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. 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. I'm also going to try and group edge rushers together with the understanding that classification as a defensive end or linebacker will depend on your league setup/host. If you have any questions about specific players or situations, please email me or reach out via Twitter.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN/EDGE RUSHERS
DT Grover Stewart, IND (7 solos, 5 asst on 75% of snaps)
Stewart is primarily a run-stopping nose tackle, so it’s very unusual to see him collect 12 tackles in a game to lead his team. The Titans offense generated 50 tackle opportunities in this game but 30 of them came from Derrick Henry rush attempts so that certainly played a part. Regardless, Stewart is a very good player and also benefits from DeForest Buckner drawing much of the attention.
DT Calais Campbell, BAL (3 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack, 1 FF on 67% of snaps)
Campbell recently turned 36 years old, but he’s playing more snaps than anyone else on the Ravens defensive line and remains effective. He registered a sack for the second week in a row and now has three on the season with the struggling Tampa Bay offense next on the schedule.
DL Dre'Mont Jones, DEN (2 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QH on 64% of snaps)
As a 3-4 defensive end, Jones isn’t expected to put up big sack numbers, but he registered his second multi-sack game of the year. It looks even more impressive when you consider he saw a season-low snap count of 38 as the Jets only attempted 26 passes in the game.
DE Sam Williams, DAL (3 solos, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QH, 1 FF, 1 FR on 24% of snaps)
The Cowboys have perhaps the deepest group of pass rushers in the league, so Williams, a second-round pick this year, has only played limited snaps each week in a situational role. With two sacks on 14 snaps though, perhaps he will earn some more playing time going forward.
DE Aidan Hutchinson, DET (2 solos, 1 asst, 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 3 QH on 89% of snaps)
Hutchinson has struggled to make an impact for most of this year, but he’s a rookie and that is to be expected. He continues to see a heavy workload each week and it was encouraging to see him produce this week with 1.5 sacks coming off the bye.
EDGE Jaelan Phillips, MIA (4 solos, 4 asst, 1.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QH on 80% of snaps)
Phillips played a season-high 80% of the defensive snaps this week and came up big in the box score as well. His 8 combined tackles tied for the team lead and he also added 1.5 sacks to give him three in his past four games.
EDGE Justin Houston, BAL (2 solos, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 QH, 1 FF on 27% of snaps)
Houston returned to the lineup for the first time since Week 3 and made his presence felt with a pair of sacks on just 16 snaps. It may be hard to rely on him if his workload remains that low each week, but he clearly has plenty to give with four sacks on 125 total snaps this year.
LB De'Vondre Campbell, GB (7 solos, 5 asst, 3 TFL, 1 QH, 1 INT, 1 PD on 100% of snaps)
LB Quay Walker, GB (5 solos, 8 asst, 2 QH, 1 PD on 73% of snaps)
Campbell continues to produce like a #1 linebacker this year despite the addition of a talented rookie in Quay Walker. Campbell has yet to miss a single snap
LB Bobby Okereke, IND (6 solos, 4 asst, 1 FR, 2 PD on 100% of snaps)
While Zaire Franklin appeared to overtake Okereke on the depth chart, it hasn’t mattered much since Shaquille Leonard has only played 16 snaps all year. Over his past three starts, Okereke has been credited with 20 solos and 12 assists for an average of nearly 11 combined tackles per game.
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