Well, Huddlers, it’s been a fantastic year. Thanks to everyone that emailed me with kind words about this Report. It’s been a genuine pleasure and I look forward to improving on it next season. To close out the season, let’s take a look at some players I recommended and how they fared through the season. For those of you still playing, there’s some Week 17 sleepers in there for you too. Enjoy, and see you in 2006!
Year in Review – Graduation Day
In my July 14, 2005 article entitled “IDP - Who Do I Start Basics”, I noted that playing CBs that play opposite “stud” CBs would produce results as well as some rookie CBs that would be tested and produce. I highlighted several players, including:
Andre Dyson/Kelly Herndon (SEA) – The pair battled injuries all season, but ended up logging 72 total tackles, 3 INTs, 1 FR and 2 TDs between them (Herndon got most of the tackles, Dyson got most of the “other” stats). As a backup DB, either one of these guys would have been a help to your fantasy team.
Carlos Rogers (WAS) – Before getting injured a couple weeks back, Rogers was on a roll (23 tackles, 2 INTs over 3 weeks). He started off slow but really heated up. Keep an eye on him in 2006.
Lenny Walls/Darrent Williams (DEN) – I must say, I hit the nail on the head on this one. The Broncos let Walls go early in the season, allowing the rookie Williams to start. In 12 games, Williams logged 53 tackles (great for a CB), 1 sack, 2 INTs, 1 FR and a TD. Not to mention, he had very good stats in the punt and kickoff return game. Keep an eye on Williams in 2006.
Fabian Washington (OAK) – Washington was pretty much a bust. Played in 12 games, logging only 40 tackles. Losing Charles Woodson was a big hit to the Oakland secondary. Washington has speed and playmaking ability, so keep an eye on him as a deep sleeper for 2006, especially in leagues where you must start a CB.
Antrel Rolle (ARI) – Rolle battled injuries all season, but ended up with 28 tackles and a pick in 5 games. He showed big-game potential in games against Seattle early in the season and against Houston later in the season. He’s going to be a stud, so keep an eye on him.
Sleeper Report Veterans
The following players were recommended several times in the Report, or were recommended early on and ended up posting solid stats the rest of the way out.
Shelton Quarles (TB) – I recommended Quarles way back in Week 2.He’s working on 119 tackles (94 solos) this season. Picking him up early would have given you solid LB depth or a fine 3 rd starter.
Kailee Wong and Dashon Polk (HOU) – Wong was recommended early in the season (Weeks 1 and 2). Wong was injured in Week 5, after logging 33 tackles and a sack in his first 4 games. Polk stepped in (recommended Week 8) after Wong’s injury and logged a very solid 84 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 10 starts.
Karlos Dansby (ARI) – Dansby was recommended back in Week 2, after a couple solid weeks. He goes into Week 17 with 79 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 INT, 2 FR and 2 TDs in 14 games.
Shawne Merriman (SD) – The rookie from Maryland was recommended in Week 8 after his first start in Week 7 where he logged 5 solos and a sack. He went on to post outstanding numbers, finishing with 54 total tackles, 9 sacks and 3 passes defensed. He’s headed to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.
Lofa Tatupu (SEA) – The unheralded rookie out of USC may just be the feather in my cap in terms of calling out sleepers. I threw his name out there Week 3, and again in Week 5. He responded by posting outstanding numbers: 102 total tackles (82 solos), 3 INTs, 5 passes defended and 4 sacks.
Tommy Polley and Bart Scott (BAL) – When LB Ray Lewis went down, few expected Scott to step in and replace Lewis’ numbers. Moreover, no one expected Polley to step up his game in Lewis’ absence. Scott, in 9 starts, ended up with 87 tackles and 4 sacks. Polley, in 15 starts, logged 89 tackles and 4 sacks, the majority of which came in his final 8 games.
Jared Allen (KC) – Allen was recommended for Week 6, when he ended up logging 5 solo tackles, 3 sacks and 2 forced and recovered fumbles. His tackle totals were pretty average for the rest of the season, but he did end up with 6 more sacks.
Osi Umenyiora (NYG) – Umenyiora had fallen off the fantasy map early in the season. I recommended him for Week 6, when he had a mere one sack and 8 total tackles in his first 4 games. He wraps up the season (minus Week 17) with a whopping 12.5 sacks and a respectable 65 tackles.
Derrick Burgess (OAK) – Burgess was recommended leading into Week 7 in the midst of a 3-game streak of 2 sacks each. He provided a constant source of sacks, totaling 15 on the season (plus any Week 17 sacks). He also provided 54 total tackles.
