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Man Coverage: IDP Start/Sit Week 9

@Glosser13 brings you the next edition of Man Coverage. Get your #IDPNerds start/sit advice here

Greetings again IDP nerds. We have officially reached the halfway point of the NFL season with their new 17 game season. I can only hope that the man coverage column gives you a bit of insight each week to help your lineup decisions easier. Unfortunately, Week 8 was a rough one with a 57.14% accuracy on recommendations. That has been the worst week since Week 4. We are still holding strong at a 68.22% accuracy rating for the season on our IDP selections.

Here’s the cast and the position groups they’ll be covering to help you win your week. Follow their socials, and be sure to check out their picks for this week as well.

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

Sit

Mack Wilson LB Cleveland Browns

Mack Wilson had 23 fantasy points over his last two games. The rotation at LB for the Cleveland Browns continues to be so frustrating for dynasty managers. In Week 8, the Browns’ top three leading tacklers were all linebackers. This is the first time that has happened all season. Mack Wilson is averaging just 18.5 snaps per game this season. The Browns LB has played 47 of his 111 snaps (42.34%) in his last two games. There’s no clear path to Wilson seeing significant snaps going forward, and with the return at some point of rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, he holds very little dynasty value.

Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys 

Start 

Jayron Kearse DB Dallas Cowboys 

Credit: complex.com

Jayron Kearse has been everything IDP managers had hoped Keanu Neal would be when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys this off-season. While Neal struggles to earn snaps for the Cowboys, Kearse has been a steal for dynasty managers. The Dallas DB averages 59.7 snaps per game and has recorded double-digit fantasy points in every game this season. This season, he has 100 fantasy points and is on pace to smash his career-high of 112 that he set last year while playing for the Detroit Lions. Kearse has at least five tackles in every game this season. At this point, he’s earned the right to be in your lineups every week.

Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

Sit

Zach Cunningham LB Houston Texans

This is one of the most disappointing situations across the NFL this season. Zach Cunningham looked to be on track to record his third straight 200+ point fantasy season after recording 41 points over his first three games. Unfortunately, he headed to the reserve/COVID-19 list after Week 3 and seemed to fall out of favor with the Texans coaching staff. After veteran LB Christian Kirksey broke his thumb two weeks ago, there was hope for Cunningham, but Kirksey remained the starter. Cunningham is burning up roster spots across all IDP leagues. The Texans’ best LB heading into the 2021 season has been relegated to less than 20 snaps per game in each of his last three games. This is a messy situation, but hopefully, dynasty owners aren’t stuck holding a backup LB past this season in hopes he becomes a high-volume snap player again.

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints 

Start

Pete Werner LB New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints rookie LB makes his second appearance this season as a recommended start. Pete Werner has been very solid for the Saints and IDP managers alike; he’s played at least 30 snaps in each of his past five games. In the three games, he’s played 40 snaps or more, and he’s finished with double-digit fantasy points in each game. According to fantasy pros snap count analysis, Werner is averaging 21.2 fantasy points per 100 snaps played. He’s a big part of the Saints defense in his first year and looks to continue his high production against the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta gave up 21 tackles to starting LBs last week in a divisional game against the Carolina Panthers. The Saints LB group has a plus matchup this week and should be in as many starting lineups as you can fit them in.

Las Vegas Raiders @ New York Giants

Start

Cory Littleton LB Las Vegas Raiders

Cory Littleton has shown flashes of his production when he was with the Rams. Littleton has 20 fantasy points or more in three of his last five games and averaged 18 points per game during that span. The Raiders LB is 35th in snaps played among NFL linebackers and is being outscored by teammate Denzel Perryman (LB14). The New York Giants gave up 20 total tackles to the LB position last week and faces another high-volume tackling unit this week. The Raiders starting LBs have nine double-digit tackle games between them. I wouldn’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.

New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers

Start

Matt Judon DL, LB New England Patriots 

Credit: forbes.com

Matt Judon joining New England this off-season was a perfect fit for both. The Patriots have heavily relied on their defense over the first half of the season, and Judon has been as good as advertised. The former Baltimore Raven has delivered 8 sacks in his first eight games with New England. Through 8 games, he’s only had one non-startable week, which was a blowout win against the New York Jets, where he only recorded one tackle. Judon has been special, accounting for 44.4% of the teams’ total sacks. The Patriots’ defense will head to Carolina to match up against the Panthers’ offensive line, who have given up 24 sacks this season (tied for 3rd most in the league).

Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Start

Matt Milano LB Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have officially returned to full health at the LB position. Matt Milano saw a season-high in snaps (69), the most he’s had since Week 3 of last season. The former Boston College Eagle scored over 200 fantasy points in 2018 and 2019 before getting injured last season. The Buffalo LB group will play a Jacksonville Jaguars offense that gave up 22 tackles to starting LBs last week. There’s potential for a blowout game with the gap between the two teams. Milano should be able to do enough damage to have a second straight double-digit fantasy point performance.

Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens

Sit 

Tyus Bowser LB Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens return from the bye week following a bad divisional loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Tyus Bowser has been on a hot streak for the Ravens defense over the past month with 2.5 sacks over the last four games. The Ravens pass rusher’s fantasy production is largely dependent on him getting after opposing quarterbacks. Tyus Bowser and the Ravens draw a bad matchup this week with the Minnesota Vikings, who have only allowed 10 sacks this season (3rd fewest in the NFL).

Los Angeles Chargers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Start 

Avonte Maddox DB Philadelphia Eagles

Avonte Maddox has been on a nice little run as of late. The Philadelphia DB has recorded 10 points or more in six of eight games played this season. He has three straight double-digit performances while forcing a turnover in back-to-back games. Avonte Maddox should see another week of high-volume opportunities against the Chargers, who pass on 65% of their offensive plays this season.

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Sit 

Krys Barnes LB Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers failed experiment to bring in LB Jaylon Smith is officially over. While it would have been nice to see Smith succeed with Green Bay, that just wasn’t the case. The Packers have remained a one LB dominant system in terms of fantasy scoring, and it looks to stay that way. Krys Barnes saw his most snaps since Week 1 but again didn’t do much with it to warrant a start. Unless something happens to De’Vondre Campbell (LB2), there’s no need to overthink it. There shouldn’t be any other Packers in your LB spot, at least not until Za’Darius Smith returns.

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

Start

Josh Norman DB San Francisco 49ers

There’s not a ton of confidence here, but with five potential starting DBs on the bye this week, you have to look deep. Josh Norman has been a great waiver wire find for IDP managers midway through the season. In his last three starts, he has games of 12,32 and 30 fantasy points. In those games, Norman has forced two forced fumbles and grabbed one interception. Kyler Murray and the Arizona offense likes to test opposing DBs, and Norman should find himself playing 60+ snaps again and having plenty of chances to score some fantasy points in a plus matchup in Week 9.

Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Rams

Sit 

Jeffrey Simmons DL Tennessee Titans 

Jeffrey Simmons is one of the youngest and productive DT in the league. The Titans star DL is dealing with an injury after a grueling overtime game in Week 8. He is a player to monitor this week after missing two practices early in the week. If Simmons does suit up, he draws a very tough matchup against a high-powered Rams offense. The Rams have allowed the fewest sacks in the league (8) and will look to neutralize the heart of the Titans’ defense, their pass rush. The Titans are 1st in the NFL with 95 pressures but surely will need to convert those to sacks at a higher rate to be successful against the Rams.

Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers 

Start

Cam Heyward DL Pittsburgh Steelers 

Credit: behindthesteelcurtain.com

If there’s ever been a plus matchup for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, this is it. The Steelers are top three in the NFL in pressure % and rank 10th with 19 sacks through seven games. Cam Heyward is on pace to record his third career 200+ point fantasy season. The 32-year-old defensive lineman has 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his last two games. The Chicago Bears have allowed 30 sacks through eight games at an average of 3.75 sacks given up per game. The attention that T.J. Watt draws consistently has benefited the rest of the Steelers, including Heyward. I expect a big week from multiple players along with the Steelers’ front seven.

The Wrap-up

In most leagues, trade deadlines are rapidly approaching. Dynasty managers need to get ready to stack their rosters for a deep playoff run or sell off veteran assets for draft picks. Stay tuned this weekend for the 2nd quarter IDP report that will be loaded with all things IDP to help you make those decisions easier. I wish all the Dynasty Nerds supporters the best of luck this week and hope you continue to support the IDP team and all the content we provide. Enjoy the games this weekend and keep building those dynasty championship-contending rosters.

The fantasy season is in full swing. How are you going to reward the league champ? I’ll tell you – go to Trophy Smack and get that Championship hardware. Use promo code NERDS for a free ring when you order a trophy or belt.

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