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IDP Analysis: A Second Chance

Mario Puig

Mario Puig

Mario sets the direction of RotoWire's college football and NFL draft content, with his other responsibilities primarily resting in those same subjects. He's a fan of Ishmael Butler, James Harrison and David Bowie.

There hasnít been much movement in the IDP world in the past week or so, but there are nonetheless a few subtle developments that could impact most IDP leagues.

One of those has been the reemergence of Tampa Bay safety Tanard Jackson, a player who was on the verge of establishing himself as a league-wide standout before a violation of the leagueís substance abuse policy landed him a suspension for the last 14 games of last year and the first five of 2011. Jackson has looked sharp since returning to the Tampa Bay lineup.

Jackson isnít the only player on the riser list whose career appeared to be in jeopardy a month or two ago, however. Former 11th overall pick Aaron Maybin couldnít make the Buffalo final roster and received only mild interest as a free agent from that point, but he has two sacks and two forced fumbles in his last two games for the Jets, and he figures to get a bigger role from here.

On the negative side of things, Kyle Williams (foot) and Danieal Manning (leg) are both dealing with season-threatening injuries, with Manning expected to miss at least four weeks. Elvis Dumervil, meanwhile, has been rendered mostly useless by injuries so far this year, with an ankle injury throwing his immediate availability into doubt. Standout corner Antoine Winfield (neck) has an uncertain status, as well.

RISERS

Tanard Jackson, S, TB

Jackson appeared to be both a standout real-life safety as well as an elite IDP in 2009, making 71 stops (60 solo) to go along with five interceptions, eight passes defensed, two touchdowns and two forced fumbles in just 12 games. Since the NFL reinstated him this year prior to Week 6, he has shown most if not all of that same ability, intercepting a pass in each of his two games. Heís probably worth owning in most leagues, though he seems especially valuable in leagues that reward heavily for interceptions.

Aaron Maybin, LB, NYJ

Maybin concluded his first 27 NFL games without a single sack, and just 24 tackles (15 solo). The Bills were not impressed, so Maybin was cut in mid-August, just two seasons after the Bills selected him 11th overall in the 2009 draft, ahead of players like Brian Orakpo, Josh Freeman and Clay Matthews, among others. But after four games with the division rival Jets (and Shawne Merriman out for the year with Achillesí trouble), the Bills might be wishing they still had Maybin around. He has three sacks and two forced fumbles in those four games, making Maybin worth a gamble in leagues that reward heavily for sack production, and especially in those that designate him as a defensive end.

Carlos Rogers, CB, SF

Rogers has been a decent cornerback for most of his career, but heís having a career year in San Francisco. Even if his total of just 16 tackles through six games doesnít do much for him in standard IDP leagues, those that count passes defensed and give extra incentive for interceptions probably are finding Rogers useful right now. He has three interceptions -- already a career high -- and eight passes defensed on the year. He has gotten his hands on at least one pass in every game.

Trent Cole, DE, PHI

Coleís owners have had the star defensive end on the bench for the last two weeks, but his calf strain injury no longer appears to be an issue, making him a must-start once again. He heads into the weekend having practiced in at least a limited capacity every day this week, and his total of 14 tackles (12 solo) and three sacks in the first three weeks would have made him close to a must-start even if he were to play a limited role against Dallas this week.

Joe Haden, CB, CLE

A knee injury that was expected to cost Haden several games only kept him inactive for one, and the second-year corner made his early return to the field against Seattle last week. He didn't waste any time showing up on the stat sheet, either, knocking down a pass and making five tackles (four solo) even though Charlie Whitehurst completed just 12 passes. Haden has consistently been a magnet to the football in his career, totaling 27 passes defensed in 21 career games, including nine already in five games this year. If teams keep sending the ball his way, itís only a matter of time before those deflections turn into interceptions Ė Haden intercepted five passes in the final eight weeks of his rookie year.

FALLERS

Kyle Williams, DT, BUF

Williams made 77 tackles (52 solo) in 2010 and finished his 14 games in 2009 with 66 stops (41 solo). So when he concluded Week 4 of this year with just nine tackles (four solo) on the year, it was more than a little surprising. As it turned out, a potentially serious foot injury had something to do with it, and at this point itís not even clear whether Williams might be able to play again this year. Heís in a walking boot and a week-to-week prognosis is the most optimistic information surrounding his condition.

Craig Dahl, S, STL

Dahl looked like a good under-the-radar target heading into this year in most IDP leagues, as he totaled 98 tackles (87 solo) in 15 games last year. For most of this year, however, he has been playing off the bench in favor of second-year player Darian Stewart. Unfortunately, Stewart hasnít been able to match Dahlís IDP potential, totaling just 21 stops in four starts this year.

Elvis Dumervil, DE, DEN

The pectoral tear that ended his 2010 season hasnít been an issue, but shoulder and ankle troubles have made Dumervil a complete non-factor so far this year. He has played in only four games, accumulating just five tackles. Heís far off the fantasy radar until he demonstrates that he can play and play with some vague effectiveness.

Jacob Lacey, CB, IND

Colts cornerbacks have historically posted big tackle numbers in the Indianapolis defense, and Lacey has been a part of that group since 2009. But regardless of how useful the 149 tackles he posted in 28 games heading into 2011 might have been for IDP owners, his showing on the actual football field just haven't cut it for the Colts, especially this year. Lacey is expected to see the bench in favor of 2010 third-round pick Kevin Thomas starting this week.

Antoine Cason, CB, SD

Coming off a 2010 season where he defended 17 passes and intercepted four, Cason looked like a decent option in IDP leagues that reward points for passes defensed heading into this year. But a poor showing through six games has him looking at the bench heading into Week 8, with rookie Marcus Gilchrist expected to replace him in the defense. Gilchrist had a six-tackle, one-interception showing in Week 4, so he could be a player to keep an eye on.