Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Tony

Tony's Articles

IDP Notes
Week 15

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • No more byes
  • SD LB Donnie Edwards has another huge week
  • CHI LB Brian Urlacher re-injures hammy
  • IND DE Dwight Freeney gets 3 sacks…again
  • CAR LB Dan Morgan back healthy with a bang
  • NO DE Charles Grant has first sack in 6 weeks
  • SEA DE Grant Wistrom re-injures left knee, out 6 weeks
  • Philly DLine once again ravaged by injuries
  • BUF CB Troy Vincent returns as FS, fills up box score
  • More shoulder problems for STL LB Pisa Tinoisamoa
  • WAS CB Shawn Springs carted off field, should be OK
Week 15 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)


Role-playing Rookies - Nathan Vasher, CB (CHI) and Michael Boulware, S (SEA) have each displayed a knack for the big play early in their careers, despite their limited roles. Both had an INT on Sunday to move into a tie (along with Ken Lucas and Jerametrius Butler) for the NFC lead in picks with five. Boulware also had 7 solo tackles and a sack in his first career start. Will Smith, DE (NO) is stuck behind two studs in Charles Grant and Darren Howard, but has made the most of his opportunities as a pass rush specialist, adding to his lead among rookies with his sixth sack, as well as his third forced fumble, on Sunday. 7th round pick Derrick Pope, LB (MIA) did his best Zach Thomas imitation with 13 tackles (8 solo) and a forced fumble. Pope, who had a sack and posted solid tackle stats in each of his previous two games replacing Thomas, has been a waiver wire find, and should continue to be solid while Thomas is out. Shawntae Spencer, CB (SF) was forced into a starting role due to injuries the last few weeks, and posted 11 solo tackles on Sunday.

Bert Berry, DE (AZ) - he's had at least one sack in each of the last 5 games he's played and 8 over that period, thanks to a 4 sack game against the Giants. In addition to a sack on Sunday, he had 3 tackles (2 solo). He leads the NFC with 12 on the season.

Rod Coleman, DT (ATL) - didn't have a sack, but still found revenge against his old team. Grabbed a ball batted by Travis Hall and returned it 39 yards for a TD. In addition to the pick and TD, he defended another pass and had a solo tackle.

Ed Reed, SS (BAL) - grabbed his NFL-leading 8th pick, a new career-high. It was his 20th career INT, as well, tying him for the Ravens franchise lead with Rod Woodson, Duane Starks, and Ray Lewis. Reed has a pick in 5 of his last 6 games. Meanwhile, DAL FS Roy Williams, the more well-publicized and higher-picked safety in the 2002 draft, had just his first INT of the season on Sunday.

Bills D (BUF) - with one of the best single-game performances in NFL history, allowing only 17 net yards, along with 8 sacks, 2 picks, and 3 fumble recoveries, the entire unit deserves recognition. In his return from a knee injury, Troy Vincent posted a hat trick with a sack, interception, and fumble recovery. LB Takeo Spikes led the team (tied) with 7 tackles (6 solo), as well as a sack and 2 forced fumbles. DT Sam Adams led the team with 2 sacks.

Dan Morgan, LB (CAR) - returned to the starting from his concussion problems and picked up right where he left off a month ago. Led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo), as well as 2 picks and a forced fumble. The team would probably like Vinny Ciurciu to continue to rotate in to help protect his healthy, but in the midst of a playoff run, they need Morgan's playmaking ability in there as much as possible, making him a strong play the rest of the way.

Kindal Moorehead, DT (CAR) - with 2 sacks and another solo Sunday, he provided the Kris Jenkinsesque type of disruption the interior line missed when the team was struggling in the first half of the season.

Lance Briggs, LB (CHI) - posted a career-high 14 solo tackles in an otherwise forgettable performance for the Chicago D. He is tied for the lead in the NFC in tackles.

Broncos Safeties (DEN) - after getting his first sack of the season previous week, FS John Lynch had another Sunday, as well as a pass defensed and 5 solo tackles. SS Kennoy Kennedy also had a sack, to go with 8 tackles (5 solo) and 2 passes defensed.

Nick Barnett, LB (GB) - posted 14 tackles (6 solo) and a sack.

