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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

IDP Game Breakdowns and Player Rater - Week 5
Darin Tietgen & Steve Gallo
October 2, 2008
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Each week, Darin Tietgen and Steve Gallo will break down each matchup and offer ratings on the more important IDPs.  This week, Darin will take the home teams and Steve tackles the away squads.  Hopefully these breakdowns and ratings will help you make some key decisions on who to start this week.  Good luck!

Rating System:
Five-Star Play: Studly performance anticipated
Four-Star Play: Solid start
Three-Star Play: Decent start or sleeper
Two-Star Play: Bench ‘em, unless you need a sleeper in a large league
One-Star Play: Bench no matter what

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins:
London Fletcher is currently 2nd in the NFL in tackles with 36.  Facing an Eagles team that has given up 26 tackles thru four weeks to MLB/ILBs should make Fletcher owners very excited about his prospects for posting a very big week this week.  Jason Taylor hasn’t been ruled out yet for week 5 but even if he isn’t I would look for help elsewhere at DL.  The Eagles have also given up some big tackle games to safeties which should bode well for Reed Doughty owners.
LaRon Landry plays a very deep FS and will most likely be inconsistent in putting up solid tackle numbers but what I will say is he is fast and can close and is a BIG BIG hitter.  I doubt we see DeSean Jackson running routes across the middle.

Five-Star Plays: 
London Fletcher (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Reed Doughty (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Rocky McIntosh (LB)
LaRon Landry (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Andre Carter (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Redskin DB’s

Philadelphia Eagles: 
The Eagles are finally getting solid linebacker play from not only Stewart Bradley but from Omar Gaither as well.  With the amount the Redskins run and utilize the short passing game, both LBs will be plenty busy come Sunday.  Additionally, safety Quintin Mikell has played well this season and will likely be one of the top fantasy DBs in Week 5.  DE Trent Cole got off to a quiet start to the 2008 season but it looks like he’s heating up.  Fellow DE Juqua Parker has been a surprise performer and could have a decent game.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Quintin Mikell (DB)
Stewart Bradley (LB)
Trent Cole (DL)

Three-Star Plays:
Omar Gaither (LB)
Juqua Parker (DL)

Two-Star Plays:
Brian Dawkins (DB)
Asante Samuel (DB)

One-Star Plays:
Sheldon Brown (DB)


Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks:
Look for Lofa Tatupu to explode back on the scene this week.  MLBs versus the Giants have logged a combined 36 tackles in just 3 weeks (avg. 12/week).  Deon Grant could also be in for a pretty good week since the Giants are giving up an average of 6 tackles per game to safeties.
Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson look to continue rotating on the DL which should land both on your bench unless you have absolutely no other options.  LeRoy Hill has been a pleasant surprise for many this year but and this week could be another above average matchup for him.
The Giants have given up 3 ½ sacks in 3 games so Patrick Kearney looks like he could have a good week this week.

Five-Star Plays: 
Lofa Tatupu (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Deon Grant (DB)
LeRoy Hill (LB)
Patrick Kerney (DL)

Three-Star Plays:
Julian Peterson (LB)
Rocky Bernard (DT, mandatory leagues.)

Two-Star Plays:
Marcus Trufant (DB)
Kelly Jennings (DB)

One-Star Plays:
Darryl Tapp (DL)
Lawrence Jackson (DL)

New York Giants:  
The Giants come off their bye and will have continued success on the defensive side of the ball.  Leading the pack will be DE Justin Tuck, who has taken on the role of the lead pass rusher, has been fantastic thus far in 2008.  Expect another solid effort.  LB Antonio Pierce has had a rather disappointing start to the 2008 season but could be busy on Sunday.  DT Fred Robbins has been a pleasant surprise anchoring the middle of the Giant line and already has 4 sacks on the season.  He could get to QB Matt Hasselbeck once.

