2011 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 2

Hello and welcome back to the IDPGuru.com's most popular in-season article, IDP Waiver Wire Pickups which will be releasing every Tuesday of the regular season. Typically, I would give weekly recommendations based mainly on the quality of the matchup that week. However, since we are only one week into the season and matchup trends have yet to be determined, I will base my recommendations for the first couple of weeks mostly on projected long-term seasonal value.

The first couple of weeks are arguably the most important for fantasy owners as those hidden/unexpected waiver wire gems are just sitting out there for the taking. Through careful research and a little bravado on your part, these early season pickups could be the difference in you winning your league or not.

With this said, here are The Guru's Week 2 Waiver Wire selections...

Defensive Linemen
1. LDE Greg Hardy (CAR) - The release of Everette Brown last week gave Hardy the opportunity to prove himself in Week 1 and he rose to the occassion with 4 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack, and a forced fumble. Hardy is an underrated talent and could put up surprising numbers playing opposite "Big Bully" Charles Johnson. I don't think he has elite upside, but at a position that is quite thin from a fantasy perspective, Hardy's worth a look as your DL3 if you are struggling to fill that slot.

2. LDE Ray McDonald (SF) - After being a part-time player for the majority of his career, McDonald seems poised for an expanded role this season. He stood up well against the run in Week 1 and added a sack as a bonus. Granted, he was playing the Seahawks and his upside is limited as a 3-4 DE, but he could be a decent bye week/matchup filler in tackle-heavy scoring system.

3. RDE Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG) - Unless you've been sleeping under a rock for the last month, this addition to the list comes as no surprise. JPP continually climbed up my 2011 Defensive Linemen Redraft Rankings during the preseason and has the physical skills to be one of the elite pass rushers in the league. The injuries to Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora only increase the chance that Pierre-Paul breaks out sooner rather than later. With 2 sacks in his first game, he's well on his way for a top 10 finish. Roster him now.

4. LDT Henry Melton (CHI) - Although I'm admittingly not a Bears fan, I do live in Chicago and therefore find myself watching the Bears quite closely each week. Melton, a 4th round pick out of Texas, looked extremly solid up the middle as he picked up 2 sacks and had 7 QB hurries. The Bears defense tends to be synergistic in a lot of ways with average talents exceeding expectations. I think Melton fits this mold and could be a nice addition in DT-required leagues.


Linebackers
1. WLB Thomas Davis/MLB Dan Connor/SLB James Anderson (CAR) - With the season-ending injury to Jon Beason, these three linebackers will see a significant uptike in tackle opportunity. Upon initial inspection, you may think Conner is the player to own here since he will be taking over the middle linebacker duties from Beason. However, Thomas Davis and James Anderson are truly the players to own on a week-to-week basis as they will be the every down linebackers while Connor will head to the bench in subpackages. We all saw the type of numbers Anderson put up last season as a three-down SLB. And although, I don't expect him to repeat his 2010 numbers, he makes for a great LB3+ with upside. Even more so, I think Davis has the potential to put up LB1 numbers now.

2. WLB Sean Weatherspoon (ATL) - I've never doubted Weatherspoon's talent. My only concern was the amount of tackle competition he had amongst his fellow Falcons linebackers. However, after watching the game film from Week 1, he seems ready to blossom as a solid LB2+ in tackle-heavy leagues this season and adequately compete with Curtis Lofton for a bulk of the tackles on the Falcon's defense.

3. WILB Sean Lee (DAL) - Being a diehard Cowboys fan, I am perhaps a bit more familar with Lee than most. With this said, I had a feeling this kid was a special type of player from the start. He was overshadowed at Penn State by elite linebackers like Paul Posluszny and Dan Connor, however a healthy Lee is arguably just as good as those two players. He was fantastic in coverage in Sunday Night's game and was quick to the ball on almost every occassion. I expect Rob Ryan to use Lee in an every-down role and to rotate Bradie James and Keith Brooking. Expect more 12 tackle performances from Lee this season. Don't hesistate to roster him as a solid LB2+.

