I know I’m repeating myself, but yup, it was another wild weekend of NFL football. A few more injuries, a bunch of upsets, and plenty of big plays on both sides of the ball. It’s Week 5, and this is the time where the cream rises to the top. Will it be your team? The right free agent pickups can make or break you, so pay attention! New feature starting this week: I’ll mention last week’s recommendations that should be added if still available. And as always, if you want to recommend a sleeper or simply discuss IDP sleepers, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calvin Pace (ARI): Pickin’s are real thin in my 16-team IDP redraft league. Pace is the best free agent linebacker available and it’s with a small pause that I’m recommending him here this week. The best part of the recommendation is that the Cards face the banged-up Ram squad, who will be without Steven Jackson again and Marc Bulger’s still pretty dinged. Pace was real active last week against the Steelers and could put up 10 or so fantasy points here this week.
D’Quell Jackson (CLE): OK, I had to fire up the waiver wire in my 12-team IDP redraft league to get some meat for my recommendations here. Somehow, Rocky McIntosh and Chad Greenway are there, too, but those are “no duh” pick-ups. Jackson could be available in your league, and if you’re looking to fill in a spot for bye weeks, Jackson has a nice matchup against the Pats this week. Jackson has posted a consistent amount of tackles and is a nice young talent that can make plays.
Derek Smith (SF): Smith was another that I found on my 12-team league’s wire. He hasn’t posted anything but tackles (and one measly pass defense) this season, but should have opportunities this week with the Niner offense sure to struggle with the ancient Trent Dilfer at the helm.
Others to Consider: Stephen Nicholas (ATL) and Pisa Tinoisamoa (STL)
Last Week’s Recommendations that should be added: John DiGiorgio (BUF) and Jamar Williams (CHI)
Adewale Ogunleye (DE – CHI): With the LB pool rather thin in my 16-team league, Ogunleye is probably one of the snazzier pickups for this week. Ogunleye used to be a weekly starter and appears that he may have his magic back. At least worthy of a backup spot or spot start.He’s got 3 sacks thus far on the season (2 last week) and the Bears face their NFC North rival Green Bay Packers this week. Brett Favre has been on fire but he’ll stick in the pocket, allowing Ogunleye and the rest of the Bear D to get sacks.
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (DE – GB): Like Ogunleye, KGB was once a weekly starter who has faded into waiver wire obscurity. He’s come on with 12 points in each of the past two weeks, and will face the statuesque Brian Griese and the ragged Bear offense this week. Figure on 3-4 solos and probably a sack.
Kris Jenkins (DT – CAR): Jenkins is the best DT prospect on my 16-team league’s waiver wire, and quite possibly a good add in most larger leagues. He’s posted 8 fantasy points in each of the past two games and he and his Panther teammates face a struggling Saint squad. Drew Brees is one of the shortest QBs in the league and is susceptible to the batted ball. Jenkins has increased his tackle total in each week thus far and could add a batted ball or fumble recovery with the Saint RB situation in disarray.
Other to Consider: Antonio Smith (DE – ARI)
Last Week’s Recommendations that should be added: Kenyon Coleman (DE – NYJ) and Marques Douglas (DE – SF)
Nick Ferguson (S – DEN): The Bronco strong safety will most likely be involved in plenty of plays again this week against the Chargers (RB LaDainian Tomlinson and TE Antonio Gates will need to be tackled plenty). After a couple of lackluster performances to start the season, Ferguson has two solid games in a row.
Dawan Landry (S – BAL): With the big names on the Ravens aging before our eyes, it’s going to be up to the youngsters like Landry that will bring this defense back. Landry has posted consistent numbers this season and should put up big stats against the Niners this week.
Cortland Finnegan (CB – TEN): The Titan defense is mildly underrated, and especially the secondary. Finnegan has a ton of speed and will certainly shadow whichever Falcon WR he lines up against. The suddenly resurgent Falcon offense should be throwing the ball a bunch against the Titans so Finnegan should again post double digits, including passes defensed.
