There is a small but attractive group of little-owned IDP to consider adding to your roster(s) this week. After all, it is not as though defensive players are immune to the injury bug, or poor performance on the field leading to declining playing time (PT). Let’s take a gander at those waiting to be swept up for Week 12’s contests, shall we?

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 12-Arizona, Kansas City; Week 13-Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Tennessee; Week 14-Indianapolis, Miami, New England, Philadelphia

Elevator Going Up


Tyus Bowser BAL (DE only in ESPN leagues)

Bowser has some added oomph in ESPN leagues, where you can get a LB to fill a DL slot in your lineup. He put up a pair of sacks in Week 11 against the Bears, his second such effort this season. He is playing significant snaps at the outside LB position, and collected five total tackles (TT) this past week, four of those solos and one for a loss of yards (TFL). Add in a pair of QB hits/hurries (QH) and he provides valuable stats in both tackle oriented and big play leagues.

Keanu Neal DAL

With the defensive scheme decision to utilize Micah Parsons as an edge rusher, Neal has settled in to the middle of the defense nicely. He comes from a game where he snagged seven TT (five solo) and that number should be equaled or exceeded if the Cowboys continue to trot him out on the field for every defensive snap against the Raiders on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Defensive Linemen

James Smith-Williams DE WAS

The second-year player has stepped up to a full time starting role on the left side of the Washington defensive line with injuries sidelining Montez Sweat and Chase Young lately. He had a six TT effort (only one solo, one TFL) against the host Panthers, while also collecting a half sack, giving him 1.5 over the last three games his team has played. Week 12 is a good matchup against the visiting Seahawks, before a couple of tougher contests against the Raiders and Cowboys.

Trevis Gipson DE CHI

Chicago will be without their star pass rusher Khalil Mack for the balance of 2021, and Gipson stepped up his game. He collected a sack to go with his five TT (four solo, two TFL) against the visiting Ravens. The next opponent, Detroit, is not the best matchup opponent, but things pick up in Weeks 13 and 14 against the Cardinals and Packers.

Armon Watts DT MIN

The Viking DL is our sole DT entry this week, and is coming off a fine four TT effort (two solo) where he also contributed to his stat line with a sack, a QH and a forced fumble (FF). There are no easy matchups on his slate, but as a starting linesman, he figures to continue to amass defensive stats for his owners, especially for those who play in DT-mandatory leagues.

Defensive Backs

George Odum S IND

He has collected five solo tackles in each of the last four contests, even those where he is not seeing full time duty on the field defensively. He added in an INT and a pass deflection/defense (PD) in Week 11’s game at Buffalo, to round out his six TT effort. He has a pair of decent if not great matchups on the slate before the Colts’ Week 14 bye.

DeAndre Houston-Carson S CHI

Since his PT saw a substantial uptick in Week 7, he has not put up less than six TT in a contest, while also contributing on the big play front with three PD and a pair of fumble recoveries (FR). Tashaun Gipson did practice in full leading up to the Thursday game against the host Lions, so keep your hopes in check if is PT falls back to pre-Week 7 levels.

Amani Oruwariye CB DET

The Detroit cornerback situation has not been great this season, with injuries, but Oruwariye has actually filled in nicely. He provides steady tackle numbers for the most part, and offers the occasional INT and more than occasional PD on a weekly basis. Two of the next three games he has on the schedule promise decent fantasy production, including the early Thanksgiving game against the visiting Bears.

Sidney Jones IV CB SEA

Offenses have been targeting Jones when he is inserted into the Seahawk secondary, and now that rookie Tre Brown is out with an injury, he should be the recipient of significant PT going forward. He collected an impressive double digit set of TT last week (eight solo, one TFL) with a PD added for the additional bonus. 


Escalator Going Down


Darius Leonard IND

He was likely drafted as a top LB in your IDP leagues, but he is not playing that way this season. He is not missing time due to injury, although his ankle is not at 100% which could be hampering his effectiveness this year. It is difficult to cut a former top notch IDP, but five TT (two solo) is not why you paid the high price for him.

Defensive Linemen

D.J. Wonnum DE MIN

Wonnum has seen his PT increase with the recent injury to Danielle Hunter, but it is not showing up on the fantasy stat sheet. He collected just a single solo tackle last week against division foe Green Bay, which was one more tackle than he had the prior week. That is just not worthy of a roster spot as the season heads to the playoff weeks.

Defensive Backs

None to write about this week, only those in the Injury Report below to concern yourself with.

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

Inside Linebackers

Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh

Detroit Lions vs Chicago

San Francisco 49ers vs Minnesota

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati

Outside Linebackers

Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville

Detroit Lions vs Chicago

Houston Texans vs New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks @ Washington

Defensive Ends

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland

Tennessee Titans @ New England

Seattle Seahawks @ Washington

Defensive Tackles

Tennessee Titans @ New England

New Orleans Saints vs Buffalo

Carolina Panthers @ Miami 

Dallas Cowboys vs Las Vegas


Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay

Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville

Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland


New England Patriots vs Tennessee

Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Atlanta

New York Jets @ Houston

Buffalo Bills @ New Orleans

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.


Tyus Bowser BAL 

Keanu Neal DAL

Defensive Linemen

James Smith-Williams DE WAS

Trevis Gipson DE CHI

Armon Watts DT MIN

Defensive Backs

George Odum S IND

DeAndre Houston-Carson S CHI

Amani Oruwariye CB DET

Sidney Jones IV CB SEA


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.


