Welcome to another year of The Huddle’s IDP Sleeper Report. To start the season off, we’ll pull a few linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs from the latter third (or half, in the case of the DL) of our preseason rankings, or from players that went unranked. Good luck this season and feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to suggest a player or discuss my picks. Good luck this season!
Chris Gocong (CLE): Pretty simple; Gocong will assume D’Qwell Jackson’s spot in the linebacking corps for the Browns while Jackson recovers from injury. Now, Gocong is no Jackson, so temper your expectations. But at worst, he’ll put up decent numbers this week and for the next couple of weeks. A sneaky pickup, especially for those that own Jackson.
Paris Lenon (ARI): With Karlos Dansby gone and Gerald Hayes shelved, or at least limited, Lenon takes one of the ILB spots for the Cards. Lenon is a vet that should gobble up a handful of tackles against the Rams this week.
Zach Diles (HOU): Another fill-in that has a chance to shine this week. Brian Cushing is suspended, so Diles steps in at the SLB spot for the Texans. Now, as we all know, the SLB isn’t the best position, at least fantasy-wise, but it has been productive for the Texan that occupies this spot. The matchup is fair at best, so don’t expect a huge, Cushing-like outing.
Other to Consider: Dan Connor (CAR)
Alex Brown (DE – NOS): The vet likely has something to prove against a foe he knows quite well. With much of the attention focused on Will Smith, Brown could get loose against the Old Gunslinger.
Gerald McCoy (DT – TBB): The rookie fits the Tampa-2 scheme to a tee and will look to “tee off” on Jake Delhomme and the Brown offense.
Other to Consider: James Hall (DE - STL)
Tracy Porter (CB – NOS): One of the heroes of the Super Bowl gets to flash his wares against the Vikes. The Saint defensive backfield could be one of the best in the NFL and will get a test against Brett Favre tonight.
Morgan Burnett (S – GBP): The rookie gets the start at SS with Atari Bigby on the PUP list. Could be a good matchup against the Philly offense led by Kevin Kolb.
Tom Zbikowski (S – BAL): Love the name, and love the opportunity with Ed Reed on the PUP list. He’ll compete with Dawan Landry for fantasy opportunities with Reed out, and could be in the better position this week.
Other to Consider: Jim Leonhard (S – NYJ)