Unlike QB/RB/WR and even TE, there are usually plenty of IDPs to go around in fantasy leagues. To cover for injury or bye weeks, just take a look at the names below and grab one or more as necessary. I will be here every week to help you solve your quandaries.
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Jerrell Freeman IND
Erin Henderson MIN UPDATE: Out with a concussion. Pick up Jasper Brinkley
Clay Matthews GB
Mason Foster TB
DeMeco Ryans PHI
Zach Brown TEN
Michael Boley NYG
Brian Cushing HOU
Freeman is taking up the slack in Indy as Dwight Freeney and Pat Angerer sit on the injured list (although Freeeney is expected to start on Sunday). Henderson is picking up where he left off last year, and is prolly available on your league's wire, at least for now. Matthews is playing like the LB he was before his injury in 2010 and par of last year, too. Foster is proving his selection by the Buccaneers was a wise decision, as he continues to develop as an every down LB. Ryans is building up for a big season in Philly, and you should investigate his availability as another 3 down backer. With Colin McCarthy out of the lineup, expect Brown to continue to post good numbers for the Titans. Boley and Cushing haven't exactly lit it up yet, but expect that to change soon. If you want to grab them, act fact before the big numbers hit the stat sheet.
Cameron Jordan DE NO
Calais Campbell DE ARI
J.J. Watt DE HOU
Kyle Williams DT BUF
Jordan didn't post double digit tackles in week 2 like he did in the opening week's contest, but a sack and 4 more tackles isn't something to sniff at, either. Campbell is prolly not available in your league, but if he is, move fast to add him. Watt is here again, in case you didn't take my advice and pick him up last week, just to remind you to grab him before week three is in the books. Williams is a great add for those of you in leagues that require a DT slot, and his quickness should result in sacks all season long.
Michael Griffin S TEN
Tramon Williams CB GB
Craig Dahl S StL
Buster Skrine CB CLE
I tend to prefer safeties over cornerbacks when I have a DB slot to fill, but Skrine put up 7 tackles in week 2, and I will take that kind of production every week. Williams put up a 2 INT/2 PD week 2, with the bonus of 4 tackles, so I have no qualms about using him, especially in CB specific leagues. Griffin is now manning the SS slot in Tennessee, and 18 total tackles (16 solo) in week 2 makes his a great addition to your IDP roster. Dahl may not be available in your league, but I would suggest you stop reading this and take a look-see. Go on, the rest of this article will be here when you get back.
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Conor Barwin HOU
Rolando McClain OAK
David Hawthorne NO
Barwin, despite playing for a contract, has been putting forth paltry numbers. He may, and I fully expect him to, regain his dominant form from 2011 and start posting sacks, but while you wait, he belongs on the bench. McClain has a gimpy ankle, and it showed last week. He's prolly not worth a shot this week either. Hawthorne is not playing as though his knee has fully recovered from his August 'scope surgery, but based on his production in Seattle prior to the move to New Orleans, if you have the room, you might want to stash him on your bench.
Cliff Avril DE DET
Osi Umenyiora DE NYG
Avril's holdout would seem to be the logical reason for his lack of production to date. With a patchwork secondary in Detroit, expect the Lions' defensive line to be underwhelming for the time being, and that hurts Avril's value, as well as that of all his linemates. Umenyiora has been an elite pass rusher, but he has only 2 solos so far this year. A good time to buy low? All signs point to yes.
Jordan Babineaux S TEN
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB PHI
Brandon Carr CB DAL
Babineaux is no longer a starting S for the Titans, having become relegated to substitution packages that use 3 safeties. We IDP experts were all high on Rodgers-Cromartie, but he truly hasn't lived up to his lofty expectations. With just 2 tackles to show in the first two weeks, it is safe to drop him from your team. Carr received big bucks from ol' Jerry in Dallas, but he's been disappointing so far, having put up a measly 3 solo tackles.
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All the injury reports below need to be evaluated at kickoff. Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. The list below is intended as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.
Brian Orakpo WAS (torn pectoral, out for the season)
Colin McCarthy TEN (ankle)
Pat Angerer IND (foot)
Rolando McClain OAK (concussion)
Jamaal Anderson DE CIN (quadriceps)
Richard Marshall CB MIA (back-partial participant in Wednesday practice)
Gerald Sensabaugh S DAL (right calf strain)
Shawntae Spencer CB OAK (right foot)
As ever, good luck and godspeed in your fantasy efforts. If you have a specific IDP question, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.