OK. Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 4 of the NFL season.
Fantasy linebackers took an absolute beating in Week 4. I can't remember the last time so many high profile linebackers exited a game due to injury in the same week. Strap in and get ready, because this list may be a bit long and depressing.
Mychal Kendricks re-aggravated his hamstring injury in the 1st quarter of last week's game and did not return. This is starting to turn into a nagging injury for Kendricks. Given the Eagles depth at the position with rookie Jordan Hicks and veteran DeMeco Ryans, the coaching staff may decide to be overly cautious with Kendricks and have him fully heal before putting him back on the field.
Sean Lee left Sunday's night game with a concussion. This is extremely frustrating for Lee owners as he just cannot stay healthy. On the bright side, coach Jason Garrett said Lee was doing well after the game. This gives me some semblance of hope that he may play in Week 5.
Alec Ogletree needs ankle surgery and may miss the remainder of the season. At best, he will be placed on short-term IR and miss 8 weeks. His redraft fantasy value is all but gone.
Paul Posluszny suffered a high ankle sprain. No timetable was issued for his return, but this type of injury typically results in a multiple week absence. Thurston Armbrister would fill in for Posluszny if he were to miss games.
Justin Durant managed just 7 snaps before sustaining an elbow injury which knocked him out for the rest of the game. Joplu Bartu replaced him and played every down. Durant has been injury prone throughout his career, so this doesn't come as a surprise. We should get a better understanding of the injury severity come mid-week.
Jelani Jenkins left Sunday's game in London with a stinger. He later returned to the game but missed 20 snaps in the interim. This, along with 2 missed tackles, helps explain his down day (3-1-0) production-wise.
Jerrell Freeman suffered a hamstring injury just 3 plays into the game and did not return. There's no word yet on if this will cause him to miss any games, however. This said, make sure to follow me on Twitter to get IDP updates of all kinds (including injury) throughout the week.
David Harris sustained a right knee injury this past Sunday. He did walk off under his own power, however. He will be evaluated throughout the week.
Antrel Rolle was forced from the Bears' game against the Raiders with an ankle injury. Although X-rays for a broken ankle came back negative, Rolle was seen on the sideline in a walking boot which makes me think this could be a multiple week injury. Rolle said he wasn't sure if it was a high ankle sprain. We should get more clarity on the situation in the coming days.
Much like teammate David Harris, Jets safety Calvin Pryor left Sunday's game with a right knee injury. Although he did not return, Pryor stated that the injury wasn't serious. With a Week 5 bye, expect Pryor to come back healthy in Week 6.
General Player Notes
Lavonte David has yet to put up more than 4 solo tackles in a game. This is concerning given that he was a consensus top 2 pick at the position. There's nothing specific to account for the decline in production except the Bucs tackle distribution seems to be more varied this year. I wouldn't recommend dropping David, but I think we definitely need to temper our expectations and treat him more as a LB2+ versus LB1 moving forward.
Derrick Johnson's production has been sporadic so far this season. He's mixed two big games with two dud games, with one of those duds coming last week in which he went 1-1. I wouldn't be overly concerned if I were a Johnson owner as the Cincinnati matchup was a bad one, so the dismal box score didn't completely come out of left field. Treat him as a LB2+ moving forward.
Kevin Minter now looks to be locked in as the Cardinals' sole every down linebacker. He failed to do much with that added playing time managing just 2 tackles last week. He's a player to keep an eye however as he could develop into a solid LB3 matchup player against run-heavy offenses.
I wanted to put out another reminder that both Greg Hardy and Sheldon Richardson are returning from suspension this week. Richardson has a bye so he won't suit up until Week 6. Hardy will play this week but may not see his typical amount of snaps until after the team's Week 6 bye. Both players warrant grabbing now and stashing.
The Dolphins defensive line has managed just one sack through the season's first four games. Cameron Wake seems to really be bothered by injury as he's posted just one measly assist so far. Olivier Vernon and Ndamukong Suh haven't fared much better. The team will look to get back on track in Week 6 after their Week 5 bye, but I'm not holding out much hope for a fantasy resurrection.
In playing 70% of the team's plays, Ramik Wilson finally out snapped Josh Mauga last week and posted a decent 4-4 stat line. He's not a player to move on now, but he's someone we should put on our watchlist moving forward.
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 5!
