Week 4 IDP Waiver Wire

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Week 4 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.

Aldon Smith (Dal, 27%) — Mr. Smith is not here to play around. A dominant player in his first three NFL seasons, his star fell between personal struggles and injuries. Now that he wears a star on his helmet, Smith has picked right back up as a dominant player yet again. Smith is playing a robust snap count, leading the D-line in snaps over DeMarcus Lawrence and Everson Griffen. And his stats through three weeks? Stunning. 20 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 TFL, and 1 PD. He’s the leading DL by a large margin.

DeForest Buckner (Ind, 32%) — Consistency is one of the hardest things to find in a DL. It’s one of the reasons we like Buckner, particularly in his role on the Colts. He plays the most of any Indy DL (75-85%), and he’s got the steady production we can rely on. Buckner has posted 6 tackles in two of three games, and 3 tackles (including a TFL) in the other game. He also has 1.5 sacks, 2 TFL, and 5 QB hits so far. He’s been in the top 10 in scoring each week so far, and that’s where he’s likely to spend much of the season.

Akiem Hicks (Chi, 28%) — Hicks is off to a hot start this season, posting 12 tackles (9 solo), 3.5 sacks, and 4.5 TFL. He’s playing over 70% and has at least 1 sack in each game. He’s been a consistent presence in the middle for Chicago and should be a consistent presence in your DL slot. Hicks’ 36 FP is tied for 4th-most.

Top Targets

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

Sam Hubbard (Cin, 13%) — Hubbard was in our top-5 for season-long DLs, and the only reason he’s not in the top 5 now is a slow Week 3 game that was the debacle by the entire Cincy D on Thursday Night Football. He posted only 3 tackles that game. His other two games have been more Hubbard-like: 13 tackles (7 solo), 1 sack, 3 TFL, 2 QB hits. His numbers should increase once Geno Atkins is healthy enough to return to the lineup, which is soon. Hubbard is currently #15 on the DL charts and climbing.

Jonathan Allen (Was, 9%) — Allen was going to be plenty productive even on a stacked D-line, but the loss of fellow DT Matt Ioannidis to a torn bicep (he’s likely out for the season) will open the door for Allen’s snaps to increase. After posting 7 tackles and 0.5 sacks on a 50% snap share through two weeks, Allen posted 9 tackles (7 solo), 1 sack, and 1 TFL on a 79% snap share. He also has some good matchups ahead. The Ravens (10th in DL FPA) and the Rams (12th in DL FPA) have been vulnerable to DLs, giving up 11 sacks combined. After that Allen faces the Saquon-less 0-3 Giants.

Yannick Ngakoue (Min, 15%) — Ngakoue is clearly back up to speed and comfortable in his new digs, posting 4 solos, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, and 2 FF in his two starts. Our concern with Ngakoue has been his struggles against the run, but his big-play upside was never in question. We’re seeing that in Minnesota, where his tackles are lower than we’d like to see but he’s certainly coming through in the more potent categories. Don’t expect a high tackle floor like some of the other waiver wire options above him, but in big play leagues, Ngakoue should be rostered heavily.

Grady Jarrett (Atl, 12%) — Jarrett has made this list each week, so perhaps all my FP IDPers have scooped him up already. If you haven’t, it might be time. Jarrett doesn’t carry the sexy name some of the other DLs who get drafted in front of him do, but he certainly carries some sexy production. Jarrett’s 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 sacks, and FR make him a top-5 DL and a top-2 DT. Jarrett is nursing a sore hip, so watch his status throughout the week. However, HC Dan Quinn sounded optimistic that Jarrett will be available for the MNF game.

Montez Sweat (Was, 14%) — Sweat is a serious threat off the edge in Washington, and has continued to build off the second half of his 2019 rookie season. Through three games, the first-rounder has 7 tackles (6 solo), 2 sacks, 4 TFL, and 6 QB hits. If Chase Young misses some time with his groin injury, Sweat’s 70% snap share could go even higher.

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.

Kerry Hyder, Jr. (SF, 3%) — With Nick Bosa out for the year, Hyder has stepped in admirably in his stead. And while Bosa’s production isn’t replaceable, Hyder is still valuable in deeper leagues. In his first start last week, Hyder notched 1 sack and 2 tackles on a 69% snap share. The important piece here is that the 49ers defense was only on the field for 45 snaps (about 20-25 fewer than normal). Hyder’s tackle floor should be a little higher than that going forward. Hyder has 14 tackles (7 solo) so far and has quietly moved into the top-15 for DLs in FPG.

