Cory Littleton…time to bail out? Or is this just a symptom of a larger problem in our instant gratification society?
Week five is in the books and I feel more and more like a Borg drone as the season continues. We adapt to survive, we adapt because it’s that or we pack up our shit and give up, we adapt because IDP studs are tearing ACL’s in droves and outside linebackers are dominating the box scores. Do we get with the times or stubbornly hold on to the past? A nice balance of the two is my prognosis. This week we’ll find out what happened with Devin White, how Nicholas Morrow did taking over for Vontaze Burfict for his first full game and most importantly how to handle the slow starts a lot of the traditional IDP studs are having this season.
If you had to divide the different aspects of being successful in IDP fantasy football into a pie chart the things most people think are the most important would only be a small slice in my personal record book, Stugotz army shoutout. Drafting and knowing rankings and sleepers and all that is great but if you look at your week one team and that same team in week sixteen it will look completely different. The people who win in today’s IDP fantasy leagues are the ones who are on top of their shit. That means paying attention, beating your league mates to waivers, remembering to set your lineups (not even kidding I’m already seeing zeroes for bye weeks in some leagues and we aren’t even halfway through the season yet) and being consistent, tenacious and hungry for knowledge.
Now more than ever the size, speed and strength of the modern NFL athlete means players on both sides of the ball are getting hurt at a rate I feel like we see increase every season. The ACL grim reaper always collects his due but we are losing more and more players to concussions and other impact related injuries as well. Simply drafting a good team isn’t enough to win any more, it’s all about who can survive the battle of attrition that is the regular season the best and give themselves the best setup going into playoffs, the best chance to win, if you can do this then you can take home the hardware.
That’s where this article comes in. If you’ve been reading all season you already know what you’re in for, we’re going to cover every single team and their IDP relevant players and production. We will be breaking down playing time, production, trends and defensive waivers and with that information hopefully give you the edge you need to weather the storm that is the regular season and help to make it to playoffs. So let’s get into it and dissect what happened in week five.
Be sure to follow all the IDP writers at idpguys.org for a faster take on waivers and to make sure you’re covered from all angles with your IDP information, @IDP_Dude and @Joeythetooth are must follows along with @Oklahomiedoug. Apologies that this article comes out after waivers but it’s either ALL of the detail and it comes out late or NONE of the detail and you’ll have it for Tuesday night waivers. Anyone that knows me knows I don’t do things “some of the way”. Anyways, let’s get into it and prepare to have our cheeks clapped by the football gods again this week.
Aaron Donald wonders why everyone is throwing dirt on him after he was inches from two sacks this week while getting triple teamed on multiple occasions and started slow last season as well before putting up twenty sacks.
Rams @ Seahawks
Los Angeles Rams
Possible waiver adds: Troy Reeder (LB) had thirteen combined tackles and played 73% of snaps this week. This is the first I’ve seen his name this season and it’s possible they used another inside linebacker more this week due to Seattles run first nature but if there’s any chance this is going to be a thing you need to get in on it quickly. If it doesn’t work out you can always airlock him later but if he does end up sliding into that Marc Barron (LB) role from last season you could have a nice LB2 or LB3 off waivers for free.
Flash in the pan: Sebastian Joseph Day (DT) had a solid game and played 54% of snaps and could actually be a possible waiver add, the only thing holding me back is this is only the second time he’s made my ears perk up this season so the consistency isn’t there yet. If you do need defensive tackle help in a deep league it’s not the worst idea ever though. With guys like Sheldon Rankins (DT) and Jonathan Allen (DT) coming back from injury in the last couple weeks I’m all set though, I’m much more comfortable playing either of those guys who both have historical production and consistency.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Once again we’re looking at Aaron Donald (DT) in this abandon ship category this week. He had three combined tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit playing 82% of snaps and was double teamed and even triple teamed multiple times in this game. Despite the added attention paid to him he literally missed a sack on Wilson twice by inches and is getting consistent pressure and causing all kinds of havoc in the backfield every week. That kind of thing will pay off eventually, he’s due for a monster game and I’m not going to be the guy who sat him for someone like Quinton Jefferson (DT) or Tyeler Davison (DT). The production will come and you don’t want to be the one who got cute and sat him when it does. Ultimately it’s your call though, I’m going to keep plugging him in without any hesitation though.
Possible waiver adds: Mychal Kendricks (LB) is still available in a bunch of places, his playing time dropped to 53% of snaps this week but he was still able to put up a great game. Plus he’s been a pretty big part of the Seattle pass rush this season so in a big play league he only needs to land a sack or a couple tackles for loss and it will be worth the roll of the dice. I would feel comfortable with him as a LB3 in deeper leagues going forward, preferably LB4 though.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Jadaveon Clowney (DE) had a down week but still somewhat serviceable with three combined tackles, one tackle for loss and two QB hits playing 78% of snaps this week. He’s got the playing time, the QB hits show he’s getting there just a little late and last weeks touchdown shows he’s capable of a monster play any week. For me that’s more than enough to keep playing him comfortably, to each their own though.
