Carlos Dunlap, James Harrison, Alterraun Verner: IDP Fallers (Preseason Week 4)
Preseason Week 4 Fallers
As a follow up to last week’s first installment of IDP Risers and Fallers, here are this week’s IDP Fallers.
Carlos Dunlap- Dunlap was an early off-season darling for a sleeper/break-out candidate. He had 9.5 sacks in spot duty last year and many folks thought he was destined for greatness this season. Then the Bengals revamped their LB corps and moved Michael Johnson back to DE and Dunlap has not been heard from since. He has been active for all three preseason games and yet has still not seen a snap of duty. At this rate, reaching his stats from last year would be a surprise, let alone progressing from there. Steer clear until the situation changes unless you can get him cheap.
James Harrison- Harrison is getting older and has some capable replacements on the roster. Jason Worilds is only a year or two away from being the heir apparent. Harrison is coming off of back surgery this offseason and has admitted that he lost a significant amount of lower body strength and still does not have his burst back. Expect him to start the year slowly. He is currently being overdrafted in many leagues. Let someone else take the risk on him.
Kelvin Sheppard- I love Sheppard and was the first to pencil him in as one of my top sleepers this off-season. I fully expected him to start next to Paul Posluszny in Buffalo and immediately be a productive second ILB. Then Poz left for Jacksonville and I shot Sheppard way up my rankings. I saw him as not only the future, but also the present in Buffalo. So what happened? Sheppard got dinged up this preseason and has not played. Buffalo signed Nick Barnett and then signed Kirk Morrison as well. Sheppard is now fourth on the depth chart behind Barnett, Morrison and Andra Davis. As such he is buried and will not do much this year unless there are injuries in front of him or a few of these guys fall on their face and allow Sheppard the chance to shine. Sadly he must be avoided unless in a dynasty league.
Alterraun Verner- I have seen a lot of people drafting Verner very high as a DB in many expert leagues and even higher in leagues that specifically require a number of starting CBs. Verner’s numbers from last year surely justify this. He had over 100 tackles and 11 passes defensed and looks the part of an IDP star. The problem, however, is that Jason McCourty is still around. McCourty was the original starter last year and Verner assumed the job when McCourty was injured. Verner averaged over seven tackles and one pass defensed per start last year and he could be in for another great year. McCourty, however, was not a slouch when he started. He averaged over 5 tackles and a pass defensed per start as well. It is a relative certainty that whoever starts across from Cortland Finnegan will put up numbers. Even Nick Harper put up big numbers in that role in the past. However, we still do not know who it will be. McCourty started the first and the third preseason game over Verner and looks like he could have the inside track. Both guys will see time, but neither may excel and put up the numbers that they would if the other guy weren’t in the picture. Let someone else take Verner high and wait and take a less heralded guy later and save the potential headache.
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