The IDP waiver wire is a volatile animal. Most positions only have a handful of studs and it’s our job to sort through the $5 DVD bin to try to find that diamond in the rough. All the components that go into finding a replacement running back or wide receiver are a little more difficult, because there isn’t as much news coverage devoted to the defensive side of the ball. It takes a little more digging to find snap counts or updated injury information.
Speaking of injuries, let’s first recap some of this week’s notable IDP injury news:
Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor injured his neck and was carted off as a precaution. Follow-up reports indicate Taylor traveled home with the team. Taylor is widely available and assuming he’s fully healthy, he’s a solid DE2 for the rest of the year.
Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was having one of his most productive games Sunday but will need an MRI after suffering an ankle injury. JOK is proving to be a dynamic IDP and he’s been producing like a LB4/5. He’s definitely somebody I’d want in my dynasty IDP leagues and should be rostered in all deeper IDP leagues. (Update: JOK is out a month with an ankle injury.)
New England Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley did not finish the game due to a ribs injury. He was having a monster performance before his exit, tallying 12 tackles, one assist and a forced fumble. He finished Week 6 as one of the top-scoring LBs and you’ll be seeing his name again later in this article.
Denver Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson will require an MRI after an early exit with a pectoral injury against the Raiders. Denver lost three linebackers in total in this game due to injury, so this defense could be in trouble in the short-term should all miss time.
Did I miss any notable IDP injuries? Let me know on Twitter @mattkdelima
IDP WAIVER WIRE REPORT
DE Jonathan Greenard, Houston Texans
Nine times out of 10, you really should prefer the reliable tackler at any IDP spot, but you can’t ignore hot streaks. You can’t ignore guys who seem to have the game “click” and make the leap. We may be seeing the beginnings of just that with Greenard. The second-year defensive end out of Florida has four sacks in his last three games, including two against the Colts on Sunday. He also added five tackles, an assist and two tackles for loss. On a fantasy points per game basis, he’s producing like DE1, but it’s of course a small sample size. If you have flexibility in your roster, take a flier. In deeper leagues, he is a must-add if you’re battling injuries or inconsistent play.
DE Darrell Taylor, Seattle Seahawks
The defensive end position has been a bit of a mess this year (maybe just for my fantasy teams), but Taylor would be a welcome addition. As mentioned above in his injury blurb, the 2020 second-rounder injured his neck but all appears well at this stage and I’m reading the updates as he’ll be ready to play in Week 7 vs. the Saints. I rate him as a low DE2 or high DE3 for the rest of the season.
DE Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings
He was off his game on Sunday and only put down one solo tackle in the statbook. However, Griffen has a proven pedigree and won’t face a ton of double-teams. A swelling snap count shows that Minnesota is seeing something they want more of. He posted four sacks from Weeks 3-5, with modest tackle production. Long gone are the days where he was a stud DE; however, he still has value as a DE3 or spot-starter.
(Note: Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was on this list before the recent news of his ankle injury that will keep him out a month. If you have plenty of roster room to spare, I still consider him a worthy addition. He's a star in the making.)
Ja’Whaun Bentley, New England Patriots
With a big-time Week 6 game, I have to chase the points and kick the tires here. If your team’s LB4 is underwhelming, cut him loose and follow the points with Bentley. One facet to IDP that I really believe in is to really abandon your preconceived notions and just play fast and loose rather than waiting around for a guy to get it together. That’s how you get lucky on guys like cornerback Trevon Diggs, because every year guys come out of nowhere to perform well in IDP. Maybe you get it wrong, but there’s enough volatility and players emerging to overcome mistakes when striking it big on this year’s guy. Point being, Bentley is a LB4 right now and on the rise if the Pats will commit more playing time to him -- his snap counts are the only reason to have doubts. If he continues to play like this, he’ll stay on the field more alongside Matt Judon and Dont’a Hightower.
Anthony Walker, Cleveland Browns
After missing Weeks 2-4, Walker is back at it. He posted six tackles, three assists, one tackle for loss and one pass defended against the Cardinals. On a points per game basis, he’s high LB3. In more shallow IDP formats, he’s likely available in your waiver wire.
David Long, Tennessee Titans
He hasn’t played yet in Week 6 as his Titans face the Bills on Monday night. Long is absolutely a name to watch and a hot player on the rise who looks like the best Tennessee ‘backer in years.
S Kyle Dugger, New England Patriots
In four of his six contests, Dugger has at least five solo tackles. I’m a sucker for a reliable tackle-producer at the safety position. Last week against the Cowboys, he posted eight solo tackles, one INT and a pass defended. With that plus performance, he inches closer to DB2 status, especially when he’s earning quality playing time.
S Nasir Adderley, Los Angeles Chargers
He didn’t play this week. That may mean he’s still available in your league. Adderley is another tackle-friendly safety with seven or more solo tackles in three of his five games. A solid DB3 with room for more consistency given his big-time snap counts (100% in four of five games).
S Dane Cruikshank, Tennessee Titans
Again, the Titans haven’t played yet this week but Cruikshank is an emerging talent thanks to 90%-plus snap counts in each of his last three games. Over those three, he has 14 solos, four assists and a forced fumble. Hardly numbers to write home about, but certainly a player worth monitoring if you need some help at your DB4.
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