Others to Consider: Von Hutchins (S – HOU) and Eric Green (CB – ARI)
Last Week’s Recommendations that should be added: C.C. Brown (S – HOU), Clinton Hart (S – SD) and Sam Madison (CB – NYG)
Track Record – Week 4
John DiGiorgio (BUF): 2 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles (9 fantasy points). After a huge Week 3 and a promising look ahead, DiGiorgio put up spot-duty LB numbers against the Jets. Expect more solos against the Cowboys this week.
Jamar Williams (CHI): 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed (8.5 fp). Like DiGiorgio, Williams’ tackle totals were not impressive, but the sack and pass defense look good on the stat sheet. If Briggs misses any more time (possible), Williams and the Bear defenders have solid matchups in the upcoming pair of games.
Lemar Marshall (CIN): Zip (0 fp). Man, the Bengal LB corps just keeps getting kicked in the rear. Another injury on Monday night: Marshall limped off the field with an Achilles injury and never returned to action.
Anthony Spencer (DAL): 1 solo tackle (2 fp). After a nice Week 3 with 5 solos and a sack, Spencer only posted one measly tackle. Of course, the Ram offense was a shell of its former self with no S-Jax and a banged-up Marc Bulger. Still, we expected more from the rookie. The Dallas defense has a few good matchups over their next 3 games before their bye, so keep your eyes on Spencer in deeper leagues.
Donnie Spragan (MIA): 3 solo tackles (6 fp). Even with Zach Thomas shelved for Week 4’s game, Spragan turned out a rather lackluster effort. Thomas should be back for Week 5 action so Spragan’s value is nil moving forward, unless Thomas should go out again.
Kenyon Coleman (DE – NYJ): 5 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (11 fp). The solos keep rackin’ up for the Jet. The Jets have good matchups for their IDPs in the next few weeks, so if you need a DL, Coleman is certainly a solid choice.
Marques Douglas (DE – SF): 8 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 sack (11 fp). OK that’s three straight big games for Douglas. With the Niner offense set to struggle this coming week, Douglas is a very solid option.
John Thornton (DT – CIN): 2 assisted tackles (2 fp). The Bengals were simply manhandled at home against the Pats. The Bengals are on bye this week, so leave Thornton on your league’s waiver wire but watch him closely, as DT is a paper-thin position.
Chris Kelsay (DE – BUF): 2 solo tackles, 1 sack (6 fp). Hey at least one of those tackles was also a sack. This week’s matchup against the Cowboys isn’t the best, but if he performs, perhaps you stash him on your bench after Week 6 for their game against the Ravens.
C.C. Brown (S – HOU): 2 solo tackles, 1 pass defensed (5.5 fp). After two real nice weeks and a decent Week 1, Brown turned out a pretty weak effort against the Falcons. The Texan D has played better this season and will probably turn things around in coming weeks, so Brown will still represent a solid sleeper option.
Clinton Hart (S – SD): 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle. 1 INT, 1 pass defensed (10.5 fp). Now that’s some box score stuffin’. That’s double digits in each game this season and the hits should keep on coming against their AFC West rivals in the next two weeks.
Sam Madison (CB – NYG): 3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 pass defensed (8.5 fp). After a very busy and productive Week 3, Madison stayed involved but did not post the same kind of stats. He will be a decent sleeper fill-in option next week against the Jets.
Deon Grant (S – SEA): 4 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (9 fp). Grant and his Hawk teammates clamped down on the Niner offense this past week so there was really not many opportunities for Grant to make many tackles or make big plays. Grant’s next two opponents (PIT and NO) aren’t the best matchups but Grant will be startable against the Rams Week 7.
Leon Hall (CB – CIN): 1 solo tackle. 1 INT, 1 pass defensed (5.5 fp). Pat QB Tom Brady didn’t pick on Hall as much as I thought he would. In fact, it was Hall who got the upper hand with a big INT. Too bad he couldn’t also add some open field tackles.