Nick Vigil puts up a monster game as the Bengals defense produces tons of IDP production this week.
Cardinals @ Bengals
Possible waiver adds: Jalen Thompson (S) had a terrific game but only played 67% of snaps so his numbers likely won’t be this good every week, if you need safety help or a bye week guy in a super deep or all IDP league though it could be worth a role of the dice.
Flash in the pan: Jonathan Bullard (DE) put up seven combined tackles with one and a half tackles for loss but only played 52% of snaps and is a 3-4 DE which is an extremely hard position to have be consistently IDP relevant week to week. There are only a few guys in the entire league that can pull it off, Bullard isn’t one of them. Pass. Also not enough playing time to even have a chance at pulling it off.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: With the release of DJ Swearinger (S) last week we knew the Cardinals safety situation was going to get moved around this week. It looks like Budda Baker (S) is still going to be on the field for all the snaps but he spent more time in the free safety role this week which isn’t great for his IDP relevancy going forward. With that said there are plenty of guys who remain consistent and IDP relevant even while playing free safety, Jessie Bates (S), Justin Simmons (S) and Tracy Walker (S) are some of the more well known ones that come to mind. We know Budda has the talent to do it and the playing time and opportunity are there as well so I’m not filling my pants with poopy yet, if he continues to have bad weeks going forward after this post-Swearinger safety shake up then we’ll start talking about an escape plan.
Possible waiver adds: Carl Lawson (DE) didn’t do much in the box score department but his playing time shot up to 61% of snaps this week which will be good news to all the IDP Twitter folks blowing sunshine up his brown star before this season, this probably doesn’t matter for redraft but it’s a good sign for dynasty owners, playing time and opportunity is the first step before production and consistency.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names were at the top of the box score this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Carlos Dunlap (DE) and Geno Atkins (DT) had acceptable weeks with four combined tackles apiece this week with Dunlap adding a tackle for loss while Atkins added a QB hit. They played 74% and 71% of snaps respectively and remain solid options at defensive end two and defensive tackle two going forward. The big weeks will happen and to be frank with you a four tackle game out of a DE2 or DT2 isn’t terrible, at defensive line usually a crappy game is a really crappy game, like zero stats of any kind crappy. So I’m OK with it, this Cincinnati team is going to spend a ton of time on defense this season and their IDP production will be a gift to us all.
Logan Ryan puts together another impressive week on the best cornerback corps for IDP production in the league.
Bills @ Titans
Possible waiver adds: Lorenzo Alexander (LB) had a nice game and his playing time shot up to 69% of snaps played this week, nice. Likely that has to do with the Matt Milano (LB) injury but with that said if Milano misses any time Lorenzo Alexander (LB) could be a nice short term play at linebacker.
Flash in the pan: Jordan Phillips (DT) had a monster game with three sacks and has been hot lately, he’s still only playing around or under 50% of snaps per game though so it likely won’t be sustainable, he clocked in at 42% this week. He could be an option in super deep leagues but with guys like Sheldon Rankins (DT) and Jonathan Allen (DT) back and healthy I’d rather go in that direction for defensive tackle help.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Ed Oliver (DT) actually did something this week! I’m still not starting him and consider him a hold in dynasty and a rider of the pine for the moment, if he can parlay this into some consistent production though my tune could change. Once again Tremaine Edmunds (LB) had a sub par game, he still played 100% of snaps and was the only Bills IDP to play every snap this week, he will perform better against better offenses, the Bills have played a bunch of terrible offenses so far this season with the exception of the Patriots, a game where Edmunds had a monster day. If he continues to underwhelm in those ideal matchups then I’ll start to panic. To be honest I think this has more to do with the Bills being a legit team than him under performing, we expected their offense to be a dumpster fire and instead they control time of possession in most of the games they’ve played this season leading to less time on defense overall which is the opposite of what we all expected. Remain calm.
Possible waiver adds: On a team with multiple weekly IDP relevant cornerbacks Logan Ryan (CB) has separated himself from the pack this season, even in this way less than ideal matchup against a run first Bills offense he was still able to produce a monster game. In ideal matchups against efficient passing offenses he should be money in the bank, pull the trigger if you can.
Flash in the pan: Wesley Woodyard (LB) didn’t do much in the box score department but some people might see his name there and think he’s being worked back into the defense and remembering monster production seasons of years past might want to pull the trigger, he only played 29% of snaps this week and has been used sparingly all season. I love Woodyard so if he does end up in a legit role again this season trust me I’ll be the first person to yell it from the mountain tops.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Jurrell Casey (DT) had a terrible week but still played 85% of snaps and is coming off a monster week four performance, this is a nature of the position thing he’ll be fine, no defensive tackle goes off every single week not DeForest Buckner (DT) or Chris Jones (DT) or even Aaron Donald (DT), it just doesn’t work that way. Keep plugging him in he’ll be fine.
Nicholas Morrow provided some much needed help for injury depleted rosters this week.