Colts Ends (IND) - Dwight Freeney not only finally put together back-to-back good games for the first time this season, he has had two consecutive monster games. He had 3 sacks and another solo tackle for the second straight week, now leading the league with 13, tying his own franchise record. Raheem Brock also built on his big game the previous week by posting 4 tackles (3 solo), a sack, and a fumble recovery on Sunday. Pass rush specialist Robert Mathis continued his breakout season with another sack, giving him 10.5 on the year.

Dunta Robinson, CB (JAX) - added to his case for DROY with his first two career sacks, along with 2 other solo tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defended.

Jason Gildon, DE (JAX) - he was unwanted at the beginning of the year, but is showing he still has something left in the tank for at least a limited role as a situational pass rusher. He has had a sack in three consecutive games.

Brian Russell, FS (MIN) - after posting 9 picks in 2003, Russell had none, until Week 14. In addition to his first pick of the year, he led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and broke up 2 other passes.

Tedy Bruschi, LB and Rodney Harrison, SS (NE) - the due continue to be tackle machines up the middle for the Pats and are the rare stud vets who also play special teams. Bruschi had a game-high 16 tackles (12 solo), including 2 on special teams, and is second on the team for the season. Harrison, who leads the team and is fifth in the league in tackles, had 12 (10 solo), including 1 on special teams, and had a forced fumble.

Charles Grant, DE (NO) - after flying out of the gate in the first half of the season and moving into the league lead for sacks, Grant continued to play well overall, but had failed to get to the QB the last six games. That drought ended Sunday, as he posted 5 tackles (4 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass defended.

Brent Alexander, FS (NYG) - did a little bit of everything with a game-high 13 tackles (11 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and 2 pass defended.

Osi Umenyiora, DE (NYG) - in one of the few things that went well for the Giants Sunday, he scored his first career TD on a 50-yard return of a fumble recovery. Also had 4 tackles (2 solo), 2 passes defensed, and shared a sack.

Brian Dawkins, FS (PHI) - in addition to 6 tackles (5 solo) saved the game with an INT in the end zone with less than two minutes to play.

Sam Rayburn, DT (PHI) - the dream season continues for the former practice squad player. He had 2 solo tackles and a sack on Sunday, giving him 6 on the season. That's tremendous output for a DT, much less a reserve, muscles an unknown former undrafted free agent out of Tulsa. With injuries on the line again a problem for the Eagles, his importance increases heading into the playoffs.

James Farrior, LB (PIT) - posted a game-high 11 tackles (6 solo) and an INT. Farrior has thrived since coming to Pittsburgh and moved to a new level this season, making him worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration.

Bryce Fisher, DE (STL) - replacing Grant Wistrom has been hard this year, but Fisher had his best day of the season on Sunday, posting 7 tackles (6 solo), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Chris Chandler, QB (STL) - deserves special recognition in the IDP world for completing almost as many passes to Carolina players as his own. He helped quite a few Panthers put in better days for their owners than they otherwise would have. Dan Morgan and CB Ricky Manning Jr. were the biggest beneficiaries with 2 INTs each. LB Will Witherspoon and 1st round pick Chris Gamble each got one.

Donnie Edwards, LB (SD) - a week after posting a career-high in tackles, Edwards had his best game of the year on Sunday. He finished with 16 tackles (9 solo), 2 INTs, and 2 other passes defended. He returned one of his picks 30 yards for a go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter.


Peppi Zellner, DE (AZ) - one of the least productive starting ends in the league, he had just 1 tackle for the seventh time this season.

Alex Brown, DE (CHI) - looking more and more like his four-sack game in Week 9 was a fluke. Take it away, and he has 2 sacks in his 12 other game this year. Had only 1 tackle Sunday and has just 5 tackles and 0.5 sacks in his last 4 games.

Justin Smith, DE (CIN) - after posting his worst statistical game of the season the previous week, he found a new low on Sunday, with just 2 assisted tackles. He has 4 tackles (1 solo) the last 2 weeks.

Gerrard Warren, DT (CLE) - the former first round pick has had just 2 tackles in each of his last 3 games.

David Thornton, LB (IND) - last year's breakout IDP continues to struggle to put up numbers after moving to the strongside this year. He had his worst statistical game of the season, posting just 2 solo tackles. Meanwhile, Thornton owners must have cringed to see Cato June, who took over the weakside job, posted 11 tackles (5 solo) and leads the team on the season.

