Welcome to The Huddle’s Deep Sleeper Report. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two.
Tim Dobbins (SDC): The Charger LBs always have some solid contributors on the fantasy side of things. Headlining the group for the past few years has been Shawne Merriman, but Stephen Cooper has been the most able tackler of the group. Dobbins splits some time with Kevin Burnett on the inside, and could be first in line should Cooper go down with injury.
Jarrett Johnson (BAL): If you’re in a deeper or dynasty league, Johnson is worth a look, especially if you own Terrell Suggs. Johnson is playing the outside/rush end spot opposite Suggs and has 3 sacks on the season. You can probably get him cheap, too, as he’s been nursing a shoulder injury, but has been playing fine with it.
Tony Gilbert (ATL): Gilbert’s the primary backup to Curtis Lofton in the middle of the Falcon LB set. Mike Peterson could slide over from the weak side, but Gilbert would definitely get his chance. He tends to play very well when given serious playing time.
Other to Consider: Akin Ayodele (MIA)
Mike Wright (DE – NEP): Wright’s likely available, even in some dynasty formats, and has shown that he can do more than just tackle (3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defensed).
Juqua Parker (DE – PHI): The Eagle defense has shown that it can dominate without its leader, Jim Johnson, at the helm. They’re playing inspired defense after his loss, and Parker already has a pair of sacks on the season. Victor Abiamiri has been playing well, forcing a split in playing time between him and Parker. But Parker had a good 2008 and had 11 sacks between 2006 and 2007. Keep an eye out.
Other to Consider: William Hayes (DE - TEN)
Jabari Greer (CB – NOS): Corner is an extremely deep spot, but if you can get double digits every week, you gotta take notice. Greer has 6 solos in each of the past 3 games; a number which is very good for a corner. He’s also knocking down passes (6 on the season). Definitely worth a look in all leagues that start CB.
Jordan Babineaux (S – SEA): If you can deal with a smidge of inconsistency (or at least get the right pattern), Babineaux is a decent third DB in most leagues. He’s got 20 solo tackles thus far and will continue racking them up.
Other to Consider: Chris Crocker (S – CIN)