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Week 7: Fantasy Football IDP Insider

Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith provides a must-start IDP list and a few recommendations per position if you need to hit the waiver wire!

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MUST-STARTS

The following players should be in IDP lineups each and every week for the foreseeable future. They're not listed in any order, but if you own one of these guys, make sure you're starting him on a weekly basis. And remember that this is a reference for the rest of the 2016 season, not weekly rankings.

Defensive Tackles

Aaron Donald, LAR

Ndamukong Suh, MIA

Nick Fairley, NO

Fletcher Cox, PHI

Linval Joseph, MIN

Clinton McDonald, TB

Defensive Ends

Derek Wolfe, DEN

Everson Griffen, MIN

Leonard Williams, NYJ

Carlos Dunlap, CIN

Danielle Hunter, MIN

Michael Bennett, SEA

Cameron Jordan, NO

Muhammad Wilkerson, NYJ

Khalil Mack, OAK

Brandon Graham, PHI

Jason Pierre-Paul, NYG

Yannick Ngakoue, JAX

Linebackers

Lorenzo Alexander, BUF

Jatavis Brown, SD

Paul Posluszny, JAX

Luke Kuechly, CAR

Jerrell Freeman, CHI

Kwon Alexander, TB

Alec Ogletree, LAR

Benardrick McKinney, HOU

K.J. Wright, SEA

Von Miller, DEN

Telvin Smith, JAX

Preston Brown, BUF

Sean Lee, DAL

Craig Robertson, NO

Derrick Johnson, KC

Bobby Wagner, SEA

Zach Brown, BUF

Eric Kendricks, MIN

Safeties

Reshad Jones, MIA

Reggie Nelson, OAK

Kenny Vaccaro, NO

Antoine Bethea, SF

Harrison Smith, MIN

Barry Church, DAL

Landon Collins, NYG

Tony Jefferson, ARI

Rodney McLeod, PHI

Johnathan Cyprien, JAX

Morgan Burnett, GB

Tyrann Mathieu, AZ

Cornerbacks

Bashaud Breeland, WAS

Logan Ryan, NE

Lamarcus Joyner, LAR

Deshawn Shead, SEA

Trumaine Johnson, LAR

Janoris Jenkins, NYG

Waiver Wire Adds

Defensive Tackles

http://www.scout.com/player/125700-timmy-jernigan?s=532

DT Timmy Jernigan, Baltimore Ravens

There weren’t a ton of standout players this week at DT. I decided to go with Jernigan. He’s a big man in the middle of the Ravens’ defense and he plays a ton of snaps for a 300-pounder. He’s coming off a down week against a tough matchup with the New York Giants, who don’t run the ball much. On the season he’s racked up three sacks and 18 tackles. These are solid numbers for a defensive tackle. He’s on the waiver in most every league and is a nice plug-in if needed.

Defensive Ends

http://www.scout.com/player/117207-akiem-hicks?s=532

DE Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears

Hicks has been a Fantasy asset this season giving owners consistent numbers each week. He’s had at least two or three tackles every week, and now he’s ramped up his big play production. Over the past three weeks, he’s posted two sacks and a fumble recovery. Once again his production has been well distributed. In both Week 4 and 5, he dragged down the quarterback and this past week he pounced on a fumble. He’s becoming a hot commodity.

http://www.scout.com/player/145687-deforest-buckner?s=532

DE DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers 2016 seventh-overall pick has been one of the team’s few bright spots so far this season. He’s already made 30 tackles and is coming off by far the best game of his young career. Last week against the Buffalo Bills Buckner recorded nine tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. This is an ultra-talented kid with unlimited upside. I only expect him to get better each and every week. If he’s on waiver wires, you should pick him up and at the very least stash him. Especially if you’re in a dynasty league.

Linebackers

http://www.scout.com/player/36118-willie-young?s=532

LB Willie Young, Chicago Bears

Young has exploded the last two weeks after a disappointing Week 4. On the season he has 19 tackles and two sacks. However, it’s the last two weeks that have caught our eye. In those weeks he made eight tackles, five sacks and forced a fumble. He’s the Bears top pass-rusher right now and is absolutely on fire. Young has decent tackling numbers for an LB with his kind of pass rushing prowess.  

http://www.scout.com/player/108446-dee-ford?s=532

LB Dee Ford Kansas City Chiefs

Ford has filled a much needed pass-rushing role in Kansas City. He’s stacked up some strong numbers for a linebacker on waiver wires and is coming off a big game. Through six weeks he’s accumulated 19 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He’s stepped his game up the past weeks. In the past two games, Ford has accounted for 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Two of those sacks and the forced fumble came just last week. With Justin Houston injured and Tamba Hali no longer playing at an elite level, Ford is a valuable part of the Chiefs’ defense. His upside is worth taking a look at if you’re scrolling through the waiver wire looking for a linebacker.

Cornerbacks

http://www.scout.com/player/197101-craig-mager?s=532

CB Craig Mager, San Diego Chargers

His numbers haven’t been eye-popping, but if you watched the Chargers the past few weeks you’ve probably noticed Mager seems always to be around the ball. Due to injuries, he’s seen a huge uptick in snaps the past three weeks, the past two weeks he’s been an every-down player. He’s put up points each week. Week 4 playing just 39 snaps he made two tackles, had a pick and defended a pass. Week 5 he made six tackles and this past week he produced four tackles, defended two passes and recovered a fumble. He’s clearly earned his expanded role, and the hopes are he continues to produce. At the very least monitor him moving forward.

http://www.scout.com/player/162106-anthony-brown?s=532

CB Anthony Brown, Dallas Cowboys

The rookie out of Purdue was all over the field against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Brown made 11 tackles, and 10 of them were solo. Over the past two weeks, he’s amassed 18 total tackles. While his tackling has clearly ramped up, he’s yet to display any big play ability. Still, I’ll take a sure tackler over a boom or bust defensive player every time. I would stash Brown and monitor his status if possible. If you need him immediately, you could do a lot worse than a promising rookie that’s racking up tackles.

Safeties

http://www.scout.com/player/100227-michael-thomas?s=532

S Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins  

This is a bit of a speculative add. With superstar safety Reshad Jones potentially out for the season many Fantasy owners are jumping on Isa Abdul-Quddus, while others have checked the Dolphins’ official depth chart and snagged Walt Aikens. I have my eye on Michael Thomas moving into a big-time role. Because of how great Jones has been, Thomas has flown under the radar while being quite productive. He’s only played 177 snaps this season and has 20 tackles. Last season Thomas made 85 tackles at safety for Miami, and no one seemed to notice. Don’t be shocked if this guy pops with Jones out.

http://www.scout.com/player/110808-d-j-swearinger?s=532

S D.J. Swearinger, Arizona Cardinals

It took a while, but Swearinger is finally beginning to look like the player we all expected to see coming out of South Carolina. He had all types of issues with the Houston Texans. Now he’s seeing an increased role in Arizona and is having a massive impact being surrounded by playmakers on that defense. Over the past two weeks, he’s made 11 tackles, a sack and has an interception. He’s looked great on film as well. This is a guy on the upswing and I don’t expect him to be on waivers long.


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