Bears @ Raiders
Possible waiver adds: With Akiem Hicks (DT) going down with injury again this week it might not be a bad idea to add Roy Robertson Harris (DT) who saw an uptick in playing time after Hicks left during the first drive. Harris clocked in at 73% of snaps played in Hicks absence and had four solo tackles which sticks him in the DT2 range for deeper leagues, like I’ve been saying all article long if you can get Sheldon Rankins (DT) or Jonathan Allen (DT) that’s the preferred route though.
Flash in the pan: NA, the correct names are at the top of this box score.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Khalil Mack (EDGE) had a quiet game in the box score but was still causing havoc in the Raiders backfield all game long, he played 85% of snaps and despite being probably the best EDGE talent in the league will still have games like this every now and again. This is why I don’t recommend using OLB or EDGE guys in a regular linebacker spot unless you need a home run type week and have nothing to lose, these players are sack dependent for the majority of their points and if they have a week like this where they don’t record a sack or a couple tackles for loss you are behind the eight ball if your opponent started a guy like KJ Wright (LB) in that same linebacker spot and he delivers his normal six to eight combined tackles, buyer beware.
Possible waiver adds: Nicholas Morrow (LB) passed his first test as replacement linebacker for the suspended for the season Vontaze Burfict this week, Morrow had four solo tackles a pass defended and a pick while playing 97% of snaps this week. The playing time is certainly there, the opportunity is definitely there and the Raiders offense isn’t exactly earth shattering so he should get plenty of time on defense to make plays. There’s nothing I don’t like about this kid so far, definitely grab him if you need linebacker help. Eric Harris (S) I’ve talked about a couple times already, he and Karl Joseph (S) have been excellent since Jonathan Abram (S) went out with injury for the season, if you need safety help either one is a great option as well. Maxx Crosby (DE) had a spike in playing time this week up to 98% of snaps but I think that has more to do with Clellin Ferrell (DE) being injured and out than anything else, still though if Ferrell is out again next week and you need defensive end help it’s not a terrible idea.
Flash in the pan: Maurice Hurst (DT) finally did something! He had two sacks on the day along with a couple solo tackles and tackles for loss, he only played 50% of snaps though and has been second fiddle to Jonathan Hankins (DT) all season. Hankins had a less impressive week but has had more playing time consistently all season and is still the defensive tackle I’m interested in from Oakland.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, everyone did what they were expected to do or they weren’t playing due to injury. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for, move along.
Buccaneers @ Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Possible waiver adds: Mike Edwards (S) is still flying under the radar if you need safety help in a deeper league, he played 94% of snaps this week and had a nice game with five solo tackles. Kevin Minter (LB) might have been dropped by some of your league mates since the news came out that Devin White (LB) was active, well he was active…but he didn’t actually play. Hold or acquire Minter if you can, White has proven to be made of glass so far in his career so odds are good he sees the injury report again at some point this season and Kevin Minter (LB) has been an excellent injury replacement for him.
Flash in the pan: Sean Murphy Bunting (CB) saw his name near the top of the box score this week but only played 86% of snaps this week, not what you’re looking for when so many corners that play ALL the snaps are available every week. Plus I’d rather have Hargreaves. Carlton Davis (CB) similarly had a nice week with five solo tackles but only played 40% of snaps which is even worse, pass on that as well.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Devin White (LB) is legit starting to worry me, they head faked the shit out of us this week by announcing he was active before the game but he didn’t play a single snap. Kevin Minter (LB) once again took the field in his stead and absolutely crushed it with another monster game, problem is most people didn’t play Minter because of that announcement. That causes a pretty decent issue going forward, even if White is active what’s to say he will actually play? As much as it sucks the move for now is to hold both and wait and see what happens. I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled for news in regards to Devin White (LB) all week and hopefully will have an update available for my Saturday morning start or sit article. To be continued.
New Orleans Saints
Possible waiver adds: Sheldon Rankins (DT) had an excellent game this week and returns back from injury at just the right time with guys like Chris Jones (DT) and Akiem Hicks (DT) going down with injuries. He is a must add if available.
Flash in the pan: PJ Williams (CB) had a nice game with seven combined tackles and some bonus plays but only played 85% of snaps and isn’t named Lattimore or Apple. Not enough consistency, historical production or playing time for me to be interested. If I am starting or streaming any Saints corners it’s the two I just mentioned not this guy, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Not really applicable this week, Cameron Jordan (DE) almost had us filling our pants with diarrhea this week but came up with a late week-saving sack. Everyone was firing on all cylinders this week and that Saints IDP production was solid across the board.
Mayo. Besides being a disgusting condiment, is also a terrific waiver wire linebacker going forward.
Vikings @ Giants
Possible waiver adds: Anthony Harris (S) played 100% of snaps again this week and remains a decent option for safety help in deep leagues, he had four combined tackles and a pass defended so not that greatest stats but the playing time and opportunity is what makes him a decent option going forward.
