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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.
CAROLINA @ HOUSTON
LB Zach Cunningham, HOU (6 solos, 8 asst)
After a disciplinary action limited his workload last week, Cunningham returned to a full-time role as expected. He was one of 4 Texans players to play all 73 snaps and he was all over the field as he finished with 14 tackles out of 59 tackle opportunities.
CB Jaycee Horn, CAR (1 solo, 1 asst)
The Panthers had high hopes for Horn when they drafted him eighth overall this year but he suffered a broken foot in the game and could be looking at season-ending surgery. Rashaan Melvin replaced him in the game but A.J. Bouye is expected back next week and figures to be relied upon heavily. The Panthers also traded for former top-10 pick C.J. Henderson from Jacksonville on Monday.
WASHINGTON @ BUFFALO
LB Matt Milano, BUF (5 solos, 1 asst, 2 TFL, 1 QH, 1 PD, 1 FR)
Milano is an underrated player who has yet to enjoy a true breakout season due to relatively low tackle production. He missed a lot of time to injuries last year but he is an excellent all-around player whose coverage ability and talent as a blitzer can help him put up big weeks even if he continues to average only about 5 tackles per game.
LB Cole Holcomb, WAS (10 solos, 4 asst, 1 TFL)
Holcomb has played 100% of the snaps in all three games this and continues to stand out as he’s currently on pace to finish with well over 100 solo tackles. Washington’s defense has not played as well as many expected them to, which should lead to plenty of tackle opportunities each week. Meanwhile, rookie Jamin Davis continues to split time with Jon Bostic at the other inside linebacker spot.
DE Chase Young, WAS (2 solos, 1 asst, 1 QH)
There are no issues with Young’s workload as he’s played nearly 90% of the defensive snaps so far this year, but he is still looking for his first sack. There may not be a need to drop him down significantly given his talent, but with 6 solos, 3 assists, and 0 sacks through the first three games, he’s produced well below expectation thus far.
CHICAGO @ CLEVELAND
DE Myles Garrett, CLE (6 solos, 1 asst, 4.5 sacks, 4 TFL, 6 QH)
Garrett has been one of the most productive pass rushers in the league on a sacks per game basis but hasn’t had a true breakout year yet due to missed time. He was off to a slow start in the first two games yet took off with a thrashing of the Bears this week that included 9 sacks as a team. With Jadeveon Clowney also adding a pair of sacks this week, that will help keep offenses from sliding their blocking entirely to one side.
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