After three full weeks so far in 2010, it seems apparent that this could be one of the biggest years for IDP fantasy points yet. There has been a ton of offense and room for a lot of total tackles to be dished around. This week I am going to try to go more in depth and pick out guys that may give you a fair amount of tackles, but also some extras such as sacks or pass deflections. Also trying something new with the Team Defense/Special Teams starting this week, I will be picking two normal D/ST under 50%, then pushing it a bit further by picking a ‘super sleeper’ for those deeper leagues that need a D/ST under 10%. Week 4 sound the horn!
Haloti Ngata – DT, BAL
Owned in 11% of Yahoo Leagues
Ngata is averaging five total tackles through the first three weeks. He’s big, he clogs up running lanes and he’s quick for a big guy. This shouldn’t change in Week 4 as Baltimore takes on Pittsburgh, who is fifth in the league in rush attempts per game at 32. This should be a battle of defenses, so low scores will ultimately keep the ball on the ground.
Week 4 Projections: 4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 pass deflection
Richard Seymour – DE, OAK
Owned in 7% of Yahoo Leagues
One of the do-it-all DEs in the league, Seymour will pin his ears back and go after the QB when he needs to, but he will also stay at home and help with the run defense. Going up against Houston this weekend should yield some more of the same results as Weeks 1 and 2. Either way, whether Houston puts on an air show or pounds the ground with Arian Foster, Seymour should turn in a nice day.
Week 4 Projections: 3 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 sack
Sedrick Ellis – DT, NO
Owned in 2% of Yahoo Leagues
What can I say? Jimmy Clausen and his happy feet look like a very nice play for opposing IDPs this week. This will be the second start for a rookie QB who looked all but awful with a home crowd behind him last week and now steps into a hostile Superdome against an offense that will jump on him early and have him throwing all game. Going out on a limb with the projection for Ellis, but he has been New Orleans’ sole bright spot on the D-Line so far this year.
Week 4 Projections: 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles, 2 sacks
Paris Lenon – LB, ARI
Owned in 5% of Yahoo Leagues
If you didn’t take my Lawrence Timmons prediction and add him, then please take my Lenon pick this week. This is a guy who had his coming out party in Detroit a few years back and found a nice new home in Arizona after the departure of Karlos Dansby. He’s taking full advantage of it. Averaging right at 10 total tackles a game through three weeks should stay true this week, as I see San Diego getting up early and pounding the ball. Even if it’s close, Lenon is also very active and a good pass defending LB.
Week 4 Projections: 9 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 1 pass deflection
Zac Diles – LB, HOU
Owned in 3% of Yahoo Leagues
This may only be a good pick for one more week, as Brian Cushing will be back Week 5 (by the way, Cushing is a nice sleeper pick if you have a bench slot or two). I know Xavier Adibi is filling in for Cushing, but once Brian returns it may cut into Diles’ production. Houston takes on Oakland this week, and the Raiders have somehow found a running game. Diles doesn’t do much but tackle, but he should record enough total tackles to be fantasy worthy this week.
Week 4 Projections: 8 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles
James Anderson – LB, CAR
Owned in 7% of Yahoo Leagues
Sorry, I had the wrong non-Beason Carolina LB a couple weeks ago. Anderson has quietly put up some pretty stout stats all around thus far. Averaging just under 10 total tackles and becoming very active in the pass game makes him a viable start this week. As I posted earlier in this article, I really think New Orleans jumps out early and then tries to pound the ball the rest of the game. Either way, Anderson is valuable in the run and pass game.
Week 4 Projections: 7 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 2 passes defended
Dawan Landry – S, BAL
Owned in 6% of Yahoo Leagues
Landry has quietly been solid all year thus far for the Ravens. He came alive for a very nice IDP play in Week 3 against Cleveland, recording nine total tackles and a sack. I expect much of the same this week at Pittsburgh and against old man Charlie Batch. Batch has been a solid fill-in for the Steelers but has also turned the ball over his fair share so far. Landry seems to be becoming more of the ‘new’ Ed Reed for Baltimore, more of a ball hawk then most safeties in the league. After seeing him only once this year, it gave me more than enough confidence to start him and his brother in my deeper IDP league. Deep or not Landry is a solid play this week.
Week 4 Projections: 8 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflection
Michael Griffin – S, TEN
Owned in 16% of Yahoo Leagues
Griffin has always been a DB that can rack up tackles for your squad, and after back-to-back 70-plus total tackle seasons he is well on his way this year. He’s another player on this list that is averaging close to 10 total tackles a game thus far, but this one is a DB. Not only does Griffin pile up the tackles, but he is really an all-around player, a big piece of the pass defense and a power-packing tackler that is active with his hands, stripping would-be ball carriers.
Week 4 Projections: 8 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection
Antoine Cason – CB, SD
Owned in 13% of Yahoo Leagues
Cason, trying to step into the vacated spot left by Antonio Cromartie, has thus far proved to be a nice sleeper CB for IDP players. He has recorded two interceptions and has pitched in around six total tackles a game. This week he should see plenty of action as Quentin Jammer plus a safety should be matched up on Fitz, leaving Cason to cover Stephen Williams one on one. Derek Anderson still looks shaky at best and will most likely be throwing quite a bit this week, leaving plenty of room for error.
Week 4 Projections: 6 solo tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflection
Team Defense/Special Teams
Owned in 11% of Yahoo Leagues
OK, I’m sorry but I have to jump this bandwagon. I know Week 3 and Leon Washington’s two big returns helped boost this D/ST overall scoring to the top three in the league, but how can you deny going against the Rams? The Seattle D has had some rough parts so far, but after seeing what they did against Philip Rivers and the Bolts last week, I have the utmost of confidence picking them this week against Sam Bradford.
Owned in 41% of Yahoo Leagues
Indy is somehow still owned in less the half the leagues on Yahoo. Since the Houston light-up they have since given up an average of 13.5 points per game. This week features a nice match-up — even if grass slows down the two lightning bolts on the ends — in Jacksonville against a sour looking David Garrard at helm. Maurice Jones-Drew can’t run the ball every time, and if they try, they will get shut down. Watch out for Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to pin the ears back and put Garrard on the ground often this Sunday.
Owned by 4% of Yahoo Leagues
This defense hasn’t really seemed a very good offense yet this year, but even so, they have still given up only 19 points a game so far. This defense is made up of young guys and vets that may not have had homes elsewhere this year otherwise. I would also like to point out the fact that even with Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Cedric Benson, Jermaine Gresham and Carson Palmer, the Cincinnati offense has looked very flat. I understand it was raining this past weekend in Carolina, but dealing with the elements is why the pros are paid the big bucks, and Palmer looked very shaky at best against a decent Panthers defense. Having Josh Cribbs on the special teams side of things is always a benefit.
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