If you’re bothering to read this, then odds are the 2015 fantasy football season has gone well for you. Either you’ve already locked up a playoff spot and are looking to tighten things up or you’re fighting for a postseason slot as the regular season hits the final week.
Either way, if you’re still looking to upgrade your team in Week 14, then life is good.
Of course, things can turn quickly. After all, this is the time of year when your next loss will be your last one. Suffer defeat before the championship game, and that’s it. Just like that. No more fun until next year.
No pressure though. Piece of cake, right?
The last thing you want at this point in the season is to have to replace an injured starter. At times though it just can’t be avoided, and no matter what point in the season, the savvy IDP owner is always looking to get better.
In either case, here’s a look some IDP waiver wire targets (many whose names have graced this list at times this season) for Individual Defensive Player Leagues in Week 14.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Jamie Collins – ILB, New England Patriots
As Jim McBride of the Boston Globe wrote, Collins didn’t waste any time getting back at it in Week 13 after missing four games with an illness. “The linebacker,” McBride said, “who missed the last four games and nearly three weeks of practice with an illness he labeled last week as a bad stomach bug, didn’t play every defensive snap as he usually does, taking several series off.
“Despite that,” McBride continued, “he could be found where he usually can be found — at the top of the Patriots defensive statistics with eight combined tackles, a quarterback hit, and a pass defensed.” Collins also led the Patriots linebackers in snaps played against the Eagles, making him a no-brainer must-add if a panicky owner in your IDP league cut him loose.
WEEK 14 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Derrick Shelby – DE, Miami Dolphins
Per the Associated Press, Shelby had himself quite a game in last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. “(Shelby) had one of a pair of deflected Matt Schaub passes, tipping the ball to himself and running 22 yards for a touchdown in a 15-13 victory against Baltimore. Olivier Vernon (also) totaled 2 1/2 sacks for Miami.”
Shelby made an appearance in this column earlier this season after Cameron Wake was lost to a season-ending Achilles tear. Over the past three weeks Shelby has been solid, tallying eight tackles and 1.5 sacks in addition to the unlikely pick-six. Add it all up and Shelby ranks sixth among defensive linemen in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring over that span.
Devin Taylor – DE, Detroit Lions
While it will forever be overshadowed by the facemask penalty that may not have been a facemask penalty that afforded the Green Bay Packers an untimed down and Hail Mary opportunity, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News that he was impressed with Taylor’s play against Green Bay.
“It appeared that he was a force out there for an extended period of time and did a nice job in a number of different areas,” Caldwell said.
Taylor posted three tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble against the Packers, and dating back to Week 12, Taylor is the third-ranked defensive lineman in fantasy football. Given the donuts being thrown up by big names of late, any port in a storm, right?
Josh Mauga – ILB, Kansas City Chiefs
Mauga isn’t exactly the fleetest of foot – something he told Herbie Toepe of Chiefs Digest he himself realized not long after picking off Derek Carr during last week’s win against Oakland. “I was trying to score,” Mauga said. “Maybe about 10, 15 yards into it, I could feel I was running out of gas.” He made it 66, by the way. No score though.
Mauga’s been busy of late score or no, adding 15 total tackles and a sack the past three weeks as the Chiefs rolled back into playoff contention. That production places Mauga among the top 15 fantasy linebackers since Week 11, and that’s enough to merit a look from IDP playoff squads hurting at the position.
Shea McClellin – ILB, Chicago Bears
McClellin told ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson that he has no regrets about making the transition to inside linebacker – a transition that appears to be paying off for him.
“I can’t really regret it because … the coaches told me that they wanted me to play defensive end,” McClellin said. “So it wasn’t my choice. You know what I mean? I was trying to do the best that I could at that position.”
Since returning from injury to the Bears lineup a month ago, McClellin has posted 33 tackles and a forced fumble, good for top-20 fantasy production at the position. If he’s on your IDP league’s waiver wire, he shouldn’t be.
Isa Abdul-Quddus – SS, Detroit Lions
“There’s a comfort level when you do have a guy that’s played a lot of football,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “It would be a lot different than putting a younger guy in there that hasn’t had much playing time. He handles adjustments well, none of those things would bother him and he can also certainly lend some quality leadership as well.
“It’s great that he and Isa can go in and balance that thing out.”
Oh, he balanced it out in Week 13 all right, to the tune of 11 total tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. That rated Abdul-Quddus a top-five fantasy IDP for the week – this, against a Packers team that is dead last in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs.
Malcolm Jenkins – FS, Philadelphia Eagles
No defensive back in the NFL posted more fantasy points a week ago then Jenkins, complements of his pick-six against the New England Patriots. As Billy Mayden of Today’s Pigskin wrote, the big play was part of a huge effort by the Philadelphia defense.
“They scored two defensive touchdowns against the Patriots,” Mayden said, “something they haven’t done all season. The longer of the two defensive scores was a 99-yard interception return by none other than Malcolm Jenkins, the man who earlier in the week called out his teammates for accountability. It appears Jenkins is more than ready to be held accountable himself.”
I’ll freely admit that Jenkins is a big-play reliant fantasy option. As apt to whiff as to get the sort of huge game he posted in Week 13. However, if you’re an underdog looking for a home-run plug-and-play Jenkins just might be your man.
With the fantasy playoff push 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