Jeremy Mincey, DE, Jacksonville:
Jeremy Mincey was one of the few bright spots on a miserable Jaguars team last year, as the former Florida Gator rolled up 57 tackles, eight sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception while finishing as an IDP DL1 for the first time in his five-year career.
Mincey’s days in Jacksonville may be numbered, however. Although the team has made the usual speech about wanting to retain him, it’s unknown how much a new regime may want to invest in his services after only one big year. Mincey has stated that he won’t give the Jaguars a “hometown” discount, and the hiring of former coach Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos opens the interesting possibility that Mincey might potentially follow him west.
Whether it’s in Jacksonville or elsewhere, Mincey’s IDP value may well be tied to whoever he plays for finding him a batterymate. If they do, either in Jacksonville through the draft, opposite Elvis Dumervil in the Mile High City, or elsewhere, it’s possible that Mincey could notch another Top 20 IDP finish in 2012, but otherwise we may well have seen the best Mincey has to offer fantasy-wise in 2011.
John Abraham, DE, Atlanta:
At 33-years-old, Abraham may have lost a step or two. But the 12th-year veteran still managed to post his fourth Top 25 IDP finish in five seasons last year, tallying 35 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and remaining the Falcons’ most reliable pass rushing threat.
It’s possible that another NFL team could make Abraham the proverbial offer he can’t refuse, but given how badly defensive end Ray Edwards faceplanted in his first season in Atlanta, the Falcons will likely be plenty motivated to retain Abraham’s services. Expect him to remain with the Falcons on a short-term deal that will afford him at least one more year of IDP DL3 value.
Andre Carter – DE, New England Patriots: First off, I’d like to thank Fantasy Sharks own James Elvins for pointing out my rather egregious omission of Carter, who absolutely deserves inclusion here.
After a disastrous 2010 season with the Washington Redskins where Carter was terribly miscast as a 3-4 outside linebacker the 11th-year veteran moved to New England, where he put together one of the best years of his career, with 52 tackles, 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles before a knee injury ended his season after 14 games.
Carter still managed to finish in the top 25 among fantasy defensive linemen, but at 32 years old and coming off a major injury it’s unknown how hot the free agent market will be for him, making it more likely that the Patriots will retain him on a short-term deal.
That said an aging defensive end coming off knee surgery may well be hard pressed to duplicate last year’s numbers, so Andre Carter will likely be a risky pick as an IDP DL2 in fantasy drafts this summer.
Antonio Garay , NT, San Diego and
, NT, New York Jets
Garay and Pouha headline a relatively weak free-agent group of defensive tackles in 2012, and while the lack of options available at the position may drive their price tags up a bit, both have far too much value to teams who already have enough issues in the front seven for them to allowed to depart, so they will almost certainly be re-signed by their respective clubs.
That said, neither are especially attractive IDP options in standard IDP leagues, although both are serviceable starters in leagues that require defensive tackles, with Garay possessing the higher upside of the duo.