Fantasy Football IDP Start/Sit: Week 11
The end of the IDP fantasy football season is right around the corner and setting the best possible lineup is vital. With that being said, it’s also a time to play things smart and not get cute. Just like the beginning of the season, it is advisable to play your studs, regardless of matchup. For the record. You will not see players such as Danielle Hunter, Joey Bosa, Luke Kuechly, or Landon Collins ever mentioned in this piece. They are weekly starts, as my weekly ranking indicate, and low-hanging fruit for me to address in this article.
The players listed here are often options that may be flying under the radar or are off the beaten path types that owners tend to overlook. They are not reaches by any stretch of the imagination, but they are also not going to be top-end players that are obvious starts. I refuse to insult my fellow IDP lovers with those type of safe picks just to make me look smart. OK. Enough house cleaning. Let’s do this.
Keep in mind that Green Bay, NY Giants, Seattle, and Tennessee are on their bye.
Jonathan Allen (DL – WSH)
We liked Allen as a start option back in Week 9, and he rewarded us with a top-20 weekly finish. Let’s go back to the well again this week. The third-year defensive end was hitting his stride in the five games prior to the Week 10 bye. In those games, he put up 20 total tackles, as well as four sacks. He was also credited with four quarterback hits along with four tackles for a loss. Playing opposite Matt Ioannidis, he is an ascending IDP talent. He currently sits just outside the top-24 defensive linemen in balanced scoring formats. He has a positive Week 11 matchup against a Jets’ offense that is allowing an average of three sacks per game to defensive linemen in their past three games.
Maxx Crosby (DL – OAK)
The rookie had quite the game last Thursday night in the Raiders’ win over the Chargers. While his final official stat line of three total tackles, with half a sack, was not all that impressive, his play on the field certainly was. He played 91% of the snaps and was credited with 10 quarterback pressures, two of which led to Philip Rivers’ interceptions. Since Week 8, he has been putting up top-20 defensive linemen totals in balanced scoring formats. This week he faces a Bengals’ offense that has allowed 18.5 sacks to the defensive line position in 2019. He is a must-start.
A.J. Johnson (LB – DEN)
It took the Denver coaching staff a little time to decide on the linebacker to line up alongside Todd Davis. Ultimately, prior to Week 5, the job was turned over to Johnson. The rookie out of Tennessee has been on quite the run over the past two games. In that time, he has put up 21 total tackles, a sack, and a pass defended. He has played 91% and 96% of the snaps, respectively, in the last two games and has a great Week 11 matchup. Last week, the Vikings’ offense gave up a combined 26 total tackles to the Cowboys’ LB duo of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Start him with confidence this week.
Myles Jack (LB – JAC)
This is the week and matchup for Jack to salvage what is shaping up as a lost season. With Telvin Smith taking the season off, it was widely thought that Jack would have a breakout campaign as the main man in the middle of the Jaguars’ defense. It has been far from that as he currently has 50 total tackles, which is five fewer than he had at this time last season. In the last four games, the Colts’ offense is allowing 25.75 total tackles per game to opposing linebackers and has given up 14 big plays to the position. With little competition for tackles, it is now or never for him to put up a huge performance.
Jessie Bates (DB – CIN)
After a rookie season that saw him finish with triple-digits tackles, Bates had a middling start to his sophomore campaign. Playing behind a struggling linebacker corps has led to a midseason resurgence for the second-year free safety. In his last four games, he has posted 36 total tackles and an interception. Bates has quietly climbed into the top-15 defensive backs in balanced scoring formats, ahead of teammate Shawn Williams. The Raiders’ offense is a negative matchup for opposing defensive backs, but the fact that the Cincinnati front seven struggles so much in stopping the run makes Bates a must-start this week.
