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IDP Free Agent Report: Week 12
Darin Tietgen
November 22 2011
 

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.

Who's Hot

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.

Linebackers

James Laurinaitis (STL):  He’s had three 20+ point games in his past four outings, and has a very good schedule remaining.  He should be started without question every week from here on out and you should expect at least another two or three 20+ point efforts.

Jamar Chaney (PHI):  The rookie has settled into his role as the Eagles’ MLB, after the Casey Matthews experiment flopped mightily.  He’s scored in double digits each week since Week 8 and puts up more stats than simply tackles.  Perfect LB2; steady, with the potential to reach 20 points or more as he continues to develop.    

Defensive Line

Calais Campbell (DE – ARI):  Campbell’s a big time talent that has yet to really bust out.  But with DL ultra-thin this season (at least in terms of sure-fire studs), a guy like Campbell, who has the potential to get you multiple sacks and 4+ solos, is a must-start.  Looking at his remaining schedule, things are looking good for him.  He could finish the season with 60 solos and could knock on the door of double digit sacks. 

Tommy Kelly (DT – OAK):  The veteran has put up consecutive excellent  efforts, tallying 3 sacks, 3 passes defended, a forced fumble and an INT in those two games.  He faces Caleb Hanie and the Bears this week, which could mean good things for Kelly and the Raider defense. 

Defensive Backs

Antoine Bethea (S – IND):  He’s put up double digits in every game but one this season, and the Colt defense will again spend plenty of time on the field in their remaining games.  The matchups favor Bethea in terms of potential production as well.  Get him in your lineups.    

Tramon Williams (CB – GBP):  Charles Woodson is still an icon for the Packers’ defense and puts up solid numbers, but Williams has been coming on strong for a few years now and certainly has all the potential in the world.  He’s got good potential in the remaining six contests so if you’re looking for a guy with upside, go with Williams. 

Digging For Sleepers

These players will be typical free agents in 12 to 16 IDP leagues and should be targeted.

Linebackers

Jameel McClain (BAL):  Even when Ray Lewis was healthy, McClain showed that he could put up respectable numbers.  With Lewis out last week, McClain tallied 8 solos.  If Lewis is out again this week, McClain is a solid start against the Niners on Thanksgiving.   

Antwan Barnes (SDC):  Barnes has a very quiet six sacks on the season and put up 12 solos in a pair of games (vs. Packers and vs. Raiders).  He should be an important cog in stopping the Tebow train come Sunday.  Definitely worth a speculative look. 

Scott Shanle (NOS)  We’ve talked about Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Jonathan Casillas this season but we also have to mention the veteran Shanle.  He’ll from time to time put up excellent solo tackle numbers with the right matchup.  There are a few good matchups remaining (vs. NYG, @MIN, vs. ATL) so he could be plugged in if you’re thin at LB.   

Defensive Line

Thomas Keiser (DE – CAR):  Yeah, he’s listed as the fifth DE, but Greg Hardy hurt his ankle in Week 11 and Keiser, a rookie from Stanford, got a pair of sacks and five solos in that game.  If you’re miserably thin at DE, Keiser could add to that sack total this week in spot duty against the hapless Colts.

Geno Atkins (DT – CIN):  The interior part of the Bengals’ line has actually been somewhat productive from a fantasy standpoint this season.  Atkins had his best game of the season last weekend, and we’re liking his next few games too.  He has 5.5 sacks on the season and could get two or three more before the season’s over.       

Defensive Backs

Major Wright (S – CHI):  The second year pro out of Florida has an INT in each of the past three games, and could potentially pick another off against Carson Palmer’s Raiders this week.  With Jay Cutler out, the defense is going to have to pick its game up, so we’ll give Wright a slight uptick.  

Kelly Jennings (CB – CIN):  Leon Hall is done for the season, so enter Jennings, who will take Hall’s spot.  Jennings is small, but fast.  He’ll be tested by bigger WRs, but could end up getting tackle opportunities as a result.           

Digging Even Deeper

Here you will find "one injury away" players, or those worth a look in very deep leagues.

Linebackers:  Rob Ninkovich (NEP), Chris Gocong (CLE)

Defensive Linemen:  Ryan Pickett (DE – GBP), Broderick Bunkley (DT – DEN)

Defensive Backs: Rashad Johnson (S – ARI), William Gay (CB – PIT)

Week 11 Report Card

Let’s take a quick look to see how our Week 11 sleepers performed.  They may or may not still be worthy of an add.

Linebackers
Kamerion Wimbley (OAK):  No such luck in the sack department for Wimbley this past week, but we like his prospects against Caleb Hanie and the Bears this week.   
Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Jonathan Casillas (NOS):  Both were obviously on bye Week 11, but remain speculative pickups for this week and beyond. 

Defensive Line
Lawrence Jackson (DE – DET):  Jackson was only nursing a thigh injury, so it was thought he’d be good to go.  No such luck.  We do like Jackson, just not this or next week. 
Brian Price (DT – TBB):  Got himself a sack this past week and will continue to fill in on the inside of the Bucs’ line.     

Defensive Backs
David Caldwell (S – IND): Was on bye last week but was worthy of a pickup in larger leagues (and still is).  The Colts’ defense is going to spend a bunch of time on the field and Caldwell could definitely put up some stats. 
Terence Newman (CB – DAL):  Newman had a solid outing, putting up 12.5 fantasy points.  He’s a good bet to again put up double digits in the Cowboys Thanksgiving game.


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