Now that the Wednesday afternoon contest is in the books, let us begin to examine those IDP available that can punch up your roster heading into or beginning the fantasy football playoff season. There are a handful of linebackers and defensive linesmen to consider below, and a fuller slate of defensive backs to explore.

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 13-Carolina and Tampa Bay; no more scheduled byes after this week!

Elevator Going Up


Tyrell Adams HOU

The Lions were a favorable matchup on Thanksgiving for Houston, and Adams was certainly a beneficiary, collecting 17 total tackles (TT), 14 of those being solo takedowns. He also had two forced fumbles (FF) and a pass deflection (PD) against the Detroit offense to open Week 12. The next two weeks are just so-so matchups but he has been contributing on defense at an elite level and should be rostered as soon as you can get to the wire.

Cole Holcomb WAS

Holcomb has gradually become an every down LB for Washington, and contributed with 10 TT in the second Thanksgiving Day game (six solo). One of those tackles was for a loss of yards (TFL) and he also was credited with a QB hit/hurry (QH) on the stat sheet. Week 13 against the Steelers does not line up as a great opportunity for Holcomb but facing the 49ers Week 14 is enticing, and the next game against the visiting Seahawks holds promise, too.

Tremaine Edmunds BUF

Edmunds went through a slump before busting back into form the past three weeks, collecting 32 TT, a pair of PD and a sack over that period. He had 11 TT this past game (three solo) and now has the Number 2 team in LB fantasy points allowed on slate when the 49ers come calling in Week 13. 

Defensive Linemen

Randy Gregory DE DAL

The trade of Everson Griffen has resulting in a uptick in PT for the defensive end, and he is heading into a pair of games against teams that allow significant fantasy points to opposing DEs. He had a pair of sacks in Week 12 against the visiting Washington offense, along with a pair of QH and three solo tackles (two TFL). He is a prime candidate for a free agent pickup heading into the fantasy playoffs.  

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner DE ATL

The second-year linesman saw a significant uptick in playing time in Week 12, and responded big time with a FF and two fumble recoveries (FR), a sack and six TT (four solo). After that performance, he should continue to see more time on the field and he now has two excellent matchups in line, with the Saints in town this coming week and then a trip to LA to take on the Chargers.

Javon Kinlaw DT SF

Kinlaw enjoyed a rare treat for a DL, picking off a pass and returning it for a TD against the Rams. Do not expect such heroics every week, or potentially ever again, but in mandatory DT leagues, he offers weekly tackles and until Week 12, was playing around 60% of the defensive snaps.

Defensive Backs

Donovan Wilson S DAL 

The second-year safety collected 10 TT against visiting Washington on Thanksgiving (nine solo), and has snagged 19 TT over the past two contests. With the run-heavy Ravens on tap, look for him to continue to put up serious IDP points in Week 13.

Jeremy Chinn S CAR 

It is not likely he will ever repeat the back-to-back TDs on a pair of FRs, but if you had him in your starting IDP lineup in Week 12, great move. He was not only valuable for the TDs, though, as he collected 13 TT (seven solo), a QH, and a FF to provide overall IDP goodness. He is going to go fast from the wire, so if he is still available, grab him immediately.

Nik Needham CB MIA

Playing at slot corner for the Dolphins, Needham is seeing decent opportunities to collect tackles, including five in Week 12 against the Jets. He also had a PD, giving him four over the past three games. Week 13 has the best possible matchup for a CB possible when the Dolphins host Cincy.

Logan Ryan CB NYG

Ryan has been a great addition to the Giant defense, and is on pace to again exceed 70 solo tackles in a season. In addition to racking up six TT against the Bengals (two solo), he also added a FF, FR and a PD to give him overall fantasy value, in big play and tackle oriented formats.

Richard Sherman CB SF

Sherman was a welcome returnee to action in Week 12, totaling seven TT (six solo, one TFL). He also picked off a pass (INT) and deflected one, too (PD). He has three great matchups on the schedule, with Buffalo and Washington coming to visit Arizona (as Santa Clara has evicted the team from their home stadium due to COVID issues), and then a trip to the fourth most generous offense for opposing CBs when the team heads to take on the Cowboys in Texas. 

