Three games on Thanksgiving Thursday, and the first every Black Friday contest but no byes to muddy the waters with your active rosters this week. Next week, a different matter, and thus this article offers up a boatload of rising IDP talent to consider adding for the run-up to the fantasy playoffs. None of the players profiled as up-and-comers are heavily owned so it is likely you can find some help on the wire or among the free agents in your league(s). 

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 12- NONE; Week 13-Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants; Week 14-Arizona Cardinals, Washington Commanders (and that is that for bye weeks!)


Fantasy Football IDP Risers - Elevator Going Up


Blake Cashman, Houston Texans

Cashman stepped in to start at middle linebacker due to Denzel Perryman being out as he began to serve a two-game suspension in Week 11, and the fifth-year veteran racked up an amazing 19 total tackles (TT), 13 of which were solos. He also added some big play value with a pass deflection/defense (PD) and a sack. That kind of production is the ceiling and should not be expected on a weekly basis, but so long as he is an every-down MLB in Week 12, grab him quickly and plug him in.

Josh Woods, Arizona Cardinals

Woods saw his role increase due to an injury suffered by Kyzir White (elbow), and he played the majority of defensive snaps in Week 11, collecting seven TT (six solo). So long as he is seeing an uptick in snap count, he becomes a useful LB in tackle-oriented formats.

Derrick Barnes, Detroit Lions

Barnes has recently become a significant part of the Detroit linebacking corps, along with the rookie Jack Campbell who is being cautiously moved into a bigger role in the defense. Barnes did enjoy his highest snap count against the Bears, and if that continues, he has value in leagues that value tackle production.

Mylkal Walker, Pittsburgh Steelers

Walker is worth consideration in tackle-oriented leagues due to the injury suffered by Kwon Alexander (Achilles). He stepped in for significant playing time (PT) in his first game with the Steeler defense, and if that continues, he could be of value when the Week 13 bye weeks arrive anon.

Defensive Linemen

Jaelan Phillips, DE Miami Dolphins

Phillips picked up another two sacks against the Raiders in Week 11, giving him 5.5 on the season, and putting him second on the team behind Bradley Chubb. His Week 11 totals also included six TT (five solo), a PD and an INT. He has a tremendous matchup this week when the Dolphins visit the Jets.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE New York Giants

Another DE that collected two sacks last week, the Giant edge rusher now has 10.5 sacks in 2023. His tackle production is more miss than hit, so you would use him for the sacks and other big play activity had a PD in last week’s contest, too.

Yaya Diaby, DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneer rookie also was credited with a couple of sacks last week, and now has four over the past four weeks. He is not seeing extended snap counts for the team so his value is coming from his edge rush capabilities that are developing nicely.

KJ Henry, DE Washington Commanders

Trade and injury opportunities have opened up things for the rookie, and he responded to his increased PT (67% of defensive snaps) with 1.5 sacks and two PD, along with four TT (two solo). With James Smith-Williams out in Week 12, he will seek to build on his recent success.

Dayo Odeyingbo, DE Indianapolis Colts

He snagged the QB for three sacks in Week 10, and had a sack in Week 9 prior to that. He is coming off a bye week, so may be readily available on waiver wires for your selection in Week 12.

Dante Stills, DT Arizona Cardinals

Our sole defensive tackle profiled as a rising star this week, he benefitted from an injury to Jonathan Ledbetter, currently limited in practice and listed as questionable. If he sees a majority of snaps on the defensive side of the ball again, he could be useful in those leagues that require a DT starter.

Defensive Backs

Jordan Battle, S Cincinnati Bengals

It looks as though the Bengals have decided to see what the rookie Battle can do instead of Nick Scott, who was benched in Week 11. Battle had a team-leading 12 TT in Week 11 (10 solo). He is likely available in your leagues and worthy of a late-season waiver claim.

Jonathan Owens, S Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is out and Rudy Ford is listed as questionable heading into the early Thanksgiving game in Detroit, so Owens is slated to see significant PT again. He had eight TT (four solo), building on a recent streak of strong fantasy production: 25 TT (16 solo), a sack, PD and FF over the past three games.

Ji’Ayir Brown, S San Francisco 49ers

Talanoa Hufanga is out for the balance of the season with a torn ACL, opening up the door for Brown to demonstrate the skills that led to his being drafted this past spring. He had three PD and an INT to go with his four TT (two solo). He is a safety who offers more big-play potential than tackle production.

Markquese Bell, S Dallas Cowboys (LB only on ESPN)

Bell has developed into a hybrid LB/DB option in the Dallas scheme, and he offers nice tackle production as an IDP option, coming off a 10 TT game in Week 11 (six solo). He has a pair of so-so matchups on the schedule, but Week 14 against the Eagles holds promise for good utility.

Isaiah Pola-Mao, S Las Vegas Raiders

With Marcus Epps suffering a neck injury, Pola-Mao was asked to step in and did quite well by the team, snagging an INT and producing a PD. He also had seven TT (four solo) against the host Dolphins in Week 11’s tilt. Epps is questionable for Week 12, it should be noted.

Jalen Ramsey, CB Miami Dolphins

Ramsey has been showing off his nose for the ball, picking off a pair of Raider passes in Week 11, and disrupting another couple of throws (two PD). Use him for his big-play potential if you want to pick up the veteran DB.

Darnay Holmes, CB New York Giants

Filling in for the injured Adoree’ Jackson in Weeks 10 and 11, Holmes has collected 10 TT (all solo) and a pair of INT and PDs. He is of value, so long as Jackson is out, as both a big-play and tackle-oriented DB.

Fantasy Football IDP Risers - Elevator Going Down


Christian Rozeboom, Los Angeles Rams

He was initially a value for the Rams and his owners, but following the bye he saw his PT severely limited to just 15 snaps on defense, and was limited to just one assisted tackle against the Seahawks last week. If that trend in limited PT on defense continues, he is no longer worthy of a spot on the active roster.

Jordyn Brooks, Seattle Seahawks

Brooks is still seeing strong PT snaps, but his production has fallen off dramatically, with his stat line being limited to just six TT over the past two contests (three solo), with no big-play production whatsoever.

Defensive Linemen

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As with the player profiled immediately above, he is seeing his usual snap count but his defensive production has fallen off a cliff: five TT over the past four weeks, with a big goose egg for his Week 11 stat line. Ugh.

Sheldon Rankins, DT Houston Texans

Rankins went from a superb effort with three sacks and five solo tackles to absolutely nothing in the way of fantasy value. He does have four sacks over the course of 2023, but those were collected in two contests. Getting zeros across the board is scary at this point in the season, when playoff berths are at stake.

Defensive Backs

Nick Scott, S Cincinnati Bengals

As noted above in the discussion of Jordan Battle, the Bengals have apparently tired of Scott’s mistakes while patrolling the defensive secondary. So long as he is on the Cincy bench, he should not be on your fantasy squad.

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 Jaguars or Browns, but certainly you will do well if you own a top DE playing on against the home teams in New York (New Jersey, actually) or a defensive back going against the Dolphins that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston

Cleveland Browns vs Denver

Baltimore Ravens vs Los Angeles Chargers

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta

Indianapolis Colts vs Tampa Bay

Defensive Ends

Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans

New York Jets vs Miami

New York Giants vs New England

Cleveland Browns vs Denver

Washington Commanders vs Dallas

Chicago Bears vs Minnesota

Defensive Tackles 

Cleveland Browns vs Denver

Washington Commanders vs Dallas

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville

Indianapolis Colts vs Tampa Bay

Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington


Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets

Green Bay Packers vs Detroit

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle

Philadelphia Eagles vs Buffalo

Cleveland Browns vs Denver

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington

Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago

Carolina Panthers vs Tennessee


Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona

New York Giants vs New England

Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets

Los Angeles Chargers vs Kansas City

New England Patriots vs New York Giants

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. 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.


Blake Cashman, Houston Texans

Josh Woods, Arizona Cardinals

Derrick Barnes, Detroit Lions

Mylkal Walker, Pittsburgh Steelers

Defensive Linemen

Jaelan Phillips, DE Miami Dolphins

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE New York Giants

Yaya Diaby, DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers

KJ Henry, DE Washington Commanders

Dayo Odeyingbo, DE Indianapolis Colts

Dante Stills, DT Arizona Cardinals

Defensive Backs

Jordan Battle, S Cincinnati Bengals

Jonathan Owens, S Green Bay Packers

Ji’Ayir Brown, S San Francisco 49ers

Julian Love, S Seattle Seahawks

Markquese Bell, S Dallas Cowboys

Isaiah Pola-Mao, S Las Vegas Raiders

Jalen Ramsey, CB Miami Dolphins

Darnay Holmes, CB New York Giants

NFL IDP Injury Report 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.


