With the three games being played on Thanksgiving Day, and the absence of any bye weeks this scoring period, setting your fantasy football lineups becomes less of a juggling act and more like a case of being mindful of the injury situations and finding appropriate waiver wire help to remain in the playoff hunt. Thus, a nice set of rising players to consider swapping into your rosters for the stretch run which is here now.


Bye Weeks Coming Up: 

Week 12 - Not Applicable

Week 13 - Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers

Week 14 - Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders


Elevator Going Up


T.J. Watt - Pittsburgh Steelers

As the Steelers ramp up his snap count, Watt will become a must start option once again. He stepped up his production on the field last week, collecting six total tackles (TT), of which just two were solos it should be noted. He also snagged a half a sack, an interception, a pass deflection/defense (PD) and a quarterback hit/hurry (QH), so despite the limited tackle numbers, he was a big-play performer. He is still owned in about half of the leagues, so if he is available in yours, make your move.

Patrick Queen - Baltimore Ravens

Instead of being limited by the acquisition of Roquan Smith, Queen appears to be benefitting from the attention being accorded to the new linebacker, and is coming off a 12 TT effort against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11 (nine solo, one TFL). He also had half a sack credited to his stat line, with a QH to top things off statistically. Playing 100% of the snaps should help his fantasy numbers going forward.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - Cleveland Browns

Another LB who collected 12 TT (seven solo, one TFL) last week, the Browns have turned to their second year player to be essentially an every down LB upon his return from a knee injury. He would make for a fine addition to your squad as you get things lined up roster-wise in preparation for the upcoming fantasy playoffs.

Leonard Floyd - Los Angeles Rams

Floyd has rediscovered his pass rush skillset, and added a pair of sacks to the three he had garnered in his prior three games played. He also put up five TT (three solo, two TFL) and a pair of QH, while playing a significant number of snaps on defense (89%). 

Kaden Elliss - New Orleans Saints

Elliss’ every down status is dependent on Pete Werner’s ability to come back from ankle surgery (not placed on IR). He had an 11-tackle effort (six solo, one TFL) against the visiting Rams in Week 11. He also was credited with 1.5 sacks, a PD, and a pair of QH’s. If Werner sits or is limited in playing time, Elliss is a fine player to add to your team, even with a pair of so-so matchups in store before the Week 14 bye.

Quay Walker - Green Bay Packers

Another member of the dozen-tackle club in Week 11 (eight solo, one TFL). He is playing nearly every snap while the defense mans the field. He also leads the team with 82 tackles, not too shabby for the rookie. He has a favorable couple of games on tap, too, albeit on the road in Philadelphia and Chicago.

Defensive Linemen

Maxx Crosby - Las Vegas Raiders

On the off chance your league has allowed the pass rusher for the Las Vegas Raiders to linger on the free agent market, it is strongly suggested to remove him and insert him into your lineup. He now has nine sacks with the two he collected in Week 11 added to his stat totals. He picked up six TT’s (five solo, two TFL) against the New Orleans Saints while forcing a fumble (FF) and three QH’s. Here is a four-year veteran that has been overlooked in some leagues, and you may have a chance to rectify that mistake.

Carl Granderson - New Orleans Saints

His rising value is tied to the injuries to starting defensive ends, Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport, so before you rush out to add him to your team, keep an eye on the Saints injury report. He picked up 1.5 sacks, a couple of QH’s and seven TT’s (three solo, one TFL) while playing a majority of the snaps. Might be a short-lived rise up the fantasy elevator, so be forewarned.

Trey Hendrickson - Cincinnati Bengals

Collecting multiple sacks will have a positive impact on an IDP’s value, and here is the starting right defensive end for Cincinnati with two in Week 11 against the Steelers. He also snagged five TT’s (four solo, two TFL), a PD and four(!) QH’s. With low tackle-number production, rely on him in big-play leagues to benefit your fantasy efforts.

Chris Jones - Kansas City Chiefs

Jones is another lineman that is relying on his sack production to improve his appeal in IDP circles. He has collected seven sacks over the past five contests, with two in Week 11. Five solo tackles (three TFL) and four QH’s make him a prime candidate to add in DT-mandatory formats.

