Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely moved on to the next round of your fantasy league’s playoffs. If your team needs a little boost in Week 15 and beyond, hopefully some of these sleepers can help you out.
This Week’s Sleepers
Shantee Orr (HOU) – Texan LB Dashon Polk is probably off your league’s waiver wire by now, but Orr is probably still sitting there. Over the past three weeks, Orr and Polk have actually put up very similar numbers. The Texans face the pass-happy Cardinals this week, so don’t expect huge tackle totals, but Orr could certainly help your team in a pinch and certainly worth stashing for the final two weeks of the season (vs. the Jaguars and at the Niners).
Leroy Hill (SEA) – Rookie LB Lofa Tatupu has grabbed all the ink this season (rightly so), but Leroy Hill (also a rookie) has had a nice string of games here in the second half of the season. He hasn’t tallied less than eight fantasy points since Week 9. He led the team in tackles against the hapless Niners last week. This week, the Seahawks travel to Tennessee to face the Titans. Hill will be busy shadowing Titan RB Chris Brown and the host of Titan TEs.
Scott Fujita (DAL) – Fujita’s had solid fantasy seasons in KC, and now he’s getting the opportunity to start for the Cowboys. He’s had a couple good games in a row, and will be busy tackling Skin RB Clinton Portis and TE Chris Cooley in this heated rivalry game.
Others to consider: Victor Hobson (NYJ), Ronald McKinnon (NO)
Paul Spicer (JAC) – Spicer has been the forgotten man on this vaunted Jag DL. He’s shown that he can put up big numbers (15 fantasy points Week 13), and the Jags face the Niners come Sunday. Good enough.
Bobby Hamilton (OAK) – There’s really not much out there to choose from in terms of sleeper DLs this week. That said, we’ll go with a repeat. Hamilton’s been in double-digits fantasy-wise the past three weeks, which is solid for a DL. Spry rookie Brown QB Charlie Frye might be slippery in the pocket but he’s still a rookie. Expect the Oakland DL to get to Frye at least a couple times.
Chike Okeafor (ARI) – Okeafor is the poster-child for IDPs that were either drafted, or picked up early in the season, and stashed on rosters. If by chance he was dropped at some point this season and remains on the waiver wire, now’s probably the time to swoop him up and start him against the Texans, who apparently give out sacks at the ticket window and concession stands.
Others to consider: Marcus Tubbs (SEA), Vonnie Holliday (MIA)
Nick Ferguson (DEN) – Ferguson has not scored less than 14 fantasy points the past three weeks. Denver travels to chilly Buffalo for a Saturday matchup against the Kelly Holcomb-led Bills. CB Darrent Williams is out for this one, so Ferguson may be asked to help a bit more in pass coverage.
Jordan Babineaux (SEA) – Babineaux is second on the Hawks with three INTs on the season. With CBs Dyson and Herndon nursing injuries, Babineaux has put up decent stats.
Shawntae Spencer (SF) – Spencer has quietly been putting up good fantasy stats over the past couple of months. The Jags should do their share of passing here in Week 15, so Spencer could certainly continue his string of solid outings.
Others to consider: Brian Kelly (TB), Pierson Prioleau (WAS)
Last Week’s Sleepers – Report Card
Chris Draft (CAR)
The Fat: 5 solo tackles
The Skinny: Panther LB Dan Morgan was not only able to suit up, but started. Draft still managed 5 solo tackles. If Morgan’s out again this season, consider Draft a solid sleeper option.
Donnie Spragan (MIA)
The Fat: 4 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle
The Skinny: Fin LB Zach Thomas got the start and he and fellow LB Channing Crowder had big games. If Thomas (or Crowder for that matter) misses time again this season, Spragan’s worth a shot. He started at the strong side LB and still logged a good number of tackles, considering Thomas and Crowder’s solid efforts.
Bart Scott (BAL)
The Fat: 4 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles
The Skinny: This is just the way this season has gone. It was the OTHER Raven LB (Adelius Thomas) that had the big game (7 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed). Scott was still in on a ton of plays and should be considered as a #3 LB from here on out with Ray Lewis out.
Tommy Polley (BAL)
The Fat: 2 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles
The Skinny: See above, same applies to Polley.
Chaun Thompson (CLE)
The Fat: 2 assisted tackles
The Skinny: Thompson had been playing pretty well. Nothin’ doin’ this week.
Ronald McKinnon (NO)
The Fat: 4 solo tackles
The Skinny: Was expecting much, much more, anticipating a ton of running from the Falcons. If you’re in dire need of a third or backup LB here in the last few weeks of the season, you can do much worse than McKinnon.
Bobby Hamilton (OAK)
The Fat: 4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles
The Skinny: The Oakland DL has produced some decent points here in the second half of the season. It’s been somewhat difficult, however, to predict which of these guys is going to put up the stats game to game. This week, it was Derrick Burgess, another Huddle IDP Sleeper article mainstay. Hamilton still managed a good number of tackles, especially for a defensive lineman.
Rocky Bernard (SEA)
The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles
The Skinny: This guy’s been on fire as of late, so it was almost a no-brainer to list him as a sleeper against the Niners. Well the Niners were especially bad on Sunday, and I think the Seahawks’ D spent maybe 2 total minutes on the field. Considering that, Bernard’s tackle totals are impressive for a DL.
Kendrick Clancy (NYG)
The Fat: 1 solo tackle
The Skinny: I painted myself into a corner with that one. Very difficult recommending a defensive tackle, despite him having several solid outings in a row.
Ryan Pickett (STL)
The Fat: 2 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles
The Skinny: Somewhat impressive numbers for a nose tackle. The Rams surprisingly did not sack the ancient Viking QB Brad Johnson once.
C.J. Mosley (MIN)
The Fat: 4 solo tackles
The Skinny: No action whatsoever sack-wise for the DL sleepers this week, but at least some of them logged some solid tackle totals.
Brent Alexander (NYG)
The Fat: 5 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 3 passes defensed
The Skinny: Not only did Alexander lead the team in tackles, he got his mitts on three passes.
Deon Grant (JAC)
The Fat: 6 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 pass defensed
The Skinny: The Jags’ IDPs were tackling machines on Sunday. Consider Grant as a nice sleeper for the remainder of the season given the Jags’ soft schedule.
Eric Warfield (KC)
The Fat: 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle
The Skinny: The Chief secondary has been playing pretty well of late. Warfield, Sammy Knight and Greg Wesley have taken turns putting up solid stats week to week. Unfortunately this week, it was Knight’s turn, not Warfield’s.
Carlos Rogers (WAS)
The Fat: 7 solo tackles
The Skinny: Rogers led the Skins in tackles on Sunday. The Skins have been a pretty average (if not worse) fantasy defense, so be careful in starting guys like Rogers, especially against teams that are more balanced offensively.
Nick Collins (GB)
The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle
The Skinny: Average numbers, at best. Once again, Nick Barnett’s the only Packer IDP worth mentioning, although Mark Roman has made some noise here in the tail end of the season and put up better stats than Collins on Sunday night.
Got a comment? Suggestion? Deep sleeper I’m missing or should keep an eye on? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* 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).