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IDP Notes
Week 2

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • No byes Week Two
  • BAL MLB Lewis hurts arm, leaves game
  • NYG DE Umenyiora suffers knee injury
  • IND LB Keiaho has nice debut, but dislocates elbow
  • BUF D continues to be devastated by injuries
  • CHI lose FS Brown and DT Dvoracek for season
  • SD new ILB starter Cooper impressive
  • HOU DE Williams silences critics for a week
  • MIN D dominates ATL, 6 sacks and two picks for TDs
  • NE CB Hobbs sets record with 108-yard KO return
  • ATL DT Coleman has knee procedure, could miss a month
  • MIA loses FS Bell, add two vets at safety
  • HOU loses another safety, adds another
  • TEN acquires DE Bryce Fisher from SEA
  • NO CB Jason David helps old team more than new one
Week 2 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Karlos Dansby led the team with 11 tackles (4 solo). He also forced a fumble and shared a sack with Bert Berry. DE Darnell Dockett and ILB Gerald Hayes both had a solo sack.

As expected, Rod Hood and Eric Green both started over Antrel Rolle at the corners. Both played pretty well, but Green failed to pick up a fumble forced by FS Terrence Holt in the end zone at the end of the game that could have won it for the Cardinals.

After an unexpectedly quick recovery from a torn right quad, there was hope DT Rod Coleman would be ready for the start of the season. That changed right before the season started when Coleman had surgery on 8/31 to clean up his right knee. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. This is a huge loss for a team, particularly their pass rush, where he contributes as not only an interior rusher that can get to the QB, but in drawing double-teams to free up their ends. Jonathan Babineaux replaced him in the starting lineup and had 2 solo tackles. The front seven had no sacks and generated little pressure. One of the rare times they did, MIN rookie RB Adrian Peterson took a screen 60 yards for a score when SLB Michael Boley got caught between blitzing and picking Peterson up. First-round pick DE Jamaal Anderson started at LDE, opposite John Abraham. Both had 2 tackles (1 solo).

Despite losing the battle for starting FS to Chris Crocker in the preseason, Jimmy Williams got the start opening day as Crocker was inactive with a bone bruise in his knee suffered in the preseason finale. Williams had 5 tackles (4 solo) and was replaced at times by rookie CB Chris Houston in some three-corner sets. Antoine Harris played the nickel ahead of Houston and CLE cast-off Lewis Sanders held off Houston to start opposite DeAngelo Hall. Hall had the only turnover for the Falcons when he made a diving catch on a ball deflected up by MIN TE Visanthe Shiacoe.

MLB Keith Brooking led the team with 8 tackles (3 solo). Demorrio Williams started at WLB, but was benched in favor of rookie Stephen Nicholas in the second half…presumably to try to help their dismal run defense. Nicholas finished with 5 tackles (3 solo), while Williams had 2 (1 solo). The fantasy value of both players plummets if Nicholas is a two-down LB and Williams limited to a situational pass rusher.

FS Ed Reed had just one solo tackle, but the earlier indications are good he is back to his playmaking ways. Reed had a nice return on a fumble recovery and two nice punt returns, including one for a 63-yard TD. Reed was forced in to duty when B.J. Sams was injured. It was Reed’s first punt return since 2003. Sams is out for the year, so the team might go with rookie Yamon Figurs. If Reed keeps the job, his value gets a boost in league’s the count return yardage.

MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo), but left the game with an arm injury. Original reports about his season in jeopardy with a full tear of the triceps seem exaggerated. Apparently it is a less severe strain and Lewis hopes to play this week.

After losing DE Ryan Denney for the season and WLB Keith Ellison indefinitely in the preseason, the hits kept coming to the Bills defense in Week One. FS Ko Simpson broke his ankle and will miss the rest of the season. CB Jason Webster broke his forearm. WLB Coy Wire, who was already replacing starter Keith Ellison who was inactive due to a high ankle sprain, is out indefinitely with a MCL sprain in his knee. Jim Leonhard replaced Simpson and proved to be quite a find. He led the team in tackles with 13 (8 solo) and had his first career pick. The undersized former UDFA may be a nice waiver wire acquisition. Mario Haggan replaced Coy Wire and has value by default as the starting WLB until Elllison or Wire returns. Ashton Youboty and Kiwaukee Thomas will see more work at corner in place of Webster.

