As we enter the one-third mark of the season, four teams are on byes. You might see players hit waivers that normally shouldn’t, and you’ll have to react on those quickly. Otherwise, we have you covered on the hidden gems floating on waivers.
DE Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings
While originally thought to be a situational pass rusher, Griffen played a season-high 49 (of 68) defensive snaps in Week 5. He had four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. He now has sacks in three consecutive weeks, and he faces the Carolina Panthers this week, who have yielded the second-most points to the position this season. The 33-year-old may have to split time with D.J. Wonnum at some point, but ride his hot wave for now.
DE Yannick Ngakoue, Las Vegas Raiders
Has there been a larger fall from grace at the position in recent memory? Ngakoue was one of the best linemen in football and was primed for a huge payday, but he just hasn’t been the same since leaving Jacksonville. He’s still just 26 and picked up his first two sacks of the year last week. It’s a semi-proactive move as we need to see more, but pick him up if you’re in a deeper league.
LB Reggie Ragland, New York Giants
The former second-round pick has bounced around after four ho-hum years with the Kansas City Chiefs. He seems to have found a home with the G-men and stable playing time. He has 15 total tackles the last two weeks combined and looks to be hitting his stride on the inside.
LB Pete Werner, New Orleans Saints
He’s on a bye this week, and this will be a move for deeper leagues. However, the second-round rookie has double-digit tackles in consecutive weeks and 23 over the span. He hasn’t done anything else in the stat sheet yet, but he could wind up being a steal if these tackle tallies are for real.
FS Xavier Woods, Minnesota Vikings
The 26-year-old former Dallas Cowboy opened some eyes with an 11-tackle performance two weeks ago. He followed it up with eight more stops last week, and it’s time to act if you waited to see more from him. SS Harrison Smith has long ruled the Vikings secondary, but Woods is on pace for a 75-tackle season with pass-coverage skills to boot.
SS Dane Cruikshank, Tennessee Titans
Armed with one of the toughest names in all of football, it’s starting to translate onto the field. Over the last three weeks, Cruikshank is averaging six tackles per game. FS Kevin Byard is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year thus far opposite of him, and they’re going to start avoiding him. Cruikshank should only see more opportunities for stops.
CB Desmond King, Houston Texans
King has 19 tackles in the last two games combined. In fact, he has recorded at least eight tackles in three of five games this season. He has two pass-happy teams coming up in the next three weeks. The window of opportunity is there to keep rolling.