With fantasy playoff season upon us, it is time to shore up your IDP ranks. There are some defensive players worth your consideration profiled below, as well as some you might be best served to forget about or drop if you have the misfortune of having them on your roster. If you are competing for a championship, adjust your team(s) wisely and judiciously.

Elevator Going Up


Alec Ogletree NYG

Ogletree has seen the most snaps of all his fellow linebackers on the Giant defense by a large margin, but until recently has not been putting up the stats to reflect that circumstance. He did have 10 total tackles (TT) in Week 13, and has been contributing a larger share of big plays of late, with a sack, three interceptions (INT) and four pass deflections (PD) over the past three games. If he is going to turn up the burners, this is a perfect time with fantasy playoffs on tap.

L.J. Fort PIT

Fort contributed big time against the visiting Chargers this past week, collecting a team high 12 TT (nine solo). He was not the starter, but did see a significant 52 snaps on defense in Week 13. The speed he provides on defense may force the Steelers to continue to increase his playing time going forward. Be advised that Jon Bostic is still showing up as the presumptive starter, but Bostic was only on the field for 11 snaps last contest.

Myles Jack JAX

Jack is coming off a big game where he put up a 10 TT effort (seven solo), while also contributing a fumble recovery (FR) to pad his fantasy production. This came against a mid-level offense in terms of allowing opposing LB fantasy points, and now gets an even better matchup with the Titans on deck Thursday evening.

Defensive Linemen

Dean Lowry DE (Yahoo)/DT (ESPN) GB

Lowry has a better profile in ESPN leagues, where he can help out in DT-mandatory leagues while providing DE level production. He only had a pair of solo tackles last week, with one for a loss of yards (TFL), but it was the big plays that brought him to the forefront of rising DLs here: a sack, a QB hit (QH) and a PD against the Cards at Lambeau in Week 13. He has a couple of good matchups coming up with a home tilt against the Falcons and then a road game at Chicago, perfect time to pick him up to boost your fantasy playoff chances.

B.J. Hill DT NYG

The rookie DL has been seeing plenty of action following the trade of Damon Harrison to Detroit earlier this season. He snagged three sacks in Week 13, along with three solo tackles (two TFL) and a trio of QH against the visiting Bears. The Redskins and Titans are a great one-two matchup pairing over the next two contests, so take advantage especially in DT-mandatory setups.

Defensive Backs

Jabrill Peppers S CLE

Peppers has been putting up better tackle results lately, with 14 TT over the past two games (eight solo). He has done this against middle of the pack offenses with regard to safety production, and his Week 14 opponent, the Panthers, is not a mouthwatering matchup, but then he heads to Denver for a great Week 15 matchup, so keep him on speed-dial for a pickup as needed.

Su’a Cravens S DEN

Cravens plays in a fashion that reminds of a linebacker, while he qualifies as a DB for fantasy purposes. He had five TT against the host Bengals in the Broncos’ most recent contest and also added a QH to his stat line. Cravens was sidelined the first eight games of 2018, but has been seeing an uptick in playing time over the past three weeks. If his snap counts continue to rise, look for him to provide good value as his next two matchups are excellent games to employ his services.

Marshon Lattimore CB NO

Lattimore is another IDP that is beginning to heat up as fantasy playoff games hit the schedule. He collected 10 TT in Week 13 (nine solo) with a forced fumble (FF) and a FR. He has also put up four PDs and an INT during the course of the past three contests he has played. His next three matchups are tasty ones, with all three opponents being in the top tier of offenses favorable to opposing corners, and the generous Tampa Bay stat crew in store this coming week.

David Amerson CB ARI

Amerson will see an increase in playing time with former starter Bene Benwikere having been released by the Cardinals. He is playing opposite Patrick Peterson , so will likely be the corner targeted by opposing offenses. He is coming off a six TT effort against the Packers (five solo) and also deflected a pass in that contest.

Xavien Howard CB MIA

Howard continues to rack up the INTs, with another two in Week 13 to build on the pair he collected in Week 12. Beware of his knee injury, however, which may sideline him against the Patriots in this week’s contest. The league-leader in interceptions should return sometime this season, however, so if big-plays are valuable in your league, keep an eye on his status week-to-week.

B.W. Webb CB NYG

Webb has been effective since the Week 9 bye, averaging nearly six solo tackles per week since the Week 10 game against the 49ers and culminating with a nine solo effort against the Bears. He now gets to face off against the Mark Sanchez led Washington team in Week 14, which portends continued strong production.

Escalator Going Down


Jarrad Davis DET

Despite playing a boatload of snaps on defense for the Lions, his production is mediocre at best. Over the past two contests played, he has accumulated just three solo tackles and five assists. There are better LBs on the wire to pick up.

