The injury bug that continues to hit the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) realm is as big and ugly as the one that swallowed Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black I (you remember it … the only watchable one of the three).
, DeMarcus Ware, Harrison Smith, Stevie Brown, Tyvon Branch and
are just some of the top tier IDP players to go down at some point this season. While a few have returned and a couple more are due to return, many are out for the season. The ripple effect of these injuries has shifted the IDP landscape.
Finding those sleeper candidates to help counteract these injuries is what gets the ‘53 Deep’ staff up in the morning. Well, that and the fact we all like Cocoa Pebbles and watching Phineas and Ferb.
Regardless of what gets us up in the morning, we continue to scour the NFL to find those players that can help fill the holes in IDP lineups that bye weeks (there are six teams on bye this week) and injuries create.
As we always do this time of the week, let’s get to it …
“IDP fans. I know what we are going to do today.” (Sorry, had to do it)
Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, WASHINGTON at Denver
: While the Broncos have only allowed 2.5 sacks to the linebaker position,
showed that the opportunity is there by racking up two last week. Kerrigan has five sacks on the season and has been credited with 21 quarterback hurries and two quarterback hits according to
Pro Football Focus. He’s also totaled 28 tackles and forced two fumbles in six games. Look for Kerrigan to get to quarterback
at least once this week.
Malcolm Smith, WLB, SEATTLE at St. Louis
: Smith has averaged 57 snaps per game the last two weeks as he and fellow linebacker
try and fill the void left by the injury to
(who looks to sit out for at least one more week). In those two games, Smith has put up 13 total tackles (10 solo) and one sack with a pass defended. The Rams offense is going to be pared down for quarterback
and I think that equates to more rushing attempts and tackle opportunities for Smith. He’s also graded out favorably in pass coverage and that bodes well for his fantasy production.
Spencer Paysinger, NEW YORK GIANTS at Philadelphia
: Paysinger has seen his numbers drop since middle linebacker
was brought on board by the Giants a couple of weeks ago. The past two games combined Paysinger has put up only five solo tackles. This week should see a return to glory for Paysinger, as a matchup with the Eagles is fantasy gold for linebackers. In their first meeting back in Week 5, he racked up 10 total tackles (nine solo) and a pass defended.
(*Monitor his health as he sat out Wednesday practice with an ankle issue but did practice Thursday).
LaMarr Woodley, OLB, PITTSBURGH at Oakland:
Woodley has recorded a sack in four consecutive games and has five total for the season. The Raiders allowed quarterback
to be sacked three times against Kansas City back in Week 6. Oh yeah, all three of those sacks came from pass rushing outside linebackers
. As fate would have it Woodley is the Steelers’ top pass rushing outside linebacker and will get to Pryor at least once this week.
Tamba Hali, OLB, KANSAS CITY vs. Cleveland:
Ride the hot hand here as Hali has racked up eight sacks in the past four games while adding 15 total tackles and four forced fumbles.
will start at quarterback for Cleveland this week and in limited action last season for Chicago was sacked six times on 61 drop backs. Look for Hali to continue his hot streak this week and be in Campbell’s face all game long.