The Return of the King
Week seven is in the books and the more things change the more they stay the same. Shaq Barrett was on bye this week but Whitney Mercilus and Jamie Collins continued their free fall out of the top ten IDP linebackers. The outliers are starting to regress to the mean and the guys who we all thought would be there are there. There are exceptions like every season, Devondre Campbell, Devin Bush and Jordan Hicks are some of the semi surprising names sitting in the top ten IDP linebackers through seven weeks. However as we get further into the season the “year of the OLB” is starting to look more and more like the “five weeks of the OLB”.
We continue to get our butt cheeks clapped by the fantasy gods and the injury grim reaper collected his due again with John Johnson, Akiem Hicks and Stephon Tuitt all heading to IR after last weeks games. We all got either a good laugh or an ulcer when we won our waiver wire lotteries for Najee Goode only to see him blow out his foot minutes into the first quarter and get replaced by, yep you guessed it, Quincy Williams. These are the sick jokes the fantasy gods enjoy playing on us all throughout the course of the season and we can either scream in frustration or channel our inner Borg drone and adapt and move forward.
The more leagues of different types I get into with players of all kinds, new guys, seasoned veterans, high money buy in etc the more I realize that today’s fantasy football is less and less about knowing your shit and more and more about being able to mitigate damage. There is a major injury of some kind every single week and those that can weather that storm and leave themselves in the best condition possible going into playoffs are the ones who will take home the titles this year.
That’s where this article comes in. While it would be nice to be a fly on the wall in the Rams coaches office as they discussed who would step in for John Johnson and take his position, how much they would play and how they would deploy their defense without the pro bowl safety, unfortunately that’s not possible. The best we can do is look at what happened each week and diagnose what we saw and how it applies to next week. We are always going to be behind the eight ball since none of us work for these teams or their coaching staffs and beat writers can’t even figure out when Chase Edmonds will be playing the role of David Johnson for the week. If they can’t nail something that important how can we ever expect them to tell us who will take John Johnson or Keanu Neal‘s snaps and production with any kind of certainty?
With all that in mind let’s diagnose what happened last week and what it means moving forward. Will AJ Johnson continue to be a nice waiver wire linebacker option? Is Demarcus Walker for real? What happened with the safety situation on the Rams now that John Johnson is done for the season? How did Nicholas Morrow look in his second week replacing the now suspended for the season Vontaze Burfict? Did Troy Reeder keep up the momentum this week? Answers to all those burning IDP questions and more…
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.
Chiefs @ Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
Possible waiver adds: Alex Okafor (DE) and Emmanuel Ogbah (DE) have both seen a bump in playing time and production while Chris Jones (DT) has been injured and out. They played 75% and 64% of snaps respectively and would make good short term or bye week fill in guys until Jones gets back into the lineup.
Flash in the pan: Chiefs linebackers not named Hitchens. All of the Chiefs linebackers played 51% or fewer snaps this week due to the way this game went, the normally run happy Broncos were forced to pass early and often resulting in Hitchens leading the way with only 48% of snaps played. Reggie Ragland (LB) had a sack and a fumble return touchdown but only played 37% of snaps and has had no significant playing time all season, that kind of production is obviously unsustainable. Ben Niemann (LB) actually had more playing time than Damien Wilson (LB) this week with 51% of snaps to 49% played so we’ll have to keep an eye on that, it’s possible that he looked good enough in relief of the Hitchens injury that he could replace Wilson as the other inside linebacker, for now it’s up in the air. Basically playing any of them besides Hitchens looks risky at the moment.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Damien Wilson (LB) could be an abandon ship if Ben Niemann (LB) parlays his solid effort filling in for Anthony Hitchens (LB) into replacing him as the other starting inside linebacker but we’re going to have to wait and see on that. Frank Clark (DE) bounced back in a huge way this week and had a massive game, and it came exactly when I needed it to. I knew I could count on him. Love you, Frank.
Possible waiver adds: Demarcus Walker (DE) saw his playing time increase to 51% of snaps this week and had another nice week in the box score department, he might be worth a look for defensive line help if you need it going forward.
