Desperation is a Stinky Cologne: Extreme Sleepers for Week 7 2008


In a bind? This column is for those of you who, due to injuries or other circumstances, find yourselves with a gaping hole at QB, RB or WR and need a stop-gap player to plug in for one week.

Unlike our waiver-wire columns, I’m not advising you to pick these players up if you’re seeking long-term production. Thanks to matchups, injuries, or other favorable conditions, these usually useless players are worth a look this week, but probably aren’t good long-term options.

Note: “% owned” statistics are an average of that player’s ownership percentage in all Yahoo and ESPN leagues, rounded to the nearest percent.


Kerry Collins (25% owned) – Normally you’d never even consider starting Collins, but the Titans are playing the Chiefs, so I ask you to consider this riddle: What adds up to six and should get someone fired? Answer: The total number of sacks and interceptions the Kansas City defense has managed so far this season (three of each). That’s dead last in the league, by a lot. Even Collins should be able to put together a decent day.

Marc Bulger (41% owned) – Considering his abysmal numbers so far this season, I’m surprised his ownership percentage is so high – not that I don’t think he has some upside. Dallas will be missing cornerbacks Terence Newman (groin) and Pac-Man Jones (brain), so if he’s ever going to show us a glimpse of his old self, it’ll probably be this week.

Running Backs

Kolby Smith, KC (8% owned) – zOMFG, a starting RB is going to miss a game and his backup will get to be the feature back for a whole game! Quick, everyone run out and get him! Wait, why’s he only 8% owned? Oh, right – the Chiefs are playing the Titans’ solid rush D, and LJ isn’t hurt; he’ll be back next week, so there’s no point in using a roster spot on this guy unless you need him now. But if you’re reading this, single-week plugins are what you’re after, and Smith fits that description perfectly.

Tashard Choice, DAL (2% owned) – Felix Jones is out, but that doesn’t mean the Cowboys will simply feed the ball nonstop to Marion Barber, who has never shouldered the entire bulk of a team’s running game on his own. Since the competition’s pretty limp (at least, unless the Rams have truly done a complete 180), the ‘Boys could find themselves far enough ahead by the fourth quarter for Choice to get some quality garbage-time work.

Wide Receivers

Donnie Avery, STL (5% owned) The St. Louis offense is far from a known commodity, but it wasn’t long ago that Marc Bulger was a top fantasy quarterback, and with Jim Haslett breathing new life into the Rams offense, who knows what the rest of the season holds for Avery, the first wide receiver selected in the 2008 draft. While it’s hard to say he’s worth a roster spot in all but the deepest leagues just yet, any team’s #2 WR would be worth a look against the Cowboys this week, who, as noted above, are missing both their starting corners.

Shaun McDonald, DET (6% owned) – With Detroit’s dynamic duo of receivers cut in half, McDonald’s the man set to fill the void. He was pretty good last season, with 943 yards and six TDs, and with the Houston secondary likely planning to shut Calvin Johnson down to the best of their ability (since he’s the only weapon the Lions have left), McDonald should get plenty of second-option targets.

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