This article attempts to immediately highlight defensive players whose production was significantly better or worse than normally expected for the prior week of games. Note there is sometimes limited information available when this article is written, but I will try to give everyone an early look at players who are moving up or down in value among IDP circles. When warranted, I'll also call out some players under No Change that tries to explain why the stat lines may be misleading. It’s difficult to give waiver advice for IDPs since there is such a wide variety of lineups and scoring systems, but hopefully, the information provided can help inform your waiver, trade, and upcoming lineup decisions. If you have any questions about specific players or situations, feel free to email me or reach out via twitter.
MINNESOTA @ L.A. RAMS
DE Danielle Hunter, MIN (3 solos, 3 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH)
Hunter continues to be very productive, despite no longer having Everson Griffen playing across from him. He was on the field for 51 of 53 defensive snaps this week (93%) and finished tied for 2nd on the team with 6 combined tackles while also picking up a sack in his fourth consecutive game of the year. While the defense around him is falling apart, Hunter is not letting it drag him down and is now up to 17 solos and 4 sacks through a quarter of the year.
DE Aaron Donald, LAR (3 solos, 2 asst, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 4 QH)
It took him a few weeks to get going but this is the Donald we’ve come to know and expect. He took advantage of a questionable Vikings offensive line and added his first two sacks of the year. Donald will try to keep it rolling next week in a divisional matchup with the Seahawks, who he posted 3 sacks against in their last meeting.
S John Johnson III, LAR (6 solos, 5 asst, 2 PD)
Johnson flew under the radar this offseason but he’s quickly becoming one of the most important players in the Rams defense. The perimeter defenders for the Rams force a lot of plays to the inside and the injury to Mark Barron has softened the middle up as well. That creates a lot more tackle opportunities for Johnson and he’s cleaning them up with 20 solos, 11 assists, and 5 passes defensed through a quarter of the season.
CB Trae Waynes, MIN (2 solos)
Waynes is an above-average corner in run support but he’s having a hard time staying on the field this year. He left the game after just 24 snaps this week with a concussion, but not before giving up two big passes for a touchdown. He also missed most of the game in Week 1 with a knee injury and Week 3 with an ankle injury so there’s not much going right for him at the moment. Rookie corner Mike Hughes took over in the base defense after Waynes left and wound up leading the team in tackles.
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