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Between mounting injuries and six teams on bye, nearly all of us are looking to fill holes in our lineups this week. This is particularly evident in leagues with deep rosters or more than 12 teams where the picking is already thin. Let us see if we can dig up some help for your defense.
We are still awaiting that monster game from J.J. Watt, but it may be right around the corner. In week five he had a season-high three solo stops (two for loss) and a pass breakup. Watt followed that with his first double-digit point production of the season, going 1-4-1 with a forced fumble and a batted pass versus Cleveland. Just as he is getting warmed up, Watt gets a matchup with his former team when the Texans travel to the desert. Nothing motivates a player like facing his old team and it doesn’t hurt that Houston has allowed at least two sacks and turned the ball over on a fumble in each of the last four games.
Arizona got Jordan Phillips back from IR in week six, which is not a bad thing either. He did not make much of an impact, posting a pair of assists on 21 snaps, but Phillips is a talented player that can make a much bigger splash once he has knocked the rust off and reclaims a bigger role.
Budda Baker had a slow day at the office against Cleveland, which is very rare for him. The good news is, he played every snap and there is nothing reported as of Wednesday morning to suggest something is wrong.
If you need a defensive end to stream, take a look at Donte Fowler. He has contributed a pair of sacks to the resurgent Falcons pass rush and the Dolphins are allowing almost three per game on average.
Patrick Queen suffered a thigh injury early in Sunday’s game. He returned for a short time but ultimately lasted just 19 snaps before giving way to Josh Bynes who took over the lead role. There have been no updates on Queen as of early Wednesday, so if he is your guy, keep an eye on his status. The Bengals are a solid matchup, so if Queen is not able to suit up, Bynes might be a decent fill-in.
Shaq Thompson missed his second straight game in week six. In the absence of Thompson, Jermaine Carter has been Carolina’s every-down linebacker. He was not able to do much statistically against the Eagles, which may have been more of a game flow issue than an indictment of Carter, but he had a good statistical game against Minnesota, going 7-3. The Giants are not a great matchup without their star running back, but the shortage of options may force many of us to settle for someone that will at least be on the field a lot. Thompson did not practica at all leading up to week six. There is a chance he will be able to go this week though. Follow the practice reports late in the week.
Sean Chandler and Jeremy Chinn also had good numbers against Minnesota. Chandler finished at 7-3 with a forced fumble while Chinn went 7-2 and broke up a pass. Chandler seems to have settled in well as the starting strong safety, missing just three plays over the last two games. He is available in most leagues and will continue to have the play volume. New York has been a fairly good matchup for safeties.
Keith Taylor replaced Rashaan Melvin as the nickel/slot corner a couple of weeks ago. The Vikings went after him often, resulting in a huge statistical game with ten solo tackles, three passes defended, and a forced fumble. The Giants could have a completely different approach, but we can be certain the coaching staff noticed how many passes were completed against him.
Danny Trevathan played ten snaps in week five and nine in week six. Either the coaches are intentionally bringing him along slowly, or they are not planning to have him re-claim his starting role. Alec Ogletree started and played 75% of the snaps at the inside linebacker position.
Robert Quinn was placed on COVID IR on Tuesday and is not likely to be available for week seven. With Jeremiah Attaochu on IR, the Bears are shorthanded at the position. They will probably use Joel Iyiegbuniwe and Christian Jones to fill the void.
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