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.
NEW YORK GIANTS @ NEW ENGLAND
LB Alec Ogletree, NYG (9 solos, 3 asst, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 2 QH)
After sitting out most of the prior 3 games with a hamstring injury, Ogletree returned to the lineup this week and played 81 of 82 defensive snaps. While he was certainly helped by a game script that saw the Patriots offense generate 68 tackle opportunities, it was reassuring to see him lead the way for the Giants with 12 tackles and add his first sack of the year.
DE Michael Bennett, NE (0 tackles)
Bennett has 2.5 sacks on the year, but he has not made much of an impact for the Patriots in most of their games this year. After seeing just 15 sacks a week ago, he was on the field for a season-low 11 snaps (22%) this week. The Patriots seem perfectly content to rely on a rotational approach upfront which is going to keep Bennett from approaching fantasy relevance.
CAROLINA @ TAMPA BAY
DE Gerald McCoy, CAR (2 solos, 1 asst, 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 4 QH, 1 PD)
McCoy hadn’t made much of an impact prior to this week and his playing time has been limited to around two-thirds of the defensive snaps, but he showed that he can still contribute. With 2.5 sacks and 4 quarterback hits on just 45 snaps, he dominated against his former team.
LB Devin White, TB (8 solos, 1 asst, 1 TFL)
While the game got quickly out of hand for the Buccaneers, they did a good job keeping Christian McCaffrey contained. He ran the ball 22 times for just 31 yards, and the rookie White was a key part of slowing down the league MVP candidate. White had missed most of the last four games yet was on the field for 65 of 66 defensive snaps and led the way with 9 tackles. He’s a special talent who should be highly productive despite a rough start to his career.
CB James Bradberry, CAR (10 solos, 2 INT, 4 PD)
Thanks to a particularly poor effort from Jameis Winston that saw him throw 5 interceptions, Bradberry moved into the top-5 of fantasy cornerbacks for the year. He’s always been above-average in terms of his tackle production, but an improved pass rush this year may help spark his playmaking numbers as well. Bradberry set a career-high with 15 passes defensed last year but already has 10 (with 3 interceptions) in just 6 games played this year.