The injury bug has not only affected the offensive side of the ball. Defensive players are dropping like a prom dress, as well.
Very few teams have not seen an injury to a vital part of their defense. Unfortunately, that also means an injury to a vital part of your fantasy IDP rosters.
Here are a few injuries to keep in mind:
Linebackers: Shaquille Leonard, concussion; Denzel Perryman, concussion; Nick Vigil, hamstring.
Defensive Line: Randy Gregory, knee (on IR)
And now for the defensive position that has suffered the most injuries year to date…Defensive Backs:
Minkah Fitzpatrick, knee; Terrell Edmunds, concussion; Julian Love, concussion; Jeremy Chinn, hamstring; Darius Slay, forearm; Logan Ryan, foot; Amani Oruwariye, neck.
Here are some players who can pick up the slack.
Blake Martinez, Las Vegas Raiders
Martinez has had a change of scenery. He is currently on the practice squad for the Raiders, signed two days after Denzel Perryman was diagnosed with a concussion. And then there is Jayon Brown, who is hitting bottom on every statistical category Pro Football Focus can name for the position.
With Martinez, it will be sooner rather than later for him to be on the field. So get him while you can. We know what he can do.
Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills
Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Milano collected 13 total tackles and two tackles for loss. This week Buffalo plays the Pittsburgh Steelers and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.
The Steelers have surrendered eight sacks this season, albeit with Mitchell Trubisky under center. Pickett, for his part, wasn’t sacked in the second half but did have a fumble.
Malcolm Rodriguez, Detroit Lions
Yet another Hard Knocks star who is good. Last week Rodriguez totaled 11 tackles, one tackle for loss, and one forced fumble. This week the Lions play the New England Patriots. The Patriots have given up the second most fantasy points to the linebacker position.
Baron Browning, Denver Broncos
Randy Gregory is out on IR. Browning replaced him last week and played a season-high 43 defensive snaps. While his stats weren’t good, they will surely improve this week. The Indianapolis Colts have given up the seventh most sacks (15). They are allowing 18 pressures off the edge. And they will be playing without stud running back Jonathan Taylor.
Jarron Reed, Defensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers
This week the Packers play the New York Giants, who run the ball 52.34% of their plays. Reed is generally on the field for 62.7% of the snap share. With that time, he has accumulated 10 solo tackles which is tied for fifth-most for the position. With the injury to quarterback Daniel Jones and the depleted wide receiving corps, that amount could even go higher this weekend.
Josh Sweat, Defense End, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ defense is no joke. Sweat has had a hand in that. Playing with a 63.73% snap share for the season, Sweat has 13 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
This week the Eagles play the Arizona Cardinals, whose offense has the most plays per game (73), giving more opportunity for Sweat to shine.
Jaylen Watson, Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs
This week the Chiefs play the Las Vegas Raiders. Watson plays almost exclusively on the left side of the field. Raiders’ wide receiver Davante Adams lines up on the left side on approximately 44% of his offensive snaps. Adams plays 96.5% of the offensive snaps and has a 32.4% target share.
This will allow Watson plenty of playmaking opportunities.
Cameron Sutton, Pittsburgh Steelers
Sutton has been on the field for 100% snap share for the season. He has 13 total tackles, five passes defended, and two interceptions. He now goes up against the Buffalo Bills, who are not only a double-digit favorite in this game but are expected to score somewhere north of 30 points.
The Bills also give up the fourth most fantasy points to the cornerback position.
Lamarcus Joyner, Safety, New York Jets
Perhaps people have forgotten about Joyner because he is languishing in the Meadowlands. However, in Wee k4, he had five total tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defended.
In Week 5, the Jets will play the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins will play without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins also give up the fifth-most fantasy points to the safety position.