Wally Spurlin
IDP Sleepers - Week 7

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We are officially past the halfway point of the fantasy season and the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) landscape continues to shift on a daily basis. Injuries have hit some teams hard as top IDP talents such as Minnesota safety Harrison Smith and Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner are on the shelf.

This is where the crack staff (me, my stepdaughter Maddie and the cat) of the ‘53 Deep’ column spring to work. Utilizing state of the art technology (DirecTV Sunday Ticket and the Mac) and a healthy dose of legal energy boosting supplements (Red Bull … lots of Red Bull) we bring you all the sleepers you’ll need to win your leagues (or at least get back to .500).

LINEBACKER

Jon Bostic, MLB, CHICAGO at Washington: With D.J. Williams lost for the season (chest injury), Bostic will step into the starting middle linebacker position. While likely to be a two down player out of the gate, the opportunity for Bostic is there to be a fantasy-worthy IDP option moving forward. Playing 21 snaps last week he posted a single tackle but has extra time to get prepared for his first start against Washington. Roll the rookie out this week as an excellent sleeper candidate.

Brandon Spikes, MLB, NEW ENGLAND at New York Jets: Spikes has played 107 of a possible 137 defensive snaps the past two games after playing less than half the snaps in the first four games. He produced 17 total tackles and an interception in Weeks 5 and 6 and is poised for a bigger role with the season-ending injury to Jerod Mayo. The Jets are a decent matchup for a three-down linebacker and that is what I expect Spikes to be this week.

Jon Beason, MLB, NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Minnesota: Welcome back to fantasy relevance. As the new three down middle linebacker for the Giants, Beason racked up 11 solo tackles last week and had 12 total stops. For as long as his body holds up he looks to be a viable fantasy option. Minnesota is a top-10 team in allowing fantasy points to linebackers and Beason will have plenty of tackle opportunities attempting to contain running back Adrian Peterson this week.

Colin McCarthy, MLB, TENNESSEE vs. San Francisco: McCarthy will start at the middle linebacker position this week in place of the injured Moise Fokou (knee). This is his chance to fulfill on some of that promise IDP owners saw in him prior to the 2012 season. McCarthy looked rusty on the 23 snaps he played last week and finished with as many missed tackles (three) as he did total stops. With his future as a viable NFL and fantasy linebacker on the line, it’s do-or-die time for McCarthy. I look for him to play well this week.

Tamba Hali, OLB, KANSAS CITY vs. Houston: Pass rushing outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson both registered sacks against the Texans in their matchups. Hali and fellow outside linebackers Justin Houston have combined for 17 sacks through six games. The Texans have allowed 17 sacks and new starting quarterback Case Keenum will be under siege this week. Hali has added 17 total tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown. Yeah, he’s having a great year and will add to those totals against a struggling Houston offense.



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