- After being questionable leading up to their Sunday night
game at Indianapolis due to aggravating his surgically-repaired
left knee, Giants DE Osi Umenyiora started at RDE. He was limited,
posting just 1 solo tackle, and rotated more with Mathias Kiwanuka,
who saw less work at LB with the team aborting their ďBig
BaseĒ against a stronger passing team, even though the
Colts proceeded to run over them. Kiwanuka had the only sack,
giving him 3 on the season, and DL Justin Tuck racked up 7 tackles
(5 solo), but is still looking for his first sack. With another
run-heavy team up this week in Tennessee, Kiwanuka should see
his tackle numbers bounce with more of the ďBig BaseĒ
package being utilized. Umenyiora remains a risky high-upside
play while concerns about his knee linger.
- Houston DE Mario Williams is back. Healthy again, he is back
to piling up sacks. Williams welcomed Washington rookie LT Trent
Williams to the NFL with a three-sack day and batting down 2
passes. He is second in the league with 4 sacks on the season.
- Indianapolis ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis each had
a pair of sacks, the third of the season for each. Freeney forced
a fumble on one of his in the third quarter that DT Fili Moala
rolled in for a TD.
- Detroit DE Kyle Vanden Bosch didnít lead the team in
tackles again this week, but he did lead them with 1.5 sacks
among his 6 tackles (2 solo). KVB is off to a great start and
should be locked in to your starting lineup. Rookie DT Ndamukong Suh did lead the team with 8 tackles (6 solo) and had a sack
for the second straight game. Suh is also off to a great start
and should be starting in leagues that require a DT.
- Fantasy owners were disappointed by the goose egg from Philadelphia
rookie DE Brandon Graham in the season opener, but he got his
first career sack and another solo tackle on Sunday. He wasnít
playing inside quite as much, although he started there, but
was still sliding in for obvious passing situations. The beneficiary
remains third DE Juqua Parker, who got his third sack of the
season. Once again, Darryl Tapp was a healthy scratch.
- After working primarily with his hand off the ground in the
preseason, Cincinnati tweener DE Michael Johnson was back with
the linemen last week with Jonathan Fanene out with a hamstring
injury. He saw his first significant action of the season as
a pass rush specialist and brought good pressure, sharing a
sack with rookie DT Geno Atkins.
- Washington DT Albert Haynesworth was inactive on Sunday after
spraining his ankle in practice last week. While out of his
control, this isnít going to help his situation with HC
- Oakland DT Richard Seymour was inactive with a hamstring
injury. John Henderson started in his place, next to Tommy Kelly,
and had 3 solo tackles. Trevor Scott started again at RDE, but
posted just one solo tackle, while Matt Shaughnessy had a goose
egg. Rookie LDE Lamarr Houston got his first career sack.
- Tampa Bay DE Tim Crowder racked up 2 sacks and forced a fumble
as the third DE behind starters Stylez G. White, who also had
his first sack of the season, and Kyle Moore. Crowder showed
good pass rush potential as a back-up in Denver, but wasnít
a good fit when they switched to a 3-4. Crowder competed with
Moore for the starting LDE role in camp and Moore likely won
mostly in being drafted by the current regime. Crowder should
continue to push for a greater role.
- Houston added ends Adewale Ogunleye and Ryan Denney for depth
after losing Connor Barwin for the season and waiving Tim Jamison.
Denney saw some action, getting a QB pressure, but Ogunleye
was inactive on Sunday.
- The Jets got the news they feared on NT Kris Jenkins last
week. Heís done for the year after re-injuring his left
knee. Sione Pouha replaces him in the lineup.
- In Tennessee, LDE Jason Babin is off to the best start of
his career. He led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo), including
a sack for the second consecutive game. However, his starting
job may be in jeopardy with William Hayes ready to return. Although
RDE Jacob Ford is now battling leg problems. Either way, Babin
will continue to be a significant part of the rotation with
rookie Derrick Morgan, who shared a sack with DT Tony Brown
to follow up his first solo sack in Week 1. When all the ends
are healthy, Dave Ball should be the odd man out.
