2019 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 4

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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.

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Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 3 of the NFL season.

Injuries
Christian Kirksey was sent to injured reserve with a chest injury and will miss the remainder of the season. Rookie Mack Wilson will slot into that vacated starting linebacker role.

Alec Ogletree strained his hamstring while attempting to run back a fumble recovery. It's not yet known if he will miss time, but given the type of injury, I'd lean towards him being inactive in Week 4 if I had to guess right now.

Myles Jack's season has gotten off to a rough start. He was ejected during the team's first game and then suffered a concussion in the team's third game which caused him to miss the remainder of that contest. He will have to pass through the proper protocols before getting back on the field. If he doesn't suit up this week, expect Najee Goode to fill in as the team's every down middle linebacker.

Jarrad Davis and Todd Davis returned from injury and played in their first games of the 2019 season last week. They were both essentially every down players and can be utilized as LB3s moving forward.

In a killer blow, Keanu Neal suffered a torn Achilles and will miss another season due to injury. Based on Week 3 usage, veteran Kemal Ishmael is the most likely candidate to take Neal's spot as the team's starting strong safety.

Malik Hooker injured his knee in last week's contest against the Falcons and will miss the next four to six weeks.

General Player Notes
Ezekiel Ansah finally returned to action in Week 3 but was eased into playing as he saw just 33% of the snaps. I expect those numbers to rise in the coming weeks, but given his injury history, I wouldn't be surprised to see him hover in the 50-55% range long term.

After his snap counts increased dramatically from Week 1 to Week 2, Cole Holcomb saw his playing time decrease back to into the 50% range with Jon Bostic playing every single snap in Week 3. Although the playing time between the Washington ILBs seems somewhat fluid at the moment, Holcomb was productive in this game, so he may have carved out more playing time for himself moving forward. Consider him a boom/bust LB3-.

Denzel Perryman returned to the starting lineup and played 63% of the snaps, pushing Kyzir White into a reserve role in which he only saw 12% of the overall defensive playing time. Given this recent development, Thomas Davis is really the only Chargers linebacker we can trust from a fantasy perspective.

Despite being a part-time player, Jamie Collins has been one of the most productive fantasy linebackers through the first three weeks. A lot of his point scoring is a result of big plays (interceptions, defensive touchdowns, sacks), so I'm still inclined to say regression is coming in a fairly big manner for the seven-year veteran. He's not a player that I feel overly comfortable playing due to how often the Patriots rotate their linebackers game-to-game; however, I wouldn't blame someone for starting him given his snaps counts did increase last game and he is one of the hottest IDPs out there right now.

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 4!

(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: Sam Hubbard, Nick Bosa, Quinton Jefferson, Denico Autry, Chase Winovich, Robert Quinn)

DE Brian Burns (CAR) - Burns, the 16th overall pick in this year's draft, was extremely impressive during the preseason and that strong play has carried over into the regular season. Through the team's first two games, Burns was sixth in the league in terms of percentage of pass-rush snaps producing a sack or QB hit. He then added to his hype with a sack last week (his second in as many weeks). His playing time has ramped up with each week (57%, 66%, and 77%) and he has a very attractive schedule coming up with the Texans, Jaguars, and Bucs on the docket next. He's my top waiver wire pickup this week at the position.

DE Stephon Tuitt (PIT) - Tuitt has 3.5 sacks over this last two games and has a favorable matchup against a Bengals team that has allowed the fifth most sacks to start this season. He's not been known as a significant producer in the sack columns in his career, but has enough potential to warrant a spot start for those looking to fill their DL3 positions this week.

DE Josh Allen (JAX) - Like Burns, Allen is a first-round rookie is who seeing ample playing time early in his career and coming off a successful game in which he generated two sacks. He gets a Broncos team in Week 4 that has had some troubles protecting the passer. Allen is likely only going to get better on the season wears on, so buying in on him early will be beneficial for owners that have room for error with their DL3/DL4 spots.


