2016 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 15

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 14 of the NFL season.

Ezekiel Ansah left Sunday's game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. The injury was revealed to just be a "stinger" however and he's expected to play in Week 15. Ansah was a top five fantasy DL heading into the season, but has astonishingly failed to register a sack this year.

Joey Bosa was forced from the Chargers' Week 14 with a neck injury and possible concussion. However, tests later revealed no concussion - just a neck strain. And the team says he has a chance to play this week. All in all, good news.

Kiko Alonso sat out last week's game after undergoing surgery on his thumb and battling a hamstring injury. However, he said he feels confident he can play Saturday.

Head Coach Ron Rivera stated that the team is not shutting down Luke Kuechly. However, it's hard to imagine the Panthers putting one of their franchise players in harm's way again this season with their playoff chances dwindling.

Veteran Derrick Johnson tore his Achilles in Thursday night's contest between the Chiefs and the Raiders. At 34 years old, this injury could signal the end of Johnson's career and will force Kansas City to start looking for his long-term replacement.

Deone Bucannon suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to be out the remainder of the season. Sio Moore is his most likely replacement at inside linebacker and could bring some value to the table in super deep IDP leagues.

Will Compton sprained his PCL in last week's game and is considered "week-to-week." Given the nature of the injury, I would say chances are greater than 50% that he misses this coming week's game.

Craig Robertson was inactive on Sunday as he was still struggling to get over a shoulder injury. This gave second year player Stephone Anthony an every down role at middle linebacker, a welcome sight for many of his dynasty owners.

The Cardinals placed Tyvon Branch on injured reserve with a torn groin. This is yet another year in which Branch has struggled to stay healthy.

Clayton Geathers was placed on IR after suffering neck and concussion issues. Look for the Colts to continue playing cornerback Darius Butler at safety with rookie T.J. Green seeing some snaps as well.

Washington fears the rookie safety/linebacker hybrid Su'a Cravens has a partially torn biceps. If this is true, he will miss the remainder of the season.

General Player Notes

Week 14 saw the return of Jatavis Brown to the active roster. Somewhat surprisingly, Denzel Perryman lead all Chargers inside linebackers with 87% of snaps played with Korey Toomer (75%) and Brown (25%) rotating at the other linebacker position. I would expect Brown's snaps to increase in the final weeks, likely coming at the expense of both Perryman and Toomer. For now, it's a situation to avoid for fantasy purposes until we get a better understanding of how the snaps are going to get distributed out.

Last week also saw the much awaited return of DeAndre Levy. Given his lengthy absence, it wasn't that surprising that he only played 18 snaps. Tahir Whitehead remained in a near every down role. Much like Brown, I would expect Levy's snap counts to increase with each week and Josh Bynes' counts to decline.

Vontaze Burfict has been one of the hottest fantasy linebackers over the last several weeks (a whopping 63 total tackles in five weeks). This fact makes his 1 solo tackle performance last week all the more disappointing and puzzling. He played every down and seemed to be in on three to four tackles he didn't get credit for, so I'm chalking this performance up as an anomaly.

In a similar vein, Christian Kirksey laid a dud in Week 14 with just 3 total tackles. Previous to this performance, Kirksey hadn't dipped below 9 total tackles in a game since Week 6. His teammate Jamie Collins had 15 total tackles which stole a lot of share away from Kirksey. He should hopefully rebound next week with a favorable Bills stat crew.

Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 15!

(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, Stephon Tuitt, Marcell Dareus, Mario Addison, Noah Spence, Javon Hargrave, Andre Branch, Derek Wolfe, Michael Johnson, Stephon Tuitt)

DT Marcell Dareus (BUF) - Dareus makes his third appearance in this article this year. Since returning from injury/suspension, he's had four solid fantasy weeks out of five and he has the Browns this week who are allowing the third most points to defensive tackles and a plethora of sacks per week. Always a strong tackle producer, Dareus makes for a solid high floor play with nice upside this week for owners.

