Congratulations if you’re reading this and looking for help this week. If you’ve made it this far, you probably aren’t scrounging around on a dynasty league waiver wire. Even title contenders should be keeping an eye on the long-term though, so with that in mind, this week’s waiver wire indeed includes a few IDPs who may be ascending to larger roles in 2023.
Keep in mind when reading:
- This advice is geared more toward 14- and 16-team dynasty setups, or 12-team setups with fairly large roster limits (65 spots or so). My goal is to write this for managers who must dig deeper on the wire in order to stay ahead for both this season and future years.
- I’m probably not going to list many IDPs you can find in my top 150 rankings. I’ll list some obvious “shallow” league options but I don’t plan to go into much detail on those players unless there’s some growing dynasty (this season and beyond) appeal.
- Not everyone is a recommended add.
John Cominsky, James Houston IV and Romeo Okwara, DET
Rookie Aidan Hutchinson is clearly the dynasty asset to own along the Detroit defensive line, but the Lions’ surge has come along with the development of Cominsky and Houston, and the return of Okwara. On Sunday against the Jets:
- Cominsky notched a sack – his third of the season – and landed three hits on Jets quarterback Zach Wilson to go along with two solo tackles on 51 snaps;
- Houston, for the fourth straight week, got a sack on three quarterback hits on a season-high 25 snaps; and
- Okwara tallied two sacks and four total tackles on 26 snaps in his second game back from a 2021 Achilles tear.
This trio has appeared frequently in this article in recent weeks, but they’re still hanging out on waivers in multiple leagues, and any or all could again produce nice numbers in week 16 against Carolina.
Arden Key and Dawuane Smoot, JAC
Travon Walker (ankle) missed a game for the first time in his career, allowing Key (41) and Smoot (47) to see their highest respective snap counts of the season. Both responded against Dallas, with Key credited with one-and-a-half sacks on two quarterback hits, plus three total tackles, and Smoot racking up six total tackles (three for loss) plus two quarterback hits and a pass defensed. The Jaguars have a quicker-than-usual turnaround, traveling to New York to square off with the Jets on Thursday night, so it’s conceivable that Walker sits for the second straight game. If that happens, either Key or Smoot make for acceptable streamers against the Jets, who surrendered four sacks and ten hits on quarterback Zach Wilson in week 15.
Anthony Nelson, TB
Yes, it’s Anthony Nelson, but who else does Tampa Bay have to turn to? He’s piling up the snaps lately, including a season-high 66 on Sunday against Cincinnati en route to half-a-sack on one quarterback hit and four combined tackles. He shouldn’t see that many snaps against quarterback-challenged Arizona, but the path to backfield production should absolutely be there.
Dayo Odeyingbo, IND
Odeyingbo tore an Achilles tendon in January 2021, and it’s possible he’s finally rounding into the player the Colts thought they were getting when they drafted him in the second round of that year’s NFL Draft. He’s put together four really good weeks in a row, and the statistics bore that out against Minnesota when the sophomore dropped Kirk Cousins twice for Odeyingbo’s first multi-sack game. His Saturday included five total tackles (four solo) on 42 of 90 snaps. Starting him on your contending playoff teams is, of course, a risky proposition, but his dynasty appeal has certainly rebounded. He’s currently the clear third edge option behind Kwity Paye and Yannick Ngakoue, however that could change next season with Ngakoue’s contract set to void.
- Joseph Ossai, CIN – The Bengals lost Trey Hendrickson in week 14 to a broken wrist, and Sam Hubbard this week to a calf injury. Ossai can absolutely get after the quarterback, and on 38 defensive snaps against Tampa Bay, Ossai hit Tom Brady once, defended a pass, recovered a fumble, and made two total tackles. He has decent potential this week at New England. And even though he’s positionally blocked by Hendrickson and Hubbard, I still like him from a dynasty perspective as a subpackage edge rusher.
DaQuan Jones, BUF
The 31-year-old Jones has been productive in four out of the past five weeks, and draws a good matchup for defensive tackles in week 16 at Chicago. Jones notched half-a-sack on one quarterback hit, plus a solo tackle and two assists. His 45 snaps led Buffalo interior defenders, with Ed Oliver playing 45 and Tim Settle seeing 22 with Jordan Phillips out of the lineup for the second straight week with a shoulder injury.
DeShawn Williams, DEN
It’s the time of the season when IDPs like DeShawn Williams become fairly relevant. With Dre’Mont Jones headed to injured reserve, Williams’ immediate opportunity is vast. The big tackle surprised on Sunday with two-and-a-half sacks on four quarterback hits, and collected five total tackles. Denver has another nice matchup for defensive tackles in week 16 at the Rams, so if needed, Williams is viable.
Perrion Winfrey, CLE
I know I’ve already plugged Winfrey several times this season for defensive tackle-premium setups, but he’s really coming around and proving to be the best option on an uninspiring Cleveland interior defensive line. The rookie snagged half-a-sack on one quarterback hit to go along with a solo tackle and an assist on 35 of 63 snaps against Baltimore on Saturday. He should easily rise above the likes of Taven Bryan (if he returns in free agency), Jordan Elliott and Tommy Togiai to start in 2023.
- Jonathan Ledbetter, ARI – Zach Allen’s absence due to recent hand surgery means more Ledbetter, who hit a season-high 41 snaps on Sunday. And while J.J. Watt had a turn-back-the-clock three-sack performance, Ledbetter also turned in a sack to go along with six total tackles.
