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Fantasy Football IDP Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 3

by Walton Spurlin | @waltonspurlin | Featured Writer
Sep 17, 2019

Whitney Mercilus has stepped up nicely now that he’s a starter in Houston

After just two weeks of action, it’s still a bit early to start panicking over big-name players that have underproduced. Don’t cut bait on players like J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, or Deion Jones as they have proven track records of fantasy production on their resumes. Again…do not panic. On the plus side, we did not lose any top-notch linebackers to ejections in Week 2. Let’s take a look at some IDP Waiver Wire options for Week 3.

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Stephon Tuitt (DL – PIT) – 5% FAAB
Despite missing at least two games in each of the last four seasons, Tuitt has flashed fantasy potential at times playing opposite Cameron Heyward on the Steelers’ defensive line. Tuitt had a monster Week 2, posting four total tackles along with 2.5 sacks and he was credited with three quarterback hits. Through the first two weeks of the 2019 season, Tuitt is putting up low-end DL1 numbers in most 12-team standard-scoring formats.

With Ben Roethlisberger done for the season, there will be added pressure on the Pittsburgh defense to rise up. The Week 3 matchup is lining up nicely for the defensive line even though San Francisco has yet to surrender a sack to the position. The 49ers’ starting left tackle, Joe Staley, suffered a fractured fibula in Week 2 so Tuitt and Cameron Heyward could have big games.

Denico Autry (DL – IND) 4% FAAB
In his first season as a member of the Colts last year, Autry set career highs in total tackles, sacks, and big plays. On a team starved for edge rushers with Jabaal Sheard and Kemoko Turay battling injuries, Autry has stepped up to start the 2019 season. Through two weeks, he has 2.5 sacks along with a forced fumble and has added eight total tackles with three tackles for a loss.

The Falcons’ offensive line has allowed five sacks through the first two games with defensive linemen accounting for three of the sacks. With Sheard and Turay iffy to play, it will once again be Autry’s job to bring the heat on Matt Ryan. Having notched at least half a sack in each of the first two weeks, look for him to continue the streak in Week 3.

Benson Mayowa (DL – OAK) 3% FAAB
Who says you can’t go home again? After spending the 2014-15 seasons in Oakland, Mayowa has returned and is definitely not the player he was back in the day. In the 2014-15 stint with the Raiders Mayowa played 23 games and had 29 total tackles, two sacks, and three other big plays. Through the first two games this season, he has six total tackles as well as 3.5 sacks and two forced fumble.

Mayowa has played a big part in igniting a Raiders pass rush that has produced five sacks in the first two games. If that doesn’t feel like a lot, keep in mind that the Raiders had just 13 sacks total last season. The Vikings have allowed two sacks to defensive linemen along with 34 total tackles and three other big plays. The opportunity will be there for him to continue his hot streak.

Shaq Barrett (LB – TB) 4% FAAB
This is definitely a case where a change in scenery is just what the fantasy doctors ordered. After spending four nondescript seasons with the Broncos that saw Barrett average just 3.5 sacks per season and spend 2018 in a part-time role behind Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, Barrett moved on. The edge-rushing outside linebacker signed with the Buccaneers and has found a new lease on his NFL and fantasy life. In the Week 2 win over Carolina, Barrett was a one-man wrecking crew, racking up three sacks, three tackles for a loss, and four quarterback hits.

Through the first two weeks of the season, Barrett has been putting up top-10 linebacker totals in standard-scoring leagues with eight total tackles along with four sacks and four tackles for a loss. While the Giants have allowed just two sacks on the season, they have given up two forced fumbles to the linebacker position. Whether it’s Eli Manning or Daniel Jones under center in Week 3, Barrett will be getting after them all game long.

De’Vondre Campbell (LB – ATL) 3% FAAB
It appears that, after being second fiddle to Deion Jones and others, Campbell has broken out as a productive tackler. With Jones missing a big chunk of the 2018 season, we got a glimpse of Campbell as a fantasy producer as he had six or more total tackles in nine games. To start the 2019 season, Campbell has 12 solo tackles (which is more than Deion Jones has total tackles) and 16 total tackles in the first two weeks.

The Week 3 matchup is a nice one for Campbell to continue to rack up tackles. Through the first two games, Indianapolis has allowed 51 total tackles to the linebacker position along with a sack and a forced fumble. Campbell will be busy against a Colts offense that averages 32.5 rush plays per game in 2019.

Whitney Mercilus (LB – HOU) 3% FAAB
Sometimes it’s just a good idea to strike while the iron is hot with waiver wire moves. With the Jadeveon Clowney trade to Seattle, an opportunity opened up for someone to step up as the edge rusher playing opposite J.J. Watt. Through the first two games, that someone has been Whitney Mercilus. He has flashed fantasy potential in the past when he rolled up double-digit sacks back in 2015. While Watt has yet to record a sack in 2019, Mercilus has benefitted from the extra attention that Watt draws from opposing offenses.

Through two weeks, Mercilus has seven total tackles along with three sacks and two forced fumbles. While he obviously has more potential in big-play scoring formats, Mercilus is playing at a level that brings value in standard-scoring formats as well. Look for another good game against a banged-up Los Angeles Chargers offensive line that has allowed five sacks in 2019.

Terrell Edmunds (DB – PIT) 4% FAAB
After finishing his rookie season with just over 75 total tackles, Edmunds has burst out of the gate in his sophomore campaign and should easily surpass that total. Entrenched as an every-down safety for the Steelers, he has already racked up 13 solo tackles and 18 total tackles. While a few big plays would be nice, Edmunds’ numbers through two games are good for low-end DB2 production.

The Ben Roethlisberger injury could lead to the Steelers’ defense being on the field a bit more and that would work in Edmunds favor moving forward. The matchup with San Francisco is a positive one for him as the 49ers have given up 55 total tackles to defensive backs. Last week, safeties Jessie Bates and Shawn Williams of the Bengals combined for 19 total tackles against the 49ers.

Tre Boston (DB – CAR) 2% FAAB
Here is another example of a player returning to their former team and enjoying early success in 2019. After a more than solid 2018 campaign for the Cardinals, Boston was surprisingly allowed to leave via free agency and eventually resigned with the Panthers, whom he played for from 2014-16. Boston stepped right into a starting safety role alongside Eric Reid and has 13 total tackles in the first two games.

The Week 3 matchup against his former Arizona squad is the main reason I like Boston so much this week. No team has come close to the 91 times the Cardinals have lined up in four-wide receiver sets and opposing defensive backs are reaping the fantasy rewards. Arizona’s wide-open offense is allowing an average of 32.5 total tackles per game to defensive backs. Boston is a great plug and play option this week.

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Walton Spurlin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Walton, check out his archive and follow him @waltonspurlin.

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