Welcome to Bye-mageddon! Week 7 sees six teams on bye, including the Bills, Cowboys, Jaguars, Chargers, Vikings, and Steelers. This means that our IDP rosters will be missing a slew of studs this week, such as Tremaine Edmunds, Micah Parsons, Rayshawn Jenkins, Derwin James, Eric Kendricks, and TJ Watt. Even if you’ve had one of the top teams this year, you’re still probably looking to the waiver wire this week to fill some starting spots. Read on to find see my top add at each position for Week number 7.
*To qualify for this article, player must be under 50% rostered on Fantrax.
Jonathan Greenard, Houston Texans
Jonathan Greenard has been on a tear over the past month of the season, after missing Weeks 1 and 2 with an ankle injury. The former Louisville Cardinal turned Florida Gator was a 3rd Round selection for the Texans in the 2020 NFL Draft, but only appeared in 1/4 of the team’s defensive snaps as a rookie. He tallied 19 tackles and only accounted for one sack last year, but his usage and production have taken a massive leap in 2021. Since making his season debut in Week 3, Greenard has registered a sack in three of his four games played. His 4 sacks are tied for 5th in the NFL over that span, behind only Myles Garrett, Matt Judon, Harold Landry, and Khalil Mack. Being mentioned with those types of players shows just how impressive he’s been so far this season.
As far as playing time, he’s played in over half of the Texan’s defensive plays in three of his four active weeks, but he’s not exceeded 56% in any game. For me to trust him to keep up this sort of production for the rest of the season, I’d like to see that playing time increase, but as a bye week fill-in, I would be very comfortable riding the wave and plugging him in this week vs. Arizona. He’s rostered in only 15% of leagues.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, Houston Texans
Two Houston Texans in one article?? Yes, but hear me out. Just because the team sucks and the defensive is putrid doesn’t mean there aren’t individual players who are valuable for IDP rosters. Journeyman Kamu-Grugier Hill is on his third team in as many years, but he’s on pace to have the best season of his not so illustrious career. After all, his career-high in tackles (45) came in 2018 in Philadelphia, but he’s already 2/3 of the way to that mark in 2021. KGH was certainly not on the IDP radar coming into the season, and it’s unlikely that even the Texans coaching staff planned for have a major role on defense.
Grugier-Hill represents the class case of earning your role, something that Defensive Coordinator Love Smith has praised him for doing. After playing in only 23% of defensive snaps in Week 1, KGH has seen his playing time increase in each consecutive week. He was up to 72% in Week 2 before missing week 3 with an injury. In Weeks 4-6, he was up to 85%, 100%, and 100%. With increased snaps comes increased production. Since Week 2, he’s averaging 7 tackles per game, and he’s tied for second among off-ball linebackers with 5 tackles for loss.
Unfortunately for many IDP managers, Grugier-Hill’s career renaissance has come at the expect of Zach Cunningham. A staple in IDP lineups throughout his career, he has not shown the new coaching staff that he is worthy of a full-time role. He was already benched for disciplinary reasons earlier in the season, and his play, especially in coverage, has been lacking. He missed Week 4 on the COVID list, and he’s played 52% and 29% of snaps in the past two weeks respectively. Head Coach David Culley has stated publicly that Cunningham is more comfortable on 1st and 2nd downs, so I don’t look for him to regain his every-down status anytime soon, if ever.
Available in 87% of leagues, Kamu Grugier-Hill has become a 3-down linebacker, and will serve managers well who are looking production during the bye weeks.
Kyle Dugger, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick doesn’t care about our fantasy rosters at all. Trying to figure out usage for Patriots’ running backs has been nightmare for years, and it can be equally difficult to trust New England IDPs. Belichick and his defensive disciples use a variety of different looks and personnel combinations, and playing time for individual players can shift week to week depending on the matchup.
Having said that, I am finally ready to trust Kyle Dugger in my lineups. He isn’t an every-down player (in fact, he’s only played 100% of snaps once in his career so far) he is still fairly consistent in his playing time. Over the first 6 weeks, he’s played between 75% and 93% in every game, and on the field for 84% of the Patriots defensive plays this season. While it’s not the perfect 100% that you dream of, at least his role is consistent. What can kill you in IDP is a guy who plays 100% one week and 15% the next, but a 75% floor we can live with.
He leads the Patriots defense in combined tackles with 39, and that number puts him just outside the Top 10 in the league among defensive backs. These high tackle numbers can be attributed to where he’s lining up when he’s on the field. He’s played only 15 snaps all season as a deep safety, compared to a whopping 191 in the box. Spending that much time close to the line of scrimmage helps offset the fact that he’s not on the field for every single snap.
Dugger is only rostered in 38% of leagues, and he’s a player that can help you during Bye-mageddon and beyond.
Thanks for checking in, and as always you can find me on Twitter @CantALoupe_FF. Good luck in Week 7!