Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. The 2017 NFL season is right around the corner and after all those drafts and researching done in the off-season, we’re still hit with a bunch of questions as we enter week one. I’m here to get you ready for week one and beyond, and get your squad built for the long haul because we can’t get enough of dynasty leagues, right?
We’ve been hit with countless season-ending injuries already, scouting the waivers for replacements and more recently having to deal with those who got cut and then those who went to a new team days before the season starts. We shouldn’t have this headache in week one!
Let’s take a look at some potential IDP pickups who could help you in week one or down the road, because in dynasty leagues you want to jump the gun a bit to get that stash in.
All the ownership percentage I have taken from MFL (MyFantasyLeague) and I’m sure there are thousands of leagues on the host site and 16% of them have IDP.
Before I get into some waiver pickups, let me help you make an easier decision if you’re holding onto someone who recently got released or landed on the injured reserve.
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Gerald Hodges, LB FA
Being released by the Buffalo Bills after having been beaten out by two rookies and a 30-year old who only started six games in his nine year career has to be an eye opener. If you’re holding onto Hodges in hopes he signs elsewhere (which he might), you can drop him.
Sean Spence, LB FA
He was released by the Indianapolis Colts after many (including myself) pegged him this off-season as an early sleeper candidate. We might have to re-think those April articles from now on. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and give him the boot – the dream is over.
Su’a Cravens, SS WAS
With the recent news that he wanted to retire, and team officials having to change his mind for the time being, it’s safe to say you should just cut bait with Cravens. He’s already out at least a month (four games) and we may not know if he’s coming back to play after. Even though he was in line for a pretty solid season after being moved to a better position and where he best fit, you just never know how players are taking things and where they’re at mentally.
Now, these are the players to keep on your radar or pick up.
Nick Vigil, LB CIN
With the news of teammate Vontaze Burfict being suspended for the first five games of the season for his “illegal” hit on a Kansas City fullback, we have to pay attention to Vigil. Burfict’s suspension was reduced to three games, so his owners can breathe a little easier. Vigil may not match Burfict’s floor but he has the upside to be a viable spot starter in leagues where you start three or more LBs. If he can definitely show out during Burfict’s absence then the Bengals have found their other every-down LB. He is currently just owned in 2.6% of leagues, so there’s a good chance he’s sitting on your waivers. He’s also a sleeper plug-and-play option in week one against the Ravens.
Joe Schobert, LB CLE
With Tank Carder out for the season and after an impressive preseason, Schobert will slot into the starting MLB job for the Browns. Although that doesn’t scream every-down role because Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins aren’t leaving the field, there is some upside with Schobert. He’s a much better fit at the MLB than OLB last season. He uses his quickness to blitz through the A gap(s) to put pressure on the quarterback, and this could also lead to him staying on the field as another pass rusher. He’s currently owned in just 2.15% of leagues and should definitely be an add as your LB3 or for upside depth.
Korey Toomer, LB LAC
As the Chargers have recently placed both Denzel Perryman and Joshua Perry on IR, the opportunity arises once again for Toomer. He started eight games last season and averaged nearly eight tackles per game – that’s solid as your LB2. He’ll be asked to do the same thing alongside Jatavis Brown. As long as Perryman is out (at least six weeks), Toomer will be a serviceable LB3 for the time being. At the moment he’s currently owned in just 3.5% on MFL, so if you need an early season starter/flex replacement, he’s your guy.
Antonio Morrison, LB IND
With the recent release of his competition (Sean Spence), then the IR move of Edwin Jackson, it’s Morrison time in Indy. He is currently owned in 4% of leagues on MFL and makes a nice wildcard flier. This was a messy situation in the off-season but now the smoke cleared. Morrison might not be flashy but he has an attitude and Colts need his physical presence. He also makes a x-factor plug-and-play in week one against the Rams as they were the second-ranked team in LB Points Allowed in 2016.
Chris Jones, DE KC
This breakout candidate is just owned in 2.8% of leagues on MFL, and I find that quite disappointing. He has shades of Muhammad Wilkerson, and is about to eat this season. He’s so good against the run. He should be owned everywhere if your league starts at least 2DE/DL, because he’ll return weekly value.
Arik Armstead, DE SF
This is a make or break it year for Armstead. Will he rise to the occasion? In 12-or-more team leagues he is worth rostering as depth or a bye week insurance. He is currently owned in 3.12% of leagues on MFL. Arik has Aaron Lynch right behind him, and there’s a very good chance it’s a rotation at DE, but Armstead has the versatility to move inside when needed. If he doesn’t flash early on, he’s an easy cut at the end of your roster.
Shaq Lawson, DE BUF
Owners who have held onto him last season had some rejoice this off-season as Lawson got the DE tag. McDermott is known to get the best out of his defensive ends and Lawson can be as good as they come. He is currently owned in just 5.8% of leagues on MFL, and should be rostered in every dynasty league you’re in. He poses the highest ceiling amongst the Bills DEs and after missing his rookie season, we should see a motivated and hungry Lawson.
Kevin Byard, FS TEN
He is currently just owned in 3.5% of leagues on MFL. This has to be a mistake as he should be nearly 100%-owned in dynasty leagues. Byard is a breakout star in the making as the chess piece on the Titans defense, and will make his way into the top tier discussion. If he is sitting there on waivers in your league, I’d find someone at the end of your bench to drop for him ASAP. He has a decent matchup against the Oakland Raiders in week one too. There are still seats on the train – hop aboard and plug him in your lineup.
Darian Stewart, SS DEN
With TJ Ward getting released, Stewart will move over to the SS spot and now becomes a more valuable IDP asset than he was before. He’s a prototype strong safety, better in coverage than Ward and handles his business in the box. Stewart is just owned in 2.86% of leagues on MFL and I expect that number to rise in no time. Owners will be scrambling for DBs shortly, so why not make the jump now? Especially for a player who won’t surprise me if he finishes in the top 12 at the season’s end.
Keith Tandy, SS TBB
Even with the newly acquired TJ Ward, it won’t affect Tandy much as he still remains a starter. He may have helped owners win some championships last season with his late season surge; MVP style. Seriously, he started the last five games of the season and his numbers were 45 tackles 4 interceptions and 7 pass deflections; had a monster game in week 16 against the Panthers as he recorded 12 tackles and 2 interceptions. Don’t sleep on Tandy, go get him if you can but hold off on week one as Hurricane Irma could halt things but for the season Tandy will remain a solid DB2 as long as he continues to start.
Good luck in week one you guys. The season is finally here! Aloha.