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.
L.A. Chargers @ KANSAS CITY
DE Chris Jones, KC (2 solos, 1 asst, 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 8 QH, 1 PD)
Jones has to be one of the biggest breakout surprises on the IDP side of things this season. While he was a 2nd round pick, he was also quite raw and inconsistent. He posted 6.5 sacks in 2017 but got off to a slow start this year with no sacks in his first four games. Since then, he’s dominated with a 10-game sack streak in which he’s posted 14 sacks overall. That basically puts him at the same level as Aaron Donald and he showed why this week with an incredible 2.5 sack game that also saw him credited with 8 quarterback hits.
S Adrian Phillips, LAC (5 solos, 5 asst, 1 QH)
Despite this game being played on Thursday night, the Chargers shortened their bench and relied heavily on their core players. 7 different defenders played all 60 defensive snaps in the game and two more (Melvin Ingram III and Joey Bosa) were over 80% each. With nearly the same group of players out there for the entire game, Phillips played as a 3-down linebacker and he led the team in tackles.
HOUSTON @ N.Y. JETS
DE J.J. Watt, HOU (4 solos, 2 asst, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QH, 1 FF)
While it was certainly apparent that Watt was back to normal long before this week, it’s reassuring that he’s been able to keep up his level of play this late into the season. He continues to average over 90% of the defensive snaps and now has 14.5 sacks with just 2 games without any sacks over his last 12. With 41 solo tackles, he’s also close to a 50-solo tackle pace and clearly looks like he has more to come for dynasty players.
DE Henry Anderson, NYJ (3 solos, 1 asst, 3 sacks, 3 TFL, 4 QH)
Anderson has been a nice pickup for the Jets this year after injuries derailed his career in Indianapolis. After a nice start to the season that saw him collect 2.5 sacks in the first 4 games, he went sackless for 8 straight games before picking up a partial sack last week against the Bills. He took advantage of a favorable matchup this week, however, and piled on 3 sacks against Deshaun Watson. Clearly, he’s not consistent enough to rely on for most fantasy teams, but he’s outperformed Leonard Williams this year and likely done enough to earn himself some money in free agency.
LB Avery Williamson, NYJ (2 solos, 2 asst)
Williamson has been one of the most productive tacklers all season long but he’s seen a noticeable dropoff the past couple weeks with just 6 solos and 3 assists combined. While it may just be a coincidence, the fact it aligns with the suspension to Darron Lee may be a sign that he’s seeing more attention from opposing blockers.
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