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Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 5 of the NFL season.
Last week was one of the more brutal weeks injury-wise in recent memory, so it was nice to see a relatively injury free Week 5. We still have a lot of players (Ansah, Shazier, Levy, Breeland, etc.) that are trying to work their way back from multi-week injuries but at least not a ton of new players were added to the already lengthy list.
High floor DL2-/DL3+ Cameron Heyward suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. This is disappointing for owners especially considering Heyward just came off a three sack performance in Week 4.
C.J. Mosley suffered a hamstring injury after intercepting a pass in the 2nd half of the Ravens game against the Redskins. He did not return. His status will be evaluated throughout the week.
Veteran David Harris was forced from the Jets' contest against the Steelers with a hamstring injury and also did not return. The severity of the injury has yet to be determined/disclosed, but if he misses time, Darron Lee and Erin Henderson would move into every down roles and be potential LB4+/LB3- bye week and/or injury fill-ins for owners.
Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson suffered what appeared to be a fairly serious ankle injury and was carted off the field. He was spotted in crunches after the game. Initial results revealed a sprain (likely of the high ankle variety). Although this could keep him out for multiple weeks, it's actually relatively good news as the injury initially looked as though it could be season-ending.
General Player Notes
After a monster Week 4 performance, Cory James came crashing back down to Earth with a pedestrian 2 total tackles despite playing every snap. I cautioned readers to expect some variance with James as he's an inexperienced NFL linebacker who plays on a team with fairly strong tackle competition. He should rebound but it's important to temper your expectations with him down into the LB3- range.
Mario Williams continued his descent into fantasy irrelevance last week as he laid a goose egg on the stat sheet. Through five weeks of the season, Williams has just 7 total tackles and 1 sack. It looks like the end is near for the potential future Hall-of-Famer.
Vic Beasley has widely been considered a bust since he was taken with the 8th overall pick in the 2015 draft. In his defense, the Falcons have strangely limited his snaps and played him out of position for a good portion of his short career. His potential shined through last week however as he got to the quarterback 3.5 times and forced two fumbles. Perhaps this will encourage Atlanta to increase his snap percentage moving forward.
Lavonte David, who was taken as a top 3 fantasy linebacker in virtually all drafts, had another disappointing week. Now that we are over a fourth of the way through the season, the pressure is mounting to dump David. Although I'm an advocate of riding your studs out, I think we need to reset expectations for him. Kwon Alexander's presence and injuries along the front four have choked off David's opportunity. He falls into the high variance LB2-/LB3+ bucket for me right now.
Anthony Barr remains a talented every down player, but the efficiency of the Vikings defense is really hurting his production. I've never been the biggest fan of Barr from a fantasy perspective given his situation and this just deepens my belief that he shouldn't be owned outside of deeper, big play leagues.
Eric Weddle has been one of the most consistent fantasy options during his career, but the switch to Baltimore seems to have limited his production. He's only eclipsed 4 solo tackles once this year. With C.J. Mosley and Zach Orr playing well in front of him, there just isn't much opportunity for Weddle like there was in San Diego. He'll likely have a couple big games throughout the year, but he's going to be much more big play reliant. He has a good matchup against the Giants in Week 6, so perhaps he can get back on track. But I would view him as a long-term DB3+/DB2-. |
Dannell Ellerbe should be healthy enough coming out of the bye to play this week. It will be interesting to see if he gets his starting job back over Craig Robertson who has been a tackle-machine early on. I'm hoping Ellerbe remains on the bench, but my gut tells me it may be Robertson sitting there come Sunday. It's a situation I'll be closely monitoring throughout the week.
Despite another poor stat line from Tyrann Mathieu, there is a reason for optimism with him moving forward. The injury to Tyvon Branch in Week 4 forced the Honey Badger back into the slot corner role that made him so productive last year. I still don't expect DB1 numbers from him, but I think we should see an improvement the rest of the way. DB2-.
In somewhat of surprise move, it was safety Kemal Ishmael at MLB for Falcons on Sunday. He racked up 10 total tackles while playing 84% of the snaps. Phillip Wheeler was at weak side linebacker with LaRoy Reynolds subbing in occasionally at MLB and WLB. If Deion Jones and DeVondre Campbell remain out this week, Ishmael becomes a must play at the safety position (although it looks like one or potentially both players will return this week).
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 6!
(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: Chris Long, Danielle Hunter, Devin Taylor, Dante Fowler, Frank Clark, Timmy Jernigan, Kerry Hyder, Yannick Ngakoue, Damon Harrison, Nick Fairley, Clinton McDonald, Derek Wolfe)
DE Calais Campbell (ARZ) - Campbell was dropped in a multitude of leagues after a slow start to the season. However, the cream almost always rises to the top in terms of elite fantasy defensive ends and Campbell is no exception. 2 sacks, a safety, and an interception made him one of the highest scoring IDPs of the week and owners will be retreating back to the wire to scoop him back up. Let this be a lesson for those Kahlil Mack owners!
