If you are still searching for IDP to pick up for your roster, congratulations on surviving the initial period of the fantasy playoffs. Below are a number of potential defensive players to pick up to fill in for an underperforming IDP or one that has landed on the injury list below. Good luck on your quest for a league championship!

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

Kevin Pierre-Louis CHI

Roquan Smith has landed on the IR, and Pierre-Smith will move from backup to starter. He had five total tackles (TT) last week with one of those for a loss of yards (TFL). Add in a QB hit/hurry (QH) and a pair of pass deflections (PD) and you have an IDP worthy of LB2 status going forward.

Craig Robertson NO

Robertson became an every down LB in Week 14, collecting eight TT (five solo, one TFL) with an INT and a PD to boost his big play value. With both Kiko Alonso and A.J. Klein both questionable for this week’s contest against the visiting Colts, he could again start in a game with great matchup potential, as Indy ranks third among teams in terms of allowing fantasy points to opposing LBs.

Samson Ebukam LAR

Ebukam has joined in the strong pass rush corps in LA, picking up 3.5 sacks over the past three games. Against the visiting Seahawks, he had two sacks, a pair of QH and five TT (four solo, two TFL).

Vince Biegel MIA

Biegel has been seeing an uptick in playing time (PT), on the field for 80% of the defensive snaps in Week 14, where he collected nine TT (six solo). He now has the Giants on tap, the team allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing LBs.

Jahlani Tavai DET

Tavai saw an increase in PT in Week 14, and starting MLB Jarrad Davis is questionable for Week 15’s tilt against the Bucs, which could mean another opportunity to shine on defense. He is coming off a 10 TT effort in Week 14 (four solo) and to continue a theme, he has a great matchup as Tampa Bay ranks fourth overall in allowing opposing LBs fantasy production.

Defensive Linemen

Danielle Hunter DE MIN

It seems difficult to believe that this is the first mention of Hunter in the IDP Report this season, but he finally deserves a profile here. Note, though, that he is more heavily owned that most of the other DLs that have graced this article (37% in Yahoo, 50% in ESPN leagues). He has 12.5 sacks on the season, after collecting 3 against the visiting Lions in Week 14. In that game, he also grabbed seven TT (six solo, three TFL) with a trio of QH as well. He has a so-so matchup against the Chargers this coming Sunday, but his production has been picking up since the bye week in Week 12.

Larry Ogunjobi DT CLE

The Browns’ nose tackle led the defense with nine TT (four solo) and also was credited with half a sack and three QH against the Bengals. Unfortunately, the Week 15 opponent is not as great a matchup with the team heading to the desert to take on the Cardinals, so temper your expectations of a repeat dominant performance, but in a DT-mandatory league, he is a worthwhile consideration.

Defensive Backs

Darian Thompson S DAL

Thompson has stepped in for the injured Jeff Heath , who is still questionable this week, and has amassed 16 TT (nine solo) over the past three weeks with 1.5 sacks and a pair of PDs.

Sheldrick Redwine S CLE

The rookie continues to see significant PT in the Brown defensive backfield, racking up eight TT (six solo) against the Bengals in Week 14. This week, he takes on the Cardinals, a lower tier matchup, but so long as he is on the field, he has a chance to produce IDP value for is owners.

Adrian Amos S GB

Amos has been providing some big play production lately, not his usual forte, but Week 15 is a good matchup with the Bears coming to visit. His stat line for Week 14 looked quite full and tasty: seven TT (six solo, one TFL) a sack, a QH, and INT and two PD. The potential is there again, but even if the big play production falters, he has been a relatively steady source of tackle production.

Quandre Diggs S SEA

Diggs has landed in Seattle after leaving Detroit in a trade, and is settling in as a solid DB option for fantasy purposes. He had five TT (four solo) with couple of INT and PD each against the host Rams, and scored a TD. No point in expecting more six pointers, but look for him to continue to create turnovers on defense and toss in some tackle numbers weekly.

Kareem Jackson S DEN

The Bronco starting strong safety is coming off a double-digit tackle effort in Week 14: 11 TT, six solo. He also picked off a pass and had three PDs. He heads to KC this week to face Pat Mahomes, and while that is not the ideal matchup, it is a division rivalry game, so there is that factor to consider.

Tye Smith CB TEN

Smith should see another start with Adoree’ Jackson questionable for Week 15 against the Texans. He is fresh off an eight TT effort (five solo) performance last week in Oakland, where he also forced a fumble (FF). The next two weeks should provide plenty of aerial action for the corner to take on.

Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

Whitney Mercilus HOU

The edge rusher is not lacking for PT, but has collected just half a sack in the last nine games he has played, and that was back in Week 7. Coupled with an inconsistent tackle effort week to week, he is not worth a roster slot.

Terrell Suggs ARI

The 37-year old veteran may be finally chugging into the station on his last bit of fuel. Over the past three games, he has collected a paltry three solo tackles and one fumble recovery (FR). Feel free to cut him loose without concern.

Anthony Hitchens KC

Hitchens is giving his fantasy owners limited tackle numbers for the most part over his last six games, at least in terms of solos, and no big play production at all. Unless you are looking for total tackles and/or assists, he is not worth starting.

Clay Matthews LAR

Since returning to the field from his broken jaw, he has produced just a pair of sacks and only 11 TT over those five contests. Not exactly starting LB stats, especially with the playoffs going on now.