Flash in the pan: AJ Johnson (LB) was the waiver wire darling last week and saw his playing time fall to 69%, nice, of snaps played this week and his production fell along with it. It’s possible that this was gamescript related due to the fact that the Chiefs love to throw the ball and the Broncos could’ve been playing more corners and safeties on purpose but it’s also possible that this whole adventure has been a flash in the pan. Next week will tell us more, for now though consider it a decent sized risk starting AJ Johnson (LB) this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Von Miller (EDGE) once again had a terrible outing despite playing 85% of snaps and having plenty of chances to rush the passer. It would seem that without the threat of Bradley Chubb (EDGE) on the other side he’s more easily negated by opposing offenses. This is a full blown meltdown we are witnessing this season, as far as I can remember he’s really only had one good game this entire year. These EDGE guys are a dime a dozen so it’s definitely time to shitcan Miller and roll the dice with someone else. Abandon ship.
This is a man.
Rams @ Falcons
Los Angeles Rams
Possible waiver adds: Despite Sean McVays assertion that Marqui Christian (S) would be the direct replacement for John Johnson (S) who went to IR last week it was Taylor Rapp (S) who saw the biggest increase in both playing time and production. Rapp played 98% of snaps and had six combined tackles. Christian was in for 80% and Weddle for 84%. If you need safety help it would appear Taylor Rapp (S) is the move to make despite the misleading coach speak from McVay.
Flash in the pan: Dante Fowler (EDGE) had a massive day with three sacks and a host of other stats while playing 78% of snaps but is a usually pretty quiet EDGE guy who only puts up solid numbers a few times a year, definitely not worth blowing a good waiver priority on or any significant amount of FAAB. If you need a bye week or short term roll of the dice he’s not bad but there are many other far superior EDGE prospects out there.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, Eric Weddle (S) was the only person to really fill their pants with poop this week and I never really expected much from him in the first place. Aaron Donald (DT) went crazy for the second week in a row and looks to be hitting his groove much like last year after he recovered from a slow start there as well. He is a man.
Possible waiver adds: Tyeler Davison (DT) has been a decent bye week fill in or short term play at defensive tackle in deeper leagues this year, he’s had three very solid games this year and puts up mediocre games inbetween, in these deeper leagues getting literally anything out of your defensive tackle two or three is better than nothing. I’ve got him as my DT3 in an all IDP league and am beyond happy with what he’s done so far.
Flash in the pan: Blidi Wreh Wilson (CB) had a massive game with eight solo tackles but only played 45% of snaps and is someone I didn’t know existed until this very minute, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: The Falcons pass rush or defensive ends are all pretty much god awful, none of them stand out and all of them rarely produce. If you’re relying on any of these guys consistently you probably need to fix that. Besides that the Falcons IDP this week was excellent across the board, the Rams dominated time of possession and ran a million plays and sustained drives throughout the game, this was the perfect storm for the majority of the Falcons IDP corps to put up solid games.
Tremaine Edmunds got it going this week, will he keep up the momentum?
Dolphins @ Bills
Possible waiver adds: Raekwon McMillan (LB) saw his playing time increase to 71% of snaps played this week and led the Dolphins in overall IDP production for the second week in a row, this thing is trending towards him being playable, especially in deeper leagues.
Flash in the pan: Vince Biegel (LB) had a nice game with a sack that put him into the solid tier of production this week, he only played 61% of snaps though and is someone I haven’t seen before so the consistency isn’t there. He could see more playing time as the Dolphins continue to swirl down the toilet but I want to see this again before making any kind of recommendations, pass for now.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Reshad Jones (S) was downgraded to inactive before kickoff due to an injury, the same injury that likely limited his snaps the week before now that I think about it. So this is definitely a remain calm situation, he was back up at 100% of snaps played just a couple weeks ago and was leading the Dolphins in overall IDP production. Once he gets back to full health and is re inserted into the lineup he should be an excellent safety option going forward, if he can give us all even a fraction of what he was back in the day he’ll be an easy safety two in medium to deep leagues. Remain calm.
Possible waiver adds: Matt Milano (LB) is having hamstring issues and the direct beneficiary of him missing time is Lorezno Alexander (LB). Alexander played 96% of snaps in Milano’s absence this week and had a monster game, he’s safe to plug in as a linebacker two while Milano is out but falls back to a linebacker three and dart throw as soon as Milano returns so this is a short term thing.
