IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 6 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Week 6 is upon us. The Titans COVID outbreak forcing the Bills to play on Tuesday meant that the Thursday Night Football contest scheduled for Week 6 was moved to Monday. That means there is no Week 6 kickoff for us to review. With four teams on bye and the injuries piling up, the IDP landscape has become more difficult to assess.
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 Myles Garrett and instead focus on players who will actually be debated for this weekend’s contests.
Carl Lawson (DE – CIN)
Already up to 3.5 sacks on the season, Carl Lawson is about to become a starter. Sam Hubbard was placed on short-term I.R. with an elbow injury, freeing up Lawson for a near every snap role. Teams continue to use and abuse the short-term injured reserve, but for Lawson managers, it has transformed a bye week DL3 to a standalone DL2. Lawson has never been short on talent but unfortunately plays on a line with two defensive ends with even more talent. He has a tougher matchup against the Colts this week, but Carlos Dunlap should line up opposite All-Pro Quenton Nelson on most of his snaps, with the recently returned Geno Atkins occupying some of his attention from the defensive tackle position. This should allow Lawson to be active against both the run and the pass, giving him tackle, QB hit, and sack opportunities. Start Lawson with confidence despite the tough on paper matchup.
Foyesade Oluokun (LB – ATL)
Oluokun racked up a jarring 12 solo tackles, two assists, and one tackle for loss in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers. Oluokun is a downhill, strong side backer who stays on the field for nickel packages. He has worked his way into the LB2 conversation with his inspired play and has played well enough to hold onto his role beyond this season. This week he is an LB2 with LB1 upside for a plus matchup against a Vikings offense surrendering the ninth most fantasy points to the linebacker position. The Vikings will continue to lean on the run even with Dalvin Cook out, giving Foyesade more than enough tackle opportunities to produce as an LB1 for the second straight week. Oluokun is quickly becoming a must-start option, but it is always a bonus when your prized waiver wire addition has a plus matchup on tap to make your lineup decisions easier.
Willie Gay Jr. (LB – KC)
Willie Gay Jr. saw a season-high 47 percent of the snaps in Week 5, racking up five solos, one assist, one sack, and one tackle for loss against the Las Vegas Raiders. His role on defense continues to expand, and he has already passed Ben Niemann on the depth chart. He deserves a look as an LB3 option for Week 6 against the Bills. With or without Zack Moss, the Bills have proven that they will stick to the run even when it is not working for them. If Moss returns Gay will have even more upside, but he is a high upside option this week nonetheless. He will not be asked to drop into coverage much when he is on the field, so the violent linebacker will get to focus exclusively on tracking down linebackers with his sideline-to-sideline ability. He should be up 50 percent of the snaps in this contest and should become an LB2 option by the time the byes have wrapped up.
Tyrell Adams (LB – HOU)
With Bernadrick McKinney lost for the season, Tyrell Adams is expected to take his place as a starter. Adams played 89 percent of the snaps with McKinney sidelined in Week 5 and is poised to take over the role for the rest of the season with the linebacker’s shoulder surgery set to keep him out until the 2021 season. Adams was excellent from an IDP perspective in Week 5, racking up seven solo tackles, six assists, one tackle for loss, and one fumble recovery. He should be in for another busy night against the Titans in Week 6, especially against the run. He has LB2 upside on a four team bye week, which makes him starter worthy in all competitive IDP leagues.
Taylor Rapp (S – LAR)
Jordan Fuller is locked in as the starter when healthy, that much became clear in Week 5, however, with Fuller on injured reserve for the next three weeks at a minimum, Rapp is back in the starting lineup. While Fuller is the better scheme fit, it is actually Rapp who has been the much more productive IDP asset. He has DB1 upside in Week 6 against a San Francisco 49ers team surrendering the 10th most fantasy points to the safety position. Rapp should be started as a DB2 option wherever possible.
Josh Jones (S – JAC)
Josh Jones disappointed with a mere two solo tackles in a plus matchup against the Houston Texans. He played just 52 percent of the snaps due to a helmet to helmet hit, getting tossed in the second half. Jones led the safety position in solo tackles heading into the Week 5 and is now a weekly DB1 option despite still being available in 88 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He is a weekly must-start anyways but should be able to make good on his DB1 upside against a Detroit Lions team relinquishing the ninth most fantasy points to the safety position. Start Jones wherever possible in Week 6.
Helmet-to-helmet by Josh Jones, not thrown out like Harrison Smith was last week pic.twitter.com/e0w7D0lK4c
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) October 11, 2020
Troy Reeder (LB – LAR)
Added in 426 Yahoo leagues after his eight solos, three assists, three sacks, three tackles for loss, and three QB hits in Week 5, Reeder is likely to go back to a rotational role with Micah Kiser expected to return this week. He should get some pass rush snaps after his excellent showing, but he did not see a defensive snap this season until Kiser went down with an injury. Washington is also not the best team to evaluate players against both for fantasy and for the Rams coaching staff. Reeder is still a liability in coverage, and as such should not be a threat to Micah Kiser’s snaps when healthy. Kiser logged a limited practice session on both Wednesday and Thursday, and according to head coach Sean McVay, batting a setback is expected to play this weekend against the 49ers.
Duke Riley (LB – PHI)
Riley was solid in Week 5, posting seven solos, six assists, and one tackle for loss. However, he had recorded just six solos total in the four weeks prior making him hard to trust this week despite the plus matchup. He is dealing with a rib injury and will likely be tagged as questionable on the team’s final injury report. He can certainly play his way into the LB3 conversation with a few more strong weeks, but for now he is just an upside bench stash as opposed to someone you want filling in during the byes.
Chris Banjo (S – ARI)
Chris Banjo was a surprise inactive in Week 5 and should be left on fantasy benches for Week 6 due to the Cardinals playing on Monday. It was already going to be hard to trust him in his first game back, but with uncertainty over his snaps, role, and availability, it is best to look elsewhere for Week 6. Banjo remains a stash as he is expected to step back into his regular snap count once he proves he is fully healthy, but his job security remains tenuous. Monday’s matchup against the Cowboys projects as a plus matchup with Andy Dalton under center, but unless you already have a worthwhile contingency plan like Deionte Thompson, the suggestion here is to wait until he returns and plays a full game before deploying him as a starter or flex option.
DeShon Elliott (S – BAL)
Elliott had his best fantasy game of the season in Week 5, racking up two solos, three assists, one sack, and two tackles for loss. The sack was his second of the season, but Elliott has managed just 14 solo tackles through five games. He had back to back solid four solo weeks in Week 2 and Week 3 but has failed to record more than two solos in any other contest. His floor is waiver wire level, and when he is not getting to the quarterback he is more of a bench stash. He is playing in a potential fantasy-friendly role on a team with a great defense but just hasn’t been impressive enough to be worth a look this weekend.
Al-Quadin Muhammad (DE – IND)
Al-Quadin recorded his first sack of the season in Week 5 and was added in quite a few leagues because of it. I won’t knock the add, but if you are looking to start him this week due to a plus matchup versus a Bengals offense allowing the most fantasy points per game to the defensive end position, you may want to think again. He recorded a solid two solos, one assist, one sack, one tackle for loss, and one QB hit in Week 5, but that was really his first fantasy relevant week of the season. He has played over 50 percent of the snaps in every week but Week 1 (46 percent), but has failed to make an impact outside of QB hits. He can create pressures but chasing sacks with someone this inconsistent is not suggested even with the four team bye. Look elsewhere for Week 6.
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