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IDP Analysis: Miller Time is Over

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 Jim Harbaugh, James Harrison and David Bowie.

RISERS

Tashaun Gipson, S, CLE

Gipson is mostly an unknown at this point, but he's a player to monitor or even invest in late in deep IDP drafts since he was named the starting safety opposite T.J. Ward in Cleveland. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton has an impressive track record, so it's possible that Gipson will be a part of a disruptive unit in 2013, which is good for turnover potential. He totaled 16 tackles in three starts as a rookie last year, intercepting a pass off the bench in another game, and he made 95 tackles in 13 games as a senior at Wyoming in 2011.

Josh Bynes, (3-4) ILB, BAL

Bynes surprisingly heads into the fall as the favorite to start next to Daryl Smith at inside linebacker, at the expense of highly regarded rookie second-round pick Arthur Brown. It's possibly Brown's vastly superior athleticism could allow him to steal nickel snaps from Bynes, so Bynes is mostly just a player to monitor in most cases, but in deeper IDP leagues he could be worth a depth stash.

Moise Fokou, MLB, TEN

Fokou is the tentative favorite to start at middle linebacker for Tennessee in Week 1, at the expense of injury prone incumbent Colin McCarthy. Fokou did well as a situational player for Indianapolis a year ago, totaling 43 tackles (31 solo) and one sack while playing just 380 snaps on defense (226 on special teams). If he can continue to hold off McCarthy, Fokou could push for 1,000 snaps this year on defense, which would make him a favorite to breeze past 100 tackles on the year.

Aaron Williams, S, BUF

Cornerback was never a great positional fit for Williams' skill set, as his game is more about physicality than athleticism. It appears as if he'll get an extended audition as a starter at his new position, because 2011 fourth-round pick Da'Norris Searcy appears to be on the roster bubble, making Williams the new favorite to start in the void left by George Wilson's departure.

Olivier Vernon, DE, MIA

With Dion Jordan (shoulder) looking questionable for Week 1, it seems as if the Dolphins are increasingly likely to rely on Vernon as the team's starting defensive end opposite Cameron Wake, at least for the first half of the year or so. The athletic end played 432 defensive snaps and 269 special teams snaps as a rookie last year, finishing with 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks. It seems plausible that he could double his defensive snap count in 2013 and, with the trio of Wake, Jared Odrick and Randy Starks drawing most of the blocking attention, a doubling of Vernon's tackles and sacks also seems plausible.

FALLERS

Von Miller, OLB, DEN

Miller's six-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy looks set in stone, and there probably aren't many leagues where he's worth stashing on the bench for Denver's first six games. His value takes a hit even in dynasty formats, because his suspension length indicates that he has violated the league's policy more than once, and the league reportedly considered pursuing an eight- or 16-game ban for Miller this time around. He has had a rather remarkable descent from an elite rising star to somewhat of a head case in a short time.

Arthur Brown, (3-4) ILB, BAL

Brown was fully expected to start at inside linebacker as a rookie most of the offseason, but in recent days the Ravens indicated that Josh Bynes will start next to free-agent addition Daryl Smith, leaving Brown with no clear role despite his pedigree as a second-round pick. As long as Brown is behind Bynes, he probably won't have value outside of dynasty formats.

Dion Jordan, DE, MIA

Jordan's surgically-repaired shoulder is evidently not recovering at the rate that the Dolphins expected, and there is even concern that he might not play Week 1. It sounds as if any absence should be brief for Jordan, and he still has high upside as a DE/LB tweener with DL eligibility, but his shoulder is something to keep in mind if your league doesn't give you much bench space.

Nigel Bradham, LB, BUF

A Saturday morning traffic stop resulted in a marijuana possession charge for Bradham, who was previously a favorite to establish himself as one of the two nickel linebackers for Buffalo this year (the other being rookie second-round pick Kiko Alonso). It's not clear whether the NFL or Bills plan to punish Bradham much for the offense, but he's not an established enough player to go pulling stunts like this without casting some doubt over his role with the team. Backup Bryan Scott was seen taking some first-team snaps early in the week, which probably isn't the best news for Bradham.

Barkevious Mingo, (3-4) OLB, CLE

Mingo's availability is in the air due to a bruised lung suffered in Cleveland's preseason game against Detroit on Thursday. Doctors have been unable to attach a reliable prognosis on the somewhat unprecedented injury, as an initial timeline of one week turned out to be way off the mark. Mingo is a player who could have eventual value in IDP leagues that grant him defensive line eligibility or reward big points for sack production, but he's otherwise way off the redraft radar for the time being.