It is a good week for finding some rising stars on the IDP front, as players continue to come back from injury and also fill in for those who have suffered injuries that put them on the sideline. Not too many players to drop this week, either.

I would urge all you who are new to this particular set of articles to go back and look at the past few weeks' postings to discover who I recommended previously. If they do not end up on the downward trending elevator list, then they are still good options to scour your waiver wire for, especially with the six team byes coming up in Weeks 8 and 9. I do not fear the bye week loss of players, by the bye, as these weeks generally result in good to great IDPs being dropped out of roster necessity, and if you are quick on the wire, you can upgrade if you have the room on your bench or immediately after the bye week absence is alleviated.

Pat on the back for me if you picked up D.J. Swearinger S ARI, Vonn Bell S NO, Jurrell Casey DT TEN, Nick Bellore LB SF and Willie Young LB/DE CHI on the basis of last week's article. Sorry about Duke Ihenacho S WAS and his limited snaps on defense, as he ended up on the falling star list below this week.

Bye Weeks coming up:

Week 7: Carolina, Dallas

Week 8:  Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, San Francisco

Week 9:  Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, New England, Washington

Elevator Going Up


Jatavis Brown SD -- Brown put up big tackle numbers against Denver in Week 6, collecting 13 solos as part of his 14 total tackles, and also tossing in a sack, a forced fumble and one QH (QB hurry/hit). One of those 14 tackles was for a loss as well. He has good coverage skills and also can get to the passer. He is a LB2 working his way quickly to become a true LB1.

Tyler Matakevich PIT -- Matakevich put up huge tackle numbers last week against the Dolphins, when you take into account the fact that he played just 18 snaps on defense: seven solos and a pair of assists. He also sees time on special teams, where he collected one of his tackles. If Vince Williams is still banged up (although he is not on the injury list so far this week, as evidenced below), and his snap count rises, expect good tackle results going forward.

Donta Hightower NE -- Hightower stepped in with Jamie Collins on the sidelines in Week 6, and collected 13 total tackles (three solos, one for a loss) with 1.5 sacks and a couple of QH. He also contributed by causing a safety. Collins is on the injury list below, but realize that this is New England, so take that with a grain or two of salt.

Ryan Kerrigan WAS -- Kerrigan picked up two sacks early against the Eagles in Week 6, but also had four total tackles (three solo, two for a loss) and four QH. The Eagles were forced to double team him for most of the game, but with Washington heading to Detroit to take on the offensive minded Lions in Week 7, expect him to see plenty of action again.

Dee Ford KC -- Ford has been an afterthought in the Chief linebacking system, with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali starting in front of him, but has started to show his abilities. In Week 6, he collected two sacks to go with his five tackles (four solo, two for loss of yards), a forced fumble and a couple of QH. He is emerging as a potential LB1 finally.

Albert McClellan BAL -- McClellan benefitted from the absence of C.J. Mosley, who is listed as questionable again in Week 7. In last week's game against the Giants, he put up a respectable seven solo, two assist effort. So long as he is playing significant snaps, he is a good source of tackles. Keep an eye on McClellan's status, though, as he is listed is questionable with a calf issue.

Defensive Linemen

Ezekiel Ansah DE DET -- I would suggest grabbing Ansah wherever he is available, as he is a dominant force on the Detroit front line. He is just coming back from injury and the Lions are likely to limit his snaps until he proves to be 100% healthy, but expect him to do well against the visiting Washington offense.

Cliff Avril DE SEA -- Avril has long been a standard draft option for me, and not just because I was fortunate enough to watch him when he played for the Lions. He put up nice numbers in Week 6: four total tackles (two solo, one for a loss of yards), two sacks, a forced fumble and two QH (what shall we call these, QB hits or hurries?). He is definitely someone to target for your DL slot, especially with the multi-team bye weeks coming up.  

DeForest Buckner DE SF -- Buckner is coming off a fine week and basically is unowned at this point in the season. The rookie is developing into a serious force on the defensive line, collecting two sacks, nine total tackles (five solo), one fumble recovery and three QH. The 49ers are rebuilding at this point, and figure to be on the field a ton in defensive situations, so he is going to see plenty of opportunity to build on these numbers. No one knows about him in your leagues, and picking him up now might just make you look like a genius in your IDP league.

