With the initial wave of free agency signings drawing to a close, the Individual Defensive Players (IDP) outlook for many teams is beginning to take shape. Needs that were going to be addressed in April's draft have been filled, and many big name IDP players will be donning new uniforms in 2013.
The AFC South is no exception as the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts look to improve on rosters that saw both teams make the playoffs last season while the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars look for any port in a storm and try to forget the 2012 season.
Whether Jacksonville and Tennessee can contend with Indianapolis and Houston is irrelevant for our purposes (for the record ... they can't), examining how their new additions will offer IDP fantasy value is another story altogether.
Let's take a look at each team and their 2013 defensive free agent signings with an eye on the IDP fantasy implications.
INDIANAPOLIS: The Colts burst out of the gate as free agency opened and made several moves to try and improve their defense by signing former Arizona cornerback Greg Toler as well as pass-rushing outside linebackers Erik Walden (Green Bay) and Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta). They also re-signed cornerback Darius Butler who joined the team prior to Week 5 last season and produced four interceptions from the slot corner position.
From a fantasy standpoint, there doesn't look like much to get excited about outside of Toler, who finished the 2010 season as a Top 10 fantasy defensive back. He missed the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL and returned last season to play 11 games for Arizona. He managed to post 27 combined tackles, two interceptions (one he returned for a touchdown) and eight passes defended while playing 308 snaps.
He'll get the chance at a starting position with Indianapolis, and his proclivity to give up the big play will have quarterbacks testing him all season long. Should he manage to stay healthy, all that attention from opposing offenses will add up to nice fantasy production. Expect at least low-end DB3 production from Greg Toler in 2013.
Erik Walden managed to amass nine sacks during his three-year stint with Green Bay and somehow parlay that into a fat deal with the Colts. He will get the opportunity to start opposite Robert Mathis as a pass rushing outside linebacker but does not have a history of production that warrants serious fantasy consideration.
Walden did put up 60 combined stops and three sacks back in 2011 for the...