(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: Henry Anderson, Allen Bailey, Mario Addison, Jacquies Smith, Jabaal Sheard, Sen'Derrick Marks, Jared Allen, Stephon Tuitt, Greg Hardy, Sheldon Richardson,)
DE Stephon Tuitt (PIT) - Tuitt was on this list last week but he deserves mention again after a true breakout performance last week in which he amassed a ridiculous 10 solo tackles to go along with a sack. He's now had three straight games with at least one sack and 21 total tackles during that span. He's playing 90% of the snaps, so he's going to see enough opportunities to be a high floor DL2 for us.
DE Jarvis Jenkins (CHI) - Jenkins has amassed three sacks over the last two weeks but I'm still a little skeptical as he did next to nothing during his previous three seasons with the Redskins. The Bears don't have much talent among their defensive line however so there's plenty of opportunity for him to step up and produce. I view him as a high floor, desperation DL3 in deep leagues right now.
DE Kerry Wynn (NYG) - For those in deep tackle-heavy leagues, you may want to take a look at Kerry Wynn as your DL3/DL4. He may see a dip in playing time once Robert Ayers returns, but I think he's played well enough against the run (22 total tackles in 4 games) to earn a bigger role on defense.
DE Ryan Delaire (CAR) - The Panthers were so slim at DE after Charles Johnson's injury that they traded for Jared Allen and signed Ryan Delaire off Washington's practice squad last week. Delaire received more snaps than Allen and made the most of those generating two sacks. We don't really know what to make of the UDFA rookie out of Tucson yet, but he at least deserves to be someone we keep an eye on after the Panthers Week 5 bye.
(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, Jordan Hicks, Malcolm Smith, A.J. Klein, Christian Kirksey)
OLB Anthony Hitchens (DAL) - Sean Lee may miss Week 5 if he doesn't pass through all the concussion protocol tests this week. Rolando McClain will be back from suspension but he hasn't practiced in a while - so I'm not expecting him to play every down. I think Hitchens will be that guy instead. He put up 11 total tackles and half a sack last week (without Sean Lee playing a good portion of the game). Consider him a LB3+ this week.
LB Manti Te'o (SD) - I've been waiting for Te'o to break out with a big game and it finally happened last week against the Browns with 13 solo tackles. Granted, the Browns are currently the #1 top matchup for LBs according to the 2015 IDP Points Allowed by Position chart. That aside, Te'o is playing every down and has another nice matchup on the schedule this week in the Pittsburgh Steelers. LB3+/LB2- for Week 5.
MLB Thurston Armbrister (JAX) - First off, you have to love the name. Awesome. With Paul Posluszny potentially being out multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain, Armbrister becomes an IDP sleeper candidate. The Jaguars defense tends to receive a healthy amount of tackle opportunity and Armbrister is likely to slide into the every down MLB spot.
ILB Christian Kirksey (CLE) - I made mention of Kirksey here last week and he came through with 5 total tackles and a sack. He has a top 5 matchup against the Ravens this week and makes for a solid LB3/4 option in 12 team leagues as an every down linebacker.
(Previously recommended DBs: Calvin Pryor, Trenton Robinson, Josh Norman, Adam Jones, Will Allen, Eric Berry, Adam Jones, Tony Jefferson, Corey Graham, Brandon Meriweather, T.J. Ward, Ronald Darby, Chris Conte)
S Jonathan Cyprien (JAX) - Cyprien isn't likely on many waiver wires right now (or at least he shouldn't be), but if he is you should make it your priority to pick him up. After missing the first three games of the year due to injury, he exploded for 12 total tackles (11 solo) in his first game back. Outside of Reshad Jones, Cyprien is probably the most dependable tackle-producing safety. And with Paul Posluszny possible out, Cyprien could see even more tackle opportunity. He's an elite DB1, except in heavy big play leagues.
CB David Amerson (OAK) - Amerson fizzled out in Washington after just two years after getting repeatedly burned by opposing wide receivers. He has the size that teams desire in corners these days, so he quickly found a home in Oakland. He's been forced into the lineup after a couple injuries in the Raiders' secondary and produced 7 total tackles and a forced fumble in Week 4. You can bet opposing teams will be targeting Amerson which should lead to good point-scoring opportunities. He'll square off against Peyton Manning and the Broncos next week who have been a stellar matchup for opposing CBs. Strong CB2 sleeper this Sunday.
CB Jonathan Joseph (HOU) - After a strong 70 solo tackle 2014 season, Joseph has failed to do much so far this season. However, that could change this week as he's going up against the Colts who have far and away given up the most points to opposing cornerbacks. I think 5-6 solos and a 25-30% for an INT is a reasonable expectation.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 6, 2015 Related Posts: