Well ladies and gentlemen, we’re just about 80% done with week one as I write this with the two Monday Night Football games coming up tonight, and have we reached peak stress level in fantasy already?! I mean, injuries suck and we get a little emotional, but we just have to keep on trucking and this is where it pays off to be a good scout on your league’s waivers. I hope your team made it through week one though, and we just have to put a bunch of those terrible performances behind us and look ahead to week two.
As I stated; injuries suck and yet again we’ve hit a handful of them in week one, so let me break some of the relevant ones down before I get into some waiver pickups.
Stephon Tuitt, DE PIT
Tuitt just signed his contract extension with the Steelers day before the game and now he’s potentially out for the season with a torn biceps tendon – who did Tuitt hurt to deserve this? He was just coming into his own and in his prime years. If you have an IR spot open, he’s worth consideration unless you have someone else of value to place there.
Eric Berry, SS KCC
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Berry suffered an awful injury on the first game of the season against the Patriots; a torn achilles. He’s another player who had just signed an extension in the off-season and now is out for the year, but he’s beat cancer already and there’s no doubt he can beat this injury and come back stronger.
Ronald Darby, CB PHI
If you haven’t seen the video replay on twitter, I’d advise not to seek it out because the injury to his ankle looks nasty. We are still awaiting MRI results but it looks like he could be out most if not the rest of the season and those who have him in CB leagues are bummed. However, there are plenty of options on waivers who you can replace him with.
Jerrell Freeman, LB CHI
Freeman is in concussion protocol and is questionable for week two; so it might not be a long term issue but his owners should be scouting the wire to a temporary replacement because you’ll never know if you pick up another quality IDP starter.
Brian Cushing, LB HOU
Cushing also suffered a concussion and remains in concussion protocol.
JJ Watt, DE HOU
Watt suffered a broken finger, but he wrapped that bad boy back up like a club and returned to the game. For however long he may have to wear a cast, it may hinder his production somewhat so we might not see the ole’ JJ Watt for a while (again) – but I’m not going to bet against him.
Reuben Foster, LB SF
Niners fans and IDP owners (myself included) were screaming “NOOOOOOO!!” when we saw Foster go down then get carted off, because when we see that cart we automatically think it’s serious. Foster later came back on the field but didn’t return to the game. For now it seems like a sprained ankle, and he said himself he’ll be ready for Seattle in week two. You may want to go ahead and grab an alternate already if you don’t already have one in place, just in case.
I hope this is the last of the injuries we’ve seen from week one because on both sides of the ball – how much more can we take? Anyway, so let’s continue and take a look at some potential waiver pickups for next week and the future.
BJ Goodson, LB NYG
If you follow me on twitter, Goodson was one of my favorite LB sleepers this season, and let’s give it up to him after that monster performance on Sunday Night Football. He piled up 18 tackles (14 solo) against the Dallas Cowboys. He’s currently just 6.77% owned in MFL and if he’s available in your league I’d find a way to pick him up. If you own Ramik Wilson I would make this flip as soon as possible.
Ramon Humber, LB BUF
It was my mistake – I had thought I mentioned him in last weeks article because he earned the WLB starting job this off-season in an IDP friendly system. Humber showed out in week one against the Jets – he racked up 13 tackles (12 solo). He played in 57 of 58 snaps and PFF (Pro Football Focus) gave him a 78.4 overall rating. If you’re still searching for your LB3/Flex play and potentially lost out on Nick Vigil or Joe Schobert then I would give Humber a look. As long as he continues play pretty well, he’ll keep the rookies off the field and should continue to put up similar stats. But I’d say that 13 would be his ceiling, as Preston Brown should pick up his slack soon.
Nick Kwiatkoski, LB CHI
With Freeman in concussion protocol, Kwiatkoski is the next man up and will be a temporary tackle hog. In the last five games of the season in 2016 that he started, he averaged about seven tackles per game. He’s currently owned in 2.20% of leagues on MFL and if you have the space to add a short-term producer, make it happen.
