Week 2 IDP Waiver Wire

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Week 2 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. The players listed are in waiver wire order based on balanced scoring.

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.

Danielle Hunter (Min, 35%) — Hunter’s draft stock was low this offseason due to his neck surgery and subsequent missing all of 2020. But as our good doctor Edwin Porras mentioned on our IDP Corner podcast, Hunter’s neck issue wasn’t anything major. Hunter looked great in camp and has a DL1 pedigree. So it should come as no surprise that he racked up 6 tackles (3 solo) and a sack in Week One. It SHOULD come as a surprise that he’s still on way too many waiver wires. Y’all know what to do…

DeForest Buckner (Ind, 30%) — As mentioned in my Week 1 Preview, Buckner’s 9.5 sack/58 tackle 2020 could have been even better if not for him playing with a broken hand all year. Enter the 2021 Buckner: Now with 100% more hands! The former 1st-rounder posted 6 tackles (5 solo) and a sack to open the season. He’s a weekly starter in even the shallowest of leagues.

Top Targets

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

Chris Jones (KC, 20%) — Jones has been moved to the outside, playing less like a 2-gapping interior defender and more like a pass rusher off the edge. Jones’ size and speed are a great fit there, and we’ve already seen those results one week in. Jones posted 3 solos, 2 TFL, and 2 sacks on an 80% snap share.

Cameron Heyward (Pit, 12%) — Heyward finished as DL #22 (DL2/DT1) last season and even with interior partner-in-crime Stephon Tuitt temporarily sidelined, Heyward didn’t miss a beat in Week One. Heyward wrapped up 4 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, and 1 FF/FR. Grab his steady production for your DL2 slot while he’s still out there on the wire.

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 most give you a 1A option.

Jeffery Simmons (Ten, 8%) — We’ve been waiting for two years for Simmons to bust out and while one game does not a monster season make, Simmons’ talent and play is undeniable to the point of “when” not “if.” Simmons posted 5 solos and a sack to open the season. He’s worth a grab now for pennies on the dollar in case this really is his breakout season. Simmons finished as a DL3 last season, but he’s got DL2+ upside.

Trey Flowers (Det, 4%) — Flowers was a DL1 candidate a few years ago, but a few seasons under Matt Patricia torpedoed his productivity (along with the entire Lions franchise). We’ve been expecting a bounceback season for Flowers and one week in, he’s making us look smart. Flowers totaled 4 solos and a forced fumble on a 90% snap share. There aren’t many potential DL1 candidates with 90% snap shares rostered in less than 5% of leagues.

John Franklin-Myers (NYJ, 0%) — The loss of Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry opened up more snaps for Franklin-Myers this preseason and he grasped that opportunity to play meaningful snaps in Week One. JFM parlayed his 69% snap share into 3 tackles (2 solo), 2 TFL, and 1 sack. The starting pass rusher is currently free.

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.

Eric Kendricks (Min, 46%) — Kendricks isn’t on your waiver wire, right? There’s no way a perennial LB1 is just hanging out on the wire, is he? Kendricks essentially posts 100+ tackles every season (in his rookie season, EK had 92 tackles in 11 starts). Even last season, in just 11 games, Kendricks had 107 tackles and was a weekly LB1. With no Anthony Barr, Kendricks racked up 15 tackles (7 solo). He did have an overtime period to help pad those stats, but even 60% of that keeps him in the double-digit tackle range.

Cole Holcomb (Was, 33%) — Holcomb was the every-down LB in Washington, as we correctly assumed. That makes him a double-digit tackle threat each week. Week One was just that, as Holcomb amassed 11 tackles (8 solo). It looks like Jon Bostic and rookie Jamin Davis will be fighting for snaps next to Holcomb.

Top Targets

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

Myles Jack (Jax, 19%) — Jack totaled 119 tackles in 2020 (14 games), finishing in the top 20 for LB scoring. Being a full-time LB on a defense that spends a lot of time on the field helped, and it appears Jack is again in that position this season. After one game where he played 71 snaps, Jack posted 9 tackles (6 solo) and a TFL. He also carries more big-play upside than many of his LB2 comrades.

