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Week 13 IDP Waiver Wire Report

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 11/29/2021 Matt De Lima

Finding success in IDP leagues with productive tackling machines.

Some unfamiliar names highlight the Week 12 tackle leaders -- guys like Ronnie Harrison, Troy Reeder, Mykal Walker and Dean Marlowe -- but not all spikes in production are worth our roster spots. Harrison is an interesting case, as the Browns’ safety is a fourth-year pro who is now on his second team after coming up with the Jaguars. He didn’t see more playing time than normal, so what happened for him to total 14 combined tackles on Sunday? Sometimes it just boils down to a bad game for the defense, and that’s understandable having to deal with Lamar Jackson taking a bunch of runs to the second level.

The point here is this: You can certainly add a player for having a big game in IDP, but I prefer to see it again (and again) before inserting him into my lineup. I’ll take a steady ol’ timer on my roster over flash-in-the-pan production. I’m looking to be the tortoise versus my opponents—flexible enough to take a chance on a high-score player, but stubborn enough to go home with the girl I brought to the dance.

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My recommendations will be based on what I feel is the ideal IDP format: I would recommend 10 defensive starters (1 DT, 2 DE, 3 LB, 1 CB, 2 S and 1 IDP flex) in addition to your format’s offensive starters. My ideal scoring system is 1.5 points per solo tackle, 1 per assist, 4 per sack, 4 per INT, 1.5 per pass defended, 3 per forced fumble, 1 per fumble recovery, 4 per safety and 6 for defensive touchdowns.

If your league only uses a small, limited number of IDPs, you should stick with the blue bloods at the position, typically at linebacker—high-yield tackle machines who have been scoring well all year long. This article goes deeper than that.


Defensive Linemen

DE Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins

With four straight games with at least a half-sack, Phillips came into his own in Week 12 with three solos, one assist, one TFL, three sacks and one PD. The former Miami Hurricanes standout leads the team in sacks and is third in TFLs despite rarely seeing more than two-thirds of defensive snaps. The sky’s the limit if he sees an increase in playing time. His dynasty league value has to be skyrocketing.

DE Greg Gaines, Los Angeles Rams

Given a shout-out in my Week 12 IDP waiver wire report when discussing his teammate A’Shawn Robinson, Gaines is making the most of his increased playing time since the Rams lost DT Sebastian Joseph-Day to injured reserve due to a pectoral injury that required surgery. Gaines had his best game of the season in Week 12 with five solos, two assists and a sack. Gaines is rosterable until SJD returns from IR.

DE John Franklin-Myers, New York Jets

It’s been a hot-and-cold season for Franklin-Myers with notable games and total disappearances on the stat sheet. It’s hard to ignore his Week 12 game, where he provided three solos, two TFLs, two sacks, one INT and a PD. JFM is a rotational player who regularly sees about two-thirds of the Jets’ defensive snaps. We always want to target pass-rushers who play all three downs, but the Jets clearly believe in JFM -- they signed him to a four-year, $55-million contract extension in October. A great team-first player, but I need to see more in the box scores to justify that price tag to consider him more than a fill-in waiver wire guy.

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DT Linval Joseph, Los Angeles Chargers

After hitting the COVID-19 list about a week ago, Joseph has been made available in most leagues. Joseph has been a staple of IDP leagues for most of his decade-long career. He doesn’t offer much big-play upside (just one sack this season), but he’s been a reliable tackler with at least four combined tackles in three of his last four contests.

More DT: A’Shawn Robinson (LAR), Armon Watts (MIN), Bryan Mone (SEA), Davon Godchaux (NE)

More DE (availability)*: Jonathan Greenard (HOU), Marcus Davenport (NO), Emmanuel Ogbah (MIA), Trey Hendrickson (CIN), Yannick Ngakoue (LV)

More DE: Trevis Gipson (CHI), Rasheem Green (SEA), Ronald Blair (NYJ), Zach Allen (ARI), Dre’Mont Jones (DEN)


Kamu Grugier-Hill, Houston Texans

With Christian Kirksey out with a thumb injury that sent him to injured reserve, KGH has accumulated tons of stats in each of his last three games. In Week 12, he delivered six solos, one assist, one TFL and a sack. The week before he was even better, with seven solos, five assists, one INT and two PDs. Ride the hot hand if he’s available—just keep an eye on Kirksey’s return which is still up in the air.

Jayon Brown, Tennessee Titans

I’m a sucker for consistent tackle production and that’s Brown’s forte. He now has four straight games with at least seven combined tackles. Over that stretch, he’s averaging about 10 combined tackles per game. The Titans can’t seem to stay healthy at linebacker between injuries lingering to Rashaan Evans, Bud Dupree, David Long, Monty Rice, and the list goes on. Brown is the man to target since he is taking the lead in the box scores.

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Kyle Van Noy, New England Patriots

My least favorite type of IDP linebacker is the jack of all trades and that’s Van Noy. He was pretty quiet for most of the season, but he’s gotten hot. Even though his Week 12 was a bit off-kilter, he still provided one solo, four assists, one forced fumble and three PDs. In his two weeks prior, he totaled 10 solos, three assists, three TFLs, two sacks, one FF, one INT, one PD and a return TD. The stats are inflated because of that touchdown, so just know what kind of player you’re adding before you hit that add button.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns

The Browns were easing JOK back during Weeks 10-11 (31% and 29% snaps played). In Week 12, they took the kid gloves off with 84% snaps played and he rewarded his team with six solos, six assists, one TFL and a half-sack. I love the rookie’s potential and he should be back on your IDP radar now that he's healthy.

More LB: Ja’Whaun Bentley (NE), Azeez Al-Shaair (SF), Robert Quinn (CHI), Krys Barnes (GB), Troy Reeder (LAR), Alex Anzalone (DET), Quincy Williams (NYJ)**, Christian Kirksey (HOU)**

More LB (availability)*: T.J. Edwards (PHI), Anthony Walker (CLE), Bobby Okereke (IND), Shaq Thompson (CAR), Kyzir White (LAC), David Long (TEN)**, Zach Cunningham (HOU)

Deeper LB: Jayson Oweh (BAL), Dre Greenlaw (SF)**, Monty Rice (TEN), Mykal Walker (ATL, if Deion Jones out again)

* Still too widely available in spite of great production

** When healthy

Defensive Backs

S Eric Murray, Houston Texans

Now the team’s starting strong safety, Murray’s tackle production spigot is flowing. He has three straight games with 5+ solo tackles and at least eight combined tackles. He’s seeing almost 100% of the defensive snaps now, so this one is a no-brainer.

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S George Odum, Indianapolis Colts

As mentioned in last week’s IDP waiver wire report, Odum is receiving loads of playing time with injuries to the position. Odum had a big Week 11 and a solid Week 12 (four solos and four assists). As long as Khari Willis is out, Odum is a playable fill-in.

S Ronnie Harrison, Cleveland Browns

Harrison went off in Week 12 after largely not doing much all season. Last week against the Ravens, he had 11 solos, three assists, one INT and a PD. It’s a big spike to see for a typically quiet player. It may be nothing, it may be something, but you can’t just gloss over a huge score like that, which relied mostly on tackles.

CB Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers

For my old IDP heads, we remember his productive rookie season back in 2018. Injuries in 2019 and inconsistency in 2020 kept him off our radar. He had been flirting with fantasy relevancy for most of 2021, but he’s really come on strong in his last three games. It culminated in Week 12 with 10 solos, one assist and a PD. I always prefer corners who produce without big plays because of their consistent scores, and that’s Jackson right now.

More CB: Rasul Douglas (GB), Jourdan Lewis (DAL), A.J. Terrell (ATL), L’Jarius Sneed (KC), Desmond King (HOU), Tavierre Thomas (HOU), Sean Murphy-Bunting (TB)

More S: Eddie Jackson (CHI), Jalen Thompson (ARI), John Johnson (CLE), Brandon Jones (MIA)**, Julian Love (NYG, if Logan Ryan is out again), Jimmie Ward (SF), Will Harris (DET)

More S (availability)*: Xavier McKinney (NYG), S Jayron Kearse (DAL), Logan Ryan (NYG)**, Kamren Curl (WAS), Kareem Jackson (DEN)**, Tracy Walker (DET)

* Still too widely available in spite of great production

** When healthy

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