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 for those playing in “play one” type IDP leagues. These players are typically must-starts in standard IDP leagues.
Navorro Bowman (SFO): He continues stride for stride with fellow Niner LB Patrick Willis. Thing is, you probably got Bowman at the end of your draft and Willis required one of the first IDP picks off the board. The second-year ‘backer from Linebacker U (Penn St.) is looking great and should be started every week from here on out.
Donald Butler (SDC): Washington rookie LBs have played well this season. Mason Foster started out hot for the Bucs, and now it’s Butler who’s starting to play very well for the Bolts. He’s racking up the solos for the Chargers and is producing “other” stats as well. He’s a very good start against the Chiefs this week.
Chris Clemons (DE – SEA): Clemons really is the only pass rush the Seahawks have. And with the amount the Seattle defense is likely to be on the field this season, that could mean big things for Clemons. He had yet another 2-sack game against the Browns and could easily get another sack this week against the rookie Bengal QB Andy Dalton. In fact, the remaining schedule looks rather cherry for Clemons.
Andre Carter (DE – NEP): The Pats brought in some veteran defenders to hopefully strengthen their pass rush and Carter has been the one that’s stepped up. After five ho-hum weeks to start the season, Carter has a pair of solid efforts in a row and should provide plenty of pressure against Big Ben this week. A good start this week.
Antoine Bethea (S – IND): Traditionally, Colt safeties have been mediocre fantasy performers despite opposing offenses needing to throw the ball a bunch to keep up. Now, with their offense struggling, the Colt defenders are on the field more, their pass rush has been rendered rather useless so Bethea has been racking up tackles. With no immediate change in the future of the offense on the horizon, we think Bethea could easily rack up a career high in tackles.
Brandon Flowers (CB – KCC): Flowers has been a solid fantasy performer since he came into the league. His upcoming schedule is beyond favorable and is a must-start in leagues that must start CB.
Digging For Sleepers
These players will be typical free agents in 12 to 16 IDP leagues and should be targeted.
Chris Chamberlain (STL): With Ben Leber still out, Chamberlain has posted an average of 5 solos per game. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues if you need a backup or third LB.
Gary Guyton (NEP): With Jerod Mayo slowly progressing with his knee rehab, Guyton has put up good numbers. He’s no Mayo, but he has 10 assists and nine solos in the past two contests. If Mayo’s out this week, Guyton’s worth a play. He may actually be worth picking up just to have in case Mayo comes back and gets himself re-injured.
Clark Haggans (ARI): The Cardinal OLBs haven’t produced much fantasy action in the past but Haggans just put up an impressive stat line against his old team, the Steelers, and does have a string of good matchups upcoming. If the cupboard’s bare in your league’s waiver wire and you’re hurting at LB, you could do worse.
Lawrence Jackson (DE – DET): Defensive line is a thinner position than it’s ever been this season. More than likely, the pickin’s are very, very slim in your league’s waiver wire in terms of this position. You have the unenviable task of being very speculative, and Jackson is a very speculative choice. The Lion line has been making things happen and Jackson has been getting time behind Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Both starters have a history of getting hurt so Jackson is really one eventual injury away from being a significant player.
Brandon Mebane (DT – SEA): Mebane’s put up decent tackle numbers for the DT spot in the past, and did put up 5 solos this past week. He’s considered a deep sleeper this week.
Ryan Clark (S – PIT): Clark quietly puts up decent numbers every year, overshadowed by the likes of Troy Polamalu and their big-hitting LBs. Clark’s posted double digits in the past five weeks and has a fantastic matchup against the Pats here this week.
Terrence McGee (CB – BUF): The 31-year old returned from a hamstring injury to post 11 solos against the Giants. His Week 8 opponent is without their #1 wideout but will still throw the ball with their run game perhaps stalled out yet again. McGee could be busy again.
Digging Even Deeper
Here you will find "one injury away" players, or those worth a look in very deep leagues.
Linebackers: Xavier Adibi (MIN), Kevin Burnett (MIA)
Defensive Linemen: Muhammad Wilkerson (DE – NYJ), Corey Peters (DT – ATL)
Defensive Backs: Charlie Peprah (S – GBP), Cary Williams (CB – BAL)
Week 7 Report Card
Let’s take a quick look to see how our Week 7 sleepers performed. They may or may not still be worthy of an add.
Phillip Wheeler (IND): Good stat line for Wheeler against the Saints: 6 solos and 4 assists for 16 fantasy points, tying his season high. In a pinch, he’s a good LB3 if he’s facing a pass-happy squad.
Aaron Curry (OAK): The once highly-touted ‘backer from Wake Forest had a solo tackle and three assists as the new starting WLB for the Raiders. The change of scenery may inject some zest into Curry. This was a medium-term recommendation. He’s got the week off here in Week 8 and could put up good numbers for the rest of the season.
Stephen Nicholas (ATL): The Falcon SLB had 3 solos and 3 assists. Not groundbreaking numbers by any stretch, but his involvement gives us hope that down the road he could put up serviceable numbers especially if one of the two studlier Falcon LBs went down with injury.
Jeremy Mincey (DE – JAC): As of “press time”, the Monday Night game was still going, but Mincey was leading a surprisingly tough Jag defense with 3 solos, a sack and a forced fumble. He’s worth adding in most leagues at this point.
Jurrell Casey (DT – TEN): He may of only had 2 tackles, but the Titans absolutely love this big rookie. Keep your eye on his progress.
Thomas DeCoud (S – ATL): DeCoud laid an egg. And this is coming off a great game in Week 6 against the Panthers.
A.J. Jefferson (CB – ARI): We told you to add this guy and if you did, you were rewarded by yet another double-digit effort. A fantastic matchup awaits for just about every remaining game.