Five-Star Plays: 
Justin Tuck (DL)

Four-Star Plays:
Fred Robbins (DL – for leagues that start DT)
Antonio Pierce (LB)

Three-Star Plays:
Mathias Kiwanuka (DL)
Kenny Phillips (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Bryan Kehl (LB)

One-Star Plays:
Aaron Ross (DB)


San Diego Chargers @ Miami Dolphins

San Diego Chargers:
Stephen Cooper is finally back after a league imposed 4 game drug suspension and you should make sure he is in your lineup this week.  The Dolphins have given up 43 tackles to the 6 starting ILBs that they have faced in their first 3 games.  That is a whopping 7.2 tackle per game for EACH ILB.  Matt Wilhelm may be a risky play since he and Tim Dobbins will probably have to split some snaps at the other ILB spot.  Rodney Harrison was the only safety to really have a big game (12 tackles) versus the Dolphins but with that said I would still expect Clinton Hart to have an above average tackle week. 

Five-Star Plays: 
Stephen Cooper (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Clinton Hart (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Matt Wilhelm (LB)
Shaun Phillips (LB)
Antonio Cromartie (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Tim Dobbins (LB)
Eric Weddle (DB)
Jyles Tucker (LB)

One-Star Plays:
Quentin Jammer (DB)

Miami Dolphins: 
There’s really only a couple of Fin IDPs that you can rely on this week and in the immediate future: LB Channing Crowder and DB Yeremiah Bell.  Crowder hasn’t fully filled the shoes of the departed Zach Thomas, but did put up good numbers Week 1; a sign of things to come, perhaps.  Bell was largely ignored in the preseason rankings but has performed well.  He’s a terrific start this week.  The remainder of the Fin IDPs are very risky starts this week. 

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Yeremiah Bell (DB)
Channing Crowder (LB)

Three-Star Plays:
Joey Porter (LB)

Two-Star Plays:
Renaldo Hill (DB)
Akin Ayodele (LB)

One-Star Plays:
None.


Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts:
Freddy Keiaho is currently averaging over 17points per game (PPG) which ranks him as the 2nd overall LB in the NFL.  This week versus the Texans his matchup isn’t the greatest but as it stands now Keiaho is a must start.  The Colts DL has been horrible which has given their LBs an above average amount of tackle opportunities but this week versus what seems to be a weak Texan running game you should temper your expectations for Gary Brackett and Clint Session, especially Session.  Robert Mathis  should have a productive day versus a Jaguar team that has given up 8 sacks in 3 games.  Bob Sanders isn’t expected back until week 9 so look for Antoine Bethea to be the one to benefit the most from Sanders absence.
 
Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Freddy Keiaho (LB)

Three-Star Plays:
Robert Mathis (DL)
Antoine Bethea (DB)
Kelvin Hayden (DB)
Marlin Jackson (DB)
Gary Brackett (LB)

Two-Star Plays:
Dwight Freeney (DL)
Clint  Session (LB)

One-Star Plays:
Melvin Bullitt (DB)

Houston Texans: 
The Texans finally get a home game, but they’re facing one of the AFC’s best offenses.  Their IDPs should rack up plenty of tackles but the “big play” may not come, although QB Peyton Manning certainly doesn’t look like himself these days.  LB DeMeco Ryans will again be a stud, and DL Mario Williams should have a solid game as well.  The remainder of the Texan IDPs could be risky starts, although LB Zach Diles could be in for a decent game. 

Five-Star Plays: 
DeMeco Ryans (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Mario Williams (DL)

Three-Star Plays:
None

Two-Star Plays:
Zach Diles (LB)
Will Demps (DB)
Amobi Okoye (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Morlon Greenwood (LB)


Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers

Atlanta Falcons:
The Packers will probably be without Aaron Rodgers this week so they will probably look to run the ball to protect whoever they end up starting at QB.  Rookie Curtis Lofton is averaging 7.3 tackles over his last 3 games and should be a good play against the Packers this week.  Michael Boley hasn’t been posting the huge numbers he did last year but he should still be an above average start this week.  Keith Brooking has been hit or miss this year and it could be his age catching up to him.  John Abraham should be in your lineup this week versus what will be a rookie QB for the Packers.  The Falcon defensive backfield has been posting very good numbers but don’t expect big weeks this week due to limited opportunities.

