Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season is in the books, and while Individual Defensive Player (IDP) studs such as linebacker Daryl Washington of the Arizona Cardinals continue piling up the numbers, we’re still waiting on the first sack of the season from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, and prominent IDPs such as Baltimore Ravens’ strong safety Bernard Pollard were felled by injuries last week.
As I said last week, it’s still awfully early to be dropping underperforming stars in all but the shallowest of IDP leagues, but if you’re playing in a bit deeper format and either have a hole in your lineup due to injuries or are just looking to shore up your depth, here’s a look at some of Week 2’s top IDP pickups.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Jerrell Freeman, ILB, Indianapolis:
For the second straight week, Freeman, who led the Canadian Football League in tackles in 2011, had a solid game after being pressed into action by the preseason foot injury suffered by Pat Angerer. The 26-year-old racked up 13 total tackles and forced a fumble in the win over the Minnesota Vikings, and while it’s possible that Angerer’s return (likely in Week 5) could send Freeman back to a reserve role and this week’s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars is a weak one from a fantasy perspective, the Colts are going to have an awfully hard time sitting Freeman given how he’s played.
Tyson Alualu, DT, Jacksonville:
This recommendation may be geared a bit more towards IDP leagues that require defensive tackles, but if Alualu can keep this level of play up he’s going to have value in “standard” formats as well. The third-year pro followed up four tackles and a sack in Week 1 with six solos in the loss to the San Diego Chargers, and with Jacksonville’s defense set to be on the field a ton against teams playing with leads, Alualu should be in line for plenty of garbage time tackle opportunities.
Cameron Jordan, DE, New Orleans:
The New Orleans Saints are reeling at 0-2, and while their defense is largely to blame for their slow start, one of the pleasant surprises from a fantasy perspective has been the play of second-year defensive end Cameron Jordan. The former Cal standout had 11 stops in Week 1 and followed that up with four total tackles and a sack against the Carolina Panthers, and with a favorable matchup on tap against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jordan is certainly worth a look from IDP squads with a hole on the defensive front.
Akeem Ayers , SLB, Tennessee:
ankle injury suffered by middle linebacker Colin McCarthy has sent shockwaves resonating across the Tennessee defense, and the main beneficiary from an IDP standpoint has been strong side linebacker Akeem Ayers. The second-year pro has tallied 20 tackles in two games while McCarthy has been sidelined, and while McCarthy’s return may well bring this particular gravy train to an end, it’s worth hopping on board and getting what you can while you can.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar, WLB, St. Louis:
The fifth-year veteran came over from the New Orleans Saints in the offseason to man the weak side in the Gateway City, and to this point the Rams have to be fairly pleased with the return on their investment. Dunbar has logged 13 tackles with an interception in two contests, and while that’s not staggering production, the 27-year-old is a three-down player who will at the very least provide some quality depth for linebacker-needy IDP teams.
Charles Godfrey, SS, Carolina:
The Carolina Panthers knocked off the New Orleans Saints in Week 2, and one of the defensive stars of their win was Godfrey, who returned an interception for a touchdown while chipping in 11 total tackles. The fifth-year pro now has 17 stops in two games, and with a matchup upcoming against a New York Giants squad that threw for more than 500 yards last week, the back end of the Panthers secondary will all but certainly be busy Thursday night.
Michael Griffin, FS, Tennessee:
The safety situation in Nashville became a muddied mess as we progressed through the preseason, but for one week at least it cleared up and then some, as Griffin tallied an eye-popping 18 tackles in the loss to the Chargers. Granted, Griffin’s outburst was borne of a perfect storm caused by the Titans getting blown out and the sixth-year veteran has a history of being streaky. However, Griffin’s by far the best bet for snaps at safety in Tennessee. The 27-year-old has two Top 15 IDP finishes on his resume, and 18 tackles is 18 tackles any way you slice it.
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.