BY KEVIN POWELL
All of us have had plenty of time to look over our rosters since our fantasy season ended in December. Did you really look over your entire roster? So many just see the offensive talent and forget about individual defensive players (IDP). It’s a huge mistake that many make until they watch somebody win the cash and/or trophy in their fantasy league without a Lesean McCoy, Calvin Johnson, or a Peyton Manning on their team. Some leagues starting lineups include more IDP than offensive players. Each spot on a team is an opportunity to gain an advantage on an opponent, including defensive tackles. This week we look at potential breakout candidates to improve rosters in 2014 and BEYOND!!
courtesy of: Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
HENRY MELTON, 6’3″, 295, AGE 27
Henry Melton, just signed by the Cowboys, was injured last year in the third game last season for the Bears, but in 2012 he had 44 tackles, six sacks, and two forced fumbles. He is entering his prime and should be on every IDP roster.. He is a top 5 talent and is better than most of us already have at that position. The Cowboys have revamped their entire defensive line, going younger at defensive line a main priority. He could have 85 tackles and eight sacks very easily going forward for the next five years.
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LINVAL JOSEPH, 6’4″, 323, AGE 25
Linval Joseph is going to be a top ten defensive tackle in fantasy this season. The Giants wanted badly to keep him, but the Minnesota Vikings now have a major cornerstone by signing Joseph to a five year, $31.5 million contract. Jason Allen and Kevin Williams are gone. Everson Griffin and Joseph are the young guns who will be causing trouble for the Vikings the next six to eight years. Joseph has been in the league four years already, starting 46 of 48 games the past three seasons. He could be in line for 70 tackles and six sacks every season for the next four or five years, putting him in the top eight easily at the position.
courtesy of: David Bergman/Sports Illustrated
ARTHUR JONES, 6’3″, 315,AGE 27
Arthur Jones has a newly signed five year, $33 million contract with the Colts starting next season. Last season was his first season as a starter for the Ravens and is ready to take his place in the upper echelon at tackle. The Colts plan at using him all across the line and could qualify at end as well as tackle, greatly increasing his dynasty value going forward. He certainly has the size and ability to handle both positions and Coach Pagano will certainly figure how to get him in the best positions. Jones could hit 70 total tackles and as many as eight sacks in this system.
All three of these players are young and have their best years ahead of them. They are also most likely to be sitting out in free agency just waiting for a knowledgeable dynasty owner to pick them up. If you find these players out there, get them before your opponent. You will be glad you did.