Week 5 IDP Preview

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Week 5 IDP Preview

Welcome to the IDP Weekend Preview. Each week we’ll take a close look at each matchup based on several factors such as roles, where offenses are giving up FP, snap counts, and tackle crews. As always, start your studs. I won’t be advising you to target no-brainers like Aaron Donald or Devin White.

A “target” is a player who has a higher chance to come through than usual. An “avoid” is a player who has a lower chance to come through than usual.

NYJ @ Atl

Targets:

Foye Oluokun (LB, Atl) — It might seem weird that I’m adding the #6 overall LB to this list, but I get a lot of questions about Oluokun. And while normally the answer is “start him,” this week it’s “no, you REALLY need to start him.” The Jets are the 4th best opponent for LB production. This also means you should fire up Deion Jones, who happens to be the #12 overall LB.

Duron Harmon (S, Atl) — With Erik Harris doubtful and the team reluctant to use rookie Richie Grant, Harmon should be crazy busy. Jaylinn Hawkins is better deep than in the box so expect Harmon to be closer to the line of scrimmage. He also has a good matchup as the Jets produce the 6th-most FPG for DBs. I see Harmon as a backend DB2 this week.

John Franklin-Myers (DE, NYJ) — After Carl Lawson went down this preseason, Myers stepped up in a major way for their pass rush. So much so that the Jets just signed him to a shiny new contract. He continues to impress this season, posting 15 tackles (7 solo), 4 TFL, and 3 sacks. He’s the #13 DL so far and faces the 3rd-best offense for DL fantasy production this week.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

OUT

DT Marlon Davidson, Atl – ankle

DOUBTFUL

S Erik Harris, Atl – calf

CB Avery Williams, Atl - hamstring

QUESTIONABLE

CB Brandin Echols, NYJ – concussion

S Jarrod Wilson, NYJ – concussion

Phi @ Car

Targets:

Brian Burns (DE, Car) — Burns has been knocking on the DL1 door all season — he’s currently DL #14 — but this could be the week he moves into the top 10. Not only has Burns’ snaps been high without Yetur Gross-Matos to spell him at times, but he’s also facing the #1 offense for DL fantasy production. The Panthers produce 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks per game to DLs. This could also be a good week for DT Derrick Brown as well.

Avoids:

Eric Wilson (LB, Phi) — Wilson racked up 10 tackles last week and is currently the #23 LB for fantasy. But he’s on this list because not only does he play just 60-70% (which is why he’s the 2nd-most productive Eagles LB next to Alex Singleton), he’s also facing a Panthers team that ranks dead last in FPG to LBs.

Injuries:

OUT

LB Shaq Thompson, Car – foot

QUESTIONABLE

DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Car – ankle

GB @ Cin

Targets:

Kenny Clark (DT, GB) — Clark is quietly putting together a strong DL2/DT1 season. His 17 tackles (8 solo) and 1 sack make him DL #21 and DT #10. Not only does Cincinnati have a weak O-line, but they also own the 5th-highest rushing rate. Those two are related, as it helps the Bengals not give up a ton of sacks if they don’t have to pass as often. Good luck not passing against this Packers offense. Clark could post solid tackle numbers but also add to his sack total if the Bengals get behind early and need to throw more than they want.

Avoids:

Jessie Bates III (S, Cin) — Start Bates. I know, he’s on the dreaded “avoid” list. He’s on here because if he doesn’t produce this week like normal, it’s likely because the Packers are 30th in DB FPG. This will likely hurt Bates most, but Vonn Bell may suffer some as well.

Jaylon Smith (LB, GB) — My guess is that it will take Smith a few games to get up to speed, and even then he might not be an every-down player next to defensive quarterback De’Vondre Campbell. Let’s hold off until we see some game film on Smith in a Green Bay jersey.

