Welcome back IDP Nerds. We are rapidly approaching the halfway point of the dynasty fantasy football season. We are picking at a 55.1% accuracy rate through the first six weeks. In Week 6, we had bad luck with injuries and game flow but came in at 57.14% for the week. While results are our goal, the process will not change as we look to provide you with solid reasoning as to why these players should have a successful performance in any given week. We are onto Week 7, so let’s look at this weekend’s matchups.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- QB: Mike Hicks (@DroptheMikeFF) – Changing the Call
- RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback
- WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern
- TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation
- FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Let’s Talk About Flex
- IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens
Tracy Walker DB, Detroit Lions
Tracy Walker is coming off his best game of the season despite only playing 56 snaps due to game flow in a blowout win against Tampa Bay in Week 6. Walker has stepped into the starting role with both Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Brian Branch out with injuries. Walker has averaged five tackles per game over his last four starts. He has a plus matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens, who allow the second most tackles per game (16.7) to the safety position. We can’t forget Tracy Walker’s run from 2019 to 2021, where he averaged 213.7 fantasy points per season. All signs point to a big week from the former top-12 dynasty defensive back.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Chicago Bears
Divine Deablo LB, Las Vegas Raiders
The Chicago Bears are a money matchup for linebackers this season. They have allowed a league-leading six LB1 weeks this season. Divine Deablo has been fairly consistent this season, playing alongside Robert Spillane. The veteran linebacker has an 87% snap share but has scored double-digit fantasy points in five of his six games this season. He’s recorded seven tackles or more in all but one game.
The Chicago Bears offense will look much different without Justin Fields behind center, but this shouldn’t affect the Raiders LB unit. Divine Deablo should have another effective week for IDP managers. He has averaged just under 8 tackles per game this season; if the impact plays pick up, he will be in the conversation for more LB1 weekly performances.
Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
E.J. Speed LB, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts LB system has been very profitable for IDP managers over the years. Unfortunately, it’s a two-LB-centric system, and that has played out again the same way in 2023. E.J. Speed has been solid this season, scoring 10+ points in every game. The reality is that as long as Zaire Franklin and Shaq Leonard are healthy, they will likely dominate the bulk of the snaps.
Darius Leonard has been injury-prone over the past few seasons, which has opened the door for a second LB to emerge, but as long as he’s healthy, he will play, which limits the upside of a player like E.J. Speed. This is a strong matchup for the Colts linebackers, so there’s a chance all three LBs can finish with double-digit points, but unless you are desperate, I would not have E.J. Speed in your lineup in Week 7.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Ja’Whaun Bentley LB, New England Patriots
Ja’Whaun Bentley is never considered a top linebacker in the dynasty IDP community, but the New England LB has been a solid producer over his career. The former Purdue Boilermaker linebacker is on pace for his third consecutive 200+ point season. He does most of his damage as a high-volume tackler but has registered 8 impact plays over his past two seasons. He’s averaged over 6 tackles per game this season and remains one of only two New England defenders (Kyle Dugger) to play 94% of snaps this season.
Ja’Whaun Bentley has a strong matchup against the Buffalo Bills this week. He’s had success against them, averaging 11.7 fantasy points per game over his last five starts. The Buffalo offense has allowed six LB1 weeks this season, which is tied for the most of any team this season. New England Patriots players on offense and defense are difficult to trust in fantasy football, but I would make sure Bentley is in my lineup this week.
Washington Commanders @ New York Giants
Xavier McKinney DB, New York Giants
The Washington Commanders look to keep winning against a beat-up divisional rival in the New York Giants. The New York Giants have been unlucky with injuries and are looking at a guaranteed top 5 pick in the 2024 NFL draft if they can’t turn it around soon. One of the bright spots for the Giants defense has been fourth-year safety Xavier McKinney. He’s averaged 12.8 fantasy points per game this season and scored in double-digits in all but one game.
