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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.
LB Denzel Perryman (LV vs MIA)
The veteran linebacker has been putting up solid numbers in the first 2 weeks of the season and it is time to start taking the Raiders seriously. Perryman had 6 solos and 6 assists and a tackle for loss last week and is playing roughly 75% of defensive snaps right now. This week he will be facing a team that could be without its starting quarterback again this week and could try to feature Myles Gaskin and the running game. Look for Perryman to extend his solid start to the season and approach double-digit total tackles again this week.
LB Nick Bolton (KC vs LAC)
Another rookie is getting their chance early in the 2021 season. Bolton saw 83% of defensive snaps on Sunday night against the Ravens and produced 8 solos, 1 assist, and 1 tackle for loss in the plus matchup against run-heavy Baltimore. This week he will take on a Chargers offense that loves to throw the ball and is coming off a loss. This could be one of the best games of the week with there being plenty of opportunity over the middle to tackle Austin Ekeler. Look for Bolton to stay around 80% of defensive snaps played as he creeps closer to double-digit total tackle territory.
LB Alex Anzalone (DET vs BAL)
The rough opening schedule to the season continues for the Lions when they take on the Ravens in week 3. However, this creates a plus matchup for linebackers on the defense and Anzalone has played every snap on defense so far this season. He had 8 solos and 2 assists on Monday Night Football against the Packers and could easily see those numbers against the run-heavy Baltimore offense. Detroit is still trying to figure a lot of things out on both sides of the ball but look for Anzalone to produce this week in a great matchup against the Ravens.
DE Gregory Rousseau (BUF vs WFT)
It will be back-to-back weeks that the Bills defense will be playing against backup quarterbacks. Rousseau is coming off a big week where he played 66% of defensive snaps, had 3 solos, 2 assists, 2 sacks, and 2 tackles for loss. He appears to be the real deal in Buffalo and is only going to get more playing time as the season continues. Jump on Rousseau now while he has a great matchup against Washington and look to keep him for the rest of the season.
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