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Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 1 of the NFL season.
Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles and will be lost for the season. Expect rookie Za'Darius Smith to now rotate in with Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw on the outside. None of the players will likely have much fantasy value moving forward.
Luke Kuechly was off to a hot start (7 solos and a sack) before leaving in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's game with a head injury. He's currently in the league's concussion protocol and has a 50/50 shot of playing in Week 2 at this juncture. If he can't go, Thomas Davis gets a big boost into the LB1-/LB2+ range.
Malik Jackson was forced from Sunday's game with a concussion. Since the Broncos play on Thursday, he's not likely to get cleared for the Broncos' Week 2 game against the Chiefs. He should hopefully be back for Week 3. He was on my preseason breakout list, so if he gets dropped/is available in deeper IDP leagues, he's worth a pickup as a DL3.
Danny Lansanah left the game with an ankle injury and did not return. He was replaced by James Michael-Johnson who would start on the strong side if Lansanah was unable to suit up in Week 2. Neither play will stay on the field in subpackages, so you can largely ignore them for fantasy purposes.
Sam Barrington was seen in crutches after the Packer's Week 1 game against the Bears. Nate Palmer replaced him during the game and played every down next to Clay Matthews. The severity of his ankle injury has yet to be revealed, but if he does miss time, Palmer could serve as a decent stop-gap LB3- option in 12 team leagues.
DeAndre Levy playing status came into doubt heading into last week and ended up being inactive. His hip injury could keep him out a handful of games depending on how fast he recovers. Josh Bynes replaced him in the lineup and posted a solid 8 total tackles (6 solo), but did not play in subpackages. This said, Bynes is best used as a LB4 in the right matchups (i.e. teams who don't use a lot of four and five receiver sets).
Corey Graham suffered a concussion making a tackle on the first play of the game. Bacarri Rambo came in to replace him at strong safety. He will have to pass all of his concussion tests before playing again.
Saints free safety Rafael Bush looks to be done for the year with a torn pectoral. If Jairus Byrd is still unable to go, New Orleans will have to roll out newly-signed safety Kenny Phillips.
2nd round draft choice Randy Gregory has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and will miss the next 4-6 weeks. Gregory played well leading up to the injury and still projects as a top end pass-rusher in dynasty leagues.
Charles Woodson dislocated his shoulder in last week's game. He said "not to rule him out" for Week 2, but that seems optimistic given the injury. If he were to play, he would have to wear a shoulder harness which would hinder his tackling and big play ability, so he needs to be downgraded in rankings. If you have depth at the position, It may be best to sit him until we see how if/how he plays with the injury.
General Player Notes
Clay Matthews saw the majority of his snaps at inside linebacker against the Bears, only moving outside in dime packages. He was one of the Packers leading tacklers with 6 solos and had a beautiful interception of Jay Cutler in the second half. He should continue to be a high upside LB3+/LB2-.
Jerod Mayo played in just 9 snaps in the season opener. Although it's always difficult to discern why Bill Belicheck makes the decisions he does, we can assume the low snap count was a result of the Patriots desire to him back into the lineup after suffering a fairly serious injury last year. I wouldn't start Mayo until we see him take a full complement of snaps.
Deone Bucannon played all 74 of the team's snaps, moving between safety and linebacker. I expect this workload to continue and for Bucannon to be one of the top tackle producing safeties in all of football. Grab him if you still can.
Kevin Minter was playing over Sean Weatherspoon in subpackages and consequently out snapped him 62 to 12. Weatherspoon missed the majority of preseason, so the snap count distribution isn't all that surprising. My bet is 'Spoon takes over those subpackage responsibilities at some point (sooner rather than later), but for the time being, the ILB situation in Arizona is one to avoid for fantasy purposes.
Mario Williams owners (I'm one of them) shouldn't panic at his goose egg stat line. He was putting consistent pressure on Andrew Luck and looked just as explosive as he did in the preseason. He's still an elite DL1 in my book.
Like Williams, Kony Ealy couldn't manage to generate a single point in Week 1. However, unlike Williams, Ealy did not play particularly well and his backup Mario Addison had two sacks. I'm not ready to write Ealy off, but I would be hesitant to rely on him in my starting lineups until we see more consistent play.
Eric Berry played in 55% of the team's snaps in Week 1. Expect that number to gradually rise over the next handful of week (likely at the expense of Husain Abdullah).
Brandon Marshall played every down for the Broncos and turned in a very nice performance with a 6-1-1 stat line. Counterpart Danny Trevathan had a total of 9 tackles, but only played 32 of the team's 78 snaps. Trevathan should be back to playing full time within the next couple weeks and should be a strong LB2 for us. Marshall will likely settle into the lower end of that same tier.
Both Michael Griffin and Da'Norris Searcy came up short in their season debuts with 4-1-0 and 3-1-0 stat lines, respectively. However, I wouldn't read too much into that. The Titans got out to a big lead and pulled virtually all of their starters in the 4th causing them to lose out on 20 snaps.
