A look at the free agent landscape in dynasty leagues with 12 or more teams and more than 50 roster spots will leave you feeling depressed. I wish I could be a ray of sunshine after week two, but it’s a desolate horizon for those looking for lineup help.
Keep that in mind when reading through this article. Try not to just look at the names – not all of the options listed are targets. I’m also writing up players who you might be tempted to bid on, but shouldn’t. So just be aware that this is not just a list of guys to go pick up.
When possible though, now and moving forward, I’ll try to provide you with some IDP options for today – and tomorrow. This is DLF, after all, and we focus on dynasty above all other formats. We won’t ignore your immediate roster needs either, so I’ll also comb over short-term assets that could be available in your leagues.
It goes without saying, but with leagues coming in all different shapes and sizes, not all of the players covered will be worth adding in your league, and for sure many will already be rostered in larger leagues or even 10- or 12-team formats with deep benches and/or taxi squads.
If you have questions on players I haven’t covered, feel free to throw them in the comments section and I’ll try to get you an answer before typical waiver runs on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings.
Ryan Kerrigan and Milton Williams, PHI
Losing Brandon Graham to a ruptured Achilles tendon was a big blow to Philadelphia’s defensive line. Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat are going to be the primary edge rushers in the Eagles’ rotation, but Kerrigan could see some new life. I’m not sure what he really has left to contribute though.
The guy to keep an eye on from a dynasty perspective is Williams, who is classified as a defensive tackle in My Fantasy League. He somewhat surprisingly lined up at edge in the pre-season but looked good doing so. In most dynasty formats he’s probably rostered, but scoop him up and stash him if he’s available. He hasn’t produced yet (three total tackles in two games), but he’s only going to see his role grow moving forward. Even when measured against all defensive linemen, Williams shows up as an elite athlete with body-type limitations (his average height and T-Rex arms are the biggest concern):
Alton Robinson, SEA
You’re not going to get a big number of snaps with Robinson, who is squarely in Seattle’s big rotation at edge, but if you’re desperate at edge and looking for big-play upside, Robinson brings it. His second-quarter sack of Ryan Tannehill forced a fumble in week two. If he ever finds his way to more and more consistent snaps, we could be looking at a fantasy Edge2 or Edge3. Such heights are highly unlikely while he’s with Pete Carroll in Seattle however.
Cameron Sample, CIN
If you have a bench spot to burn and Sample is on waivers, he’s a decent speculative add in case of injury to either Sam Hubbard or Trey Hendrickson – both of whom are locked in long-term as Cincinnati’s primary edge rushers. Sample, an early Day Three pick from Tulane, had a somewhat productive week two with three solo tackles and one assist, with one tackle-for-loss. Even though he’s operating as the Bengals’ third option on the edge, fantasy relevance still seems remote, so he’s just a stash-and-hope. It’s also his 22nd birthday, so happy birthday, big guy!
- Carl Granderson, NO – If you’re seeking excitement, see rookie Payton Turner. I’m assuming he’s rostered in any decent-sized dynasty IDP league though. In the world of unexciting, Granderson is a short-term desperation play only, but has some miniscule appeal with Marcus Davenport out. He put up five total tackles (one in the backfield) in week two.
- Jake Martin and Charles Omenihu, HOU – Martin popped with a sack in week two. I’ve carried him in some deep leagues in the past, but I’m not sure he’ll ever be anything more than a situational pass rusher. Omenihu’s stat line (three solo tackles, one assist) is probably fairly indicative of what he’s going to produce all year. I prefer higher upside in my backup/stash bench spots.
- Malik Reed, DEN – The third-year outside linebacker had a half-dozen nice fantasy days last season filling in for Von Miller. He put up just a couple of tackles in week two, but he could be viable in deep leagues should Bradley Chubb’s ankle keep him sidelined.
- Zach Sieler, MIA – He got into the backfield in week one and continued his hot start in week two with four solos and two assists. You really have to be desperate to use him in a lineup though due to lower snap volume. If you’re not going to start him, look for higher upside on your bench.
- Lorenzo Carter, NYG – He still didn’t put up starter-worthy stats (four total tackles, one quarterback hit), but Carter again led the Giants’ edge rushers in snaps with 53 (75 percent). He’s less than a year removed from a ruptured Achilles, so he may still be trying to regain his burst.
- John Franklin-Myers, NYJ – You could do a lot worse at edge than JFM, whose second sack in as many weeks also resulted in a fumble.
- Josh Uche, NE – He’s blossoming in year two. Uche played roughly half of New England’s snaps, tallying two sacks and three solo tackles. He’ll never be among the league leaders in snaps playing for Bill Belichick, but having a defensive mastermind scheme you to success can help overcome the lack of volume.
Marlon Davidson, ATL
The 2020 second-round pick never got it going as a rookie, possibly due to a pre-season knee injury and a COVID-19 break, and has been left for dead in many leagues. If there’s one thing Atlanta has going for it along the defensive line, it’s opportunity, and Davidson is going to continue to get the chance to show he can be the “1B” option to Grady Jarrett. He picked up a sack and a couple of tackles in week two. He’s a good add in larger leagues where you have the bench space available to sit on him for a bit.
