Wednesday - Apr 24, 2019

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IDP TUTORIAL: Lesson 9 – Walking the (Waiver) Wire

Since beginning the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) Tutorial here at Fantasy Sharks several weeks ago, we’ve talked about a number of topics of interest to fantasy owners in individual defensive player leagues. We started with
Knowing Your Scoring
Basic IDP Draft Strategies
, moved on to discuss
Defensive Linemen
Defensive Backs
, and then moved onto some more advanced concepts such as
Defensive Schemes
How Scorekeepers Affect IDP Scoring
Playing the Matchups

I’ve given you the tools and information you need to both draft a competitive IDP squad and keep that squad rolling along in the regular season. I hope I have, anyway … if not this has to be some sort of world record where blathering is concerned.

Maybe I should run for Congress?

However, there’s one part of in-season management that I haven’t gotten to yet, and it’s something that every fantasy owner will go through at some point this season.

No matter how swimmingly your draft proceeds, or how well you play the matchups, at some point in the season your attention is going to turn to the players on the waiver wire.

Maybe injuries will strike. Maybe your draft actually did a bit more sinking than swimming, or perhaps you’re just looking to patch a small weak spot or two in an otherwise strong roster. So, it’s off to the waiver wire you go.

The question then becomes what to do when you get there.

The first step in walking the waiver wire is figuring out who has to go. In IDP, even more so than on the offensive side of the ball, you have to be willing to accept the hard truth sometimes that the player you drafted as a weekly starter just isn’t going to be one.

This isn’t to say that you should cut bait on Minnesota defensive end
Jared Allen
because he throws up a donut, or cut San Francisco inside linebacker
Patrick Willis
because he only had three total tackles last week. Every defensive lineman posts a zero eventually (well, maybe not Houston’s
J.J. Watt
, but he’s a cyborg), and every linebacker occasionally runs into a lousy matchup or just has a bad game in the box score.

However, you have to be able to spot the difference between bad luck and bad news.

It can be tricky. A number of prominent defensive linemen started off slowly last year. By the end of Week 3, Miami’s
Cameron Wake
and Tennessee’s
Kamerion Wimbley
had 17 tackles and a sack between them. IDP owners were frustrated, and many cut the cord.

Wake exploded for 4.5 sacks against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, ended the season with 15 and finished 2012 second among defensive linemen in
Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring
. Wimbley struggled all season long, ended up with six sacks
total, and was one of the biggest disappointments of the year at his position.

So why did one set of owners who pulled the trigger dodge a bullet, while the others shot themselves in the foot?

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