2018 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 3

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 2 of the NFL season.

Injuries
Ezekiel Ansah
missed last week with a nagging shoulder injury. I believe he should be active for this coming week;s Sunday Night game, but he may be limited. We should have a better sense after Wednesday/Thursday practice reports are released.

Trey Flowers suffered a concussion in the Patriots' Week 2 loss to the Jaguars and will be questionable heading into Week 3.

Jadaveon Clowney was a bit of a surprise inactive heading into last weekend with an oblique strain.

Joey Bosa visited a foot specialist last week and is now expected to be out until at least October. 

Bobby Wagner has been known to play through soft tissue injuries in the past, so the fact he was ruled out relatively early for the Seahawks' Week 2 contest tells me we may be looking at a multi-week absence.

Deion Jones was placed on IR-designated to return with a foot injury. This said, he's expected to return at some point during the regular season but will miss a minimum of eight weeks.

Mark Barron is still dealing with inflammation in his Achilles' tendon. I'm beginning to fear that his absence could extend for several more weeks, if not longer.

C.J. Mosley suffered what appeared to be a potentially season-ending injury on Thursday Night. However, his MRI came back negative and he was ultimately diagnosed with a bone bruise in his knee. He's still likely going to most a couple weeks though.

Darius Slay got concussed last week and his status will be questionable for Week 3.

Eric Berry missed yet another game with a heel injury. Reports indicate he is "improving" and could practice this week. This said, it seems like he's getting close to a return but it could be one more week before he's active.


General Player Notes
After laying a goose egg to start the season, Jason-Pierre Paul reminded fantasy owners why it's important to "trust your studs" as he rebounded with a 5-0-1 stat line and four QB hits despite playing with an injured knee.

Cory Littleton was one of the more popular IDP waiver wire pickups (I recommended him myself) after a big opening week. So there will be a lot of owners that are disappointed with the three measly solo tackles he generated in Week 2. There's really no cause for concern here though as the Cardinals anemic offense could only muster 35 snaps thereby severely limiting his opportunity.

One of this past week's top producers was Elijah Lee of the 49ers (10-2-1, FF). You may be asking Elijah who? He was primarily a special teams player before being forced into the starting lineup with Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle, and Reuben Foster all unable to play. With Foster back this week , Smith another week closer to full health, and Warner playing extremely well, I doubt Lee will see much playing time moving forward so he's best left on the wire for the time being.

Based on last week's playing time splits, it appeared as though the Steelers were opting to go with rookie Terrell Edmunds as their main strong safety. However, that flipped in Week 2 as Morgan Burnett was in for 90% of the defensive snaps while Edmunds saw just 55%. There's a chance this could change week-to-week, so there's risk with either player. But given Burnett's historical track record of strong play, he should be the favorite to start and put up DB3+ numbers behind a suspect inside linebacking crew.

Well Karl Joseph owners, it was fun while it lasted. The former first round pick looks to be officially on the outside looking in with this new Oakland coaching staff. He's received only 10 total snaps over two weeks and is droppable in virtually all formats.

For more updates on playing time splits across the linebacker position, check out the latest update of my every-down linebackers column.

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
(Previously recommended DLs: Markus Golden, Sheldon Richardson, Isaac Rochell)


DT Larry Ogunjobi (CLE) -
Ogunjobi has had two great weeks to open this season going 3-4-1 and 4-0-2. As typically happens in these situations, I expect him to start getting double teamed more frequently which will bring his numbers back down to earth. However, playing next to budding superstar Myles Garrett will make that difficult for teams to do on a consistent basis. This said, Ogunjobi is shaping up to be a reliable DT1-/DL3- for the rest of the season.

DE Taco Charlton (DAL) - Some draftniks thought the Cowboys reached when they selected Charlton in the first round of last year's draft. Despite a fairly uneventful rookie season in which he suffered through some growing pains, he's been much improved so far in 2018. With teams focusing so much attention on Demarcus Lawrence, Charlton gets a plethora of isolated pass-rushing opportunities on the quarterback's blind side. As long as Randy Gregory is out, Charlton should continue to see a high volume of snaps (75-80%+). With the Seahawks on the schedule next, there may be no better week to play "Taco."

DE Matt Ioannidis (WAS) - Ioannidis has played really well over the first couple games of the new season with a sack in each contest. The scheme isn't a particularly good one for fantasy purposes, however. He goes up against a hobbled Aaron Rodgers and a Packers line that has allowed the fifth most sacks in the league, so he's not a bad option for at least one more week before he goes on bye the following week.

