Welcome to The Huddle’s Deep Sleeper Report for Week 4. Here, we’ll take a look at a few linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs that are “one injury away” (that is, a backup to a stud and just one injury away from being a fantasy somebody), or players worth a look in extremely deep leagues. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two. For purposes of this article, we’re pulling players that are free agents in a 12-team dynasty league.
Jovan Belcher (KCC): He’s all but unseated the veteran Demorrio Williams from the 2nd ILB spot alongside Derrick Johnson. His production has increased week-to-week and has some good matchups following the Chiefs’ Week 4 bye.
Season stats: 14 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles
Scott Shanle (NOS): We’ve seen decent production from the Saints’ WLB spot in the past, and Shanle has posted decent stats thus far in 2010. Can he keep up a pace that includes a good handful of solo and assisted tackles? There’s no one really in the Saint LB queue that will challenge him.
Season stats: 11 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles
Ashlee Palmer (DET): Sure, his name reminds us of someone you’d see on the Disney Channel, but he’s actually the fill-in WLB for the Detroit Lions. Palmer posted a solid 6 solos last week and could be a solid start if Zack Follett continues his average play (or remain out with a concussion).
Season stats: 8 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles
Other to Consider: Ben Leber (MIN)
Dwan Edwards (DE – BAL): We’ve liked Edwards’ potential for a few years now, especially playing opposite Terrell Suggs. Now that he’s moved to the Bills (who’ll spend a good deal of time on defense), he’s starting alongside some pretty weak talent. He won’t wow you with sacks, but can get you 3-4 solos a game, which could work as a backup DL in larger leagues.
Season stats: 11 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles
Corey Williams (DT – DET): Williams is one of those players that gets hot and the streak kind of continues throughout the season. He had 7 sacks in both 2006 and 2007 and is putting up decent stats to start 2010. Not sure he’ll reach 7 sacks but 5-6 isn’t out of the question and has some good matchups in the next couple months.
Season stats: 7 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 passes defensed
Other to Consider: Derek Landri (DT - CAR)
Kareem Moore (S – WAS): Whoops, we had Reed Doughty pegged here last week, and he summarily re-gained his starting spot back, even with Doughty playing decent (or at least posting decent fantasy stats). We love the entire Skin secondary in terms of fantasy output, and Moore proved he could put up good stats this past week.
Week 3 (and season) stats: 5 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 INT, 2 pass defenses
Jerraud Powers (CB – IND): We also like Kelvin Hayden and even the nickel Jacob Lacey from the Indy cornerback crew. All three seem to post decent fantasy stats as the Colt D has to contend with pass-happy offenses.
Season stats: 11 solo tackles, 7 pass defenses
Other to Consider: Jonathan Wade (CB – DET)