L.J. Fort (PIT): Jon Bostic has been decent after signing with the Steelers, but Vince Williams has been playing fairly uninspiring football. He only has 12 solos, 13 assists, and no other stats this season. Enter Fort, who has racked up 10 solos, a sack and a fumble recovered for a TD in his last two games. Fort is a versatile ‘backer that is probably closer to Ryan Shazier than Bostic or Williams. He’s 28, so the clock is certainly ticking, but if Shazier never plays again, Fort is a solid dart throw in dynasty formats. Stock him on your taxi squad, or heck, he may even have some “startability” if his snap counts rise.
Za'Darius Smith (BAL): Terrell Suggs isn’t getting any younger, and Smith, while not considered a “starter”, is logging starter-level snaps. The 26-year old has shown a penchant for sacking the QB and while his tackle numbers aren’t eye-popping, in big play leagues Smith might be worth a look.
Dee Ford (KCC): Seems like this guy’s been in the league a long time, but he’s 27 and apparently has plenty of spring in his step. He has a sack in all but one game this season. He has two 4-solo games as well. Another guy that’s getting a ton of snaps (more than Justin Houston last week, for the record) and is producing. If you’re in a big-play league, he’s worth checking out. He probably has 3-4 good years in him.
Da'Ron Payne (DT – WAS): This guy is a load and a half. 6’3”, well over 300 lbs. and moves well. He has 24 fantasy points (standard IDP scoring) in the past two contests and is seeing consistent snaps. Paired with Jonathan Allen, Payne is causing havoc as a rookie. In leagues that start DT independently, he’s a must-own. In leagues that combine DT with DE, he should be on your watchlist or taxi squad if you have the room.
Trent Murphy (DE – BUF): With the position as thin as ever, it becomes necessary to look at snap counts and opportunities. Murphy is getting consistent snaps on a Buffalo defense that should be on the field a lot this season. He’s not going to rack up a ton of tackles, but he does have a couple of sacks on the season and has been producing despite fighting off an ankle injury. Put him on your watchlist and if the tackle numbers rise and sacks keep consistent, he’s someone that might prove useful.
Efe Obada (DE – CAR): Julius Peppers can’t play forever, and Obada is a fantastic story that you should read up on. He had a strong pre-season and saw 32% of the snaps last week. If that number starts to rise, his production may rise with it. Definitely get this guy on your watchlist.
Quinton Dunbar (CB – WAS): Dunbar is benefitting from the “playing opposite a shutdown corner” theory. Dunbar already has 20 solos and 5 pass breakups on the season. If you’re in a league that starts CB independently, he’s worthy of being a plug-and-play option.
Jordan Richards (S – ATL): If you need a short-term add-and-play, Richards could be a cheap source of tackles. He’s taken over for Ricardo Allen and with the Falcons already short in the defensive backfield, there will continue to be opportunities.
Jordan Whitehead (S – TBB): Justin Evans is locked in at one safety spot, but Whitehead has logged some time as a starter opposite him. And when he did, he’s produced decent tackle numbers. He’s been battling with injuries, but put him on your watchlist as the strong safety position in Tampa has produced well in the past.