It had to happen now.
Injuries are a fact of life in the NFL and fantasy football. They pile up as the season wears on.
However, the last thing that Individual Defensive Player (IDP) owners needed heading into a Week 8, where no fewer than six teams are taking the week off, is for a rash of injuries to suddenly strike the linebacker position.
That’s what they got.
Those injuries and this week’s six-team siesta have left fantasy owners scrambling to plug the gaps in their lineups. Here’s a look at some of the top options available for doing so.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Jon Bostic, MLB, Chicago
Bostic was already in the starting lineup with the Bears due to a season-ending injury to veteran
but a two-down role capped his IDP upside. Now, with Briggs on the shelf as well, the Bears will likely have little choice but to play the rookie in an every down capacity. Granted, with the Bears one of six teams taking this week off, Bostic is of little help to IDP owners right now, but for Briggs and Cushing owners in many leagues Bostic may represent the best consolation prize they’re going to get. The youngster is a ferocious tackler and stout run defender, and if Bostic can hold his own in coverage he should see plenty of tackle opportunities with Briggs out.
WEEK 7 WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina
The waiver wire has been pretty bare on the defensive front this year, and Week 8 is certainly no exception. That could leave many owners in a bye week crunch looking for a player who can simply be a one week fill-in who will post at least so-so numbers. If you’re in such a bind, consider Lotulelei. The rookie hasn’t posted eye-popping numbers this season, but he is coming off a six-tackle effort against St. Louis heading into a Thursday night matchup with a Tampa Bay squad with no
and a rookie quarterback in
Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Atlanta
This is admittedly something of a “Hail Mary” call. However, Massaquoi, who took over at defensive end for the Falcons after Kroy Biermann went down, does have a couple things going for him. First, the second-year pro notched three tackles and half a sack in last week’s win over Tampa Bay. Second, this week Massaquoi and the Falcons face the Swiss cheese Arizona offensive line. He’s not going to single-handedly win any matchups for IDP owners, but this isn’t a week where beggars can afford to be choosers.
Joplo Bartu, OLB, Atlanta
It’s back-to-back Falcons with Bartu, who has been playing weak-side linebacker for Atlanta since
went on short-term Injured Reserve. Bartu had his best game of the season in Week 7’s win over Tampa Bay, tallying 10 total tackles and adding half a sack. Most importantly, the rookie played on every defensive snap against Tampa Bay. That’s music to the ears of IDP owners who watched their linebacker corps get ripped to shreds over the weekend.
Jamari Lattimore, ILB, Green Bay
Pressed into action by the hamstring injury suffered by starter
Lattimore was a huge part of Green Bay’s win over Cleveland on Sunday, racking up 12 total tackles (nine solos) and a sack. There’s some risk involved in picking Lattimore up, in that Jones might return to action next week. With that said, the odds are better than average that Lattimore gets at least one more start, and this week’s Sunday night matchup with Minnesota is a favorable one for linebackers.
Chris Clemons, SS, Miami
Clemons tallied nearly 100 tackles for the Dolphins last year, but a slow start to the 2013 season got the fifth-year pro relegated to the waiver wire in most IDP leagues. However, prior to last week’s two-tackle dud against Buffalo, Clemons had notched consecutive seven-solo tackle outings. The Dolphins face a New England team Sunday that is among the league leaders in fantasy points allowed to safeties this year, so as desperation plays go, IDP owners could do worse this week than the “other” Chris Clemons.
Baccari Rambo, FS, Washington
The rookie from Georgia was a productive IDP option early in the season, but repeated lapses in coverage got the youngster the hook from head coach Mike Shanahan. Now however, with Brandon Meriweather facing a suspension according to Chris Burke of
Sports Illustrated, Rambo is likely headed right back into the starting lineup. Rambo had 18 total stops over the first two weeks of this season, and so long as he’s starting in Washington, Rambo is worth a roster spot in IDP leagues.
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to waiver wire pickups and strategy. Whatever you need, Fantasy Sharks has you covered!
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Gary Davenport is the IDP Senior Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, In addition to his work at Fantasy Sharks and at IDP Manor, Davenport’s IDP work has been featured in a number of national print publications and on both satellite and terrestrial radio.