News, Analysis & UpdatesOctober 26, 2004

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The Top Ten Defenders of Week 7

By Arlo Vander

There were only three defensive touchdowns in week seven, but that doesn’t mean it was a week without fantasy standouts. Eight players picked up a pair of sacks, two reached double digits in tackles and Carloina’s Will Witherspoon recorded a rare safety. But one player stole the show, as he has so many times in his career: Deion’s back.

1. Deion Sanders – CB, Bal
Still Neon after all these years. Sanders picked off Drew Bledsoe twice on Sunday, giving him three interceptions in the last two games, and ran one back 49 yards for the score. In typical Prime Time fashion, that TD turned out to be the game-winner.

2. Ken Lucas – CB, Sea
The Seahawks were upset by the Cardinals, but it wasn’t Ken Lucas’ fault. The fourth-year pro out of Mississippi not only returned an interception for a score to put Seattle ahead early in the fourth quarter, but also added half a dozen tackles and a couple pass defenses. Blame someone else for the loss.

3. Keith Bulluck – LB, Ten
Bulluck wasn’t able to complete the game, being forced out in the fourth quarter after injuring his wrist. He still had more than enough time to rack up solid numbers, though, and finished the day with a season-high nine tackles and his first sack of the year. His removal from the game was primarily a precaution, and he should be good to go again this week.

4. Terrence Kiel – S, SD
San Diego’s sophomore safety enjoyed his best performance yet this weekend, recording nine tackles, three pass defenses and a key interception. Slowly but steadily, he’s turning into a player worthy of fantasy attention.

5. Tracy White – LB, Sea
With Anthony Simmons on the shelf following shoulder surgery, White was given the chance to start and made the most of the opportunity, posting a league-high ten tackles and adding the first sack of his career. White might post solid numbers in the upcoming weeks, but keep in mind that Simmons is expected to be back by the time fantasy playoffs roll around.

6. Lito Sheppard – CB, Phi
Sheppard made this list last week thanks to a two-interception effort against Carolina; this time, he again picked off a pass, but it was his skill as a tackler that elevated him into the top ten. As a fantasy owner, you can’t complain when you get ten tackles from your cornerback.

7. Terrell Suggs – LB, Bal
The second Raven in the top ten, Suggs contributed to his team’s win with his third multiple-sack effort of the year. Baltimore’s record when Suggs records a sack: 4-0. When he doesn’t: 0-2.

8. Antoine Winfield – CB, Min
Winfield has only been held below six tackles once this season (week 3 against Chicago), a considerable feat for a cornerback. This week, he not only made eight stops, but added two pass defenses and an interception as the Vikings defense embarrassed Tennessee..

9. Brian Dawkins – S, Phi
A forced fumble, a sack, eight tackles… all in a day’s work for the heart and soul of the Eagles’ defense.

10. Takeo Spikes – LB, Buf
Spikes seems to be finding his stride. A week after scoring his third career touchdown, he picked up a season-high eight tackles and his first sack of the year. A premier fantasy performer once again? Maybe; just don’t expect him to return to the level of play he showed in 2000.

Just missed: Eric Barton (LB, NYJ), Brian Simmons (LB, Cin), London Fletcher (LB, Buf), Zach Thomas (LB, Mia), Ray Lewis (LB, Bal), Justin Smith (DE, Cin), Aaron Schobel (DE, Buf), Daylon McCutcheon (CB, Cle), Donovin Darius (S, Jax)

Top Defenders of the Season to Date

1. Zach Thomas – LB, Mia
2. Nick Barnett – LB, GB
3. London Fletcher – LB, Buf
4. Dan Morgan – LB, Car
5. Ronde Barber – CB, TB
6. Derrick Brooks – LB, TB
7. Mike Peterson – LB, Jax
8. Ken Lucas – CB, Sea
9. Jamie Sharper – LB, Hou
10. Antoine Winfield – CB, Min

With Antoine Winfield (#8) and Brian Simmons (just missed) in the lineup, defense was a key factor in Arlo Vander’s week 7 win. Priest Holmes’ four touchdowns didn’t hurt either, of course.

Who were your top defenders of week 7?

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