Welcome to this week's Deep Sleeper Report. Here, we’ll take a look at a few linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs that are “one injury away” (that is, a backup to a stud and just one injury away from being a fantasy somebody), or players worth a look in extremely deep leagues. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two. For purposes of this article, we’re pulling players that are free agents in a 12-team dynasty league.
Clark Haggans (ARI): Haggans probably belongs on the “Weekly Sleeper” list since he will likely perform well this week against Tampa Bay. But we’ll also include him here since his medium term value appears solid as well. With Gerald Hayes set to return, his value may take a hit, but there’s a good chance Hayes has a setback and Haggans will continue his solid play. Haggans has only one game in single digits all season. If nothing else, he’s a nice LB to own in dynasty or deeper formats if you have Hayes.
Ashlee Palmer (DET): This guy’s name just cracks me up. I’m sure he could probably whoop my butt, but still. Anyways, Palmer is filling in for the injured Zack Follett, and is probably the better LB too. There will be opportunities for Palmer to post excellent tackle totals with Follett sidelined.
Brian Iwuh (CHI): We highlighted Pisa Tinoisamoa here last week, and he’s been posting decent numbers. But the consistent numbers – at least while Lance Briggs is out – will come from Iwuh, who’s technically the WLB starter for the Bears.
Raheem Brock (DE – SEA): The Seahawks currently have the #1 team defense in many scoring formats, and it’s partially due to their propensity to sack the opposing QB. No one is really a standout, studly difference-maker, but they have some guys that are solid pass-rushers. One such baller is Brock, who has had solid seasons as a situational pass-rusher for the Colts. Brock has 4 sacks thus far on the season, and has a great schedule to finish the season.
Antonio Garay (DT – SDC): Garay should be owned in leagues that start DT. He has 3 sacks on the season and has shown he can make a handful of solo tackles (usually around 3 per game). He’s a savvy vet that appears to be settling into his role for the Bolts.
Deon Grant (S – NYG): With Kenny Phillips nursing a bad foot, Grant has been getting the majority of time at SS for the Giants. His past two weeks have been very fruitful and we like what he has on the schedule following the Giants Week 8 bye. Add him next week if Phillips appears to still be gimpy.
Jerraud Powers (CB – IND): We seem to highlight a Colt CB here every couple weeks. With Powers, Hayden and Lacey all having value. Lacey’s dinged at this time, and it’s Powers that’s putting up the very good numbers out of this group. He’s putting up solid tackle stats and defending a good number of balls. With opposing offenses needing to throw a lot to keep up with the Colt attack, Powers and the rest of the Colt secondary should have good stats moving forward.