Plenty of rising IDP to target on the wire this week, with just a few that are falling out of grace. Tons of injuries, as is the nature of the NFL, but that also means opportunity for other players. There is much to peruse this week, so let’s stop dawdling and get to the analysis.

Bye Weeks coming up:This week: Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle; Week 8: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee; Week 9: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Philadelphia


Elevator Going Up


Nigel Bradham PHI

Bradham helped his owners with quite a prolific stat line in Week 6: six solo tackles, one sack, a tackle for a loss (TFL), a QB hit (QH) and a pass deflection (PD). He is playing the majority of snaps on defense, which makes him useful in any IDP setup.

Olivier Vernon NYG

Vernon returned to the Giant lineup last week, and snagged two solo tackles (one TFL), with a sack and a pair of QH. He is especially valuable in Yahoo leagues, where he offers DL eligibility in addition to qualifying as a LB.

Bernadrick McKinney HOU

Zach Cunningham HOU

Both these Texan linebackers are worthy of adding in tackle-oriented leagues, with McKinney posting 11 total tackles (TT) in Week 6’s matchup against the Bills (six solo, one TFL), while Cunningham added 13 TT (nine solo). McKinney is more of a big play option, collecting a sack and two QH against Buffalo.

Roquan Smith CHI

Smith is another LB that provides value in a tackle-heavy IDP league, tallying 13 TT in Week 6 (six solo). The Bear defense should see plenty of action against the Patriots in Week 7.

Thomas Davis CAR

Davis, a three-down LB, returned to the field in Week 6 against Washington, and collected six TT (five solo) with a couple of PD as well. He is a big tackle producer still at age 35, who provides the occasional big play. Having just been activated in Week 6, his ownership makes him a good waiver wire target.

Tremaine Edmunds BUF

Edmunds offers big play potential as well as plentiful tackles on defense. He has 47TT through six contests in 2018 (32 of those solo), along with five PD and two forced fumbles (FF). This week’s opponent, the Colts, is the 10th best team to face in terms of points allowed to opposing LBs.

Preston Brown CIN

Brown missed a couple of early season games with a balky ankle, but is striving to preserve through the next couple of games prior to the Week 9 bye for the Bengals. With Vontaze Burfict and Nick Vigil on the shelf (see the injury report below for details), the team needs him to stick on the field and provide solid tackle support until the week off.

Bradley Chubb DEN

Chubb wrapped up the QB for three sacks in Week 6 to go with his five TT (four solo). The fifth overall draft pick this season has developed slowly until this breakout contest, but the future looks bright if he can continue to progress. He does have dual eligibility at DL and LB in both Yahoo and ESPN.

FoyeOluokum ATL

Atlanta’s defense has been inundated with injuries, giving him the nod at starting MLB heading into Week 7. He will be tasked with stopping the Giant rookie RB Saquon Barkley in Week 7, which should result in plenty of tackle opportunities.

Za’Darius Smith LB BAL

Smith joined in with the 11 sack effort the Ravens put up against the Titans last week, picking up three himself. He also added five TT (four solo, three TFL) and a FF plus two QH.

Defensive Linemen

Trent Murphy DE BUF

Murphy is only a mediocre tackle producer with 13 TT in six contests (seven solo) but has produced at least a partial sack in four of those six games. He is playing about 2/3 of the defensive snaps each week, and has value in big-play leagues going forward.

Yannick Ngakoue DE JAX

The Jag DE has begun to accumulate sacks, with four over the past three games. He also picked up three QH and four solo tackles against the host Cowboys, and gets the Texans in a favorable matchup for Week 7 (see the Matchups to Exploit section below).

Chris Jones DE KC

Jones is another big-play option at DL, with sacks in each of the last two games he has played. He also took an INT back for a TD two weeks ago. The Chief offense is potent, and teams will have to take chances against the KC defense to stay in games, so more opportunities will develop on a regular basis for the Chief IDPs.

Romeo Okwara DE DET

The Lion DE had a big game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, collecting two sacks and a FF. He and the Detroit defense have a favorable matchup in Week 7, coming off their bye week, when they head to Miami to take on the Dolphins. Be advised that he is only qualified as a LB in ESPN leagues.

Corey Peters DT ARI

Peters is the sole DT among the rising defensive linesmen in this week’s Report. He is coming off a fine two sack/two QH/five TT (two solo, two TFL) effort against the host Vikings in Week 6. The Broncos, the Cards’ Week 7 opponent, is not a good matchup, but the 49ers in Week 8 (before the Arizona Week 9 bye) are a top team in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing DTs, so keep that in mind in DT-mandatory leagues.

