IDP Defensive Playbook - Week 5
Welcome to your Week 5 IDP Defensive Playbook. Each week, I'll highlight some of the top defensive waiver wire targets, as well as matchups to exploit and avoid in each game. Week 4 is in the books, and there were both some fine performances and some stinkers thrown about. The injury bug reared its ugly head too; Sean Lee (concussion), Alec Ogletree (ankle), Paul Posluszny (ankle), Jerrell Freeman and Justin Durant just to name a few. Before I look at Week 5, here's how my Week 4 waiver targets performed:
Brandon Williams, DT, BAL: Five tackles
Clinton McDonald, DT, TBB: Four tackles
Kerry Wynn, DE, NYG: Eight tackles
Kevin Minter, ILB, ARI: Two tackles
Christian Kirksey, ILB, CLE: Four tackles/One sack
Brandon Marshall, ILB, DEN: Nine tackles
Ronald Darby, CB, BUF: Four tackles/Three defended passes
Janoris Jenkins, CB, STL: Five tackles/One INT
Dwight Lowery, FS, IND: Five tackles
Jarvis Jenkins, DE, CHI: I wanted to see how he’d perform after a huge Week 3. Jared Allen has been traded away and he saw 67 percent of the snaps in Week 4. Jenkins has three QB hits in his last two weeks, along with three sacks. He has consecutive weeks of 12 or more fantasy points, however, this week should face Eric Fisher and it's a tough draw. He will have a chance at some tackles.
Greg Hardy, DE, DAL: Hardy is scheduled to come back this week after a four-game suspension. He’s a guy who can pressure the QB, averaging a QB pressure rate of 14 percent and recorded 28 sacks between 2012 and 2013. If he’s on your wire, grab him and plug him in.
Chris Baker, DE, WAS: Baker is another guy producing QB pressure, around 10 percent of his rushes. He had a multi-sack game in Week 4 and two QB hits, as well so he’s getting to the QB. Falcons are improved on the line, but Baker will be a solid streamer option week-to-week.
Anthony Hitchens, ILB, DAL: Sean Lee suffered a concussion in Week 4, so his status is going to be up in the air. Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion and has missed the last three games. Hitchens is a three-down backer and is coming off an 11 tackle game in Week 4. He’s produced double-digit fantasy points in all four games so far and is producing a 14.2-percent tackle rate along with 0.26 points per snap.
James Laurinaitis, ILB, STL: If Laurinaitis is somehow available, he’s a must-add with Alec Ogletree suffering, what looks like, a season-ending ankle injury. He’s not the elite LB he used to be, but should be a serviceable third LB.
Aldon Smith, OLB, OAK: Smith was on the field for 91 percent of the snaps and looked like his old self, producing pressure on the QB. He generated a near 11-percent pressure rate, which led to a sack. He should be added in big-play scoring formats.
Update: Gerald Hodges was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, so playing time is going to open up for him. Keep in mind, he’s going from a 4-3 OLB to, probably, a 3-4 ILB but he can make plays. If he’s on your wire, pick him up.
Update 2: Rolando McClain is also back from suspension and worth a pickup.
T.J. Ward, SS, DEN: He was suspended for the Week 1 and didn’t do much against the Chiefs. Over the last two weeks, however, he’s recorded 15 tackles, forced a huge sack strip and has recorded 14 or more fantasy points. I love his upcoming matchup with Oakland, as they are allowing 11 tackles per game to opposing safeties.
Josh Norman, CB, CAR: If he hasn’t been snagged yet, this is the last week you’ll be able to get him. Opposing teams continue to target him and he continues to make them pay. Norman has two games of 20-plus fantasy points and is making a play on the ball 30 percent of the time he’s thrown at. He already has eight defended passes, and with the bye, he could be overlooked.
Antwon Blake, CB, PIT: Blake continues to get thrown at and is making tackles, including a huge 11 solo tackle game in Week 2. Blake has a nice matchup with the Chargers, as they are allowing nearly eight tackles per game and two defended passes.