We’re one month into the 2017 NFL season, and trends have emerged with some of the NFL’s star defenders.
At least we think that trends are emerging with some of the NFL’s star defenders.
I’ll confess, after Sunday’s goose-egg against Tennessee, it’s officially time to maybe start thinking about worrying about Houston defensive end J.J. Watt.
Watt told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle that he isn’t worried at all about the fact that he doesn’t have a sack yet this year.
“I don’t care,” Watt said. If I end the year with zero sacks but we have 40 as a team and 20 forced fumbles, I’ll take that all day long. “Especially the older I get in my career … I don’t care about the stats, to be honest with you. All I want to do is win football games.”
Watt may not be worried about the sacks, but Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league owners are justifiably freaking out a little bit. Of course, some of those same owners were freaking out last week about Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter. But after piling up two sacks in Week 4 his owners breathed a big sigh of relief.
With elite options like Watt and Hunter, there’s really not much else to do but roll them out and hope. With the mid-round guys who haven’t played up to snuff, it’s preferable to bench as opposed to cutting bait outright, lest a player catch fire and come back to haunt you later on.
But if you don’t have roster space and/or we’re talking about a fringe talent?
Whether you’re reading this because Felicia’s headed out the door, because of injuries or because the bye weeks are now here, here’s a look at some of the top IDP waiver wire adds for Week 5.
IDP PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Kyle Van Noy, OLB, New England
After yet another distressing effort by the New England defense in last week’s loss to Carolina, Van Noy shared with ESPN’s Mike Reiss that he remains confident New England can turn it around on that side of the ball.
“I take my one day to be mad about a loss. I’m not very happy with how I played. I’m not happy about how the defense played. Or as the team,” Van Noy said. “We’re better than what we put. I think it will show the next time we play. We’re going to come together, this is going to bring us closer, and we’ll be good to go.”
I don’t know that I agree with him – the New England defense is a hot mess right now. But Van Noy has been right at the heart of that mess, playing every snap and piling up 19 tackles over the last two games. Over that span Van Noy has been a Top 10 fantasy linebacker in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring, and Thursday New England faces a suddenly resurgent Tampa Bay offense.
WEEK 5 IDP WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jacksonville
As Robert Ledezma wrote for Fantasy Pros, Ngakoue was quite the busy young man in Jacksonville’s Week 4 loss to the New York Jets.
“Ngakoue recorded three tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in Week 4’s loss against the New York Jets,” he said. “Ngakoue had two sacks and two forced fumbles prior to playing against the Jets. The (Jacksonville) defensive line has been getting to the opposing (quarterback) early and often. Ngakoue has four sacks on the year and is a must add in IDP leagues.”
Those sacks gave Ngakoue four on the season, as he also piled up a pair of strip-sacks in Jacksonville’s Week 1 win over Houston. The second-year pro is admittedly something of a feast/famine option (he has three tackles combined in Jacksonville’s other two games), but when the youngster does hit he tends to hit big.
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Cleveland
Daryl Ruiter of CBS Cleveland called Ogbah one of Cleveland’s rare bright spots in last week’s blowout loss to Cincinnati.
“Ogbah blew by the right side of Cincinnati’s line to knock the football from Dalton’s hand, then got up and landed on the loose football to end Cincinnati’s first offensive series,” Ruiter said. “Ogbah stripped running back Jeremy Hill on the next series but (Cincinnati) fell on the loose ball to prevent a second turnover in as many possessions. Ogbah limped off with trainers on Giovani Bernard’s 61-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass that went for a (touchdown) and 21-0 lead but he returned in the second half. A sack, two forced fumbles, a recovered fumble and six tackles made for a solid afternoon for Ogbah.”
I liked Ogbah as a potential late value pick this summer, and Sunday’s sack was the second-year pro’s second in as many games for hapless Cleveland. With No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett getting closer, his return should help draw some of the offensive attention away from Ogbah. He’s worth a look as a depth add on the defensive front.
Ray-Ray Armstrong, ILB, San Francisco
Per CBS Sports, Armstrong is coming off a big game against Arizona in Week 4.
“Armstrong stood out on defense Sunday,” they said, “recording 10 tackles (eight solo), a sack and an interception in an overtime loss to (Arizona). Armstrong has taken advantage of Reuben Foster‘s (ankle) absence, recording a team-high 17 tackles over the past two weeks. IDP owners shouldn’t expect too many interceptions going forward, as the one the 28-year-old came down with Sunday was deflected into his hands by Rashard Robinson. It would be a surprise if Foster returned for next week’s matchup against (Indianapolis), so Armstrong should gain another start for both (San Francisco) and IDP owners who are looking for linebacker with high tackle totals.”
Armstrong hasn’t been an especially effective NFL linebacker while filling in for the injured Reuben Foster. But, over the past three games (since Foster went down) Armstrong has 24 tackles and ranks inside the Top 10 fantasy linebackers. With Foster likely out at least one more week, IDP owners in a bye-week bind would be well-advised to look Armstrong’s way.