Top 10 IDP Studs
While others might be more notorious, none are more consistent. Feel free to visit our rankings if you want to talk potential; if it is results you crave, look no further than these ten players.
DT Ndamukong Suh, TB - Stud (low risk)
Some feel that Suh's numbers are bound to drop after a breakout rookie season that saw him wreak havoc on the league. Certainly, offenses now have so much tape of him abusing guards, running backs and quarterbacks that they'll do whatever it takes to help slow down the Lion's playmaker. Suh's stats last year were astronomical, and some adjustment is to be expected. So throw away the touchdown he scored, cut down his sack total somewhat and he's still easily a top three DT for fantasy.
On the other hand, who am I to say this mammoth of the gridiron won't just keep getting better?
DE Justin Tuck, --- - Stud (low risk)
The Giants have fielded the league's most destructive pass rush season after season and 2011 should be no exception. The offseason focus in New York has been on Osi Umenyiora's contract holdout, but when play opens in September Tuck will once again be the one making headlines. Once Umenyiora returns, he'll likely work in rotation with super sophomore Jason Pierre-Paul, leaving Tuck on the field for a majority of defensive snaps. Healthy, in his prime and helped by a lethal supporting cast of QB-killers, Tuck is set for another huge season.
LB Trent Cole, --- - Stud (low risk)
Cole is a consistency king and has missed only two games in his six-year NFL career. Over the last four years he's been one of the most productive d-linemen in the league, averaging more than 67 total tackles, 11 sacks and more than two forced fumbles per season. 2011 has all the makings of a career year for this perennial IDP stud. The addition of Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins should result in fewer double-teams; while improved coverage from a secondary newly bolstered by all-world corner Nnamdi Asomugha will give Cole and other Eagles pass-rushers more time and opportunity to get after opposing quarterbacks.
LB Ray Lewis, --- - Stud (low risk)
This ageless wonder just keeps getting it done -- which makes it easy for fantasy hacks like me who can simply crib from last year's article. All the facts still apply, except that he's increased his tackling average and has now upped his Pro Bowl tally to 12:
"With 12 Pro Bowl selections to his credit, Ray Lewis holds the record as the most decorated inside linebacker in league history. Even with injury-shortened campaigns in 2002 and again in 2005, Lewis has averaged more than 127 total tackles over his 14-year NFL career. And he still has plenty left in the tank. Last season, he was again one of the top performers in fantasy football. Whether you play in tackle-heavy or big play IDP leagues, Ray Lewis remains steadily elite."
LB Jerod Mayo, --- - Stud (low risk)
Mayo is a tackling machine who gets it done in the fantasy world with constant volume instead of big play bursts. He recorded double-digit tackles in nine contests last season on his way to a league-high 175 total tackles -- a full 15 tackles ahead of the second-place Stephen Tulloch. His unparalleled ability to bring down ball-carriers and rack up fantasy points week after week easily glosses over his meager sack, interception and forced fumble numbers.