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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

IDP Report - Week 5
Brent Clement
October 7, 2004

What the Heck Happened

Brian Urlacher missed a second consecutive game, and the Bears on are Bye this week. The team is hopeful Urlacher can be healthy enough to start week 6 after the Bye week..

If you are playing Team Defense and you have your D on bye, its best to look at defenses that are playing the Dolphins, Browns, or Cardinals each week, for a 1 week fill in.

CB Mike McKenzie was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New Orleans Saints for a backup QB and a future 2nd round draft pick. It will be curious to see just how serious that hamstring injury was that Mike seemed to have in Green Bay, since he returned to the team. Some in the Packers organization felt he was loafing and not really hurt, simply sitting out getting paid rather than holding out and getting fined without the game checks.

Who’s Hot

Defensive Linemen

ATL Patrick Kerney - Kerney is outscoring most LBs. He is by far the #1 DL this season, and this trend looks like it will continue for the rest of the season. Kerney posted another outstanding game in week 4, recording 8 tackles, a forced fumble, 2 sacks, and an assist.

NYJ John Abraham - Abraham finally had the kind of game fantasy owners had hoped for when they drafted him. Abraham had 2 sacks, a forced fumble, fumble recovery, 3 tackles, a pass defense and an assist.

STL Leonard Little - Well what do you know, Mr. Little decided to show up in week 4, and post an impressive game. The stud DL has been a bust thus far and looks to be breaking out of his early season slump. Little finished the day with 6 tackles, a sack, an assist, and a fumble recovery.

Linebackers

CAR Dan Morgan - Morgan is the top LB by scoring average thus far this season. He may be down on the list of top LBs because he has already had his bye, but he is averaging over 9 tackles a week. Is this the year Morgan is healthy for a full 16 weeks? The jury is still out on that, but when he plays, his production is unquestioned.

SD Randall Godfrey - Godfrey has put together back to back strong performances for the first time in a number of years. He is finally healthy and is a key contributor for the surprising Chargers strong run defense thus far. Godfrey last week had 9 tackles and in week 3 he had 6 tackles, a forced fumble, and recovery. If Godfrey is available, this is the time to put a bid in for him.

TB Derrick Brooks - Brooks is looking more like the LB that won Defensive Player of the year honors a few years back. He has consistently made plays each week and is currently a top 5 LB after the first 4 weeks of the season. Brooks is a must start each week.

Defensive Backs

CIN Madieu Williams - I can’t say enough positive things about this rookie. He is consistently scoring for owners that have him. The Cincy Offense isn’t good enough yet to sustain drives, so he is on the field a ton. Madieu is the closest thing to a fantasy stud as a rookie, as Roy Williams was his rookie year. In fact Madieu is on pace to break Roy Williams stats his rookie year, which is very impressive.

IND Nick Harper - Harper is a ball hawk, and it helps the Indy offense is so explosive teams have to pass on the Indy defense to stay in games. Harper is a rare CB who is a fantasy stud like Ronde Barber and Antoine Williams. Harper is the type of CB who is very active vs. the run as well.

PIT Troy Polamalu - Troy had another huge game this year for the Steelers, taking an interception back to the house for a Touchdown. Polamalu is still learning in the Steelers secondary, but is becoming a guy you must consider starting week in week out.

Who’s Not

Defensive Linemen

IND Dwight Freeney - Freeney is back on the Who’s Not list for 1 reason. Its time to trade or even outright drop this bust. Freeney has had 2 weeks in a row of only 1 tackle and through 4 games has only 6 tackles, 1 assist and 2 sacks on the year. Pat Kerney is averaging that stat line a week.

NYJ Shaun Ellis - Ellis is simply not the dominating player he was in 2003. He’s had minimal impact this season averaging 2 tackles a game.

Linebackers 

TEN - Keith Bullock - Bullock has been a huge disappointment for teams that used a high draft pick on him. He started with a solid performance in week 1 vs. the Dolphins, but his stats have dropped each of the 3 weeks since. This past week Bullock had his worst performance of the year, only producing 2 solo tackles, 1 assist, and a pass defense vs. the run first Chargers and RB L. Tomlinson.

ATL - Chris Draft - Draft continues to disappoint, and had another terrible scoring afternoon for fantasy owners. Draft ended his Sunday with 1 tackle, 1 assist and 1 pass defense. This from a top 10 LB from a year ago, and all the hype moving into Keith Brookings old MLB position. What a bust thus far.

