Enjoy the next two weeks because bye weeks are visible on the horizon, beginning with Week 6. We will start to provide the update on those upcoming eight weeks (except Week 12) that try fantasy owners abilities to set their lineups while holding onto those players not active for a week at a time. The impending bye weeks make scouring the fantasy football waiver wire information all that more necessary. As if we were not vexed enough tracking the NFL injury report.

 

 

Elevator Going Up - Linebackers

Jacob Phillips CLE

With Anthony Walker injured, Phillips stepped up and while playing 78% of the defensive snaps, collected seven total tackles (two solo) and one of those being for a loss of yardage (TFL). He also notched a QB hit/hurry (QH) and a pass deflection (PD) against the host Steelers. He will be looked to don the green dot as the signal caller on defense, so will be an every-down LB, or close thereto.

Darius Harris KC

Harris moves into a starting role, not due to injury but rather to a suspension handed down to Willy Gay, Jr. He picked up 13 total tackles (TT) in Week 3 (seven solo, one TFL). His production will be that of a starter playing the majority of snaps while the defense is on the field for at least the next three weeks.

T.J. Edwards PHI

The Eagles are relying on Edwards to play nearly every defensive down, and his production is strong: 10 TT in Week 3 (nine solo, two TFL), plus he picked up a sack of the host Commander QB, Carson Wentz. He also had a couple of QH in that contest, demonstrating an ability to harass the QB.

Alex Anzalone DET

The rookie Malcolm Rodriguez has been a media darling heading into the 2022 season, but Anzalone has been a steady productive force on the defensive side of the ball for Detroit. He picked up another 10 TT in Week 3 loss in Minnesota (nine solo, one TFL) and he also contributed some big plays with a pair of QH and a sack, while playing nearly every down.

Zaire Franklin IND

Franklin is the starting strong side LB and played all the snaps on defense last week, collecting 12 TT (eight solo, one TFL). So long as Darius Leonard is out following back surgery, he looks to hold down a major role in the Colt defensive attack. He is also contributing in big play leagues, with a PD and a QH against the Chiefs in the Colts upset victory.

 

Elevator Going Up - Defensive Line

Jerry Hughes DE HOU

It has been mentioned here before that the Houston IDPs will be likely big performers due to their team’s anticipated struggles to function on offense in a rebuilding year. Hughes collected a pair of sacks in Week 3 and a couple of QH, to accompany his four TT (three solo, two TFL). This was his second two sack game on the young season.

Gregory Rousseau DE BUF

The second-year defensive linesman has collected a sack in all three of the games to open the season, nabbing 1.5 sacks against the host Dolphins. The tackle numbers were not impressive, with just three TT (two solo and tow TFL), but he also had a pair of QH as part of his effort to bother the signal caller. 

Dorance Armstrong, Jr. DE DAL 

With a sack to his credit against the Giants last week, he now has three sacks over the last two contests. His tackle numbers have not been exemplary, though, so it is good he is getting to the QB. This week’s opponent, the Commanders, have yielded a ton of sacks so far, leading the league with 15, so big play potential is on the menu.

Shy Tuttle DT NO

The sole DT featured in the rising player portion of the report is a value for those in tackle-oriented leagues, racking up seven TT in Week 3’s action (five solo). He is putting up impressive numbers for those playing in mandatory-DT formats, and after this week’s mediocre matchup, things should pick up in Weeks 5 and 6.

 

Elevator Going Up - Defensive Backs

Jeremy Chinn S CAR

The Carolina DB took a bit of time to get going in 2022, but looked impressive last week with eight TT (six solo, one TFL), playing like the Panthers expected him to in the defensive backfield. He also had a sack show up on his stat line with a pair of PD and QH to fill out the big play side of the ledger.

Kamren Curl S WAS

Washington got their starting strong safety back after two weeks of DNP status, and he was on the field for all but a trio of defensive plays. He collected eight TT (five solo, one TFL) and has a decent if not exactly superior matchup when the Commanders head to Dallas for their Week 4 tilt.

