There are not nearly as many IDP that you might want to add to your roster this week as there were in the Week 2 IDP Report, but there are some players with significant upside going forward. On the plus side, there are few IDP that are in a downward spiral at this point in the season. Of course, there are injuries to be concerned over, as there always are.

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

Chandler Jones ARI

Telvin Smith JAX

Mike Hull MIA

Zach Cunningham HOU

Thomas Davis CAR

Jones has been playing the majority of snaps on defense through the first two weeks of the season (138 of 142 snaps) and last week had seven total tackles (five solo), two of those being for a loss of yards (TFL) along with two sacks, two QB hurries (QH) and a forced fumble. Arizona’s offense has been having its issues, which should translate into more time on the field for the defense, and thus a continued uptick in Jones’ performance.

Smith is probably not available on your waiver wire if you play with savvy IDP league owners, although his ownership in Yahoo currently sits at 50% and slightly higher in ESPN at 57.1%. You should certainly take a peek to see if he is available, as he is playing every down for the Jaguars and put up eight total tackles in Week 2 (six solo, one TFL) as well as collecting an interception and defending a pass (PD). He and his teammate Myles Jack are both LB1s going forward.

Hull will be benefitting from Lawrence Timmons’ bizarre behavior in leaving the team and forcing a missing person report to be filed before Week 2’s game against the Chargers. He is a potential three-down LB and managed to collect 10 total tackles in Week 2 (seven solo, one TFL) with a QH thrown in for good measure.

Cunningham will be filling in for the suspended Brian Cushing, and while not yet an every-down LB, he has the talent to develop into a three-down LB. Cunningham will also add to his stat line as he plays on special teams. He had six total tackles in Week 2 with four of those being of the solo variety.

The veteran Davis leads the Panthers with 14 tackles over the first two weeks. He is widely available on most waiver wires and puts up consistent tackle numbers for his owners. He is a must-add in tackle-oriented leagues.

Defensive Linemen

Julius Peppers DE CAR

Chris Jones DE KC

Mario Edwards DE OAK

Demarcus Lawrence DE DAL

Many fantasy players figured that Peppers was heading into the sunset, and while he will see some limitation on his playing time, it is difficult to ignore the six total tackles (four solo, one TFL), two sacks and two QH he posted in Week 2. He now has 2.5 sacks on the season, so despite the limited time on the field, he is productive when playing. Keep in mind, however, that he faces both Drew Brees and then Tom Brady in the next two contests that Carolina plays.

The second year player Jones had a fruitful game against the visiting Eagles in Week 2, with four solo tackles (one TFL), three sacks, two QH, one INT, one PD and two forced fumbles. Doing so while sitting on most obvious passing downs (he only played 44% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps) makes his effort stand out all the more.

Edwards sat out most of his second season in 2016, dealing with a hip injury that limited him to just two games. With most opponents worrying about Khalil Mack, this should result in matchups that favor the other DEs in the Oakland system, most notably Edwards and Denico Autry (who, given the injury history of Edwards, could be the subject of a later profile in the IDP Report).

Lawrence currently is second in he NFL in sacks with 3.5 on the season. He also picked up seven total tackles in Week 2 (five solo, one TFL), two QH and forced a fumble. Although he is coming off a disappointing 2016 where he had just one sack, recall that he had eight sacks the year prior to that. He provides a potentially effective pass-rusher, something the Cowboys have needed for some time now.

Defensive Backs

Jordan Poyer S BUF

Andrew Sendejo S MIN

Vonn Bell S NO

Poyer is shaping up as an effective defensive back, with 14 tackles on the season (including 11 in Week 2, seven solo, one TFL). He also has a pair of sacks, one in each game in 2017, and five PD. He also contributed two QH in Week 2 against the host Panthers. If you need a safety, go grab him off the wire now.

Sendejo has been a solid safety option three out the past four seasons, and looks to be fully charged up for 2017. He already has 16 tackles on the season, but alas, there are no big play numbers to boast about as of yet, which is generally the case with him. In a tackle-heavy league, though, he is worth rostering.

Bell’s fortunes took a turn for the better when the Saints benched former starter Kenny Vaccaro (who is also the subject of trade rumors) Bell acquitted himself nicely, with five total tackles (three solo) gathered over just 33 defensive snaps (43%). The stats should improve if he takes over the starting job going forward.

Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

None, except those listed in the injury report below.

Defensive Linemen

As with the linebackers, no one of great importance this week.

Defensive Backs

Micah Hyde S BUF

Kenny Vaccaro S NO

Bashaud Breeland CB WAS

Hyde, despite playing 66 of the 68 defensive snaps in Week 2, put up a huge goose egg with zero tackles against the Panthers. He now has just three tackles over the first two games of 2017, and is essentially worthless for fantasy purposes at this point.

Vaccaro was benched by the Saints in favor of Vonn Bell in the second half of last Sunday’s game against the visiting Patriots. There is no clear word going forward that the benching is permanent, but with trade rumors swirling, Vaccaro’s future in New Orleans does not look especially bright and shiny.

