No matter how your IDP roster is set up, we have you covered. Just like offensive players, defensive players can have positive and negative matchups that will reflect in their fantasy potential. The top eight names are broken down for each week between defensive lineman, linebackers, and defensive backs. In some leagues, you might no restrictions and just need to roster IDP players, and you can find them as a whole in our rankings. Get the rest of your fantasy football lineup figured out with our projections page.
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1. Myles Garrett – Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett has been terrific this season, with 9.5 sacks and has had a knack for knocking the ball out with four forced fumbles. He has averaged nine fantasy points this season and now faces an Eagles offensive line that is struggling. The Eagles have allowed 23 sacks to DL alone.
2. Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald continues to make an impact with fantasy scoring or not and this is a week where the Buccaneers haven’t allowed much to defensive lineman but this is a different story.
3. Stephon Tuitt – Pittsburgh Steelers
Stephon Tuitt ranks 8th in DL scoring this season and has really picked up his play now that he is fully healthy again. Both him and Cameron Heyward are tremendous options against the Jaguars.
4. Joey Bosa – Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa missed the last two games with a concussion and is back this week against the Jets. Not many matchups better to return to, with the Jets allowing the 6th most fantasy points per game.
5. Chase Young – Washington Football Team
Washington has a very good pass rush with both Chase Young and Montez Sweat. They face a struggling Cincinnati offensive line that has allowed 17 sacks to DL alone and the 8th most fantasy points per game.
6. Jason Pierre-Paul – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jason Pierre-Paul has been excellent this season, with 7.5 sacks and the second-most fantasy points among defensive lineman. He gets the Rams, who are a middle of the road matchup, allowing the 13th most fantasy points per game to DL.
7. Aldon Smith – Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are back off a bye which means Aldon Smith can get back in action. He is top-ten in scoring and has been a top-eight fantasy player most weeks.
8. Brandon Graham – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles square off against the Browns this week who have actually done a pretty solid job of protecting Baker Mayfield this season, but Brandon Graham is still a top-five scoring option.
1. Darius Leonard – Indianapolis Colts
Darius Leonard is ready to roll this week and when healthy he has been arguably one of the best linebackers in the league fantasy or non-fantasy. He has played seven games this season and has averaged 8.6 fantasy points per game.
2. Devin White – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Devin White has been a machine with 56 tackles and five sacks this season. He is currently LB1 in scoring and gets a Rams team where he should be able to rack up plenty of tackles.
3. Zack Cunningham – New England Patriots
Zack Cunningham is in a good spot this week against a run-heavy Patriots team. While the Houston defense is horrible, Cunningham benefits from a lot of clean up tackles and is averaging 9.9 fantasy points per game.
4. Joe Schobert – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Steelers matchup for Joe Schobert is actually a sneaky good matchup for him. While he hasn’t put up the big numbers as he did in Cleveland, he is still a solid play.
5. Eric Kendricks – Minnesota Vikings
The Cowboys are allowing the 5th most fantasy points per game to opposing linebackers this season and not many better in IDP scoring than Eric Kendricks. He is averaging the 9th most fantasy points per game.
6. Jaylon Smith – Dallas Cowboys
Jaylon Smith is another Dallas IDP player off bye and gets the Vikings, who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points per game to linebackers. Smith is averaging 8.3 fantasy points per game.
7. TJ Watt – Pittsburgh Steelers
TJ Watt is averaging 8.2 fantasy points per game this season and gets the Jaguars who have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points per game on the season to linebackers.
8. Jerome Baker – Miami Dolphins
Jerome Baker is averaging 7.7 fantasy points per game this season and the Broncos are a decent matchup for linebackers. Baker has plenty of upside this week.
1. Harrison Smith – Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Smith has been scoring a lot better of late and the Cowboys are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to defensive backs on the season. Smith is a solid upside play this week.
2. Keanu Neal – Atlanta Falcons
Keanu Neal is averaging 6.8 fantasy points per game this season and with Taysom Hill starting for the Saints this changes the complexion of the Atlanta defense a bit with Neal potentially playing up.
3. Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers
The Lions are allowing the 13th most fantasy points per game to defensive backs and Jeremy Chinn has been one of better IDP rookies. He is averaging 7.3 fantasy points per game.
4. John Johnson – Los Angeles Rams
John Johnson drops back into the top-eight this week going up against the Buccaneers. He is averaging 6.7 fantasy points per game this season and is around the 20-25 range in scoring but has some upside.
5. Antoine Winfield Jr. – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Antoine Winfield Jr. has been a steal this season and is in a good spot this week against the Rams, who have allowed the 7th most fantasy points per game to defensive backs on the season.
6. Marlon Humphrey – Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Humphrey ranks 9th in defensive back scoring despite missing two games this season. He faces the Titans this week and both teams have key injuries but the Titans dealing with three offensive line issues is going to force Tannehill to throw into pressure.
7. Jessie Bates III – Cincinnati Bengals
Jessie Bates is averaging 8.1 fantasy points per game on the season and ranks top-ten in scoring. Washington is a solid matchup for him to thrive in.
8. Justin Simmons – Denver Broncos
Justin Simmons is having somewhat of an underrated season, despite ranking 4th in defensive back scoring. He is averaging 8.2 fantasy points per game and is a solid option.
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