Zeke Turner ARI shoulder IR

Tanner Vallejo ARI knee IR

Kylie Fitts ARI concussion IR

Daren Bates ATL groin IR

Steven Means ATL knee IR

Josh Bynes BAL hip 

Daelin Hayes BAL ankle IR

Pernell McPhee BAL knee IR

Malik Harrison BAL calf

L.J. Fort BAL knee-ACL IR

Khalil Mack CHI foot IR

Danny Trevathan CHI knee IR

Jeremiah Attaochu CHI pectoral IR

Akeem Davis-Gaither CIN foot IR

Jordan Evans CIN knee IR

Sione Takitaki CLE shoulder

Tany Field II CLE illness

Jacob Phillips CLE biceps IR

Montrel Meander CLE Achilles IR

Jabril Cox DAL knee-ACL IR

Micah Kiser DEN groin IR

Bradley Chubb DEN ankle IR

Baron Browning DEN back

Andre Mintze DEN hamstring IR

A.J. Johnson DEN pectoral IR

Josey Jewell DEN pectoral IR

Natrez Patrick DEN leg IR

Trey Flowers DET knee

Romeo Okwara DET Achilles IR

Shaun Dion Hamilton DET undisclosed IR

Jonathan Garvin GB undisclosed IR-COVID

Rashan Gary GB elbow 

Chauncey River GB knee-ACL IR

Za’Darius Smith GB back IR

Randy Ramsey GB leg IR

Hardy Nickerson HOU concussion IR

Christian Kirksey HOU thumb IR

Darius Leonard IND ankle

Myles Jack JAX knee

Dakota Allen JAX shoulder

Dylan Moses JAX knee

Nick Kwiatkoski LV ankle

Nicholas Morrow LV ankle IR

Darron Lee LV undisclosed

Leonard Floyd LAR concussion

Justin Hollins LAR pectoral

Travin Howard LAR hamstring IR

Elandon Roberts MIA hip

Brennan Scarlett MIA knee IR

Anthony Barr MIN knee

Ja’Whaun Bentley ME ribs

Dont’a Hightower NE ankle

Kyle Van Noy NE groin

Camerson McGrone NE knee-ACL

Harvey Langi NE knee-MCL IR

Anfernee Jennings NE undisclosed IR

Terez Hall NE undisclosed PUP

Josh Uche NE ankle IR

Jamie Collins NE ankle IR

Raekwon McMillan NE knee-ACL IR

Quentin Poling NO undisclosed

Justin Hilliard NYG ankle IR

Lorenzo Carter NYG ankle

Carter Coughlin NYG ankle IR

Blake Martinez NYG knee-ACL IR

T.J. Brunson NYG IR

Jamien Sherwood NYJ Achilles IR

Blake Cashman NYJ groin IR

C.J. Mosley NYJ head

Shaun Bradley PHI neck

Davion Taylor PHI knee IR

T.J. Watt PIT hip

Dre Greenlaw SF groin IR

Ben Bur-Kirven SEA knee-ACL IR

Devin White TB quadriceps

Jayon Brown TEN quadriceps

Harold Landry TEN hamstring

David Long TEN hamstring

Rashaan Evans TEN ankle

Joe Jones TEN undisclosed IR-COVID

Ola Adenyl TEN hamstring

Bud Dupree TEN abdomen IR

Rashad Weaver TEN lower leg IR

B.J. Bello TEN ankle IR

Jared Norris WAS shoulder IR

Jon Bostic WAS pectoral IR

Defensive End

J.J. Watt ARI shoulder IR

Jonathan Bullard ATL ankle

Calais Campbell BAL foot

Derek Wolfe BAL back IR

Bryan Cox BUF Achilles IR

Austin Larkin CAR groin

Darryl Johnson CAR hamstring IR

Mario Edwards CHI ribs

Akiem Hicks CHI ankle

Joseph Ossai CIN knee-Meniscus IR

Wyatt Hubert CIN pectoral

Jadeveon Clowney CLE neck

Demarcus Lawrence DAL foot IR

Randy Gregory DAL calf IR

Michael Brockers DET knee

Da’Shawn Hand DET groin IR

Joel Heath DET knee-ACL IR

Whitney Mercilus GB biceps IR

Jonathan Greenard HOU foot

Jordan Jenkins HOU knee

Tyquan Lewis IND knee IR

Malik Herring KC knee-ACL 

Joshua Kaindoh KC ankle IR

Jerry Tillery LAC illness IR-COVID

Christian Covington LAC illness IR-COVID

Christian Wilkins MIA quadriceps

Danielle Hunter MIN pectoral IR

Janarius Robinson MIN lower body IR

Christian Barmore NE knee

Henry Anderson NE pectoral IR

Tanoh Kpassagnon NO ankle

Marcus Davenport NO shoulder

Payton Turner NO shoulder IR

Shaq Lawson NYJ wrist 

Nathan Shepherd NYJ elbow

Bryce Huff NYJ back IR

Vinny Curry NYJ illness 

Carl Lawson NYJ Achilles IR

Josh Sweat PHI knee

Brandon Graham PHI Achilles IR

Isaiahh Loudermilk PIT groin

Calvin Taylor PIT undisclosed

Stephon Tuitt PIT undisclosed IR

Tyson Alualu PIT ankle IR

Dee Ford SF back IR

Shaka Toney WAS concussion

Chase Young WAS knee-ACL IR

Montez Sweat WAS jaw IR

Jalen Jelks WAS undisclosed IR 

Defensive Tackle

Rashard Lawrence ARI calf IR

Jack Crawford ARI undisclosed IR

