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Tony Nowak | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

IDP Notes
Week 8

Bye Weeks: Falcons, Bears, Packers, Jets, Raiders, Buccaneers

Defensive Line

  • MIN DE Jared Allen had a couple more sacks, giving him 10 in the last five games, and increasing his league lead in the category to 11.5 sacks this season.

  • After ending a streak of 11 consecutive games with a sack in the previous contest, CAR DE Charles Johnson had a sack for the second straight game, and his sixth of the season. With the team showing some 3-4 fronts, tweener Antwan Applewhite has found a niche on his new team and got his first sack for them, forcing a fumble on it and also posting 5 tackles (3 solo). The situation appears a bane for the fantasy production of DE Greg Hardy.

  • PHI DE Trent Cole practiced over the bye week and is expected to play this week after missing a couple of games with a calf strain.

  • NYG DE Justin Tuck said he "hopes" to play this week, which alarmingly seems to be backing down a bit from his promise to play after the bye two weeks ago. He has returned to practice, after not playing since Week 3, still battling a neck stinger and groin strain.

  • ATL DE John Abraham got his third sack of the season and first since racking up a pair in the season opener. returned from a hip injury that kept him out of the previous game and had 2 solo tackles and a QB hit. After back-to-back games with sacks, DE Ray Edwards was held sackless. DT Corey Peters had his second sack of the season. He has both in the last three games.

  • SEA DE Chris Clemons had a pair of sacks for the second straight game (sandwiching their bye last week). On the other side, run-stuffer Red Bryant had 4 tackles (3 solo), half a sack, batted down a pass and blocked two field goals, but was ejected with about a minute left in the game after head-butting CLE TE Alex Smith, erasing the third-down sack by Clemons and any chance for a comeback by Seattle.

  • DET DT Ndamukong Suh and DE Cliff Avril both had their third sack of the season. Suh also had 5 tackles (4 solo).

  • DEN DE Elvis Dumervil left the game in fourth quarter with an ankle sprain that will be evaluated further this week. He is not expected to practice and looks doubtful for Sunday. After four games, he missed two with a shoulder injury, Dumervil is still looking for his first sack.

  • After missing three games for a team with playoff aspirations hoping he could recover, OAK DE Matt Shaughnessy was placed on the IR last week due to a shoulder injury. It appears DT Desmond Bryant will continue replace him at LDE in the base package, while SLB Kamerion Wimbley will move up with his hand on the ground or DE Jarvis Moss will replace Bryant in pass packages. The only fantasy potential there is if Wimbley begins to be recognized as a DE for your league.

  • WAS DE Adam Carriker had a sack and share another with S LaRon Landry. He is up to 4.5 sacks on the season, tied for the team lead, a new career high. A collegiate DE who had 16.5 sacks in his last two years at Nebraska, the former first-round pick of the Rams was miscast as a three-technique DT in St. Louis. He has begun to emerge as a five-technique DE in Washington's 3-4 since moving to it last season.

  • NYJ DL Mike DeVito did not play due to a knee injury. Rookie space-eater Kenrick Ellis, who was active for the first time in the previous game, got his first career start in place of DeVito on Sunday, but it didn't last long. He sprained his ankle on the first series of the game and did not return. Marcus Dixon replaced him the rest of the game.

  • TB DT Gerald McCoy remained inactive with a high-ankle sprain as the team heads to a bye this week. Rookie DE Adrian Clayborn notched his team-leading third sack of the season.

  • CHI reserve DT Amobi Okoye had his third sack of the season, giving him one in back-to-back games, as well. The role of the former first-round pick continues to grow and while early season breakout UT Henry Melton has been unspectacular lately, his backup in Okoye has been flashing playmaking ability.

  • PIT LDE Aaron Smith needs neck surgery and was placed on the IR for the third straight season. It is a disappointing ending to the career of the prototype 3-4 DE. Former first-round pick Evander Hood is now locked in as a starter for the rest of the season after spending most of the first half filling in as one with injuries to Smith and RDE Brett Keisel. This year's first-round pick, Cameron Heyward, is now the third DE. With NT Casey Hampton missing his third straight game with a shoulder injury and back up Chris Hoke also inactive with a stinger, Steve McLendon got the start at NT and posted 5 tackles (4 solo). Hampton is expected back this week.

