Déjà vu all over again? Another week, another set of wacky games, culminated by the wild end to the DAL/BUF game. Six teams on bye this week, so the free agent talent pool will be shallower than normal, and now is when you need them most. So carefully analyze your league’s wire to spot the gems. Hopefully my recommendations continue to help you out. 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.
Matt Wilhelm (SD): Wilhelm returned to the Charger lineup this past week and had 6 solos. He could duplicate – and even build on – that effort against the Raiders this coming week. In deeper leagues, he’ll be a suitable third LB this week.
Dhani Jones (CIN): Both Wilhelm and Jones are available in one of my 16-team redraft leagues, so there’s a good chance they’re available in yours. Jones came over to the Bengals to strengthen a depleted linebacking corps. He’s a veteran that can put up decent stats, especially against the Chiefs.
David Thornton (TEN): Looking at my 12-team IDP league’s wire, I noticed Thornton’s name on the list. I’m actually considering adding him for this week, as I’m bitten by the bye week bug. Thornton had a huge game in his last game against the Bucs (10 solos, 5 assists) and could be busy yet again this week. With the Buc offense beset by injury, they may be susceptible to turnovers and big plays made by the opposing defenders.
Others to Consider: Eric Barton and David Harris (NYJ)
Last Week’s Recommendations that should be added: D’Qwell Jackson (CLE) and Derek Smith (SF)
Kenechi Udeze (DE – MIN): Udeze is a wildly talented defensive end that could wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. In his first two games this season, he had a QB sack. Week 3, he posted 7 solos. Yes, Week 4 was weak, but he could easily log another QB sack and accumulate some tackles against the Bears this week.
Robaire Smith (DE – CLE): Smith has had a couple big games this season and could easily post 4-5 solos and a sack against a weak Dolphin team.
Grady Jackson (DT – ATL): The big veteran could be the best option at DT in larger leagues this week. The Giants have their bruising RB Brandon Jacobs back, so they should be pounding the ball on Monday night. Jackson could plug up the middle and log 3-5 solos. He also has one sack on the season and could easily get to Eli Manning come Monday night.
Other to Consider: Anthony Weaver (DE – HOU)
Last Week’s Recommendations that should be added: Adewale Ogunleye (DE – CHI)
Deon Grant (S – SEA): Grant has been a consistent producer this season and will surely log big stats this week. He filled up the box score against the Bengals and could do the same against the Saints.
Tanard Jackson (S – TB): The rookie has yet to score less than double digits this season. That kind of consistency is rare and he deserves to be on fantasy rosters. Will Allen still gets some playing time but has been a fantasy nobody. Jackson will be busy this week against the Titans and their multi-dimensional offense.
Jacques Reeves (CB – DEN): With Anthony Henry still hobbled (out of his boot, and may play in Week 6, but don’t bet on it), Reeves has been solid. He’s had 5 solos in each of the past four games, and has a bunch of passes defensed. Expect him to be busy (read: picked on) with Tom Brady at the helm of the opposing offense this week.
Others to Consider: Lawyer Milloy (S – ATL) and Will Allen (CB – MIA)
Last Week’s Recommendations that should be added: Nick Ferguson (S – DEN) and Cortland Finnegan (CB – TEN)
Track Record – Week 5
Calvin Pace (ARI): 2 solo tackles, 1 sack (6 fantasy points). Hey, at least one of those two tackles was a sack. Pace will remain as a deep sleeper in larger leagues, as he’ll get 8-10 fantasy points typically.
D’Quell Jackson (CLE): 9 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles (23 fp). That’s a lot of tackles. He’s continuing to rack ‘em up, but not do much else. He’s a solid option in most leagues although best suited as a #3 type of LB.
Derek Smith (SF): 4 solo tackles, 8 assisted tackles (16 fp). That’s a lot of assisted tackles. What does this typically mean? Well it possibly means that teams are running away from him (for one reason or another) and he’s still getting in on many plays. That’s a good sign. Smith’s a solid LB that should be owned in most leagues.
Stephen Nicholas (ATL): 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (5 fp). The rookie most certainly has talent but has not put it all together yet. Keep your eye on him as the Falcons will probably be in a position to give him serious playing time towards the end of the season and their schedule is very favorable for IDPs as the season draws to an end.
Pisa Tinoisamoa (STL): 5 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (11 fp). Hey, if you can get double digits from a one-week pickup in a pinch, you’re doing well. Tinoisamoa has battled some injuries but will probably put up consistent points if he can stay healthy. A decent option in large leagues as a fill-in.
Adewale Ogunleye (DE – CHI): 1 solo tackle, 1 pass defensed (3.5 fp). Ogunleye has shown signs of a resurgent season (Week 1, Week 4) and could easily put up big numbers next week (against Vikings) but you might want to simply stash him until he’s a bit more consistent.
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (DE – GB): 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles, 0.5 sacks (5 fp). Well KGB extended his sack streak to 3 games but didn’t do much else. Like Ogunleye, he’s enjoying a rather resurgent start to the season but can’t be relied upon unless you’re absolutely decimated at DL.
Kris Jenkins (DT – CAR): 1 solo tackle (2 fp). With DL paper-thin in most leagues, it’s really difficult to pin down what DL (especially an interior lineman) is going to put up stats. Jenkins had enjoyed back-to-back 8-point efforts and he can certainly put those numbers up again this week against the Cards, but a mere 2 points against the Saints is a bit disappointing to say the least.
antonio Smith (DE – ARI): 3 solo tackles (6 fp). As stated already, the pickins were thin this week (more so than most weeks) and Smith was coming off back-to-back double-digit games so he looked like a decent option rushing against the hapless Rams.
Nick Ferguson (S – DEN): 6 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (13 fp). Ferguson continues to post solid numbers, racking up a ton of tackles. After this week’s bye, Ferguson and the rest of the Bronco IDPs will have 3 awesome matchups.
Dawan Landry (S – BAL): 1 solo tackle, 1 assisted tackle (3 fp). After posting very startable stats since the season started, Landry laid an egg this week. Of course the Ravens didn’t really have to do much against a ridiculously horrible Niner team.
Cortland Finnegan (CB – TEN): 7 solo tackles, 1 pass defensed (15.5 fp). Finnegan is becoming a weekly option for leagues that require you start a CB. Hasn’t posted less than 12.5 fantasy points this season and the Titans’ IDPs have nice matchups from here on out.
Von Hutchins (S – HOU): 4 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles (11 fp). Not superb numbers, but Hutchins has the ability to rack up tackles and we’ll see how he does in the next two games (not great matchups for the safety) and then we can make a determination as to his true value.
Eric Green (CB – ARI): 2 solo tackles (4 fp). After three straight weeks with solid stats, Green faded back to waiver wire status. His next couple of games are decent in terms of IDP matchup, but I’d leave him be until you see him posting double digits again.