Welcome to this week'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. For purposes of this article, we’re pulling players that are free agents in a 12-team dynasty league.
Brad Jones (GBP): Jones just hit IR this past week, but prior to that, he was looking decent after first losing his starting spot to an undrafted rookie. Keep Jones on your radar, though, in dynasty formats. He has decent speed, good size (6’3”, 232 lbs.) and could be a sleeper in deep formats in 2011.
Kamerion Wimbley (OAK): Wimbley was a first-round pick by the Browns in 2006 and showed big time potential his rookie season and then kind of plateaued. He started 2010 off well with the Raiders and has been pretty solid during Weeks 7-8. He’s got a solid Week 9 matchup, so we’ll see if he can continue his solid play. Definitely worth adding in dynasty formats.
Jarrett Johnson (BAL): He’s no spring chicken, so his dynasty value is somewhat low, but in bigger leagues, he could prove fruitful for the remainder of the season. He logged 6 assisted tackles last week – a good amount, for sure; and sometimes an indication a LB’s play is on the rise.
Israel Idonije (DE – CHI): Honestly, even as a Bear fan, I really had no idea who this dude was until this season. He’s perhaps another example of the “opposite the stud” theory; as bringing in Julius Peppers has been great for the Bears’ D and it was assumed that Mark Anderson would be the beneficiary on the other side. Anderson was waived after Idonije’s solid play and now the position is all his. He’s got 5 sacks on the season and is a sneaky pick when the Bears face real weak offensive lines and/or weak QBs.
Albert Haynesworth (DT – WAS): Odd to see this name here, I’d imagine. Well, he is likely available in a variety of leagues after he basically hit rock bottom. The Skins have let him loose for all intents and purposes, and he has a sack in each of the last two games. Following his Week 9 bye, there will be more than one great matchup for Big Al. Might be a bit of a coup to add him if you’re thin at DL (and aren’t we all?).
Charlie Peprah (S – GBP): With Atari Bigby on PUP, Peprah is the new SS for the Pack. He’s had four consecutive solid outings and the Packers’ schedule is extremely favorable for IDPs for the second half of the season.
Javier Arenas (CB – KCC): In leagues that give stats for punt and kick returns, Arenas definitely has value. He’s worked his way into the Chiefs’ regular defensive rotation, and is typically logging 3 solos per game; not a bad stat for a part-time CB.