IDP Start/Sit: Week 17
Jake Kohlhagen, lead IDP contributor for Reality Sports Online, shares his IDP starts and sits for Week 17.
This article is presented by our friends at Reality Sports Online.
This is it. The final week of most fantasy seasons. This was my worst week of the year and I hope it didn’t cost any of you readers your matchups. My apologies and it motivates me to get you those right plays for your matchups. Let’s lock down those lineups and support one last victory! (Reminder: rankings are ECR from Fantasy Pros.)
Week 16 Recap
Start: Greg Rousseau (1 solo, 1 TFL) 👎
Start: Jaelan Phillips (5 solos, 1 assist, a decent enough performance to support a DL spot) 👍
Sit: J.J. Watt (5 solos, 2 assists, 2 TFLs, 2 QB hits, he looked like vintage J.J. out there and played 95% of snaps in his final NFL home game) 👎
Start: Joe Thomas (6 solos, 1 assist, not awful, but not good enough for a playoff LB spot) 👎
Start: Deion Jones (2 solos, 1 assist, 39% of snaps, I am done with Cleveland and their LB room) 👎
Sit: Jamin Davis (6 solos, 2 assists, 1 TFL, he did his job for the week) 👎
Start: Tariq Woolen (1 solo, 1 assist, 1 PD, not enough in a big week) 👎
Start: Jason Pinnock (2 solos, 1 assist, 1 QB hit, 100% of the snaps, just limited production) 👎
Sit: Donovan Wilson (6 solos, 1 assist, 1 TFL, I don’t know that he was a top 10 this week, but he did enough to be a strong play) 👎
Week 17 Starts & Sits
START: Demarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys, DL27
Demarcus Lawrence hasn’t posted a sack in the last 5 weeks. He has, however, generated 20 pressures for a respectable 13.9% pass-rush pressure rate. That recent success, coupled with a matchup against the Titans, who have a league-worst pressure rate allowed at 34% and are tied for 9th worst in sack conversion rate at 17%, sets up for a strong matchup. Throw in the fact that Malik Willis is starting and has looked like a fish out of water trying to throw the ball: on 28 dropbacks, his time to throw was 3.56 seconds. For any pass rusher, it’s a benefit to have a QB who holds on to the ball longer. And with Derrick Henry likely out (has an injury designation, short week, and this game has zero impact on their playoff status), the Titans will be in a rough spot this week, making Lawrence a high-end DL2 this week with big sack upside.
START: Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers, DL41
Preston Smith hasn’t produced a high-end amount of pressures, with just 11 over his last 5 games. But he still produced a modest 9.7% pass-rush pressure rate on limited opportunities. But he has been effective with those opportunities, converting them into 6 sacks. And with Minnesota the matchup this week, it is an ideal scenario to get pressures and convert them. The Vikings are tied for second worst in pressures allowed rate at 30% and tied for 6th for sack conversion rate at 18%. In a must-win game for the Packers, Smith is set up to be able to deliver a strong IDP championship performance. Smith is a low-end DL2 this week.
SIT: Chandler Jones, Las Vegas Raiders, DL18
Chandler Jones has had a bit of an up-and-down year with the bulk of his production coming in Weeks 12-14. The recent production has been nice for IDP players who were able to make the play on him, however, his elbow injury will most likely sideline him or, at the very least, limit his overall production. And San Francisco is a tough matchup regardless. I wouldn’t personally have the stones to roll Jones out and I would try to pivot to another option entirely this week.
START: Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers, LB33
Quay Walker had lofty expectations coming into this year with his draft capital and Green Bay kept good on their word of getting to a point of having 2 LBs on the field as much as possible (limiting substitutions and sub-packages). Since Campbell came back to the lineup full-time in Week 13, Walker has seen snap counts of 100%, 96%, and 96%. And on the season he has delivered a 13.2% tackle efficiency, which is great for a rookie. Now with the consistent top-end usage (nearly 100% as a 2nd LB) and consistent production, Walker should be considered for a top 30 LB most weeks. This week against a strong offense in Minnesota—a game that should provide plenty of tackle opportunities—Walker should be a low-end LB2.
START: Nicholas Morrow, Chicago Bears, LB37
Nicholas Morrow was the green dot wearer for the Bears all season and even with that consistent high-end snap count, he was not able to move past Roquan Smith and Jack Sanborn in terms of IDP relevance. With Smith gone via trade and Sanborn done due to injury, Morrow has stepped up and been delivering better IDP production over the last 2 weeks. In a must-win matchup for the Lions, I expect plenty of opportunities for the Bears defense to make plays. Morrow is a low-end LB2 this week.
SIT: Bobby Okereke, Indianapolis Colts, LB29
The Colts LB room has some question marks moving forward beyond 2022, and as such, Okereke has seen at times his snap count drop a bit lower, into the 70% range at times. He has still found a way to be efficient with reduced snaps, but with a season that feels like the team is giving up, there’s a strong chance players who aren’t under contract for 2023 (like Okereke) might see some snaps taken away in favor of others. This is purely speculative as we have no coaching history to reference for Jeff Saturday, but the fact they are keeping Nick Foles in tells me what I need to know. I would fade Okereke and treat him as a fringe LB3.
START: Ifeatu Melifonwu, Detroit Lions, DB132
Ifeatu Melifonwu stepped in for the injured DeShon Elliott last week and contributed 8 combined tackles and 1 TFL, which is a very usable game for IDP. He spent 66% of his time on the field in the sweet spot and we should assume he will again against another team willing to run the ball in the Chicago Bears. And with DeShon Elliott logging a DNP (did not participate) for the Wednesday practice, it is looking like Melifonwu should get the start again and be in the DB3 range.
START: Nasir Adderley, Los Angeles Chargers, DB65
Nasir Adderley has been the other starting safety alongside Derwin James for most of this season. James has been the one in more of that sweet spot role or even more of a play-making position closer to the line of scrimmage. With James suffering a concussion on that brutal hit to Ashton Dulin in Monday night’s game, I would be looking for other options to start instead of James. In comes Adderley. He has played more of the box snaps as the other safety and would be the most likely candidate to try and step in for James as much as possible. Adderley has had modest IDP numbers for most of the season, but can be a fringe DB3 in a pinch for those missing James—or those just needing help at the DB spot.
SIT: Darrick Forrest, Washington Commanders, DB28
Darrick Forrest has been a pleasant revelation for Washington with Kamren Curl’s injuries early in the season, and he has shown some great IDP value as well. However, his matchup this week against the Cleveland Browns is less than ideal, as they have struggled to sustain drives since Deshaun Watson’s return as he tries to find his form. Their willingness to attack downfield is not a major part of their gameplan to date. Also, Forrest has primarily been deep safety since Jeremy Reaves stepped into the box role with Curl’s absence, which leaves a bit to be desired for Forrest this week. I would lower expectations for Forrest for a fringe DB3 at best.
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