It’s Week 14, and two teams are on vacation in the final week we have byes this season. Whether you’re in the fantasy playoffs or a season-long league, crunch time is upon us.
Each week, we’ll highlight diamonds in the rough or some players that just need to be rostered in more leagues on the defensive side of the ball. Keep in mind your scoring system and roster restraints when heading to the waiver wire to grab these IDPs.
Last week, we highlighted another Colts DE, Samson Ebukam, who has two sacks in each of the last two games. Well, Paye had six tackles, two forced fumbles and two sacks last week. He also has sacks in consecutive games. The Colts play the hapless Cincinnati Bengals this week, and both players could go off.
The No. 2 overall pick showed flashes earlier in the season, but he really didn’t produce consistently. He has sacks in three of the last five games, and he has nine tackles in the last two games combined. Anderson will have peaks and valleys, but he looks to have his feet under him and is finishing his rookie season strong.
Starters Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander landed on IR, which gave Walker a chance to shine. And shine he did in Week 13 with 10 tackles, which led the team. He had five tackles last week and has played in only three games this season, which could keep him flying under the radar. Take notice.
The Bucs’ linebacker corps has been decimated with injuries, which thrust the 25-year-old Russell into action. He responded with seven tackles and a sack last week. He’ll need those injuries to remain an issue to keep his playing time, but he’s worth the speculative grab.
Sticking with the filling-in-for-injury theme, Cochrane took over when Drue Tranquill was concussed in Week 13. The second-year man from South Dakota finished the game with seven tackles. The hit Tranquill took to the head looked ugly, if he’s out this week, Cochrane is worth the plug-and-play.
The fourth-year man took over when S Kareem Jackson was suspended four games. Locke has had two huge games in a row. Two weeks ago, he had seven tackles, a forced fumble, a sack, and a pass defense. Last week, he had eight tackles and a sack.
The Niners haven’t missed much of a beat when S Talanoa Hufanga went down for the year when Gipson stepped up. He had five tackles each of the last two weeks, and he added a sack two weeks ago. His ceiling is pretty low, but he has a relatively safe floor as well.
S John Johnson III, Los Angeles Rams
The former fantasy stud is back where his fantasy prime took place, and he has put together three solid games in a row. Johnson tallied three tackles and a pass defense in Week 11, four tackles plus two pass defenses in Week 12, and six tackles, an INT and two pass defenses last week. Those are too solid of weeks to gloss over.