(Some LBs to point out who were on this list before and should no longer be on your Waiver Wire are NaVorro Bowman, Rolando McClain, Ray Maualuga, Donald Butler, Daryl Smith, Paris Lenon, Thomas Howard, Colin McCarthy, Perry Riley, Jordan Senn, Larry Grant (if Patrick Willis is out again), D.J. Smith (as long as Desmond Bishop is out). If they are still on your Wire, pick up those guys before anyone listed below)
Jordan Senn (LB, Car) – READ THIS BEFORE YOU PICK HIM UP. I already had him listed in bold above from previous weeks, but I have him listed here again to give some advice based on him outscoring every linebacker in the league in Week Fifteen and regarding his next matchup. First, in case you didn’t see his numbers, he put up 12 solos, 2 assists, 1 pass deflection and 1 INT vs. the Houston Texans. The first thing you need to know about this is, although he’s been kinda solid, these numbers are very uncharacteristic of his play. The second thing to do is look at his position and if the guy from his position did it in a previous week. The answer is YES. Thomas Howard of he Bengals also had an uncharacteristic 12 tackles with 9 of them being solo vs. the Texans in Week Fourteen. Lastly, you need to know that Senn’s next matchup is really poor vs. the Bucanneers, who only allowed a stud like Sean Lee to get 2 solos. All that being said, guess who plays the Texans next. (see Ernie Sims in bold below**)
** Ernie Sims or Phillip Wheeler (LB, Ind) – Sims played in place of the injured Wheeler in Week Fifteen and put up 8 solos and 7 assists. Awesome IDP numbers! In fact, depending on your scoring system, that ties Jordan Senn’s point total in some leagues. This was a home game for the Colts and they faced the Titans in this matchup. They face the Texans in Indianapolis next. What is important about it being a home game is the Colts stat keepers are completely insane (in a really good way for IDP). Case in point, they handed out 44 assists to the Colts defense in Week Fifteen. I’m going to say that number again: 44. In total, 17 guys got playing time on defense. To give a comparison to another game, the St. Louis Rams played at home vs. the Bengals and 18 guys were given credit for defensive playing time. A total of 9 assists were recorded for the Ram players. In fact, as I looked around the league, 10 assists appears to be the norm and the total number of tackles in a game ranges from 50 to 65 at the highest. However, the Colts total tackle number was 83 because of the amount of assists that the stat keepers tack on. What a huge advantage this is for IDP guys who start Indianapolis defensive guys when the Colts play at home! So let’s add all this up: Bengal’s Thomas Howard put up his best tackling effort of the season vs. the Texans in Week Fourteen. Then Jordan Senn does the same vs. the Texans in Week Fifteen. Now, either Ernie Sims or Phillip Wheeler (watch injury report about Wheeler’s foot) will play the Texans in Week Sixteen. Only instead of playing them “straight up”, they also get the advantage of the home game stat keepers. There is definitely a lot of risk here, especially since this is your championship game, but if your opponent has Pat Angerer, this may be the only strategy to outscore Angerer, who will have a HUGE game.
Kavell Connor (LB, Ind) – As a continuation of everything I just said about Sims and Wheeler, Connor is the sure bet to play out of all the outside linebacker for the Colts and his numbers will also be bumped up by both the Texan’s matchup and the “hometown” stat keepers. Some realistic numbers for Connor are 4 solos and 6 assists. If that seems more solid then the production you’ve been getting out of your flex IDP spot or one of your LBs, then I think he’s worth the chance.
K.J. Wright (LB, Sea) – Wright gets San Francisco in Week Sixteen, who has been very vulnerable to sacks up the middle by blitzing LBs. Wright has proven to be an excellent blitzer picking up sacks in the last two games he’s played. He should get decent tackle numbers in this matchup, but if you get 4 or more points for sacks in your league, he’s especially worth a long look to fill in your final LB slot for your championship game.
