IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 3 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Week 3 is upon us. The Jaguars and Dolphins gave us some excitement on offense, but there was some IDP goodness to be had as well. Myles Jack recorded double-digit total tackles and Josh Allen got his first sack of the season. Elandon Roberts has a solid showing in his return to the team, and Xavien Howard made those who started him happy as he pulled in a late-game interception to go with his one solo and one pass defended. The pick saved his fantasy stat line.
In deeper IDP leagues that do not treat the position as purely a novelty, deciding who to sit and who to start often becomes a challenge. With that in mind, we will take a look at a few players we should both be started and sat in IDP leagues. We will try to avoid the obvious such as starting Devin White or Marcus Maye and instead focus on players who will actually be debated for this weekend’s contests.
De’Vondre Campbell (LB – ARI)
De’Vondre Campbell played 99 percent of the snaps in Week 2 and has even moved ahead of Jordan Hicks in snaps per game. As the Arizona Cardinals top coverage linebacker, they have no reason to take him off the field until someone pushes him off of it (more on that later). Campbell was a hot pickup this week, and also needs to be started where possible. He recorded eight solo tackles, two assists, two tackles for loss, and two passes defended in Week 2 and seems poised for an even bigger day against the Detroit Lions in Week 3. Detroit has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to the linebacker position.
Anthony Walker (LB – IND)
Anthony Walker played just 56 percent of the snaps in Week 2 but has perhaps his best matchup all season this week against the New York Jets. Both Darius Leonard and Walker should be extremely active against New York, with the added possibility of sacks and interceptions looming large against a team that many view as the worst in the league. Walker has been inconsistent in his career but has hovered around the LB2 periphery. In Week 3, he has LB1 upside due to the tackle for loss, interception, and sack potential in a great matchup.
Bradley McDougald (S – NYJ)
Bradley McDougald has what looks like a plus matchup in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He was solid in Week 2 with four solo tackles and one assist against the 49ers, but the stat line was a letdown due to the plus matchup. McDougald will have a chance to make up for it against what should be a run and tight end heavy attack of the Colts. McDougald should be kept extremely busy in this contest, even if Marcus Maye is the one who gets more box and pass-rush snaps. McDougald will never be close to the talent of the player he was dealt for in Jamal Adams, but in small bursts against plus opponents, he is a strong DB2 with potential DB1 upside. Start him this week against a Colts team that may provide plentiful production the Jets ‘other safety’.
Antoine Winfield (S – TB)
While I seriously doubt that anyone needs to be told to start rookie safety Antonie Winfield Jr. against the Denver Broncos, what needs to be stressed is just how high his upside is this week. Of course, you take a long hard look at any player who will have the fortune of taking on the Jeff Driskel led Denver Broncos. However, weighing them against competing options is the tricky part. Winfield Jr. was trending towards becoming a DB1 at some point this season anyways, but for Week 3, he should be considered already there. He has already proven to be one of the best young safeties in the league and was excellent again in Week 2. He racked up eight solo tackles, three assists, one sack, one QB hit, and one forced fumble. If the coaching staff lets him be aggressive this week, he could have one of the top safety lines we see in all of 2020.
Everson Griffen (DE – DAL)
After seeing just 58 percent of the snaps in his debut with the Dallas Cowboys, Everson Griffen saw 75 percent in Week 2. He was able to parlay that into two solo tackles, three assists, one sack, two tackles for loss, and one QB hit. He should see even more snaps in Week 3 and is blessed with a fantastic matchup against a Seattle Seahawks team relinquishing the most fantasy points to the defensive end position. Griffen barely qualifies for this column due to his proven talent and immense productivity, but after being benched in Week 1 by many IDP managers, there were still far too many who remained skittish and left him out of lineups for Week 2. Don’t make that same mistake in Week 3.
Javon Kinlaw (DT – SF)
Javon Kinlaw was always poised to see his role expanded on a weekly basis for the San Francisco 49ers. A pass rush specialist coming out of South Carolina, Kinlaw is not as advanced against the run so the 49ers decided to take it slow with their De’Fotest Buckner replacement due to their tremendous defensive line depth. Then came MetLife Stadium. Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas were lost for the year with torn ACL’s in the same game, which means Kinlaw will likely jump from 48 percent to 66 percent, to over 85 percent of the snaps in just three week’s time. Kinlaw has managed just one solo tackle and two assists in his 82 snaps this season but should be allowed to get into a rhythm now that he will be leaned on as a starter. Start him in DT leagues in his new role with a plus matchup against the Giants on tap.
