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Getting Defensive: IDP Start/Sit Week 7

Week 7 is here. @Glosser13 is bringing you his start/sits for your IDP leagues.

Hey Nerds! As we continue to grow our IDP content here at Dynasty Nerds, we are excited to bring you a weekly start and sit for the 2020 NFL season. The weekly recommendations are based on our default scoring IDP 123. Players will be broken down by the three major positions (DL, LB, DB), with five to six defensive players per week. It’s common knowledge that you start your studs every week, which doesn’t change on the defensive side of the ball. This article will help you make the more difficult decisions before hitting submit on Sunday morning much easier on you.

The NFL season is flying by as we have already reached the mid-way point of the fantasy football season. Hopefully, your IDP studs are staying healthy and delivering for you every week. We have covered mostly the deep dives here every week. I encourage you to keep grinding away and using your own methods as well as using my recommendations weekly. Let’s look at the Week 6 recap.

How Did I Do

Week 6: 4 Hits (Bobby Okereke, Justin Reid, Arik Armstead and Troy Reeder) 2 Misses (Chase Winovich and Kevin Byard) 66.67%

I had very positive results this week, and my season average is doing well, with only one week under 50%. This week’s two misses, I’m not heartbroken over as game flow dictated results in both matchups. Chase Winovich saw a season-low in snaps at 23. Kevin Byard saw his second-most snaps of the season at 72. Kevin Byard was also in coverage on most if not all of Deshaun Watson’s season-high 37 pass attempts. All in all, a very good week, and I’m looking forward to continuing that success as we look ahead to Week 7.

START

Harold Landry (LB, DL)

Tennessee Titans vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The game of the week across the NFL with the two remaining undefeated teams in the AFC going head to head. The Titans have had a roller coaster of a season already through just six weeks with Covid-19 issues. There’s no doubt when you watch this team play, they are exciting. It may be the Pittsburgh Steelers defense everyone is talking about for IDP production, but we can’t ignore the Tennessee Titans fantasy producers. 

Harold Landry has been among the most underrated fantasy producers in IDP123 scoring this season. After playing 16 games in 2019, Landry finished with 221 points. Through just five games in 2020, he has compiled 72 fantasy points. This puts his 15-game pace at 216 points and gives him a very good chance of repeating his 2019 production. Harold Landry has accounted for 1.5 of the Titans seven total sacks in 2020.

It’s easy to pinpoint where an IDP scores the most, and with Landry last season, it was his nine sacks, including a five-game stretch where he had a sack in every game. In 2020 it appears that the Titans best pass rusher has a much safer tackle floor that is helping him be a consistent producer. Landry is averaging 4.6 tackles per game and has yet to score under 12 fantasy points in a game this season. If you combine his snap count percentage at 93.9% and the fact that he hasn’t played less than 57 snaps in a game in 2020, you are getting an extremely productive player to put in your lineups every week.

Sit

Bradley Chubb (LB, DL)

Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs

The Denver Broncos defense is playing with a ton of confidence in their past two games, and it’s really started to show for IDP managers. More specifically, dynasty managers of Bradley Chubb. Chubb returned this season from a torn ACL a season ago, and he was given no chance to ease himself back into the game with very little training camp. On top of a shortened off-season, Chubb also lost his teammate and the Broncos best pass rusher Vonn Miller.

This put immense pressure on Bradley Chubb to step up and in his first few games of the season. Chubb started the season slow despite seeing the most snaps of any LB except Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell, who are both seeing over 90% of snaps. In the first three weeks, Chubb managed only six tackles totaling just 19 fantasy points. One matchup against the worst team in the NFL, the New York Jets, can bring a player extreme confidence. That’s exactly what happened when the Broncos pass rusher played the Jets in Week 4. He exploded for five tackles and 2.5 sacks, putting up a blistering 32 fantasy points. This performance carried over into next week as he had four tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble against New England.

I’m a Bradley Chubb fan, and as well as he’s been playing, he still is very matchup dependent in my eyes. Frankly, this week isn’t a great matchup. Bradley Chubb and the Broncos will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7, who are the number one ranked offensive line according to footballoutsiders.com. The Chiefs have only allowed seven sacks on the season. They also lead the league in adjusted sack rate at just 3.7%, which is well below the league average of 6.5%.

It’s clear with Chubb’s 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble over his past two games that his fantasy production is tied to the big plays. The Chiefs will surely be aware of Chubb’s ability to destroy their offensive game plan. I expect the focus to be on making sure he doesn’t beat them this week.

(Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire) http://sportstalkatl.com

Start

Foyesade Oluokun (LB, DB)

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions

Foyesade Oluokun is in the running for potential IDP league winner this season. The 25-year-old Falcons LB burst onto the scene this season and currently ranks as the LB15 in IDP123 scoring. He ranks there despite missing one full game. When we think of IDP and the Falcons, the names Deion Jones and Keanu Neal instantly pop into your head, well not anymore with Oluokun producing as he has.

Foyesade Oluokun has never finished with over 158 fantasy points in a season despite playing all 16 games in his first two years. In just five games in 2020, his 92.40 fantasy points put him on pace to potentially put up a 300-point season. This would surely make him an LB1 in all formats. The Falcons linebacker has the second-highest snap percentage to Deion Jones, with 59.9% of snaps played. He’s also one of only two linebackers in the top 36 in fantasy scoring with less than 250 defensive snaps. In three of five games this season, Oluokun has put up 20 fantasy points or more. This included an insane 20-point performance against Dallas in week two on just 18 snaps. I’m not sure we will ever see anything like that again. In 18 total plays, he made six tackles and forced three fumbles.

