Week 7: IDP Sleepers
Hidden by the other big names on this Giants' defensive line, Tuck has quietly put up some excellent numbers and earned himself something of a time-share with his more acclaimed teammates Strahan and Umenyiora. Don't be blinded by the fact that he's not listed as the starter, he'll continue to get plenty of pass-rushing opportunities playing in a situational role, as well as spelling the oft-injured Strahan. Sunday's game should see the Giants' pass-rush making a big statement as they face shaky 49ers protection that still registers them amongst the worst in the NFL in sacks allowed, despite their week 6 bye.
Boley has interceptions in each of his last two games and his time as an underrated player may soon be drawing to a close. The MNF announcing crew gave him a ringing (if slightly overstated) endorsement this week calling him the "best player on this Falcons defense." Boley has been putting up some great numbers with 43 solo tackles so far (second only to Tampa's Barrett Ruud) and there's no reason to think he might be slowing down any time soon. Clearly, he benefits from playing on a defense that spends the majority of the game on the field. He's playing better than a lot of bigger name linebackers right now and is worth picking up, if he's still available.
Trent Cole started the season with a bang, yet has been getting less attention from opposing offensive coordinators lately thanks in large part to the return of a healthy Jevon Kearse. The resulting increase in one-on-one matchups will mean more big plays for Cole. He should get plenty of sack opportunities this Sunday in a game that pits two of the league's worst pass-blocking O-lines against one another. If his six sacks so far haven't garnered him enough notice, you can bet Cole will be getting a lot more recognition from fantasy owners after a hectic (and likely rewarding) day of chasing Brian Griese around.
Crowder barely qualifies as under-the-radar, but playing on a team with Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor could allow him to slip through the cracks in some IDP leagues. He filled in admirably at the mike position when Thomas was injured and was able to put up some decent numbers from his weak side spot before suffering an ankle injury of his own. He was limited in the game last weak, but should be healthy and functional this weekend in time to take on the Patriots juggernaut. Expect plenty of tackles in what will likely be an exhausting game for all Miami defensive players.
After Paul Posluszny went down with what has now been determined to be a season-ending injury, DiGiorgio stepped up to the plate as the Bills' starting middle backer. He has surprised many with his excellent performance thus far, though it should be noted that he just barely lost out to Posluszny in training camp in a drawn-out positional battle. DiGiorgio has a pick and a half-sack to go with respectable tackle numbers and should continue to be a worthwhile fantasy starter going forward. Against Baltimore, you can safely hope for more than his usual number of tackles.