(Some DLs to point out who were on this before and should no longer be on your Waiver Wire are Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jabaal Sheard, Ahtyba Rubin, Andre Carter(injured), Aldon Smith, Jeremy Mincey, Isreal Idonije, Chris Long, DT Phillip Taylor, DT Antonio Garay, DT Geno Atkins, DT Henry Melton, DT Jurrell Casey, DT Vince Wilfork, DT Linval Joseph, DE Robert Quinn. If they are still on your Wire, pick up those guys before anyone listed below)
Desmond Bryant (DT, Oak) – He was on the list last week and did not have a good Week Fifteen vs. Detroit. So what gives me the nerve to list him again? Besides the fact that he had a sack in each of his last two games, prior to Detroit and the “almost” proven fantasy theory that when you recommend a guy one week and he completely bombs, he inevitably puts up a great performance the following week, he’s facing their division rival, the Chiefs. And this is not just a division thing, but there is a long-standing hate between the Chiefs and the Raiders that goes back years and years. Defensive tackles are such a crapshoot, I like his chances more than many. For instance, I’ve owned Ndamukong Suh this year and learned that he is all hype because he’s done literally nothing for me. Desmond Bryant’s numbers are better than Suh’s this year.
Mark Anderson (DE, NE) – Andre Carter blew out his knee and will be out for a while. Anderson stepped up and took his place in Week Fifteen with 2 sacks. His next matchup is in Foxboro vs. Miami. I like his chances of picking up another sack.
Phillip Hunt (DE/LB, Phi) Not only did Hunt get a sack for the second game in a row, but he also picked up 5 solos. If he is listed as a DE in your league, I’d take a long look at him as your DE2 against the Dallas Cowboys in Week Sixteen. He’s an exciting young player.
Chris Kelsay (DE, Buf) – The prediction in last Friday’s IDP Preview was dead on that Kelsay would be the one to have the big game vs. Miami based on previous games. His sack, 5 solos and 2 assists were exactly what the doctor ordered. He gets the Broncos next, who know they can run the ball on Buffalo so Kelsay should see a ton of tackle opportunities. If he picks up a “scrambling” sack on Tebow as well, that’s a bonus.
(Some DBs to point out who were on this list before and should no longer be on your Waiver Wire are Morgan Burnett, Kam Chancellor, Dashon Goldson, Jon McGraw, Eric Smith, Sean Jones, George Wilson, Reggie Nelson, Amari Spievey, Charles Godfrey, Charlie Peprah, Tanard Jackson, Ryan Clark, Lardarius Webb (watch injury), Craig Steltz (if Major Wright is out), Glover Quin (as a CB). If they are still on your wire, pick up those guys before anyone listed below.)
Jacob Lacey (CB, Ind) – If you missed the Lacey recommendation on here last week, then listen carefully this week. His 8 solos, 3 pass deflections and an assist vs. Baltimore in Week Fourteen was impressive, but to follow it up with an INT for a TD, 12 total tackles and 2 pass deflections in Week Fifteen is INCREDIBLE! You must find a way to get this guy on your team as either your starting CB or he’s the perfect CB2. They get Houston next and if you missed what I said about the Indianapolis stat keepers, read the linebacker section above.
Chris Rucker (CB, Ind) – This new Colts corner will be picked on plenty and thanks to the stat keepers in Indianapolis, it all adds up to easy points as your CB2.
Ashton Youboty (CB, Jac) – He’s coming off a substantial tackle day vs. Atlanta, where he racked up 7 solos and a pass deflection. Tennessee will also throw the ball on them as they proved against the Colts in Week Fifteen, where the Indianapolis cornerbacks had very high tackle numbers as they are both listed above as recommendations. This is Youboty’s third solid game and makes him a strong consideration as a CB2.
Reshad Jones (S, Mia) – An INT, 5 solos and a pass deflection in Week Fifteen is not the only reason that I’m recommending him. He faces the Patriots next where you automatically bump up all safeties at least 3 more tackles than their average. That would put Jones at 6 solos with the upside of more, including a couple extra pass deflections.