The beginning of bye weeks means that certain owners will be scrambling to pick up replacement players to fill out their lineups. It also means that the potential exists to snap up high level IDP if an owner does not have room on their bench to stash away the inactive players, so watch your waiver wire carefully over the next several weeks. The injuries are beginning to mount, as well, so we are fortunate that there are a good number of defensive players with low ownership rates to consider as additions to your rosters.

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 4 New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers; Week 5 Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

Sam Equavoen MIA

He is shaping up as a three-down LB for the Dolphins, and he put up an eight total tackle (TT) effort against the Cowboys last week (seven solo). In tackle-oriented leagues, he is worth considering as a roster addition.

Preston Smith GB

While not an every-down LB, Smith is seeing plenty of playing time, and put up an impressive stat line in Week Three: five TT (four solo) with two of those for a loss of yards (TFL), three sacks, three QB hurries/hits (QH), and also forced a fumble (FF).

Anthony Walker IND

Walker played every one of the defensive snaps last Sunday, and collected 14 TT (11 solo, two TFL). So long as Darius Leonard is sidelined (and he is in the concussion protocol as this is being written), he will see significant playing time with projected production.

Eric Wilson MIN

Wilson is getting starts on defense as opposed to being relegated to special teams, and responded with 11 TT in Week Three (seven solo, two TFL). He also added two QH and a pair of sacks against the Raiders.

Shaq Thompson CAR

The 25-year old LB is playing plenty of defensive snaps alongside Luke Kuechly , who obviously draws most of the attention on defense. Last week, he racked up 11 TT (nine solo, one TFL), with a sack and QH tossed in for those of you in big-play leagues.

Chandler Jones ARI

Jones is another LB that is proving his value in big-play fantasy schemes, collecting a pair of sacks and QH both last week, together with a couple of FF and a fumble recovery (FR). Add in five TT (four solo) and he is valuable across all league formats.

Mack Wilson CLE

The rookie will now see more time on the field with Christian Kirk sey heading to the IR with a chest injury. He has significant upside as an every-down linebacker going forward, despite an average five TT effort against the Rams in Week Three (three solo).

Ryan Connelly NYG

Connelly picked up seven TT in Week Three, playing in place of the injured Alec Ogletree , but that was likely a fluke, and will go back to a reserve role unless injury strikes again. He has upside if his PT increases, but only if that situation redevelops.

DefensiveLinemen

Trey Flowers DE DET

Flowers collected his first sack of the season against the Eagles, to go with eight TT (four solo and one TFL) and a QH. He played in just over 70% of the defensive snaps in Week Three, so there is certainly room for his production to improve going forward.

Brian Burns DE CAR

Burns is one of those IDP whose role on the field makes his fantasy designation a great value. He is playing outside LB, but is designated as a DL, so the production could be tasty for savvy fantasy owners. His PT is increasing as the season goes forward, too, although the four solo tackle (one TFL)/one sack/two QH line should recommend him as a waiver wire grab.

Josh Allen DE JAX

The first-round rookie pick is getting plenty of time on the field to show off his potential, and is coming off a two sack effort against the Titans last week. As will all the rising IDP this week, he is likely available in your league(s) to sneak onto your roster before he becomes an household IDP name, should such a thing exist.

Jonathan Hankins DT OAK

Our sole DT this week, Hankins contributed a seven TT effort against the host Vikings, with a QH tossed in for good measure. His playing time is at a high level (80% of snaps on defense in Week Three), so continued production for DT-mandatory leagues seems likely.

Defensive Backs

Minkah Fitzpatrick S PIT

Fitzpatrick showed just why the Steelers added him to their defense, putting up a full stat sheet in his action against the host 49ers: five TT (four solo), and a QH, INT, PD and FF each. His big-play potential makes him well worth an add to your roster.

Kemal Ishmael S ATL

Ishmael will be relied upon now that Keanu Neal is lost for the season. He offers both tackle production and big-play potential. Check out his position designation in your leagues, as he is listed as a LB on certain platforms, where he would have far less value than as a DB.

Roderick Teamer S LAC

Teamer stepped up to fill in for the injure Adrian Phillips , and racked up a respectable seven TT (six solo). If he is to continue as an every-down player on defense, he adds value as a bye-week replacement at a minimum.

Jaire Alexander CB GB

The Packers are pitting Alexander against the opponent’s top receiving option, and his production has demonstrated the value of that decision. He had seven TT in Week Three against the Broncos (five solo), and he also deflected a pair of passes (PD) to go along with a FF and FR.

Marshon Lattimore CB NO

Lattimore is playing well in run support for the Saints, as well as handling his coverage duties with aplomb. He had 12 TT against the Seahawks on the road, together with a PD. A positive force on defense, he is a value especially in CB-mandatory leagues due to his tackle production.

Tre Flowers CB SEA

Flowers has a great matchup, as the Cardinals are the highest ranked team in terms of allowing points to opposing CBs. Facing a pass-happy offense should lead to both tackle and big-play opportunities for the Seahawk defensive back in Week Four.

Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

Von Miller DEN

Miller is not the only disappointment on defense in Denver, as the team does not have a sack yet on the season, but those that drafted the LB recalling his glory years might need to reconsider that decision. Keep an eye on the veteran, but be ready to send him to the free agent pool if his lack of production continues.

Kyzir White LAC

White was highly recommended by this writer in the preseason, so apologies are due to our readers. Take action now and drop him after his goose egg in the defensive stat line last week and his declining snap count on defense.

Mark Barron PIT

Barron had just a single tackle in Week Three, despite playing all the snaps on defense. He was not a bright, shining star last season, either, at times, so just stop the frustration and cut him.

