Fantasy football start/sit decisions are becoming more crucial as we approach the fantasy playoffs. That means trusting the process and not chasing unrepeatable production: If we want to make the playoffs, it starts with making the right lineup decisions.
Let’s dive into the numbers and see if we can sort out some of the tougher start/sit decisions heading into Week 11.
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START: DI CHRIS JONES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS. DALLAS COWBOYS
Jones has disappointed after being drafted as a top-five defensive tackle in IDP, but things are starting to look better. After starting the year playing almost exclusively on the edge, Jones has shifted back inside to a position he is much more comfortable with, and his pass-rush numbers reflect the move. Over the past two weeks, Jones has played 83% of his snaps lined up on the inside of the defensive line, as opposed to just 39% the six games before. The improvement in his pass-rush metrics are obvious and a good sign going forward.
|Weeks||Interior DL snaps||Pass-rush grade||Total pressures (per game)|
|1-8 (6 games)||39%||75.1||21 (3.5)|
While there haven’t been many sacks this season — and none in the past two weeks — signs suggest they are coming. It will likely be a tougher matchup this week against the Cowboys, who have some of the better pass-blocking guards in the NFL in Zack Martin and Connor Williams, but if Jones is playing like his normal self (90.0-plus pass-rush grade) then he should be up to the task. The Cowboys pass the ball plenty, which should lead to lots of opportunities for Jones to get after the passer and back in the good graces of IDP managers everywhere.
SIT: DI NDAMUKONG SUH, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS. NEW YORK GIANTS
Suh is on the opposite end of the spectrum: He has been productive over the past couple of weeks with back to back sacks and has a good matchup against the Giants but is showing signs of regression. Suh has been an IDP fixture at the defensive tackle position for many years as a high-volume player, which has allowed him to generate decent production. But his pass-rush ability has diminished, and Suh is in the midst of the lowest-graded season of his career with just a 49.1 overall grade and a 52.2 pass-rush grade.
Suh has yet to post a pass-rush grade over 65.3 (Week 2) this season, and he's averaging just over two pressures per game. Vita Vea is likely out for this game, putting a lot of the interior pass-blocking attention on the 34-year-old Suh, who is easier to slow down than he was in his prime. The Giants rank 31st in pass-blocking grade (49.8) this season, but I expect other Bucs defenders to take advantage. Suh is unlikely to post a sack in a third-straight game, even against the Giants.
START: ED JUSTIN HOUSTON, BALTIMORE RAVENS VS. CHICAGO BEARS
The Ravens have relied on Houston to be one of their primary pass rushers this season, and he has been effective. In Week 10 against the Dolphins, Houston posted his highest-graded pass-rush game since 2018 (90.9), showing that there is still gas left in the tank for one of the most productive edge rushers of this past decade.