IDP Start em, Sit em – Week 16 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Week 16 is upon us. Happy Holidays, and if you are reading this in Week 16, congratulations are in order. Win or lose, your fantasy season was a success if you made it to the finals. 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 Roquan Smith or Budda Baker and instead focus on players who will actually be debated for Week 16’s contests.
Kamren Curl (S – WAS)
Curl has been fantastic since taking over for Landon Collins and is the S3/DB3 since Week 8. It feels strange that I even have to suggest starting him at this point of the season, and of his IDP dominance, but he remains under rostered, and many still view him as more of a DB2 than a weekly must-start DB1. Curl has a plus matchup on his side in Week 16 against a Carolina Panthers team relinquishing the 13th most fantasy points to the safety position. This matchup gives him a DB2 floor, making him one of the safest defensive back options for finals week. Start Curl everywhere.
Chris Banjo (S – ARI)
Chris Banjo has been the starter since Jalen Thompson went down and has performed admirably. He had nine solos in Week 13 and was solid again in Week 15, recording five solos and one pass defended. He was not as good when he had a shot as a starter earlier this season, at least from an IDP perspective, but has put himself on the fantasy radar for finals week. Banjo has the good fortune of taking on a San Francisco 49ers team allowing the most fantasy points to the safety position and could produce at a DB2 level for finals week. He flashed DB1 upside in Week 13 and should be trusted for his plus Week 16 matchup. Start Banjo as a DB3 option with matchup based DB1 upside.
Alex Singleton (LB – PHI)
At this point, everyone knows that Alex Singleton has been an IDP force since being inserted as a starter. Perhaps it is that the linebacker position simply gets more love than the safety position due to the perceived weekly floor of the top options, but whatever the case, Singleton being in the start conversation is not in question. Whether or not those in shallower leagues should trust him as their LB1 is. Singleton has been the LB2 overall since Week 10 and shows no signs of slowing down. Singleton can be counted as an LB1 option, even over some of the elite names at the position like Jaylon Smith, Zack Cunningham, and Myles Jack. Start Singleton everywhere.
Neville Hewitt (LB – NYJ)
Speaking of standout performances since Week 10, New York Jets linebacker Neville Hewitt has been an LB1 since then. In fact, since his Week 10 bye, Hewitt has been the LB2 in fantasy points per game and the LB7 in total fantasy points. Suffice it to say that Neville Hewitt is a must-start for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns. He should be extremely busy against the Browns running game and should make good on the plus matchup. Cleveland has surrendered the 17th most fantasy points to the linebacker position, giving him an LB2 floor. Ignore Hewitt at your own peril.
Zach Sieler (DE – MIA)
Sieler has been excellent since Week 10. He has been a surprise DL1, producing as the DL8 overall over his last six contests. He has just two sacks over that timeframe but has racked up an insane eight tackles for loss. For context, Chase Young has eight tackles for loss all season. Yannick Ngakoue has seven. Sieler has also been consistent in the solo tackle department, recording 15 solos. His Week 16 opponent could make fantasy managers shy away from him as the Las Vegas Raiders have allowed the third fewest fantasy points to the defensive end position, but with the Raiders likely to lean on the run, and Sieler’s upside in both the tackle and tackle for loss departments, he is an excellent DL2 option for finals week. Start him wherever possible.
Willie Gay Jr. (LB – KC)
There was some excitement from Willie Gay Jr.’s fantasy managers when Damien Wilson was first ruled out with a knee injury. With only Ben Niemann to contend with, Willie had to see a massively expanded role, right? Wrong. Much like we have seen with other highly touted, and massively talented rookies like Isaiah Simmons and K’Lavon Chaisson, Wille Gay just has not been able to earn a significant role this season. He very well may see starters snaps in Week 16, but the smart money is on Niemann soaking up all of Wilson’s snaps. Niemann saw 90 percent and 85 percent of the snaps in Week 14 and Week 15 respectively. Willie Gay Jr. is the future of the position in Kansas City, but it has been made painfully clear that the future is not now. Keep Gay benched for Week 16.
Shaq Thompson (LB – CAR)
Shaq Thompson has been a huge disappointment this season. After recording 75 solos, three sacks, and 11 tackles for loss in 14 2019 contests, Thompson is at just 56 solos, zero sacks, and five tackles for loss through the same amount of games in 2020. Shaq flashed some of his old form this season, but has been terribly inconsistent and has limped to the finish line of the fantasy season. He has failed to record more than four solos in any of his last four contests and should be left on benches despite a tremendous Week 16 matchup. Shaq gets a Washington team allowing the most fantasy points to the linebacker position for finals week but has made too strong of a case as a fade to consider plugging him when it matters most. If you made it to your league’s finals, you likely pivoted off Thompson in one of the past four weeks. Do so again in Week 16.
Tracy Walker (S – DET)
What happened to Tracy Walker? The S21/DB32 through Week 8, Walker has slipped over the second half of the season. Perhaps he is continuing to struggle with the knee injury he suffered in Week 8. Perhaps the team really does like Jayron Kearse more. Some may be wondering how a player who has struggled so badly in recent weeks even qualifies as a sit. Kearse is battling a hip injury and is expected to miss Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving Walker a shot to reclaim his starting role. The Buccaneers have not been a great matchup for safeties, to begin with, but the uncertainty Walker has presented makes him to hard to trust for finals week due to a bottomless floor. Keep him benched for Week 16.
Arik Armstead (DT – SF)
Armstead was excellent in Week 15, recording five solos, three assists, two sacks, and two tackle for loss. However, his big game came against a beat-up Dallas Cowboys offense. Things will not be as easy in Week 15, which is not good news for a player who has struggled for most of the season. Arizona has allowed the 14th most fantasy points to the defensive tackle position, but Armstead has been much too inconsistent to trust despite the plus matchup.
Derrick Brown (DT – CAR)
Derrick Brown went off in Week 15, racking up three solos, two sacks, two tackles for loss, and two QB hits. The sacks were his first sacks of the season. Brown is up to 13 pressures and six hurries on the season, with five of the pressures and three of the hurries coming in Week 15. Brown is going to be a dominating force at defensive tackle as soon as next season. Unfortunately, fantasy managers who made the add earlier this week should probably keep him benched for Week 16. Washington presents a plus matchup regardless of who is under center, but Brown has not shown the consistency to start when it matters most. Keep him benched for finals week, but pen his name down on your early 2021 IDP cheat sheets.
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