This is it, ladies and gentlemen. Whether you’re a playoff team looking to grab that one extra player to get you over the top, or in your league’s basement and trying to stock up on prospects who may someday help you climb the basement steps, it’s time to make your move. Here are a few situations to monitor and players to grab immediately.
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Chris Jones, DE KC
Chances are, Chiefs’ defensive end Chris Jones is already owned in your league. But as I looked around some of my leagues, which are typically quite deep, he was unowned in a few so it’s worth talking about him.
Here’s all you need to know: despite starting the season slowly, the last time Jones didn’t register at least one sack in a game was the week four tilt against the Jaguars. Since then, he’s tallied seven sacks in six games, with two coming this past week against the Cardinals.
It makes sense. Kansas City has one of the most explosive offenses around, and with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, they have the firepower to score quickly. A lot of shootouts result, and that means the Chiefs’ pass rushers have plenty of opportunities to pin their ears back and go after opposing quarterbacks.
If he’s available in your league, grab Jones now.
Tyquan Lewis, DE IND
Addressing a glaring need, the Indianapolis Colts picked two defensive ends in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, selecting Kemeko Turay with the 20th pick of the second round, and Tyquan Lewis with the 32nd pick of the second round.
Lewis had the misfortune of dealing with a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve (designated to return). And just as Lewis is returning from injury, Turay is dealing with a new one.
Perhaps because defensive end wasn’t a very heralded position in the 2018 rookie draft (especially with Bradley Chubb designated as a linebacker), it seems a lot of dynasty IDP players paid little attention to “down ballot” players like Lewis. But he was productive in college at Ohio State and the Colts clearly liked him enough to spend an additional pick on him just 12 spots after landing Turay. Lewis got 53 snaps at right end for the Colts this past week and while his box score didn’t stand out, he had a quarterback hurry and hit to go with two solo tackles. He’s an intriguing prospect and one to add or monitor going forward.
Jatavis Brown, LB LAC
Denzel Perryman, Kyzir White, Jatavis Brown, Hayes Pullard. All four linebackers (well, White is a converted safety) were on my preseason watchlist for linebackers who could emerge as great dynasty IDP assets. Here’s the thing: none of them really have.
Perryman is the best of the bunch, but he’s been plagued by nagging injuries and inconsistent play. His prospects suffered a setback this week with an LCL injury, and perhaps a hamstring injury too. He’s now out for the season. White, the rookie, was already on injured reserve for the Bolts. The main beneficiary seems to be Jatavis Brown, who got the most snaps at LB this past week and looks to be the best bet going forward. Brown is not a stranger to great IDP production, either. He was a top tier linebacker in 2016 before a very disappointing 2017 and start to 2018. He just hasn’t looked the same. But his chance has arrived. He’s a priority add for dynasty leagues.
Hayes Pullard is JAG – just a guy. But he’s probably going to see more snaps going forward as well, so if you’re in a very deep league, he’s worth rostering too.
B.J. Goodson, LB NYG
In previous years, it’s been close to malpractice to recommend any Giants linebacker for IDP purposes. Is Goodson worth a recommendation now?
[Sigh.] Yeah, I guess.
Generally, when I recommend any player, I like to know the arrow is pointed up. That this player’s stock is rising, that he’ll be worth more in your lineup or in a trade, and I would have to say that I’m now going to have to grudgingly move Goodson up in my rankings. He’s had a really good month.
In week six against the Eagles, he had seven solo tackles and hit the quarterback twice. At Atlanta in week seven, Goodson came back to earth with a tackle and an assist. But he rebounded for eight solos in week eight against Washington, and Monday night in San Francisco, Goodson had five solos, one assist and two (!) interceptions.
Goodson is only 25, so he can still grow a lot as a player. And although I have an inherent grudge against Giant linebackers and have been burned before, I have to now recommend Goodson for at least the stretch run this year.
Jermaine Whitehead/Kentrell Brice/Josh Jones/Tramon Williams/Raven Greene/Someone New/Who Knows?, S GB (UPDATE)
OK, I know this article is to give you instantly actionable advice on dynasty assets you should pick up now. And I’m well aware this is the third week in a row I’m featuring the defensive back situation in Green Bay, but it’s getting so ludicrous that it’s fun to cover, so here you go.
I’m still saying Josh Jones is your dynasty asset you want to own here. My confidence in that is about 60 percent.
A quick recap: the Packers let safety Morgan Burnett and cornerback Sam Shields walk in the off-season. Rookie corner Jaire Alexander has flashed at times so the Shields loss is mitigated a bit. Burnett’s sidekick at the safety spot, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, was traded. As the season started, many projected Josh Jones to win snaps next to Clinton Dix, but instead, Kentrell Brice outplayed him.
After Clinton Dix was traded, Jermaine Whitehead was the first man up to replace him, but was playing through injuries, and now got himself released after a boneheaded play. Corner Tramon Williams had been sliding over for some safety snaps, but now Jones is getting the majority of them, although something called Raven Greene took 30 snaps there this past week.
I’ll reiterate this one more time: I still like Josh Jones as the best of a very, very muddled group. So if you invest something in Jones, realize you may have to wait for a crowded backfield to sort itself out before you have a player you can count on.
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