2019 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 2

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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.

Although I'm happy to answer questions posted via the website comments section, IDP Forum, and email, I'm often quickest to respond via Twitter. So if you have IDP questions, it's a good idea to Follow me on Twitter.

Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 1 of the NFL season.

Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen is considered week-to-week with a sprained MCL suffered in Sunday's Week 1 loss to the Eagles.

Although the team was consistently reporting they expected him to play, Ezekiel Ansah was inactive to begin the season and the Seahawks are now unsure of his status for Week 2. Ansah has appealing upside but is one of the more oft-injured players in the league. This said, he's become a player to avoid for fantasy purposes in my eyes unless you are desperate and willing to take a fairly big risk on a pass rusher.

Jets Rookie Quinnen Williams left Sunday afternoon's game with an ankle injury and did not return. He's not expected to practice Wednesday and is in serious jeopardy of missing Week 2.

T.J. Watt left Sunday night's game against the Patriots with a hip injury and did not return. The Steelers were getting blown out at this point, so that's the most likely reason he stayed on the sidelines. Unless we hear otherwise, he should be fine moving forward.

After being the game's most valuable player through three quarters (gathering an INT for a TD and a fumble recovery), C.J. Mosley injured his groin and did not return to the game. This injury could keep Mosley out this coming week, but we will have to check injury reports in the coming days to determine the severity.

Eric Weddle suffered a concussion in the Rams' regular season opener and will now have to pass through concussion protocol before getting back onto the field.

The Bucs are placing safety Justin Evans on IR as he's suffered multiple setbacks with his feet and an Achilles injury. This means he will miss at least eight games.

General Player Notes
As we thought may happen, the Dolphins rolled out veteran Reshad Jones in a part time role in Week 1 where he saw less than 50% of the defensive snaps. This said, he can't be trusted in starting lineups right now and it looks like his reign as a DB1 may be officially over.

In a weird turn of events, both Kwon Alexander and Myles Jack were ejected early on in their respective Week 1 games. It doesn't sound like either player will miss any further time, but it was a stinging blow for fantasy players that had either or both in their starting lineups.

Deion Jones had a relatively mediocre performance with 5 solo tackles. But he wasn't on the field for a good portion of the second half and wound up only playing 62% of the defensive snaps. I couldn't find anything about him getting injured, so I'm assuming the Falcons just opted to give him some rest in a blowout game especially since it was his first game back after suffering a season-ending foot injury last season.

The Steelers opted to ease rookie Devin Bush into his role at linebacker to begin the year. He didn't start the game but wound up playing a respectable 76% of the snaps. T.J. Watt was the defensive play caller, however and was second amongst linebackers in snaps played behind Bud Dupree. Bush may not be every down for another week or so, but his tackle efficiency is so good, he should still put up very nice tackle numbers and needs to be in your starting lineups moving forward.

And lastly, here's my yearly statement about Week 1 under performances: stick with your studs and don't panic. If you have guys like Keanu Neal, J.J. Watt, or Olivier Vernon that had very poor fantasy weeks, you need to practice a bit of patience and ride those guys out a few more weeks.

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
DE Sam Hubbard (CIN)
- Hubbard was a pass rusher I highlighted as a player to target in my 2019 IDP sleepers article heading into the season. So I was glad to see him get off to a rocking start with 10 total tackles and 2 sacks against the Seahawks. Hubbard had six sacks as a part-time player in his rookie season and should be able to reach double-digit sacks this year as a full-time defensive end that is likely to see 850+ defensive snaps. He possesses great athleticism for his size and was consistently making tackles down field in Seattle which should ensure a nice tackle floor to go along with his sack upside. Consider him a DL2+ moving forward.

DE Nick Bosa (SF) - Rookie Nick Bosa wasted no time in establishing himself as a key component of the San Francisco pass rush. Despite still partially working his way back from injury, he applied constant pressure on Jameis Winston and managed 3 total tackles and a sack while playing 56% of the snaps. He should only see his snap counts increase in the coming weeks and should serve us well as a DL2- with upside for the remainder of the year.

DT Quinton Jefferson (SEA) - With Ezekiel Ansah inactive due to injury, Jefferson got the start at defensive end this week and played a healthy 65% of the defensive snaps and filled up the box scores with a 2-4-2, 2 TFL, 3 QBH, 2 PD stat line. Ansah is very questionable to play again this coming week and Jarran Reed is suspended until Week 7, so Jefferson should continue to see starter snaps for the immediate future. His classification as a DT in most league management systems makes him very appealing in leagues that require you to start a player(s) at that position.