Kyzir White Arizona Cardinals elbow IR

Trenton Simpson Baltimore Ravens concussion

Tyus Bowser Baltimore Ravens knee NFI-R

Malik Hamm Baltimore Ravens ankle IR

David Ojabo Baltimore Ravens ankle IR

Matt Milano Buffalo Bills leg IR

Marquis Haynes Carolina Panthers back

Noah Sewell Chicago Bears knee

Jordan Kunaszyk Cleveland Browns knee-MCL IR

Anthony Walker Cleveland Browns hamstring

James Houston Detroit Lions ankle IR

De’Vondre Campbell Green Bay Packers neck

Jake Hansen Houston Texans hand

Henry To’oTo’o Houston Texans concussion

Tanner Muse Los Angeles Chargers knee IR

Joey Bosa Los Angeles Chargers foot

Brian Asamoah Minnesota Vikings ankle

Marcus Davenport Minnesota Vikings ankle IR

Bobby Okereke New York Giants hip

Quincy Williams New York Jets knee

Jermaine Johnson II New York Jets hip

Chazz Surratt New York Jets ankle

Sam Eguavoen New York Jets hip

Nakobe Dean Philadelphia Eagles foot IR

Lavonte David Tampa Bay Buccaneers groin

De’Jon Harris Washington Commanders quadriceps IR

Khaleke Hudson Washington Commanders back

Drew White Washington Commanders knee PUP

Defensive Linemen

Jonathan Ledbetter Arizona Cardinals shoulder

L.J. Collier Arizona Cardinals biceps IR

Carlos Watkins Arizona Cardinals biceps IR

DaQuan Jones Buffalo Bills pectoral IR

Sam Hubbard Cincinnati Bengals ankle

Villami Fehoko Dallas Cowboys knee IR

Dean Lowry Minnesota Vikings pectoral IR

John Frankin-Myers New York Jets knee

Derek Barnett Philadelphia Eagles personal

Robert Beal, Jr. San Francisco 49ers hamstring IR

James Smith-Williams Washington Commanders hamstring

Efe Obada Washington Commanders lower leg IR


Leki Fotu Arizona Cardinals hand IR

Kenny Clark Green Bay Packers shoulder

Dexter Lawrence New York Giants hamstring 

Montravius Adams Pittsburgh Steelers ankle

Javon Hargrave San Francisco 49ers thumb

Bryan Mone Seattle Seahawks knee-ACL PUP

Defensive Backs

Joey Blount Arizona Cardinals knee

Ar’Darius Washington Baltimore Ravens chest IR

Micah Hyde Buffalo Bills neck

Taylor Rapp Buffalo Bills neck

Jeremy Chinn Carolina Panthers quadriceps IR

Grant Delpit Cleveland Browns thigh

Rodney McLeod Cleveland Browns biceps IR

Juan Thornhill Cleveland Browns calf

Jayron Kearse Dallas Cowboys back

Kareem Jackson Denver Broncos undisclosed Suspended

P.J. Locke Denver Broncos ankle

C.J. Gardner-Johnson Detroit Lions pectoral Ir

Rudy Ford Green Bay Packers biceps

Darnell Savage Green Bay Packers calf IR

Kelsean Nixon Green Bay Packers ankle

Jimmie Ward Houston Texans hamstring

Grayland Arnold Houston Texans calf IR

Marcus Epps Las Vegas Raiders neck

Brandon Facyson Las Vegas Raiders shin IR

Roderic Teamer Las Vegas Raiders hamstring IR

JT Woods Los Angeles Chargers illness NFI-R

Jason Taylor II Los Angeles Rams groin IR

Quentin Lake Los Angeles Rams hamstring 

Bobby McCain New York Giants illness

Tony Adams New York Jets finger

Justin Hardee New York Jets hamstring IR

Justin Evans Philadelphia Eagles knee IR

Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers hamstring

Elijah Riley Pittsburgh Steelers ankle IR

Keanu Neal Pittsburgh Steelers ribs IR

Talanoa Hufanga San Francisco 49ers knee-ACL IR

Jerrick Reed II Seattle Seahawks knee-ACL

Jamel Dean Tampa Bay Buccaneers ankle

Ryan Neal Tampa Bay Buccaneers thumb

K’Von Wallace Tennessee Titans concussion

Terrell Edmunds Tennessee Titans shoulder

Darrick Forrest Washington Commanders shoulder IR


Antonio Hamilton Arizona Cardinals groin

Damarion Williams Baltimore Ravens ankle IR

Marlon Humphrey Baltimore Ravens calf

Trayvon Mullen Baltimore Ravens toe NFI-R

Cam Lewis Buffalo Bills shoulder

Cane Jackson Buffalo Bills concussion

Taron Johnson Buffalo Bills concussion

Dicaprio Bootle Carolina Panthers knee IR

C.J. Henderson Carolina Panthers concussion

Jaycee Horn Carolina Panthers hamstring IR

Cam Taylor-Britt Cincinnati Bengals quadriceps

Denzel Ward Cleveland Browns shoulder

Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers shoulder

Tyson Campbell Jacksonville Jaguars hamstring 

Christian Braswell Jacksonville Jaguars hamstring IR

Decobie Durant Los Angeles Rams shoulder

Akayleb Evans Minnesota Vikings calf

Adoree’ Jackson New York Giants concussion

Aaron Robinson New York Giants knee-ACL/MCL PUP

Micael Carter II New York Jets hamstring 

Avonte Maddox Philadelphia Eagles pectoral IR

Shemar Jean-Charles San Francisco 49ers shoulder

Samuel Womack San Francisco 49ers knee-MCL IR

Tariq Woolen Seattle Seahawks shoulder

Coby Bryant Seattle Seahawks toe IR

Carlton Davis Tampa Bay Buccaneers hip

Sean Murphy-Bunting Tennessee Titans thumb

Caleb Farley Tennessee Titans back PUP

Emmanuel Forbes Washington Commanders elbow

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 matchups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. 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 leagues, such as the number of teams, the platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.