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.
LA RAMS @ SEATTLE
LB Troy Reeder, LAR (8 solos, 5 asst)
Reeder is an undrafted rookie free agent who was pressed into starting duty this week while Bryce Hager sat out with an injury. All Reeder did is lead the team in tackles with 13 while playing 73% of the defensive snaps. This was partly due to the matchup, but Hager had yet to see even 40% of the snaps in any game this season. The Rams don’t have much depth at linebacker so Reeder has a chance to earn more of a regular role moving forward.
LB Clay Matthews, LAR (4 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QH)
Matthews has been an excellent addition for the Rams defense and collected his 6th sack of the year this week. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken jaw late in the game and is expected to miss the next 4 weeks. That should result in more playing time for Samson Ebukam (1 asst, 1 QH), but he has yet to record a sack despite averaging over 50% of the snaps each week.
JACKSONVILLE @ CAROLINA
DE Yannick Ngakoue, JAX (3 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 QH, 1 FF)
Apart from missing week 2 with an injury, Ngakoue has averaged about 80% of the defensive snaps this year. Despite the heavy workload, he had yet to record a sack before exploding for a pair against Carolina this week. He’s always been a feast-or-famine type and the emergence of Josh Allen (3 solos, 3 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QH) hasn’t impacted his playing time thus far.
S Eric Reid, CAR (5 solos, 5 asst, 2 PD, 1 FR)
Reid has put together three strong games in a row and is emerging as a reliable every-week option. While safeties who play behind Luke Kuechly have not always gotten enough opportunities, Reid is proving to be a multi-dimensional threat who can contribute in multiple ways. In addition to posting 15 solo tackles and 7 assists in his last 3 games, he has also added a sack, 2 fumble recoveries, and 3 passes defensed.
LB Quincy Williams, JAX (1 solo, 2 asst)
The Jaguars had no answers for Christian McCaffrey in this game as he ran for 176 yards on just 19 carries. Williams had been productive leading up to this game but looked like a rookie here as he finished with just 3 tackles on 48 snaps. Not sure if it was performance-related, but he also saw his lowest snap count since week 1 as he was only on the field for 48 snaps (74%).