Hope the first bye week did not throw you off your game too badly. The injuries we are watching occur on a weekly basis are certainly more difficult to deal with when managing your fantasy football teams as you strive to complete a quest for the league championship. Fortunately, there are some up-and-coming IDP to consider plugging in to fill the gaps in your lineups, so let’s get to the profiles, shall we?

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 6-Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers; Week 7-Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans; Week 8-NONE


Fantasy Football IDP Risers - Elevator Going Up


Ernest Jones, Angeles Rams

He collected 15 total tackles (TT) in the Week 5 game against the Eagles, of which a full 10 were of the solo variety and three resulted in a loss of yardage by the offense (TFL). He also was on the field for a full complement of defensive snaps, making him one of those highly-valued every-down linebackers all IDP fantasy owners seek. (Note: he is a denizen of the Injury Report below with a knee issue)

Azeez Al-Shaair, Tennessee Titans

Yet another every down LB, he was credited with double digit TT in his most recent effort: 15 TTs, seven solos. He is averaging nearly 10 TT per contest to open the season. An every down LB that can reasonably be expected to provide double digit fantasy points weekly is not an IDP to let lollygag on your waiver wire. (Note: he appears on the Injury Report as questionable)

E.J. Speed Indianapolis Colts

While Shaquille Leonard is back to his injury-sidelining ways (groin in Week 5), Speed seems poised to step in and become an every down LB for the Colts (sensing a trend with the profiled LBs this week?). He was only able to come up with seven TT in the Week 5 contest against the Titans, missing out on making the rising LBs a trio of double-digit wrap-up IDPs. Leonard is due back this week, but Speed is a starter for Indy. He also contributed a pass deflection (PD) last week.

Defensive Linemen

A.J. Epenesa, DE Buffalo Bills

Playing 67% of the defensive snaps over in London against the Jaguars, he put up a huge stat line: four TTs (two solo, one TFL), two sacks, two QB hits/hurries (QH), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery (FF and FR) and a trio of PD. The big plays are certainly an attraction when seeking a DL with upside.

Trey Hendrickson, DE Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengal DE had two and a half sacks against Arizona in Week 5. He was a force, pressuring the Cardinal QB with three QH and a PD. He also picked up four TT (two solo, one TFL) and forced a fumble. He has snagged five sacks in his last three contests.

Jermaine Johnson, DE New York Jets

The Jet defense has played well this season, and Johnson is being employed for edge-rushing duties consistently week to week. He had another sack in Week 5, to go with his three TT (two solo, one TFL). He also had some other big play value, with a QH and FF. 

Jalen Carter DT, Philadelphia Eagles

On the other side of the field from the DE profiled immediately above, this week finds Carter working on his rookie skill set. He has adapted to the NFL nicely, coming off a week where he had a pair of sacks, a couple of QH and four TT (three solo, two TFL) while playing 70% of the snaps on defense. Week 6’s opponent the Jets looks like a promising matchup to continue his development in his initial season. 

Zach Sieler, DT Miami Dolphins

Another DT with a pair of sacks to his credit in Week 5, Sieler also picked up a nice tackle production number with seven TTs (six solo, three TFL). He was also able to amass a trio of QH against the visiting Giants and now has the Panthers coming to town in Week 6.

Defensive Backs

Isaiah Simmons S New York Giants

Simmons was used as LB in Week 5 and collected nine TTs (seven solo) while playing all the snaps on defense. If he continues to be used heavily on defense, he should continue to contribute in tackle-oriented league formats.

Sam Franklin Jr., S Carolina Panthers

Franklin has been an effective fill-in for the injured Xavier Woods. He had eight TT in Week 5 against the Lions, and with Woods listed as questionable due to his injured hamstring as this article is being written, he could be a nice fill-in if your safety depth is being challenged.

Roger McCreary, CB Tennessee Titans

Picking up a sack and a QH against the Colts, to complement his eight TTs (seven solo) demonstrates that the slot corner is a rising force among defensive backs as the season develops. He is on bye in Week 7, so consider picking him up for short term value.

Darious Williams, CB Jacksonville Jaguars

With a PD and an INT in Week 5, Williams is showing off his ball-hawking skills. He also had a FF and seven solo tackles over across the pond in Week 5. His seven tackles were a team high in the contest against the Bills. He is not a shut-down corner, so sees plenty of action from the offense.

