Week 2 of the 2013 free agency period is nearing its end, and signings are beginning to slow down a bit. The savvy NFL teams have let the initial rush of big money (this offseason that is a relative term) signings subside and are filling their needs at bargain prices.
There have been plenty of Individual Defensive Player (IDP) relevant players switching teams, and fantasy values are beginning to take on a much clearer definition. We take a look at the AFC West and the fantasy implications of the players signed by each team to-date.
OAKLAND: The Raiders will say goodbye (and good riddance) to malcontent middle linebacker Rolando McClain and have signed former Chicago Bears do-it-all linebacker Nick Roach to take his position in the middle. Roach is a sneaky good IDP pick for 2013 as he finds himself in a prime fantasy point-producing role in Oakland.
After stepping into the middle linebacker position for the injured Brian Urlacher last season, Roach played 276 of a possible 277 defensive snaps and averaged six solo tackles per game. Roach is capable of more than holding his own against both the pass and run with above-average sideline to sideline speed and will amass very nice tackle numbers. He is a solid LB4 with low-end LB3 upside for 2013 fantasy purposes.
Kevin Burnett amassed 109 total tackles with 2½ sacks last season for the Miami Dolphins at WLB and will now assume that role in Oakland. The lack of big plays that Burnett posts is a bit troubling and the occasional forced fumble or interception would be a nice boost to his fantasy worth.
Burnett will be 31 by season's end but has averaged more than 100 combined tackles in each of the last three seasons and remains a viable fantasy option. He should once again surpass the century mark in tackles while lining up next to fellow new signee Nick Roach. Burnett carries LB4 fantasy potential into the 2013 season and can be had later in drafts at nice fantasy value.
Kaluka Maiava has been brought over from the Cleveland Browns to man the SLB position for the Raiders in 2013. He is expected to unseat the hard working but unspectacular Miles Burris and is coming off of career highs in snaps played, tackles, forced fumbles and passes defended.
Maiava played approximately 40 percent of the Browns defensive snaps last season and finished the season with 53 total tackles and a pair of sacks. Burris had 96 combined stops with 1½ sacks and an interception, so there is some fantasy production to be had at...