Defensive Backs

Jaquan Brisker - Chicago Bears

This safety was profiled here back in the Week 3 IDP Report, and he continues to shine in his first season in the NFL. He is coming off another great effort, racking up 11 TT’s (seven solo, one TFL) and also contributed on the big play side of the slate with a FF. He is being used as a nearly every-down DB and gets to play close to the line, making for quality tackle production. NOTE: he has been ruled out of the Week 12 game at the New York Jets, expected return is in Week 13 at home against the Green Bay Packers.

Jeremy Chinn - Carolina Panthers

Chinn was on the sidelines since Week 4, but returned to the field to collect 10 TT’s (seven solo), and he must be healthy, having played every down on defense. He tosses in the occasional big play while roaming the field, but is more valuable in tackle-oriented leagues.

Cam Taylor-Britt - Cincinnati Bengals

As a rookie cornerback who has been thrust into a full-time position, look for teams to test him until he proves he can handle his job. He had 12 TT’s in Week 11 against the Steelers, but now has a pair of poor matchups in store with a trip to Tennessee and a home game against the Chiefs on the schedule. If those two offenses decided to check out his mettle, though, he could end up with fine fantasy numbers for his owners. 

CJ Henderson - Carolina Panthers

The third-year corner had a career-best 10 TT’s (all 10 solo, one TFL) last week facing the Baltimore Ravens on the road, and has a much more positive matchup in store this week, when the Denver Broncos come to play. He then has a bye week, so use him while he is hot.


Escalator Going Down


Deion Jones - Cleveland Browns

The return to the field for the Cleveland Browns LB profiled above in the rising linebacker section, namely Owusu-Koramoah, resulted in a significant drop in Jones’ snap count. He was on the field for just eight snaps and put up a huge goose egg in the tackle department. So long as the Browns rely on others to patrol behind the defensive line, Jones is not worth a roster spot.

Defensive Linemen

Dre’Mont Jones - Denver Broncos

Over the recent span of two games, Jones has been credited with just two assisted tackles, and has not had a sack. That type of drought in performance is justification to send him packing from your squad.

Rashad Weaver - Tennessee Titans

He has given his owners a paltry four TT’s over the past five games he has participated in, and although he did have 1.5 sacks two weeks ago, that sort of production is not roster-worthy in the least. 

Jadeveon Clowney - Cleveland Browns

Averaging just two tackles per game, when he is not on the sidelines with an injury, if you drafted him or picked him up off waivers or the free agent market based on name recognition, now is the time to forget his moniker and cut him loose.

Defensive Backs

Trevon Moehrig - Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders keep sending their second-round pick from last season out into the defensive backfield on a full-time basis, but he has yet to deliver on their faith in him. He is averaging just over three TT’s per game since the bye week, and offers nearly nothing in terms of big play activity. Unlike his team, you should make a point of benching or cutting him loose.


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 Colts, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Raiders, Giants or Green Bay that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Inside Linebackers

Los Angeles Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks vs Las Vegas Raiders

Indianapolis Colts vs Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints

Las Vegas Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks

Outside Linebackers

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans

Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams @ Kansas City Chiefs

Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos 

Defensive Ends

Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers

Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers

Los Angeles Rams @ Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee Titans vs Cincinnati Bengals

Los Angeles Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals

Defensive Tackles

Washington Commanders vs Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

Indianapolis Colts vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers


Indianapolis Colts vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Miami Dolphins vs Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers

Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars

San Francisco 49er vs New Orleans Saints


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts

Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cleveland Browns


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.


Patrick Queen Baltimore Ravens

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Cleveland Browns

Leonard Floyd Los Angeles Rams

Kaden Elliss New Orleans Saints

Quay Walker Green Bay Packers

Defensive Linemen

Carl Granderson DE New Orleans Saints

Trey Hendrickson DE Cincinnati Bengals

Chris Jones DT Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive Backs

Jaquan Brisker S Chicago Bears

Jeremy Chinn S Carolina Panthers

Cam Taylor-Britt CB Cincinnati Bengals

C.J. Henderson CB Carolina Panthers



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.


Defensive Ends

Defensive Tackles



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 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.


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