Former first round pick DT John McCargo got his first career sack after missing most of his rookie season.

After drafting DE Charles Johnson on Day One with the expectation Mike Rucker would not be back from a torn ACL and MCL, as well as the positive development of Stanley McClover, neither was active Sunday and Rucker was. McClover is battling a groin injury and Johnson, who doesn’t add value on special teams, has been slow to develop. Rucker finished with just one assist and a QB hurry.
MLB Dan Morgan made it through one game, leading the team in tackles with 7 (5 solo), as well as breaking up a pass. Rookie WLB Jon Beason had 3 solo tackles.

Nate Salley, who appeared to be the starter at FS until a few last minute moves, was inactive due to knee problems. Special teams ace Deke Cooper started at FS and the recently acquired Chris Harris started at SS. Although pass coverage is known as a liability for both, they contributed to never allowing the high-powered Rams passing game get on track. Both Harris and Cooper also forced STL RB Steven Jackson to fumble in the third quarter.

After an injury-plagued season last year that contributed to losing his starting role, Ken Lucas was back opposite Chris Gamble as a starter. Richard Marshall, who broke out as a rookie last year, was the nickel, but still more productive, fantasy-wise, than Lucas.

The defense stifled SD MVP Ladainian Tomlinson most of the game, but couldn’t overcome critical turnovers by their offense and were eventually worn out by the lopsided time of possession. The biggest news was the loss of two key players. After tallying a pick and fumble recovery, FS Mike Brown left the game with a torn right ACL. For the second consecutive season the Bears lose Brown in the first game of the year. His presence as the leader of the secondary and his knack for the ball won’t be replaced by Danieal Manning, who once again replaces him in centerfield. They also lost DT Dusty Dvoracek, who missed all of his rookie season last year. Dvoracek looked like a fine run-stuffer with a nasty streak. Darwin Walker will replace him as a starter, but Walker is more of a pass rusher.

As expected, Mark Anderson replaced Alex Brown as the starter at RDE. Anderson had 4 solo tackles, including a sack. Brown rotated on both sides, including replacing Adewale Ogunleye in some passing situations. Ogunleye finished with 5 solo tackles, including a sack, and Brown had 3 solo tackles. Brown also blocked a FG.

HC Marvin Lewis has been unable to make this defense the immovable object he established in Baltimore, but even when they allowed yards and points, they had previously been sufficient when they forced turnovers, something they got away from last year. They got back to it Monday night, forcing six turnovers and knocking BAL QB Steve McNair out of the game.

DE Robert Geathers was everywhere, totaling 4 tackles (3 solo), a sack, another QB pressure, a pick, another pass defensed, a fumble, and a fumble recovery.

WLB Landon Johnson led the team with 12 tackles (6 solo, including one on special teams) and recovered 2 fumbles. MLB Ahmad Brooks looked good with 6 tackles (5 solo), a sack, and a forced fumble. Lemar Marshall was the surprise starter at SLB, where he forced a fumble and put some pressure on McNair as a pass rusher. With Rashad Jeanty out again this week (calf surgery), Marshall should start again and may retain the job this season.

SS Dexter Jackson appeared to suffer a leg injury during the game and was down for some time, but is not on the injury report this week and has practiced.

D’Qwell Jackson led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo) and Andra Davis had 6 solo tackles, but the inside LB situation looks like a deep rotation, stripping fantasy value from the starters. Leon Williams and Chaun Thompson looked like they deserved more time. Williams had 4 solo tackles and Thompson shared a sack with OLB Antwan Peek. Peek played very well starting in place of Willie McGinest. Peek also had 3 QB hurries, 2 solo tackles, a pass defensed, and a fumble recovery. However, he also negated a Kamerion Wimbley sack with an offsides in the first quarter.

With OLB Greg Ellis inactive due to problems with his Achilles’ tendon, rookie Anthony Spencer started the season opener. He had just one assist. Kevin Burnett and Bobby Carpenter mostly saw work on just special teams. Ellis practiced Wednesday, but is a game-time decision. Spencer would replace him again if he’s out. NT Jason Ferguson tore his right biceps in the game and is done for the season. Converted DE Jay Ratliff replaced him and totaled 3 solo tackles, including the only sack of the game for Dallas.

