A tip about bye weeks: as players hit their team’s week off from action, they will frequently be dropped for an active defensive player that can provide some points. If your bench is deep enough, this is an excellent time to make a pick up, especially on Sunday morning when the inactives are announced. Move on in and shore up your defense for the rest of the season.

As always, I am highlighting plenty of IDP that are picking up the pace and providing excellent value, either short term or for the balance of the fantasy season. Injuries, of course, constantly effect your roster, and you should peruse the wire to see if any of the players listed in the first part of the article can become part of your roster going forward.

Elevator Going Up


Dannell Ellerbe NO

Malcolm Smith OAK

Michael Wilhoite SF

Eric Kendricks MIN

Mychal Kendricks PHI

Denzel Perryman SD

Karlos Dansby CLE

Shaquil Barrett DEN

Ramik Wilson KC

Jeremiah Attaochu SD

Certainly the Saints’ defense has not been stellar this season, but that just makes for waiver wire opportunities as players become hot. For example, Dannell Ellerbe who forced a fumble, put up 13 solo tackles as part of his 14 total tackles, and also recovered a fumble against the Falcons. Keep an eye on the injury report, as he was forced to leave the game with a groin injury that is not reported to be serious. Malcolm Smith is a guy you may just find hanging out on your league’s waiver wire, following the Raiders' bye week in Week 6. If you cannot grab Ellerbe, look for Smith. Michael Wilhoite has quietly slipped into the 49ers' linebacking corps and he has been seeing a ton of snaps. He has 29 total tackles over the past two games, and plays well in coverage. Get him before kickoff Thursday when San Francisco takes on the struggling Seattle offense.

Of the two Kendricks listed above, I would prefer the one from Philly. Not to say that the Minnesota player lacks value, in fact, he provides solid and steady production that should not be discounted. I just believe that once Mychal is healthy, he will put up superior numbers week to week. The Chargers rookie Denzel Perryman amassed eight total tackles in Week 6 with a forced fumble. If Manti T’eo misses more time, he could be a sneaky addition to your roster, although always take rookie production with caution. Still, in a dynasty or deep keeper league, he makes for an intriguing pickup. Karlos Dansby was on fire in Week 6, snagging two interceptions, making seven total tackles (five solo), breaking up two passes and scoring a TD. That production is not to be expected on a weekly basis, but he has the skill set to be a LB1 for your team. Shaquil Barrett should see more playing time going forward with Shane Ray out with a knee injury. He had 1.5 sacks, nine total tackles (six solos), a pass deflection, forced fumble and also recovered a fumble. Not a bad stat line from a player no one likely had in their starting lineup. With Von Miller struggling to get to the passer, Barrett looks like a possible smart pickup.

Ramik Wilson is another rookie to target in dynasty and keeper leagues. He is not putting up astonishing numbers, but 21 total tackles, a fumble recovery and a TD over the past three games makes for a useful LB2/3. Jeremiah Attaochu was being mentioned frequently during the Week 6 contest against the Packers, picking up two sacks of Aaron Rodgers, although he did only manage to make three solo tackles. The Chargers have been providing better coverage in the backfield, leading to better pursuit of the QB, which will help the outside linebackers to grab some sacks.

Defensive Linemen

Cameron Wake DE MIA

Cameron Jordan DE NO

Allen Bailey DE KC

Corey Liuget DT SD

About time that Cameron Wake woke up, isn’t it? Four sacks against the Titans should have him back on the IDP radar screens of just about everyone. His ownership percentage dropped following his disappointing start to the season, and if he is still available in your league, now is the time to strike. Cameron Jordan is another DL that simply was not performing up to expectations. The Saints seem to have finally figured out how to employ his skills, and he picked up three sacks in the fourth quarter during the Thursday night game against Atlanta. He also padded his stat line with six total tackles (five solo), a forced fumble and recovered a fumble, too. Nice to see the studs get back on track with the big games from both Wake and Jordan.

Allen Bailey also jumped into the fray, sacking the QB, forcing a fumble and accumulating eight total tackles (five solos) at Minnesota. Many are avoiding KC now that Jamaal Charles is out for the season, but their defense will need to step up to support the offense, and Bailey will be a big part of that effort going forward. Corey Liuget is a fine pickup in DT-mandatory leagues, although his ownership has been going up with bye weeks depleting the available stock of defensive linemen on a weekly basis. Look for him to continue to produce now that the season is well underway, as he is a notorious slow starter.