LB Jordan Hicks (ARZ) - Hicks is a player I targeted in nearly all of my drafts and someone that most likely should be on your team if he's available. Given their fast-paced offensive scheme, the Cardinals defense is likely to be near the top of league in field time most weeks of the season. Additionally, Hicks has little tackle competition among the front seven and has shown to be an elite fantasy player in the past when healthy. He tied for the league lead in total tackles in Week 1 with 14 (2 for loss) and should be an LB1 in most leagues as long as he can avoid injury.

LB Shaq Thompson (CAR) - Thompson, a former first round pick in 2015, is a player us fantasy owners have been patiently waiting to break out since entering the league. The talent has always been there - it was just a matter of securing an every-down role which he finally has now that long-time Panther Thomas Davis is with the Chargers. He wasted no time in showing his potential with a nine tackle game (seven solo). With Luke Kuechly in the picture, there will be some week-to-week variance in Thompson's production. But all in all, LB2-/LB3+ is a reasonable expectation from him for the rest of the season.

LB Josey Jewell (DEN)
 - Jewell played every snap in Monday night's game against the Raiders and led the team with a whopping 14 total tackles. There's a chance he may move into more of a two-down role once Todd Davis returns from injury, but for now, we should assume he's going to stay on the field in subpackages as Vic Fangio has historically used multiple linebackers in that capacity. Jewell is likely the linebacker available in most leagues that has the potential to make the biggest impact in IDP leagues throughout the season. This makes him one of the biggest early season waiver wire priority pickups.

LB Kyzir White (LAC) - It was a bit of a surprise to see Los Angeles give White the starting nod at MLB over Denzel Perryman to start the season. The latter is still working his way back from knee surgery so that may be part of the reason. White was second on the team in tackles with nine (eight solo) across 54 snaps (86%) and played well in pass coverage, so he has a chance to maintain this near-every down role moving forward. The Chargers have used a heavy rotation at the linebacker position over the last couple seasons, so there's always a risk White gets relegated back into a part-time/reserve role, but he's worth the risk of adding as a LB3 in most leagues. As a side note, if Thomas Davis is available (14 total tackles this week in an every down role), he's going to be ranked slightly higher than White for me in terms of rest of season redraft value, so keep that in mind when developing your waiver wire lists.

LB Blake Cashman (NYJ) - C.J. Mosley left the game in the third quarter with a groin strain and did not return. We don't yet know if he will miss any time, but if he does, rookie Blake Cashman will be the first man up to take his place and will likely be a three-down backer. He gathered some hype this preseason after a strong camp showing and, although I wouldn't add him before any of the other linebackers mentioned above, he does make for a sneaky speculative add in deeper IDP leagues. Neville Hewitt also gets a bump here as the Jets other starting and every-down inside linebacker.

Defensive Backs

S Juan Thornhill (KC) - Thornhill is another player I called out in my 2019 IDP Draft Guide as a late-round sleeper target. Many thought he would be eased into a starting role but the Chiefs immediately inserted him into the starting lineup as an every down player over veteran Daniel Sorensen and he led the team with 8 total tackles. This said, he does profile as more of a big-play type of IDP producer, so I wouldn't expect this type of tackle production every week. But he has a relatively weak set of linebackers in front of him, so he has a chance at above average tackle numbers to go along with big play upside.

S Jordan Whitehead (TB) - Whitehead had a strong week 1 performance with a 7-1 statline and has been an underrated fantasy asset over the last season or so. With Justin Evans heading to IR, Whitehead should continue to be an above average tackle producing strong safety that makes for a nice DB3+ pickup.

S Xavier Woods (DAL) - As a diehard Cowboy fan, I follow the team very closely and have been excited about the development of Woods. He was all over the field on Sunday and led the team in tackles with 11 (9 solo). With LVE and Jaylon Smith in front of him, he's going to have some struggles in the tackle department in some weeks, but he's projected to be one of the team's best big play defenders which should keep his fantasy value a float during those times. I'm viewing Woods as a low-end fantasy DB3.

If you found this article (or past articles) helpful, please consider DONATING. I put a lot of hours every week into my in-season content and make that content available free of charge to my readers, so any support you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated (even if it's just enough for a cup of coffee). 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at theidpguru@idpguru.com or follow me on Twitter.

Last Updated: September 10, 2019
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