Matt Schauf of stops by once a week to talk individual defensive players, “IDPs” for those in the know.

One thing I noticed quickly when starting to play with IDPs was that big games will almost always lead to a player getting claimed.

It makes sense, and the only reason that it might seem more prevalent on defense is that the average setup includes significantly fewer defenders than offenders. (Is that the proper term, or is it too incriminating? It at least fits Tampa’s Mike Williams this week.) That necessarily means that more guys will enjoy breakout games while roaming free.

This week, you might have seen someone pick up Eagles corner Dimitri Patterson after he picked off a pair of passes in Monday night’s demolition of Washington. Oftentimes, claiming the hot corner like this can backfire the following week because too many variables affect scoring there to count on a consistent line from most players. In Patterson’s case, however, I think you’ll find a corner worth starting for at least one more week (and perhaps beyond).

Patterson remained in the starting lineup in Week 10 despite Ellis Hobbs’ readiness because he has performed better than Hobbs was prior to injury. He probably won’t turn into as strong a cover man as Asante Samuel, though – at least not at this point – and that makes Patterson a more attractive target for opposing quarterbacks.

With the way the Eagles’ offense is performing right now, we can reasonably expect the Giants to have to throw the ball plenty (and Tom Coughlin to soon lock down a Tums endorsement deal). Hakeem Nicks will be targeted a lot and probably lineup across from Patterson a lot. The sixth-year Eagle – getting his first shot at starting – has 11 solo tackles and three total pass defenses after his first two starts, which sets up a solid scoring base for a corner.


Although cornerback is not a prime spot for consistent fantasy scoring, it leaves plenty of room for sleeper potential. It’s probably the one position that can most reward lesser play with bigger numbers, as long as you don’t play poorly enough to be removed from the field. It’s opportunities depend completely on the whim of the offense, but its players will also be the first ones to get a shot at most passes thrown, whether before or after they’re completed.

At the same time, any guy – no matter how apparently good the conditions – could come up with a near-empty outing. So let’s keep in mind that the three names below represent fantasy “sleepers” and not guys that you should run out to get and start over a DB who has been producing for you all year. If they fit that category, I’d probably name them something clever like “players that you should run out to get and start over a DB who has been producing for you all year.”

Can Cook get things a bit more well done this time?

Aaron Rodgers was a big fan of Chris Cook’s side of the field when last he faced the Vikings. The Packers passer targeted the rookie corner three times in the first quarter, completing all three to the tune of 101 yards. That was enough to chase Cook to the bench … and allow him three tackles (one solo, two assists).

Cook has been back in the starting lineup the past three weeks and could be in line to start at right corner again this week. Asher Allen is healthy, though, so it’s possible that he pushes Cook to the nickel role. Whichever young defender gets the nod should get plenty of chances to tackle Green Bay receivers who are beating them.

Can Leodis McKelvin’s production match the value of his name?

I’ve always been a fan of Leodis McKelvin’s nice, traditional Irish name, and this week I’m also a fan of his situation. No offense has been more favorable to the fantasy production of opposing defensive backs than the Cincinnati Bengals. Just last week, three Colts corners collected at least eight total tackles. Christopher Owens and Brian Williams each reached nine total when the Bengals visited Atlanta. Benny Sapp managed 10 tackles (six solo) when the Dolphins visited Cincinnati despite being Miami’s third corner.

No Bills cornerback has provided an attractive season tackle total so far, but that’ll happen when you face the fourth fewest pass attempts in the league. Shaun Hill in Week 10 became the first opposing passer to exceed 31 attempts against the Bills since Week 1. Carson Palmer, by comparison, has not thrown fewer than 35 passes in any game this season.

McKelvin might be in for a little less time on the outside this week as Terrence McGee works his way closer to full health, but the Bengals will also likely force Buffalo into plenty of extra-corner sets. When he is on the field, McKelvin figures to see plenty of Terrell Owens. He’ll also handle all return duties following C.J. Spiller’s injury. Those numbers can only serve as a potential bonus to his value.

Now playing: The dude across from Roddy

Ronald Bartell is the best of the cover guys that the Rams have to offer. (No, that’s not the same as being the smartest inhabitant of Jersey Shore.) He’s also the starter at left corner when healthy, and word is that Bartell is feeling better after missing the past two starts because of nagging minor injuries.

Starting on the left should match him up with Falcons monster Roddy White often. Other corners who have seen such a matchup this season included Bryant McFadden (15 tackles, 12 solo in Week 1), Greg Toler (eight, seven in Week 2) and most recently Baltimore’s starting pair, who each came away with six solos. The only potential limitation on White will be a successful Atlanta running game, but even that can’t hold him too far down.

Matt Schauf is the senior football writer for and the brains behind (or would that be inside?) the “Suit” character in their free fantasy football game. Draft against him and 10 other fantasy Pros in RapidDraft Weekly every week (hence the name).

  1. Rookie Season says:

    Stewart Bradley or Dimitri Patterson for this week only?

  2. Rookie Season says:

    Thanks for the tip. Bradley worked out great. My once mighty D line has gotten stagnant. Can you give me some direction? Tackle Solo=1, Tackle Assist=0.5, Sack=2, INT=2, Fumble Force=1, Fumble Recovery=1, TD=6, Safety=2, Pass Defended=1, Block Kick=3

    I have Lawrence Timmons, LaRon Landry, DeAngelo Hall, BN Stewart Bradley. Landry out with Achilles. Hall and Timmons looking so-so. Here’s the available list…

    ILB: James Farrior, Joe Mays, Takeo Spikes, DeAndre Levy
    OLB: David Hawthorne, Scott Shanle, Kevin Bentley, Pat Angerer, Terrell Suggs
    S + CB: Donte Whitner, Bryant McFadden, Antoine Cason, Abram Elam, Louis Delmas, Brian Dawkins

    I’d like to keep it down to 3 D guys. With Landry out, I guess it’s going to be 4 unless I cut Landry. I kind of like Farrior, Mays, Levy. Thanks!

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