On Bye: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans
Linebackers I have previously recommended: Paris Lenon (ILB, Ari), Stephen Nicholas (SLB, Atl), Larry Foote (ILB, Pit), Erin Henderson (WLB, Min), A.J. Hawk (ILB, GB), Bruce Carter (ILB, Dal), Phillip Wheeler (SLB, Oak), Mychal Kendricks (SLB, Phi), Justin Durant (WLB, Det), K.J. Wright (SLB, Sea), Jo-Lonn Dunbar (WLB, NO), Akeem Ayers (SLB, Ten), Ray Maualuga (MLB, Cin), Dannell Ellerbe (ILB, Bal), Russell Allen (SLB, Jac), Jerrell Freeman (ILB, Ind), Michael Boley (OLB, NYG), Craig Robertson (WLB, Cle), Bobby Wagner (MLB, Sea), Vontaze Burfict (MLB, Cin), Rob Ninkovich (OLB, NE)
Lavonte David (ILB, TB) – Tampa Bay is coming off their bye week so perhaps David is on your waiver wire list. He shouldn't be on anyone's waiver wire, but if he was dropped to make room on someone's roster last week, he's your highest priority to scoop up. His 12 solos and 2 assists vs. Washington in Week Four is an example of what he can do for you.
O'Brien Schofield (OLB, ARI) – In Week Three, Schofield put up 6 tackles and a sack. In Week Four it was 4 solos and a sack and now Week Five is another 6 tackles. If you compare those numbers to some of your high draft “starting” linebackers and I think you’ll find that you wish you had this guy over the last three weeks instead of the inconsistency that you’re currently getting.
Chase Blackburn (MLB, NYG) – Blackburn is starting to look like a nice bye week fill-in with 10 tackles and a sack in Week Four, 4 tackles and an INT in Week Five and nice matchup vs. the 49ers in Week Six.
Justin Houston (OLB, KC) – Houston’s 4 solos a game is not overly impressive, but 4 sacks in 5 games is especially impressive in big play leagues. If you’re in need of a LB with upside in Week Six, I like his chances vs. the Buccaneers.
Luke Kuechly (MLB/OLB, Car) – If only, if only… is all I can say about Kuechly. He’s my favorite guy that shouldn’t be owned. I love his potential and we got a taste of the future in Week Five while Jon Beason was out. Eleven tackles, one interception and a pass deflection! As I said, “if only”. However, I’m afraid he can’t be trusted when Jon Beason and James Anderson are on the field together. However, if you have a deep bench and the room to hold Kuechly, he’s the type of guy who could have HUGE value if Beason or Anderson ever get injured.
Defensive Linemen I have previously recommended: Henry Melton (DT, Chi), Chandler Jones (DE, NE), Derrick Morgan (DE, Ten), Randy Starks (DE, Mia), Cameron Jordan (DE, NO), Tyson Alualu (DT, Jac), Jeremy Mincey (DE, Jac), Israel Idonije (DE, Chi), Robert Quinn (DE, Stl), Michael Johnson (DE, Cin), Carlos Dunlap (DE, Cin), Charles Johnson (DE, Car), Dwight Freeney (DE/LB, Ind), Everson Griffen (DE, Min), Brandon Mebane (DT, Sea)
Cameron Wake (DE, Mia) – There’s a chance he’s on your waiver wire due to his slow start, but his potential is as high as any defensive end in the league and with 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles in the last two weeks, he’s your number one priority at defensive end.
Greg Hardy (DE, Car) – He shouldn’t be on your waiver wire in defensive-end required leagues, but since they are heading into a bye week, watch to see if he’s dropped. He’s a solid player as he proved last year who gets stronger as the season progresses. His latest performance of a sack, 4 solos and 2 assists became common place in the second half of the 2011 season.
Randy Starks (DT, Mia) – In defensive tackle-required leagues, he’s an exciting player to own this year. He has 15 tackles, 3.5 sacks, an interception and 2 pass deflections on the year. He’s the top scoring IDP defensive tackle in the league thus far and his matchup against the Rams in Week Six is solid.
Defensive Backs I have previously recommended: Devin McCourty (CB, NE), Harrison Smith (S, Min), Tracy Porter (CB, Den), Alterraun Verner (CB, Ten), Atari Bigby (SS, SD), Michael Griffin (FS, Ten), Craig Dahl (SS, Stl), Madieu Williams (SS, Was), Buster Skrine (CB, CLE), Tim Jennings (CB, Chi), John Wendling (FS, Det), Reggie Nelson (SS, Cin), Josh Norman (CB, Car), Jordan Babineaux (SS, Ten), Greg Toler (CB, Ari), Rahim Moore (S, Den), Stephon Gilmore (CB, Buf)
Matt Giordano (FS, Oak) – Coming off bye, you’re going to want to pick up Giordano. Michael Huff has moved over to corner to help this injury-riddled defense and Giordano started at safety in Week Four and will continue to do so for most of the year. As I recommended in my pre-game article, he’s a playmaker who you want for your IDP lineup. He finished with 8 solos in Week Four, but he’s also known for his ball-hawking capabilities as he picked up 5 INTs last year as a reserve safety. I remember getting excited every time he came into a game last year because I knew he’d make something happen anytime the ball was thrown his way. Something else to keep in mind is that he had 130 return yards with those INTs, one of them for a touchdown so if you need a DB plug-in off the Waiver Wire, I think you just found your man.
Josh Robinson (CB, Min) – Every once in a while you find a diamond in the rough that you didn’t see at first glance. Robinson is that sneaky play that I’ve finally noticed. He’s only recommended for corner-required leagues, but could be passable for DB required leagues during bye weeks. His numbers are as follows: Week Three was 4 solos and an INT, Week Four was 6 solos and Week Five was 6 solos. In all, he has 21 solos out of 22 tackles and 2 pass deflections.
Sean Smith (CB, Mia) – For the second week in a row, Smith led his team in the box scores. In Week Four, he picked of Kevin Kolb twice and added 6 tackles. In Week Five, he totaled 8 tackles (6 solos). He has a solid matchup against the Rams in Week Six.
Mike Adams (SS, Den) – Adams is another solid bye week fill-in. He has one of the highest tackle totals on the year of any defensive back at 34 tackles. On top of that, he has 8 pass deflections on the year. I really like his matchup vs. the Chargers in Week Six.
Dunta Robinson (CB, Atl) – He’s been playing well over the last couple weeks and his sack and interception in Week Five place him firmly on the radar. He has over 20 tackles on the year and 4 pass deflections so he deserves a long look in corner-required leagues.