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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.
CHICAGO @ DETROIT
S Dean Marlowe, DET (6 solos, 4 asst, 1 PD)
The Lions were missing their starting nickel back A.J. Parker this week so they moved safety Will Harris inside. That created an opening at safety, which was filled by Marlowe for all 70 snaps as he led the team in tackles. Given that Parker was placed on IR, this is a change that could continue next week against the Vikings.
LB Roquan Smith, CHI (3 solos)
Smith is having an incredible season but was knocked out of the game after just 18 snaps (37%) this week with a hamstring injury. While it doesn’t appear to be serious, there is a chance he could miss a game or aggravate the injury just as the fantasy playoffs are approaching. With Danny Trevathan on IR, Alec Ogletree (84%) and Christian Jones (53%) picked up the slack.
S DeAndre Houston-Carson, CHI (2 solos)
With Eddie Jackson back in the lineup, Houston-Carson saw his playing time plummet to just 6 snaps this week. He played well when called upon but is clearly the #3 safety and will likely need another injury to become relevant.
LAS VEGAS @ DALLAS
LB Keanu Neal, DAL (6 solos, 6 asst, 1 TFL)
The Lions have moved Micah Parsons back to defensive end, which has allowed Neal to take over as a full-time linebacker the past two games. While playing 100% and 94% of the snaps, he has been much more productive and has 10 solos and 9 assists. The former safety has yet to break through in the big play columns though.
DE Maxx Crosby, LVR (1 asst, 1 QH)
Crosby played a season-high 66 snaps on Thanksgiving but was only credited with 1 assisted tackle and a quarterback hit in the game. Since posting 3 sacks against the Broncos in week 6, he’s gone 5 straight games without recording even a partial sack. His tackle production is also underwhelming given his consistently high workload each week.
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