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IDP Notes
Week 6

Week 6 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Bye Week: Cardinals, Bills, Panthers, Bengals

Defensive Line

  • I guess it wasn't just the worst offensive line in the league the previous game, because Giants DE Osi Umenyiora ran through Houston as well. His encore to his three-sack performance in Week Four was getting 2 more sacks, forcing fumbles on both of them. He is back to being an automatic starter, but I'm still worried about him down the road. He reportedly had an injection to his nagging left knee before Week Four that helped his turnaround. I couldn't confirm, but I assume it was cortisone, and that may only be of short-term value, depending on exactly what the lingering problem is with the knee. DE Justin Tuck also had a sack, giving him all of his four on the season in the last two weeks. Tweener Mathias Kiwanuka was back at least doing conditioning this week, although not practicing. He is still out indefinitely with a bulging cervical disk, so this is news is only slightly positive in that he doesn't appear to be ruled out for the season yet. Also noteworthy is rookie Jason Pierre-Paul saw no greater role for the second straight game without Kiwanuka.

  • After compiling just one sack through the first four games, Philadelphia rookie DE Brandon Graham was moved out of the starting lineup in favor of veteran Juqua Parker at LDE. Despite a significant decrease in snaps, Graham responded with 2 tackles, including forcing a fumble on a strip sack in the fourth quarter that was returned for a TD. Parker had a solo tackle and batted down a pass. I've been talking about Parker for sack-heavy leagues for a few weeks now, so this slightly bumps my outlook for him in tackle-heavy leagues, but the bottom line is the Eagles rotate extensively in the front four, so the starting roles are not as tightly correlated to production as other teams. As for Graham, he was asked to work both inside and outside early on and the team may have overloaded the rookie to start his career. Giving him a few less things to think about and focus more on just pinning back his ears and getting after the QB could help his sack total. RDE Trent Cole left Sunday night's game before halftime with an apparent hamstring injury, but was quickly back in the game in the third quarter. His back-up, Darryl Tapp, picked up a few more snaps and posted 2 solo tackles, including 1 for a loss, and a QB pressure. Tapp's spot in the rotation was secured when the team released tweener Antwan Barnes late last week. After being acquired right before the season started for a seventh-round pick from Baltimore, he saw significant work the first couple of weeks before being pass by Tapp, who initially disappointed after being acquired himself in the offseason at a higher price tag. DT Brodrick Bunkley left the on San Francisco's opening drive with a torn ligament in his elbow. He may try to play through it, but eventually needs surgery and when it happens, he should be done for the year. Former UDFA Antonio Dixon stepped in the rotation and stepped up with 4 solo tackles, including a sack. DT Trevor Laws helped seal the victory when he hit SF QB Alex Smith as he threw the ball and it was picked off on the last play of the game.

  • After not getting a sack through the first four games, San Francisco DE Justin Smith logged 2 on SNF. Smith is the rare 3-4 DE who is productive at getting the QB, posting 7 and 6, respectively, in his first two seasons with the 49ers.

  • The conventional wisdom is a player turns in a big year the season before they hit free agency, so the production of Minnesota DE Ray Edwards after four games was a mystery after his breakout season last year. However, came through with his best performance of the season on MNF. He had 7 tackles (5 solo), including 1.5 sacks - his first of the season. Coming in to the game, he had been coming close. He had 18 QB pressures, including 8 against Detroit in Week Four, and caught QB Drew Brees behind the line in Week One, but surprisingly got a TFL instead of a sack. Perhaps it took Edwards some time to get his mindset right about free agency after a disappointing turn in the offseason, as he assumed he had already been playing for the opportunity last year. Under the old rules, he would have been an UFA after last season, but due to the uncapped season without a new CBA, he was still a RFA and had to settle for a first-round tender. It's not like he was the only one unproductive in the sack column on the team - Jared Allen only has one so far this season - and the team's total of six this season is third-worst in the NFL. One contributing factor may be the early season injury status at corner. The absences of Cedric Griffin and promising rookie Chris Cook to start the season left the support in the secondary weak. With Griffin now done for the season and Cook still hurting, it doesn't look like this situation will improve any time soon.

