2014 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8

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 7 of the NFL season.

Injury Round-Up
The biggest IDP injury news this week is that Paul Posluszny will miss the remainder of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. He will be replaced in the lineup by borderline NFL player J.T. Thomas. This could also mean a bump in playing time for rookie Telvin Smith, a player the Jaguars have been bringing along slowly. We don't yet have clear line of sight into who will be the every down linebacker(s). We should have more news come mid-week. Let's hope that Smith comes out with a three down role.

Jon Beason re-injured his troublesome toe in the Giants' contest against the Cowboys. No official word on his status, but judging by the way he left the game, expect an extended absence.

Brian Orakpo
suffered the third torn pectoral muscle of his career and is done for the season.

Bears rookie corner Kyle Fuller
broke his hand and suffered a hip pointer in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. Despite the multiple injuries, he's considered "day to day" and has a chance to play this week. That said, his big play ability will be greatly hindered with a cast on his hand, so he's going to get a bump down in my rest of season rankings.

Vontaze Burfict
left yet another game with an upper body injury. This time it was reportedly a cervical strain and not a concussion. This can be a multiple week injury depending on the severity of the strain, but coach Marvin Lewis said Burfict is "fine." I'd make sure to keep an eye on the practice reports though as the Bengals have been known to mis-represent player injury statuses in the past.

General Player Notes

Tahir Whitehead
continued to be spelled in passing situation by Josh Bynes. He's getting a slight bump down my rankings as a result, but should see enough snaps still to warrant LB3- consideration.

The Arizona Cardinals safety situation continues to be a riddle for us to figure out. After seeing a significant bump in snaps in Week 6, both Deone Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu saw just 28 out of 51 snaps in Week 7. Tony Jefferson only saw 22. For the time being, I'm only trusting Rashad Johnson in my lineups out of this group.

Jelani Jenkins'
decline in the box scores continued last week against the Bears. The return of Koa Misi and, perhaps more importantly, the return of Reshad Jones seem to be eating away at his production. He's likely to have a couple big games before the season ends, but he's lost the consistency needed for me to trust him as an every week starter.

For those that watched the Monday Night game, it was clear that Brian Cushing is not himself. His slowness was especially evident on a Le'Veon Bell 43 yd reception. Cushing's sluggish play translated to 1 tackle in on the stat sheet and was his 2nd straight dud performance. He was racking up tackles by the handful in a part-time role earlier in the year, so perhaps that's what is required to keep him fresh and making plays. I'd put him on my bench for now and even drop him in shallow leagues, especially with 2 very bad LB matchups and a bye over his next three weeks.

Much like the Arizona secondary situation, the Bills continue to throw us fantasy folk curveballs when it comes to their linebacker rotation. After looking like he was back in a rotational role, Preston Brown saw all the team's snaps in Week 7 and it was Keith Rivers that found himself in the reserve linebacker role. With 6 tackles, Brown didn't set the world on fire and I'd be resistant to trust the situation still. However, owners heading into Week 8 as an underdog may consider using him against a Jets team that allowed a ton of tackles to linebackers this season.
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 8

(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 McCoyJo, Willie Young, Cameron Heyward, Sen'Derrick Marks, Wallace Gilberry, William Gholston, Jurrell Casey, Corey Liuget, Mario Addison, Johnathan Hankins, Michael Johnson, Anthony Spencer, Cameron Heyward, Brian Robison, Jurrell Casey, Frostee Rucker, Ezekiel Ansah, Jerry Hughes, Jason Hatcher)

DT Aaron Donald (STL) -
Donald has seen two straight starts and posted stat lines of 4-0 and 4-1-1 with 3 TFL, respectively. He's clearly a force to be reckoned with along the interior line and will only improve as the season wears on. He's a great add in DT-required leagues and a viable, high floor DL3 option with big upside in other leagues.

