As the fantasy football playoffs near, the weight of the decisions we make for who to start and who to sit couldn’t be greater. Potential playoff spots and seeding hang in the balance pending some of these choices, so let us help as much as we can in figuring out some of the tougher decisions.
START — Melvin Ingram III, DE, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. NYJ)
Melvin Ingram is a player who I have gotten a bunch of questions about as of late, and rightfully so — he has been pretty much invisible in terms of box-score stats. So, why on earth would anyone start him this week? Well, if it helps, you can consider this to be Ingram’s last chance to really be trusted in 2020. If he can’t get us a sack this week against the Jets, then I’d understand the distrust for the rest of the season.
Sacks are often luck-based, as we’ve learned over the years — not all sacks are created equal. That being said, we need that luck to be in our favor to trust a defensive lineman like Melvin Ingram in our IDP starting lineups on a weekly basis, and that just hasn’t happened so far this season. This is not a case of Ingram playing poorly or not generating consistent pressure, but it looks like he'll need a little bit of luck to get back to fantasy production.
There is a lot of evidence to back Ingram heading into this weekend, including an 80.2 pass-rush grade on the season (10th among edge defenders), 26 total pressures across the six games he’s played (T-4th among edge defenders during those weeks) and a pass-rush win rate of 18.4% (T-10th among edge defenders with min. 100 snaps).
Not to mention, Joey Bosa should be back this week, which should draw some attention away from Ingram, and the Jets own the third-lowest pass-blocking grade in the league to this point — an abysmal 53.9 grade. So, roll him out there one more time, and if the sacks don’t come this week, then I will understand not starting him again this season.
SIT — Justin Houston, DE, Indianapolis Colts (vs. GB)
Similar to Melvin Ingram, Justin Houston has raised a lot of questions recently. But in this case, I feel much less optimistic about Houston’s prospects for the rest of this season than I do about Ingram's.