We've hit Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season, and as some players such as linebacker Curtis Lofton of the New Orleans Saints (who leads the NFL in tackles) continue to tear it up, others, such as defensive end Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers (still searching for his first sack), continue to leave their Individual Defensive Player (IDP) owners scratching their heads.
With disappointing performances, injuries and bye weeks continuing to leave fantasy football rosters littered with holes, here's a look at some players that astute IDP owners should consider adding to their rosters this week.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Luke Kuechly, OLB, Carolina: With Jon Beason sidelined by a knee injury in Sunday's game with the Seattle Seahawks, Kuechly was forced to switch to the middle. The rookie responded, leading the team with 11 total tackles and intercepting a pass. Granted, the Panthers are headed into their bye week, but with Beason's health an ongoing issue, Kuechly could see more and more time in the middle, making this an instance where it's worth the early pickup to be ahead of the curve.
Greg Hardy, DE, Carolina: Another instance where we're looking at adding a player even though he can't help IDP teams right away. After a sluggish start and broken thumb two weeks ago, it looked like Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy was trending in the wrong direction. However, the 24-year-old has now recorded seven tackles and two sacks over the past two games, and with a week off for his injury to heal, Hardy should be ready to continue his hot streak when the Panthers face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7.
Bruce Irvin, DE, Seattle: When the Seattle Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin 15th overall in April's NFL draft, many pundits shook their heads, but most of them are nodding now. The speedy youngster has now tallied 4½ sacks on the season and has a pair of games with multiple sacks, and while Irvin's situational role makes him something of a feast-or-famine fantasy option, there's no denying his ability to get after the passer, which makes him a very appealing option in big-play heavy scoring systems.
L.J. Fort, MLB, Cleveland: When D'Qwell Jackson was forced from the Browns' loss to the New York Giants Sunday, it was rookie L.J. Fort that was pressed into action in the middle for Cleveland. Fort tallied nine total tackles on the afternoon, and with Jackson's status for Week 6 very much up in the air due to a concussion, and the Browns defense sure to be on the field all day,...