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We’ve hit Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season, and as some players such as linebacker Curtis Lofton of the New Orleans Saints (who leads the NFL in tackles) continue to tear it up, others, such as defensive end Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers (still searching for his first sack), continue to leave their Individual Defensive Player (IDP) owners scratching their heads.
With disappointing performances, injuries and bye weeks continuing to leave fantasy football rosters littered with holes, here’s a look at some players that astute IDP owners should consider adding to their rosters this week.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Luke Kuechly , OLB, Carolina: With Jon Beason sidelined by a knee injury in Sunday’s game with the Seattle Seahawks, Kuechly was forced to switch to the middle. The rookie responded, leading the team with 11 total tackles and intercepting a pass. Granted, the Panthers are headed into their bye week, but with Beason’s health an ongoing issue, Kuechly could see more and more time in the middle, making this an instance where it’s worth the early pickup to be ahead of the curve.
Greg Hardy , DE, Carolina: Another instance where we’re looking at adding a player even though he can’t help IDP teams right away. After a sluggish start and broken thumb two weeks ago, it looked like Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy was trending in the wrong direction. However, the 24-year-old has now recorded seven tackles and two sacks over the past two games, and with a week off for his injury to heal, Hardy should be ready to continue his hot streak when the Panthers face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7.
Bruce Irvin , DE, Seattle: When the Seattle Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin 15th overall in April’s NFL draft, many pundits shook their heads, but most of them are nodding now. The speedy youngster has now tallied 4.5 sacks on the season and has a pair of games with multiple sacks, and while Irvin’s situational role makes him something of a feast-or-famine fantasy option, there’s no denying his ability to get after the passer, which makes him a very appealing option in big-play heavy scoring systems.
L.J. Fort , MLB, Cleveland: When D’Qwell Jackson was forced from the Browns’ loss to the New York Giants Sunday, it was rookie L.J. Fort that was pressed into action in the middle for Cleveland. Fort tallied nine total tackles on the afternoon, and with Jackson’s status for Week 6 very much up in the air due to a concussion, and the Browns defense sure to be on the field all day, the former Northern Iowa standout is very much worth a look from linebacker-needy IDP squads.
Lawrence Timmons , ILB, Pittsburgh: Many IDP owners drafted Lawrence Timmons in the hopes that the move back inside might return the sixth-year veteran to his 2010 form, but after only 12 total tackles in the season’s first three games, quite a few of those same owners cut Timmons loose. However, Timmons came out of the bye week strong, racking up nine total tackles in the win over the Philadelphia Eagles, so fantasy owners with a hole at linebacker may want to give him a look in the hopes that his uptick in stats continues.
Joe Haden , CB, Cleveland: For the second straight week a Cleveland Browns cornerback makes an appearance on this list, as Joe Haden rejoins the team this week after serving a four-game suspension. The second-year pro will be thrown right into the fire next Sunday and be charged with shadowing Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, which should equate to plenty of targets and opportunities for fantasy production.
Josh Robinson , CB, Minnesota: There was a shakeup on the depth chart in the Twin Cities last week, as Robinson got the start over veteran Antoine Winfield at cornerback against the Tennessee Titans. The rookie Robinson led the Vikings with six solos in the blowout win over Tennessee, and, if he sticks as a starter, the potential is there for some “rookie corner” rule IDP production moving forward.
Looking for more IDP information? Be sure to checkout all the other great IDP articles by the rest of the Fantasy Sharks’ crew, the IDP Forum, IDP Manor, for the latest injury news follow @IDPManor on Twitter, and if you have an IDP question feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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