Flash in the pan: Maurice Alexander (LB) had a solid game but only played 64% of snaps and he only played that much because Matt Milano (LB) was injured and out, he’ll return to irrelevance once Milano is back in the lineup. Pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, everyone did what they were expected to do this week. The Bills pass rush, Lawson, Murphy and Hughes, didn’t do much but they aren’t much more than bye week dart throws in regular sized leagues or defensive end twos in larger leagues anyways. Tremaine Edmunds (LB) looked good and put up numbers that’s the most important thing.
Jessie Bates continues to impress in his second season.
Jaguars @ Bengals
Possible waiver adds: Najee Goode (LB) still might be available on your waiver wire if your leaguemates are unfamiliar with the circus shenanigans that has been the other inside linebacker spot for the Jags this season. Goode got the start this week but was immediately injured and replace by, you guessed it, Quincy Williams (LB). Goode straight up stole that job but we’ve been unable to see what he can do with it so far due to this injury. Theoretically he should be back to getting the start once he’s healthy and good to go.
Flash in the pan: DJ Alexander (LB) had a nice game but only played 14% of snaps this week, hard pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Calais Campbell (DE) and Ronnie Harrison (S) both had down weeks but still turned in serviceable performances. Harrison has been a beast all season no reason to panic with him at all. Campbell on the other hand played 79% of snaps and has some competition for sacks and production with Ngakoue and Allen this season. He’s still an end of tier one defensive end as far as I’m concerned. I see no reason to abandon ship unless you have a better option available and that’s not likely.
Possible waiver adds: Darqueze Dennard (CB) recently got his first game action since an injury and has stepped into Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) role and production while he’s injured and out. Dennard played 86% of snaps and had five solo tackles and two passes defended in a matchup against a not super pass happy Jags team. He should be a good option as long as Kirkpatrick is injured and out, especially if in an ideal matchup against an efficient passing offense.
Flash in the pan: Germaine Pratt (LB) had a nice game in the box score but is still only playing around 30% of snaps each week and only had 28% played this week, that’s not enough for any kind of consistency but it’s a good sign if you own him in dynasty that he’s getting some playing time and is pretty efficient when he is playing so far.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Preston Brown (LB) saw his snaps drop to 60% this week and his production took a dive with it, only three tackle assists on the day. It would appear that while Germaine Pratt (LB) has been the beneficiary of the Bengals horrid season but it’s Brown who is being hurt by it as the Bengals continue to give the rookie a look each week at the cost of playing time for the veteran. He’s probably still a decent linebacker three or so in deeper leagues but his long term outlook isn’t good, try and find another option.
Damon Harrison takes a shit on the field as thousands of horrified fans look on in disgust and wonder.
Vikings @ Lions
Possible waiver adds: Anthony Harris (S) or Anthony Barr (EDGE) might make for a good bye week option in shallower leagues but are likely owned in Dynasty or deeper leagues. This Vikings defense has been producing solid IDP outputs all season and there aren’t any new kids on the block so not a lot to offer waiver wise this week.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Linval Joseph (DT) had a bit of a down week but still put up three combined tackles and played 71% of snaps, he’s a rock solid middle to end of tier one defensive tackle and those don’t grow on trees. Even if you did want to ride a hot hand like Tyeler Davison (DT) or someone like that I highly doubt that when this season is all said and done guys like him or DJ Reeder (DT) will end up with better numbers than the tried and true and consistently reliable Linval Joseph (DT).
Possible waiver adds: Jahlani Tavai (LB) saw another increase in playing time up to 82% of snaps played this week and with it a decent output in the box score with five solo tackles and a tackle for loss. He’s starting to look like a nice option if you need linebacker help going forward. Also someone is going to fall into Quandre Diggs (S) role now that he was traded to the Seahawks but I don’t follow the Lions close enough to know who that is, I’ll let you know when I find out myself. According to @Lanny1925 it’s going to be Will Harris (S) that’s the best I’ve got for you at the moment.
