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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

IDP Sleeper Report - Week 11
Darin Tietgen
November 16, 2005

I tell ya, this season has just flown by. And what a weird season, too. Injuries, Terrell Owens, bad plays, great plays. By this point, you should know if you’re either in the playoffs, totally out of the running, or perhaps clawing for dear life. In the latter case, perhaps one or more of the following IDP sleepers will push you past your Week 11 opponent. Best of luck.

This Week’s Sleepers

Linebackers

Tommy Polley (BAL) – Sort of a “no duh” upgrade/sleeper pick here, as Ray Lewis is slated to miss his 4 th straight game this coming weekend. In case you missed it, the Ravens’ offense is absolutely terrible, hence their defense will spend a good amount of time on the field. Add in the fact that the Ravens face the run-happy Pittsburgh Steelers this week, and you have yourself a big time sleeper.

Rosevelt Colvin (NE) – As I always say when recommending a Patriot LB, it’s tough to say which one (besides Vrabel, for the most part) is going to have a solid fantasy outing. Well, Colvin has had 3 solid weeks following the Patriots’ bye. He and the rest of the Patriots should have no trouble with the hapless New Orleans Saints come Sunday.

Bradie James (DAL) – Whoa, where did this guy come from? He certainly had some value when LB Dat Nguyen was out, but with Nguyen back in the lineup, James still got the start and posted a monster game against the Eagles (which included a whopping 9 solo tackles in the first half). Dallas faces the Lions this Sunday after a short week, and the Lions may look to control the ball on the ground to keep this one close. James could be in for another big week, especially if he continues to start over the nicked-up Nguyen.

Others to consider: Keith Newman (MIN), Ronald McKinnon (NO), Hunter Hillenmeyer (CHI)

Defensive Line

Robert Bernard (SEA) – Let’s do some fantasy football math. San Francisco 49ers + Seattle Seahawks’ DT with 2 straight double-digit fantasy scoring weeks = solid sleeper.

Eric Hicks (KC) – Has a couple of 7-point fantasy scoring weeks in a row, following a solid 15-point outing. Figure Hicks will be closer to that number after facing a Texan team that gives up sacks like no other team in the NFL. The Texans will expend a ton of energy and focus on Chief DE Jared Allen, so the veteran Hicks may explode here this week.

Trevor Pryce (DEN) – Wow, I never thought I’d type his name in a column devoted to sleepers. Pryce is one of the most talented players in the NFL, and this week may be his week to really shine. The fledgling Jets come to Mile High on Sunday, and Pryce, who has averaged12 fantasy points in his past 2 games, should dominate the decimated Jet offensive line and cause havoc in the backfield all day.

Others to consider: Kevin Carter (MIA), Derrick Burgess (OAK), Vince Wilfork (NE)

Defensive Backs

Eugene Wilson (NE) – At this point, Wilson is by far the best the Patriots have to put out there in the secondary. He’s actually playing half-way decent, scoring on average13 fantasy points the past 3 weeks. The Pats face a Saint team coming off bye, which will most likely have to do its share of passing to keep up with the Pats.

Mike Furrey (STL) – I don’t want to pick on Furrey, I mean, the guy is obviously an incredible football player – he’s in the NFL. But he’s a very green, converted WR playing FS. Speaking of picking on Furrey, that’s exactly what opposing QBs continue to do each week. I suppose that’s a good thing for those looking for a sleeper DB, especially with Kurt Warner and the Cardinals coming to town Sunday. Expect a ton of passing on both sides, and Furrey, who’s averaged 16 fantasy points his past 2 games, should be busy.

Jarrod Cooper (OAK) – After a monster 21-point effort 3 weeks ago, Cooper has responded with back-to-back 10-point efforts. Expect his totals to rise slightly this week, with the Redskins coming to town. Skin RB Clinton Portis has the speed to get past the Raider LBs, and Cooper will come up in run support. In passing situations, the speedy Santana Moss will require safety help, so Cooper could have chances at defending passes or perhaps even picking off an errant Mark Brunell pass.

Others to consider: Mark Roman (GB), Leigh Bodden (CLE), Chris Harris, (CHI)

Last Week’s Sleepers – Report Card

Linebackers

Channing Crowder (MIA)

The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles, 1 pass defensed

The Skinny: Another decent all-around effort from the rookie LB. Zach Thomas continues to dominate the stat book for the Fins, but Crowder is certainly worth a look in most leagues as a backup or 3 rd starter in deeper leagues.

Chaun Thompson (CLE)

The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle

The Skinny: With the amount of running the Steelers were slated to do, you’d think Thompson (and the rest of the Brown LBs for that matter) would have had more tackles. Wasn’t the case, and as a result, this wasn’t the week to use Thompson.

Reggie Torbor (NYG)

The Fat: 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles

The Skinny: This game was a complete joke for the G-men, top to bottom. So chalk this one up to a completely backwards game and consider Torbor as a sleeper again next week, as the Giant D will be hungry to perform.

Dexter Coakley (STL)

The Fat: 1 solo tackle, 1 assisted tackle, 1 INT, 1 pass defensed

The Skinny: Horrible tackle numbers for the Ram LB, but the INT is nice to see. The older Ram LBs (Coakley, Claiborne) have been totally outperformed by the younger Tinoisamoa this season. Not much of a surprise, I suppose.

Ryan Nece (TB)

The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle

The Skinny: Pretty bland totals for the Buc LB. Keep an eye on him, though, as the Buc D continues to play solid football.

Paris Lenon (GB)

The Fat: Bzzzzzzzzzt!

The Skinny: Wait, what? The guy started. I know he played a lot, I saw him on the field, running down Falcons left and right. But not even one tackle? Color me shocked. This guy’s still worth a look in deeper leagues if you are struggling at the LB slot. The Packer’s generally no-name defense shall continue to be on the field quite a bit, that is, unless Sam Gado can energize the offense.

Defensive Line

Kalimba Edwards (DET)

The Fat: 1 assisted tackle

The Skinny: The Detroit defense didn’t dominate (at least fantasy wise) the Cardinals, as expected.

Raheem Brock ( IND)

The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle

The Skinny: Well, I was completely off on that one. Everyone BUT Brock got to Houston QB David Carr (Freeney, Triplett, Reagor each with a sack). Decent tackle totals, though.

Shaun Cody (DET)

The Fat: 2 assisted tackles

The Skinny: A yawner for the rookie D-lineman, after a few solid outings. Keep an eye on the big rookie, though, as Detroit’s defense continues to play better than average.

Philip Daniels (WAS)

The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 2 passes defensed

The Skinny: You could have done worse in a pinch. Especially from the typically low-scoring DL position.

Tank Johnson (CHI)

The Fat: 1 pass defensed

The Skinny: The Tank’s treads were jammed on Sunday. At least he got one of his massive paws on a SF QB Cody Pickett pass; which is saying a lot, seeing that Pickett was a ridiculous 1-13 passing.

Chad Lavalais (ATL)

The Fat: Big fat goose egg

The Skinny: I admit it, the guy was a deep sleeper, and he was officially in a deep sleep on Sunday. You would have thought with all the up-the-middle running Packer RB Sam Gado was slated to do, plus the time in the pocket QB Brett Favre spends, Lavalais would have had at least a few tackles and a shot at a sack. Guess not. Back to the land of obscurity you go, Mr. Lavalais.

Defensive Backs

Ryan Clark (WAS)

The Fat: 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles

The Skinny: Pretty much a bust this week. The Redskins have been playing pretty good defensive football, but fantasy-wise, they’ve been rather bland.

Marlon McCree (CAR)

The Fat: 4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 pass defensed, 1 fumble recovery

The Skinny: Another solid all-around game from the leader of the Panther secondary. The Panther D continues to dominate with their pass rush (3 sacks) and their secondary continues to make plays (4 INTs). Check them out if you need help with your IDPs.

Marquand Manuel (SEA)

The Fat: 8 solo tackles, 1 pass defensed, 1 fumble recovery

The Skinny: This guy just continues to impress. Filling in for the injured Ken Hamlin, Manuel has put together a string of solid games. If he’s available in your league, he’s certainly worth picking up, as the Seahawk defense continues to play pretty solid football, and will face a good number of pass-happy offenses.

Nathan Vasher (CHI)

The Fat: 1 assisted tackle, 1 TD

The Skinny: In case you missed it, Vasher set an NFL record with a 108-yard TD off a botched SF field goal. That was sweet. But the low tackle total? That wasn’t so sweet.

Chris Harris (CHI)

The Fat: 6 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 pass defended

The Skinny: Harris led the vaunted Bear defense in tackles. While the Bear defense may not be involved in many games that feature a ton of passing down the stretch, Harris and the rest of the Bear secondary continues to impress, and are worth a look fantasy-wise as a result.

Jermaine Phillips(TB)

The Fat: 8 solo tackles, 2 passes defensed

The Skinny: A very solid outing for Phillips in what turned out to be a crazy game. Again, the Buc defense is playing very good football, and Philips has gone somewhat unnoticed as a pretty solid performer. If he’s on your league’s waiver wire and you need some help at DB down the stretch, you could do far worse than Phillips.

Got a comment? Suggestion? Deep sleeper I’m missing or should keep an eye on? Email me at huddledarin@yahoo.com.

* Note: Fantasy scoring used for this column includes forced fumbles or fumble recoveries (3 points), defensive TDs (6 points), interceptions (3 points), passes defensed (1.5 points), tackles (2 points), assisted tackles (1 point), sacks (2 points) and safeties (2 points).