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IDP Notes
Week 3

Week 3 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Notable Injuries

  • DL Justin Tuck, NYG - injured his left shoulder during SNF and is highly questionable this week. Various news sources are reporting he could miss a week or two, but there's no official word.

  • DT Peria Jerry, ATL - the Falcons' first-round pick was placed on the IR due to a left knee injury that is reportedly "bone-related" and not a torn ligament.

  • MLB Lofa Tatupu, SEA - after missing practice all last week with a lingering hamstring injury, Tatupu was removed after one series on Sunday.

  • OLB Ernie Sims, DET - out indefinitely with a "fairly significant" right shoulder injury, per HC Jim Schwartz's presser on Monday. Schwartz declined to give specifics. Sims has a fairly significant history of shoulder problems.

  • OLB Shawne Merriman, SD - was removed late in the game due to a groin strain and not his knee. Regardless, he's still looking for his first sack since 1/6/08.

  • NT Jamal Williams, SD - torn triceps ended his season, placed on IR last week.

  • SS Jermaine Phillips, TB - fractured left thumb ended his season, placed on IR.

  • CB Josh Wilson, SEA - out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Defensive Line

  • Last week I mentioned Bengals' DE Antwan Odom looking like solid waiver wire material after starting the season with a two-sack performance. If he is still available in your league, you'll have a little more competition to add him after a five-sack performance at Green Bay. After registering one sack in the first half, Odom abused replacement Daryn Colledge when veteran LT Chad Clifton left with an ankle injury on the first play from scrimmage of the second half.

  • DE Ray Edwards appear to finally be living up to his potential and cashing in on the benefit of playing with the star-studded DLine in Minnesota. He led the team in tackles on Sunday and has 14 (10 solo) and 1.5 sacks through the first two games.

  • While Darryl Tapp is the nominal pass rush specialist in Seattle, it is last year's first-round pick, Lawrence Jackson, who leads the team with 3 sacks as a reserve and has more potential as an every-down DE.

  • Former fourth pick overall, DE Gaines Adams is on the hot seat in Tampa Bay in his third season. At his Monday presser, HC Raheem Morris called out Adams for a lack of production and effort. Stylez G. White (formerly Greg White) and former Bronco Tim Crowder could be in line for more snaps opposite Jimmy Wilkerson.

  • With Justin Tuck hurting, bump up NYG DE Mathias Kiwanuka even if Tuck plays, because Tuck's snaps should at least be limited this week. Kiwanuka has been the odd man out since the return of Osi Umenyiora, but Kiwanuka has plenty of talent and this could be his opportunity to kick start his production.

  • Oakland LDE Greg Ellis has had no problems returning to playing with his hand down again. He had 2 more sacks on Sunday, giving him 3 on the year. The presence of Richard Seymour on the opposite side should help Ellis continue to face less chipping from the TE and double-teams.


  • 2008 undrafted free agent David Hawthorne replaced MLB Lofa Tatupu (hamstring) when he left after the first series. The team was already starting back-up Will Herring at OLB with LeRoy Hill (groin) expected out until October. The team added veteran super-sub D.D. Lewis last week, who was released in the preseason due to the progression of Hawthorne and Herring. However, after both struggled against the run on Sunday as Frank Gore ran wild on the Seahawks, they'll be on a short leash as with Lewis back.

  • After a quiet debut as primarily an OLB in Mike Nolan's new 3-4 defense in Denver, Elvis Dumervil erupted with 4 sacks and a forced fumble among 7 solo tackles against Cleveland. Dumervil is particularly appealing if he's still eligible as a DL in your league.

  • Anyone wondering if Ray Lewis is no longer special at age 34 got their answer with less than a minute to play in San Diego on Sunday. With the Chargers mounting a potential game-winning drive in the shootout, the game came down to a fourth-and-two at Baltimore's 15-yard line. Lewis blew through the middle like he was shot out of cannon and erased SD RB Darren Sproles for a loss of five to seal the victory. Through two games, a guy who got little respect in redrafts this year has 18 tackles (14 solo), a forced fumble and pass defensed.

  • Undrafted rookie free agent Marcus Buggs had a decent showing as the replacement for Paul Posluszny (broken arm) in the middle for Buffalo. Buggs had 6 tackles (3 solo, including one TFL) as basically a two-down player. WLB Keith Ellison remains the tackle-machine, racking up double-digit stops for the second game in a row. He is second in the league with 27 tackles (17 solo). Buggs likely gets the start again next week, with moving Ellison to the middle and plugging in undrafted free agent Ashlee Palmer at WLB if Buggs falters. Buggs doesn't play the nickel, Ellison and SLB Kawika Mitchell do.

  • As the replacement at MIKE for Brian Urlacher (IR - wrist) in Chicago, Hunter Hillenmeyer had the type of solid, but unspectacular, effort that typified his work when he was the starting SLB. He had 4 solo tackles and a nice pass deflection over the middle on a third-and-ten in the third quarter reminiscent of the important type of play (sans the extreme athleticism) that Urlacher contributed. Hillenmeyer was good enough to earn another start, but lacks fantasy appeal.

  • After being a back-up in Dallas for four years, Kevin Burnett came out of his first preseason with the Chargers anointed an every-down player at ILB after flashing the potential that made him a second-round pick in 2005. However, after struggling in the season opener, Burnett saw his snaps decrease in Week 2 with Tim Dobbins seeing more work. Just like the situation with Matt Wilhelm and Dobbins in recent history, the platoon diminishes the value of both players.

