Tis the season for overreacting.
Fa La La La freaking La.
Every year since I started doing this article back in the halcyon days of 2009 (it was a simpler time) the first edition of the IDP Waiver Wire each season has had a theme.
Don’t freak out.
And yes, linebackers Telvin Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2 total tackles) and Mark Barron (1 stop) and Alec Ogletree (3 solos, 1 assist) of the Los Angeles Rams got off to slow starts, leading to litany of “Is Mark Barron even playing?” tweets.
I was – and I kid you not – asked if Kwon Alexander of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last year’s highest scoring linebacker) should be dropped for Goodson. For reals.
But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – dropping proven IDP performers for the flavor of the week will backfire more often than not. Those slow starts were more a function of terrible matchups with inept offenses (or in Alexanders’ case a hurricane-inspired bye) than any indictment of the players themselves. Humber and Goodson can’t maintain the pace they set in Week 1. It isn’t going to happen.
You should always endeavor to improve your IDP team each week. But guys like Ogletree and Smith were ranked highly entering the season for a reason. Sometimes you just have to be patient – because short-sightedness will both come back to bite you and make one of your league-mates better.
However, if you’re dealing with injuries and/or looking to add more depth, this is the time to do it. There’s a lot more fruit on the vine early in the season.
So, let’s do some cherry-picking.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
B.J. Goodson – ILB, New York Giants
Goodson was the defensive star of Sunday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, piling up an eye-popping 18 tackles. However, as Mike Mazzeo reported for the New York Daily News, the only number Goodson was interested in was the scoreboard.
“Honestly, that’s not even what’s on my mind,” Goodson said of his performance. “It doesn’t matter. I know the team that we have, and what we’re capable of. We have to get back to work and get better.”
The second-year pro might not be impressed by his statistical effort, but any time a player tallies 14 solo stops you can bet the rent that the IDP community will take not. So will fantasy owners of Giants safety Landon Collins – a big part of his monster 2016 season was cleaning up all the stops that a so-so linebacker corps left on the field.
WEEK 2 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Akiem Hicks – DE, Chicago Bears
Per Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times, Hicks lauded the Bears’ defensive effort in a close loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. “It’s everything I’ve said throughout OTAs and training camp. Our defense is going to be nasty. It’s going to be tenacious,” Hicks said. “We’re going to get after the quarterback. We’re going to hit people. I think that’s what we did [against the Falcons]. Came up short in some situations, but overall we were pretty effective.”
Hicks, who inked a four-year, $48 million contract extension the day before the game, earned his first of those new checks. Against Atlanta Hicks amassed three solos and two sacks, and if that start is any indication Hicks is out to show that his top-20 finish among defensive linemen last year in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring was no fluke.
Demarcus Lawrence – DE, Dallas Cowboys
Before the season, Lawrence made it clear to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News that he intended for 2017 to be the season that he finally put it all together. “My goal is 10-plus (sacks),” Lawrence said. “I feel like I can be a Pro Bowl player. I just haven’t lived up to those expectations.”
It was only one game, but Lawrence certainly looked the part of a Pro Bowler Sunday night against the Giants, making five total tackles and getting to Eli Manning twice. Lawrence has shown flashes of considerable talent over his three seasons in the NFL, including eight sacks back in 2015. If the 25-year-old can stay on the field, he may just get those double digits he seeks.
He’s off to a good start, anyway.