We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday, and we’re back to normal in Week 13 with more bye weeks to cover. With the fantasy playoffs approaching, the time is now.
Each week, we’ll highlight diamonds in the rough or some players that just need to be rostered in more leagues on the defensive side of the ball. Keep in mind your scoring system and roster restraints when heading to the waiver wire to grab these IDPs.
DE Yannick Ngakoue, Indianapolis Colts
The former Pro Bowler has been off the fantasy radar for a couple of years, but he has consistently reached the quarterback. In fact, he has at least a half-sack in six straight games. He’s coming off four tackles and two sacks Monday night, but he will likely just be a one-week pickup. Ngakoue has the Dallas Cowboys this week before a Week 14 bye.
EDGE Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers
Smith officially is an outside linebacker, but he has EDGE utility in leagues that allow for positional versatility. Smith, too, has a Week 14 bye to navigate, but you can’t ignore what he has done the last two weeks. He combined for 11 tackles and two sacks during those two matchups. Speaking of matchups, he has a good one against the Chicago Bears this week.
LB Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams
After a dismal three-tackle performance in Week 11, Jones rebounded with 11 tackles last week. It was his second 10-tackle performance in three games. He doesn’t offer anything but tackles, which suppresses his allure and has him floating on waivers. If he is this 10-tackle performer, he has to be owned more.
LB James Houston, Detroit Lions
Houston is this week’s Lions breakout performer. He was elevated from the practice squad before Thursday’s game and tallied two sacks in just four snaps. He also recovered a fumble. There’s a chance he’s just lightning in a bottle, but there is an opportunity for him to seize with Charles Harris now on IR.
CB Cam Taylor-Britt, Cincinnati Bengals
The second-round pick from Nebraska has been busy the last two weeks. He racked up 12 tackles in Week 11 and eight stops with a forced fumble last week. He’ll face the Chiefs in Week 13, which should keep him busy as well.
S John Johnson, Cleveland Browns
We highlighted Johnson earlier in the season, and he tailed off. He has picked it back up the last two weeks with 10 tackles and six tackles. He won’t offer much more outside of the tackles, but he has the Houston Texans this week, and they’re a great matchup for DBs.