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We made it! Week 1 is just a few short days away, and the wait will finally be over. This season, I will be writing the IDP Waiver Wire article here at Footballguys, doing my best to provide actionable options and information each week. I’ll be doing my best to cover a wide variety of leagues/formats but just keep in mind there are quite a few fun ways to play this IDP game we all love. If you have any roster or league-specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Alright, let’s get to it!
Nicholas Morrow, Chicago Bears
Nicholas Morrow found himself a new home in Chicago this offseason after missing all of the 2021 season with an ankle injury. Morrow had a solid finish to the 2020 season with the Raiders the last time we saw him and is in a good spot for an excellent bounce-back year in Chicago. The Bears' defense should feature a good amount of 2-LB looks with Morrow lining up next to Roquan Smith. Morrow also has been wearing the coveted green dot as the defensive play-caller this preseason. If Morrow was slept on during drafts due to his absence last season, he’s a great waiver wire pickup as an upside LB4 type.
Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
Dre Greenlaw is another player we didn’t see much of last year as he only played in three games due to injury. When Greenlaw is healthy, he produces as we saw with his 92 tackles (64 solos) as a rookie and 86 tackles (61 solos) in 2020 in 13 games. Fred Warner is the obvious anchor of the San Francisco defense but the linebacker spot next to him is also a productive role.
Last year, Azeez Al-Shaair filled in admirably as the team’s LB2 with Greenlaw unavailable. Things are trending Greenlaw’s way for the spot next to Warner as the other full-time linebacker as Al-Shaair was coming off the field in camp for sub-packages. However, this will be an important situation to monitor when the span counts come out after Week 1. If Greenlaw is available he’s worth an add with the hope he’s earned the spot next Warner and is back to his previously productive form.
Mykal Walker, Atlanta Falcons
With the Falcons putting Deion Jones on IR last week, it opens up a big opportunity for snaps in Atlanta. Mykal Walker is in his third year with the Falcons and has shown flashes but will be looking to show he’s worthy of a full-time role. Walker has been wearing the green dot during the preseason and appears to have an every-down role as the defensive play caller. If Walker is on your waiver wire he’s well worth an add as we see if he can take his lead role and prosper.
Tae Crowder, New York Giants
In surprising news that made IDP shockwaves, the Giants cut Blake Martinez before the season kicked off. It sounded like a mutual parting of ways between the two but still certainly surprising. Tae Crowder filled in for Martinez last year while he was out with a torn ACL and looks like the likely beneficiary once again. Crowder played 1,098 snaps last year and turned in a respectable 130 tackles (64 solos). However, Crowder had his fair share of struggles last season and graded poorly in run defense and coverage.
The one thing Crowder has going for him from an IDP lens is he will be on the field. Snaps equal opportunity and Crowder looks like he’ll get the first shot at the lead role in New York. We just need to keep an eye on how long he holds onto that role. If you’re a Martinez manager looking for his replacement or need linebacker depth in deeper leagues, Crowder is worth a look.
Micah McFadden, New York Giants
This one is more of a dynasty league pick-up. McFadden was the Giants' fifth-round pick this year, and with the state of their current linebacker room, he has a chance to earn a role. McFadden is an intriguing young player who was a solid run defender and capable blitzer in college. McFadden is a nice speculative add if you have room on a deep roster or taxi squad.
Zaire Franklin, Indianapolis Colts
The appeal for Zaire Franklin all gravitates around Shaquille Leonard’s availability for Week 1 and beyond. If Leonard is out, Franklin looks like his replacement alongside Bobby Okereke as he’s been holding down that role this preseason. Franklin is worth a look if you’re in a deep league or a Leonard manager looking for insurance.
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