It was a wild week in the NFL again, but the best defensive play of the day went to a…wide receiver?
Roddy White made perhaps the best defensive play of the week when he ran down Nate Clements, after Clements had just picked off Matt Ryan. It was late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line and Clements was returning the interception down the sideline when White chased him down half the field and stripped the ball from him from behind. If White doesn’t make that play, San Francisco wins that game. That is football.
As much as I loved that play, I sure wish I could see some of my IDP players make plays like that every week. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way, which is why it is good to constantly check the Waiver Wire each week to make sure to keep the best players on the field for you each week.
Clark Haggans LB ARI – Arizona not only has issues at QB, their defense is not playing well either, but fortunately for IDP owners, that only helps us. When a defender fails to break up a pass that will lead to more tackle opportunities and fortunately for Haggans, it is helping him produce viable IDP numbers. Through four games he is averaging over five tackles a game, including eight total tackles in Week Four. He won’t get you many big plays, but as long as he continues to put up those tackle numbers he can be useful.
Scott Fujita LB CLE – Fujita has always been one of those players who does well on the field but gets no respect from IDP owners. From the minute he came to Cleveland in March he has been a leader on this defense. In the first three weeks he has 11 solo tackles, seven assists, and half a sack. In Week Four he had a big hand in beating Cincinnati when he blocked a field goal that led to a six point turnaround in scoring. He also added five solo tackles, one forced fumble, and one sack. With upcoming games against Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and The Saints, Fujita should be on the field a ton, which always leads to more chances. Grab him now.
Matt Roth LB CLE – Roth has always been a player that people expected great things from but he has never quite lived up to the hype. Most would say he had an unstoppable motor…when he wanted to. He definitely wanted to against the Bengals in Week Four. Not only did he put up five solo tackles, he also added a forced fumble and two sacks, one of which got The Bengals off the field to preserve Cleveland’s first win of the season. If you are hit by the bye week blues this week, Roth is a nice play against an Atlanta team that is allowing two sacks a week on average.
Stephen Nicholas LB ATL – Nicholas filled in for Sean Weatherspoon who was out with an ankle injury in Week Four. All Nicholas did was record 12 solo tackles and one assist against San Francisco. There is a lot of speculation that Weatherspoon’s injury could be more extreme than the team is letting on. Grab Nicholas in case Weatherspoon misses a few more weeks and you will have gotten a very productive player who may even start until the team’s bye week in Week Eight.
Alterraun Verner CB TEN – Verner got his first start last week against The Broncos and played well…from an IDP standpoint. He was matched up against Brandon Lloyd most of the game and Lloyd had 11 receptions for 115 yards, so obviously Verner had a hard time with coverage. But as fantasy owners we LOVE that. It just means that going forward other teams will figure to target him early and often like Denver did. Verner did have 11 solo tackles and three passes defensed, so he is getting the job done as far as we are concerned. Get him in your lineup now as regular starter, Jason McCourty, is expected to miss at least another month.
DaJuan Morgan S IND – The Colts took another hit in their secondary when they lost starting SS Melvin Bullitt for the season. Bullitt was already filling in for oft-injured Bob Sanders. Morgan should be the next in the pile to step up. The Colts grabbed Morgan who was released from Kansas City during final cut downs. Morgan never fit in at KC and it will be interesting to see if he can step up here, but one thing we do know is that opposing offensive coordinators will surely target him often. That’s a good thing for IDP owners.
Taylor Mays S SFR – Mays came out of April’s draft with a lot of question marks about his talents, but obviously the 49ers liked what they saw from him. In Week Four he was promoted to the starting lineup over veteran Michael Lewis. On Tuesday the team released Lewis to firmly cement Mays as the starter going forward. Mays had a great game against Atlanta last week with nine solo tackles and two assists. He also scored a touchdown when he grabbed a blocked punt at the back of the end zone and made a dazzling play to get his toes down in bounds. The one thing we know is that Mays is a BIG hitter, so he will definitely get his chance to make a lot of plays on this defense.
David Jones CB JAC – Jones is firmly entrenched as the RCB starter now and he is another player that IDP owners should covet. In Week Four Peyton Manning went right after Jones and allowed Reggie Wayne to have an outstanding 15-catch, 195 yard performance. Jones was still able to have a monster IDP day. He recorded nine solo tackles, two assists, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. This week he gets the Bills, so maybe a big play is also possible.