|LDE Raheem Brock (SEA) - Brock fits in well with what Seattle is trying to do up front. He was an underrated lineman in Indy and has produced decently well so far with the Seahawks. Obviously at 32 years old his upside is somewhat limited. But with the defensive line position being so thin and inconsistent this year for fantasy purposes, Brock may make a nice matchup play if your desperate in deeper leagues.|
MLB Zac Diles (HOU) -
|ROLB Cameron Wake (MIA) - I raved about Wake all off-season and thought he was fully capable of posting double digit sack totals in an increased role this season. So far he has lived up to my expectations. He had 3 sacks and 6 QB hits last week against Green Bay giving him 6.5 sacks so far for the season. This isn't a fluke. Wake can flat out play. He has a nonstop motor and a good array of pass-rushing moves to keep offensive tackles off-balance. He's not going to light the world on fire in tackle-heavy leagues, but he could make for a nice LB2 in sack-heavy leagues.|
|LB Pat Angerer (IND) - If you read my articles on a limited basis or listen to my podcast, you are probably familiar with my love for the Iowa Hawkeyes and hence my love for Pat Angerer. Homerism aside, Angerer is a guy you want to have in dynasty leagues as he is going to be a solid linebacker in the NFL for a lot of years. He was the leading tackler in preseason with 36 total tackles and played quite well (4-7-1) in replacement of Gary Brackett last week. He's stuck on the bench for now behind Brackett, Wheeler, and Session, but he's only one injury away from being in the starting lineup. Think Chad Greenway potential.|
|SS Aaron Francisco - After a somewhat shaky performance in Week 5, (San)Francisco rebounded against the Redskins in Week 6 with 7 total tackles and an interception. The strong safety position in Indy has been a good spot for fantasy production. I'm not completely willing to trust Francisco at this point, but he's a guy to keep an eye on and could develop into a matchup-type player in deeper leagues.|
|LDE Cliff Avril (DET) - Avril had been given multiple opportunities in his first two seasons with the Lions to prove his worth and he fell short each time. Fantasy owners however were willing to give him one last chance this season as Detroit went out and significantly bolstered their defensive front by acquiring Kyle Vanden Bosch, Ndamukong Suh, and Corey Williams. This added protection on the defensive line hasn't seemed to have helped Avril's production much as he has failed to register even one sack so far this season. It's time to cut bait with him.|
MLB Rolando McClain (OAK) - McClain continues to put up very disappointing fantasy numbers. The Oakland MLB position has yielded 100+ solo tackles every year for half a decade. McClain is on pace to finish the season with a putrid 56 solo tackles and could end up being this year's biggest IDP failure. This grotesque underperformance of McClain's seems to be stemming from his lack of aggressiveness. He seems afraid to make a mistake and is therefore being way too conservative in his gap assignments. In his defense, McClain was well-known for his instinctual style of play in college so I suspect that defensive coordinator John Marshall's defensive philosophy, in some ways, is encouraging his sluggish style of play. Whatever the case, it's time to dump McClain in most redraft leagues. It just doesn't seem likely that he's going to perform above LB4 status this season. He's still worth retaining in dynasty leagues as I think the light will eventually go on for him and he will begin to regain that aggressiveness that made him such a good linebacker at Alabama.
|MLB Jonathan Vilma (NO) - So far this season Vilma has only had two above average tackle performances (Atlanta and San Francisco). In his defense, his matchups haven't been the greatest. His schedule does get a little better as the season progresses, but Vilma is struggling with a groin injury that could wind up limiting him a bit. Plus, you always have to worry about New Orleans' offense cranking it up. And if this happens, the Saints will get up quickly on teams forcing their them to pass for a majority of the game. This will further negatively impact Vilma's tackle numbers. I'm projecting him as a low LB2/high LB3 the rest of the season.|
|WILB Karlos Dansby (MIA) - I will admit, I had really high hopes for Dansby this season (i.e. top 5-10 LB potential). He found himself on a team with little to no competition for tackles within the front seven and was playing for a defensive coordinator in Mike Nolan who made fantasy stars out of players like Donnie Edwards and Patrick Willis. I, along with many other IDP writers, are somewhat perplexed by Dansby's poor performance so far this season. The tackle opportunities, although not great, have been steady. I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be something in Miami's defensive philosophy/game plan that may be limiting tackle production from the inside linebacker position since we haven't seen a viable inside linebacker in Miami since they switched to the 3-4. Because of his big play capability, I am still banking on Dansby being a mid-to-low LB2, but I have given up on him being an elite linebacker for this season.|
|SS Eric Berry (KC) - After a decent start to the year, Berry's production has really tampered off the last three games as he has only registered 14 total tackles (8 solos) in that span. I think a lot of this can be attributed to Berry being a rookie. He's had moments of greatness but has taken bad angles to the ball multiple times and has completely blown a few coverages, which have limited his chances at both tackles and big plays this season. I don't have many doubt's about Berry's value as an eventual DB1. He just not a great bet for anything more than a DB3 this season.|
As always thanks for reading and for your comments! You guys have been keeping me busy! I'm looking forward to your questions, comments, and derogatory remarks.
Last Updated: October 21, 2010