The opening weekend of football was a rather typical one from an IDP standpoint. There were a handful of last minute changes to starting lineups (I am looking at you Houston Texans safeties) and injuries to big name players.
While there is no sure fire ‘handcuffs’ for IDP purposes, there is the information we can gather from last weeks game after players went down as well as current practice reports. That’s where my entire 53-Deep staff (that would be my cat and 12-year-old step-daughter) and myself pick up the baton and run with it.
Well, first I pick up some Red Bull and Fancy Feast but then we get down to business!
These are the deep sleepers that we feel have the best chance of leading IDP teams to victory this week…enjoy.
Kony Ealy, DE, CAROLINA PANTHERS vs. Houston: The Texans allowed five sacks last week with defensive linemen accounting for three. Mario Addison had the hot hand opposite Charles Johnson in week one and this week we see Ealy going off. He played 41 snaps last week and was credited with two QB hurries according to Pro Football Focus.
Robert Ayers, DE, NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Atlanta: JPP isn’t coming through the door anytime soon so Ayers will continue to see a lot of playing time. While he failed to register a sack against Dallas he was credited with five QB hurries and forced a fumble. Look for him to turn those hurries into a sack or two this week at home.
Phillip Hunt, DE, DETROIT LIONS at Minnesota: I was high on Hunt a few years ago after he had a big preseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. He led the CFL in sacks back in 2010 but has seen little regular season success and bounced around a bit. Last week, he posted five total stops (with four solos) and a sack while playing only 25 snaps. On a depleted D-line he should see an uptick in playing time and production.
Mike Daniels, DE, GREEN BAY PACKERS vs. Seattle: The Seahawks offensive line is a bit of a mess right now and was manhandled by the Rams last week. They allowed five sacks to defensive linemen and if any Packers D-linemen has a chance to ring up Russell Wilson this week, it’s Daniels. Daniels notched a single assisted tackle last week but was credited with three QB hurries according to Pro Football Focus.
Perry Riley, ILB, WASHINGTON REDSKINS vs. St. Louis: Riley got off to a shaky start notching only three total tackles last week against Miami. The Dolphins only ran the ball 18 times (including three Ryan Tannehill totes) so tackle opportunities were limited. We anticipate a better week against a Rams offense that ran the ball 26 times in week one.
Kevin Minter, ILB, ARIZONA CARDINALS at Chicago: We had fellow Cardinals LB Sean Weatherspoon here last week and it was Minter who saw 62 snaps to Weatherspoon’s 12. Ouch. This week Minter lines up against a Bears offense that loves to pound the ball with Matt Forte. The Chicago offense allowed 21 solo tackles and an interception to linebackers in week one. We like that.
Kwon Alexander, MLB, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at New Orleans: The rookie stumbled out of the gate in his regular season debut amassing merely five total tackles and a pass defended. We do like the pair of QB hurries he was credited with against a Saints offense that gave up two sacks to linebackers last week. Look for a bounceback performance this week from Alexander, as we still like an every-down linebacker on a bad offensive team.