Five-Star Plays: 
John Abraham (DL)

Four-Star Plays:
Curtis Lofton (LB)
Michael Boley (LB)

Three-Star Plays:
Keith Brooking (LB)
Lawyer Milloy (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Eric Coleman (DB)
Jamaal Anderson (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Brent Grimes (DB)

Green Bay Packers: 
The Packers lost DE Cullen Jenkins for the season.  Veteran Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila steps in and assumes the starter’s role.  He’s been a good pass rusher for his NFL career but is a liability in run coverage.  This could mean more tackles for the LBs and DBs coming up to assist in run stopping.  LB Nick Barnett is likely one of the better starts this week, and his fellow LB A.J. Hawk would be a solid start if he’s able to play with a groin injury.  At this point, you should temper your expectations.   DL Aaron Kampman is a steady force on the line and should be played in all leagues.  The DBs, due to various injuries and somewhat inconsistent play, are only average starts.

Five-Star Plays: 
Nick Barnett (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Aaron Kampman (DL)

Three-Star Plays:
Nick Collins (DB)
A.J. Hawk (LB)

Two-Star Plays:
Aaron Rouse (DB)
Charles Woodson (DB)
Brady Poppinga (LB)
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (DL)

One-Star Plays:
None.


Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

Chicago Bears:
The only thing that can possibly slow down Brian Urlacher this week would be a struggling Lions offense.  However, I think the Lions will try to establish the run with new starter Rudi Johnson and that should bode well for Urlacher and WLB Lance Briggs.  After a slow start Kevin Payne is starting to put up nice numbers from the SS spot and that should continue this week.  The Bears DL should have a big week too with Adewale Ogunleye and Alex Brown leading the way.  Versus Jon Kitna who can be an INT machine you would think that Charles Tillman would be a no brainer start but he is questionable due to a shoulder injury he suffered versus the Eagles.

Five-Star Plays: 
Brian Urlacher (LB)
Adewale Ogunleye (DL)

Four-Star Plays:
Lance Briggs (LB)
Alex Brown (DL)

Three-Star Plays:
Kevin Payne (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Mike Brown (DB)

One-Star Plays:
Charles Tillman (DB)
Nathan Vasher (DB)

Detroit Lions:
The Lions will have a couple of LBs that should be on starting fantasy rosters this week:  Ernie Sims and Paris Lenon.  The remainder of Lion IDPs should only be on rosters in deeper leagues.  DB Dwight Smith is the best bet as a sleeper candidate, but could have disappointing numbers if the Bears are unable to move the ball downfield.  LB Jordon Dizon could see some snaps, but the injured rookie is a risky start at best.

Five-Star Plays: 
None

Four-Star Plays:
Mike Peterson (LB)
Brian Williams (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Dwight Smith (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Alex Lewis (DL)
Dewaye White (DL)
Leigh Bodden (DB)

One-Star Plays:
Daniel Bullocks (DB)
Jordon Dizon (LB)


Kansas City Chiefs @ Carolina Panthers

Kansas City Chiefs:
Donnie Edwards is OUT for a second straight week.  If there is any LB that is worth playing this week it will be Derrick Johnson.  I would expect both rookie CBs Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers to get a workout versus Steve Smith and crew.  Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page should continue to benefit from the poor LB play in front of them.  Tamba Hali had to step in to replace the departed Jared Allen but he has yet to record a sack this year.  Hali will get it going but until he does I would look for a better option if you have one.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Bernard Pollard (DB)
Brandon Carr (DB)
Brandon Flowers (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Jarrad Page (DB)
Derrick Johnson (LB)

Two-Star Plays:
Pat Thomas (LB)
Tamba Hali (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Turk McBride (DL)

Carolina Panthers: 
With the Chiefs coming to town, the Panther IDPs are likely licking their chops.  The Chief OL has allowed 3 sacks per game and Chief QBs have 6 INTs.  Plug DL Julius Peppers into your lineup, but don’t be surprised if he disappears yet again.  The best bets are likely the Panther DBs: Chris Harris, Chris Gamble and to some degree, Richard Marshall.  LB Jon Beason will also be solid, especially in tracking down RB Larry Johnson. 

Five-Star Plays: 
Chris Harris (DB)

Four-Star Plays:
Jon Beason (LB)
Chris Gamble (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Thomas Davis (LB)
Julius Peppers (DL)
Richard Marshall (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Na’il Diggs (LB)
Tyler Brayton (DL)

One-Star Plays:
None.


Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens

Tennessee Titans:
Sad to say but Keith Bulluck is not the once dominant LB that he once was.  He will still have weeks where he posts solid numbers and this could be one of those weeks but there is risk.  Ryan Fowler was replaced as the starting MLB last week by Stephen Tulloch but both players present risk until head coach Jeff Fisher commits to one over the other.  Cortland Finnegan could be in for a tough week versus a limited Raven passing attack.  Kyle Vanden Bosch is licking his chops knowing he will be looking across the line at a rookie QB.

Five-Star Plays: 
Kyle Vanden Bosch (DL)

Four-Star Plays:
Tony Brown (DT, mandatory leagues.)
Albert Haynesworth (DT, mandatory leagues.)

Three-Star Plays:
Keith Bulluck (LB)
David Thornton (LB)
Cortland Finnegan (DB)
Chris Hope (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Jevon Kearse (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Stephen Tulloch (LB)
Ryan Fowler (LB)

Baltimore Ravens:
Whoa, the Raven IDPs hit hard, don’t they?  LB Ray Lewis still “brings it” and against the run-happy Titans, is likely one of the best IDP starts this week.  Fellow LB Bart Scott will likely also be busy and could top 5 solos himself.  DL Terrell Suggs will likely see double-teams all day, and the Titans have given up a league-best two sacks on the season.  Temper your expectations with him, big time.  The DBs have been marginal starts all season and should be considered such this week, too.

Five-Star Plays: 
Ray Lewis (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
None.

Three-Star Plays:
Bart Scott (LB)
Terrell Suggs (DL)
Haloti Ngata (DL – for leagues that start DT)

Two-Star Plays:
Ed Reed (DB)    

One-Star Plays:
None.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Ok so Derrick Brooks has kept his consecutive starting streak alive but it is no secret that his age is catching up with him.  He isn’t the plug and play WLB that he once was and this week versus a pass heavy Bronco offense he may find it hard to post solid tackle numbers.  Barrett Ruud has gotten off to a very good start this year but could also be in for a rough week since the Broncos have only allowed one good scoring week to an ILB/MLB this year.  Rhonde Barber looked like he was showing his age but in the past couple of weeks he seems to still have “it”.  Expect for him and Jermain Phillips to be very active versus the Broncos passing attack.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Rhonde Barber (DB)
Jermain Phillips (DB0

Three-Star Plays:
Barrett Ruud (LB)

Two-Star Plays:
Derrick Brooks (LB)
Cato June (LB)

One-Star Plays:
Jovan Haye (DL)
Gaines Adams (DL)

Denver Broncos: 
A battle of 3-1 teams; the Broncos hosting the Buccaneers.  Expect the Bronco LBs to be the best starts, with D.J. Williams the safest bet.  The shifting around of Jamie Winborn and Boss Bailey is mind-numbing, and Nate Webster’s on-again-off-again play is also frustrating.  Steer clear of those LBs unless you have no other options.   DB Champ Bailey has been somewhat quiet this season, but he’ll likely have solid numbers this week.  Not only does the Buc line do a great job of protecting their QB, but the Bronco pass rushers have been only average at best.  They are all weak starts.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
D.J. Williams (LB)
Three-Star Plays:
Champ Bailey (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Jamie Winborn (LB)
Boss Bailey (LB)
Nate Webster (LB)
Elvis Dumervil (DL)
John Engelberger (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Marlon McCree (DB)
Marquand Manuel (DB)


New England Patriots @ San Francisco 49ers

New England Patriots:
Rodney Harrison and Jerod Mayo have been the two leading tacklers in each game for the Patriots so far this season.  Ellis Hobbs presents some value this week if the Martz air attack isn’t grounded by the Patriots defense and has added value in leagues that reward for return yardage.  Adalius Thomas and Mike Vrabel could be in for big weeks versus a San Francisco team that has given up 19 sacks in 4 games.

