1 Month St Louis Rams
Updating a previous item, Rams S Darian Stewart's one-year contract is worth $1.075 million.
It was originally reported that restricted free agent Stewart was tendered at the original-pick level, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Stewart, 24, is tentatively expected to compete for one of the Rams' starting safety spots. Injuries and falling behind in a new scheme limited him to 82 defensive snaps in 2012. The Rams have the least amount of cap space in the league.
2 Months St Louis Rams
Rams re-signed SS Darian Stewart to a one-year, $1.32 million contract.
Stewart was a restricted free agent tendered at the original-round level. Coach Jeff Fisher has said he wants Stewart to "step up and take charge" of one of the Rams' safety spots this season, but he'll have to compete for a starting job in camp. A 13-game starter two years ago, injuries helped limit Stewart to just 82 snaps on defense in 2012.
2 Months St Louis Rams
Coach Jeff Fisher says Darian Stewart needs to "step up and take charge" of one of the starting safety spots.
The Rams have holes at both safety positions. Stewart started 13 games at free safety in 2011, but he has battled injuries ever since and fell behind during Fisher's first year with the team. Stewart is solid in coverage and can rush the passer a little bit, but he doesn't play the run well at all. St. Louis will be looking for safeties in the draft.
2 Months St Louis Rams
Rams extended restricted free agent SS Darian Stewart an original-pick tender.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Rams would like to re-sign Stewart to a smaller, multi-year deal and consider him an internal candidate to replace Quintin Mikell. The Rams remain likely to be players on the free-agent safety market. They'll be targeting free safeties like Detroit's Louis Delmas.
First off, let me acknowledge that at times there are players listed here that actually end up not dressing for that week's game. In the last two weeks, Anthony Spencer and Ropati Pitoitua come to mind.
Unfortunately, with deadlines to meet, there is no chance to see the Friday practice reports before the article is submitted. It happens, so what will be done in the future is that I will try and suggest another player to plug-in should a player be uncertain to suit up that week.
OK, enough excuse making, it is time to look at week six sleepers who can replace BYE week options, or injured starters to carry IDP teams to victory.
Greg Toler, CB, ARIZONA, vs. BUFFALO: Toler has surpassed William Gay in the secondary rotation for the Cardinals and has a nice match-up in week six with the Bills coming to town. Toler doesn't shy away from contact; he has twelve solo tackles in the last two games and is weak enough in coverage that he will be thrown at. Look for the Bills will to attack the strong Cardinals defense through the air after watching Sam Bradford toss two touchdowns last week. Should Toler miss the game due to a nagging hamstring issue, insert William Gay.
Craig Dahl, S, ST LOUIS, at MIAMI: Dahl was looking over his shoulder at the hard charging Darian Stewart, until Quintin Mikell suffered a concussion last week. It appears that Stewart and Dahl will both be on the field until Mikell returns and the Dolphins represent a fantasy friendly opponent for safeties. Dahl has twenty-nine total tackles and while he lacks any big plays on his resume to date, can get fantasy owners decent production as a bye week fill-in this week.
Buster Skrine, CB, CLEVELAND, vs. CINCINNATI: Skrine has been surprisingly effective as a fantasy cornerback, amassing twenty-nine total tackles in five games. This production will keep him on the field, despite the return of Joe Haden from his suspension. Skrine has seven passes defended, teams will avoid throwing at Haden, continue to target Skrine and that keeps his fantasy value high against the Bengals this week.
Aaron Williams, CB, BUFFALO, at ARIZONA: The Cardinals are a good fantasy match-up for cornerbacks and Williams will absolutely add to the four passes defended he has put up so far this season. While teams tend to attack rookie corners, and Williams lines up opposite Stephon Gilmore. The fact is, Williams is only in his second season and drawing plenty of throws his way. He and Gilmore will both be...
8 Months St Louis Rams
Rams declared S Darian Stewart, RB Terrance Ganaway, G Shelley Smith, DT Matt Conrath, G Rok Watkins, and DT Michael Brockers inactive for Week 2 against the Redskins.
Stewart (hamstring) was also inactive in Week 1. Craig Dahl will start opposite Quintin Mikell at safety for the Rams.
When formulating a fantasy draft board, the most difficult position to predict in Individual Defensive Player (IDP) formats is defensive backs. There is a solid group of talented, high-end fantasy point-producing players among the Top 15, and then things begin to get swirly when projecting the position. Consistency, thy name is not defensive back. There are veterans with injury concerns such as Troy Polamalu, LaRon Landry and Antoine Winfield, who are above-average point producers when they can stay on the field. As well as youngsters such as T.J. Ward, Earl Thomas and Darian Stewart, who have flashed fantasy production but have yet to establish that they can be consistently counted on from week to week, let alone an entire season.
With the inconsistency of the position overall, it is a viable strategy to wait on defensive backs while fortifying the linebacker and defensive end positions before selecting defensive backs. Finding fantasy gold at the position late in the draft is absolutely possible, so let your leaguemates reach for the big names early while waiting to dive into the defensive back tank. Here are some sleepers that are more than capable of helping fantasy squads and will be available long after your squad is stocked with high-end linebackers and defensive linemen.
Tim Jennings, CB, Chicago: Jennings will be lining up opposite Charles Tillman as a starting cornerback for the Bears, and, in the pass-happy NFC North (that feels strange to write), he will be tested often in 2012. Jennings is entering his third season in Chicago and posted a career-high in tackles last season with 76. He also added two interceptions, forced one fumble and recovered another. Jennings benefits from the Cover-2 defense that the Bears employ, and even though he is a small corner (5-foot-8, 185 pounds), he is a more-than-willing tackler in run support. With a current ranking from anywhere between the late-40s to the mid-60s, Jennings will be available late in drafts and will provide very solid fantasy production, especially in leagues that require starting cornerbacks.
Taylor Mays, SS, Cincinnati: After washing out in San Francisco, Mays has found new life in Cincinnati. Mays was a favorite of former coach Mike Singletary for the 49ers. When Singletary was let go, it was only a matter of time before Mays was shown the door as well. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, he has linebacker size and the speed to play in the secondary. He has struggled in coverage at times but...