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Week 5: Injured defenders make a difference

10/2/2006

Most years a handful of surprises among fantasy defense/special teams units shakes up the rankings and allows commitment-shy owners to play the field for a while before settling down.

But with most of the NFL's projected top defenses chugging along as expected and the Seahawks, Bengals and Falcons approaching Week 5 byes, the pickings are fairly slim a month into the season. Under the circumstances, a normally viable unit's value could hinge on a seemingly minor flaw -- say, a single player injury. Here are four to consider moving forward:

Panthers LB Dan Morgan
Morgan has been sidelined since a concussion knocked him out of the Atlanta game in Week 1. It stands to reason that Carolina missed the speedy Morgan when the D was rung up for 252 rushing yards by the Falcons and, a week later, was gouged by Minnesota for 140.