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.
Jonathan Vilma (NOS): The leader of the Saints defense has been on the injury report in all but two games this season. In his first game back in over a month, Vilma notched 6 solos, 4 assists and a pass defense. The tackle and big play opportunities should be there for Vilma in the final four games of the season, so a healthy Vilma is a good play.
Paris Lenon (ARI): Lenon has been a steady presence for the improving Cardinal defense. He has five straight weeks with double digit fantasy points and the remaining games on the schedule appear to be pretty favorable in terms of Lenon continuing that trend.
Jabaal Sheard (DE – CLE): The rookie was poised to have a breakout season and after an up-and-down start to the season, hit a streak of poor production. In the past two games, however, he’s posted excellent stats. He’s on a 3-game sack streak and in his final four contests, he’ll certainly have an opportunity to build on that streak.
Elvis Dumervil (DE – DEN): With Von Miller possibly sidelined another week, Dumervil will be the main source of the Bronco defense’s pass rush. He has at least a half sack in each of the past five games and should be able to locate Caleb Hanie this week. You may wish to find other options come Week 15, but over the final four games of the season, he’ll be a solid start in three.
Charles Godfrey (S – CAR): This guy is filling up the box score. Excellent matchups remain for the Panther safety, so he’ll be a steady force for your fantasy team, with the potential to put up big-time points.
Sean Jones (S – TBB): Jones has had a pretty solid resurrection in Tampa. He was a fantasy mainstay in 2006-7 before dropping off significantly in 2008-10. He’s on pace to set a career-best for solo tackles. He’s a very solid DB2 with the potential to put up #1 type numbers.
Digging For Sleepers
These players will be typical free agents in 12 to 16 IDP leagues and should be targeted.
Jameel McClain (BAL): Even when Ray Lewis was not sidelined, McClain was putting up good numbers. If Lewis returns this week, he’ll likely sit once the Ravens are up by a few scores on the hapless Colts. McClain is a good speculative play this week and could serve as solid depth in the fantasy playoffs.
Chase Blackburn (NYG): The Giants re-signed Blackburn with their current set of linebackers battling a variety of injuries. In his first game back, he posted three solos, four assists and two pass knock-downs. He should get enough playing time to help out those in very deep leagues.
Rob Francois / D.J. Smith (GBP) With the Packers normal inside linebackers battling injury, the team has started this pair. Both Francois and Smith have posted modest numbers in the past two weeks, and if the Packers clinch early, they could really get some serious playing time over the next month’s worth of games.
Jurrell Casey (DT – TEN): The rookie from USC has produced moderate numbers this season on the inside of the Titan line. He has 23 fantasy points over his past two contests and should have the opportunity to produce good numbers in a very thin DL position for the rest of the season. A good deep league add.
Frostee Rucker (DE – CIN): We’ll recommend another ex-Trojan here, and why not, the guy’s name is “Frostee”. The remaining schedule is favorable in terms of potential sacking of the QB and Rucker should average 3-4 solos in each game as well.
James Sanders (S – ATL): Thomas DeCoud is listed as the starter, but Sanders has been effective over the past 2 weeks in the time he’s been given. Excellent matchups remain, so if you’re struggling to find big numbers at the DB spot, Sanders is a boom-or-bust option that could push you over the edge.
Tracy Porter (CB – NOS): The hero of the Saints’ Super Bowl win had put up paltry numbers in the first 9 weeks of the season before three excellent showings. The final weeks of the season should yield plenty of production from the Saints cornerback.
Digging Even Deeper
Here you will find "one injury away" players, or those worth a look in very deep leagues.
Linebackers: Aaron Maybin (NYJ), Akeem Jordan (PHI)
Defensive Linemen: Adam Carriker (DE – WAS), Linval Joseph (DT – NYG)
Defensive Backs: Rashad Johnson (S – ARI), Chris Gamble (CB – CAR)
Week 13 Report Card
Let’s take a quick look to see how our Week 13 sleepers performed. They may or may not still be worthy of an add.
Connor Barwin (HOU): Knocked down a pair of passes, but aside from that he was as quiet as a church mouse. If he’s available, you might want to grab him for Week 16 against the Colts.
Sam Acho (ARI): Dynasty league owners should add Acho. He’s turning into a solid pass rush linebacker.
Phillip Wheeler (IND): A solid but unspectacular 10 fantasy points. The potential is there for good numbers in the remaining games.
Cory Redding (DE – BAL): Perhaps the Texas-Ex can get to the Colts’ Dan Orlovsky this week. DL has been a seriously erratic position to project for this season.
Robert Geathers (DE – CIN): The Bengals rotate in a host of pass-rushers, limiting their potential to really put up big numbers.
Ryan Clark (S – PIT): Once again, Clark puts up double digits. One of the safer plays that seems to be on a ton of free agent lists.
Kyle Arrington (CB – NEP): With opposing offenses needing to throw the ball a ton against the Pats, a guy like Arrington could potentially post huge tackle and pass defense numbers. One to watch.