Mike Edwards S TB

Edwards was a tackle machine against the Packers, racking up 13 TT (nine solo, one TFL). He was on the field for 100% of the snaps in Week 3, and it appears that the Bucs want their starting free safety to be patrolling the field as much as possible.

JuJu Hughes S DET

Now that Tracy Walker is presumable lost for the season, Hughes will be asked to step in and fill the starting strong safety slot. He had 8 TT (five solo) in Week 3 when he took over for the injured Walker and with his moving up to starter, he should contribute similar or better tackle numbers going forward.

Roger McCreary CB TEN

As a rookie CB, he is going to see plenty of attention from opposing offenses. That generally translates into fantasy goodness, and he had 10 TT in Week 3 (nine solo). He also generated a PD while patrolling the defensive backfield. Rookie CBs are generally fantasy gold, so long as they are given enough snaps on defense and Tennessee is running their rookie out there every down.

 

Escalator Going Down - Linebackers

Isaiah Simmons ARI

Simmons has seen a dramatic decline in playing time since seeing 87% of the snaps in Week 1, and his production is suffering due to the limitation on his presence while the defense patrols the field. Limited action and paltry stat lines make for a LB that can be dropped for better options.

 

Escalator Going Down - Defensive Linemen

Montez Sweat DE WAS

No sacks in 2022, and just six solo wrap-ups as part of his seven TT on the season make for a disappointing IDP you may have selected in drafts on name recognition. Cut him loose and find some better production from the wire.

Jeffrey Simmons DT TEN

Despite playing a strong majority of snaps for the Titan defense, he has not collected a solo tackle over the past two contests, and had only two assists against the visiting Raiders last week. Even in leagues that require a DT, you can do better.

 

Escalator Going Down - Defensive Backs

Lewis Cine S MIN

Josh Metellus is seeing the bulk of the playing time yielded when Harrison Smith was out of action, and Cine was relegated to special teams. Now that Smith is back in action, there is no reason to roster the first round rookie pick, except in dynasty leagues at this point.

Marshon Lattimore CB NO

Lattimore is a shut-down corner, which limits his fantasy value tremendously. So long as offenses avoid throwing to his side of the field, he will be a terrible fantasy option.

Kenny Moore II CB IND

Moore is in a similar predicament as Lattimore discussed above, but his troubles have developed due to a new defensive coordinator in Indianapolis this season. If you can bench him until he figures out a way to re-insinuate his presence as a star tackling corner, do so and beseech the team to figure out how to use him effectively. 

 

Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Colts, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Raiders, Giants or Green Bay that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Inside Linebackers

Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee

Los Angeles Chargers @ Houston

Washington Commanders @ Dallas

Denver Broncos @ Las Vegas

Outside Linebackers

Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore

New England Patriots @ Green Bay

Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay

Defensive Ends

Los Angeles Chargers @ Houston

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis

Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee

Carolina Panthers vs Arizona

Defensive Tackles

New York Giants vs Chicago

San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams

Cleveland Browns @ Atlanta

Safeties

Green Bay Packers vs New England

Chicago Bears @ New York Giants

Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee

Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh

Cornerbacks

Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina

Denver Broncos @ Las Vegas

Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Jets

Waiver Wire Targets

This section is intended to serve as a shortened cheat sheet listing those waiver wire targets you should be considering if you need to plug a hole in your starting lineup. All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. Not all the players commented on are here, however, as there is no need to waste your time searching for players that are heavily owned. This group consists of those that you may have a chance of locating on your league's waiver wire in that they are owned in significantly less than 50% of leagues. Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.

Linebackers

Jacob Phillips CLE

Darius Harris KC

Alex Anzalone DET

Zaire Franklin IND

Defensive Linemen

Jerry Hughes DE HOU

Gregory Rousseau DE BUF

Dorance Armstrong, Jr. DE DAL 

Shy Tuttle DT NO

Defensive Backs

Jeremy Chinn S CAR

Kamren Curl S WAS

Mike Edwards S TB

JuJu Hughes S DET

Roger McCreary CB TEN

 

Ouch (My Aching Roster)

All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff.  Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.

