Mathieu was one of the most accredited defenders in recent NCAA history. He was the SEC Championship Game MVP in the team’s national championship and was a First-team All-Sec selection. He was even awarded the Chuck Bednarik Award for being the best defender in the nation in 2011.
His recent off-the-field issues and dismissal from LSU caused his value to plummet in the draft this past April. No one wanted to take a chance on the guy that was dismissed from college, obviously the reason that he fell all the way down to the third round (69 overall).
Mathieu will still be a very deep sleeper this fantasy season though. He has amazing technique and his back pedal is one of the fastest ever recorded. He has all the talent in the world, and if he ever gets his head on straight, the kid could become an extremely dangerous fantasy IDP option.
In Arizona’s first preseason game, Mathieu has once again looked like a shutdown corner. The former LSU standout finished the game with four tackles and one sack. He also had two punt returns for 28 yards, including an impressive 26-yarder. In the team’s second preseason game, the corner led the entire team with seven tackles.
These are great numbers, especially considering that he wasn’t even playing the entire game. The corner will be an amazing asset in leagues that reward for return yards and touchdowns. He will get a few returns per game and that alone will give the defensive back an extra boost in fantasy value.
Mathieu will be worth taking a shot on at the end of the draft, especially in IDP leagues that start three defensive backs.
For more IDP sleepers, make sure to check out my IDP Report.