  • BUF NT Kyle Williams isn't over his ankle injury, reported as a bone spur hitting his Achilles' tendon, after the bye and has already been ruled out for this week. Kellen Heard will continue to replace him.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: If someone gave up after the slow start by ATL DE Ray Edwards, he's worth a look in deeper leagues. JAX DE John Chick replaces PHI DE Phillip Hunt as my Ex-CFL Pass Rush Specialist Flavor of the Week for the deepest of dynasty leagues.


  • For the second straight week, CAR SLB (ILB in their 3-4 looks) James Anderson led the team with 12 tackles (10 solo), he also had a sack, recovered a fumble and broke up a pass. He leads the team with 59 tackles on the season. MLB/ILB Dan Connor posted double-digit tackles for the first time this season with 10 (8 solo). Claimed off the waivers from the Ravens last month, Jason Phillips replaced the unproductive Jason Williams at WLB in their base 4-3. With their ends playing OLB in 3-4 looks and reserve LB Thomas Williams playing in the nickel with Anderson, Phillips has little value. Anderson is the only fantasy-relevant LB in most leagues, with Connor having some value in deeper tackle-heavy leagues. Omar Gaither missed his second game with a left MCL sprain.

  • WAS ILB London Fletcher left Sunday's game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. It will have to be a serious one to keep him out this week, the iron man has never missed a game in his career. He led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo) and broke up a pass. Keyaron Fox replaced him to finish out the game. OLB Brian Orakpo had a sack, tying for the team lead with 4.5 on the season.

  • ATL MLB Curtis Lofton led the team with his fourth double-digit tackle game of the season, posting 10 (5 solo). He is third in the league in tackles with 64. WLB Sean Weatherspoon had 6 tackles (5 solo), broke up a pass and had his second sack of the season. He is fifth in the league in tackles with 60 so far.

  • DEN WLB D.J. Williams had a strip sack and recovered the fumble himself, giving him 2 sacks on the season and his second in as many games. He also had 5 tackles (3 solo). Rookie SLB Von Miller had his sixth sack of the season and has at least one in every game except the season opener. The team continues to use Joe Mays at MLB in the base defense and Wesley Woodyard replacing him in the nickel, cannibalizing the fantasy value of both.

  • CHI MLB Brian Urlacher broke up 2 passes, grabbing his third interception of the season on one of them, and had 5 tackles (3 solo). WLB Lance Briggs got his first pick of the season and almost took it to the house, getting dragged down at the TB one-yard line after a 35 yard return (although a penalty on the play took them back to midfield anyway). Briggs also had 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up another pass.

  • CLE SLB Scott Fujita was inactive after suffering a concussion in the previous game. Kaluka Maiava replaced him and posted just 1 solo on defense and another on special teams. WLB Chris Gocong had 4 solo tackles and a sack. MLB D'Qwell Jackson had just 5 tackles (4 solo) and recovered a fumble. The low tackles numbers can be attributed to just 17 minutes of possession for Seattle.

  • DET WLB DeAndre Levy posted double-digit tackles for the fourth straight game, leading the team with 11 (6 solo, including 1 on special teams). SLB Justin Durant returned from a concussion, after missing three games, and was back in the starting lineup, pushing Bobby Carpenter, who played well in place of Durant, back to a reserve role. Durant had 4 tackles (2 solo) and broke up a pass.

  • SEA MLB David Hawthorne filled up the box score, leading the team with 11 tackles (7 solo), his first sack of the season and his first pick of the season. He has plenty of opportunities, with Cleveland dominating possession for almost 43 minutes in the game.

  • PIT OLB James Harrison remained inactive with fractured right orbital socket and Lawrence Timmons continues to replace him on the right side and be a fantasy disappointment. Timmons had 3 solo tackles and a QB hit. On the other side, OLB LaMarr Woodley led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo) and a pair of sacks. He had 5.5 sacks in the last three games and is tied for fourth in the league. Harrison's back up, Jason Worilds, remains inactive with a groin injury. ILB James Farrior had a quite game for the first time since his role increased after Timmons was injured. Farrior had 3 solo tackles and broke up a pass.

  • BUF OLB Shawne Merriman was placed on the IR over the bye week, unable to overcome lingering issues with his surgically-repaired Achilles' tendon. Arthur Moats should move in to the starting lineup across from Chris Kelsay, who should be back from a calf strain this week. More snaps for sixth-round pick Danny Batten, as well. The team signed LB Antonio Coleman off the practice squad to take Merriman's roster spot.