Flash in the pan: Rashan Melvin (CB) had seven solo tackles but only played 75% of snaps and hasn’t caught my eye yet this season so the consistency isn’t there yet. Pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: A whole lot of the Lions IDP sucked big time this week. They got crushed in time of possession with the Vikings running a ton of offensive plays on them all game long but the known producers for the Lions IDP came up short everywhere. Part of this was due to injury, Damon Harrison (DT) had an early exit after getting injured and was only able to play 42% of snaps. Trey Flowers (DE) only played 47% of snaps and had a terrible day and Jarrad Davis (LB) did next to nothing despite this being an ideal matchup for him and leading all Lions defenders in playing time this week with 97% of snaps played. This was a forgettable week as a whole for the Lions, the obvious guys should be able to bounce back so I’m not ready to bail out on anyone in particular this week it was just disappointing for anyone having anything to do with the Lions or their IDP.
Blake Martinez sits down to pee and doesn’t care who knows about it.
Raiders @ Packers
Possible waiver adds: Maxx Crosby (DE) maintained pretty solid playing time, 71% of snaps played, even with the return of Clelin Ferrell (DE) this week after being injured and out for a couple weeks. Crosby makes a nice bye week guy or a decent weekly option at defensive end in deeper leagues, he’s had a nice season so far all things considered.
Flash in the pan: Justin Phillips (LB) had six combined tackles but only played 24% of snaps and is someone I didn’t know existed until this very minute. Pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Clelin Ferrell (DE) only played 62% of snaps in his first game back since he was injured so it’s likely they’re easing him back into the swing of things, he should be fine but just remember he’s still a rookie so don’t expect Khalil Mack (EDGE) type things from the Khalil Mack (EDGE) replacement just yet. The Raiders triple safety combination underwhelmed this week in a pretty ideal matchup but Joseph and Harris both got the playing time, 100% of snaps, so they remain decent options going forward. Joyner dropped to 72% of snaps played and his production fell with it to just two combined tackles, yuck. I’m still interested in Harris and Joseph but it’s probably time to bail out on Joyner, he hasn’t been all that great this season even when he was playing more than this.
Green Bay Packers
Possible waiver adds: BJ Goodson (LB) keeps seeing his playing time increase, up to 61% of snaps played this week, and his production has been increasing with it, six combined tackles this week. He not only kept Oren Burks (LB) from the other inside linebacker slot next to Martinez but he’s cemented his claim for it himself since being acquired from the Giants earlier this season. He’s starting to look like a decent option for linebacker help in larger leagues. Also Will Redmond (S) continues to be a nice short term safety help option while Darnell Savage (S) is injured and out.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: The “Smiths” (Preston and Zadarius) went without sacking the quarterback this week. It happens. They’re both EDGE guys and this is what EDGE or OLB is all about. Feast or famine, boom or bust, constipation or diarrhea. They’re either going to put up a massive week IDP points-wise via sacks, tackles for loss, strip sacks and forced fumbles etc or they’re going to do absolutely nothing like this week. This is why you only plug these guys into EDGE or OLB slots and not into a regular linebacker slot. But you’ve all heard that rant before, I’ll spare you this week. Anyways, they’ll be fine, this is to be expected. It will happen again just like weeks where they blow up and put up monster games will happen as well. Remain calm.
Darius Leonard returns triumphant after being shamed back onto the field by the Big3IDP podcast.
Texans @ Colts
Performed as expected: Bernardrick McKinney (LB) Zach Cunningham (LB) JJ Watt (DE)
Possible waiver adds: None really to be had honestly, DJ Reeder (DT) makes a nice bye week option for defensive tackle and people will be dropping Justin Reid (S) so he might be worth a look as a guy who could turn it around in the second half of the season but that’s it really.
Flash in the pan: Lonnie Johnson (CB) had a nice game but will be back riding the bench or logging inconsequential playing time when guys like Jonathan Joseph (CB) come back from injury.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Whitney Mercilus (EDGE) had a terrible game but we’ve talked about EDGE and OLB already, ye reap what ye sow. Justin Reid (S) is still playing 100% of snaps but unlike last season has been unable to do anything with that playing time, he’s been awful all season and safeties are a dime a dozen so blast him out the airlock and keep it moving. Abandon ship.
Possible waiver adds: NA, no new IDP producers this week, or at least any that show promise in regards to consistency.
Flash in the pan: George Odum (S) only played 43% of snaps so his six combined tackles won’t be sustainable going forward, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Both Anthony Walker (LB) and Bobby Okereke (LB) saw their playing time and production drop off a cliff with the return of Darius Leonard (LB) the well known scrimshanker and malingerer. Walker saw his snaps drop to 54% while Okereke only played 25% this week. Neither was able to do much with that little amount of playing time and this is probably how things will look going forward, there’s still a chance for Walker to salvage some value as a linebacker three or so in deeper leagues but Okereke will be worthless unless there’s another injury to Leonard, which is likely since he’s a well known sluggard. Walker would be the one worth stashing on your bench going forward in redraft and both should be already owned in dynasty.
