With the bye weeks in full swing, we’re going to be forced to ‘plug and play’ more IDPs than usual and sometimes that can pay off for us. This week, the Lions and Saints are on bye and it gives you an opportunity to add players a week before you need them. Here are a few players I’m targeting this week where available.
Jerome Baker, LB MIA
It’s pretty difficult to get your piece of the pie on this defense with Kiki Alonso, Raekwon McMillan, Reshad Jones, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and T.J. McDonald but Jerome Baker is getting it done over the last three weeks. He has games of nine, ten and seven total tackles while adding two sacks against Cincinnati this week while only playing 61%, 80%, and 55% of snaps respectively. He’s a must add for me this week if he’s still available in semi-shallow leagues.
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Romeo Okwara, DE DET
With Ziggy Ansah week to week with a shoulder injury, Okwara has stepped up and provided the Lions with the pass rush they needed over the last two weeks. He brought down Dak Prescott once in week four and Aaron Rodgers twice in week five.
Okwara is an interesting add in dynasty leagues at just 23 years old in just his third season. He was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame who played his first two years with the Giants. He was never able to carve out much playing time behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon and spend half of last year on injured reserve with an MCL injury. He was claimed off waivers from the Giants on September 5th and will be a restricted free agent next spring.
With Detroit’s lack of depth at defensive end and the strong interior trio of A’Shawn Robinson, Sylvester Williams, and Da’Shawn Hand, I believe Okwara has the opportunity to carve out a role for this team and potentially cash in this summer.
Todd Davis, LB DEN
This isn’t sexy but if you’re looking for LB3/4 production, you could do worse. The Broncos defense just gave up 300+ rushing yards to the NFL equivalent of a MAC school. This week, Todd Gurley is coming to burn the house down and Davis is going to see a ton of opportunities.
I can almost guarantee he’s on your waiver wire because he has never lived up to his potential and disappears for stretches but if you like eating dry shredded wheat, this is the linebacker for you. He will get you a total of five-to-eight total tackles each week and that is it. Don’t expect forced fumbles or interceptions either, just moderate tackle numbers.
Marcus Maye, S NYJ
After sitting out the first three games of the season with ankle and foot injuries, Maye has been a viable fantasy asset over the last two weeks. He has stepped right in without missing a beat and played 100% of the team defensive snaps. After registering six solos and an assist in week four, he followed it up with six solos, two assists, a fumble recovery, an interception and half a sack.
I fully expect another aggressive approach this week against Andrew Luck and the Colts with their tight end heavy attack. I’d be very happy plugging him in as my DB2.
Tedric Thompson, S SEA
I was wrong, maybe. We’ll see. Last week, I said I wouldn’t bother with Tedric Thompson because I didn’t believe the system made the player and Earl Thomas was irreplaceable. Six solos, an assist, and an interception later, Thompson had a strong debut.
With a game against the Raiders before a week seven bye and then contests against the Lions and Chargers, Thompson will have plenty of opportunity for interceptions as Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, and Philip Rivers aren’t exactly known for their ball security. With Earl Thomas playing elsewhere in 2019, Thompson could be auditioning for a long-term opportunity. With depth at the position, he’s worth a speculative add.
Da’Shawn Hand, DT DET
Two Lions defensive linemen in one waiver wire article? You betcha. Hand has at least four tackles in each game and now has sacks in back-to-back games. With the Lions shuffling their line around, Hand has been playing a lot of snaps at defensive end while maintaining defensive tackle eligibility. In the biz, we call that a “loophole” and when we find a loophole, we exploit it until it’s fixed.
After their week six bye, the Lions have matchups with the Dolphins, Seahawks, Vikings, Bears, Panthers and Bears again. I like his chances to stay hot throughout this stretch.
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