Defensive Linemen

Jason Pierre-Paul DE TB

When he returned to action, there was hope that he would return to his former productive self. He does have 3.5 sacks but only 18 TT over his seven games this season. Unless you absolutely can get by with potential sack production from your DE, he is not the DL to trust in the playoffs.

Clelin Ferrell DE OAK

It was looking promising for Ferrell, with 2.5 sacks in Week 10 versus the Chargers. Unfortunately for those who added him based on this writer’s promotion of him as a wire pickup, his value has severely diminished with just eight TT and one PD over the past four games he has played. Drop him now if you have not acted on that impulse already.

Defensive Backs

None to speak of except for those listed below in the Injury Report.

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 Giants, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Seahawks or Dolphins, or a DL on the Texans that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Linebackers

Carolina Panthers vs Seattle

New York Giants vs Miami

Defensive Ends

Carolina Panthers vs Seattle

Tennessee Titans vs Houston

New York Jets @ Baltimore

Defensive Tackles

Tennessee Titans vs Houston

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants

Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers

Safeties

Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco

New York Giants vs Miami

San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta

Cornerbacks

Cincinnati Bengals vs New England

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Detroit

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

Kevin Pierre-Louis CHI

Craig Robertson NO

Samson Ebukam LAR

Vince Biegel MIA

JahlaniTavai DET

Defensive Linemen

Danielle Hunter DE MIN (Owned in 49.8 % of ESPN leagues, 37% of Yahoo leagues)

Larry Ogunjobi DT CLE

Defensive Backs

Darian Thompson S DAL

Sheldrick Redwine S CLE

Adrian Amos S GB

Quandre Diggs S SEA

Kareem Jackson S DEN

Tye Smith CB TEN

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

Chris Board BAL concussion

Mario Addison CAR chest

Roquan Smith CHI pectoral IR

Danny Trevathan CHI elbow

Sione Takitaki CLE illness

Leighton Vander Esch DAL neck

Malik Reed DEN ankle

Myles Jack JAX knee IR

Najee Goode JAX knee IR

Ben Gedeon MIN concussion IR

Kiko Alonso NO thigh

A.J. Klein NO knee

Chris Peace NYG knee IR

Kyle Wilber OAK ankle

Cody Barton SEA ankle

Mychal Kendricks SEA hamstring

K.J. Wright SEA finger

Anthony Nelson TB hamstring

Daren Bates TEN shoulder

Derick Roberson TEN illness

Cameron Wake TEN undisclosed IR

Ryan Kerrigan WAS calf

Ryan Anderson WAS shoulder

Defensive Linemen

DE

Jonathan Bullard ARI hamstring IR

Jihad Ward BAL elbow

Marquis Haynes CAR knee

Roy Robertson-Harris CHI foot

Sam Hubbard CIN knee

Olivier Vernon CLE knee

Dre’Mont Jones DEN ankle

Derek Wolfe DEN elbow

Da’Shawn Hand DET ankle

Austin Bryant DET hip

Carlos Watkins HOU hamstring

Frank Clark KC illness

Henry Anderson NYJ shoulder

John Franklin-Myers NYJ undisclosed

Dee Ford SF hamstring

Ezekiel Ansah SEA neck

Jadeveon Clowney groin

DT

Corey Liuget BUF lower body

Gerald McCoy CAR knee

Dontari Poe CAR quadriceps IR

Akiem Hicks CHI elbow

Antwaun Woods DAL knee-ACL

A’Shawn Robinson DET shoulder

Montravius Adams GB illness

Byron Cowart NE head

Sheldon Rankins NO ankle

Steve McLendon NYJ knee

Quinnen Williams NYJ neck

Jullian Taylor SF elbow

Defensive Backs

S

Sharrod Neasman TL shoulder

Anthony Levine BAL ankle

Sherrick McManis CHI groin IR

Brandon Wilson CIN hand IR

Eric Murray CLE knee

Robert Jackson CLE ankle IR

Jeff Heath DAL shoulder

Tony Brown GB heel

Rashad Fenton KC hamstring

Patrick Robinson NO calf

Jabrill Peppers NYG back IR

Jamal Adams NYJ ankle

Jaquiski Tartt SF ribs

K’Waun Williams SF concussion

Neiko Thorpe SEA sports hernia IR

Tedric Thompson SEA shoulder-labrum IR

Kenny Vaccaro TEN concussion

Deshazor Everett WAS shoulder IR

CB

Prince Amukamara CHI hamstring

Jamal Agnew DET ankle

Kevin King GB shoulder

Kenny Moore IND ankle

Rock Ya-Sin IND undisclosed

Morris Claiborne KC shoulder

Cordrea Tankersley MIA knee-ACL

Ken Crawley MIA shoulder IR

Xavier Rhodes MIN ankle

Mike Hughes MIN oblique

Janoris Jenkins NYG ankle

Brian Poole NYJ concussion

Arthur Maulet NYJ calf

Kyron Brown NYJ quadriceps IR

Richard Sherman SF hamstring

LeShaun Sims TEN ankle

Adoree’ Jackson TEN foot

Chris Milton TEN undisclosed IR

Quinton Dunbar WAS hamstring

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 now 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.

TAGS: