It’s crucial in IDP not to panic after one week (bad games happen to even the best players), but whether you’re looking to plug a hole created by an injury or just looking to bolster your depth here’s a look at some of the top pickups who should be available on the majority of IDP waiver wires this week.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
, ILB, Green Bay: The season-ending hamstring injury suffered by Green Bay Packers linebacker
Desmond Bishop thrust reserve
D.J. Smith into fantasy prominence, but Smith was upstaged by batterymate
A.J. Hawk in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The seventh-year veteran racked up 14 total tackles (including 10 solos) in Week 1, and while it’s not reasonable to expect that sort of production every week, Hawk has another fairly favorable fantasy matchup on tap Thursday night against the Chicago Bears.
, DE, Tennessee: Heading into his third NFL season, Tennessee Titans defensive end
Derrick Morgan has yet to live up to the potential that made him a first-round draft pick. But if Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots was any indication, perhaps 2012 is finally the year. Morgan tallied seven tackles against the Patriots, and with a solid Week 2 matchup on tap with a San Diego Chargers team that’s already been beset with injuries up front, Morgan is a viable target for IDP teams in need of defensive line help.
, DT, Miami: There wasn’t much that went right for the Miami Dolphins in their lopsided loss to the Houston Texans Sunday, but one of the few bright spots was the play of ninth-year defensive tackle
Randy Starks. The 28-year-old logged six tackles and a pair of sacks after moving back inside in Miami’s new 4-3 defense. While defensive tackles are inherently inconsistent, the Dolphins face an Oakland Raiders team in Week 2 that should try to bang away between the tackles.
, ILB, Arizona:
Daryl Washington wasn’t the only Cardinals linebacker that made a dent in the stat sheet in Sunday’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The 34-year-old racked up nine tackles and a pair of sacks in Week 1, and after topping 90 tackles last year and making 125 stops in 2010. It appears that while the old warhorse’s best football may be behind him,
Paris Lenon isn’t quite ready for the glue factory just yet.
, SLB, Atlanta: With the departure of
Curtis Lofton in free agency, linebacker
Stephen Nicholas moved into a three-down role for the Atlanta Falcons in 2012, and for one week at least the 29-year-old made the most of those increased opportunities. Nicholas exploded against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, making 12 tackles, recovering a fumble and chipping in an interception and two passes defensed. The odds of a 4-3 SLB posting those sorts of numbers consistently aren’t great, and part of his big day may be attributable to the Falcons being their nickel defense for most of the game, but the sixth-year pro’s huge outing at least merits a speculative look from linebacker-needy IDP squads.
Erik Coleman, SS, Detroit: With starting safeties Amari Spievey and Louis Delmas both still sidelined by injuries, the Detroit Lions have been forced to turn to the bench in their defensive backfield. Granted, Coleman’s six total stops against the St. Louis Rams aren’t an eye-popping stat line, but the back end of the Detroit defense is going to be busy this season. Coleman has shown the ability to be a viable IDP contributor in the past, and at this point there’s no guarantee that Spievey will get his gig at strong safety back once he’s healthy.
Tracy Porter, CB, Denver: This week’s matchup cornerback add du jour, Porter had a huge game in Denver’s Sunday night win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, notching eight solos with five passes defensed while returning the game-sealing interception for a touchdown. Porter has another very favorable IDP matchup upcoming against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, and not only is the 26-year-old a must-add in CB-required fantasy football leagues but he’s a viable DB3 in standard formats as well.
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