Notable IDP Injuries
- Seahawks DL Michael Bennett suffered a right knee injury and did not return. He’s expected to play in Week Seven.
- Chiefs CB Marcus Peters injured his shoulder.
- Dolphins SS Reshad Jones injured his shoulder and did not return. He may miss time.
- Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs left with a biceps injury.
- Texans CB Kevin Johnson broke his foot and is expected to miss significant time.
- Texans CB Johnathan Joseph injured his forearm, but returned.
- Browns FS Jordan Poyer suffered a lacerated kidney and was placed on Injured Reserve.
- Packers CB Damarious Randall exited with a groin injury.
- Rams DT Michael Brockers left with what was originally called a hip injury, but now is considered undisclosed.
- Ravens CB Jimmy Smith suffered a concussion and did not return.
- Eagles DT Bennie Logan strained his groin and did not return.
- Jets LB Darron Lee injured his right ankle and did not return.
- Chiefs DE Allen Bailey is dealing with a shoulder injury that could result in missed time.
- Steelers S Mike Mitchell suffered a knee injury late in the game.
- Bengals S George Iloka injured his shoulder and did not return.
- Dolphins CB Tony Lippett suffered a hamstring injury and did not return.
- Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne suffered a concussion and did not return.
* Going forward, I’m going to break down some waiver wire targets based on the various roster sizes in IDP leagues. I’m always amazed at who is on the waiver wire, even in deep leagues, so PLEASE start at the top of this list even if you play in a deep league. To quote the title of John Hansen’s new radio show with Michael Rappaport, “Ya Never Know.”
On The Wire
Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, NYG) – JPP’s 20 solos leads all DLs, and his 28 total tackles are fifth-best. He’s clearly able to put up DL1 production with his hand issue, and not just in tackles. His 5.7 FPG ranks him #8 in standard scoring. We talked him up this preseason, and while it’s understandable to be skeptical until we see some proof, we’re now six weeks in, and I think we know what we have in JPP. His bye is Week Eight, but there’s no reason to let DL1 production hang out there on waivers this week. He’s available in 64% of ESPN leagues and 79% of Yahoo leagues.
Cliff Avril (DE, Sea) – Avril had a slow start to the season, but has found his groove as of late. In his last two games, he has 8 tackles (4 solo), 3 sacks, a PD, and a forced fumble. That’s the Cliff Avril we like to see. This week he faces a Cardinals team giving up 18 FPG to DLs (that’s top-5). Between injuries sapping their O-line and a heavy reliance on David Johnson, Avril has a juicy matchup. Avril is available in 73% of ESPN leagues and 96% of Yahoo leagues.
Cameron Jordan (DE, NO) – Jordan is a top-10 DL so far this season, with 21 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 5 PD. He’s now past his bye week, and has a good schedule over the next several weeks. Talented, fits the new scheme well, and on the field a ton, Jordan is available in 72% of ESPN leagues and 90% of Yahoo leagues.
Tahir Whitehead (ILB, Det) – The #8 LB in total tackles, Whitehead has been one of the most consistent LBs this season. He has very little tackles competition, and that has shown up in the box score, with at least 8 tackles in five of his six games. He’s posted at least 7 solos in four of his six games and continues to be overlooked. Whitehead is available in 76% of ESPN leagues and 69% of Yahoo leagues.
Preston Brown (ILB, Buf) – Brown has at least 6 solos in four of six games this season, and is averaging 8 FPG. He’s as solid as they come for an LB2, with plenty of LB1 upside. Getting to play behind a depleted D-line and in front of a generous home stat crew gives Brown a nice high floor. He’s available in 61% of ESPN leagues and 73% of Yahoo leagues.
Zachary Orr (OLB, Bal) – No longer the #16 LB (he was for three weeks straight), Orr benefitted from C.J. Mosley’s absence in Week Six, posting 13 tackles (9 solo) and a fumble recovery. Now he’s the #8 LB. If Mosley is out again or is limited, Orr is an LB1 this week. But even if Mosley is back and 100%, Orr is a solid LB2. He has three games of 6 solos playing next to Mosley, so fire him up with confidence regardless of Mosley’s status. He’s available in 71% of ESPN leagues and 69% of Yahoo leagues.
