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Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 3 Individual defensive players (IDP)

Some players seem primed for a great week… and some not so much. Check and see which IDP should start or sit.


Roles are starting to be defined as Week 3 rolls into focus. Here are some IDP players to start or sit going forward.

Start this guy: DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys

Last week, I refused to give Lawrence much credit for taking it to the Giants. Even though Bobby Hart was supposed to be a solid opponent, he was playing on one ankle. Then Lawrence went out and got two more sacks against the more formidable line of Denver. So now I must say… sorry, DeMarcus Lawrence. Apparently, you are for real. Dallas wants to bounce back hard from a tough week. Lawrence will continue his onslaught in the Monday Night spotlight in Arizona. 

Sit this guy: Cliff Avril, DE, Seattle Seahawks

The Tennessee Titans have one of the best front lines and a mobile quarterback that thus far has limited the NFL fantasy IDP output of their opponents’ defensive ends. I would not sit down Michael Bennett against anybody, but Avril will be neutralized this week by the Titans’ attack. 

Start this guy: Vincent Rey, LB, Cincinnati Bengals

Rey proved to be a more than an effective fill-in for Vontaze Burfict with 22 tackles in two games. You get one more chance to use him before the suspended Bengal returns. Against a Green Bay offense trying to take control of the game with a wounded receiving corps, Rey could be in line for even more opportunities in Week 3 as he tries to assure no one forgets him when Burfict returns.

Sit this guy: Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers

Carolina goes against the New Orleans Saints offense. So far, their passing-heavy attack has not lent itself to yielding many IDP fantasy points for linebackers. In fact, linebackers have the second lowest total through two games despite significant time on the field. Look for the trend to continue and give Kuechly a seat for the week. 

Start this guy: Matthias Farley, S, Indianapolis Colts

There are advantages to being on the field a lot thanks to a weak offense. For instance, strong safeties get 18 tackles over two weeks. This week’s opponent isn’t much better, but Cleveland insists they will run the ball more than they have so far, offering an upside to the Indy strong safety.

Sit this guy: Landon Collins, S, New York Giants

Teams are planning for Collins this year. Whether it is for that reason or just because New York has better middle linebackers, Collins is not the tackle and turnover magnet he was in 2016. He is good, but not 2016-good. He offers a good floor, but will not come close to his ceiling against an Eagles team who will pick on other positions Sunday. 

General notes

BJ Goodson was a late scratch at MLB for the Giants last week with an injury incurred at practice. Calvin Munson had a nice game in his place, but Goodson should be back against the Eagles. Kwon Alexander will be back for Week 3 as well and should be started. He said he could have come back during last week’s game if the team needed him. 

Week 3 flash-in-the-pan prediction:

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots decide to pick on Kevin Johnson and the Houston cornerback makes them pay with two interceptions and two passes defended. For good measure, Houston blitzes Johnson and he comes up with a tackle for a loss, too. 

Check back next week to see how our predictions panned out. And be sure to send any NFL fantasy questions you have to [email protected] We’ll answer them in our mailbag post every Wednesday.

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Pat Opperman

Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 3 Individual defensive players (IDP)

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