Greg Stroman Jr., CB Chicago Bears

The veteran CB had a huge stat line to show off after the Week 5 contest in Washington: seven TTs (four solos, one TFL), a sack, a QH, an INT and a PD. Big play and tackle production from a nickel corner makes him a hidden gem, having been granted significant playing time due to the injuries the Bears have been forced to overcome early this season.

Fantasy Football IDP Fallers - Escalator Going Down


Jack Campbell, Detroit Lions

Campbell is being eased into the Lion defensive scheme, and those who expected him to immediately be a full-time starter have been disappointed in his limited PT thus far. He only collected two solos in Week 5’s victory over the Panthers and was on the field for under 50% (45% to be accurate) of the defensive snaps. In his place, Derrick Barnes is being used more to patrol the field for the Lions.

Defensive Linemen

None to speak of, save those listed in the Injury Report below.

Defensive Backs

Jeremy Chinn S Carolina Panthers

Carolina is stumbling badly to open the season, and the team does not seem to be able to figure out how to employ the services of the veteran safety. He was on the field for just under a third of the defensive plays run by the Panthers in the confines of Ford Field last Sunday and was credited with just two TT (one solo).

NFL Week 5 Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play an LB5 against the Colts or Jaguars, but certainly, you will do well if you own a top DE playing on either side of the Falcon/Commander contest or a Jet defensive back going against the Eagles that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee

Cleveland Browns vs San Francisco

Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville

Defensive Ends

Washington Commanders @ Atlanta

Atlanta Falcons vs Washington

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay

New York Giants @ Buffalo

Defensive Tackles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Detroit

Cleveland Browns vs San Francisco

Washington Commanders @ Atlanta

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville


Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago

Miami Dolphins vs Carolina

Carolina Panthers @ Miami

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets


Los Angeles Chargers vs Dallas

New York Giants @ Buffalo

Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets

Fantasy Football 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.


Ernest Jones Los Angeles Rams (owned in 36% of Yahoo leagues, but 80.2% on ESPN)

Azeez Al-Shaair, Tennessee Titans

E.J. Speed, Indianapolis Colts

Defensive Linemen

A.J. Epenesa, DE Buffalo Bills

Trey Hendrickson, DE Cincinnati Bengals

Jermaine Johnson, DE New York Jets

Jalen Carter, DT Philadelphia Eagles

Zach Sieler, DT Miami Dolphins

Defensive Backs

Isaiah Simmons, S New York Giants

Sam FranklinJr., S Carolina Panthers

Roger McCreary, CB Tennessee Titans

Darious Williams, CB Jacksonville Jaguars

Greg Stroman Jr., CB Chicago Bears

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.


Myjai Sanders, Arizona Cardinals hand IR

Bud Dupree, Atlanta Falcons wrist

Troy Andersen, Atlanta Falcons shoulder IR

Jadeveon Clowney, Baltimore Ravens illness

Odafe Oweh, Baltimore Ravens ankle

Malik Hamm, Baltimore Ravens ankle IR

Tyus Bowser, Baltimore Ravens knee NFI-R

Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills leg IR

Baylon Spector, Buffalo Bills hamstring IR

Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers ankle

Marquis Haynes, Carolina Panthers back IR

Devin Harper, Cincinnati Bengals hamstring 

Akeem Davis-Gaither, Cincinnati Bengals knee

Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys neck

Frank Clark, Denver Broncos illness

Baron Browning, Denver Broncos knee PUP

De’Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers ankle

Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers knee

Blake Cashman, Houston Texans wrist

Christian Harris, Houston Texans concussion

Devin Lloyd, Jacksonville Jaguars thumb

Dawuane Smoot, Jacksonville Jaguars Achilles PUP

Christian Rozenboom, Los Angeles Rams thigh

Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams knee

Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins oblique

Marcus Davenport, Minnesota Vikings elbow

Josh Uche, New England Patriots knee

Matt Judon, New England Patriots biceps

Trey Flowers, New England Patriots foot PUP

Micah McFadden, New York Giants ankle

Nakobe Dean, Philadelphia Eagles foot

T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers finger

Jordyn Brooks, Seattle Seahawks knee

Anthony Nelson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers concussion

Azeez Al-Shaair, Tennessee Titans neck

Luke Gifford, Tennessee Titans hamstring

Drew White, Washington Commanders knee PUP

Defensive Linemen


Jonathan Ledbetter, Arizona Cardinals finger

DaQuan Jones, Buffalo Bills pectoral IR

Greg Rousseau, Buffalo Bills foot

Kwitty Paye, Indianapolis Colts concussion

George Karlaftis, Kansas City Chiefs hamstring

Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders knee

Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints back

Azeez Ojulari, New York Giants ankle

DeMarvin Leal, Pittsburgh Steelers concussion

Robert Beal Jr., San Francisco 49ers hamstring IR

Efe Obada, Washington Commanders knee IR 


Derrick Brown, Carolina Panthers knee

D.J. Jones, Denver Broncos knee

Maliek Collins, Houston Texans abdomen

Larrell Muchison, Los Angeles Rams knee

Bobby Brown III, Los Angeles Rams knee-MCL IR

Christian Barmore, New England Patriots knee

Davon Godchaux, New England Patriots ankle

Marlon Tuipulotu, Philadelphia Eagles triceps

Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles back

Larry Ogunjobi, Pittsburgh Steelers undisclosed

Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee Titans shoulder

Teair Tart Tennessee, Titans toe

Phidarian Mathis, Washington Commanders calf IR

Defensive Backs


Jalen Thompson, Arizona Cardinals hamstring

Geno Stone, Baltimore Ravens hamstring

Xavier Woods, Carolina Panthers hamstring

Terell Smith, Chicago Bears ankle

Jaylon Johnson, Chicago Bears hamstring

Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears foot

Kyler Gordon, Chicago Bears hand IR

C.J Goodwin, Dallas Cowboys pectoral

Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys leg

Khalil Dorsey, Detroit Lions illness IR

Emmanuel Moseley, Detroit Lions knee-ACL

Zayne Anderson, Green Bay Packers hamstring 

Darnell Savage, Green Bay Packers calf

Marcus Epps, Las Vegas Raiders knee

Brandon Facyson, Las Vegas Raiders shin IR

Nik Needham, Miami Dolphins Achilles PUP

Jonathan Jones, New England Patriots ankle

Jabrill Peppers, New England Patriots illness

Cody Davis, New England Patriots knee PUP

J.T. Gray, New Orleans Saints hamstring

Justin Hardee, New York Jets hamstring

Jarrick Bernard-Converse, New York Jets foot PUP

Justin Evans, Philadelphia Eagles knee

Sydney Brown, Philadelphia Eagles hamstring

Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks concussion

Carrick Forrest, Washington Commanders shoulder IR

Jeremy Reaves, Washington Commanders knee-ACL IR


Garrett Williams, Arizona Cardinals knee-ACL PUP

Daryl Worley, Baltimore Ravens shoulder IR

Camarion Williams, Baltimore Ravens ankle IR

Dane Jackson, Buffalo Bills foot IR

Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills Achilles IR

Chidobe Awuzie, Cincinnati Bengals back

Nahshon Wright, Dallas Cowboys ankle IR

Brian Branch, Detroit Lions ankle

Eric Stokes, Green Bay Packers foot PUP

Shaquill Griffin, Houston Texans calf

Christian Braswell, Jacksonville Jaguars hamstring

David Long, Las Vegas Raiders ankle

Jakorian Bennett, Las Vegas Raiders hamstring

Nate Hobbs, Las Vegas Raiders ankle

Akayleb Evans, Minnesota Vikings knee

Shaun Wade, New England Patriots shoulder

Christian Gonzalez, New England Patriots shoulder-labrum IR

Jack Jones, New England Patriots hamstring IR

Lonnie Johnson, New Orleans Saints hamstring

Cordale Flott, New York Giants ankle

Deonte Banks, New York Giants ankle

Aaron Robinson, New York Giants knee-ACL/MCL PUP

Brandin Echols, New York Jets hamstring

D.J. Reed, New York Jets concussion

Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles knee

Darrell Luter Jr., San Francisco 49ers knee PUP

Elijah Molden, Tennessee Titans hamstring

Caleb Farley, Tennessee Titans back PUP

Christian Holmes, Washington Commanders 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 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 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 the number of teams, the platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.