CB Terence Newman was inactive with a plantar fascia tear in his right foot. Jacques Reeves started in his place and was beaten regularly by NYG WR Plaxico Burress, but also got little help from the safeties, who might have all of the blame for at least one of the three scores by Burress. Of course, that doesn’t matter in fantasy football as much as SS Roy Williams leading the team with 9 tackles (8 solo), including one on special teams. Newman practiced Wednesday and hopes to play this week.

After unimpressive reports from the preseason, new MLB D.J. Williams was on the field for every defensive play and finished with a team-high 9 tackles (7 solo). He also had a 14-yard sack on the first series, after the Bills had driven well in to Denver territory that helped calm down the defense and prevent an early score.

SS John Lynch had the only other sack, as DC Jim Bates had to use blitz packages to bring pressure since the front four, despite all the off-season changes, still struggled to do so. DE Simeon Rice saw limited snaps as a situational pass rusher, as he is still learning the defense, and finished with just one solo tackle. John Engelberger started at LDE and had 5 tackles (2 solo), but came out in passing situations. Rookie Tim Crowder, who impressed in the preseason, was inactive with an ankle sprain. First-round pick Jarvis Moss, who was limited by knee problems in camp, was active in his opportunities, finishing with 4 tackles (3 solo). Elvis Dumervil started at LDE and had one of the biggest plays of the game. Not fooled on the set up for a screen, he made an athletic play to tip the pass to himself and make a pick to end the first half after the Bills had driven in to Denver territory. Dumervil also had 2 solo tackles and a QB hurry. Dumervil still appears to have the most value on the Bronco DLine this year, but Moss definitely looks to be in the mix to produce if given the opportunity.

Starting corners Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly were on the field for every defensive snap, and they needed to be. Dominique Foxworth sprained his ankle in the game and Karl Paymah was inactive due to a concussion.

The promise DE Dewayne White has shown the last few years as a reserve in TB was realized in his first season opener as full-time starter. On the opposite side, Kalimba Edwards, who has failed to live up to his potential the last few years, started off with a bang as well. White forced turnovers on consecutive drive late in the fourth quarter and Edwards did on the final drive to seal the victory. An interception by White in Oakland territory was converted to a FG and an eight point lead at the two-minute warning. On the next play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, White stripped the ball from OAK QB Josh McNown on a sack. OAK TE Zach Miller picked it up, but White forced him to fumble as well, and White recovered that fumble himself. On one play, White had 2 solo tackles, a sack, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Detroit converted that to a TD. On the next drive, Edwards ended the game sacking McNown and forcing a fumble that OAK meaninglessly recovered as time expired. Edwards had another sack and forced fumble earlier in the game.

MLB Paris Lenon led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo). Lenon and WLB Ernie Sims continue to remain in for the nickel package.

Green Bay
The defense overall looked very good and although they only registered one sack, by reserve DT Corey Williams, the front four kept the pressure on PHI QB Donovan McNabb all afternoon. RDE Cullen Jenkins and pass rush specialist Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who Jenkins replaced as a starter, looked particularly crisp. Jenkins slid inside in passing situations and KGB came off the edge.

After a bit of a decline in fantasy performance last year, MLB Nick Barnett got off to a quick start. After the Packers finally fumbled a muffed punt in to the end zone and fell on it for the first score of the game, Barnett picked off a pass on the ensuing drive to help keep the momentum. GB converted the turnover into a FG. Barnett also led the team with 13 tackles (9 solo).

In his first career start, SS Atari Bigby was second on the team with 9 tackles (5 solo, including one on special teams). CB Al Harris hyperextended his right elbow while blocking on the punt return team and left for the sidelines appearing in considerable pain. He left the game, but returned with the arm fully wrapped and has been wearing a brace in practice.

DE Mario Williams finally had the game that showed people why he was the first overall pick last year. He had 5 tackles (4 solo), including two sacks and another QB hit, but the big play came when nickel CB Jamar Fletcher stripped a ball that Williams picked up and took in for a score.

After just being acquired in a trade before the season started to help supplant the loss of SS Glenn Earl, the plan was to ease Michael Boulware in to the defense. The timeframe was advanced on Sunday when Jason Simmons tore his patellar tendon and was lost for the season. Boulware should start this week. Wil Demps was signed to add depth.

