Here we are in Week 15 of the season and what is most likely the second round of most Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues playoffs. If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you: A) Won your game last week; B) Lost your game last week but are still in an overall points scored format league and need to keep updating your lineup; or C) Lost your television reception and are waiting for the cable guy to show up.
Whatever the reason, you can rest assured that the crack staff here on the ‘53 Deep’ appreciates each and every person who takes the time to peruse the article.
It’s been another long week of game watching and numbers crunching (OK, there were also a couple of Girl Scouts events thrown in and a trip to the veternarian) but we feel that the following IDP sleepers are the best we’ve compiled in weeks.
For your viewing pleasure …
SLB, Jacksonville vs. Buffalo: In their last four games, the Bills have seen six linebackers record eight or more tackles against them. Hayes will have had an extra three days or so to rest his balky knee and will be an integral part in containing the dual-headed rushing attack of Buffalo running backs
He’s an excellent sleeper candidate in Week 15.
WLB, Seattle at New York Giants: Smith filled in as the full-time weak side linebacker in Weeks 6 and 7 when Bobby Wagner was out and
moved to the middle. He put up 13 total tackles (10 solos) with a sack and a pass defended. With Wright (foot surgery) out for a few weeks, he will step back into that role and face a Giants team that has allowed linebackers to amass 74 total tackles (47 solos) the past three games. A solid starting option moving forward.
OLB, Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati: The Bengals have allowed 4.5 sacks to pass rushing outside linebackers and Worilds has been coming on like gangbusters. In his last four games he has racked up 31 total tackles along with five sacks and a forced fumble. Worilds is putting up decent tackle numbers and has excellent big play potential. He belongs in IDP lineups.
SLB, New England at Miami: Over the past two games Hightower has played 79 percent of the defensive snaps and posted 18 total tackles, including 11 last week against Cleveland. In the first meeting against Miami, he finished with 10 total stops and a sack. Another productive fantasy week is on deck for the second-year linebacker.
MLB, Chicago at Cleveland: While he is definitely a work in progress, Bostic is still the every down middle linebacker for the Bears. This week he faces a Browns offense that has given up double-digit tackles to four inside linebackers over the last four games. Teams know that Chicago struggles to stop the run (I’m being kind here) and will continue to pound the rock against them. Bostic did post nine total tackles with a sack two weeks ago in a loss to Minnesota. I expect similar production in Week 15.