Linebackers

Zeke Turner ARI ankle

Zaven Collins ARI shoulder

Deion Jones ATL shoulder IR

Justin Houston BAL groin

Tyus Bowser BAL Achilles PUP

Trent Harris BAL undisclosed

Steven Means BAL Achilles IR

Josh Ross BAL foot IR

David Ojabo BAL Achilles

Vince Biegel BAL Achilles IR

Julian Stanford CAR undisclosed IR

Matthew Adams CHI hamstring 

Sterling Weatherford CHI ankle

Christian Albright CHI undisclosed

Joe Bachie CIN knee-ACL PUP

Anthony Walker CLE quadriceps IR

Davante Bond DAL knee IR

Damone Clark DAL back 

Jonathon Cooper DEN hamstring

Christopher Allen DEN foot IR

Krys Barner GB ankle IR

Jalen Reeves-Maybin HOU back

Kevin Pierre-Louis HOU groin IR

Christina Harris HOU hamstring IR

Shaquille Leonard IND back

K’Lavon Chaisson JAX ankle

Micah Kiser LV leg IR

Joey Bosa LAC groin IR

Daniel Hardy LAR ankle IR

Travin Howard LAR groin

Calvin Munson MIA undisclosed IR

Brennan Scarlett MIA undisclosed

Za’Darius Smith MIN knee

Ryan Connelly MIN knee PUP

Raekwon McMillan NE thumb

Ronnie Perkins NE undisclosed

Sharif Finch NO undisclosed

D’Marco Jackson NO undisclosed IR

Elerson G. Smith NYG lower leg IR

Darrian Beavers NYG knee-ACL IR

Quincy Williams NYJ ankle

T.J. Watt PIT pectoral IR

Azeez Al-Shaair SF knee-MCL 

Curtis Robinson SF ankle IR

Alton Robinson SEA knee-PCL IR

Tyreke Smith SEA hip IR

Jon Rhattigan SEA knee-ACL PUP

Cam Gill TB foot IR

Zach Cunningham TEN elbow

Ola Adenlyl TEN neck

Jamal Carter TEN undisclosed

Chance Campbell TEN knee IR

Harold Landry TEN knee-ACL IR

Monty Rice TEN Achilles PUP

Drew White WAS knee IR

Nate Gerry WAS undisclosed

 

Defensive Ends

J.J. Watt ARI calf

Marlon Davidson ATL knee IR

Marquis Haynes CAR knee

Robert Quinn CHI illness

Ledarius Mack CHI undisclosed

Khalid Kareem CIN hamstring IR

Myles Garrett CLE shoulder

Jadeveon Clowney CLE ankle

Chase Winovich CLE hamstring IR

Chris Odom CLE knee-ACL IR

Stephen Weatherly CLE knee IR

Tareel Basham DAL thigh IR

John Cominsky DET wrist

Romen Okwara DET Achilles PUP

Josh Paschal DET sports hernia PUP

Kurt Hinish HOU foot

Mario Addison HOU thigh IR

Derek Rivers HOU biceps IR

Jordan Smith JAX knee IR

Michael Danna KC calf

Joshua Kaindoh KC illness

Jordan Jenkins LV knee-ACL IR

Everson Griffen MIN personal

Kenny Willekes MIN undisclosed IR

Lawrence Guy NE shoulder

Leonard Williams NYG knee-ACL

Vinny Curry NYJ hamstring IR

Derek Barnett PHI knee-ACL IR

Jordan Willis SF undisclosed IR

L.J. Collier SEA elbow IR

Akiem Hicks TB foot

Da’Shawn Hand TEN quadriceps IR

Chase Young WAS knee-ACL/MCL PUP

Bunmi Rotimi WAS foot

 

Defensive Tackles

Rashard Lawrence ARI hand

Vincent Taylor ATL Achilles IR

Michael Pierce BAL biceps IR

Jordan Phillips BUF hamstring

Ed Oliver BUF ankle

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner CAR knee

Bravvion Roy CAR hamstring IR

D.J. Reader CIN knee-MCL IR

Taven Bryan CLE hamstring

D.J. Jones DEN concussion

Levi Onwuzurike DET back IR

Kurt Hanish HOU foot

DeForest Buckner IND elbow

Tyler Lancaster LV undisclosed

T.Y. McGill MIN ankle

Davon Godchaux NE back

Malcolm Roach NO undisclosed IR

Albert Huggins NO undisclosed IR

Javon Kinlaw SF knee

Kalia Davis SF undisclosed

Arik Armstead SF foot

Maruice Hurst SF biceps IR

Phidarian Mathis WAS knee-meniscus IR

 

