Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 2 of the NFL season.
The injuries just keep mounting up...
Adrian Clayborn was placed on season-ending IR after suffering a torn triceps. He will be replaced in the lineup by William Gholston at strong side end.
Speaking of torn triceps, IDP stud Charles Tillman suffered his 2nd torn triceps in as many years and will be out for the remainder of the year. It's a big blow to the Bears secondary and fantasy owners alike. The one silver lining may be that he's being replaced in the lineup by rookie Kyle Fuller who projects to have top 30 DB value moving forward.
Brad Jones was scratched from the lineup last week with a quad injury. Jamari Lattimore filled in for him, but did not play in subpackages. Jones' play in Week 1 was poor to say the least and he may find himself without a job if Lattimore stands out in his absence.
Eric Berry suffered a sprained ankle but seems to have avoided a long-term injury. His status for this week's game is still in question but we should have more information come later this week.
Both Mason Foster and Gerald McCoy suffered fairly significant injuries in the Bucs week two loss over the Rams. Foster dislocated his shoulder and will miss the team's Thursday night game against the Falcons. McCoy broke his hand and figures to be a game-time decision - my guess is that he doesn't play as it's quite difficult for an interior lineman to play with a cast on.
It's sounding like Jon Beason could miss several games as he left the stadium in a walking boot. This is a major concern for a player that struggled with right foot injuries earlier in the season. Coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that he did indeed injury his toe again. Mark Herzlich replaced him in the staring lineup but isn't worth much in terms of fantasy value. Jacquian Williams has been playing every down and gets a bump in value to LB4+/LB3-.
Vontaze Burfict has had a rough start to the 2014 season - he suffered a concussion in Week 1 followed up by a supposed stinger in Week 2. As long as the injury is truly a stinger and not another concussion, Burfict should be in good shape to start in Week 3. However, if a concussion is the actual injury, it would be bad news for owners of him playing this week in a negative way. If he sits, bump up Emmanuel Lamur on your rankings.
Jason McCourty exited Sunday's tilt against the Cowboys with a hamstring injury and did not return. These type of injuries tend to linger and can be problematic for edge players. He's one of the better fantasy cornerbacks out there but owners may want to sit him until it's confirmed that he's healthy.
Rising IDP star Mychal Kendricks had to leave the Monday Night game with a calf injury. His status is still up in the air at this point, but if he misses anytime DeMeco Ryans becomes a solid LB2. Casey Matthews can largely be ignored.
Sio Moore had an MRI today on his ankle. Updates to follow.
General Player Notes
Brandon Spikes continues to sit in subpackages. He should only find his way onto starting rosters against run-heavy teams in deeper leagues. He can be dropped in all other leagues.
Josh Mauga continued to play every down in replace of Derrick Johnson and posted a decent, but not exciting stat line of 5-1-0. He's not going to have the same value as Johnson and is a bit limited by the assist-stingy KC stat crew, but he's a fairly good bet for 80+ solos especially if Eric Berry misses any time.
DL1 Greg Hardy was deactivated before the Panther's game against the Lions this past Sunday for his domestic abuse conviction dating back to July. His status for Week 3 is still up in the air and there is a chance the NFL steps in and hands out a suspension in the relatively near future.
Despite seeing a whopping 43 runs plays against, Wes Woodyard was only able to generate 2 solo tackles and 3 assists in the Titans' contest against the Cowboys. This said, I still believe in Woodyard's value and am not ready to panic in this situation. DeMarco Murray was consistently breaking off runs of 7 and 8 yards and getting into the secondary level of the defense thereby limiting the amount of tackle opportunities amongst the linebackers.
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 3!
(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.)
(Previously recommended DLs: Gerald McCoy, Willie Young, Cameron Heyward, Sen'Derrick Marks, Wallace Gilberry)
LDE Willie Young (CHI) - I mentioned Young in last week's column, but his name bears (pun intended) repeating her again. The defensive line position is weaker than anticipated this season due to injuries and poor performance, so although Young is still a rotational player at this point, he's still worth rostering in most leagues. He's played in 40-45% of the team's snaps over the first couple weeks, but should see an increase in playing time moving forward if he continues to play well. High variance DL3.
LDE William Gholston (TB) - It's amazing how quickly the Tampa Bay defensive line was destructed. Injuries to Adrian Clayborn, Gerald McCoy,and Michael Johnson within the same week left the Bucs with very little experience on their starting line. Gholston (along with Clinton McDonald) rose to the challenge, however. Gholston should see a lot of playing time filling in for Clayborn who was placed on season-ending IR. It's a bit early to say whether or not his 4-2-1 stat line was a fluke or a trend, but he's worth a speculative add in deeper leagues and an addition to the watch list in all other leagues.
LDE Jurrell Casey (TEN) - I had some concerns coming into the year about Casey's value as he transitions from a penetrating 3-technique DT to a 5-technique defensive end in Ray Horton's scheme. I don't think he has Calais Campbell-type value, but so far he's shown that he deserves to be rostered in 10 and 12 team leagues.
General Position Notes: The defensive line position is the most thin of all IDP positions on the waiver wire right now. My previous recommendations of Cameron Heyward and Wallace Gilberry should be prioritized over these current recommendations.
(Previously recommended LBs: Sio Moore, Jamie Collins, Josh Mauga, Rolando McClain, Brandon Marshall, Emmanuel Lamur, Larry Foote)
WLB Jelani Jenkins (MIA) - Jenkins performed well in the limited playing time he saw last year and managed to make an immediate impact while filling in for Dannell Ellerbe in Week 2 with 14 total tackles. Although he had the benefit the Bills stat keeper to pad his stats, Jenkins is going to be the linebacker to own on the Dolphins as he presents the most upside. Consider him an LB3 with LB3+ upside.
