We’re on to our Week 10 look at start and sit choices in IDP leagues. As this week’s action fast approaches, the cream has been rising to the top, or as I like to say, water is finding it’s level. Stud defenders that may have started the season slowly are leading IDP league teams on their push for the playoffs.
Highly ranked preseason players such as Reshad Jones, Keanu Neal, Harrison Smith, C.J. Mosley, Bobby Wagner, Telvin Smith, Calais Campbell, Joey Bosa, and Jason Pierre-Paul are all top-10 scorers. I wanted to highlight these consistent performers as an example of the players that are not benched for any reason at this crucial point of the season.
It’s the matchups for the players on the next tier down that can make the difference between going to the playoffs or going home (figuratively, of course). There are some very nice matchups to chase this week. Here are the Week 10 IDP start/sit options.
This is a nice matchup for Heyward as he looks to rack up a sack for the third consecutive game. In the two games prior to the Steelers Week 9 bye Heyward had a pair of sacks as well as seven solo tackles. The Colts offense gives up both tackle numbers and big plays to defensive ends. Over the last three weeks Indianapolis has given up 31 solo tackles (48 total) and 12 sacks along with an interception and two forced fumbles.
The rookie defensive end should be ready to roll this week after missing two games due to a concussion. The only problem with Garrett this season has been staying on the field as he’s played in just four games. In those games Garrett has produced at least one sack and he has 11 total tackles on the season. Roll the kid out against a Lions offensive line that is likely to be without Taylor Decker once again.
Should Garrett be held out again or Decker return for Detroit, then a nice plug-and-play this week is the veteran Ayers. In the past three games Ayers has come on with 10 total tackles along with two sacks and a forced fumble. On the season New York has allowed 17 sacks to defensive linemen and a total of five turnovers to the position.
The Jaguars defense added two more sacks last week, bringing their season total to a league-leading 35. Unfortunately, Ngakoue was not able to get to the quarterback and therein lies the dilemma when considering starting the second-year defensive end. Ngakoue is a boom-or-bust option, as his tackle numbers are not strong enough to carry him if he doesn’t register a sack. The Chargers are keeping defensive linemen in check this season, having given up just five sacks to the position.
It was nice to see the veteran Freeney post a pair of sacks in his second game after signing with the Seahawks. However, it wasn’t nice enough to warrant starting him this week against the Cardinals, as Freeney played just 25 snaps last week. He’s in a part-time role behind Frank Clark, who played 58. It’s tough to rely on a repeat performance by Freeney as he doesn’t figure to see a big uptick in snaps as Seattle looks to keep him fresh. The Cardinals didn’t allow a sack last week and Drew Stanton is quite a bit more mobile than Carson Palmer.
Bucannon appears to be completely over the ankle injury that kept him out for the first four games. Over the last three games, he has returned to a three-down role, racking up 31 total tackles (25 solo) along with an interception and pass defended. The Seahawks are a juicy matchup, having just given up a combined 20 total tackles, a sack along with an interception to Washington’s Zach Brown and Will Compton last week.
At this point in the season it’s all about the matchups, and Marshall has a very nice one this week. Utilizing a multi-RB approach, the Patriots have rushed the ball 199 times with a running back while targeting them 78 times. That is a lot of tackle opportunities for linebackers and they’ve racked up 191 total stops against New England this season. Marshall is coming off a top-10 performance in Week 9 with seven total tackles, a sack and fumble recovery. Look for another big week from Denver’s only true three-down linebacker.
It may be time to cut bait with Armstrong altogether and it is definitely time to sit him. Last week Armstrong played just a single defensive snap and appears to have lost his role to Brock Coyle. Coyle has played 34 snaps at weak side linebacker in the last two games while Armstrong has played just 38. With the injury to Jaquiski Tartt there’s an outside chance Armstrong sees the field more but until we see that he belongs on the bench.
This situation is similar to the afore mentioned Armstrong’s. Middle linebacker Denzel Perryman is on schedule to return this week and Brown’s snap counts were already beginning to plummet. Over the last four games Brown has played only 33 percent of the snaps and hasn’t topped 22 in a game since Week 5. At this time of year, we can’t trust players that have undefined roles in the defense.
The veteran safety has been putting up plenty of big plays this season, having posted three interceptions, two forced fumbles with a fumble recovery and defensive touchdown. Those totals have Quin sitting among the top-10 in fantasy scoring for defensive backs this season. This week he faces a Browns offense that is handing out plenty of points to defensive backs. In the past four games Cleveland has given up 96 total tackles and 11 big plays to defensive backs. Look for a big game from the ball hawking Quin this week against a turnover prone Browns offense.
It may surprise some people that the second-year safety Farley also sits inside the top-10 for fantasy purposes among defensive backs. After a surprising goose egg in Week 8 against the Bengals, Farley bounced back putting up eight total tackles against Houston last week. He’s hit double-digit tackles twice this season and has the matchup to do so again this week. Pittsburgh is allowing an average of 25 tackles per game to defensive backs through eight games. With the Colts defense likely to be on the field a lot Farley should post very nice numbers.
Jahleel Addae, Los Angeles Chargers (at Jacksonville)
A finally healthy Addae is having a very nice season for the Chargers and is coming off a nine solo tackles game in Week 8 (the Chargers were on a bye last week). Addae has played all but two snaps this season and is on track to set a career high for tackles as he’s just eight stops away from eclipsing the 65 he posted in 2015. Unfortunately, this is not the matchup to put up much fantasy production as the Jaguars have yet to allow double digit tackles to a defensive back all season. Jacksonville has not allowed a sack to the position and just eight big plays through eight games.
Yes. This is a sit suggestion for the top fantasy defensive back in most if not all scoring formats. Byard has been on a big-play rampage, posting five interceptions in his past two games and now has six for the season. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Byard is not a consistent tackle producer and has a season high of just nine total tackles in a game. In games that he has not picked off a pass Byard has finished outside the top-20 five times and outside the top-60 three times. It’s unrealistic to chase another multiple-interception game from Byard and the Bengals have been a tough matchup for defensive backs of late.