Breeland has been a consistent IDP over the past three seasons, so his limited production in the first couple of games in 2017 could mean that he is still dealing with the groin injury that slowed him through training camp. Right now, he is not putting up any useful stats, with just four total tackles (three solo) despite playing 115 snaps on defense this season to date. He should bounce back to his former useful self, but until the evidence of that rebound arrives, he should be on your bench.

Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Browns, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Colts, Giants or Green Bay that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Linebackers

Indianapolis vs Cleveland

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

Green Bay vs Cincinnati

Baltimore @ Jacksonville

Defensive Ends

New England vs Houston

Buffalo vs Denver

Philadelphia vs New York Giants

Tennessee vs Seattle

Defensive Tackles

New England vs Houston

Oakland @ Washington

LA Chargers vs Kansas City

Jacksonville vs Baltimore

Tennessee vs Seattle

Safeties

Dallas @ Arizona

Cleveland @ Indianapolis

Miami @ New York Jets

Cornerbacks

Pittsburgh @ Chicago

Cincinnati @ Green Bay

New York Jets vs Miami

Dallas @ Arizona

Waiver Wire Targets

All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. Not all the players commented on are here, however, as there is no need to waste your time searching for players that are heavily owned. This group consists of those that you may have a chance of locating on your league's waiver wire in that they are owned in significantly less than 50% of leagues. Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.

Linebackers

Chandler Jones ARI

Mike Hull MIA

Zach Cunningham HOU

Thomas Davis CAR

Chandler Jones ARI

Defensive Linesmen

Julius Peppers DE CAR

Chris Jones DE KC

Mario Edwards DE OAK

Demarcus Lawrence DE DAL

Defensive Backs

Micah Hyde S BUF

Kenny Vaccaro S NO

Bashaud Breeland CB WAS

Ouch (My Aching Roster)

All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff.  Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.

Linebackers

Deone Bucannon ARI ankle

Vic Beasley ATL hamstring

Za’Darius Smith BAL ankle

Nick Kwiatkoski CHI pectoral

Jamie Collins CLE concussion

Anthony Hitchens DAL knee

Jarrad Davis DET concussion

Ahmad Brooks GB concussion

Antonio Morrison IND elbow

Reggie Ragland KC knee

Rey Maualuga MIA hamstring

Brandon Watts MIA back

Stephone Anthony MIA ankle

Don’t’a Hightower NE knee

Bryan Braman NO undisclosed

J.T. Thomas NYG groin

Keenan Robinson NYG concussion

B.J. Goodson NYG leg

Bruce Carter NYJ ankle

Corey Lemonier NYJ foot

T.J. Watt PIT groin

Terence Garvin SEA shoulder

Reuben Foster SF ankle

Kwon Alexander TB hamstring

Devante Bond TB knee

Mason Foster WAS shoulder

Defensive Linemen

DE

Ed Stinson ARI hamstring

Courtney Upshaw ATL ankle

Brandon Williams BAL foot

Shaq Lawson BUF undisclosed

Michael Johnson CIN concussion

Myles Garrett CLE ankle

Mike Daniels GB hamstring

Montravius Adams GB foot

J.J. Watt HOU finger

Lerentee McCray JAX knee

Jeremiah Attaochu LAC hamstring

Trey Hendrickson NO knee

Stephon Tuitt PIT biceps

DT

Jerel Worthy BUF concussion

T.Y. McGill CLE back

Zach Kerr DEN knee

Malik Jackson JAX groin

Vincent Valentine NE knee

Destiny Vaeao PHI wrist

Defensive Backs

S

Chris Prosinski CHI hamstring

Deon Bush CHI hamstring

Ed Reynolds CLE knee

Kentrell Brice GB groin

Darius Butler IND hamstring

Rayshawn Jenkins LAC concussion

Nate Ebner NE shoulder

Rontez Miles NYJ eye

Keith McGill OAK foot

Rodney McLeod PHI hamstring

Jaylen Watkins PHI hamstring

J.J. Wilcox PIT concussion

Marcus Cromartie SEA undisclosed

Eric Reid SF knee

Jimmie Ward SF Hamstring

Jaquiski Tartt SF neck

Johnathan Cyprien TEN hamstring

Deshazor Everett WAS knee (MCL)

Montae Nicholson WAS shoulder (AC joint)

CB

Jaylen Hill BAL hamstring

Prince Amukamara CHI ankle

Adam Jones CIN arm

Orlando Scandrick DAL hand

Nolan Carroll DAL concussion

Chidobe Awuzie DAL hamstring

Bradley Roby DEN foot

Brendan Langley DEN knee

Davon House GB quadriceps

Kevin Johnson HOU knee

Johnathan Joseph HOU shoulder

Vontae Davis IND groin

Jason Verrett LAC knee

Kayvon Webster LAR shoulder

Eric Rowe NE groin

Sterling Moore NO pectoral

Marshon Lattimore NO head

Janoris Jenkins NYG ankle

Sean Smith OAK neck

Ronald Darby PHI ankle

Neiko Thorpe SEA ankle

Josh Norman WAS shoulder (AC joint)

As ever, good luck and Godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, I can be reached at ia@fantasyalarm.com.

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