2017 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 7

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 6 of the NFL season.

49ers defensive end Arik Armstead suffered a broken hand last week and needs surgery. There is currently no timetable for his return but he's likely to miss a few weeks.

Luke Kuechly left Thursday Night's game to be evaluated for a potential concussion. He did not return. There have been conflicting reports on whether or not he actually suffered a concussion, but it seems like he's still in concussion protocol as of right now. Given his history of concussions, expect the Panthers to be overly cautious with Kuechly and not rush him back. If he were to miss any time, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson would be the two, every-down backers.

Jordan Hicks was forced from the Eagles game against the Panthers with an ankle injury. Based on the early reports that I've seen, he's looking like he should play in Week 7.

With the release of Navarro Bowman and the fact that he practiced during the week, many thought Reuben Foster was a pretty good bet to be back in the starting lineup last week. However, he was once again inactive. He should suit up this week. The question is how much will he play? If I had to guess, I would say 50-70% of the defensive snaps.

Kwon Alexander remained OUT with a hamstring injury. He seemed close to returning so chances are good he will be back in the starting lineup in Week 7. If this happens, it likely spells the end of Kendell Beckwith's nice fantasy run as he will be pushed back to a two-down role on the strong side.

Bashaud Breeland suffered an MCL injury last week and is undergoing an MRI to determine the severity of the issue. We should know more within the next 24-48 hours.

CB2+ Trumaine Johnson is week-to-week after suffering a concussion in last week's game.

Lions' ballhawk Glover Quin was also pushed from Sunday's game with a concussion. Per NFL rules, he will have to pass the proper protocols before seeing the field again.

General Player Notes
Navarro Bowman
was released by the 49ers and was quickly snagged up by the linebacker-needy Oakland Raiders. He's unlikely to see substantial snaps in his first week with the team but he should quickly ramp up his playing time. At this point in his career, Bowman is best suited in a two-down, "thumper" role but given the Raiders lack of talent at the position, they may eventually decide to throw him out there every down.

Jatavis Brown
was active in Week 7; however, he only played ~30% of the defensive snaps (which was down 20% from the previous week when he was also injured). This said he's a player we have to keep on the bench until we see him back in an every-down role. Hayes Pullard played every down in Brown's absence and is a boom/bust LB3 until Brown gets healthy again.

B.J. Goodson was back to an every-down role last week but that could be a result of Jonathan Casillas being out with an injury. I don't think we can definitely call him a clear-cut three-down linebacker until we see his playing time with Casillas on the field.

Mason Foster was finally back in an every-down role after splitting time the previous two weeks while working his way back from an injury. However, he didn't show up much in the box scores. I still expect him to produce LB3-LB3+ numbers for the remainder of the season.

After a Week 3 explosion (11-1-2 stat line) and a featured role as the team's "Nitro" linebacker, many (myself included) thought Josh Jones had a good shot at being the latest addition to the DB1 fantasy tier. But, it looks like I was wrong. He's only had 8 total tackles in the three games since and saw his snap count plummet to 40% last week even with Morgan Burnett out of the lineup. It's time to let go of Jones in redraft leagues, unfortunately.

T.J. Ward returned to the lineup after a multi-week absence due to injury. Based on last week's game, it looks like Ward will eventually take over Chris Conte's safety spot. Conte was solid for fantasy owners during his run as the starter, but he's now droppable.

Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 7!

(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: Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins, Yannick Ngaokoue, Noah Spence, Mario Edwards, Julius Peppers, William Gholston, Alex Okafor, Jurrell Casey, Emmanuel Ogbah, Anthony Zettel, Yannick Ngakoue, Myles Garrett, Frank Clark, David Irving)

DT Solomon Thomas (SF) - Thomas, the third overall selection out of Stanford, has already had a couple of big games for the 49ers. He's coming off a performance in which he led the team in tackles and sacks and seems to be getting better with each game. He's DT-eligibility makes him especially appealing formats that require you to roster a tackle. DT1-/DL3- moving forward.

DE Alex Okafor (NO) -
 Okafor was mentioned as a pickup in this article a few weeks back, but I want to bring him up again as he's still barely owned and is coming off another solid performance. Plus, he faces the Packers this week who are tied for the league lead in sacks allowed and will be rolling out an inexperienced quarterback. He's playing a lot of snaps as a standup rusher which should keep his tackle floor fairly high and he should continue to get sack opportunities playing opposite Cameron Jordan. He should be treated as a relatively safe DL3- for the rest of the season.