Bryce Hall CB NYJ

Hall was drafted in the 5th round, but the team released Pierre Desir , and now both Brian Poole and Blessuan Austin have landed on the IR, opening the door wide for the rookie to take the field. He is being targeted by opposing offenses, as is their wont with untested rookies, and thus is seeing tackle opportunities galore. He had six TT (five solo) this past contest, and has amassed 13 TT over the past two games. He has seen the most snaps of all Jet corners since be activated in Week 9, so with his frequent targets by offenses, and the starting status, he is well worth an addition to your roster.

Escalator Going Down


Will Compton TEN

Playing in a time share with David Long reduces his value for IDP purposes significantly. Even with Javon Brown out with an injury, his limited snaps and production mean that you can cut him safely.

Shaq Thompson CAR

He has been less than impressive over the 12 games he has participated in this season, collecting just 50 TT to date. He also is not racking up any significant big play production, which devalues his status as a useful LB in IDP leagues.

Defensive Linemen

Frank Clark DE KC

Clark was likely drafted by his owners to provide sacks, and he has failed to provide on that front, with just four on the season, and only one over the past seven weeks. He is not a source for tackles, averaging a mere two per game this year. This is not the season to own him, evidently. 

Defensive Backs

Jalen Ramsey CB LAR

Ramsey is a top real-life cornerback, but that makes him less than useful for fantasy purposes. He is not getting enough opportunity to provide tackle numbers or big plays, and thus pales in comparison to other less skilled NFL players, who due to being targeted by the offense, have more opportunity to provide IDP points.

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 Saints, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Steelers, a Packer defensive end, or a Dolphin corner and/or Detroit defensive back that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Washington @ Pittsburgh

San Francisco vs Buffalo

New Orleans @ Atlanta

Defensive Ends

Philadelphia @ Green Bay

Atlanta vs New Orleans

New York Giants @ Seattle

Defensive Tackles 

Dallas @ Baltimore

Las Vegas @ New York Jets

Chicago vs Detroit


Atlanta vs New Orleans

Denver @ Kansas City

San Francisco vs Buffalo

Chicago vs Detroit


Cincinnati @ Miami

Chicago vs Detroit

Philadelphia @ Green Bay

Dallas @ Baltimore

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.


Tyrell Adams HOU

Cole Holcomb WAS

Tremaine Edmunds BUF (Owned in 51% of ESPN leagues, “only” 36% of Yahoo leagues) 

Defensive Linemen

Randy Gregory DE DAL

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner DE ATL

Javon Kinlaw DT SF

Defensive Backs

Nik Needham S MIA 

Donovan Wilson S DAL 

Jeremy Chinn S CAR

Logan Ryan CB NYG

Richard Sherman CB SF

Bryce Hall CB NYJ


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.


