Three games left in the regular season, and a trophy is in sight. Teams out of contention could shut down veterans to give younger players a look, and that’s where you’ll find some hidden gems.
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.
DE Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles
We highlighted his teammate opposite of him last week, and Sweat must have taken notice with six tackles and two sacks. He has quarterback takedowns in four straight games and five of the last six games. He has seven sacks over the last six games, but he’s still hovering over too many waiver wires. Change that.
DE J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals
The future Hall of Famer turned back the clock with a monstrous three-sack performance against the Denver Broncos last week. Watt could be inching toward an end to his illustrious career. He’ll be super motivated to get after Tampa Bay Buccaneers future Hall-of-Fame QB Tom Brady this week. He’s worthy of riding one last time.
LB Christian Harris, Houston Texans
The third-round rookie strained retinas with 14 tackles last week. He had just 13 total tackles over the last three weeks combined before that effort. He’ll have the run-heavy Tennessee Titans in Week 16 to tack on quite a few more tackles.
LB Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
What didn’t he do last week? He had 12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown in Week 15. He could have DE or EDGE eligibility in some leagues, which would make the No. 5 overall pick even more valuable, but he should be scooped up for depth otherwise.
CB DaRon Bland, Dallas Cowboys
The fifth-round rookie has been super productive over the last month with 20 tackles in the last three games. He also has three INTs and four PDs. He’ll have peaks and valleys, but he has at least five tackles in five of six games. Give him a look in deeper leagues.
S Jason Pinnock, New York Giants
There’s a lot of NFC East love in this one, but the 2021 fifth-rounder has stated his case. He has 26 tackles over the last four games, and he has five tackles in three of those four. He forced a fumble and defended two passes last week, but he’ll mainly be a tackle guy.