Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 1 of the NFL season.
The Eagles weren't kidding when they said they were going to run a high-paced offense. They ran an astounding 53 plays in the first half alone. This said, expect Philadelphia to be a superb matchup for IDPs this season.
Larry Foote's season is over after suffering a torn bicep. As of right now, none of his replacements look like viable fantasy options.
The Saints opted to go with a 3 safety set on the vast majority of their defensive plays with Roman Harper, Kenny Vaccaro, and Malcolm Jenkins all playing significant time against the Falcons vaunted passing attack. I'm a bit concerned about Harper's week to week consistency however as it seems like Vaccaro has replaced him in base packages. If this sticks, Harper will be a matchup dependent, high variance DB1 moving forward.
Despite a highlight filled preseason, Jon Bostic failed to see the field outside of a handful of special teams plays in his NFL regular season debut. Instead, it was D.J. Williams starting at MLB and playing in the base packages. I wasn't as high as others on Bostic's immediate value anyway as he needs to improve in pass coverage before I think the Bears trust him as an every down backer. Nevertheless, Williams isn't much of a fantasy commodity at this point either. This is shaping up as a situation to avoid.
Mason Foster's improved play in coverage seems to have paid dividends as he was in there for the majority of the Bucs' snaps in their Week 1 tilt against the Jets. As long as he continues to play 80%+ of the snaps, he's worth rostering as an LB3+.
Similar to fellow rookie Jon Bostic, Arthur Brown only played a handful of snaps. I expect the Ravens to slowly dial up his playing time as the season progresses as he was the most NFL-ready linebacker coming out of the draft and Josh Bynes is nothing special. Until he starts seeing starter snaps though, he should be left on the bench in redraft leagues
Russell Allen left his owners with a bad taste in their mouths with a 2 tackle performance on Sunday. This was largely a result of him missing nearly 2/3 of the team's snaps as he sat in subpackages in favor of veteran Geno Hayes. It's yet to be seen whether this was due to Allen not being fully healthy or if it's more of a long-term decision. Either way, my gut tells me to sell low on Allen.
Donald Butler was in full on tackle monger mode against the Texans on MNF. He has little competition for tackles, especially with Manti Teo out, and looks to finally have arrived as the LB1 we've thought he was going to be.
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 2!
(Please note that a majority of these pickups are long-term, rest of season pickups as opposed to matchup-type recommendations. As the season progresses and the waiver wire becomes more thin and matchup information becomes more reliable, the focus of this article will shift more towards recommendations based on weekly matchup.)
LDT Nick Fairley (DET) - Fairley had an impressive end to his 2012 season with 19 solo tackles and 5 sacks in his final five games. He's carried that momentum into this season with 1.5 sacks in the Lions' season opener. He's probably going to be underowned this year as he gets overshadowed by Ndamkong Suh, but there's a good chance Fairley puts up the better numbers of the two this season.
LDT Dontari Poe (KC) - Poe looked like an absolute beast of a man in the preseason and he showed no signs of slowing down with a 5-1-1.5 stat line in the season opener against the Jaguars. He will have another nice matchup against a shaky Cowboys interior line this week. I'm expecting 3-4 solos and a good chance for a sack.
LDE Jason Hunter (OAK) - The release of aging veteran Andre Carter swung the door wide open for Hunter to prove to the coaching staff that he can be viable starter for them this season. 4 total tackles, a sack, and 2 QB hits should help him cement his role as a starter. Add in the fact that he gets to play the Chad Henne and the Jaguars next week, who gave up six sacks, and you have a nice DL3 addition for the coming week.
LDE Desmond Bryant (CLE) - The "Other Dez Bryant" was on my watch list heading into the season; he was one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the league last year and figures to play a pivotal role in Ray Horton's aggresive 3-4 scheme. He got off to a great start with 2 sacks in Week 1 against the Dolphins and will look to continue his strong play against the Ravens in Week 2. He's classified as a DT in some leagues, if that's the case, grab him and ride him a solid DT1- waiver wire pickup.
