Here we have our weekly start, sit, and sleepers for the Defensive Line. Based off which Offensive Line they play, there are some great mismatches to take advantage of.
Defensive End Starts
Melvin Ingram III- San Diego Chargers
Season Statistics: 24 Tackles (16 solo), 6 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections, 1 interception.
Matchup- Oakland Radiers
- Ranked 12th in run blocking with a stuff rate of 17.3%
- Ranked 23rd in pass protection giving up 25 sacks which is 9th worst in the league at a 8.6% sack rate
Last season Melvin Ingram III had a breakout year with 10.5 sacks. It helped out that Joey Bosa was lined up on the opposite side wreaking havoc of his own leaving Ingram to be single blocked. This year Ingram has not been quite as productive, mainly because Bosa has not seen the field yet and he is seeing more attention at the line. His past 4 games however have been great coming up with 17 tackles (11 solo), 4 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 3 pass deflections and an interception.
To go with Ingram’s recent high level production, he pays the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are an absolute mess losing last week to a one win 49ers team starting their 3rd string QB. On top of that the one thing that has mostly remained constant has been the Offensive Line which is supposed to be a strength.
They just gave up 8 sacks last week to the 49ers who before then had 16 sacks all season. Expect Ingram to hit Derek Carr most likely more than once. Carr’s receivers can’t get open and expect him to hold the ball too long. Watch here Ingram’s recovery and closeout speed while Russell Wilson looks for a receiver:
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) November 4, 2018
Matt Ioannidis- Washington Redskins
Season Statistics: 23 Tackles (18 solo), 5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
Mathcup- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Ranked 31st in run blocking with a stuff rate of 26.8%
- Ranked 19th in pass protection giving up 24 sacks at a 7.4% sack rate
Matt Ioannidis is one of the nice surprises of this year at DE. He has played well all season but the last two games have been especially well. In those two games he has 12 tackles (10 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. I love the above picture as well with Eli Manning being crushed by Ioannidis…sorry Eli.
Ioannidis also gets an excellent matchup. The Buccaneers Offensive Line has not been good at all this season. Matt Ioannidis plays great in the run as well and with the Bucs line being rated 31st in run blocking I could see him picking up a chunk of tackles.
Mario Addison also just racked up 3 sacks last week against the Bucs and could see Ioannidids at least grabbing one. His strength is amazing, watch him chuck Ezekiel Elliott out of the way for the QB pressure:
👀🏈 Zeke got tossed on this play by Washington DE Matt Ioannidis
— Fanatics View (@fanaticsview) October 24, 2018
Defensive End Sits
Frank Clark– Seattle Seahawks
Season Statistics: 16 Tackles (15 solo), 7 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, 1 pass deflections, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
Matchup- Los Angeles Rams
- Ranked 1st in run blocking with a 14.5% stuff rate
- Ranked 8th is pass protection giving up 18 sacks with a rate of 5.9%
Let’s just start by saying Frank Clark is probably a top 10 Defensive End in the NFL. He also scored well against the Rams earlier in the year. Those numbers may be deceiving though. Clark had his only pass deflection and interception of they year against the rams. That means that each stat is an extremely rare and most likely won’t happen against the Rams again.
Other than those two plays he only had a single solo tackle. The Rams Offense is a well oiled machine from front to back leaving teams off balance. The Line may not be the most talented in the league but with the firepower the offense keeps teams off there heals. I do not see Frank Clark making an impact.
Carlos Dunlap– Cincinnati Bengals
Season Statistics: 26 Tackles (19 solo), 6 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 5 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles
Matchup- New Orleans Saints
- Ranked 5th in run blocking with a stuff rate of 13.2%
- Ranked 4th in pass protection giving up a league low 9 sacks at a rate of 4.4%
Carlos Dunlap is a top 5 DE in the NFL. He has had a great season so far and is actually the DE I own in my league. Although I am starting him this week I shouldn’t. The Saints Offensive Line has been excellent giving up only 9 sacks this season which is lowest in the league. That fact alone is why you should find another option at DE, expect Dunlap to have a tough week.
Defensive End Sleeper
Cassius Marsh– San Francisco 49ers
Season Statistics: 19 Tackles (13 solo), 6 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
Matchup- New York Giants
- Ranked 32nd in run blocking with a stuff rate of 24.6%
- Ranked 26th in pass protection giving up 31 sacks which is 3rd most at a rate of 9.1%
Marsh has quietly been the best pass rusher for the 49ers this season. Dekoda Watson just came back for the 49ers to add a nice boost of speed to the opposite side. This tandem came up with a combined 4 sacks against the Raiders last week and face another beat up, horrific Offensive Line. Not to mention…Eli Manning…the most immobile Quarterback in the NFL.
