Andre Carter- Carter has had a very up and down start to the season, but he seems to be hitting his stride now. He has seven total tackles a week ago and now this week he had five tackles and two sacks. He is fitting in well along that NE front four and he is seeing less attention as teams try to contain Vince Wilfork and company inside. He is already the best pass rusher the Pats have and with how quickly they usually build leads, he could be in for a nice final eight weeks or so.
Jeremy Mincey- It is time for me to pay Mincey his due and stop thinking of him as the bust that he was the past couple years. Two weeks ago Mincey had five tackles and a sack. This week he had eight total tackles. He is firmly entrenched as a starter on one side for Jacksonville and he is playing all three downs due to his stout run stopping abilities. He is the best DL to own on Jacksonville and is not a bad DL3 with weekly DL2 upside.
Michael Bennett- Bennett may not have a great deal of weekly upside, but he is very, very consistent. He has no racked up four solo tackles in three straight games and also had a two sack effort thrown in there as well. He is seeing a lot of time at DE for the Bucs and with Gerald McCoy out, there is less competition outside for him as some of the players are being moved inside to make up for McCoy’s loss. Bennett should be a steady and unspectacular play going forward on a weekly basis. You could do worse.
Brandon Spikes- While Gary Guyton has been the main player to prosper from Jerod Mayo’s absence, Spikes has started to step up as well. He now has five, six, six, and eight total tackles in the last four games. While Spikes has not had any performance plays in that time, he has been fairly consistent in his tackle production. What we do not know is if this will continue when Mayo returns. Mayo was expected to be out another month or so, but he did practice a bit last week and could be back very soon (possibly after this week’s bye). Monitor that situation as it may directly impact Spikes’ productivity going forward.
Aaron Curry- The Curry trade from Seattle to Oakland could not have come at a better time for him. Firstly, Curry definitely needed a change in scenery, Secondly, the Raiders have all but anointed him as their starting WLB now and he will now find himself getting lots of playing time. The even bigger development could be the ultimate health (or lack thereof) of Raiders QB Jason Campbell. With Campbell breaking his collarbone, he is likely out for the year. Unless the Raiders acquire some better QB, they will need to lean heavily on their defense and running game. This will lead to a lot of close games (when it is working) or a lot of blowouts (when the offense is not working). That should lead to many tackle opportunities and lots of rushes against the Raiders D to end this year. Curry could see a big uptick in value.
Brooks Reed- Reed now has 10 tackles and a pass defensed in two games since Super Mario went down. He looks like he could be a decent replacement and should be a fairly consistent presence in IDP circles if he assumes Williams’ role of rushing the passer 90% of the time. He already looks very fluid in shedding blocks and making tackles. While he may not have Mario’s pass rushing ability, he has a better chance to rack up tackles more consistently while he provides sporadic pass rushing numbers as well.
Danieal Manning- Manning has come back to the ranks of the living a little bit in the past few weeks. He has 19 tackles (17 solo) the past three weeks and he just had a nice 11 tackle effort this week against Pittsburgh. While the performance plays are still lacking, Manning (not Glover Quin) has been the one to step up and provide some tackle making fantasy production in the back end of the Texans secondary.
Bernard Pollard- I have been holding on to Pollard in a few leagues and clinging to hope that he would get his chance in Baltimore at some point. That chance may have come. I still am not sure if he has done enough to stay in the starting lineup ahead of Tom Zbikowski, but Pollard had a nice performance against his former team this week when he tallied five solo tackles and two passes defensed. The Ravens held Arian Foster to only 49 yards and 3.3 yards per carry, while limiting the entire Texans team to 93 yards on 25 carries with Pollard in the lineup. Even more surprising, Pollard helped to limit the TEs from Houston to only two catches for 13 yards. It just may be enough to keep him in the lineup going forward. Keep an eye on the situation.
Tanard Jackson- I drafted Jackson in almost every league I am in this year and many of them I kept him stashed away. In those that I could not afford to wait, I will now look to grab him off the waiver wire immediately. Jackson missed the last year with his suspension, and yet he came in this week and played major minutes. In his first action back in a year he gathered five solo tackles and an interception. He is primed for a big second half and TB certainly needs the help at FS. Jackson should be starting in no time at all.