Defensive Backs

George Iloka S MIN

Iloka was cut loose from the Bengal defensive squad before landing in Minnesota (which opened the door for Jessie Bates , discussed below) where he has been solid filling in for the injured Andrew Sendejo in the defensive backfield. He provided eight TT in Week 6 (seven solo) which is pretty impressive for a free safety. So long as he is seeing significant snaps on defense, he is a decent short-term addition to your roster to cover bye weeks and injury concerns.

Mike Mitchell S IND

The Colts have lost their top two safeties, with Clayton Geathers and Matthias Farley (on the IR) out of action. In steps Mitchell, who put up six TT (three solo) against the Jets in Week 6. His value depends on Geathers injury status, though.

Jordan Lucas S KC

Lucas is being used in the box, and collected 10 TT in Week 6 against the Patriots (four solo) with a PD. The Week 7 opponent, Cincy, is not a tremendous matchup for opposing safeties, but in Week 8 the Broncos show up in Kansas City and that should be a productive meeting.

Adrian Amos S CHI

Despite the failures of the Bear defense in Week 6’s loss to Miami, Amos still has upside as DB for IDP leagues. He did collect nine TT in last week’s game (seven solo) with a PD. The matchup against the Patriots in Week 7 is favorable for continued big numbers on defense.

Antoine Bethea S ARI

The Cards’ top safety has gathered in 30 TT over the past three weeks (24 solo), and faces two of the top three offenses in terms of allowing points to opposing safeties over the next two weeks in the form of the Broncos and 49ers. He has 44 solo tackles on the season, tying him for the league lead. You roster safeties at DB in IDP leagues for tackle production, and he can provide that consistently and productively.

Jessie Bates S CIN

Bates has stepped in as a rookie, effectively replacing the previously-discussed Iloka in the Bengal defensive secondary. He provides good tackle numbers (41 TT in six contests, 30 solos) and has pitched in with big plays, too (a pair of INT and PD each). The youngster is playing up to his potential and would be a fine addition in deeper leagues.

Damarious Randall S CLE

Randall has been slowly ramping up his tackle production as the season progresses, collecting eight TT in Week 6 against the Chargers. He also has six PD and a couple of INT on the season, as well as a fumble recovery back in Week 2 against the Saints. Week 8 against the host Steelers profiles as the better matchup on deck, as Week 7 sees the Browns head to Tampa who are ranked 31st of 32 teams in terms of allowing fantasy production to opposing safeties.

Kyle Fuller CB CHI

Fuller broke out big time in 2017, with 22 PD and 69 TT (61 solo) for the Bears. He has been relatively quiet until recently in 2018, however, prior to his two INT and two PD effort in Week 6 against the Dolphins (with seven TT, six solo). Be advised, though, that his next two matchups are not entirely favorable with the Patriots and Jets on the schedule.


Escalator Going Down


Jadeveon Clowney HOU

Clowney was more valuable when he qualified as a DL, but is proving to be a huge IDP bust at LB. It is easy to roster a linebacker that puts up stats, so just let Clowney sit on the wire unless and until he picks up the production.

Defensive Linemen

Takkarist McKinley DE ATL

McKinley is a pass rush specialist, and has not had a sack over the past two games he has played. He is seeing significant playing time, but was shut out with a goose egg in tackles last week. As a boom or bust option at DL, when he does not provide any big plays, he is worthless for fantasy purposes.

Defensive Backs

Sean Davis S PIT

Davis has seen a dramatic decrease in playing time, losing snaps to rookie Terrell Edmunds . Davis contributed just a single solo tackle in Week 6, and is no longer worth rostering in your IDP leagues.


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 DL on the Jets or Vikings (who conveniently play one another this week) or on Jacksonville that you can plug in, for the most part.


Indianapolis Colts vs Buffalo

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland

Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco

New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore

Defensive Ends

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston

New York Jets vs Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings @ New York Jets

New York Giants @ Atlanta

Defensive Tackles

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston

Minnesota Vikings @New York Jets

New York Jets vs Minnesota

Washington vs Dallas


Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis

Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco

Arizona Cardinals vs Denver


Baltimore Ravens vs New Orleans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Cleveland

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston


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.


