Welcome to The Huddle’s Deep Sleeper Report for Week 3. Here, we’ll take a look at a few linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs that are “one injury away” (that is, a backup to a stud and just one injury away from being a fantasy somebody), or players worth a look in extremely deep leagues. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two.
James Anderson (CAR): If Thomas Davis were to go down, Anderson would step in as the Panther WLB, which in the new Tampa-2 scheme, could be a money-maker.
David Thornton (TEN): Thornton has been roster-worthy in spells over the past few seasons, and could vulture points from both Keith Bulluck and Stephen Tulloch.
Will Herring (SEA): Herring may not be all that deep of a sleeper with Leroy Hill now out until at least Week 8. Herring steps into the WLB role for the Seahawks and could be a solid bye week filler or third LB.
Other to Consider: Kamerion Wimbley (CLE)
Jason Jones and Tony Brown (DTs – TEN): Now, neither of these guys are Albert Haynesworth, but they are the primary beneficiaries of the big guy now in the nation’s capital. Whether or not one of them steps up remains to be seen. They’ll come cheap, and are likely better suited to the spot than newcomer Jovan Haye.
Ray McDonald (DE – SFO): McDonald is a starter on a team with a coach known for defense. Justin Smith is obviously the name to own on the Niner defensive front, but the coaching staff has liked what its seen from McDonald thus far in the 2009 season (a pair of sacks to start the season).
Other to Consider: Jarvis Green (DE - NEP)
Tyrell Johnson (S – MIN): The Vikes drafted Johnson with the hopes that he’d be a starter by this season, and he’s now the man on the strong side and is off to a solid start. With effective tacklers at corner for the Vikings, Johnson won’t ever top 8-9 tackles per game, but could prove valuable in larger leagues.
Gerald Sensabaugh (S – JAC): Sensabaugh has several years’ experience in the tough Jaguar defensive system, and comes over to America’s Team, where he could average 4-5 solos per game. Decent bye week filler in larger leagues.
Other to Consider: Kelvin Hayden (CB – IND)