Dynasty IDP Waiver Wire: Week Nine
Halloween marks the NFL’s trade deadline, and many of us are wondering: will we get another Roquan Smith-level deal, like 2022? The Smith deal provided IDP nation with a waiver wire winner – at least for the second half of the fantasy season – in Jack Sanborn.
There’s plenty of speculation: Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury would seem to increase the likelihood the Vikings would move Danielle Hunter. Washington seems unlikely to invest in both Montez Sweat and Chase Young in the off-season, and one could easily be moved considering the Commanders’ 3-5 start. On the low end of the trade spectrum, it probably wouldn’t take much to land Carl Lawson from the Jets. And despite its stunning win over Kansas City on Sunday, Denver is a reasonable bet to engage in some horse trading, perhaps with veterans Josey Jewell or Justin Simmons.
If Monday or Tuesday provide us with a meaningful defensive trade, some current backup stands to benefit. Some of what’s listed in this week’s column is no doubt speculative, but hopefully provides some insight if a trade or two goes down.
Before you dig into this week’s waiver wire column, keep in mind 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). The reason is there are plenty of sites, podcasts and Patreons (and good ones) providing what I would consider obvious waiver wire advice for leagues that are of the “start eight IDPs” variety with combined defensive lines and defensive backs. 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.
And of course not every IDP listed here is a good dynasty stash. Dynasty rosters need those short-term values too though and it’s worth it to churn a few end-of-your-roster-types to see if an IDP available on waivers is making a leap in play rather than just taking advantage of a good matchup.
James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, WAS
Assuming Montez Sweat or Chase Young is moved to another city, a pair of 2020 seventh-round selections would stand to see the biggest boost in opportunity. Smith-Williams is at least familiar with this story, having served as the primary fill-in for Young during the former Ohio State star’s recovery from a torn ACL. Toohill has been the more productive of the two in 2023 – despite playing fewer snaps – and added a sack of Jalen Hurts on Sunday to bring his season total to four.
Derick Hall and Darrell Taylor, SEA
With Boye Mafe starting to blossom into a star this season, Seattle was looking good in the now and in the future at edge until Uchenna Nwosu tore a pec. Now Taylor, an impending free agent, and Hall, a second-round rookie, are (along with recent signee Frank Clark) thrust into larger roles. The bendy Taylor was an IDP asset last season, but Mafe’s emergence relegated him to a reduced role that left him barely worthy of being rostered in leagues with 14 or fewer teams. He’s definitely worth rostering now, and not just for his increased opportunity in Seattle. Free agency could bring a nice payday in a new city in the coming off-season.
Hall was drafted to fill Taylor’s void in 2024. And we all loved to hate Clark in Kansas City, but it was in Seattle where Clark actually had fantasy juice early in his career (32 sacks during a three-season stretch from 2016-18).
- D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones and Andre Carter, MIN – All are speculative adds but would stand to benefit should Danielle Hunter get moved at the trade deadline. Wonnum, of course, is already playing major snaps with Marcus Davenport MIA. The rookie Carter offers more intrigue than Jones, but my guess is neither would be overly productive should Minny look to either for heavy snaps.
- Charles Omenihu, KC – Now two games into his Chiefs career, Omenihu has gotten to the quarterback twice already (half-a-sack on a quarterback hit to go along with three solo tackles and two assists against Denver). He’s still running behind Michael Danna in snaps, but of the two Omenihu remains the higher-upside fantasy play.
Maliek Collins, HOU
Normally I’m not going to recommend you chase fool’s gold like Collins, who has never been the most productive tackle but is coming off the fantasy game of his life with two sacks on three quarterback hits, plus two solo tackles and five assists. In this case though, the veteran has a prime matchup this week at home against Tampa Bay, so he’s streamable if you’re thin at the position due to injury or bye. Collins also has a couple of great matchups in the fantasy playoffs – or down the stretch, depending on when the playoffs start in your league – against the Jets (week 14) and Browns (week 16).
