I’m not sure why, but I can’t think of anything witty to say to introduce this piece. That’s most likely because my rankings mostly were horrible last week and the fact that I’ve been insomniac for nearly a week. Oh well, just pour some coffee down the windpipe, get back to work and no complaining. Yep, back to football we go now. Hopefully this week I’ll provide better player than I did last week, but we all strike out sometimes, so I’ll just chalk last week up as my first loss on the season. These rankings are more matchup oriented and based upon how teams fare against the run, since many linebackers, defensive ends, and defensive tackles get their points from sacks, tackles for loss, and passes defensed, unless they just rack up basically 15 tackles a game (Kuechly). WIth only 10, there are sure to be other solid plays this week, these are just the names that stood out to me this week. As promised, I left a little extra something for you readers at the end of this piece.
Rob Ninkovich (DE-N.E.)- Nope, he definitely isn’t the same player he used to be in fantasy, and it’s a shame because he was a staple at DE/LB for the Patriots for the past 3 seasons. After only posting 2 tackles in an ugly loss to the Chiefs, his fantasy value is slipping the wrong way. (Photo courtesy of deportesemanal.com)
Nick Fairley (DT-DET)- This might be a stretch, but 7 points/MLFF from a DT isn’t too shabby, considering the dearth of points many DTs accumulate in fantasy. He’s not the flashiest DT, but he won’t leave a brother hanging either.
Geno Hayes (LB-JAX)- 9.5 points from a LB in fantasy is like winning 10 cents in the lottery. Yes, any owner will take 9.5 points, but when it comes to linebackers, it’s a draw at best. Expect more in the range of 12-15 points from Hayes most weeks going forward.
Joplu Bartu (LB-ATL)- Really Bartu??? I tout you in fantasy and then you give me an absolute goose egg in return. Fine, be that way. Bartu is worth keeping an eye on in fantasy as long as he produces, but if he doesn’t, Prince Shembo could emerge on a weak Atlanta linebacking core.
Cameron Jordan (DE-N.O.)- That was painful to watch on Sunday night from a fantasy perspective. The Saints got run out of Arlington like they were running from the bulls. The whole team stank up the fantasy world, Jordan included as he produced a mere 1.5 fantasy points in what was supposed to be a favorable matchup for Saints.
DeAndre Levy (LB-DET)- Levy has arguably been the top IDP this season along with Lavonte David, with 38 tackles, a pick, and 3 passes defensed. The locomotive should keep rolling this week against a run-heavy Bills team that is benching starter E.J, Manuel for Kyle Orton??? Add in the fact that the Lions are 7th against the run and this matchup has QB curb-stomped written all over. Enjoy the production.
Paul Worrilow (LB-ATL)- Now I understand the Falcons: You look awesome at home, but then look like a train wreck on the road. Being 30th against the run does not help matters much either, so hopefully the Falcons find someone to step up at linebacker for them to help Worrilow. While this matchup looks favorable for Worrilow, bear in mind that Eli has been getting the ball out of his hands more quickly this season on his way to finding a new favorite red zone target in Donnell. So in response to Ryan’s promoting Eli Manning this week, I say start Worrilow, as he could be in for a big day against a shaky Giants offensive line. (Photo courtesy of rantsports.com)
Corey Liuget (DE-SD)- Liuget has shown glimpses of breaking out this season, and I expect a huge day for him against the inexperienced Jets QB Geno Smith. Smith is very error prone and is a good bet to throw at least one pick or lose a fumble almost every game, so there is nice potential here for Liuget.The game will be won through the air as the Jets rank 3rd agains the run, while the Chargers 11th.
Michael Bennett (DE-SEA)- Generally, it’s hard to start a Seahawks DE as they don’t get the points on the Seattle defense, but this week, Bennett is a mUST start against a Redskins teams that looks to be boom-or-bust offensively with Cousins at the helm. Yes, Cousins is a better pocket passer than RGIII, but for Washington to have a prayer of winning, they’ll need to establish a run game against the 2nd ranked run defense this week. Regardless of the mix of offensive looks the Redskins try to throw at Seattle, look for Bennett to post top 10 DE number this week.
