2016 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 2

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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Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 1 of the NFL season.

Injuries
Week 1 was a relatively injury-free week on the IDP side of things.

Mario Williams left the Dolphins game against the Seahawks with a head injury and was being evaluated for a potential concussion. If he does have a concussion, he will have to pass through the proper protocols before returning to the field and his Week 2 status would be in question.

Pass-rushing specialist Jacquies Smith suffered a non-contact ACL injury on special teams and will miss the remainder of the season. This could create more opportunities/snaps for Noah Spence if he can prove he can be effective on the field.

Brian Cushing suffered a sprained MCL in the first quarter and is expected to miss at least the next four weeks. Max Bullough replaced him in the lineup and generated 5 tackles but left the field during subpackages.

OLB Derrick Morgan pulled his hamstring last week. We should know more about his status as the week progresses and we receive practice reports.

Delvin Breaux
broke his leg in Sunday's contest and will be out for a large chunk of the regular season. This makes a poor Saints pass defense even weaker.

Rookie T.J. Green left the Colts' season opener against the Lions with a sprained knee and did not return. He was filling in for Clayton Geathers at strong safety who could potentially return this week.


General Player Notes

The Philadelphia Eagles rotated their ends as we expected; however, it was Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin that received the majority of snaps (~70%) over Vinny Curry (46%).

The Packers rotated all their inside linebackers (Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan, and Joe Thomas). Although Martinez and Ryan saw a majority of the snaps, no player was in for more than 70% of the total plays. So although it's quite possible a viable fantasy linebacker emerges from this group, it's a situation I would avoid until one of these players establishes himself in an every down capacity.

I've been pumping Denzel Perryman all preseason as one of my top IDP breakout candidates. So his performance Sunday was disappointing to say the least. Managing only four solo tackles in a game that went into overtime is not particularly compelling especially when you consider teammate Manti Te'o had 10 tackles in that game. This said, it's important to take a step back here and look at the big picture. Perryman missed two big tackles during the game that he normally makes. Additionally, with the Chargers possessing a big lead for a majority of the game, San Diego's defense was in a dime package throughout most of the second half with Te'o as the sole linebacker. This caused Perryman to miss nearly 70% of the total snaps. The Chargers aren't likely to show a ton of dime looks moving forward, so I expect Perryman to return to close to near down status. Moral of the story here is don't panic. It's only Week 1. I'm still projecting him to be a stud linebacker. If someone drops him in your league, I would definitely pick him up if you are looking for a top 15-20 LB.

With just two tackles, C.J. Mosley had a disappointing stat line to say the least. However, I don't think there is cause for concern yet. The Ravens defense didn't face all that many plays and Mosley can be a bit inconsistent in the tackle columns comparatively to the rest of the elite linebacking tier. He does play the Browns next week, so he may struggle in the tackle department again, but will hopefully make up for it with a big play.

Much like C.J. Mosley, D'Qwell Jackson had a deflating performance in Week 1 for a player many took as their LB1. Unlike Mosley however, Jackson did not play every down and was spelled by rookie Antonio Morrison briefly. Jackson was leaving the field in some subpackages during the preseason, so there is some concern this could continue throughout the season. He's not a player I would necessarily drop as the Indy ILB positions have racked up a ton of tackles over the last handful of seasons. But he's a player I think we need to throttle our expectations on a bit. LB2 for me until further notice.

Myles Jack saw zero defensive snaps in Week 1 and should be left on the waiver wire in virtually all redraft leagues.

Calvin Pryor laid a complete goose egg to begin the year. The Bengals are an atrocious matchup for safeties, so it's not a complete shock. But it signals to me that Pryor isn't quite ready to take a leap forward and will likely have a similar season to last year stat-wise.


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.)

Defensive Linemen
DE Chris Long (NE)
- Long has always been a talented pass rusher but injuries have derailed his career over the last couple seasons. He's getting a chance to start with Rob Ninkovich suspended for four games and looks like a player re-born with his new team. The Patriots have a way of getting the most out of veterans that other teams have given up on, so I don't think Long's production Sunday night (3 solo tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL) was a fluke. He should serve as a nice temporary DL2- rental for the next three weeks until Ninkovich returns from suspension.

DE Danielle Hunter (MIN) - Hunter was one of my top deep sleepers heading into this regular season. After his performance on Sunday however, he doesn't figure to be a player who goes unnoticed much longer. The second year player out of LSU had 4 solo tackles (1 for loss), a sack, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He's still behind Brian Robison on the depth chart, but I don't think that will stick if Hunter continues this level of play. He makes for a nice DL3 with upside add in 10-12 team leagues.

DE Devin Taylor (DET) - Along with Hunter, Taylor was another defensive end I recommended targeting late in drafts. Although he didn't have the splash plays of Hunter, he did finish the game with a solid 4-2 tackle stat line. He's going to see a lot of snaps this year and given his points per snap production in 2015 and the fact he plays opposite Ezekiel Ansah, he remains a player with a very nice ceiling that is still available in most IDP leagues.