DE Michael Johnson (TB) - An early season injury followed by back-to-back poor showings and then a Week 7 bye has caused Johnson's ownership to nose dive. His two sack game back in Week 4 though is a reminder that this 27 year old is still fully capable of big fantasy performances. The good news is Johnson will square off against LT Matt Kahlil this week who has given up a league-leading 8 sacks through 7 games. I like Johnson's chances of righting the ship with a sack or two this week.

DE Charles Johnson (CAR)
- After a ridiculously slow start to the season which saw Johnson post a meager 3 tackles (yes 3) in 4 games, he's had a sack in three straight games and saw a significant rebound in his tackle numbers last week. His next four matchups before his bye (SEA, NO, PHI, ATL) aren't great though so be careful not to over prioritize/overspend on him.


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, Anthony Hitchens, Brian Cushing, Jelani Jenkins, Danny Trevathan, Donald Butler, Prince Shembo, Keenan Robinson, Tahir Whitehead, Justin Durant, Jacquian Williams. Nigel Bradham, Miles Burris)

MLB Vincent Rey (CIN) -
Rey has become a darling of IDP owners over the last several months. When given the chance to start, he's been one of the league's most effective tackle-producing linebackers on a per snap basis. With Rey Maualuga and Emmanuel Lamur out and Vontaze Burfict leaving the game early with a cervical issue, Rey racked up an impressive 16 total tackles. It's unclear whether Burfict will miss any time or if Lamur will return this week, but regardless, Rey should be rostered as a LB4 in most leagues given his Paul Worrilow-like ability to be around the ball.

MLB Malcolm Smith (SEA) -
Smith filled in well at MLB for the injured Bobby Wagner, racking up 10 solo tackles against the Rams in an every down role. Judging by Pete Carroll's most recent comments, it sounds like Wagner is going to miss multiple weeks with a fairly significant turf toe injury. This means Smith should continue to be a safe play for owners in the short term as an LB3-LB3+.

WILB Dont'a Hightower (NE) -
I recommended Jamie Collins in my article last week as a very solid Week 7 and long-term pickup; as an addition to that, I'm now including Hightower in that same conversation. Both players had LB1 production in last week's game. It's hard to gauge which one will have the most value moving forward, but my belief is that both will have LB2 in their own ways. Collins will probably generate more tackles, but Hightower makes up for that with his pass-rushing ability.

WLB Chad Greenway (MIN) -
After missing the last three weeks with a combination of hand and rib fractures, Greenway returned to a full time role and racked up 15 total tackles in the process. Although he had the benefit of a generous Bills stat crew, the numbers signal to me that Greenway is back to near full strength. He's been a very nice high floor LB2 option throughout his career and should be within that range (LB2-/LB3+) the remainder of the season.


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, Aaron Williams, Tony Jefferson, Byron Maxwell, Husain Abdullah, Brock Vereen, Tony Jefferson, Rashad Johnson, Brandon Meriweather, Reshad Jones, Brandon Flowers, Kemal Ishmael, George Wilson, Quintin Demps, Usama Young, Cortez Allen)

SS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -
Dix' play this season has been almost as great as his name. Playing in a time share with Micah Hyde through the first 6 weeks, Dix got his first start of the season on Sunday and took full advantage with 8 solo tackles. That makes four straight games with 5 or more solos. I would expect him to continue in a near every-down capacity moving forward and is worth a pickup in a majority of leagues. DROY honors could very well be in his sights.

SS James Ihedigbo (DET) -
In his first four games in a Lions uniform, Ihedigbo has made quite the impact. He's put up 22 total tackles with 2 forced fumbles over that time period. More impressively however, he's been heavily utilized to blitz and has 2.5 sacks. Consider him a DB2- until further notice.

SS Brandon Meriweather (WAS) -
Meriweather was a big disappointment last week as he only mustered 3 assists against a strong matchup in the Titans. But I think he gets back on track this week against the Cowboys this week who have been near the top in points allowed to safeties. Look for Meriweather to play up in the box early and often to stop the formidable Cowboys run offense. I'd be content with 5-6 solos and a couple assists out of the oft-suspended safety.


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: October 21, 2014
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