2016 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 12

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 11 of the NFL season.

Michael Bennett
missed another game while he recovers from knee surgery. Head Coach Pete Carroll said Bennett has been very optimistic about his return timetable and said he has a shot to play this week against Tampa Bay.

The NFL's top linebacker Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion on Thursday Night Football and was seen in quite the emotional state directly following the injury. The Panthers have said there is no timetable for his return. Given his previous history with concussions, I would expect this to be a longer than typical absence.

DeAndre Levy
had been MIA for two months up until last week when he finally began practicing again. Although that's an encouraging sign, Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett recently reported that it sounds like Levy will still sit out this week's game against the Vikings. With 10 days rest after their Thanksgiving game, Levy has a much better chance to return in Week 13.

Rookie Leonard Floyd suffered a neck injury during Sunday's game and had to be taken to the hospital. He was released later that evening and is said to have avoided a major injury. It's yet to be seen if he will miss any games.

Just as Justin Houston returned to the lineup, OLB Dee Ford went down with a hamstring injury and did not return. His status will be updated later in the week.

Another key part of the Chiefs defense was unable to play due to injury as Marcus Peters was inactive with a hip injury.

DeShawn Shead
, who had been one of fantasy's top corners over the last several weeks, left the game early with an aggravation of a hamstring injury he suffered on Saturday. He's likely to miss a game or two.

Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said that there's a "good chance" Tyrann Mathieu returns this week against the Falcons. He's worth an add for the stretch run if you have the bench space to take a "wait and see" approach with him.

DB3-/DB4+ Shawn Williams suffered a hamstring injury and did not return to the Bengals' game against the Bills. Pro Bowler Earl Thomas incurred the same type of injury and failed to return as well. We should know more about both of their Week 12 statuses later in the week.

49ers safety Eric Reid is done for the season after tearing his biceps against the Patriots on Sunday. He will most likely be replaced in the lineup by sophomore player Jacquiski Tartt.

Emerging IDP stud Clayton Geathers is in the league's concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head last week. He will need to pass all the appropriate tests before getting back on to the field.

Both Aqib Talib and Derek Wolfe returned to practice on Monday and look to be trending in the right direction to play this week.

General Player Notes
LB1- Jerrell Freeman has been suspended four games for testing positive for PEDs. This is a striking blow for the Bears and fantasy owners alike. Nick Kwiatkoski will start in his place and could potentially be the Bears' defensive signal caller. He's worth a speculative add as a LB4 in 12-14 team leagues based on pure volume of tackle opportunity alone.

On a similar note, Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch has been suspended four games as well for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Jason Jones of the Dolphins was suspended two games for testing positive for a banned substance.

Justin Houston saw his first game action of 2016 last week and saw a surprisingly large amount of playing time (71% of the defensive snaps). It looks like he will be close to full-time much sooner than expected. He could provide an added boost to big play lineups down the stretch.

Bill Belicheck continues to alter the playing time of his defensive players from week-to-week. Elandon Roberts was the victim of this in Week 11. Roberts went from 58 snaps in Week 10 all the way down to 11 last week. I still like Roberts for dynasty purposes but he can't be trusted in redraft leagues right now.

Perrish Cox has been a decent cornerback option this year for fantasy owners, but he's in serious risk of getting benched according to reports. This said, owners should sit Cox until he can solidify his starting role.

Robert Blanton found himself in a time-share with James Ihedigbo last week. Given that Blanton suffered an injury in that game, there's a good chance Ihedigbo sees close to full playing time this coming week. This makes him a nice add in deep IDP leagues.
Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 12!

(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 more thin and matchup information becomes more reliable, the focus of this article will shift more towards recommendations based on weekly matchup.)

Defensive Linemen
(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, Calais Campbell, Joey Bosa, Trent Murphy, Deforest Buckner, Danny Shelton, Willie Young, Joey Bosa, Gerald McCoy, Cameron Wake, Frank Clark, Marcell Dareus, Mike Daniels, Cameron Wake, Adrian Clayborn, Timmy Jernigan, Trey Flowers, Jurrell Casey, Robert Ayers)

DE Stephon Tuitt (PIT) - 
Despite a strong sophomore season in which he registered 6.5 sacks and above average tackle numbers, Tuitt struggled to carry that success over into the first half of the 2016 season. He was held sackless through the season's first 9 weeks. Things appear to be turning in his favor lately though as he's had sacks in two straight weeks and 3.5 sacks total during that time. He has the Colts on the schedule this week who have allowed a league-leading 3.5 sacks per game. This makes him a must start in most leagues.

