We are coming up on the six-team bye extravaganza foisted on the fantasy owners of the world by the NFL, with a typical four-team bye week on tap in Week 9. Time to scramble to the wire and fill those empty IDP slots, and fortunately, there are plenty of LB and DL options to consider. Things are considerably scarcer in the DB realm, sorry to report.

Bye Weeks coming up: Current Week Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints; Week 10 Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington; Week 11 Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

Elevator Going Up


Jason Pierre-Paul TB

Pierre-Paul is no stranger to making big time returns from injury (remember that horrific fireworks accident back in 2015? Hope not, actually), and now steps back in from a neck injury to make an immediate impact in Tampa Bay. He collected three solo tackles, all three for a loss of yards (TFL), to go with a sack and a QB hit/hurry (QH). His ownership percentage is low in both ESPN and Yahoo leagues at this point, and he is a dual-eligibility IDP who also can be slotted in at DL in both those platforms.

Matt Milano BUF

Milano racked up 13 total tackles (TT) in Week 8’s matchup against the visiting Eagles, three of those being for a loss of yardage. He is playing as an every-down LB in the Buffalo defensive scheme, and is on pace to set a career best tackle total.

Bruce Irvin CAR

While he is listed among the linebackers, note that he, too, as with Pierre-Paul above, has dual eligibility as a DL in both Yahoo and ESPN, making him a great addition to your IDP roster. He is coming off a two-sack effort, where he also collected five solos (three TFL) and a pair of QH against the 49ers.

Za’Darius Smith GB

Smith has netted five sacks in the past three games, including two against the host Chiefs last week. He is hassling opposing signal callers this season, with eight sacks on the season, and he did have a trio of QH in Week 8.

Jon Bostic WAS

Bostic is getting significant snaps on defense, and is averaging better than seven TT per game this season. He picked up his first sack of the season against the host Vikings, and now has a great matchup when he heads to Buffalo in Week 9 prior to the Washington bye week.

Jamie Collins , Sr. NE

Collins is that rare highly owned LB featured in this article this season, but he is potentially available for those of you playing on the ESPN platform. He looked rejuvenated in Week 8, gathering 13 TT (12 solo) and racking up a pair of sacks against the visiting Browns. The good news is that the Ravens are on the slate and provide another great matchup for opposing LBs.

Defensive Linemen

Brandon Graham DE PHI

Graham had a full stat line in Week 8, collecting six TT (five solo, two TFL) as well as forcing and recovering a fumble (FF and FR, respectively), getting a sack and also a QH. He has been sacking and tackling well over the past few weeks, after a slow start to the season, and has put up double-digit fantasy points in three of the past four weeks.

Kyle Phillips DE NYJ

So long as Henry Anderson is limited with his shoulder issue, Phillips should see significant time on the defensive squad for the Jets. He racked up five TT (three solo, three TFL) in Week 8 against Jacksonville, and was also credited on the stat sheet with half a sack and a QH. Keep an eye on the injury report to see if he continues to start and can help out your fantasy team.

Olivier Vernon DE CLE

Vernon has become an every-down player for the Browns, and has a great matchup in Week 9 against the host Broncos in Denver. He collected a sack last week in New England, and a QH, to go along with his six solo tackles (two TFL), so now is a fine time to pick him up for your IDP squad in preparation for the six team bye situation arriving in Week 10.

Emmanuel Ogbah DE KC

With both Frank Clark and Alex Okafor on the injury report for Week 9, expect Ogbah to again see significant defensive snaps for the Chiefs when they take on the Vikings at home. It is not the greatest matchup, but the playing time bodes well for defensive production. He had a sack and three QH in Week 8 playing 90% of the snaps on defense, and collected four TT (three solo, one TFL), which is useful for IDP purposes to be sure.

Jonathan Allen DT WAS

He is coming on strong of late, with seven TT in each of the last two contests. In Week 8 against the host Vikings, three of those were solo tackles (one TFL). He also was credited with a sack and a QH. The Week 9 opponent, Buffalo, is a fine opponent to continue his hot streak against.

Grady Jarrett DT ATL

Through Week 8, Jarrett ranks as the top DT in fantasy. He totaled eight TT against the visiting Seahawks (three solo, one TFL), along with a sack and two QH. In DT-mandatory leagues, he is an IDP to target immediately off the wire, and should be available in the majority of leagues. Note that the Falcons are on bye this week, so if you do not have bench spots, plop him onto your watch list for a Week 10 add.

D.J. Jones DT SF

The San Fran defense features a boatload of fine DL options, but their nose tackle Jones is seeing significant playing time (PT), and is producing great results for those who play in DT-required leagues. He had five TT against the Panthers (four solo, one TFL) with a sack and QH to help out in big-play leagues.

Defensive Backs

Roderick Teamer S LAC

Teamer was featured in this article way back in Week 2, but he should not be forgotten in the realm of available DBs for your IDP roster. He is fresh off a week that saw him make eight solo tackles, a QH, a pass deflection (PD) and a sack. He is still available in most leagues, so grab him if you want a steady strong safety for your team.

Escalator Going Down


Roquan Smith CHI

Smith is not providing the big-play production he demonstrated in his rookie season, although he is still providing tackle production. Thus, he is still a useful LB but not if you expected to see some sacks or PDs on the stat sheet when you added him to your IDP roster.