Ego Ferguson (DT-CHI)- Besides having one of the best first names in the NFL, Ego Ferguson has been filling in quite nicely for Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion). If you’re in a pinch for a starting DT, grab Ferguson as the Bears are showing they are back to being a beat-you-in-the-trenches team this year with some very nice emerging young talent, led by Kyle Fuller and Willie Young. (Photo courtesy of nfl.com)
Jerod Mayo (LB-N.E.)- If you watch Mayo on film, at times he seems disinterested. He does;t give 100% on all plays at times and he has posted back-to-back mediocre games. A date with the Bengals is not going to get him back on track as the Bengals are really tough up front and Dalton has proven he can and will beat you in a variety of ways. If you can, bench all Patriots defensive players this week as it’s a bad matchup.
Tamba Hali (LB-K.C.)- Hali is going to continue to rack up the sacks most weeks, which will land him near or at the top 10 DEs, but not this week against a slow starting 49ers team. Is it infeasible that Hali gets a sack, no, but given his value dependency on the sack, it might be better to sit him this week for a stronger match ups play.
Michael Johnson (DE-TB)- Meet the guy I missed picking up last week, but should have after seeing his stat line of 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. This week, I doubt I’d start him anyways as the Bucs play the Saints in N’Awlins in what could be a blowout. The Saints have been on the same trend as the Falcons this season: Win at home; suck on the road. Look for that trend to continue for the Saints this week versus the 26th overall defense. (Photo courtesy of tampa.cbslocal.com)
Damontre Moore (DE-NYG)- Going forward, Moore should be on all fantasy radars as breakout player, but temper expectations this week for Moore against the explosive Falcons offense. Yes, the Falcons have looked horrendous on the road this season with losses to Cincinnati and Minnesota, but the Falcons should find a way to right their road woes against the Giants. Ryan, do I hear a bet coming on this game? Loser buys the winner a 30 pack of beer?
Jurrell Casey (DT-TEN)- Outside of his 2 sack game against the Cowboys in Week 2, Casey has been almost non-existent in fantasy. After bursting onto the IDP scene last season with 10.5 sacks, Casey hasn’t lived up to his preseason billing. There’s still time for him to come around, but not this week against a Browns team that has 0 giveaways.
Top 5 sleeper LB/DEs/DTs for Week 5:
Prince Shembo (LB-ATL)
Emmanuel Lamur (LB-CIN) (MUST start against the Patriots) (Photo courtesy of cincyjungle.com)
Cedric Thornton (DE-PHI)
Ian Williams (DT-S.F.)
Sen’Derrick Marks (DT-JAC)
That’s a wrap for Week 5 rankings here at Major League Fantasy Sports. Thanks to all you loyal MLFS readers and Facebook likers for making the world a better place as we couldn’t do this without you. We, as writers only seek to improve your fantasy experience while gaining more insight in the field every week. Bryan Robinson, Bryan Luhrs, Ryan Ingram, and I all work to provide insightful information to players to watch or not, as well as other trends to watch for. If you have anything you wanna share with us, leave it here and we’ll tend to it…free of charge… as we’re nice…ummm…I mean driven madmen who live for sports.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday October 5th from 11am-12pm EST for this week’s installment of Major League Fantasy Football Radio sponsored by theSports Palooza Radio Network. We will be taking live callers at 646.915.8596. Our guests this week will be Andy Macuga who is the head football coach for Borrego Springs H.S. in CA. Jeff Nelson will also be joining us who is the DB Coach for White Hall H.S. in PA. Andy is an offensive minded coach and Jeff is a defensive minded coach so it should make for a great discussion. Andy and Jeff are both owners in Major League Fantasy Football and Major League Fantasy Baseball. We will be taking questions about offensive players, individual defensive players, team defenses/special teams, as well as daily fantasy plays. Take full advantage!