If you’re reading this article, odds are you’re smack dab in the middle of a good news/bad news situation.
OK, maybe not exactly like that. But still …
The good news is that you’ve made it at least as far as the semifinals of your Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league. In fact, in most leagues this is it. The end of the line.
Win one more game (or two in a few cases) and the title is yours. The fame. The fortune. The glory. Time to break out the old victory dance.
Once again, maybe not exactly like that.
The bad news is that heading into a potential championship matchup you’re reading an article about waiver wire pickups. That means either an inopportune injury has hit your team (there have been several of late – especially at linebacker) or there’s at least one slot where you’re worried enough about your starting options to consider a switch.
I’m not going to sit here and say that the notion of starting any of these players in a must-win Week 16 matchup. But all of these options have very favorable matchups. Most have at least shown flashes of being productive IDP options.
And I’ll be putting my money where my mouth is this week. At least two of these guys will be starting for me in one league or another.
Maybe more – you ain’t the only one with injury issues, pal.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB, Chicago
Kwiatkoski admitted to CBS Chicago that all the losing in the Windy City in 2017 has been frustrating.
“Absolutely, it’s frustrating,” Kwiatkoski said. “It’s one of those things where you kind of block everything out, all the outside things, and just worry about the team and the inside stuff. Just keep working and don’t let it really affect you. It sounds a lot easier than it is, but you just got to keep pushing forward. It’s one of those things where you got to control what you can control. Whatever happens happens. As individuals, you try to keep coming into the building, putting in the work each day and just focusing on that opponent each week. It’s frustrating. But it’s important to just focus on each week and just do what you can do and finish out strong. You can’t let losing get to you too much.”
Kwiatkoski and Chicago might actually get a win this Sunday – Chicago plays winless Cleveland at Soldier Field. Cleveland may be a dumpster fire, but it has been giving up fantasy points to linebackers in bunches all season long – Cleveland is sixth in the NFL In fantasy points allowed to the position in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring this year. With Kwiatkoski playing 90-plus percent of the snaps opposite Danny Trevathan, the stage is set for a solid stat line.
WEEK 16 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Anthony Lanier, DE, Washington
After Lanier exploded for two sacks last week, teammate Ziggy Hood gave the rookie free agent some props while speaking with Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post.
“He’s starting to understand that he can do it and starting to believe more in himself,” Hood said. “The more he has success, the more success that builds and he’s able to produce and be a force to be reckoned with. He’s got a long ways to go. He’s still got to get stronger in the weight room, still got to learn how to play blocks better, but the upside is he’s doing it. And he has yet to even scratch the surface of his potential.”
Lanier has just 12 tackles this season, but he’s quietly posted five sacks – including three over the last two weeks. Since Week 11, the former Alabama A&M standout (if you can stand out there) has notched sacks in four of five games. The fact that Lanier’s other stat line over that span was a goose-egg underscores the risk involved with trusting him in Week 16, but his matchup with Denver is highly favorable.
Stephon Tuitt, DE, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh didn’t get the win it wanted Sunday against New England (as you may have heard), but Tuitt told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the defense accomplished one of its main goals in the game.
“We wanted to stop the run,” Tuitt said. “That was the main goal going into this: stop the run. We stopped the run. So that was the whole point of doing that, giving them something different. We don’t care who it is (at quarterback). That’s just our whole goal and whole mindset of the game: stop the run.”
Tuitt was quiet in the game, failing to record any stats. As a matter of fact, Tuitt’s been quiet all season long – he has just 18 total tackles and two sacks in 14 games this season. Given those numbers, it’s fair to question why I would even consider Tuitt as a waiver option this. The reason is simple – on Christmas Day Pittsburgh faces a reeling Houston Texans team that’s been giving gifts to opposing defensive linemen all season long.