2018 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
Joey Bosa
was somewhat of a surprise inactive to begin the season. He's dealing with a left foot sprain and was seen in a walking boot. He's getting a second opinion on the foot from renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. At this point, I would say he's doubtful to play this week so owners should be thinking of a backup plan.

Ezekiel Ansah suffered a shoulder injury in the Lions' Monday Night defeat against the Jets and did not return. We should know more on his status in the coming days.

Mark Barron
, K.J. Wright, and Malcolm Smith were unable to suit up for their respective regular season openers. They will all be questionable heading into this week.

Deion Jones did not practice Monday as he's battling a foot injury. This makes him questionable to play this week so it will be important to watch his status closely over the next few days.

Preston Brown injured his ankle during the first half of the Bengals' contest against the Colts and did not return. With Cincinnati playing on Thursday night, Brown won't have much time to heal up. This said, I'd give him about a 40-45% chance of playing.

Randy Gregory suffered a concussion early in the Cowboys game versus the Panthers and did not return. There are rumors that he may get suspended again, but that aside, his status for week 2 is questionable.

The NFL season got off to an ugly start for a lot of IDP owners when Keanu Neal suffered a season-ending ACL tear to his knee. Second-year player Damontae Kazee will likely be the next man up for the Falcons. Although it's near impossible to replace Neal's fantasy production, Kazee has been an emerging player within the organization and made a few big plays after coming in for Neal on Thursday night. He's a solid speculative add and has DB3+ potential if his play continues to improve.

Eric Berry is suffering from a sore heal and missed the team's season opener against the division-rival Chargers. Given the nature of the injury, I think it's doubtful we see Berry suit up this coming week either.

Marcus Maye was inactive to begin the regular season as he's working through an ankle injury.


General Player Notes
Jason Pierre-Paul
laid an opening week goose-egg for fantasy owners. As someone who has shares of JPP, I feel your frustration but it's no time for panic. He played 75% of the defensive snaps and was facing a Saints team that gives up very little points to fantasy ends. I'm chalking this one up as an anomaly.

Despite getting a sack on his first NFL play, rookie Roquan Smith was only in the game for eight snaps. Given his holdout, it's likely going to take a few weeks for him to get up to speed enough for the team to trust him with a full time role. Until we get indications of an expected three-down presence, Smith should be left on your bench.

Although we heard reports that the Chiefs were entrusting Reggie Ragland with an every-down role, that didn't turn out to be the case last week as he only played 51% of the defensive snaps. He's struggled against the pass throughout his career, so this isn't altogether that surprising. This said, we can't trust him in our starting lineups right now.

The Chargers official depth chart listed Jatavis Brown as the starter at weak side linebacker; however, it was actually rookie Kyzir White who got the starting nod and played the highest percentage of snaps of any LAC linebacker (79%), including Denzel Perryman (73%). Although the six total tackles isn't eye-popping, he did lead the team in the category and should only improve in that area as the season wears on. Given Denzel Perryman's injury history, White makes for a solid add as he should provide immediate LB4+/LB3- value with significant room to grow his ceiling if Perryman ends up missing games.

In a surprise move, the Texans opted to bring in Dylan Cole as a replacement to Zach Cunningham for a few series during their week 1 game against the Patriots. The latter struggled throughout the contest, particularly in pass defense so the team choose to bring in Cole who actually played quite well. I still think Cunningham is the future for the team, but this definitely muddies his short-term outlook and is something to keep a close pulse on heading into week 2.

Bill Belicheck is notorious for continually changing up roles and playing time among his defenders, especially in the front seven. Based on last season, we all expected Kyle Van Noy to remain the team's sole every-down linebacker. However, Van Noy, Dont'a Hightower, and rookie Ja'Whaun Bentley all saw equal action, each playing around 65% of the defensive snaps. This is a situation I would avoid for fantasy purposes right now.

The Titans eased ninth-year player Derrick Morgan back into action as he works his way back from a knee injury, utilizing him on just 14 snaps. Expect that number to steadily rise in the coming weeks. But for those in big play scoring formats, Morgan is best left on the bench until we see his snap count percentage rise back up to his normal 80-85% range.

Kurt Coleman and Vonn Bell split time at safety last week against the Buccaneers, making both players fantasy irrelevant for the time being. With the team giving up 48 points, there's a good chance the Saints coaching staff shakes things up a bit this coming week, so that timeshare could go away but it's too risky to start either for the time being until we get more clarity.

Clayton Fejedelem had a monster day going 9-1-0, 1 FR, 1 FF, and 1 defensive touchdown against the Colts. However, he's best kept on the waiver wire as he was only getting playing time as Shawn Williams was ejected early in the game for his hit on Andrew Luck. He will revert to his backup role this week.


Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 2!

(Please note that a majority of these pickups early on are long-term, rest of season pickups as opposed to matchup-type recommendations. As the season progresses and the waiver wire becomes thinner and matchup information becomes more reliable, the focus of this article will shift more towards recommendations based on the weekly matchup.)

