Sleeper of the Week: S Craig Steltz

That is not a typo. And yes, I'm fully in control of my own account here - this is not Dane.

With Major Wright out, fourth year man Craig Steltz gets the start at the strong safety position. We've beaten up on Steltz on numerous occasions here in the comment threads, much to the chagrin of Mr. Noble. His one interception that one time has become a punchline, and people wondered why he was still on the team with the acquisition of Brandon Meriweather and the drafting of Chris Conte.

The thing with Steltz is he's a solid special teams player who makes solid tackles, and this week, making his fourth career start, should play nicely to his strengths. Let's look at how his abilities make him the Sleeper of the Week.

First off, the Broncos lead the league in rushing yards and are second in attempts - and appropriately, second-last in passing yardage and last in passing attempts. Against that kind of offense, you need a player that is a sure tackler, and can come up and make a stop in run support. Steltz may not be the most fleet of foot, and certainly can't play that well in long coverage, but he might be the surest tackler in the safety corps, and playing free safety Chris Conte over the top in Cover 1 should free up Steltz to play as the 8th man in the box.

I read a comment or two earlier this week that if Steltz leads the team in tackles, it's a sure loss, and I don't see why that's the case. If the safety's making a tackle, he's preventing points, especially if he's the last line of defense. With Steltz, he won't be. And lest we forget, he was the strong safety the majority of last week, when the defense allowed only ten points, and he still led the team in tackles. The majority of the time, allowing only ten points leads to a win. That's not saying that Steltz alone had that effect - of course, defense is a team effort - but the defense held up just fine with him last week.

And if he gets in front of one, I bet even he could catch a wobbling dead duck Tim Tebow pass.

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