The waiver wire giveth, and the waiver wire taketh away.
Since taking the field for the Philadelphia Eagles back in Week 2, rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks has been nothing short of a revelation. In fact, since entering the starting lineup the following week, the former Texas standout ranked fifth among linebackers in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
Like Chris Borland the year before, he was the kind of waiver find that wins IDP leagues.
Well, he would have been, anyway. As Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, Hicks suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in Sunday night’s overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys. In a game in which he also had a pick-six.
At least he gave fantasy owners one final big game.
That injury sends Hicks’ fantasy owners back to the waiver wire in search of a replacement, so as we usually do, it’s at the linebacker spot where we will kick off the list of potential targets for Week 10.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Jonathan Anderson – ILB, Chicago Bears
Less than a month ago, Anderson was telling Jeff Joniak of CBS Chicago how grateful he was to go from undrafted rookie to practice squad player to the active roster. “I feel like it humbled me in a way and made me want to work even harder,” Anderson said. “It’s not about where you start. It’s always about how you finish, and hopefully I finish well and be the best I can be.”
Against the San Diego Chargers Monday night, Anderson not only started for a banged-up Bears LB corps but also posted double-digit solos. With a trip to St. Louis to face the Rams and rookie running back Todd Gurley looming, there should be plenty of tackle opportunities on tap for Anderson if he draws another start.
WEEK 10 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Kony Ealy – DE, Carolina Panthers
Ealy’s performance in Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers drew the praise of head coach Ron Rivera, according to Max Henson of the team’s website. “Kony had a very good factor grade. You see him continue to progress from both the defensive end position and the three-technique for us,” Rivera said. “Real pleased with that. He has really stepped up and has gone forward right along schedule.”
IDP owners, on the other hand, should be pleased with the fact that Ealy has now tallied sacks in back-to-back games, has played 50+ snaps in three straight contests and draws a highly favorable fantasy matchup in Week 10 when the undefeated Panthers travel to face the Tennessee Titans.
Frostee Rucker – DE, Arizona Cardinals
Rucker told Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals website he relishes his role as a mentor of sorts to the team’s younger players. “It’s kind of hard, because when I was a rookie and in my second year, I was doing the same stuff,” Rucker said. “That’s what happens when you’re 22 and they give you a million bucks. It’s kind of tough to say, ‘Don’t hang out’ when you just got out of college, but for the most part, guys are really receptive of the knowledge us older guys kick down.”
Granted, Rucker is far from a pass-rushing force, with only 16 tackles and two sacks so far this season. What the 32-year-old is, however, is set to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. That’s a role IDP owners looking for a matchup play should relish, as no team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to defensive linemen this year.
Chad Greenway – OLB, Minnesota Vikings
Greenway earned kudos from Craig Peters of the team’s website for his performance in Minnesota’s Week 9 win over the St. Louis Rams. “Greenway was already filling in for Eric Kendricks as one of two linebackers in the Vikings nickel defense,” Peters wrote, “but an ankle injury midway through the fourth quarter to Audie Cole, who replaced Kendricks in base defense, caused Minnesota to move Greenway to MLB and bring in Brandon Watts at WLB. Greenway was credited with 10 tackles by press box statisticians, including a tackle for loss. He played all 74 defensive snaps.”
Greenway could be set for a similar role this week against the Oakland Raiders given what Kendricks told Jason Gonzalez of the Twin Cities Star-Tribune about his Week 10 availability. “I’m feeling good, but I’m still going to take it day-by-day,” Kendricks said. “I’m doing my best to get better. I’m in treatment every day. I’m listening to my body at this point … That’s all I can say.”
Jake Ryan – ILB, Green Bay Packers
As CBS Sports reported, Ryan took over for Nate Palmer at inside linebacker for the Packers in their Week 9 loss to the Carolina Panthers. “Ryan replaced an ineffective Nate Palmer in the first half of Sunday’s loss,” they said, “and made a number of plays in the first extended action of his professional career. His Week 9 showing should earn him more snaps moving forward, and could even earn him a starting job.”
Ryan paced the Packers with 10 tackles (including six solos) and earned a positive game grade from Pro Football Focus, especially in run support. Given how poorly Palmer has played of late, it’s a very real possibility this switch is permanent and the rookie will play a three-down role for the Packers moving forward.
Kurt Coleman – FS, Carolina Panthers
As Jack Flagler of The Gaston Gazette wrote, Coleman’s play of late has impressed teammate Roman Harper. “For him to start three years in Philly, the next thing you know Chip (Kelly) comes in, he moves to special teams he has no control over it,” Harper said of Coleman. “He bounces around for a year and boom, he’s back to us making plays in a starting role and showing up week-to-week man.”
Coleman has also been impressing IDP owners of late. In fact, over the past three weeks Coleman has been a top-10 IDP option in the secondary. It isn’t the first time Coleman has shown to be fantasy-relevant, and there hasn’t been any recent indication that’s going to change.
Alterraun Verner – CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Per CBS Sports, Verner has turned it on of late after a shaky start to 2015. “The sixth-year pro has regained his starting job and has been a different player overall over the last four weeks,” they wrote, “tallying 24 tackles (19 solo), a tackle for loss, a half sack, and the interception he snatched Sunday. The pick was his first since Nov. 30 of last year versus the Bengals, and came when Verner stepped in front of an Eli Manning pass intended for Odell Beckham, Jr. Verner and the rest of the Bucs secondary face another tough challenge in the form of Dez Bryant in their Week 10 tilt against the Cowboys.”
It’s that last part that should be of interest to IDP owners searching for a Week 10 streaming option at cornerback. Verner’s tackling skills have long made him appealing for fantasy purposes, and since Bryant returned to action he’s been targeted heavily by Matt Cassel. And Matt Cassel likes throwing interceptions like a fat kid likes to eat marshmallow cream right out the jar.
With the 2015 season underway, Fantasy Sharks has you covered. Whether it’s player rankings and projections, waiver wire targets, rookie analysis for dynasty leagues or strategy tips, IDP Staff Writer Walton Spurlin and IDP Senior Staff Writer Gary Davenport have all the information you need to dominate your IDP league in 2015. Also, for the latest IDP news and player updates follow IDP Sharks on Twitter