WLB Zach Brown (TEN) - For a player with 90+ total tackles, 6 sacks, and 3 INTs, Brown was heavily undervalued heading into this season (even before Colin McCarthy lost the starting MLB job). Brown continued to prove people wrong with 8 solos and 2 sacks against the Jaguars' pathetic excuse for an offensive line. Brown not put up 100+ solos, but 80-85 solos with a handful of sacks and other big plays makes him an LB2-LB2+ in balanced and big play leagues, respectively.
MLB Akeem Dent (ATL) - My IDP counterpart Jene Bramel over at Footballguys.com has been pumping Dent all off-season. And when Jene speaks, I listen. Dent has finally snagged the every down role away from veteran Stephen Nicholas. The 3rd year player out of Georgia put up a very solid 11 total tackles, two of which went for a loss. I wouldn't be surprised of Dent comes close to matching Sean Weatherspoon's numbers come end of the year.
MLB Erin Henderson (MIN) - Henderson was listed as a sleeper within my 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Guide. He played 79 of 80 snaps in the Vikings' matchup against Detroit and racked up 11 total tackles, INT, and a PD in the process. Meanwhile, Henderson's main preseason playing time threat, Desmond Bishop, didn't play a single snap in the contest. Although Henderson's output was aided by the relatively large amount of defensive snaps and the Lions' spread looks which forced them into two linebacker sets, he's shaping up to be a solid LB2- option in balanced and tackle heavy leagues.
SILB Jasper Brinkley (ARI) - Brinkley's strong preseason play carried over into Week 1 of the regular season as he managed 8 solo tackles against 21 rushing attempts (from RBs). He's likely only going to be a starter through Week 4 as he will probably return back to the bench when Daryl Washington comes back from suspension. He's a nice short-term, upside LB3 in the interim, however.
OLB Alec Ogletree (STL) - I've been very interested to see Ogletree play in a game that matters. And he didn't disappoint. He actually managed to statistically out tackle his teammate James Laurinaitis and anytime that happens, I take notice. Now I don't expect that trend to continue throughout the season, but there's no reason to believe he can't put up 80-85 solos on that defense where he has limited competition for tackles outside of the aforementioned Laurinaitis. The one caveat is the St. Louis scorekeeper continues to be EXTREMELY stingy with issuing assists as he only gave away 2 in the entire game last week.
SS Duke Ihenacho (DEN) - IDP owners have been waiting with baited breath over the last couple of seasons for someone to step up and become a fantasy force in the Broncos strong safety position, and it seems as though our wish has been granted with the arrival of Duke Ihenacho. Besides having a great name, "'Nacho" had quite the coming out party with 11 solo tackles and 3 pass deflections. Obviously, that type of production is unsustainable, but I expect there to be a good amount of tackle opportunity behind a relatively inexperienced set of linebackers. Don't overspend/over-prioritize Duke, but if you can grab him without giving up a ton in opportunity costs, do it.
SS Da'Norris Searcy (BUF) - I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the strong safety position in Buffalo is a fantasy gold mine. It has been for the last several seasons and it looks to be the case again this year. With Jairus Byrd out, Searcy got the start at SS with Aaron Williams moving to FS. I expect to Byrd to miss at least a couple more games as he's stated that he won't play until he feels "100%." Additionally, he doesn't have a ton of motivation to push himself as he's currently in a contract dispute with the Bills. That said, Searcy should be a very nice (DB1) play the next couple of weeks.
FS Tyrann Mathieu (ARI) - Mathieu was impressive in his first career start as he registered 7 solo tackles and an impressive forced fumble. Keep in mind however that he only played in 58% of the snaps and is not yet a full-time starter. I think that will change in the near future and the matchup against the Lions next week should help keep his snap counts high. That said, temper your expectations slightly and view the Honey Badger more as a DB3+/DB3- in big play and balanced leagues accordingly.
SS Ryan Mundy (NYG) - Mundy may be the least exciting name on this list, but he should serve as a viable bye week/injury filler moving forward. He played nearly every snap against the Cowboys and should see very good tackle opportunity behind one of the more suspect linebacking crews to enter the league in a while. 4-6 solos and a couple assists every week are a reasonable expectation.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter. Also, feel free to post any questions or comments for me in the comments section of this post.
Last Updated: September 10, 2013 Related Posts: