NFL 2018: Week 4 Must Starts IDP Edition

image courtsey seattlepi.com

It is week four in the NFL, and IDP leagues are besieged by an astonishing number of injuries to star players. We wont even talk about how much the refs have robbed us of quarterback sacks and hits with their barrage of flags.

So we muster on and lucky for us there are still some gems that are underrepresented on starting line-ups:

Defensive Line:

Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers

It is unlikely that the Bills will pull off another upset, and it is most likely that they will be playing the game from behind.  That means that the Bills’ defense should see lots of Green Bay offense.  Yes, Aaron Jones is back, giving the Packers backfield a much-needed boost.  And yes, the Packers’ offensive line ranks 10th.

Yet here are the positives for putting Hughes on your roster.

The Packers have allowed 10 sacks to the defensive line after three weeks.  Aaron Rodgers is still hobbled making him less agile and more susceptible to Hughes’ relentless pursuit. Most importantly, Hughes has a league tying 20 quarterback pressures after three weeks.  So while his tackle numbers are disturbingly low, his two sacks and 20 pressures should give hope that this week he makes the it worthwhile to start him.

Margus Hunt, Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans

The Texans’ offensive line is a sieve. Literally they have holes everywhere.  They have allowed more than 60 quarterback pressures in three games. After returning from a season injury last season, quarterback Deshaun Watson still hasn’t found the form that he exhibited before the injury.

Add all that to the fact that Hunt has been on the field for 177 snaps, and that smells like opportunity. In three weeks he has racked up 10 total tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble, and the stats are looking like they may be increasing substantially.

Linebackers:

Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs

Jewell played 59 snaps last week.  It looks to be increasing this week with veteran linebacker Brandon Marshall hampered with a knee injury.

In three weeks playing behind Marshall, Jewell has 10 combined tackles, one pass defended, and five defensive stops.  In addition, he grading out 89.9 according to Pro Football Focus, which is the third- best grade among linebackers in the NFL.

This week he will go against the likes of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense.  In a game that has an over/under 56.0, both offenses look to be on the field a lot, giving Jewell even more opportunity to improve his stats.

Josh Bynes, Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line ranks 28th in the league.  They have allowed the most  linebacker tackles including giving up 10 sacks to the linebacker corp.

While Bynes has yet to register a sack for the season, this is going to be his best opportunity to do so.  If you have to rely upon his tackles though, rest assured he is up to that task, as he collected 11 combined tackles last week and 27 for the three weeks.

Defensive Backs/Safeties:

Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals

This is a gut play.  Stay with me. Thomas wants out of Seattle, which makes him motivated.

Thomas is the Allen Iverson of the football field, “We’re sitting here…I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice.  I mean, listen, we’re talking about practice. Not a game.  Not a game.  Not a game.  We’re talking about practice.  Not a game.  Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last.  Not the game.  We’re talking about practice man. “

Classic.

So while Thomas’ stats have been given a significant boost by his three interceptions, two against Dallas, and one against Denver, I like interceptions. Now he is playing at home against the first start of Josh Rosen, on a team that has been having major issues finding how to score points.  Yeah, I like Thomas in this one.

Landon Collins, New York Jets v New Orleans Saints

It is the “underperforming, yet give them a chance” segment of this week’s start and sits.

Yes, it is most likely that through three weeks Collins has not been the performer you envisioned when you drafted him, having collected only 17 total tackles.

Yet if he is going to live up to expectations, this is the week.  The New Orleans Saints have been the remedy to underperforming defensive backs.  To date, the Saints have allowed defensive backs a total of 102 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble returns, and one sack.

If Collins is the man we think he is, this is the week to prove it.

 

Talk at me or to me Twitter @neverenoughglt

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