DeMarcus Ware (DAL) – Ware has shown he can put up big numbers, as evidenced by last week’s 19-point effort. His tackle totals are a bit on the low side, but Ware’s value comes in sacks and potential for other big plays. He and the rest of the Cowboy front seven are licking their chops with Houston’s porous offensive line as their next test.
Karlos Dansby (ARI) – He’s on the waiver wire in The Huddle’s IDP Expert League after starting the season hurt and then off to a slow start once he returned. Well, he posted a huge, 22-point game (9 solos, 2 sacks) last week and will be playing on Monday night against the Bears, who will probably run quite a bit on the Cards. If he’s on your league’s waiver wire, now’s the time to go get him.
Clark Haggans (PIT) – I typically shy away from recommending Steeler LBs as sleepers due to their system (and the consistency of James Farrior), but Haggans has posted two solid games in a row and will face Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez here this week. The entire Steeler LB corps should be plenty busy.
Others to Consider: Shaun Phillips (SD), Dhani Jones (PHI)
Greg Ellis (DE - DAL) – Go ahead and refer to DeMarcus Ware’s writeup, above. Ellis has 2.5 sacks so far this season. Expect that number to rise against Houston.
Mark Anderson (DE - CHI) – Anderson has posted back-to-back two-sack games. Despite playing a backup role, Anderson has been an important cog in this stifling Bear defense. He should get to Cardinal QB Matt Leinart with ease.
Jamal Williams (DT - SD) – This week’s hot DT add. Go put your claim in now if you haven’t already, especially in leagues which require you start a DT. He’s posted consecutive double-digit games and should be a tackling and perhaps sacking machine against the Niners.
Others to Consider: Dewayne Robertson (DT – NYJ), Ebenezer Ekuban (DE – DEN)
Ryan Clark (S – PIT) Clark has been putting up solid numbers all season (double digits every week, and 20 last week). Clark will be asked to help stop the Chiefs’ run game and deal with TE Tony Gonzalez.
Lewis Sanders (CB – DAL) Look at it this way: he’s gonna either defend TO or Terry Glenn. Either way, he’s gonna get plenty of action. Prior to last week’s bye, Sanders had posted games of 22 and 13 fantasy points. I’d guess he scores somewhere in between those numbers here this week.
Sammy Knight (S – KC) The veteran safety will have to post solid numbers for the second straight week (had 7 solo tackles last week) for the Chiefs to get past the defending champs. Expect him to be busy in defending both the running and passing game.
Others to Consider: Anthony Henry (CB – DAL), Travares Tillman (S – MIA)
Week 5 Report Card
David Thornton (TEN) – 10 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 1 forced fumble (26 fantasy points). Week 5’s #1 LB recommendation came through in a big way, totaling a team high 10 solo tackles. Recommendation: I’d grab him if I was overly deficient at LB. The guy plays MLB for one of the worst teams in the league. Both he and stud LB Keith Bulluck will get plenty of opportunities.
Victor Hobson (NYJ) – 1 solo tackles (2 fp). Oh well, can’t win ‘em all. But hey, even stud LB Jonathan Vilma only totaled 4 tackles. Recommendation: He can sit as waiver wire fodder.
Scott Shanle (NO) – 5 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles (13 fp). Not a horrible output for Shanle. Recommendation: Scott Fujita remains the best LB option on this Saint team, but keep an eye on both Shanle and Mark Simoneau.
Junior Seau (NE) – 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (5 fp). Thought Seau would have a big game against his former team, but it’s sometimes difficult to have a big game in the Patriots’ system. Recommendation: Not worthy of a roster spot.
Warrick Holdman (WAS) – 3 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles (9 fp). The majority of the tackling was done by the defensive backs against the G-men. Recommendation: Not worthy of a roster spot unless one of the other Skin LBs goes down.
Tamba Hali (DE – KC) – 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed (10.5 fp). Nice game for Hali and fellow end Jared Allen. Recommendation: As impact DLs are somewhat rare this season, Hali may turn into a nice weekly option.
Kendrick Clancy (DT – ARI) – 2 solo tackles (4 fp). The interior line was shut out from getting to Chief QB Damon Huard. Recommendation: In leagues where you’re required to start DTs, Clancy may be viewed as a weekly deep sleeper.
Aaron Smith (DE – PIT) - 3 solo tackles (6 fp). Not bad, considering most of the tackling was done in the defensive secondary against the Bolts. Recommendation: Smith is a perennial tease. He turns in great efforts 2-3 games a season. Leave him be for now.
Brian Young (DT – NO) – 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (8 fp). Both Young and Charles Grant were able to get to rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski (5 QB hurries/hits). Recommendation: As stated with Clancy, above, if your league requires you start a DT, Young is a decent weekly sleeper.
Oshiomogho Atogwe (S – STL) – 5 solo tackles (10 fp). Probably time to remove Atogwe from the list of possible sleepers, as he is consistently putting up solid numbers. A somewhat bland game here, but there were no real tackling studs in this one. Recommendation: A fine add in most leagues, despite DB being very deep.
Richard Marshall (CB – CAR) – 1 solo tackle, 1 INT, 1 pass defensed (6.5 fp). Ken Lucas was able to start, but Marshall still put up numbers, thanks to an interception. Recommendation: Should Marshall get the start again this season (dependent on Lucas’ health), he’d be a solid option in leagues where you must start cornerbacks.
Dwight Smith (S – MIN) – 2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (6 fp). Not a great game from Smith, however the leading tackler on the Vikings (Fred Smoot) only amassed 5 tackles. Recommendation: Smith’s game has been gaining some steam, but you can probably leave him be for now.
Antoine Bethea (IND; if Doss is out or traded) – 4 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 1 pass defensed (12.5 fp). Doss was not out, and was not traded, but Bethea did get the start with Bob Sanders missing another week’s action. Bethea turned in a solid effort, too. Recommendation: Definitely worthy of keeping your eye on. Bob Sanders was supposed to have a huge year. If he’s unable to perform, perhaps the rookie Bethea can step in and replace those big numbers.
Fakhir Brown (STL) – nothing (0 fp). Despite practicing this past week and being deemed healthy, the Rams made Brown inactive for the game due to an ankle injury. Recommendation: Atogwe remains the bright sleeper for the Rams IDPs.