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IDP Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Football: Week 9 - New look of Colts LBs, Isaiah Simmons, Malcolm Rodriguez, and more

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Shaq Leonard made his triumphant return to the football field in Week 8 and made his snap count-limited time on the field count with an interception of Taylor Heinicke that ended a potential Washington comeback drive.. Washington would come back anyway later when Leonard was not on the field.

Leonard, the all-around big play GOAT of all middle linebackers, has had a disappointing first half of the season through no fault of his own. His recovery from back surgery caused him to miss the first three games of the season. Then when he was back from that, he suffered a concussion and a broken nose in a collision with his own teammate, Zaire Franklin, after just 16 snaps in Week 4. Finally back and ready to go every snap next week, his return disrupts things for fantasy managers benefiting from the play of current Colts starting LBs Franklin and Bobby Okereke.

Who will lose snaps? Probably Okereke. Franklin has been wearing the green dot lately and leading the league in tackling. Now if you have Okereke on your roster—or someone else who needs replacing—here are some options.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Detroit Lions

Rostered in ~40% of MFL Leagues

The rookie Rodriguez has had six or more combined tackles in six of his seven games, and five or more solo tackles in four of those games. In the Lions’ loss to the Dolphins in Week 8, he also made his first career sack.


Isaiah Simmons, LB, Arizona Cardinals

Rostered in ~65% of MFL Leagues

Simmons continues to make an impact with impact plays after regaining a sizable role in the defensive rotation (he forced that fumble that the Cardinals returned to the end zone to beat the Raiders in overtime in Week 2, but coaches were down on him for his poor coverage and gaps in his fundamentals). After a couple of weeks in which he only saw the field for a quarter of the snaps, he has been on the field for 40 or more plays a game the past five games—50+ the past two.

He had a pick-six in Week 7 and a sack and a forced fumble in Week 8. His tackle numbers are up: 18 solo tackles in the past four games.


Za'Darius Smith, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Rostered in ~35% of MFL Leagues

Smith has turned it up to 11 in his past two games: 2.0 sacks against the Dolphins in Week 6. Three sacks and four tackles for loss against the Cardinals (albeit a highly depleted offensive line) and a pass defense this past week. He has taken down the opposing quarterback every week this season except Week 3 and now has 8.5 sacks, close to the league lead.

His matchup next week against the Commanders is mouth-watering. They are allowing the third-most sacks in the NFL. A couple of tough matchups against the Bills and Cowboys follow, but he gets the Colts and Giants, the top-six worst at protecting their QB, in Weeks 15 and 16. That's good for preparing you for the playoffs.


Grover Stewart, DT, Indianapolis Colts

Rostered in ~40% of MFL Leagues

Stewart is having his best season yet for tackles and QB hits. He’s on pace to finish with about 60 solo tackles and 84 combined tackles. In just the past three games, he’s made 17 solo tackles. An occasional sack or pass defense is the sprinkles on his base meal of tackles.


Divine Deablo, LB, Las Vegas Raiders

Rostered in ~52.5% of MFL Leagues

The signing of Blake Martinez didn’t hurt Deablo. He has still had 100% of snaps every week since Week 2 (Denzel is the odd (Perry)man out). Deablo is playing his best football of the year. He made 14 combined tackles this past week and double-digit combined tackles in each of the past three games.


Devin McCourty, S, New England Patriots

Rostered in ~23.5% of MFL Leagues

McCourty is a 17-year veteran and a three-time second-team All-Pro who keeps putting up pretty good tackle numbers. With 42 combined through eight games, he’s on pace for his highest total in four years.


D.J. Reed, CB, New York Jets

Rostered in ~20% of MFL Leagues

Reed has played 100% of the Jets’ defensive snaps every week of the season, and he had made eight combined tackles in each of the past two games.


Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Indianapolis Colts

Rostered in ~45% of MFL Leagues

Ngakoue has had to step up with Kwity Paye out and Tyquan Lewis being carted off the field late in Week 8. He has. He’s made 6.0 sacks in the past four games. He doesn’t make many tackles, but he is good for those sack-heavy scoring formats.


Charvarius Ward, CB, San Francisco 49ers

Rostered in ~30% of MFL Leagues

Ward has been a positive addition to the 49ers this season. He is good at tackling and has made 13 solo tackles in the past two games and 30 on the season. Not a single tackle was missed.


Tyson Campbell, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Rostered in ~25% of MFL Leagues

Another tackle-making cornerback. Campbell has made 30 combined tackles in the past five games of his second year and 40 on the season. Seven passes defended mean he’s on pace to surpass his rookie year. His 52.5% completion rate allowed in coverage is excellent too, but alas, not relevant for fantasy scoring.


Chase Young, DE, Washington Commanders

Rostered in ~15% of MFL Leagues

Young will return to practice next week. He made 7.5 sacks and 44 combined tackles in his rookie year. Had a down season with just nine games in 2021. Can he come back and pick up where he left off in 2020?

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