Welcome to another year of fantasy football, IDP-style. This new free agent report will help you identify players that you can add to your team that can give you immediate help or increase the strength of your bench.
Here we’ll take a look at players that are heating things up on defense and can bring your fantasy team some immediate help.
Sean Weatherspoon (ATL): The “new ‘Spoon” was a favorite of IDP dynasty league owners coming into the 2010 season, as he was going to be a pairing with Curtis Lofton on the Falcon line and had a ton of big play ability. He was a mild disappointment, but has started the 2011 season on fire as the Falcon WLB. He’s relegated the vet Mike Peterson to backup duty.
Sean Lee (DAL): Lee has played so well that the vets Keith Brooking and Bradie James have been rotating at the second ILB spot for the Cowboys. He has 19 solos thus far and is by far the best Cowboy LB to own.
Rocky McIntosh (WAS): McIntosh has always been a fringe fantasy LB, finding his way onto 12 and 16 team rosters as a backup. He’s put up pretty good stats, and has started this season off very well. He’s becoming more of a LB3 or even LB2 in larger formats.
Charles Johnson (DE – CAR): A sack in each contest thus far. Four solos in each contest thus far. If Johnson can remain consistent, he’ll be a solid DE for years to come.
J.J. Watt (DE – HOU): Watt has been awesome to start his rookie campaign. He was so good in the eyes of the Texan coaching staff that they felt more than comfortable moving Mario Williams to LB. Watt’s scored in double digits in each game thus far and is a nice sleeper for those in redraft leagues.
Cullen Jenkins (DT – PHI): Lost in the “bigger name” free agent acquisitions by the Eagles this off-season is the big ex-Packer. He’s going to be a force in the middle of the Philly line this season. He already has three sacks on the season.
Morgan Burnett (S – GBP): Burnett is currently the #1 fantasy safety. Teams will continue to throw on the Packers, and despite him being a strong safety, he’s got a pair of pass breakups so far this season and could be asked to help even more with the ball-hawking Nick Collins shelved for the season.
Jon McGraw (S – KCC): Sometimes it’s just about opportunity. Eric Berry’s out for the season, so the journeyman McGraw steps in. He’s a top-5 DB to start the season and could easily finish in the top-10 with as bad as the KC offense looks.
Antoine Winfield (CB – MIN): Winfield has been one of the best fantasy CBs over the past several years. He’s gobbling up the solos (11 last week) and will be busy again this week in defending Calvin Johnson.
Digging For Sleepers
These players will be typical free agents in 12 to 16 IDP leagues and should be targeted.
Jonathan Casillas (NOS): If your league gives big points for sacks, Casillas could be your guy. He’s got 2 thus far, but only 4 solo tackles. He’s a good fit for the Gregg Williams blitzing D.
Eric Walden (GBP): Walden’s nailed down the starting spot on the opposite side of Clay Matthews. He’s been good in pass coverage and also has 7 solos to start the season. If he remains consistent, he could be a solid backup fantasy LB.
Joe Mays (DEN): If he’s STILL out there, you need to get him ASAP. He’s got 23 fantasy points to start the season and could still be a double digit weekly scorer with D.J. Williams returning.
Dave Ball (DE – TEN): Someone has to provide some pass rush for the Titan D. Ball is not a freakish athlete but managed to get seven sacks last season and could be a cheap source of them here this season.
Phil Taylor (DT – CLE): He shot up the IDP rankings last week after a nice, 5 solo opener. Last season it was Ahtyba Rubin who burst onto the scene. This year it may be Taylor, the rookie from Baylor. The Browns thought enough of him to grab him #21 overall this past April.
Reshad Jones (S – MIA): Starting for the vet Chris Clemons, Jones posted a good effort against the Texans. If he keeps the job – and we believe he will – he could provide cheap fantasy points.
Lardarius Webb (CB – BAL): Webb is actually the #1 DB through two games, after gobbling up 18 tackles to start the season and has been active in pass rushing and pass breakups. DB is always deep but you gotta like this start.
Digging Even Deeper
Here you will find "one injury away" players, or those worth a look in very deep leagues.
Linebackers: Omar Gaither (CAR), Shawne Merriman (BUF), Kamerion Wimbley (OAK)
Defensive Linemen: Israel Idonije (DE – CHI), Geno Atkins (DT – CIN)
Defensive Backs: Charlie Peprah (S – GBP), Sabby Piscitelli (S – KCC)