Linebackers
(Previously recommended LBs: Jordan Hicks, Shaq Thompson, Josey Jewell, Kyzir White, Blake Cashman, Zach Cunningham, Quincy Williams, Mark Barron, Kevin Minter)

LB Anthony Walker/Bobby Okereke (IND) - Although neither Walker or Okereke are on the same level as Darius Leonard, IDP Fantasy Football is often more about opportunity than skill and that showed last week as these two players combined for 22 total tackles. If Leonard misses another week, Walker (14 total tackles) becomes one of the top IDP waiver wire pickups with Okereke (8 total tackles) being a nice LB3- consolation prize.

LB Shaq Barrett (TB)
- In perhaps the most surprising stat of the season so far, Barrett leads the NFL in sacks with eight in three games. This is astounding for an undrafted player who has never surpassed 5.5 QB takedowns in a season prior to this year. Although there's reason to expect serious regression with Barrett as team's focus more attention on him and he has two fairly difficult matchups coming up with the Rams and Saints, he's producing at too high of a rate to ignore any longer. If he's not on your roster at this point, he may be a hard add, but he's worth a spot as a LB3 in most non-tackle heavy leagues until further notice.

LB Mack Wilson (CLE) - With Christian Kirksey out for the season, the Browns will turn to rookie fifth-round selection Mack Wilson at inside linebacker next to Joe Schobert. He played 100% of the defensive snaps against the Rams on Monday night. His 3-2 tackle line isn't going to raise any eyebrows, but the Browns defense as a whole didn't generate a ton of tackles in the game. Anytime a young player with upside potential gets inserted into an every down role on a defense with above average tackle opportunity, we should take notice. Wilson makes for a smart pickup in virtually all dynasty leagues and is a LB3-/LB4+ in redraft leagues right now.

LB Ryan Connelly (NYG) - If Alec Ogletree where to miss next week's game, Ryan Connelly would slot into an every down role and be a sneaky start in deep IDP leagues against Washington. He's not a world-beater talent, but the Giants have little tackle competition, and Connelly could easily rack up 7-8 total tackles this week, especially since he will have the benefit of playing at home with the league's most generous stat crew.


Defensive Backs
(Previously recommended DBs: Juan Thornhill, Jordan Whitehead, Xavier Woods, Ronnie Harrison, Terrell Edmunds, Tracy Walker, Darnell Savage)
SS Kemal Ishmael (ATL)
 - Ismael has flashed brief moments of fantasy relevance during his career and with Keanu Neal out for the season, the veteran once again pops up on our radar. He had 6 solo tackles after Neal departed with an injury, so he seems like the "next man up" in this situation. If this is the case, he should be a steady source of tackle production for fantasy players moving forward. He does have some big play upside as well. All this said, I'd consider him a DB3+ for the rest of the season if he qualifies as a safety in your league (he's currently a linebacker on MyFantasyLeague).

SS Roderick Teamer (LAC) - In somewhat of a surprise move, the Chargers opted to have Teamer (an undrafted rookie) fill in at strong safety for the injured Adrian Phillips. Despite looking a bit like a fish out of water, Teamer wound up playing every snap and posted a respectable seven tackles (six solo) and seems like a viable fantasy option moving forward assuming he can maintain a full-time role. I'd consider him a middle of the road DB3.

CB Tre Flowers (SEA) - After three weeks of play, it's become evident that the Cardinals are going to be a great fantasy matchup for opposing cornerbacks. This makes sense given their pass-heavy offensive scheme and emphasis on running a high volume of plays. So far this season, at least two opposing corners have generated at least four solo tackles in each game. Flowers has had a 9-1 and 4-1 tackle lines so far this season, so I'm expecting at least 6-7 solos from the second-year player out of Oklahoma State. He makes for a nice CB streaming play this week, especially for those in leagues that require you to start someone at that position.

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Last Updated: September 24, 2019
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