Welcome back IDP Nerds to another edition of Man Coverage. Here you will find my start and sit recommendations from each game. Very strong Week 1 with 9 correct predictions and 5 misses. It is difficult during the early part of the season to safely predict player usage and game flow. It was a good start for our IDP teams on NFL Kick-off weekend. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in week two.
The Team doing Start/Sits
QB: Jayson Snyder @Spydes78
RB: Gage Bridford @GbridgfordNFL
WR: Tristan Cook @Tristancook_
TE: Jake Oliver @DarthDbacks
FLEX: Ethan Wyatt @ethanAwyatt
IDP: Jon Glosser @Glosser13
Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Joe Schobert LB Pittsburgh Steelers
Joe Schobert has been a tackle machine over the past five seasons, now playing for his third different team in as many seasons. The former Cleveland and Jacksonville LB struggled in his debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers. We attribute these struggles to the Steelers playing five different defensive backs over 80% of defensive snaps.
The matchup with the Buffalo Bills, who passed the ball on 68.35% of plays, hurt Schobert’s chances to fill the stat sheet like he usually does as a high-volume tackler. The injury to LB Devin Bush last year forced the Steelers into more DB-heavy alignments on defense. In 2020 T.J. Watt was the only ‘LB’ to play more than 80% of total defensive snaps, and he lines up as an EDGE rusher consistently. I like Schobert this week against a Raiders team who is unlikely to be as pass-heavy as they were in Week 1 against the Ravens.
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Arik Armstead DL San Francisco 49ers
Arik Armstead must be thrilled that Nick ‘Baby’ Bosa is back wreaking havoc on opposing QBs as they did together two years ago on their way to an NFC Championship title. Armstead was a dud in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions, who had offensive line problems entering the game. Armstead played 65% of snaps but only managed one tackle.
This week, the 49ers’ defensive line will play the Philadelphia Eagles, who gave up the most sacks in the NFL (65) in 2020. Armstead registered 20.25 fantasy points in a matchup with the Eagles last season, collecting five tackles, 1 tackle for loss, a half-sack, and 6 QB hits. The 49ers defense could benefit if second-year DT Javon Kinlaw were to return this week but, regardless, roll out Armstead at DL this week.
Houston Texans @ Cleveland Browns
Justin Reid DB Houston Texans
Justin Reid has made a name for himself around IDP leagues. Reid has had at least 78 tackles in three straight seasons including a 240+ fantasy point season as a rookie in 2018. The Texans’ safety might not be the most elite complete NFL player but he always seems to find his way to the football. In his last 10 games played he has had double-digit fantasy points eight times. Justin Reid finished as the DB24 after scoring 17 fantasy points in the opening game. Reid will see plenty of work against the Browns offense this week.
Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Rayshawn Jenkins DB Jacksonville Jaguars
The former Miami Hurricane continues to be one of the most underrated defensive backs in IDP fantasy football. Rayshawn Jenkins signed with the Jaguars in free agency and gave them an instant return on their investment. Jenkins collected six tackles, a QB hit, pass defended and tackle for loss while playing 100% of the defensive snaps. The Jaguars’ secondary will see plenty of opportunities to score fantasy points and fill the stat sheet this season. Jenkins is the safest bet to finish as a DB2 from that secondary if he remains healthy. He had nine games of 10+ points in 2020 on 82% of snaps.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
Cam Jordan DL New Orleans Saints
IDP managers can’t be happy with what we’ve seen from the Saints’ best pass rusher over the past season. Cam Jordan registered three straight double-digit sack seasons before finishing with 7.5 last season, his lowest total since 2016. While the sack numbers are still good enough to make him a reliable IDP, it was far too inconsistent. Jordan only recorded 2.5 sacks in the first nine games and failed to finish with 10 fantasy points in eight games last season.