Karl Joseph (SS, Oak) – Since Joseph took over the starting role in Week Three, he’s been the #9 DB with 8.2 FPG. He’s racked up 33 tackles (21 solo) over those four games, with an INT, 2 PD, and a fumble recovery. He’s a locked-in DB1 going forward, and gets the fantasy-friendly Jaguars this week. Joseph is available in 80% of ESPN leagues and 68% of Yahoo leagues.
Keanu Neal (SS, Atl) – Neal continues to prove why he was such a high draft pick for HC Dan Quinn. Early reports of him being Quinn’s new Kam Chancellor are founded. In his three full games, Neal has 27 tackles (17 solo) and 2 forced fumbles. He’s been the #4 DB over that stretch. Neal is available in 91% of ESPN leagues and 95% of Yahoo leagues.
Antoine Bethea (SS, SF) – Bethea continues to show consistency at the DB position, with at least 4 solos in every game but one. He’s also flashed plenty of upside, with two games of double-digit FP, and 5 big plays on the season. He’s on a defense that is loaded with opportunity, making Bethea one of the few safe bets at DB. Bethea is available in 62% of ESPN leagues and 78% of Yahoo leagues.
Morgan Burnett (SS, GB) – Burnett has struggled with staying healthy, but when he’s 100% and on the field, he’s a monster. He’s been healthy the last two games, and has 16 tackles (12 solo), an INT, and 2 PD in those two contests. Although he’s an injury risk, the reward is worth that risk if your DB1 is on a bye. Burnett is available in 71% of ESPN leagues and 91% of Yahoo leagues.
DeForest Buckner (DE, SF) – Buckner has arrived. After a slow start (understandable for a rookie DL), Buckner has surged lately. In his last three games (he was injured in one of them), he has 22 tackles (9 solo), 2 sacks, 2 PD, and a fumble recovery. He’s now the #9 DL in FPG. Playing on a line that plays a ton of snaps, and a home stat crew that is one of the most generous in the league, Buckner is set up for a nice run. He’s currently available in 96% of ESPN leagues and 99% of Yahoo leagues.
William Gholston (DE, TB) – Another slow starter, Gholston has now put together three straight solid games. Since Week Three, Gholston has 14 tackles (10 solo), a PD and a fumble recovery. He’s coming off his bye, so he should be a weekly DL2 for the remainder of the season. Gholston is available in 92% of ESPN leagues and 99% of Yahoo leagues.
Danny Shelton (DT, Cle) – Shelton has been a solid DT, putting up at last 4 tackles in all but one game (and he had 3 in that game), and last week he put up 5 solos and a sack. He’s playing great “real” football, and that has translated to fantasy consistency at the DT position (something that can be hard to come by). If you play in a DT-required league, he’s available in 93% of ESPN leagues and 100% of Yahoo leagues.
Nick Bellore (ILB, SF) – Whoa. Everyone wondered what would happen to NaVorro Bowman’s production. Well, Bellore found it. All of it. In the two games Bellore has started in the veteran’s place, he has 21 tackles (14 solo), a half-sack, and a fumble recovery. Double-digit tackles with some big plays sprinkled in? Sounds like Bowman. The “whoa” is because he’s unowned in ESPN leagues and is available in 97% of Yahoo leagues.
Jatavis Brown (ILB, SD) – How is this guy still so poorly owned? For the past four weeks, Brown has 33 tackles (30 solos), 3 sacks, 2 PD, and 2 forced fumbles. That’s the #4 LB over that stretch. With Manti Te’o out, Brown has blossomed. Grab him now. Brown is available in 95% of ESPN leagues and 92% of Yahoo leagues.
Jonathan Casillas (LB, NYG) – You might be tired of seeing Casillas’ name on here, but it’s only because no one is noticing what he’s doing. Dude has his double-digit tackles twice (including last week), and has at least 6 tackles in every game this season. He continues to log 60-80% of the snaps and plays on a defense that consistently plays a ton of snaps, and in front of easily the most generous stat crew in the NFL. What’s not to like? He’s not a weekly LB1, but he’s a consistent LB2/LB3 and that consistency is going to waste on the waivers. He’s available in 95% of ESPN leagues and 94% of Yahoo leagues.
