Week five is already upon us and you should hopefully have a designated weekly starter at defensive tackle. If you are still streaming look here for your best matchups.
Every week there are defensive tackles who perform over expectations. Defensive tackle is a position that is very hard to pin down if you did not grab one of the top 10 at the position. This makes anybody who did not draft a good DT streaming on a weekly basis. Here I cover, on that weekly basis, the best defensive tackle starts, sits, and sleepers based on their matchups. Lets see who the top streaming options are for week five.
Defensive Tackle Starts
Jurrell Casey – Tennessee Titans 2019 Stats: 16 tackles (nine solo), one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two QB hits.
Matchup – Buffalo Bills (Give up the 7th most points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 3rd
Pass Protection – Ranked 22nd
Jurrell Casey has been one of the most consistent producing defensive tackles in the league for eight plus years now. Unfortunately for him he gets a little lost in the fog behind some of the younger high-profile defensive tackles. Guys like DeForest Buckner, Jarran Reed, Grady Jarrett and Chris Jones get all of the love at the position being young excellent pass rushers. The only thing Casey has done in his eight year career is average 56 total tackles, 9.8 tackles for a loss, 5.75 sacks and 13 QB hits per season.
Casey gets the Bills who do a lot of power running and have one of the weaker interior offensive lines. Casey should not have a problem racking up some tackles and could quite possibly come away with a sack this week.
Javon Hargrave – Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Stats: 10 tackles (eight solo), one tackle for a loss, one sack and two QB hits.
Matchup – Baltimore Ravens (Give up the 4th most points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 2nd
Pass Protection – Ranked 17th
Javon Hargrave had a breakout season last season picking up 49 total tackles, six for a loss and 6.5 sacks. In 2019 he has had a bit of a slow start. Cameron Heyward is the man on the line with all of the production but teams will have to start game planning against him. The pass rush of the Steelers finally came alive in week four picking up eight sacks. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree are getting great push off the edge which should funnel more QBs up the pocket.
Hargrave faces off against the Ravens who not only run the most plays in the league but have a power running duo of Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. In addition to the two they have Lamar Jackson who is the best running QB in the league and loves to extend plays. Hargrave is talented but plays on a talented defensive line. I think this week is his week to put up the numbers.
Sheldon Rankins – New Orleans Saints 2019 Stats: Two assisted tackles and a QB hit. (one game)
Matchup – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Give up the 5th most points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 18th
Pass Protection – Ranked 23rd
Sheldon Rankins had a fantastic 2018 where he totaled 40 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and 15 QB hits. Unfortunately for him he tore his Achilles in a postseason matchup with the Eagles last season. Now eight months removed from the injury Rankins is already back with the team. He had a little rust last week in his first action since the injury but still got the QB. Rankins saw the most snaps on the interior at 68% and that should rise each week.
The Buccaneers have been very poor against opposing defensive tackles this season. The Buccaneers have given up at least one sack each week so far to defensive tackles. If the rust is gone for Rankins then he should not have an issue producing for the Saints.
Defensive Tackle Sits
Denico Autry – Indianapolis Colts 2019 Stats: 11 tackles (eight solo), two tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and four QB hits.
Matchup – Kansas City Chiefs (Give up the 10th least points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 30th
Pass Protection – Ranked 4th
Denico Autry is yet another defensive tackle who had a breakout 2018 season. It was his first year with the Colts and set career highs in tackles, tackles for a loss, sacks and forced fumbles. He is off to a good start as he already has 2.5 sacks this season. Most of Autry’s production stems from his ability to get to the quarterback. He averages less than three tackles per game so far this season. The Chiefs have only allowed three sacks so far this season and do a great job at protecting Patrick Mahomes. As good as Autry has been I expect a dud from him this week.
Da’Ron Payne – Washington Redskins 2019 Stats: 17 tackles (four solo), one tackle for a loss, one pass defensed and one QB hit.
Matchup – New England Patriots (Give up the 8th fewest points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 15th
Pass Protection – Ranked 6th
Da’Ron Payne is obviously a force to be reckoning with as he has 17 tackles on the season. I know only four are solo but it just shows that he is always around the ball. Payne works best getting behind the line of scrimmage with a variety of power moves but is going up against a top 10 offensive line. The Patriots average the 9th most passing attempts per game at 37.2. Most of these pass attempts are short quick passes. unfortunately for Payne these sort of passes negate him from game script completely. The ball is released too quickly for him to rush the passer and just deep enough where he cannot make a play on the back-end. Each week DTs that play New England are a sit for me, this case is no different.
Ndamukong Suh – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2019 Stats: Seven tackles (three solo), one tackle for a loss, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown.
Matchup – New Orleans Saints (Give up the 2nd fewest points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 8th
Pass Protection – Ranked 15th
Ndamukong Suh is an absolute beast and is coming off a very disruptive year with the Rams. Signing with the Buccaneers allowed him the chance to get at the quarterback a little more getting out from behind Aaron Donald‘s shadow. Things have not quite gone to plan for Suh as he has yet to record a sack this season. Is that his fault…no, not by any means. In Tampa Bay there really is no help on the interior line for Suh. Teams are able to game plan to keep Suh out of the backfield,
Things do not get any easier for Suh in week five against the Saints. The Saints have one of the best offensive lines in football and give up the fewest points to opposing defensive tackles. Suh’s struggles should continue into week five as his nightmare season continues.
Defensive Tackle Sleeper
Jordan Phillips – Buffalo Bills 2019 Stats: Seven tackles (six solo), three tackles for a loss, one sack and three QB hits.
Matchup – Tennessee Titans (Give up the 2nd most points to defensive tackles)
Run Blocking – Ranked 16th
Pass Protection – Ranked 32nd
Jordan Phillips is only playing on 37.3% of the teams defensive snaps this season. With that said he has better production than Ndamukong Suh who has played on 77.4% of his team’s snaps. Jordan Phillips also lost teammate Harrison Phillips for the season to a torn ACL which opens up 30% snap share. Star Lotulelei has been starting but Jordan Phillips has been far more productive.
In week five Phillips squares off with the Titans. The Titans have been giving up huge numbers all season to opposing defensive tackles. Just last week Grady Jarrett and Tyeler Davison combined for 14 total tackles against the Titans. The Titans have also been the worst pass protecting offensive line in football so far this season giving up a sack rate fo 13%. Phillips has a chance to make some splash plays against a lackluster defense.
Jurrell Casey should keep up his top-notch defensive tackle ways with a juicy against the Bills who may be starting Matt Barkley this week. Sheldon Rankins gets the nod this week going against a Buccaneers line which has given up a sack to a DT each week so far this season. Javon Hargrave is on a defensive line which is finally living up to its potential and Hargrave has a great matchup against the Ravens who are a great matchup for DTs.
Ndamukong Suh is a sit yet again for me as he is having a nightmare season and goes up against the Saints this week. Denico Autry takes his sack heavy ways against a Chiefs team that has allowed only three sacks all season and should sit on your bench. Da’Ron Payne plays the Patriots this week and historically for years now blank defensive tackles. Allow him to stay on your bench. I’m going with Jordan Phillips as my sleeper this week who has an excellent matchup against a hapless Titans offensive line.
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