The IDP Tipster “Live” puts his personal spin on the match-ups to jump on and the ones to avoid as we head into WEEK TWO with some hard starts and some soft sits for IDP fantasy.
Before we get started I would like to invite anyone who may not know about The IDP Tipsters “Easy Start/Sit Charts” to visit WEEK ONE Hard Starts / Soft Sits. While you’re there feel free to look over the results of my “takes” as well and see what you think. I’m self-grading at the B+ to A- range, not bad if I say so myself considering the limited data available entering the season.
As for the charts, we are about two weeks away and they’ll be returning by what I can say was a pleasantly encouraging “demand” by readers that found them beneficial in 2017. Now let’s get to WEEK TWO.
Wonder why they are “Hard Starts”? Because this early in the season we should all be starting our best possible studs in 99% of the cases for week two. But if there are questions on which stud to start, these are hard takes on players I suggest you’ll not want to overlook if you got them.
Tennessee DT Jurrell Casey is in the 3-4 defensive scheme and isn’t normally a DL I’d suggest often, but the Titans face Houston who ended last season allowing top-notch points to DLs overall. Now they have done the same in week one this year versus New England. Over the last four contests versus Houston, Casey has been “the guy” making plays.
He has recorded eighteen combined tackles, three sacks, and thrown in two passes defended in 265 snaps. In terms of my personal P.A.P.S formula I introduced last season, that’s a P.A.P.S scored of 11.5. In those terms that means he is comparable to a good free safety when playing Houston. A perfect DL Hard Start candidate.
Green Bay DT Kenny Clark is also in the 3-4 scheme, but his matchup has him firmly in line as a Hard Start as well. Vikings nearly mirror Houston in what they allowed last season to the DLs as well as what the allowed to the Niners in week one. In this case, we will only reflect back to last years numbers and what Clark put up versus the Vikings. This is because he was only a true full-time player starting last season and coming into his own. In the two contest in 2017, Clark recorded an astonishing eleven combined tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in 110 snaps.
That P.A.P.S score is just unbelievable, it puts a DL in range with a decent inside linebacker at a P.A.P.S scored 7.8, I’ll just move on and let that sink in.
Atlanta DT Grady Jarrett not only happens to be a favorite “find” of mine from over a year or so ago, but he has a nice matchup versus the Panthers this week that has a “thing” for allowing points to the DLs on a weekly basis. I know this might be old hat, but last season in his first contest versus the Panthers, as the anchor and full-time starter in that defensive line, Jarrett recorded nine combined tackles and one sack.
His P.A.P.S score also falls into range as what Casey’s did above in the free safety range of 11.5, glad I own him in my flagship 32 team league where I face my toughest division rival. I did not know this was the case until now, and sure feeling better now that I’ve dove into the situation.
Dallas LB Jaylon Smith just made the week one Hard Starts, and we are going to leave him in here for week two versus the Giants. We can’t actually get an accurate P.A.P.S score here because of the situation that Smith wasn’t actually a full-tilt play last season recovering from his knee injury. And some might say that he wasn’t the best pick I made in terms of producing last week either. But he was the leading tackler among the linebackers and this matchup versus the Giants is just slightly better. Don’t be that guy who regrets not having Smith in your lineup based off week one. It’s early, breath deep and stick to what we know.
Cincinnati LB Nick Vigil just came on the scheme as a potential IDP play in 2017. Based off his production in week one, and his matchup versus the Ravens this week, along with last years output he had when they played the Ravens one time (Out second matchup), he is a Hard Start here in week two. We won’t bother here either with a P.A.P.S. score. We will just say that once again the Ravens are handing out points to the linebackers like candy and last year as Vigil was gaining momentum early in the season he recorded ten combined tackles, one interception and one pass defended. This week just don’t plan on the interception.
New York Giants LB Alec Ogletree had a solid outing in week one versus the Jaguars and has even a better matchup this week as they head to Dallas. Dallas will want to get that run game fixed at home and display Zeke in front of that home crowd. It was simple to see that the Panthers had Dallas’s number during that last game in week one. But Dak and company did start showing signs of life in the end. So embarrassed week one, first home game, Ogletree is a Hard Start in a revenge game that he didn’t even have anything to do with.
Indianapolis SS Clayton Geathers had a nice outing versus the Bengals last week and actually didn’t get hurt. His matchup with them wasn’t as favorable as it is this week versus the safety “gifting” Redskins. They ended the season as the tenth team allowing points to safeties in 2017, and sit at the top spot after week one. Both Budda Baker and Antoine Bethea feasted in week one versus the Skins. The Colt’s Malik Hooker might be a good start as well, but because I’m treating him like a rookie after missing his rookie season, Geathers is the suggested Hard Start.
Jacksonville SS Barry Church is going to keep us in the AFC South and looking at Hard Starts at safety. I tried to do this last week when I made the wrong “take” on Titans Kevin Byard, and sorry for the confusion there. Last week I mistakenly had Byard on the brain as I was typing out that the Patriots are and always have been a healthy play for safeties, and I mean a real healthy play normally. So in week two Church will get his shot to keep that fact rolling and try to help stop those dink and dunk passes from Brady to Gronk as well as all those other short field targets.
Seattle FS Earl Thomas is as good as play as he might be all year this week. He faces the Bears who offer up a little bit of everything now that they have seemingly found a quarterback. And when we add in that the Seattle defense is relying on him, even more, this season and he is playing for the shot at a big contract next season, he is a no-brainer here in week two. Thomas is going to be doing a little bit of everything in Chi-town this week.
In general, I am calling these groups soft because you should keep them in mind as players who won’t be able to produce at the level you’ll need them to. So this will again sound like a broken record (or CD for those who don’t remember records), but it is still early and I don’t suggest in general any Hard Sits, not until we get some in-season data built up.
I know, here we go with those rookies again, but in the end, there was only a small handful that produced. So overall I feel comfortable to say it again here but with a twist. Unless your rookie IDP produced in week one and it looks like he’ll be a starter again this week, don’t risk starting the rookies again in general. The odds are if you did not listen to me and ignored the Rookie IDP Success Rate article I linked in week one, you may have been disappointed.
Play this close to the chest folks, make those rookies earn the right to be in your lineups. Rule of thumb in 99% of the cases is to make them produce first for at least three weeks in a row before you depend on them. Just because they get some time in with the first unit, if they did, it doesn’t mean they are going to produce consistently, not yet. Make them earn it.
Last week I suggested sitting any 3-4 schemed DLs based on the knowledge that overall there aren’t many who produce in the higher end tiers in most standard leagues. And I know there were a few fluke 3-4 DLs last week to produce. But I don’t take that “take” as a bad “take”, I take it as a cautionary soft sit suggestion I made because I know what I know. And unless the 3-4 DLs flip the script of history this year, I don’t see me doing more than what I did above in Hard Stats with a few matchups here and there.
In general, it was week one of the NFL and as we seen it was crazy in a lot of cases how games played out. So, if I don’t have them in Hard Starts, go find other options is still my best advice. And will be until further notice. I do suppose that if the players I suggest are taken in your league you could look into the other DLs on those teams. That’s always an option if you’re digging deep, and you increase your odds depending on the player you might select. Good luck with that, I hope the info on the 3-4 Hard Starts were helpful in hitting on one.
Again, no matter my Soft Sits or general information, DON’T SIT YOUR STUDS! At least until data is available saying you need to split those hairs and the “Easy Start/Sit” charts come out in week four.
Thanks again for reading and please feel free to find me on Twitter @HBogart27 for anything IDP.