Howdy Sharkfans! Well, normally in the Seadog Report I try to highlight some good IDP match-ups for the week ahead. However, before the first week of the year the match-ups are what they are, in my opinion. Play the guys you drafted as starters and see how it goes (that’s why you drafted them!). Once the season gets rolling a little bit, then match-ups and strong plays come a little more into focus.
Having said that, I’d like to take a look at some individual defensive players that I think are worth keeping an eye on for the early part of the season to see how they perform. Several of these guys are probably still on a lot of waiver wires while some of them may just need to get off your bench once the season gets going.
DT – Darnell Dockett ARI
– I’ve been waiting for Dockett to show his true potential the past couple of years now. The Cardinals defensive front has gotten a bit of a new look this year with both the 3-4 and 4-3 being mixed in at times. I think he’ll get some better opportunities to pressure the QB as a result of this new scheme. Watch him though, if he doesn’t get off to a good start then cross him right off this list.
DT – Anthony Maddox HOU
– Maddox came on as a freight train the end of last year as a fill-in starter. I’m not expecting tremendous things from him off the bat just because he isn’t starting (at least according to depth chart information). He’s a guy you want to keep your eye on though because if he does get his opportunity, it could payoff with some decent defensive tackle IDP points.
– Tapp isn’t a big guy but he’s extremely quick and has shown a remarkable knack for getting to the QB. He’s already pushed Bryce Fisher to get in the starting line-up and that may stick starting off this season. Double-digit sack numbers are certainly within his grasp this year.
DE – Bobby McCray JAX
– I haven’t seen McCray play a lot, but he’s another one of those defensive linemen that play on the other side of the line of scrimmage a lot. He’s not going to get a lot of tackle numbers, but his sack total should be pretty good.
LB – Omar Gaither PHI
– Gaither has taken over for the departed
Jeremiah Trotter (Tampa Bay Bucs) in the middle for the Eagles. I’m not sure what to expect from him, but based on last year’s flashes of his talent, he could be a diamond in the rough on a lot of waiver wires.
LB – Keith Ellison BUF
– Ellison is currently listed with an ankle injury and is out for the start of the season (
Coy Wire is taking his place). However, keep an eye on both of these guys. Ellison had a great training camp and the weakside linebacker spot for
LB – Demorrio Williams ATL
– Williams has always been fantasy gold in my book, so there’s a good chance that he’s already been drafted and isn’t available on your waiver wire. However, he has missed most of training camp recovering from a torn pectoral muscle, so he hasn’t gotten much press this summer. Look for him to start out with a bang the early part of this season. If he doesn’t cut it, look for rookie
Stephen Nicholas to step up and take over.
LB – Ryan Fowler TEN
– Fowler has been named the starter at MLB for the Titans to start the season this year over
Stephen Tulloch. I wouldn’t expect him to light the world on fire, but being the MLB should garner him a steady 6-8 tackles every week.
S – Roman Harper NO
– Harper was awesome as a rookie last year until he got hurt. If he can get himself back on track this season he could be a great find on the waiver wire.
S – Anthony Smith PIT
– This guy is just a fireplug. Ryan Clark seems to have the veteran edge over him at the moment as the starting safety opposite
Troy Polamalu, but keep an eye on Smith; he isn’t far behind.
S – Aaron Rouse (R) GB
– It looks like Rouse may be playing a lot this year based on
Marquand Manuel’s departure to
, Marcus Trufant. I think the NFC West will be a passing division so that means plenty pass attempts.
Well, that’s a few players that I recommend keeping an eye on to start the season this year. As I’ve been writing this, several others have come to mind as well. I’ll have to try to incorporate some more “players to watch” in future Seadog Reports. See you next week and thanks for reading!