IDPwithBEE 5 DL SLEEPERS in 2013
As we approach the 2013-2014 Fantasy Football season & mock drafts as well as regular drafts have already started (I’m in a handful myself); it’s never too early to look into sleepers or players that should be on your radar because you want to be that guy that takes a late round flier on a player that demolishes his ADP (Average Draft Position) and you gain ridiculous value. To start if off I’m taking a look at 5 DL (Defensive Linemen) in the world of IDP’s heading into the 2013 season; these are DL’s you could either A). Pair up with your elite stud you took earlier or B). You’re like me and draft 2 solid mid-late round DL’s with upside and hope it pays off. The DL position was inconsistent in 2012, and the JJ Watt just ran away with it; scoring just about 100+ fantasy points more than whomever came in 2nd in your league. So, if you miss out on the elite or tier 1 DL’s don’t be too mad at yourself; there’s a ton of value to be had in the 2nd and 3rd tiers that could pay dividends.
1. LAMARR HOUSTON, OAKLAND RAIDERS: The path couldn’t be any clearer for Houston to have a breakout season; no Shaughnessy & Seymour and a rebuilding LB corps and secondary you’d have to tell yourself that Houston is arguably the most important player on defense for Oakland entering 2013. Lamarr has always been solid against the run (17.0 PFF rating in ’12) but now is the time for Lamarr to lay the pressure on the opposing team’s QB and get the sacks (5 in ’12). Lamarr has always lingered on my “oh, he’s ready to breakout” list and in 2013 I feel strongly for it where I’m drafting him as my starting DL2 and feeling confident. I believe his sacks will increase to the double-digit mark and will provide you a serviceable amount of tackles. You can definitely draft Lamarr late round, especially if you’re going the mid-round upside route you need to consider Lamarr. (DL2)
2. COREY LIUGET, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Liuget is entering his 3rd season; does the breakout candidate label apply to IDP’s too? I believe it will as Liuget has made huge strides from ’11 to ’12 as he went from a -8.3 PFF Rating in 2011 to an 11.5 PFF Rating in 2012. Balanced in both run support and pass rush; he racked up 7 QB sacks and provided 20 QB Hurries. With Reyes continued development, the added pieces to the defense and an improving edge rush from Ingram and Johnson; Liuget can and will succeed in 2013. If you’re league starts 2 DL’s then I’d grab Liuget towards the end of the mid-rounds where he could be your DL2 or DL3 (depth). I have him slated as a DL2 (which is a weekly starter) and feel confident on that, upside is there, draft Liuget with confidence. (DL2)
3. WILLIAM HAYES, ST LOUIS RAMS: Arguably one of the better back-up defensive ends in the NFL and is a prime example of making the most of your opportunity. He’d easily be a starter on a team in need of a DE but the Rams have the luxury of depth behind Long & Quinn. Hayes played 378 snaps of a possible 1104 in 2012 and STILL put up a 12.0 PFF Rating & an 11.6 run defense rating, add in 7 QB Sacks 11 Hurries and 31 total tackles. If you double his snaps Hayes could be posting numbers in the range of 14 sacks and 60+ tackles; that’s solid DL1 numbers, and if he were on a team like the Lions; one can only imagine. For now he’s the backup to Quinn & Long but still getting the job done and I’d consider him a borderline DL2 option and a very solid bye week fill-in. (DL2/3)
4. OSI UMENYIORA, ATLANTA FALCONS: Guess you can say the biggest question for Osi is, how much does he have left in the tank? My bet is he still have enough or else you’d believe ATL would’ve resigned Abraham, right? Perhaps not being a full-time starter the past couple seasons has given Osi a little bit of “youth” in his legs and perhaps a little motivation now that he’s on a new team and he has the opportunity to start again. Osi saw 64% of the snaps in 2012 and posted 6 QB sacks and 32 QB Hurries, he had 9 QB sacks in 2011 when he played just 9 games then in 2010 when he was a starter he put up 13 QB sacks. Projecting at least 10 sacks for Osi is almost a lock, especially on this Atlanta defense who in my opinion is better than the Giants. Umenyiora is a strong DL2 candidate this season and could vault himself into top 20 discussion; maybe even propel himself into DL1 territory as anything can happen; he could find the fountain of youth that Tony Gonzalez has or Osi could also stink it up but I’m not smelling that. I smell success with Osi dawning an Atlanta jersey and you should too when you draft Osi. (DL2)
5. BRUCE IRVIN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: strictly a pass rusher (stating the obvious) but I wouldn’t pay too much attention to his -5.4 PFF Rating as he had a slightly positive pass rush rating at 3.2 which isn’t saying much but in due time he’ll get his. Irvin had 8 QB sacks in 2012 after seeing minimal snaps and entering 2013 he’s expected to see an increase in snaps; especially with Clemons out and Bennett recovering from a torn labrum. Having Avril as a teammate can help Irvin too and has the potential to reach the 12 sack mark as he gets more time on the field. Definitely a late-round DL to have as Irvin is just scratching the surface on a very stingy Seahawks defense. As long as Clemons is out, Irvin makes a case for a serviceable DL2 but once that line gets healthy you’d have to monitor the situation but I highly believe regardless Irvin will still get his snaps. (DL2 potential, DL3 current)
Brandon Salamat / DSE Lead IDP Analyst / @IDPwithBEE_DSE