MLB Rolando McClain (DAL) - After playing 75% of the team's snaps in the season opener, the Cowboys coaching staff throttled up McClain to a full-time role in Week 2. He responded with 7 total tackles, 1 INT, 1 Sack, and 1 PD. The former first round bust seems to have a spring back in his step and should continue to fair well playing amongst a bunch of scrubs. High tackle opportunity combined with improved play and little competition for tackles make McClain a nice LB3 option for owners that were hit by the injury bug.
WLB Preston Brown (BUF) - Coach Doug Marrone stated earlier this month that Brown had a training camp that was "on par" to that of Kiko Alonso's the year prior - pretty big praise to say the least. He was expected to be a sub-package player only to enter the season, however Nigel Bradham's suspension and Keith Rivers injury' forced Brown into a starting role in both weeks this season, a role in which he has flourished. He's posted 20 total tackles over his first two weeks and played every snap for the Bills. The Buffalo coaching staff is still unsure of Brown's role once Rivers returns, but it's something to keep an eye on as Brown will have LB3+ to even LB2- value if he can snag the every down WLB role in Buffalo.
SILB A.J. Hawk (GB) - With Brad Jones out with a quad injury, Hawk played all 71 defensive snaps and was the sole linebacker in the dime package. He's been a solid fantasy producer in this role in the past, so if Jones is out for an extended period time, Hawk will be worth a look as a decent LB3 particularly against teams with pass catching tight ends.
SILB David Hawthorne (NO) - Hawthorne's 2009 breakout season in which he established himself as a top 10 linebacker now seems like a distant memory to many fantasy owners. Although we shouldn't ever expect those type of numbers again from Hawthorne, it would be unwise to completely write him off. He's back to playing every down and looks healthier than he's been in a couple seasons and it's translating to increased production in the box scores. He's posted lines of 6-2 and 4-5 respectively in the first two weeks. If you are looking for a fairly safe, high floor LB3 option, Hawthorne could be your player.
MLB Jasper Brinkley (MIN) - I'm putting Brinkley on this list more as a warning to owners who are thinking about rushing out and using a waiver wire move on him. Yes, he's had 13 solo tackles in two games, but he's still only a two-down player who leaves the field in subpackages. This means his production is going to be quite varied from week-to-week depending on the matchup. He's fine to roster in deep leagues as long as you have the bench space and only play him against run-heavy teams that don't use a lot of multiple receiver sets. Seeing as the Vikings face the Saints and their spread offense this week however, Brinkley is a player I would sit in all leagues as he's not likely to see much playing time.
General Position Notes: Fantasy viable linebackers are quite plentiful right now on many waiver wires. If Sio Moore (pending injury status), Jamie Collins, Brandon Marshall, or Larry Foote are available in your league, focus your efforts on obtaining them over the guys listed above. Marshall is more of a short-term option, but a good one nonetheless.
Defensive Backs(Previously recommended DBs: Donte Whitner, D.J. Swearinger, Leodis McKelvin, Ryan Mundy)
FS Robert Blanton (MIN) - Blanton isn't someone I would classify as a standout or special type of player. He's in a fantasy friendly role and has a great matchup against a Saints team who have traditionally been near the top of points issued to safeties. 5-6 solos and a couple assists are a reasonable expectation for him this week.
FS Josh Evans (JAX) - Evans posted a gaudy 14 total tackles in replace of Jonathan Cyprien against the Eagles this past Sunday and is worth a fantasy start in non-shallow leagues if "The Crypt Keeper" is once again held out of the lineup.
CB Prince Amukamara (NYG) - Amukamara has picked up right where he left off last year posting league leading-type tackle numbers within the cornerback position. He's one of the games strongest run defenders on the edge and doesn't have a whole lot of tackle competition. That said, I'd feel comfortable with him as my CB1 in tackle-heavy and balanced scoring systems.
FS Tyrann Mathieu (ARZ) - Mathieu was virtually non-existent in the box scores on Sunday posting just 1 solo tackle; however, the important thing to note is that he was back on the field for the first time since tearing ligaments in his knee back in December. The coaches will ease him back into the starting lineup and gradually increase in snap count, so he's not likely to make an immediate impact on fantasy teams. But those in leagues with decent size benches, should be proactive in getting "The Honey Badger" on their teams if they can get him at a DB4/5 value now.
CB Kyle Fuller (CHI) - The season-ending injury to veteran Charles Tillman pushes rookie Kyle Fuller into a starting CB role. He's played very well in his first two NFL games, most recently picking off 2 balls on Sunday Night Football against the 49ers. Despite this fact, expect teams to test him early and often as they try to take advantage of his inexperience. This should translate to a lot of point scoring opportunities for the youngster. I currently have him slotted within the top 30-35 fantasy DBs.
CB Antoine Cason (CAR) - Cason, a former first round selection of the Chargers back in 2008, has been one of the bigger surprises in the IDP world this season. He registered 9 solo tackles and an interception in Week 1 followed by a 7-3-0, 2 FFs, and 1 FR stat line this past week. It's logical to expect some regression in the tackle numbers given the stiff competition on Carolina's defense, but given the inconsistency and general lack of tackle producing cornerbacks, he's worth a flyer as DB3-/CB2+.
General Position Notes: My Week 1 recommendations of Donte Whitner, D.J. Swearinger, and Ryan Mundy should be your first waiver wire options this week if still available (in priority order). Mathieu is a very nice long-term option, but will need to be on the bench until he starts playing full time again. Amukamara and Fuller are next in line for best rest of season options.
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Last Updated: September 16, 2014 Related Posts: