- DE Patrick Kerney, SEA - the injuries continue to pile up
in Seattle. Kerney suffered a groin injury on Sunday and is
doubtful for this week.
- OLB Ernie Sims, DET - after missing Week 3 with a shoulder
injury, Sims struggled through Sunday's game before leaving
early. Even if he returns this week, rookie DeAndre Levy has
established himself and should remain in the mix until (if)
Sims returns to full health.
- OLB Joey Porter, MIA - inactive with a hamstring, should
play this week.
- OLB Michael Boley, NYG - will miss about a month with a partially
torn meniscus in his right knee after undergoing surgery this
- OLB Bryan Kehl, NYG - is expected to miss at least this week
with a fractured left index finger.
- SS Roy
L. Williams, CIN - after suffering an arm injury in practice
late last week, he was a scratch on Sunday. He is likely to
be back this week, but watch his status.
- SS Gerald Sensabaugh, DAL - broke his right thumb on Sunday
and is expected to miss at least two weeks (Dallas has a bye
in Week 6).
- The Green Bay offensive continues to be an IDP owner's best
friend, particularly the revolving door at LT Daryn Colledge
is trying to replace an injured Chad Clifton. Colledge made
mediocre Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom look like an All-Pro and
while Minnesota DE Jared Allen needs no help, a Monday night
against Colledge helped pad his stats. Allen had 4.5 sacks,
forcing a fumble on one and scoring a safety on another.
- Odom notched his eighth sack on Sunday, tying his career
high in just the fourth game of the season. While his 5 sacks
(mostly against Colledge) in Week 2 was an anomaly, his production
this year looks like no fluke.
- Don't look for tackles from him, as Dwight Freeney is almost
exclusively as pass rush specialist now, but he remains as consistent
as anyone at getting to the QB. Freeney has five sacks for the
Colts, at least one in each game this season. On the other side,
Robert Mathis blew up on Sunday, getting 3 sacks and 2 forced
fumbles. Mathis also has 5 sacks on the season.
- Since everyone has been abusing Green Bay's offensive line
this season, the 2 sacks Chicago DE Adewale Ogunleye registered
in Week 1 were losing their appeal after disappointing production
the last two weeks. On Sunday Ogunleye exploited young Detroit
RT Gosder Cherilius to get 2.5 sacks. You'll want to play him
based on match-up if you have another decent option.
- At age 34, Washington MLB London Fletcher remains as productive
and consistent as ever. He leads the league in tackles, posting
18 and 16 in Week 1 and 3, respectively, and 9 tackles in his
other two games.
- San Francisco ILB Patrick Willis packed the stat sheet with
the type of performance that makes him the top linebacker in
real and fantasy football. He had 8 tackles (5 solo), including
2.5 sacks, and returned his second INT of the season for a TD.
- After being a three-year starter and one of the captains
his senior year at Penn State, linebacker Derek Wake went undrafted
in 2005 and couldn't stick with the NY Giants as an undrafted
free agent. To get a fresh start in professional football, Wake
not only moved to the CFL, but decided to go by his middle name,
Cameron. A classic twenner, Cameron Wake joined the CFL's British
Columbia Lions in 2007 and was made a defensive end. He led
the league in sacks both of his two years in the league, winning
the Defensive Player of the Year in both. He generated a lot
of buzz around the league in the offseason, but the Dolphins
held off the competition with an unusually healthy contract
for a CFL player. After being inactive for the first two games,
Wake broke out in his fourth NFL game when given the opportunity
with OLB Joey Porter inactive with a hamstring. Wake posted
6 solo tackles, including his first 3 career sacks, forcing
a fumble on one of them. Charlie Anderson got the start in place
of Porter and played in the base defense, with Wake doing most
of his damage replacing him in nickel and dime packages. Porter's
hamstring has been a lingering problem, but he should return
this week. Regardless, the emergence of Wake should shake up
the OLB rotation, impacting Porter and Jason Taylor, who is
showing not to right him off yet with 3 sacks already this season.
Wake isn't going to completely replace Porter or Taylor right
away, so expect his performance to be sporadic when both are
healthy, but you can look at adding him in deep redrafts that
score sacks well or dynasty leagues.
- Versatile OLB Elvis Dumervil is thriving in the Mike Nolan's
3-4 that has revived the defense in Denver. For the second straight
game, Dumervil had two sacks. Along with his four sacks in Week
4, he leads the league with 8 sacks on the season.
- With starter Michael
Boley (knee) out for a while, Chase
Blackburn starts again (he replaced a suspended Boley Week
1) at WLB for the Giants. His PT looks great this week with
promising young back-up Bryan
Kehl (broken finger) out at least this week too. Blackburn
is a nice bye week fill this week.
- In Philadelphia, Jeremiah Trotter and his wobbly knees split
first-team reps in the middle with Omar Gaither. Trotter shouldn't
be more than a two-down player, but could have some value in
tackle-heavy scoring systems.
