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.
ILB Troy Reeder (LAR vs ARZ):
Reeder has been an absolute monster when he is given the chance. In the 2 games he has filled in for an injured Micah Kiser he has a combined 25 tackles and 3 sacks across 2 games. He will get the same opportunity for at least the next 2 games and should be started without question. This week he takes on an Arizona offense that has run the ball more since Kenyan Drake has returned and the passing game has struggled. Look for Reeder to monopolize the tackle opportunities this week and approach double-digit figures.
OLB Nicholas Morrow (LV vs NYJ):
The Raiders have been a very frustrating team to watch this season as no one has really stepped up on the defense. Morrow has gotten his shot after Cory Littleton went on the COVID list. In the 3 games he took over as starter, Morrow has 23 total tackles, a sack, 3 passes defended, and a fumble recovery. Even with Littleton n back last week, Morrow played 100% of defensive snaps. H has a great matchup against a poor Jets offense and should add to his string of productive weeks.
LB Cole Holcomb (WFT vs PIT):
It may be difficult to trust this game will happen when they say it will, but Holcomb is a great play this week and a stash for the rest of the season. He has seen his snap percentage creep above 80% and Washington is turning to him over Kevin Pierre-Louis due to his ability in coverage. There is no telling what will happen to James Conner and it could be Benny Snell leading the back field when these teams meet. Look for Holcomb to have a productive day even against a tough Pittsburgh offense.
DE Randy Gregory (DAL vs BAL):
It has taken a while, but Gregory has finally rounded back into form in recent weeks. He is coming off a game with 3 solos, 2 sacks, and 2 TFL. He was largely forgotten about after he failed to record a sack in his first 4 contests with Dallas, but he has started to produce. He will also take on a Baltimore team that is reeling with COVID, lost their top offensive tackle for the season, and has seen their quarterback regress this season. Look for Gregory to continue to produce this week against the Ravens that have allowed the 11th most points to opposing defensive ends.
DE Chase Winovich (NE vs LAC):
Winovich was productive last week and registered a sack for the first time since week 4 against a very mobile quarterback in Kyler Murray. He has 5 or more solo tackles in 2 of his last 3 games and has a motor that keeps him running all game long. The Chargers have gone back to running the ball and dumping it off to Austin Ekeler since his return. Look for Winovich to add to his impressive solo tackle totals with the outside chance of adding a sack this week against the Chargers.
DT Quinnen Williams (NYJ vs LV):
Williams finally seems to be rounding into the high draft pick he was. He is coming off a week 12 performance where he had 4 solos, 3 assists, 1 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 3 QB hits. He was all over the field last week and has 2.5 sacks across his last 4 games. He gets a great matchup against a Raiders offense that has allowed the 2nd most points to opposing defensive tackles. Look for Williams to show out again this week and make some noise for the rest of the season.
CB Shaquill Griffin (SEA vs NYG):
It may seem tough to trust a corner that has been injured and is giving up yardage at a historic rate, but IDP formats do not penalize a player for giving up big plays. Griffin has been underrated in IDP leagues because of how bad the secondary has been overall. He is targeted often leading to a high rate of tackle opportunity, there are some top corners on Bye this week, and he takes on 2 turnover prone offenses in the next 2 weeks. The Seattle secondary has looked better in recent weeks and Griffin could serve as a great fill in for any team that needs to start a corner this week.
CB Bryce Hall (NYJ vs LV):
We have talked about Hall earlier this season and his increased playing time due to injuries. That should continue this week with Pierre Desir released, and both Bless Austin and Brian Poole on the IR. Hall has produced to the tune of 13 total tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 pass defended in his last 2 games. Those are very strong tackling numbers for a corner, and he has a great matchup against a below average receiving core in Vegas this week. Hall should continue to see playing time and be targeted often as a 5th round rookie this year.
CB Darnell Savage (GB vs PHI):
Savage was a high draft pick brought in to try and help the defense. He has not exceled in the big play department but has been consistent with tackles so far this season. Playing opposite of Jaire Alexander comes with its fair share of targets. He has also been asked to shadow some of the taller receivers in the league with Alexander on the shorter side. Savage gets a great matchup this week against a turnover prone Eagles team. Carson Wentz is good for at least 3 big mistakes a game and with some big-name corner on Bye this week it is time to give Savage a chance.
ILB Will Compton (TEN vs IND): 2 solos, 1 assist, 41% defensive snaps
LB Harvey Langi (NYJ vs MIA): 3 solos, 5 assists, 1 fumble recovery, 90% defensive snaps
LB Alex Singleton (PHI vs SEA): 3 solos, 2 assist, 1 TFL, 100% defensive snaps
DT Kenny Clark (GB vs CHI): 1 assist, 1 QB hit, 65% defensive snaps
DE Olivier Vernon (CLE vs JAX): 2 solos, 2 QB hits, 97% defensive snaps
DE Carlos Dunlap (SEA vs PHI): 1 solo, 1 assist, 1 QB hit, .5 sack, 54% defensive snaps
S Vonn Bell (CIN vs NYG): 7 solos, 3 assist, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 100% defensive snaps
S Johnathan Abram (LV vs ATL): 5 solos, 1 assist, 1 pass defended, 1 interception, 96% defensive snaps
S Ashtyn Davis (NYJ vs MIA): 2 solos, 1 assist, 100% defensive snaps