We finally got some clarity on the San Diego inside linebacker position this week. Manti Te'o played every down and managed just 5 tackles, missing a whopping 4 tackles. Donald Butler on the other hand was in for just over 70% of the team's snaps as he exited the field in subpackages.
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.)
DE Henry Anderson (IND) - Anderson started turning heads in the preseason with his solid play and got a chance to start in Week 1 with Arthur Jones on IR with a season-ending ankle injury. He did not disappoint in his debut, compiling 9 total tackles and 3 tackles for loss. He's somewhat limited fantasy wise as a 5-technique rookie, but it will be hard to keep him out of the box scores if he continues to play well against run with his high motor type of play. He's a great high upside add in tackle heavy formats.
DE Allen Bailey (KC) - With all the attention focused on one of the league's premier pass-rushing threats in Justin Houston, Bailey managed to fly under the radar with 5 sacks in 2014. He started off on the right foot in 2015 with 2 sacks. He's not a world beater, but at a talent-scarce fantasy position, you could do worse as your DL3-/DL4+.
DE Mario Addison (CAR) - Addison continues to perform well as a situational pass rusher, registering two sacks against the Jaguars in Week 1. He won't likely see enough snaps to warrant anything more than DL4 matchup consideration in most leagues, but if Kony Ealy continues to struggle, Addison could see a bump in playing time and become a nice value play in big play leagues as a DL3.
OLB Thomas Davis (CAR) - Davis has been a consistent IDP staple for owners throughout his lengthy career. If Luke Kuechly misses any time due to a concussion, Davis gets a significant boost from LB3- up to LB1-/LB2+.
WLB Vincent Rey (CIN) - Rey is a gamer. When he gets the opportunity to start, he puts up very solid box score figures. He will play every down on the weak side for however long Vontaze Burfict is out and I expect LB3+/LB2- production during that time with a relatively high floor.
ILB Brian Cushing (HOU) - I've been hot and cold on Cushing throughout his career. He's the type of player who tantalizes you with his physical ability, but tends to drastically under perform come game time. Cushing's burnt many a owner over the last couple seasons which has caused him to be undervalued heading into 2015. He's an every down linebacker with very little tackle competition outside of JJ Watt and still possesses enough physical skill to be worth a fourth linebacker spot in most IDP leagues. If he stays healthy, I don't see why he can't be the Texans leading tackler in a majority of weeks.
SLB Koa Misi (MIA) - Misi is an average talent, but always seems to be around the ball. He's the type of player that needs a high volume of plays to compile tackles, so he's fairly matchup dependent. If you have a decent size bench and pick your matchups wisely, he should be a nice LB3- pickup in a lot of leagues.
MLB Uani Unga (NYG) - Unga will likely be one of the top IDP waiver wire adds in a lot of leagues this week as he put up 12 total tackles, 1 INT, and 1 PD in the national spotlight on Sunday Night Football. However, it's important to exercise caution in this instance. Jon Beason is likely to be back this week which would send Unga back to a subpackage role and kill virtually all of his value. If Beason remains out, Unga becomes a nice add in nearly all formats as there is essentially no competition for tackles in New York which should allow for Unga to continue to rack up tackles in a Paul Worrilow-esque fashion (read as Unga is a bad player in a great situation).
SS Calvin Pryor (NYJ) - Pryor was on my target list heading into the year. Although he's likely already rostered in most leagues, he deserves mention here for those in shallower leagues. He was up-in-the-box helping in run support. If Demario Davis continues to fail to live up to his potential, Pryor could be on his way to top 10-15 DB status.
SS Trenton Robinson (WAS) - Robinson entered the game for an injured Duke Ihenacho and racked up a 6-2 stat line, despite missing two tackles. Ihenacho will be out for 6-8 weeks so Washington will likely look to Robinson to fill in during his absence. This position has been bountiful from a fantasy perspective and that defense is going to be on the field a lot, I like Robinson has a DB3 flier pickup and one of the top DB waiver wire pickups this week. My only concern is that his poor play may cause him to eventually the starting spot.
CB Josh Norman (CAR) - Norman has quietly developed into one of the league's more sound cornerbacks. He had a breakout game in Week 1 with 5 total tackles, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 2 PDs, and 1 Defensive Touchdown. For those in 2 CB-required leagues, he's a must add.
CB Adam Jones (CIN) - Despite posting 10 solo tackles and a forced fumble, Jones made headlines this week for more nefarious reasons after he slammed rookie WR Amari Cooper's head into his displaced helmet. He won't face suspension from the league, so he becomes an option for owners in Week 2. Although I think the tackle production is a fluke, Jones is the Bengals primary punt returner and should be owned and started in most leagues that reward for return yardage.
SS Will Allen (PIT) - Allen was a relatively last minute start over Shamarko Thomas who struggled mightily in the preseason. Allen led the team with 8 solo tackles, but left the game with a potential concussion. Allen's never managed more than 56 solos in his 12 year career, so I'm taking this performance with a grain of salt. However, the position and role in the scheme is set up to be fantasy-friendly. He's a DB4+ until we see another strong performance. We will also need to keep an eye on the injury reports to see his playing status for Week 2.
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Last Updated: September 15, 2015 Related Posts: