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 8

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week 8 Byes: ATL, IND, NYJ, SEA
  • SEA S Hamlin suffers brain damage in nightclub fight
  • STL DE Little misses game after murder of brother
  • WAS LB Arrington back in picture
  • OAK CB Woodson and SS Gibson out 6-8 weeks
  • CIN S Madieu Williams could be done for season
  • MIA SS Tebucky done for season
  • CLE CB Baxter done for season
  • IND DE Mathis leads league in sacks
  • IND LB June leads league in picks
  • MIA MLB Zach Thomas leads league in tackles
Week 8 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

Although thin at CB, David Macklin did the work of two men. In addition to tying for the team lead with 8 tackles (7 solo), he broke up 4 passes, including a pick he returned 60 yards for a TD. OLB Karlos Dansby continues to be a key playmaker. He also had 8 tackles (7 solo), as well as a sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery. DE Chike Okeafor had 2 sacks. He now has 3 on the season, second to Bertrand Berry on the team, who had 5 so far.

After showing some life recently, the career of former 1st round pick Calvin Pace took another bad turn. The DE cut his arm on glass of a window broken while wrestling with a friend. He needed emergency surgery and has been placed on the non-football injury/reserve list. Being put on this list, as opposed to the IR, indicates the team will look at withholding salary from him as a result of the non-football-related nature of his absence. His season, and career as a Cardinal, is likely over.

After DE Brady Smith left the game with a broken toe, Chauncey Davis replaced him and was in the right place at the right time to pick up a fumble caused by DT Rod Coleman on a sack. Davis returned it 24 yards for a TD. The sack was Coleman’s team-leading seventh of the season, good for a tie for third in the league.

OLB Demorrio Williams led the team with 10 tackles, including a sack. He also knocked down a key fourth down pass in Atlanta territory that could have made the game competitive.

After a concussion two weeks ago, SS Ed Reed was inactive with a sprained ankle. He is expected to miss this week, as well. Chad Williams started in his place and had 3 solo tackles.

A match-up of marquee MLB’s fizzled as neither Chicago’s Brian Urlacher nor Ray Lewis produced many highlight. Lewis finished with 5 solo tackles and had to leave in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. With an extra day to rest due to a Monday night game, HC Brian Billick is “optimistic” Lewis will play this week. Bart Scott will see more time if Lewis cannot go.

LB Angelo Crowell, the replacement for Takeo Spikes, led the team with 7 solo tackles and had a sack on which he forced a fumble that Troy Vincent recovered. That was the only turnover, as the Raiders offense ran roughshod over the Bills.

DE Julius Pepper has a broken right hand, but he is expected to play with a cast this week. It could limit him, but his potential is too much to sit him if he’s active. Opposite him, DE Mike Rucker showed signs of life before the bye, but remains inconsistent.

MLB Dan Morgan has been dinged a bit this year and is playing through a shoulder injury, but had his best game of the season before the bye.

Chicago’s defense continues to impress, holding an impotent Raven offense to less than 200 yards on offense and they have yet to allow a rushing TD, the only team left in the league that has not. CB Nathan Vasher led the team with 8 solo tackles.

Reserve DT Tank Johnson had a breakout game, posting 2 sacks among his 5 solo tackles (although one sack was simply falling on Raven QB Anthony Wright after he tripped). Johnson saw more time when Tommie Harris left with a leg injury. Reserves DE Mike Haynes and DT Aaron Boone also shared a sack.

FS Madieu Williams missed another game with a shoulder injury. There is concern his season could be over as his shoulder problems aren’t improving. HJC Marvin Lewis indicated it was a “possibility” he is done, but there is no firm word. Ifeanyi Ohalete remained the starter at SS and Kevin Kaesviharn remained moved to FS.

Reserve DE Duane Clemons had his first sack of the season since returning from a four-game substance-abuse suspension. He also had 3 solo tackles and recovered a fumble. Clemons could soon challenge for the starting job of Robert Geathers.

MLB Odell Thurman continues to make a strong case for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo) and forced a fumble. Fellow rookie David Pollack started at SLB in place of Landon Johnson, who has a banged up shoulder. However, Pollack injured his left knee in the game and Johnson saw time. Pollack was on crutches as a precaution after the game, but sounds like he’ll be fine for this week.

Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger had not thrown an INT yet this year until CB Tory James grabbed one in the third quarter. It was the third of the season for James. Fellow CB Deltha O’Neal still leads the team with four, but hasn’t had one in four games, after starting out with three in the first three games. Nickel CB Keiwan Ratliff left the game in the first half with a hip pointer, but is expected to play this week.

CB Gary Baxter, the big off-season FA addition to the defense, is lost for the season after undergoing surgery on a chest muscle torn in the game Sunday. Leigh Bodden replaces him in the starting lineup.

The rotation in the Cleveland LB corps continues to be a frustrating fantasy situation. Despite technically not starting, LB Orlando Ruff led the team with 9 tackles (3 solo), as a two-down ILB. He continues to rotate out primarily on passing downs with Ben Taylor. On the outside, Matt Stewart and Chaun Thompson start, with Kenard Lang working in passing situations. ILB Andra Davis, who had 8 tackles (2 solo) and leads the team with 62, remains the only Browns LB to start regularly.

DE Orpheus Roye continues to have a breakout season. He had 8 solo tackles and recovered a fumble.

ILB Dat Nguyen remained inactive with a nerve injury in his neck. He is expected back this week. Scott Shanle continues to start in his place, but it was former Chief Scott Fujita who stepped up in a reserve role, leading the team with 6 tackles (5 solo). ILB Bradie James was solid with 5 solo tackles, including a sack. 1st round pick OLB DeMarcus Ware had 5 tackles (3 solo). Fellow 1st round pick Marcus Spears got his first career start at DE. He had 4 tackles (1 solo) and a pass defensed.

The only playmakers for the Broncos were at corner. Champ Bailey appeared back to form, as he plays through shoulder and hamstring problems. He had a pick and broke up 3 other passes, as well as posting 4 tackles (3 solo). Rookie Darrent Williams remains a starter and had 7 tackles (6 solo), including a forced fumble he recovered.

CB Dre’ Bly suffered a dislocated wrist in a collision with MLB Earl Holmes in the third quarter. He is seeking medical opinions as to whether or not to have surgery, which would cost him several weeks, and perhaps the season. R.W. McQuarters will replace him in the starting lineup. McQuarters has also been replacing Eddie Drummond (knee injury) on kickoff returns, so his value increases significantly in leagues that require a CB and score for returns. Bly had a pick before leaving and McQuarters had one after replacing him. DT Shaun Rogers also joined the growing list of wounded for the Lions, as he sprained his right MCL in the game. No firm word yet on his status, but this type of injury usually takes a few weeks to heal. LB depth took a hit, as well, as reserve Alex Lewis was placed on the IR.

On the positive side, DE James Hall was back in the starting lineup after a strained groin kept him inactive for a few weeks. He had 3 solo tackles and his return will hurt the production of Kalimba Edwards, who played very well in his place.

MLB Holmes (4 solo) and SLB Boss Bailey (5 solo) led the team with 7 tackles. DT Dan Wilkinson and reserve DL Jared DeVries each had 2 sacks.

Green Bay
DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was left out of the sack parade on Sunday. DE Aaron Kampman shared a sack with DT Grady Jackson, while a trio of reserves each had their first career sack. Colin Cole, Kenny Peterson, and rookie Brady Poppinga had one each. SLB Paris Lenon, who again replaces Na’il Diggs in the starting lineup, also had a sack. Diggs should miss at least another week as he recovers from a MCL tear.

FS Nick Collins suffered a leg injury.

ILB Kaliee Wong was placed on the IR after tearing the patella tendon in his right knee the previous week. Frank Chamberlin was signed to fill his roster spot, but it is DaShon Polk who replaced him in the starting lineup. Polk got off to a fast start, leading the team in tackles with 10 (4 solo). The former Arizona Wildcat standout was an undrafted free agent who became familiar with the 3-4 during four years in Buffalo. He had his best season in his first season in Houston last year and should produce some decent tackle numbers as a run-stopping ILB filling in for Wong.

OLB Jason Babin (torn labrum) and DE Gary Walker (separated AC shoulder joint) remained inactive.

While Dwight Freeney continues to draw double-teams, pass rush specialist DE Robert Mathis set a team record by recording a sack in his seventh consecutive game. He’s had a sack in every game this year and leads the league with 8 sacks. Starting LE Raheem Brock also had a sack, his third of the season, and Freeney completed the triple play for the DE rotation with his sixth sack of the season.

WLB Cato June didn’t have two picks again, like he did each of the previous two games, but he did lead the team in tackles with 9 (8 solo). He continues to have a breakout year and keep alive the plug and produce success at WLB in Tony Dungy’s system. His five INT’s lead the league and he is among the top 10 in tackles. June has one more tackle than MLB Gary Brackett to lead the team. June is playing through a sports hernia, but will have a week to rest and is expected to continue playing through it. Opposite him, SLB David Thornton had a sack, his second of the season and a new career-high. However, his productivity continues to be hurt by being stuck at SLB. He is on track for his lowest tackle output since his rookie year.

S Bob Sanders had to be carted off the field after suffering wrist and arm injuries in the first half, but returned to play in the second half and with the bye this week, should be fine for their next game.

Quiet bye week for the Jags.

Kansas City
Brought in to be a desperately needed playmaker on the defense, OLB Kendrell Bell has been a big disappointment thus far. However, he finally got to the QB, sharing a sack with Nickel CB Benny Sapp. Bell also had another solo tackle. The previous week Bell had a season-high 6 solo tackles, so he could begin to turn his season around and is a buy-low candidate, but he is still not worth starting regularly.

CB Patrick Surtain led the team with 6 tackles (3 solo) and 3 passes defensed. With Dexter McCleon inactive, Eric Warfield started opposite Surtain.

DT Ryan Sims remains inactive with a foot sprain suffered in their first game.

SS Tebucky Jones will miss the rest of the season after surgery to fix a torn right chest muscle, as he faces months of rehab. He was injured in the loss to KC last Friday night. Yeremiah Bell or Travares Tillman is likely to replace him in the starting lineup.

DE Jason Taylor had been in a protective boot and on crutches last week after injuring his foot in Week 6. Despite the short week due to Hurricane Wilma, he started and had 7 tackles (4 solo), as well as a pass defended. He is expected to continue to play through the torn plantar fascia, despite the fact the same injury often ends the season for a player. He will be in pain and will likely be rested in practice during each week the rest of the season. DE Kevin Carter also joined the extensive list of health problems on defense. He injured his calf and had to leave the game. Rookie Matt Roth replaced him on the left side and finished with 6 tackles (4 solo), with David Bowens also seeing more work. If Carter misses any time, Roth’s value gets a significant boost, as he’ll at least see extensive work on passing downs and playing across from Jason Taylor has always been fantasy-friendly for a DE.

As usual, MLB Zach Thomas led the team with double-digit tackles, posting 14 (8 solo). SLB Junior Seau missed another game due to lingering calf problems. Donnie Spragan started in his place and had 6 tackles (5 solo). Seau is expected back next week, but he has already returned once and aggravated the injury this year, so look for it to continue to be a problem this season.

CB Sam Madison suffered a hip pointer during the game and had to leave. Nickel CB Reggie Howard continues to struggle while seeing more work with Madison out. Howard gave up two big passes and committing a critical penalty nullifying a pick. However, with Madison hurting, Kiwaukee Thomas inactive again and Tebucky Jones out for a while, the options in the secondary are limited.

Despite no sacks or turnovers by the defense, a furious late second half comeback by the offense was enough for the win. CB Fred Smoot led the team with 8 solo tackles and 2 passes defended. No suspensions have been handed down regarding the Lake Minnetonka boat incident. Smoot was identified as one of the people who paid to rent the boats, a claim he denies.

While there are signs of improvement, the switch to the 3-4 base hasn’t solved the defensive problems and has made their front seven significantly less fantasy-friendly. Sam Cowart and E.J. Henderson cannibalize each other’s stats on the inside, while on the outside, Keith Newman and Raonall Smith have yet to register a sack since the switch last week. Newman had to leave the game with a rib injury in the first half and was replaced by Napoleon Harris. After registering a sack last week as a reserve, Harris did little, finishing with 2 tackles (1 solo). Dontarrious Thomas was inactive with a knee injury, so depth was a problem. DE Kevin Williams is about the only player not impacted in the front seven, as he seems to produce no matter where he plays. Williams suffered a sprained ankle in the game, but was able to finish. With Spencer Johnson out again with a knee injury, Darrion Scott continues to start opposite Kevin Williams. He has been the biggest benefactor of the injuries on the DLine and the slow progress of rookie Erasmus James. Kevin Williams was placed on probation for a year after pleading guilty to a domestic dispute. As there appears to be no concern for discipline in the Tice Administration, he’s unlikely to face any punishment from the team.

FS Darren Sharper had just 3 solo tackles against his former team and the four pages of notes he prepared before the game might have contributed more.

New England
ILB Tedy Bruschi has been cleared by doctors to practice. It is unclear how soon he can be expected to play in a game this year. Free agent additions Chad Brown and Monty Beisel have not been spectacular in replacing Bruschi and the retired Ted Johnson in the interior of New England’s LB group, and no one could replace the leadership he brought to the squad. If he is on the free agent wire, and you have room to add him, it is worth picking him and seeing what happens.

