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. 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 DeForest Buckner, IND (4 solos, 4 asst, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 QH, 1 PD, 1 FF on 81% of snaps)
One week after being shut out on a season-low 18 snaps and despite a short week of practice, Buckner looked like the player everyone expected him to be. He dominated the Broncos on Thursday night in a game that went to overtime with eight tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.
DT Zach Allen, ARI (5 solos, 3 asst, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 2 QH, 1 PD on 79% of snaps)
Allen followed up his big game a week ago with an even better performance this week in a close loss to the Eagles. He now has 14 combined tackles with two sacks and four passes defensed in the past two games and looks like a potential top-10 player.
DT Jeffery Simmons, TEN (3 solos, 2 asst, 1.5 sacks, 3 QH, 1 PD on 84% of snaps)
Simmons posted six tackles with two sacks in Week 1 but then went cold. He was credited with just one solo and six assists with no sacks in the next three games. He bounced back against Washington this week, however, and remains an elite player at the defensive tackle position.
DT D.J. Jones, DEN (4 solos, 1 asst, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH on 53% of snaps)
Jones warrants an upgrade as he picked up a sack for the second week in a row. While the nose tackle isn’t known as a sack artist, he is an elite run defender who piled up 40 solo tackles for the 49ers last year. If he can continue to convert his pressures into sacks, he becomes a much more valuable fantasy piece.
DE Montez Sweat, WAS (5 solos, 1 asst, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 4 QH on 66% of snaps)
Things have not gone very well for Sweat this year as he went without a sack in his first four games while collecting just seven solo tackles. The former first-round pick has the talent to become a consistent double-digit sack threat so this week was a welcome sign as he collected two sacks on four quarterback hits while also nearly doubling his tackle total for the year.
DE Dorance Armstrong, DAL (2 solos, 1 asst, 1 QH, 1 FF on 55% of snaps)
Armstrong is a big factor in the Cowboys' defensive success. He’s only averaging around 50% of the defensive snaps but generating consistent pressure up front. Although he doesn’t generate many tackles in run support, he now has four sacks in his last four games.
DE Logan Hall, TB (3 solos, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 QH on 58% of snaps)
Hall was not in the starting lineup this week, but he saw a season-high 38 snaps. The rookie also picked up his second sack in the last three games and looks like he could be ready to take on a bigger role going forward.
DE Jadeveon Clowney, CLE (4 solos, 1 asst, 1 TFL on 73% of snaps)
Clowney returned to the starting lineup this week after sitting out the past two games with an ankle injury. He didn’t pick up a sack but was productive with five tackles and held up over 52 defensive snaps and even added six more on special teams. Myles Garrett also returned this week and had a quiet game (two solos) while playing a normal workload (82%).
EDGE Bradley Chubb, DEN (4 solos, 3 asst, 2.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 3 QH, 1 FF on 72% of snaps)
Chubb hasn’t topped 7.5 sacks since his rookie season in 2018, but he is off to a great start on an excellent Broncos defense. With a huge game against the Colts on Thursday night, he now has 5.5 sacks on the season and looks headed for a big year, provided he can stay healthy.
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