Following up on my Pre-Season Deep Sleepers column, I present to you an updated list of IDP sleepers that are most likely on your league’s waiver wire that would make solid spot-starts and that, with solid Week 1 outings, be snatched up come this time next week.
Brian Simmons – CIN: Simmons again tops the list of possible free agent linebackers. He’ll be filling in at MLB for Odell Thurman for four weeks. His Week 1 matchup is a good one, too. He and his defensive mates will be hard-pressed to contain RB Larry Johnson and the Chief aerial attack led by TE Tony Gonzalez.
DeMeco Ryans – HOU: In less experienced leagues, Ryans may actually still be available. The rookie LB from Alabama has moved into the starting MLB spot for the Houston Texans. If you drafted Ryans as a late-round flier in re-draft leagues, you should be giddy. The Texans face Philadelphia at home Week 1, and the Texan LBs will be responsible in both pass and run coverage against the West Coast offense of the Eagles.
Shaun Phillips – SD: With LB Steve Foley out for the season after being shot by an off-duty policeman in San Diego, Phillips steps into the starting outside LB spot. Sure, uber-stud LBs Shawne Merriman and Donnie Edwards are there, but Phillips had seven sacks (second to Merriman’s 10) last season. The Bolts face their rivals – the Oakland Raiders – Week 1 and Oakland’s been known to give up sacks (tied for 7th worst in the NFL last year).
Others to Consider: Scott Shanle (NO), Junior Seau (NE) and Warrick Holdman (WAS)
Philip Daniels – WAS: The Redskins face the Minnesota Vikings, who gave up 54 sacks last season. Daniels has shown a knack of getting to the QB, so Daniels might just do in a pinch, especially with a dearth of available DLs to start the season off.
Others to Consider: Ty Warren (NE), Mike Patterson (PHI) and Travis LaBoy (TEN)
Will Demps – NYG: Demps and the Giant secondary will be tested on Monday night against the high-flying Indianapolis Colts. Demps has the experience (5 years with the Ravens) to handle the pressure. Expect a solid effort with plenty of tackles from Demps. I would suspect he will not be on many waiver wires come Tuesday morning.
Derrick Gibson – OAK: Gibson is the penciled-in starter against the rival Chargers, but expect rookie Michael Huff to see some playing time and eventually overtake Gibson as the starter. For now, though, and especially against a green QB like Philip Rivers, Gibson may have his share of solid games.
Quentin Jammer – SD: Jammer ended the ’05 campaign on fire as one of the top-scoring CBs over the last six weeks of the season. To start off 2006, he’ll match up with Raider WR Randy Moss, who Aaron Brooks will be targeting all game. Expect a handful of tackles and perhaps a broken-up pass or two.
Others to Consider: Ty Law (KC), Jordan Babineaux (SEA) and Omar Stoutmire/Josh Bullocks (NO)
Good luck Week 1, and don’t hesitate in emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime during the season if you have a question, or want to recommend a future “IDP Deeper Sleeper”!