Fantasy football sleepers: IDP - Week 2

by Tim Heaney on September 16, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT


Also see: Fantasy football busts: IDP - Week 2

In this article KFFL breaks down fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names, because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players that you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive linemen

Kroy Biermann, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Fantasy value: Strong No. 1

  • The Falcons' D-line rotation burst through the Miami Dolphins' line in Week 1. Biermann's time was productive: five solo tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
  • The Panthers tied for the most solo tackles yielded to this position in the opening week (20). Carolina enjoys running the ball, which gives foundation for this stat. The Panthers allowed 3.5 sacks to D-linemen as well, the third highest total in the NFL.
  • It's hard to count on Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme having another five-turnover week (four picks, one fumble lost), but it's a decent time to play the matchups given Carolina's overall offensive struggles.
  • Biermann's absence in pass-rush situations means increased odds of disappointing production, but he's a great boom-or-bust selection.

Antonio Johnson, Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2

  • Indy's run D typically has a big bull's eye, meaning tackle chances aplenty. The ground-slanted Jacksonville Jaguars provided Johnson with seven total wraps (five solo) last week.
  • Miami tied for the 13th most solo tackles allowed in the league to this position but failed to protect quarterback Chad Pennington (4.0 sacks, tied for tops in the league).

Andre Carter, Washington Redskins vs. St. Louis Rams

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3

  • During Week 1 the right end recorded three tackles (two solo) along with a sack and a pass defensed.
  • The Rams tied for the fifth most solo squashes in the league allowed to this position for Week 1.
  • The statue-like Marc Bulger is the Rams' signal caller, and their O-line doesn't provide much protection. They yielded two quarterback wraps to this position in the first contest.

Fantasy football sleepers: Linebackers

Keith Ellison, Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy value: Strong No. 1

  • The Oregon State alum had a statistical field day against the New England Patriots in Week 1, registering 16 tackles (11 solo).
  • The Bucs will likely stick to the run frequently with their three-headed attack. They were tackled 20 times by linebackers in the first week, which tied for the sixth highest total.
  • Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny (arm) will miss some time, meaning Ellison will have increased chances at tackling.

Brandon Chillar, Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1

  • Chillar registered eight tackles (seven solo) along with a sack in his first 2009 game.
  • Packers DC Dom Capers' new 3-4 scheme encourages blitzing from every possible angle and position. Reports said Chillar blitzed the Chicago Bears 15 times in Week 1. That's a nice precedent.
  • The Bengals didn't allow many solo tackles to this position last Sunday (14, the 13th-lowest total), but they allowed linebackers to bring down their signal caller three times in the first game.
  • Pass coverage is typically Chillar's biggest strength, and the Bengals will be airing it out often. They also use tailback Cedric Benson enough that Chillar will be effective on rushing plays, too.

Larry Foote, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1

  • Foote enjoyed his regular season Lions debut with nine solo tackles and a pass defensed.
  • The Purples like to use some running back named ... oh, right, Adrian Peterson. The Vikes ran all over the Cleveland Browns last week and in turn tied for the sixth most solo tackles allowed to linebackers in the first NFL week (20).
  • Any IDP matching up against quarterback Brett Favre sees increased odds for a turnover, regardless of what role that defensive chip plays.

Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive backs

Danieal Manning and Al Afalava, Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1

  • The Bears eased Manning into Week 1 action since he was injured during the preseason. No rust was apparent; Manning recorded a safety along with six tackles.
  • Afalava held his own, too, registering four tackles, a sack and a pass defensed. These two will probably rotate in and out of action.
  • The Steelers didn't run well against the Tennessee Titans last week, and they're lined up to have the same M.O. against the Bears. Pittsburgh isn't afraid to pass, and it's pretty easy to reach quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on blitzes.
  • Pittsburgh allowed 26 solo tackles to opposing defensive backs, which was tied for the fourth most in the league for Week 1. They also allowed a whopping 13 assisted wraps to d-backs, which tied for the second most, and two picks, which tied for the third most.

Ken Hamlin, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2

  • Despite being abused by tailback Cadillac Williams, "The Hammer" registered seven tackles (five solo) against the run-friendly Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the opener.
  • The Giants define run-happy and are typically friendly to defensive backs, especially those like Hamlin who aren't locked into the free safety spot and like to roam.
  • New York allowed 22 tackles to the position last Sunday, tying for the seventh highest total. Their eight assisted tackles tied for the fourth most.

Quintin Mikell, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3

  • A six-tackle (five solo) performance was how Mikell opened his season against a disappointing Carolina Panthers offense.
  • The Saints and quarterback Drew Brees are no strangers to challenging opposing secondaries; they tied for the most tackles and the second most assisted wraps (13) allowed to this position (29) last week. N'awlins also coughed up a fumble and surrendered a pick to them.

Also see: Fantasy football busts: IDP - Week 2

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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