Alex Hall: Alex who you say! Hall was drafted by the Browns in the 7th round (231st overall) in this past year’s draft. While many dynasty leaguers were drafting rookie LB Beau Bell this past summer it is Hall that has found his way into the starting lineup albeit due to an injury to OLB Willie McGinest. McGinest is far from a spring chicken and announced earlier this year that he will be retiring after the 2008 season. If you are in a tackle heavy league then you really won’t need to keep tabs on Hall. However, if you are in a big play league or an extremely deep league then Hall will be worth keeping an eye on or even stashing now if you have the room. As for Bell who was mentioned earlier it should be noted that he suffered a knee injury during the preseason and had surgery. Dynasty owners should be in a holding pattern with Bell as he should get back on the field this year. The Cleveland brass really like him so you can expect he will have a chance at some point to make an impact.
Jamaal Anderson: Anderson was just 21 years old last year when he was drafted in the 8th overall in the 1st round of last year’s draft. Since then he has started every game (19) since becoming a Falcon. However, in those 19 games he has only logged 39 total tackles and ZERO sacks. The good news is that Anderson is playing opposite of John Abraham so Anderson won’t be seeing any double teams in the near future. Believe it or not, in week one Anderson actually played 56 snaps (0 tackles) to Abrahams 35 snaps (4 tackles & 3 sacks). At least it looks as if the Falcons are going to give Anderson the opportunity to play. The other good thing is that in his past 2 games he has logged 9 tackles and could be taking a step forward. Anderson won’t go without recording a sack this year but he isn’t ready for prime time yet either. If you have deep rosters or taxi squads Anderson is young enough and has enough raw talent that you should still sit on him if you can. In a couple of years he could end up a double digit sack guy but he is going to make you wait, unfortunately.
Chinedum Ndukwe: Ndukwe saw time as the starting SS for the final two games of 2007 and posted 14 total tackles 3 passes defended and 2 interceptions in those two starts. Ndukwe suffered a “lower leg injury” during the preseason which kept him from not only starting but playing in the season opener. It was thought that Ndukwe would eventually take over the starting SS gig from Dexter Jackson at some point later in the season. However, Jackson suffered an injury that allowed Ndukwe to start at SS in both weeks 2 and 3. All he did was put up 13 total tackles in those two weeks. It remains to be seen if Ndukwe will keep Jackson off the field when his thumb injury heals but if his past four starts are any indication dynasty owners are going to be happy if he does keep the starting gig. There is risk with Ndukwe going forward and that would be if and when a new coaching staff is possibly brought in next year (Marvin had better get things turned around or he could be joining Matt Millen in the unemployment line) that they could decide to clean house. In the interim take advantage of Ndukwe while he is starting and posting very good numbers. Just to show you how good those numbers are you need to look at how many tackle opportunities the Bengals have faced. In week 1, they faced 61 tackle opportunities* and Dexter Jackson managed to post 4 solos and 2 assists which is exactly what Ndukwe posted in week 2 on 55 tackle opportunities and in week 3, Ndukwe logged 6 solos and 1 assist on just 51 tackle opportunities. However, what is even more encouraging is that in weeks 1 and 2 the Bengals faced an average of 44 rushing attempts and only 25 rushing attempts in week 3. So in conclusion, don’t be surprised if Ndukwe hits 75 plus solo tackles this year which would put him solidly in the top 10 in most formats.
*Tackle opportunities are the total number of pass completions plus rushing plays.
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