We’ve played seven weeks of the 2012 National Football League season, and that means that for fantasy owners at least half of the regular season is in the books, with some teams chugging right along as others sputter and lurch. It also means that the push for the postseason is about to begin, as some squads jockey for playoff position while others scramble to keep their fading championship hopes alive.
Injuries continue to take a toll on Individual Defensive Player (IDP) rosters no matter how good your team is, with linebackers Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys and London Fletcher of the Washington Redskins joining the growing list of prominent players at their position who are dinged up, so, taking that into consideration, here is a look at some players who should be available in the majority of fantasy football leagues.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Terrell Suggs, DE, Baltimore:
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year returned to action from his Achilles injury in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Houston Texans, and things went better than anyone had dared hope. Suggs recorded four tackles, a sack and a pass defensed while playing more than half of Baltimore’s defensive snaps. It’s always possible he could re-aggravate the injury and with the Ravens on a bye this week, IDP owners looking to scoop up the 10th-year veteran are going to have to act now.
Brian Robison, DE, Minnesota:
Robison got off to a woefully slow start this season, with only one sack through his first six games. However, the floodgates opened for the sixth-year pro against the Arizona Cardinals, with Robison posting eight total tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble. You certainly can’t expect that sort of explosion on a weekly basis, but for IDP owners in a bye week bind, Robison should at least make for a serviceable plug-and-play option Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kamerion Wimbley, DE, Tennessee:
Big things were expected by both the Tennessee Titans and fantasy owners out of Wimbley this year. But the seventh-year veteran’s struggles in making the switch to a 4-3 defensive end got him a pink slip in many IDP leagues. With that said, Wimbley had his best game of the year in Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills with six total stops, a sack and a forced fumble. Given that the Bills weren’t a favorable fantasy matchup, maybe Wimbley’s big game is a sign that he’s settling into his new position and better days are ahead for him.
Bruce Carter, ILB, Dallas:
The second-year pro has already laid claim to the starting job opposite Sean Lee at inside linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, and there’s reason to believe that Carter’s stats could be in for an uptick over the next few weeks. Lee was forced from last week’s win over the Carolina Panthers with a toe injury. While Lee has stated that he won’t miss any time, a limited Lee could translate to more tackle opportunities for Carter beginning this Sunday in a favorable IDP matchup with the New York Giants.
Thomas Davis, OLB, Carolina:
Davis was the odd man out in the Panthers’ linebacking corps earlier in the season, but with middle linebacker Jon Beason sidelined by a knee injury the eighth-year veteran is back on the field. Davis had a solid outing in Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, piling up 10 total tackles. With rumors swirling that Beason could be a candidate for injured reserve, the 29-year-old could merit consideration from one of the many IDP squads that have been beset by injuries at the linebacker spot.
M.D. Jennings, SS, Green Bay:
Injuries haven’t been reserved for only the linebacker position, as it was revealed Monday that Green Bay Packers strong safety Charles Woodson will miss at least six weeks with a broken collarbone. It’s not yet known how exactly the Packers will cope with this significant loss, but the rookie Jennings is next up on the depth chart and would be the most likely candidate to target for fantasy owners trying to get ahead of the curve on this one.
Tracy Porter, CB, Denver:
This week’s matchup cornerback play du jour, fifth-year cornerback Tracy Porter has returned to practice for the Denver Broncos after missing their thrilling comeback win over the San Diego Chargers. Playing opposite Champ Bailey has gotten Porter targeted with regularity so far this season, and that could mean plenty of opportunities for IDP production in a very favorable fantasy matchup with the New Orleans Saints in Week 8.
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. If you have an IDP question feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.