Defensive Linemen
DE Markus Golden (ARI)
- Golden was on my preseason sleeper list and you can read there on the reasons why I like him. He's still working his way back from knee surgery and hasn't played yet. He'll be questionable for this week, but if you have the bench space, now is the time to pick up him. Once healthy, he should be a consistent source of DL2 production.

DT Sheldon Richardson (MIN) - Richardson has been one of the league's better interior lineman since entering the NFL in 2013. However, he was overshadowed by Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson in New York and that's likely to be the case in Minnesota playing next to Everson Griffin and Danielle Hunter. However, IDP owners shouldn't overlook him. He's playing on a defense that loves to get after the quarterback and his 4-2-0.5 is just a sign of things to come. He has 6-8 sack potential with above average tackle production, making him a DT1 candidate.

DE Isaac Rochell (LAC) - This recommendation is for those in deep IDP leagues. Isaac Rochell, a 7th round pick out of Notre Dame, filled in for the injured Joey Bosa last week and played 91% of the snaps. His 2-2 stat line is underwhelming, but if Bosa is out again (which is looks like he will be), then Rochell will once again be in for a high volume of snaps against a porous Bills offensive line that allowed six sacks last week.


Linebackers
MLB Fred Warner (SF) - If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw that I was pumping Warner as one of my top last-minute IDP adds this past weekend (along with Darius Leonard and Cory Littleton). That recommendation paid off in spades as the rookie out of BYU racked up an 11-1, FF stat line. Despite the very strong play, he doesn't seem to have a clear path to starter snaps right now playing behind Reuben Foster and Malcolm Smith. However, he's a must start for at least one more week with Foster still out and potentially more if Smith's injury causes him to miss more than another week.

WLB Darius Leonard (IND) - The Colts linebacker situation has been a mess over the last couple seasons and it's remained largely unsettled heading into this year. The lone potential bright spot right now is Darius Leonard who is a dark horse candidate to finish the year as the top rookie IDP. The Colts defense figures to spend a lot of time on the field and there's little to no tackle competition from other linebackers right now, so I think Leonard's 6-3, FR stat line holds water.

ILB Nick Vigil (CIN) - Vigil has posted strong tackle numbers when given the chance to play every down and last week was no exception as he racked up an impressive 11 solo tackles. With Vontaze Burfict out another three weeks and Preston Brown questionable to play next week, Vigil is shaping up to be one of the better waiver wire pickups heading into the Bengals' week 2 matchup against the Ravens.

WLB Matt Milano (BUF) - Most of the IDP talk this week is going to be focused on Tremaine Edmunds but Milano actually out tackled him (7-1) and also brought in a fumble recovery. When it's all said and done, Edmunds likely has more fantasy points but I expect Milano to be close behind and he can be had for a fraction of the cost right now. Consider him a consistent LB3 in 12-team leagues.

ILB Cory Littleton (LAR) - Littleton was already on my radar as a strong sleeper candidate heading into the season given the team trusted him with play-calling duties in the preseason and he was consequently entrenched as an every-down linebacker. With Mark Barron out, Littleton assumed the lead linebacking role on Monday Night Football and didn't disappoint with 13 tackles (11 solo) and an interception. Barron's eventual return is going to negatively impact Littleton's production but he's still a legitimate LB3 moving forward and he may have another week as the top guy at the position for the team.


Defensive Backs
S Kentrell Brice (GB) -
The Packers pulled the rug out from under us when they announced Brice as the starter at strong safety over Josh Jones shortly before the start of the regular season. Although that was a blow for Jones owners, it does open up a nice waiver wire add for us heading into week 2. Brice played 100% of the defensive snaps on Sunday Night and was very active up in the box as reflected by his 8-1-1 box score stat line. He should be one of your top waiver wire adds at the position this week as he truly does have DB1 potential playing behind a weak set of inside linebackers.

S Clayton Geathers (IND) - Geathers is a player that has generated a lot of hype in IDP circles since he entered the league in 2015. However, injuries have really derailed his outlook. His seven solo stops and a forced fumble are exactly what owners were expecting before the neck issues, so that type of production is definitely a positive sign. There's still significant injury risk here, but he's going to see a lot of opportunity and as long as he stays healthy, he should provide you with strong DB2 production.

S Terrell Edmunds (PIT) - The projected playing time splits at safety for the Steelers was one of the bigger question marks heading into week 1. Somewhat surprisingly, Pittsburgh opted to play the rookie Edmunds on 83% of the defensive snaps while their big off-season addition Morgan Burnett played just under half the defensive plays. Burnett didn't appear on the injury report, so it seems the team just prefers Edmunds as the lead strong safety. Edmunds didn't do much in the box scores but given his role and playing time, I expect that to change. He's not someone to start next week but he's worth a stash on your bench in deeper leagues and is someone to keep a close eye on in other leagues.

S Jessie Bates (CIN) - Bates played well in his debut, racking up 8 solo tackles. As a team, the Bengals compiled a lot of tackles so that is skewing his production a bit but he's still a player to keep an eye on moving forward as he was a second round pick and looks to be an every down player right out of the gate. He did see most of his snaps as a deep safety though, so it's likely the tackle numbers fall back down to reality relatively soon.

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Last Updated: September 11, 2018
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