DE Joey Bosa (SD) - After a lengthy holdout and hamstring injury kept Bosa out of action for several weeks, he finally made his season debut last Sunday. And he didn't disappoint. Despite only playing 27 snaps, he was able to rack up 2 sacks and three tackles for loss. The scheme may limit his upside to a certain degree, but it's a very encouraging sign for a player some had pegged as the top defender in this year's draft. I'd be willing to take a shot on him as my low-end DL3 moving forward.
DE Trent Murphy (WAS) - Murphy has been absent from this article up until this point despite his strong, consistent production. This is mainly because he only qualifies at LB in my preferred league management system, MyFantasyLeague. However, in other platforms, he can be used as a DL and should be in your starting lineup virtually every week until he cools off.
(Previously recommended LBs: Sio Moore, Todd Davis, Tahir Whitehead, Will Compton, Mason Foster, Craig Robertson, Justin March, Jonathan Casillas, Craig Robertson, Zach Brown, Deion Jones, Sean Weatherspoon, Tahir Whitehead, Zach Orr, Denzel Perryman, Bernardrick McKinney, Cory James, Darron Lee, Christian Kirksey, Jatavis Brown, Vince Williams, Cory James, Michael Wilhoite)
LB Christian Kirksey (CLE) - Kirksey was mentioned in this column a couple weeks ago, but deserves another mention after a 16 tackle performance against the Patriots last week. Kirksey, an Iowa alumni, is the definition of a non-flashy player. However, the Browns are a horrible team and their defense sees a ton of opportunity. There isn't a plethora of competition for tackles in the front seven, so Kirksey should continue to "eat." He's sneakily on pace for over 140 total tackles. He's a high floor LB3+.
LB Nick Bellore (SF) - The expectation was Michael Wilhoite would play every down in Navarro Bowman's absence and be the linebacker to own in San Francisco. However, it was actually Bellore in the every down role. Although the 7-4-0.5, 1 FF stat line looks favorable, Bellore did not play well. So there's chance he loses his current status but he's probably worth the risk for owners desperate for some upside out of their LB3/LB4.
LB Perry Riley (OAK) - Riley was forced into the starting lineup and played every defensive snap - an amazing feat considering he was just signed off the street 5 days prior. The Chargers recognized this weakness/fact and ran directly at Riley multiple times. Although this was bad for the Raiders, it was good for Riley's stat line as he finished with 6 solo tackles, an assist, and forced fumble. There's not a ton of upside with Riley, but he could serve as a decent bye week filler if Malcolm Smith remains out in Week 6.
LB Lorenzo Alexander (BUF) - Along with Trent Murphy, Alexander is another player I've received a lot of questions on and is someone I haven't written a lot about despite his massive production so far this season. Given that he's been in the league 11 years and never registered more than 2.5 sacks in a season, I must admit, I though his first few weeks of production were a fluke. However, after five straight weeks with at least 0.5 sack and a 3 sack performance last week, it's hard to deny the fact that he should be owned in most leagues. He's due for some regression (especially since he's not an every down player) but should be able to keep up a steady sack pace with Jerry Hughes commanding a significant amount of attention on the opposite side of the defense.
LB Markus Golden (ARZ) - Golden has had a sack in every game so far this season (with 2 sacks last week) and has quickly established himself as one of the better outside pass-rushing threats in the NFL. You could start to see signs of a potential breakout from him last year, so this explosion isn't entirely surprising. If he's somehow still available in your big play leagues, grab him. He's worth a look as a starting LB in deeper balanced leagues at this point as well (if you are the type of owner who can handle week-to-week fluctuations in points).
(Previously recommended DBs: Tony Jefferson, Da'Norris Searcy, Shareece Wright, Tyvon Branch, Andrew Sendejo, Kemal Ishmael, Karl Joseph, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jacoby Glenn, Vonn Bell, Logan Ryan, Kendell Fuller)
S Clayton Geathers (IND) - Geathers is a player I pounded the table for all off-season and it appears as he's finally ready to produce at the level we expected coming into the year. Finally healthy, Geathers was able to play in 100% of the snaps for the first time this season and put up 8 total tackles against the Bears. I expect Geathers to be the main beneficiary of a weak Indianapolis inside linebacking crew. I'm feeling better about my original top 20 preseason projection for him.
S Duke Ihenacho (WAS) - Ihenacho was filling in for an injured David Bruton and filled up the stat sheet with 9 total tackles (8 solos). We've seen him have fantasy success back in 2013 with the Broncos, so this emergence isn't all that surprising. Bruton's concussion seems to be on the serious side, so he could miss multiple weeks. Given the lack of depth and consistency at the position, I wouldn't mind snatching Duke as my DB3+.
S D.J. Swearinger (ARZ) - Swearinger has been a player who has been over hyped and who has under performed throughout his career. This said, he has a chance to finally be fantasy relevant in Arizona - he's a nice fit for their aggressive scheme and should play near every down for as long as Tyvon Branch is out. There are a lot of mouths to feed in that secondary, so I expect there to be some inconsistency with Swearinger. But the big play upside makes him worthy of a DB3/DB3- pickup.
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Last Updated: October 11, 2016 Related Posts: