The NFL schedule makers give fantasy owners a small reprieve this week, with only two teams on a bye. But then get ready for Week 9, when a full six NFL squads are not available for you to stock your rosters with their IDP. Things are starting to tighten up a bit on the waiver wire and free agent market, but there are still some players to consider adding to your starting lineups or perhaps stashing on your bench for later use.




Bye Weeks Coming Up:

Week 8 - Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers
Week 9 - Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers
Week 10 - Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, New York Jets


NFL IDP Report - Week 8

Elevator Going Up - Linebackers

De’Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers (rostered in 78% of ESPN leagues, 63% Yahoo)

Campbell continues to see a ton of snaps (all of them, actually) on the defensive side of the ball, and put up yet another stellar stat line in Week 7’s contest in our nation’s capital against the Commanders: 12 total tackles (TT), seven of those being solos and three for a loss of yards (TFL); a QB hit/hurry (QH); an INT and a pass deflection (PD). Big play action and double-digit tackles make for a valuable LB. If he is available in your league, grab him immediately, as the Packers have a late Week 14 bye, allowing you to enjoy his production for a good stretch.


Bobby Okereke, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts LB has averaged double-digit tackles over the past four games, coming off a 10 TT effort in Tennessee, where he contributed some big play assistance to his owners, too, recovering a fumble (FR) and collecting a pair of PD. He has a good matchup on tap this week, facing the Commanders at home.


Christian Harris, Houston Texans

It is difficult to recommend a LB coming off a single tackle effort, but he is seeing significant playing time (PT) on the defense, and that should lead to improved stat lines going forward. The rookie is primed to begin shining on defense, especially with his main competition for defensive snaps, Kamu Grugier-Hill, being released by the team.


Elevator Going Up - Defensive Linemen

Dre’Mont Jones, DE, Denver Broncos

Jones has had two multiple sack games this season, and just added another pair against the Jets, who were not being pass-happy in Week 7. It will be interesting to see how he fares across the pond this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are protecting their QB quite effectively this season so far.


Sam Williams, DE, Dallas Cowboys

The rookie DE saw limited snaps in Week 7’s contest against the Detroit Lions, yet he collected a pair of sacks, which could result in additional PT going forward. The FF, FR and two QH in modest time on the field could lead to an increased presence on the field.


Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami Dolphins (LB only on Yahoo, DE only on ESPN)

He did not get two sacks, just 1.5 in Week 7, but he also snagged eight TT (four solo, two TFL) and a couple of QH. He now has collected three sacks in the past four games. And has a game on the slate against the struggling Detroit Lions to look forward to pursuing continued growth in his second season.


Grover Stewart, DT, Indianapolis Colts

Our sole DT this week, and Stewart is coming off a double tackle effort against the host Titans in Week 7: 12 TT, seven solo. He saw action on 75% of the defensive snaps, and while the tackle numbers will presumably return to single digits, in a DT mandatory league, this week’s matchup against the Commanders looks to be productive once again.


Elevator Going Up - Defensive Backs

Andrew Adams, S, Tennessee Titans

Coming out of the bye, Adams saw his PT take a dramatic upturn, as he played 97% of the defensive snaps, and rewarded that decision by collecting 10 TT (six solo) as well as picking off an INT, making a PD and scoring a TD. He has a decent matchup this coming week when the Houston Texans host Tennessee.


Ahmad Gardner, CB, New York Jets

The Jets defense is looking stout this season, and the rookie corner has been a part of that development. He picked up 10 TT in Week 7 (nine solo) and tossed in a trio of PD to aid on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage against the Denver Broncos. His 11 PD lead the league, by the bye.


Escalator Going Down - Linebackers

Kamu Grugier-Hill, Houston Texans

He was released by the team this week per his own request, and the writing had been on the wall, with Christian Harris, profiled above, finding more snaps being accorded him by the team. He should find a new home, but will not be a primary LB and can safely be avoided by fantasy owners until further notice.


Escalator Going Down - Defensive Linemen

Leonard Williams, DE (Yahoo)/DT (ESPN), New York Giants

Despite adequate PT to produce fantasy numbers, Williams has disappointed dramatically this season. He has just four TT over his past three games (he did miss three contests with a sprained MCL), and that is not adequate for a starting DL.


Alex Highsmith, DE (ESPN)/LB (Yahoo), Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh defensive end was held off the stat sheet in Week 7, and that lands him on the suspect list. He does get to face the Eagles, who have been friendly to opposing DEs this season, but this is a road contest in Philly.


Rashad Weaver, DE (ESPN)/LB (Yahoo), Tennessee Titans

Weaver saw a dramatic decrease in PT in Week 7, playing on less than half the defensive snaps which pushed down his fantasy numbers: one TT (zero solo) and two QH. You can certainly find better options on the waiver wire, and ones that are on the field for a higher percentage of defensive plays.


Escalator Going Down - Defensive Backs

Rodney Thomas, S, Indianapolis Colts

With Julian Blackmon coming back to the active roster, Thomas’ days as a fill-in player with significant snaps on defense are coming to an end. He had just one solo tackle last week, and as a backup, he is of little value or use in fantasy lineups.




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 that you can plug in this week in the Cincinnati @ Cleveland contest, or a Steeler DE or S, for the most part.


Inside Linebackers

  • Indianapolis Colts vs Washington Commanders
  • Las Vegas Raiders @ New Orleans Saints
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
  • Washington Commanders @ Indianapolis Colts


Outside Linebackers

  • Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
  • Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals
  • Buffalo Bills vs Green Bay Packers
  • Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles
  • New York Jets vs New England Patriots


Defensive Ends

  • Philadelphia Eagles vs Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
  • Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
  • Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers
  • Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers


Defensive Tackles

  • New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks
  • Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
  • Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
  • Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals



  • Indianapolis Colts vs Washington Commanders
  • Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins @ Detroit Lions
  • Philadelphia Eagles vs Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals



  • Detroit Lions vs Miami Dolphins
  • New Orleans Saints @ New York Jets
  • Indianapolis Colts vs Washington Commanders
  • Buffalo Bills vs Green Bay Packers
  • Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings


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 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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