IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 8 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Week 8 is upon us. Thursday Night Football was kind to IDP managers with Foyesade Oluokun showing out on national television, Jeremy Chinn impressing his way into the national conversation, and Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Tre Boston all performing at or above the levels IDP managers expected when they added them to their rosters this offseason. Let’s hope the rest of Week 8 goes as smoothly.
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.
K.J. Wright (LB – SEA)
Wright has had enough down weeks this season that he is rostered in just 26 percent of Yahoo leagues after being over the 42 percent mark to start the season. He started the season slowly, seeing just 56 percent, then 71 percent of the snaps in the first two weeks of the season, but was moved back to a near every snap role in Week 3. He responded with six or more solo tackles in three of his last four contests and has returned to the weekly upside LB2 conversation. He appears poised for LB1 level numbers this weekend against a San Francisco 49ers team, surrendering the fourth most fantasy points to the linebacker position. Start him wherever possible.
Robert Spillane (LB – PIT)
Robert Spillane played 75 percent of the snaps in Week 7, racking up two solos and one assist. The production was disappointing, as was the fact that he came off the field on obvious passing downs, but he is an exciting run-stopper with a great matchup. He gained some much needed confidence in his first start for the Steelers and should be able to increase his production this week against the Baltimore Ravens. Spillane has a plus matchup in Week 8 and is a solid bye week LB3 with LB2 upside against the run-heavy Ravens. Start him where needed.
Yannick Ngakoue (DE – BAL)
It is true that Ngakoue is likely to see a rotational role if active against the Steelers, but his massive upside as a member of the Ravens defensive is too attractive to ignore. We may not be able to count on him for DL1 production, but he is an elite DL3 option with the obvious DL1 upside. Ngakoue is going to be special in Baltimore, but most IDP managers may be considering sitting him this week against a Steelers offense limiting defensive ends ti just the 24th most fantasy points to the position. If he is active, trot him out there this week with confidence as potential DL2. He is too talented and in too good of a situation to keep benched.
Emmanuel Ogbah (DE – MIA)
Emmanuel Ogbah had two sacks prior to the Miami Dolphins bye in Week 6, making it three games in a row in which he has recorded at least one sack. The streak extends to five games if we were to include half sacks. He was tied for fourth in the league with five sacks heading into Week 7, and is a high upside plug and play DL2 as long as he keeps up his scorching play. His Week 8 matchup is not great which could lead to him being left on benches against a Rams team that has been pretty good at preventing sacks, giving up more than one (two total) just twice this season, and holding the banged up 49ers to zero sacks. Despite the neutral at best matchup this weekend, Ogbah needs to be viewed as a DL3 at worst. He projects as DL2 with DL1 upside as he should stay busy enough against the run to produce for his fantasy managers. Sacks are not sticky enough to predict, but if there is any Dolphin that gets to Goff this weekend, the smart money is on Ogbah.
Adrian Phillips (S – NE)
The former All-Pro safety was strong again in Week 7, this time racking up six solos, one assist, and one tackle for loss in a plus matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. His performance marks his second straight DB1 level outing and his third of the season. He has seen over 75 percent of the snaps in four of the last five weeks and should be counted as a DB2 option this weekend. He has a plus matchup in Week 8, as the Patriots will be taking on a Bills offense surrendering the third most fantasy points to the safety position. He is someone to consider plucking off the waiver wire if your current safety has a considerably less favorable matchup.
Everson Griffen (DE – DET)
Everson Griffen will eventually help form one of the deepest defensive line groups in the NFL, but for Week 8, if he even manages to be active, he could disappoint. He is likely to see a sub-package role on passing downs. He is a threat to see less than 50 percent of the snaps as a rotational pass rusher. Griffen may never see 85 percent of the snaps as a Lion, but the hope is that he gets 70-75 percent of the snaps opposite Trey Flowers when he settles in. He was in line to be a DL1 option for the Cowboys with Philadelphia on the schedule, but the switch of teams and snap uncertainty makes him a sit, at least for this week.
Romeo Okwara (DE – DET)
Romeo Okwara has been solid this season but now has to contend with Everson Griffen entering the rotation. As good as Okwara has been (he is up to four sacks on the season after recording two in Week 7), he is no longer a top-two pass rusher on the team. He will likely stay in on running downs and should see more snaps than Griffen this weekend but a reduction to his current snap percentage could lead to disastrous results for his IDP managers. He has crossed 61 percent of the snaps just twice all season and is clearly the player who will be most affected by the arrival of the former Pro Bowl defensive end. He is some to keep parked on benches for the time being. Okwara is going to have his good games but trusting him in a matchup against a team limiting the defensive end position to the sixth fewest fantasy points when we know he could be seeing a potentially massive reduction in his snap count is just not smart fantasy managing.
Jamie Collins (LB – DET)
Jamie Collins has been relatively consistent this season and has performed at or near an LB2 level depending on your league’s settings. He has recorded six or more total tackles or a sack in each of his games this season. He is rostered as a LB3/4 in most places but has likely outperformed players you spent more capital on. However, Week 8 gives him a Colts team that has not been as friendly to the linebacker position as one may expect. The Colts have allowed just the 25th most (aka eighth fewest) fantasy points to the linebacker position. Normally I would be suggesting a linebacker facing the Colts as a start target despite the tough on-paper matchup, but Collins’ mix of solos and assists could lead him to disappointing this week. Collins has two one solo games with one two solo outing. He has cleared four solos just once all season. Settings matter, but Collins is someone to consider keeping benched this weekend.
Ronnie Harrison (S – CLE)
Ronnie Harrison has now had two monster fantasy weeks in a row and may be someone fantasy managers want to start this weekend in what could be a plus matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas has allowed the 18th most fantasy points to the safety position, but with the right gamescript he could be extremely active against the run. It is hard to suggest sitting someone who has been a DB1 each of the last two weeks, but trusting him to perform even at a DB3 level has been a risky proposition this season.
Granted he joined a new team following the Browns losing Grant Delpit for the season so his snaps were too low to evaluate him properly for the first five weeks of the season, but there is no reason to trust him in what on paper is a neutral matchup outside of chasing his Week 5 pick-six, or his six solo, one sack, one fumble recovery Week 7. We would like to see at least one more DB3 or better level outing from him before trusting him to be consistent in this offense.
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