|Another week, another crazy set of NFL games. The injury bug continued to chomp away at players on both sides of the ball and fantasy rosters will be affected for sure. Be sure to jump on the right free agents this week, as the bye week blues begin here this week. As always, if you want to recommend a sleeper or simply discuss IDP sleepers, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John DiGiorgio (BUF): I urge you to stop what you’re doing (reading this column start to finish, right?) and run, don’t walk, to your league’s waiver wire to pick this guy up. He will be replacing the injured Paul Posluszny at WLB for the Bills. DiGiorgio posted 21 fantasy points last week after Poz went out (and even had 8 fantasy points in spot duty the week before). DiGiorgio is this week’s “no brainer” IDP pickup.
Jamar Williams (CHI): If DiGiorgio is the hottest IDP pickup this week, consider Williams a very, very warm one. He will replace Lance Briggs at WLB for the Bears if Briggs’ groin injury is serious enough to keep him out of action. Williams posted 18 fantasy points (including 8 solo tackles) in last week’s game after Briggs went out. Briggs is one of the best fantasy LBs in the game, and in the off-season, the Bears appeared completely ready to let the talented Williams take his spot should Briggs have held out.
Lemar Marshall (CIN): Marshall has been nursing a groin injury and was listed as doubtful last week. All he did was put up 10 fantasy points (3 solos and a sack). If his health improves (and he’ll have an extra day of rest), he should put up solid numbers against the Patriots on MNF.
Others to Consider: Anthony Spencer (DAL) and Donnie Spragan (MIA)
Kenyon Coleman (DE – NYJ): It appeared it was a fluke that Coleman put up 22 fantasy points to start the season against the Pats. He came back to Earth Week 2 with just 6 fantasy points, but then put up 12 fantasy points last week. Coleman and the Jets now face the struggling Buffalo Bills, so fantasy points should be rather abundant come this week. We’ll see if this start is really a fluke if he flops. Something tells me he’ll be able to post good numbers despite his position and the team’s defensive scheme, at least this week.
Marques Douglas (DE – SF): Douglas has put up decent fantasy stats in the past and is off to a nice start this season, increasing his fantasy production each week thus far. The Seahawks have only allowed 5 sacks this season but the Niners’ D has been playing well and Douglas could get to the rather statuesque QB Matt Hasselbeck on Sunday.
John Thornton (DT – CIN): Last week, it was Michael Myers, this week it may be Thornton. Myers is actually the part-timer, while Thornton and Domato Peko are the starters. Both Thornton and Myers may have good fantasy value, especially since DT is so thin. Thornton has put up 9 and 12 fantasy points in his past two games, but don’t expect more than 8 fantasy points against a very solid Patriot team. Unfortunately, he’s probably the best free agent at DT in your league.
Other to Consider: Chris Kelsay (DE – BUF)
C.C. Brown (S – HOU): Brown made this list last week as an “other to consider” but deserves top billing here this week. Brown and the Texans will face an inept Falcon squad this coming week and Brown could easily outdo his 12.3 fantasy points per game.
Clinton Hart (S – SD): To say the Chargers are reeling is a major understatement. Expect them to get back on track this week against a vastly overmatched Chief squad at home. Hart has been very consistent to start the season and will definitely be key in approaching the line to stop RB Larry Johnson.
Sam Madison (CB – NYG): The veteran Madison has been nursing a hamstring injury this season but you wouldn’t know it from his fantasy stats (14 and 16.5 fantasy points the past two weeks). Madison will has his hands (and feet?) full covering Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown in the suddenly resurgent Eagle offense.
Others to Consider: Deon Grant (S – SEA) and Leon Hall (CB – CIN)
Track Record – Week 3
Eric Barton (NYJ): 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (8 fantasy points). Well, Barton split the difference between his first two weeks and put up an average 8 fantasy points. Barton has been a solid LB and could serve as a decent fill-in.
Leon Williams (CLE): 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (8 fp). Williams reverted to the norm this past week. His scheme and youth make him barely worthy of a roster spot, but you could do worse, especially when the Browns struggle.
Michael Boley (ATL): 8 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 pass defensed (18.5 fp). Real nice game for Boley, who has a terrific schedule ahead of him. Looks like a few of the Falcon LBs can put up consistent points, especially with the D being on the field a bunch.
Junior Seau (NE): 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (8 fp). Seau joins Barton and Williams in the 3/2 club this week. You always know what you’ll get from the veteran at this point. If 8 points a week suits you, go ahead and stash him as a bye-week filler.
Tyjuan Hagler (IND): Zip (0 fp). I should have listed Hagler in the section where I add a blurb, as Hagler’s value was really dependent on the health of Freddie Keiaho. Well, Kieaho was back (although he didn’t do much) so Hagler’s value was nil.
Greg Spires (DE – TB): 4 solo tackles (8 fp). Not bad for a defensive end. The Buc D looks improved with the emergence of LB Barrett Ruud and veteran presence of the likes of Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber. Spires is worth a roster spot in larger leagues as a backup.
James Hall (DE – STL): 3 solo tackles (6 fp). Hall followed up a huge Week 2 with a rather lackluster Week 3. If he performs well against the surging Cowboys, consider him in Weeks 5-6 against the Cards and Ravens.
Michael Myers (DT – CIN): 4 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed (11.5 fp). If your league requires you start a DT, I would head over to your league’s website and pick this guy up immediately. The next couple of weeks (vs. NE, bye week) aren’t gonna help much but DT is paper thin.
Luis Castillo (DE – SD): El Zippo (0 fp). Not sure what happened here. The Chargers are really struggling, and it’s starting to show in their players’ fantasy stats. Castillo included. Expect him to put up numbers against the Chiefs, though.
Dawan Landry (S – BAL): 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 pass defensed (8.5 fp). OK so his fantasy production is moving in the wrong direction (down) but he’s going to fill the stat sheet pretty much every game. Pick him up, if you can, as his schedule gets tasty for the next month.
Darelle Revis (CB – NYJ): 7 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (15 fp). With Justin Miller out, Revis put up a career-high 7 solos. Doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down, with five weeks’ worth of nice matchups upcoming.
C.C. Brown (S – HOU): 7 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (15 fp). The Texans’ D is looking like a TEAM and Brown could lead the secondary in fantasy stats. Two very weak opponents in the Falcons and Dolphins come up the next two weeks, so we’ll see how Brown and the rest of the Texan defenders do.
Kelvin Hayden (CB – IND): 3 tackles, 2 passes defensed (9 fp). A far cry from the 15 and 21 fantasy points he led off the season with, but he’s making plays.