If you escaped Week 1 with your IDPs intact, I offer my sincere congratulations for escaping unscathed. The injuries were coming fast and furious on my Twitter timeline. No IDP was spared, as studs went down to any and all injuries. So, the torrent of helplessness is over; now what? Here are some suggestions that could you stay afloat:
Willie Young, DE, CHI: An under-rated signing by the Bears in the off-season. Now, is he going to an every-week play? Probably not. He saw 21 snaps; however, he was efficient with those snaps. The DL position can be volatile and scoring can be up and down. Young finished Week 1 with a solid 4 tackle/1 sack line and makes for decent depth.
Fake Pigskin Exclusive: Join Monkey Knife Fight and Get an Instant 100% Deposit Match PLUS a Free $5 Game!
Wallace Gilberry, DE, CIN: Gilberry was tabbed to start and the play the majority of the snaps when Michael Johnson left town. Gilberry contributed 4 tackles and 1.5 sacks in Week 1, while appearing in 67 of the 88 defensive snaps. He’s on the DL3 radar.
Chris Clemons, DE, JAC: Jaguars got off to a hot start, as did Clemons. The new Jags DE was brought in to anchor a line in desperate need of sacks. He finished the week with 4 tackles (3 solo) and a sack. He just missed another on his QB hit in his 40 rushes. He looks safe to add as a DE3.
Josh Mauga/James Michael-Johnson, ILB, KCC: In some deeper dynasty leagues, it’s quite possible JMJ is already rostered. Mauga, and JMJ really, are special teamers that are going to find themselves thrust into increased roles thanks to the devastating loss of defensive captain, Derrick Johnson. On top of that, Joe Mays is out until week 10. I think Mauga will be on top of the list, as he finished with 8 solos in 58 defensive snaps. JMJ saw 50 snaps, but at this point, with the lack of depth they should see the majority of the snaps going forward. Either way, DJ’s production can’t be duplicated. If you’re in a shallow league, more enticing options should be available. Both LBs are worth looks in deeper leagues that start multiple LBs.
Vincent Rey, ILB, CIN: It might not take long for Rey to get his chance. Vontaze Burfict will enter the NFL’s concussion protocol, so at this point, Burfict is questionable. Rey finished with 2 solos/2 assists and was in 2 defended passes in 62 snaps. Rey has proved he can fill-in at either LB spot, so he’s well worth the stash.
KJ Wright, OLB, SEA: Wright is on 56 of the 62 defensive snaps, so you know he’s going to play. He finished with 7 tackles (4 solos) and a decent 12.5% tackle rate. With all of the injuries that happened in Week 1, he’s well worth adding, especially playing alongside Bobby Wagner.
Big Play Add: Whitney Mercilus, OLB, HOU: Mercilus will take over for Clowney at OLB over the next several weeks. He should be thrust into a three-down role (or close to it) giving him upside in big play formats. Mercilus saw 16 rush snaps in Week 1, generating pressure nearly 20% of the time.
Fantasy just got a whole lot better thanks to Monkey Knife Fight. With fast-paced games like Rapid Fire and Either/Or, it’s never been easier to play fantasy and win. New to MKF? Get Exclusive $100 Deposit Match + Free $5 Game
DJ Swearinger, SS, HOU: Swearinger turned in a solid Week 1 appearing in every defensive snap for the Texans. It’s quite possible he sees increased assignments with Jadeveon Clowney’s injury. DJ finished with 8 tackles (6 solo) and contributed a sack on the day. He was pegged as an IDP sleeper, and it appears that he’s brought Mr. Sandman with him at the outset.
Byron Maxwell, CB, SEA: In my Thursday preview, I mentioned Maxwell as a sneaky play in the secondary. Maxwell is going to be the beneficiary of the Sherman effect. Aaron Rodgers didn’t even look Sherm’s way. Now, that’s not going to be the norm, but Maxwell is going inherit quite a few targets making him a high-upside CB2 in corner-required leagues.
Antoine Cason, CB, CAR: Now, is he going to have 9 solos every week? Probably not, but Cason proved he’s got plenty in the tank to play corner. Cason was thrown at 9 times and made a play on the ball in 33% of those targets, with 2 defended passes and pick. Cason is worth adding in deeper leagues where CBs are required.
Target, grading and rush snap data courtesy of Pro Football Focus