Isaiah Simmons (LB – ARI)
Isaiah Simmons played just 11 percent of the snaps in Week 2 and is a drop candidate in shallower leagues. He has loads of talent, but the Arizona Cardinals have two starter worthy middle linebackers in Jordan Hicks and De’Vondre Campbell. Their refusal to play him anywhere else, despite his versatility being the reason most had him as a top-10 talent from the 2020 NFL Draft, means that Simmons may be stuck in role purgatory indefinitely. It is not like De’Vondre Campbell is fumbling away his job as the middle linebacker. Quite the opposite actually. He has solidified his grip on the job, and it is now fair to wonder whether the team values Hicks or Campbell more through two games of the season. Simmons should be freed at some point of the season, perhaps if an injury strikes or if Chris Banjo falls apart at safety. Arizona would do well to get one of their top three defensive talents on the field, in some way, shape, or form, for at least 60 percent of the snaps.
Sione Takitaki (LB – CLE)
Sione Takitaki was already losing some of his IDP shine due to Malcolm Smith seeing more snaps than him in Week 2, but now with Mack Wilson returning to practice and pushing to be on the field this Sunday, it could mean even less snaps for what was thought to be a nice short term plug and play option. The expectation was that Mack Wilson would be out for at least the first four weeks of the season and that Takitaki would be the unquestioned replacement for Wilson, keeping up the 92 percent of the snaps pace he set in Week 1. Unfortunately, that number was more than halved to 45 percent in Week 2, as he took a back seat to the more productive Smith. Takitaki is not only a sit this week, he may be on the IDP chopping block altogether.
Carl Lawson (DE – CIN)
Carl Lawson has a plus matchup against a battered Philadelphia Eagles offensive line allowing the 10th most fantasy points to the defensive end position. So just why in the heck is he a suggested sit this week? Let me explain. Lawson had just two solo tackles in Week 2 and played 57 percent of the snaps, a number that was actually more than Carlos Dunlap‘s 52 percent.
However, Dunlap is extremely likely to back to around the 70 percent snap share he saw in Week 1. But Lawson played 58 percent of the snaps that week and had a sack, three solos, and a tackle for loss some might interject. Yes, that is true, but Lawson has seen players like Amani Bledsoe and Freedom Akinmoladun get on the field for 41 and 28 percent of the snaps in Week 2, and if they continue to see their roles expanded, it likely comes at the expense of Lawson. If you play in a five DE starting spot league, of course, Lawson is still worth a start, but if you play in a two DE or three DL league and were thinking about rotating him in your lineup this week due to the extremely tasty matchup, you may want to give it a second thought.
Quinnen Williams (DT – NYJ)
Quinnen Williams exploded against Nick Mullens and the San Francisco 49eers for two sacks, four solo tackles, three assists, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one QB hit. After recording just two sacks in his rookie season, the IDP excitement level for the sophomore has reached its highest point since before he was selected as the third overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
The scheme was always going to be a bugaboo in New York, but the potential for hybrid fronts where he actually kicks inside kept him as a deep league option. Williams will get the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. The Colts are a plus matchup for linebackers and safeties due to run volume and tight end involvement, but we have to remember that Williams is often used as more of a space filler and gap eater than a pure rushing defensive tackle. He was one of the hottest pickups of Week 3 but should be kept on fantasy benches outside of two DT leagues despite the plus matchup.
Jamal Agnew (CB./WR – DET)
The window for hoping that Jamal Agnew would provide fantasy production as a wide receiver with cornerback eligibility has likely come and gone. He played just 24 total snaps in two weeks, generating just one target, so it is not like he is being schemed for when they do put him on the field. He is being used as a returner but has seen zero defensive snaps. He has one reception for zero yards through two weeks, and if he could not get involved with Kenny Golladay injured, the likelihood of his being able to do so when the Lions star receiver returns is not good. Golladay has put in two limited sessions heading into Friday, meaning that Agnew could very well see even fewer offensive snaps in Week 3. Keep him glued to benches until he actually starts to produce on offense. Those in league with shallow benches may want to consider cutting ties altogether.
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