As we start to hear frequent use of the term “quarter pole” fade into the distance it’s time to evaluate the stock portfolio within our fire and brimstone-lined defensive player arena. Draft day prognostications are meaningless unless you’re the envied five and zero club riding into town on your high horse. 5-0 teams are looking in the mirror with a cemented smile and drift into their happy place on-demand throughout the day. Conversely, 0-5 teams are looking into the mirror with invisible pimples and a disturbing image of a naked Ken Jeong snickering above their head. Regardless of your record and gaming philosophy, there will be room for improvement in spots and all players can be had for a price. Soapbox moment: Fantasy football is the undying human battle between absolute luck and raw data consumption resulting in a quasi-scientific minefield of wins and losses. Now that we’ve taken care of that I’d like to showcase a few bullish IDP investment opportunities that could yield gratuitous fantasy points at their current market value. Long live IDP (…and the ‘He Hate Me’ band of misfits in the Razzball writers league)!
David Harris (NYJ – LB) Is it truly time to buy the uber-boring and over-paid linebacker? Yes, because the Revis injury will allow opponents to move the chains a bit more on Gang Green while the Sanchez/Tebow Jersey Swamp “3 and out” offense will keep the MLB busy. Harris stays on the field for all defensive snaps (79 last week) and will continue to see ample tackle opportunities. Although he possesses limited upside, the former Wolverine is a reliable LB2 to trot out on the computerized fantasy football field you passively gazing upon weekly and won’t cost you an arm and a leg to acquire.
Luke Kuechly (CAR – LB) With the highly skilled yet fairly fragile Jon Beason already missing time due to injury the much talked about rookie looks to post ¾ of an awesome season. Battling nickel package substitutions through 4 games, Kuechly will continue to see snap increases because of his excellent tight end pass coverage skills (INT and 2 pass deflections through 5 games). Luke might be the Mt. Vesuvius of these buyer-friendly price tags, so bid now or spend 2012 covered in volcanic ash.
Sean Smith (MIA – DB) First seen this off-season contributing to Chad Johnson’s NFL demise on HBO’s Hard Knocks, this Dolphin DB has the size and attitude to contribute for the remainder of your IDP season. My crude analysis pegs Smith as a young Ike Taylor who is very capability of an 85 tackle season, 20 pass deflection, and handful of picks season that’s currently available for less than a Brandon Weeden baseball card.
Sam Shields (GB – DB) The former ‘Canes WR has the cobra clutch on the Packers RCB job until further notice and possess the spunk to break off a big play at any moment. Impressing future HOFer Charles Woodson with his nose for the ball, Shields has the ability to rack up 5 stops a game moving forward. Add the fact that a pissed off, 2-3 Aaron Rodgers will continue to keep the Packers in at least 1 possession games all year and you have yourself an inexpensive CB with upside (Bears fans might want to avoid this link).
Osi Umenyiora (NYG – DL) One third of Big Blue’s NASCAR pass rush is working within the final year of a 7 year contract and seems to have fallen off the iPhone 5 google maps of the IDP globe. At age 30, Osi is now being labeled as a low-end DL2 who only seems to partake in 70% of the G-men’s defensive snaps and appears benchable to some. I say bull, and I’ll actually place the lock for double digit sacks in the bullish category. Buy Osi. Odds are that a wild-eyed Giants fan owns him and wants Megatron for him, but if that’s not the case I’d try to acquire the pass rushing force for a much less substantial piece. After facing a tough San Francisco offensive line in week 6 the Giants will face mediocrity for the remainder of the season and set-up Umenyiora for 10 more sacks before the New Year’s champagne stains your Sublime graphic tee.
Plug One: IDP start/sit questions and general mayhem can be had by hollering at the kid on the twitter machine (@AdventuresofTB) if you embrace the technology to do so.