With less attention on Marsh and more on Watson due to his speed I think that Marsh can finally start making a consistent impact. With Nate Solder being the only positive option on the Giants Offensive Line, I expect the once weak 49ers pass rush to once again be one of their strengths this week. I would say he looks excited lol:
With regard to my last tweet… Cassius Marsh, folks pic.twitter.com/hCsfatsHAS
— ʓαcκ ρɛмвɛятσn (@zestyzak24) November 2, 2018
Defensive Tackle Starts
DeForest Buckner– San Francisco 49ers
Season Statistics: 29 Tackles (20 solo), 8 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 pass deflection
Matchup- New York Giants…Read above for matchup statistics
DeForest Buckner is probably the best player on the 49ers Defense. The Giants are on their second string Center after Jon Halapio broke his leg earlier in the season. Putting a second stringer up against a team’s best interior pass rusher is a recipe for disaster.
Buckner also plays very well against the run. Another place where the Giants lack any protection being stuffed on their runs at about 25% of the time. Buckner should not have a problem getting into the backfield and should be able to pick up some tackles for a loss and a good chance for a sack as well. Watch Buckner beat the double team in this clip last week to get to Carr:
Grady Jarrett– Atlanta Falcons
Season Statistics: 24 Tackles (12 solo), 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks
Matchup- Cleveland Browns
- Ranked 20th in run blocking with a stuff rate of 24.6 %
- Ranked 28th in pass protection giving up a league high 35 sacks at a rate of 9.7%
This is Jarrett’s second straight week on my DT Start list. The Falcons Defense is finally resembling some sort of a defense and between Jack Crawford and Grady Jarrett they are getting a solid D-Line push.
Last week the two players combined for 3 sacks against the Redskins who have only given up 16 sacks all season. Cleveland is trying to balance pout their attack and running with Nick Chubb more but the line isn’t giving them any help.
The run blocking is not great and get stuffed up the middle often, hello Grady Jarrett. The Browns have also given up a league leading 35 sacks. With the addition of Bruce Irvin to go with Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinnley I see a solid rush on the edges forcing Mayfield to step up in the pocket, Unfortunately for him that is where Grady Jarrett will be waiting. Look at this bull rush where Jarrett comes up with the sack:
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 4, 2018
Defensive Tackle Sits
Jurrell Casey– Tennessee Titans
Season Statistics: 35 Tackles (23 solo), 6 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
Mathcup- New England Patriots
- Ranked 3rd in run blocking with a stuff rate of 15.8%
- Ranked 2nd in pass protection giving up 13 sacks at a 4% rate
The Patriots have one of the best Offensive Lines in football, I almost always sit DT that play them. First the Patriots rarely run up the gut, mostly to the outside. Second they just don not let anybody get to Tom Brady and Brady also has a great knack of being able to throw the ball away.
Casey himself has had a solid season but on the interior he is the sole pass rusher. He should see a healthy dose of interior double teams and will not be able to get to Brady. Anybody thinking of starting Casey….don’t do it.
Sheldon Rankins– New Orleans Saints
Season Statistics: 21 Tackles (14 solo), 6 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks
Matchup- Cincinnati Bengals
- Ranked 17th in run blocking with a stuff rate of 21.1%
- Ranked 9th in pass protection giving up 16 sacks at a rate of 5.7%
The Bengals Offensive Line is leaps and bounds better than it was last season. Rankins has been more hit or miss this season. It has either been a really good game or a lackluster game. This will be a lackluster game. The Bengals have given up the 3rd least amount of points to opposing DT’s this season and I don’t see that trend changing this week. Keep Rankins on your bench…or even the waiver wire.
Defensive Tackle Sleeper
B.J. Hill– New York Giants
Season Statistics: 24 Tackles (17 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection
Matchup- San Francisco 49ers
- Ranked 9th in run blocking with a stuff rate of 22.8%
- Ranked 25th in pass protection giving up 31 sacks, tied for 3rd worst at a rate of 9%
B.J. Hill has not been excellent but solid for the Giants this year. He looks like the Giants are finally getting their draft picks right. Although the 49ers are ranked 9th in run blocking, most of their success is on the outside.
They have an interior stuff rate of 22.8% which is actually high. Hill will be that guy in the middle coming up with the stops and if he can sneak through for a sack, the 49ers give up a lot, it could end up being a nice day for Hill. Per Pro Football Focus Hill has been one of the Giants best defenders this season:
#Giants top 5 graded defenders so far this season (min. 150 snaps):
1. Landon Collins- 78.2
2. Kerry Wynn- 71.4
3. B.J. Hill- 70.1
4. B.J. Goodson- 67.7
5. Dalvin Tomlinson- 67.2#GiantsPride
— PFF NY Giants (@PFF_Giants) October 26, 2018
Hopefully these starts, sits, sleepers, and matchups have helped in your Defensive Line decisions this week. Tune in again next week to see where we go week 11.
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