Defensive Backs

Charles Woodson S OAK

Dashon Goldson S WAS

Devin McCourty S NE

Ron Parker S KC

Glover Quin S DET

Mike Mitchell S PIT

Marcus Peters CB KC

Lamarcus Joyner CB StL

Charles Woodson likely was dropped in your IDP leagues, with his Week 6 bye pushing him out of action. The veteran is putting up superb numbers once more, and has been a great DB1 all season. I still recall watching him play at Michigan in his senior year, and have been a fan for lo these many years. If he is on the wire, grab him and insert him in your starting lineup going forward. Dashon Goldson has 22 tackles over the past two weeks, making him a must-start DB, especially considering the depleted state of the Washington defensive backfield. He is a savvy veteran with an ownership percentage that should make him available in most leagues. Devin McCourty is a steady tackle producer, although he is not a great performer in big-play leagues. He is averaging just under six tackles a game, with an excellent nine total tackle effort this past week, including seven solos. Ron Parker is the starting free safety for the Chiefs, and offers both tackles (30 total, 25 solos) and big plays (five pass deflections and an interception). With the loss of Jamaal Charles for the season, the Chiefs' defense could spend a lot of time on the field which would simply boost his value.

Glover Quin is yet another stable DB, who will give you good tackle numbers most weeks, although not the big plays some leagues need to make him a starter. If you play in a tackle-oriented league, then do not forget about him as a bye-week or injury fill-in DB2. Mike Mitchell has been providing good tackle numbers all season, until he was limited to just two last week. To make up for that, though, he grabbed his first interception of the year and his second pass deflection. So long as fellow safety Will Allen is out of action with an injured ankle, he should give his owner DB2 value.  

Marcus Peters has been stepping up his production, with a nose for the football. He has three interceptions on the season and an amazing 10 pass deflections. The 28 solo tackles (31 total) is nothing to sneeze at, either. Lamarcus Joyner has been slotted into the Rams' defense as the nickleback and his snap count has been slowly rising over the past four games. He is coming off a bye week, and is widely available if you are searching for some tackles in a CB-mandatory league. He is averaging just under six tackles a game and has picked up a couple sacks, as well.

Escalator Going Down


Nigel Bradham BUF

Von Miller DEN

Bradham has not put up a big play since Week 1, and his tackle numbers are pedestrian as well. Three total tackles and one PD in Week 6 is just not enough to warrant a starting position in most IDP leagues. It seems that teams are scheming to keep Miller away from the QB and have been exceedingly effective doing so recently. He has only 12 total tackles on the year, and while he does have three sacks to his credit, his production is not worth starting him at this point.

Defensive Linemen

Mario Williams DE BUF

Stephon Tuitt DE PIT

Williams has disappointed those of us who selected him as our DL1 this year. He is being forced to drop back into coverage more than he would prefer under the new Rex Ryan defensive scheme, which is costing him his sack potential -- the main reason why he was selected so high in drafts. I have dropped him in certain leagues as there are better options on the wire week to week. Tuitt was one of those players I selected in place of Williams, and while that worked out for a couple of weeks, his production has fallen off dramatically of late. I would hold on to him and start him against the Steelers’ Week 7 opponent, the Chiefs, but another sub-par performance should send him to the wire. Note that he also sprained his knee in the Week 6 game and is listed below in the injury report.

Defensive Backs

Desmond Trufant CB ATL

Trufant is a shutdown corner, which means he does not see a lot of action come to his side of the field. So long as offensive coordinators keep their respect for him at a high level, he not a worthwhile fantasy player, just a superb defensive player for NFL purposes.

Ouch (My Aching Roster)

Evaluate all the injury reports below 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. The list below is intended as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.


Vincent Rey CIN (ankle)

Shane Ray DEN (knee -- sprained MCL)

Corey Nelson DEN (knee)

Ryan Shazier PIT (shoulder)

Chris McCain MIA (shoulder)

Shaq Thompson CAR (knee -- sprained MCL)

Benardrick McKinney DAL (concussion)

Defensive Linemen

Mike DeVito DE KC (concussion)

Stephon Tuitt DE PIT (knee)

Chris Clemons DE JAX (back spasms)

Jeremiah Ratliff DT CHI (neck)

Kyle Williams DT BUF (sprained PCL)

Ego Ferguson DT CHI (knee -- IR-out for the season)

Defensive Backs

Trenton Robinson S WAS (ankle/thumb)

Eric Weddle S SD (groin)

Kendrick Lewis S BAL (knee)

Mike Adams S IND (hamstring)

Morgan Burnett S GB (calf)

Kareem Jackson CB HOU (ankle)

Brice McCain CB MIA (knee)

Prince Amukamara CB NYG (pectoral strain)

Joe Haden CB CLE (concussion)

Jabari Price CB MIN (shoulder)

Buster Skrine CB NYJ (concussion)

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 matchups 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.