Having already reached Week 10 of the NFL season, your IDP free-agent pool is probably pretty thin. But there are still a few names out there that can help your squad.
As always, injury-replacements dominate the discussion.
Kalvin Pearson, SS, Lions -- While it's tough to compliment anything related to Detroit's defense, Daniel Bullocks has emerged as a legitimate IDP option. Pearson, who is playing the opposite safety spot, could soon join him. He had been putting up nice tackle numbers coming off the bench, but he's been thrust into a starting role with Dwight Smith (foot) missing the last two weeks. Smith will remain out this week and possibly longer. That leaves Pearson, who has averaged over seven tackles per game in the lone four starts of his career.
Darryl Tapp, DE, Seahawks -- Tapp is back on the IDP scene, having won a starter's role in Week 7. He's making the most of his chance, putting up 17 tackles in the three weeks since being named the starter, which isn't too shabby for a defensive end. He also logged his first sack and forced fumble of the season against Philadelphia last week. With Patrick Kerney recovering from a shoulder operation, Tapp should continue to play nearly every down for the Seahawks. As long as Kerney is out, Lawrence Jackson is a name to keep on the radar as well.
Leroy Hill, OLB, Seahawks -- Unlike most of the players on this list, Hill is not the beneficiary of an injured teammate. He's started all season and is on pace to shatter his previous season-high of 92 tackles. While he should be owned in most IDP leagues, he remains a relative unknown and might be available on the waiver wire. Hill has been a tackle machine with 71 in just eight games, including 24 over the past two weeks. The tackles will keep on coming, and fantasy owners can expect a sack or two down the stretch as well.
Ken Lucas, CB, Panthers -- While his name is more recognizable due to an altercation with Steve Smith in training camp, Lucas has put together a fine career. While he's no longer the IDP mainstay that recorded 12 interceptions and 139 tackles from 2004-05, he can still be a valuable addition to your roster. Lucas went the first four weeks without an interception, but he's snatched two in Carolina's last four games. He also has two passes defensed in each of the past two games, meaning he's staying active and getting opportunities. Lucas has also posted consistent tackle totals each week, meaning it's unlikely he'll drop an egg the way many cornerbacks are prone to doing.
Kevin Bentley, ILB/OLB, Texans -- In just one half of the season, Zac Diles was able to morph himself from a little used rookie and into a bona fide IDP stud in 2008. Unfortunately for Diles (and, of course, his IDP owners), he broke his left tibia in practice this week and has landed on injured reserve. If you need a replacement, look no further than Kevin Bentley. He's actually been on the IDP radar before, finishing with 96 tackles and an interception with Cleveland back in 2003. He'll be relevant once again playing in the vacant spot, and while you shouldn't expect Diles-esque numbers, he still should post tackle totals each week.
Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers -- This 22-year-old has already started to make a name for himself with the Panthers in just his second season. Playing opposite Julius Peppers certainly has its perks, and while Tyler Brayton has been getting the starts at the other defensive end spot, Johnson has been earning significant time. He had two sacks against Arizona in Week 8 and upped his season total to 3.5 in the process. Coming off a bye week and facing a floundering Oakland offense, Johnson should be productive this week. He could end up with seven to nine sacks on the season.