Although, according to Sleeper, he’s only rostered in 1.8% of leagues, it’s clear Oluokun is every week starter. The Falcons will match up with the Lions this week, who gave up over 36 total fantasy points to the Jaguars starting LBs in Week 6. Until proven otherwise, I’m more confident starting Foyesade Oluokun weekly than I am Deion Jones. 2020 has been one crazy year!

Sit

Anthony Hitchens (LB)

Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos

I have to be honest with you guys. This isn’t so much about Anthony Hitchens’ ability to produce as it does with the Chiefs’ defensive strategy. The Chiefs and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo use defensive matchups to gain an advantage more than anyone. It appears to me that the Chiefs are employing a linebacker by committee approach this year. The Chiefs are playing 5 LBs this season, and none of them have a snap percentage higher than 67%.

Anthony Hitchens has by far been the most productive Chiefs LB, but that’s not saying much. The Chiefs are one of the few teams who don’t have a true every-down linebacker and have had multiple players wearing the green dot (calling the defensive plays) this season. There’s a safe floor with Hitchens, who will surely get you a solid nine fantasy points. That’s just not what you’re looking for to tilt a matchup in your favor on a given week. In weeks where you’re just looking for bye week fill-in players, he’s more than serviceable. The thought that Hitchens is much more than that at this point in his career is foolish. Outside of his career-high 235 fantasy points in 2018, Hitchens has been around 140 to 160 fantasy points. Numbers like this are just not worthy of a start every week.

The Chiefs matchup this week just doesn’t matter much to me at this point. Until the crowded snaps at LB clear up, I’m not recommending playing any of the Chiefs linebackers. I’m sure you’re all with me thinking we want to see Willie Gay get the snaps he deserves. Until that happens, I’ll be avoiding Chiefs LBs, especially in shallow IDP leagues.

Start

Malcolm Jenkins (DB)

New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers

It’s been a few weeks since we showed the old guys some love. This week seemed like the perfect time to do that, and who better than one of the most productive IDPs of all time at the safety position Malcolm Jenkins. In the last decade, Malcolm Jenkins has only had three seasons under 200 fantasy points. He’s done this while playing with two different teams. Jenkins’ point totals in those seasons were 188, 177, and 195 points. If you’re talking consistency for IDP fantasy football Malcolm Jenkins could be considered the gold standard.

At 32 years old, Jenkins is second on the team in snaps for defensive backs at 99.7%. The former two-time Super Bowl Champion has put up 11 fantasy points or more in all five games this season. According to PFF, Jenkins is still one the more productive safeties this season despite just average grades in run defense, coverage, and overall. His 32 tackles through five games put him on a pace to finish with at least 96 this season. That would be his most since 2015, when he totaled 104.

The New Orleans Saints have a divisional matchup in Week 7 with the Carolina Panthers. Teddy Bridgewater is coming off one of his worst games of the season. The Panthers should be without Christian McCaffrey, so they will likely lean on the passing game. This should mean more opportunities for the veteran safety to make plays and rack up tackles. I have a duty to show love to the old guys from time to time so fire up Malcolm Jenkins with confidence this week.

Sit

Antoine Winfield (FS, DB)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Las Vegas Raiders

The Tampa Bay Bucs defense has been entertaining to watch this season. Devin White and LaVonte David look to be the best LB combo in the league. As I’ve stated in the past, the safety combo of Antoine Winfield and Jordan Whitehead has been the biggest surprise. Also, a huge reason for the Buccaneers’ success.

The start of the 2020 season looked like it was Winfield who would steal the show in terms of fantasy production. Winfield turned in three straight double-digit games, including two with 20 points or more. However, since that time, Winfield has only registered one double-digit performance and has failed to meet his weekly projection in three straight games. Jordan Whitehead has seen most of the box snaps in that time. Not counting a bad game last week against Green Bay, he’s been the more trustable of the two safeties.

Tampa Bay will play the Las Vegas Raiders this week, who have had success throwing the ball deep with exciting rookie Henry Ruggs III. Raiders QB Derek Carr ranks 10th in the NFL in intended Air Yards according to Next Gen Stats. This will have to be on the Bucs radar, and keeping Winfield as the deep safety to prevent the big play could limit his production this week. According to PFF, Winfield has played 231 of his 377 total snaps in coverage this season despite posting an above-average run defense grade.

Through the first six games, the combo of Devin White and LaVonte David has 97 tackles. This leaves very little opportunity for everyone else on the defense to have consistent production unless they make splash plays. Trying to predict who that will be every week is not a winning strategy.

The Wrap Up

At this point in the season, I think my fellow Nerds have a good feeling about where their dynasty teams are. I want you guys to be encouraged to make moves, whether you’re contending or rebuilding. One of the best things about IDP is being able to buy or sell over producing players that you may have picked up on waivers. I can’t count the number of times I made a trade for an IDP midway through the season who ended up starting for a playoff team. On the flip side, there’s nothing better as a rebuilding team or a team looking to next year than getting a late pick for a player you really don’t need. Always be aggressive and keep building those dynasty powerhouses. Good luck this week!

At this point in the season, I think my fellow Nerds have a good feeling about where their dynasty teams are. I want you guys to be encouraged to make moves, whether you’re contending or rebuilding. One of the best things about IDP is being able to buy or sell over producing players that you may have picked up on waivers. I can’t count the number of times I made a trade for an IDP midway through the season who ended up starting for a playoff team. On the flip side, there’s nothing better as a rebuilding team or a team looking to next year than getting a late pick for a player you really don’t need. Always be aggressive and keep building those dynasty powerhouses. Good luck this week!

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