Flash in the pan: Ifeadi Odenigbo (DE) only played 41% of snaps and is someone I’ve never heard of before, also he’s not named Griffen or Hunter so we can ignore his three solo tackle one sack game this week because picking him up and chasing points won’t work out here.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Linval Joseph (DT) has cooled down significantly since his hot start this season, he only had one tackle assist this week while playing 62% of snaps. Traditionally he has been a middle to end of the pack tier one defensive tackle and has been consistent for years now so a couple bad games is not even close to enough to scare me off. Plus defensive tackle is so amazingly shallow anyways who can you really get that’s better option than him? I’m going to keep plugging, to each their own though.
New York Giants
Possible waiver adds: If David Mayo (LB) is still available definitely grab him even if it’s to trade him to someone who loses a linebacker to injury in a week or two, he played 97% of snaps and had a great game taking over for the injured and out Ryan Connelly (LB). When Alec Ogletree (LB) comes back it might upset the balance of production but we’ll figure that out when it happens, Ogletree is constantly hurt so I wouldn’t worry about it long term even when he does return. ***Writers note: Both Tae Davis and Alec Ogletree have been declared active for tonight’s game, I would sit David Mayo and hold him, let’s see what tonight looks like and go from there. Ogletree gets hurt constantly and many believe Mayo is more talented than Davis so Mayo will likely be a good investment long term, playing him tonight though is risky***
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names are at the top of the box score.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, all the expected IDP relevant producers did their job this week. The only speed bump I see coming up will be the return of Alec Ogletree (LB) and what that does with this linebackers corps. We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.
Jets @ Eagles
New York Jets
Possible waiver adds: Blake Cashman (LB) continues to hold value every week CJ Mosley (LB) doesn’t play, as of the time of writing this article he is still considered doubtful for this week so we could see another week from Cashman. Quinnen Williams (DT) returned form injury and put up a solid game with five combined tackles playing 77% of snaps, he’s a solid option if you need defensive tackle help.
Flash in the pan: Tarell Bashman (LB) had a nice stat line and played 79% of snaps but likely won’t have a role when CJ Mosley (LB) returns this week or next from injury, that would push Cashman likely into the role Bashman filled this week. If for some reason he continues to play going forward I’ll make sure and mention it next week, for now it would likely be a wasted waiver claim.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Leonard Williams (DE) had a terrible week but still played 80% of snaps and is still a decent bye week stab or short term injury replacement option but anything other then that is an unwise use of him, the consistency isn’t and has never been there.
Possible waiver adds: Kamu Gruger Hill (LB) saw his snap percentage increase for the second week in a row but was still only at 34% of snaps played, he’s still a long ways away from the preseason hype the IDP Twitter community had placed on him. Also with Nathan Gerry (LB) getting similar playing time and using it more effectively (he had a pick six) it’s unlikely Gruger Hill will see his snaps shoot up to a startable level anytime soon, still though in much deeper leagues he might be worth an add as a guy who could put up some numbers in the second half of the season, especially with the often injured Zach Brown (LB) out there.
Flash in the pan: Josh Sweat (DE) had a terrific game with four solo tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss plus some quarterback hits but only played 31% of snaps this week and has been around that amount of playing time all season, not nearly enough for any kind of consistency or sustainability. A waiver add at this point would just be chasing last weeks points. Pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Nigel Bradham (LB) had a down week with only three combined tackles but still played the most of all the linebackers with 93% of snaps played. He’s had an up and down season and I’ve got no issue if you have a better option going with that option. For a season long projection I do still think it’s likely he ends up with decent linebacker two or three numbers especially with Zach Brown (LB) being so incredibly injury prone in recent years, if and when he goes down Bradhams role and responsibility will increase exponentially and the guys behind him, Gruger Hill and Gerry, would see an uptick in production as well. I would hold for now and let him ride the pine unless you have no other options.
Devin Bush has ended the defensive rookie of the year debate stupid early in the season.
Ravens @ Steelers
Performed as expected: Patrick Onwuasor (LB)
Possible waiver adds: Josh Bynes (LB) and Parnell McPhee (LB) both saw some playing time and production this week, 72% and 76% of snaps respectively and five and six combined tackles respectively. Kenny Young (LB) was injured and out this week so it’s likely at least one of these guys was a replacement for him so it will be hard to know which one is a good waiver wire option. Personally I’ll be passing on both, even Patrick Onwuasor (LB) who plays the most snaps of any Ravens linebacker hasn’t been all that great this season partly due to the Ravens dominating time of possession in the majority of the games they’ve played this season and partly because the Ravens defense doesn’t really have any studs this year, the production is pretty evenly distributed each week. So long story short you could add either, neither or both and possibly end up with a decent waiver wire linebacker but I’m passing personally, some of you are in ridiculously deep 32 team dynasty leagues and need to take some shots in the dark on guys like this so that’s why I’m even mentioning it in the first place.