Injuries:

OUT

CB Jaire Alexander, GB – shoulder

QUESTIONABLE

DT Larry Ogunjobi, Cin - knee

CB Trae Waynes, Cin - hamstring

PROBABLE

LB Preston Smith, GB – shoulder

NE @ Hou

Targets:

Deatrich Wise, Jr. (DT, NE) — This Patriots defense is set up to maul up front. They soak up a ton of tackles on the D-line (part of the reason their LBs are so useless for fantasy), and Wise (69%) has been leading the line in usage and production. Wise, rookie Christian Barmore (55%), and Davon Godchaux (55%) should all post 3-6 tackles this week against the Texans who rush at the 8th-highest rate and produce the 8th-highest FPG to DLs this season. I give Wise the edge as he should get the most opportunities.

Lonnie Johnson, Jr. (CB, Hou) — Johnson has 15 tackles in his two starts this season. He’ll have a good chance to add to that lofty production this week, as the Patriots produced the FPG to DBs this season. They create almost 32 tackles and 1 INT per game to opposing secondaries.

Avoids:

Kyle Dugger (S, NE) — Color me worried about Dugger this week. Last week against a Tom Brady-led Bucs offense that passes 70% of the time, Dugger posted 7 tackles. Unless the Texans pull off a miracle this week, Dugger won’t be facing Brady and his “pass, then pass again, and then if that doesn’t work, let’s try passing” mentality. The Texans are just 26th in FPG to opposing DBs. This could be more of what we’ve seen from Dugger previously: 2-4 tackles and 60-70% usage. Oh, and he’s nursing a sore hamstring.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, NE – shoulder

S Kyle Dugger, NE - hamstring

S Jalen Mills, NE - hamstring

LB Kyle Van Noy, NE - groin

Ten @ Jax

Targets:

Josh Allen (DE, Jax) — Allen has been playing at a steady 70% clip, which is strong for a DE. His production has been a bit up-and-down, but that’s to be expected with edge rushers. This sure looks like an “up” week for Allen, though. And for Adam Gotsis and the rest of this Jags D-line. Derrick Henry and the Titans produce the 2nd-most FPG for DLs, including 20 tackles and 2 sacks per game.

Myles Jack (LB, Jax) — Jack’s 32 tackles are 15th-most for LBs so far. He’s the lead dog over Damien Wilson (85%) and would be an LB1 if his trademark big plays weren’t missing. Perhaps that’s a function of his role on this new defense, or perhaps it’s just bad luck. Either way, the Titans’ rushing attack will keep him busy. Jack racked up double-digit tackles in both games against Tennessee last season.

David Long (LB, Ten) — Regardless of Jayon Brown’s injury status, Long has reportedly moved into the starting role at ILB. So far, that hasn’t translated into massive fantasy production — he’s averaging just 5 tackles per game in his three starts — but he’ll have a good shot at 6-8 tackles this week against a Jags offense that produces over 22 tackles to LBs.

Avoids:

Jeffery Simmons (DT, Ten) — I’ve been on the Simmons train since Day One. He’s finally putting up strong numbers this season and has been a DL2. But his matchup this week…well, it sucks. Jacksonville produces the fewest FPG for opposing DLs, including just 10 tackles per game. Jacksonville’s O-line has also held up well in pass protection, allowing just 1 sack to DLs so far.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

CB Tyson Campbell, Jax - toe

Det @ Min

Targets:

None of note.

Avoids:

Nick Vigil (LB, Min) — Vigil is the #14 LB through the first four weeks, but that’s likely to come crashing down now that Anthony Barr is expected to return this week. I’ve assumed that although Vigil has played pretty well, Barr would get his starting job back and HC Mike Zimmer said all I needed to hear to bench Vigil. Per Vikings beat writer Joe Nelson, Zimmer said “there’s certain things we can do with [Barr] that we haven’t been able to do in these first four ball games.” Minnesota is 1-3 with Vigil starting at LB. Barr may not play every down this week, but neither will Vigil — if he plays at all.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

DE Trey Flowers, Det - knee

Den @ Pit

Targets:

Justin Simmons (S, Den) — Weeks Two and Three spooked Simmons’ fantasy managers so much that they thought Halloween came early. The supposed DB1 posted just 3 tackles in two games. But he bounced back in Week Four with 8 tackles (6 solo) and 2 PD. He rolls that momentum into a matchup against a Steelers team that throws it the most in the league (72%) and not coincidentally is top-10 in DB fantasy production.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

OUT

CB Cam Sutton, Pit - groin

QUESTIONABLE

CB Patrick Surtain II, Den – chest

Mia @ TB

Targets:

Vita Vea (DT, TB) — Vea has been a wrecking ball on this Tampa defense (and offense, where he’s played 3 snaps) and should bounce back from his Week Four doughnut against a Miami team that produces top-10 production to DLs. Vea should see tons of pass-rushing opps this week, as Tampa is a 10-point favorite.

