Notable IDP Assets on Bye this week:
The gist of this column is simple: finding players who are either long-term dynasty fliers OR quality one-week rentals-you’ll tend to know which is which from my write-ups. We will be using two different avenues to uncover IDP talent.
The first measure will actually be a metric I invented, called Disruption Score (updated for the 2019-2020 season here). This metric specifically measures which players were most efficient at getting behind the line of scrimmage and affecting the quarterback’s normal motions, therefore “disrupting” the play. This metric has the most weight for DE/DT, but it can also show us which linebackers have multi-sack upside throughout the season if you are in big-play scoring formats.
Secondly, I will purely assess the matchups for the upcoming week and give my best dart throws for that week. It is definitely the least concrete analysis I have posted, but a large part of fantasy football is going with your guys (and it did very well in this article last year), so this is a section dedicated to that.
Year-to-Date waiver wire standings:
Disruption Score Adds~ 8 Hits, 10 Average, 7 Busts
Matchup-Based Adds~ 14 Hits, 6 Average, 7 Busts
*“Busts” will be considered as players who ranked outside of the top 60 of their position for that week, “Hits” will be anyone who finishes within the top 25 of their position, and “Average” will be anyone in between.*
Without further ado, let’s do this thing!
Week Seven Observations
- Two weeks ago, Devin White had a simple request for Todd Bowles: “Unleash me.” After compiling 11 tackles and three(!!) sacks against the Raiders on Sunday, it’s safe to say mission accomplished. He and Lavonte David will take turns with the breakout performances, but both are solid LB1’s with high floors.
- Just like we thought, Vince Williams is the linebacker to own among this dominant Steelers defense. Even though he isn’t wearing the green dot, his ability to make a splash play is apparent at any moment. He had a great outing yesterday, and had a forced fumble that didn’t even count.
- The Yannick Ngakoue trade coupled with Danielle Hunter’s season-ending injury means limitless potential for Ifeadi Odenigbo. He has two and a half sacks over his past two games, and is still due for much more based on his Disruption Score. Buy him low before he booms, or run to the waiver wire.
- Romeo Okwara balled out with another pair of sacks against the Falcons. While his floor is still extremely low, he’s turning into a steady IDP asset alongside Trey Flowers.
- If you’ve been following along with me, I’m done trying to find a useful IDP asset on the Jets. If I’m stashing one away, it’s officially Bryce Huff.
- Ronnie Harrison’s trade to Cleveland has been great for his career. The 23-year-old has come away with a handful of big plays over the last couple of weeks, and is startable as long as the Browns’ secondary injury woes persist.
- The Bengals’ three-man linebacker rotation (Germaine Pratt, Josh Bynes, and Logan Wilson) is a nightmare for fantasy owners. All three should be left on the bench before you can trust them.
- Marcus Davenport and Derek Barnett both had a sack! For those of you who have been stashing them for years and waiting for any kind of big play, this shoutout is for you 😊
- I am selling high on Demarcus Lawrence’s big game if I can. The rotation Dallas uses is not reliable for any of their studs, and I’d rather get someone I know will produce if I can capitalize on Lawrence’s name value.
Disruption Score Waiver Adds
Entering week seven, these were the leaders in Disruption Score across the league (minimum ten tackles).
Stephon Tuitt, DE PIT (Season Disruption Score: 75.11 ~ DL #4 overall)
Tuitt had a disappointing week in a bad matchup against the Titans yesterday. While he only had one tackle, he was still able to make Ryan Tannehill uncomfortable, accumulating two quarterback hits in the process. Tuitt is fifth overall in Disruption Score this season, suggesting he is due for a bounce-back performance in a grudge match against the Baltimore Ravens next week.
Brian Burns, DE/EDGE CAR (Season Disruption Score: 22.93 ~ DL #35 overall)
While it isn’t likely you will find Burns on a waiver wire considering he was a first-round pick last year, this is more of a statement saying he is finally turning into a trustworthy starter. Burns has averaged nearly five tackles per game over his last five games, along with three sacks, three forced fumbles, and two passes defensed. Hopefully he is designated as either a defensive end or an EDGE player in your league, as his value is exponentially greater there than if he is listed as a linebacker. Burns should have his way once again versus a Falcons team that could not possibly be any more lifeless than they are currently.
Malik Reed, LB DEN (Season Disruption Score: 14.97 ~ LB #26 overall)
“Reed obviously isn’t among the tier of Von Miller, but he had a great outing yesterday against the Patriots. I liked what I saw from the Broncos defense coming out of their pseudo-bye week, and if I’m thin at linebacker, Reed is a boom-bust option worth rolling out with a month’s worth of favorable matchups coming up after the play the Chiefs next week.”
–me, last week. Reed had two sacks against the Chiefs in week seven, and has another juicy matchup next week against the Chargers. Fire him up.
Matchup-Based Waiver Adds
Uchenna Nwosu, DE LAC (Week Eight, @ Denver)
I listed Nwosu as a Disruption Score-based add last week, and he delivered with one and a half sacks on five total tackles. At first, I was worried the return of Melvin Ingram would severely limit his upside, but this has proven not to be true. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is letting his 23-year-old edge rusher loose, and the Broncos have been allowing pressure among the highest rates in the league. There is room for Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Nwosu all to come away with their own big play in this matchup, should you need a bye week fill-in.
Michael Brockers, DT LAR (Week Eight, @ Miami)
The Dolphins are currently surrendering the eighth-most points to opposing defensive tackles, and I expect the Rams to pull away from the Dolphins quickly in this matchup. I love Tua Tagovailoa as a prospect, but to throw him in his first career start against this Rams defensive line seems borderline crazy. Should Tua have a few signature “rookie moments,” Brockers has a fair shot to get behind the line and come through as a deep Hail Mary play. I’d only recommend this play in DT-featured IDP leagues.
Alex Singleton, LB PHI (Week Eight, vs. Dallas)
While Nate Gerry is the main linebacker to own in Philadelphia, Singleton has (quietly) racked up at least five tackles in each of his last three outings. Dallas has allowed plenty of tackles to linebackers with their run-heavy attack, and this will probably be the case, even more, should Ben DiNucci be forced to start next week while Andy Dalton recovers from that brutal cheap shot from Jon Bostic. Singleton would be a low-LB3/high-LB4 in my eyes next week, but this is a name worth monitoring after a few good games and has another great matchup in store on Sunday.
Jordyn Brooks, LB SEA (Week Eight, vs. San Francisco)
The Seattle first-rounder is not going to be on your dynasty waiver wire, but Brooks’ first full game of action in last night’s thriller against the Cardinals resulted in seven total tackles. It appears it is finally his time to shine, and you can trust him as a solid play once again in a star-studded divisional matchup against the 49ers. I would rank Brooks slightly above Alex Singleton (mid-LB3), if you have been waiting for the chance to roll him out with confidence this season.
Marshon Lattimore, CB NO (Week Eight, @ Chicago)
Defensive back waiver matchups are tough to find this time of year, and when you find yourself looking for a home run play, you have to be looking for a game with serious pick-six potential. Lattimore is someone who provides that lottery ticket-type spark, but also has a great tackle floor to fall back on. He has 25 tackles over the past four weeks, with zero interceptions thus far. Lattimore has eight career interceptions in 47 games, and there are few better spots to get another one than against the Bears in a must-win game to keep up with the Buccaneers.