Good news for IDP fans: Lamarr Houston finally got a sack last week. The bad news is that he hurt himself celebrating and could miss the rest of the season. The silver lining is that you can probably find better production on the waiver wire if you know where to look!
D/ST Sleeper: Kansas City Chiefs – They’re not really a sleeper – they should be owned in most formats – but a matchup with the hapless New York Jets promises a chance to feast on the past-his-prime Michael Vick or never-will-have-a-prime Geno Smith. Expect sacks and picks.
D/ST Sleeper: Cleveland Browns (again) – Week Nine will “feature” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland. The Bucs are a Warm-weather team with a poor offense, are on the road, and in one of the most miserable places on earth? Sounds like as good a chance as any to roll the dice on the Brownie D if you need a fill-in. Even if the Bucs do generate offense, the game will then become a slop-fest, with turnovers and big plays piling up.
DL Sleeper: Robert Ayers, New York Giants – The pass-rush specialist comes off a bye week and faces a prolific Indianapolis Colts offense – but that means 50 dropbacks and an average of 1.5 sacks per game. Ayers should have a chance to get the 0.5 at least.
DL Sleeper: Alex Okafor, Arizona Cardinals – Make sure to check your settings – he has more value as a DL but may only qualify at LB since he’s a hybrid. In either case, his role is growing on a line that will face either a severely pain-crippled Tony Romo or severely talent-crippled Brandon Weeden. If he counts as a DL in your league, you should pounce for sure as a bye-week or injury fill-in. His youth and improving play also bode well for dynasty leagues.
LB Sleeper: Vincent Rey, Cincinnati Bengals – Two weeks ago he had a 16-tackle effort in Indy (seven solo), and this week the Bengals get to host the Jaguars. Remember what I said about the Bucs in the D/ST Sleeper section above? The same is true for the Jags, plus the Jags may be an even worse football team.
LB Sleeper: Kavell Conner, San Diego Chargers – He’s mainly just a special teams gunner, but injuries to the Bolts linebacking corps could mean increased playing time. He will be good for 3-5 tackles at least, which makes him acceptable as a fill-in.
DB Sleeper: Terrence Brooks, Baltimore Ravens – The third-round rookie has carved out at least a time-share in the Ravens secondary due to poor play in front of him. A trip to Pittsburgh, where Ben Roethlisberger just had the game of his life, means that he’ll get the chance to make plays downfield – and perhaps even get his hands on the ball?
DB Sleeper: Bashaud Breeland, Washington Redskin Potatoes – His snap count on defense keeps rising, while his snap count on special teams keeps falling. A matchup at Minnesota will provide him ample opportunity to bat away passes and maybe even pick one off. Five or six tackles are reasonable expectations as well.