De’Vondre Campbell, LB ATL
It seems as if Campbell has become the forgotten LB in ATL. All off-season many were crowning Duke Riley, but if week one is what’s to come amongst the snap splits then a healthy Campbell will make some sort of impact and put a damper on any Riley development some had hoped. Campbell played 47 of 67 snaps in week one and racked up six tackles, which might not be much but it’s more than expected. He’s worth another look if you’ve dropped him as your LB4/Flex play or if you just want some youth depth. He was also the highest graded-LB, posting an 80 or higher in run defense and coverage plays. If he keeps it up, he’s not going to be ignored and left off the field.
Anthony Zettel, DE DET
With all the injuries and lack of playmakers to the DE position in DET, Zettel stepped up in week one. He put together three tackles and one sack against the Cardinals. Zettel played 46 of 75 snaps and posted the highest grade via PFF amongst DEs with a 79.0 and graded above 80 against the run. I would put Zettel on your queue in deep leagues if you’re hurting at DE or looking for some small upside.
Jordan Willis, DE CIN and Carl Lawson, DE/OLB CIN
With Michael Johnson in concussion protocol, it opens the door for the rookies to get some meaningful reps in. Willis played in 26 snaps during week one’s game against the Ravens and was the first to step in when Johnson left. I’d prefer to keep Willis on your watch list then pick up right now though, he’s going to battle with snaps against Chris Smith and possibly Carl Lawson (who was great in week one in just 22 snaps). All off-season it seems like Lawson has been the Bengals second best pass rusher – the only thing holding him back in IDP is that he has the LB tag at the moment so there’s reason to be concerned for picking him up unless you’re in a big play league.
Mike Daniels, DE GBP
Daniels was a beast against the Seahawks in week one, and seemed to be in the backfield taking down Wilson on many occasions. He has also put together his best game in a very long time – not once last season has he put up a game where he had 7 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Daniels has always been a beast on the field but it barely applied to his IDP stats as he has had just four sacks in each of the last two seasons. He’s definitely worth a consideration if you have a spot open or someone who you’re iffy about and might just drop. He’s currently owned in just 2.39% of leagues so there’s a good chance he’s available in yours if you need a DE2/3.
Tyson Alualu, DE PIT
With Tuitt potentially out for the season, Alualu is the next man up and it seemed that way in week one. He played in 52 of 66 snaps and racked up five tackles. Going forward he’ll get his shot and has always been an up-and-down player that flashes here and there. I wouldn’t recommend running to the waiver to pick him up even if you’re a Tuitt owner, as there might be better out there depending on how your leagues waivers are.
Deshazor Everett, SS WAS
With Su’a Cravens out for at least a month, Everett is the one who is taking over his position and has done an okay job so far. He struggles in coverage but is better in the box gobbling up tackles there, and he had seven tackles on Sunday. He’s worth a look if you need a DB3/4 play or if you’re in a deep league he’d make a decent depth piece.
Ron Parker, FS KCC
As Berry is out for the season, Parker can look forward to building off his solid week one performance as he racked up 11 tackles. He’s currently owned in 3.04% of leagues in MFL and can return DB2 rest of the way. If you’re a Berry owner and your waivers are somewhat slim, if Parker’s there I’d grab him. Many may recommend Sorensen, but I’d want Parker as he’s can get tackles in volumes whereas Sorensen will get you three here or four there – take the guy with the higher floor.
Justin Bethel, CB ARI
Bethel had himself a game against the Lions – 4 tackles 2 PDs and a pick-six. He’s a strong recommendation in CB required leagues and has the upside to be a fringe CB1. I’d be comfortable with him as my CB2 on a weekly basis, especially against pass heavy teams.
Jordan Poyer, FS BUF
He was a sleeper heading into the season, but after his week one performance he may not be on waivers much longer so you might want to act now. He put together 3 tackles, 1 sacks, 2 PD and 1 interception so depending on your league scoring; that’s a lot of points. As long as he’s healthy, there are always going to be opportunities like this. He can line up anywhere, just like Micah Hyde. Just like his teammate, Poyer can be a solid serviceable DB2 for the foreseeable future.
Jalen Mills, CB PHI
Mills balled out against the Redskins, putting together 9 tackles, 1 int and 2 PDs. Entering his second season, he’s off to a good start in the improvement department. He’s going to continue to get targeted and has a good shot to keep racking in the tackles and PDs. I would definitely consider looking at Mills in CB required leagues and could be in for a pretty good day against the Chiefs in week two.
Best of luck heading into week two and let’s pray no more injuries; or at least very very minimal.