(WTNH)–Playing in an IDP (Individual Defensive Player) league in fantasy football is kind of like taking a walk through the jungle. You never know what you’re going to find next, and you’re real scared. (Shout-out to Jerry Seinfeld for that line).
Oh and another thing–you’ve got no help. There are very few places online that offer advice and weekly pickups for defensive players. Most sites just give you defensive player rankings, which is so 2003.
Picking defensive players in fantasy football is especially tough because a lot of the big names won’t get you a ton of points. Luckily for you, my IDP-league team is nasty, and I’m here to offer some help.
Here’s a list of under-the-radar guys who have played out of their minds over the first three weeks. If they’re still available in your league, sign into your account and grab them now:
Kwon Alexander, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He wasn’t drafted in my league, but he leads all of fantasy football in points scored for a defensive player (46.52) and leads the NFL in tackles. Alexander put up 20 points in Week 1 against Atlanta, scored 7 in the Bucs’ 40-7 loss at Arizona, and then put up 19.52 in a 37-32 embarassment against the Rams.
However you look at it, Alexander has been a beast for the Buccaneers this season, and his production is likely to continue going forward. If he’s still available (he’s owned in 73% of Yahoo leagues), you should pounce on him–now.
Tony Jefferson, S, Arizona Cardinals.
Jefferson was also available in the league I play in, and whether that’s because everybody is asleep at the switch or because he came out of nowhere, I’m not really sure. Either way, the Cards safety has been consistent each week–10.50 points, 13 and 14 in his first three games–and he currently ranks No. 1 in the league in points for safeties (37.50).
He’s only owned in 49% of IDP leagues on Yahoo, so grab this dude immediately.
Timmy Jernigan, DT, Baltimore Ravens.
Jernigan is owned by just 6 percent (!) of teams in IDP leagues on Yahoo, but he’s been the fourth-most productive defensive tackle in fantasy football so far.
Jernigan ranks behind only the Vikings’ Linval Joseph, the Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh, and the Eagles’ Fletcher Cox, having put up 22.50 points so far this season. He’s also been consistent–scoring 6, 9, and 7.50 points in three games.
Deion Jones, LB, Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons linebacker had a huge game (admittedly against the Saints) on Monday night, posting a ridiculous 24.10 points. He’s now got 20 tackles and 5 tackle assists on the season, and is the third-highest scorer in fantasy football (38.10). He’s only owned by 12% of teams in Yahoo Leagues, so if you need a linebacker, take a flyer on this guy.
Danielle Hunter, DE, Minnesota Vikings.
The former LSU star has been just another breakout performer for the Vikings, who might have the best defense in the NFL. Hunter came right out of the gate with a 16.46 performance, including 4 tackles and a sack.
He then put up back-to-back 9.50 weeks, and is currently the highest-scoring defensive end in the league. He’s also owned by just 29% of teams in Yahoo leagues, which is mind-boggling. Get this dude on a team.
Craig Robertson, LB, New Orleans Saints.
Robertson has been another impact linebacker in fantasy this year, putting up 11.50, 12.50, and 8 points in his first three games and racking up 23 tackles. He ranks 9th in points among ‘backers, so he’s especially valuable in leagues where you start two. Even in 10 or 12 team leagues where you only start one LB, he’s a must-own. But again, only 29% of leagues have someone who actually owns him.
Other Guys You Should Pick Up: Reggie Nelson, S, Oakland Raiders (31.98 points), Preston Brown, LB, Buffalo Bills (29), Paul Posluszny, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars (29), Trae Waynes, CB, Minnesota Vikings (28.16), Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills (27.42), Rodney McLeod, S, Philadelphia Eagles (25.70).