Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season answered a lot of questions, but many mysteries still remain when it comes to the IDP fantasy landscape. That being said, it is early enough in the season that we don’t need to shoot for the moon with high-risk/high-reward players, unless we’re big underdogs heading into Week 2.
Last week, we focused more on rookies, along with some vets who had red flags in the offseason. This week, it's crucial to not overreact to poor first-week performances and to avoid chasing Week 1 points.
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Let's get into Week 2 IDP fantasy football start 'em or sit 'em.
START: ED MATTHEW JUDON, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS. NEW YORK JETS
Judon didn’t get a sack in Week 1 against the Dolphins, but he did make a case for himself as a potential weekly starter on true position IDP rosters. Judon not only led the Patriots edge rushers in total snaps (89%), but he also led the team in pass-rush grade (77.4) and pressures (three). Additionally, he won 28.6% of his 15 pass-rush reps, a top-10 mark among edge defenders in Week 1 (min. 20% of snaps).
Judon gets a decent matchup this week against the Jets, who just lost starting left tackle Mekhi Becton for the next month. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson was charged with three sacks against him — the most charged to a quarterback in the NFL Week 1 — is certainly a good thing for Judon. The former Raven should once again lead the charge for New England this week and has a shot to rack up tackles playing on early downs and dropping into coverage a fair bit.
SIT: ED DEREK BARNETT, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Barnett is still rostered on a lot of rosters, in even shallower IDP leagues, but that number may dwindle as this season unfolds — especially if things continue at their current pace. The Eagles very much deployed a pass-rush rotation in Week 1, led by Josh Sweat. Although he technically started the game, Barnett finished as the fourth man in the rotation in total snaps (45%) when all was said and done.
Barnett rushes primarily from the right side of the defensive line, meaning he'll face 49ers left tackle Trent Williams in Week 2. Williams earned an 82.5 pass-blocking grade in Week 1 and did not surrender a single pressure on the day. Barnett has typically struggled against good tackles in his NFL career, and Williams has certainly fits the bill with a pass-blocking grade of 88.7 since 2010.