IDP sleepers are definitely hard to identify in any one given year. For example, in 2013 the number of players who fit the model of "sleeper" is so vast it would be impossible to highlight every single player in one article.
Still, among the numerous candidates available to mention there are a select few that appear to be the best of the best when it comes to potential IDP sleepers.
Whether it's a fantasy friendly system the player plays in, a newer and better home or just a rising star—maybe all of the above—the following players have the potential to be even more than just IDP sleepers.
Let's take a look at these fab five, and why they made the 2013 IDP sleeper list.
Perry Riley, ILB, Washington Redskins:
Perry Riley finally put in a solid season in 2012, but how many people actually used his services in IDP leagues?
To be honest not as many as you would think: (Owned/Started% - 31/25)
Much of Perry Riley’s success came in a fantasy friendly system that allowed for tons of tackles—129 to be exact; second on the team.
Riley is in his contract year so there’s plenty of reason to believe he will be playing at an even higher level if he is to retain his job, and/or, showcase for a new one.
With the aging London Fletcher reaching 39 and possibly the end of his own career, Riley will have plenty of opportunities to put himself on display which is good news for fantasy owners looking for a low-cost LB1.
Patrick Chung, S, Philadelphia Eagles:
This was probably one of the best off-season signings in regard to IDP, and I highly recommend keeping Patrick Chung on your radar.
After missing 14 games in three seasons, and spotty mediocre play, the New England Patriots decided to move on allowing the Eagles to gladly extend a second-chance hand for the 25 year old.
Many IDP owners, however, may have some serious reticence likely causing Chung to slip way beyond his projected ADP, but I won’t be one of them.
Chung gets to compete in Billy Davis’ 3-4 system that will heavily feature an every-down safety, and a lot of loaded box looks—a fantasy goldmine waiting to happen.
If he can stay healthy, Chung should show himself to be one of the biggest IDP sleepers in 2013.
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
How many people believed Adrian Clayborn was destined to be a sleeper back in 2012 other than me?
Well, for all we know that assumption could’ve easily come to fruition had it not been for Clayborn blowing out his ACL after the third week of the 2012 season.
But the Bucs expect big things from Clayborn in 2013, and so do I.
In his rookie season Clayborn registered 7.5 sacks with an additional 27 solo tackles; numbers that can easily be topped in 2013.
The Bucs are taking extra precautions to keep that healing knee safe, and if it holds up in 2013, Clayborn will definitely claim that sleeper tag he was meant for in 2012.
T.J. Ward, SS, Cleveland Browns:
I love T.J. Ward as an anticipated IDP sleeper, period!
2012 wasn’t very friendly to Ward owners as his numbers took a dive in the tackle department, but he did miss two games and Cleveland was often forced to play him in situations that weren’t necessarily his strong suit thanks to a bevy of team injuries.
The Cleveland Browns believe in their young players and not only plan on keeping Ward—as well as a few others—they also plan on building the team around him according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
With a new year ahead of him and a fully recovered supporting cast, T.J. Ward can finally return to his fantasy fruitful SS position.
2012 Owned/Started% - 17/5
2013 Outlook: Inexpensive deep selection that should perform well above his cost.
D.J. Williams, MLB, Chicago Bears:
This off-season move by the Chicago Bears will prove to be a solid upgrade at the MLB position; an upgrade that IDP owners will certainly be able to exploit for favor.
D.J. Williams was a HUGE part of Denver’s defense over the years and he’ll be expected to do much of the same as an every down backer for Chicago.
The Bears’ defense is an aggressive system that relies on a strong MLB. This system also provides many opportunities against the run and pass for fantasy owners to take advantage of.
Williams is a player who roughly averages 60-70 solo tackles and 3 sacks in any one given season, but I expect him to produce a bit more, since his contract is primarily incentive laced with no guaranteed money.
2013 Projections: 78 ST, 3.5 SCK, 2 INT, 3 FUM REC, 2 FRC FUM
For a more indepth look at fantasy defenses, be sure to read my Top 10 Fantasy Defenses for 2013.