• IDP Fantasy Football 2022: DT Sleepers for Redraft Leagues

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    NFL and fantasy matchups are won in the trenches. Which DT sleepers who are flying under the radar will win you your redraft league?

    Just like in the NFL, defensive tackles are the unsung heroes of fantasy rosters. Speaking from personal experience, if you miss out on an elite DT, your team could be in serious trouble. Thankfully, my reader, this is not going to happen to you! This article serves to provide you with a cheat sheet of DT sleepers you should target in your redraft leagues.

    Everyone knows the big names in the DT redraft world: Aaron Donald, DeForest Bucker, and Jonathan Allen to name a few. Check out our defensive line ranks here. If you are in a position to grab these players, you best believe you should! This article is for deeper IDP leagues, or for those where you could use a sleeper or two. I’m going to give you a few names to keep in mind when it’s your time on the clock.

    Let’s get to the sleepers!

    Milton Williams, DT, Philidelphia Eagles

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    Let’s get things started with Milton Williams. The 2021 third-round draft pick out of Louisiana Tech had a decent first campaign in the NFL. Like most rookies, he had to earn his way into playing time throughout the season, which he accomplished. By the end of the season, Williams was averaging over 50% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. The best way to score points is by being on the field!

    The best part is that, when he was on the field, Williams delivered! In the five games he had over 50% defensive snaps played, Williams racked up 15 combined tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 QB hits. After winning over the coaching staff last year by being productive, I see more opportunities in Williams’ future. The IDP Guys’ consensus rankings have him as the 24th-ranked DT. I see him beating that ranking.

    Sebastian Joseph-Day, DT, Los Angeles Chargers

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    Joseph-Day checks in at 17 in our defensive line rankings, and I think that is certifiably too low. In a season shortened by injuries, he still put up monster numbers. If you take SJD’s production from the seven games he played and extend that to the full season, you’ll see what I mean. He was on pace for 7 sacks, 92 combined tackles, and 12 QB hits — just incredible fantasy numbers.

    For reference, our fifth-highest ranked defensive lineman this year, Chris Jones, had 9 sacks, 27 combined tackles, and 17 QB hits in 2022. All I’m saying is that, when looking for upside in the later rounds, SJD should be on your radar. Even with a change of team, he will get his playing time. A player you can get as DL17 that could end up being top 10? Simply a no-brainer.

    Justin Jones, DT, Chicago Bears

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    Are you ready for a really deep DT sleeper I am very high on? Jones produced very well last year after recovering from a calf injury he sustained in Week 1. More importantly, he was on the field for 68% of the Chargers’ defensive snaps on average after coming back. This says to me that the injury is not a concern and Jones will get his opportunities.

    Jones signed a two-year deal this off-season with the Chicago Bears, which is a great landing spot. His contract makes it evident that he was signed to play. In another major development, Akiem Hicks is out of Chicago, paving the way for Jones to a starting job. He is a deeper league kind of player, but Jones might just be the diamond in the rough you are looking for.

    David Onyemata, DT, New Orleans Saints

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    Onyemata is a quintessential buy-low DT sleeper. Starting for the Saints the previous two years, he began last year by missing the first six games due to a suspension. Once back in the lineup, Onyemata proceeded to start every game and average 61% of defensive snaps. I will continue to hammer this point with deep-cut DTs: to score points, they need to be on the field!

    Onyemata’s career stats show you just how versatile a player he is. He gets a fair number of tackles, which is great for his floor, but the upside in sacks and QB hits are huge. People will sleep on Onyemata because last year’s stats were not up to his usual standard. Looking back to 2020, however, he was the seventh-highest scoring DT (per FantasyPros). Onyemata can produce at a high level when given the chance.

    With no new players coming after his starting position, Onyemata is poised to return to his normal routine and provide excellent late-round value.

    Davon Godchaux, DT, New England Patriots

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    You didn’t think I’d go an entire article without talking about a Patriot, did you? All jokes aside, Godchaux is due to outperform his ADP. IDP Guys has him ranked as the 33rd DT on our lovely site and, respectively, I think it’s a tad low!

    Godchaux averaged about 59% of defensive snaps for the Patriots in 2021, racking up 65 combined tackles. The thing is: his production and playtime increased as the year went on.

    With those stats, Godchaux was the 29th highest scoring DT last year, according to Fantasy Pros, which already exceeds his ranking at 33. Did anything change in the offseason that would impact his playing time? Quite the opposite! The Patriots have been maligned in the media for not adding more bodies on the defensive line. This will lead to even more opportunities for Godchaux to shine.

    Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Free Agent (as of posting)

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    You might be asking: how can you have Ogunjobi as a sleeper when you don’t know what team he’ll be on? The answer is simple: he’s going to be a fantasy asset wherever he lands. We presently have him ranked as our 25th DT. Last year, for Cincinnati, Ogunjobi put up 49 combined tackles and an incredible 7 sacks.

    This was good enough to make him the seventh-highest scoring DT in 2021, so why is he ranked so low for next year? Ogunjobi’s stats in Cleveland, where he spent his first four years in the NFL, were eerily similar to his 2021 campaign. As a starter in his last three years in Cleveland, he averaged 4.5 sacks and 50 combined tackles. This sort of consistency across multiple franchises helps my case.

    The point I’m making is that Ogunjobi has been too good for too long to not put up excellent numbers wherever he signs. Sure, there is a risk with drafting someone who is a free agent, but for Ogunjobi it’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’ll let other players worry about where he will sign while I look forward to those points rolling in on Sundays.

    Thank you for reading my DT sleepers for redraft leagues article! Please reach out on what points you agree with and what you think I got wrong! Happy drafting! You can find all my work on my IDP Guys Author page. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @mrecord21 and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date with all the latest fantasy news! 

    Matt Record

    I got started in Fantasy Football over 15 years ago and have never looked back! I'm just a regular guy who loves to analyze data and watch and talk about sports. Outside of all things fantasy, I enjoy playing disc golf, playing board games, and enjoying a nice hazy IPA. I can't wait to share with you all my thoughts on Fantasy Football!
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