Steeler LBs not named James Farrior (PIT) - Kendrell Bell remains inactive and Larry Foote, who has been decent in his place, had only 3 solo tackles Sunday. Joey Porter posted the same, and when he doesn't post sacks, he offers little value to his IDP owners. Clark Haggans had just 2 solos before getting injured.

Raiders D (OAK) - as usual, Danny Clark had the only remotely tolerable performance, 9 tackles (7 solo), but in addition to creating no turnovers and having just 1 sack (shared by Charles Woodson and Tim Johnson) they just sat back and let the Falcons literally run all over them. The dynamic DT duo of Ted Washington and Warren Sapp continue to be, literally and figuratively, huge free agent busts. They've done nothing to improve the run defense and Sunday they combined for 1 assist (Washington) before each left with injuries. Washington left in the first half with a sprained foot and Sapp left in the fourth quarter with an ankle sprain.

Adam Archuleta, SS (STL) - with no injury reported, Archuleta inexplicably didn't tally a stat on Sunday.

Derrick Brooks, LB (TB) - after an outstanding game the previous week, Brooks wasn't much of a force Sunday, recording just 4 tackles (only 1 solo).

Titans Front Four (TEN) - more changes, but not for the better, as Bo Schobel got his first start, posting just 1 solo tackle. Carlos Hall remained the starter at the other DE, and had just 2 tackles (1 solo). Randy Starks had a key fumble recovery, but posted just 2 assists otherwise. Kevin Carter, remaining back at DT, failed to appear in the box score, as did reserve DE Travis LaBoy. Reserve DE Antwan Odom had half a sack, but otherwise they failed to put any pressure on Trent Green and had repeated breakdowns against Larry Johnson, allowing him 2 long TD runs.

Inactives, Movement, Miscellany

ATL With Ed Jasper inactive due to a fracture in his wrist, rookie Chad Lavalais got the start at DT. He had 2 solo tackles and recovered a fumble.

BUF After missing 9 games due to a knee injury, Troy Vincent returned to the starting lineup. However, it was not at CB, where Terrence McGee remained the starter. For the first time in his career, Vincent lined up at FS, and had a big day. He could still return to the corner, but with that position solid with McGee and Nate Clements, and FS an area of need, he could follow in Rod Woodson's footsteps in making the conversion from outstanding corner to outstanding FS to end his career.

CHI R.W. McQuarters continues to work at FS and with rookie Nathan Vasher continuing to display big play ability at the nickel, McQuarters looks to be the odd man out next year when Mike Brown is healthy. He won't be bump Charles Tillman or Jerry Azumah from a starting role, and it's unlikely he'll react well to further demotion. McQuarters has performed very well this season, but his year-to-year consistency throughout his career has been a problem. His tremendous punt return ability might be missed most, but even Vasher has some good potential in that role.

CLE As expected, Chris Crocker was inactive and Earl Little returned to starting FS.

DAL Lynn Scott has completely replaced Tony Dixon at SS. After getting the nod when Darren Woodson was not ready to start the season, Dixon looked like a fine replacement with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in his first 3 games. Dixon's play declined, and Scott began to get more of a look, culminating with Scott taking over the last few weeks. Scott, a reserve and primarily special teams player over his 4 year career, had his best day as a pro Sunday, with 8 tackles (6 solo) and his first career sack.

GB As expected, LB Na'il Diggs was inactive with a bruised kidney. Paris Lenon started in his place. Lenon had 10 tackles (6 solo).

HOU Against the Colts base three-WR set, the Texans used a lot of their nickel package, giving DeMarcus Faggins a lot of work alongside starting corners Aaron Glenn and rookie Dunta Robinson. With FS Marcus Coleman out for the year, Jason Simmons, back after missing a few weeks due to a concussion, and Marlon McCree saw most of the work at the safety spots over Eric Brown and Glenn Earl, who are better suited against the run.

KC Both starting safeties, Jerome Woods (FS) with a knee injury and Greg Wesley (SS) with a hamstring, remained inactive. Shaunard Harts and Willie Pile, respectively, continue to start in their place. LB Monty Beisel returned and had a sack, but Quinton Caver remained the starter at OLB.