Linebackers
ILB Sio Moore (IND) -
Although his playing status was muddied coming into the year after suffering a "significant hamstring injury" in preseason, Moore was the Colts most productive player on Sunday. His 13 total tackles were third most in the NFL on Sunday. And more impressively, he did this on just over 70% of the snaps. I'm not quite sure if the Colts rotated Moore out because he's not fully healthy or if that is going to be their plan moving forward to get rookie Antonio Morrison and/or Josh McNary some playing time. It may be a combination of both. Regardless, there are a lot of tackles to be had in Indy and Moore can still be a productive LB3 even if he continues to get rotated out for some series.

ILB Todd Davis (DEN) -
With a 6-1-0.5 stat line, Todd Davis outshined fellow linebacker Brandon Marshall in the 2016 NFL season opener. However, Davis did that damage while in a base player-only role. Danny Trevathan had success in that capacity last year but expect their to be swings in his numbers depending on the opposing matchup. High variance LB3- moving forward.

WLB Tahir Whitehead (DET) -
Whitehead was another player in my 2016 IDP Draft Guide that I suggested targeted in deeper redraft leagues. With 10 total tackles and 2 pass deflections in Week 1, he has my attention. DeAndre Levy's presence is always a concern and Whitehead has teased us with this type of production before, but given he's locked in as an every down player, he's a guy worth taking a chance on as a LB3- in most leagues.

ILB Will Compton/Mason Foster (WAS)
- Compton and Foster combined for a ridiculous 27 total tackles on Monday Night. Those numbers were inflated as Washington's defense was on the field a ton against Pittsburgh. However, the Redskins run defense looked putrid and are likely to see a massive amount of run attempts throughout the year as opposing offenses look to exploit that weakness. If I were to choose between these two, I'd go with Compton as he's the every down linebacker in all subpackages. Foster has been getting subbed out for S'ua Cravens in dime packages. That said, Foster still makes for a LB4+/LB3- matchup play.

WLB Craig Robertson (NO) - Robertson was a late fill-in for an injured Dannell Ellerbe. The team trusted him enough to play every down of the game and he outproduced James Laurinaitis to a measure of 11 to 7 in total tackles. I think this says more about Laurinaitis' decline than Robertson's ascension, but the former is worth a pickup next week as a LB3- where he squares off against the Giants and their very friendly home stat crew (assuming Ellerbe remains out).

ILB Justin March (KC) -
After Ramik Wilson was cut to make room for recently signed Sam Barrington, March became the starter at ILB next to Derrick Johnson. Although he outproduced the veteran, he still came off the field in certain situations. This said, the coaching staff does like his ability to cover receivers in space so he has a chance to expand his role in the coming weeks. Like so many others in this article, March falls into that LB3- tier for me at this point in the season.

WLB Jonathan Casillas (NYG) -
Casillas had 11 total tackles, but I'm still not feeling a significant urge to rush to the wire and pick him up. He's done next to nothing throughout his career fantasy-wise and actually only played about 75% of the snaps in Week 1. I think he greatly benefited from facing a time-dominating, run-heavy offense. There are other options that present larger upside with the same/less risk. He's a LB4 matchup play for me moving forward.


Defensive Backs

S Tony Jefferson (ARZ) - Jefferson played every down for the Cardinals on Sunday night and was consistently around the ball. He's someone I called out in my IDP draft guide as a player to watch early on and he didn't disappoint in Week 1 with 9 solo tackles, 1 assist, and 2 tackles for loss. He should be one of your top waiver wire moves at the DB position.

SS Da'Norris Searcy (TEN) - Searcy has taunted fantasy owners with his IDP potential dating back to his days with the Buffalo Bills. Given the way the Titans use their linebackers, the safety position in Tennessee figures to be a fruitful one stat-wise. This said, it's not all that surprising that Searcy was the team's leading tackler with 8 solos. Given the lack of consistency at the DB position, Searcy is worth going after in most leagues. But keep in mind, he only played 67% of the snaps as the Titans rotated their safeties. Perhaps Searcy's play will change that fact heading into Week 2, but it's not a given.

CB Shareece Wright (BAL)
- Wright had a whopping 11 solo tackles against the Bills last week. I normally don't place an emphasis on targeting cornerbacks with my early season waiver wire moves as there is too much unpredictability in their stat lines from week-to-week to be confident their strong play will continue. However, there are two things here that tell me Wright could be a strong tackle producing corner moving forward: 1) the Bills only had 22 pass attempts, so his tackles weren't a result of being targeted/picked on a ton through the air and 2) he had 3 TFLs, so he's willing to come up to the line and make a tackle on the ballcarrier. He's a guy that's worth a waiver wire move in CB-required 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 13, 2016
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