As the season progresses it is hard to find those diamonds in the rough or that guy that no one has heard of. This week we are going to examine the plethora of injuries across the league and who the most likely successor is to that starting job as well as highlight some prime matchups as well as surprising performers to this point. This article will also highlight a few long-term and speculative players that could see their value rise over the course of the season.
DE Isaac Rochell (LAC vs DEN):
Joey Bosa left last week after suffering his second concussion of the season and there is a good chance he does not play this week. Rochell had drawn the start in each of the past two weeks and has seen his playing time steadily creep up to around 68% of defensive snaps. He had five total tackles and a pass defended last week. This week he takes on a Broncos offense that has been hot and cold all season long. His playing time was tending in the right direction, even with Bosa on the field, and he could be in for an even bigger role if Bosa is ruled out this week. Drew Lock loves to take shots down the field and hold s the ball just a little too long. Upgrade the entire Chargers defensive line this week.
DE Dawuane Smoot (JAX vs CHI):
Jacksonville has had a hard time getting after the quarterback this year. Smoot leads the team with 5.5 sacks and has nearly double the closest player. Josh Allen has been injured off and on and their top draft pick has been nonexistent on the field. Smoot gets a good matchup with the Bears this week with Mitchell Trubisky under center. K'Lavon Chaisson will get another chance to step up but look to Smoot for the safest floor and the best chance at getting a sack this week.
DT Denico Autry (IND vs PIT):
Defensive tackles need love too. Autry is up to 7.5 sacks this season and that is tied with teammate DeForest Buckner for second in the league amongst defensive tackles. He is coming off a game with 4 total tackles and 1.5 sacks last week and has a game against a reeling Pittsburgh offense. It is only a matter of time before the Steelers get back on track, but this is going to be a tough week to do it against a good Colts defense. Look for Autry to have another sneaky good game and be a worthwhile consideration even if your league does not require a defensive tackle.
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