  • As discussed last week, Gary Guyton was the leader of New England's defense with Jerod May (right MCL sprain) out. Guyton led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo), staying on the field most of the game with the green dot on his helmet.

  • The Patriots traded a conditional seventh-round pick to Baltimore for former sixth-round pick Prescott Burgess. Burgess, a special teams standout, add some depth with Jerod Mayo out, but I don't read in to it any additional concern about the severity of Mayo's injury. Burgess has flashed some talent in previous preseasons and helps on special teams with other young players moving to more prominent roles on defense. I think it was just an opportunistic acquisition by HC Bill Belichick.

  • Detroit HC Jim Swartz has indicated rookie third-round pick DeAndre Levy, 2008 second-round pick Jordon Dizon and converted safety Darnell Bing are all possible replacements while Ernie Sims (shoulder) is out. I'd probably rank their chances in that order. Dizon works in the nickel and is already shaping up as a career back-up. Bing is already a journeyman in just his fourth year. Meanwhile Levy impressed in camp and preseason and has the best size of the three. He should at least be the two-down player against the run if it is a platoon situation.

  • Kansas City ILB Derrick Johnson was again out of the starting lineup, but rang up his first sack of the season. Johnson isn't worth playing until this nonsense stops, but don't drop him. He's clearly the most talented LB on the Chiefs and should be out of HC Todd Haley's doghouse soon.

  • NYG WLB Michael Boley seamlessly moved in to the starting lineup on SNF after missing the opener due to a one-game suspension. He led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo) and may still be lingering on waiver wires because he was out to start the season.

  • I had high hopes for first-round pick Brian Orakpo in Washington, but the challenge of converting to a LB, further complicated by the team wanting him to lineup as a DE in passing situations, appears to be too much for the rookie. This is always the danger with tweeners. Orakpo may ultimately pan out, but the team might be best served by limiting him to a pass rush specialist role this year. Don't give up on him in dynasty leagues, but you can probably look elsewhere in redrafts, especially if he is only eligible as a LB.

  • We need an APB for LaMarr Woodley in Pittsburgh. He's definitely a boom or bust player any given game, since his value comes strictly from sacks and forced fumbles, but just 2 tackles (1 solo) through two games is brutal. In tackle-heavy leagues, he probably isn't a good fit in all but the deepest. In leagues that weight sacks heavily, he is probably worth continuing to gamble on because a two-sack, forced fumble game could happen any given Sunday.

Defensive Back

  • Tampa Bay wanted to move SS Jermaine Phillips to WLB in the offseason, but that plan was scuttled when Tanard Jackson was suspended for the first four games of the season. Now that Phillips (IR - thumb) is done for the season, they move to Plan C. Sabby Piscitelli, who was originally slated to play SS with Jackson at FS before the suspension, moves from FS to SS to replace Phillips and Will Allen joins the starting lineup at FS.

  • The loss of MLB Paul Posluszny and the sub-par skill of his replacement, Marcus Buggs, has benefit safeties Donte Whitner and Bryan Scott in Buffalo. Scott had 9 tackles (6 solo) and Whitner had 8 (5 solo). Both also had a pick, Whitner returning his 76 yards for a TD. Either is a strong acquisition, even once Pos returns, if they are sitting on the waiver wire and you need help at DB.

  • Veteran Tyrone Carter replaced Troy Polamalu at SS and was laying out big hits, particularly on Chicago TE Greg Olson. However, Carter hurt his thigh on one of them. Polamalu is not expected back for several more weeks, so it would likely be Ryan Mundy getting the call if Carter can't go.

  • Already without SS Atari Bigby (knee), who is expected to miss a few weeks, his replacement Aaron Rouse suffered a neck stinger and FS Nick Collins injured his shoulder Sunday. Collins seems the more concerning injury for this week. Jarrett Bush and Derrick Martin, both converted corners, are the only depth left at safety. The team brought in some free agents on Tuesday, but no one has signed as we went to press.

  • Oakland reserve DB Michael Huff is working his way back to relevance in a tie for the league lead with 3 interceptions. He had two picks off KC QB Matt Cassel on Sunday a broke up a fourth-down pass late in the game to seal the victory. Huff, the seventh pick overall in 2006, was a sporadic producer as a starter who struggled to identify as just a corner or safety his first two seasons. Then he was benched early last year, shortly after HC Tom Cable took over, and appeared down the road of being a bust. Now he has worked his way back in to a platoon with starting FS Hiram Eugene, with Huff replacing him in passing situations. In league's heavy on big plays on light on tackle scoring, Huff is worth starting now. In other deep leagues, he's a nice addition if you can stash him on your bench. With Eugene battling a lower leg strain, Huff could be in line for more work as soon as this week.

  • Chicago replaced Nathan Vasher with Zack Bowman in the starting lineup. Bowman has been incredibly impressive in a short stint last year and this preseason. He slipped in the draft last year over injury concerns, but has huge potential.

Position Eligibility

The complex and variable defensive schemes employed in the NFL have made identifying the position of a player ambiguous, at best, on some teams. If your league bases position eligibility solely as listed on your stat provider’s website, it is a good time to take stock of your roster and the waiver wire for players who may be recognized at a more beneficial position based on your scoring system. For example, in leagues where sacks are undervalued, a player who is listed as a DE, but will be more often line up as a LB, is likely to have more tackles and be more valuable, even though he may rush the passer less.

More on Rookies

For more detail on the top new faces, check out my preseason preview of IDP rookies