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IDP Notes
Week 4

Week 4 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Byes this week: Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings, Buccaneers

Defensive Line

  • Giants DL Justin Tuck left the game briefly in the second quarter, appearing to aggravate his surgically-repaired left shoulder. He would return and lead the DL production with 8 tackles (3 solo), including 2 for losses. Tuck is racking up tackles, but is yet to get to the QB for a sack. The Giants started in their base defense with Tuck at LDE and Osi Umenyiora at RDE, but Umenyiora appears to continue to be limited by various nagging pains. His left knee, which he blew to end his 2008 season, was aggravated in Week 1 and his right knee began bothering him before Week 2. He has also had pain resurface from a torn hip flexor from 2006. He posted a goose egg and looks like a risky play any given week. First-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul made his first significant contribution of the season when he stopped Tennessee RB Chris Johnson for a loss on a third-down run in the second quarter. It was his only tackle of the game. Mathias Kiwanuka rotated in at end and worked at LB in their “Big Base”. He had his team-leading fourth sack of the season among his 4 tackles (3 solo).

  • Philadelphia rookie DE Brandon Graham started back at LDE this week, but continues to work inside, as well, and logged just 1 QB hit in the box score. Darryl Tapp was active for the first time this season and took advantage of his situational role in getting his first sack as an Eagle and tallying another TFL. RDE Trent Cole led the team with 8 solo tackles, including 2 sacks. Third DE Juqua Parker got his team-leading fourth sack of the season.

  • A week after a three-sack performance, Houston DE Mario Williams put up a goose egg. Fantasy owners shouldn’t be too concerned, he faced Dallas LT Doug Free, who has not allowed a sack this season and is quickly becoming recognized as one of the top pass-defending tackles in the league. Based on Williams’ first two games, more quality production will be on the way. The takeaway is to avoid the match-up with your ends against Free.

  • It was the first career pick for Tennessee DT Sen'Derrick Marks on the first drive when Giants WR Hakeem Nicks let a pass go through his hands and it bounced off the helmet of CB Cortland Finnegan and right back to Marks. DE William Hayes returned from injury, but did not start or appear in the box score. Jason Babin remained the starter at LDE, Hayes’ expected position, and Dave Ball started at RDE with Jacob Ford out nursing a dinged up knee and ankle. Babin remained the most productive end, posting 3 tackles (1 solo) and a QB hit. Ball had his second sack of the season. Rookie Derrick Morgan remained in a situation pass rush role and posted just 1 solo tackle.

  • Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom was inactive with a left wrist sprain, giving Michael Johnson his first career start. Johnson posted 4 tackles (3 solo). Odom has been a disappointment this season, battling injuries and substance-abuse allegations, and isn’t worth rostering in shallow leagues. I wouldn’t run out and add Johnson in most redraft format yet, but the passing of the torch is in progress.

  • Seattle DE Chris Clemons got 4 hits on San Diego QB Phillip Rivers and sacked him twice among his 5 tackles (3 solo). I was high on him in the preseason and it took him a couple weeks to get going, but this was more of what I expected from the only real pass rushing threat on the team. Clearly he benefit from Rivers’ 53 pass attempts, and won’t have that many opportunities most weeks, but he is viable in sack-heavy leagues.

  • Indianapolis first-round pick DE Jerry Hughes was active for the first time on Sunday, but was limited to special teams.

  • Chicago DT Tommie Harris was a healthy scratch on Monday night and reportedly arguing with agent Drew Rosenhaus about the situation prior to the game. He has been outplayed by former sixth-round pick Matt Toeaina this year and the move was likely punitive and/or motivational for Harris. Harris could resurface soon, but he has no place on a roster until he’s not just active on game days, but contributing again.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: Chris Clemons worth considering in sack-heavy leagues where you have an injury or bye week issue. I wouldn’t drop Osi Umenyiora if I didn’t have to, but he isn’t an every-game starter in shallow leagues anymore, so think about bolstering the position if you’re counting on him. Two other refreshers from last week, I’m all in on Juqua Parker in sack-heavy leagues and done with Derrick Harvey in all formats. Make sure Michael Johnson is not out there in dynasty leagues if you have room, though he’s not a fantasy starter in most yet.


  • Those waiting for productive Cleveland ILB D’Qwell Jackson to return from his partially torn pec and boost their LB corps will have to look elsewhere as he was placed on the IR. Either the medical staff in Cleveland needs some changes or Jackson experienced a major setback, because the team never bothered putting him on the PUP in expecting him to return in less than six week and there were reports as recent as last week that he was almost ready to return to practice. Bump up Eric Barton, who is now locked in as the WILB for the rest of the year.

