2013 Fantasy Football IDP Dark Horse Sleeper: Jerrell Freeman

By Dustin Manko
Jerrell Freeman
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In IDP linebackers typically get all the love. They rack up the tackles, have ample opportunities to defend and intercept passes and are generally around the ball, leading to the linebacker position being one of the more consistent scoring positions in fantasy football. Typically the big name linebackers are the first places owners turn to. One name that owners need to learn (if they haven’t already done so) is Indianapolis Colts sophomore linebacker Jerrell Freeman.

Freeman is owned in 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and is currently 24th in overall linebacker scoring, ranking ahead of big names like Luke Kuechy, A.J. Hawk and London Fletcher. He is consistent, scoring at least 10 fantasy points in four of seven games, averaging 10.43 points per game. The three games where he scored less than 10 points the first game of the season (seven and a half points), week four against the Jacksonville Jaguars where most of the starters got pulled (four points), and week six where he left the game due to concussion at halftime after putting up seven points.

Freeman has been good on the ball, with two fumbles forced so far on the season. While he has been slightly vulnerable against the pass, that actually plays out as an advantage in fantasy, as it allows the receiver to catch the pass, then Freeman to make the tackle. Through seven games, he leads the Colts with 60 combined tackles (17th in the league despite having a bye), four of which have gone for a loss. He is second on the team with three and a half sacks.

The upcoming schedule is pretty solid for Freeman to continue his solid season, with the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans each on the schedule twice along with offensively challenged teams like the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. All of those teams rank near the lower half in the league in yards per play, something that could translate well into opportunities for linebacker scoring. Over the remaining games, I have Freeman higher on my ranks than Terrell Suggs, Kiko Alonso, and NaVorro Bowman.

The second year linebacker is making a name for himself around the league. Make sure you take advantage and start him before some other fantasy owner learns his name.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more from Dustin here.

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