- Top waiver recommendations of the
week: in sack-heavy leagues, Iíd add Juqua Parker, as
it looks like he will continue to benefit in lining up at end
with rookie Brandon Graham inside in passing situations. Also
consider Jason Babin, although know the rotation is about to
get deeper. In shallow redraft leagues, Iíd be ready to give
up on Derrick
Harvey in Jacksonville.
- Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews had 3 sacks for the second straight
game and his 6 leads the league. An unimpressive Chicago OLine
is on tap for this week, so he could see 3 more. Matthews has
been a dominating presence in both games and is an early contender
for Defensive POY. A week after ILB A.J. Hawk was bounced from
the base defense, DC Dom Capers had him back in almost every
package against Buffalo and Hawk responded with 9 tackles (4
solo). Iíd still be leery of plugging him back in your
starting lineup, the Packers may have been showcasing him for
a potential trade, although Iím not sure I buy the speculation
for Marshawn Lynch.
- After running a ďBig BaseĒ designed to stop the
run last week, Giants DC Perry Fewell came out at Indianapolis
frequently with six DBs and just one LB to stop QB Peyton Manning.
The Colts took the opportunity to run over them and the IDP
beneficiary was OLB Michael Boley. As discussed in this column
last week, as their only LB decent in coverage, Boley had a
significant role and with the Colts running wild, he led the
team with 16 tackles (4 solo). In the nickel, MLB Jonathan Goff
joined Boley and saw more snaps, posting 9 tackles (8 solo).
The use of Keith Bulluck continued to be limited in this package,
as well, and almost non-existent for Clint Sintim. Instead,
back-up S Deon Grant has seen more, playing a tweener LB role
at times. Sunday night showed Fewell needs to find a balance
between his extreme packages when facing a team who will adjust
quickly. This week they face a Tennessee team similar to their
Week 1 opponent, strong running game and limited passing threat.
I expect more of the ďBig BaseĒ and Boleyís
role to decrease, but not be totally out of the picture like
he was in their first game.
- In their new 3-4 defense, it has been Washington ILB Rocky McIntosh, who moved inside from 4-3 WLB, who has been the bigger
beneficiary than ILB London Fletcher, previously their MLB.
McIntosh had 14 tackles on Sunday and is among the league leaders
with 24 (13 total). Fletcher isnít far behind with 18
(10 total) and got his first sack of the season. Both were on
the field for 82 of 83 defensive snaps.
- As expected, Philadelphia MLB Stewart Bradley was inactive
due to a concussion. Omar Gaither started in his place and although
he led the team with 11 solo tackles, many were downfield. He
also struggled in coverage against Detroit TE Brandon Pettigrew
and whiffed on Detroit RB Jahvid Bestís 75-yard TD off
a screen. Bradley was cleared by the medical staff to return
to practice and the injury report isnít out yet, but I
expect heíll return this week.
- Pittsburgh ILB Lawrence Timmons has been a tackle-machine
through two games. He is second in the league with 26 tackles
(21 solo), posting double-digit numbers in both games.
- Cincinnati WLB Keith Rivers was inactive with a foot injury
and the versatile Brandon Johnson got the start in his place.
Johnson had 6 solo tackles and grabbed a pick. Johnson will
continue to see a significant role when Rivers returns, with
SLB Rey Maualuga looking to have his numbers negatively impacted.
- With OLB Calvin Pace already out with a broken right foot,
the team got a scare when OLB Jason Taylor hyperextended his
left elbow in the game. Taylor played through the injury, getting
his first sack of the season and forcing a fumble on the final
play of the game, although he further aggravated the elbow on
the play. However, Taylor is expected to play this week and
should continue to start at least one more game, as Pace, although
ahead of schedule on his recovery, remains unlikely to play
- A surprise in Carolina with SLB James Anderson leading the
team in tackles. He had 10 in each of the first two games and
looks worth adding. After 10 tackles in the first game, WLB
Jon Beason continues cruising along, posting another 9. Some
are complaining about his production, and he hasnít turned
in a big play yet, but heís on pace for 136 tackles, which
is right around what he consistently produced at MLB, although
his solo tackles project to drop a bit.
- Detroit MLB DeAndre Levy started practicing last week and
should return from a groin strain this week, but watch for updates.