Nigel Bradham PHI

Olivier Vernon NYG

Bernadrick McKinney HOU

Zach Cunningham HOU

Roquan Smith CHI

Thomas Davis CAR

Preston Brown CIN

Bradley Chubb DEN

FoyeOluokum ATL

Za’Darius Smith LB BAL

Defensive Linemen

Yannick Ngakoue DE JAX

Chris Jones DE KC

Romeo Okwara DE DET

Corey Peters DT ARI

Defensive Backs

George Iloka S MIN

Mike Mitchell S IND

Jordan Lucas S KC

Adrian Amos S CHI

Antoine Bethea S ARI

Jessie Bates S CIN

Damarious Randall S CLE

Kyle Fuller CB CHI


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.


Markus Golden ARI knee

Josh Bynes ARI wrist

Jared Norris CAR toe (IR)

Khalil Mack CHI ankle

Sam Acho CHI pectoral (IR)

Nick Vigil CIN knee-MCL

Vontaze Burfict CIN shoulder

Tanner Vallejo CLE concussion

Joe Schobert CLE hamstring

Joe Thomas DAL foot

Sean Lee DAL hamstring

Shane Ray DEN ankle

Eli Harold DET personal

Brian Peters HOU ankle

TanohKpassagnon KC ankle

Justin Houston KC hamstring

Jatavis Brown LAC groin

Kyzir White LAC knee

Matt Longacre LAR back

Dominique Easley LAR knee (IR)

Manti Te’o NO knee

Ray-Ray Armstrong NYG concussion (IR)

Kevin Pierre-Louis NYJ foot

Josh Martin NYJ concussion (IR)

D.J. Alexander PHI quadriceps

Nate Gerry PHI ankle

L.J. Fort PIT ankle

K.J. Wright SEA knee

Will Compton TEN hamstring

Derrick Morgan TEN shoulder

Wesley Woodyard TEN shoulder

Defensive Linemen


Derrick Shelby ATL groin

Trent Murphy BUF undisclosed

Marquis Haynes CAR undisclosed

Ezekiel Ansah DET shoulder

Margus Hunt IND knee

Calais Campbell JAX ribs

Joey Bosa LAC foot

Charles Harris MIA calf

Cameron Wake MIA knee

Jonathan Woodard MIA concussion

Tashawn Bower MIN ankle

Everson Griffen MIN personal

Geneo Grissom NE ankle

John Simon NE shoulder

Trey Hendrickson NO illness

Frostee Rucker OAK neck

Frank Clark SEA illness

Dion Jordan SEA knee


Grady Jarrett ATL ankle

Denico Autry IND hamstring

Malik Johnson JAX hamstring

Malcolm Brown NE knee

Taylor Stallworth NO ankle

Haloti Ngata PHI calf

Gerald McCoy TB calf

Bennie Logan TEN elbow

Defensive Backs


Budda Baker ARI wrist

Tre Boston ARI shoulder

Marcus Cooper CHI hamstring

Adam Jones DEN thigh

Dymonte Thomas DEN chest

Tavon Wilson DET back

BashaudBreeland GB hamstring

Kayvon Webster HOU quadriceps (IR)

Matthias Farley IND shoulder

D.J. Hayden JAX toe

Eric Murray KC lower leg

Eric Berry KC heel

Armani Watts KC abdomen (IR)

Andrew Sendejo MIN groin

Marcus Maye NYJ thumb

Karl Joseph OAK hamstring

Corey Graham PHI hamstring

Morgan Burnett PIT groin

Nat Behre PIT pectoral (IR)

Adrian Colbert SF head

Earl Thomas SEA lower leg (IR)

Marcus Williams TB hamstring (IR)

Kenny Vaccaro TEN elbow

Troy Apke WAS hamstring

Danny Johnson WAS forearm


Jamar Taylor ARI back

Anthony Averett BAL hamstring

Prince Amukamara CHI hamstring

Darqueze Dennard CIN shoulder

Terrance Mitchell CIN wrist (IR)

Jamal Agnew DET knee (IR)

Teez Tabor DET groin

Jaire Alexander GB groin

Aaron Colvin HOU ankle

Arthur Maulet IND hip

Tre Herndon JAX hamstring

Bobby McCain MIA knee

Mike Hughes MIN knee-ACL (IR)

Marshon Lattimore NO concussion

Buster Skrine NYJ concussion

Trumaine Johnson NYJ quadriceps

Sidney Jones PHI hamstring

Jimmie Ward SF hamstring

Carlton Davis TB groin


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 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.