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Week 1 IDP - Waiver Wire Targets and Adds

As we head into week one of the regular season, owners in IDP leagues (particularly new ones) tend to get hot and heavy for the latest and greatest free-agent to land with a new team or the high-end rookie that went early in the draft.  That’s all well and good, but chances are high that your high-end rookie will take time to learn the new defensive scheme he’s found himself within and your newly acquired free-agent will be high on the priority list of the opposing offense.

Going into Week 1, let’s take the non-conventional approach as to whom we’re targeting to start in our IDP lineups, and rather than opting for the overpriced shiny new toy, let’s show our opponents who the truly savvy IDP owners are.

Here are your Week 1 sleepers that are available on most waiver wires as the regular season is set to get underway.

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Individual Defensive Players to Add

Frank Clark (DE, Seattle)

In year’s prior, owners have been perennially attracted to the higher profile names such as Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril when tasked with the decision of who to go with from the Seahawks’ strong front seven.  Fast-forward to the beginning of the 2018 season and we’ve found ourselves in a situation where Michael Bennett is no longer a Seahawk, and a myriad of injuries have forced Avril’s career to come to an end leaving Clark as a top candidate to see added production from the defensive end position in 2018. Clark amassed nine sacks in 2017 while playing in less than 70% of the defensive snaps for the Seahawks, a number that will most certainly rise in 2018 with the departures of Bennett and Avril. He’s a threat for double-digit sacks in 2018, and should be a three-down force in a strong Seattle front seven.

Karl Joseph (SS, Oakland)

The strong safety position is viewed by many as an off-side linebacker (lite) comparable, where the player manning the role is tasked with not only chasing down and batting balls out of the air, but also accounting for missed tackle opportunities across the middle of the field. Karl Joseph heads into 2018 primed for an every-down role in Oakland’s defense that lacks a strong force from the linebacker position as a whole, which should allow for the third year safety to rack up tackles at a decent clip. Joseph averaged just under six tackles a game in 2017, a number that we should see increase as the Raiders have not only lost Navorro Bowman at the linebacker position, but Khalil Mack as well. It isn’t uncommon that we find gems in defenses that are set to see their fair share of struggles, so look for Joseph to provide very nice IDP production in 2018.

Haason Reddick (LB, Arizona)

The Cardinals will switch to a 4-3 defense in 2018, which should provide ample opportunity for second-year linebacker Haason Reddick to not only attack opposing offenses with his tackling ability, but also get after the quarterback and provide sacks to compliment it. With Chandler Jones switching back to the defensive end slot, Reddick should see a sharp increase in snap percentages at the outside linebacker position, which could provide some great sleeper value for a defender who’s quick and efficient on the outside. Look for Reddick to not only increase his tackle totals after opposing offenses get past Arizona’s vaunted defensive line, but also take full advantage of the added attention Chandler Jones will garner on the outside and pick up a few sacks as well.

Kyle Van Noy (LB, New England)

As was referenced with Karl Joseph, it’s far from uncommon that we find a productive fantasy asset amidst a tough team situation, but here we have another prime example of it with Kyle Van Noy in a Patriots defense that faced its fair share of struggles in 2017. Despite that being the case, Van Noy averaged nearly seven tackles a game while flashing an ability to get after opposing quarterbacks as well as he totaled six sacks to go along with it. Van Noy will be an every-down linebacker for the Patriots in 2018, and opposing offenses will be forced to account for the presence of Dont’a Hightower should he show an ability to stay healthy through the season. Look for the Patriots to rely heavily on Van Noy to rack up tackles and get after the quarterback from the linebacker position providing some very nice IDP value for tackles and sacks as well.


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