Flash in the pan: Maurice Canady (CB) led all Ravens in IDP production this week but had seven of his total eleven tackles on the season in this game. In other words he’s only really produced in this one game this season meaning he’s inconsistent and not reliable, he also only played 91% of snaps and there are many corners out there that play every single snap. Personally I’d rather have those extra nine percent of snaps and perhaps the tackle or two extra that comes from that added playing time as that could be the difference between winning and losing a close matchup that week. Pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Earl Thomas (S) only had two combined tackles and a pass defended this week playing 97% of snaps. He has been up and down all season with no real consistency plus he deals with the same issues as every other Ravens IDP producer, lack of overall opportunity due to the Ravens offense dominating time of possession in most of their games and a defense that doesn’t lend itself to “stud” type production, everyone does their job and it looks a lot like a Patriots box score defensively, a different top performer every week and even distribution of IDP points across the entire defense. In a year with many solid safeties out there performing every week there’s no reason not to ignore the “name” value of Earl Thomas (S) and blow him out the airlock in favor of someone who will actually produce for you every week or at least far more often than Thomas does and has this season. Abandon ship.
Possible waiver adds: Vince Williams (LB) saw his playing time and production shoot up exponentially this week, that could be a result of the matchup against the run heavy Ravens team but in deeper leagues he might be worth an add. He played 65% of snaps this week and recorded nine combined tackles with a sack and some other bonus stats. Historically Williams has been anything but consistent but with the Steelers now on to their third string quarterback this defense looks to be spending a shit load of time on the field so grabbing a piece of their IDP production through waivers isn’t a bad roll of the dice at all.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week with the surprise appearance of Vince Williams (LB) who is a waiver add.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, everyone who is IDP relevant put up numbers this week, Marc Barron (LB) had a lower output than the last couple weeks but I’ve been telling people he sucks for years now, not my fault if you didn’t listen. Like I was saying above this Steelers defense is going to be on the field a ton this season so if you have or can get a piece of them you are sitting pretty going forward this season. Remain calm.
Jonathan Allen is back and putting in work. Just in time for anyone needing defensive tackle help.
Patriots @ Redskins
New England Patriots
Possible waiver adds: NA, I won’t ever recommend playing any Patriots IDP or adding them, Jamie Collins (LB) has been solid this season so I guess I would feel comfortable plugging him in but every other piece of this defense fluctuates wildly from week to week in both playing time and production and even the role they play in the defense. This makes finding any kind of pattern or consistency next to impossible.
Flash in the pan: NA, they are all flashes in the pan except maybe Jamie Collins (LB)
Abandon ship or Remain calm: A lot of people consider Kyle Van Noy (LB) as just about the only consistent member of the Patriots IDP production and he played 75% of snaps this week which is a lot for a Bill Belichick defense. However he had only one pass defended despite spending the majority of the game on the field. This is what I’m talking about, and next week his snaps could drop to ten percent or shoot up to every snap played and his production could once again be nonexistent or he could have a massive game, there’s no pattern or rhyme or reason to it. Belichick morphs his defense into whatever it needs to look like to destroy whoever his opponent is that week, he could give a shit about our IDP teams or production, he just wants to win. Playing any Patriots IDP is dangerous for those reasons, if you think I’m crazy look back at some box scores for this season, last season, ten seasons ago, it’s always been this way. Abandon ship across the board except for Jamie Collins (LB).
Possible waiver adds: Jonathan Allen (DT) has returned from injury with a fury, he played 75% of snaps this week and had a monster game, he is a must have if you need defensive tackle help and he’s available. Cole Holcomb (LB) continues to see his playing time fluctuate but also continues to be extremely efficient with that playing time. If I had to guess I would think he’s easily in the top ten for tackles per snap, he doesn’t play nearly as much as Jon Bostic (LB) but the time he is out there he uses very effectively and puts up numbers, grab him if he’s out there even if it’s just to trade him.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Ryan Kerrigan (EDGE) has been hot garbage all season despite week after week of Yahoo and other sites projecting him to have monster games. He’s been a lock for double digit sacks for season after season but this year hasn’t looked the same at all. This has been the year of the outside linebacker so now more than ever if you are looking for a replacement at EDGE you should be able to find one easily. Shitcan this guy and go grab yourself one of the Smith’s from Green Bay, Shaq Barrett in Tampa, Mercilus in Houston or even Addison in Carolina. All of them have been light years better than this guy. Abandon ship.
James Bradberry put in some work this week.
Jaguars @ Panthers
Possible waiver adds: Jarrod Wilson (S) had a bit of a down week with only four combined tackles and one tackle for loss but still played 100% of snaps and has had more good weeks than bad so far this season, not a bad idea for safety help in deeper leagues or if you need a bye week or short term guy. I’ve got a couple bye weeks I’m dealing with this week and am personally plugging in Wilson in an ideal matchup against a Saints team that should run a million offensive plays and dominate time of possession.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score, Tre Herndon (CB) might qualify but he might actually turn into a decent streaming corner if and when Jalen Ramsey (CB) gets his wish and gets traded.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Quincy Williams (LB) saw his snaps drop to 73% played this week and his production fell with it to just three combined tackles, this is the first week he’s really filled his pants with poopy and the first week his playing time has taken a substantial hit so I’m not super worried, if it keeps happening then we’ll talk. For now remain calm.