Defensive Linemen

Marcus Davenport DE NO

Davenport saw his PT take a major hit this past week, and he is now on bye for Week 9. This is an opportune time to cut him and find another DE to swap into his place if you have been relying on him for your IDP roster.

Defensive Backs

Kemal Ishmael S ATL

Ishmael is another IDP who is sitting out on bye this week, and coming off a week that saw his snaps limited to just 30% and him putting up a huge goose egg on the stat sheet, you should consider dropping him and finding another better safety to start going forward.

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 Giants, Broncos or Panthers, but certainly you will do well if you own a top CB on either Seattle and/or Tampa Bay that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


New York Giants vs Dallas

Denver Broncos vs Cleveland

Carolina Panthers vs Tennessee

Cleveland Browns @ Denver

Defensive Ends

New York Jets @ Miami

Tennessee Titans @ Carolina

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville

Defensive Tackles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle

Tennessee Titans @ Carolina


Chicago Bears@ Philadelphia

Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle

Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets

Detroit Lions @ Oakland

Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago

Cleveland Browns @ Denver

Seattle Seahawks 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.


Jason Pierre-Paul TB

Matt Milano BUF

Bruce Irvin CAR

Za’Darius Smith GB

Jon Bostic WAS

Jamie Collins , Sr. NE (Owned in only 39% of ESPN leagues, but likely unavailable in most Yahoo leagues where his ownership is at 72%)

Defensive Linemen

Brandon Graham DE PHI

Kyle Phillips DE NYJ

Olivier Vernon DE CLE

Emmanuel Ogbah DE KC

Jonathan Allen DT WAS

Grady Jarrett DT ATL

D.J. Jones DT SF

Defensive Backs

Roderick Teamer S LAC

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.


Haason Reddick ARI knee

Dennis Gardeck ARI ankle

Cassius Marsh ARI concussion

Pernell McPhee BAL triceps IR

Patrick Onwuasor BAL ankle

Maurice Alexander BUF knee

Shaq Green-Thompson CAR ankle

Christian Miller CAR ankle

Isaiah Irving CHI quadriceps

Leighton Vander Esch DAL neck

Corey Nelson DEN biceps

Todd Davis DEN knee

Blake Martinez GB hand

Leon Jacobs JAX hamstring

Quincy Williams JAX hamstring

Najee Goode JAX toe

D.J. Alexander JAX foot IR

Clay Matthews LAR jaw

Bryce Hager LAR shoulder

Albert McClellan NYJ concussion IR

Neville Hewitt NYJ neck

C.J. Mosley NYJ groin

Nigel Bradham PHI ankle

Ulysees Gilbert PIT back

Jack Cichy TB elbow IR

Harold Landry TEN shoulder

Josh Harvey-Clemons WAS hamstring

Defensive Linemen


Zach Allen ARI neck

John Cominsky ATL ankle

Carl Lawson CIN hamstring

Dorance Armstrong DAL neck

Robert Quinn DAL ribs

Michael Daniels DET foot

JJ. Watt HOU pectoral IR

Jabaal Sheard IND foot

Calais Campbell JAX back

Frank Clark KC neck

Chris Jones KC groin

Alex Okafor KC ankle

Avery Moss MIA ankle

Henry Anderson NYJ shoulder

Denico Autry IND neck

Carl Davis IND hamstring

Marcell Dareus JAX abdomen IR

Cortez Broughton LAC illness

Justin Jones LAC shoulder

Brandon Mebane LAC knee

Timmy Jernigan PHI foot

Hassan Ridgeway PHI ankle IR

Dan McCullers -Sanders PIT ankle

Quinton Jefferson SEA oblique

Defensive Backs


Earl Thomas BAL knee

Levi Wallace BUF sholder

Kurt Coleman BUF hamstring

Eric Reid CAR shoulder

Natrell Jamerson CAR foot IR

Darqueze Dennard CIN hamstring

Sheldrick Redwine CLE hamstring

Tracy Walker DET knee

Tashaun Gipson HOU back

Khari Willis IND foot

Jarrod Wilson JAX knee

D.J. Hayden JAX shoulder

Ronnie Harrison JAX neck

Bashaud Breeland KC shoulder

Nasir Adderley LAC hamstring IR

Reshad Jones MIA chest

Ken Webster MIA ankle

Patrick Robinson NO hamstring

Corey Ballentine NYG concussion

Tedric Thompson SEA shoulder IR

Lano Hill SEA elbow

Quandre Diggs SEA hamstring

Jeremy Reaves WAS concussion

Deshazor Everett WAS ankle

Montae Nicholson WAS ankle


Demond Trufant ATL toe

Maurice Canady BAL hamstring

Jimmy Smith BAL knee-MCL

Dre Kirkpatrick CIN knee

Anthony Brown DAL hamstring

Bryce Callahan DEN foot

Darius Slay DET hamstring

Amani Oruwariye DET knee

Bradley Roby HOU hamstring

Johnathan Joseph HOU hamstring

Lonnie Johnson HOU concussion

Phillip Gaines HOU ankle IR

Kenny Moore IND knee

Pierre Desir IND hamstring

Kendall Fuller KC thumb

Aqib Talib MIA ribs IR

Xavien Howard MIA knee IR

Trumaine Johnson NYJ ankle

Avonte Maddox PHI concussion

Ahkello Witherspoon SF foot

Tre Flowers SEA neck

Malcolm Butler TEN hamstring

Chris Milton TEN calf

Adoree’ Jackson TEN foot

Quinton Dunbar WAS hamstring

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 ia@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.