James Burgess ATL hamstring IR

Otaro Alaka BAL knee IR

Pernell McPhee BAL undisclosed IR-COVID

Matt Judon BAL ankle IR-COVID

Matt Milano BUF pectoral IR

Tyrel Dodson BUF hamstring IR

Jason Ferris CAR undisclosed 

Sione Takitaki CLE undisclosed IR-COVID

Luke Gifford DAL suspension

Derrek Tuszka DEN hamstring IR

Krys Barnes GB illness IR-COVID

Bobby Okereke IND ankle

Shaquille Quarterman JAX knee IR

Dakota Allen JAX ankle

Dorian O’Daniel KC ankle

Uchenna Nwosu LAD shoulder-AC joint

Denzel Perryman LAC back

Kyzir White LAC undisclosed IR-COVID

Drue Tranquill LAC ankle IR

Asmar Bilal LAC calf IR

Terrell Lewis LAR knee

Obo Okoronkwo LAR elbow IR

Micah Kiser LAR knee IR

Jordan Brailford MIN undisclosed

Brandon King NE quadriceps PUP

Oshane Ximines NYG shoulder IR

Kyler Fackrell NYG lower leg IR

Blake Cashman NYJ hamstring

Patrick Onwuasor NYJ hamstring IR

Nate Gerry PHI ankle IR

Ulysees Gilbert PIT back IR

Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles SF hamstring

Mark Nzeocha SF quadriceps IR

Jadeveon Clowney TEN knee IR

Jayon Brown TEN elbow IR

Jared Norris WAS hamstring 

Reuben Foster WAS knee IR

Defensive Linemen


Josh Mauro ARI hamstring IR

Jihad Ward BAL undisclosed IR-COVID

Derek Wolfe BAL illness

Calais Campbell BAL illness IR-COVID

Yetur Gross-Matos CAR undisclosed IR-COVID

Akiem Hicks CHI hamstring

Takkarist McKinley CIN groin IR

Porter Gustin CLE illness IR-COVID

Joe Jackson CLE undisclosed IR-COVID

Shelby Harris DEN illness IR-COVID

Da’Shawn Hand DET groin 

Austin Bryant DET thigh

Julian Okwara DET undisclosed IR

Trey Flowers DET undisclosed IR

P.J. Hall HOU chest IR

Denico Autry IND illness IR-COVID

Josh Allen JAX knee IR

Clelin Ferrell LVR undisclosed

David Irving LVR knee 

Melvin Ingram LAC knee IR

Tashawn Bower NE illness

Anthony Lanier NO undisclosed

Stephon Tuitt PIT undisclosed IR-COVID

Ronald Blair SF knee-ACL 

Dee Ford SF neck IR

Jordan Willis SF undisclosed IR-COVID

Carlos Dunlap SEA foot

Ryan Anderson WAS knee


Brandon Williams BAL ankle

Justin Madubuike BAL undisclosed IR-COVID

D.J. Reader CIN quadriceps IR

Eli Ankou DAL coach’s decision 

Danny Shelton DET knee

Montravius Adams GB toe IR

DeForest Buckner IND illness IR-COVID

Davon Hamilton JAX knee IR

Abry Jones JAX ankle IR

Carl Davis JAX concussion IR

David Irving LVR knee

Byron Cowart NE back

Michael Barnett NE undisclosed IR

Sheldon Rankins NO knee-MCL IR

D.J. Jones SF undisclosed IR-COVID

Vita Vea TB leg IR-COVID

Matthew Ioannidis WAS biceps IR

Defensive Backs


Jalen Thompson ARI ankle

Deionte Thompson undisclosed IR-COVID

Jordan Miller ATL oblique IR

Geno Stone BAL illness IR-COVID

Terrell Bonds BAL knee IR-COVID

Sam Franklin CAR ankle

Sherrick McManis CHI hand

Ronnie Harrison CLE shoulder IR

Sheldrick Redwine CLE knee

Trey Marshall DEN shin

Darnell Savage GB back

Perry Nickerson GB hamstring IR

Khari Willis IND back

Josh Jones JAX chest IR

Daniel Thomas JAX arm IR

Tedric Thompson KC undisclosed

Lamarcus Joyner LVR undisclosed IR-COVID

Myles Dorn MIN IR

J.C Jackson NE lower back

Justin Hardee NO groin IR

Jaquarius Landrews NYG undisclosed IR

Nate Ebner NYG knee

Adrian Colbert NYG shoulder IR

Rudy Ford PHI hamstring 

Lano Hill SEA back IR

Justin Evans TB foot PUP

Chris Jackson TEN undisclosed IR-COVID

Deshazor Everett WAS ankle


Khalil Dorsey BAL shoulder IR

Tavon Young AL knee-ACL IR

Anthony Averett BAL shoulder IR

Iman Marshall BAL knee IR

Jimmy Smith BAL ankle

Dane Jackson BUF knee

Cam Lewis BUF wrist IR

Donte Jackson CAR toe

Trae Waynes CIN pectoral IR

Denzel Ward CLE calf

Greedy Williams CLE shoulder IR

Anthony Brown DAL ribs

Bryce Callahan DEN foot

Jeff Okudah DET shoulder

Mike Ford DET concussion

Desmond Trufant DET hamstring

Josh Jackson GB concussion

Kabion Ento GB undisclosed IR

Bradley Roby HOU suspension

Gareon Conley HOU ankle IR

Isaiah Rodgers IND knee

Sidney Jones JAX Achilles

Chris Claybrooks JAX groin IR

D.J. Hayden JAX knee IR

Damon Arnette LVR concussion 

Casey Hayward LAC groin

Jalen Ramsey LAR hip

Mike Hughes MIN neck IR

Mark Fields MIN chest IR

JNORIS Jenkins NO knee

Ryan Lewis NYG hamstring IR

Cre’von LeBlanc PHI ankle IR

Joe Haden PIT knee

Jamar Taylor SF knee-ACL IR

Ken Webster SF hamstring IR

K’Waun Williams SF ankle

Jamel Dean TB concussion

Adoree’ Jackson TEN knee

Kristian Fulton TEN knee IR

Greg Stroman WAS foot IR

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 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.