NFL 2018 Week 5: Must Starts IDP Edition

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It is week 5 in the NFL and time to make a move on your IDP fantasy league.  But first, let’s look at last week’s  must starts:

  • Jerry Hughes, Buffalo @ Green Bay Packers: 5 tackles, 3 tackles for loss
  • Margus Hunt, Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans: 3 tackles, 1 sack
  • Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs: 1 tackle, 1 assisted tackle
  • Josh Bynes, Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks: 5 tackles
  • Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals: 3 tackles, 1 assisted tackle, left game with injury

Not a great week for the “must starts”.  Josey Jewell particularly disappointing.

I promise to do better!

Defensive Line:

Kenny Clark, Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

Clark’s stats: Started four games, 11 tackles, 7 assisted tackles and one sack

Reason for starting:

Detroit Lions will most likely be without starting offensive guard T.J. Lang, who is in concussion protocol. Last week without Lang, Demarcus Lawrence sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford three times.

Clark, meanwhile collected four quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Clark has played 80.9 percent of the defensive snaps, which is more snaps than any other defensive lineman.

Start Clark against the Detroit Lions.


Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles v Minnesota Vikings

Cox’s stats: Started four games, 10 tackles, 4 assisted tackles, 3.0 sacks

Reason for starting:

According to Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line has given up a total of 81 quarterback pressures through four games.

Last week the Vikings’ offensive line surrendered 24 quarterback hurries, three quarterback hits, and four sacks.

While Fletcher Cox left last week’s game for a few snaps with an ankle injury, he did return to the game. Monitor the situation…BUT if he is healthy enough to play disregard the pedestrian stats from last week’s game against Tennessee, and put him in your starting line-up.



Cory Littleton, Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks

Littleton’s stats: Started four games, 24 tackles, 11 assisted tackles, 1 interception

Reasons for starting:

I feel as if I am picking on the Seattle Seahawks offensive line…but when you surrender 97 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles in four games, you get what you get. This week the Seahawks will be getting Cory Littleton and the Los Angeles Rams.

While Littleton has yet to record a sack, his tackle numbers have increased and playing Seahawks should exponentially increase the odds of him registering his first sack of the season.

In 12 games against the Rams, Russell Wilson has been sacked 49 times, 10 times more than any other team he has faced (ref: Rams Wire, USA Today).

In games leading up to week five, Littleton has been on the field for defensive snaps 100%, 97%, 100%, and 99% respectively.

Jayon Brown, Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

Brown’s stats: 1 game started, four games played, 15 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, 1.0 sack

Reasons for starting:

Brown’s first start was last week and he answered the call with six solo tackles, four assisted tackles, and one sack.

While the Buffalo Bills’ offense looked unstoppable against the Minnesota Vikings, they have fallen back to earth.  The Bills’ offense ranks 24th in rushing and 32nd in passing.

Rookie quarterback Josh Allen will enter the game with a 63.8 passer rating, having tossed four interceptions, and having been sacked 18 times, seven of them coming last week against the Green Bay Packers.

Also their running backs have not rushed for 100 yards in four games.

Sometimes it is more about what you are up against, and well…


Defensive Backs

D.J. Swearinger, Washington @ New Orleans Saints

Swearinger’s stats: Started three games, 11 tackles

Reasons for starting:

New Orleans is the place where struggling defensive backs go to find their mojo.  Case in point, in the last two weeks the Saints have allowed double digit tackles to three separate defensive backs.

The Saints offense averages 70 plays a game this season, which again, will allow time for Washington’s defense to stack up the stats.  (Just an aside, do not play Washington’s defense as a streamer in fantasy, the points alone will kill you.)

Washington coming off a bye week is intent on not allowing quarterback Drew Brees from breaking the all-time yardage record.  In order to accomplish that, Swearinger and his backfield buddies will have to hold Brees to under 202 yards. While this is easier said than done, the attempt should allow for a boost in Swearinger’s stats.

Tony Jefferson, Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

Jefferson’s stats: Started four games, 17 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

Reason for starting:

Through four games, Jefferson has lined up in the box or on the defensive line 84 times.  This has lead to 24 total tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The Ravens defense leads the NFL in opposer passer rating, and that was without Jimmy Smith who will be returning this week.  With the defensive line making quarterback Baker Mayfield uncomfortable, the thought is he will be prone to increase his four turnovers from last week’s game, giving the Jefferson chances to come up on the defensive line and force fumbles or drop back for interceptions.


Good luck and come at us with your football questions Twitter @fakepigskin or @neverenoughglt. Talk at me or to me Twitter @neverenoughglt


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