  • TB MLB Mason Foster left the game in the first quarter after aggravating an ankle injury. He was replaced by Adam Hayward, who posted 5 solo tackles. SLB Quincy Black was back in the starting lineup, coming off his own ankle injury, sending Dekoda Watson back to the bench.

  • On the first series of the game Sunday, SDC ILB Donald Butler forced a fumble on NYJ TE Dustin Keller after a catch, recovered it and returned it 37 yards for a score. Butler also led the team in tackles with 9 (6 solo, including 1 on special teams). With a pick in the previous game, the 2010 third-round pick is starting to flash the playmaking ability he exhibited in college at Washington. OLB Shaun Phillips had a pair of sacks, giving him three on the season. Reserve OLB Larry English suffered a broken foot in the game and could be done for the season.

  • MIA OLB Cameron Wake had a pair of sacks and is now up to five on the season after a slow start. Another South Beach LB whose fantasy performance has been disappointing so far this season, ILB Karlos Dansby, had his best game of the season. Dansby had his first double-digit tackle game of the year, leading the team with 13 tackles (8 solo).

  • Two games after his breakout performance in his first career start, NYJ OLB Jamaal Westerman fell off the radar. Josh Mauga got the start in his place, opposite OLB Calvin Pace, and Westerman didn't come in until ILB David Harris left with a twisted ankle in the second quarter. Mauga slid inside and Westerman was on the edge. Harris returned in the third quarter and was fine to finish the game. With a bye this week, he should be fine for their next game. Westerman wasn't even the first choice as pass rush specialist, as Aaron Maybin had a sack, 2 QB hits, and 2 tackles (1 solo). It may be time to reconsider Maybin's value in sack-heavy leagues. In four games as a Jet, he has 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. He is tied with Pace for the team lead in sacks. HC Rex Ryan said Maybin's production has earned him more snaps. Harris finished with 3 tackles (2 solo), as did ILB Bart Scott, and Mauga had an assist, while Westerman put up a goose egg.

  • Despite New Orleans dominating the time of possession, IND MLB Pat Angerer had only 7 tackles (2 solo). He still leads the league in tackles with 80. WLB Kavell Conner had just 3 tackles (1 solo) and fell to fourth in the league in tackles.

  • HOU rookie OLB Brooks Reed began filling the big shoes of Mario Williams with his first career sack on Sunday. Reed also had 4 solo tackles. ILB Brian Cushing led the team with 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass. Not a lot of opportunities for the defense with the offense dominating time of possession.

  • TEN MLB Barrett Ruud left Sunday's game in the third quarter with a right shoulder stinger. He had 10 tackles (8 solo) before leaving. Tim Shaw replaced him, but Ruud is expected back this week.

  • KC ILB Derrick Johnson led the team with 13 tackles (12 solo), his first double-digit tackle game of the season. Johnson leads the team with 44 tackles on the season.

  • OAK MLB Rolando McClain aggravated a left ankle sprain and left the game in the first half, returning after half time. LB Darryl Blackstock replaced him and played most of the game in the middle, posting 5 tackles (2 solo). McClain has been battling the ankle for a few weeks and the athletic Blackstock would be an interesting option in deep leagues if McClain can't go this week. WLB Aaron Curry had 4 tackles (1 solo). He now has just 7 tackles (3 solo) in his two games as a Raider.

  • GB ILB Desmond Bishop led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo). He is now second in the league with 65 tackles on the season. OLB Clay Matthews made it back-to-back games with a sack and is now up to 3 on the season. OLB Frank Zombo returned as a reserve in the previous game after missing the first five games with a shoulder injury, but suffered a knee injury in that game and was inactive again on Sunday. He's expected to miss another few weeks, so a starting role at ROLB remains safe with Erik Walden for now.

  • MIN MLB E.J. Henderson continues to be the less productive Henderson brother as he battles left knee soreness. WLB Erin Henderson had 5 tackles (2 solo) as he continues to work in the nickel package in place of E.J. With a lot of nickel packages against GB QB Aaron Rodgers, E.J.'s work was limited. He finished with 3 assists. SLB Chad Greenway shared the team lead with 11 tackles (5 solo).

  • STL SLB Brady Poppinga left the game in the second quarter with a calf strain and did not return. Bryan Kehl replaced him. Chris Chamberlain remains the starting WLB. Since he doesn't contribute on special teams, veteran Ben Leber was a healthy scratch.