New Orleans
SS Dwight Smith was inactive with leg injuries including a strained MCL. Smith already moved down from FS to replace Jay Bellamy at SS and with Mel Mitchell injured, as well, it was Steve Gleason who got the start in his place and had 2 solo tackles. Rookie Josh Bullocks remains the starting FS.

DE Darren Howard dislocated a finger in practice last week, but started and had a solo tackle, giving Will Smith some more work. Howard had surgery Tuesday to have the finger fixed and is questionable for this week.

SLB Sedrick Hodge was in the starting lineup and apparently will avoid suspension for a year after winning an appeal regarding another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy he was alleged to have made.

New York Giants
A healthy diet of the Denver running game meant a game-high 13 tackles (12 solo) for MLB Antonio Pierce.

LB Barrett ‘Juan Gonzalez’ Green could be gone again. After being active for the first time and posting 1 tackle as a reserve LB last Sunday, he could need more surgery on the ankle he had surgery on this off-season, after surgery for a torn ACL. He was inactive on Sunday. There’s no reason to continue owning him in any league, just a FYI for those of you still interested in what happened to the former starting WLB. Carlos Emmons returned from a knee injury last week, but was moved back to SLB, as Nick Greisen appears to have hung on to the starting WLB job. Greisen has started there the last two weeks. Reggie Tobor was the odd man out, but Emmons left the game in the third quarter after injuring his chest and was replaced by Tobor. Emmons will have a MRI this week.

New York Jets
After missing three games with an ankle sprain, WLB Eric Barton was back Monday night, but not for long. He tore his left triceps and is done for the season. Mark Brown now gains value with job security for the rest of the season.

MLB Jonathan Vilma had 7 tackles and a pick. He is second in the league in tackles.

CB Ty Law had another pick, giving him one in three consecutive games. It was his 40th of his career and the fourth of the season, putting him a tie for second in the league.

The Raiders secondary was decimated in the first quarter on Sunday. SS Derrick Gibson dislocated his wrist on the opening drive and CB Charles Woodson broke his right leg while in on a tackle of Buffalo RB Willis McGahee later in the quarter. C Renaldo Hill also may have a small fracture in his hand. The injuries gave three rookies, Fabian Washington, Standford Routt, and Chris Carr, extensive time at corner and moved Jarod Cooper in with the first team at safety. Cooper’s value gets the biggest boost going forward. Washington will likely move into the starting lineup and Routt the nickel, with Hill in the picture, as well. The initial prognosis for both Woodson and Gibson is to miss 6-8 weeks.

Heading in to Sunday with 5 sacks, DE Derrick Burgess already had more this season than any Raider had last season. He added 2 more, giving him 7 on the season, good for a tie for third in the league, and a new career-high for Burgess. DT Warren Sapp also had a sack.

LB Kirk Morrison led the team with 7 tackles (3 solo) and had a fumble recovery.

As the offense was slow to get started, the defense dominated early and held Ladainian Tomlinson to the worst day of his career. MLB Jeremiah Trotter led the way, leading the team (tied) with 9 tackles (5 solo), as well as having a sack, a forced fumble, breaking up 2 passes, and grabbing an INT on a deflection. The corners continue to be important playmakers, making the names of Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor a more distant memory each week. Sheldon Brown also continued to be an important playmaker, he also had 9 tackles (5 solo), including a sack and forced fumble. Lito Sheppard defended 2 passes, including grabbing 1 for a pick, and had 2 solo tackles.

After disappearing again in a big loss to Dallas, DE Jevon Kearse had a sack and was generally applying good pressure. He remains a tremendously inconsistent fantasy producer. DT Darwin Walker returned to the starting lineup from a thigh injury that cost him a few games. He posted just a solo tackle, but is one of the better DT’s in leagues that segregate DL. His return pushes 1st round pick DT Mike Patterson back to a reserve role.

Soon after looking like he might be back this season after being shot during an attempted robbery, DE Jerome McDougle is likely done for the year. He underwent emergency hernia surgery last week that resulted from the injury and his attempt to return to football.

A pass batted by DE Kimo von Oelhoffen resulted in an INT for fellow DE Aaron Smith. Kimo also had a sack in the game. FS Chris Hope had an acrobatic pick and nice return, during which SS Troy Polamalu reacquainted himself with former teammate Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer by laying him out. Hope also led the team with 6 solo tackles. Palmer had gone over 4 games without a pick and 9 games with a passer rating over 100, until Sunday.