Rodney McLeod (S, Phi) – Mcleod is finally back on the field, and has made an instant impact in both real and fantasy football. In his first two games back, he has 24 tackles (19 solo), and has been cleaning up the mess his LBs are leaving him. We don’t’ see that LB situation drastically improving, so McLeod could continue to put up DB1 numbers. However, McLeod’s floor is still DB2/CB1. He’s available in 89% of ESPN leagues and 92% of Yahoo leagues.
Devin McCourty (S, NE) – McCourty started strong this season, with a 9 tackle game in Week One. Then he had two duds. Since then, he’s played like the DB2 we were expecting all season. He recorded 19 tackles (18 solo) over his last three games. If you play in leagues where return yards count, McCourty occasionally gets reps as a kick returner. He’s available in 94% of ESPN leagues and 96% of Yahoo leagues.
Lamarcus Joyner (CB, LA) – With Trumaine Johnson sidelined with a high-ankle sprain, Joyner has picked up the fantasy slack. Last week (with Johnson out), Joyner put up 10 tackles (8 solo), and a PD. It marked the third time Joyner had at least 7 tackles and the fourth time he’s registered at least 6.5 FP. He’s a CB1 with Johnson out and a CB2 even when Johnson returns. He is available in 90% of ESPN leagues and 98% of Yahoo leagues.
Adolphus Washington (DT, Buf) – With Marcel Dareus still recovering, Washington has become an integral part of this surging Bills defense. In his last two games, he has 4 tackles (all solo), 2 sacks, and a PD. The rookie has been gaining steam and earning more playing time. One of our favorites in the preseason, this week he gets a Miami team that is top-5 in allowing FP to DLs this season. Washington is available in 99% of ESPN leagues and 100% of Yahoo leagues.
Vinny Curry (DE, Phi) – Curry has been a disappointment this season, but his opportunity is likely about to take a step forward. With Bennie Logan suffering a strained groin, Curry’s snaps should increase as a pass-rushing threat. Curry has 6 tackles (3 solo) and a sack in his last two games, so if you’re hurting this week, he’s a DL3 with DL1 upside if he can get to Sam Bradford through that weak O-line this week. Curry is available in 99% of ESPN leagues and 100% of Yahoo leagues.
John Simon (OLB, Hou) – With J.J. Watt out for the year, the Texans have altered their scheme to get more production out of some of its role players. One of those role players is Simon. He’s come on lately, with 15 tackles (7 solo) and a PD in the last two games. He has at least 5.5 FPG in four of his six games this season, and has 2.5 sacks as well. Simon is available in 99% of ESPN leagues and 100% of Yahoo leagues.
Keenan Robinson (ILB, NYG) – Robinson has finally settled in as the play caller on this defense. His snaps are now in the 70-80% range, and has at least 3 solos in his last five games. He also has 4 PD on the year and at least 4 FPG in all but the first game of the season (where he played 38% of the snaps). Robinson is an LB3 with a solid floor if you’re hurting for LB this week. He’s available in 99% of both ESPN and Yahoo leagues.
Clayton Geathers (S, Ind) – Geathers has been a much needed steadying force on the second and third levels of a leaky Colts defense. He’s posted at least 6 tackles in three of his last four games, and has at least 6 FP in those games. We expect that solid production to continue going forward. He’s available in 94% of ESPN leagues and 98% of Yahoo leagues.
Vonn Bell (S, NO) – Bell continues to shine on a depleted New Orleans secondary. Since he had to step up due to so many injuries, Bell has 13 tackles (10 solo), and a forced fumble. He’s been the #19 DB over that stretch, and has a good chance of being a solid DB2 going forward, as he’s past his bye week. Bell is available in 99% of both ESPN and Yahoo leagues.
Quandre Diggs (CB, Det) – Diggs has seen his snap count rise each week since Week Two and his fantasy value has risen with it. He has at least 4 solos in each of his last three games and has turned into a solid CB2. This week, Diggs gets a Washington team that is giving up 26 tackles per game to opposing DBs. He’s available in 99% of both ESPN and Yahoo leagues.