Another week with four byes but, fortunately, there are a number of options to consider to fill in for those starters on defense that are absent in Week 7, especially in the defensive backfield. The linebacking corps are well stocked with replacements, as well, although if you are seeking a DT, good luck.

Bye Weeks coming up: Week 7 Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay; Week 8 Baltimore, Dallas; Week 9 Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

Alec Ogletree NYG

Ogletree returned from his hamstring issue, and made a huge splash in the IDP ranks, totaling 12 total tackles (TT), nine solos, with two for loss of yardage (TFL). He also sacked Tom Brady and hit/hurried him twice (QH). He was helped by the fact that the Pats’ offense provided a huge number of tackle opportunities (68 if you are counting) but the Giant defense should continue to provide ample playing time that will result in nice IDP stat lines.

Germaine Pratt CIN

Pratt’s playing time (PT) has been increasing of late, and he has the skill set to become a three-down IDP in the future. In Week 6, he racked up six TT (five solo) while playing in just 38% of the snaps on defense. While you may not want to pick him up immediately, he is someone to keep on your watch list in the event the Bengals decide to significantly increase his role going forward.

Nick Vigil CIN

Vigil has been a consistent tackle producer over the past couple of seasons, and has rolled up 37 TT over the past three games. He had 10 solos last week against the Ravens, and this week’s opponent, the Jaguars, should provide similar tackle opportunities.

Najee Goode JAX

Goode was inserted as the primary weakside LB in Week 6, and while he has limited upside, the floor is certainly there to provide LB3 production. He had six TT last contest (four solo, one TFL). He also added big play stats, too, with a sack, a QH and a pass deflection (PD). Week 7 sees the Bengals on the schedule, the fifth most generous team in terms of points allowed to opposing LBs.

Drue Tranquill LAC

As with the Bengals’ Pratt above, the Charger rookie has been seeing his PT grow over the past several weeks. He is trending toward becoming a three-down LB, and his somewhat pedestrian stat lines will see an uptick as a result.

Nate Gerry PHI

The Eagles released Zach Brown , and Nigel Bradham is listed as questionable for the Week 7 matchup against the Cowboys, making Gerry a potential bye-week fill-in for your IDP squad. His snap count should be significant, and the Week 8 matchup against the Bills looks especially tasty, so perhaps waiting a week to add him would be prudent as Dallas is not a particularly exciting matchup.

Wesley Woodyard TEN

His presence on defense should increase due to the injury sidelining Jayon Brown , and he is slated to be a three-down LB in his replacement role. He is coming off a 6 TT effort (five solo, two TFL) with a sack in last week’s contest against the Broncos. He is a fine fill-in for those dealing with injury or bye week issues in filling out their IDP roster.

Defensive Linemen

Robert Quinn DE DAL

Quinn picked up a pair of sacks in Week 6’s contest at the Meadowlands against the host Jets. He added two solo tackles (two TFL) with a couple of QH added in to provide icing on the cake.

Justin Houston DE IND

Houston may be available after his bye in Week 6, and he does have a couple of sacks on the season. He is a solid tackle producer as well, and facing the Texans this week should provide for good results, as they are the fifth best team for opposing DEs to take on through the first six weeks of the season.

Jerry Hughes DE BUF

Hughes has not registered a sack since Week 1, but he gets to take on the Miami offensive line that has allowed 23 sacks thus far this season (five games) and a whopping 48 QH over that same timeframe. He is coming off a bye, so his ownership percentage should be low.

Defensive Backs

Tashaun Gipson , Sr. S HOU

Gipson has picked off a pass in each of the last two games, and also added a PD in each of those contests, so he offers big play potential for his owners. He also added five TT (three solo) against the Week 6 opponent, the Chiefs.

Rodney McLeod S PHI

An eight-year veteran, McLeod has three great matchups on the slate before the Eagles have a bye in Week 10, taking on the Cowboys and Bills on the road, then hosting the Bears. He is an every down player at the free safety position, and will provide consistent fantasy production as a result of the extensive PT on defense.

Maurice Canady CB BAL

Canady has moved from special teams performer to the defensive backfield in Baltimore due to injuries, and he is looking good. He is coming off a nine solo tackle effort with one PD against the visiting Bengals. Be advised that the Ravens are on bye next week, so if you pick him up be prepared to stash him away in Week 8.

Tre Herndon CB JAX

With the trade of Jalen Ramsey , it seems obvious that Jacksonville likes what it sees with Herndon. Teams will continue to target Herndon and avoid A.J. Bouye on the other side of the field, so efforts like his nine TT (six solo, one TFL) effort in Week 6 against the Saints will be the norm.

Patrick Peterson CB ARI

Now that he has served his six-game suspension for a PED violation, Peterson should step back into his starting role on defense in the desert for the Cardinals. Just remember the old adage that the best CBs in football are better in real life than fantasy, as opposing offenses will target the opposite corner position.

Brian Poole CB NYJ

The Jets employ Poole as a nickel back on defense, and as he patrols the middle of the field, he picks up tackles as though he were another safety rather than a cornerback. He is coming off a nine TT effort in Week 6 (eight solos), and should see significant action facing off against the Patriots in Week 7.

Quinton Dunbar CB WAS

Washington’s’ defense sees significant playing time due to an inefficient offensive effort this season, and Dunbar has been putting up big-play production with three INT and four PD over the past three games he has participated in this season. In CB-mandatory leagues, he is a consistent point producer.

Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

Ryan Kerrigan WAS

Despite extensive defensive snaps played, he is extraordinarily disappointing this season. He has a mere eight TT to his credit (to be fair, he has picked up 1.5 sacks) and thus, should not be on any IDP rosters.

