Some fantasy players were eliminated in a weird Week 14, but for those of you still in the hunt for the league championship, there are a handful of LBs and DLs to target on the free agent market. Plus, a much healthier group of potential DBs to help you in your quest for fantasy glory.

Elevator Going Up


Tremaine Edmunds BUF

The rookie linebacker is a valuable asset in a tackle-oriented IDP league, as he has amassed 90 total tackles (TT) over the 12 games he has played in 2018. He is averaging just over five solo tackles per contest. He is not only a tackle machine, but also has contributed 10 pass deflections (PD) this season, with a pair of fumbles forced (FF) as well. The home stat crew is one of the most generous in handing out tackle counts, which plays well in Week 15 against the visiting Lions.

Jarrad Davis DET

Speaking of the Detroit squad, Davis gets to face off against the team that allows the most fantasy points to opposing linebacking crews when the Lions head to Buffalo in Week 15. Davis is coming off an eight TT effort (seven solo) in the desert against the Cardinals, where he also had a sack and a PD.

Neville Hewitt NYJ

Hewitt benefitted from facing those generous Bills last week to the tune of eight TT (five solo), and now gets to face an almost as delectable squad in the form of the Texans. With Darron Lee on the sidelines, suspended due to violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, he projects to play the bulk of the snaps at left inside LB, which should lead to another big fantasy-point game.

Defensive Linemen

Michael Bennett DE PHI

Bennett was the beneficiary of the prolific tackle opportunities offered by the Eagles’ Week 14 opponent, the Cowboys, racking up seven TT (five solo) with two of those for a loss of yards (TFL). He also added 1.5 sacks, five QB hits (QH) and forced a fumble. He has eight sacks over his last 10 contests played, making him a value in big-play formats. He did not practice on Wednesday, however, so keep an eye on his status for this week.

Da'Ron Payne DT WAS

If you play in a DT-mandatory league, Payne has been a consistent tackle producer and plays nearly every snap on defense. He also has five sacks this season, so has the ability to provide a big play to increase his IDP productivity.

Defensive Backs

Damarious Randall S CLE

Despite playing as free safety, Randall is racking up the tackles for the Brown defense, averaging 5.5 solos per game. He is also showing a nose for the ball, with four interceptions on the season, including two in his past three contests. He has a great matchup against the Broncos in Week 15, and the next week against the Bengals is not shabby, either.

Michael Thomas S NYG

Thomas has stepped into the starting strong safety position for the Giants, with Landon Collins landing on the IR in Week 13. He should continue to see a significant uptick in snaps through the balance of the season, and will be a productive IDP asset should you be in search of a DB late into the season.

D.J. Reed S SF

Reed has shifted to cornerback, the position he played in college. He had a superb Week 14, rolling up 12 TT (10 solo, three TFL) with a QH, a FF and a sack. His Week 15 opponent, Seattle, is a much better matchup for a corner than a safety, by the bye.

Mike Hilton CB PIT

Hilton led the Steelers in tackles last week with eight TT (six solo, two TFL). He had an extremely productive week overall, with a fumble recovery (FR), two QH and a sack to go along with the tackles. He is taking on a couple of pass-oriented offenses in the next two weeks in the form of the Patriots and Saints, so expect his production to continue.

Trumaine Johnson CB NYJ

Johnson missed five games in the middle of the season, but has returned with a vengeance, providing decent tackle numbers to go along with big plays. He has racked up three INT and PD both over the last two weeks. He has a so-so matchup against the Texans in store this week, but then gets a better opportunity to shine against the Packers in Week 16.

Rasul Douglas CB PHI

Douglas had nine solo tackles against the prolific Dallas offense in Week 14, building on the seven TT he had in Week 13 against the visiting Washington attack. Facing the Rams this week is a nice matchup for cornerbacks.

Escalator Going Down


Shaq Thompson CAR

Thompson has seen his snaps on defense drop dramatically the past two weeks, and his production has taken a hit. He has collected just five TT (four solo) over the past two weeks, and that will not cut it for a linebacker on an IDP roster, especially in the playoffs.

Foyesade Oluokun ATL

The rookie linebacker has been relegated to a part-time role now that Deion Jones is back in action. Note, however, that Jones is listed as questionable for Week 15’s tilt against the Cardinals, so he could see more action and potentially return to useful status for IDP purposes.