Leonard Williams (NYG, 2%) — Could the Giants finally be getting the former first-rounder to produce? After a strong sophomore campaign with the Jets - posting 68 tackles and 7 sacks - Williams saw his production plummet. He was eventually traded across the stadium to the Giants, who believe he can return to form, and so far that’s been the case. Williams has 13 tackles (8 solo), 2 sacks, and 4 TFL.

Jeffery Simmons (Ten, 2%) — I mentioned last week that Simmons was just getting started in the big play category, and he came through for us in Week 3. Simmons posted 5 tackles (4 solo), 1 sack, 2 TFL, and 2 QB hits, playing a heavenly 92% snap share. Simmons is living up to his second-year breakout hype that I won’t shut up about. He’s already a DL2/DT1.

Jordan Phillips (Ari, 0%) — After being a 30-40% player in Miami, Phillips had his breakout season with Buffalo last season, posting 9.5 sacks on a 52% snap share. So far in Arizona, we’re seeing that same player from Buffalo, as Phillips has a sack in each of his last two games. With so many teams devoting a ton of attention to Chandler Jones, Phillips has been slipping into backfields. He’s got a low tackle floor (just 3 tackles in 3 games), but he’s a sneaky big-play option in deep leagues.

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.

Zach Cunningham (Hou, 57%) – Cunningham is the #1 LB for fantasy, with 20 FPG through three weeks. As the explosive middle defender in Houston’s scheme, Cunningham has the right mix of tackle floor and big-play upside. Cunningham has 32 tackles (28 solo) but also has a sack and a TFL. He’ll be busy chasing Dalvin Cook, James Robinson, Derrick Henry, and Aaron Jones over the next month.

Fred Warner (SF, 57%) – WIth the loss of Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, Warner will remain busy on cleanup duty for the rest of the season. However, it’s Warner’s big-play ability that makes him all the more enticing. His first three weeks produced tackles of 7, 12, and 9. He also has 0.5 sacks, 2 PD, and an INT.

Top Targets

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

Eric Kendricks (Min, 34%) – Kendricks has been an absolute stud to start the season. He was a middling LB2 a few years ago, but last season he turned a corner. He became more aggressive and played faster. Now, he’s an LB1 and with Anthony Barr out for the season, he’ll have less tackle competition. Kendricks has 33 tackles and 24 solos, both of which lead the league. This level of production isn’t likely to diminish any time soon.

Myles Jack (Jax, 28%) – Just in case you were worried that Jack’s elite production was a fluke, he’s now done it for three weeks in a row. Week 1: 11 tackles. Week 2: 11 tackles. Week 3: 11 tackles. He’s tied with Eric Kendricks for the most tackles through 3 weeks with 33. Add in his 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, and 1 PD and he’s the #3 overall LB.

Matt Milano (Buf, 9%) – Milano’s value has been depressed as he was injured in Week 1 and sat out Week 2. Hence, his ownership is in the single digits. You know what’s not in the single-digits? His fantasy production in his two games played. He’s excellent in coverage and provides big-play upside to go with a solid tackle floor. Milano had 8 tackles (7 solo) in Week 3, and in his two games, he has 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 PD, and 1 INT.

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.

Benardrick McKinney (Hou, 4%) — One of the best places to find undervalued IDPs is the LB spot next to a monster producer. Whether it was Thomas Davis next to Luke Kuechly, or K.J. Wright next to Bobby Wagner, it seems like too many assume that whoever is next to a top-5 LB must not be getting any work. McKinney’s 28 tackles (16 solo) and 1.5 TFL make him a high-end LB2 at the moment.

Avery Williamson (NYJ, 1%) — Well, it finally happened; it just took longer than we expected. Williamson was a dominant player in this defense before he suffered his season-ending knee injury last year. They’ve been slowly working him into playing shape, having him as the second-team defender through training camp. But with the injury to Blake Cashman, the Jets have moved Williamson’s timeline along. He played almost every snap in Week 3, posting a healthy 9 tackles (5 solo). The Jets are thin at LB, so this should be Williamson’s starting gig going forward. He’s an LB2 in hiding down at the bottom of the waiver wires.

Kyzir White (LAC, 0%) — After starting WILL ‘backer Drue Tranquill was lost to season-ending injury, it was White who inherited this productive role in Gus Bradley’s defense. White posted 7 tackles in his first game in the new role, then 11 tackles last week, looking more comfortable next to rookie Kenneth Murray. It doesn’t look like Denzel Perryman is any threat to White’s job, so grab him and start him with confidence.