Darrent Williams (DEN) – I recommended Williams from the outset, both in the “IDP – Who Do I Start Basics” article and in Week 1. Again, in 12 games (9 starts), Williams logged 53 tackles ,1 sack, 2 INTs, 1 FR and a TD.
Week 17 Sleepers
Nick Greisen and Chase Blackburn (NYG) – The Giants will take the division with a win. Expect these two backups to be plenty busy against a depleted Raider team this week.
Larry Foote (PIT) – Foote has been extremely consistent the past few weeks, and the Steelers clinch a playoff berth with a win. The Lions don’t present much of an offensive threat, so look for Foote and the rest of the Steeler defense to make some big plays.
Chris Draft (CAR) – Draft is back in the lineup and posted 19 fantasy points last week. Expect Draft to chase around ex-teammate Michael Vick all day long in a must-win for the Panthers.
Others to Consider: Rob Morris and Gilbert Gardener ( IND), Levar Woods (DET)
Erasmus James (MIN) – James was highly touted entering the season and is now finally posting some solid stats. With Week 17 Chicago already clinching the first round bye, expect them to rest starters, allowing James and the rest of the Viking D to log some solid stats.
Philip Daniels (WAS) – Washington is in the playoffs with a win and Giant loss, so they still have a lot to play for. Daniels has been hot over the past 2 weeks, and Philly’s QB Mike McMahon is mistake-prone.
Others to Consider: Luis Castillo (SD) and Marcus Tubbs (SEA)
Brent Alexander (NYG) – Must-win for the Giants, facing a sloppy Raider team. Expect a pick or 2 from the Giant DBs.
Marlon McCree (CAR) – McCree has been on the Report several times and rarely let me down. 27 fantasy points over the past 2 weeks gets him back on the list. A must-win against the Falcons is another good reason. He’ll offer run support in stopping T.J. Duckett and the speedy Mike Vick.
Others to Consider: Quentin Jammer (SD) and Fred Thomas (NO)
Last Week’s Sleepers – Report Card
Larry Foote (PIT)
The Fat: 8 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed
The Skinny: Larry put his best foot forward this past week against the Browns, leading the team in tackles.
Leroy Hill (SEA)
The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 pass defensed
The Skinny: Not too terrible of numbers, especially if you were in a pinch and threw him out there as a third LB.
Trev Faulk (STL)
The Fat: 5 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle
The Skinny: A decent outing for the “other” Ram Faulk.
Shawne Merriman (SD)
The Fat: 5 solo tackles
The Skinny: The rookie celebrated his Pro Bowl selection by going out and having a pretty average day. I guess the 5 solos were pretty good considering fellow LB Donnie Edwards had SEVENTEEN solos.
Nick Greisen (NYG)
The Fat: 8 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 sack
The Skinny: Not only did Greisen lead the team in tackles, but he logged the lone sack for the Giants.
Ty Warren (NE)
The Fat: Bzzzzzt
The Skinny: Warren actually played, but didn’t log one darn stat. At least the other Patriot DL on this list had a decent game (see below).
Trent Cole (PHI)
The Fat: 6 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles
The Skinny: Awesome stats for a DL, but you’d like to see a sack mixed in there.
Raheem Brock ( IND)
The Fat: Nothin’
The Skinny: With the injuries to the normal Colt starting ends, Brock got the start, but ended up only playing a half, and as such, got the goose egg.
Bobby Hamilton (OAK)
The Fat: 6 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle
The Skinny: Like with Cole, above, nice tackle numbers, but mix in a sack, wouldja?
Richard Seymour (NE)
The Fat: 5 solo tackles, 1 sack
The Skinny: At least ONE Patriot DL came to play for me.
Nick Collins (GB)
The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 2 passes defended
The Skinny: About what I expected. The Packers’ DBs will be solid sleepers entering 2006, as their offense will probably be a mess again.
Mark Roman (GB)
The Fat: 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass defended
The Skinny: Little light on the tackles, but the INT was nice.
Josh Bullocks (NO)
The Fat: 1 solo tackle
The Skinny: This was an ugly game that resulted in ugly overall stats. Unless your name is Jason Hanson or John Carney.
Dre’ Bly (DET)
The Fat: 3 solo tackles, 1 pass defended
The Skinny: In this ugly game (see above), these actually ended up being good stats.
Nathan Vasher (CHI)
The Fat: 2 solo tackles
The Skinny: It’s pretty much all-or-nothing with Vasher. Chris Harris ended up grabbing both of the standard 2 Favre picks.
Bruce Thornton (SF)
The Fat: 1 solo tackle, 1 assisted tackle
The Skinny: Two ugly teams playing a pretty ugly game. Ugly.
Got a comment? Suggestion? Deep sleeper I’m missing or should keep an eye on? Email me at email@example.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).