by Duncan Smith & JJ Wenner
Welcome back to another week of In My Defense. Perception can be a funny thing, after the hell on earth of last week there doesn’t seem like there was the same injury crisis this week yet there are some notable names from the defensive side of the ball to pay attention to: Jamal Adams, Avonte Maddox, Emmanuel Moseley, Jabril Peppers, Jordan Fuller, Chase Young, Mathew Ioannidis, Denzel Ward and Christian Kirksey.
So many injuries, so little time… Duncan is right, this is the time of the season to start scouring the waiver wire for players getting bumps in playing time. Adding a Mykal Walker or Porter Gustin might seem like a waste of time, but getting them a week early is key. Keep the bottom portion of your roster churning.
Below you will find some prospects to plug into your lineup this week if you need them.
Now let’s take a look at the snaps…
S – Picking up Chris Banjo was the right move, but he suffered a hamstring injury. Keep him on your roster, but wait until he is healthy to put back in the lineup.
LB – Simmons is clearly not impressing Vance Joseph, as the rookie logs a lowly 10 snaps in Week 3.
LB – Mykal Walker saw more snaps at LB with Oluokun out. He performed at a high level, with 8T, 1QBH, & 1FF. He is definitely one to get on your roster.
LB – All is right in the world and Edmunds/Milano are back in the lineup.
Edge – I told you to keep playing Burns and I was right. He broke out this week with 3T, 1 Sack, 1PD, & 1FF. Huge week for the 2nd year player.
Edge – One of Tommy K’s favorites, Carl Lawson had a nice little weekend against the Eagles. He put up 8T, 2 Sacks, & 1 FF. Of course, it was against Philly and everyone has a great week against that offensive line.
LB – Do you remember when Jordan Evans was a thing? The special teamer should be on waivers in every league.
Edge – Khalil Mack is starting to get to the QB. This week, he logged ½ sack & 2 QBH.
Edge – Porter Gustin continues to fill in nicely for Olivier Vernon even with Clayborn back in the lineup. The 2nd year player out of USC is showing up on the field in a good way. He has the requisite size and could become a bookend to Garrett.
Edge – I know I told you to move Aldon Smith and if you did, you are cursing my name after his 3 sack weekend in Seattle. Don’t be mad, it was the right move. If you haven’t been able to move him, do it now. This will not last.
Edge – Bradley Chubb is falling off of the radar. If you can’t find a way to get a sack against 43-year-old Tom Brady or 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger, I don’t know if you are going to become the star the Broncos wanted him to be. Of course, start him against the Jets before you make any decisions.
S – Tracy Walker led the team in tackles this week with a healthy 12 Combined (10 solo) to continue a solid start to the season. Up next, The Saints.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
LB – Ty Summers filled in admirably for Christian Kirksey after he left the game with a shoulder injury. With 9 tackles, Summers is the option should Kirksey miss some time from your lineup.
S – Former Raven and Pro Bowler Earl Thomas is in Houston and expected to sign a contract this week after AJ Moore was placed on IR meaning he could see meaningful snaps pretty quickly.
LB – Despite getting the playing time over Anthony Walker, Bobby Okereke continues to not put up stats. With 8 tackles in 117 snaps, his efficiency is not very good.
LB – Myles Jack has played every defensive snap so far this season and that has led to back to back to back 11 tackle games. Make sure he is rostered.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
DT – Chris Jones capped a solid outing of 5 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles by tweaking his groin towards the end of the match, he should be fine for Sunday’s tilt against the Patriots but as always keep an eye on injury reports towards the end of the week.
LB – Damien Wilson once again outscored Anthony Hitchens.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
LB – Nicholas Morrow led the team with 7 solo tackles this week.
DE – Maxx Crosby returned to form, although he only had 2 tackles he did get to the quarterback twice to record 2 sacks on only 61% of snaps.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Edge – Uchenna Nwosu saw a jump in stats due with the Melvin Ingram injury. Unfortunately, Nwosu did nothing with the extra snaps posting a worse day than Week 1 when he played 30 less snaps.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
S – A shoulder injury to Jordan Fuller has reversed Taylor Rapps outlook in LA. He immediately jumped up to a 89% snap count on the week and helped himself to 7 tackles. A match up at home against the Giants this week makes him an intriguing prospect.
LB – Kamu Grugier-Hill had a nice line on the week with 7 tackles and a sack on Gardner Minshew. However his average snap percentage of only 30% makes him a volatile option going forward and, unless that percentage starts going up, shouldn’t be started.
LB – Erik Kendricks continues to see every defensive snap and continues to provide a nice return for your team, this week 10 combined tackles (6 solo)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DE – Second year DE Chase Winovich continues to get into opponents’ backfields and cause havoc. This week he had 2 tackles, 2 hits on the Qb and a forced fumble. However his highest snap percentage this year is 75% in week 2. Until that goes up he’s going to be hard to trust for consistent points.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Veterans Malcolm Jenkins and Demario Davis both put up nice numbers against Green Bay. This week they will travel to Detroit. If available either should give you a nice floor.
NEW YORK GIANTS
S – Sophomore Julian Love made 10 solo tackles on 88% of snaps against San Francisco as he looks like getting used to his role within this defense. With Jabril Peppers day to day Love may find his snap share increasing against the Rams.
NEW YORK JETS
S – Bradley McDougald led the Jets with 10 tackles (5 solo) this week. The Jets only managed to lay hands on veteran QBPhilip Rivers once but may have more luck on Thursday night against the Broncos.
CB – Avonte Maddox and Darius Slay both made 7 solo tackles on Sunday. Maddox made his with half the snaps of Slay before going off injured. Next man up Cre’Von LeBlanc could have a nice week against the 49ers lined up opposite Slay.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Perhaps wary about playing in East Rutherford for the second week in a row, no 49ers player managed more than an 87% snap share and as such no one stands out this week.
Edge – Seattle used Alton Robinson and Shaquem Griffin to replace Bruce Irvin on the DL. Alton was used in all situations, while Griffin came in on obvious passing downs. They both graded well by PFF standards. Keep an eye on both.
CB – Mike Hilton had a huge week for the Steelers recording 8 solo tackles for the second week in a row. While he didn’t manage a sack this week he did manage to pick DeShaun Watson which led to a touchdown.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Tampa decided who they want to play on offense. No player received less than 30% of the snaps.
CB – Veteran Johnathon Joseph led the team this week with 7 tackles, 1 for a loss, a forced fumble and an interception. However Adoree’ Jackson is eligible to return from week 4 and once he does will likely tank any value Joseph may have.
DT – One of the better options for DT required leagues, Matthew Ioannidis is out for the year with a torn bicep. There is not much depth behind Ioannidis, with Caleb Brantley opting out. Look to see if they add anyone as a free agent.
Good luck this week and keep scouring the waiver wire!
JJ Wenner & Duncan Smith