IDP Waiver Wire: Week 5
Jeff Pomazal gives you the week’s best waiver targets.
It’s been hard to set lineups this season. Between the multitude of injuries, the defensive coordinators toying with snap volume, and the dreaded studs underperforming, now we’re getting yet another hurdle: bye weeks.
Nothing makes your benches look worse than seeing one or two of your performing players taking the week off and you are left with some roster management headaches to figure out. As we look to navigate the next 8 weeks of the season, it is so important to be mindful of other managers’ drops. This is a great time to stash a player who has some seasonal upside that another manager needed to release in order to set their lineup. I’d say that is playing real defense in all phases of the game, my friend!
With that said, let’s take a look at this week’s potential targets.
Previous Weeks: Carl Granderson, Drake Jackson, Harrison Phillips, Joe Tryon-Shoynka, Jonathan Cooper, Jarran Reed
David Onyemata, Atlanta Falcons
Before the season started, one of the tough spots for the Atlanta Falcons was going to be their defensive line and its ability to generate some pass rush. The Atlanta defense is currently a top 10 overall unit according to PFF grades and their pass rush, while ranked in the bottom third (which isn’t great), actually has a strong grade of 65.5 from PFF. One of the main reasons for the quick turnaround has been the play of David Onyemata, who ranks first or second in overall defense, run defense, tackling efficiency, and QB pressure rate amongst all Falcons defensive linemen. He is currently the 7th overall DT in the league by overall defensive grade.
Onyemata has 13 combined tackles this season to go along with 5 hurries, 4 QB hits, and 2 sacks. Onyemata is playing an average of 39 snaps a game which is a healthy amount if you are currently in need of a DL3/4 in your leagues over the next few weeks. Atlanta is hosting Houston in Week 5, who recently played without 3 of their 5 starters along the offensive line, so Onyemata could very well increase his stats.
Nik Bonitto, Denver Broncos
Last week we mentioned Jonathon Cooper as an add (who played amazingly well in Week 4) and we are going back to the well one more time. This time, it’s for 2nd-year pro Nik Bonitto. The 2nd-round pick from 2022 has played an increasing number of snaps over the last few weeks and even earned a start this last week. Bonitto had 2.5 sacks, 4 tackles, and 1 forced fumble against the Bears in Week 4 and gets a Jets offense that allowed 9 QB hits/hurries and 2 sacks this past Monday night. Denver’s defense might be bad, but someone has to make some stops. Bonitto leads the team in QB hits and hurries and is currently tied with Cooper for the lead in sacks.
*Bonus Waiver Check of the Week*
Check and see if Josh Uche, New England Patriots is available on your waivers. After a very slow start to the season, many managers could have become frustrated with the lack of production from Uche and could have dropped him, especially after a Week 2 goose egg followed up by one tackle in Week 3. In Week 4, Uche finally got it going again notching 3 tackles and a sack. With a possible lengthy injury to Matthew Judon (torn bicep tendon), the Patriots may be forced to give Uche more snaps than planned, and as we all know, volume is king in IDP. Uche got off to a similar slow start last season before turning it on in Week 8. Maybe we see a similar trend this season.
Previous Weeks: Reed Blankenship, Christian Gonzalez, Camryn Bynum, Jason Pinnock, K’Von Wallace, Jordan Whitehead, Daxton Hill
Rudy Ford, Green Bay Packers
Despite being listed as the starting free safety on the Packers website, Rudy Ford is actually playing a lot of snaps close to the line of scrimmage to start the season, which is great for his tackle floor. Speaking of tackle floor, Ford is actually tied for 5th in the entire league among safeties in solo tackles with 26.
Ford is also in the top 5 for snaps at the position as well. Of his 287 snaps, 136 of them have come near or at the line of scrimmage and there is little reason for that to be changing anytime in the near future in Title Town. Ford and the Packers get the Raiders on Monday night—just what every team needs to get back on track.
Julius “JuJu” Brents, Indianapolis Colts
The second-round rookie out of Kansas State, Juju Brents, made his first NFL start this last weekend against the Rams and racked up 10 combined tackles, 9 of them being of the solo variety. Brents played opposite Dallis Flowers and appears to have the position locked down after taking over for Darrell Baker Jr., who performed very poorly in his 2 starts. Brents is an ideal addition in cornerback-required leagues and should be heavily targeted in the passing game. Brents offers an ideal height and speed combination which will keep him on the field on all three downs. Not only does he look the part, but he is also playing the part, as he already has 13 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in his 2 NFL games. It might be a slow game this weekend against the Titans, who only threw the ball 25 times this past weekend, but in the next week, the Colts take on the pass-happy Jaguars.