  • DAL OLB DeMarcus Ware had another sack, forcing a fumble on it. He is second in the league with 8 sacks on the season.

  • New Orleans showed some 3-4 looks against the Colts on SNF with Jonathan Vilma and Jo-Lonn Dunbar inside and Scott Shanle and Jonathan Casillas inside. With the game out of hand by the fourth quarter, some starters were rested, giving Dunbar work in the middle in place of Vilma and Casillas at WLB in place of Shanle. Both contributed to Casillas leading the team in tackles with 5 (2 solo). He also had his third sack of the season.

  • The cast on the foot of CIN MLB Rey Maualuga for his lateral ankle sprain was removed over the bye, but it still sounds like he is doubtful to play this week and won't return until Week 9. WLB Keith Rivers was not activated from the PUP. His wrist apparently isn't ready yet. The team has a couple more weeks to make a move.

  • HC Bill Belichick said NE LB Jerod Mayo "might" be able to return this week from a reported MCL right knee sprain.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: Oakland is on a bye this week, but LB Darryl Blackstock becomes interesting if Rolando McClain's recurring left ankle injury doesn't improve.

Defensive Back

  • After just starting to get his fantasy production on track, WAS FS Oshiomogho Atogwe was inactive with a knee injury. With O.J. out, Reed Doughty returned to starting lineup, posting 8 tackles (7 solo) and forced a fumble. A week after getting his first pick of the season, DeAngelo Hall had a sack, along with 4 solo tackles and a pass defensed. His fantasy production is picking up.

  • MIN CB Chris Cook was arrested for suspicion of domestic assault on Saturday and charged with domestic assault strangulation on Tuesday. He was inactive on Sunday and couldn't have played if he was, as he remained incarcerated while the team played awaiting a decision from authorities to officially charge him. Cook has been suspended without pay by the team and further punishment could be coming from the league, not to mention the law. Cook was gaining responsibility for covering the opponents' best big receiver to get a better match up for CB Antoine Winfield. He is now derailing his career with a second violence-related arrest this year. Back in March he was arrested for brandishing a firearm in an altercation, but eventually found not guilty for lack of evidence. The situation at CB was desperate against the best QB in the league, as Winfield missed his third straight game with a muscle strain in his neck and SS Jamarca Sanford was out with a concussion. Asher Allen got the start at corner opposite Cedric Griffin and, like the rest of Minnesota's secondary, was picked on successfully. Allen shared the team lead with 11 tackles (9 solo) and broke up a pass. Former UDFA Marcus Sherels was pressed in to duty as the nickel CB. Tyrell Johnson replaced Sanford at SS.

  • DET SS Amari Spievey had a pick for the second straight game, his third overall on the season. CB Eric Wright had his second pick of the season. CB Chris Houston left the game with a back injury in the second half, but said after the game he expects to play this week. The team signed S Don Carey, who started part of last year for Jacksonville, for depth with Erik Coleman done for the season.

  • NYJ CB Darrelle Revis came up just short of his second pick six in as many games. Revis took a pick from the Jets' red zone back 64 yards. Revis broke up 3 passes in the game. He has three interceptions in the last two games and four on the season, moving him in to a tie for second in the league. S Eric Smith led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo).

  • The benching of CHI SS Chris Harris didn't last long as Major Wright was inactive with a hip injury suffered in practice before leaving for London. Harris had 3 solo tackles and broke up a pass that should have been an interception. Harris had requested to be traded after being benched the previous game and the fragile Wright presumably regains the starting job when healthy. Rookie Chris Conte remained the starter at FS and grabbed his first career pick. Nickel CB D.J. Moore once again flashed his playmaking ability with a game-saving pick on Tampa Bay's final drive late in the fourth quarter. It was the third pick of the season for Moore, who is locking down his role as the nickel. CB Charles Tillman led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo) and broke up a pass.

  • TB S Tanard Jackson was knocked out of Sunday's game with a hamstring injury in the second quarter and didn't return. He had his second pick in as many games before leaving. Corey Lynch replaced and grabbed an interception of his own.

  • The secondary was shaken up in Denver where second-round pick Rahim Moore was replaced by a combination of fourth-round pick Quinton Carter and reserve CB Jonathan Wilhite at FS. Moore only saw work in the dime package. Wilhite also bumped CB Cassius Vaughn from the nickel role, covering the slot in that package with Carter at FS. The game plan brought the blitz and dared MIA QB Matt Moore to beat them, as SS Brian Dawkins had a pair of sacks and 3 QB hits.

