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.
PHILADELPHIA @ GREEN BAY
LB Blake Martinez, GB (10 solos, 5 asst)
Martinez came into the year as a likely top-10 fantasy linebacker but he’s on pace to potentially finish as one of the elites. Through 4 games, he has already been credited with 33 solo tackles and 14 assists which puts him on pace for 132 solo tackles and 56 assists. This Packers defense defends the pass very well but is struggling against the run and that’s creating plenty of tackle opportunities for Martinez each week.
CB Avonte Maddox, PHI (5 solos, 3 asst, 1 PD)
The Eagles lost another corner to injury as Maddox was taken off on a stretcher after a hit to the head from his teammate Andrew Sendejo. He’s expected to miss a few weeks with a neck injury, which could force Craig James or newly signed Orlando Scandrick into a key role as starter Sidney Jones also left the game with a hamstring injury. They could also use a big nickel approach with Malcolm Jenkins taking on more coverage duties as their #3 safety Sendejo saw 80% of the snaps this week.
TENNESSEE @ ATLANTA
LB De'Vondre Campbell, ATL (7 solos, 10 asst, 2 TFL, 2 FF)
Deion Jones may be the leader and focal point of the Falcons defense, but Campbell is quietly emerging as a core piece as well. Despite battling a rib injury that limited him in practice this week, he was by far the most productive player in the game. He finished with 17 combined tackles on 58 snaps (91%) and forced a pair of fumbles in the game.
LB Rashaan Evans, TEN (5 solos, 5 asst, .5 sack, 2 QH)
Evans helped limit Devonta Freeman to just 28 yards on 12 carries and finished with his most productive game of the year thus far. He remains a promising building block of this defense with clear upside if he can remain in a full-time role, but it’s worth noting that his playing time appeared to drop this week. He was on the field for 78% of the snaps this week after seeing 94% and 98% in each of the past two games. Wesley Woodyard (26%) saw more time than usual as the Titans tried to protect their lead and Atlanta finished with 53 pass attempts.