Defensive Linemen

Michael Bennett DE NE

Bennett’s drop in value has to do with his declining snap count, which is due to the rotation on defense that is being employed by the Patriots. He is still putting up numbers despite limited action, but that could change to a negative regression at some point. Just be aware of the potential for declining worth.

Gerald McCoy DE CAR

McCoy has yet to accrue a sack in 2019, which given his minimal tackle numbers (seven on the season), makes his worthy of cutting for the present.

Defensive Backs

None to speak of, save for those listed in the injury report below.

Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the SECOND team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Panthers, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Texans, Ravens or Seahawks that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Linebackers

Houston Texans vs Carolina

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Denver

Defensive Ends

Atlanta Falcons vs Tennessee

Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle

Defensive Tackles

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati

Atlanta Falcons vs Tennessee

Safeties

Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta

New Orleans vs Dallas

Washington @ New York Giants

New York Giants vs Washington

Cornerbacks

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona

Green Bay Packers vs Philadelphia

Waiver Wire Targets

This section is intended to serve as a shortened cheat sheet listing those waiver wire targets you should be considering if you need to plug a hole in your starting lineup. All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. 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

Sam Equavoen MIA

Preston Smith GB

Anthony Walker IND

Eric Wilson MIN

Shaq Thompson CAR

Chandler Jones ARI

Mack Wilson CLE

Ryan Connelly NYG

DefensiveLinemen

Trey Flowers DE DET

Brian Burns DE CAR

Josh Allen DE JAX

Jonathan Hankins DT OAK

Defensive Backs

Minkah Fitzpatrick S PIT

Kemal Ishmael S ATL

Roderick Teamer S LAC

Jaire Alexander CB GB

Marshon Lattimore CB NO

Tre Flowers CB SEA

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

Zeke Turner ARI hand

De’Vondre Campbell ATL ribs

Otaro Alaka BAL hamstring

Corey Thompson BUF ankle

Shaq Green-Thompson CAR knee

Adarius Tayloy CLE ankle

Christian Kirk sey CLE chest IR

Luke Gifford DAL ankle

Joe Jones DEN triceps

Josey Jewell DEN leg

Oren Burks GB chest

Za’Darius Smith GB knee

Kyler Fackrell GB shoulder

Darius Leonard IND concussion

D.J. Alexander JAX hamstring

James Crawford MIA knee

Anthony Barr MIN groin

Dont’a Hightower NE shoulder

Kaden Elliss NO knee IR

Alex Anzalone NO shoulder IR

Lorenzo Carter NYG elbow

Tae Davis NYG concussion

Alec Ogletree NYG hamstring

Jordan Jenkins NYJ calf

C.J. Mosley NYJ groin

Vontaze Burfict OAK elbow

Kyle Wilber OAK quadriceps

Nicholas Morrow OAK ankle

Marquel Lee OAK ankle IR

Vince Williams PIT hamstring

Anthony Chickillo PIT foot

Devante Bond TB hamstring

Devin White TB knee-MCL

Cassanova McKinzy WAS hip

Defensive Linemen

DE

Jonathan Bullard ARI hamstring

Takkarist McKinley ATL knee

Marquis Haynes CAR elbow

Bruce Irvin CAR hamstring

Roy Robertson-Harris CHI lower body

Sam Hubbard CIN foot

Kerry Wynn CIN concussion

Christian Covington DAL calf

Derek Wolfe DEN ankle

De’Shawn Hand DET elbow

Mike Daniels DET foot

Charles Omenihu HOU knee

Jabaal Sheard IND knee

Tyquan Lewis IND ankle

Lerentee McCray JAX hamstring

Trent Harris MIA foot

Michael Bennett NE shoulder

DT

Grady Jarrett ATL toe

Harrison Phillips BUF knee-ACL IR

Kawann Short CAR shoulder

Bilal Nichols CHI hand

Akiem Hicks CHI knee

Ryan Glasgow CIN thigh

Antwaun Woods DAL knee

Tyrone Crawford DAL hip

Montavius Adams GB shoulder

Al-Quadin Muhammmad IND neck

Sheldon Rankins NO Achilles

Olsen Pierre NYG knee

Quinnen Williams NYJ ankle

Timmy Jernigan PHI foot

Defensive Backs

S

Keanu Neal ATL Achilles IR

Brynden Trawick BAL elbow

Eddie Jackson CHI shoulder

Sheldrick Redwine CLE hamstring

Morgan Burnett CLE quadriceps

Xavier Woods DAL ankle

Rolan Milligan IND knee

Malik Hooker IND knee-meniscus

Bobby McCain MIA hamstring

Reshad Jones MIA ankle

Nate Ebner NE groin

Neiko Thorpe SEA hamstring

Tedric Thompson SEA hamstring

Bradley McDougald SEA ankle

Jamel Dean TB ankle

CB

Marlon Humphrey BAL hip

Jimmy Smith BAL knee

Tre’Davious White BUF neck

Taron Johnson BUF hamstring

Donte Jackson CAR groin

B.W. Webb CIN forearm

Denzel Ward CLE hamstring

Greedy Williams CLE hamstring

Bryce Callahan DEN foot

Darius Slay DET hamstring

Pierre Desir IND hamstring

Jalen Ramsey JAX back

Michael Davis LAC hamstring

Jomal Wiltz MIA groin

Mackensie Alexander MIN elbow

Ronald Darby PHI hamstring

Ahkello Witherspoon SF foot

Jimmie Ward SF hand

Quinton Dunbar WAS knee

 

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. FANation Chat is live on the site, to help you work through your fantasy football dilemmas. Or if you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, you can also send a message to ia@fantasyalarm.com for a personal response from the writer of this article. Naturally, the more detail you can send about your league, such as number of teams, platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.

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