As the injuries mount, it becomes increasingly necessary to locate those waiver wire gems that are owned in few leagues that can fill in the open slots in your IDP roster(s). Not a single CB to suggest this week, sad to say, but plenty of LBs and DEs to consider. Plus, be prepared for next week when the bye weeks step up from two teams to four that are idle.

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 5: Detroit, Miami; Week 6: Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Oakland; Week 7: Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

De’Vondre Campbell ATL

Campbell did not seem at all hindered by his rib issue that limited his practice prior to the Week Four contest against the visiting Titans, rolling up with 17 total tackles (TT), seven of those of the solo variety and two for a loss of yards (TFL). He also contributed some big plays with two forced fumbles (FF).

Rashaan Evans TEN

On the other side of the field in Week Four, Evans continued to shine, despite seeing a decrease in snaps on defense due to Atlanta’s reliance on their passing attack to get back into the game. He did collect half a sack, and two QB hurries/hits (QH) to go with his 10 TT (five solo), and his efforts helped hold Devonta Freeman to just 28 yards.

Mychal Kendricks SEA

Kendricks picked up a pair of sacks as a blitzing LB against the Cardinals in Week Four, to go along with a pair of QH. He also contributed with six TT (five solo, two TFL) and is seeing plenty of PT with the Seahawks favoring a 4-3 defensive scheme primarily.

Eric Kendricks MIN

The Viking LB is posting numbers we have not seen since his rookie season back in 2015. He has 33 TT on the season after collecting a dozen against the division-rival Bears in Week Four’s contest. In tackle-oriented leagues, he is once again a valued IDP.

Todd Davis DEN

Davis put up double digit tackles against the Jags in Week Four, with 12 TT (seven solo) and also adding in a QH to avoid being a tackle-only IDP option. After missing the season’s first two games, he has become essentially an every-down LB for the Broncos, and as such, should be considered for your roster, especially with the bye weeks ramping up soon.

Nicholas Morrow OAK

Morrow figures to benefit tremendously due to the suspension of linebacker Vontaze Burfict , sliding into an outside LB slot. He is coming off a seven TT effort with a PD tossed in to pump up his value. A three-down LB on a bad team generally puts up better than respectable IDP numbers.

Nick Kwiatkoski CHI

So long as Roquan Smith is absent from the field dealing with personal issues, Kwiatkoski looks to step in as a starting LB for the Bears. In that role against the Vikings in Week Four, he contributed big time with nine TT (eight solo) together with a sack and FF. Be advised that while starting, he is playing just over 50% of the snaps while the Chicago defense is on the field, which makes him more a bye-week fill in than a regular starter.

Defensive Linemen

John Simon DE NE

Simon has seen his playing time on defense increase steadily over the past three games, and he contributed with a sack and six TT (five solo, one TFL), as well as tossing in a pair of QH and a pass deflection (PD).

Taco Charlton DE MIA

Charlton is on bye in Week Five, which means that if you have the room, he is sneaky pickup for your IDP ranks. He is coming off a six TT (four solo, one TFL) effort against the visiting Chargers, a game where he also contributed with a sack and two QH.

Ezekiel Ansah DE SEA

Ansah has always been productive when on the field, and has stayed upright so far this season, making him a valued fantasy DL. He had five solo tackles (one TFL) against the host Cardinals in Week Four, along with a sack and pair of QH to boost his production in big play leagues.

Nick Williams DE CHI

The Bear DE has been increasing his time on the gridiron as the season progresses, and has been improving his fantasy value with that development. He had seven TT (two TFL) against the visiting Vikings last week, netting a pair of sacks and QH both, plus recovering a fumble (FR) to further enhance his desirability for IDP owners.

Bruce Irvin DE CAR

Note that Irvin only has LB eligibility in ESPN leagues, but has dual LB/DL status in Yahoo. If you can grab him on that platform, though, having a LB who you can slot in at DL is huge advantage. In his first action of the season, he was credited with a sack and three TT, plus he has a good matchup against the Jaguars in Week Five on tap.

Derrick Nnadi DT KC

Our sole DT this week, the Chief defensive tackle showed some pass defense skills, with a sack of Matthew Stafford . He also added an FF and eight TT (five solo). He is a fine pickup in leagues that mandate use of a DT IDP

Defensive Backs

Jordan Whitehead S CLE

The Cleveland defensive back got the start due to Morgan Burnett ’s place on the sidelines, and produced with both tackles (eight TT, seven solo) and big plays: one INT, one FF, and a PD. So long as he is seeing significant playing time, he is worth employing on your defensive squad.

Justin Reid S HOU

Reid was a tackle monster against the Panthers, collecting 10 TT, nine of those being solos. His tackle numbers make him a dependable defensive back who provides consistent fantasy production week in, week out, averaging better than eight TT per contest early this season.

Khari Willis S IND

The Colts could be without both Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers , making Willis the next man up to see consistent snaps on defense. He had nine TT in Week Four (eight solo, one TFL) and also put up a PD against the visiting Raiders. His matchup against the Chiefs is not superb, and the week after that is the bye for the Colts, but things do get rosier on the schedule after that if he is still starting.

Eric Weddle S LAR

The veteran free safety continues to provide consistent production from the defensive backfield. In Week Four, he collected 15 TT against the Buccaneers, albeit in an offensive shootout of a game unlikely to be duplicated many times in 2019. He also had a couple of PDs in the loss to Tampa Bay.

Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

Vontaze Burfict OAK

This seemed inevitable, given his past behavior, but the league has suspended Burfict for the balance of the season. The linebacker is extraordinarily productive when on the field, but seems to continually miss time due to his own acts.

Defensive Linemen

None to write about this week, except for those populating the Injury Report below.

Defensive Backs

Vernon Hargreaves III CB TB

The veteran defensive back has accrued just three solo tackles in his last two contests. That sort of production makes him worthy of being subtracted from any roster where he is taking up space. Racking up just two solo tackles in a wide-open game where the opposing offense threw 68 passes is unacceptable.

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 Panthers or Browns, but certainly you will do well if you own a top DL on the Buffalo that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Linebackers

Carolina Panthers vs Jacksonville

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco

Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati

Defensive Ends

Tennessee Titans vs Buffalo

Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets @ Philadelphia

Defensive Tackles

Cincinnati Bengals vs Arizona

Tennessee Titans vs Buffalo

Safeties

Atlanta Falcons @ Houston

Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay

Washington vs New England

Cornerbacks

Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Jets

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. 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

De’Vondre Campbell ATL

Rashaan Evans TEN

Mychal Kendricks SEA

Eric Kendricks MIN

Todd Davis DEN

Nicholas Morrow OAK

Nick Kwiatkoski CHI

Defensive Linemen

John Simon DE NE

Taco Charlton DE MIA

Ezekiel Ansah DE SEA

Nick Williams DE CHI

Bruce Irvin DE CAR (Yahoo only, he is a LB in ESPN leagues)

Derrick Nnadi DT KC

Defensive Backs

Jordan Whitehead S CLE

Justin Reid S HOU

Khari Willis S IND

Eric Weddle S LAR

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

Dennis Gardeck ARI ankle

Otaro Alaka BAL hamstring IR

Corey Thompson BUF ankle

Roquan Smith CHI personal

Willie Harvey CLE shoulder

Christian Kirk sey CLE chest IR

Luke Gifford DAL ankle

Bradley Chubb DEN knee-ACL IR

Joe Jones DEN triceps

Josey Jewell DEN hamstring

Oren Burks GB chest

Darius Leonard IND concussion

D.J. Alexander JAX hamstring

Damien Wilson KC concussion

Bryce Hager LAR shoulder

James Crawford MIA knee IR

Kentrell Brothers MIN wrist

Dont’a Hightower NE shoulder

Kaden Elliss NO knee IR

Tae Davis NYG concussion

Ryan Connelly NYG knee-ACL IR

Alec Ogletree NYG hamstring

Lorenzo Carter NYG neck

C.J. Mosley NYJ groin

Jordan Jenkins NYJ calf

Vontaze Burfict OAK suspension-out for the season

Marquel Lee OAK ankle IR

Anthony Chickillo PIT foot

Vince Williams PIT hamstring

Jack Cichy TB elbow

Devin White TB knee-MCL

Cameron Wake TEN hamstring

Ryan Anderson WAS elbow

Defensive Linemen

DE

Zach Allen ARI shoulder

Brandon Williams AL knee

Kerry Wynn CIN concussion

Carl Lawson CIN hamstring

Da’Shawn Hand DET elbow

Mike Daniels DET foot

Charles Onemihu HOU knee

Tyquan Lewis IND ankle

Alex Okafor KC hip

Melvin Ingram LAC hamstring

Trey Hendrickson NO neck

Clelin Ferrell OAK concussion

Cameron Heyward PIT quadriceps

DT

Harrison Phillips BUF knee-ACL IR

Kawann Short CAR shoulder IR

Bilal Nichols CHI hand

Akiem Hicks CHI knee

Ryan Glasgow CIN thigh

Antwaun Woods DAL knee

Tyrone Crawford DAL hip

Montravius Adams GB shoulder

Quinnen Williams NYJ ankle

Timmy Jernigan PHI foot

Defensive Backs

S

Charles Washington ARI shoulder

Blidi Wreh-Wilson ATL groin

Keanu Neal ATL Achilles IR

Brynden Trawick BAL elbow

Dean Marlowe BUF concussion

Eric Reid CAR ankle

Sheldrick Redwine CLE hamstring

Morgan Burnett CLE quadriceps

Kavon Frazier DAL pectoral IR

Kareem Jackson DEN hamstring

Quandre Diggs DET hamstring

Tony Brown GB hamstring

Malik Hooker IND knee-meniscus

Clayton Geathers IND concussion

Ronnie Harrison JAX knee

Taylor Rapp LAR ankle

Bobby McCain MIA hamstring

Jamel Dean TB ankle

CB

Jimmy Smith BAL knee

Taron Johnson BUF hamstring

Donte Jackson CAR groin

Darius Phillips CIN knee IR

Denzel Ward CLE hamstring

Greedy Williams CLE hamstring

Bryce Callahan DEN foot

Darius Slay DET hamstring

Will Redmond GB undisclosed

Kevin King GB groin

Jalen Ramsey JAX back

Jomal Wiltz MIA groin

Ronald Darby PHI hamstring

Avonte Maddox PHI neck

Sidney Jones PHI hamstring

Ahkello Witherspoon SF foot

Jimmie Ward SF hand

Fabian Moreau 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 now 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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