The term "sleeper" has been flogged to within an inch of its life in fantasy football, as the phrase has been used to describe everything from players who come from nowhere to have big years to any player whose performance exceeds their draft position.
However, there's about as much chance of the term going away as there is of Tim Tebow becoming an accurate quarterback, so in the truest spirit of "if you can't beat them, join them," here's a look at a handful of defensive players who have a solid shot at providing their Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league owners with the sort of value that can lead teams all the way to a championship.
Trevor Scott, DE, New England
After spending his first four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, the 27-year-old Scott came to the New England Patriots in free agency, and if recent reports are any indication, Scott is fitting right in in his new home.
Scott has been running with the first team in the "elephant" position that produced a double-digit sack season for Andre Carter last year. Scott has apparently taken to the role, although that's not overly surprising given that he has experience playing both end and outside linebacker from his time with the Raiders.
The presence of first-round pick Chandler Jones is certainly a concern, as the youngster could eat into Scott's snaps. However Scott's price tag is so low right now that he's essentially a risk-free investment that could pay off big if he can hold off the rookie.
Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Oakland
From a former Raider to a current one, we now turn our attention to the Silver and Black and Shaughnessy, who was a trendy pick for a breakout IDP season last year before a shoulder injury ended the fourth-year pro's defensive end's season after only three games.
Shaughnessy has returned to the practice field, which was a welcome sign to the Raiders according to defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who told The Sacramento Bee that Shaughnessy is "the best defensive end in the NFL for sure in terms of stopping the run."
It's that two-way ability, and the tackles that come with it, that made Shaughnessy a Top 20 performer in Default IDP Manor scoring in 2010 even though he only started eight games, and if Shaughnessy's 100 percent he represents the potential for Top 25 IDP production at a discount price.
Perry Riley, ILB, Washington
Riley already gave fantasy owners a glimpse of what he was capable of after taking over at SILB for Rocky McIntosh last year,...