One-quarter of the season down, and Week 5 will introduce official bye weeks. Skill-position players will have to be subbed in and out, and the roster crunch makes nailing your IDPs super important. We’re here to give you that edge over your competition with those key roster decisions.
DE Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers
While the Niners are dropping like flies, Armstead has been the driving force of the first wave of the defense. He had five total tackles and a half-sack last week to give him 1.5 sacks on the season. If you’re in a pinch with a bye, he has a good matchup against the Miami Dolphins this week.
DE Morgan Fox, Los Angeles Rams
Awakening from fantasy obscurity, Fox recorded four solo tackles, a sack and forced a fumble last week. He had a sack the previous week, as well. The problem, though, is that Fox only played in about 39 percent of the snaps last week. Until that changes, he can’t be trusted in starting lineups. Keep him on your watch list.
ILB Elandon Roberts, Miami Dolphins
Roberts led the team with nine tackles (six solo) in Week 4, and he forced a fumble. He had seven total stops in the previous game, which makes now the perfect time to pounce on the emerging linebacker. He’s a good back-end piece for depth.
ILB L.J. Fort, Baltimore Ravens
Fort has been inconsistent to start the year, but he has had at least five total tackles in three of four games and has two fumble recoveries. He’s not someone to count on for a long stretch, but the Ravens play the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles the next two games. Those two teams hand out points to defenders like candy.
OLB Shaq Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The seven-year veteran has feasted the last two weeks with 13 total tackles and three sacks. It’s hard to trust him on the tackles, but he has at least five in three straight weeks. And with him bringing that kind of heat to the quarterback, he’s worth the speculative grab.
FS Tashaun Gipson, Chicago Bears
Gipson has bounced around the last few years after being a solid IDPer with the Cleveland Browns earlier in his career. He has found new fantasy life and has at least six total tackles in three of four games and has a pick and two passes defensed. He’s worth the pickup and bye-week fill-in, if needed.
FS Ryan Neal, Seattle Seahawks
The journeyman Neal really made a name for himself in star S Jamal Adams’ (groin) absence last week with six total tackles, his second interception of the season and two passes defensed. Early word is that Adams still can’t run, and Neal’s rise could allow them to rest Adams another week. Even if it’s just a one-week plug-in, Neal should be owned.
CB Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys
The second-round rookie has been extremely busy with 23 total tackles in the last three weeks. He pitched in a sack in the last game and looks to be a player on the rise. Corners aren’t the most trustworthy in fantasy, but he’s making too much noise to ignore.