Possible waiver adds: Ross Cockrell (CB) is seeing increased production with Donte Jackson (CB) injured and out the last couple weeks and could be a decent roll of the dice at cornerback in an ideal matchup against the pass happy Bucs this week. Long term I wouldn’t recommend it but if you need a corner to roll out this week it’s not a bad idea.
Flash in the pan: Javien Elliot (CB) had six combined tackles but only played 67% of snaps and isn’t named Bradberry or Jackson so the consistency or sustainability isn’t there, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Gerald McCoy (DT) had a slightly better week with four tackle assists this week playing 64% of snaps, that’s saying something. This week was an improvement for him with four tackle assists. Time to blow him out the airlock and find someone else to roll with every week. There are more than a few nice defensive tackles I’ve already talked about this week and in this case I would be happy going with a guy like Tyeler Davison (DT) or Quinton Jefferson (DT) who at least blow up every few weeks between letting you down over the season long disappointment that has been McCoy. Abandon ship.
Devondre Campbell outperforms Deion Jones again. This is the new normal. Devondre is the captain now.
Falcons @ Texans
Possible waiver adds: Ricardo Allen (S) played 100% of snaps this week and had eight combined tackles in relief of the injured and out for the season Keanu Neal (S). Kemal Ishmael (S) may had been behind Neal on the depth chart but Allen has taken over his role and, in my opinion, production level and expected production level. Ishmael and Damontae Kazee (S) were the other two safeties out there this week but played 67% and 42% of snaps respectively and had far less production and opportunity for production compared to Allen. I said it last week and I’ll say it again, we could be looking at a tier one safety going forward here for nothing but a waiver wire claim. If I’m wrong so what, you shitcan him later. But if I’m right you need to make this move even if it’s just to trade him down the road when everyone else figures out what he’s doing and capable of.
Flash in the pan: Kendall Sheffield (CB) is the definition of flash in the pan this week, five solo tackles at cornerback, a notoriously spotty IDP position, while only playing 38% of snaps. That’s not even remotely enough playing time for any kind of consistency or sustainability. Hard pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, everyone who was supposed to put up numbers did this week with the exception of the shit show that is the Falcons pass rush not named Grady Jarrett (DT). If you’re trusting any of these guys for your defensive line (Adrian Clayborn, Tak Mckinley, etc) you’re in deep doodoo. Find better options if that is the case. Besides that everything looks great for the Falcons IDP producers this week, remain calm across the board.
Possible waiver adds: DJ Reader (DT) remains pretty hot and a solid defensive tackle option in deeper leagues, he had a hot start last season then cooled off but so far he keeps on chugging. Jonathan Joseph (CB) has been a really nice cornerback to stream or start this season, he gets the playing time, 100% of snaps this week and all weeks, and the potential shootouts this Texans team gets into every week make for a great scenario for corners to produce.
Flash in the pan: Jahleel Addae (S) is going to really screw some people up this week. He had eleven combined tackles in a massive game but only played 47% of snaps this last week. Tashaun Gipson (S) is the other IDP relevant safety on this team besides Justin Reid (S). Addae isn’t playing nearly enough for any consistency and a lot of people are going to just look at this weeks box score or how he crushed his projection on the player info tab on Yahoo or Sleeper and pull the trigger on this guy then wonder why he did nothing this week. He doesn’t even play half the snaps that’s why, pass. Big time pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) came crashing back to earth this week with four combined tackles, half of which were assists, and two and a half tackles for loss. Depending on how tackle for loss is scored in your league this could’ve given you an acceptable week or a dud week but either way it wasn’t what you were expecting. He didn’t get that all important sack and didn’t have nearly enough tackles to make up for not getting it. This is the problem with playing EDGE guys in a regular linebacker slot. You live by the OLB you die by the OLB. If you’re playing him in an EDGE or OLB slot you definitely remain calm and keep playing him because your opponent every week has the same risk level since you both need to start an EDGE player, if you’re playing him in a regular linebacker slot it might be time to start breaking out the life rafts because this won’t be the only time he goes sans-sack this season. If guys like Khalil Mack (EDGE) and Von Miller (EDGE) average at least six or more weeks a season where they don’t register a sack how much worse do you think it will be for guys like Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) or Shaq Barrett (EDGE) whose talent level is light years worse than guys like Mack or Miller? This is just a taste of things to come.
Todd Davis is back and as good as advertised.
Broncos @ Chargers
Performed as expected: Todd Davis (LB) Justin Simmons (S) Kareem Jackson (CB)
Possible waiver adds: Alexander Johnson (LB) replaced the injured and out Josey Jewell (LB) and had a monster week in relief. He had eight combined tackles, a tackle for loss and two passes defended playing 93% of snaps this week. This guy could be an absolute beast of a waiver wire linebacker the only issue is that Josey Jewell (LB) only has a hamstring injury which means he could be back next week or out another month, no one knows. Hamstrings are notorious for their general unpredictability in terms of healing time and the second Jewell comes back Alexander Johnson (LB) will become useless. My advice would be to add him if you have the space and need linebacker help and monitor Jewells health as the week goes on, if he’s listed out for this weeks game absolutely start Johnson with confidence. Long term though the prognosis isn’t great, this will be a short term waiver wire add at best and possible you won’t even get a game out of him.