Defensive Backs

ATL - Ashley Ambrose - In last weeks IDP Report, I listed Ambrose because he recorded 2 solid weeks in a row but warned he was fools gold, and buyer beware. Well, the very next week Ambrose doesn’t score a single point for owners who started him week 4.

PHI - Sheldon Brown - Brown has never been much of a fantasy force, but he did start the year off with 2 huge weeks. Since week 2, Brown has been fools gold for owners who acquired him, like I did myself in several leagues. Maybe its time to dump Brown for a DB who is actually producing.

Key Injuries

Defensive Linemen

San Francisco DE Andre Carter underwent surgery Monday, Oct. 4, to remove a cyst in his back that was pressing against a nerve. He is expected to miss 3-to-5 weeks.

Linebackers

Vikings MLB E.J. Henderson has been ruled out for Week 5.

Jeff Duncan, of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports Saints LB Courtney Watson had fluid drained from his right knee and missed practice Wednesday, Oct. 6. Watson is listed as questionable for the Sunday, Oct. 10, game.

Defensive Backs

49ers CB Mike Rumph will miss the remainder of the 2004 season. He will have surgery later in the week to place a rod in his right forearm.

Start em

Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1:00 pm LB Andra Davis, DB Robert Griffith, LB James Farrior, DB Troy Polamalu.

Detroit at Atlanta, 1:00 pm DL Patrick Kerney, LB Keith Brooking, DB Brian Scott.

Miami at New England, 1:00 pm - DL Jason Taylor, LB Zach Thomas, LB Tedy Bruschi, DB Rodney Harrison.

Minnesota at Houston, 1:00 pm - LB Dontarrious Thomas, DB Corey Chavous, LB Jay Foreman, LB Jamie Sharper.

N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 1:00 pm - DL Michael Strahan, LB Dat Nguyen, DB Roy Williams.

Oakland at Indianapolis, 1:00 pm - DL Tyler Brayton, LB Napoleon Harris, LB David Thornton, DB Nick Harper.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1:00 pm - LB Derrick Brooks, DB Ronde Barber, DL Charles Grant.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets, 4:05 pm - LB London Fletcher, DL John Abraham, DL , LB Eric Barton.

Jacksonville at San Diego, 4:05 pm - DL Marcus Stroud, DL John Henderson, LB Mike Peterson, LB Donnie Edwards, DB Terrance Kiel.

Arizona at San Francisco, 4:15 pm - LB Julian Peterson, DB Tony Parrish, DB Adrian Wilson.

Carolina at Denver, 4:15 pm - DL Julius Peppers, DL Mike Rucker, LB Dan Morgan, DB Mike Minter, LB DJ Williams, LB Al Wilson.

St. Louis at Seattle, 4:15 pm - DL Leonard Little, DB Adam Archuletta, DL Grant Wistrom, LB Anthony Simmons.

Baltimore at Washington, 8:30 pm - DL Marques Douglas, LB Ray Lewis, DB Ed Reed, LB Antonio Pierce.

Tennessee at Green Bay, 9:00 pm - LB Keith Bullock, LB Nick Barnett, DB Darren Sharper.

Open date: Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Philadelphia

Others to consider

Defensive Linemen

ATL - Rod Coleman
BUF - Aaron Schobel
CLE - Kenard Lang
NYJ - Shaun Ellis
NOS - Darren Howard
NOS - Will Smith
PIT - Aaron Smith
DET - Shaun Rogers
DAL - Greg Ellis
SEA - Chike Okeafor

Linebackers

TBB - Shelton Quarles
JAC - Akinola Ayodele
NEP - Roman Phifer
PHI - Mark Simoneau
STL - Pisa Tinoisamoa
DET - Earl Holmes
JAC - Darryl Smith
IND - Rob Morris
OAK - Travian Smith
NYJ - Jonathon Vilma
NOS - Courtney Watson - (Very Questionable)

Defensive Backs

NOS - Jay Bellamy
NEP - Eugene Wilson
TEN - Tank Williams
SEA - Ken Hamlin
HOU - Marcus Coleman
WAS - Sean Taylor
NOS - Tebucky Jones
BAL - Gary Baxter
WAS - Matt Bowen
OAK - Charles Woodson

Team Defense - Top 5 plays of the week

New England vs. Miami, most likely the worst offense in the last 5 yrs.

Pittsburgh should dominate the Brownies and take control of that division.

Dallas gets 2 weeks to prepare for an overachieving Giants team.

NY Jets are averaging 3 forced turnovers a game and should cause havoc to Bledsoe and company all afternoon.

Baltimore get the bad game management of the Washington Redskins this week. The Skins are ripe for another turnover fest do to a dominating Ravens D.