  • HOU FS Danieal Manning broke his left fibula on Sunday and is out indefinitely. He not only has been key in the secondary on coverage, but is one of the top kick returners in the league, so on a team with deep playoff aspirations this year, Houston will probably try to hold off putting him on the IR. Troy Nolan should take over FS. With only rookies, Shiloh Keo and CB Brandon Harris, behind Nolan on the depth chart, the team brought back veteran Quintin Demps for depth.

  • CLE CB Joe Haden returned to the lineup earlier than expected from what was believed to be a MCL knee sprain, as he was active on Sunday.

  • TEN SS Chris Hope remains inactive with a broken left forearm and Jordan Babineaux continues to replace him. Babineaux posted double-digit tackles for the second straight game with 11 (9 solo). There were plenty of tackle opportunities with the Texans dominating the time of possession. Breakout fantasy star CB Jason McCourty led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo).

  • OAK corners Chris Johnson (groin and hamstring) and rookie Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) remained inactive, so rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke continued to start opposite CB Stanford Routt. Routt led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo) and broke up a pass. Already battling a concussion, reserve S Matt Giordano left the game with a neck injury. As FS Michael Huff is also coming off a concussion, the Raiders signed former Cincinnati S Chinedum Ndukwe for depth last week.

  • The hits keep coming to the Seattle secondary. After losing CB Marcus Trufant to the IR with a back injury the previous week, his replacement, CB Walter Thurmond III suffered a broken fibula on Sunday and was place on the IR. Rookie Richard Sherman replaced him and the raw fifth-round pick is forced in to a starting role.

  • MIA FS Reshad Jones was inactive with a right knee sprain suffered in the previous game. Although Chris Clemons was active for the first time since the season opener as he's battled a recurring hamstring, it was Tyrone Culver who got the start at FS. Jones replaced Clemons as the starting FS. The team signed S Gerald Alexander last week for insurance with their top two free safeties dinged up. SS Yeremiah Bell had 7 tackles (6 solo), his first sack of the season and recovered a fumble. Bell leads the team with 52 tackles on the season.

  • KC DBs were treated to balls flying indiscriminately around the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday as OAK QBs Kyle Boeller and Carson Palmer each threw 3 picks. FS Kendrick Lewis returned his first of the season 59 yards for a TD and CB Brandon Flowers returned his second of the game 58 yards for a TD. Flowers now has 4 picks on the season and moved in a tie for second in the league. CB Brandon Carr and SS Jon McGraw both had their second pick of the season and nickel CB Travis Daniels had his first of the year. CB Javier Arenas got in on the scoring parade too, but on offense. Arenas ran for a 7-yard TD as a Wildcat QB.

  • GB CB Charles Woodson gave MIN QB Christian Ponder a crash course on why he is one of the best in the league in the rookie's first career start. Woodson broke up three passes and picked off two. He now leads the league in interceptions with five. Nickel CB Sam Shields was inactive with a concussion and was replaced in his role by Jarrett Bush. Shields is expected back after the bye this week.

  • After getting abused by NYJ WR Plaxico Burress on Sunday, SD CB Antoine Cason may have lost his starting job to rookie Marcus Gilchrist.

  • A secondary devastated by injury in St. Louis took another hit on Sunday. CB Justin King, the de facto top corner, left early on Sunday with a groin injury and did not return. Josh Grody replaced him opposite Al Harris. The team has three corners on the IR, including their Week 1 starters.

  • IND CB Kevin Thomas drew the start on SNF opposite Jerraud Powers and Terrence Johnson returned to the nickel role. Former starter Jacob Casey has now been demoted to fourth corner.

  • BAL rookie CB Jimmy Smith (ankle sprain) was active for MNF, but only used on special teams. CB Chris Carr remained inactive with a hamstring. SS Tom Zbikowski remained inactive due to a concussion. Bernard Pollard continues to replace him and posted 5 solo tackles and 2 forced fumbles on Monday night.

  • JAX CB Derek Cox returned from a groin injury and looked good on MNF.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: TB FS Tanard Jackson has had a pick in both of his first two games back, but he tweaked his hamstring on Sunday, so check on his status before picking him up. WAS CB DeAngelo Hall is heating up. He can fill up the box score when he's on.