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.
James Anderson (CAR): When given regular playing time, Anderson has proven he can produce. He finds himself on this list because he's the primary backup to Thomas Davis at WLB for the Panthers. One may imagine that with an injury to Davis, Anderson could put up similar numbers.
Chase Blackburn (NYG): With some injuries to Giant LBs, Blackburn is getting regular time on the weak side and is playing some in the middle as well. He could be a tackle machine.
Tully Banta-Cain (NEP): His upside is somewhat limited but he'll be given some extra field time with Adalius Thomas in some kind of doghouse or hurt.
Other to consider: Kaluka Maiava (CLE)
Pat Sims (DT - CIN): With Doma Peko and Tank Johnson both nursing injuries, Sims has stepped up to man the middle of the Bengal front line. He has 9 and 10 fantasy points in his past two efforts and could post great numbers in his next three outings.
Brett Keisel (DE - PIT): Keisel is a solid vet with limited upside, but with Aaron Smith shelved, he should step up and get a few sacks this season. An alright bye week replacement in larger leagues.
Other to consider: Michael Johnson (DE - CIN)
Gerald Alexander (S - JAC): Alexander had a quiet but solid season last year and has shown he can do more than just tackle. After this week's bye, Alexander could put up a string of good efforts.
Ike Taylor (CB - PIT): Taylor is a talented corner who tackles well and if he can continue to defend passes, he can serve as a solid backup CB in larger leagues.
Other to consider: Craig Dahl (S -STL)