Danny Shelton DT CLE -- Our sole DT this week put up a sack, with five solo tackles (one for a loss) and a QH (QH should become an IDP stat in my opinion, but no one else in the industry seem to agree, kinda like OPS in baseball). Grab Mr. Shelton in DT mandatory leagues, but also consider him as a DL add when the bye weeks hit in Week 8 and 9.

Defensive Backs

Isa Abdul-Quddus S MIA -- Abdul-Quddus will be the safety the Dolphins look to now that Reshad Jones has hit the IR with a torn rotator cuff. He is nowhere near the DB1 that Jones is, but with Miami's defense on the field as much as they are, he makes for an attractive replacement DB2/3 going forward.

Rodney McLeod S PHI -- McLeod has been a great source of solo tackles this season, and grabbed another 11 against Washington, with two assists. He is playing close to the line, and thus is able to corral offensive ball carriers consistently. In a tackle oriented league, he has high value.

Aaron Colvin CB JAX -- Colvin came off his four game suspension and put up a five solo tackle effort, one of those being for a loss. Playing as the nickel corner, he will continue to have good tackle opportunities for those in CB mandatory leagues.

Byron Maxwell CB MIA -- Maxwell is one of those corners who get targeted plenty due to his poor coverage skills. In the IDP world, shaky cornerbacks get to see plenty of action, which leads to big stat lines. He had five total tackles in Week 6 (four solo) and also defended four passes. Look for the Bills to throw in his direction a bunch on Sunday.

Perrish Cox CB TEN -- Cox is another CB that sees plenty of passes thrown to the receivers he is covering. He had 3 PD against the Browns in Week 6, and you can expect him to see similar action in Week 7 when Tennessee faces off against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

DeShawn Shead CB SEA -- Shead plays opposite Richard Sherman in the Seattle defensive backfield, and thus opposing teams like to throw to his side of the field. He is coming off an eight total tackle effort (seven solo) in Week 6 against the Falcons, where he also put up three PD. He has a couple of great matchups against the Cardinals and Saints in the next two weeks, a couple of teams that allow big numbers to opposing cornerbacks.



Escalator Going Down


Denzel Perryman SD

His breakout status is now in serious question with him seeing limited snaps on defense. I would seek out Jatavis Brown, who I profiled above, if you are searching for a Charger linebacker to add to your squad. He still has upside in dynasty leagues, so if you have a deep roster, do not cut him, just do not start him until his stat line improves with more playing time.

Defensive Linemen

No one to disparage this week, except those defensive linesmen that are on the injury report below.

Defensive Backs

Duke Ihenacho S WAS

He had a good showing in Week 5, but was a disappointment to those that started him in the next week. Donte Whitner and Will Blackmon look to be the preferred options at safety in Washington at this point, so feel free to remove him from your roster and find a better option. Perhaps one of those discussed above?

Matchups to Exploit

Oakland @ Jacksonville

I sort of hate to keep dumping on the Jags, but they continue to be a great source of fantasy production for opposing linebackers. I would not say that I am excited about starting any Oakland LBs on a general basis, but this would be a week to stream one of them in if you are hurt by injury or bye week absence.

Washington @ Detroit

Detroit's offense, led by Matt Stafford, is playing a high level right now. Utilizing both the receiving corps and their backs effectively, look for the Washington defenders to see plenty of tackle opportunities in Week 7.

Denver vs Houston

The Houston offense is sputtering behind Brock Osweiler, and I while they do feature a decent run offense, it is the passing game that will be a good source of fantasy IDP point production when Denver hosts the Texans. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, Jr., together with safeties T.J. Ward and Darien Stewart should all be contributing nice results in Week 7. Denver also happens to have a good pass rush, and will make life difficult for the Houston QB all day long.

Tennessee vs Indianapolis

The Colts are the team allowing the most sacks (23) on the season. No reason to believe that this situation will correct itself against the Titans on Sunday. Start your Titan linebackers and defensive ends to take advantage of the matchup.

Miami vs Buffalo

Buffalo likes to run the ball, and thus the Miami defense should be able to accumulate a ton of tackles. Miami is coming off a huge win against the Steelers in Week 6, but I would expect that they will be pushed around by the visiting Bills in Week 7, resulting in plenty of action for their defense to put up IDP numbers.

