2020 IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5

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Let's start things off by going through some IDP news, notes, and commentary from Week 4 of the NFL season.

Injuries
Unfortunately, this was another brutal week for injuries on the IDP side of things. 

Danielle Hunter's true injury status continues to be a lingering unknown; however, it seems like he's dealing with a herniation in his spine. The team has not shared a clear timeline in terms of his potential return which signals to me that he could very well not return to action this season, especially with the Vikings not looking like they will be in contention.

Shaq Lawson left with a shoulder injury after tackling Russell Wilson and he did not return to the game.

Jeffery Simmons on the COVID list. It's unclear how long he will be out as it all depends on how he reacts to the virus. 

LB1 stud Darius Leonard limped off the field in the second half with a groin injury and did not return. This injury, along with Myles Jack's injury, will be the two to focus on this week for a lot of managers.

Myles Jack left in the 2nd half with an ankle injury and did not return. He was ruled out in a quick manner which suggests it could potentially be a serious injury.

Micah Kiser pulled his groin last week and was forced from the game after 44 snaps. He will be questionable heading into Week 5. Troy Reeder and Kenny Young would be the ILB linebacker tandem for the Rams if Kiser was inactive. 

LB3+ Matt Milano suffered a pectoral injury in the Bills win over the Raiders and is considered "week-to-week" which signals to us that he is probably not likely to suit up this coming week.

Christian Kirskey was placed on injured reserve the middle of last week after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 3. He will miss at least 3 games.

Rookie C.J. Henderson injured his shoulder early in the game and did not return. 

The Atlanta safety position has been absolutely decimated with injury. Typical starters Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen were inactive last week due to a hamstring injury and hyperextended elbow, respectively. This left Damontae Kazee and Jaylinn Hawkins as the starters at the safety spots against the Pack in Week 5. However, Kazee was lost to a season-ending Achilles' injury and Hawkins left with a concussion. 


General Player Notes
Harrison Smith
was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Julian Love (one of my waiver wire suggestions from last week) ended up only seeing 30% of the snaps as the team opted to give the lion's share of snaps to Adrian Colbert. Perhaps this was because Love was a little banged up heading into the contest, but whatever the reason, he nor Colbert are viable fantasy options at this point. 

For more detailed playing time notes for linebackers specifically, check out my Every Down Linebackers article. 

Now onto The Guru's IDP waiver wire selections for Week 5! 

(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: Aldon Smith, Montez Sweat, Michael Brockers, Akiem Hicks, Mario Addison, Stephon Tuitt, Jonathan Allen, Kerry Hyder, Jeffery Simmons, Carl Lawson)

DE Stephon Tuitt (PIT) - I mentioned Tuitt in my Week 3 article as a strong play given his matchup against the Texans and he came through with a sack. So it makes sense to call him out again as a) he's still widely available in many leagues and b) he squares off against the Eagles who are allowing the most points to opposing DEs by a fairly wide margin. Tuitt's not an every week start by any means, but he's a nice spot starter in great matchups such as this.

DE Leonard Williams (NYG) - Williams has been one of the long bright spots for the G-Men so far this season with 18 total tackles and 2 sacks through the first four games. He will get a banged up and struggling Dallas offensive line and has a good shot as producing another above average week. I'd consider him a low-end DL3 in 12 to 14-team leagues for Week 5.

DE Yetur Gross-Matos (CAR) - This is more of a long-term/dynasty call-out but it's important to mention that YGM, the Panther's 2nd round selection this year, got his first sack against Kyler Murray and forced a fumble in the process. His playing time is still too low (32%) to trust in most redraft formats, but we should continue to see that playing time ramp up and him become a viable option later in the year or heading into 2021 as a bookend opposite Brian Burns. 