DE Dwight Freeney starts the season sackless again, but gave some hope that he will return to a more productive fantasy player this season. He was credited with 3 QB hurries, but was regularly putting pressure on NO QB Drew Brees, contributing to the Saints inability to throw deep. Freeney was held relentlessly by Jamaal Brown, shocking never getting a penalty, and drew a false start on him once. On the other side, DE Robert Mathis registered the only sack, also forcing the fumble and recovering it himself.

After losing DT Anthony McFarland for the season with a knee injury and not adding another DT, it appeared the starting replacement would come from veterans Darrell Reid and Dan Klecko, or third-round pick Quinn Pitcock. Instead, the Colts may have another brilliant UDFA find. Rookie Ed Johnson from Penn State got the start, tallying 3 solo tackles and anchoring a front seven that played much better than expected against the run. Johnson has little fantasy value, but could be a big contributor to the defense.

Rookie Freddie Keiaho is well on his way to being the next productive Dungy WLB. He had 6 solo tackles, including dropping Reggie Bush for a loss, and an interception on a nice athletic leap while patrolling the middle of the field on a third-and-long. However, he dislocated his right elbow during the game. He was able to return (it happened in the first quarter and was thought to be just a stinger), so he hopes to play this week.

New CB starters Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden got off to a good start. Jackson led the team in tackles with 12 (8 solo), including a forced fumble, and Hayden had 9 tackles (6 solo). Both contributed to nearly holding Brees to the worst yardage per completion in NFL history. So did FS Bo Sanders, whose health will be key this season as his veteran presence is needed as glue in the secondary. Sanders finished with 9 tackles (5 solo) and a pass defensed.

With multiple players on the front seven injured in the preseason or coming off injuries, the Jags were uncharacteristically vulnerable to the run. Even if he wasn’t 100% in real football terms, DT Marcus Stround had 7 tackles (6 solo), including a sack. MLB Mike Peterson led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo). OLB Clint Ingram was sidelined with an ankle sprain and veteran Pat Thomas got the start over rookie Justin Durant, who played mostly on special teams.

Although he didn’t start and was battling an ankle sprain, rookie Reggie Nelson saw most of the work at SS. He had 7 solo tackles, including a sack and forced fumble. Veteran Sammy Knight started at SS and Gerald Sensabaugh started at FS.

First round pick Reggie Nelson is expected to have recovered from an ankle sprain in the second preseason game to be in the starting FS on opening day. Gerald Sensabaugh should start at SS. The team picked up Sammy Knight during the preseason, who is insurance against either of the young players struggling.

Kansas City
New MLB Napoleon Harris led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass. OLB Derrick Johnson, who says he is completely healthy for the first time in his pro career, had 7 solo tackles. In his return to the Chiefs, OLB Donnie Edwards had a sack among his 5 tackles (4 solo) and a fumble recovery.

CB Patrick Surtain left the game with a shoulder injury and is questionable this week.

The Dolphins and fantasy owners of Jason Taylor held their collective breath when he was slow to get up with an apparent upper leg injury in the first half. Taylor would return and finished with 5 tackles (4 solo), including a sack and a forced fumble. However, the news wasn’t as good for SS Yeremiah Bell. He tore his left Achilles’ tendon in the third quarter. Tavares Tillman was his back-up, but the team signed the recently cut Donovin Darius and Lamont Thompson.

MLB Zach Thomas led the team with 13 tackles (8 solo), including a sack. OLB Joey Porter played despite battling a sore right knee, but did not start. He had 3 solo tackles.

DT Kevin Williams quickly took the pressure off young QB Tavaris Jackson when he sucked a pass he batted in like a vacuum and rumbled 54 yards for a score on the first drive of the game by the Falcons. The last score was by the defense too. CB Antoine Winfield grabbed a pass that bounced off the hands of ATL WR Michael Jenkins and returned it 14 yards for a TD. Winfield also had 6 solo tackles, including one on special teams.

