I’d like to start this off with a moment of silence for those who have dealt with even more season-ending losses in fantasy football as we’re heading into week six. It’s been a brutal start to the season and I get it – it’s a contact sport so there will be injuries. But we’re just dealing with them at a speed I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with before. Just take a deep breath and hang in there, as fantasy football supposed to be fun, right? It doesn’t seem that way right now, but I’m going to keep my head up and I hope you do the same.
There was no bigger injury yesterday to the IDP community than IDP stud himself – J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. He missed most of the 2016 season and recently acquired owners (like myself) have faced some bad luck because Watt has a tibial plateau fracture and is out for the season. Have we seen Watt at his best already? I think we have, and his sell high window is just about closing, but if you can find someone willing to take the risk with his injuries I’d advise getting those trade talks going.
The Texans have also lost Whitney Mercilus for the season with a torn pectoral injury, so unless they make a trade for someone on the edge, the Texans aren’t sitting pretty at the front seven again. Other injuries that happened in week five that may impact you in IDP are:
Morgan Burnett, SS GBP (hamstring)
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB CIN (shoulder)
Adam Jones, CB CIN (back)
Shawn Williams, SS CIN (elbow)
Cliff Avril, DE SEA (neck) It’s safe to say you can drop Avril. Sadly his injury could be career-ending but hope he can have a full recovery – get well Mr. Avril.
Might I add – this is the point in the season where impatient owners drop quality players, so continue to scout your waiver wire because you never know who you’ll find; even in dynasty.
The upcoming teams on bye in week six are Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas and Seattle.
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Deone Bucannon, ILB ARI
After making his season debut last week, he should be back to full-time duty at ILB for the Cardinals. He posted 6 tackles against the Eagles and should continue to get rolling as he gets into game shape. The injury to Markus Golden has pushed Haason Reddick to the edge where he belongs, and if Deone is somehow available you should pick him up when you have the chance.
Anthony Hitchens, MLB DAL
Hitchens made a return back to the field sooner than expected and it was a welcome sign for the Cowboys defense that is hurting. There’s a good chance he’s on your waivers after his pre-season injury. He’ll reclaim the MLB role and push Jaylon Smith’s value down and until Sean Lee comes back, Hitchens will be Dallas’ top LB you’d want going forward. Hitchens gives you a decent LB2 floor and continues to improve.
TJ Watt, OLB PIT
I’m taking a wild shot here because like I said, you never know who is available on your waiver wire. Watt has surpassed any expectations I had for him heading into this season and has clearly looked the type. Oh, and he proved me wrong. He’s quietly turning into the second best LB in PIT that you’d want in IDP and I believe he’ll fit just fine in any type of league unless you’re in a league that scores 2 points per sack or something. I believe Watt makes a solid LB3 starter for the rest of the season.
James Burgess, LB CLE
With Collins having missed the last couple games with concussion, Burgess has filled in decently and may continue to do so until Collins returns, so if you’re looking for a quick one or two week investment or just a bye week filler, give Burgess a shot. I would feel comfortable with him as my LB3/Flex. He has quietly put up 14 tackles and 1 sack through two games as starting LB and played close to 90% of the snaps.
Elvis Dumervil, DE SF
Dumervil is like a fine wine – seems he’s gotten better with age and is quietly putting together a decent season in the bay. He has recorded 3.5 sacks within the last two games and faces the Washington Redskins in week six. I’d stream Dumervil as a boom or bust bye week filler or if you’re struggling with injuries or have poor performers at the moment. Dumervil should be close to the top of considerations depending on your roster and how your waivers are.
Julius Peppers, DE CAR
Just like Dumervil, Peppers has recorded 3 sacks in the last two games and with a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on TNF he makes a solid plug and play option as DE2.
David Irving, DT DAL
Cowboys got another quality defensive playmaker back in week five, and what a debut he had. Irving put up 5 tackles and 2 sacks against the Packers in week five and it seems like he picked up where he left off last season. Those in DT-required leagues should look to pick up Irving and insert him in your weekly starting lineup (unless you already have a stud DT like Gerald McCoy). He doesn’t hurt Demarcus Lawrence or Maliek Collins but will make it easier for them – especially Lawrence. In non-DT leagues I’d still grab Irving and use him as my DL2 or DL3 going forward.
Frank Clark, DE SEA
With the injury to Cliff Avril, Clark should see his snaps increase again. I found Clark on one of my leagues waivers and best believe I jumped on that. Like I said, you never know what you’ll find out there because there’s always at least one impatient owner who chases points during the season.
Justin Evans, FS TBB
Evans got the start against the Patriots on TNF because of injuries to TJ Ward and Keith Tandy that kept them out of the game. If both continue to miss time; Evans jumps up to fringe DB1 status as he had a monster game against Tom Brady and the Patriots by recording 9 tackles, 2PDs and 1 INT. He should already be owned in every dynasty league but if he’s available and you have a spot to stash, I recommend to grab him.
Darian Thompson, FS NYG
Thompson has finally put together a superb game as he recorded 11 tackles, 2PDs and 1 INT against the Chargers. He can definitely thrive like this in a prime match-up like he had with the Chargers. I start Darian as my DB3 in the couple of leagues I have him, he’s worth rostering in 12 team leagues as your first person off the bench to fill spot starts for you or as your DB3.