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.
Jason Trusnik (CLE): The special-teams expert is seeing regular time on the outside of the Brown linebacking corps, and had 7 solos and a sack in his first start. Games against the Lions, Chiefs and Raiders could make Trusnik a startable LB3 in deeper formats.
Bobby Carpenter (DAL): Carpenter is backing up Bradie James, who has posted good fantasy stats over the past couple seasons. James’ contract expires at the end of the 2011 season, so you might want to stash Carpenter at the end of this season or sometime next season in case he gets the starting nod at some point.
Paris Lenon (STL): We highlighted Chris Chamberlain last week, but it looks like the veteran Lenon will get the start at WLB with Will Witherspoon traded. Chamberlain’s the guy you want in a dynasty format, but Lenon could actually help in deeper redraft formats this season.
Other to Consider: Gerald McRath (TEN)
Dewayne White (DE – DET): White had a good 2008 season, logging 6.5 sacks and forcing 3 fumbles. He’s been injured for most of this season, but made his return last week and snared an INT. The Lions don’t have much of a pass rush, so the return of White can only be a good thing. Check him out in very deep leagues and consider making a deal for him in dynasty formats if he starts racking up the sacks.
Marcus Harrison (DT – CHI): Tommie Harris was a healthy scratch in Week 7 but returned to action Week 8. Harrison was the fill-in and had 5 solos (pretty sweet for a nose tackle). If Harris is in fact injured or benched, Harrison would be an able backup DL in leagues that start DT.
Other to Consider: Jason Babin (DE - PHI)
Tyrell Johnson (S – MIN): He’s the starting SS for the Vikes but has yet to break out. He’s an adept tackler and can knock down passes (sometimes rare for a strong safety). He’s worth a look in dynasty formats, but keep him on your taxi squad until he proves he can provide consistent fantasy numbers.
Ike Taylor (CB – PIT): Taylor is simply a talented football player who could become a fantasy option if the position wasn’t so deep – and he could provide constant tackle stats.
Other to Consider: Drayton Florence (CB – BUF)