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Week 3 fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em for IDP leagues

One of the toughest things about fantasy football, whether IDP or not, is banging your head against the wall trying to decide who to start and who to sit each week. After two weeks of NFL football, we’ve started to get a better understanding of specific player usage, teams' preferred defensive personnel and who on each team is getting the majority of work on a game-by-game basis.

While it’s still early in the season, it’s important to listen to the tea leaves so that we can make the most informed decisions when setting our lineups. I’m here to help you sort through the clutter to determine who the best starts and sits will be for Week 3.

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DEFENSIVE LINE

START — Shaquil Barrett, ED, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. DEN)

The Bucs’ defensive line has been fairly productive by IDP standards, so while more than one of them could be in for a nice game this coming week, Shaquil Barrett stands out most as someone who I feel is in line for a nice week.

Sep 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) pressures during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

While it has been Barrett’s teammates Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh who have been putting up the sack numbers early this season, Barrett has a goose egg in that category. The good thing for Barrett is that a matchup with Denver’s right tackle Elijah Wilkinson could change things for him. Barrett has almost exclusively lined up on the left edge so far this season, while Pierre-Paul has been exclusive to the right side of the line.

Assuming these trends continue into this week, Pierre-Paul will have a much tougher matchup going up against Garett Bolles, PFF’s fourth-highest graded tackle in pass blocking (84.6), who has allowed just two pressures and no sacks this season. Meanwhile, on the other side of the offensive line, Wilkinson is PFF’s lowest-graded tackle (minimum 20% of snaps) in pass blocking (38.8) through two weeks, having allowed five total pressures and a sack so far.

Barrett is on a lot of rosters because of his breakout season in 2019, and the opportunity doesn’t get any better for him to prove that last year was no fluke — not to mention, the Broncos will also be starting backup quarterback Jeff Driskel this week with starter Drew Lock injured.

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