Byes in Week Five: Ravens, Browns, Cowboys, Dolphins, Rams, Redskins
(Some LBs to point out who were on this list last week and should no longer be on your Waiver Wire are NaVorro Bowman, Rolando McClain, Ray Maualuga, Donald Butler, Daryl Smith and Thomas Howard. If they are still on your wire, pick up those guys before anyone listed below.)
Kavell Conner (OLB, Ind) – Conner must have read our watch list last week. We told him he needs to start beating Pat Angerer to the ball so he could turn those 16 assists into solo tackles. He did just that Week Four with 14 solo tackles and 4 assists. Needless to say, 14 solos definitely earns him a roster spot on your team. Updated 10/6
Larry Foote (ILB, Ind) – James Harrison will be out a few weeks with a fractured orbital. Lawrence Timmons will be sliding outside into his spot and Larry Foote will be moving inside into Timmons regular spot. This increases playing time for both James Farrior and Foote as they were splitting time, but Foote is the main benefactor here as he sees the highest increase in value. (See the Watch List update below on how this effects Stevenson Sylvester.) Updated 10/6
Dan Connor (MLB, Car) – In Week Five, he’s facing the Saints, who have seriously boosted the numbers of every MLB who has faced them this year. The Saints were exactly what the doctor ordered for Connor’s former Penn State teammate Paul Posluszny in Week Four, as Puz had 9 solos, a sack, and 2 pass deflections. If there is ever a time to start Connor, it’s Week Five. He’s the perfect bye week fill-in.
Gary Guyton (OLB, NE) – It looks like Jerod Mayo who was carted off the field and did not return against the Raiders on Sunday, will miss at least a few weeks with an MCL sprain. Guyton is his backup and has produced with strong numbers filling in for him in the past. He could also be a nice bye-week fill-in even if you’re not a Mayo owner.
Jovan Belcher (OLB, KC) – His Week Three performance of 8 solos and 2 assists was followed up Week Four with 6 solos and 1 assist. In Week Five, he’s facing the Colts, who are not well known for being a LB friendly team, but these two atrocious teams could cancel each other out and the usual rules won’t apply in this one. Let’s face it, these might be the worst two teams in football right now, but both are showing signs of life on defense so turnovers might be the “theme” of this game.
Wesley Woodyard (OLB, Den) – That strong Week Four was all we needed to learn about Woodyard. Even with D.J. Williams back, Woodyard stayed on the field and still produced solid numbers. He’s another solid bye week or injury fill-in if you need him.
Will Witherspoon (OLB, Ten) – His numbers in Week Three were almost too good to be true with a sack and an interception in the same game, but now he followed up that performance with a more repeatable 7 solos and 2 pass deflections. This shows the consistency we wanted to see from him. Think of him as a Sean Weatherspoon lite, so he’s a good bye week fill-in for your LB5.
(Some DLs to point out who were on this before and should no longer be on your Waiver Wire are Kyle Vanden Bosch, Phil Taylor, Ahtyba Rubin and Derrick Morgan. If they are still on your wire, pick up those guys before anyone listed below.)
Andre Carter (DE, NE) – Carter has been a consistent tackler since joining the Patriots, but the real reason he’s on this list is for his chance of getting a sack on Mark Sanchez in Week Five and that reshuffled Jets line. The Raiders put up 4 tackles on Sanchez in Week Three and most recently the Ravens absolutely destroyed the Jets’ line on every level possible. The Jets will get better if C Nick Mangold can play, but Carter should be able to exploit weaknesses off the edges.
Greg Hardy (DE, Car) – One of the lesser-known stats about Drew Brees is that he has been sacked this year almost as much as Ben Roethlisberger or Jay Cutler. Surprisingly, the Bears only allowed one sack Week Four, so Hardy did not get the sack we expected – his counterpart Charles Johnson picked up the only sack of the game. He has just as good of a chance to pick up his sack vs. the Saints in Week Five, though, so that makes him worth it.
Jason Jones (DE, Ten) –Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have given up an average of 4 sacks per game, and there hasn’t been one game in particular that skewed those stats. The fewest number of sacks in a game vs. Pittsburgh this year was 2.5 sacks and the highest has been 5. Based on those numbers, it’s almost a guarantee that Big Ben will be sacked at least twice in this game with the upside of 5 sacks. Jones has the ability to get to the QB multiple times if that’s the case.
Tyson Jackson (DE, KC) – This is a one week matchup play vs. the Colts where both interior linemen for Tampa Bay combining for 3 sacks and 9 solos Week Four. The other who could go off here is Glenn Dorsey, but I’ve been watching Tyson Jackson and his special skill set for a long time and he’s had huge breakout games in the past. I think this is the one for him. Updated 10/6
(Some DBs to point out who were on this list before and should no longer be on your Waiver Wire are Morgan Burnett, Dashon Goldson, Eric Smith, Sean Jones, George Wilson, Justin King, Husain Abdullah and Lardarius Webb. If they are still on your wire, pick up those guys before anyone listed below.)