Matt Judon BAL

Judon has too many weeks where his production is skimpy to point of being almost non-existent. He is far too inconsistent to be in your lineup, hoping for the occasional big game. His upcoming matchups do not profile well, either, taking on the Chiefs and Chargers the next two weeks.

Kyler Fackrell GB

Here is another IDP with a high snap count that is not resulting in fantasy stat production. He has had seven weeks with two or less TT, and has just two solo and two assists over the past two weeks to his credit.

Jon Bostic PIT

Bostic started in Week 13 against the Chargers, but only saw 11 snaps on defense, as the team turned to L.J. Fort at inside linebacker. He totaled just one assist in that limited action, and if the trend continues, he is not worth rostering.

Defensive Linemen

Adrian Clayborn DE NE

Do not be fooled into believing that he can still produce for fantasy purposes, as he has gone three consecutive games without collecting a tackle, or any counting IDP stat. He may be a starting DE in New England, but the lack of production makes him worthless as an IDP.

Geno Atkins DT CIN

Atkins has had just one sack over his past seven games, and has been credited with just 12 TT over that span (four solo). That is not the kind of value you want from a starting DL in fantasy, and you should just move on and ignore the name-recognition factor.

Defensive Backs

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

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 Bills or 49ers, but certainly you will do well if you own a top S on either side of the Denver-San Francisco contest that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


New York Jets @ Buffalo

Denver Broncos @ San Francisco

Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston

Defensive Ends

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland

Arizona Cardinals vs Detroit

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston

Defensive Tackles

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas

Denver Broncos @ San Francisco

Washington vs New York Giants


Denver Broncos @ San Francisco

San Francisco 49ers vs Denver

New York Jets @ Buffalo


Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta

Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay

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.


Alec Ogletree NYG

L.J. Fort PIT

Myles Jack JAX

Defensive Linemen

Dean Lowry DE (Yahoo)/DT (ESPN) GB

B.J. Hill DT NYG

Defensive Backs

Su’a Cravens S DEN

Jabrill Peppers S CLE

Marshon Lattimore CB NO

David Amerson CB ARI

Xavien Howard CB MIA

B.W. Webb CB NYG

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.


Deone Bucannon ARI chest

Tim Williams BAL illness

Vontaze Burfict CIN concussion

Sean Lee DAL hamstring

Shaquil Barrett DEN hip

Brandon Marshall DEN knee

Josey Jewell DEN ankle

Jalen Reeves-Maybin DET neck (IR)

Trevor Bates DET ankle

Devon Kennard DET hip

Brennan Scarlett HOU leg

B.J. Goodson NYG neck

Lorenzo Carter NYG hip

Tae Davis NYG ankle

Jordan Hicks PHI calf

Dekoda Watson SF calf (IR)

K.J. Wright SEA knee

Derrick Morgan TEN knee

Ryan Anderson WAS hamstring

Defensive Linemen


Derek Wolfe DEN ribs

Mike Daniels GB foot (IR)

Calais Campbell JAX ankle

Matthew Ioannidis WAS shin


Olsen Pierre ARI knee (IR)

Larry Ogunjobi CLE biceps

David Irving DAL ankle

Abry Jones JAX shin

Brandon Mebane LAC personal

Timmy Jernigan PHI back

Shamar Stephen SEA foot

Rakeem Nunez-Roches TB knee

Defensive Backs


SharrodNeasman ATL neck

Tony Jefferson BAL ankle

SherrickMcManis CHI hamstring

Tramaine Brock DEN ribs

Ibraheim Campbell GB undisclosed (IR)

BashaudBreeland GB groin

Kentrell Brice GB concussion

Raven Greene GB ankle

Mike Mitchell IND calf

Cody Davis JAX hamstring

Eric Berry KC heel

Cornell Armstrong MIA knee

Landon Collins NYG shoulder

Marcus Maye NYJ shoulder (IR)

Leon Hall OAK back (IR)

Avonte Maddox PHI knee

Morgan Burnett PIT back

JaquiskiTartt SF shoulder

D.J. Reed SF foot

Tarvarius Moore SF jaw

Shalom Luani SEA quadriceps

IsaiahJohnson TB concussion

Justin Evans TB toe

Dane Cruikshank TEN knee


Taron Johnson BUF shoulder

Dre Kirkpatrick CIN foot

Tony McRae CIN concussion

Denzel Ward CLE concussion

Chris Harris DEN lower leg

Kevin King GB hamstring

Johnathan Joseph HOU neck

Jalen Ramsey JAX knee

Xavien Howard MIA knee

Trae Waynes MIN concussion

Jalen Mills PHI foot

Cameron Sutton PIT personal

Carlton Davis TB knee

Brent Grimes TB knee

M.J. Stewart TB foot

Malcolm Butler TEN quadriceps

Quinton Dunbar WAS shin (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 toia@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.