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Zaven Collins is still not putting up a lot of solo totals, but there is some reason for optimism. He has double-digit fantasy points and eight or more combined tackles in three of the last five games. The coaching staff is turning him lose to blitz more often of late, resulting in a pair of sacks against Seattle, and he is playing virtually every snap. Collins is still fighting a sore shoulder. Once he is fully healthy, we might get the kind of numbers we were expecting.
It was a slow day for Isaiah Simmons, who was back down to 63% of the snaps in Week 6.
Troy Andersen was all over the field in his first start. He played every snap and finished at 5-7 against San Francisco. Mykal Walker is still not practicing, so Andersen might have an opportunity to build on his strong start. The next big question might be who sits when Andersen, Walker, and Rashaan Evans are all available. All three have looked like NFL starters.
A.J. Terrell left Sunday’s game holding his hamstring. It was later reported as a thigh injury. Either way, he could be sidelined for Week 7. Darren Hall would likely get the start if Terrell misses time.
Marcus Williams landed on injured reserve last week, but even with time to prepare, Kyle Hamilton did not get the start. Hamilton did see a bump in playing time, however. The starting gig went to Geno Stone, who played 75% of the snaps, going 6-0. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s snap count and play share doubled.
Jordan Poyer is hard to figure out so far this season. He has been in and out of the lineup with injuries, missing two games altogether. He has no more than four solo stops in any game but is averaging better than 13.5 points due to four interceptions. To make things even less clear, it looked like he was working as the deep safety more often versus the Chiefs in more of a Micah Hyde role, while Damar Hamlin worked the run support role we usually see Poyer playing. This might have been the coaching staff trying to keep Poyer from taking hits in his sore ribs. It is something to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, pick up Hamlin, who had at least six solo stops in all three of his starts to date.
With the coaching change last week, changes on defense were expected. The first thing that stood out in Week 6 was the Panthers playing three safeties on 92% of the snaps, with Justin Burris as the slot defender much of the time.
I believe Cory Littleton played every snap before leaving with a groin injury in the second half. While he was playing, Littleton looked a little like the player that was an IDP star with the Rams a few years ago. He put up six tackles, four assists, and half a sack on 45 snaps. Damien Wilson did not see much action until Littleton left the game but played nearly every snap afterward.
Shaq Thompson also played full-time and had a respectable day with five tackles and a pair of pass breakups.
Donte Jackson recorded a pick-six before leaving with an ankle injury. With both Jackson and Jaycee Horn in question for Week 7, the Panthers might be starting C.J. Henderson and Keith Taylor versus Tampa Bay.
Derrick Brown is quietly putting up good numbers. With double-digit points in three of the last four games, he has become a solid starting option in tackle-required leagues.
D.J. Reader is not ready to return from IR, and his backup, Josh Tupou, will miss time with a calf injury. That makes Jay Tufele the starting nose tackle for the Bengals this week. He managed a strong 3-3 on 23 plays in relief on Sunday but is probably not someone to consider for our rosters. Zach Carter is not a one-technique tackle, but his play was up as well.
The big news for this defense is the shoulder injury suffered by Logan Wilson. The early word is he could be out for several weeks, making injured reserve an option. Jermaine Pratt is the immediate beneficiary and should slide into the every-down role. Akeem Davis-Gaither moves into the starting lineup as the second linebacker. He excels in coverage and could be on the field enough to have an impact.
Myles Garrett went into Week 6 with a sore shoulder from his auto accident. He looked great, going 3-2-2 with a forced fumble but left the game in the fourth quarter after taking a hit on the shoulder. Garrett says he expects to play in Week 7.
Did the Browns give us a clue about their intentions for Deion Jones? Jacob Phillips had another good outing versus the Patriots. He played every snap again, going 5-5 on the day. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, however, was limited to less than half of the playing time. Jones was a middle backer in Atlanta, but his skill set would also seem a good fit on the weak side.
Start John Johnson and Grant Delpit this week. Over the last month, seven of the eight starting safeties that have faced Baltimore had at least five solo tackles. The eighth guy was 4-2.
Malik Hooker led Dallas in tackles with ten solos and a pair of assists, but there is probably nothing to see here. Hooker, Donovan Wilson (3-2-1), and Jayron Kearse (2-3) worked in an even timeshare, with all three players seeing 80% of the snaps. Wilson is still the guy to have from this group though his numbers are destined to be hit-or-miss as long as all three guys are in the rotation.
Leighton Vander Esch has seen his playing time slip as he no longer works in some of the sub-packages he was playing early on. That said, the Lions have been an excellent matchup for linebackers, so 76% of the action might be enough for Vander Esch to put up good numbers this week. but has a great matchup with Detroit
Sure, Alex Singleton’s stats were padded by the overtime period, but he was 11-1 in regulation before finishing 19-2 with a pass breakup. It is hard to say why NFL teams view this guy as no more than a backup. When he is on the field, he makes a lot of plays. The Josey Jewell watch is on. As long as he is out, Singleton is a starter for us.
Green Bay Packers
The Jets ran 26 times, so there was no lack of opportunity for Quay Walker and DeVondre Campbell. Yet they managed just 3-4 and 4-4, respectively. Campbell should be just fine, and a great matchup with the Commanders might drum up visions of last season’s production. For Walker, there is a red flag. After averaging roughly 84% of the snaps over the previous four games, Walker was below 70% against the Jets. The Packers were in nickel for more than 70% of the Week 6 game. They could use a lot more base looks against Washington, but it is hard to be comfortable with Walker in your lineup right now.
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