  • The return of OLB Shawne Merriman didn’t last long. He missed the season opener with tendinitis in his Achilles after holding out. His season started in Week 2 with 3 tackles, but he was out in the first quarter in Week 3 on Sunday after hurting his calf. His back up, Larry English was already inactive with a left foot injury he aggravated at practice last week. Their depth outside was further thinned by the absence of Jyles Tucker, whose been away from the team for a week due to personal issue. Tucker is back this week and Merriman expects to play this week, but the prognosis for English is now that he is out indefinitely as he’s undergoing surgery on the foot. With all three out of commission on Sunday, former UDFA Antwan Applewhite stepped in and got his first solo sack of his career. San Diego is plug-and-play at OLB, so Applewhite is a name for deep leagues that score sacks highly with Merriman hurting and English out. Tucker, another former UDFA, took advantage of a similar situation a couple years ago and racked up 5.5 sacks. The situation was no better inside. Stephen Cooper was inactive for the second straight game with a knee injury. In his place, Brandon Siler has been excellent at SILB. Last week Siler had 6 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes, picking one off, despite pass coverage being his liability. On Sunday Siler had his first sack of the season for a safety when he went untouched through the Seahawks OLine deep in Seattle territory. He finished with 5 solo tackles, including 3 for a loss. Siler is earning more snaps in the rotation when Cooper returns, which may come at the expense of WILB Kevin Burnett.

  • More time in their “Big Base” against Tennessee meant less production for Giants MLB Jonathan Goff and WLB Michael Boley. A week after posting 9 and 16 tackles respectively, Goff had 4 (2 solo) and Boley had 1 solo. DC Perry Fewell appears adamant about his catering his scheme for the opponent, instead of making offenses adjust to the strengths of his defense, so Goff and Boley are only worth playing against pass-heavy offenses and the Giants have one on the schedule this week with Chicago coming to town.

  • Philadelphia MLB Stewart Bradley returned to action after sustaining a concussion in Week 1. His return left Omar Gaither a healthy scratch. Bradley had 4 solo tackles.

  • Detroit MLB DeAndre Levy was active for the first time this season after dealing with a groin injury and promptly proceeded to sprain his right ankle in the game. He posted just 2 solo tackles. His status this week in again in question. Landon Johnson, who was also inactive on Sunday with a neck injury, is his back-up. The team was also without WLB Zack Follett, who was inactive with a concussion. Ashlee Palmer replaced Follett and had 6 solo tackles. He could be a sleeper again this week if all three are out. The Lions should spend a lot of time in nickel and dime against Green Bay.

  • With double-digit tackles in his first two games and 9 (5 solo) on Sunday, Carolina SLB James Anderson continues his breakout season. He is fifth in the league in tackles, ahead of annual top-five producer WLB Jon Beason and MLB Dan Connor. With Connor coming off in pass packages, it looks like he’ll be the most inconsistent producer.

  • A hamstring injury in the second half ended the day of Seattle SLB Aaron Curry. Will Herring replaced him as top back-up Leroy Hill remains out indefinitely with an Achilles’ injury. Curry tweeted after the game that it was just cramps, but the team is awaiting results of a MRI. There were also reports that Hill potentially faces a new 2- to 3-game suspension from the league for violating the personal conduct policy after a couple of arrests in the offseason for marijuana and an incident with his girlfriend. This would be on top of the one-game suspension he already served in the season opener for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. WLB David Hawthorne finally had the game fantasy owners were waiting for from the 2009 fantasy star. He posted 9 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble.

  • In his return to South Beach, Jets OLB Jason Taylor celebrated a sack for the second consecutive game much to the chagrin of fans that supported him for 12 seasons. Calvin Pace, who Taylor replaced in the starting lineup, could return to practice this week from a broken foot, but with Buffalo on the schedule this week and Taylor playing well, they’ll likely opt to sit him out one more week.

  • With Indianapolis WLB Clint Sessions out for the second straight week with a hamstring injury, rookie seventh-round pick Kavell Conner got his second straight start, however Conner broke his left foot in the game. Cody Glenn replaced him and will start this week if Sessions still isn’t ready.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: If someone was disillusioned by David Hawthorne’s start to the season and he’s out there in decent-sized leagues, grab him up. I like Michael Boley as a spot start in deeper leagues against Chicago’s pass-heavy offense. Same for Ashlee Palmer if Zack Follett is out again. If anyone is overlooking him in shallow redraft leagues, Keith Brooking is on pace for his highest tackle total since 2006 and is still a playmaker at 34. Get Brandon Siler in dynasty leagues with room on your roster and in deep, sack-heavy leagues, see what shakes out at OLB in SD. A.J. Hawk looks back in the picture in GB and motivated by his Week 1 demotion, appealing in all formats. Eric Barton benefits from the end to D’Qwell Jackson’s season in deep, tackle-heavy redraft leagues, but he won’t give you anything else.