Anthony Walker, Jr. (Cle, 5%) — The Browns signed the former Colt to solidify their shaky LB corps, and in doing so handed him a full-time role. Walker is an every-down LB with weekly double-digit tackle upside. Walker posted 9 tackles (8 solo) in his first game as a Brown. I’m still dumbfounded at how poor his roster % is. Please correct this egregious error.

Jordyn Brooks (Sea, 7%) — Brooks sure looks like he’s playing (and producing like) the old K.J. Wright role. Wright was an underrated but solid LB2 in the shadow of Bobby Wagner, and Brooks has followed that path. Brooks recorded 11 tackles (7 solo) on a 90% snap share.

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.

Christian Kirksey (Hou, 1%) — The Texans are giving Kirksey a full-time role, making him a high-floor/high-ceiling LB3. Kirksey played every snap in Week One and totaled 6 tackles (5 solo), 2 TFL, and an INT in his Texans debut.

Alec Ogletree (Chi, 0%) — With Danny Trevathan on short-term IR, Ogletree is soaking up snaps next to Roquan Smith. Ogletree played 80% and posted 5 tackles (2 solo) and is a solid LB3/LB4 until Trevathan returns. It’s possible you may be able to time dropping Ogletree when Jarrad Davis comes off IR in a few 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.

Logan Ryan (NYG, 15%) — At least for the first week, Ryan was an every-down safety, as Jabrill Peppers (46%) was the third safety. Ryan finished as the #1 DB for fantasy this week, and is no stranger to dominating the DB landscape. He was the #1 overall DB just two years ago, with a mix of tackles and big plays. He displayed both in Week One, posting 10 tackles (8 solo), 1 TFL, and a FF/FR.

Justin Simmons (Den, 28%) — It’s hard to find a more consistent fantasy option at DB than Simmons. He’s posted 95 tackles and 3-5 INTs for three straight years. Simmons opened 2021 with 6 solos, picking up right where he left off. He’s an every-down player who rarely disappoints.

Top Targets

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

Vonn Bell (Cin, 13%) — Bell has been a high-floor tackle option over the last few years and one of the reasons we loved him coming into this season is that his role was locked in. He delivered as expected, with 7 tackles (4 solo) and a TFL.

Tracy Walker (Det, 5%) — We were hoping Walker would return to his mix of tackles and big plays that made him a fantasy asset before Matt Patricia turned that Lions defense into chaos. Walker did just that in his first game sans Matty Patty. Walker posted 7 solos and a sack and was one of the few bright spots on a defense that will be on the field a ton.

Khari Willis (Ind, 15%) — Willis played every snap and put up 7 tackles (6 solo) and a sack. He’s in a similar role that made him a top-25 DB last season — a place he seems ticketed for again this season.

Harrison Smith (Min, 16%) — Smith’s first season without his usual safetymate Anthony Harris is off to a strong start. Smith played on all 3 levels of the defense (including 15 snaps on the D-line) and produced 6 tackles (5 solo) and a sack. Think of him as a DB3 with some newfound big-play upside.

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.

Rayshawn Jenkins (Jax, 1%) — If you think the every-down safety who plays mostly in the box on a defense that will spend an eternity on the field would be fantasy relevant, well, you would be right. Jenkins is in line to have a high-floor DB3 season, as evidenced by his 6 solos and 1 TFL.

Taron Johnson (Buf, 3%) — The Bills have a locked-in defense in terms of roles and Johnson is a full-time slot corner. With outside corners like Tre’Davious White, teams tend to try to win against Johnson in the slot. Last season, Johnson was the #15 DB for fantasy in this role, and lo and behold Johnson’s 7 solos and 2 PD puts him in the top-15 for Week One. He’s going to be less consistent than some of the safeties above, but in CB-required leagues, Johnson is an absolute weekly starter.

Nik Needham (Mia, 0%) — Similar to slot corner Taron Johnson (but not as reliable), Needham should be busy all season. With two lockdown corners in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, opposing offenses will have no choice but to target Needham all game. All those targets lead to stacking up solos - Needham had 6 in Week One - as well as INTs and PD. Assuming Needham plays significant snaps (46% this week), he’ll be a sneaky CB2/DB3.

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