MIA Zach Thomas remained inactive with a partial tear in his hamstring and Derrick Pope continues to replace him.

MIN CB Antoine Winfield was inactive due to a high ankle sprain. Terrence Shaw started in his place. Lance Johnstone replaced 1st round pick Kenechi Udeze, who has struggled lately. Udeze still saw plenty of work in the rotation.

NE CB Asante Samuel returned to the starting lineup with a bang, returning an INT 34 yards for a TD. CB Tyrone Poole was also active, returning from knee surgery several weeks ago, but Randall Gay remained the starter opposite Samuel. The coaching staff has been impressed with the undrafted FA Gay, and he's likely to retain the job. Meanwhile, WR/CB Troy Brown remained the nickel, intercepting his third pass, as well as making a couple solo tackles and catching 2 passes for 27 yards on offense. The return of Samuel allowed Eugene Wilson to return to FS and Rodney Harrison to SS. Ty Law remained out.

NO LB Sedrick Hodge was inactive again with a knee injury, giving James Allen another start.

OAK Tyler Brayton returned from neck injury to his starting DE role. Marques Anderson dressed, but was limited, still due to a hamstring injury. Rookie Stuart Schweigert got his second start at SS in Anderson's place. LB/DE DeLawrence Grant, who started the first nine games, was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game. It's hard to believe he is a downgrade from the pack of useless performers they are trotting out there.

NYJ LB Sam Cowart was active, but still is not starting, continuing to be hampered by his knee and blocked by Jonathan Vilma's solid play. LB Victor Hobson was inactive for the third straight game with an ankle sprain and Mark Brown once again started in his place. As expected, DE John Abraham was inactive with a knee sprain. Bryan Thomas was solid in his place, finishing with the team lead (tied) in tackles with 8 (5 solo). The former 1st round pick has shown something to shed a bit of the bust label this season, but with DE Shaun Ellis receiving a long-term extension and John Abraham expected to get the franchise tag, he is blocked from anything other than a reserve role in the near future.

PHI Without Jerome McDougle, inactive again due to a knee injury, and Derrick Burgess done for the year, more serious injury problems continue to plague the Eagles DLine for the third straight year. Darwin Walker started at DE for Burgess opposite Jevon Kearse, giving Hollis Thomas the start at DT next to Corey Simon. However, both Thomas and Simon left early (see "Injuries"), making Walker needed back on the interior on running downs and requiring more work out of Hugh Douglas at DE. Kearse also battled injury problems during the game. Fortunately, Paul Grasmanis was back from leg problems and was able to play for the first time this season, helping the depth at DT, along with breakout reserve Sam Rayburn. Walker, Douglas, and Rayburn all stepped up, each recording a sack. LB Nate Wayne remained inactive with a hamstring injury and is likely out this week, as well.

PIT Chad Scott remains inactive with a leg injury, and Willie Williams continues to thrive in his absence. Williams had 10 tackles (7 solo) and a pass defended. DeShea Townsend is also having a breakthrough season, so Scott is not certain to assume his starting role when he returns. Kendrell Bell remains inactive with a groin injury.

SEA Rookie SS Michael Boulware performed so well in his first career start, Terreal Bierria, who has played well this year, didn't see the field. 1st round pick Marcus Tubbs, who sprained his ankle last week, was inactive and possibly done for the season. DT Rocky Bernard, out with a knee injury, is missed much more. He's been a tremendous bust this year. LBs Tracy Brown (hamstring) and Chad Brown (torn meniscus) remained inactive, but are expected to return this week.

STL A week after his best game of the season, DE Leonard Little was limited by the flu, leading to dehydration, as well. He needed an IV at halftime and was limited to passing situations in the second half. Tyoka Jackson saw most of the work at LDE in his place in the second half. Antuan Edwards continues to start at FS while Aeneas Williams is limited with neck and shoulder problems. Williams aggravated the injury early in the game, and Kevin Garrett replaced him as the fifth DB, despite DeJuan Groce returning after missing 2 games with a knee injury. DT Jimmy Kennedy started for the second straight game over Damione Lewis.

SD CB Sammy Davis remains inactive with a fractured leg and may not return to the starting lineup when he returns in the next couple of weeks. Drayton Florence was already rotating with Davis before he was injured and could hang on to the starting job.