Flash in the pan: NA, the right names are at the top of this weeks box score.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Von Miller (EDGE) had a crappy game this week and is yet another IDP stud starting the season slowly. Also with the loss of Bradley Chubb (EDGE) it becomes that much more easy for opposing offenses to double team and game plan Miller out of relevance each week. The Broncos lack other legit pass rushing options so if you nullify Miller that pretty much takes care of their pass rush, easy. He is getting the playing time, 91% of snaps this week, and is talented enough that he’ll still have weeks where he overcomes the odds and puts up some monster games this season it just won’t be as easy or often as it would’ve been with Chubb still there on the other side causing havoc as well. Remain calm for now but definitely look for other EDGE options, if there’s ever been a time where EDGE has been a dime a dozen it’s this year that’s for sure.
Los Angeles Chargers
Possible waiver adds: Reyshawn Jenkins (S) has definitely found his stride the last couple weeks and is looking like great safety option if you need help in medium to deep leagues. As for the Chargers linebackers, yikes dude, just…yikes. You could add Uchenna Nwosu (LB) or Kyzir White (LB), who got some playing time again this week, or even Denzel Perryman (LB) but I would just stay the hell away, I’ll elaborate in a second.
Flash in the pan: Drue Tranquill (LB) had seven combined tackles this week but only played 33% of snaps in a super crowded linebackers corps. That’s not enough playing time at all plus the Chargers linebackers situation is a shit show right now, hard pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: So the Chargers have no idea what they’re doing with their linebackers. Thomas Davis (LB) looked like a lock after the first couple weeks but has seen his playing time plummet while Uchenna Nwosu (LB) actually led all Chargers linebackers in playing time this week. Kyzir White (LB), Denzel Perryman (LB), Drue Tranquill (LB) and Jatavis Brown (LB) all saw snaps this week as well. Nwosu saw the most with 93% and if you really have to play one of these guys looks like the pick of the litter currently, after that Davis had the next most with 67% then it goes downhill from there. This situation is fluid and changes every week with no real pattern showing itself, playing ANY Chargers linebacker right now is as risky as eating taco bell after a night of drinking then trusting a fart. I would find other options until this thing sorts itself out.
The Cowboys might be back to sucking but their IDP studs produce as consistently as diarrhea after Chipotle.
Packers @ Cowboys
Green Bay Packers
Possible waiver adds: If Darnell Savage (S) is out for any amount of time with the injury he sustained in this game then Will Redmond (S) becomes a decent waiver wire safety option, he took over for the injured Savage and put up nine solo tackles and a tackle for loss playing 76% of snaps. It will likely only be a short term option so I wouldn’t do it unless you are treading water and need a short term guy to get you through a bye week or something of that nature.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week with the exception of Will Redmond (S), who is a possible waiver add.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Kenny Clark (DT) had a down week but still played 89% of snaps this week. Nature of the position he’ll be fine, when guys like Aaron Donald (DT) and Deforest Buckner (DT) can’t do it every single week you can’t expect Kenny Clark (DT) to be able to. Oren Burks (LB) still isn’t playing enough, 15% of snaps this week, to be IDP relevant yet but he should be soon enough, remain calm and hold him for now, don’t start him until he shows he can do it first. Right now all he has is hype, we’ve never actually seen him do anything.
Possible waiver adds: Robert Quinn (DE) didn’t have a great week but applied pressure all game long, he played 75% of snaps and could be available for defensive line help in shallower leagues, he’s a great option if you need bye week help.
Flash in the pan: Dorance Armstrong (DE) had a nice game and got a sack along with three solo tackles and a tackle for loss but only played 25% of snaps and isn’t named Demarcus Lawrence (DE) or Robert Quinn (DE). Not enough playing time and no consistency, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Robert Quinn (DE) and Demarcus Lawrence (DE) both had quiet games this week, the Packers protected Rodgers well and ran the ball a ton. Rogers wasn’t asked to drop back and hang in the pocket much and the Packers led from basically the first snap of this game thereby allowing them to run a lot more than they normally would. The opportunities for pass rushing just weren’t there this week, both of these guys will be fine. They’ve got the talent and the playing time, the production will follow and both have had multiple solid games this season already. Remain calm.
Damien Wilson has been an incredible waiver wire linebacker this season.
Colts @ Chiefs
Possible waiver adds: George Odum (S) and Khari Willis (S) are decent safety options as long as Clayton Geathers (S) and Malik Hooker (S) are injured and out. Geathers should be back shortly though so Willis, Hookers replacement, is probably a better option since you’ll get more usage out of him. Anthony Walker (LB) and Bobby Okereke (LB) remain decent waiver options when Darius Leonard (LB) is injured and out, which has been often so far this year.