Joe Thomas (Dal, 1%) — With Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee still out for another 4-6 weeks, Thomas is entrenched in the starting MIKE job for Dallas. Over his two weeks as the starter, Thomas has 12 tackles (6 solo) and 8 tackles (4 solo). If he could convert more tackles into solos, Thomas would be a borderline LB1. As it is, he’s the 19th LB for fantasy over the last two weeks.

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.

Antoine Winfield, Jr. (TB, 37%) — Did you miss out on Jamal Adams? What about Marcus Maye? Are you wishing you had one of those playmaking safeties that racks up sacks and INTs? Well, look no further than the rookie Winfield. His tackle floor is high (with 6, 11, and 6 tackles), and his big-play upside is also high. He has 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 PD, and 1 FF. He’s the #5 DB for fantasy and I believe he’s just getting started.

Keanu Neal (ATL, 28%) — Neal hasn’t shown that he’s regained his full explosiveness yet, but he’s still plenty productive. Neal has had back-to-back 8-tackle games (he had 6 tackles in Week 1), and with the Falcons secondary as banged up as it is, Neal will continue to get tons of opportunity. What is noticeably absent from his game is his big-play production. Neal has been a big-play machine in years past, so once he fully trusts his legs - which we think is already underway - we should see his aggressiveness - and DB1 upside - follow.

Top Targets

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

Justin Simmons (Den, 19%) — Simmons has already been a top-10 option, with 22 tackles (18 solo), 1 TFL, 2 PD, and 1 INT. He’s the heartbeat of the Denver secondary, and although his role is stable and productive, it’s likely to see a boost. With Jurrell Casey out for the year and Josey Jewell getting regularly roasted in coverage, Simmons will likely see more opportunity to clean up in the box. His top-10 production could be on the rise.

Mike Hilton (Pit, 17%) — Hilton is the #1 DB in fantasy, with a glorious mix of solo tackles and big plays. 19 of his 21 tackles are solo, which creates a helluva tackle floor for his big-play upside. And it’s the type of big plays that make Hilton so intriguing. Sure, he’s got your typical CB1 production: 3 PD and 1 INT. But his usage as a pass rusher has us giddy. Hilton has 4 TFL, 2 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Part-time safety, part-time slot corner, part-time pass rusher. This is no fluke; Hilton’s DB1 production could be here to stay.

Jeremy Chinn (Car, 5%) — Chinn’s usage has created a high-floor DB option with LB upside. The rookie has played every defensive snap, has held up well in coverage, and has been a hybrid SCB/OLB/SS player for DC Phil Snow. After posting 8 tackles in each of his first two games, Chinn finally hit the double-digit tackle mark in Week 3 (12 tackles - 6 solo). His 27 tackles are second only to Budda Baker. He’s a top-20 DB.

Vonn Bell (Cin, 7%) — Bell’s tackle production is right where we thought it would be. The issue has been his solo-to-assist ratio. Bell has 8 tackles in each of his three games, but of his 24 tackles, only 10 have been solos. This looks to be more bad luck than anything else, so picking up Bell as your DB2/DB3 should provide you one of the highest tackle floors at that range. And if he converts those tackles to solos going forward, you may have yourself a DB1.

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.

Chuck Clark (Bal, 5%) — Clark was already humming along as a sneaky DB3 for fantasy, but with the loss of SCB Tavon Young, Clark’s role became more active. Clark - the defensive play-caller, so he’s out there for every snap - went from 6 tackles in each of the first two games, to 10 tackles in Week 3. He also has 0.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles to boost his tackle production. Clark is currently the #13 DB in fantasy.

Josh Jones (Jax, 2%) — As mentioned last week, Jones had a slow game in Week 2, posting 5 tackles. This was largely due to FS Andrew Wingard being picked on for much of the game. Week 3 saw a bounceback game for Jones. The new starting safety racked up 8 tackles (7 solo) and is looking like a solid DB2 going forward. Jones is DB22 in fantasy, and once he puts together a few more 8-9 tackle games, he could move into the mid-DB2 range.

Ugo Amadi (Sea, 0%) — After starting slot corner Marquis Blair went down, Amadi stepped in and has played really well. As teams continue to test him, Amadi has been racking up the tackles. Through two games replacing Blair, Amadi has 15 tackles (14 solo), 2 PD, and a TFL. Currently unowned, Amadi has CB2 potential.

Ryan Neal (Sea, 0%) — With Jamal Adams nursing a sore groin, Neal is in line to see more action as the team’s starting safety. Neal took advantage of his limited action in Week 3, posting 4 solos, a PD, and an INT. He’s a capable fill-in if you play in a deep league.

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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