Will Compton, (3-4) ILB, WAS
Keenan Robinson (knee) is expected to miss another game, leaving Compton in a three-down role once again after totaling 23 tackles over his last two games. With a high tackle rate so far on mostly limited snaps this year, there's reason to make Compton an LB2 consideration until Robinson returns.
Chandler Jones, DE, NE
Jones finally returned from his hip injury against the Dolphins on Sunday, showing no rust from his seven-week absence as he posted seven tackles and 1.5 sacks. Jones has top-five IDP upside on the defensive line, so as long as his health isn't a question he'll remain worth starting.
Pierre Warren, S, NO
Jairus Byrd is out for the year with a knee injury, and second-year first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro has struggled to the point that the Saints have tried lowering his play count to help fix their defensive struggles. Warren is the one to benefit, as he started Monday's game against Chicago while Vaccaro played off the bench. Warren played all of the defensive snaps for the Saints, finishing with two tackles and two interceptions. Warren has 24 tackles, two picks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in four games.
Michael Wilhoite, (3-4) ILB, SF
Double check on Wilhoite's status before game time, but if he plays despite being listed as questionable with a hip injury, Wilhoite should provide LB2 potential since the 49ers will be playing without tackle hog Chris Borland (ankle). Wilhoite has a disappointing tackle rate, totaling just 69 tackles in 14 games despite playing 96.3 percent of the snaps, but you have to suspect that tackle rate will improve now that he doesn't have to compete with Borland or Patrick Willis (toe) for stats.
T.J. McDonald, S, STL
McDonald's IDP value has been rather steady this year, so his entry on the 'rising' list isn't to note recent developments as much as recap the strong IDP season he's had. After making eight tackles (one for a loss) against Arizona last week, McDonald is up to 87 tackles (seven for a loss), one interception and one sack in 14 games, giving him a real chance to finish the season with a triple-digit tackle total. He'll likely be on the DB1 radar for 2015.
Chris Borland, (3-4) ILB, SF
Borland has been extremely productive for the 49ers, but his rookie year might be over due an ankle injury that has him ruled out for Saturday's game against San Diego. He posted 107 tackles (12 for a loss), a sack and two interceptions while playing just 476 of San Francisco's defensive snaps. Those numbers would project to the 200-tackle range if Borland were to play a three-down role for an entire season, making him perhaps the most valuable non-J.J. Watt IDP prospect for 2015. Unfortunately, his odds of securing such a role in San Francisco for the 2015 season might not be that great at the moment. Pat Willis (toe) and NaVorro Bowman (knee) are expected to be ready for next year, and in that scenario it's hard to see Borland earning enough snaps to match the IDP potential he showed this year.
Kemal Ishmael, S, ATL
William Moore (foot) missed last week's game against Pittsburgh, allowing Ishmael to step back into a three-down role that yielded high-level DB1 production while Moore sat with a shoulder injury for eight weeks. Ishmael didn't disappoint the IDP owners who added him as a short-term rental, finishing the game with nine tackles (one for a loss), but it looks like Moore might be back in the picture this week. Moore finished the week with limited practices on Thursday and Friday, heading into the weekend with a questionable designation. If Moore is out again, though, Ishmael remains a DB1.
Keenan Robinson, (3-4) ILB, WAS
Robinson (knee) was able to practice in a limited capacity all this week, yet he was listed as doubtful on Washington's injury report for Saturday's game against Philadelphia. He should reestablish himself as an LB1 at Will Compton's expense once he returns from the injury, but it won't be this week.