We’ve made it to Week 12 of the 2012 NFL season. That means that thankfully the bye weeks are finally in the rearview mirror, and Individual Defensive Player (IDP) owners no longer have to deal with patching holes in their lineups caused by players taking a one-week siesta.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still holes to be plugged, as injuries and lack of production leave fantasy owners scrambling to field a lineup that can get their squads a much needed victory and into the fantasy postseason.
Unfortunately, another sad fact of this point in the season is that in many IDP leagues there just isn’t a whole lot left on the waiver wire, making it very difficult to find impact players. With that said, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing out there, and here’s a look at some players that are available in the majority of IDP leagues that have enough fantasy value to at least merit consideration.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
DeAndre Levy, OLB, Detroit:
The fourth-year pro missed time earlier in the season with a hamstring injury, but Levy returned to the lineup two weeks ago against the Minnesota Vikings and has been fairly productive, notching 14 total tackles over that stretch. Granted, that production is far from eye-popping, but Levy and the Lions face a Houston Texans team on Thanksgiving that is among the NFL leaders in tackle opportunities allowed, making him worth a look as a Week 12 matchup play.
Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Cleveland:
After notching 80-plus tackles each of the past two seasons, Rubin was one of top players selected in fantasy leagues this year, but a calf injury and long layoff led to Rubin being cut loose in many IDP leagues. However, the fifth-year pro was back in the lineup Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, and, after logging six total tackles and a sack, Rubin will be working his way back onto many IDP rosters as well, especially in leagues that require defensive tackles.
Will Smith, DE, New Orleans:
It’s been a very tumultuous 2012 season for New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, who was one of the players engulfed in the “Bountygate” scandal. The ninth-year veteran has been on something of a hot streak of late, tallying 13 total tackles and three sacks over the past three games, and, given how little remains on the waiver wire along the defensive front at this point in the year, that sort of production more than makes the 31-year-old worth a pickup.
D.J. Williams, LB, Denver:
After being suspended for the first nine games of the season, veteran D.J. Williams returned at action against the San Diego Chargers, making four tackles in a Denver Broncos win. That production may not be worth a pickup on its own, but beat writers have speculated that Williams could take over for Keith Brooking at middle linebacker, and, given Williams’ versatility and history of production, that makes the 30-year-old something of a deeper-league lottery ticket for the fantasy playoffs.
LaMarr Woodley, OLB, Pittsburgh:
As I said last week when recommending New England’s Rob Ninkovich, I generally prefer tackle-producers to so-called “big play” types at linebacker, but at this point in the season beggars can’t be choosers. With that said, Woodley, a sixth-year pro, has been posting a nice combination of the two recently, and with 15 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble over the past three weeks, linebacker-needy IDP squads should give Woodley a look.
Reshad Jones, FS, Miami:
The third-year safety had a huge game last week against the Buffalo Bills, notching 11 solos and forcing a fumble. Granted, chasing a big game can be a risky bet in IDP circles, but Jones has now averaged seven tackles and forced two fumbles over the past four games, and while that isn’t phenomenal production, Jones may be able to fill a need for IDP owners with a hole at defensive back in deeper formats.
Aqib Talib, CB, New England:
Talib made his debut as a member of the New England Patriots in Sunday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts and wasted no time in making an impact for his new team, logging seven total tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown. The fifth-year pro has shown the ability to be a productive fantasy asset in the past, and, given how much the Patriots force their opponents to the air, there’s a good chance that will continue in his new home.
Looking for more IDP information? Be sure to check out all the other great IDP articles by the rest of the Fantasy Sharks’ crew, the IDP Forum, IDP Manor, for the latest injury news follow @IDPManor on Twitter, and if you have an IDP question feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, everyone!