Marcel Dareus- Dareus has made his presence felt in two brief outings so far this preseason. In his first two preseason games, Dareus has a sack in each. He is getting consistent pressure and is a known good run defender as well. He could push for 6+ sacks this year. Some leagues that require DTs to be started might even be able to cash in on him being listed as a DT in some circles. Either way, he is a solid D-Lineman that is going very late or not at all in most IDP drafts and keep be a late round sleeper or even a starter in deeper leagues.
Corey Liuget- Not to be outdone by his fellow rookie counterpart, Liuget is also having a heck of a start to his NFL career. He had four tackles (3 solo) in his first outing and then followed that up with a sack and forced fumble in his second outing. Liuget has already cracked the starting lineup and could be a real find for both the Chargers and your IDP team.
Andre Carter- You wouldn’t know it from the stats (or lack thereof), but Andre Carter was a force in the week two preseason game against Tampa Bay. He caused a couple of penalties on the offensive line and was hurrying the QB seemingly at will. The Pats will likely use him to rush the QB on passing downs and he may get some looks at DE when the Pats switch to their base 4-3 look. All signs indicate the Pats are moving toward more of a base 4-3 defense. If they do and if Carter is listed in your league as a DL, then he is worth grabbing and stashing. He is only one year removed from 62 tackles and 11 sacks as a 4-3 DE after all.
Donald Butler- Butler seems to have won one of the ILB jobs in San Diego. He has been starting next to Takeo Spikes and through two preseason games, Butler has equaled Spikes with both players having six total tackles and three solos apiece. The ILBs in SD are usually good for 100+ tackles and this year should be no different. Butler has shown no lingering effects from his Achilles injury last season and appears to be both the present and the future for SD.
Kavell Conner- Conner is an interesting case for an IDP sleeper. Firstly, he was on pace for 104 tackles over the course of a 16 game season based on his final eight games of 2010. Conner has then racked up seven tackles so far this preseason and seems to be everywhere. The Indy WLB inherently will have many opportunities to succeed and excel based on their scheme. Conner is not without risk. Ernie Sims was signed and has missed time due to an appendectomy. Sims has yet to challenge for the starting job and when he does, Conner could lose it. However, if he keeps the job all season he will be a relative steal.
Erin Henderson- Erin Henderson has been overshadowed by older brother E.J. for years now. This year might be different, however. Erin is penciled in as the starting WLB in Minnesota and has out-produced every LB in the NFL, let alone his team so far this preseason. EJ has racked up three tackles in two games. Greenway had two in his lone game so far. Erin, however, has 16 tackles (12 solo) so far this preseason. He is seemingly everywhere and is very active. I doubt he leads the Vikings in tackles. I doubt he out-produces Greenway or EJ. However, for a late round flier he is worth the risk and reward.
Glover Quin- Quin has not put up any eye-popping stats yet this preseason, but what he has done is officially locked down the starting strong safety spot in Houston. As such, he could push for 90-100 tackles this season. His impact was on full display the other night when he came up and filled the gap in a goal-line stand against New Orleans. Quin has a great chance to lead the secondary in tackles and add a few performance plays as well. He actually has some coverage skills unlike Bernard Pollard and he should easily go from being the Texans’ best CB last year to being their best S this year.
Brent Grimes- Grimes already arrived last year when he had 87 tackles, 23 passes defensed and 5 interceptions. However, he is still under-valued and often not thought of as an elite DB in fantasy football. Grimes is a top-20 caliber DB and has extra added value in leagues that separate the CB and S position. He has also picked up this preseason right where he left off last year, as he already has two interceptions and three passes defensed in two games thus far.
Rashad Johnson & Kerry Rhodes- Johnson and Rhodes both have enhanced value tied differently to the health (or lack of health) of Adrian Wilson. Kerry Rhodes was already a top-15 DB last season, yet he is in line for an increase in numbers if Wilson is sidelined for a long period of time. Johnson benefits since he is the guy starting at SS in Wilson’s absence. He has done his best to make the most of it so far with five tackle in two games in limited action. Keep an eye on Wilson’s status. If he will miss significant regular season time then bump Rhodes and Johnson up in your rankings.