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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.
Last Week’s Picks:
- LB Nick Bolton (KC vs NYG): 4 solos, 7 assists, 1 QB hit, 72% defensive snaps
- LB Troy Reeder (LAR vs HOU): 3 solos, 4 assists, 64% defensive snaps
- LB Markus Golden (ARZ vs GB): 2 solos, 3 assists, 2 QB hits, 59% defensive snaps
- DE Montez Sweat (WFT vs DEN): 2 QB hits, 58% defensive snaps
- DE Julian Okwara (DET vs PHI): 3 solos, 1 tackle for loss, 55% defensive snaps
- DE Azeez Ojulari (NYG vs KC): 2 solos, 1 tackle for loss, 81% defensive snaps
- S Marcus Maye (NYJ vs CIN): 5 solos, 1 tackle for loss, 100% defensive snaps
- S Andrew Wingard (JAX vs SEA): 2 assists, 91% defensive snaps
- S Lonnie Johnson (HOU vs LAR): 4 solos, 1 assist, 94% defensive snaps
This Week’s Linebackers
LB Ernest Jones (LAR vs TEN)
With Kenny Young sent off to Denver it was Jones who saw the biggest bump in playing time for the Rams. He exploded for 9 total tackles, 0.5 sack, a tackle for loss, an interception, and a pass defended. This linebacker group has always been tough to predict, but with 89% of defensive snaps played last week and the results on the field, Jones should be an easy play this week and the rest of the season. Without Derrick Henry, the Titans are going to struggle, and Jones should have a field day against their inexperienced backups.
LB Shaq Thompson (CAR vs NE)
There was some concern coming off a foot injury, but Thompson came back with a bang in week 8 racking up 8 solos,2 tackles for loss, an interception, and a pass defended. He will be taking on a New England team that likes to run the ball and has an inexperienced passer in Mac Jones. He may not reach the highs of last week, but he is squarely in the LB2 conversation this week with a solid matchup against the Patriots.
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