Sunday, September 13, 2009

Defensive Corner: Sleepers, Injuries & Impact

Sleeper Picks of the Week:

- Seattle (vs. Rams): Seattle wasn’t great last year but the Rams were worse going 2-14 and coming in dead last in the NFC West. Sadly, this season looks only marginally better for the Rams. While adapting to new coach Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams must deal with a lingering pinkie injury (broken pinkie) to quarterback Marc Bulger, who missed the last three preseason games and only this past week began taking direct snaps again. In addition, the majority of the Rams WR core ( Donnie Avery, Derek Stanley, Keenan Burton and Laurent Robinson) remains unproven with only Avery breaking 200 yards in the 2008 season. If Seattle can contain the only two true threats on the team, WR Avery and RB Steven Jackson, Seattle’s generally decent defense will put up respectable fantasy points making them one of the top sleeper picks of the week.

-Saints (v. Lion): The Saints have a respectable defense and they’re playing Detroit this week, no further explanation necessary. In fact, at this time I’m just going to put it out there that if you didn’t pick up a good defense in your draft and/or your defense has a bye-week, whoever is playing the Lions that week will probably be a good fantasy pick.

Injury Update and Impact

Albert Haynesworth (DL): Although still suffering from a lingering stomach condition, Haynesworth is probable for action this week.
Carlos Rogers (DB)- Calf- Questionable for game against Ravens
London Fletcher (LB)- Foot- Probable for Ravens matchup

Impact: Listed as “probable” both Fletcher and Haynesworth should be all set to play this week so the only question mark would be Carlos Rogers. However, even if Rogers, who is a starting cornerback, were to sit out, the Redskins wouldn’t feel too much off a drop off in the secondary as Rogers’ backup, Fred Smoot, turned in comparable stats with 54 tackles and 1 interception to Rogers’ 56 tackels and 2 interceptions last season.

Jacques Cesaire (DL)-Calf - Questionable
Kevin Burnett (LB)- Neck- Questionable

Impact: Both starters, if both Cesaire and Burnett sit out this week, the Chargers lose valuable experience at both LB and DE and but five year veteran Travis Johnson and Tim Dobbins, who had 57 tackles last year, will be there to fill the void.


Dimitri Patterson (DB)Ankle- Questionable

Impact: No significant impact

Shaun Ellis (DL) Suspension- Minimum 1 week suspension
Calvin Pace (LB) Suspension- Suspended a minimum of four games. Eligible for return for week 5 matchup against Miami

Impact: Well this isn’t good. Both Ellis and Pace are key players on the Jets Defense and the loss of either of them impacts the team negatively, let alone both. Beginning with Ellis, as one of the most tenured players on the team, he brings both experience and excellence to the Jets Defense as evidenced by the fact he was name Jets Defensive Player of the Game twice last season. As for Pace, the Jets are now without a staple in their linebacking core as Pace who started all 16 games last season and recorded 67 tackles (12 for a loss), 7 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries, is gone for at least four games. Although the Jets claim that Mike DeVito and Vernon Gholston will be set to fill in for the duo, the Jets Defense will definitely lose a step this week, however they remain a fantasy defense worthy of starting.


Michael Boley (LB)-Suspension for at least first game of the season
Chris Canty(LB) Hamstring- Questionable
Aaron Ross (DB)Hamstring - Questionable

Impact: Canty and Ross should be ready to go this week (see my explanation of “questionable” under the Green Bay analysis) however, Boley is definitely out for a minimum of one week for violating league personal conduct rules during an incident in which he became “too physical” with his wife in 2008. Surely, the Giants would love to have a player who made 73 tackles and 1 interception last year on hand to play, but this stacked defense will surely be more than fine without him.


Erin Henderson (LB) Leg- Questionable

Impact: Non-starter, no major impact. (Note: this is not starting middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, but OLB Erin Henderson.)


Clay Matthews (LB) Hamstring -Questionable
B.J. Raji (DL)Ankle- Questionable
Aaron Rouse (DB) Hamstring- Questionable
Brandon Underwood (DB) Neck -Questionable
Atari Bigby (DB)Thumb- Questionable

Impact: There are a lot of names here, so I must address this. First off, let me just point out that “questionable” usually means “he’s playing but I’m covering my ass just in case,” so most of these guys will probably be ready to go in week one. However, just for arguments sake, if all of these players were to somehow be too injured to play this week, the Packer’s defense would feel a little sting but nothing unmanageable. If this scenario were to unfold, the biggest impact would be felt in the secondary with both strong safeties (Bigby and Rouse) sitting out. However, with the remaining injuries being sustained by second and third stringesr, there will be no real detriment to the defense with the injuries to Underwood, Raji and Matthew; that is, unless Johnny Jolly, Ryan Pickett, Brady Poppinga, Charles Woodson and Jarrett Bush all go down. And if that were to happen, I would be investing my entire checking account in the Powerball drawing that night.

Curtis Johnson (DL) Hamstring- Probable
Alan Ball (DB)Concussion -Probable
Mike Hamlin (DB)Arm- Out
Jason Williams (LB) Ankle- Out

Impact: All second stringers, no imminent impact.

Israel Idonije (DL)Hamstring- Questionable
Nick Roach (LB) Undisclosed- Questionable
Charles Tillman (DB)Back- Questionable

Impact: Non-starts, no significant impact

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Crazy Canton Cuts said...

Ross is out from what I've read

Giants are playing a third stringer with a rookie as the extra DB

Could get ugly this week