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.
GREEN BAY @ SAN FRANCISCO
DE Arik Armstead, SF (0 tackles)
Armstead is finding it very difficult to repeat his 10-sack breakout season from a year ago. He was completely shutout this week on 44 snaps and now has just 13 solo tackles and 1.5 sacks in nine games with no sacks in his last five games. With a tough matchup against the Saints and a bye week coming up, he’s quickly running out of time.
LB Krys Barnes, GB (1 solo, 2 asst)
Barnes got the start at inside linebacker this week but left after just 23 snaps (40%) due to a calf injury. To make matters worse, he reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend and will be placed on short-term IR. Oren Burks (five tackles) and Ty Summers (four tackles) both played 60% of the snaps in this game but Christian Kirksey will likely return next week.
CB Jaire Alexander, GB (1 solo)
Alexander had been trending down in terms of his production already, but he lasted just 18 snaps (32%) this week. He was diagnosed with a concussion on Thursday night so may clear in time for the week 10 matchup with Jacksonville, yet he’s mostly been a below-average fantasy option since week 1 while playing shutdown defense.
DENVER @ ATLANTA
LB Josey Jewell, DEN (9 solos, 1 asst, 1 TFL, 1 QH)
Jewell is a three-down linebacker who has played at least 86% of the defensive snaps in every game this year. While his production dipped in Week 6 and Week 7, those weeks also saw the Broncos defense face a limited number of tackle opportunities. As the defense spent much more time on the field in the past two weeks, however, he has bounced back as expected with 15 solo stops and 5 assists. Big plays are still lacking but he’s on pace for 80 solo tackles and 36 assists at the midpoint.
LB Foye Oluokun, ATL (7 solos, 3 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 4 QH, 1 PD)
While Deion Jones gets most of the attention in the middle of the Falcons defense, Oluokun continues to outshine him in a breakout season. He had another huge game this week with 10 tackles plus a sack and now the 25-year-old from Yale ranks among the top-10 linebackers in terms of fantasy points per game.
SEATTLE @ BUFFALO
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