We’ve reached double digits in the 2022 NFL season, and four AFC teams will be on a bye this week. After this week, about half of the league will be clear of its bye, which makes it tougher each week to grab IDPs that should not be dropped. The diamonds in the rough emerging will be even more important.
Each week, we’ll highlight diamonds in the rough or some players that just need to be rostered in more leagues on the defensive side of the ball. Keep in mind your scoring system and roster restraints when heading to the waiver wire to grab these IDPs.
DT Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 347-pound tackle has never been much of a fantasy commodity, but he has made a statement over the last three weeks. Vea has 12 tackles and four sacks over the stretch, which has put him among the top scorers at the position. This could just be an aberration, but he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player worth the add.
DT Javon Hargrave, Philadelphia Eagles
Hargrave is another tackle performing at a high level, though fantasy players looking to add him must take heed. He has 15 tackles and five sacks over the last two games. The 29-year-old had just 11 tackles and one sack the previous six games. Pick him up as depth, but he’ll probably be one of the first ones dropped should you need the spot.
LB Krys Barnes, Green Bay Packers
Barnes missed the first seven games of the season due to an ankle injury, and he delivered eight tackles in his first game in Week 9. The Packers defense is a mess with injuries, and Barnes will be a cog in the second layer. The third-year pro had 80 tackles in each of his first two seasons and should be a steady piece.
LB Justin Houston, Baltimore Ravens
He’s on a bye this week, but what he has done the last three weeks can’t be ignored. Houston has a sack in all five games he has played, and he has at least two sacks in three games in a row. Houston records only about three tackles a game, though, so he’s very one-dimensional. That one dimension has been on full display of late, though.
S Damar Hamlin, Buffalo Bills
The former sixth-rounder is still a bit of an unknown and available in far too many leagues after amassing 22 tackles over the last two weeks. Hamlin has at least seven tackles over the last four weeks, and he notched his first full sack of the season last week.
S Kerby Joseph, Detroit Lions
He suffered a concussion in Week 9, so take that into consideration when scouring the wire. The third-round rookie had a breakout performance with 10 tackles, two INTs and three pass defenses. He has at least five tackles in three straight games. Monitor his status throughout the week, and consider picking him up if he’s fit to play.