DE Benson Mayowa (ARZ) - Mayowa has been your prototypical "journeyman" during his NFL career as he's played for four teams in six seasons. He's never recorded more than 5.5 sacks in a season, so there's a good chance he turns back into a pumpkin despite a two-sack performance last week. However, he's getting starter snaps opposite Chandler Jones as Markus Golden is still working his way back from injury. He has a favorable matchup this week against Chicago, so he may be worth a spot start for deep-league owners in a pinch as long as Golden remains out or limited.


Linebackers
(Previously recommended LBs: Fred Warner, Darius Leonard, Nick Vigil, Matt Milano, Cory Littleton)

LB Darius Leonard (IND)
- Hopefully you heeded my advice last week and scooped up Leonard off the waiver wire if he was available as it will be much more difficult to do so now after he exploded for 15-3-1, 1 FR, 1 PD against the Redskins. He's obviously not going to put up those numbers every week, but this kid is the real deal and has very little competition for tackles on a defense that will see a ton of opportunity. He's a legit LB1 moving forward and current front runner to be this year's top fantasy rookie IDP. If he's available, he should be your top target this week.

LB Reuben Foster (SF) - This is a reminder that Foster is returning from a two-game suspension this week, so he should be picked up where available. There's a chance he's on a snap count in his first game back, especially with Fred Warner and Elijah Lee lighting up the box scores as of late. But he's going to be the guy in the middle of the defense moving forward. Given Warner's very strong play, it will be interesting to see how the 49ers find him playing time this year. It makes the most sense at this point to start him at one of the outside linebacker positions next to Foster. Hopefully we get some further clarity on that situation over the next couple days.

LB Roquan Smith (CHI) - There's a chance Smith is available in a decent amount of leagues as he didn't see much playing time in Week 1 and consequently only put up 3 total tackles. However, the Bears are starting to take the reigns off the rookie as he gets more up-to-speed on the defensive scheme after missing virtually all of training camp and preseason. He had 7 solo tackles on Monday night against the Seahawks and led all Chicago linebackers in snaps played with 59 (89%). I would expect similar production moving forward. He should be viewed as a LB2-LB2+.

LB Devondre Campbell/Duke Riley (ATL) - With Deion Jones out for at least a majority of the season, the question became which linebacker would step up and assume some of that vacant production. Campbell stayed on the weak side and played every down racking up 9 total tackles with Riley playing 87% of the snaps and also racking up 9 tackles. I think their value is going to be pretty equal moving forward with each player rotating as the lead producer for however long Jones is out. Consider them both LB2- options moving forward.

LB Kenny Young (BAL) - Young, a fourth-round selection out of UCLA this year, has been impressive from the start of training camp and that great play has carried over into game action early in the season. He was forced into the starting lineup last week after C.J. Mosley exited early in the game with a bone bruise in his knee. He racked up 8 tackles on 58 snaps and was arguably Baltimore's best defender in the game. With Mosley expected to miss at least a few more weeks, Young will get the opportunity to further showcase to the team why he belongs in the starting lineup. He did leave the field in some subpackages, so there is a little bit of risk here with him but his upside makes him an appealing LB3/LB4 start in deeper formats and a superb dynasty add.

LB Austin Calitro (SEA) - Calitro played every down in replace of Bobby Wagner at middle linebacker last week and compiled 8 total tackles and a pass defensed in the process. If Wagner and Wright remain out next week, Calitro becomes a sneaky streaming option in deeper leagues against a run-heavy Cowboys offense.


Defensive Backs
(Previously recommended DBs: Kentrell Brice, Clayton Geathers, Terrell Edmunds, Jessie Bates)

S Justin Simmons (DEN) - Simmons was on a lot of "sleeper" lists heading into the season and so far that evaluation has held true. He had an interception in Week 1 and led the team in tackles last week with 9 (8 solo). The Broncos inside linebackers aren't particularly strong tackle producers, so there is definitely room for a safety like Simmons to be a good source of tackles with a few big plays sprinkled in for good measure. I'd trust him as my DB3 in most leagues at this point.

S Ricardo Allen (ATL) -
After Keanu Neal went out for the year with a season-ending injury, there was a lot of speculation as to who would take over his coveted "Kam Chancellor" safety role. Many thought it would be Domantae Kazee; however, it was actually Ricardo Allen. Allen finished last week's game with 5 solo tackles, an interception, and 2 pass defenses and is looking like the pickup in the Atlanta secondary. He's a top 30 DB.

CB Donte Jackson (CAR) - Jackson fits the bill for what we "fantasy analysts" typically look for in a cornerback - he's a rookie playing opposite a solid cover guy and therefore has been getting targeted a lot by quarterbacks. Additionally, despite grading out poorly against the pass, he's actually been quite solid in run defense which has allowed him to capitalize on this opportunity and compile 11 total tackles in two games to go along with a forced fumble and interception. Continue to plug and play him in CB-required leagues until the wheels fall off.

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Last Updated: September 18, 2018
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