DT Marcell Dareus (BUF) - 
Dareus made an appearance in this column a few weeks back but never really had a chance to prove himself as an injury kept him out of the lineup and then he went on bye. He returned to the lineup last week and came through with 4 total tackles, 0.5 sack, and 1 PD. He's about as consistent as they come at the DT position and deserves a pickup in all DT-required leagues and a serious look as a DL3 in 12-team standard leagues.

DE Mario Addison (CAR) -
Addison has quietly developed into one of the league's better situational pass rushers, compiling 6 or more sacks in three straight seasons. He's had four sacks in his last three games which makes him an enticing pickup. Owners should be aware that he plays the Raiders this week who have only allowed 11 sacks all year through 10 games. However, he has two very favorable matchups after that in the Seahawks and Chargers. So I'd either wait a week to pick up Addison or slot him into a bench spot for one week before playing him.

(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, Christian Kirksey, Nick Bellore, Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, Markus Golden, Nick Bellore, Albert McClellan, Dont'a Hightower, Tyler Matakevich, Jordan Hicks, De'Vondre Campbell, Christian Kirksey, Demario Davis, Nate Stupar, Kiko Alonso, Dont'a Hightower, Elandon Roberts, Nigel Bradham, Korey Toomer, Ryan Shazier, De'Vondre Campbell, Korey Toomer, Gerald Hodges, Chad Greenway, Dannell Ellerbe, Blake Martinez, Gerald Hodges, Leonard Floyd)

LB Jatavis Brown (SD) -
Brown is likely owned in most deep leagues. However, after missing two games due to injury and a bye last week, he could have very well been dropped in shallower leagues. After three weeks of rest, he should be healthy enough to return to full-time playing and consequently LB1-/LB2+ status. This kid is a stud. Grab him while/if you can.

LB Danny Trevathan (CHI) -
Teammate Jerrell Freeman's four game suspension for PED use should open up more tackle opportunity for Trevathan who had been on a roll anyway with 24 total tackles (18 solo) over his last two games. With the Bears offense sputtering and a dominant run offense in the Titans coming to town, Trevathan should get gobs of tackles in Week 12. Consider him one of the better waiver wire pickups this week and moving forward.

LB Shaq Thompson (CAR) -
If you missed it, all-World linebacker Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion last Thursday night and is now seeing a specialist this week to determine the best route to recovery. Given his history with head injuries (multiple concussions throughout his playing career) and the fact that he missed three games due to a concussion last year, he's not likely to play this week. That said, Shaq Thompson is the most likely candidate to step into an every-down role opposite Thomas Davis. Thompson is one of the league's stars in waiting - he's just been blocked by two ultra-talented backers in Kuechly and Davis his entire career. I think he takes this opportunity and runs with it, racking up 8-10 tackles in the process in Week 12.

LB/S Su'a Cravens (WAS) -
At 6' 1" and 222 pounds, Cravens fits the mold of the new hybrid linebacker/safety that teams now covet. Up until last week, he was just a subpackage player. However, given his strong play in those packages, the Washington coaching staff decided to move him up into a full-time role over Mason Foster. If this situation continues (which I think it will), he will have decent LB3- value. However, his real value lies in if you can utilize him as a fantasy safety. If that's the case, he's a top 15 DB.

Defensive Backs

(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, Clayton Geathers, Duke Ihenacho, D.J. Swearinger, Bashaud Breeland, Rodney McLeod, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Donte Whitner, DeShawn Shead, Michael Thomas, Troy Hill, Bradley McDougald, Robert Blanton, Daniel Sorensen, Bradley Roby, Phillip Gaines, Andrew Adams, Kevin Byard, Bashaud Breeland, Byron Jones, Jimmie Ward)

S Jacquiski Tartt (SF) -
The 49ers defense took another blow as it was announced that free safety Eric Reid would miss the remainder of the season with a torn biceps. The only silver lining here is that second-year player Jacquiski Tartt will finally get a chance to start. He's a player I've had my eye on since he entered the league last year and I expect him to put up starter-type tackle numbers behind an extremely porous San Francisco front seven.

SS Patrick Chung (NE) - The trade of Jamie Collins to Cleveland seems to have made the Patriots front seven noticeably weaker in terms of run defense. And Chung seems to have been the main benefactor going 5-1 and 7-2-1 in his last two games. He's been a fantasy stud in the past, so I'm willing to buy in here that he could produce DB3+/DB2- numbers the rest of the way. However it's the Patriots, so there's always a chance they change/tweak his role in the defensive scheme at some point.

CB Rashaan Melvin (IND) -
Melvin started last week with Patrick Robertson out due to injury. He was thrown at constantly during the game which resulted in a whopping 11 solo tackles and 2 pass deflections. If he gets another start, he's worth a look as a CB2 against Big Ben and the Steelers passing attack.

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: November 22, 2016
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