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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

IDP Sleeper Report - Week 4
Darin Tietgen
September 27, 2006

Linebackers

Landon Johnson (CIN) – Looks like Odell Thurman will be sitting for at least another week after his latest mishap.  That ensures Johnson will start on the weak side for the Bengals.  The Bengals host the Patriots in Week 4, a team that will rely on its two RBs.

Shawn Barber (PHI) – Add yet another “Barber” to the list of fantasy significance.  Barber has, in consecutive weeks, posted very solid tackle totals.  Expect that trend to continue on Monday Night Football against the Packers. 

Shaun Philips (SD) – This week’s opponents, the Baltimore Ravens, allowed their QB Steve McNair to get hit or hurried 18 times against the very average pass rush of the Cleveland Browns last week.  Expect the rush from the rested Bolts to push the Raven OL. 

Others to Consider:  Thomas Davis (CAR) and Gilbert Gardner (IND)

Defensive Linemen

Tyler Brayton (DE - OAK) – Brayton gets another chance on this list as he and the Raider defense have had an off week to work together as a unit and prepare for the Browns, who have given up 4 sacks per game thus far (5 against the Saints, 7 against the Ravens). 

Victor Adeyanju (DE – STL) – Adeyanju, a rookie backup defensive end from Indiana, racked up 6 solo tackles against the Cardinals in Week 3.  This week, he looks to attack a Lion offensive line which has given up 12 sacks thus far. 

Keith Traylor (DT – MIA) – The lone defensive tackle representative on this list for the week.  Traylor faces a porous Texan offensive line on Sunday and should get to QB David Carr.  Why not, everyone else does. 

Others to Consider:  None this week.

Defensive Backs

Pat Watkins (S – DAL) – I know, you’re thinking:  “Huh?  Who?”.  I did the same thing at first.  Then I recalled, “ah yes, the 23-year old rookie from Florida State”.  He’s put up solid numbers thus far (10 and 14 fantasy points in 2 games) and is starting over the veteran Keith Davis.  With fellow safety Roy Williams helping stop the opposing team’s run game, Watkins has been helping in pass coverage, and yet still has 11 total tackles thus far.  The Cowboys face the Titans, who have already thrown 7 picks this season.

Sean Jones (S – CLE) – I usually like injecting some new names each week to this list, but Jones merits another mention here this week.  He’s the top safety free agent on The Huddle’s IDP Expert League waiver wire.  Jones and the Browns face a struggling Oakland offense on Sunday.  Expect Crennel’s bunch to disrupt QB Andrew Walter and force him into bad throws. 

Lewis Sanders (CB – HOU) – Sanders has been a tackling machine (3, 8, 9) thus far and will be tested plenty come Sunday, as Dolphin QB Daunte Culpepper will be wise to avoid the other Texan CB, Dunta Robinson.  Culpepper has thrown 3 picks so far this year, too. 

Others to Consider:  Marlin Jackson (CB – IND) and Terrence Holt (S – DET)

Week 3 Report Card

Linebackers

Scott Fujita (NO) – 6 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble (20.5 fp).  Even starting at the strong side, Fujita managed plenty of tackles as well other great defensive stats as the Saints shocked the Falcons at home.  Recommendation:  He’d be a great add if he played the Mike or Will LB spot, even playing at Sam, he’s a nice pickup.

Chris Draft (CAR) – 7 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (16 fp).  Draft led the Panther defense in solo and total tackles.  Assuming Dan Morgan sits another week, Draft will continue to play the Mike LB spot.  Recommendation:  If Morgan owners haven’t picked him up yet, they should.  In fact, owners in most medium to large leagues should already have him.

Carlos Emmons (NYG) – 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (5 fp).  The Giant defense looked like a Powder Puff team against the streaking Seahawks.  Not surprisingly, Gibril Wilson and Antonio Pierce did the lion’s share of tackling in this one.  Recommendation:  He can chill on your league’s wire for now.

David Thornton (TEN) – 6 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 1 pass defended (16.5 fp).  Thornton was incorrectly listed as a Colt last week, but for those of you that went with him as a fill-in, he would have certainly helped.  Recommendation:  Nothing more than s bye week or injury filler in larger leagues.

Clark Haggans (PIT) – 4 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble (16 fp).  Well hello Mr. Haggans!  Haggans and fellow OLB Joey Porter will have their share of big games.  Recommendation:  As a spot starter, Haggans can really be a lifesaver.

Defensive Linemen

Trent Cole (DE - PHI) – 2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 sack (8 fp).  As expected, Cole got the start at DE with Jevon Kearse out.  And as expected, Cole continued his consecutive sack streak.  Recommendation:  If by chance he’s still out there, you should probably consider taking him unless you have three incredible DLs on your roster already.

Ryan Denney (DE - BUF) – 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (7 fp).  For some reason, the Bill coaching staff seems to think Chris Kelsay should start over the hot Denney.  Hopefully Denney will remain under your league’s radar and you can grab him before his next huge game.  Recommendation:  Go get him.  He’s gonna have more big games.

Vonnie Holliday (DT - MIA) – Zip (0 fp).  Bit of a surprise here.  Holliday had been putting up solid stats, especially from a DT.  Holliday did get a hit on Titan QB Kerry Collins.  Recommendation:  Let him stew for now, but if you’re in need of an interior lineman, he could be the answer.

Raheem Brock (DT/DE - IND) – 2 solo tackles, 1 sack (4 fp). Pretty much what we expected from Brock this week, but in a pinch, 4 fantasy points is better than nothing.  Recommendation:  Another decent DT option, as the position is paper-thin.

Aaron Smith (DE - PIT) – 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defended (11.5 fp).  The Steelers recommendations this week have been right on.  Smith will get you some games like this, or he may disappear.  Recommendation:  As DE/DT tend to be thin in terms of free agents, Smith could help. 

Defensive Backs

Jermaine Phillips (S - TB) – 7 solo tackles, 1 pass defended (15.5 fp).  Even with fellow DB Ronde Barber amassing 12 solos, Phillips had a solid outing.  Recommendation:  Phillips is now officially a weekly option, so go get him if possible. 

Walt Harris (CB - SF) – 2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 forced fumble (9 fp).  Despite not much tackling on the Niners’ part, Harris had a decent outing. Recommendation:   Harris is becoming a must-have for teams that must start CBs. 

Sean Jones (S - CLE) – 4 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 2 passes defended (14 fp).  Jones got to Ravens QB Steve McNair four times, too.  Recommendation:  Jones will remain a solid sleeper option, unless of course he goes and has games like this every week. 

Sam Madison (CB – NYG) – 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (5 fp).  Despite all the action in the passing game, Madison had a pretty quiet afternoon.  Recommendation:  Wilson is the elite DB for the Giants.  Demps will be a solid weekly sleeper.  Leave the corners be. 

Oshiomogho Atogwe (S – STL) – 4 solo tackles, 1 INT, 2 passes defended (14 fp).  Bonus points if you can pronounce his name. Both Ram safeties had solid outings.  Recommendation:  In larger leagues, Atogwe should be scooped up if possible.