So sorry to anyone who started the Tampa defense last week – although, depending on your scoring system, the defensive touchdown could have balanced out the obscene points-allowed total. Very few leagues are set up to properly penalize a team for giving up 56 points – so a lack of flexibility in settings and a lack of imagination by your commissioner probably bailed you out. Still, if you expected anything from this team, give up – immediately. They will probably improve to the point of surprising us late in the season, but right now, forget it.
So who to pick up instead for Week Four?
D/ST Sleeper – Indianapolis Colts. Yes, the Colts have been messy this year, but a home assignment against a woeful Tennessee Titans offense could help snap them out of their doldrums. The Titans seem beset by mediocrity at every position, and have a serious lack of playmakers – Jake Locker is a great scrambler, and Kendall Wright is a good possession receiver – but that’s not enough to form a potent attack.
D/ST Sleeper: Pittsburgh Steelers. Again, remember how the Bucs played last week? Remember how surprisingly good the Steelers have looked? A home game versus Tampa should keep Pittsburgh’s hot streak rolling.
DL Sleeper: Corey Liuget, San Diego Chargers. Two big games his first three weeks, and check out his upcoming schedule: vs. JAX, vs. NYJ, at OAK. Also criminally underrated in real life. Expect at least two big games in the next three weeks as well.
DL Sleeper: Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints. Not to be confused with the Cleveland tight end, this Jordan has also been disappointing fantasy owners so far this season – but he has the pedigree, and the faith of team management. At DAL and vs. TB the next two weeks should give him the opportunity to get back on track – we all know the Cowboys have trouble protecting Tony Romo, and when they do, he makes mistakes; and Tampa is, well, Tampa. I feel bad piling on them, but they earned the ridicule with last week’s embarrassment.
LB Sleeper: Jelani Jenkins, Miami Dolphins. Injuries opened the door, and he’s kept it open by following up a nine-tackler performance with 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble versus KC last week. This week he travels to Oakland – an offensive Black Hole (hee hee).
LB Sleeper: Brian Cushing, Houston Texans. He seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s only 27 – and though he’s been hurt, he’s currently healthy. The upcoming schedule (vs. BUF) this week and the following promises more chances to make big plays – or at least button up running backs.
DB Sleeper: Greg Toler, Indianapolis Colts. He’s had interceptions two weeks in a row. Why not roll the dice and see if he can make it three versus Tennessee?
DB Sleeper: Prince Amukamara, New York Giants. Had a pick last week, is starting to finally show glimpses of why he was a first-round pick, and has a Thursday night matchup in Washington against a team that will probably throw the ball 45 times. Worth a shot.