- Miami OLB Cameron Wake had a sack and shared another. He
now has 2.5 on the season. He forced a fumble on one sack that
rookie OLB Koa Misi recovered in the end zone for his first
- Jacksonville SLB Daryl Smith had his second straight great
game, posting 7 solo tackles, including a sack, after 7 tackles
(5 solo) and a pick in the season opener. WLB Justin Durant
left the game early with an ankle sprain and was replaced by
Russell Allen. Durant is questionable for this week.
- Seattle LB Leroy Hill is out indefinitely with a calf injury,
securing the WLB for David Hawthorne, who has had a slow start
to the season.
- Top waiver recommendation of the week:
If people ignored Rocky
McIntosh or Derrick
Johnson last week, grab them now. Both are recommended in
all formats. Same for Michael Boley, to a lesser degree, since
heís still only a spot starter due to how the Giantsí defense
is being schemed week-to-week. Iím cautiously optimistic about
Daryl Smithís strong start and like him in deeper leagues. In
big play leagues, look for Cameron Wake, who has seamlessly
taken over as Miamiís top pass rusher. Iím still skeptical about
James Anderson, but he canít be ignored in deep tackle-heavy
leagues. You can cut bait on Keith Bulluck in all formats and,
if you still were holding on to him, Clint Sintim in redraft
- Owners of breakout fantasy star LaRon Landry had a rollercoaster
ride on Sunday with the Washington SS. He left Sundayís
game early before halftime, but it was just for cramps. In the
fourth quarter he left the game with a left wrist injury, but
returned one play later, then left for good in overtime after
aggravating the injury. It appears just a bruise and Landry
should be good to go this week. He leads the league with 28
tackles (21 solo) and has a sack among those. Expect a career
high in sacks this year, as he blitzed on 15 plays on Sunday.
- Miami CB Jason Allen has once again flashed the potential
that made him a first-round pick. He picked off Minnesota QB
Brett Favre twice and posted 11 tackles (7 solo). Heís
worth taking a gamble on, but heís burned owners with
his inconsistency before.
- With Jacksonville SS Anthony Smith inactive with a foot injury,
2009 seventh-round pick Courtney Greene got his first career
start. He responded by leading the team with 11 tackles (8 solo)
and creating two turnovers, grabbing his first career pick and
forcing a fumble.
- A Pro Bowler last year, New England S Brandon Meriweather
has been displaced in the starting lineup by veteran James Sanders,
but remains involved. Sanders has worked in the base package
and Meriweather replaces him in the nickel, limiting the value
of either. Expect this situation to be fluid, as Meriweather
is the better athlete, but for SS Patrick Chung is their only
safety to rely on.
- A strained hamstring looks like it will close Revis Island
temporarily. Jets CB Darrelle Revis sat out the second half
after aggravating his left hamstring chasing Randy Moss around
on Sunday. Lots of speculation on how much time heíll
miss, from none to at least two games, so watch for updates.
- Cleveland rookie SS T.J. Ward had 11 tackles for the second
straight game. On a defense weak in the front seven and who
will be on the field a lot, Ward should rack up some big tackles
numbers this season.
- Not surprisingly, Denver HC Josh McDaniels has little to
offer about the details of CB Champ Bailey leaving Sundayís
game on crutches. That it is not a broken bone is the extent
of information. Ankle sprain is the speculation. Bailey is highly
questionable for this week.
- Last week I mentioned Jacksonville CB Derek Cox was benched
during the game, but HC Jack Del Rio said he remained the starter.
Unfortunately, that was coachspeak as Cox was a healthy scratch
on Sunday. Replacement David Jones was part of a secondary abused
by San Diego, so Cox may be back soon, but Cox is obviously
in the doghouse.
- The cornerback formerly known as Pacman, the Bengalsí Adam
"Pacman" Jones, had his first INT since 2006. He left
the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, but is
expected to play this week.
- Top waiver recommendations of the
week: In dynasty leagues and redrafts with deep rosters,
Iím taking a gamble on Courtney
Greene as Jacksonville needs a playmaker in their secondary.
Same for Jason
Allen, who could yet live up to his potential.