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 Jonathan Allen, WAS (7 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH, 1 FF on 98% of snaps)
DT DaRon Payne, WAS (3 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 QH on 89% of snaps)
There’s probably not much room left to upgrade both players, as they are clearly among the elites at the tackle position now. Despite playing all season without Chase Young, Allen and Payne have combined for 16 sacks through 13 games played. They benefited from a game that went 5 full quarters and ended in a tie this week and Allen still set a season-high with 98% of the snaps.
DT Dexter Lawrence, NYG (4 solos, 5 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QH on 91% of snaps)
Lawrence was also helped by a game that ended in a tie and played a remarkable 77 snaps. He’s already set a career-high with 6 sacks this year and appears to have some favorable matchups the rest of the way.
DL Christian Wilkins, MIA (8 solos, 4 asst, 1 TFL, 1 FF on 90% of snaps)
DL Zach Sieler, MIA (5 solos, 2 asst, .5 sack, 2 QH on 90% of snaps)
Both Dolphins linemen were helped by the matchup this week as the 49ers dominated time of possession and ran 79 plays compared to 45 for Miami. While neither player has huge upside as a pass rusher, they have been a productive source of tackles over the past month and look like high-floor starters.
DE Michael Hoecht, LAR (3 solos, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 3 QH, 1 FF on 84% of snaps)
Hoecht may have different positional designations depending on where you look, but the Rams have given him a chance at edge rusher the past two weeks. He has produced. He showed some flashes last week by adding 6 tackles against the Chiefs but blew up this week with the first 2 sacks of his career, including a strip sack.
DE Kwity Paye, IND (6 solos, 3 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH on 68% of snaps)
Paye returned to the lineup this week for the first time since aggravating an ankle injury in week 10. He had played just one full game since week 4 but looked strong while collecting 9 tackles plus a sack on just 46 snaps. While this has been a frustrating year due to all the missed time, he still has a chance to finish strong and contribute in the fantasy playoffs following a week 14 bye.
DE Josh Sweat, PHI (2 solos, 2 asst, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 3 QH on 49% of snaps)
Sweat only plays about half of the snaps each week for an Eagles team with excellent depth on the edge, but he’s been their most productive pass rusher of late. With a pair of sacks in an easy win over the Titans this week, he now has four in his last four games and 6.5 on the year, which is one off the career-high he set in 2021.
EDGE Chandler Jones, LV (5 solos, 1 asst, 3 sacks, 2 TFL, 5 QH, 1 PD on 88% of snaps)
It was starting to look like a lost season for Jones, who had recorded just a half-sack through the first 11 games of the season. He woke up in a big win over the Chargers this week and registered three sacks against one of the least-sacked quarterbacks in the league.
EDGE Josh Uche, NE (6 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 3 QH, 1 FF on 43% of snaps)
Uche did not record his first sack of the season until week 8 but he’s quickly been making up for lost time. Despite playing less than 50% of the snaps each week, he has seven sacks over his last five games combined. He was helped by a matchup against an injured left tackle for Buffalo this week but still showed off his excellent speed and athleticism to chase down Josh Allen for two sacks with a forced fumble.
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