- After completing his four-game suspension, OLB Calvin Pace
returns to the Jets this week. Vernon Gholston has failed to
make an impact in Pace's place, so even if he's eased in this
week, Pace should be back to a full slate of work quickly.
- HC Bill Belichick confirmed Junior Seau has taken a physical
for the Patriots, but was typically cryptic beyond that. The
addition of Seau could be a sign that Jerod Mayo will miss some
more time and the team is unsatisfied with Gary Guyton.
- With a bye this week before a Monday night game, San Diego
OLB Shawne Merriman has some time to rest his groin before Denver
comes to town for a critical division match-up. Merriman has
had a disappointing start, but if someone has given up on him
in a shallow redraft league, he's an intriguing boom or bust
option for Week 6.
Milk Carton Player
of the Week
- SS Troy Polamalu (MCL sprain) could return for Pittsburgh
this week. Watch his progress and get ready to put him back
in your lineup if all goes well.
- After returning a pick 97 yards for a TD in Week 2, FS Darren
Sharper robbed the Jets of momentum when he returned an
INT 99 yards for a TD and a 10-0 lead in the second quarter
for the Saints. Sharper had another pick in the game to give
him a league-leading 5 on the season. On his five picks, Sharper
has 275 return yards this season, a huge bonus in leagues that
count return yardage. His quick start makes several single-season
interception records worth discussing already. Many players
have been on pace to surpass Dick "Night Train" Lane's single-season
record of 14 interceptions early in the season, but it has stood
for 56 years. Also challenging will be the record of 4 interceptions
returned for a TD in a season, shared by 3 players and last
done in 1993. A more likely target for Sharper the single-season
INT return yardage record held by Baltimore's Ed
Reed. Thanks to his pair of 90+ yard returns in the first
four games, Sharper needs just 84 more yards on picks to break
the record Reed set with 9 picks in 2004. Sharper also now has
10 picks returned for a TD in his career, just two behind the
career leader, Rod Woodson, with 12. Sharper will no longer
get you many tackles, but he is still a ball hawk with big-play
ability that will be a boom or bust pick any given week.
- As expected when and discussed here last week, George Wilson
was the most productive of the replacements in the depleted
Buffalo secondary. Struggling to get anything going against
Miami, Wilson was utilized as a pass rusher and racked up 2
sacks and a forced fumble among his 8 solo tackles. With safeties,
Donte Whitner (broken right thumb) and Bryan Scott (high ankle
sprain) out again this week, Wilson gets another start at SS
and rookie Jairus Byrd, who had 3 solo tackles and a pass defended,
gets another start at FS.
- Gibril Wilson remained a starter at safety for Miami, but
had another tough outing. He couldn't wrap up Marshawn Lynch
on a screen pass in the first quarter, resulting in a 23-yard
gain for Buffalo. Wilson finished with one solo tackle for the
game. As discussed last here last week, Wilson could be on his
way out. Tyrone Culver saw more work and could replace Wilson
in the starting lineup. It is also about the time of the year
they usually try to salvage some value of former first-round
pick Jason Allen by fitting him in somewhere for a few games.
- Tampa Bay's FS Tanard Jackson has completed serving his four-game
suspension and should step right back in to a starting role
in the battered Bucs' secondary.
- With Roy
L. Williams (forearm) out on Sunday, Nedu
Ndukwe got his first start of the season and responded with
8 tackles (7 solo), including a sack. Williams has played well
so far and his job isn't in danger, but Ndukwe is lingering
and a nice play if injury problems resurface.
- After a breakout rookie season, Washington SS Chris Horton
remains inconsistent and has failed to continue showing the
big play ability that made him a promising prospect. Solid veteran
Reed Doughty replaced him in the starting lineup on Sunday and
led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo).
- Detroit cast-off Gerald Alexander got the start at SS for
Jacksonville with Sean Considine hurting and posted 5 solo tackles,
forced a fumble, and grabbed a pick. Considine is solid, but
unspectacular, and Alexander could easily replace him.
- SS Chris Harris is expected to return to the starting lineup
for Carolina this week after missing the first three games of
the season with knee injury.
- Tampa Bay CB Aqib
Talib feasted on Washington QB Jason Campbell, picking off
three passes. They were his first of the season and while the
former first-round pick is still a work in progress, he now
has 7 picks in the first 19 games of his career (he missed one
Already walking in the shadow of his Hall of Fame father, the expectations
for Chris Long were even greater after being selected second overall
in the 2008 draft by St. Louis. He had an unspectacular rookie season,
but after starting 16 games last year and tallying four sacks, there
was at least some promise. Hope for speeding his progress came with
the hiring of HC Steve Spagnuolo in the offseason. Spagnuolo oversaw
the development of several DLine prospects in to elite players as
the DC of the Giants, but hasn't had an immediate impact on Long.
Veteran James Hall has replaced him as the starter at anchor end,
while Leonard Little has enough left in the tank to lead the team
with three sacks, leaving Long without a start or a sack four games
in to the season. There is still plenty of potential and no reason
to give up on him in a dynasty league, but it appears time to take
a flyer on someone else on the waiver wire in redraft leagues.