Nick Vigil CIN

Despite playing significant snaps in the Bengal defensive scheme since his return to action, he has been, to put it bluntly, a huge disappointment. One solo tackle among five TT over two games is not the kind of output you want from a starting LB. Do not be fooled by the name value, look to his actual value, which is frankly nil at this point.

Vince Williams PIT

L.J. Fort ’s development as a three-down LB for the Steelers has shiftEd Williams to a reduced role. He is not contributing with sacks the past two weeks, and had just one solo tackle in Week 14 against the Raiders. Do yourself a favor and swap out Williams for Fort if you are intent on starting a Pittsburgh LB.

Defensive Linemen

None of note, save for those listed below in the injury report.

Defensive Backs

See note above for DLs.

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, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Seahawks or Lions that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Detroit Lions @ Buffalo

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco

Washington @ Jacksonville

New York Jets vs Houston

Defensive Ends

Cincinnati Bengals vs Oakland

Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay

Buffalo Bills vs Detroit

New York Jets vs Houston

Defensive Tackles

Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas

Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco

New York Jets vs Houston

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams


Cleveland Browns @ Denver

Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Washington

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco


Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh

Baltimore Ravens vs 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.


Tremaine Edmunds BUF

Jarrad Davis DET

Neville Hewitt NYJ

Defensive Linemen

Michael Bennett DE PHI

Da'Ron Payne DT WAS

Defensive Backs

Damarious Randall S CLE

Michael Thomas S NYG

D.J. Reed S SF

Mike Hilton CB PIT

Trumaine Johnson CB NYJ

Rasul Douglas CB PHI

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 ATL ankle

Matt Milano BUF leg

Vontaze Burfict CIN concussion

Sean Lee DAL hamstring

Brandon Marshall DEN knee

Shaquil Barrett DEN hip

Devon Kennard DET hip

Trevor Bates DET ankle

Jalen Reeves-Maybin DET neck (IR)

Brennan Scarlett HOU ankle (IR)

Leon Jacobs JAX quadriceps

Kyle Wilber OAK hamstring

Jordan Hicks PHI calf

K.J. Wright SEA knee

Kevin Minter TB calf

Brian Orakpo TEN elbow

Ryan Anderson WAS hamstring

Zach Brown WAS illness

Shaun Dion Hamilton WAS shoulder

Defensive Linemen


Kerry Hyder DET illness

Ezekiel Ansah DET shoulder

Da'Shawn Hand DET knee

Tashawn Bower MIN coach’s decision

Shilique Calhoun OAK neck (IR)

Josh Sweat PHI ankle

Cassius Marsh SF concussion

Branden Jackson SEA coach’s decision


Robert Nkemdiche ARI knee (IR)

David Irving DAL ankle

Abry Jones JAX shin

Marcell Dareus JAX illness

Brandon Mebane LAC personal

Jalyn Holmes MIN coach’s decision

Maurice Hurst OAK ankle

Timmy Jernigan PHI back

Defensive Backs


Tony Jefferson BAL ankle

Deon Bush CHI hamstring

Tramaine Brock DEN ribs

Charles Washington DET hamstring

Marcus Cooper DET back

Raven Greene GB ankle (IR)

Mike Mitchell IND calf

Eric Berry KC heel

Curtis Riley NYG wrist

Landon Collins NYG shoulder (IR)

Reggie Nelson OAK shoulder (IR)

Avonte Maddox PHI knee

K'Waun Williams SF knee

Jaquiski Tartt SF shoulder

Kalan Reed SEA coach’s decision

Isaiah Johnson TB concussion

Justin Evans TB toe

Dane Cruikshank TEN knee


Ryan Lewis BUF concussion

Taron Johnson BUF shoulder

Bryce Callahan CHI foot

Dre Kirkpatrick CIN ankle

Tony McRae CIN concussion

Phillip Gaines CLE knee

Denzel Ward CLE concussion

Chris Harris DEN lower leg

Isaac Yiadom DEN shoulder

Kevin King GB hamstring (IR)

Trevor Williams LAC knee

Dominique Hatfield LAR ankle

Xavien Howard MIA knee-meniscus

Trae Waynes MIN concussion

Sidney Jones PHI hamstring

Jalen Mills PHI foot (IR)

Carlton Davis TB knee

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 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.