Week 3 IDP Waiver Wire

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Week 3 IDP Waiver Wire

Welcome to the IDP Waiver Wire article. Each of the three main positions will be broken down by league size. For shallow leagues, visit the Higher-owned Options. For 6-9 IDPs, check out the Top Targets, and for deeper leagues, check out the Going Deeper section. In general, we’re focusing on players who are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo! leagues.

Defensive Linemen

Higher-owned Options

These IDPs have steady, productive roles with high floors. Others may have better weeks but at the end of the season, these are most likely to help you most.

Chase Young (Was, 29%) — We didn’t think Young’s strong Week One debut was a fluke, and he proved us right in Week Two. The rookie recorded another 4 tackles (all solo) and a sack. He’s the #1 DL for fantasy through two weeks, and he’s maintaining his healthy snap count.

J.J. Watt (Hou, 27%) — You can set your watch by it. Every season, a stud DL has a slow game in Week One, then gets dropped, then tons of IDPers watch massive production pile up on their waive wires. Watt just missed a few sacks in Week One but came up empty. He did have 4 tackles, but it didn’t prevent his drop in ownership. I don’t even have to finish writing this sentence because we all know what happened next: Watt posted 2 sacks along with 2 solos in Week Two. DLs always live and die by their sacks, but as long as they have a decent tackle floor (2-5 tackles per week), we learn to live and die with them. Let’s live a little and scoop up Watt. Pittsburgh has allowed 3 sacks and 5 TFL in 2 games to DLs.

DeForest Buckner (Ind, 28%) — I mentioned last week that we needed to grab Buckner before it was too late, but his ownership only rose 1%. Hopefully, our FP IDPers were the 1%. If not, he might still be out there. Buckner is playing a healthy snap share and has 9 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 TFL, and 1 safety in two games. He also has some juicy matchups coming his way.

Top Targets

In leagues with 2-3 IDPs per position, these could be league-winners. We’re going decent floor, but mostly upside here.

Yannick Ngakoue (Min, 13%) — We were worried about Ngakoue’s sea legs in Week One after skipping training camp. Now that he’s getting up to speed, we’re seeing the wrecking ball that Ngakoue had been with the Jaguars. Ngakoue led the Vikings D-line in snaps with 54 and had 3 tackles and a sack. That was against arguably the best O-line in the game (Colts). His next three matchups feature an average Tennessee O-line, then Houston and Seattle O-lines who are both in the top 5 in allowing QB hits.

Grady Jarrett (Atl, 8%) — Another game, another 5 tackles and a big play. We love Jarrett’s tackle floor mixed with his big-play upside. He demonstrated that throughout his career as a 50-60 tackle/4-6 sack DT, and through two weeks, he’s on pace for 80 tackles and 12 sacks. It’s highly doubtful he’ll hit that (small sample size, etc), but it is an indication of his consistency. And at DL, that’s worth Jarrett’s weight in gold.

Arik Armstead (SF, 10%) — Armstead has all the talent in the world, but when you play in a rotation with players like Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, you don’t get as many opportunities to produce. Well, opportunity is knocking. Add Dee Ford’s neck injury to the M.A.S.H unit, and Armstead will be on the field a ton going forward. Armstead notched a sack in Week Two and has a great upcoming schedule (@NYG, Phi, Mia).

Going Deeper

In leagues with 11-14 total IDPs, these are high-upside options who could come out of nowhere to be at least a solid 2nd/3rd starter, and at best give you a 1A option.I

Jurrell Casey (Den, 2%) — Now in Denver, Casey has continued his DL2/DL3 production from when he was in Tennessee. After his 6-tackle (3 solo) performance in Week One, Casey posted 4 tackles (3 solo) in Week Two. He’s not much for sacks, but as a run-stuffer who will be busy on the other side of a bruised-and-battered offense, his tackle floor is comfortably high.

Ed Oliver (Buf, 2%) — Oliver is the future on the interior in Buffalo, and he showed why in Week Two. Oliver posted 4 solos and a sack and should be more heavily involved going forward. We preached patience after his Week One dud, and that was rewarded in Week Two. He’s got tons of upside as your DT2.

Fletcher Cox (Phi, 4%) — Now what is Mr. Cox doing down here in the single-digit roster range? With multiple injuries across his D-line in Week One, Cox was essentially battling Washington’s line single-handedly. In Week Two - as reinforcements arrived - Cox posted 4 tackles (3 solo) and a TFL. If you can snag him as your DT2 or DL3, you’ll benefit from a player who’s posted at least 40 tackles in all but one season (and he missed two games that season).

Jeffery Simmons (Ten, 2%) — Simmons is one of our sleepers heading into this year. A 2% rostered player with 7 tackles, 1 PD, and a fumble recovery on the season is the definition of a sleeper. Simmons is one of the rare 80% usage DLs, so his floor is high. But it’s his big-play upside that we love, and he’s just getting started in that category.

