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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

IDP Sleeper Report - Week 16
Darin Tietgen
December 20, 2006

LINEBACKERS

Omar Gaither (PHI):  Gaither is still pegged as a part-time/situational player, but did get the start at WLB (over Matt McCoy) this past week.  He went on to score 20 fantasy points (including 8 solos and his first sack of the season) against the Giants.  Before then, he’d put up 17 and 10 fantasy points against other NFC foes.  This week, a huge battle with the Cowboys looms.

Ryan Nece (TB):  You’d think starting alongside LBs Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles would pretty much exclude you from putting up fantasy stats.  Not so, in this case.  Nece was recommended when he filled in for Quarles earlier in the season, and actually put up less than stellar numbers.  However, now starting on the outside, Nece has put up back-to-back games with 5 solos in each.  He’s a somewhat risky add in most leagues, but in deep leagues where you’re out of options, he could have a solid game against a poor Cleveland offense.

Paris Lenon (DET):  Typing his name gave me some flashbacks.  I had recommended him a few times last season, and every time I did, he put up a stinker.  Let’s hope he’s past all that and he can muscle out some tackles against the Bears.  Lenon did amass 20 fantasy points last week, so it’s not out of the question. 

Others to Consider:  Last week’s recommendations of Orlando Huff and Dexter Coakley could work out.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Greg Spires (DE – TB):  With Simeon Rice on IR, Spires has been the only pass rusher the Bucs can muster up.  He’s got consecutive double-digit games and faces a Brown team that gave up six sacks last week. 

Raheem Brock (DT – IND):  Brock was a favorite of this column last season, and usually produced when recommended.  He had a productive game against the Bengals this past week, and could certainly get a sack against the porous line of the Houston Texans this week.

Others to Consider:  Cullen Jenkins (DE – MIN) and LaRoi Glover (DT – STL)

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Chris Harris (S – CHI):  Last week, I recommended the Bear rookie Danieal Manning.  This week, I’ll recommend his safety counterpart.  Facing the poor Lion offense could mean big things for the Bear IDPs.

Pacman Jones (CB – TEN):  Jones had a huge Week 15 and while he may not duplicate those numbers, he will certainly have chances at defending passes, intercepting the ball, and making tackles against Lee Evans and the Bills.

Others to Consider:  Al Harris (CB – GB) and Marquand Manuel/Nick Collins (S – GB)

REPORT CARD – WEEK 15

LINEBACKERS

Willie McGinest (CLE):  2 assisted tackles (2 fp).  McGinest, battling an injury to his pectoral muscle, was very limited in this one.  Recommendation:  As you’ll see below, there are better LB adds for the remainder of the season. 

Dexter Coakley (STL):  6 solo tackles, 1 INT, 2 passes defensed (18 fp).  As noted last week, with Piso Tinoisamoa out, Coakley would have a chance to produce for the Ram defense.  Produce he did.  Recommendation:  Coakley is a decent add in most leagues, as he faces the Redskins and Vikings to end the season. 

Brian Simmons (CIN):  8 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 1 pass defensed (21 fp).  By far Simmons’ best outing of the season, even after starting the season off hot.  Recommendation:  A very solid add, as he’s facing the Broncos and Steelers to end the season. 

Takeo Spikes (BUF):  4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (10 fp).  Not huge numbers for Spikes, but considering he’s had double-digits only a few times this season, this was a decent outing.  Spikes has tons of talent, he just needs to get fully healthy, methinks.  Recommendation:  There are better LB adds out there, but consider he and the Bills face the run-first Ravens in Week 17. 

Orlando Huff (ARI):  10 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (22 fp).  Huge game for Huff against the running attack of the Broncos.  By far his best tackling – and fantasy output – of the season.  Recommendation:  He was a viable fantasy starter last season and could prove worthy in a pinch for owners in larger leagues.  He faces the Niners and Chargers to wrap the season up.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Trevor Pryce (DE – BAL):  3 solo tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 sacks (13 fp).  Pryce continues to rack up the sacks (11.5 on the season), and has dominated the Browns this year.  Recommendation:  A solid add this week against the Steelers (had 2 sacks against them Week 12). 

Jamal Williams (DT – SD):  4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (10 fp).  As expected, Williams got a decent tackle total by plugging up the middle against Larry Johnson.  Recommendation:  Could be an alright add against the Seahawks this week, and perhaps even against the poor OL of the Cards in Week 17. 

Chike Okeafor (DE – ARI):  5 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack (19 fp).  By far Okeafor’s best outing of the season, getting his first two forced fumbles of the season.  Recommendation:  Alex Smith can be rattled, and the Bolts may sit starters, so Okeafor’s an interesting add for the remainder of the season.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Keith Lewis (S – SF):  6 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (13 fp).  The double-digit streak continues, albeit it’s his smallest output since Week 10.  Recommendation:  He’s a solid add in most IDP leagues, facing the Cards and Broncos. 

Johnathan Joseph (CB – CIN):  4 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (9 fp).  Joseph’s last name AND team were listed incorrectly last week – my apologies.  And after two very solid games against a run first team in the Ravens and horrible team in the Raiders, I expected Joseph to have better tackle numbers against the pass-heavy Colts.  He still had a decent total, but going with a guy like Florence (see below) would have proven more fruitful at CB.  Recommendation:  He may be of help this coming week against the Broncos.

Danieal Manning (S – CHI):  2 solo tackles, 1 pass defensed (6 fp).  Manning had been on a nice streak, but had a real off game against the Bucs.  In fact, the entire Bear D hibernated for this one, allowing the Bucs to score at will.  Recommendation:  He’s starting, and the Bears face the Lions and Packers in their final two.  A decent add for those desperate for DB help.

Drayton Florence (CB – SD):  6 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (13 fp).  After a string of solid games with a bunch of passes defended, Florence didn’t bat any passes down.  He did, however, get his second-highest solo tackle total of the season.  Recommendation:  He’s a solid add for teams in leagues that require you start a CB.  He faces the Seahawks and Cardinals to close the season.