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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

IDP Sleeper Report - Week 3
Darin Tietgen
September 20, 2006

Welcome to the next installment of the IDP Sleepers.  The following players are currently available in the free agent pool of The Huddle’s IDP Expert League.  So more than likely, they’re available in your league.  Par for the course this season, there are several solid linebacker choices this week, very few defensive line picks, and a bevy of defensive back sleeper picks.  And as you’ll see below, last week’s selections were a general success.  Hope they pushed your team to victory, and hoping the same for this week.  Now, on to this week’s picks.

LINEBACKERS

Scott Fujita (NO) – No reason to think Fujita can’t duplicate his efforts of 14 and 15 fantasy points over the past 2 weeks on Monday Night Football against Michael Vick and the Falcons.

Chris Draft (CAR) – It appears as if Draft, not Adam Seward or Thomas Davis, will fill the huge void left by Dan Morgan and his latest concussion.  Draft and the rest of the Carolina D will be flying all over the field in trying to stop Buc RB Caddy Williams and disrupting the struggling QB Chris Simms.

Carlos Emmons (NYG) – Emmons had a huge Week 2, scoring 25 fantasy points against the Eagles.  He was no slouch Week 1, putting up a respectable 12 fantasy points.  The Giants travel to Seattle to face Shaun Alexander and the high-flying Seahawk offense, so  Emmons and his linebacker mates should be plenty busy. 

Others to Consider:  David Thornton (IND), Clark Haggans (PIT)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Trent Cole (DE - PHI) – This will probably be Cole’s final inclusion on this list, as he’s had two solid games in a row (12 fantasy points per game) and will most likely be the main fill-in for injured and done-for-the-season DE Jevon Kearse.  Cole has 4 sacks in 2 games; expect that streak to have a chance to continue against the Niners this week.

Ryan Denney (DE - BUF) – Fellow Bill DE Aaron Schobel, one of the better fantasy DLs, has a grand total of 8 fantasy points (all during Week 1).  Denney has games of 13 and 17 fantasy points, making him the highest-scoring DL free agent in The Huddle’s IDP Expert league.  In a season where DL sleepers are thin, pickups like Denney and the aforementioned Cole could prove critical.

Vonnie Holliday (DT - MIA) – Seems like Holliday rarely takes a holiday (except for a few recent injury-plagued seasons), and has been in the league forever.  The 9-year vet has 13 tackles in 2 games, a statistical rarity for an interior lineman.  Holliday lines up next to the oft-double-teamed Jason Taylor, so Holliday will continue to have some room to operate.  If your DLs are underperforming, perhaps you give Holliday – who’s scored in double digits both weeks thus far – a try.

Others to Consider:  Raheem Brock (DT/DE - IND), Aaron Smith (DE - PIT)

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Jermaine Phillips (S - TB) – The highest-scoring (34 fantasy points) free agent in The Huddle’s IDP Expert league in Week 2.  Phillips racked up 12 solo tackles, 1 assist, forced 2 fumbles and recovered a fumble against the Falcons.  Huge.  Not like this game is that much of a fluke, either; he put up 13 fantasy points Week 1.  Phillips should again be quite involved, this time in stopping the struggling Carolina Panther offense, in Week 3’s divisional must-win for both winless teams.

Walt Harris (CB - SF) – Harris is the “Trent Cole” of the defensive backs.  That is, don’t expect him to be on this list much longer, and don’t expect him to be on your league’s free agent list longer, either.  Harris has had games of 22 and 19 fantasy points, respectively.  In leagues where you must start corners, he is a must-add right now.  The Niners face yet another team that will test the secondary in the Philadelphia Eagles.  Expect another solid effort from the ex-Bear/Colt/Redskin Harris.

Sean Jones (S - CLE) – Looks like Jones has solidified the starting strong safety gig over the hobbled Brodney Pool for Romeo Crennel’s Brown defense.  In two games, Jones has 17 tackles, a pick and a fumble recovery.  The hated Ravens come to town Sunday, and the somewhat underrated Cleveland D will be ready to play smashmouth football.

