Carlos Dunlap- As Michael Johnson has begun to slow down; Carlos Dunlap is stepping his game up and rebounding from his slow start to the season. In the past two weeks, Dunlap has a combined six tackles, three sacks and two passes defensed. He tweaked his hamstring and had some cramping late in the game this week, but he looks like he should be fine. He is worth going out and grabbing in most leagues as a viable DL2 going forward.
Spencer Johnson- I wanted to put Johnson on the waiver wire list last week, but needed to see if he could perform for a second straight game first. Well the answer is yes. The Buffalo DL has stepped its game up with the shift of Marcel Dareus to NT and the insertion of Johnson into the starting lineup alongside Dareus and Dwan Edwards. Johnson followed up his four tackle and a sack effort from last week with a five tackle and forced fumble effort this week. He looks like a nice DL3 and spot start as we approach the fantasy playoffs.
Robert Quinn- Quinn is still splitting time with James Hall and others across from Chris Long, but he is slowly starting to get the hang of things. In the past two weeks, the rookie has five solo tackles and two sacks in reserve duty. If he gets a chance for more playing time as the Rams try to develop their younger players late this season, then he could be a sneaky DL2. He may be inconsistent as many rookies and D-Linemen are, but he is worth taking a gamble on.
Mathias Kiwanuka- Kiwanuka lost a lot of his luster when most leagues removed the ability to start him at DL and made him exclusively a LB. However, the past couple weeks have proven Kiwanuka to be a nice start even in leagues where he has to be used at LB. “Kiwi” now has 26 tackles over his last three contests. On top of that, he has racked up 2.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in those three games as well. He is starting to put it all together as he gathers tackles and performance plays. He is a nice LB4 with LB3 upside and in leagues where you can still use him at DL he is a DL1 lately.
Antwan Barnes- Barnes has seemingly come a long way since his unproductive days with the Ravens. He has had a bit of a rebirth in San Diego and with Shaun Phillips sidelined he has quickly become SD’s best pass rusher. In Barnes’ last two games he has 11 tackles (nine solo) and three sacks. He is getting consistent pressure on opposing QBs and is a nice spot start as long as he keeps showing his newfound burst off the edge.
Chris Harris- The Denver Chris Harris has been a welcome surprise over the past couple of weeks. In the last two weeks Harris now has 20 tackles and an interception. This follows the trend of Denver CB2s stepping up this year and Harris has followed in the footsteps of Andre Goodman, Cassius Vaughn and Jonathan Wilhite. As teams try to avoid Champ Bailey, the other Denver CBs are getting lots of chances to rack up fantasy stats. Harris may only be the flavor of the week for a short time in Denver, but ride the wave as long as you can.
Marcus Gilchrist- Gilchrist has been picked on a lot since taking over for Antoine Cason in SD’ s starting lineup. To compound matters, Quentin Jammer has been on and off the field with nagging injuries. All this has amounted to increased playing time and fantasy opportunities for Gilchrist. In the fantasy world, Gilchrist has made the most of his opportunity. He now has 14 tackles (13 solo) and a pass defensed in his last two games. As SD continues to let teams move the ball through the air and they continue to get into shootouts, expect Gilchrist to keep the ball rolling.