Defensive Linemen

Michael Bennett DE NE

Bennett is suspended this week, but even if he were taking the field, he is not worthy of a spot in your IDP lineup. His snap count has been trending south, and he is simply not providing much in the way of tackles or other fantasy production.

Defensive Backs

Eli Apple CB NO

Apple has had just one week where he provided more than three TT over the course of his time on the field, and that occurred way back in Week 2. He faces a tough matchup this week in the Bears, then the Saints are on bye, so cut him loose now.

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.

Linebackers

Buffalo Bills

New England Patriots

Denver Broncos

Defensive Ends

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

Seattle Seahawks

Defensive Tackles

Tennessee Titans

Miami Dolphins

Safeties

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

San Francisco 49ers

Cornerbacks

Miami Dolphins

Cincinnati Bengals

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.

Linebackers

Alec Ogletree NYG

Germaine Pratt CIN

Nick Vigil CIN

Najee Goode JAX

Drue Tranquill LAC

Nate Gerry PHI

Wesley Woodyard TEN

Defensive Linemen

Robert Quinn DE DAL

Justin Houston DE IND

Jerry Hughes DE BUF

Defensive Backs

Tashaun Gipson , Sr. S HOU

Rodney McLeod S PHI

Maurice Canady CB BAL

Tre Herndon CB JAX

Patrick Peterson CB ARI

Brian Poole CB NYJ

Quinton Dunbar CB WAS

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.

Linebackers

Dennis Gardeck ARI ankle

Zeke Turner ARI hamstring

Patrick Onwuasor BAL ankle

Otaro Alka BAL Hamstring IR

Corey Thompson BUF ankle

Matt Milano BUF hamstring

Christian Miller CAR ankle

Joel Iyiegbuniwe CHI hamstring

Willie Harvey CLE shoulder IR

Zaire Franklin IND hamstring

Clay Matthews LAR jaw

Ben Gedeon MIN concussion

Kentrell Brothers MIN hamstring

Dont’a Hightower NE shoulder

C.J. Mosley NYJ groin

Albert McClellan NYJ concussion

Nigel Bradham PHI ankle

T.J. Watt PIT undisclosed

Mark Barron PIT hamstring

Jack Cichy TB elbow

Sharif Finch TEN shoulder

Cameron Wake TEN hamstring

Jayon Brown TEN groin

Josh Harvey-Clemons WAS hamstring

Defensive Linemen

DE

Zach Allen ARI neck

Takkarist McKinley ATL groin

Trent Murphy BUF concussion

Kerry Wynn CIN concussion IR

Carlos Dunlap CIN knee

Dorance Armstrong DAL neck

Derek Wolfe DEN hip

Da’Shawn Hand DET elbow

Mike Daniels DET foot

Kemoko Turay IND ankle IR

Tyquan Lewis IND ankle

Chris Jones KC groin

Melvin Ingram LAC hamstring

Avery Moss MIA leg

Michael Bennett NE suspension

Trey Hendrickson NO neck

Henry Anderson NYJ shoulder-AC joint

John Franklin-Myers NYJ undisclosed

Clelin Ferrell OAK concussion

Stephon Tuitt PIT pectoral IR

DT

Akiem Hicks CHI elbow IR

Bilal Nichols CHI hand

Ryan Glasgow CIN thigh

Daniel Ekuale CLE concussion

Tyrone Crawford DAL hip IR

Olsen Pierre NYG concussion

Quinnen Williams NYJ hamstring

Timothy Jernigan PHI foot

D.J. Jones SF hamstring

Defensive Backs

S

Charles Washington ARI shoulder

Blidi Wren-Wilson ATL groin

Johnathan Cyprien ATL foot IR

DeShon Elliott BAL knee

Tony Jefferson BAL knee-ACL IR

Brynden Trawick BAL elbow IR

Natrell Jamerson CAR foot

Damarious Randall CLE leg

Duke Dawson DEN foot

Quandre Diggs DET hamstring

Darnell Savage GB ankle

Tony Brown GB hamstring

Malik Hooker IND knee-meniscus

Rolan Milligan IND knee

Cody Davis JAX hamstring

Nasir Adderley LAC hamstring

John Johnson LAR shoulder

Ken Webster MIA leg

Patrick Chung S chest

Sam Beal NYG hamstring IR

Corey Ballentine NYG concussion

K’Waun Williams SF hand

Jason Verette SF knee

Jordan Whitehead TB arm

Deshazor Everett WAS ankle

CB

Desmond Trufant ATL toe

Maurice Canady BAL hamstring

Jimmy Smith BAL knee-MCL

Taron Johnson BUF hamstring

Donte Jackson CAR groin

William Jackson CIN shoulder

Dre Kirkpatrick CIN knee

Greedy Williams CLE hamstring

Denzel Ward CLE hamstring

Anthony Brown DAL hamstring

Bryce Callahan DEN foot

DeVante Bausby DEN neck IR

Amani Oruwariye DET knee

Johnathan Joseph HOU wrist

Bradley Roby HOU hamstring

Shakial Taylor IND chest

Jalen Ramsey JAX back

Kendall Fuller KC thumb

Aqib Talib LAR ribs

Xavien Howard MIA knee

Nate Hairston NYJ knee

Isaiah Johnson OAK concussion IR

Ronald Darby PHI hamstring

Avonte Maddox PHI concussion

Steven Nelson PIT groin

Joe Haden PIT groin

Ahkello Witherspoon SF foot

Richard Sherman SF shoulder

Chris Milton TEN calf

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. FANation Chat is live on the site, to help you work through your fantasy football dilemmas. Or 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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