This is one of the trickier editions of this column I can remember writing.
In case you were wondering, I use the available players list from the Deathmatch IDP Showcase League here at Fantasy Sharks to determine who is “out there” in free agency in a given week. It’s a 40-team league broken up into four 10-team conferences with 11 Individual Defensive League (IDP) starters. So, it’s essentially four deep 10-teamers — with a short bench.
I think it gives a nice mix — the players aren’t super-obvious, but you aren’t scraping the bottom of the barrel, either.
The thing is, in looking at the free agents for Week 11, it occurred to me than many of the players I was looking at have already made an appearance in this column in 2020. Some have made more than one.
We won’t get into how I feel about y’all just ignoring me.
I see how it is.
It has usually been my policy to try to avoid hammering away at the same guy week after week — that’s not especially helpful to folks in leagues where said player has already been scooped up. But it’s the playoff push, and I also don’t want to just ignore (there’s that word again) a player who could be of considerable assistance to IDP squads.
To that end, this week’s Pickup of the Week was also listed in the Week 10 edition of this column. One of the defensive backs was a few weeks ago. If those players are taken, try for one of the others. If those guys are taken too, reach out to me @IDPSharks on Twitter and I’ll gladly lend a hand.
And if it turns out everyone worth having is gone, just throw up your hands and have a drink or six.
It works for me.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Alex Singleton, OLB, Philadelphia
It has been something of a revolving door at linebacker for Philadelphia this season, with T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton taking over the past couple of games. As CBS Sports pointed out, in Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants that led to a very nice stat line for the latter player.
“Singleton made 16 tackles (nine solo) in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Giants,” they said. “With Nate Gerry (ankle) on Injured Reserve, Singleton played every defensive snap of Sunday’s game for the first time in his career. The 26-year-old capitalized on the opportunity with a team high in tackles, and he allowed just five total yards on four targets in coverage.”
Singleton, who took the scenic route to the NFL via the Canadian Football League, now has 25 tackles over the past two games for Philadelphia. Gerry could theoretically return this week, but it’s not like he was playing lights out before getting hurt. With run-heavy Cleveland on tap in Week 11, Singleton has more than a little plug-and-play potential for IDP managers in a pinch at linebacker.
WEEK 11 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
DaQuan Jones, DT, Tennessee
Tennessee is in the thick of the playoff hunt in the AFC, but the team has struggled to get after the quarterback — just 11 sacks total in nine games this season. Jones is the elder statesman of the Tennessee front seven, and he told Mike Hogan of All Titans that six-plus years in Nashville have given him perspective about the ups and downs of a football season.
“I just come to work every day, put my head down and plow away,” Jones said. “Really, that’s all I do. It’s crazy to think that I’m the only guy here from even when we went 2-14 [in 2014]. It’s a blessing at the end of the day, but I’m a guy that comes in with my head down to work. I’m just thankful.”
Over the past two weeks, Jones has been on quite the rip — 12 total tackles and 1.5 sacks, including a five-tackle, one-sack effort in last week’s loss to Indianapolis. The pickings are admittedly slim up front 10 weeks in, but that tackle production at least offers something of a floor — especially in IDP leagues that require tackles.
D.J. Wonnum, DE, Minnesota
The Minnesota defensive line looks nothing like the team expected it to in 2020 — Yannick Ngakoue was traded away, and Danielle Hunter is on Injured Reserve. But as Will Ragatz reported for Inside the Vikings, the massive changes have opened up playing time for youngsters like rookie D.J. Wonnum.
“Wonnum’s calling cards coming out of South Carolina were his athleticism, length and the upside that those traits give him,” he said. “He had just 14 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss during his college career, but (Andre) Patterson was enamored with his tape. The (Minnesota) veteran defensive line coach and co-(defensive coordinator) pounded the table for Wonnum during the draft process, and (general manager Rick) Spielman granted those wishes by selecting him 117th overall.”
Wonnum is just a part-time player, but after bringing down Nick Foles Monday night in Chicago Wonnum now has sacks in three of his last five games. That productivity is only going to earn the young edge-rusher more playing time, including this week in a favorable fantasy matchup with Dallas.
Harvey Langi, ILB, New York Jets
News flash — the Jets are a hot mess. However, the Jets played quite possibly their best game of the season two weeks ago against New England. As Ralph Vacchiano reported for SNY, the play of fourth-year linebacker Harvey Langi was a big part of that almost-win.
Hey. That’s the best you’re going to get with this bunch.
“Linebacker Harvey Langi had an active and solid game at inside linebacker, which is important with Avery Williamson now in Pittsburgh,” he said. “The fourth-year pro is 28 so he’s not the Jets future, but he’ll have a big chance to prove he can be a valuable reserve down the stretch, especially with Blake Cashman still hurt. He finished with 10 tackles.”
Neville Hewitt would absolutely be the preferred add if he was cut loose over the break — the health of Cashman’s hamstrings isn’t going to affect his playing time. But as of yet, Cashman isn’t back on the practice field, which would appear to set the journeyman linebacker up for at least one more start Sunday in Los Angeles against the Chargers.