Week 1: IDP Rankings and sleepers
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Football > Week 01 > IDP Rankings and sleepers

Week 1: IDP Rankings and sleepers

Highlighting those key tacklers, sackers and defensive backers

Studs and sleepers, just what every IDP owner seeks. Here's our top-15 rankings at each positional unit plus five overlooked players that can help in the season's opening week..

(Editor's note - Apoligies to those looking for our full blown IDP and returner rankings. System glitch wrecked our usual setup this week. Hope to have it fixed for Week 2. Thanks for patience.)

DL

1. J.J. Watt, HOU

2. Jared Allen, MIN

3. Charles Johnson, CAR

4. Robert Quinn, STL

5. Cameron Wake, MIA

6. Greg Hardy, CAR

7. Mario Williams, BUF

8. Geno Atkins, CIN

9. Chris Long, STL

10. Derrick Morgan, TEN

11. DeMarcus Ware, DAL

12. Michael Johnson, CIN

13. Calais Campbell, ARI

14. Julius Peppers, CHI

15. Chandler Jones, NE

LB

1. Luke Kuechly, CAR

2. Paul Posluszny, JAX

3. Brian Cushing, HOU

4. Lavonte David, TB

5. Wesley Woodyard, DEN

6. James Laurinaitis, STL

7. Navorro Bowman, SF

8. Sean Lee, DAL

9. Chad Greenway, MIN

10. Vontaze Burfict, CIN

11. Derrick Johnson, KC

12. London Fletcher, WAS

13. Patrick Willis, SF

14. D'Qwell Jackson, CLE

15. Lawrence Timmons, PIT

DB

1. Harrison Smith, MIN

2. Tyvon Branch, OAK

3. William Moore, ATL

4. Charles Tillman, CHI

5. Bernard Pollard, TEN

6. Mark Barron, TB

7. Cortland Finnegan, STL

8. Eric Weddle, SD

9. Morgan Burnett, GB

10. Roman Harper, NO

11. Eric Berry, KC

12. LaRon Landry, IND

13. Johnathan Cyprien, JAX

14. Patrick Peterson, ARI

15. Glover Quin, DET

...and here are the Sleepers:

Justin Smith, DL, SF – Smith has always been chronically undervalued as a fantasy commodity, especially in leagues where he's eligible to fill a DT slot. After an injury-shortened 2012, he should be back in dominant form against the team that gave up the most sacks to opposing defensive linemen last year.

Jon Bostic, LB, CHI – With D.J. Williams still nursing a knee injury he suffered early in training camp, it should be the rookie second-rounder Jon Bostic who opens the season as Chicago's starting MIKE 'backer. Williams only attended his first full practice on Monday, while Bostic started each of the team's first three preseason games in his absence. He was held out of the final exhibition game along with most of the other top Bears players and would seem to have a big leg up on the #1 job leading in to the season opener on Sunday.

Brad Jones, LB, GB – We covered Jones in our preseason sleepers after he earned the starting nod at Green Bay's very fantasy-friendly WILB spot. He's a dark horse to lead all linebackers in tackles this week as he faces off against the run-heavy 49ers.

Devin McCourty, DB, NE – McCourty, who has dual eligibility in some leagues as either a CB or S, could have a field day this week against the Bills. Buffalo wants to run the ball but could find themselves down early to the Patriots. Whether it's a gimpy E.J. Manuel or undrafted rookie free agent Jeff Tuell behind center, McCourty and his teammates in the secondary will be salivating.

Tyrann Matthieu, DB, ARI – This recent collegiate scapegoat could quickly become an NFL superstar and already has Arizona buzzing with his electric play during preseason. Officially listed behind Rashad Johnson at free safety, Matthieu will nevertheless see plenty of playing time against the Rams. St. Louis upgraded their passing game and lost their long-time starting running back this offseason. Expect them to come out throwing and expect the Cardinals to counter with nickel sets that put the ex-Honey Badger in position to make big plays.

Remember to read all our columns for this week and use our Who To Start Rankings