This is it, folks: our final waiver wire article of the year. If you’re still reading, you’ve made some pretty shrewd moves throughout the year. Time to pat yourself on the back!
I’m looking forward to turning the page and starting to think about 2019. Which rookies will be the first off the board? Which second- and third-year players will step up next year? With dynasty fantasy football, there is no off-season.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here are a few suggestions for emergency plug-ins for your championship week.
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Romeo Okwara, DE DET
I love Ezekiel Ansah. He’ll always have a special place in my heart as a player. But I don’t see him back in Detroit next year. And now his 2018 season is done, as he landed on IR.
Okwara posted a good 2018 even before Ansah went out and with ‘Ziggy’ on IR, Okwara is going something Ansah never did: playing almost all of the snaps. He was in on 66 of the 68 snaps this week against the Bills.
He had four solo tackles and one assist, but also came close to a bigger day with four registered quarterback hurries. Okwara isn’t just getting close – he has 6.5 sacks on the year already. He’s slid into Ansah’s role and then some, and at only 23 years old, he’s a great dynasty asset as well as a great plug-in DE for the playoffs.
Jonathan Allen, DE WAS
Though he was plenty heralded coming out of college, Allen may have dropped off some rosters in dynasty leagues as he hasn’t always reached his high ceiling.
What I like about Allen, though, is his solid floor. He’s had at least three solo tackles in seven games this year. On the year, he has seven sacks to go with 28 solo tackles and 23 assists.
He’s not going to challenge J.J. Watt with those numbers, but he’s definitely someone worth rostering in dynasty leagues. I’d count on him in a pinch to throw in my starting lineup, and he’s still only 23 years old and growing as a player.
Deone Bucannon, LB ARI
I hate chasing last week’s snap count, but a lot of times that’s the only way to roster a player who may be on your waiver wire before someone else grabs him.
Bucannon was a serious disappointment this year, as he was drafted around LB15-LB20 in a lot of leagues, but flat out lost his job at points this year. Josh Bynes outplayed him, but got hurt. Haason Reddick hasn’t been great either, but has also outplayed Bucannon. Even Gerald Hodges has played in front of Bucannon after Deone failed to produce.
Well, guess what? Deone is getting snaps again. Not a full load, but he’s worked his way back onto the field. My hope is that he’ll end up on another team or in another scheme next year. At 6’1”, 210, he’s just too small to play middle linebacker and he’s too fragile for that. But there were times he has looked dominant too.
Deone is a stash. I don’t know that I’d trust him to start him in a championship game unless I had no other options.
Anthony Barr, LB MIN
Barr has always been the kind of player who is better on the field of play than the stat sheet. Lately, he’s been doing well at both.
He can really do it all: rush the passer, drop back in coverage, blow up blocks, make key tackles. He’s in a contract year, and Barr seems possessed lately, putting up three sacks, 16 solo tackles and three assists in the last three games.
As a versatile outside linebacker, Barr is not the guy who is going to get you double-digit tackles in a game. But as his recent games have shown, he can impact the game in many ways and has a nose for big plays. He’s readily available on a lot of waiver wires, and plays the Lions this week, a team that had trouble blocking pass rushers the last time they met the Vikings.
Eric Berry, S KC
How do you not cheer for this guy? Berry is back on the field. Most people recall Berry’s battle with lymphoma, and the Pro-Bowl safety stepped foot on the gridiron for the first time in 2018 after rehabbing an Achilles injury. You don’t get IDP points for guts and determination, but Berry would score high in both.
When healthy, Berry is one of the best safeties in the league, and playing in Kansas City’s peppered secondary, he stays busy. Berry played 30 out of 74 snaps, and reported afterward that he felt “pretty good.” He’d be a risky plug-in for this week, but just in case someone in your league hasn’t learned this lesson and dropped him: never count Eric Berry out.
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