Defensive Back

  • St. Louis FS Oshiomogho Atogwe missed the second half after aggravating a left thigh injury. He had 4 solo tackles before he left and while he is second on the team with 19 tackles (16 solo) through three games, he hasn’t generated any big plays his real team and fantasy teams expect out of him. Perhaps we’re seeing why no teams were interested in giving him a big free agent deal after an offseason filled with recovery from various major injuries. He had surgery for both a dislocation and to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and there was also confirmation of a hernia issue, although whether or not it required surgery wasn’t. He’s still getting back in playing shape and the lingering thigh problem won’t help. I wouldn’t recommend dropping him, but he’s only adding value in tackle-heavy leagues right now and any continued degradation in health will make him expendable in shallow redraft leagues.

  • Although he had just 6 solo tackles this week, Washington SS LaRon Landry still leads the league in tackles.

  • Seattle CB Marcus Trufant was sidelined early in the third quarter with a left ankle sprain. He was replaced by rookie Walter Thurmond who got a baptism by fire as San Diego QB Phillip Rivers tore up the Seahawks secondary with 455 passing yards. Somehow they managed to bend as far as possible, but not break, helped by their crowd disorienting the San Diego offense at key times and a few big plays from rookie FS Earl Thomas. He had the first two picks of his NFL career, the second deep in Seattle territory, sealing the victory over San Diego with seconds left in the game. Trufant is questionable this week and Thurmond would get the start if he’s out.

  • Former UDFA CB Kyle Arrington got his first career start for New England, as starting RCB Darius Butler was benched after a rough showing against the Jets in the previous game. Buffalo didn’t exploit the opportunity as much as they should have, so he finished with just 3 tackles (2 solo), although I though he also broke up a potential TD pass to Buffalo WR Lee Evans in the end zone in the second quarter, but he wasn’t credited with a pass defensed by the official scorer (yet). On the other side, rookie Devin McCourty started his third straight game and had 5 solo tackles. The Patriots are very suspect at the corners and should be tested there often. James Sanders remained the starter at one safety spot over Brandon Meriweather and S Patrick Chung remained the most productive member of their secondary, posting 7 solo tackles and grabbing his first pick of the year in the end zone to prevent a scoring drive on the first play of the fourth quarter.

  • The homecoming for Tennessee CB Jason McCourty, a NY native and Rutgers product, at New Meadowlands Stadium, was off to a good start when he got his first career interception on a diving grab in the end zone in the first quarter. However, it ended badly when he broke his right forearm on a tackle in the second quarter of the win over the Giants. He was replaced by rookie Alterraun Verner, who should be tested often the next 3-6 weeks while McCourty is out.

  • As expected, Revis Island was closed on Sunday night as Jets CB Darrelle Revis was inactive with a pulled left hamstring. With a poor Buffalo passing game up next, the speculation is that Revis will be held out this week, as well, to ensure the injury is fully healed. Rookie Kyle Wilson, who replaced Revis as a starter, was tested often and finished tied for the team lead in tackles with 7 (5 solo). With Wilson in the starting lineup, Drew Coleman moved in to the nickel corner role and sealed the victory at Miami with a pick in the end zone with seconds left. It was his first pick since 2007 and just the second of his career.

  • With Jacksonville SS Anthony Smith inactive with a foot injury, 2009 seventh-round pick Courtney Greene got his second career start. His encore to his huge game last week was posting just 2 solo tackles. FS Sean Considine continues to be extremely productive. He led the team in the game with 7 solo tackles, including his first sack of the season, and leads the team in tackles on the season with 24 (21 solo). CB David Jones continues to start over Derek Cox opposite Rashean Mathis, but Cox was active on Sunday.

  • Green Bay FS Nick Collins left the game with a knee strain in the first quarter, allowing sub Derrick Martin to stop a promising Chicago drive with a pick in the end zone, his first interception since 2007. Collins would return to finish the game, but might have been better of missing the rest, as an alleged altercation with a fan resulted in him throwing something, reportedly a tape roll, in the stands. This probably will just be a slap on the hand from the league.

  • Atlanta SS Erik Coleman missed his second straight game with a knee injury. William Moore continues to start in his place.

  • With Denver starting CB Andre Goodman sidelined by a thigh injury, rookie CB Perrish Cox was beaten every which way by Indianapolis WR Austin Collie. Cox also muffed a punt return deep in Denver territory that led to a field goal.

  • Tampa Bay FS Tanard Jackson has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He’s gone for at least all of this season. Sabby Piscitelli moves back to the starting lineup and SS Sean Jones, who is off to a slow start, has more job security.

  • Top waiver recommendations of the week: Following up last week’s recommendation with another plug for Jason Allen, as I still notice him not owned in many shallow to medium-sized leagues. Also, the ageless Lawyer Milloy and a healthy Kelvin Hayden have picked up their production the last two weeks.