Linebackers

Higher-owned Options

These IDPs have steady, productive roles with high floors. Others may have better weeks but at the end of the season, these are most likely to help you most.

Fred Warner (SF, 56%) – Warner has mysteriously flown under the radar this offseason, but he’s off to an LB1 start. He followed his Week One 9-tackle performance with a 13-tackle Week Two. With the 49ers D-line banged up, Warner will be doing lots of cleanup going forward. He also has the #1 LB matchup this week when he travels to play the Giants in front of one of the friendliest tackle crews in the league.

Zach Cunningham (Hou, 52%) – Cunningham has been the lead dog on this Texans defense since mid-season last season, and he showed that in Week Two. Cunningham posted 15 tackles (10 solo), 1 TFL, and 1 sack. He turned a corner last season, and the Texans signed him to a hefty new contract after seeing his development. After a pedestrian start in Week One (7 tackles), Cunningham’s double-digit tackle days should be plentiful going forward. He gets run-heavy Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota over the next three weeks.

Top Targets

In leagues with 2-3 IDPs per position, these could be league-winners. We’re going decent floor, but mostly upside here.

Devin White (TB, 39%) – We cautioned last season that the rookie White would need time to catch up to Lavonte David. Well, White has officially caught up. This is one of the best LB duos in the league, and White is producing at an elite level so far. After racking up 11 tackles (6 solo), 1 TFL, and a PD in Week One, White had 15 tackles (11 solo), 1 TFL, and a PD in Week Two. It’s time to ride this emerging player on a dominant defense, playing in front of one of the more generous stat crews in Tampa Bay. White has two top-10 matchups for LBs up next: The Broncos (3rd) and Chargers (9th).

Christian Kirksey (GB, 30%) – Kirksey has zero tackle competition in the middle, as the only ILB in this dime-heavy scheme. Hence, Kirksey has posted 12 tackles in back-to-back games. Blake Martinez was a top-5 LB in this role last season, and Kirksey is following in his footsteps so far. And while we haven’t seen it yet, Kirksey brings a big-play nose for the football that Martinez doesn’t seem to possess. High tackle floor and big-play upside is a league-winning combination.

Myles Jack (Jax, 23%) – Stop me if you’ve heard me say this before: Myles Jack is BACK. We were hoping that surrendering play-calling duties to Joe Schobert would return Jack back to his factory settings, and so far that’s exactly what has happened. Jack posted 11 tackles (8 solo), 1 TFL, and 1 sack in Week One, then followed that with another 11-tackle (6 solo), 1 PD Week Two. He was a high-tackle floor, big-play upside guy before he became the play-caller, and we’re seeing exactly that again.

.Eric Kendricks (Min, 23%) – Tired of trying to figure out which of your LBs will get enough snaps to be fantasy relevant, or which your LBs are going to disappear on you again? Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Kendricks. Kendricks has had the same role on the same team for several years. And it’s a 100-tackle role (a mark he hasn’t missed since taking over the job part-way through 2015). Through two games, Kendricks has 11 and 12 tackles respectively.

Micah Kiser (LAR, 10%) – We heard rumors of Kiser not being able to stay on the field in dime packages, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Kiser is playing a ton and racking up LB2 production along the way. He posted 7 tackles and 2 PD in Week One but exploded in Week Two with 16 tackles (11 solo), 1 PD, and 1 forced fumble. Granted, he was targeted heavily, and that usually results in one of two things: he has a better game and doesn’t get as many tackles from QBs completing passes against him (see: Jerome Baker) or he gets subbed out on passing downs (see: Anthony Walker). But we still like Kiser as an LB3 with upside.

Kenneth Murray (LAC, 9%) – With Drue Tranquill out for the year, Murray’s development will have to happen with live bullets. Murray played 83% in Week Two, posting 10 tackles (4 solo), after recording 8 tackles (4 solo) in Week One. We think he’s a few months - if not a year - away from being “the guy” here, but we’ll take steady LB2/LB3 production while he matures into that role.

Going Deeper

In leagues with 11-14 total IDPs, these are high-upside options who could come out of nowhere to be at least a solid 2nd/3rd starter, and at best give you a 1A option.I

Jon Bostic (Was, 3%) — Bostic has had identical stat lines in both games this year. And it’s a pretty good one: 7 tackles (5 solo), 1 TFL, 1 sack. He continues to be the play-caller and workhorse for the Washington defense. He’s going to give you LB3 floor, but his big-play upside will make him an LB2 some weeks. Or every week if he keeps posting this identical production.