After not being put on the PUP while still coming back from a knee injury, DE Erasmus James was a surprise scratch. Ray Edwards started at RDE as expected, but did not have one of the six sacks by the Vikings. He had 3 solo tackles. Fourth-round pick DE Brian Robinson kept rolling off his impressive preseason, getting 2 sacks. Even LDE Kenechi Udeze had his first sack in almost two years.
MLB E.J. Henderson had 2 sacks among his 8 tackles (7 solo). Before Sunday, Henderson had 5 career sacks in three seasons. After missing his entire rookie year with a blown knee, Chad Greenway impressed. He led the team with 10 tackles (4 solo) and forcing a fumble.

New England
After a holdout through the entire preseason, CB Asante Samuel was signed right before the season and activated just in time to be eligible Sunday. To make room on the roster, the team released Tory James. Samuel didn’t start, but saw work most of the game. He had 2 solo tackles and gave up a TD to NYJ WR Laveranues Coles on a nice fade pass. At the other corner, Ellis Hobbs had 6 tackles (3 solo), but his big play was an NFL-record 108-yard kickoff return for a TD. That also ties Chicago’s Devin Hester and Nathan Vasher for longest play in NFL history (both returned missed FGs).

Jarvis Green picked up where he left off last season, posting 2 sacks among his 6 tackles (5 solo), including temporarily knocked NYJ QB Chad Pennington out of the game. I counted 2.5 sacks for Green, but the Gamebook indicated 2 for him. It also showed 2.5 sacks for LB Mike Vrabel, but I counted two for him, one solo, one shared with Green, and one shared with DE Ty Warren. Watch for a scoring correction. Vrabel also totaled 7 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble on his solo sack. One solo by Green knocked Jets QB Chad Pennington out of the game with an apparent ankle injury. Pennington returned and led a TD drive, but left once the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter. With his pass rush ability, Green is the rare 3-4 DE that could have decent fantasy value.

Vrabel and reserve LB Junior Seau both lined up on offense for a goal-line run by FB Heath Evans. FS Eugene Wilson led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo) and also broke up a pass.

New Orleans
With the team looking for an upgrade their weak secondary, they signed former IND RFA Jason David to an offer sheet which not only cost them a big contract, but a fourth-round pick. A few times in the first game of the season against his old team, the Saints may have wished they were facing David instead of playing with him. He was burnt by Marvin Harrison once and Reggie Wayne twice on long TD passes. David didn’t get a lot of help from his safeties, either. Manning was starring down his receiver on a couple of those. However, David did have a nice strip after a catch by Wayne and showed good awareness spinning off the tackle to pick up the ball and return it 55 yards for the team’s only TD. Fred Thomas, who David replaced as a starter, was inactive.

After a strong preseason, DE Will Smith got off to a disappointing start. He had 2 solo tackles and was credited with 3 QB hurries, but rookie LT Tony Ugoh prevented Smith from making an impact on the game. The team had no sacks in the game.

SLB Scott Fujita led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) and also broke up a pass. Mark Simoneau started at MLB as expected and saw most of the work, but was pushed around, particularly IND C Jeff Saturday. Brian Simmons was limited to special teams, where he had a solo tackle.

New York Giants
After a breakout 2005, DE Osi Umenyiora had a disappointing season last year battling hip problems that cost him five games and parts of others. This spring he jokingly declared himself the best DE in the NFL, but doesn’t look like he’ll have the chance to prove it soon. He left the first quarter in Sunday night’s game with an MCL injury. There is a stream of misinformation on whether it is a strain or a more severe tear and the length of time he is expected to miss (day-to-day up to two months) between his agent, the media, and Giants, who have not even officially ruled him as out for this week. Definitely avoid him this week. The end result was more snaps for Justin Tuck, who had a sack among his 4 solo tackles. Tuck should start at RDE opposite Michael Strahan.

Mathias Kiwanuka had 4 solo tackles, including one on special teams, in his debut as the starting SLB. HC Tom Coughlin has left the door open for him to move back to DE depending on the status of Umenyiora. His value would increase only if your league considers him a DL.

New SS James Butler had 8 tackles (6 solo, including one on special teams). FS Gibril Wilson had 8 solo and a pick. MLB Antonio Pierce had 8 solo, rounding out the trio that led the team in tackles.

