Welcome to Week 5! The NFL is through the quarter mark, and we have our second bye week of the year. The Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions will both be sidelined for the weekend. That means linebackers like Jerome Baker, Raekwon McMillan, and Christian Jones, defensive backs like Eric Rowe and Tracy Walker, and pass rushers like Taco Charlton and Devon Kennard will be sidelined.
There are some players out there who should be rostered not only as bye-week fillers, but also for the rest of the season. Here are some key options for individual defensive player leagues.
Robert Quinn, DE, Dallas Cowboys
Quinn has now seen his snaps increase from 63% in week three to 70.4% in week four since being back from his two-game suspension and now with Taco Charlton in Miami, Quinn will be the starter moving forward. He’ll have another tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers who’ve given up the 16th fewest fantasy points to opposing defensive ends along with only three sacks, but his matchup gets much easier the following week with the New York Jets who are one of the best offensive lines to attack.
Notable defensive linemen: Bruce Irvin, DE/LB, Carolina Panthers
Nicholas Morrow, LB, Oakland Raiders
After Vontaze Burfict’s ejection last week, Morrow recorded 79.5% of the snaps and recorded seven combined tackles against the Colts. Tahir Whitehead, the inside linebacker in Oakland, should get 100% of the snaps with Burfict being suspended for the rest of the season and Morrow should slot in next to him against Chicago (in London). The Bears have run the ball the third most in the league per run play percentage over their last three games; with Mitch Trubisky sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Bears should lean heavily on their run game providing defensive opportunities for Oakland’s front seven.
Clayton Geathers, S, Indianapolis Colts
Hopefully someone dropped Geathers after his week two performance where he recorded only only three combined tackles on less than 70% of the snaps. After his dud in week two he’s not followed it up with an interception in week three and nine total tackles last week on 100% of the defensive snaps. His production may dip a little if Darius Leonard is active this week, but we’ve seen Geathers produce when Leonard’s been on the field averaging 8.4 total tackles in 11 games (regular season) last year.
Notable defensive backs: Jermaine Whitehead, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jonathan Cyprian, S, Atlanta Falcons