Eric Wilson (Min, 0%) — With Anthony Barr now out for the season with a torn pectoral, Wilson will move into a starting role next to Eric Kendricks. The team has loved Wilson for a while, but it’s damned near impossible to supplant Barr or Kendricks. Now he will get a chance to play every down, and he should be a solid LB3 out of the gate. In Week Two, thrust into duty after Barr left, Wilson posted 7 tackles, 1 INT, and 1 PD. Even in Week One as a starter in base packages (56%), Wilson recorded 3 solos and a forced fumble. He’s no scrub (although full judgment defaults to TLC on that). He’s starter-quality, and he’s got a full workload ahead of him all season.

Joe Thomas (Dal, 0%) — Hmm. This headline reads, “LB inherits lucrative starting gig, no one picks him up.” Thomas stepped in for the injured Leighton Vander Esch and put up 12 tackles (6 solo)….on everyone’s waiver wires. With LVE out for a while, Thomas will be assuming this role for the time being. He was the super-sub in case either starting LB went down, and now that Sean Lee has had surgery that will leave him out for another 5-6 weeks, Thomas should have this gig for a while longer. Teams will gladly attack him over Jaylon Smith, so for the love of John Madden please go pick him up.

Defensive Backs

Higher-owned Options

These IDPs have steady, productive roles with high floors. Others may have better weeks but at the end of the season, these are most likely to help you most.

Johnathan Abram (LV, 24%) — Abram got banged up pursuing a player out of bounds and then crashing into a crane (that sounds more ominous than it was), and finished with 4 solos, 1 TFL, and 1 PD. The week before, Abram had 13 tackles (9 solo). That’s essentially a snapshot of his floor and ceiling, except that he’s got more big plays coming. While there is always some volatility with DBs, we prefer the ones with the higher floors and ceilings who we know will be heavily involved each week. That’s Abrams.

Top Targets

In leagues with 2-3 IDPs per position, these could be league-winners. We’re going decent floor, but mostly upside here.

Terrell Edmunds (Pit, 10%) — Edmunds had another strong outing in Week Two, with 4 tackles and a sack. In Week One, Edmunds had 8 tackles (7 solo) and has solidified himself as a DB2. His role is bouncing between playing in the box and playing in the slot in the team’s “big dime” packages. That should give him a steady diet of tackles and big plays.

Justin Reid (Hou, 7%) — Reid played more deep safety last season than we would have liked for his fantasy value. He was too far away from the action. This year, Reid is getting more chances to make an impact near the line of scrimmage, and we’re seeing that show up in the box score. He followed his 5-solo game from Week One with a 10-tackle (8 solo) Week Two game. His average should be somewhere in between those two games, which we will gladly take in our DB2 spot.

Jeremy Chinn (Car, 5%) — Chinn continues to impress, holding his own against Tom Brady, and continuing to be a movable chess piece for DC Phil Snow. And by “movable chess piece,” I mean the dude got a carry as an RB on one play. He only managed 1 yard, but still. Best to rely on his 8-and-7 tackle production and his 100% usage as SS/OLB/SCB than trying to rely on his offensive touches, but color us intrigued by the possibilities.

Eddie Jackson (Chi, 3%) — Jackson doesn’t carry the big name that some of his safety cohorts do, but the dude sure does consistently produce. All he does is average 4-6 tackles per game over his career and has 14 already over two games. While other DBs leave you dazzled one game and dazed the next, “Steady Eddie” is a reliable safety for the backend of your lineups.

Going Deeper

In leagues with 11-14 total IDPs, these are high-upside options who could come out of nowhere to be at least a solid 2nd/3rd starter, and at best give you a 1A option.

Brian Poole (NYJ, 2%) — On a Jets defense that requires their corners to be involved in the run game, Poole has been laying a solid tackle floor over the first two weeks of the season. WIth 9 tackles (8 solo) in Week One and 6 solos in Week Two, he’s a solo-heavy option for DB tackling production. On top of that solo tackle floor, Poole has 2 PD, 2 TFL, and 1 sack to boost his fantasy value. His upcoming schedule features two top-10 teams for opposing DB production (Denver and Indianapolis), and an Arizona team giving up 47 solos to DBs in two weeks.

Jordan Fuller (LAR, 0%) — It was nice to see the surprise inclusion of Fuller to the starting lineup in Week One be followed by another week of solid play and production. Fuller posted 9 tackles (5 solo) in Week Two, after an 8-tackle performance in Week One. It looks like Fuller is here to stay, and he’s currently unowned in most leagues.

Josh Jones (Jax, 2%) — While his 12 tackles in Week One certainly got us excited, we’re just as encouraged by his 7-tackle Week Two output. He got unlucky with the tackle crew only giving him 3 solos out of those 7 tackles, but he was also unlucky because backup FS Andrew Wingard was picked on for much of the game. Once Jarrod Wilson is back, expect Jones to see more action. And if a slow game for Jones is 7 tackles, we’ll take it.

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.

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