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The Rookie Report: Sleeper’s Corner

Welcome everyone to the Week 6 installment to the 2008 Rookie Report. Each week during the regular season, the report will cover trends, news items and analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s 2008 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold.

In this week’s edition we will take a look at three lesser known rookies that should be on fantasy owner’s dynasty league radars.

CB Brandon Carr,

Kansas City Chiefs

Carr was drafted in the fifth round of this year’s draft as a raw project out of

Grand

Valley

State. The Chiefs are undergoing a huge youth movement and Carr is in a prime spot to contribute this year to IDP fantasy rosters. Following starter Patrick Surtain‘s injury in Week 2, Carr took over the starting cornerback position opposite of fellow rookie Brandon Flowers.

In Carr’s first few starts, opposing offenses have targeted him as a weakness in the defense and are throwing early and often in the direction of receivers Carr is covering. As a result, Carr has posted solid fantasy numbers in tackle heavy scoring IDP leagues. Due to his 6’1″ 205 lb. frame, Carr is also an effective tackler against the run in the

Tampa 2 defensive system that requires cornerbacks to come off the edge and stop the running back.

Due to the

Kansas City youth movement, Carr has retained his starting job even after Surtain returned from his injury. Through the first five weeks of the season, Carr is already ranked in the Top 15 at the cornerback position and in the Top 30 at the defensive back position in standard scoring IDP fantasy leagues despite only starting three of the five first weeks.

Due to Carr’s situation and skills in the Chiefs Tampa 2 defense that will likely be on the field most of the year, Carr is an intriguing sleeper candidate that should be owned in all tackle heavy IDP leagues.

TE Tom Santi,

Indianapolis Colts

After missing most of the preseason with the removal of a bursa sac from his knee, Santi has emerged as a rookie who belongs on dynasty owners’ fantasy radars. With the departure of Ben Utecht this offseason, there was a void in the Colts offense to fill Utecht’s role as a backup tight end to Dallas Clark.

Santi has emerged as the

Clark‘s backup tight end ahead of fellow rookie Jacob Tamme in recent weeks receiving the starting nod in Week 2. With Dallas Clark‘s knee potentially being a problem later in the year with a partially torn MCL, Santi is an intriguing fantasy prospect as a fill-in for owners needing a tight end in a pinch, especially in point per reception leagues. In Santi’s only start, he finished with five catches for 29 yards. Last week against the Houston Texans, Santi caught his first touchdown pass of his career to go along with four catches and 27 yards in the game while splitting playing time with

Clark.

Santi will likely never be a consistent fantasy performer in his career; however, with

Clark‘s knee concerns and the rookie TE’s position in an explosive Colts offense, he is a player fantasy owners should keep an eye on as he continues to see more playing time each week.

SS Chris Horton,

Washington Redskins

Horton earned more playing time following his Week 2 performance against the New Orleans Saints as he finished the game with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. His playing time has gradually increased over the subsequent weeks as he took over the starting strong safety position from Reed Doughty in Week 4. Despite being named the starter, Horton remains in a rotation with Doughty for playing time.

Regardless of him splitting time with Doughty, Horton has put up solid efforts in both Weeks 4 and 5 as the starter and should see his role continually increase throughout the season as the coaching staff gains more confidence with his play. In Week 4, he finished the game with three solo tackles, an interception and a pass defended against the Dallas Cowboys. He followed up with another solid performance in Week 5 finishing the game with seven solo tackles and an assist.

While Horton’s fantasy value is somewhat limited right now by the time share at strong safety with Doughty, he is an excellent sleeper candidate for the second half of 2008 and beyond as he continues to make plays when he is on the field. He will need to continue improving on his coverage skills to take over sole possession of the strong safety position.

Well that wraps up this week’s edition of the Rookie Report. If you have any comments on this week’s article, please see the Article Discussions forum in the Shark Tank.

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