Avoids:

None of note. Tampa Bay has the fastest offense in terms of pace of play and Miami has the 3rd-fastest offense. There should be plenty of IDP production to go around.

Injuries:

DOUBTFUL

S Antoine Winfield, TB – concussion

QUESTIONABLE

CB Byron Jones. Mia – quadriceps

DE Jason Pierre-Paul, TB - shoulder

NO @ Was

Targets:

None of note. Washington’s D is dysfunctional at the moment and neither of these offenses has been remotely productive for IDPs.

Avoids:

Jamin Davis (LB, Was) — With Jon Bostic now on IR, we should be welcoming the Davis era in Washington. But we might have to wait a week longer for his coronation. Davis faces a Saints team that gives up just the 26th-most FPG to LBs. Even though New Orleans has the highest percentage of rush attempts, they are the slowest offense in the league. That’s just not translating to enough LB tackles. I’m expecting 4-6 tackles for Davis, but his future is much brighter going forward. That said, Cole Holcomb (shoulder) is questionable, so if he doesn't go, ignore what I typed and fire up Davis.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

LB Cole Holcomb, Was - shoulder

DT Daron Payne, Was - toe

Cle @ LAC

Targets:

Linval Joseph (DT, LAC) — Joseph doesn’t make this list because he has 11 tackles in his last two games (although you love to see it), he’s on here because the Browns’ rushing attack produces the 2nd-most FPG to DLs this season. You’re starting Joey Bosa of course, but it’s also a good week for Joseph, who’s been balling as of late. Use him as your DL2 this week.

Drue Tranquill (LB, LAC) — So far, Tranquill (89% - 5 tackles) is leading this LB group without Kenneth Murray over Kyzir White (77% - 4 tackles), but we like both of these LBs this week against Cleveland’s offense that generates top-10 fantasy production for LBs.

Avoids:

Michael Davis (CB, LAC) — Davis has 30 FP over his last three games, posting at least 5 tackles in two of his last three games and scooping up 2 fumbles. But this Browns offense just doesn’t produce much for opposing DBs. Davis may be in line for 3-5 tackles, which is more like his average.

Injuries:

OUT

CB Greg Newsome II, Cle – calf

QUESTIONABLE

CB Chris Harris, Jr., LAC - shoulder

DE Jadeveon Clowney, Cle - elbow

DE Myles Garrett, Cle - knee

LB Malcolm Smith, Cle - abdomen

CB - Denzel Ward, Cle - neck

Chi @ LV

Targets:

Maxx Crosby (DE, LV) — After a strong start to the season, Crosby had back-to-back duds against the Dolphins and Chargers. He’s still getting his QB pressures (at least 5 per game) and is keeping his snaps high, so he just needs a little luck. That luck may come in the form of a Bears offense that produces the 5th-most FPG to DLs this season that will be without their starting running back.

Alec Ogletree (LB, Chi) — Ogletree isn’t an every-down player, but he’s been humming along at a 70-80% clip. That’s enough to get it done this week against the Raiders, who produce the 3rd-most FPG to LBs this season. After posting just 3 and 4 tackles respectively in Weeks Two and Three, ‘Tree racked up 12 tackles in Week Four.

Avoids:

None of note.