Sebastian Joseph-Day, LAR
Joseph-Day made up for a quiet week one with a sack, two quarterback hits, six solo tackles and three assists in week two. After an off-season in which he reportedly focused on honing his pass rush repertoire, it was good to see some fairly immediate dividends. He’ll be a hot commodity on the waiver wire this week if he’s available, so be prepared to pay up to secure him.
Justin Madubuike, BAL
The fantasy production isn’t there yet (two solos, one tackle for loss in week two), but it’s eventually coming. He would have had another stop in the backfield this week if not for a bogus penalty call. The sophomore could be available in smaller leagues, and he’s worth rostering (not starting) in tackle-required formats if that’s the case. The Ravens are very high on Madubuike’s potential.
- Angelo Blackson, CHI – In leagues with lots of teams and deep benches, he’s going to pop atop your free agent leaderboard after a performance that included three solo tackles and an interception. The pick came on a tipped pass though, and we know that’s just not repeatable. If I were to find myself considering Blackson, I’d instead look for a trade to fill a gap at defensive tackle.
- Robert Nkemdiche and Al Woods, SEA – Nkemdiche (two solos, five assists) and Woods (five solos, two assists, one sack) led the Seahawks’ defensive interior in week two, but snap volume is not on their side. I wouldn’t give them much immediate or dynasty consideration.
- Jerry Tillery, LAC – He was dropped in a couple of leagues I’m in after a quiet week one. I’m not sure how good he actually is but he gets volume, and that makes him worthy of lineup consideration. He responded this week with four solos, three assists and a shared sack.
- Javon Hargrave, PHI – After a big week one he was likely scooped up in leagues where he actually was available. His follow-up was nice too – two solos, five assists, two tackles-for-loss, one quarterback hit – so he may just be a plug-and-play option in your tackle spot right now.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, HOU
Coach David Culley said that Zach Cunningham was held out of the first quarter for disciplinary reasons, and the 2020 tackle leader reportedly has had recurring personal issues that have led to absences and tardiness this year. That all led to a big week for Grugier-Hill, who emerged from a quagmire of a linebacker room to start alongside Christian Kirksey and post six solo tackles, three assists, a sack, three tackles-for-loss, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.
Grugier-Hill has always been a decent coverage linebacker, and it’s possible that his big week puts him in line for consistent snaps moving forward. If Cunningham is causing problems, Houston could look to move him, although his massive contract will be an albatross over any potential deal. If not Cunningham’s spot, we know Kirksey has a long and illustrious injury history, and it’s just a matter of time before his snaps are open for the taking. I’d certainly target Grugier-Hill on the wire this week.
David Long, TEN
With Jayon Brown out with a hamstring injury, Long stepped in and played all but one snap in Tennessee’s win over Seattle. He only put up six total tackles, and he’s listed here as a long-term play. As mentioned previously, both Brown and Rashaan Evans are free agents after this season, and Long could have an opportunity in 2022 to be a full-time linebacker. For that reason, he’s worth rostering now in dynasty, and in the meantime you can plug him in as a low-end starter when Brown is ailing.
Denzel Perryman, LVR
I’m having a hard time getting behind him even after a six-solo, six-assist week two – probably because he’s not a full-time player (his 42 snaps led Raider linebackers, but it’s still just 75 percent of the total defensive snaps). Given the other options here (Corey Littleton, KJ Wright) he’s worth rostering for possible bye-week starts in deeper formats. I still believe Nicholas Morrow is the linebacker to own once he returns from injured reserve.
Malcolm Smith, CLE
There’s no doubt he had a nice week with four solos, four assists, one tackle-for-loss, one interception and a pass defended on 58 snaps (95 percent). With Anthony Walker now on injured reserve and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah apparently not quite ready for a steady role, Smith looks like the best fantasy option among Cleveland linebackers. He’s worth rostering (and likely starting, depending on your league size and lineup requirements) for the time being.
Justin Strnad, DEN
Strnad saw 23 snaps in week two, posting three solos and two assists after Josey Jewell went out with a shoulder injury. Add Strnad, particularly in dynasty, if he was dropped after a quiet week one. Neither Jewell or A.J. Johnson can cover worth a lick, and both are free agents in the coming off-season. Denver likes Strnad quite a bit, and full-time snaps could be in the cards in 2022. If Jewell misses time, Strnad could help in the immediate as well.
- Ja’Whaun Bentley, NEP – It was a productive week for Bentley (six solos, two assists, one tackle-for-loss, one pass defensed). If you feel confident that you can predict when you’ll hit on those weeks, take a shot on Bentley. I have no confidence in my ability to do so, and I’m not clogging up a roster spot with Bentley.
- Robert Spillane, PIT – His eight solo tackles and two assists paced Pittsburgh. I’m actually OK rostering him as a handcuff to either Joe Schobert or Devin Bush, who missed week two with a groin injury.