- Shy Tuttle, NO – Tuttle, coming off a five-solo, two-assist outing against Atlanta, again makes for a nice defensive tackle streamer against Cleveland.
I don’t know that it’s a sign of anything given Jordan Hicks is dealing with an ankle injury, but Asamoah picked up 21 snaps Saturday, while Hicks saw his count drop to 51 of 79 defensive snaps. In that limited action, the rookie third-rounder posted four solo tackles plus four assists. Given Hicks and Eric Kendricks are both 30 and entering contract years, it makes sense to add Asamoah in case Hicks (or Kendricks) misses a full game over the next few weeks, or either is let go in a cap-saving move over the off-season.
The rookie from Wake Forest is nothing special but he’s “next man up,” with Jayon Brown on injured reserve and no sign of an imminent return for Divine Deablo. Granted it was a good matchup against New England, but Masterson posted nine total tackles (four solo and one for loss) on Sunday. Pittsburgh offers another opportunity for good tackle numbers on Christmas Eve.
Joe Thomas, CHI
Anyone riding the Jack Sanborn gravy train over the past several weeks was probably devastated Sunday when the rookie was knocked out of Chicago’s game with an ankle injury. The injury provided Thomas with a prime opportunity, and the vagabond veteran responded with a sack, three solo tackles and three assists on a season-high 43 defensive snaps. He’s a priority rest-of-season add in case Sanborn’s ankle needs weeks to heal.
- Robert Spillane, PIT – With Myles Jack sidelined Sunday with a groin injury, Spillane stepped in and led Pittsburgh in tackles with six solos (one in the backfield) and one assist. He’s worth LB3 consideration should Jack sit on Christmas Eve against the Raiders.
- Damone Clark, DAL – He shouldn’t be available in any decent-size, tackle-heavy dynasty league, but in some smaller formats Clark could be sitting on waivers. Leighton Vander Esch exited Sunday’s game with a neck injury, opening the door for Clark to see a season-high 52 snaps and lead Dallas in total tackles with nine (five solo). Clark has dynasty appeal too, with both Anthony Barr and Vander Esch playing out contract years.
- Monty Rice, TEN – On the heels of last week’s breakout, Rice (three solo tackles, three assists) overtook Dylan Cole as Tennessee’s full-time linebacker. Cole also took a backseat to rookie Jack Gibbens (three solos, three assists). We could see Zach Cunningham back on the field as soon as this week, and I’d anticipate Cunningham and Rice closing out the year as the Titans’ linebackers of relevance.
Alohi Gilman, LAC
Derwin James has an annoying injury history, and it’s rearing its head again here in the playoffs. Given the Chargers play on Monday Night Football, you need a viable replacement if you want to wait on James to see if he can give it a go in week 16. Gilman is Los Angeles’ fill-in, so snag him if you’re in this unenviable predicament. Gilman tallied four solo tackles and four assists on Sunday, so you know the tackle floor is acceptable.
- Will Parks, NYJ – The Jets were without Lamarcus Joyner, who was sidelined with a hip issue, on Sunday, and Parks surprisingly led Gang Green in total tackles with nine (four solo) on 68 snaps – easily his season-high. You’d have to be desperate to go after Parks – especially at this point of the season – but if you need someone to plug in, be sure to check Joyner’s status for Thursday Night Football.
- K’Von Wallace, PHI – Wallace is likely to pop as an available free agent following a seven-solo, one-assist performance, but I’m not confident in him for week 16. Reed Blankenship was inactive with what looks like a short-term knee injury, plus Philadelphia signed veteran Anthony Harris to its practice squad during the week. Given Harris’ history with the team, he could certainly be elevated and play over Wallace in short order, if needed.
- DeAndre Houston-Carson, CHI – He’s still a viable streamer with Eddie Jackson shelved for the remainder of the year. If he was dropped following Chicago’s week 14 bye, DHC is a nice add with a decent floor. He picked off a Jalen Hurts pass on Sunday, and notched five solo tackles.
Fabian Moreau, NYG
If I had to wager who will see the most of Justin Jefferson this week, my money would be on Moreau. He’ll be my choice cornerback streamer of the week as well. Slot specialist Darnay Holmes as well as Nick McCloud are also considerations in deep leagues, as Minnesota as a whole represents a prime matchup for opposing corners. Early betting odds also have this matchup among the higher point totals of the week.
- Michael Davis, LAC – He’s not available in many cornerback-required leagues, but he’ll see a good bit of Michael Pittman next Monday night and is in for a big game.
- Cameron Sutton and Levi Wallace, PIT – Both should see time against Davante Adams on Christmas Eve. Derek Carr shouldn’t avoid either – Sutton is Pittsburgh’s best corner, and he’s no match for Adams.
- Marcus Jones, NE – The rookie is blossoming. Sure, he’s a corner so don’t get too excited, but given his upside as an explosive return man and occasional gadget usage on offense, Jones makes for a nice “boom” play in cornerback-required leagues. He had four solo tackles against Las Vegas, and, in a tough spot with no safety help over the top, made a beauty of a breakup on a deep pass to Davante Adams.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 18, 2022
- Tre’Davius White, BUF – The former All-Pro is back to a full-time role, and produced three passes defensed and three solo tackles on Saturday night.