With Week 1 in the books, and actual regular season play recorded on the stat sheets, it is time to begin the season-long process of scouring the wire for up-and-coming IDP to insert into your starting lineups. In addition, we will be examining the NFL injury reports as well as making suggestions about defensive players you may want to bench (or drop) due to subpar on-field production.




NFL IDP Report Week 2

Elevator Going Up - Linebackers

Kamu Grugier-Hill, HOU

Any time a player opens the season with double digit tackles, he is going to be featured as an IDP to seek out if he is sitting unclaimed in your league. He put up an impressive Week 1 line, to be certain: 18 total tackles (TT), with 14 of those being solos and one for a loss of yards (TFL), plus a pass deflection (PD) tacked on for the big play value. He was on the field for every one of the team’s defensive snaps, to boot. The Texan defense has to head to Denver to face a team looking to step up their offensive game, and he should have plenty of chances to build on his strong opening. 


Divine Deablo, LVR 

In his second season in the league, he was tagged to step in when Denzel Perryman injured his ankle and he ended up playing nearly every defensive snap against the Bills. He collected seven TT (four solo), but also keep an eye on Perryman’s status as this will likely reduce his playing time (PT).


Alex Highsmith, PIT (DE on ESPN)

While the news in the Steeler-land is focused on the injury to T.J. Watt, it is important to recognize the effort Highsmith put forth against the Bengals in the Week 1 victory: three sacks, nine TT (six solo), two TFL, a forced fumble (FF) and four QB hits/hurries (QH). A home game against the visiting Patriots promises continued fantasy production, in both tackle-oriented league setups and big-play formats.


Travon Walker, JAX (DE on ESPN, DE/LB on Yahoo)

The Jaguar edge rusher was not huge in terms of tackle numbers (four TT, three solo, one TFL), but the big plays add another dimension to his value. A sack, an interception (INT), a PD and a QH covers the bases, so to speak, despite no fumble creation. He was also on the field for better than 805 of the snaps the defense played. In case you forgot, he was the first-overall pick in the draft this year, so while he is still raw, the Jags are going to see what they have and he will be featured on defense.


Mykel Walker, ATL

Another LB that saw plenty of Week 1 action, Walker never left the gridiron while the Falcon defense was active, and he was recipient of the green dot on his helmet, indicating his value to the team. His stat line was impressive in the opening action: six TT (four solo, two TFL), a sack, a QH and a FF. 


Jordan Hicks, MIN

Hicks profiles as a superb run defender, who compiled 14 TT (nine solo), and also contributed a strip sack against the division rival Packers. Toss in a QH and a FF, and his numbers add up to superior production no matter the scoring format your league employs.


Bradley Chubb, DEN (DE on ESPN)

Chubb waited until the MNF game against the Seahawks was in the final quarter to make his presence known, racking up a pair of 4Q sacks. He also forced a fumble and collected four solo tackles as part of his five TT on the night. 


Defensive Linemen

Jerry Hughes, DE, HOU

It seems likely that the Texan defense will be featured here throughout the season, as their PT should be significant in their rebuilding period. Certainly do not expect two sacks and an INT every week from the veteran DL, but he is playing a majority of snaps opposite Jonathan Greenard, while Mario Addison and Rasheem Greene are sidelined. He only had three solo tackles in Week 1 (one TFL) but he did contribute a pair of QH, a FF and a PD while roaming the field.


Kwity Paye, DE, IND

Here is another edge rusher who netted a couple of sacks in the opening action, adding seven TT (six solo, two TFL) and a pair of QH. He was highly regarded as a rookie last season, but underwhelmed with just four sacks on the 2021 campaign. Looks as though the year of seasoning is beginning to pay off.


Dominique Robinson, DE, CHI

Despite limited PT, the rookie made an impact on defense, with 1.5 sacks to his credit, and seven TT (five solo, one TFL). More games in this vein should generate additional time on the field for the youngster.


Deatrich Wise Jr., DE, NE

Wise saw a huge uptick in his time on the field in Week 1 as compared to last season, and while the numbers are not overwhelming, he did have some production in the big play area with a sack, a FF and a QH. If he continues to see significant PT for the Pats, he can improve on the three TT (two solo) he put up in Miami.


Jordan Phillips, DT, BUF

Our lone DT this week generated good pressure on the interior of the defensive line, picking up 1.5 sacks to go with his four TT (two solo, one TFL). He also was able to pressure the QB with three QH on the evening.


Defensive Backs

Talanoa Hufanga, S, SF

This is a safety to snag off your league’s waiver wire as he will be a hot commodity based on his 11 TT (nine solo, two TFL) in the opening week of NFL action. He also had some big play value with a PD and an INT on the afternoon.  


Jalen Pitre, S, HOU

Playing all the snaps on defense for the Texans led to a strong tackle effort, with the rookie corralling 11 TT (five solo). As noted above, the Houston defense should be on the field a bunch this season, which will presumably lead to more efforts in a similar vein for Pitre.


Richie Grant, S, ATL

Grant, unlike the two DBs profiled immediately above, did not register 11 tackles, nabbing “only” 10 TT (five solo). That is nothing to sneeze at, and he also put up a PD and a QH while playing nearly every snap at strong safety. As with Houston, look for the Falcon defense to be seeing plenty of time on the field which will lead to increased fantasy production for their safety.


BranDon Jones, S, MIA

Another strong safety to consider, he did collect 11 TT (six solo) against the visiting Patriot offense. He also stuffed the stat line with a sack, a QH, a PD and a FF. He was on the field for all the defensive snaps. He demonstrated his blitzing skills to wind up last season and looks poised to continue to get to the QB in 2022.


Nate Hobbs, CB, LVR

If you league requires you to field a cornerback as part of your IDP roster, Hobbs is a fine option to add to your squad. He played 99% of the snaps in Week 1, accumulating nine TT (six solo, two TFL). He also forced a fumble and deflected a pass during his 66 snaps. He gets to face the Cardinals in Week 2, and should see a ton of action again.


Jeff Okudah, CB, DET

Coming off an Achilles injury that cost him his 2021 season, he looked mostly healthy against the Eagles in Week 1 (cramps sidelined him for a few plays). The former 1st round pick was solid in coverage and also contributed 10 TT (seven solo) with a PD added in. 


Escalator Going Down - Linebackers

Eric Kendricks, MIN

Kendricks was limited to four TT in Week 1, despite playing 100% of the snaps for the defensive squad. His production may see some limitations as the Vikings upgraded their LB crew with the addition of Jordan Hicks (profiled above).


Isaiah Simmons, ARI

Speaking of Hicks, his former teammate did not see an immediate increase in fantasy production with his departure. Simmons collected just three solo tackles against the Chiefs. If he continues to be used more in coverage, his tackle numbers will continue to be meager.


Defensive Linemen

None to write about this week, save for those in the injury report below.


Defensive Backs

Julian Blackmon, S, IND

Blackmon is coming back from a torn Achilles, but did play 100% of the snaps for the Colt defense in Week 1. He was relegated to a deeper coverage DB, and thus his tackle numbers were depressed severely to the tune of one solo tackle.


Matchups to Exploit

It is too early in the season to be predicting which teams are allowing defensive players to dominate regularly… yet. In coming weeks, this space will delineate those offenses you want to start your IDP against for the best opportunity to accumulate potentially more that your fair share of fantasy point production.


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.




Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs


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.




Defensive Linemen - DE


Defensive Linemen - DT


Defensive Backs - S


Defensive Backs - CB



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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