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 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.
- QB: Tyler Grzegorek (@tyler_grez)
- RB: Gage Bridgford (@gbridgfordnfl)
- WR: Tristan Cook (@tristancook_)
- TE: Mychal Warno (@dynastydadmike)
- FLEX: Ethan Wyatt (@dynastywildcat)
- IDP: Jon Glosser (@glosser13)
Welcome back Nerds, seven weeks in the books, and I’m still here for all your IDP needs. As the leaders separate themselves from the pack, it is more important I help find those boom players on a weekly basis who can win you a crucial matchup. At this point in the season, every win and loss are so important. I do hope any advice I can give will help you make those lineup decisions easier. Let’s check out the Week 7 breakdown and get right into Week 8.
How Did I Do
Week 7: 3 Hits (Harold Landry, Foyesade Oluokun and Anthony Hitchens) 3 Misses (Bradley Chubb, Antoine Winfield and Malcolm Jenkins) 50% accuracy
This week’s only true miss was Malcolm Jenkins, who put up his worst performance of the year with just three points on a season-low 46 snaps. Bradley Chubb and Antoine Winfield both were very low volume tacklers. A splash play for each earned them both a double-digit performance on the week. Let’s hope for a bit more luck this week.
Jeffery Simmons (DT, DL)
Tennessee Titans vs Cincinnati Bengals
One of my favorite defensive linemen to watch in the entire NFL. Jeffery Simmons is a true difference-maker for the Tennessee Titans. Simmons’s emergence in the middle of the Titans defense has opened up the ability for so many others to make plays. The Titans have only registered six sacks on the season. Only the Panthers and Jaguars have less. Jeffery Simmons has two of those seven sacks in just five games played this season.
Tennessee suffered their first loss of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. The Titans defense did manage to force three turnovers, one directly caused by a pass deflection by Simmons. Jeffrey Simmons leads all Titans defensive linemen in snap percentage at 70.1% despite missing a full game this season.
In nine games last season, Simmons managed 75 fantasy points. Just five games this season, he has 64. In the last four games played, Simmons has at least 60 snaps played in every game. Simmons tackle floor has been solid for an interior defensive lineman. The former Mississippi State Bulldog has at least three tackles in every game. Simmons has three double-digit performances, including two performances of 19 fantasy points or more.
The Titans defense will get a chance to bounce back this week when they play Rookie QB, Joe Burrow. The Bengals rookie has eight fumbles, five interceptions and has been sacked 28 times this season. I’m predicting a big week for Jeffery Simmons. In the Bengals last two games, they have given up at least five tackles and a half-sack to opposing defensive tackles. This should be a chance for Simmons to put up another 20-point week for your dynasty team.
Emmanuel Ogbah (DL, LB)
Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Rams
The bye week came at the worst possible time for the Miami Dolphins this year. The team was playing very good football on both sides of the ball. That includes a shutout in their last game against the Jets. A huge part of their resurgence on defense has been the play of Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbah has at least 0.5 sack in each of his last five games, with a huge two-sack game in his last game.
The Dolphins currently rank 12th in the NFL in sacks with 17. Credit to Brian Flores for turning that team around defensively. While I never like to recommend sitting a guy playing as hot as Ogbah is right now, the matchup this week is telling me to. The Dolphins will face a Rams team this weekend who are tied for 2nd in the NFL in sacks allowed at 8. The Rams offensive line also ranks tied for first in the NFL in adjusted sack rate at 3.9%, according to footballoutsiders.com.
Emmanuel Ogbah is only a half-sack shy of tying his career-high at 5.5. He’sHe’s also on pace to shatter his career-high in fantasy points of 155. When you break down the numbers, they just seem unsustainable for him to continue to produce at such a high level. Ogbah has three tackles or less in three of six games this season. Ogbah has 19 total tackles, and five of them are sacks. In IDP123 scoring, sacks are six-point plays, meaning of Ogbah’Ogbah’ 83 fantasy points, 30 of those are from roughly six plays total. He’sHe’s a big play dependent player and in a bad matchup on paper. I’m tempering expectations or sitting him where I can this week.
Cory Littleton (LB)
Las Vegas Raiders vs Cleveland Browns
As a dynasty manager with many Cory Littleton shares, I can’t really describe how disappointing the start to the season has been. A shortened off-season and scheme change surely have tempered my expectations. Regardless his lack of production has been tough to deal with. Despite his early-season struggles, as of late, Littleton has looked better.
Cory Littleton has played a season-high 73 snaps in each of his last two games while totaling eight tackles last week, a season-high. The former #FFIDP star with the Rams has yet to deliver those performances with the Raiders. Most of that is due to a lack of splash plays. Littleton has yet to record an interception, forced fumble, a fumble recovery, or sack this season. Littleton has still produced at least nine fantasy points in four of six games played. Dynasty managers surely will look at 2020 as a disappointment with Littleton only on pace for a mid-200-point season. This is a huge drop off from back to back 331-point seasons in both 2018 and 2019.
The Raiders will play the Browns this week. Cleveland will likely look to feature Kareem Hunt and their ground attack to set up their play-action passing game. The run game and how often the Browns like to feature their tight ends should give Littleton plenty of opportunities to record another big tackle game.