The former Alabama product has been effective all over the field this season, posting a 71.5 overall PFF grade through six weeks. He’s played 20+ box snaps in three of his six starts this season. He should continue his hot play in this matchup, trying to contain the pass catchers of the Commanders. The Giants DB is on pace for his second 200+ point fantasy season in the last three years.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bud Dupree DL, Atlanta Falcons
Bud Dupree has been one of the lone bright spots for the Atlanta pass rushers this season. Dupree is coming off an 18-point performance in Week 6 against the Washington Commanders. The Atlanta defense is tied for the fourth-fewest sacks (10) in the league this season. As bye weeks, we are constantly looking for cheap options on waivers; Bud Dupree is an enticing option coming off a big week. I would look to fade here, as this matchup is just not good enough. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are allowing just one sack per game this season. There will be better matchups for the veteran EDGE rusher for Atlanta this week than just setting yourself up for a disappointment. There should be a better option on waivers ahead of Week 7.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Rams
Levi Wallace DB, Pittsburgh Steelers
We always show the CB-required dynasty leagues some love here in the ‘Man Coverage’ series. This week is Levi Wallace’s week as he draws a plus matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams offense passes on 61.36% of their offensive plays, the fifth most in the NFL in 2023. The Rams allow an average of 14.8 tackles per game to the cornerback position this year. Levi Wallace has averaged over four tackles per game this season and looks to be in for a long day trying to stop Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua in Week 7. This is a plus matchup for a cornerback who might have been dropped last week as the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the bye.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
K’Von Wallace DB, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals defensive back is coming off his worst performance of the season, finishing Week 6 with just three tackles. I’m all in on a bounce back in Week 7 for the former Clemson product. Wallace had averaged 8 tackles per game before last week’s performance. His 34 solo tackles are the fifth most among qualifying safeties, according to PFF. He’s also played over 200+ box snaps this season.
The Seattle Seahawks have three DB1 weeks this season. Wallace is set for a big bounce-back this week. The Seahawks allowed five tackles or more to three separate DBs last week. K’Von Wallace played nearly 65% of his snaps in the box in Week 6. If that usage continues, there’s little to no doubt he will be back to producing big games.
Green Bay Packers @ Denver Broncos
Alex Singleton LB, Denver Broncos
If you’ve followed me for some time, you’re no stranger to my love for Alex Singleton. He’s been an elite IDP producer whenever he’s given the chance. He’s totaled over 700 fantasy points over his three seasons and is well on his way to a third consecutive 200+ point season. The Denver LB has 42 tackles in his last four games and has a plus matchup against the Green Bay Packers this week. The Packers allow 15.6 tackles per game to the LB position this season while allowing three LB1 weeks. I encourage IDP managers to keep riding the hot streak and expect another double-digit tackle performance from the veteran LB this week.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Kendricks LB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Kansas City Chiefs are a money matchup for linebackers this season. They have allowed 20.8 tackles per game to linebackers this season. Eric Kendricks has been battling a hamstring injury, which has cost him two games already this season. The veteran linebacker has an 83% snap share but has scored double-digit fantasy points in all three of his starts this season.
The Kansas City offense will always be dangerous and look to control the ball on offense. That doesn’t change much for the Chargers defense. I like Kendricks this week, and he should be able to post a solid week for IDP managers. He has averaged 7 tackles per game this season; that gives him an extremely safe tackle floor.
Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles
Haason Reddick DL, Philadelphia Eagles
IDP managers were growing increasingly frustrated with Haason Reddick to start the season. The veteran EDGE rusher had just one recorded tackle through the first three games. Since then, he has picked up his game, recording 5.5 sacks over the past three games, resulting in 66 fantasy points in Dynasty Nerds IDP scoring settings. Reddick is one of the best in the game, as IDP managers know he’s recorded over 11 sacks in the past three seasons while playing for three different teams.
As much as it pains me, I must fade him this week in a tough matchup on paper. The Miami Dolphins have allowed just six sacks this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. The Miami offense is predicated on getting the ball out quickly, which has hurt the upside of some of the game’s best pass rushers. The Dolphins have allowed just one DL1 week through six games and the fifth-fewest tackles per game to the defensive line position. This is a tough one to justify, but if you can find a better option, I would lean that way for this week only.
San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Phillips DL, Minnesota Vikings
There’s no way better to close out a start/sit article than to show the defensive tackles some love. Harrison Phillips gets the stage this week in a Monday Night Football matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Phillips has been solid this season, totaling 37 tackles and 1.5 sacks through his first six games. The San Francisco 49ers allow the third most tackles per game (19.8) to the defensive line position this season. This one is for my DT-required IDP managers. You know I haven’t forgotten about you all. Get the big veteran DT in your lineups this week to help you pile up those points in case you require a Monday night miracle.
That will do it for this week’s content nerds. I want to give a shoutout to my good friend Jon Macri at Pro Football Focus. He’s been providing some excellent data for IDP managers this season, and I encourage you to follow him @PFF_Macri on X.com. There are many resources out there that can give you an edge on your weekly lineup decisions. With some of the top IDPs going on the bye over these next few weeks, it’s very important to make sure you are using all the data points you can to make the best decisions possible. I hope you all enjoy this week’s games, and I look forward to catching up again for next week’s games.