Chuck Clark (DB – BAL)
Since being asked to step in for the injured Tony Jefferson (knee) Clark has played 100% of the defensive snaps. While the numbers he’s put up are not eye-popping, they have been consistent. He’s had at least five total tackles or more in the last three games and has also added a forced fumble as well as a pass defended. With free safety Earl Thomas playing the deep center field, ball-hawking role, Clark has been utilized in more of a nickel linebacker role. There’s the opportunity this week to add to his big-play totals against a Texans’ offense that has allowed 14.5 big plays to defensive backs through nine games.
Brian Burns (DE – CAR)
Things have just about bottomed out for the rookie defensive end after he was off to such a nice start. In the first six games, he put up 4.5 sacks and looked to be a solid IDP option moving forward. It has not worked out that way. During the bye week, he had a minor procedure on his wrist and has been a non-factor since his return. In the past three games, he has managed to post just one solo tackle and has not registered a quarterback hit. He has also been losing snaps at an alarming rate and played just 11 last week. He’s a dynasty hold, but it appears that he’ll have little value for the remainder of this season in redraft leagues.
Jerry Hughes (DE – BUF)
The matchup this week is a very solid one for the veteran defensive end as Miami has allowed 35 sacks on the season with the defensive line position accounting for 19.5. However, the production for Hughes this year has been lacking, to say the least. He has managed just 2.5 sacks along with a paltry 19 total tackles and a forced fumble. It’s also concerning that through nine games he has been credited with just four quarterback hits. Throw in the fact that he is practicing on a limited basis this week due to a groin issue, and there is no reason he belongs near a starting lineup. The sun appears to be setting on Hughes’ days as a fantasy-relevant player, and there are much better options available moving forward.
Drue Tranquill (LB – LAC)
The rookie stepped in for Denzel Perryman (knee) last week and had a very productive game. Playing 100% of the snaps, he posted 14 total tackles, finishing as a top-20 linebacker for the week in balanced scoring formats. The knee-jerk reaction would be to pick up the rookie and start him this week. Not so fast. The health of Perryman could still factor into his playing time, and the matchup is a rough one. The Chiefs’ offense is a bottom-five unit in allowing IDP production to opposing linebackers. Go ahead and pick up the rookie on the waiver wire, but it’s advisable to sit him this week. Wait for the situation to become a bit more clear and the matchup a bit more fantasy-friendly.
Tremaine Edmunds (LB – BUF)
What has been a disappointing second season for Edmunds is unlikely to perk up this week. The Dolphins’ run game is a mess following the suspension of Mark Walton, although they did allow 13 total tackles last week to Darius Leonard. Unfortunately, Leonard has little competition for tackles on the Colts’ defense while Edmunds has teammate Matt Milano to contend with. On the season, Edmunds is currently sitting outside the top-35 linebackers in balanced scoring formats. He has put up 64 total tackles while Milano has tallied 59 and is a weekly threat to cap Edmunds’ fantasy production. It is safe to sit him this week.
Tyrann Mathieu (DB – KC)
Let’s face it. Just one year removed from a top-15 defensive backs finish, the 2019 season has become a lost cause for Mathieu. His first year with Kansas City has certainly not lived up to expectations. After putting up 89 total tackles along with six big plays last season, he is on pace to finish with less than 70 tackles and five big plays this year. He is being lined up too far from the line of scrimmage to help out in run defense on a consistent basis. The defense has at least tried to get him involved in the pass rush, but that has not panned out. He has been brought on the blitz 28 times but has managed just one sack and a single quarterback hit. Time to move on.
Jordan Whitehead (DB – TB)
Generally, IDP owners love a starting strong safety that is playing an average of 96% of the snaps on the season. Unfortunately, Whitehead finds himself in the midst of a four-game stretch that has submarined his fantasy value. In that time he has just 19 total tackles and a fumble recovery. He has fallen outside the top-30 defensive backs in balanced scoring formats and has a rough Week 11 matchup. On the season, the Saints’ offense has allowed just four big plays to opposing defensive backs and an average of 28 tackles per game to the position.