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 I comment on are here, however, as I am not going 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.


Jatavis Brown SD

Tyler Matakevich PIT

Donta Hightower NE

Ryan Kerrigan WAS

Dee Ford KC

Albert McClellan BAL

Defensive Linesmen

Ezekiel Ansah DE DET

Cliff Avril DE SEA (owned in 30% of ESPN leagues, but only 5% of Yahoo leagues…go figure)

DeForest Buckner DE SF

Danny Shelton DT CLE

Defensive Backs

Isa Abdul-Quddus S MIA

Rodney McLeod S PHI

Aaron Colvin CB JAX

Byron Maxwell CB MIA

Perrish Cox CB TEN

DeShawn Shead 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.


Paul Worrilow ATL groin

Terrell Suggs BAL biceps

Elvis Dumervil BAL foot

Albert McClellan BAL calf

C.J. Mosley BAL hamstring

Jamari Lattimore BUF nose

Leonard Floyd CHI calf

Jackson Jeffcoat CLE hamstring

Kyle Wilber DAL neck

DeMarcus Ware DEN forearm

DeAndre Levy DET quadriceps

Brian Peters HOU quadriceps

Shea McClellin NE concussion

Jamie Collins NE hip

Dannell Ellerbe NO quadriceps

Devon Kennard NYG concussion

David Harris NYJ hamstring

Darron Lee NYJ ankle

Vince Williams PIT undisclosed

Ryan Shazier PIT knee (MCL)

Will Compton WAS head

Su'a Cravens WAS concussion

Defensive Linemen


Ed Stinson ARI toe

Xavier Cooper CLE shoulder

Demarcus Lawrence DAL shoulder

Wallace Gilberry DET abdomen

Zach Kerr IND ankle

Robert Quinn LA shoulder

Terrence Fede MIA coach's decision

Paul Kruger NO back

Cameron Heyward PIT hamstring

Michael Bennett SEA knee

Frank Clark SEA hamstring

Quinton Jefferson SEA thumb

Robert Ayers TB ankle


Marcell Dareus BUF hamstring

Paul Soliai CAR foot

Vernon Butler CAR ankle

Eddie Goldman CHI ankle

Haloti Ngata DET shoulder

Sharrif Floyd MIN knee

Vincent Valentine NE back

Woodrow Hamilton NE shoulder

Bennie Logan PHI groin

Clinton McDonald TB hamstring

Gerald McCoy TB calf

Al Woods TEN calf

Defensive Backs


Kendrick Lewis BAL thigh

Chris Banjo GB hamstring

Quintin Demps HOU calf

K.J. Dillon HOU knee

Reshad Jones MIA shoulder (IR-out for the season)

Darian Thompson NYG foot

Nat Berhe NYG concussion

Shamarko Thomas PIT groin

Jahleel Addae SD collarbone

Kam Chancellr SEA groin

Jaquiski Tartt SF quadriceps

Kyshoen Jarrett WAS shoulder


Jerraud Powers BAL groin

Jimmy Smith BAL concussion

Shareece Wright BAL back

Kevon Seymour BUF shoulder

Robert McClain CAR hamstring

James Bradberry CAR foot

Daryl Worley CAR concussion

Tracy Porter CHI knee

Bryce Callahan CHI hamstring

Deiondre' Hall CHI ankle

Joe Haden CLE groin

Marcus Burley CLE hamstring

Orlando Scandrick DAL hamstring

Morris Claiborne DAL concussion

Damarious Randall BG groin

Quinten Rollins GB groin

Johnathan Joseph HOU forearm

Kareem Jackson HOU hamstring

Kevin Johnson HOU foot

Patrick Robinson IND knee

Jalil Brown IND ankle

Tevin Mitchel IND hamstring

Phillip Gaines KC knee

Marcus Peters KC neck

Trumaine Johnson LA ankle

Xavien Howard MIA knee (meniscus)

Delvin Breaux NO lower leg

Eli Apple NYG groin

Leodis McKelvin PHI hamstring

Brandon Flowers SD concussion

Jimmie Ward SF quadriceps

Rashard Robinson SF concussion

Cody Riggs TEN hamstring

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