Robert Ayers- Elvis Dumervil is hurt again and Ayers just keeps plugging along as the best available DL on the Broncos for fantasy production. Denver is getting shredded on defense and Ayers is on the field a lot. He has 10 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the last three games and is not a bad backup to own in deeper IDP leagues.
Marcell Dareus- This was a toss-up between Dareus and his teammate Dwan Edwards. However, since Edwards has already been in the waiver wire article series before, I default to Dareus. Both have been solid and this week the Buffalo D absolutely dismantled the Washington offense. Dareus has four tackles apiece in each of his last two games and he also grabbed 2.5 sacks this past week against Washington. He will not be a good play every week and his consistency will be a bit up and down, but he is a solid backup in some deeper IDP leagues and is a decent spot start on a weekly basis based on matchups.
Lawrence Jackson- Jackson does not get much hype since he plays as a part of a front four that includes Ndamukong Suh, Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch. However, even as a rotational player Jackson is finding a way to make some noise. He has four tackles in two straight games and has 2.5 sacks over those two games as well. He is currently on pace for seven sacks this year as a substitute player and is providing some nice pass rush off the bench for Detroit. If anything happens to Vanden Bosch or Avril and Jackson enters the starting lineup he could be big.
Kevin Burnett- I expected big things out of Burnett this year and expected him to be at least as good, if not better than Karlos Dansby. I was very wrong. To start the year, Burnett was abysmal and really was not even worth owning in IDP leagues. He has started to come around in the past couple weeks though and is finally worth a long look. Burnett now has 20 tackles over the last three games and racked up 10 tackles this past week against the Giants. He will not set the world on fire, but Burnett is a sneaky play going forward and is a nice addition in a reserve role for your fantasy team.
Omar Gaither- The Panthers just cannot seem to get someone to hang onto the WLB job with Thomas Davis out. If someone can, it is a hotbed for fantasy production. However, Gaither was there and was hurt. Then Jason Williams was there and flopped. Followed by Jason Phillips flopping. Thomas Williams got his shot and was hurt. Re-enter Omar Gaither. Gaither did a nice job this week against Minnesota as he tallied seven tackles and a sack. Keep an eye on his health, however. He was nicked up in this game and may or may not miss time going forward. Either way, he looks like the best bet to man the position whenever he is healthy and able to do so.
Jarret Johnson- Johnson does not get much in the way of accolades playing on a defense with Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. That being said, he has put in some pretty nice fantasy weeks since the Ravens returned from their bye week. During those last three games, Johnson has 18 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. He is averaging double digit points during those games and he is a very respectable spot start during the last few bye weeks of the fantasy season.
Darian Stewart- Stewart has been coming on lately despite only being used as a third safety. This week, however, he finally cracked the starting lineup for St. Louis and he had one heck of a game. Do not be surprised to see him remain as the starting SS for the Rams going forward. Against the Saints Stewart had seven tackles, an interception, two passes defensed and a defensive touchdown. With the Rams’ secondary in shambles, Stewart has managed 18 tackles over the past three games and is definitely on the up-swing now.
Charles Godfrey- Godfrey may or may not be available on your waiver wire, but if he is he is worth scooping up. He has been solid in run support and with the Panthers’ WLB spot in constant flux, Godfrey is helping to pick up the pieces from his spot in the secondary. He has 18 tackles over his last three games and he had 10 tackles this past week against Adrian Peterson and the Vikings. As the Panthers play run-heavy teams, Godfrey will be a nice weekly play.
Rashad Johnson- Johnson did not have a great first start in place of Kerry Rhodes last week, but this week against the Ravens he had a pretty nice game. Filling in for Rhodes, Johnson had eight tackles (seven solo) this week and he will continue to be a nice play as long as he is in the starting lineup and is playing a pass heavy team.