Welcome to the Week 11 installment of The Huddle’s IDP Deeper Sleepers. This bi-weekly article will highlight some sleepers on the IDP side that are backing up injury-prone starters or that have a chance down the road to put up solid fantasy stats. Should you want to discuss IDP sleepers, deep or otherwise, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buster Davis (IND): Like the vet he’s backing up, Davis is rather undersized but has all the tools to be a solid, effective MLB in the NFL. Davis was drafted out of Florida State by the Cards, and then spent time in San Diego where it was thought he’d challenge for a starting spot.. With a host of talented LBs vying for playing time in the Bolts’ 3-4 defense, Davis was let go. He ventured east to Detroit before finally landing in Indianapolis to back up Gary Brackett. Davis fits the mold as a Cover-2 MLB and could prosper in the Colts’ system if he learns the position under Brackett. Freddie Keiaho is definitely the young Colt LB to own, but if you can’t manage to get your hands on him, perhaps you bypass Clint Session, who’s made a name for himself playing the MIKE spot, and take a flier on Davis.
Lawrence Timmons (PIT): Davis’ partner in crime from FSU finds himself in an interesting spot for the Steelers: Lamarr Woodley has been putting up the bigger numbers out of the young LB duo, but it’s quite evident that two LBs can certainly be productive (see: Farrior and Harrison). Timmons’ price tag is likely considerably less than Woodley’s. If it’s a big-play, sacking LB you seek, Timmons may be your man down the road.
Ikaika Alama-Francis (DE – DET): Alama-Francis was touted as a deep sleeper when he was drafted in 2007. He was pegged as a sleeper prior to this season as he challenged Jared Devries for the starting spot opposite Dewayne White. Devries has actually played well this season and Alama-Francis has rode the pine. Well, both White and Devries are both injured and likely out this week and if Alama-Francis plays up to his potential, he could see more playing time in the future.
Victor Adeyanju (DE – STL): I’ve pimped Adeyanju previously, and he deserves mention even if he’s probably the second-best DE prospect on his own team. Chris Long is definitely the future of the Ram defense, but who’s to say how long Leonard Little will be around? Adeyanju certainly has talent, and could definitely benefit from the very active Long on the other end. Adeyanju, in limited playing time, has been putting up respectable numbers for the past month. If Little or Long were to go down with injury, Adeyanju would be a key pickup. For those in dynasty leagues, I’m sure he comes cheap.
Aqib Talib (CB – TBB): Ronde Barber hasn’t missed a game in his career. True! Talib was brought in to play the nickel back for the Bucs, and it was thought that with his skills that he’d be the primary backup to Barber. Well, it looks like Talib has moved across the field to back up the “other” CB spot, but you still can’t deny Talib’s talents. If Barber were to go down with injury (unlikely) or retire (has to happen sooner or later), it’s my opinion that Talib would get a shot at playing at this productive spot.
Nick Ferguson (S – HOU): We highlighted Ferguson’s backfield mate Dunta Robinson 2 weeks ago, and Ferguson deserves some ink as well. Yes, Ferguson isn’t exactly a spring chicken, but with the Texan defense developing, the veteran safety could actually start having productive outings in the next couple years. If you’re looking for an ultra-cheap option in a large dynasty league, Ferguson has to be on your short list.
Notes: Scoring system used for this report – solo tackle (2), assisted tackle (1), sack (3), forced or recovered fumble (3), interception (3) and pass defensed (1).