(This list can & probably will change throughout pre-season.)
* Latest rumor/news is Jerod Mayo moving to WLB & Brandon Spikes playing MLB (need to watch)
Monk’s Favorite LB Sleeper Picks
- ILB Nick Barnett (Buf) – Past injuries & moving to a new team, might scare some owners off, but the IDP FF point potential here is top 5 territory
- ILB Daryl Washington (ARI) – Potential to explode this year. His coach said he’ll be playing the “Lawrence Timmons” role this year. This makes him a “big play” specialist. He comes at a bargain basement price offering LB2 potential.
- ILB Donald Butler (SD) – Butler could take over where Kevin Burnett left off last year and he’s better than Burnett in coverage so he’ll play every snap.
- MLB Rey Maualuga (Cin) – If Dhani Jones doesn't resign, Maulauga might just be my favorite value pick of the year. Many in your drafts won’t even know who he is when you draft him as your 5th LB. But when he start producing like a #2 LB, they’ll start knowing his name.
- MLB D'Qwell Jackson (Cle) – Jackson has suffered the same injury two years in a row (pectoral tear). But anyone who’s played IDP knows the type of numbers this guy can put up when healthy. He’s a potential top 5 LB.
- WLB Thomas Davis (Car) – Davis has suffered back-to-back ACL injuries, but he had incredible IDP numbers two years ago, so he’s another with a ton of upside if he can get his game back.
Some LBs to Target in Sack-Heavy Leagues
- OLB Tamba Hali (KC) – With 11 sacks last year, this guys potential can’t be written off as a fluke. And if by some miracle, he’s listed as a DE in your league, shoot him up to the top of your DL list immediately.
- OLB Shawne Merriman (Buf) – The “Bionic Man” showed a ton of potential in his first pre-season game. This could just be a knee jerk reaction, but if he is 100% healthy this year, his strength and athleticism will rack you up some serious IDP points in sack heavy leagues.
Monk’s DB Sleeper Picks
- SS George Wilson (Buf) – Wilson has a big opportunity, stepping into IDP stud Donte Whitner’s spot. Wilson was a stud 2 years ago in the position and the coaching staff felt confident enough in Wilson to sign him prior to the lockout and let Whitner walk. This BUF SS spot is an IDP haven!
- SS Quintin Mikell (Stl) – Gets a fresh start in a VERY production position with the Rams. I really love his IDP potential this year.
- SS Jaiquawn Jarrett (Phi) – If Chancellor is my “Chung pick” then Jarrett is my “TJ Ward” pick from last year. He’s the one rookie that I feel can step in and produce like a #1 IDP. Make sure he's definitely starting throughout the preseason. If he does, whom do you think teams will choose to throw at: the three All-Pro defensive backs, or the rookie? If I’m a coach playing the Eagles, I’m throwing short to medium range passes over the middle. I think he'll get plenty of opportunities to produce numbers and there's a reason they targeted him so high in the draft. He can hit, and he has some ball skills as well, as he proved in the preseason opener.
- SS William Moore (ATL)- This is more about value. I believe teams are going to have to throw to keep up with Atlanta this year and Moore is guy you can grab very late in your draft with DB2 potential.
- SS Kam Chancellor (SEA) – Kam is my pre-season “Patrick Chung” pick from last year. Similar to Chung, he sat most of his rookie year, watching and learning from the sidelines. And, like Chung, he gave us a small taste of what he can do at the end of his rookie year. And what he can do is TACKLE!. 6'3 230 pound strong safety that’s going to rack up the tackles on a team that will be on defense a lot. Have you seen Seattle’s QB play? They better find their running game. Otherwise, I predict a lot of 3 and outs in their future.
- SS Morgan Burnette (GB)- This is even moore of a value than moore (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Seriously though, this guy is the starting strong safety in an extremely productive position and I’ll bet 90% of your league doesn’t even know he’s the starting strong safety in Green Bay. Not to mention he’s a heck of a good athlete, but he got injured before he got a chance to get started last year so more value for me and you.
- CB Terence Newman (Dal) – Here’s the problem with good IDP CBs: if they are putting up numbers, they might not be starting for long because QBs like to pick on them. If Newman starts, he should continue to be a solid IDP pick.
- CB Jairus Byrd (Buf) – Byrd had a down year after his huge rookie season, but for IDP purposes he finished with as many overall fantasy points as guys like Lance Briggs and Karlos Dansby last year.
- SS/CB Glover Quin (Hou) – I couldn’t help, but notice that Quin was listed as a CB in my one league. This doesn’t affect those of you who play in overall DB leagues, but if your IDPs are broken out and your league requires a CB, here’s a strong safety who’s still listed as a CB. It’s the first time I’ve seen a “hybrid” at this position so it’s something to watch. Quin steps into the spot vacated by Bernard Pollard, and last year proved to be a productive IDPer from his CB spot. Now, he moves to strong safety, where his coverage issues shouldn’t be as magnified and his ball skills should help him make more plays.
- FS Usama Young (Cle) – Needless to say, this is a very deep sleeper for deep leagues only, but Young steps into a very IDP-productive secondary where the departed Abram Elam produced top-15 DB numbers last year.
Monk’s Favorite DL Sleeper Picks
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG) – JPP is a sneaky good pickup, because Mathias Kiwanuka will dabble at LB this year and the volatility of Osi Umenyiora makes him unpredictable. In Jason’s first chance to start full-time in a game last year, he racked up 8 tackles 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles vs. Jacksonville in week 12. He followed that up the following week with another 2 sack, 1 pass deflection and 3 tackle game the following week. Tom Coughlin is an old school coach who has proved in the past that he will bench a star who’s acting out no matter how good he is. Osi is currently in Coughlin’s dog house that bodes well for Jason’s IDP stock.
- DE Jason Jones (Ten) – Another Jason’s IDP stock who is on the rise. This is just a gut instinct on him this year. The amount of time they are going to be on defense and how many games will either be close or other teams ahead, I foresee him getting a good amount of tackles to go along with his pass rushing ability.
- DT Antonio Garay (SD) – Probably the second strongest DT in the league behind Suh. He has the most upside of any IDP DT not named Suh.
- NT Kelly Gregg (KC) – Always a solid & consistent defensive tackle pick.