2014 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 4

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.

Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 3 of the NFL season.

Injury Round-Up
Rookie Ryan Shazier left Sunday Night's game against the Panthers in the 3rd quarter with a knee injury. Reports are that he has a sprained MCL. He is undergoing an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. It's looking like he will miss multiple weeks. Sean Spence will take his spot and likely play every down. He's worth a look in deeper leagues.

After losing Charles Tillman for the season last week, we've lost another IDP fantasy great in DeAngelo Hall who suffered a torn Achilles tendon and will be placed on season-ending IR.

Another IDP stud bites the dust as Tyvon Branch suffered a fracture in his foot and will miss the rest of the season.

Stephen Tulloch
pulled a Bill Gramatica and injured himself while celebrating a sack against the Packers. It turns out his "discount double check" dance is going to cost him the season as he suffered a torn ACL in the process. Crazy. The Lions are likely to move DeAndre Levy into the middle and have Tahir Whitehead slide over to the strong side with Ashlee Palmer rounding out the starting linebacking crew on the weak side. Levy gets a significant bump in value.

Da'Norris Searcy
limped off the field with an ankle injury and did not return. Duke Williams would take his spot in the starting lineup if he was unable to go next week. There's a chance that the Bills could move Aaron Williams to free safety and slot Duke Williams into the strong safety spot.

Clay Matthews
was unable to finish the Packers Week 3 game against the Lions as he was forced out with a groin injury. He's been oft-injured and hasn't necessarily been the quickest healer, so I wouldn't bet on him being ready for this coming week's game. However, I would Bet on NFL - William Hill.

Despite playing nearly all the team's snaps in Week 3, it was announced that Thomas Davis is dealing with some sort of injury that the team is unwilling to reveal at this time. The team did rule out it being his ACL, which he has torn three times already. They said he would be re-evaluated on Friday. This signals to me that he will miss this coming week's game, so have other options available.

An already banged up Chad Greenway, who was suffering through a fractured hand, added fractured ribs to his list of ailments. He will likely try and play through these injuries but the coaches may elect to scale down his playing time and/or he may be less effective then normal. That said, I would be cautious when thinking about inserting Greenway into your starting lineups until we see how well he plays through these injuries.

Coach Pete Carroll mentioned that Kam Chancellor is battling "severe ankle pain" and considered surgery after the team's Week 2 loss to the Chargers. Despite the news of this injury, Chancellor has been playing quite well and owners should continue to start him until we hear mention of the team limiting his snaps or see his on-the-field play diminish.

Chargers ILB Manti Te'o fractured his foot in Week 3 against the Bills and is expected to miss multiple weeks.This should hopefully open the door for underperforming Donald Butler to make more tackles moving forward.

Gerald McCoy
practiced on Monday and is expected to return to the starting lineup this week.

Bears safety Ryan Mundy had to leave Monday's night game with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by rookie Brock Vereen.


General Player Notes

Donald Butler continues to be a let down - he's yet to exceed 4 solo tackles in a game this season. He's going to have a couple strong tackle games throughout the season, but he's probably not worth holding any longer in shallow formats with strong LB waiver wire options like Jelani Jenkins sitting out there in a good amount of leagues.

Giants safety Stevie Brown was benched in favor of Nat Berhe after getting burned on one too many plays. It's yet to be seen if this will be a long-term situation, but it's not looking good for Brown's IDP value moving forward.

Many fantasy owners who spent an early round draft pick on supposed DL1 Robert Quinn are starting to lose patience after three games with no sacks. I know it's frustrating for your top IDP draft choice to not be performing up to par, but I always preach patience with fantasy ends, especially ones that have a consistent track record of top level production. With the waiver wire so thin at the position, owners should continue to just ride the storm out in this situation. Same could be said about Charles Johnson, although to a lesser extent.

After playing every down in the team's Week 1 contest, Jamie Collins only played 20 snaps against the Raiders in Week 3. He was replaced in nickel subpackages by Dont'a Hightower. I would imagine this limited role was a result of him being eased back into the lineup post-injury rather than a permanent situation moving forward. That being said, it's probably safest to keep Collins on your bench next week until we get a more firm idea on how Belicheck is going to use him.


Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 4!

(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.)

Defensive Linemen
(Previously recommended DLs: Gerald McCoy, Willie Young, Cameron Heyward, Sen'Derrick Marks, Wallace Gilberry, William Gholston, Jurrell Casey)

RDE Corey Liuget (SD) -
After a breakout 2012 season, Liuget fell back down to Earth last year and has largely fallen off the radar for most IDP owners. However, he's looked in top form through the season's first three weeks and he gets the NFL's most sacked team in the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4. Considering they have given up 17 sacks in three games, I feel confident in Liuget being a top 20-25 option this week.

RDE Mario Addison (CAR) -
Addison has filled in admirably for Greg Hardy who is currently on the exempt list. He's had 3.5 sacks over his last two games and has outperformed historical DL1 Charles Johnson in the box scores. He's worth a spot as your 3rd defensive linemen in 10 and 12 team leagues.