Brandon William BAL shoulder

Xavier Kelly BAL Achilles IR

Star Lotulelei BUF undisclosed IR-COVID

Justin Zimmer BUF knee-ACL IR

Daviyon Nixon Car knee IR

Tyler Shelvin CIN knee

Malik Jackson CLE knee

Neville Gallimore DAL elbow IR

Brent Urban DAL triceps IR

Jashon Cornell DET illness

Vincent Taylor HOU ankle IR

Rob Windsor IND hip IR

Jay Tufele JAX hand IR

Darius Philon LV ankle IR

Gerald McCoy LV knee IR

Linval Joseph LAC illness IR-COVID

Sebastian Joseph-Day pectoral IR

Dalvin Tomlinson MIN undisclosed IR-COVID

Micael Pierce MIN elbow IR

Jalen Twyman MIN pelvis 

Byron Cowart NE undisclosed PUP

Malcolm Roach NO knee IR

Jalen Dalton NO triceps IR

Foley Fatukasi NYJ foot 

Carlos Davis PIT knee IR

Maurice Hurst SF calf

Javon Kinlaw SF knee-ACL IR

Marcus Webb SEA undisclosed IR

Vita Vea TB knee

Sam Renner TB undisclosed

Naquan Jones TEN illness

Teair Tart TEN ankle

Trevon Coley TEN foot IR


James Wiggins ARI knee

Charles Washington ARI hamstring IR

Kendall Sheffield ATL hamstring

DeShon Elliott BAL pectoral IR

Khalil Dorsey BAL undisclosed IR

Myles Hartsfield CAR wrist 

Tashaun Gipson CHI chest

Eddie Jackson CHI hamstring 

Brandon Wilson CIN knee IR

Donovan Wilson DAL shoulder IR

Kareem Jackson DEN shoulder

T.J. Carrie IND knee

Khari Willis IND calf IR

Julian Blackmon IND Achilles IR

Andre Cisco JAX groin

Kelsean Nixon LV ankle

Tyree Gillespie LV hamstring IR

Trey Marshall LAC ankle

Mark Webb LAC knee

Alohi Gilman LAC quadriceps

Dayan Ghanwoloku LAR undisclosed

Jevon Holland MIA knee

Elijah Campbell MIA toe

Trill Williams MIA hamstring

BranDon Jones MIA elbow

Jason McCourty MIA foot IR

Josh Metellus MIN undisclosed IR-COVID

Jonathan Jones NE shoulder IR

Joshuah Bledsoe NE wrist 

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson NO foot IR

Nate Ebner NYG ankle

Jabrill Peppers NYG knee-ACL IR

Logan Ryan NYG illness IR-COVID

Joshua Kalu NYG pectoral IR

Marcus Maye NYJ Achilles IR

Lamarcus Joyner NYJ triceps IR

Minkah Fitzpatrick PIT illness IR-COVID

Tavon Wilson SF foot IR

Tarvarius Moore SF Achilles PUP

Kai Nacua SF undisclosed 

Jason Verrett SF knee-ACL IR

Nigel Warrior SEA knee IR

Marquise Blair SEA kneecap IR

Mike Edwards TB groin 

Curtis Riley TB Achilles IR

Chris Jackson TEN foot IR

Maurice Smith TEN undisclosed

Dane Cruikshank TEN knee IR


Isaiah Oliver ATL knee IR

Tavon Young BAL foot

Chris Westry BAL thigh

Anthony Averett BAL thigh

Jimmy Smith BAL hip

Iman Marshall BAL knee IR

Marcus Peters BAL knee-ACL IR

Stantley Thomas-Oliver CAR toe IR

Jaycee Horn CAR foot IR

Troy Pride CAR knee-ACL IR

Duke Shelley CHI hamstring IR

Darius Phillips CIN hip

Trae Waynes CIN hamstring IR

Troy Hill CLE neck

Maurice Canady DAL concussion IR

Reggie Robinson II DAL toe IR

Micael Ojemudia DEN hamstring IR

Bryce Callahan DEN knee IR

AJ Parker DET ankle IR

Ifeatu Melifonwu DET thigh IR

Jeff Okudah DET Achilles IR

Kevin King GB hip

Jaire Alexander GB shoulder-AC joint IR

Tyson Campbell JAX shoulder -AC joint

Shaquill Griffin JAX concussion

Rashad Fenton KC knee

Trayvon Mullen LV toe IR

Damon Arnette LV groin

Asante Samuel Jr. LAC concussion

Ryan Smith LAC knee-ACL IR

Donte’ Deayon LAR thigh

Jamal Perry MIA knee IR

Bashaud Breeland MIN groin

Keith Washington NO wrist

Adoree’ Jackson NYG quadriceps 

RoDarius Williams NYG knee-ACL IR

Quincy Wilson NYG knee-MCL IR

Darius Slay PHI concussion

Joe Haden PIT foot 

DeMarkus Acy PIT knee-ACL IR

Josh Norman SF ribs

Tre Brown SEA knee

D.J. Reed SEA groin

Carlton Davis TB quadriceps IR

Richard Sharman TB calf IR

Rashard Robinson TB hamstring IR

Janoris Jenkins TEN chest

Greg Mabin TEN ankle

Caleb Farley TEN knee-ACL IR

Greg Stroman WAS undisclosed

Darrly Roberts WAS quadriceps IR

Torry McTyer WAS knee-ACL 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. 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.