Let’s see who Sean Lee really is. He was a multi-sport star and high school standout defensive safety coming from talent rich western Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State to become a star linebacker for the Nittany Lions. He has not disappointed as a graduate of what is known as Linebacker U. From the likes of Jack Ham, Gregg Buttle, Shane Conlan, Lavar Arrington to current Jacksonville Jaguar Paul Posluszny, Lee was and is a born leader. From team captain in high school to captain at Happy Valley and now a self-appointed leader of the Dallas Cowboys defense. Lee deserves a chance at being the leader of your fantasy team whether you’re in a dynasty league or an auction league with the requirement of defensive players.
Lee entered the NFL in 2010 as a highly regarded prospect for a Dallas Cowboys team led by Wade Phillips. Training camp brought about nagging injuries that limited his playing time his rookie season. He did, however, show flashes of what the future held for a young Lee. He even managed to notch a Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors that year.
In 2011, Lee broke onto the scene as the Cowboys’ leading tackler under Rob Ryan’s defensive scheme. Not only did he lead the team in tackles but also led the team in interceptions and tackles for loss. He became the first Cowboys player to win Defensive Player of the Month honors. That’s quite an accomplishment considering the many defensive standouts in Dallas Cowboys history. This occurred all while being hampered by a nagging wrist injury that happened in Week 7. The injury caused him to miss one game and play through the injury for the duration of the season.
In 2012, Lee started the season in a blaze of fire. He set a Dallas Cowboys team record for tackles in a game that had stood for 41 years. He was well on his way to achieving All-Pro honors last year when again he was again hampered by injury in Week 7. In those 5.5 games he had 58 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and three passed defensed but failed to step on the field again in 2012 due to a toe injury.
Let’s look to 2013. Lee is now healthy and is in the midst of acquiring a lucrative long-term contract from owner Jerry Jones. We all know Jones expects high returns on his investments. And Lee will not disappoint. He will be leading this Cowboys defense in new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s Tampa-2 scheme. I suspect this could foster a rise in interceptions and passes defensed as well. Lee serving as the “Mike” linebacker will be the heart and core of Kiffin’s defense. Lee is, without a doubt, in store for a monster year. He will elevate his play to the likes of James Laurinaitis and Luke Kuechly by season’s end. The Lee era in Dallas begins this year and will be around for many years to come. He will become to the Dallas Cowboys what Brian Urlacher became to the Chicago Bears.
With the exception of J.J. Watt, you should be looking at linebaker for the foundation of your fantasy defense. Now that’s not to say you should necessarily pass on an opportunity to take a Laurinaitis, Kuechly or Chad Greenway. But you can have Lee at a fraction of the cost, at least for this year anyway (hint hint). You can secure a potential top-5 linebacker that will give exponential returns on your investment. Depending on the quality of your fantasy football league, Lee may or may not remain a secret for very long.