Linebackers
(
Previously recommended LBs: Germaine Pratt, Nate Gerry, Jon Bostic, B.J. Goodson, Micah Kiser, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Foyesade Oluokun, Eric Wilson, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Joe Thomas, Ty Summers, Avery Williamson, Kyzir White, K.J. Wright, Mykal Walker)

LBs Anthony Walker - With Darius Leonard looking quite iffy for this week's game due to a groin injury that knocked him out of last week's contest against the Bears, Anthony Walker should be one of the top waiver wire pickups in IDP leagues this week. He racked up a team high 11 total tackles with Leonard out and will be a surefire every down player on the weak side if Leonard does indeed miss any time. We've seen Walker be highly productive on a per snap basis over the last couple of years and having a full complement of snaps with less tackle competition should allow him to produce at a near LB1 level. Bobby Okereke is worth a look as well as a LB3+ in this situation, but he's dealing with an injury as well. So that's something we need to monitor throughout the week. 

LB Josey Jewell - With the release of Todd Davis shortly before the start of the season, the Broncos have relied on Jewell to fill in as an every down player next to A.J. Johnson. Although he doesn't possess the athleticism of Johnson, Jewell is a good run-stopper who should keep pace with Johnson in terms of tackles. Expect there to be week-to-week variation between the two players, but I see Jewell as a LB3-/LB4+ as a whole for the remainder of the season.

LB Nick Kwiatkoski (LVR) - The signing of Cory Littleton overshadowed Kwiatkoski's value heading into the season and he's likely further off radars after missing Weeks 2 and 3 due to injury. However, he seems back to full health and was in a near every-down role last week. Although his box score numbers were underwhelming, I think there are brighter days ahead for him especially with Littleton continuing to struggle. If you are looking for a fairly high floor player in deeper leagues, Kwiatkoski is a solid LB4+ option and has an outside shot to end up leading the team in tackles from here on out. 

LB Tyrel Dodson (BUF) - Matt Milano was forced out late in the Bills' game with a shoulder injury. Based on initial reports, Milano will be on the wrong side of questionable this week. If he were to miss the game, Dodson would likely fill in on the weak side and play every down, making him a decent streaming option against a favorable Titans matchup in Week 5. 


Defensive Backs
(Previously recommended DBs: Marcus Maye, Jeremy Chinn, Adrian Phillips, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Josh Jones, Brandon Jones, Logan Ryan, Kenny Vaccaro, Troy Hill, Holton Hill, Logan Ryan, Julian Love, Taylor Rapp, Mike Hilton)

S Donovan Wilson (DAL) - Wilson has shown flashes of upside over the course of his two training camps with the Cowboys. With Darian Thompson continuing to struggle at strong safety, Wilson came into the game as his replacement in the first quarter and proceeded to rack up a team high 10 tackles (6 solos). There's a chance the Cowboys give Thompson some share of playing time next week, but given how poorly the Dallas defense has played, I wouldn't be shocked if they gave Wilson all the snaps next week. If that's the case, I would expect fantasy starter production from him with the team's front seven unable to stop much of anything this season. Given the lack of quality options at the position due to injury, bye weeks, and division of playing time, Wilson is worth the gamble as DB3/DB4 option this week in a lot of leagues.

CB James Bradberry (NYG) - I typically don't seek out and start cornerbacks unless I have to, but Bradberry's been an above average producer at his position since entering the league and is off to a good start fantasy-wise in 2020. He faces a Cowboys team that is throwing a ton and have consequently allowed the most fantasy points to cornerbacks so far this season. So Bradberry should have one of his better tackle games of the year and has nice big play upside given Dallas has turned the ball over a lot in recent games.

S Kareem Jackson (DEN) - Although I had Jackson labeled as a player to avoid heading into the year and he hasn't had any standout games yet, he has served as a reasonable high floor DB4 option (5-1, 3-1 FR, 4-2, 5-1). Most importantly, he faces the Patriots this week who have given up the most tackles to opposing safeties. So I'm projecting him for a 7-1 stat line. 

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). 

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Last Updated: October 6, 2020
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