Leo Chenal, KC
Already without Nick Bolton, the Chiefs saw both Drue Tranquill and Willie Gay (tailbone) get beat up in Denver. To that end, you need to make sure Chenal (a sack and eight combined tackles at Denver) is rostered in all your IDP leagues. The former Wisconsin Badger is an athletic freak, and has looked good in limited action this year. Both Tranquill and Gay are entering free agency after this season, and Chenal is in line for a prime role if both find work elsewhere.
Mack Wilson, NE
A hamstring injury knocked Ja’Whaun Bentley out of the Patriots’ loss to Miami, and Wilson stepped in, providing a respectable five solo tackles and two assists on 45 snaps. Hamstrings typically need multiple weeks to heal, so Wilson, a former Browns bust, is worth grabbing.
- Jack Sanborn, CHI – Tremaine Edmunds took a helmet to the knee during Sunday Night Football, and while he appeared to avoid disaster (he was on the sideline riding a stationary bike), it served as a good reminder that Sanborn is productive for fantasy when given the opportunity, with seven solo tackles plus an assist.
- Tyrel Dodson, BUF – The Bills are obviously searching for a linebacker to pair with Terrel Bernard. After running with Dorian Williams in week seven, Buffalo switched it up and returned to Dodson (four solos, one assist) in week eight. This seems like a prime landing spot for an off-ball in a trade – otherwise we could see Dodson and Williams take turns falling in and out of favor.
- David Mayo, WAS – Cody Barton is on the shelf for at least three more weeks with an ankle injury, so count on Mayo to see near-full time work in the meantime. His six solos and three assists paced the Commanders in week eight.
Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal, PIT
The dreaded hamstring monster bit Minkah Fitzpatrick on Sunday, and Pittsburgh is woeful at the position outside of the three-time All-Pro. Kazee and Neal aren’t NFL starting quality, but they’ll both be playing plenty of snaps while Fitzpatrick mends. Kazee nabbed an interception on an errant Trevor Lawrence pass and collected five solo tackles, but misplayed Travis Etienne’s 56-yard touchdown reception. Neal (seven solo tackles and a fumble recovered) is the preferred pickup.
The Packers placed Darnell Savage on injured reserve last week due to a calf injury, and Owens – an early waiver wire hero from 2022 – is the beneficiary. He was really quiet (three combined tackles) despite seeing 72 defensive snaps, but you have to like that volume if you’re fishing for safety help.
Jimmie Ward, HOU
Sure, he’s 32 and has minimal dynasty value, but the former 49er has been a solid fantasy contributor since making his Texans debut in week three. He’s more S4 than S3, but he can get you through some bye weeks and provide some protection in case of injury. He collected three solos, five assists and a pass defensed against Carolina. He carries a reasonable contract into next season, too, so he has some staying value.
- Markquese Bell, DAL – Bell (five solos, one assist on 45 snaps) continued to play the No. 2 linebacker role for the Cowboys during Leighton Vander Esch’s stint on injured reserve. The hybrid linebacker-safety could be more than a short-term fill-in with Jayron Kearse headed into free agency after this season.
Emmanuel Forbes, WAS
Forbes (one solo on five snaps against Philadelphia) was benched in week five but he’d surely be back on the field in a major way should Washington trade away Kendall Fuller, subject of trade rumors. The 16th overall selection of the NFL Draft was a collegiate ballhawk with sub-4.4 speed. And, if he sees major snaps in week nine, New England is one of the better matchups for opposing corners.
- Benjamin St-Juste, WAS – He had an acceptable week eight with four solos and a pass defensed. Better things should be on tap in week nine vs. the Patriots.
- Tyrique Stevenson, CHI – Granted it’s hard to come by better matchups for corners than the Chargers, but after posting ten solos and two assists against the Bolts, the rookie Stevenson needs to be owned in all corner-required leagues. The Bears travel to New Orleans in week nine.