Flash in the pan: NA, it’s either an expected and known producer or a possible waiver option at the top of this weeks box score.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Denico Autry (DT) didn’t do much this week but still played 75% of snaps and is more than capable of putting up a huge week any given Sunday. He’s as good an option as any for defensive tackle which is traditionally spotty IDP position. You’ll never have an every week producer at defensive tackle so a guy like Autry who will put up a monster game every once in awhile is as good as it gets most of the time. Remain calm.
Kansas City Chiefs
Possible waiver adds: Ben Niemann (LB) came in for the injured Anthony Hitchens (LB) who left the game after playing only 14% of snaps this week. Niemann played the other 86% and recorded ten combined tackles in relief of Hitchens. If Hitchens is out for any length of time Niemann instantly becomes a great option at waiver wire linebacker even if it is only short term. Definitely worth an add if it looks like Hitchens won’t play this week.
Flash in the pan: Tanoh Kpassagnon (DE) had a decent game with five combined tackles and two tackles for loss but only played 53% of snaps and isn’t Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) or Frank Clark (DE), the traditional pass rushers on this team and the guys who get the majority of snaps each week at defensive end. It’s the first time I’ve seen this guys name, like ever, and the playing time isn’t ideal. He might be worth a shot in a deeper league and with Chris Jones (DT) being banged up for possibly a couple weeks but I’m going to pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Chris Jones (DT) will be fine he just got hurt and didn’t play the majority of this game, when he gets back to full health he’ll be an auto start again. Kendall Fuller (CB) had a terrible game and only played 65% of snaps this week, the Colts weren’t exactly passing all over the place so this isn’t a huge shock but the playing time dip two weeks in a row now is starting to worry me, they play the Texans this week in what should be an air show type of matchup, if he doesn’t play close to every snap this coming week I’ll start to officially freak out. Frank Clark (DE) is still getting the playing time, 83% of snaps this week, and still has the talent to get it done. This week there weren’t a ton of chances to rush the passer and the Chiefs as a team didn’t record a sack. He’s still fine in my book, if you want to bail out that’s all you, I have faith though.
Deforest Buckner sacks a guy who used to be good in college.
Browns @ 49ers
Possible waiver adds: Jermaine Whitehead (S) looks to have taken Morgan Burnett (S) job from him, next week will confirm this either way but it certainly looks that way, he could be a nice safety addition if you need help in medium to deeper leagues if this remains the case. Mack Wilson (LB) is probably gone by now but if available in shallower leagues would make a great bye week or short term guy in leagues of that size, anything bigger and he’s likely gone by now.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Morgan Burnett (S) returned from injury this week and saw his playing time plummet to just 33% of snaps while Jermaine Whitehead (S) played 96% and had a terrific game, this might be it for Burnett, and even if he does return to full strength and retake his position from Whitehead he’s proven to be anything but consistent or reliable over the years, abandon ship. Olivier Vernon (DE) had a down week but still played 72% of snaps and should be fine as long as you temper expectations, if you’re playing him as a DE2 or preferably DE2 in deeper or all IDP leagues then he looks a lot better than he would as you DE1 or DE2 in shallower leagues, it’s all about the optics with this guy. He’s going to be decent not great. If you can’t live with that blow him out the airlock.
San Francisco 49ers
Possible waiver adds: Arik Armstead (DE) is still playing more snaps then Dee Ford (DE) and outproducing him as well, he remains a nice waiver option if you need defensive line help in medium to deep leagues.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Kwon Alexander (LB) had a down week but still played 100% of snaps and has had two excellent weeks and two sub par weeks this season. I believe him to be a victim of success, the 49ers run game is ridiculous so far this season and they are eating up the clock on drives and dominating time of possession. When the Niners play a team with a real offense, unlike the Browns and the overhyped and under producing Mayfield, they will likely spend a little more time on defense and Alexander should be a big part of that defense. I’m not worried, they’ve only played four games so we don’t have enough information yet to shovel dirt on Kwon Alexander (LB). Remain calm.
Thank you for reading this weeks edition of my (semi) instant reaction and defensive waivers. I’ll be here all season breaking down the crazy shenanigans that is the week in IDP production, playing time and consistency. Some may want to just know who to pick up off waivers but for the truly committed we want to know WHY. We’ll keep plugging together as we scrape and claw our way to those week sixteen title games just like we do every year.
Be sure to keep an eye out for my weekly start or sit article dropping Saturday mornings every week, for the Thursday night game that start or sit will be in tweet form, follow me @Orangeman3142 for that information. Also our podcast drops every Wednesday morning or Tuesday night all season long as well. Be sure to follow @IDP_Dude and @Joeythetooth to be sure you get defensive waivers and reactions to the weeks production covered from all sides. All this can be found, for free, at your one stop shop for all things IDP here at idpguys.org or @idpguys on Twitter. Good luck this week.
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