Let's take a quick look at a few linebackers, defensive linemen, and defensive backs who are either good grab-and-stash types or those that you should target in trades. Hope you enjoy the article and it opens your eyes to some of the gems that can be found on your leagues' waiver wires!
Derrick Barnes (DET): The Lions cut bait with veteran journeyman Jamie Collins Sr, paving the way for the rookie from Purdue to get more snaps. He had a decent line in just 31% of the snaps on Sunday, putting up 5 solos. Jalen Reeves-Maybin is in line for more snaps too, but he’s been fairly unimpressive when given a shot. Barnes’ upside is much higher.
Blake Lynch (MIN): Nick Vigil has been gobbling up tackles in Anthony Barr’s absence, and Chazz Surratt was a name to watch in the preseason after being highly touted coming out of North Carolina, but it was fellow youngster Blake Lynch who burst onto the scene Week 4, tallying 7 solos and a pass breakup in just 46% of the snaps. Keep an eye on Lynch moving forward, especially if he eats into Vigil’s stats once Barr is healthy.
Malcolm Smith (CLE): We’ll add Smith here just for those teams looking to bolster their "now" lineup. Smith’s up there age-wise but has always produced consistent numbers when given consistent snaps. After just 17 defensive snaps in Week 1, he’s led the Brown linebackers in snaps. Rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s numbers are on the rise, but Smith should give you enough to keep him on your bench as a bye-week filler.
Chauncey Golston (DE – DAL): Golston has fantastic size (6’5”, 270 lbs.) and fits the Cowboy defensive scheme quite well. He’s averaged 3 solos each of the past two contests and chipped in with a half-sack against the Panthers last week. With Demarcus Lawrence shelved for the foreseeable future, let’s see what Golston’s got.
Charles Harris (DE – DET): Seems like this guy’s been in the league for a decade, but he’s just 26. He’s a little undersized to be a true end, but he has a nose for the football (3 sacks already on the season) and has been a box score filler for spells before. With Romeo Okwara sidelined, look for Harris to get extended looks.
Sebastian Joseph-Day (DT – LAR): With opposing offensive lines focusing on the incomparable Aaron Donald, Joseph-Day has been a beast thus far in 2021. He has a pair of sacks on the season and has two games with over six solos, which is fairly crazy for an interior lineman. Looking at his stats, he’s a bit streaky, but against the right opponent, he could prove valuable if you’re in a league that starts DT by itself.
Anthony Brown (CB – DAL): With Trevon Diggs on the other side, Brown has been tested regularly, and his stats prove it. He had 3 pass breakups against the Panthers and he should average at least one per game moving forward. Add that to between 4-6 solos, and you have yourself a very steady fantasy DB.
Jalen Thompson (S – ARI): Thompson will be a cheap source of tackles for the Cards. Budda Baker may make all the splash plays, but you can count on Thompson for 4-5 solos and a couple of helpers every game. If you’re looking to add depth for bye weeks, you could do a lot worse than the third-year pro out of Washington State.
Lonnie Johnson (S – HOU): Justin Reid is still the safety to own for the Texans, but with the amount of time this defense will spend chasing down ball carriers and catchers, it stands to reason that Johnson could produce as well. Eric Murray is no longer getting starter’s snaps, so it looks like Johnson will continue to produce alongside Reid for the Texans.