New York Jets
With no sacks or turnovers and NE QB Tom Brady picking them apart, there weren’t many highlights for the Jets D. The top performance was by DE Kenyon Coleman, who replaced Kimo von Oelhoffen as the starting RDE in their base 3-4. Coleman led the team with a career-high 12 tackles (10 solo). Mostly a back-up during his career, the journeyman had his best season last year when he had 30 total tackles and 4 sacks with DAL. I wouldn’t rush to pick him up, I don’t see this being a regular occurrence.

Rookie CB Darrelle Revis was expected to start and with Andre Dyson inactive with a foot injury, there was no doubt. Revis finished with 7 tackles (5 solo). He had a solid first game, especially compared to the misplays by veteran Dave Barrett.

As expected LB Eric Barton started inside next to Jonathan Vilma. Rookie David Harris saw limited work. Vilma and OLB Victor Hobson were the most productive, with 6 tackles each.

MLB Kirk Morrison has been a steady tackle machine, but one knock on him is he doesn’t turn in the big plays. He started this season off differently, breaking up two passes, including one deep in Oakland territory in the first quarter. He also led the team with 9 solo tackles. WLB Thomas Howard had 6 tackles (5 solo), including a sack.

Michael Huff remained the starter at SS and had 6 solo tackles.

Not allowing an offensive TD, the defense did their job as two muffed punts and an ineffective offense in QB Donovan McNabb’s first game back from his knee injury last year caused their loss. The pass rush was particularly effective, getting to GB QB Brett Favre four times and pressuring him several others. DT Mike Patterson, looking like he is taking the next step in to being a dominant DT after an impressive rookie season, led the way. Patterson led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo), including a sack. LDE Jevon Kearse, also returning from injury, gave the Eagles fans a scare when he came up hopping in pain after sharing a sack with RDE Trent Cole. However, Kearse returned the next series and would later recover a fumble forced by Cole on a solo sack late in the fourth quarter.
CB Sheldon Brown had an interception and 7 solo tackles. On the other side, Lito Sheppard left the game in the first half after suffering a sprained right MCL. He will miss at least this week. Will James will replace him.

New MLB Omar Gaither disappointed in his debut, posting just 3 tackles (2 solo) on defense. He had another solo on special teams.

They so thoroughly dominated the Browns, it was hard to separate the wheat from chaffe. For example, Ryan Clark held on to the starting FS job over sophomore Anthony Smith, but the two both stood out in the rotation. Clark had 3 solo tackles, including forcing a fumble on a sack. Smith had 4 solo tackles and forced a fumble. In total, the Steelers had 6 sacks and forced five turnovers. One player off to a good start that looks to be the real deal is OLB James Harrison. He did a good Joey Porter impression, who Harrison replaced at ROLB, in his first game. Harrison led the team with 7 solo tackles, including a sack.

First-round pick LB Lawrence Timmons, who struggled with injuries and learning the defense, saw action mostly on special teams. Fellow rookie LaMarr Woodley saw work in the rotation at OLB and had a tackle.

St. Louis
SS Oshiomogho Atogwe led the team with 10 solo tackles. However, he also had a pass interference penalty on an incomplete third-and-two in the first quarter that kept alive an eventual TD drive by Carolina.

WLB Pisa Tinoisamoa sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter, returned to the game, but then had to leave for good. Chris Draft replaced him. Tinoisamoa was on crutches Monday, has yet to practice this week, and is listed as questionable. However, he is an extremely tough player and likely to be in there this week. SLB Brandon Chillar had 8 tackles 6 solo, with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Reserve DT Claude Wroten was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy this week (after Week One).

San Diego
New ILB starter Stephen Cooper is off to an impressive start. He led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo), forced a fumble on one play and recovered one on another. Matt Wilhelm wasn’t bad either, finishing with 5 tackles (4 solo) and recovering a muffed punt on special teams. With more playmaking ability, Cooper looks to have the better fantasy potential of the two.

Despite playing NT, last year Jamal Williams translated the value he brings in real football terms in to decent fantasy production. More than a space-eater, his explosive and strength allow him to beat the double-teams he is meant to draw. He is off to a good start this year, posting 4 solo tackles and forcing a fumble. One of his biggest plays doesn’t show up on the box score. He blew up the middle on a fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter, allowing ends Igor Olshansky and Luis Castillo to make the stop and end any chance of a comeback for the Bears. If you segregate DE and DT, Williams isn’t a strong consistent play at DT, but his big play potential could pay off any week you don’t have a more favorable match-up to play.

