As the season wears on and there is more data to go through it can be hard to find those diamonds in the rough or guys that not everyone else is on yet. Each week we will take a look at guys who are still widely available across leagues, have potential matchup value this week. Or maybe a long-term, guys to stash on your bench and see how the season shakes out. With the myriad of injuries across the NFL, there are young guys getting their chance to make an impact. Each week we will also take a look back at some of the top performers from last week’s list and see if they are worth keeping. We will highlight a list of defensive lineman, linebackers, and defensive backs each week.
Vinny Curry DE (PHI): Curry is coming off his best game of the season against San Francisco with 5 solos and a sack He also has a great matchup against a struggling Denver offensive line and Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback. Curry only has 2 sacks on the season but has a great matchup this week to build on those numbers. Look for the entire Philadelphia defense to come after Osweiler and the Broncos.
Henry Anderson DE (IND): Anderson is coming off arguably his best game as a pro with 5 solos, an assist, and a sack. This is also the second consecutive game that he has recorded a sack. Houston just traded their starting left tackle and have a rookie starting at quarterback. This should create the perfect storm for someone to step up for the Colts. Houston is projected to win this game easily, but there will be chances for the defense to rack up tackles and get after the quarterback.
Alex Okafor DE (NO): Okafor has been mentioned on this page before and he continues to have value, especially if he comes with dual position eligibility as an LB and DE. Okafor is coming off a poor game with only 1 solo and 3 assists, but he did register sacks in back to back games prior to that. With a prime matchup against Tampa Bay and an offense that likes to drop back and throw the ball, look for Okafor to get after Jameis Winston. The Saints defense has played very well in recent weeks and timely sacks by Okafor has been a big part of that.
Hayes Pullard III LB (LAC): Pullard made the week 6 edition of this list and finds himself back after posting monster weeks back to back. After posting 18 solos and 2 assists in the past 2 weeks, Pullard should be on all IDP owners minds. The one thing that may work in your favor is the Chargers are on a Bye this week and that may allow him to slip through the cracks. Consider Pullard an LB2/3 for the rest of the season and a great option to stash on your bench if you have the open spot.
Joe Schobert: LB (CLE): Schobert falls into the exact same spot as Pullard this week. The Browns are on a Bye and hopefully, owners overlook the emerging star after his best game of the season. Schobert recorded 11 solos, an interception, and a fumble recovery against the Vikings. These are elite numbers for a player on a very poor team. The Browns defense is going to be on the field a lot for the rest of the season and Schobert has turned into a three-down linebacker. If Schobert is still there in your league, this may be the last time to grab him.
Darron Lee LB (NYJ): Lee jumped onto the stat sheet in week 1 with 7 solos, 3 assists, and a sack. He was then very quiet until he broke out with 9 solos and 2 assists against Miami 2 weeks ago. The Jets face a Buffalo team that has committed to running LeSean McCoy for as many attempts as he can handle. This will give Lee ample opportunity to rack up the tackles. Lee is not used in many blitz packages and is not going to rack up the sacks, but he will have his chance at double-digit tackles this week.
Kevin Byard S (TEN): I decided to save Byard for this week after the Titans were on a Bye last week. There has been a huge spike in his ownership after his game against the Browns. Byard recorded 3 interceptions as well as 2 solos and 2 assists. Often interceptions get overlooked for tackles and sacks in IDP formats. However, there is something to be said about a safety that will come up to play the run and sit back in coverage to make a pick. Byard will be facing a Baltimore offense that has struggled all season and should have ample opportunity for another interception regardless of who plays quarterback.
Kurt Coleman S (CAR): Coleman returns from a week 3 absence and put up his best start of the season with 7 solos and 2 assists. The Ohio State product has been very inconsistent from week to week but has a prime matchup with Atlanta at home this week. The Panthers also returned Luke Kuechly last week and that takes some of the pressure off the rest of the defense. Coleman has proved he can be a top 20 defensive back in recent seasons and will have the rest of the season to prove it.
Malcolm Jenkins S (PHI): Jenkins has been pretty consistent all season long, recording at least 5 solos in all but two games so far this season. He blew up week 7 with 10 solos and a sack against the Redskins and should have a similar opportunity this week against the Broncos. Jenkins will face a very poor offensive line and Brock Osweiler as the starting quarterback. If you can stack the Philadelphia defense against the Broncos this week, you should.
Cameron Wake: Wake disappointed against Baltimore with only 2 assists on the day. The Dolphins were blown out and then traded their best offensive weapon. Not a great week in Miami.
Jarran Reed: Reed recorded 2 solos and 2 assists. It was a high scoring affair with a lot of passing attempts. To be fair, no one for the Seattle defense played very well.
John Simon: DNP due to injury. Long-term/ season long pick up.
Craig Robertson: Robertson disappointed with 4 solos and an assist against the Bears. The Saints defense had to come up big in the fourth quarter with 2 Mark Ingram fumbles, but Robertson did not play a big part of it.
Blake Martinez: DNP. Bye week
Eddie Jackson: Jackson did not follow up his big week at all. He registered 1 solo tackle the entire game. There was no way to expect a similar result to the week before, but more than 1 point would have been nice.
Jaquiski Tartt: Tartt had an average game against the Eagles with 5 solos and 2 assists. This was the best pick from this list last week but that is not saying much.
Andrew Sendejo: DNP, suspended.
This was not the best week for IDP Sleepers as not a single player recorded a sack or combined for double-digit tackles. There are three players that were speculative or long-term pickups that could still pay a dividend for the rest of the season. Look for a better overall week from the collection of players for week 9.