Injuries:

OUT

CB Trayvon Mullen, LV – foot

CB Damon Arnette, LV - groin

DOUBTFUL

DT Akiem Hicks, Chi – groin

QUESTIONABLE

OLB Khalil Mack, Chi – ribs

LB Christian Jones, Chi - back

SF @ Ari

Targets:

Azeez Al-Shaair (LB, SF) — Both Al-Shaair and Fred Warner have a good matchup this week. While we think of Arizona as being an “air raid” offense led by Kyler Murray, they actually run the ball at the 6th-highest percentage. It helps that they’ve had plenty of leads due to the whole “undefeated” thing, but their offense does produce almost 22 tackles per game to LBs. Al-Shaair is playing every down and had 10 tackles last week.

Avoids:

J.J. Watt (DE, Ari) — Oof. Watt is still playing plenty of snaps, but is sackless and hasn’t posted more than 2 tackles in a game so far. Things don’t get any easier for Watt this week, as the 49ers O-line gives up the 29th-fewest FPG to DLs. They’ve allowed just two sacks to DLs so far this season. I’m expecting Watt to get it going here soon, but it might not be this week.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

DT Javon Kinlaw, SF - knee

NYG @ Dal

Targets:

Randy Gregory (DE, Dal) — Gregory has thrived under new DC Dan Quinn. He and Terrell Basham have been doing better than expected, allowing versatile LB/EDGE Micah Parsons to spend more time at LB than they thought possible. Both Gregory and Basham have a good matchup this week, as the Giants produce the 6th-most PFG to opposing DLs, including 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks per game. Dallas is also favored by a touchdown at home. Gregory is questionable (knee) but is expected to play.

Avoids:

Leonard Williams (DE, NYG) — Williams will be facing a much healthier Dallas team than he did in their last meeting when he sacked Andy Dalton 3 times against backup O-linemen. OG Zack Martin and crew give up just 12 tackles and less than a sack per game to opposing DLs.

Injuries:

OUT

S Jabrill Peppers, NYG – hamstring

S Donovan Wilson, Dal - groin

QUESTIONABLE

DE Randy Gregory, Dal - knee

Buf @ KC

Targets:

Daniel Sorensen (S, KC) — Sorensen has been the #2 fantasy DB since Week Two when he got to move back to his normal role once Tyrann Mathieu was back on the field. He posted 9 solos last week and he’s in line for similar production this week. Buffalo’s passing attack produces the 2nd-most FPG to DBs, including a league-leading 36.3 tackles per game. Oh, and this should be a shootout with 57 expected points.

Avoids:

Chris Jones (DE, KC) — Jones got off to a fast start in Week One with 2 sacks and 3 tackles but last week he posted a dud. That’s not why he’s here, though. DLs always have swings based on many factors, including their matchup. Did someone say matchup? Buffalo isn’t a good one, that’s for sure. The Bills give up a bottom-5 amount of fantasy production to opposing DLs. To make matters worse, Jones is dealing with a wrist injury, which likely contributed to his poor game last week.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

LB Matt Milano, Buf – hamstring

DE A.J. Epenesa, Buf – foot

DE Chris Jones, KC - wrist

CB Charvarious Ward, KC - quadriceps

Ind @ Bal

Targets:

Patrick Queen (LB, Bal) — Queen is an easy fantasy asset to get frustrated with. He’s Baltimore’s only starting ILB and this is a good defense. He looks like he should be an LB1, but he’s actually LB #26. Last week was a particularly poor game, as he posted just 3 tackles. But this week has “bounce back” written all over it, as the Colts are the 5th-best matchup for opposing LBs. Indy creates 25 tackles per game for LBs, and Queen is about the only one out there for Baltimore.

Avoids:

Chuck Clark (S, Bal) — It’s been good to see Clark bounce back after a slow opening two weeks. After posting 5 tackles in his two games, Clark posted 19 tackles in his last two games. He’ll have a harder time duplicating his recent production this week, though. The Colts are just 25th in opposing DB production. And the fact that DeShon Elliott (quad) and Geno Stone (ankle) are questionable may muddy Clark’s role this week, making him even more volatile.

Injuries:

QUESTIONABLE

S DeShon Elliott, Bal – quadriceps

S Geno Stone, Bal – ankle

DE Kwity Paye, Ind - hamstring

LB Darius Leonard, Ind - ankle

S Khari Willis, Ind - groin

CB Rock Ya-Sin, Ind - ankle

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.

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