Defensive linemen player analysis: 13-24

by Cory J. Bonini on August 16, 2010 @ 18:00:00 PDT


Kelly Gregg | Baltimore Ravens | 6-foot, 320 pounds | 11th year

Fantasy tip: Gregg has been a steady source of tackles for most of his career, and he has enough quickness to get to the quarterback. Primarily playing on running downs limits his overall value. Gregg makes for an unheralded, high-end No. 2 fantasy lineman that you can probably land later in your draft than his production indicates because of his age.

Ray Edwards | Minnesota Vikings | 6-foot-5, 268 pounds | 5th year

Fantasy tip: Following a strong 2008 season, Edwards broke out last year. He recorded 51 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, two passes defensed and one forced fumble in his first healthy pro season. Edwards provides a respectable sack total and enough tackles to make him a No. 2 fantasy defensive lineman on the rise.

Mathias Kiwanuka | New York Giants | 6-foot-5, 265 pounds | 5th year

Fantasy tip: At times Kiwanuka will move to linebacker, but his natural position of right defensive end is where fantasy owners will find the best value in the former Boston College star. Kiwi is having a strong offseason and has shown flashes of dominance in his career. He is a No. 2 IDP lineman but should be ignored as a linebacker because of an overall lack of tackles.

Darryl Tapp | Philadelphia Eagles | 6-foot-1, 270 pounds | 5th year

Fantasy tip: The Seattle Seahawks sent Tapp to the Eagles this offseason. He has shown promise in his career. Fantasy owners are hoping Tapp will offer more of a pass rush (12.5 sacks from 2007 to 2008, only 2.5 last year). We believe he can, making Tapp a slightly risky No. 2 defensive lineman with room for growth. You can likely draft him as your third.

Aaron Smith | Pittsburgh Steelers | 6-foot-5, 298 pounds | 12th year

Fantasy tip: Smith has missed 16 games in the past three years because of injury. In 2008 - his only full season in that stretch - he posted 60 total tackles and 5.5 sacks. If healthy, he's capable of similar production. He's a sneaky pick to post No. 2 defensive lineman stats, and you can likely have him as a third.

Tommy Kelly | Oakland Raiders | 6-foot-6, 300 pounds | 7th year

Fantasy tip: Kelly is a solid but unspectacular contributor for IDP owners. He has racked up 55 total tackles each of the past two years and occasionally contributes in the sack column (5.5 in last 32 games). He is now two years removed from a devastating knee injury and should be viewed as a midrange No. 2 fantasy lineman.

Marques Douglas | Miami Dolphins | 6-foot-2, 290 pounds | 10th year

Fantasy tip: If given enough playing time, Douglas is an IDP mainstay. He holds up well against the run and occasionally falls on a quarterback or two. If you're looking for a cheap source of tackles and little else, Douglas should garner enough of a workload in Miami to be a steady performer as your No. 2 but more safely drafted as a No. 3.

Alex Brown | New Orleans Saints | 6-foot-3, 260 pounds | 9th year

Fantasy tip: The former Chicago Bear comes to 'Nawlins with a resume that includes contributions across the board. He has five career interceptions and 14 forced fumbles. Brown has tallied 12.0 total sacks in the last two years, and he hasn't missed a game since his 2002 rookie season. He is a blue collar IDP lineman and should be considered as an average No. 2 or strong third DL.

John Abraham | Atlanta Falcons | 6-foot-4, 263 pounds | 11th year

Fantasy tip: Abraham has remained healthy the past three years but experienced a significant drop-off in the sack column in '09. With 16.0 the year before, his 5.5 of a season ago simply won't cut it. Abraham hasn't reached the 40-tackle mark since the 2005 season and is certainly on the downswing of his career. He should be selected as a high-risk, high-reward No. 2 in deep leagues but probably can be had as a No. 3 more often than not.

Jay Ratliff | Dallas Cowboys | 6-foot-4, 303 pounds | 6th year

Fantasy tip: Ratliff provides an interior pass rush (13.5 total sacks last two years) that you don't usually see from linemen of his size. He has 91 total stops over the past two seasons, and he forced two fumbles in '09. Ratliff is a low-end No. 2 fantasy lineman.

Randy Starks | Miami Dolphins | 6-foot-3, 305 pounds | 7th year

Fantasy tip: The Maryland product is coming off his finest season as a pro. In 16 starts, Starks compiled 56 total tackles and 7.0 sacks. He doesn't offer much production elsewhere and has to show he can do it again before fantasy owners put a lot of stock into him. Starks is a weak No. 2 or strong No. 3 lineman.

Shaun Ellis | New York Jets | 6-foot-5, 285 pounds | 11th year

Fantasy tip: The veteran lineman is a quality source of tackles and sacks. He has 14.5 quarterback takedowns in the past two years, and Ellis has posted at least 49 total stops each of the last four seasons. Ellis is a quality No. 3 or desperation No. 2 for IDP leaguers.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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