Five-Star Plays: 
Rodney Harrison (DB)
Jerod Mayo (LB)
Adailius Thomas (DL)

Four-Star Plays:
Mike Vrabel (DL)

Three-Star Plays:
Tedy Bruschi (LB)
Ellis Hobbs (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
James Sanders (DB)
Ty Warren (DL)
Richard Seymor (DL)

One-Star Plays:
Vince Wilfork (DL)

San Francisco 49ers: 
Tom Brady or no Tom Brady, you give the Patriots a week to game plan, and you’re likely in for a long Sunday afternoon.  The Niners will likely be scrambling on defense to keep up with the Patriot offense, something that may affect their IDP’s fantasy output.  Likely, studs like LB Patrick Willis and DB Michael Lewis will have solid games, but to rely on their other IDPs could be risky.  Figure LB-DL hybrid Justin Smith will be all over the field, and could continue to put up surprising numbers. 

Five-Star Plays: 
Patrick Willis (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Michael Lewis (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Justin Smith (DL)
Nate Clements (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Takeo Spikes (LB)

One-Star Plays:
None.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Dallas Cowboys

Cincinnati Bengals:
The Cowboys only ran Marion Barber 8 times last week but I doubt they make that mistake this week and it will just help Dhani Jones add to his league leading tackle total.  Yes, I said that Dhani Jones is leading the NFL in tackles.  Keith Rivers is having a pretty good rookie season where he has posted 28 tackles and he should be a solid start this week too.  Marvin White and Chinedum Nedukwe have been extremely productive and this week the Cowboys will keep them busy racking up those tackles.  Dexter Jackson has missed the past couple of weeks due to injury and with Nedukwe’s play he is going to find it almost impossible to regain his starting role.

Five-Star Plays: 
Dhani Jones (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Keith Rivers (LB)
Marvin White (DB)
Chinedum Nedukwe (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Leon Hall (DB)
Johnathan Joseph (DB)
Domata Peko (DT, mandatory leagues only.)

Two-Star Plays:
Rashad Jeanty (LB)
Robert Geathers (DL)
Antwan Odom (DL)

One-Star Plays:
John Thornton (DL)

Dallas Cowboys: 
This is a no-brainer.  Take one fledgling franchise that may be without its starting QB.  Check.  Take another very talented team that just lost at home to one of their rivals.  Check.  What do you have?  Quite possibly a bloodbath, especially when you’re talking about the home team putting the clamps down on the opposing offense.  Expect the Cowboy IDPs to take out plenty of their frustrations out on the poor Bengal skill players.  LB Demarcus Ware could again be a game-changer and needs to be in your lineup.  LB Zach Thomas could be involved in a lot of clean-up plays (assisted tackles, likely) and DB Ken Hamlin could be hammering in the defensive backfield.  All three represent solid fantasy plays this week.  Consider the rest of the Cowboy defenders if you’re looking to fill a hole. 

Five-Star Plays: 
Demarcus Ware (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Zach Thomas (LB)
Ken Hamlin (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Kevin Payne (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
Greg Ellis (LB)
Bradie James (LB)
Terence Newman (DB)
Pacman Jones (DB)
Anthony Spencer (LB)
Anthony Henry (DB)

One-Star Plays:
None.


Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills:
Buffalo second year LB Paul Posluszny should be in for a good game versus a Cardinals team that has given up an average of 7 tackles to ILB/MLBs this year.  Terrence McGee owners  will have to find a replacement for him this week since he is out due to injury.  What is unclear is if Ashton Youboty or rookie Leodis McKelvin will start in McGee’s place.  Donte Whitner is probably a risky start since the only SS that has had much success this year versus the Cardinals was Redskin SS Reed Doughty.  Kurt Warner has been sacked 12 times so far this year and that bodes well for a good week for Aaron Schobel.

Five-Star Plays: 
Paul Posluszny (LB)
Aaron Schobel (DL)

Four-Star Plays:
Marcus Stroud (DT, mandatory leagues only.)

Three-Star Plays:
None.

Two-Star Plays:
Donte Whitner (DB)
Kawika Mitchell (LB)

One-Star Plays:
Keith Ellison (LB)

Arizona Cardinals: 
The Cardinal defense could be the difference in this game.  Wow, never thought you’d hear that, huh?  The 4-0 Buffalo Bills come to town and the Cardinal D will surely want to quell their offense after allowing 56 points to the Jets last week.  The best bet in terms of their IDPs is the under-rated LB Karlos Dansby.  Also very under-rated and a good play this week would be fellow LB Gerald Hayes.  DB Adrian Wilson has been somewhat quiet this season (due to his foot injury and recent hamstring injury), but will be critical in defending the downfield passing if he’s able to go this week.

