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Getting Defensive: IDP Start/Sit Week 9

The push for the playoffs is on. Find out who @Glosser13 has on his radar for start/sits this week.

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.

Greetings again, my fellow IDP Nerds. Just a side note, Darius Leonard was made the cover image because I’m thrilled the LB1 is back. Apologies to my guy Devin White. It’s already Week 9, and I hope most of you are still with me pushing for a dynasty championship this season. I’ve had a lot of fun breaking down these players over the first two months. I recognize the importance of each and every win at this point of the year. I promise to dig deeper into the numbers to give you the best possible edge. As always, let’s review last week and dive into this weekend’s matchups.

How Did I Do

Week 8: 3 Hits (Kenny Vaccaro, Vonn Bell and Cory Littleton) 3 Misses (Bud Dupree, Emmanuel Ogbah and Jeffrey Simmons) 50% accuracy

We put together another .500 week, which isn’t too bad all things considered. The one thing that’s impossible to predict with IDP123 scoring is the big splash plays. Those are ultimately your deciding factors if a player can have a boom week or not. Offensive line rankings and pressure rates only tell a part of the story. Sometimes one play is all you need. As hardcore IDP dynasty managers, you wouldn’t want it any other way. Let’s get into Week 9.

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START

Cam Jordan (DE, DL) 

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There is simply no denying how productive Cameron Jordan has been over the past few seasons. The former California Golden Bear has been the poster boy for consistency in IDP123 scoring. He’s accomplished this at a position that has been so thin over the years. Cam Jordan has played eight seasons prior to 2020 and has finished with 200+ fantasy points in all but two seasons. He’s also played in all 16 games every year. Guys like Cameron Jordan don’t come around often. He deserves all the respect he gets from us as dynasty managers.

http://sleeper.app

It’s reasonable as a Cam Jordan dynasty manager to be a bit disappointed so far with the sack total. I would urge owners to be patient and realize that eventually, the sacks will come. The Saints defensive line is rotating bodies more than ever. Jordan is the biggest threat and has been opening things up for his teammates. The Saints currently have six defensive linemen with at least one sack, including Trey Hendrickson, who has a team-leading 5.5 sacks. Cam Jordan has played a huge role in those others being able to get after opposing quarterbacks. The Saints star defensive end has 2.5 sacks in his last four games and still leads all Saints DL in snap percentage at 84.6%

The Match-up

A huge week nine matchup as the Saints head to Tampa Bay to take on the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s offensive line has allowed only 10 sacks this season, according to footballoutsiders.com. The Saints defense has 6 sacks in their last two games. Cam Jordan registered 11 fantasy points in his first matchup with Tampa Bay this season, collecting four tackles on 62 snaps.

The emergence of Trey Hendrickson combined with the return of Marcus Davenport, should allow Jordan more one on one opportunities. I like his chances to keep his sack streak alive against a division rival. We all believe in the numbers don’t lie narrative, so I’ll leave you with this. You will have to go all the way back to week 14 of 2015 to find the last time Cam Jordan didn’t have double-digit fantasy points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s a streak of seven games in a row.

Sit

Grady Jarrett (DT)

Atlanta Falcons vs Denver Broncos

The key piece to the middle of the Atlanta Falcons defense a season ago has been struggling as of late. Grady Jarrett started the season red hot with three straight double-digit performances, including two games of 19 fantasy points per game or more. He had 2.5 sacks in his first three games and looked to pick up where he left off in 2019—a season in which he set career highs in tackles (69) and sacks (7.5). Jarrett has really cooled off as of late with five straight performances of less than 10 fantasy points, and he has failed to record a sack since Week 3.

http://pro-football-reference.com/

The Match-up

Atlanta is coming off two wins in their last three games, playing a Denver Broncos team who is equally hot, winning their last two. The Broncos offensive line has given up 20 sacks this season, including two sacks to defensive tackles in their last two games. My luck Grady Jarrett will finally get his big play this week, but I’m not gambling on a guy who hasn’t turned in a startable performance in over a month. The Falcons defense does have five sacks in their last two games. However, only one of them came from a defensive lineman. I’m not recommending sitting Grady Jarrett for the matchup as much as the poor performances in his last five games. Simply put, there are better options.

START

Rashaan Evans (LB)

Tennessee Titans vs Chicago Bears

One of the more underrated young IDP linebackers in the game right now is Titans LB Rashaan Evans. Rightfully so, most dynasty managers would prefer to have Jayon Brown. Brown currently sits as LB17 right now in IDP123 scoring while Evans is all the way down at LB70. These rankings are slightly skewed on Sleeper, which is our go to league for tracking IDP123 data this season. On Sleeper, many players have dual position eligibility. Rashaan Evans is still only 24 and producing well after finishing with over 220 fantasy points in 2019. Evans is only playing 73.5% of snaps to Jayon Brown’ 97%, according to footballoutsiders.com.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide LB has been very consistent, so much so that I looked back at his last ten games. Evans has double-digit points in nine of those games. The only outlier was a Week 1 matchup against Denver, where he was ejected for throwing a punch. Rashaan Evans may not give you the huge week, but his consistency alone gives you a safe bet each and every week.