The Raiders defense has been very pedestrian at getting after opposing QBs and forcing turnovers this season. Cory Littleton will surely need to make more splash plays if he’s going to continue to produce big weeks, but for now, his tackle floor is safe enough to make him a start this week.
Bud Dupree (LB)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers defense has been very good so far in 2020, leading the NFL in sacks with 26. The Steelers success has been due largely to the advantage they have at the EDGE position. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree are two of the NFL’s best. The duo has 10 of the Steelers 26 sacks this season after accounting for 26 sacks in 2019. The Steelers are currently number one in total defense in the NFL. This has helped produce some big weeks for IDP league managers.
Bud Dupree started the season with three straight 15-point performances in IDP123 scoring. Since the Steelers were forced into an early bye in Week 4, Dupree has only one double-digit performance. That performance was huge when he totaled 26 fantasy points after a four tackle and 2 sack game in week 6. The Steelers pass rusher had a zero last week against the Titans. This would lead me to believe he will bounce back this week, but Dupree’s value is strictly tied to sacks. I’m not the type of dynasty player to bank on that every week.
In four of six games this season, Bud Dupree has at least a half-sack, but he has failed to record over four tackles in any game. This worries me when you are looking for consistent production. Especially at this time of the year when wins are becoming more and more important.
I understand the role Bud Dupree plays for the Steelers, and he’s not asked to be a stay at home LB and make tackles. Dupree is out there to create havoc and get after quarterbacks. Bud Dupree finished 2019 with 262 fantasy points and a career-high 68 tackles. He’s on pace to set a new career-high in sacks. However, his fifteen tackles in six games just aren’t good enough. I’m likely wrong on Dupree this week, but the Ravens coming off a bye week seem very likely to upset their division rival. It’s worth noting Dupree did have a sack in both games against the Ravens last year. I don’t love recommending starting a rush LB with a low tackle floor coming off a zero the week before.
Vonn Bell (DB)
Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans
One of the most underrated free agents moves of this off-season was Vonn Bell. Bell joined the Bengals after four seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In his first four years, Bell never finished with under 78 tackles in any season. He also registered at least one sack and one forced fumble in all four years. The consistency from a fantasy points production standpoint has been exceptional for Vonn Bell. In IDP123 scoring, he’s averaged 196.92 fantasy points over his first four seasons.
The Bengals will host the Tennessee Titans this week, who have been one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The Titans like to get a lead and wear teams down with Derrick Henry late in the game. This is where Vonn Bell could post a huge week racking up tackles, assuming the Bengals can get Henry on the ground. The former Ohio State DB has at least 6 tackles in every game this season and leads the Bengals overall with 53 tackles.
Vonn Bell has yet to record any splash plays after having nine plays (1.5 sacks, 2 FF, 5 FR, and 1 INT) in 2019. Bell had a career-high 223.70 fantasy points last season. Vonn Bell has played every defensive snap this season and should continue to be as consistent as he’s been all year, turning in large volume tackles each week. Once he starts making those big plays again, he will be notching 20+ point performances regularly.
Kenny Vaccaro (DB)
Tennessee Titans vs Cincinnati Bengals
This will be the second time a Titans defensive back not named Malcolm Butler has made the sit list this season. Kenny Vaccaro, much like Vonn Bell, has been a highly productive IDP, mostly because of his tackle numbers. The Titans three safety look this season has lowered his opportunities to make as many tackles and led to inconsistency in the early part of this season.
Vaccaro had not cracked 200 fantasy points since 2015 when he was with the Saints. Vaccaro did have 79 tackles last season with the Titans, his most since that 2015 season. The Titans defense isn’t nearly as effective as they were a season ago, and it has led to some below projection performances for Vaccaro. This was the case a bit last season as well. He played all 16 games, with seven of them being single-digit fantasy performances. Seven games into the 2020 season, Vaccaro has two single-digit performances, but he did have 38 of his 96 total season points in one game. Vaccaro’s 38 points in week two were his best single-game performance in IDP123 scoring since week 10 of 2016.
As I mentioned a few weeks back when Titans safety Kevin Byard was a recommended sit, the Titans are using a higher percentage of DBs than they have in the past. Although Kenny Vaccaro is 2nd on the team in snap count percentage at 96.9%, the Titans currently have seven different defensive backs that have played at least 100 defensive snaps. To make matters just a bit worse for IDP managers, CB Adoree Jackson is very close to returning and will surely be added to the rotation.
While this doesn’t directly affect Vaccaro, he will remain a high snap share player, but the more players used in the secondary will most likely affect his ability to put together big stat line games. This scenario is similar to an offense like Tampa Bay. When all players are healthy, you just don’t know who to start for the most production on a given week. Attempting to figure that out becomes a headache for a dynasty manager.
Going forward, this column will have snap share percentages and updated stats for each player to make the breakdowns easier to read. I appreciate all you nerds for stopping by to check out the breakdowns each week. I’m very excited about what the Dynasty Nerds IDP team will be bringing to you the remainder of the season. Please support the team by subscribing to the YouTube channels and podcasts. As always, keep grinding and chasing that next dynasty championship. Give me a shout on Twitter @Glosser13.