2015 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.

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

Injuries
Ezekiel Ansah
left Sunday's contest against the Broncos after sustaining a groin injury. He did not return. We are still waiting word on the likelihood of him playing this week, but it's looking 50/50 at best right now. Owners should start researching a backup option.

DeAngelo Hall
injured his toe last week and initial reports state that he is likely to miss 3-4 weeks, if not longer.

Charles Johnson was placed on short-term IR with a toe injury and will not be able to return until Week 12. This kills most of his value moving forward. He can be dropped in redraft leagues.

Kiko Alonso
was unable to practice all last week and was inactive this past Sunday. He's currently getting a second opinion on his partially-torn ACL. My gut tells me that he's going to be cautious and shut himself down for the season.

DeAndre Levy
missed his third straight game due to a hip injury. He said he's "close to returning" and could play this week. If he gets in a weekday practice, that will definitely increase his chances.

General Player Notes

Owners may be getting frustrated with Mario Williams after he put up his second goose egg in three weeks but patience is a virtue with your stud defensive linemen. He's still top 15 in pass rushing productivity among 4-3 DEs according to Pro Football Focus. And I'm willing to bet he has a couple monster games this year. Sit tight on him.

On paper Stephen Tulloch had a very nice game with 11 total tackles (7 solo), but don't be tricked by that stat line. Tulloch has not been playing in subpackages the last two weeks and therefore is missing a large amount of the team's defensive snaps. He's a player you should start with caution. The same applies to Danny Trevathan.

Jon Beason returned to the starting lineup in Week 3 but only played about 30% of the snaps and came up blank in the box scores. Uani Unga replaced him in subpackages and had another big game stat-wise, so it seems like the Giants will be content with this rotation moving forward. This limits the value of both players.

Alterraun Verner was benched in favor of Tim Jennings this past week. The former can safely be dropped in leagues.

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: Henry Anderson, Allen Bailey, Mario Addison, Jacquies Smith, Jabaal Sheard, Sen'Derrick Marks)

DE Jared Allen (CAR) -
Allen was traded to the Panthers on Monday and is expected to start contributing to the team "quickly." He was a complete bust this season in Chicago as he was miscast as a stand-up pass rusher in Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense. With Carolina he will get the opportunity to play in his natural 4-3 DE role and therefore is inserted back into the DL3- conversation. It may take a week or two for him to ramp up, but he's worth a pickup this week as a DL4 in deeper leagues and is a player to watch over the next couple games for those in redraft leagues.

DE Stephon Tuitt (PIT) -
Tuitt's had 2.5 sacks over the last two weeks to go with fairly strong tackle figures. He's a young and talented player who should only continue to build upon these numbers. His upside is limited due to Pittsburgh's scheme, but he's becoming a nice high floor DL3 option.

DEs Greg Hardy (DAL)/Sheldon Richardson (NYJ) -
Both Hardy and Richardson were suspended for the first four games of the season. Hardy's situation is clear cut as he will be back Week 5 and should be a top 5-10 DL for the rest of the season. That said, this is the week to snatch him off the waiver wire. Richardson on the other hand has a Week 5 bye, so he won't play until Week 6 at the earliest. He's likely facing another suspension but with his court case getting delayed again, that may not impact him until next season. So he could be a very nice sneaky grab this week or next week.


Linebackers
(Previously recommended LBs: Thomas Davis, Vincent Rey, Brian Cushing, Koa Misi, Uani Unga, Dont'a Hightower, DeMeco Ryans, Jordan Hicks, Justin Durant, Hau'oli Kikaha)

ILB Jordan Hicks (PHI) -
Hicks was on this list last week, but I want to mention him again. With back-to-back stud performance-s, he's shaping up to be the front runner over DeMeco Ryans to replace Kiko Alonso if he were to miss the rest of the season (my gut tells me who will). He's pretty much a must-add LB3+/LB2 at this point.

WLB Malcolm Smith (OAK) -
Smith is the type of IDP that provides great value to your team. He's not flashy, so he doesn't get a lot of news or hype, but he's a consistent point producer who has the trust of the coaching staff. He's averaging close to 9 total tackles per game and is showing no signs of slowing. This will probably be the last week to snag him in most leagues, so make sure to target him if you need help at your LB2-/LB3+ spot.

MLB A.J. Klein (CAR) - With Luke Kuechly still trying to work his way back from a Week 1 concussion and Thomas Davis questionable this week with a pectoral injury, Klein could see a lot of tackle opportunity against the Buccaneers. He's had three solid fantasy performances this year filling in, so I feel comfortable riding him as one of the top waiver wire pickups this week if Kuechly and Davis are unable to go. Same applies to Shaq Thompson (albeit to a slightly lesser degree).

ILB Christian Kirskey (CLE) - This pick is for those really scrounging the waiver wire in those cavernously deep IDP leagues. Kirksey has been in a timeshare at linebacker with teammate Craig Robertson which has stifled his fantasy value. With Robertson set to miss a few weeks due to a sprained ankle, Kirksey will get a chance to shine. LB4 in 12 and 14 team leagues.


Defensive Backs

(Previously recommended DBs: Calvin Pryor, Trenton Robinson, Josh Norman, Adam Jones, Will Allen, Eric Berry, Adam Jones, Tony Jefferson, Corey Graham, Brandon Meriweather)

S T.J. Ward (DEN) -
I'm not the biggest fan of T.J. Ward as a fantasy IDP and he hasn't gotten off to a tremendous start; however I like the matchup this week against Minnesota a lot. Adrian Peterson consistently gets to the 2nd level of defenses and consequently in-the-box safeties have fared very well against the Vikings in terms of tackle production (Bethea 7-1, Ihedigo 7-2, Weddle 6-2). Ward should continue this trend and put up 6 or 7 solos this week.

CB Ronald Darby (BUF) -
Like many rookie cornerbacks, Darby is getting constantly targeted by opposing quarterbacks. This has resulted in strong box score production in each of his first three weeks in the league. With 8 pass deflections and 2 INTs on the short year, Darby has proven to have above average ball skills. CB1- in leagues that require you to roster that position.

S Chris Conte (TB) -
Despite being a rather mediocre NFL player, Conte has always been a favorite of Lovie Smith's and has been the starting safety for the Bucs while Major Wright recovers from injury. He's had 18 solo tackles in three games which is tied for 4th best in the league. His matchup against the Panthers this week isn't ideal as no safety has managed to put up more than 4 solos against them. However, he's still worth an add as a third DB in 12-14 team leagues.


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 30, 2015
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