NFL Fantasy Football: IDP Risers Cliff Avril, Von Miller, AJ Jefferson

Fantasy KnuckleheadsCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2011

DETROIT - AUGUST 27: Cliff Avril #92 of the Detroit Lions sacks Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots during the first quarter of the game at Ford Field on August 27, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Preseason Week 4 Risers

As a follow up to last week’s first installment of IDP Risers and Fallers, here are this week’s IDP Risers.

Defensive Linemen

Cliff Avril is going to be impossible to focus on with that Detroit front seven. Avril also has the benefit of playing right next to Suh, and for every double-team Suh creates, that is a one-on-one matchup Avril will exploit.

Avril’s potential was on full display last week against New England. Avril harassed Tom Brady and tallied two sacks as the Detroit D clamped down on a NE offense that had looked exceptional to that point in the preseason. Avril is a strong bet to top his 8.5 sacks from last year and could provide DL1 value at a DL2 or DL3 price.



Kevin Burnett lit it up last year as the main ILB in San Diego and then made his way to Miami as a free agent. I have seen him going awfully low in most drafts, as some people expect Karlos Dansby to be the man in Miami and expect Burnett to go back to his second-fiddle role from earlier in his San Diego career.

Someone forgot to give Burnett that memo. So far this preseason he has 10 tackles (nine solo) and two passes defensed in only two games of limited action. Dansby, meanwhile, has eight tackles in three games. Burnett has out-tackled Dansby in both games that they have both played in so far, and he very well may be the better option. Dansby is going a lot higher then Burnett in many drafts, so he is a relative steal right now.  

Everyone thought Von Miller was an exceptional talent, but was a poor fit as an OLB in Denver’s new 4-3 scheme. Well, so far Miller has blown people away with his transition and his versatility.

He already has nine tackles and three sacks in three preseason games where his playing time was limited. He is already Denver’s 1-B pass rusher to Elvis Dumervil’s 1-A.  He is already the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He could be a very, very good player out of the gate and offers amazing value as people sleep on him right now. 


Defensive Backs

A.J Jefferson is in line to start across from Patrick Peterson now that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is gone, and Greg Toler has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. With Toler’s injury, the chances for Jefferson to hang on to a starting job across from Peterson all year have moved way up.

The Cardinals love him, and the only real competition on the roster is Richard Marshall. Toler racked up 90 tackles and nine passes defensed in only 14 games last year. Jefferson could see a bunch of balls throw his way as a newbie and playing across from another newbie but infinitely more acclaimed rookie in Patrick Peterson. In deeper leagues Jefferson can provide starter-caliber numbers for bargain basement prices right now.