Five-Star Plays: 
Karlos Dansby (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
Gerald Hayes (LB)

Three-Star Plays:
Travis Laboy (LB)
Darnell Dockett (DL)
Adrian Wilson (DB)

Two-Star Plays:
None.

One-Star Plays:
None.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers:
The Steelers are really beat up on the offensive side of the ball and that could bode well for Steelers IDPs.  James Harrison has been a beast in two of his four games this year and that is the problem trying to figure out which weeks will be his monster weeks.  Troy Polamalu has been a bit underwhelming this year and versus the Jaguars it could be more of the same or he could have a huge week in run support if the Jaguars decide to commit to the run.  James Farrior should be plenty busy chasing down MJD and Fred Taylor.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
None.

Three-Star Plays:
Troy Polamalu (DB)
James Harrison (LB)
James Farrior (LB)

Two-Star Plays:
Bryant McFadden (DB)
LaMarr Woodley (LB)
Ike Taylor (DB)

One-Star Plays:
Lawrence Timmons (LB)
Larry Foote (LB)

Jacksonville Jaguars: 
As stated just about every time you talk about the Jag IDPs, they are often just a one-trick pony, and that pony is LB Mike Peterson.  This season, DB Brian Williams has come on to produce good fantasy stats.  This week, though, with the Steelers coming to town, he may have weaker numbers, unless they game plan to bring him up in run coverage.  Peterson will again be a great play, and fellow LB Daryl Smith could put up serviceable numbers.  This should be a defensive battle, and a few other Jag defenders could be plugged in if you’re bitten by the bye weeks.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Mike Peterson (LB)
Brian Williams (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
None.

Two-Star Plays:
Rashean Mathis (DB)
Reggie Nelson (DB)
Daryl Smith (LB)
Derrick Harvey (DL)

One-Star Plays:
None.


Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints

Minnesota Vikings:
Vikings fans are still waiting for Jared Allen to blow up with a multi sack game but this week Drew Brees is the QB he will be after and Brees doesn’t take many sacks.  With that said I still have a gut feeling that Allen is going to post his first monster game of the year.  E.J. Henderson dislocated a couple of toes in last week’s game and isn’t expected to play this week so leave him on your bench (even if for some reason he does play, bench him).  It’s Ben Leber that looks to be the guy that will take over at MLB for Henderson this week so he could have his best game of the season this week.
Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin should be plenty busy versus the potent Saints passing attack.  LB Chad Greenway has had a very productive first 4 weeks and that should continue as he tries to chase down Reggie Bush on those dump passes out of the backfield.

Five-Star Plays: 
None.

Four-Star Plays:
Jared Allen (DL)
Chad Greenway (LB)
Antoine Winfield (DB)

Three-Star Plays:
Cedric Griffin (DB)
Ben  Leber (LB)
Kevin Williams (DT, mandatory league only.)

Two-Star Plays:
Darren Sharper (DB)

One-Star Plays:
Ray Edwards (DL)
Tyrell Johnson (DB)

New Orleans Saints: 
This should be a fun MNF game.  Both offenses and both defenses have serious playmakers.  The big IDP playmaker for the Saints is LB Jonathan Vilma, who has the athleticism to keep up with RB Adrian Peterson.  Saint safety Roman Harper appears to have his health back, and fellow DB Kevin Kaesviharn could continue to score well even with Harper back.  Consider DLs Charles Grant and Will Smith good starts this week as they look to pressure the rather statuesque Viking QB Gus Frerotte.  

Five-Star Plays: 
Jonathan Vilma (LB)

Four-Star Plays:
None.

Three-Star Plays:
Roman Harper (DB)
Kevin Kaesviharn (DB)
Charles Grant (DL)
Will Smith (DL)

Two-Star Plays:
Tracy Porter (DB)
Scott Fujita

One-Star Plays:
None.

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