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Early Look at Some IDP Sleepers: Linebackers
Darin Tietgen
June 19, 2010
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Welcome to The Huddle’s IDP Super Sleeper Series, a 3-part (Linebackers, Defensive Linemen and Defensive Backs) look at some IDPs that didn’t make it to our preseason top-50 rankings who have a good shot at contributing to fantasy teams this season.  Let’s start with the linebackers.

Defensive Linemen Sleepers »   Defensive Back Sleepers »

Justin Durant (JAC):  Durant has shown plenty of promise for the Jags, and looked to be the MLB of the future for them.  With the arrival of Kirk Morrison (and some up-and-down play from Durant), he moves back to the weak side, where he logged 62 solos in 14 games in 2008.  The upside isn’t quite as high with Morrison in town, but Durant could be a 60-70 solo kind of guy.  If you’re looking to add depth or you’re weak at LB3, Durant could provide you with some steady production.

Keith Brooking (DAL):  Long gone are the days of 100 solos, but Brooking is seemingly always around the ball, a fact that translates into a pile of assists (31 in each of the past 2 seasons) and with the playmakers on the edges for the Cowboys, Brooking could jump on a fumbled football or two.  He will likely flirt with 100 total tackles, and his veteran presence (a presence which is always on the field; he never misses a game) could provide your team with a steady backup LB.

Daryl Washington (ARI):  Washington is the leading candidate to step in and take the departed Karlos Dansby’s spot – unless incumbent Gerald Hayes can majorly step up.  Washington is yet another in the line of under-rated ex-Horned Frogs from TCU who could instantly matter in fantasy football.  He should total 100 tackles with ease, especially if he’s given playing time from the get-go.  If he struggles in the beginning of the season, he may not show true value until the tail end of the season.  Keep your eye on him, though, in training camp and pre-season.  He could easily knock on the door of the top-25 if he is half the player Dansby was in the desert.

Sean Weatherspoon (ATL):  We’ll add a second rookie to this list, although he’s not quite in the situation Washington is.  Weatherspoon will contend with veteran Mike Peterson for playing time, although it’s conceivable ‘Spoon could line up on the strong side, with Peterson manning the weak side.  It would be the best for his value, though, if he wasn’t a SLB, as we all know.  The Falcons have some nice young talent at LB, and they stabbed at Weatherspoon, who was one of the best overall LBs in this draft class, early.  They didn’t spend the high pick on a guy that’s not going to play. 

Lamarr Woodley (PIT):  Let’s not lose Woodley in the shuffle of solid young Steeler LBs.  Woodley has totaled 11.5 and 13.5 sacks in the past two seasons and finished in the top-20 in most scoring formats last season.  So why has he been omitted from the top-50 this pre-season?  Well, we’ve seen dropoffs in production from guys like James Harrison and James Farrior in this defensive scheme, and Woodley will be competing for numbers with the likes of Lawrence Timmons, and the aforementioned Harrison.  He could, though, easily enter the top-50 (or better).

Defensive Linemen Sleepers »   Defensive Back Sleepers »

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