As we pass the halfway point of the fantasy football regular season, it's crucial to utilize all the information available to make the right decisions when it comes to IDPs. This is the time of year where contenders separate themselves from the pretenders, and making the correct sit/start decisions goes a long way toward securing a spot in the fantasy playoffs.
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START: DE EVERSON GRIFFEN, MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS
News of Danielle Hunter’s season-ending injury certainly doesn’t help the Vikings or his teammates along the defensive line, but there is still hope for a player like Griffen, who is having a strong season regardless. Only five of Griffen’s 25 pressures have been classified as cleanup or pursuit pressures so far this season, so he hasn't exactly relied on Hunter to produce. This is backed by his 81.7 pass-rush grade on the year, 11th-best among edge defenders and his highest since 2017.
Griffen’s primary matchup in Week 9 against the Ravens will be left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who is having the worst season of his seven-year career with a 47.6 pass-blocking grade (70th among tackles). Villanueva has allowed five sacks (third among tackles) and 31 pressures (fourth) this season, making him one of the best pass-blocking matchups for Griffen to face this season.
Everson Griffen ranks among EDs | 2021
SIT: DE CHRIS JONES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS
This season hasn’t exactly gone the way Jones had hoped. Though he's playing more on the edge than ever, his pass-rush numbers have actually decreased. The Chiefs recently traded for edge rusher Melvin Ingram, which could mean a move back to more of a full-time interior role. That would be better for Jones over the rest of this season, but not necessarily this week against the Packers.
Jones is currently in the midst of his lowest-graded pass-rush season of his career (75.1). While that's not a horrible figure, the sixth-year EDGE had put up three straight seasons of pass-rush grades above 90.0. The Packers rank eighth in the league in pass-blocking grade so far this season (69.6), and there’s a chance they get star left tackle David Bakhtiari back this week as well.
That doesn’t help Jones if he’s going to continue to see edge snaps, as Bakhtiari was the highest-graded pass-blocking tackle last season (91.6) before tearing his ACL. Jones should be a better option as we progress through the rest of this season, but this week is shaping up to be one of the tougher matchups for a player who hasn’t performed up to snuff through the first half of the year.
START: DE EMMANUEL OGBAH, MIAMI DOLPHINS VS. HOUSTON TEXANS