Clinton Hart started at SS as expected, but rookie Eric Weddle rotated in at different places in multiple packages. Weddle had his first career sack among his 3 solo tackles and was used to rush the passer a few times.

San Francisco
First round pick LB Patrick Willis wasted little time making an impression. He led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo), forced a fumble, and applied some good pressure when asked to blitz. He is the real deal.

After what appeared to be an anomaly of a season last year, CB Walt Harris is out to prove people wrong. He started the year with a pick on an outstanding break and a nice 23-yard return.

DE Patrick Kerney made a good first impression on his new team with 5 tackles (2 solo), including 1.5 sacks. New starter DE Darryl Tapp had 4 tackles (2 solo), with half a sack and a pass defensed. His starting job was secured this week when Bryce Fisher was traded to Tennessee. This also opens up more opportunities for Jason Babin, acquired for Michael Boulware from Houston before the season started.

MLB Lofa Tatupu tied CB Kelly Jennings for the team lead with 8 tackles, but all for Tatupu were solo. Tatupu also forced 2 fumbles and had a QB pressure. OLB Julian Peterson had 2 sacks among his 7 solo tackles, also forcing and recovering a fumble. OLB Leroy Hill also had 7 tackles (5 solo) and was on crutches this week with an apparent foot injury, although there has been no indication of concern for his status this week.

Tampa Bay
Despite cutting Simeon Rice and losing Patrick Chukwurah to a MCL injury for a few weeks, first-round pick Gaines Adams still did not start. Veteran tweener Kevin Carter started at RDE and Greg Spires retained his LDE job with the first team. Adams saw work in as a pass specialist, with Carter sliding inside. Carter had 2 tackles (1 solo) and a QB hit, while Adams had an assist. Spries was the most productive, with 5 tackles (4 solo), including a sack, and a pass defended. Instead, FS Tanard Jackson became the first Buc rookie in 11 years to start a season opener. He had 5 solo tackles (including 2 on special teams) and broke up a pass.

MLB Barrett Ruud erased some doubts about his status with the addition of Jeremiah Trotter. Rudd led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo), forced a fumble, and had a fumble recovery. Trotter was inactive. SS Jermaine Phillips made a statement about keeping his job (over rookie Sabby Piscitelli), as well. Phillips had 10 tackles (8 solo), including a sack.

CB Brian Kelly is questionable with a groin this week. Sammy Davis was brought back as insurance.

Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy rotated at DE opposite Kyle VandenBosch. Both Odom and LaBoy had a sack. That didn’t stop the team for trading an undisclosed draft pick for SEA DE Bryce Fisher, who lost his starting job this year.

Cortland Finnegan started at corner opposite Nick Harper. Rookie Michael Griffin mostly saw work on special teams, including as the primary kick returner, a role he never played in college. His first return was for 30 yards, but he fumbled at the end, although Tennessee recovered. New DT Corey Simon saw just a handful of snaps. Like for Griffin, as the Titans dominated the time of possession, deep rotations weren’t needed.

After just three starts in his first three NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Ryan Fowler has beat out last year’s fourth-round pick, Stephen Tulloch, for the starting MLB job. As the Titan’s run a lot of nickel as their base, even on running downs, their MLB has typically been of little fantasy value. Stud WLB Keith Bulluck is the only LB who never comes off the field.

WLB Rocky McIntosh carried over his strong play from the preseason in to the opener. He tied for the team lead with 12 tackles (9 solo), including his first career sack and forced fumble. One assist was on special teams. London Fletcher-Baker also had 12 tackles (10 solo).

Fred Smoot started over Shawn Springs at corner opposite Carlos Rogers. Springs played nickel corner. This was a surprise, but there has been a lot of drama surrounding the aging Springs since last year. He had three injuries last year. A sports hernia and hamstring bothered him before a broken shoulder blade ended his season. He played in just nine games total. The team asked him to take a pay cut, which he refused, and then didn’t show up to OTA’s in the spring. There was also talk of moving him to safety. However, he was at camp and appeared to be set to remain a starter. After the game, HC Joe Gibbs talked about how Springs doesn’t seen as explosive, insinuating he may be bothered by injuries. Springs says he feels great. Springs has the highest base salary on the Redskins.