Fantasy football playoff spots will be decided in the next few weeks. It is crucial to utilize the data and information available to us in order to set the best lineup possible every single week going forward. Making the correct sit/start decisions will go a long way toward securing a spot in the fantasy playoffs and bringing home 2021 IDP fantasy championships.
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Here is a look at some of the tougher start/sit decisions heading into Week 10.
START: ED CHANDLER JONES, ARIZONA CARDINALS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Jones started the season about as hot as any defensive lineman, notching five sacks in Week 1 against the Titans. But Jones didn't manage another sack until this past week against the 49ers. He has offered very little as a tackler in the run game, making him a boom-or-bust edge defender for IDP this season. He is going to be a matchup-based start on any given week going forward, and this week’s matchup against the Panthers is a positive one for the Cardinals defensive line.
Carolina comes into Week 10 as the 29th-ranked pass-blocking unit in terms of PFF grade (53.0), and things are looking worse with starting center Matt Paradis and left tackle Cam Erving on IR. This likely means rookie Brady Christensen will take over for Erving at right tackle. Christensen has struggled in his few appearances this season, having earned just a 45.0 pass-blocking grade on 94 pass-blocking snaps, allowing eight total pressures and two sacks. Jones should be able to take advantage of that matchup, as his 88.2 pass-rush grade on the season is a massive advantage when compared to the rookie’s pass-blocking grade in 2021.
SIT: DI QUINNEN WILLIAMS, NEW YORK JETS VS. BUFFALO BILLS
Williams has been a very solid IDP this season in defensive tackle-required leagues, with 4.5 sacks and 32 total tackles on the year so far. However, he hasn’t performed well enough in the grading and pressures department this season to offer confidence this will be sustainable going forward. Williams' sack rate of 2.5% is highest among all interior defenders, but this is one of the more unstable metrics to rely on long-term.
The average sack rate for interior defenders this season is 0.7%, which tells us there is some regression to be expected for Williams if he can’t bring up some of his more stable metrics, like his PFF pass-rush grade. Williams currently ranks 30th among interior defenders this season in pass-rush grade (69.8) and 15th in pressures (22).
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Williams is also coming off a game where his production was based entirely on tackles in the run game. He posted zero pressures as a pass rusher against a below-average pass-blocking unit in Indianapolis. The Bills are a slightly better pass-blocking unit and do not allow quarterback Josh Allen to take a lot of sacks. Even with a bad game in Week 9, the Bills' sack percentage allowed is just 3.59%, which is third-best in the NFL. Williams is admittedly tough to sit this week, but on the rare occasion you have a better or equal option, then it’s something to be aware of heading into Week 10.
START: ED LEONARD FLOYD, LOS ANGELES RAMS VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS