Aaron Lynch (CHI): For a 5-year veteran, Lynch is still pretty young (25) and finds himself playing opposite a pretty dominant pass-rusher. So Lynch won’t face many double teams and chip blocks. Not saying Lynch is an every-week start, but already having a couple of sacks on the season pings my radar. Of course, in the two games where he was held without a sack, he posted a goose egg. With it being Chicago’s bye week, this is really just a “wait and see” kind of recommendation. He’d be addable in “big play” formats only.
Austin Calitro (SEA): K.J. Wright is still not “right” and Shaquem Griffin isn’t seeing the field. Now that Mychal Kendricks is suspended, there will be an opening on the weak side until Wright is back. Calitro filled in admirably for Bobby Wagner in the middle the first two games (10 solos, 2 assists, 1 pass breakup) and should be considered for the spot. If for nothing else, Calitro is a nice DTS stash. Those that need immediate help could also put him straight on the active roster and start him against the Rams. Plenty of tackling opportunities to be had against that offense.
Devon Kennard (DET): We don’t normally like recommending strong-side linebackers, but in big play formats where a guy player already has 4 sacks on the season, we start watching. Kennard is not going to rack up the tackles, but if the sack streak continues, he’s worth adding in those big play formats.
Da’Shawn Hand (DT – DET): Hand has the pedigree (Alabama) and is getting the snaps (68% last week). He’s listed as a defensive tackle but has the chops to bump outside and rush the passer. With both Ziggy Ansah and Kerry Hyder Jr in and out of the lineup due to injuries, Hand will be an important piece to the Lion defense. In formats that start DT independently, he’s definitely worth looking at.
John Simon (DE – NEP): The Patriot defense, from a fantasy perspective, is irritatingly confusing. Hard to say what players will do what, and when. But we’ll take notice when a guy signs with a team and is on the field the same week, only to post 2 solos, 3 assists, and a sack. Elandon Roberts is hobbled and if Simon posts impressive numbers against the Colts, he would be addable given the overall dearth of talent on most league waiver wires.
Emmanuel Ogbah (DE – CLE): Going to step outside my normal practice and recommend a guy that is likely on rosters, rather than free agents. I’ve been a fan of Ogbah since he’s entered the league. He was miscast as a linebacker when the scheme changed, but is back to his natural defensive line position. He has the benefit of playing across from Myles Garrett, who looks to be a game-changer. Coming back from an ankle injury, Ogbah had a few tackles (2 solos) and broke up two passes. This is a guy that you can probably get on the cheap and has a lot of upside.
Chidobe Awuzie (CB – DAL): OK, this guy is legit. He’s got 22 solos in 4 games and has posted double-digit fantasy points in every game so far this season. The Cowboy defense has been desperately seeking a playmaker on the outside and Awuzie obviously has the skills. We’d like to see a few more pass breakups, but those will come. He is on pace for 210 fantasy points, which would have made him DB3 last year, well ahead of any cornerback. Those in leagues that break apart CB from DB need to go grab him now. He’s a low-end DB1 until further notice.
Travis Carrie (CB – CLE): With Terrence Mitchell hurt, Carrie will step up for the Browns. When given regular playing time, Carrie has been a tackling machine. He’s also shown the ability to blitz the QB, having one sack on the season. The Browns DBs have a bevy of solid matchups coming up, so he’s a solid add-and-play for the time being. He’s no spring chicken, so this isn’t a guy you add and stash. He can help you now.
Damarius Randall (S – CLE): Randall is probably only available in smaller leagues, but if he is, grab him now. As discussed above, the Browns have a nice schedule coming up in terms of their DBs’ fantasy outlook. Randall already has six pass defenses, two picks, and a respectable 17 solos thus far. And he’s just 26, so he could be playing centerfield for the Browns’ D for a few more years.
A Look at Last Week
Elandon Roberts (NEP): 1 solo, 2 assists and 1 pass breakup in a blowout where he got hurt midway through the game. Still worthy of a roster spot in normal dynasty formats
Margus Hunt (DT – IND): 3 solos and a sack. Now has 4 sacks on the season so he remains on the watchlist.
Jarran Reed (DT – SEA): 4 solos, 1 assist, 1 sack. Definitely a name to watch (if not add right now) in leagues that play DT separately.
Brian Poole (CB – ATL): 3 solos, 2 assists. Kind of a head-scratcher here, after piling up 22 solos in the previous three contests.
Rafael Bush (S – BUF): 2 solos, 1 assist. Still remains a watchlist guy as he’s getting a good number of snaps.
Antone Exum (S – SFO): 3 solos, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 1 touchdown. Another monster effort from Exum. If there continue to be injuries to other Niner safeties, Exum is a great play. He might be a great play regardless. He’s earned it.