Reggie Nelson (S, Cin) – He was on this list last week, but I’m leaving him on here because he’s probably one of those fringe names you may have passed on. But to make this simple, he’s tied with known fantasy stud Tyvon Branch in scoring after four games. So ask yourself: would you leave Branch on your Waiver Wire if he were there? How about Yeremiah Bell or Eric Weddle? Because he’s producing significantly better than both of those guys. He’s your number one DB pickup this week.
Kyle Arrington (CB, NE) – We had Arrington on the watch list last week with his 3 interceptions in three weeks and his 6 tackles two weeks in a row. Although he did not continue his interception streak Week Four, he did continue his solid tackle numbers with 5 solos and 3 assists. If you need a CB2 with some serious upside, he’s a solid pickup.
Charles Godfrey (S, Car) – In Week Five, Godfrey goes up against the Saints and all the IDP value they bring to strong safeties. The interesting observation I’ve made over the years is Drew Brees tends to throw INTs predominantly to strong safeties and linebackers, plus Godfrey is fresh off his first INT of the year. Brees is also vulnerable to the sack, but they may not blitz Godfrey as they’ll need him to help cover TE Jimmy Graham. Either way, he’ll have a shot for some nice numbers in this one.
Jordan Babineaux (S, Ten) – If Chris Hope is out again (and some reports suggest he’ll be out a while), Babineaux is a very nice add. He’s been extremely solid in place of Hope, and it’s not just because he had a 97-yard pick-six in Week Four. He’s had 13 solos and a couple pass deflections in his two starts as well.
Donald Washington (S, KC) – If Jon McGraw continues to be out with an injury in Week Five, he’s a solid play vs. Indianapolis.
(Give them 1 more week, unless you’re in a deep IDP league)
Stevenson Sylvester (OLB, Pit) – Sylvester has flashed some awesome IDP potential in the past with limited snaps. He is the future of the LB core and the future replacement for Farrior when he retires. Pittsburgh will be rotating Sylvester in for Farrior on some plays, but we need to watch to see how many plays he gets. If he does enough with his snaps, you may see a changing of the guard sooner, rather than later. Updated 10/6
Brian Rolle (OLB, Phi) – He took over for the overmatched Casey Matthews, and Week Four was his first start. He got 5 solos and 1 pass deflection, which is not a bad start so he’s well worth a watch.
Omar Gaither (OLB, Car) – I have no idea what happened here. I saw Matt Forte juke past Jason Williams at one point in the game, but I’m not sure if Williams got injured or was benched. So this now a situation to watch this week, because Gaither made a nice open-field tackle.
LeRoy Hill (OLB, Sea) – He didn’t put up the incredible numbers that he did during Week Three, but we didn’t expect him to. However, he did exceed my expectations this week with 5 solos and 4 assists. I thought we’d see him drop back down to his usual underwhelming 2 solos, so he’s going to stay on this watch list for another week.
Aldon Smith (DE/LB, SF) – Smith is an incredibly athletic defensive end whom the 49ers are using as an outside linebacker. He got his first shot show off what he can do against the elusive Michael Vick, using his speed to sack him 1.5 times on 3 QB hits. In addition, he garned 4 solos on the day. I don’t know if they were experimenting with Smith because he’s the fastest of all their pass rushers and had the best shot to get to Vick, or if this is a true changing-of-the-guard and he’s officially taken over for Parys Haralson. Obviously, this is something to watch this week.
Marcell Dareus (DT, Buf) – The rookie first round pick for Buffalo had a promising pre-season and then three disappointing weeks of the regular season (by IDP standards). It was bad enough that he was dropped in two of the leagues that I play in, but those owners might be regretting those moves pretty so. He had the game people hoped for in Week Four, with 4 tackles and a sack, and he’s been very close to the quarterback every game this year and has done an outstanding job by NFL standards. It was only a matter of time before his efforts showed up in the box scores and if you’re in a league that requires a defensive tackle, he’s one to watch very closely, if not pick him up immediately.
Shaun Ellis (DE, NE) – He’s facing the Jets, his former team, in Week Five and he has a shot at a sack. However, he has not been producing for IDP so far this year. So he’s someone to watch on the Waiver Wire, and if you can’t find any better talent in your DE-required league, he may be a high-risk/high-reward play.
Bernard Pollard (S, Bal) – This former IDP stud played full-time in Week Four. However, he did not do anything special. Maybe it’s just IDP nostalgia, but I feel like he’s still got some magic left in the tank so he’s one I’ll be watching in case this is a permanent change.
Charlie Peprah (S, GB) – As we mentioned last week, Peprah is just a watch and he did just enough with a few solos and picking up a fairly lucky INT to stay on this watch list, but he hasn’t show enough to be worthy of a pick-up yet.