RDT Jonathan Hankins (NYG) - Hankins has arguably been the Giants best defensive lineman through the team's first three games and has earned the starting DT spot over veteran Mike Patterson. He's projecting to be a consistent week-to-week fantasy producer for those in DT-required leagues. Consider him a DT2+ moving forward.

General Position Notes: Not a ton of clear-cut standouts emerging on the wire in terms of defensive linemen. Willie Young continues to perform well as a situational pass rusher and Marks had his 3rd straight week of solid, but not specular, point production. Addison falls into the Willie Young situational pass rusher tier.



Linebackers

(Previously recommended LBs: Sio Moore, Jamie Collins, Josh Mauga, Rolando McClain, Brandon Marshall, Emmanuel Lamur, Larry Foote, Jelani Jenkins, Preston Brown, A.J. Hawk, David Hawthorne)

MLB Anthony Hitchens/Rolando McClain (DAL) -
Despite the Cowboys 2-1 record, it's obvious that their defense is bad, real bad. That said, there will be value in the MLB spot in Dallas. Rolando McClain posted solid weeks in Weeks 1 and 2 and rookie Anthony Hitchens posted 13 total tackles in Week 3. This is a situation were the position more so than the player is providing a lion's share of the fantasy value. So it would be a smart move to pick up whomever is starting at the position come Week 4.

LILB Brian Cushing (HOU) -
Cushing's tackle numbers had been less than ideal to say the least heading into Week 3 as he was on a coach-mandated snap count limit. He saw his snap count increase from 60% up to slightly over 80% against the Giants. He led the team with a eye-popping 17 total tackles. Granted, the 40 rushing attempts from New York helped boost those numbers, but as long as Cushing is back to playing close to every down, he should be in your lineup as a LB2 at minimum.

WLB Jelani Jenkins (MIA) -
Jenkins was on this list last week as a long-term high upside LB3. 11 solo tackles, 4 assist, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and a safety led Jenkins to the top Week 3 IDP point total. He should be one of your top waiver priorities this week if you didn't pick him up last week.

WLB Danny Trevathan (DEN) -
Trevathan wasn't quite ready to suit up this week but figures to be a go coming out of the team's bye in Week 4. Brandon Marshall has put up 30 tackles in 3 games in this spot, so I'm expecting huge numbers for Trevathan upon his return. He's worth grabbing this week in leagues with deeper benches. Expect LB1/LB1- numbers rest of the season.

General Position Notes: Linebacker continues to be one of the more bountiful waiver wire positions. Cushing should be your top waiver wire priority if he's still available, followed by Jenkins. For those looking for more long-term value and willing to sit on a bye week, Trevathan is your guy. Preston Brown, McClain/Hitchens, Foote, and Collins round out a very strong set of waiver wire options.


Defensive Backs

(Previously recommended DBs: Donte Whitner, D.J. Swearinger, Leodis McKelvin, Ryan Mundy
, Robert Blanton, Josh Evans, Prince Amukamara, Tyrann Mathieu, Kyle Fuller, Antoine Cason)

SS Aaron Williams (BUF) -
After a disappointing start to the season in Week 1, Williams has bounced back nicely over his next two games with stat lines of 7-0 and 9-5, respectively. The strong safety position in Buffalo has been an ultra productive one from a fantasy standpoint over the last several seasons. Williams will toy will DB1 value in home contests thanks to the added tackle padding he gets from the Buffalo home stat crew and is a DB2 in road games. 

SS Tony Jefferson (ARZ) - Jefferson, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma, has collected 26 total tackles (22 solo) and a sack through his first three games and has been able to hold off rookie Deone Bucannon from seeing serious playing time. There's no guarantee he keeps the starting role long-term, but he's worth picking up and riding until he flames out.

RCB Bryon Maxwell (SEA) -
Playing opposite the game's top cornerback means a lot of balls thrown your way, and that's definitely been the case for Maxwell so far this season. He had 11 total tackles this past week against Denver to bring his season total to 20 to go along with 1 INT. He's on bye this week, but is worth a low-end CB1/high-end CB2 spot in CB-required leagues upon his return in Week 5.

SS Husain Abdullah (KC) - Veteran reserve Husain Abdullah filled in for the injured Eric Berry at strong safety in Week 3 against the Dolphins. Although he posted an OK 5 solo tackles, I like him as a dark horse DB3/DB4 in deep leagues in Week 4 if he again gets the start in replace of Berry. The Chiefs play the Patriots and I would look for Abdullah to spend some time covering Gronk, which should boost his tackle numbers.

SS Brock Vereen (CHI) - Vereen was a preseason favorite of mine and a player I was hoping would crack Chicago's starting lineup. That didn't happen, but if Ryan Mundy misses anytime, Vereen is likely going to be his replacement at strong safety, a position which has been fruitful one for fantasy over the last couple seasons (Major Wright last season and Mundy this season). He's worth a flyer as a DB3/DB4 in 12 team leagues.

General Position Notes: The DB position is fairly well loaded with solid to potentially elite long-term options (Whitner, Swearinger, Williams, Fuller, Amukamara, Jefferson, Cason, and a healthy Mundy in priority order).


If you have any questions, feel free to email me at theidpguru@idpguru.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 23, 2014
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