Hello and welcome to my first article in a season-long series for IDPGuru.com. In this article, I will discuss a few players whose fantasy value has either gone up or down depending on their performance, role changes, injury concerns, etc. from the previous week. I will try to get this article out every Thursday for your reading pleasure.
RDE Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG) – Pierre-Paul's value is on the rise due partly to his skill and defensive scheme the New York Giants use, and partly to Osi Umenyiora (see Stock Down) being out for 3-4 weeks with a freshly scoped knee. In his rookie year last year, Pierre- Paul posted 30 tackles 5 sacks, 6 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles. Now getting starter reps, Pierre should do as well if not better than Umenyiora's 12 sacks, and 48 tackles. Pierre should have a tight grip on the starters role by the time Umenyiora is back at full speed.
MLB D'Qwell Jackson (CLE) – Jackson has been on injured reserve the last two seasons after tearing both pectoral muscles in back to backs seasons. Prior to that he was a solid LB 1. In 08-09 Jackson had a 154 total tackles. He was a machine and on the verge of being a top 5 LB in the NFL. He has had 2 seasons to recover with no wear and tear on his body. Look for Jackson to be well over 100 tackles this season on a bad Cleveland team that will have plenty of tackle opportunities. Jackson is a solid LB 1.
MLB Brandon Spikes (NEP) – Spikes will build on a decent rookie year last season. He had 61 tackles in 12 games which projects to 81 tackles over a 16 game season. Not bad for a rookie that was said to be too slow to play LB. Spikes is a thumper and will be playing behind what could be a top 5 defensive line. Playing for a defensive genius like Belichick. Spikes should see plenty of free lanes and chould be a solid LB2 with LB1 Potential if he can become an every down linebacker.
FS Ed Reed (BAL) – Reed played in the last 10 games of the regular season for Baltimore and recorded 8 INTs and 37 combined tackles. Projected over a 16 game season would looks like 12.8 INTs and 59 tackles. He could be back to playing at his 07-09 seasons pace. Reed if he stays healthy is a solid DB 1
LDE Cliff Avril (DET) – Avril will have the benefit of playing on what should be the best defensive line in the NFL this season. Avril had 9 sacks last season, but the upgraded line should allow him to see the most one on one match ups he has had in his career. It may take a few weeks for DT Fairley to return but once he does Avril should produce like a solid DL2 with DL1 upside. Look for double digit sacks as a minimum.
RDE Will Smith (NO) – Coming off of a 2009-2010 season in which he had 13 sacks and 49 tackles, Smith had high expectation for the 2010 season. He didn't deliver. Smith finished the 2010 season with 6 sacks and 39 tackles. The 39 tackles tells me he was on the field just as much as the 2009 season, the drop in sacks tells me he is slowing down in his 7th year in the NFL. To start this season Smith has been suspended the first 2 games for his use of illegal substances. Smith has some situation potential on the field but, as far as fantasy scoring goes, his best days are behind him.
DE Stylez G. White (MIN) – After 3 years waiting to break out in Tampa Bay, White moved on to Minnesota, where he was just cut from the team. During the last 3 years in Tampa White averaged 37 tackles and 5.5 sacks. It is safe to say his NFL career is nearing an end. He would need to be picked up and put into a perfect situation to be a viable fantasy producer at this point.
WLB Lance Briggs (CHI) – Briggs' agent Drew Rosenhaus filed a trade request with the team on Sept. 1, 2011. Briggs has 3 years left on his 6 year deal he signed in 2008. Last season was the first of Briggs career when he finished with less that 100 total tackles for the first time since his rookie year, way back in 2003. He still has big play potential, but a consistent WLB he is not. Brigg's now is a LB3/4. Even moving on to another team will not improve his fantasy value. He is in his 9th season which is an eternity for a physical LB like Briggs.
FS Brandon Meriweather (NEP) – Meriweather was said to be on the roster bubble as of last week. Meriweather's numbers have never been special, but 2 seasons ago he was a DB2. He has had a decline in tackles last season combined with what looks like a reduction of playing time should move him off the fantasy radar completely. He has never lived up to his first round pick status and may still be cut by the Patriots.
RDE Osi Umenyiora (NYG) – Umenyiora had knee surgery in mid August. He is said to be ahead of schedule with is rehab. He was originally going to be out 3-4 weeks, but says he isn't going to rush himself back. His knee surgery on top of his recent contract issues may be all Jason Pierre-Paul needs to take over the RDE spot. Osi statistically has had a good year ever other year he plays. Starting in the 04-05 season 7 sacks, 05-06 season 14.5 sacks, 06-07 season 6 sacks, 07-08 season 13 sacks, he missed the 08-09 season, 09-10 season 7 sacks and then last year 12 sacks. This season he should be considered a DL2/3.
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Last Updated: September 3, 2011