DE Mario Edwards (OAK) - Edwards is another solid, but not spectacular defensive lineman. He's struggled with injury issues throughout his career but seems to be finally healthy and is on pace for a very respectable eight sacks this season. He faces off against a Chiefs' interior line this week that has struggled mightily in pass protection this season. I like the chances of him notching his fourth sack of the year this coming week.

(Previously recommended LBs: B.J. Goodson, Demario Davis, Mason Foster, A.J. Klein, Ramon Humber, Joe Schobert, Jon Bostic, Vincent Rey, Ramon Humbar, Mike Hull, Zach Cunningham, Danny Trevathan, Kendell Beckwith, Cory James, Derrick Morgan, Kendell Beckwith, Shaq Thompson, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Kyle Van Noy, Reuben Foster, Danny Trevathan, Blake Martinez, Hayes Pullard)

LB Mychal Kendricks (PHI) - Kendricks was viewed as a potential LB1 fantasy player early in his career, but he's been relegated to a two-down role the last few seasons in Philadelphia. With Jordan Hicks exiting Thursday Night's game early with an ankle injury, Kendricks finally got a chance to play every down and he put up a whopping 17 total tackles. If Hicks misses any time, Kendricks becomes a very nice starting option for fantasy owners looking for a solid LB2.

LB Craig Robertson (NO) - Robertson was a welcome surprise to IDP owners last year when he posted 115 total tackles. He entered the season as a reserve linebacker but a season-ending injury to rookie Alex Anzalone pushed the veteran into a starting role on the weak side. Last week was his first game in this role and he responded with a monster performance (11 total tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a pass deflection). He's still not playing every-down (70-75% of the snaps) but he doesn't have much tackle competition and has been productive on a per snap basis recently, so he warrants a look as a third linebacker in 12-team fantasy leagues.

LBs Thomas Davis/Shaq Thompson (CAR) - There's a good chance Luke Kuechly doesn't suit up this week which means Davis and Thompson would be the every-down linebackers. The Bears have been running the ball an absurd amount this year (54 times last week!) which is resulting in great fantasy production for opposing linebackers. If Kuechly is indeed out, I expect both Davis and Thompson to have very nice tackle production. I would prioritize Davis over Thompson if I had to make a choice.

LB Matt Judon (BAL) - Judon had primarily been a part-time player heading into last week's contest against the Bears. However, he looks to be somewhat of an every-down player now logging 88% of the snaps last week. He's not going to face 50+ rush attempts each week so expect the tackle numbers to plummet back down into the normal range for a pass-rushing OLB but he can provide some value in deeper, big play scoring formats as an LB4+.

Defensive Backs
(Previously recommended DBs: Tyvon Branch, Kevin Byard, Daniel Sorenson, Ron Parker, Jalen Mills, Matthias Farley, Jordan Poyer, Vonn Bell, Derrick Kindred, Josh Jones, Terrance Mitchell, Brian Poole, TreDavious White, Chris Conte, Adrian Amos, Trevor Williams, Andrew Sendejo, Tavon Wilson, Justin Evans, Adrian Amos)

S Justin Evans (TB) - As alluded to above, it was Justin Evans who remained a starter at safety upon T.J. Ward's return with Chris Conte going to the bench. In his two starts, Evans has amassed 16 total tackles, an interception, and 3 pass deflections. There's a chance he could find himself back in a reserve role/timeshare once Keith Tandy returns, but he's worth a speculative add in deeper leagues as he has DB1 potential if he gets a full-time role.

S Justin Simmons (DEN) - The Broncos felt good enough about Simmons' play to let T.J. Ward walk this off-season. Given the strong historical fantasy production of this role, Simmons found himself on a lot of IDP owners' "target" lists. However, he failed to make much of an impact...until last week when he racked up a whopping 11 solo tackles to go along with 2 pass deflections. It's a bit premature to crown Simmons a top-notch fantasy safety but he doesn't have a ton of tackle competition from the inside linebackers and could develop into a solid DB3 for us. His matchup isn't great this week, so I'd probably hold off on grabbing him in shallower leagues until we see another strong week of production. He's definitely a guy to watch closely this week.

CB Morris Claiborne - Claiborne, the former Cowboy, has been tasked with shadowing the opposing team's best receiver often this year and that has resulted in strong tackle numbers recently. In his last two weeks, he's posted stat lines of 8-1, INT and 2 PDs and 7-0 with a PD. His next opponent is an average matchup for cornerbacks; however, he plays Atlanta in Week 8 and could very well shadow Julio Jones. If that's the case, he's a sneaky guy to keep your eye on and play as a streaming option that week.

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 17, 2017
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