Paul Worrilow, OLB, ATL
It’s rare for a player to land on the ‘Rising’ list two weeks in a row, let alone grab the top spot for the second week in a row, but Worrilow’s numbers demand an exception. The undrafted rookie out of Delaware has produced at an absolutely preposterous rate in his last three games, posting 54 takedowns in what has to be one of the most prolific tackle sprees the league has ever seen. Particularly in leagues that reward points for both solo tackles and assists, Worrilow is a must-own and a clear LB1 option until further notice. He has posted 19, 19 and 16 tackles in his three starts, respectively, and he’s ahead of Stephen Nicholas, Akeem Dent and Joplo Bartu on the depth chart at this point.
Jon Beason, MLB, NYG
The Panthers defense is obviously doing quite well for itself these days, but it’s still a little odd that Carolina chose to give away Beason to the Giants, after benching him for Chase Blackburn prior to that. Beason has been a nice addition for the Giants, as he has totaled 36 tackles in his five games with the team, as well as an interception. Beason has played an important role for New York as they've held their last four opponents to a total of 47 points. Locked into an every-down role for the Giants, Beason is probably in LB2 territory in most formats.
Bruce Carter, MLB, DAL
Carter has been rather atrocious against both the run and the pass this year, as his lack of instincts and poor judgment in pursuit have overruled his immense athletic gifts. Dallas benched him at one point this year, but the Cowboys are forced to turn back to him in a three-down role due to Sean Lee and Justin Durant missing multiple weeks with hamstring issues. Even if he looks bad doing it, Carter should still be able to pile up cheap tackles if he is playing in an every-down role for the Cowboys. The Dallas defensive line is weak and beat up, so runners should consistently make it to the second level.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, NYG
It has largely been a lost season for Pierre-Paul, be it due to his offseason back surgery or just plain underachievement, but he is finally showing signs of coming to life for his IDP owners. Pierre-Paul looked plenty athletic against Green Bay on Sunday, making an acrobatic interception of a Scott Tolzien pass near the line of scrimmage before returning it 24 yards for a game-sealing touchdown. Pierre-Paul posted four tackles and a sack one week earlier, and the Giants’ defense in general has had more success with the pass rush, meaning JPP should get some assistance in collapsing the pocket. Even with just 26 tackles and two sacks in 10 games, JPP is a justifiable DL1 gamble for now.
Malcolm Jenkins, S, NO
Jenkins missed two games for the Saints due to a knee injury, but he returned to the field against San Francisco on Sunday and played every snap. Although he totaled just two tackles in the victory, Jenkins’ owners can assume he’ll produce at a better rate going forward, particularly if he stays on the field for every play as he did last week. Jenkins has 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles in eight games this year despite injuries getting in the way, and he posted 94 tackles in 13 games last year. He should be a worthwhile DB2 consideration in most cases.
Ndamukong Suh, DT, DET
Suh will probably remain one of the league's most feared defensive linemen for the duration of his career, but his on-field usefulness hasn't translated to IDP utility since his 2010 rookie season, when Suh piled up 66 tackles and 10 sacks. Opposing offensive lines have clearly made it a point to account for Suh's disruptiveness, and in the 40 games since his rookie year he has just 16.5 sacks and 95 tackles. His rookie year averages of 0.63 sacks and 4.1 tackles per game have been replaced with averages of 0.41 sacks and 2.4 tackles per game. The latter numbers are from a much bigger sample size – 40 games versus 16 – so it’s probably the better indicator of Suh’s future numbers. With 24 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 10 games this year, Suh is barely on the DL3 radar at the moment.
Justin Smith, (3-4) DE, SF
Like Suh, Smith remains one of the most feared interior defensive linemen in the league, but the statistics just haven’t been there this year. Smith has just 34 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 10 games, giving him just 100 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his last 24 contests. Considering he turned 34 at the end of September, it's definitely possible that Smith is in the thick of the decline phase in his career. It's difficult to rank him as anything higher than a DL4 consideration in most IDP formats.
Russell Allen, OLB, JAC
Paul Posluszny sat out Jacksonville’s game against Arizona on Sunday due to concussion symptoms, which in turn made Allen a good one-week sleeper option in deeper leagues, because Posluszny’s absence forced the Jaguars to add passing down snaps to Allen’s workload as he played in the nickel formation. Allen produce seven tackles on 67 plays, but he is unlikely to see anything close to that snap count when Posluszny returns to the field this week.
Jarvis Jones, (3-4) OLB, PIT
Nine games into his rookie season, it doesn’t appear that the Steelers will get the return they hoped for when they spent the 17th overall pick in the 2013 draft on Jones, who was supposed to jumpstart the team’s pass rush after totaling 28 sacks and 44 tackles for loss in his final 26 games at Georgia. With questions about both his size (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) and athleticism (4.88-second 40-yard dash, 4.71-second 20-yard shuttle, 30.5-inch vertical), there was a distinct possibility that Jones didn’t possess the physical gifts necessary for his college production to carry over to the pros. With just 24 tackles and one sack in his first nine NFL games, that worst-case possibility continues to near fruition. Jones’ numbers in the meantime, in any case, are of no use in any IDP format.
Erin Henderson, MLB, MIN
Henderson has been an immensely productive IDP all season, posting 93 tackles (60 solo), three sacks and two interceptions in just 10 games. His availability for Sunday’s game against Green Bay is in question, however, which could force his owners to scramble for an alternative this week. Henderson has missed practice all week due to a personal matter, and coach Leslie Frazier was unsure about whether he would be able to play against the Packers on Sunday. If Henderson can’t go, Audie Cole would replace him in the starting lineup, though Marvin Mitchell might take the nickel snaps.