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.
Mathias Kiwanuka (NYG): Despite having three healthy-ish pass rushers to compete with for stats, Kiwanuka has had an excellent season thus far, especially over the past three weeks worth of games. When he’s getting you 5+ solos and at least a sack a game, he’s a solid third or even second LB with some upside.
Daryl Washington (ARI): The second year LB from TCU is settling into his role as the lead ‘backer for the Cards. He’s had some ho-hum efforts but has averaged 7 solos in each of the past three games and has an excellent schedule remaining.
Carlos Dunlap (DE – CIN): Dunlap had 9 sacks in limited action last season and was looked at to be a breakout performer here this season. He’s been a disappointment, for the most part, until Weeks 8 and 9, where he’s accrued 3 sacks. He still isn’t making tackles, but he’s got a good matchup against the Steelers this week and is a good candidate to make at least one sack.
Marcell Dareus (DE/DT – BAL): The ballyhooed big man from Alabama had been playing end for the Bills but was shifted inside to nose tackle in Week 8 and he proceeded to have his best game yet, including 2.5 sacks. He had a solid Week 9 and should be started in leagues that designate him as a DT and require you start a DT.
Reggie Nelson (S – CIN): Nelson was wasting away as a talented but disappointing safety for the Jags, but has emerged for the Bengals. He’ll have an occasional weak outing but against the right offense, he will put up good tackle numbers. We’re liking the matchup this week against the Steelers.
Patrick Peterson (CB – ARI): The Cardinal corners have been producing fantasy love for their owners for a few seasons now. Peterson has been excellent as a corner but has been even better in the return game. If your league gives points for return yardage and scores, Peterson is super valuable.
Digging For Sleepers
These players will be typical free agents in 12 to 16 IDP leagues and should be targeted.
Philip Wheeler (IND): Wheeler has been a consistent tackling force since he’s been given more playing time with Gary Brackett out for the season. With the Colt offense struggling, their defense spends a ton of time on the field, giving Wheeler and the rest of the Colt defenders more chances at producing.
Larry Foote (PIT): With some injury issues continuing to plague the Steeler defense, Foote has had more tackling opportunities. If you’re in a larger dynasty format and need to plug a LB in for a few weeks, Foote could get you 12-15 points every week.
Keith Brooking (DAL) If Sean Lee is again out for the Boys, Brooking could be a plug-and-play linebacker against the Bills.
Jason Jones (DE – TEN): Deeper look here, but with DL super thin this season, you have to grab at straws. Jones was pulled for Derrick Morgan two weeks ago but Morgan hasn’t done anything with the opportunity. The next couple of weeks will be an indication as to who the Titans will go with down the stretch. There are a couple good matchups for the Titan pass rush in the final few weeks so Jones could be a decent sleeper.
Antonio Garay (DT – SDC): In leagues that start DT, Garay has been a decent play for a couple seasons now. Against the right offense, he can get you 3-4 solos and the occasional sack is a bonus.
Ryan Clark (S – PIT): Troy Polamalu is the flashier safety for the Steelers, but Clark remains one of the most consistent producers for their defense. He’s scored in double digits in every game since Week 3. If you are facing a tough opponent and need consistent points this week, Clark should produce 12-15 points without much problem.
Tramon Williams (CB – GBP): Williams’ production is highly inconsistent but he’ll be the best fantasy corner for the Packers in a season or two once Charles Woodson hangs them up. In dynasty formats, he’s worth stashing.
Digging Even Deeper
Here you will find "one injury away" players, or those worth a look in very deep leagues.
Linebackers: Jonathan Casillas (NOS), Chris Gocong (CLE)
Defensive Linemen: Alex Carrington (DE – BUF), Shaun Smith (DT – TEN)
Defensive Backs: Sherrod Martin (S – CAR), Sean Smith (CB – MIA)
Week 9 Report Card
Let’s take a quick look to see how our Week 9 sleepers performed. They may or may not still be worthy of an add.
Mathias Kiwanuka (NYG): Definitely worthy of adding, as detailed above. He had his best effort of the 2011 season: 6 solos, 6 assists and an INT.
Jarrett Johnson (BAL): 5 solos, 10 points. Not bad, but obviously not a game changer. He’s an inconsistent producer but in the right matchup, he could get you double digits.
Sam Acho (ARI): Had his third straight game with a sack and if he can up his tackle production, you’re looking at a nice sleeper for the rest of the season and especially in 2012.
Brett Keisel (DE – PIT): Second straight game with 9.5 fantasy points in typical scoring formats. With the DL spot so thin this year, if you’re bitten by bye weeks or injuries, a guy like Keisel could fill in.
Corey Peters (DT – ATL): Got himself another sack but that’s about it. He’s certainly improved the Falcons’ pass rush and has to be considered in leagues that start DT.
Steve Gregory (S – SDC): After a couple productive weeks, Gregory basically laid an egg in a great matchup against the Pack. DB – unlike DL – is pretty stacked this season so you can probably find a better producer.
Corey Webster (CB – NYG): After a string of solid games, the Giant corner had one of his worst outings in what should have been a good matchup. Look elsewhere for more consistent points.