  • Chicago DE Julius Peppers celebrated his return to Carolina with not just a win, but an athletic interception that showed the team and fans what they were missing. After shedding an attempted cut block, Peppers leaped up to bat a pass in the air and after falling to the ground, tracked it and snatched it out of the air from his knees with his big mitts. Peppers hasn't had any dominating performances this year, but has spread out his 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 4 passes defensed and his pick out to be decent on a game-to-game basis. It was DE Israel Idonije who had the shocking Peppers-esque performance with 3 sacks and a forced fumble. I bump Idonije up a bit after the team cut Mark Anderson, but you'll never see this type of performance from him again. He had the perfect storm of the additional emphasis on Peppers due to the situation, combined with a new DE rotation in progress, added to the absence of Carolina LT Jeff Otah. While the team added veteran Charles Grant for depth last week, I'm more interested for dynasty leagues to see the progress of rookie Corey Wooton and Henry Melton, who also continues to work inside, now that Anderson is gone.

  • It looks like boom-or-bust on a weekly basis for Jacksonville DE Aaron Kampman. After 1.5 sacks in the season opener against Denver, Kampman was shut out for three weeks before racking up another 1.5 at Buffalo. Definitely a match-up guy, bench him against stronger left tackles. The shared sack on Sunday with Kampman belonged to Derrick Harvey, the first time he touched a QB before releasing the ball this year.

  • In Week Four, I thought lingering problems with a right MCL sprain limited the role of Tennessee DE William Hayes. This week, it was a head injury that knocked Hayes out of the game early. I didn't see a report that said whether or not it was a concussion, but his health remains a problem. Jason Babin is doing more than enough to show he should remain the starting LDE even once Hayes is healthy. Babin had 2 more sacks on Sunday, giving him 3.5 in the last two games, and leads the team with 5.5 on the season. Jacob Ford was active through nagging knee and ankle problems, although Dave Ball remained the starter at RDE. Babin is clearly the guy to have in this group. DT Sen'Derrick Marks was inactive with a sprained left MCL and remains questionable this week.

  • New Orleans DE Will Smith is expected back after missing Sunday's game with a groin injury. Jeff Charleston got the start in his place. DE Alex Brown got his first sack as a Saint despite Smith out of the lineup to draw the double team. Brown has gotten off to a disappointing start with his new team. He was never an elite pass rusher, but his tackle numbers are way down too.

  • Cincinnati gave Michael Johnson the start at RDE over Antwan Odom, but the results were no better. Odom left the game late with a right knee injury and while I couldn't find specifics, it sounds like he is expected to miss a week or two.

  • Green Bay DE Cullen Jenkins was held without a sack for the first time this season. He's still easily on track for his first double-digit sack season and should at least pass his current season best of 6.5 sacks. On the other side, DE Ryan Pickett has an ankle sprain and is questionable this week.

  • A week after his first impact performance of the season, Washington DT Albert Haynesworth missed Sunday's game to be with his family in Tennessee after the death of his half-brother, Lance McCoy, in a motorcycle accident last week.

  • Top five teams allowing most sacks this season (start your DLine against them): Chicago (21), Arizona (19), Philadelphia (19), Carolina (17), and Oakland (16).

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: Chris Clemons was hot before his bye this week, so people might have not added him yet, and Seattle faces the league's worst offensive line in Chicago. If anyone gave up on Ray Edwards, scoop him back up, but be prepared for inconsistency because of their secondary problems. In deep sack-heavy leagues, especially dynasty, grab Antwan Barnes if your league categorizes him as a DE. He could factor in San Diego's OLB situation shortly.


