Welcome to the 2023 IDP Football Week 4 Matchups!
The Chiefs sacked Bears quarterback Justin Fields three times last week. Fields only attempted 22 passes, so that's one sack for every 7.33 pass attempts.
The Bears' low pass rate will be a minor nuisance for IDP managers starting defensive linemen this season. Three sacks is still bad for a team to give up in one game, but the Bears might not suffer many nine-sack embarrassments like one of my other recommendations from last week.
That would be the Bills defensive line, which sacked Commanders QB Sam Howell nine times. Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard and defensive end Leonard Floyd both made 2.0 sacks. I was wrong about one defensive line recommendation.
The Commanders defensive linemen didn't sack Josh Allen once. That was a bad call. Let me try to do better this week.
2023 IDP Football Week 4 Matchups
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Best Defensive Line Matchups
49ers vs. Cardinals
The 49ers defensive line versus the Cardinals offensive line is the biggest mismatch of Week 4, according to my IDP defensive line projections, and it is the second-biggest mismatch in PFF's O-line versus D-line matchup ratings. The difference between our methodologies is that mine rely primarily on judgmental grades of the positional groups involved, while PFF's is based on statistics through three weeks. The 49ers thrive from both measures.
The Cardinals offensive line allows a 26% pressure rate, while the 49ers defensive line pressures the opposing quarterback 35% of the time. Nick Bosa has only made a single sack so far, but that's not for lack of pressure. He is tied for No. 7 with 15 pressures. Eventually, more of his pressures should turn into sacks.
Must-Start: DE Nick Bosa
Browns vs. Ravens
The Browns defense is one I'm proud to have called right. I ranked them as the second-best defensive in my preseason rankings. The Browns line and their defense as a whole has produced as such so far. They are allowing the fewest points per game, the fewest points per play, the fewest yards per game, and the fewest yards per play.
Myles Garrett has been dominant. He has made 18 pressures, the fourth-most in the league, and he has made five sacks, the second-most. His pass-rush win rate is 32.5%, the highest of anyone with 40 or more pass rushes. The rest of the defensive line has probably raised Garrett's bottom line, but they haven't produced as well individually.
Za'Darius Smith, whom the Browns acquired from the Vikings, for example, has made nine pressures but no sacks. The rest of the Browns line combined has made six sacks. Garrett is producing as many by himself. Unfortunately, that means that IDP managers are left with few other worthy starters. I rostered Smith on a couple of teams through the first two weeks, but I have cut ties with him by now.
Must-Start: DE Myles Garrett
Deep League Streamers: DE Za'Darius Smith, DT Maurice Hurst
Colts vs. Rams
The Colts defensive line has been blossoming this year. They have a pressure rate of 28%, and they are particularly good at converting pressures to sacks. They have a pressure-to-sack rate of 25%. Their defensive line matchup against the inferior Rams' offensive line is the sixth-best matchup in PFF's rankings and the eighth-best matchup in my rankings.
Last week, Rams QB Matthew Stafford was sacked six times by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Rams' offensive line starters are questionable as is. A couple of their starters are injured. Left tackle Alaric Jackson has missed two days of practice, so Zach Thomas, who allowed two sacks last week, is likely to start.
Best Linebacker Matchups
Ravens vs. Browns
The Browns are running 73.3 plays per game, the most in the NFL. The Ravens defense is making 72.0 tackles per game, the fifth-most. Put those together, and the Ravens who defense, including its linebackers, should make a lot of tackles this week.
The Browns are ordinarily a run-heavy team, so that bodes well for Ravens linebackers Roquan Smith's and Patrick Queen's IDP production. Smith and Queen are IDP stars, so it is unlikely they are available in your league. Queen is more likely to be available in shallow leagues than Smith is; Queen's ownership share is estimated at between 60% and 80% on Sleeper.
Edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is a sharp streaming option. Not only does he have tackle opportunity, but he could make some sacks. Browns QB Deshaun Watson has one of the highest sack rates in the NFL, and Clowney has made half a sack or more in the past two games.
Must-Start: LB Roquan Smith
Quality Start: LB Patrick Queen
Deep League Streamer: LB/DL Jadeveon Clowney
Best Defensive Back Matchups
I can't very well call any defensive back a "must-start" because the position is so much chalkier than defensive line and linebacker, so I have them ranked in tiers of "best starts," "quality starts," and "quality streamers."
Bills vs. Dolphins
I don't have to tell you the Dolphins have an explosive offense or how many points they scored last week. Surprise, surprise; their game this week has one of the highest over unders in Vegas (53.5). For this reason, Dolphins defensive backs are also valid starting options. But I would prioritize Bills DBs over Dolphins DBs because the Dolphins offense appears to be more pass-oriented. Particularly with the Dolphins throwing a lot of deep passes to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Bills' safeties should be good plays. That is, if they can catch up to Hill and tackle him.
Quality Start: CB Tre'Davious White
Colts vs. Rams
The Rams are attempting 42.0 passes per game. That's the third-most in the league. The Colts vs. Rams game should be close, and the Rams have a terrible rushing game, so they will have to throw the ball early and often.
The Colts cornerbacks have been underperforming when it comes to making tackles. Leading CB Kenny Moore has only made 13 tackles. Safety Julian Blackmon is the team's second-leading tackler. But the Colts haven't faced an extremely pass-heavy team yet.
Quality Starts: S Julian Blackmon, CB Kenny Moore
Raiders vs. Chargers
Raiders defensive backs have been very good at making tackles this season. CB Nate Hobbs is the third-leading tackler on the team with 25 combined tackles and 15 solo tackles. CB Jakorian Bennett has added 18 combined tackles, fourth-most on the team, and S Tre'von Moehrig is right behind him with 15. They all have a good matchup this week, as they are facing Kellen Moore's pass-happy Chargers. The Chargers average 40.7 pass attempts per game, the fifth-most in the league.
Best Start: CB Nate Hobbs
Quality Streamers: CB Jakorian Bennett, S Tre'von Moehrig