TB Jack Howell continues to replace Jermaine Phillips at FS. Phillips is out with a fracture in his arm, but has recovered well and is Questionable for this week.

WAS LaVar Arrington missed his eleventh straight game, but still refuses to pack it in. There is a chance he returns this week. Converted college DB Lemar Marshall continues to be solid in his absence. With Phillip Daniels on the IR and Demetric Evans inactive with an ankle injury, the Skins gave undrafted free agent rookie Ryan Boschetti his first career start at DE. He saw his first game action just two weeks ago and was a productive, versatile reserve, earning him a start over Ron Warner. He finished the game with 2 assists.

Notable Week 14 Injuries

Chris Gamble, CB (CAR) - missed the second half of the game due to groin injury. He expects to play this week.

Brian Urlacher, LB (CHI) - left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury. No official word yet, but it's feared the hamstring is torn and he is done for the season.

Willie Middlebrooks, DB and Roc Alexander, DB (DEN) - with Lenny Walls already done for the season, the Broncos secondary depth took some more hits last week. Both players left the game with knee injuries, and Middlebrooks is reportedly serious and he could be done for the year.

Yeremiah Bell, S (MIA) - interim HC Jim Bates was hoping to get more of a look at the youngster down the stretch, but once again his season is over due to injury. He broke his ankle Sunday and is done for the season.

Orlando Ruff, LB (NO) - sprained his ankle in the first half and did not return. Rookie Courtney Watson, who won the starting MLB job over Ruff at the beginning of the season, replaced him and had a solid performance. Watson had 3 tackles (2 solo) and a sack.

Barrett Green, LB (NYG) - another week, another game Green can't finish. He left again with a knee injury in the first quarter. As usual, Nick Greisen replaced him, who also left early with an ankle sprain. Green will likely have surgery on the injured knee, be done for the season, and find himself cut in 2005.

Corey Simon, DT (PHI) - left the game in the first quarter and did not return after being plagued by back spasms.

Hollis Thomas, DT (PHI) - a few plays after Simon went down, Hollis left the game in the first quarter with a dislocated elbow and will miss 3-6 weeks.

Jevon Kearse, DE (PHI) - left the game briefly multiple times for a neck injury and twice limping off due to an ankle injury, but finished the game.

Clark Haggans, LB (PIT) - after his best game in a while the previous week, Haggans left early Sunday with a groin injury and did not return. He is expected to miss the next two games. As usual, the Steelers are deep at LB. James Harrison, who has played well as an injury-replacement earlier this year, replaced Haggans on running downs and finished with 6 tackles (4 solo). Harrison should be the replacement while he is out.

Aeneas Williams, FS (STL) - already limited to certain packages with a pinched nerve in his neck and shoulder area, Williams aggravated the injury on the first series and did not return. He reported a lot of soreness and loss of flexibility after the game, and is expected to see a specialist, as an MRI is showing its just normal wear and tear. Although the Rams should need him for a playoff push, he will be limited as much as possible to allow it to heal to be available if they do make the playoffs.

Pisa Tinoisamoa, LB (STL) - he has been playing through a shoulder injury since the season-opener and took another hard shot to the injured shoulder in the second quarter on Sunday. He left the game for X-rays, but returned. He had to leave another time with it bothering him, but again returned after a brief stay on the sidelines. He finished the game with 5 solo tackles. After the game, he said the shoulder was "all right now', but had popped out during the game. He will go back to wearing the harness that constrains him a bit, but protects the shoulder, and is expected to play this week.

Grant Wistrom, DE (SEA) - he missed four games earlier this season with a broken bone in his left knee and late Sunday he suffered ligament damage in the same knee and is expected to miss 6 weeks. He is done for the regular season, but will not be put on the IR as he could be available for the playoffs. Antonio Cochran, who was solid as his back-up when he previously missed time, replaces him at starting DE.

Shawn Springs, CB (WAS) - he was lit up on a block by Eagles FB Josh Parry and knocked out of the game by the vicious hit in the 4th quarter. In a scary scene, he was immobilized and had to be carted off the field. He was hospitalized overnight with a concussion, but HC Joe Gibbs says he is fortunately expected to be OK, although he's unlikely to play this week. Before leaving, Springs had 5 solo tackles and a pick that set up a TD to bring the team within 3 points the previous drive.