Safeties

Charles Washington ARI chest IR

Cornell Armstrong ATL undisclosed

Isaiah Oliver ATL knee IR

Jordan Poyer BUF foot

Micah Hyde BUF neck IR

Duke Dawson CAR groin

Dane Cruikshank CHI hamstring 

Tycen Anderson CIN hamstring IR

Brandon Wilson CIN knee PUP

Jayron Kearse DAL knee-MCL

Justin Simmons DEN quadriceps IR

Tracy Walker DET Achilles IR

Kolby Harvell-Peel HOU hamstring 

Julian Blackmon IND ankle

Trevor Denbow IND undisclosed IR

Amani Watts IND ankle IR

David Long LAR groin

Jordan Fuller LAR hamstring 

Quentin Lake LAR knee PUP

Clayton Fejedelem MIA undisclosed IR

Trill Williams MIA knee-ACL IR

Adrian Phillips NE ribs

Joshuah Bledsoe NE groin

Kyle Duggar NE knee

Marcus Maye NO ribs

Smoke Monday NO knee-ACL IR

Jordan Mosley NYG undisclosed

Karl Joseph PIT ankle IR

Tarvarius Moore SF hamstring 

Jason Verrett SF knee-ACL PUP

Jamal Adams SEA knee IR

Joey Blount SEA hamstring 

Amani Hooker TEN concussion

Ugo Amadi TEN ankle

Chris Jackson TEN undisclosed IR

A.J. Moore TEN ankle IR

Josh Drayden WAS undisclosed

 

Cornerbacks

Antonio Hamilton ARI foot

Kyle Fuller BAL knee-ACL IR

Christian Banford BUF hand

Dane Jackson BUF neck

Tre’Davious White BUF knee-ACL PUP

Stanley Thomas-Oliver CAR Achilles

Jaylon Johnson CHI quadriceps

Tavon Young CHI undisclosed

Cam Taylor-Britt CIN abdomen IR

Reggie Robinson II CLE undisclosed

Greedy Williams CLE hamstring IR

Darius Phillips DEN hamstring

Michael Olemudia DEN elbow IR

Jerry Jacobs DET knee-ACL PUP

Jaire Alexander GB groin

Issac Yladom HOU thigh

Tavierre Thomas HOU quadriceps IR

Shaquill Griffin JAC hip

Trent McDuffie KC hamstring IR

Sam Webb LV hamstring

Rock Ya-Sin LV knee

Cre’von LeBlanc LV undisclosed

Anthony Averett LV thumb IR

Derion Kendrick LAR concussion

Detobie Durant LAR hamstring 

Troy Hill LAR groin IR

Xavien Howard MIA groin

Noah Igbinoghene MIA coach’s decision

Mackensie Alexxander MIA groin

Byron Jones MIA ankle PUP

Andrew Booth Jr. MIN quadriceps

Joejuan Williams NE shoulder IR

Jalen Mills ME hamstring 

Malcolm Butler NE undisclosed

Alontae Taylor NO knee IR

Nick McCloud NYG hamstring 

Cordale Flott NYG calf

RoDarius Williams NYG knee-ACL IR

Brandin Echols NYJ hamstring 

Zane Lewis NYJ undisclosed

Avonte Maddox PHI ankle

Ahkello Witherspoon PIT hamstring

Jimmie Ward SF hamstring IR

Justin Coleman SEA calf

John Reid SEA groin IR

Tre Brown SEA knee PUP

Rashard Robinson TB undisclosed

Roger McCreary TEN back

Elijah Molden TEN groin IR

Chris Williamson TEN undisclosed

As ever, good luck and Godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, you can also send a message to ia@fantasyalarm.com for a personal response from the writer of this article. Naturally, the more detail you can send about your league, such as number of teams, platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.

 

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