Chandler Jones celebrates over the rotting carcass of “Danny Dimes” as the Cardinals absolutely blast the rookie and shatter his confidence for the foreseeable future.
Cardinals @ Giants
Possible waiver adds: Deonte Thompson (S) saw his playing time shoot up to 90% of snaps and had four combined tackles this week, he could end up being another 100% snaps guy along with Budda Baker (S) and looks to be a decent safety three or four in deeper leagues or a bye week guy moving forward. Patrick Peterson (CB) is back from suspension and crushed it in his first game back, despite being a “shutdown” corner he’s talented enough to get involved in and make plays even with opposing offenses trying to avoid him.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names at the top of the box score this week. Brooks Reed (LB) had a sack and only played 16% of snaps so I guess that counts, yeah don’t bother picking him up, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, everyone who was supposed to put up numbers did so this week even Budda Baker (S) who some of us were worried about, he led the Cardinals in overall IDP production which is a great sign going forward. Remain calm across the board.
New York Giants
Possible waiver adds: Tae Davis (LB) might be worth an add if you already own David Mayo (LB) and have the bench space, Davis has been playing special teams snaps but Mayo’s playing time has been dropping recently so it’s possible Davis reclaims his job as the other inside linebacker next to Alec Ogletree (LB) on that defense.
Flash in the pan: Micheal Thomas (S) should continue to be ignored whenever he puts up any kinds of numbers, he’s still only playing 40% or so of snaps each week and topped out at 53% this week which is his season high. Safeties are a dime a dozen there’s no reason to settle for a guy playing half the snaps or fewer each week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: NA, everyone we expected to put up numbers did so this week. Keep an eye on David Mayo (LB) though his playing time keeps dropping and his production was only saved by a late sack this week. While he has been a pleasant surprise he only got the chances he’s seen due to injuries from guys that were in front of him on the depth chart. In the end he’s still only a mediocre linebacker who fell into a good situation, his production and opportunity can be taken away any time, buyer beware.
Nick Bosa is also a man, just not as much of a man as Aaron Donald.
49ers @ Redskins
San Francisco 49ers
Possible waiver adds: Jimmie Ward (S) has put up some nice numbers since returning from injury and is playing 100% of snaps each week, not a bad option at all if you need safety help especially in deeper leagues.
Flash in the pan: NA, all the right names in all the right places this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Fred Warner (LB) only had two combined tackles this week but still played 100% of snaps and has been productive all season. This has more to do with the ineptitude of the Washington offense and the 49ers dominating time of possession than it does with anything being wrong with Warner. The Redskins ran more than twenty fewer plays than the 49ers did and were on offense far less than the Niners as well this week. And when they were on offense they were going three and out and not sustaining drives, frankly it’s a miracle anyone on the 49ers was able to put up solid IDP numbers besides with sacks this week with how bad the Skins offense was. He’ll be fine.
Possible waiver adds: Matt Ioannidis (DE) has quietly been a really nice defensive end option this season, I played him as a bye week option this last week and he absolutely killed it. He played 70% of snaps and has been consistent as far as tackle production most of this season, if he manages to get a sack on top of that he put’s up some really nice weeks.
Flash in the pan: Troy Apke (S) had six combined tackles and a pass defended this week but only played 55% of snaps so that kind of production isn’t sustainable. Safeties that play every single snap every single game are plentiful so don’t settle for someone like this when it comes to safety help.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Landon Collins (S) came back to earth this week with only four combined tackles but still played 100% of snaps and is still a tier one safety and possibly the best IDP safety in the game with Derwin James (S) and John Johnson (S) stuck on IR this season. Never sit him, ever. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation. Remain calm.
Chargers @ Titans
Los Angeles Chargers
Possible waiver adds: The Chargers linebackers situation continues to be an unpredictable mess, avoid all of them, not even joking. Reyshawn Jenkins (S) continues to be a nice safety option if you need help there and he played 100% of snaps again this week and had another nice week with six combined tackles.
