Football is back and week one certainly didn’t disappoint. There were some big IDP performances and some big surprises as well. Let’s take a look at some players that make for some nice waiver wire options after a wild week one.
Welcome to the first edition of my weekly waiver wire article. The plan is to have the article ready to go for Tuesday every week and highlight some of the top IDP adds for the Wednesday waiver run. The article was written before the conclusions of the Monday night games so unfortunately, it doesn’t include any of those players. Without further ado, let’s dive into some waiver wire options after an eventful week one!
Disclaimer: All league sizes and formats are different. Meaning some of these players may or may not be available in your league. Each week I’ll be doing my best to cover a wide enough base of scenarios. If you ever have any league specific questions, I’m always willing to help and so is our fantastic team here at IDP Guys.
Week 1 stat line: 10 tackles (5 solos), 2 tackles for loss
There was some question on who the every-down linebackers would be in Philly and who would be calling the plays. Gerry ended up leading the linebacker unit in snaps playing all but one and also is the holder of the coveted green dot. Gerry appears to be the Eagle linebacker to own and is a great target if he’s available on your waiver wire.
Week 1 stat line: 8 tackles (5 solos), 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 3 QB hits
Washington was another linebacker unit with a lot of questions leading up to week one. Bostic ended up playing every defensive snap and is the play-caller on defense. As you can see by his stat line above, Bostic was busy on Sunday. Bostic is a solid waiver add with the hopes he continues to be Ron Rivera’s leader in the middle. Keep an eye on this Washington linebacker unit as Bostic and Kevin Pierre-Louis were the two to eat up the snaps week one playing 68 and 67 snaps respectively.
Week 1 stat line: 8 tackles (3 solos), 1 pass defended
It ended up being Hewitt and Blake Cashman drawing the starts at inside linebacker for the Jets in week one. Unfortunately, Cashman left the game with a groin injury and looks to be out a few weeks. Hewitt played all 87 defensive snaps and wore the dot on defense calling the plays. With Cashman out, there isn’t much competition for tackles at linebacker until Avery Williamson returns. Hewitt is a good waiver wire grab as the leader of a Jets’ defense that will see plenty of reps this season.
Week 1 stat line: 5 tackles (3 solos), 1 fumble recovery
While Vigil didn’t start the game, he ended up playing 85% of the team’s defensive snaps. Unfortunately, this was due to second-year man Drue Tranquil suffering a broken fibula and his season could possibly be over. The Chargers chose Vigil to fill Tranquil’s role and he and rookie Kenneth Murray were the only two linebackers on the field most of the day. Vigil has proven to be a productive IDP player in the past and is coming off a career-high 111 tackles in 2019 playing for Cincinnati. If Vigil can hold down the role next to Murray, he should be a usable IDP asset in leagues where you start 3-4 linebackers.
Week 1 stat line Pratt: 12 tackles (7 solos)
Week 1 stat line Bynes: 8 tackles (4 solos), 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB hit
Pratt has been talked about plenty this off-season, so there’s a good chance he is already owned in your league. However, if he is available on your waiver wire he’s worthy of an add. Pratt led the Cincinnati linebackers playing 73% of the defensive snaps and his 12 tackles also led the team.
Bynes wasn’t far behind Pratt in playing time as he played 72% of the defensive snaps. The veteran leader played well and is by far the most experienced of the otherwise young Bengal linebacker unit. Cincinnati seems to be relying on the veteran, Bynes, to start the year but keep an eye on his playing time as young bucks Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither are waiting in the wings. Bynes is a nice deeper league add as long as his playing time stays in the 70% range.
Week 1 stat line: 11 tackles (6 solos), 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB hits
After not playing football for nearly FIVE years, Smith made his return, and was it ever impressive. Smith previously had some big years for the 49ers and even earned First-Team All-Pro honors back in 2012 when he had his 19.5 sack season. So talent certainly has never been an issue. Smith led Dallas’ pass rushers in snaps playing 74% of the defensive snaps while Demarcus Lawrence only played 63% and Everson Griffen played 58%. Aldon Smith looked fantastic in his return and is a great waiver wire grab for teams looking for defensive line/edge help.
Week 1 stat line: 3 tackles (2 solos), 1 sack, 2 QB hits, 1 forced fumble
With Derek Barnett out, Vinny Curry got the start opposite of Brandon Graham instead of Sweat. Curry ended up hurting his hamstring and will miss some time. Graham suffered a head injury in the fourth quarter and is now in concussion protocol. Sweat led the Eagles’ defensive ends in snaps week one with 49 and is their healthiest pass rusher entering week two. Sweat had a great training camp and continued his stellar play into week one as his stat line above shows. Even when the other guys get healthy I think Philadelphia will have a hard time keeping Sweat off the field. This makes Sweat a good early season waive wire add especially in dynasty leagues.
Week 1 stat line: 3 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB hits
Addison is one of those veteran pass rushers who is always productive but doesn’t get talked about enough. In his first game with the Bills, he made his presence felt registering a sack, two quarterback hits, and two tackles for loss. Addison ended up playing 35 defensive snaps (62%) in week one. If he can continue to see snaps in that 60% range, Addison should be usable in leagues where you start 3-4 DE/Edge players.
Week 1 stat line: 10 tackles (7 solos), 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 QB hits, 1 forced fumble, 2 passes defended
Marcus Maye had a huge week. He was one of the lone bright spots for the Jets as he was making plays all over the field. Maye played the box role while Bradley McDougald played more deep. There were rumblings that the roles would play out like this, but nobody really knew for sure. Maye looks like the safety to own for the Jets and if he’s available on your waiver wire he’s a fantastic addition.
Week 1 stat line: 12 tackles (6 solos)
After the Jaguars traded away starting strong safety Ronnie Harrison the question was who would replace him. Turns out in week one the answer was Josh Jones. Jones was hyped up as a promising hybrid player after Green Bay drafted him in the second round of the 2017 draft, but just never lived up to that hype. Jones played 97% of the defensive snaps on Sunday for the Jaguars and put up a solid 12 tackle performance. If he can keep up that kind of snap share Jones should be a solid safety option for IDP managers in his new home and role.
Week 1 stat line: 9 tackles (8 solos), 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass defended
Phillips signed a two year deal with New England this off-season and had a heck of a debut. Phillips ended up playing 69% of the defensive snaps. While I thought he might see a few more snaps than that right away, he did play 39 of his 43 snaps up in the box. Phillips proved to be productive with his role as his nine tackles paced the team. If Phillips is available on your waiver wire, he’s a great addition with his box role and solid tackle floor for the safety position.
Week 1 stat line: 8 tackles (5 solos)
To many IDP enthusiasts’ surprise, Fuller got the start next to John Johnson over Taylor Rapp. The sixth round rookie played 97% of the defensive snaps and Fuller’s eight tackles led the team. While we still aren’t sure if the Rams will increase Rapp’s role as he missed significant time in camp with a knee injury, it appears Fuller is well within their plans. Right now Fuller might be more of a deep league or dynasty add as we let the situation develop a bit. Having said that, managers should definitely keep an eye on Fuller as he was very impressive in his debut.
Above are some of my favorite waive wire targets after an exciting Week 1 of football. While some of the names may seem more obvious than others, I wanted to include players who could potentially be available in different league sizes and setups. With the limited off-season reps and information there were definitely some surprises, but just remember to follow the snaps.