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This article immediately highlights 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 to explain why the stat lines may be misleading. It isn’t easy 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, please email me or reach out via Twitter.
NY GIANTS @ WASHINGTON
DT Jonathan Allen, WAS (5 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 3 QH)
Allen had a quiet season in 2020 with just 2 sacks but he’s often been one of the players just outside the elites at the defensive tackle position. While he recorded a sack in week 1, it came on a light workload of just 47 snaps (58%). This week, however, he was on the field for 81% of the snaps and dominated the Giants while collecting 6 tackles and a pair of sacks. This is a talented defensive front that should continue to put up strong numbers all year.
CB Kendall Fuller, WAS (7 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH, 1 PD)
Washington upgraded their secondary with the addition of a shutdown corner in William Jackson III and that should help funnel more plays to Fuller this year. This position doesn’t typically provide a lot of reliable options, but he’s a solid tackler who can also make plays. Given the talented defensive line, he has a chance for a breakout-type season after failing to hit 40 solo tackles in the past two seasons.
DT Dexter Lawrence, NYG (1 asst)
Through two games, the former 1st round pick has just 1 assisted tackle on 88 snaps. He did generate some pressure last week but was mostly invisible against Washington.
S Xavier McKinney, NYG (1 solo, 2 asst)
Jabrill Peppers saw his workload increase from 45% in week 1 to 80% of the snaps this week. That left fewer opportunities for McKinney, who saw his workload plummet from 95% of the snaps in week 1 to just 55% this week. If McKinney continues to play primarily in dime packages, he may have to wait for an injury to become fantasy relevant.
S Bobby McCain, WAS (2 solos)
Washington has three safeties they feel comfortable with and so we may continue to see fluctuations in playing time each week depending on the opponent and game plan. Last week, Kamren Curl only saw 46% of the snaps but he was up to 74% this week. Meanwhile, McCain went from playing 85% of the snaps a week ago to just 54% this week. The only constant was Landon Collins at 80% and 75%, but that type of variance makes all of them somewhat risky.
NEW ORLEANS @ CAROLINA
DE Haason Reddick, CAR (1 solo, 2 asst, 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 QH)
Reddick was a key free-agent addition to the Panthers defense this year and he’s proving that last year’s breakout 12.5-sack season was not a fluke. Through 2 games this year, he’s been on the field for nearly 80% of the defensive snaps and already has 3 sacks.
S Jeremy Chinn, CAR (3 solos, 1 QH)
While it is still too early to downgrade him significantly, Chinn is off to a slow start. The team played him primarily at linebacker as a rookie last year and he finished with nearly 120 combined tackles. He’s moved back to safety and has just 7 tackles through two weeks. Part of the problem has been a lack of opportunities though as the Covid-depleted Saints this week only generated 32 tackle opportunities and the Jets last week only created 43. Things may not improve much this week either as they play the Texans on Thursday night who will likely be starting a rookie quarterback.
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