Flash in the pan: Cortez Broughton (DT) had a decent week especially when considering he’s a defensive tackle but only played 29% of snaps and this is the first time I’ve ever seen his name, that’s not a recipe for consistency, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Abandon ship on all the Chargers linebackers, there’s no rhyme or reason as to who plays how much, where and why. It’s a different lineup every week with no pattern or logic to be seen, just avoid the entire thing unless you’re truly desperate, if that’s the case Thomas Davis (LB) has proven to be probably the most reliable of the bunch in terms of playing time and production this year. Desmond King (CB) has been a massive disappointment this season and is only playing around 60% of snaps each week, 66% this week. There are better cornerback options out there.
Possible waiver adds: Wesley Woodyard (LB) continues to be nice option while Jayon Brown (LB) is injured and out, keep plugging him in as a nice linebacker two while you can, however the second Brown is healthy he’ll be back to riding the pine.
Flash in the pan: Jeffrey Simmons (DT) had a really nice week and is getting some buzz in the IDP community but is still only playing 32% of snaps so there won’t be any kind of consistency or sustainability with that little playing time each week, if this ends up being a Demarcus Walker (DE) scenario and his solid production with little playing time is rewarded with increasing snaps going forward I’ll make sure and shout it out in the coming weeks articles.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Harold Landry (EDGE) suffered the fate of many an outside linebacker this week putting up a craptastic game IDP points-wise but still played 94% of snaps and is just as talented and good an EDGE or OLB option as any. Keep plugging him in if your league has a specific OLB or EDGE slot. Remain calm.
Mitch Trubisky fills his pants with poop as he catches Cameron Jordan in his peripheral vision.
Saints @ Bears
New Orleans Saints
Possible waiver adds: While Sheldon Rankins (DT) didn’t do anything in the box score this week his playing time did increase yet again to 56% of snaps so he remains an excellent defensive tackle option going forward especially since it’s such a shallow position. Kiko Alonso (LB) was up to 59% of snaps this week but I’m more inclined to believe this was a matchup thing and not a new trend going forward, if his playing time is up around here again next week he might start looking like a semi decent waiver wire option at linebacker in deeper leagues.
Flash in the pan: Craig Robertson (LB) had a nice game with four solo tackles, it was nice considering he racked up those four solo tackles only playing 31% of snaps which is not nearly enough for any kind of consistency, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Marcus Davenport (DE) and Sheldon Rankins (DT) and Demario Davis (LB) all had pretty down weeks but since the Saints owned time of possession 38 minutes to 22 minutes and ran far more plays with exponentially more sustained drives so this wasn’t exactly a surprise. The Saints defense just wasn’t on the field enough to put up the kind of numbers we usually expect from them. Blame the Bears and their shitty excuse for an offense.
Possible waiver adds: Bilal Nichols (DT) looks to be one of the “winners”, if there is such a thing, from the Akiem Hicks (DT) injury fallout. Nichols saw his playing time increase to 68% of snaps and had a sold game with four combined tackles and a tackle for loss. He could be a nice bye week option at defensive tackle or playable weekly in deeper leagues if this kind of playing time holds up going forward.
Flash in the pan: NA, literally the entire top half of the box score are all known and likely owned IDP producers this week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Eddie “Skidmarks” Jackson (S) only had two solo tackles this week despite playing 100% of snaps in an absolutely ideal matchup against an offense that was on the field all game and ran drive after sustained drive. Jackson failed to produce a solid game in the best possible circumstances and has always been boom or bust and reliant on big plays for the majority of his IDP production making him risky to play. I’ve always called him “Skidmarks” since he’s about as consistent as me having clean underwear after eating Chipotle. You can remain calm if you want but I’ve never been a fan of this guy, I’d blast him out the airlock and look for someone more consistent and reliable.
KJ Wright continues to impress as a linebacker two with linebacker one aspirations.
Ravens @ Seahawks
Possible waiver adds: LJ Fort (LB) and Josh Bynes (LB) continue to see around 75% of snaps and decent production while Patrick Onwuasor (LB) is injured and out and with Kenny Young (LB) traded to the Rams. Both should be considered desperation and short term moves only though.
Flash in the pan: Literally the entire Ravens defense, none of these guys are consistent, not even Earl Thomas (S).
