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IDP Sleepers Report - Week 8
Darin Tietgen
October 24, 2007

Another week, another set of great games, some injuries and great fantasy performances.  These are the weeks where the good teams become great and the struggling teams either make it or break it.  Check out your league’s waiver wire to see which surging IDPs are available.  And as always, if you want to recommend a sleeper or simply discuss IDP sleepers, feel free to email me at huddledarin@yahoo.com

LINEBACKERS

Na’il Diggs (CAR):  With Dan Morgan hurt, Beason has slid over from the weak side to man the middle.  Everyone knows Beason’s name, but few will realize that Diggs has moved to the weak side and has posted solid numbers (10.5 fantasy points per game in two games before Week 7 bye).  The Cats face the high-flying Colts on MNF this week and he should be quite busy.

Dhani Jones (CIN):  The Bengal defense is really an enigma.  Which Bengal defense will show up against the Steelers?  Whichever it is, Jones (even if he’s lining up on the strong side) will be busy chasing down Fast Willie Parker and the Steeler tight ends.

Anthony Schlegel (CIN):  Yup, another Bengal LB.  Schlegel has been filling in at the MIKE spot while Ahmad Brooks is nursing a groin injury.  Should Brooks sit again, Schlegel would be a solid 1-week option.

Other to Consider:  Clark Haggans (DEN)

Last Week’s Recommendation that should be added:  Ben Leber (MIN)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Paul Spicer (DE – JAC): Last week’s recommendation of Lion DE Jared Devries didn’t go so well against the Bucs, but perhaps Spicer will have better luck.  He’s on a tear (29 points over past 2 weeks).  Spicer’s technically not even a starter but gets plenty of good snaps.

Kevin Carter (DE – TB):  The veteran has posted decent numbers in his past two games and will be chasing down Jag QB Quinn Gray or whatever poor sap the Jags sign this week.

Dewayne Robertson (DT – NYJ):  Robertson’s probably one of the better DT free agents on your league’s waiver wire and that’s not saying much.  DT is again a paper-thin position.  Robertson will be plugging up the middle against the Bills and could net 3+ solos, as he has in three straight games.

Other to Consider:  Robaire Smith (DE – CLE)

Last Week’s Recommendation that should be added:  Philip Daniels (DE – WAS)

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Cameron Worrell (S – MIA):  Yes, his name sounds more like a baseball player than a football player, but he might as well be playing center field for the Marlins than strong safety for the Fins.  The Dolphin team is an absolute mess and their defense will continue to see tons of playing time.  Worrell has been racking up a ton of tackles as of the past few weeks and will build on that this week against the G-men.

Gerald Alexander (S – DET):  The rookie is starting at FS for the Lions and is performing well.  17 and 9 fantasy points over his past two, and could post big numbers against the Bears this week.

Dunta Robinson (CB – HOU):   Robinson used to be a solid start in just about all IDP leagues, but now he’s found on waiver wires.  He has nearly 30 fantasy points over the past three weeks and will prove very key in the game against the Bolts.

Others to Consider:  Deke Cooper (S – CAR) and Ken Lucas (CB – CAR)

Last Week’s Recommendation that should be added:  Dwight Smith (S – MIN), Jim Leonhard (S – BUF) and Fakhir Brown  (CB – STL)

Track Record – Week 7

LINEBACKERS

Pisa Tinoisamoa (STL):  3 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (7 fantasy points).  Ho hum, Tino.  We really expected more with the Rams really struggling.  Keep him on your roster or on your radar as the Rams will continue to struggle offensively, keeping their D on the field. 
Ben Leber (MIN):  4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 fumble recovery (12 fp).  Another solid game from Leber.  He filled up the box score with non-tackle stats last week, and filled it up again (in completely different categories) this week.  Yeah, he’s a SAM LB, but the Saints Scott Fujita proved last year that you can have a viable fantasy LB that lines up on the strong side.  Keep your eye on Leber or heck, add him, as the Vikes have a nice string of games for IDPs upcoming.
Tully Banta-Cain (SF):  1 solo tackle, 1 assisted tackle (3 fp).  The Niner D looked pretty hopeless on Sunday.  Banta-Cain is, at best, a fill-in LB in large IDP leagues.
Danny Clark (HOU):  5 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles (14 fp).  Nice tackling game for Clark, who was also real active on special teams.  His best scoring effort of the season.  With Ryans and Greenwood being the fantasy stalwarts at LB for the Texans, it might be a risky pick to take Clark each week, but he’s a solid backup.  See how he does against LT and the Bolts next week before you add him.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Gaines Adams (DE – TB): Nothing!   (0 fp).  Adams was limited in practice last Thursday, but practiced Friday and was set to start again.  But he was limited against the Lion front seven and posted no stats.  Adams is a talent and should obviously be owned in all dynasty leagues, but it might be prudent to leave him on the wire (or bench) for the time being in other leagues.  In larger IDP leagues, though, he may be an option as he faces the Jags and Cards (two teams which will struggle with QB issues) in the next two weeks.
Philip Daniels (DE – WAS):  1 solo tackle, 1 assisted tackle, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass defensed (6.5 fp).  That’s a nice stat line but the net result isn’t too eye-popping. He’ll need to increase his solos (and he’s capable) if he’s worthy of starting every week.  Leave him be this week (@NE) but keep him in mind down the stretch as the Skins have played better on D (fantasy-wise).
Hollis Thomas (DT – NO):  4 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle (9 fp).  4 solos for an interior lineman is pretty nice.  That should tell you something about Thomas’ overall worth.  In leagues where you must start a DT, Thomas is definitely worth a roster spot.  That’s three solid games in a row.  Could do big things against the Niners, Jags and Rams in the next three, too.
Jared Devries  (DE – DET):  1 solo tackle (2 fp).  Ack.  Chalk this up to a few things:  first, DL is (as always) very thin;  next, the Bucs proved to be a worthy foe and Garcia appeared spry.  Thus, no fantasy worth for Devries.  Check out how he does against the Bears and Broncos before you add him.
Haloti Ngata (DT – BAL):  2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 pass defensed (6.5 fp).  Ngata was coming off a huge 14 point effort against the poor Ram team, so it was expected that he’d probably do well against the Bills.  While he looked very active (1 pass defensed), we would have liked to see a few more tackles or his second sack of the season.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Dwight Smith (S – MIN):  5 solo tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass defensed (13.5 fp).  Nice game for Smith, who has posted solid fantasy stats (minus Week 3) this season.  The Vike D is very solid, especially up front.  That gives Smith some chances at playmaking, but only a handful of tackling opportunities.  The Viking IDPs have a nice string of matchups upcoming, so if you’re hurting at DB, Smith could be a decent fill-in.
Dawan Landry (S – BAL):  2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles (6 fp).  Landry’s fantasy output is dwindling a bit.  He started the season off hot but has really cooled.  Leave him on your league’s wire until he starts putting up double digits again.
Philip Buchanon (CB – TB):   3 solo tackles (6 fp).  The guy was on a tear since Week 3 and you would have thought it would have been more of the same against the pass-happy Lions.  No such luck.  Buchanan’s a solid fantasy CB who’ll have value against the Cards Week 9, but will have limited value this week against the Jags.
Jim Leonhard (S – BUF):  5 solo tackles (10 fp).  After being out two weeks (sandwiched by the Bills’ bye), Leonhard returned to action and posted a very solid 5 solos.  Could be busy again this week against the Jets.
Fakhir Brown  (CB – STL):  4 solo tackles, 3 passes defensed (12.5 fp).  This guy has 10 passes defensed in the past 3 weeks.  Expect more of the same this week against the Browns.

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