What … a … freaking … week.
I’ve been writing about and or playing fantasy football for a long time. And I legitimately don’t know that I can remember a day when the first two picks in the vast majority of fantasy football leagues both went down with significant injuries.
By 6 p.m. I was that oldest daughter in Poltergeist who no one can remember.
Yep. That’s her.
Fantasy managers in Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues weren’t spared from the Reaper’s touch either. In the same game in which San Francisco lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas (no, really … all of them.) star edge-rusher and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa was carted off the field with what wound up being a season-ending ACL tear.
Bosa was a Top-5 pick among defensive linemen in more drafts than not in 2020, and the second huge name along with Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter to already wind up on the shelf.
Given that, we’ll kick off the Week 3 IDP Waiver Wire with a defensive lineman — who just so happens to be coming back from an injury-marred season in 2019.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Akiem Hicks, DE, Chicago
There isn’t a more surprising 2-0 team in the NFL this year than Chicago, who held off the New York Giants in Week 2. Per Bryan Perez of Bears Wire, veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said he couldn’t care less if each win by Chicago in 2020 is uglier than the one that preceded it.
“I don’t care how you get it,” defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said. “Two-and-0 is delicious. I’ll eat that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. There (are) bumps in the road during the course of the game, and you’ve got to be able to pick yourself back up and keep fighting. And then each game is a smaller season.”
Hicks, who played in just five games last year, recorded three tackles and a sack against the Giants — the second time in as many weeks that he’s gotten to the quarterback. The 30-year-old appears to be fully recovered from last year’s injury, and that re-establishes him as a high-floor IDP DL2.
WEEK 3 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Mario Addison, DE, Buffalo
At 33 years-old, Mario Addison is a lot closer to the end of his career than the beginning — but he also hasn’t shown signs of slowing down, notching at least nine sacks in each of the last four seasons. As David De Cristofaro wrote for Bills Wire, Addison has already made quite an impression on new teammate Quinton Jefferson.
“Just watching him work, picking his brain, how he goes about rushing the passer, and some of the moves he uses. It’s pretty dope just to watch him every day,” Jefferson said. “I see the work he puts in and I see why he was able to play so long at a high level. Ten years in, he’s still playing and moving like a young guy. It’s good to see how he takes care of his body.”
Addison has made an impression on opponents in 2020 as well, notching a sack in each of his first two games with Buffalo. The long-time Carolina Panther doesn’t have a great ceiling and can be somewhat matchup dependent, but he’s also shown the ability to consistently get to the quarterback.
Kerry Hyder, DE, San Francisco
When Hyder originally landed in San Francisco this year, he was veteran depth and a nice story — a journeyman seventh-year pro who impressed enough in camp to make the back end of the roster. Now, with so many edge-rushers banged up in San Francisco, the 29-year-old is in line to be a full-time player for the foreseeable future.
“Whether or not Ford plays in Week 3 against the New York Giants,” Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area wrote, “Kerry Hyder likely will be called into action. Hyder played 80 percent of the defensive snaps in Week 2 compared to just shy of 46 percent in Week 1 when Bosa and Ford both were healthy. Still, Hyder and (Ezekiel) Ansah should have soft landings while acclimating to their newfound roles. (San Francisco’s) next three opponents are a combined 0-6, but the schedule quickly becomes unforgiving after that.”
Hyder took advantage of a favorable matchup a week ago, logging eight total tackles after getting a sack in the season opener. He may not be a long-term IDP solution on the defensive line, but as short-term fixes go, he’s a good one Sunday against a terrible New York Giants offensive line.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Washington
Pierre-Louis has been a special teams standout but an up-and-down defender over his seven years in the NFL. However, as Mark Bullock reported for The Athletic back in camp, Pierre-Louis made such a name for himself on the practice field that he carved himself out a starting role in 2020.
“Overall, Pierre-Louis certainly flashed some promise in all aspects of his game, but the sample size was admittedly small,” he said. “He seems to have impressed coaches so far, with Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio mentioning and praising him throughout the off-season. He’s been rewarded for his efforts by working with the starting unit far more than most expected. Whether he can grab hold of a starting spot remains to be seen, but his name shouldn’t be forgotten in the linebacker position battle.”
Not only did Pierre-Louis get that starting job, but the 28-year-old had piled up 19 total tackles so far this season — including a jaw-dropping 15 last week against Arizona. With Washington heading to Cleveland Sunday to face run-heavy Cleveland on Sunday, Pierre-Louis could be in for another big outing.