4. SLB Pat Angerer (IND) - Relatively speaking, I'm not quite as high on Angerer's week-to-week 2011 value as other IDP writers. As of right now, Angerer is still not playing in subpackages. With this said, his impressive stat line was more a factor of the Colts getting down early to the Texans and therefore staying in their base defensive package for the majority of the game. The good news is the Colts figure to be down early in a ton of their games with Peyton Manning likely out for the season and Angerer could see a ton more snaps than originally expected. Additionally, the injury to MLB Gary Brackett opens the door for Angerer to assume an every down role. If this happens, jump on him and don't look bad. Even if Angerer continues to leave the game in subpackages, he's worth a pickup as a LB3 in most leagues. Just be aware that he could be a bit inconsistent from week to week.


Defensive Backs
1. SS Kam Chancellor (SEA) - I've been raving about this guy all off-season and heeding readers to draft him as a sleeper pick in late rounds. If you listened, it looks like you made out like a bandit as Chancellor put up a team high 9 solos yesterday against the 49ers. If you didn't take a chance and draft Kam in your fantasy draft, do not fear as he's likely still on your waiver wire. But you need to pick him up as the cat is pretty much out of the back on him now. He's got great size and run-stopping ability for a safety and plays behind a weak set of OLBs on a defense that is likely to be on the field a ton this year. This all combines to make Chancellor a top 10 DB in tackle-heavy leagues this season.

2. SS/LB - Bryan Scott (BUF) - There have been a lot of questions via email, comments section, and the forum concerning the Bills safety situation and the relative value of Scott to teammate George Wilson. Do not panic. Wilson is still the starting strong safety in Buffalo and remains the player to own in all leagues. Scott saw an above average amount of snaps in this game as the Bills used him at linebacker in nickel packages. Due to the Chiefs extreme inneptness on offense and propensity to use spread sets, the Bills found themselves in the nickel package for pretty much the entire game. If you have roster flexibility, Scott is a nice matchup play type pickup as he could put up similar box score numbers in weeks in which he faces a team who throws the ball a lot.

3. SS Jon McGraw (KC) - The season-ending knee injury to Eric Berry is an IDP tragedy. But with every injury, comes an opportunity. McGraw took over for Berry after he exited the game and put up 8 solo tackles. If Sunday was any indication, the Chiefs aren't going to be very good this season and McGraw could see a plethora of tackle opportunity behind a generally weak set of run-defending linebackers. He's likely available in all leagues and could make for a solid DB3 pickup.

4. SS Craig Dahl (STL) - Coming into this season, I was a bit torn on Dahl's value. If given enough snaps, his value could creep up into the DB2 range. However, the Rams used multiple players throughout the preseason at the strong safety position leading me to believe that Dahl would only be a part-time player. For the time being, it seems as though my assumption was wrong. Dahl played a majority of the team's snaps in Week 1 and put up 9 total tackles in the process. It's not a given that Dahl remains the every down starter, but picking him up off the waiver wire is a chance worth taking in most leagues.

5. LCB Ladarious Webb (BAL) - For those in leagues that require you to roster a CB or that reward IDPs for return yardage, Webb is an interesting waiver wire pickup. His physicality showed through this week as he posted 11 total tackles and also contributed a half sack on a cornerback blitz. He's the type of cornerback that could be relatively consistent and is shaping up to be a CB2+ with nice upside in return yardage leagues.

6. SS Morgan Burnett (GB) - I had Burnett tagged as an IDP sleeper all off-season and he came through in a big way on opening week with 14 total tackles. These numbers are a bit inflated due to Saints being a good matchup for opposing secondary players, but the writing is on the wall. I have Burnett projected in the 80-85 solo tackle range He makes for a solid DB2+ in tackle-heavy leagues.

Last Updated: September 13, 2011
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