Yips (noun): Nervousness or tension that causes one to fail to perform effectively.
The yips are a condition that usually affects golfers—a hitch in their swing that causes them to send the ball sailing into the trees. However, the yips can also affect fantasy owners. They can cause the dreaded “panic drop,” the sorts of ill-advised personnel moves in September that will haunt you until the season ends in December disappointment.
The dust had hardly settled on Week 1 before my Twitter feed was filled with them. Yes, Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams failed to record a single stat in Buffalo’s stunningly impressive beatdown of the Indianapolis Colts. Yes, that sucks. No, you absolutely should not drop Williams in all but the shallowest of IDP leagues.
One week is a fluke. Two is coincidence. Three is a trend. Be patient, especially with your studs.
Mind you, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be looking to get better. Perhaps you were burned by the season-ending Achilles injury suffered by Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens. Or maybe, you were burned by Oakland Raiders linebacker Curtis Lofton losing nickel snaps. The dislocated shoulder suffered by teammate Charles Woodson. Or maybe, you just need a boost on the defensive side of the ball.
Whatever the case, here’s a look at some IDP Waiver Wire pickups after the first week of the 2015 regular season.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Thomas Davis – OLB, Carolina Panthers
Maybe it was the fact that Davis is the wrong side of 30. Or the selection of speedy youngster Shaq Thompson of Washington in the 2015 NFL draft. Whatever the reason, Davis fell off the map in many IDP drafts this summer. Well after racking up seven solos, a sack and an interception in Carolina’s Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Davis is most assuredly back on the fantasy radar.
Carolina head coach Ron Rivera told Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer that Davis is one of the NFL’s most underestimated linebackers. “He deserves a Pro Bowl,” said Panthers coach Ron Rivera, a former NFL linebacker himself. “I’ve coached some really good weakside linebackers in this league, with Lance Briggs (who made seven Pro Bowls for the Chicago Bears) the most notable. Thomas is just as good a player.”
Don’t underestimate Davis’ ability to help your IDP squad this year, especially with Luke Kuechly highly questionable for Week 2 after suffering a concussion against the Jags.
WEEK 2 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Henry Anderson – DE, Indianapolis Colts
Before the 2015 season even started, the Colts were ravaged by injuries on the defensive line, forcing the team to start Anderson (a third-round rookie from Stanford) against the Buffalo Bills. Despite his lack of experience, Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed confidence in Anderson while speaking with Kevin Bowen of the team’s website. “I think there’s no doubt that our run defense is much improved with him. He’s really going to help us. We need him to step up.”
The Colts may have gotten slapped around by the Bills, but Anderson did his part, racking up an eye-popping nine total tackles (including eight solos). It may not be reasonable to expect those sorts of tackle numbers from a 3-4 end every week, but numbers those gaudy are also awfully hard to ignore.
Allen Bailey – DE, Kansas City Chiefs
As Fox Sports reported a month ago, Bailey made waves in training camp by consistently dominating in practice with a new bull-rush move. “It’s explosive, to say the least,” rookie center Mitch Morse said of Bailey’s new move. “He gets down in this (stance) and you’re like ‘Oh, here it comes bro.'” Bailey also sounded confident about his new not-so secret weapon, quipping, “Once I got it right, they know it’s coming but they still can’t stop me.”
Bailey was large and in charge against the Houston Texans in Week 1, piling up four tackles, two sacks and recovering a fumble. Next up for Bailey and the Chiefs? A Thursday night tilt with a Denver Broncos team that had all sorts of problems protecting Peyton Manning Sunday against the Ravens. Time to get bullish about the bull rush.
Koa Misi – OLB, Miami Dolphins
Misi missed most of training camp and the preseason with an ankle injury, leading to some shuffling that moved the sixth-year veteran back to the strong side after spending most of 2014 in the middle. Misi told Dave George of the Palm Beach Post that he really doesn’t care where he lines up. “I’ve told the coaches that I’ll play anywhere they need me to play,” Misi said.
Apparently, IDP owners shouldn’t be overly concerned with where Misi plays either. In Sunday’s win over the Washington Redskins Misi was on the field in subpackages and paced the team with 11 total tackles. So long as Misi can hold onto nickel duties he’ll remain a viable IDP add, even if his performance in Week 1 is probably about as good as things are going to get.
Uani Unga – MLB, New York Giants
Thanks to a Jon Beason injury (I know, it’s a stunner. Sit down. Collect yourself.) the Giants were forced to turn to Unga, an undrafted rookie out of BYU, at middle linebacker. Unga played all 71 snaps and led the team with 12 tackles, but as James Kratch of NJ.com wrote it was a mixed bag for the youngster.
“Reviews on how Unga were mixed, according to Pro Football Focus’ game grades. Unga led the team with 12 tackles and had an interception,” Kratch said, “but he also was graded for two missed tackles and was targeted on the Cowboys’ game-winning score. Unga allowed nine catches for 99 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets.”
If Unga continues to struggle that badly in coverage he may not be long for an every-down role, but as he showed against Dallas Sunday night so long as he has one there’s some IDP hay to be made.
Larry Asante – FS, Oakland Raiders
Make no mistake, as Levi Damien of SB Nation wrote, Asante is not going to be confused with Earl Thomas anytime soon. Or ever. “Asante is in his second stint with the Raiders,” Damien said, “after appearing in six games last season and starting two games due to injuries. Those are the only two starts of his five-year NFL career with three different teams.”
He is the definition of a journeyman.
However, the Raiders lost both starting safeties to significant injuries in last week’s blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, with free safety Nate Allen tearing ligaments in his knee and strong safety Charles Woodson dislocating his shoulder. With next to no depth behind them (the Raiders signed Taylor Mays off the street Monday—and Mays might start in Week 2), Asante is going to be an every-down safety for the Raiders for the foreseeable future. And in one of his two starts last year, Asante posted 10 tackles in a loss to the Denver Broncos.
Cary Williams – CB, Seattle Seahawks
Last year in this column, I showed with great detail why it’s a fool’s errand to invest any real fantasy draft capital in cornerbacks, pummeling the corner with the highest ADP with a collection of waiver wire retreads. I won’t rehash the whole “Frankencorner” philosophy this year, but will instead simply try to point out such options every now and again.
Williams certainly fits that bill in Week 2. The eighth-year veteran has shown the ability to be IDP relevant, including a huge Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams that included a sack, forced fumble and touchdown return. This week brings a delicious IDP matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Oh, and Williams starts opposite Richard Sherman. So he might, you know, get targeted a few times.
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.