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It’s Week 16 of the 2012 fantasy football season, and that means in most Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues it’s championship week. Many teams entered, but only two remain, and this week those two teams will do battle with the league title on the line.
Odds are pretty good that if you made it this far your starters are pretty much set, and given the slim pickings left on many IDP waiver wires there’s probably not a lot out there that can help you in the here and now.
However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing out there. In many keeper and dynasty and formats, this week brings with it the “closing up” of shop for the offseason, giving forward-looking IDP owners one last chance to add an underperforming player who should be set to bounce back next season.
Here’s a look at some players that fit that bill.
Jabaal Sheard, DE, Cleveland: After leading all rookie defensive linemen in sacks in 2011, much was expected of Jabaal Sheard in 2012, but all IDP owners got was a sophomore slump, as Sheard’s stats are off his pace from a season ago across the board. However, the Cleveland front seven was hit hard by injuries this season and Sheard’s play has picked up of late, so, if an impatient owner cut the cord on Sheard, the youngster is well worth a look-ahead stash.
Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants: The 31-year old is on a pace that would result in his lowest sack total since 2009, but with Umenyiora it’s all about location, location, location. It’s hard to envision Umenyiora remaining with the Giants after this season given his acrimonious contract disputes with New York and impending free agency, and if Umenyiora moves on to a team where he sees more playing time we could easily see an uptick in stats next season that more than makes up for the minimal investment needed to acquire him right now.
Pat Angerer, ILB, Indianapolis: Angerer was another young player of whom much was expected in 2012, but a broken foot in the preseason knocked the hype train off the tracks and the emergence of Jerrell Freeman made sure it stayed there. The third-year pro has played very sparingly and actually notched his season high of five tackles in last week’s loss to the Houston Texans, but young players with 148-tackle seasons on their resumes such as Angerer are worth a look from dynasty IDP owners in the hopes that he works his way back into a prominent role next year, whether it’s with the Colts or elsewhere.
Demario Davis, ILB, New York Jets: At first glance, Davis’ 30 total tackles this year may not exactly inspire the warm and fuzzies, but this play is all about the future. Veteran Bart Scott is, how shall I say it, washed up, and the writing on the wall points to Davis starting next to David Harris next year. As NaVorro Bowman of the San Francisco 49ers and Perry Riley of the Washington Redskins have shown, it’s very possible for a 3-4 SILB to be IDP-relevant, and Davis has more than enough long-term upside to merit a late stash.
Colin McCarthy, MLB, Tennessee: Another young linebacker that was drafted early in IDP leagues only to fall flat on his face, it’s been a snakebitten season for Tennessee Titans middle linebacker Colin McCarthy. The second-year pro has missed time with both an ankle injury and a concussion, and while those injuries may have led to McCarthy being shown the door in shallower leagues, the Titans haven’t given any indication that McCarthy won’t be their starter at middle linebacker next season.
Eric Berry, SS, Kansas City: Given the depth available at the position, I’m not generally one to invest much in defensive backs in the offseason, but in Berry’s case I’ll make an exception. I’ll grant that ranking the third-year pro as my top IDP defensive back entering this season coming off a torn ACL was a mistake, but, as Berry’s 11 tackles against the Oakland Raiders last week demonstrate, he’s rounding back into form and could be set for a big fantasy bounceback next year.
With the holidays upon us, this will be the last waiver wire column of 2012. Assuming the Mayans were wrong, I’ll be back after the first of the year with a look back at the waiver wire stars of 2012 before we turn our eyes forward towards free agency and the draft.
No matter your religion or the makeup of your family, I hope the holidays treat both you and them well. Enjoy time spent with them, as it’s time well spent.
Looking for more IDP information? Be sure to check out 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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