EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul has played 86%, 71%, and 72% of defensive snaps for Baltimore over the past three weeks.
Pierre-Paul failed to record any tackles or sacks in Week 6, but managers should keep an eye on him in deeper leagues. In his first two starts, Pierre-Paul earned six tackles and a sack. Any edge rusher with this snap volume is worth considering as a matchup-based start. While his next three weeks don’t look to be strong matchups, his post-bye streaming opportunities could be lucrative.
EDGE Tyquan Lewis played 65% of defensive snaps for Indianapolis.
Edge rusher Kwitty Paye missed Week 6 with an ankle injury. In his absence, Lewis earned a sack and a forced fumble against the Jaguars. Should Paye miss any more time, Lewis should be in consideration for a situational start in deeper leagues against a suspect Titans offensive line.
LB Quincy Williams played 81% of defensive snaps for the NY Jets.
In Week 6, Williams returned from the injury he suffered in Week 3. He played 91% and 99% of defensive snaps in his two games before getting injured. There was some concern that Williams might not return to his previous usage if linebacker Kwon Alexander played well as his replacement. Alexander only played 27% of defensive snaps in Week 6 - his lowest of the season - so managers can place some confidence in Williams’ production moving forward. He is worth rostering in IDP leagues that roster all other full-time linebackers.
LB Troy Andersen played 100% of defensive snaps for Atlanta.
Linebacker Mykal Walker did not play in Week 6, and Andersen was elevated to starter status to replace him. He earned 12 tackles in his first full-time game. While managers should expect Walker to be an every-down linebacker upon his return, they should be optimistic that Andersen is worth rostering as injury insurance would a Falcons starter suffer another injury. Linebacker Rashaan Evans is a free agent after this season, so Andersen looks to be in line to take over his role in 2023.
The New York Giants continue to reduce linebacker usage.
Linebacker Tae Crowder led the team in snaps for his position with only 68% of defensive snaps. Linebacker Jaylon Smith was the only other player to have snaps at the position, with 54% of defensive snaps. This may partly be because safety Dane Belton has earned an increased role and out-snapped both linebackers in Week 6. In any case, managers should put little faith in Crowder or Smith going forward.
LB Cody Barton continues to see his usage diminish for Seattle.
Last week I mentioned that Barton was seeing a dip in snap percentage and managers should be looking to sell him. Well, this week, he earned only two tackles on 39% of snaps - his lowest rate of the season. It appears that S Ryan Neal is playing a hybrid safety role for the Seahawks and has seen 75% of his snaps in the sweet spot since taking over the role from Josh Jones in Week 5. Managers should not expect Barton to return to the level of usage he was at before and should consider adding Neal if he is available.
S Nick Scott has played a full-time role for the LA Rams over the last four weeks.
The Rams’ safety situation has been somewhat tumultuous this season, with players like Jordan Fuller, Taylor Rapp, Terrell Burgess, and Cobie Durant all seeing playing time. One of the few consistent factors has been Scott’s usage; he has played all but one snap since Week 3. He has seen a 40% sweet spot snap rate, which is not ideal for fantasy production but allows him the opportunity to make a few plays every game. The Rams are on bye in Week 7, so he is not a priority add, but managers should be able to pick him up later in the week if they need a deeper starter for Week 8.
With safeties Mike Edwards and Logan Ryan out in Week 6, Neal and Delaney started for the Buccaneers. Ryan also missed Week 5, which allowed Neal to play his part-time safety role. With Edwards out in Week 6, Neal played a full-time role while Delaney played limited snaps. If Edwards misses more time, Neal is worth considering in deeper leagues as a spot start.