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Matt Judon (EDGE) did nothing at all this week but still played 80% of snaps and is as good an OLB or EDGE roll of the dice as any. I’m not a super big fan of any Ravens IDP producers this season besides Onwuasor when he comes back.
Possible waiver adds: Quandre Diggs (S) looks to take out the injured and thoroughly disappointing Bradley McDougald (S) once he lands in Seattle and takes the field. The Detroit safety has been solid and should be a nice producer in this defense once he gets up to speed and is at full snaps each week.
Flash in the pan: Marquis Blair (S) had a really nice week but was only playing because Bradley McDougald (S) was injured and out, plus Quandre Diggs (S) just got traded to Seattle as well, Blair is just a flash in the pan, ignore and keep moving.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Jarran Reed (DT) underwhelmed in his first game back from his suspension. He did play 84% of snaps though so that’s a great sign, they aren’t easing him in at all they just tossed him right back into the shit immediately. That means the production should come sooner rather than later so definitely don’t freak out about the sub par first week back, I was expecting this anyways but I thought it would be due to lack of playing time not rust. Rust can be shaken off as long as the snaps are there, well the snaps are there. Reed is going to be fine and putting up numbers before we know it. Remain calm.
Demarcus Lawrence moments after he ended any hope Doug Peterson had of backing up his ridiculous claim he made earlier in the week.
Eagles @ Cowboys
Possible waiver adds: Nathan Gerry (LB) is a solid linebacker option while Nigel Bradham (LB) is injured and out, short term only he’ll be back to like 50% or 60% of snaps when Bradham gets back into the lineup. Jalen Mills (CB) played his first game of the season and put up solid numbers he’ll be a nice cornerback option in ideal matchups going forward.
Flash in the pan: Vinny Curry (DE) had a serviceable game but only played 36% of snaps and has been hovering around that much playing time all season which isn’t nearly enough for any kind of consistency, pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Brandon Graham (DE) didn’t have a sack this week but still had three combined tackles and played 71% of snaps this week. Not a total disaster. He’ll continue to be a defensive end two or three in medium to larger leagues going forward. Remain calm, he’s had some solid games this year and will again down the road.
Possible waiver adds: Sean Lee (LB) will have some value if the injury to Leighton Vander Esch (LB) is significant, if not then he’ll continue to play his 30ish % of snaps each week and remain IDP irrelevant.
Flash in the pan: Maliek Collins (DT) had five combined tackles playing 68% of snaps and has had some decent outtings this season but has never been consistent enough to really be worth adding and playing each week, he might be a decent bye week option but that’s about it.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Everyone put up numbers this week except Leighton Vander Esch (LB) who had a neck injury that shortened his day and cut short his opportunity for production this week. The initial news was good and he expects to be playing after the bye week so that’s a remain calm situation. Everything looks good in Jerry world for the time being.
Jamie Collins comes crashing back down to earth much like his overhyped counterparts Shaq Barrett and Whitney Mercilus.
Patriots @ Jets
New England Patriots
Possible waiver adds: NA, I’m not recommending adding or playing any Patriots IDP.
Flash in the pan: Every Patriots IDP player every week.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: Jamie Collins (LB) had a pretty crappy game didn’t he? This is what happens when you roll with Patriots IDP, they’re too inconsistent and fluctuate wildly week to week in playing time, production and even their specific role. You can’t rely on them.
New York Jets
Possible waiver adds: Blake Cashman (LB) has been a super valuable linebacker to own this season, he filled in nicely while CJ Mosley (LB) was injured and out and this week he took over for the injured Neville Hewitt (LB) and put up a really nice week as well. There’s also been some talk in the IDP community that he might replace Hewitt as the starter next to Mosley at some point as well so if he’s available and you have the room grab him and hold for now.
Flash in the pan: Brandon Copeland (LB) only played 38% of snaps so his seven combined tackle with bonus plays effort won’t be sustainable with that little playing time. Pass.
Abandon ship or Remain calm: CJ Mosley (LB) didn’t do much in his first week back from injury in an absolutely ideal matchup against a Patriots offense that dominated time of possession and ran a million plays against the Jets this week. He did only play 83% of snaps and is likely still a little banged up and rusty so I’m not super concerned, we all know what he’s capable of and how talented he is. He should be fine.
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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