James Harrison continues to start in place of Clark Haggans at OLB. Haggans remains out with a partially torn groin.

St. Louis
The younger brother of DE Leonard Little was murdered while Little was playing on MNF last week and he missed Sunday’s game. The tragedy could affect him all season, although he seemed to be able to get by the tragedy Leonard himself caused in the past. Tyoka Jackson started in his place.

DT Damione Lewis was ejected in the first quarter after a sack by DT Jimmy Kennedy. In extracurricular activity after the play, Lewis punched New Orleans C LeCharles Bentley in the groin.

The Rams wrapped up the victory with less than two minutes left with a TD by FS Mike Furrey on what was ruled an INT. As Ernie Conwell grabbed a pass in coverage, he held it above his head away from the defender, hence away from his body too, as he went down. On the way down, Furrey swept in and took the ball like he was just grabbing it off a table, racing 67 yards to put the Rams up by 11 and end the comeback hopes of New Orleans. It looked more like a fumble recovery, or that Conwell was down, but the call stood and it was ruled a pick. Furrey has retained the starting FS job since replacing Michael Hawthorne two weeks ago.

SS Adam Archuleta had a big day. In addition to 6 tackles (5 solo), he had 2 sacks and recovered a fumble forced by OLB Dexter Coakley on a sack. Coakley led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo).

San Diego
ILB Donnie Edwards had an INT and 7 tackles (5 solo), but didn’t lead the team for once, as he suffered a knee injury during the game. He should be OK this week.

1st round pick Shawne Merriman made his first career start at OLB and had a sack along with 4 other solo tackles. He bumps Ben Leber from the starting lineup.

CB Sammy Davis injured his ribs in a collision in the end zone with a teammate and had to be carted off the field. He is questionable for this week. Jamar Fletcher replaced him and had 4 solo tackles, including a sack, and a pick. CB Quentin Jammer led the team with 10 tackles (8 solo).

San Francisco
Jeff Ulbrich decided in favor of season-ending surgery for his torn biceps, so Brandon Moore has moved to ILB. Moore had 7 tackles (6 solo), including a sack. Fellow ILB Derek M. Smith suffered a strained hamstring during the game, but is expected to be fine for this week. He also had 7 tackles (6 solo).

Despite being thin at corner, the team waived Willie Middlebrooks…again. Bruce Thornton has impressed enough since being called up from the practice squad he has retained a starting job at CB opposite Shawtae Spencer. Ahmed Plummer remains inactive after ankle surgery a few weeks ago.

Michael Adams continues to be productive at FS. He led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo).

FS Ken Hamlin has been released from the hospital after a fight he allegedly instigated last Sunday night landed him in the ICU of a Seattle. The most life-threatening issue was a small blood clot in his brain. He also has a broken hand, a skull fracture, and bruising of brain tissue, which HC Mike Holmgren said left lingering brain damage. There was no update on his condition upon his release, but his season, if not his career, appear in jeopardy. Marquand Manuel replaced him in the starting lineup and had 8 tackles (4 solo). It has been a frightening couple of weeks for Seattle safeties. SS Michael Boulware returned to the starting lineup a week after having to be carted off the field and reporting a loss of feeling in his legs for a while. After regaining feeling and being cleared in the hospital just hours later, he returned to practice last week and was able to play last Sunday. This week he had 5 tackles (4 solo) and a pick.

Everyone on the DLine except top reserve DT Rocky Bernard, had a sack on Sunday. DE Bryce Fisher had 2 and now passed Bernard for the team lead with 5 sacks.

OLB D.D. Lewis led the team with 11 tackles (6 solo), while former IDP stud Jamie Sharper continues to disappoint, posting just 3 solo tackles.

Tampa Bay
SS Jermaine Phillips is questionable with a thumb injury and FS Dexter Jackson is not expected to play with a hamstring injury. Will Allen has capably backed both up.

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch had a sack among his 4 tackles (3 solo), giving him 7.5 for the season, good for second in the league. Reserve DE Travis LaBoy, reserve DT Rien Long, and FS Lamont Thompson also each had a sack.

MLB Brad Kassell led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).

Although limited to mostly passing situations, LB Lavar Arrington finally saw significant time and led the team in tackles with 9 (7 solo). Time to pick him up if an impatient owner dropped him. Keep an eye out for further comments on him from the Washington coaching staff.

FS Sean Taylor had his first pick of the year, but no tackles. Taylor is playing through shoulder problems and remains a risky play as he’s likely to be inconsistent. DT Cornelius Griffin left the game with a strained hip flexor and is day-to-day.