2011 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8

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.

Before we get to the waiver wire writeups for this week however, let's take a brief moment to cover off on some important IDP notes from week 7:

David Hawthorne exploded back onto the IDP scene with 11 total tackles, a sack, and an interception against the Browns. Much of this production was due to the Seahawks defense being on the field for 84 snaps. With this said however, I've been telling owners to stick with Hawthorne as, now that he's back to an every down role, he has LB1 potential.

Previously underperforming Chiefs linebacker, Derrick Johnson, re-emerged on IDP owners' radars with 12 solo tackles against a Raiders offense that wasn't on the field much. Johnson's poor tackle numbers leading up to this game were mainly a result of his disinterest and lack of hustle moreso than opportunity or scheme change. Perhaps he was motivated in some way over the bye week.

Karlos Dansby is another LB that, until last week, was putting up underwhelming stat lines. Unlike Johnson though, his struggles were more related to injury issues. After putting up 13 total tackles last week, Dansby seems to be healthy again. He's still too inconsistent for my tastes, but definitely deserves a roster spot as a LB3/4.

2nd year linebacker Rolando McClain re-injured his ankle last week and will use the bye week to nurse his injury. This is a situation to monitor for McClain owners as he has not been that effective since the injury.

Elvis Dumervil
had another bad outing as he only posted 1 tackle. To make matters worse, he left the game with an apparent ankle injury. It looks as though he may find himself on a lot of waiver wires this week.

Danieal Manning
fractured his left tibia and could miss the rest of the season. Deep fantasy sleeper Troy Nolan will take his place. Nolan showed some signs of fantasy potential last season and is worth keeping an eye on in deeper leagues.

Tanard Jackson
had his 2nd INT in two games and was on his way to a nice fantasy day before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. He will have the bye week to recover and will be a nice waiver wire pickup come week 9.

With last week's notes out of the way, let's move on to the Guru's waiver wire selections for this week.

Defensive Linemen
RDE Andre Carter (NE) - I mentioned Carter in my week 7 IDP Waiver Wire article, however he deserves another mention again as he was inactive last week due to the Patriots bye. He started off the season a bit slow but has really come on as of late with the Patriots playing more of a traditional 4-3 base defense. When Jerod Mayo returns, the Pats may elect to go back to using more 3-4 which will hurt Carter's value a bit. But with the waiver wire so thin, he's worth the risk especially with two nice matchups against the Steelers and Giants the next two weeks.

RDE Michael Johnson (CIN)
- Johnson is a young, explosive player that the Bengals have so far underutilized this season (a la Carlos Dunlap). Although he's been limited in his snaps due to the Bengals heavy rotation of defensive linemen, he's worth a flyer as a DL3 this week as the Bengals face off against the stagnant offense of the Seahawks. Seattle has really been giving up the sacks as of late and may find themselves down early in this contest creating a lot of pass rushing opportunities for Johnson and company.

RDE J.J. Watt (HOU)
- Watt has performed well as a rookie defensive end playing in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defensive scheme. He's registered a couple of sacks throughout the year and has put up decent tackle numbers. He has a very nice matchup against the Jaguars this week and could be a decent bye week replacement if you are in a pinch.

RDEs Trent Cole/Justin Tuck (PHI/NYG) - Both of these guys are obvious DL1 starts when healthy and would normally never be on any leagues waiver wire; however, due to significant injuries that have caused them both to miss multiple games, many owners in shallower leagues had no choice but to dump them back on the wire. Both of these players are DL1s moving forward and should be rostered in all leagues. If you have to choose between the two, roster Cole. His injury is less chronic and he has less competition for fantasy points among his fellow defensive linemen.

MLB Jerod Mayo (NE) - Although he's not likely to be available in deeper leagues, I've seen Mayo dropped in a couple of shallower leagues that I play in and he's definitely worth a reminder mention here as he's been out of the lineup since week 4 and might have fallen off some owners' radars. It's yet to be determined whether or not he will play this week, but I'd advise picking him up if he's available in your league. He's not the elite, top 5 LB option we thought he was in the beginning of the season, but his future production is aligned with other LB2s like Sean Weatherspoon, Paul Posluszny, James Anderson, etc. and those are beginning harder and harder to find this far into the regular season.