Others to Consider:  Sam Madison (CB – NYG), Oshiomogho Atogwe (S – STL)

WEEK 2 REPORT CARD

Linebackers

Scott Fujita (NO):  5 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles (14 fp). Fujita finally had a solid game for the Saints. He also got to Packer QB Brett Favre once, nearly missing a sack. Recommendation:  Keep an eye on him as the Saint D develops this season. 

Orlando Huff and Gerald Hayes (ARI):  4 solo tackles and 1 pass defended for Huff (9.5 fp) and 4 solo tackles, 1 INT and 1 pass defended (12.5 fp) for Hayes. Hayes has the upside and Huff will be steady while Dansby remains out. Recommendation:  I’d pick up Hayes if you’re thin at LB. 

Adam Seward and Thomas Davis (CAR):  3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle for Seward (7 fp) and 3 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles (8 fp) for Davis. Figured at least one of these guys would step up in Dan Morgan’s absence. Turns out Chris Draft had the best game out of the Carolina LBs. Recommendation:  Both guys are worthy of keeping an eye on.

Joey Porter (PIT):  1 assisted tackle (1 fp).  And this is why you avoid all Steeler LBs not named James Farrior.  Porter had a huge Week 1, and followed it up with a huge stinker. 

Akin Ayodele (DAL):  1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles (3 fp). Not the kind of game I expected from Ayodele. Recommendation:  Avoid the Cowboy LBs. 

Defensive Linemen

Trent Cole (PHI):  4 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 2 sacks (13 fp). Second big game in a row for Cole, who doesn’t even start! Recommendation: Pick him up now, as DE Jevon Kearse will probably miss significant action with a knee injury. 

Bryan Young (NO):  1 solo tackle (2 fp). Promising stat is that he hit Brett Favre twice, just nearly missing a pair of sacks. In leagues that require you start DT, he will remain a decent sleeper. Recommendation:  Keep your eye on him in leagues that require DT.

Tyler Brayton (OAK):  3 solo tackles (6 fp). Hey, at least he outscored fellow DE Derrick Burgess. Recommendation:  The Oakland Raiders are horrible and outside of stud IDPs, I’d stay away for now.

Andre Carter (WAS):  2 solo tackles (4 fp). The Redskin defense didn’t look that good, only sacking Dallas QB Drew Bledsoe once. Recommendation:  With the DL pool rather shallow, Carter still remains a decent pickup if you’re in a huge league and you’re beset by injuries. But there could be better options.

Bryan Robinson (CIN):  3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (7 fp). Considering his position and the fact that the Bengals really didn’t have to tackle much on Sunday, these numbers are pretty solid. 

Defensive Backs

Terrence Holt (DET):  4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (10 fp). Probably outscored many DBs this week but I expected more. Recommendation:  Keep him on your radar for now; he fits the Cover-2 well and could start putting up numbers. 

Walt Harris (SF):  7 solo tackles, 3 passes defended (18.5 fp). Harris has experience with the tough Chicago Bear D which he’s brought over to the surprisingly hungry Niner D. In leagues that require you start CBs, he’s now a very solid option. Recommendation:  Grab him if you have to carry CBs. 

Josh Bullocks (NO):  2 solo tackles (4 fp). An off game for the Saint safety. Recommendation:  No one will be grabbing him after this lackluster effort, but do keep an eye on him for future weeks. 

Shaun Williams (CAR):  7 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 pass defended (16.5 fp). Williams led the Panthers in tackles and will continue to be a solid weekly sleeper as the Panther D continues to improve (to where they should be). Recommendation:  Don’t go flying to the wire to get him but if you’re Calista Flockhart-thin at DB, he’s surely one to consider. 

Kevin Mathis (ATL):  3 solo tackles, 1 pass defended (7.5 fp). Mathis matched starter Chris Crocker’s numbers exactly. If Crocker continues playing average football, look for Mathis to get even more time. Recommendation:  Leave him be for now.