-digit tackles in each game. Brooks has 54 total tackles and a sack this season.

    Tier Three

    Quandre Diggs, S.

    Diggs played 73 of a possible 75 snaps in Week 6 against the Steelers. 68 of his 73 snaps were spent in a free safety role. He had just two total tackles.

    Diggs now has 35 total tackles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup this season.


    Darrell Taylor, EDGE (injury)

    The injury to Taylor was unfortunate. The good news is that the MRI came back clear. Pete Caroll said it was a "really, really positive report". There is even talk that Taylor may be able to play this weekend. Watch this space.

    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 6 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 7 Start/Sit IDP article! 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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