ROLB Brooks Reed (HOU) - Reed has done a nice job filling in for All-Pro Mario Williams at outside linebacker. He's shown an ability to put up decent tackle numbers for a rush linebacker and registered his 1st NFL sack last week against the Tennessee Titans. He draws a very favorable matchup this week against the Jaguars as they are currently giving up the 9th most sacks in the league and offer a healthy amount of tackle opportunity for linebackers as they run the ball more than any other team in the NFL. He's a solid LB3 option in big-play leagues this week.

MLB Adam Hayward (TB)
- Regular starting MLB Mason Foster left last week's game after he re-injured his ankle. Hayward managed a solid 5 solo tackles while filling in which are fairly good numbers considering his snap count and matchup. Foster has been struggling with this injury for a couple of weeks now and if he misses an extended period of time, Hayward is worth a serious look as a LB3 in deeper leagues. This is a situation to keep in the back of your mind heading into week 9 as the Bucs are on bye this week.

MLB Dan Connor (CAR) - Conner is a player I've mentioned numerous times before as a high risk/reward start as he is only a two-down linebacker. He had a solid matchup against the Redskins last week and put up 10 total tackles (8 solos). Connor has another ideal matchup this week against a run-heavy Minnesota team. The Vikings don't use a lot of spread sets, so Connor should see an above average amount of snaps this week which should translate to steady production. 6-8 solos is a reasonable expectation.

WLB Leroy Hill (SEA)
- Hill posted his 4th straight above average fantasy performance of the season. During this time span, he's quietly averaging 9 total tackles per game and with a solid couple of matchups coming up, he's a great fill in at your LB3 spot.

Defensive Backs
FS Ryan Clark (PIT) - Clark has been a decent low-end DB3 option in balanced and tackle-heavy leagues so far this season. He's currently averaging 6 total tackles per game and has a fantastic matchup against the Patriots this week who have been a top 5 matchup for opposing fantasy safeties. Expect 8-9 total tackles this week from Clark making him a solid DB3+ option in week 8.

FS Reed Doughty (WAS) - This pickup is solely dependent on if O.J. Atogwe plays this week or not. If he doesn't, Doughty deserves a start as a DB3 in the majority of IDP scoring systems. He filled in for Atogwe last week and put up a 7-1 stat line. He also had a 9-2 stat line in week 1 while filling in for LaRon Landry. When given the chance to start over the last 2 seasons, he's put up noteworthy tackle numbers and with the Redskins going against a new and improved Bills offense; Doughty should have plenty of tackle opportunity.

RCB Kevin Thomas (IND)
- Thomas made his 1st start at cornerback for the Colts in place of injured Jacob Lacey. He was the team's second leading tackler with 9 total tackles (7 solo) and is a good candidate to continue that type of production moving forward if he retains his starting status. Granted, New Orleans controlled the time of possession and threw the ball a ton which led to Thomas' great production. However, the Colts defensive scheme and tackle opportunity make their cornerbacks viable fantasy options and Thomas is likely to keep getting thrown at a lot until he proves he's a starting caliber NFL cornerback. He's a sneaky low-end CB2 option for those in CB-required IDP leagues.

SS Jon McGraw (KC) - McGraw was on tons of IDP waiver wire lists early in the season (and deservedly so). However, a week 3 injury stalled his production for a few weeks and he fell back onto the waiver wire in the majority of leagues. After getting the bye week to rest, he seems to be back to full health and posted a nice 5-3 stat line against the Raiders last week. He has a fantastic matchup this week against the Chargers who have been very generous to fantasy safeties so far this season. He's a nice high upside D3 option.

SS Bernard Pollard (BAL)
- I pointed out Pollard as a waiver wire option in week 6 against the Texans mainly due to matchup and the fact he was facing his old team. Honestly, I was a bit worried that his below average coverage skills would limit his snaps moving forward. However, his MNF performance may keep him in as an every down starter. He forced MJD to fumble on three separate occasions and made a nice play on Mercedes Lewis in the back of the end zone to save a touchdown. He's still not gonna be the type of fantasy player he was in Houston, but he's worth a shot as a high upside DB3 if you are struggling for big points out of your defense.

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: October 25, 2011
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