In a bye week armageddon with six teams on bye, week 9 was relatively disappointing for rookie defensive players. Here is how some of them fared.
We all know who Chubb is. He was taken fifth overall in the 2018 NFL draft for a reason. Until recently, however, Chubb was having a relatively underwhelming season. It did not help that he is an outside linebacker, which is not overly conducive to IDP. Even in leagues that he has the hybrid designation with defensive end, he was not overly effective. That is, until the last four weeks.
Over the last four weeks, Chubb has accumulated 6.5 sacks, 18 tackles, three tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. Against the Houston Texans in week 9, Chubb was all over the field. He racked up six tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, and an additional two tackles for loss. Regardless of his position designation, these are startable numbers.
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 4, 2018
If Chubb is available in your leagues, pick him up now. He is startable through the rest of the season as he looks to be picking up the speed of the NFL.
Jewell was given the start at inside linebacker with Brandon Marshall sidelined with a bone bruise. Playing in 77% of the Broncos defensive snaps, the rookie linebacker only managed three tackles, one for loss against the Texans in week 9. Before week 9, Jewell took advantage of his opportunities in games that he saw over 50% of the snaps. This week 9 game was a bit of a disappointment, but that happens in IDP from time to time.
Unfortunately, Jewell is still a backup and will only play significant snaps when Todd Davis or Marshall are out. However, he will get his chance in the future. Jewell may not be worthwhile this season, but he should be rostered in dynasty leagues.
The Texans rookie safety has quietly had a great season. In the Texans nine games, Reid has 49 tackles, two interceptions, and five passes defended. Against the Broncos. Reid tied for the lead in tackles for all defenders on both teams with 10 tackles. He also added a fumble recovery.
With so many injuries in the Texans secondary, starting safety Kareem Jackson was moved to cornerback and Justin Reid was thrust into the starting safety role. The last four weeks, Reid has played in every Texans defensive snap. Opportunity is king in fantasy football, and Reid has all of the opportunity. He has also taken advantage of the opportunity. Reid should be rostered and started in all IDP leagues.
Baker continues to have a great season for the Miami Dolphins. The rookie linebacker has 51 tackles, two sacks, two passes defended, and one interception. Baker’s interception came in week 9 against the New York Jets, which he returned for a touchdown. He also added five tackles.
Pick 6 for Jerome Baker off Sam Darnold. Mistakes continue to pour in for Darnold. Had another dropped INT earlier. pic.twitter.com/8teoyEklRW
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) November 4, 2018
Baker has been super consistent all season. The last three games he has five tackles in each. In fact, Baker has five or more tackles in 7-of-9 games this season. While he is not putting up huge numbers, he is startable as an LB2 or LB3. He should have been rostered a while ago, so pick him up if he is available.
The Atlanta Falcons rookie linebacker continues his productivity. Oluokun’s snap share has trended up nearly every week of the season. Over the last four weeks, Oluokun has five or more tackles, including 10 in week 6. PFF has graded Oluokun as the fifth-best linebacker since week 7.
On the season, Oluokun has 39 tackles. If Oluokun continues to get the start at middle linebacker and see more snaps, Oluokun’s second half of the season should be more successful than the first half. In fact, he may help you reach the playoffs. If available, pick Oluokun up in your leagues.
Whitehead has had his moments in the 2018 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie safety had his best game in week 9 against the Carolina Panthers. Despite only playing in 63% of the Buccaneers defensive snaps, Whitehead accounted for eight tackles.
Whitehead has been the only Buccaneers rookie who has actually done anything of significance this season. While he has not put up big numbers, Whitehead has played in 63% or more of the defensive snaps in four of his last five games played. Whitehead is getting plenty of opportunities and the numbers should come in time.
Be sure to continue to follow this column and get a jump on up and coming rookies that are on the verge of a breakout.