The Match-up

The Titans are coming off two straight losses, mostly because of their defenses inability to keep teams out of the endzone. A matchup with the Bears awaits the Titans, who look to bounce back. Rashaan Evans has had at least five tackles in every game besides his week one ejection. A very safe tackle floor should see him have another consistent week against a Bears team who looks to continue to run the ball with RB David Montgomery. Monty has seen double-digit carries in every game this season, including a season-high 21 carries in Week 8.

Sit

Josey Jewell (LB)

Denver Broncos vs Atlanta Falcons

Listen, I’m all for the boom or bust LB in fantasy football, especially when they were waiver wire guys to start the season. However, the big splash plays are typically what you look for in these players. Outside of one-week, Josey Jewell just doesn’t offer enough of those plays.

Josey Jewell is already on pace to shatter his career-high in fantasy points of 111 in 2018. He currently has 101 points heading into this week. Outside of week 4 against the New York Jets, where he put up a monster stat line of 10 tackles and two sacks, he has been too inconsistent.

One of the most alarming things with Josey Jewell has been the snaps. In his three biggest performances of the season, he’s played 82,74 and 80 snaps. Prior to his 80 snaps in Week 8, he only saw 49 and 47 snaps in his last two games. I understand game flow dictates these things from time to time, but it’s clear to me Alexander Johnson is the LB the Broncos want on the field at all times. Jewell is playing 93.2% of defensive snaps to Alexander Johnson’ 100%. In total, he’s still 33 defensive snaps behind Johnson. Two subpar performances in his last three games make him a sit for me this week.

The Match-up

The Atlanta Falcons are second in total yards and 2nd in pass yards in 2020. Given the struggles of Josey Jewell in coverage, this could keep him off the field. Jewell holds a 51.4 coverage grade, according to PFF. It’s likely with the weapons Atlanta has, more sub-packages could be brought on, limiting his snaps. As I stated before, Jewell is a volume LB for production. He needs a large volume of snaps to produce. The matchup this week with Atlanta does not scream high volume of snaps for Jewell. I would temper expectations this week even after he posted a 10-tackle game a week ago.

Start

Daniel Sorensen (DB)

Kansas City Chiefs vs Carolina Panthers

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a few IDP livestream podcasts with fellow Dynasty Nerd Jordan Rains. One of the most asked about players has been Daniel Sorensen. We both had the same thought about the Chiefs DB, he’s a must-start until he proves otherwise. Despite Sorensen being 3rd on the team in snap percentage at 76.6%, he has been highly productive.

The Numbers

In the last three games, Daniel Sorensen plays an average of 53.6 snaps a game, including registering 23 tackles, one forced fumble, and two interceptions taking one of those back for a defensive touchdown. One of the most interesting numbers I found on Sorensen was his high percentage of special teams snaps, rare for a player who plays over 75% of defensive snaps. Sorensen is in on 45.8% of special team’s snaps, giving him more opportunities for tackles that typical starting safeties would not otherwise have. Since week two, Daniel Sorensen has not had fewer than five tackles in a game and has blown away his weekly projection in every game since. I’ve picked up Sorensen in deep dynasty leagues even this week. If he’s on your waiver wire, he is a must-add in all scoring and league types.

Sit

Harrison Smith (DB)

Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions

This one bothers me a little bit as I’ve been a fan of Harrison Smith in IDP leagues for many years. The realization has to set in sometimes, as much as we hate to say it, but father time sure is undefeated. Harrison Smith has been an elite level IDP for years. Smith hadn’t turned in a season under 230 fantasy points since 2016 when he only played 14 games. Huge changes have happened to the Vikings team, especially on defense, and Smith’s production has suffered. This year, four of his seven performances have been single digits, including three straight 4-point performances before scoring 16 a week ago.

The Vikings LB duo of Eric Kendricks and Eric Wilson has been racking up tackles this season while Harrison Smith has struggled in that regard. The Former Notre Dame safety had more tackles last week than he did in his previous three games, and his one big splash play came all the way back in week three against the Titans on an interception. There’s a solid chance at only 31, Harrison Smith can become a relevant IDP again. Still, in a game that is very dependent on what have you done for me lately, it’s very reasonable to sit Harrison Smith this week against the Lions.

The Wrap-up

As we hit the home stretch here, I am going to try to give a different look to the column each week. I love being able to give you guys my thoughts every week but realize more visuals or different stats can be more beneficial than reading a ton of words. Any and all feedback is important to me and the whole team who are giving out start and sit recommendations each week so we would love to hear from you. Good luck this week Nerds we are making that push for a dynasty championship this year. Keep grinding. 

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