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.
INDIANAPOLIS @ HOUSTON
LB Zach Cunningham, HOU (13 solos, 3 asst)
Cunningham has put up top-10 linebacker numbers this season thanks primarily to his tackle production. Thanks to a huge game on Thursday night, he’s now averaging over 6 solo tackles per game and is on pace for a 100-solo tackle season. The only thing keeping him from the truly elite at the position is a lack of big plays (1 sack, 2 fumbles recovered).
DE Jabaal Sheard, IND (1 solo, 2 QH, 1 PD)
Although he’s been healthy enough to handle a full workload (normally around 75% of the snaps), Sheard has mostly been a non-factor over the past month. In his last 4 games, he has just 4 solos, 2 assists, and 1 sack (with 2 passes defensed).
TAMPA BAY @ ATLANTA
CB Carlton Davis, TB (5 solos, 1 INT, 5 PD)
Davis missed several games recently after suffering a hip injury during warm-ups in week 9. He’s the best corner on the team and led the way this week in a win over the Falcons with an interception and 5 passes defensed. Atlanta fell behind early and finished the game with just 28 completions on 55 pass attempts while the Tampa secondary combined for 13 passes defensed.
DE Takkarist McKinley, ATL (0 tackles)
McKinley came into the game listed as questionable with a shoulder injury but was healthy enough to play. The game script certainly didn’t play in his favor, however, as the Falcons fell behind early and wound up facing 34 rush attempts and just 28 pass attempts. McKinley was shut out but only played 13 snaps (20%) in the game. Even when healthy and playing a full workload, McKinley has underwhelmed with just 2 sacks and 15 solo tackles in 11 games.