Cam Jordan only played 58% of defensive snaps in Week 1, although it’s hard to tell if that was due to a blowout win or a sign of things to come for the New Orleans defense. It’s hard to trust Cam Jordan this week against the Carolina Panthers, who finished around league average, allowing 36 sacks last season. Jordan only managed three tackles and 11 total fantasy points in two matchups with Carolina in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams @ Indianapolis Colts
Justin Hollins LB Los Angeles Rams
The newest face to benefit from playing with Aaron Donald is former Oregon Duck Justin Hollins. Before last week Hollins had recorded three sacks over his first two seasons and had never started a game. After Week 1, he is one of the most picked up players on waivers after a huge two-sack performance finishing with 32 points. Hollins played 74% of snaps against the Bears but will play the Colts on the road this week, who finished tied for second in the NFL in sacks allowed (21). There are much better options at LB than Hollins on any given week. This may change if he gets dual designation on sleeper, which he currently does not have.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Taron Johnson DB Buffalo Bills
Predicting consistent IDP production from cornerbacks is a dangerous game, but if there’s one that I do trust, it’s Buffalo’s, Taron Johnson. The Bills primary slot defender amassed 94 tackles and one defensive touchdown last season. Johnson was one of seven Bills defenders who played 100% of defensive snaps in Week 1; he finished with 20 fantasy points. The Bills DB had double-digit fantasy points in 10 of 16 games last season, including averaging 10 points per game in two contests against the Miami Dolphins.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
C.J. Mosley LB New York Jets
The New York Jets will attempt to keep C.J. Mosley healthy for the third straight season after signing a free-agent deal to join the team in 2019. Mosley had played a total of two games since leaving Baltimore after the 2018 season when he had 105 tackles. The Jets’ best LB played 94% of snaps in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, who ran the ball on 42% of their offensive plays. Mosley only came away with four tackles and six fantasy points; it may take some time before he feels comfortable after not playing meaningful football since 2018. There’s also a chance he isn’t the same player he was a few years ago, and with converted college safeties playing LB for the Jets behind him, Mosely could see less playing time if he continues to underperform.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears
Sam Hubbard DL Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals’ defense came away with three sacks in the season-opening overtime win. I love the opportunity for Sam Hubbard to bounce back this season after dealing with injuries last season. Hubbard finished strong down the stretch with 12 fantasy points or more in four of his previous five games. The Bengals pass rusher didn’t offer much in Week 1 but has registered at least 18 pressures in each of the past two seasons while collecting 10.5 sacks. The addition of Trey Hendrickson in free agency should only help Hubbard as we get deeper into the season. The Bengals will play a Chicago Beras team that gave up three sacks last week.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dante Fowler DL/LB Atlanta Falcons
IDP managers, including myself, sometimes have a hard time accepting that just because a player has name value, he isn’t helping you win games. Dante Fowler has had an interesting career outside of 2017 and 2019. He’s been a big disappointment in fantasy football. Fowler had three sacks all of last season, of which one was in Week 17 and didn’t even count for fantasy football. The Falcons pass rushers will travel to Tampa Bay to play against an offensive line that only allowed 22 sacks in 2020 and held the Dallas Cowboys sackless in the opening game.
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals
Xavier Woods DB Minnesota Vikings
Xavier Woods played 100% of snaps in Week 1 and tied with Harrison Smith with 36 run defense snaps. Woods finished with the higher run defense grade per PFF (71.8). The Arizona Cardinals offense displayed a well-balanced offensive attack in Week 1. Four defensive backs from the Tennessee Titans finished with 10 points or more. This week, Xavier Woods should have a safe tackle floor for IDP managers to confidently put him in their lineups.
Tennessee Titans @ Seattle Seahawks
Jordyn Brooks LB Seattle Seahawks
If you follow my work, you know how bullish I’ve been on Jordyn Brooks starting during rookie drafts a season ago. Brooks only played 32% of defensive snaps as a rookie. He finished with 57 tackles on the season. Brooks played 95% of snaps in the Seahawks opener and looks like he will start producing numbers for IDP managers like K.J. Wright did when he played alongside Bobby Wagner. After week 1, the former 1st round pick is tied for 4th in the NFL with 11 tackles. The Seattle LB should continue to improve and become a plug-and-play starter regardless of matchup.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers
Asante Samuel Jr. DB Los Angeles Chargers
I liked what I saw from the Chargers second-round pick Asante Samuel Jr. in his NFL debut, although he only finished with 9 fantasy points. According to PFF, 60.0 coverage grade on 28 snaps and a 73.3 run defense grade on 19 snaps. He played 85% of snaps as a rookie, which was 5th best on the team. Samuel should be busy this weekend playing the Dallas Cowboys, who passed on 76% of their offensive snaps in Week 1. Asante Samuel Jr. getting involved in the run game is a welcoming sign for his fantasy value, and he could be a sleeper for IDP managers this year.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
Juan Thornhill DB Kansas City Chiefs
Juan Thornhill looked great in the season opener, and the Chiefs desperately needed it with Tyrann Mathieu out. Thornhill has been wildly inconsistent for IDP managers. His 18 points in Week 1 were his first double-digit performance since Week 4 of last season. Thornhill played 24 run defense snaps, according to PFF, posting a 61.8 grade. The Chiefs aren’t going away from rotating players defensively to create plus matchups, and if Mathieu returns, I would expect Thornhill to be the third DB. IDP Managers should have little to no faith in Steve Spagnuolo to make it easy for them to make lineup decisions.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Za’Darius Smith DL/LB Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers defense will get a great opportunity to rebound after allowing five passing touchdowns in a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. Za’Darius Smith had a sack taken away on a debatable roughing the passer penalty, which would have been one of the only bright spots for the team in Week 1. IDP managers should feel comfortable firing up Smith this week against the Lions, who gave up 42 sacks in 2020 and allowed three in their opening game. Since Smith joined the packers in 2019, he has racked up 26 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 33 QB hits. The Packers’ best pass rusher should have a big week in a favorable matchup.
I appreciate everyone for taking the time to read this weekly column. I wish you all the best of luck this week and this season. Always remember to check our IDP rankings that are updated weekly on the Dynasty GM tool and use all the resources we offer here at dynasty nerds to improve your dynasty teams. If you ever have questions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter and follow along, as we will have some very cool things coming for the IDP community this year.
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