- Ernest Jones and Troy Reeder, LAR – Kenny Young is still the Rams linebacker to own for now. His third-quarter ejection opened the door for snaps for Jones (nine snaps, one assist). Reeder remains a part-time but somewhat productive player.
- Quincy Williams, NYJ – The former Jaguar logged 53 snaps (91 percent) as the second inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley. He wasn’t all that productive (five total tackles, one for loss), and I wouldn’t be too hot to trot after him on the waiver wire. He’s not the next big thing.
- Azeez Al-Shaair, SF – He only logged five total tackles, but his role is secure for the next several weeks. Don’t expect a speedy return for Dre Greenlaw, who had surgery to repair a core muscle injury.
- Zack Baun, NO – He’s officially a thing after logging 64 of 76 snaps and tallying three solos and four assists. He’s still a work in progress while converting from college pass rusher, but New Orleans sees something in him. Roster him, but only play him if you’re in a bind.
- Nick Vigil, MIN – As long as Anthony Barr is out of the lineup, keep Vigil in yours as he’s producing at a high LB1 level. His week two included a 38-yard interception return for touchdown to go along with four solos and four assists.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I don’t think you’re going to find much help at safety on the waiver wire in the majority of dynasty formats. You’re better off exploring the trade market, and there are going to be good options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Just note that I’m more or less talking you out of most of the options listed below, rather than making a case for them.
Adderley posted a stat line that will draw you in (eight solo tackles, one assist, one pass defended), but it’s not sustainable despite a full-time role. He’s a deep safety, and the tackle production was more of a result of circumstance. Derwin James received more work out of the slot than usual due to an injury to Chris Harris, and Kenneth Murray missed 13 snaps with an ankle injury.
#FFIDP – Obligatory Derwin James watch:
Played 100% of the defensive snaps (62)
73% of his snaps came in the slot.
11% in the box.
10% as the deep safety.
5% on the DL.
1% wide corner.
Chargers played quite a bit of dime today with Derwin as the primary slot corner.
— Jon Macri (@PFF_Macri) September 20, 2021
Andre Cisco and Andrew Wingard, JAC
Wingard will pop on your available free agent listing this week after eight total tackles and a sack, but I really wouldn’t bother. I know he has his fans out there, but he’s still not a full-time player and the Jaguars are grooming the rookie Cisco to be the safety complement to Rayshawn Jenkins. I think Cisco has a chance as a long-term play, but he’s still borderline rosterable.
Quandre Diggs, SEA
You could give Diggs a look as he’s been productive as a tackler in both weeks; his 19 total tackles are tied with Taylor Rapp for tops among safeties. Just keep in mind the run-heavy game script in week two, with Seattle going against the Titans. Diggs looked bad trying to bring down Derrick Henry on touchdown runs, but no deep safety really stands much of a chance one-on-one in that situation. It’s just not a fair fight.
Mike Edwards, TB
Don’t be fooled into wasting FAAB or a roster spot on Edwards. He had a game to remember with four solos, two late interceptions – both returned for touchdowns – and three passes defensed, but they came on just 39 (54 percent) snaps. Jordan Whitehead is still the primary box safety.
- Grant Delpit, CLE – He played less than half of the Browns’ defensive snaps, but came through with three solos, two assists, and a sack that forced a fumble. He’s worth rostering but not starting.
- Micah Hyde, BUF – Don’t get sucked in by the total points that came along with four solos, three assists and a sack.
- Jalen Thompson, ARI – He’s playing a lot, but productive weeks (eight solos, one quarterback hit in week two) are few and far between. Look elsewhere.
- Duron Harmon and Erik Harris, ATL – Harris (five solos) and Harmon (three solos, two assists) are still the primary options at safety for the Falcons. They’re both low-upside, short-term options if you’re short at safety.
- Jayron Kearse, DAL – His snaps ticked upward (69 of 71), so he’s clearly worth starting consideration for fantasy. He likely got snapped up after a promising week one.
Kendall Fuller and William Jackson, WAS
Fuller is the Football Team’s primary slot option, and played all but two snaps in week two en route to a big week with seven solos, an assist, a sack and a pass defended. He’ll be busy once again in week three with Buffalo and Cole Beasley on deck. Jackson is also coming off a decent performance with three solos and two passes defended. Jackson should find himself on Stefon Diggs, one of the NFL’s leaders in targets. These two are hit-and-miss in terms of being rostered in cornerback-required leagues; I’d be sure to check on their availability.
I’m going back to Pittsburgh after plugging Cameron Sutton last week. Pierre (six solo tackles) is going to be targeted if Joe Haden again misses time with a groin injury. He’s among your fantasy league leaders through two weeks.
- Paulson Adebo, NO – The rookie has gotten a trial-by-fire through two weeks, and had a solid seven-tackle performance in week two. Par for the course in New Orleans this week, but he struggled. I’d be careful with streaming him, and definitely keep an eye on Marshon Lattimore’s status before plugging Adebo into your lineup.
- Trayvon Mullen, LVR – He had a nice week against the Steelers (five solo tackles, one assist, one interception and two passes defensed) and is a full-time player. He’s a streaming option in the right matchups – probably not this week against Miami.