Welcome to The Huddle’s Deep Sleeper Report for Week 2. Here, we’ll take a look at a few linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs that are “one injury away” (that is, a backup to a stud and just one injury away from being a fantasy somebody), or players worth a look in extremely deep leagues. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two.
Tyjuan Hagler (IND): Hagler is the starting SLB for the Colts, and while this spot isn’t the most desirable in terms of fantasy starters, the Colts’ SLB has produced respectable stats over the past few seasons.
Hunter Hillenmeyer (CHI): I tried to resist adding Hillenmeyer to any of my sleeper articles this week, but I’ll give in and include him here as a deep sleeper. I only recommend adding him if you were an Urlacher owner and you now have room on your bench. More than likely, you have a better option already on your squad’s bench. Tim Shaw was signed to offer some depth, and could start if Hillenmeyer doesn’t perform. There could also be some other options, like moving Lance Briggs inside and starting last week’s choice Jamar Williams. Or they could give in and offer Derrick Brooks the money he’s likely holding out for.
Keith Ellison (BUF): Ellison started the season out with a 25-point outburst against the Pats and is the highest-ranking free agent in my 12-team dynasty league. With Paul Posluszny now dinged up (again) and Kawika Mitchell always a crapshoot, Ellison could be the one to step up. Worth a shot in deeper or dynasty formats.
Other to Consider: David Vobora (STL)
Mark Anderson (DE – CHI): I hate to say this is a make-it-or-break-it season for Anderson, but he’s been around long enough to get what the Bears are doing defensively, and only has a couple of aging vets ahead of him. Now’s the time.
Darren Howard (DT – PHI): The veteran is designated as a DT in MFL but still has DE-type skills. There are a few solid youngsters vying for time along the Eagle line, but the unit looked pretty darn good on Sunday and there could be enough for everyone to feast on. In leagues that force a DT to start, you could do worse than Howard.
Other to Consider: Calais Campbell (DE - ARI)
Darren Sharper (S – NOS): Maybe the old guy has something left in the tank. With the way it appears the Saints will blow their opponents up offensively, the Saint secondary could be busy. I wouldn’t rely on Sharper as an every-week starter, but if you’re looking to add some depth, why not look for a veteran with some opportunities?
Nathan Vasher (CB – CHI): Vasher was a fantasy somebody just a few years ago, but injuries limited his value, and he’s now likely on your league’s waiver wire. With Charles Tillman nursing an injury, Vasher is the playmaking Bear corner that will have to help stop the run with Brian Urlacher done for the season.
Other to Consider: Dominque Bartber (S – HOU)