DT Nick Fairley/Sheldon Rankins (NO) - Both Fairley and Rankins have been fairly dependable DT2+/DT1- options the last handful of games. They are facing off against the Cardinals this week who have allowed the most points to defensive ends AND defensive tackles this season. I'd give Fairley the slight advantage in waiver wire priority as he typically sees 15-20% more snaps, but both players are solid options this week.

DE Romeo Okwara (NYG) - Okwara shined in prime time on Sunday night in his first career start filling in for the injured Jason Pierre-Paul. His 3-5-1, 1 PD stat line is impressive and makes him worthy of DL3-/DL4+ consideration for the season's final couple of weeks.

(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, Jatavis Brown, Danny Trevathan, Shaq Thompson, Su'a Cravens, Justin Houston, Nick Kwiatkoski, Darron Lee, Nick Kwiatkoski, Edwin Jackson, Perry Riley, Josh Bynes)

LB Mason Foster (WAS) -
Injuries to both Will Compton and Su'a Cravens forced Foster into an every down role last week. With little tackle competition, Foster was able to rack up 12 solo tackles and a sack. With both Compton and Cravens likely to miss this coming week's game, Foster becomes an appealing option as a one-week plug-in for fantasy owners in the playoffs. LB3+.

LB Edwin Jackson (IND) - 
I called out Jackson as a player to target last week now that he's assumed an every down role. He had 10 total tackles but unfortunately seven of those tackles were assists due to the Indy stat crew. He has a top 2 matchup this week against the Vikings and should see a more favorable solo to assist balance since the game is in Minnesota.

LB Ramik Wilson (KC) -
Wilson has had a few nice fantasy performances over the last several weeks and now likely finds himself as the every down, defensive play caller for the Chiefs with Derrick Johnson out for the year. He squares off against the run-heavy Titans next week and I would expect 6-7 solo tackles out of him.

LB Stephone Anthony (NO) - 
With Craig Robertson out with a shoulder injury, Anthony saw his first every down action of the year and responded with a season high 9 total tackles (7 solo). If Robertson misses another game, Anthony becomes a solid LB3-/LB4+ despite a below average matchup against the Cardinals. 

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, Jacquiski Tartt, Patrick Chung, Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, Tavon Wilson, Bashaud Breeland, Jalen Collins, Jahleel Addae, Michael Griffin, Isa Abdul-Quddus)

S Keith Tandy (TB) -
Tandy has come up big for the Buccaneers the last two weeks while filling in for the Chris Conte. He's had interceptions in both weeks and averaged 7 total tackles a game during that span. If Conte misses another game, Tandy should be a solid DB3 option against a time-dominating Cowboys offense in Week 15.

S Jacquiski Tartt (SF) - The 49ers saw 70 defensive snaps which inflated the stats of several of their defensive players. However, Tartt is a player who has been near the top of my watch list for potential breakout fantasy safeties so the 10-2-1 performance isn't all that surprising. It's still only one big game however so he remains a bit risky. But if you are an underdog heading into Week 15 and need big points out of your DB, Tartt is a solid boom/bust option.

S Nate Allen (OAK) - Allen led the Raiders in tackles last week with 11 while filling in for rookie Karl Joseph who is injured. Given Oakland's struggles at inside linebacker this season, Allen should continue to see nice tackle opportunity for as long as he's starting. He's not likely owned in virtually any leagues, so he makes for nice pickup in deep IDP leagues if Joseph is inactive again.

S Sean Davis (PIT)
 - Davis is a player that was on my watch list to begin the year but quickly fell off as he wasn't receiving much playing time. That has changed in recent weeks as the Steelers have begun using him as a every down player. He's responded with big plays in back-to-back games (4-3 with an INT and 6-1 with 1.5 sacks). The matchup against the Bengals isn't great but neither was the Bills matchup last week, so he's worth a look as a DB4 in 12 team leagues.

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: December 13, 2016
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