  • Coming off a four-sack performance in his previous game, San Diego OLB Shaun Phillips had a strip sack overturned when replay ruled Oakland QB Bruce Gradkowski's arm was moving forward and it was an incomplete pass. Phillips finished with 3 solo tackles. OLB Shawne Merriman was active after missing 3 of 4 games with tendinitis in his Achilles and a calf problem. However, the burst isn't back and Merriman didn't start, finishing with 2 tackles (1 solo). The team is done with him, placing him on the IR and are expected to release him with an injury settlement. So he should be back with another team soon, but isn't worth a gamble in all but the deepest of sack-heavy leagues. With Merriman gone, Larry English still out a few more weeks after surgery on his left foot and Jyles Tucker also on the IR, it is Antwan Applewhite who continues to benefit. He started his third straight game opposite Phillips. Applewhite had just 1 solo tackle, but he has a great opportunity. However, he'll have to do it quickly because the team signed Antwan Barnes to fill Merriman's roster spot. Barnes started strong in Philadelphia, but fell out of the rotation and, as discussed above under the Eagles DLine, was released last week. Barnes could replace Applewhite quickly if he can show something in practice. The team also signed former UDFA Cyril Obiozor off Arizona's practice squad last week to take Tucker's place and provide depth at OLB. Obiozor was active, but just played on special teams and that probably remains his role. On the inside, Kevin Burnett continues to impress. His role has expanded to more pass rushing responsibility with their problems on the edges, and he's responded with back-to-back two-sack games. His 4 sacks this season are already a new career high and he's on pace to shatter his career best in tackles, projecting to come in just under 100.

  • Green Bay ILB Nick Barnett was inactive after injuring his wrist last week. Latest reports are he will have surgery and be out up to 8 weeks, but the team may opt to put him on the IR if they need his roster spot. They expect to decide after the surgery. Desmond Bishop started in his place and wasted no time making an impact. He led the team with 13 tackles (6 solo), including his first sack since 2008. His was used extensively as a pass rusher, getting 2 other QB hits. With Brandon Chillar also out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, A.J. Hawk also continued to play extensively and had 9 tackles (5 solo). Reserve OLB Brady Poppinga gets a boost to his value as he is the third ILB until Chillar returns. Maurice Simpkins was promoted from the practice squad for depth. Poppinga had 4 tackles (3 solo), including his first sack of the season, after seeing his most significant work of the season. Brad Jones replaced UDFA rookie Frank Zombo as a starter outside opposite Clay Matthews. Matthews had 1.5 sacks in the game, extending his league lead to 8.5 on the season. He tweaked his hamstring in the game and there is concern he could be out this week, but HC Mike McCarthy has not ruled him out yet. Depending on if they need Poppinga inside, he or Zombo would replace Matthews if he misses any time.

  • Despite being held to a season-low 8 tackles (4 solo), Carolina SLB James Anderson took over the league lead in tackles. He also shared a sack and continues to be the IDP breakout fantasy star of the year who needs to be started every week in every format.

  • After a slow start to the season, Tennessee MLB Stephen Tulloch had 12 or more tackles for the third-straight game, in addition to his first pick since his rookie year. Tulloch is red hot and now a must-start in all formats.

  • A back-up DE for most of his career, Washington OLB Lorenzo Alexander started his second straight game over Andre Carter. Alexander had 3 assist, including sharing a sack with ILB London Fletcher. Alexander, who continues to have a heavy workload as a top special teams player, has earned the nod for, among other things, being stronger in pass coverage than Carter, according to DC Jim Haslett.

  • After a cameo appearance in Week 3, Detroit MLB DeAndre Levy remains sidelined with a groin and is expected to miss this week too. Landon Johnson continues to replace him.

  • After a disappointing rookie season, Denver former first-round pick OLB Robert Ayers got off to a fast start with 1.5 sacks in his first two games this season and although he hasn't had any since, his play was much improved, but his season was derailed after breaking his foot on Sunday. Thin outside after already having lost Elvis Dumervil for the year, the team may look to another former first-round pick to finally step up as Jarvis Moss will take his place opposite Jason Hunter, who had his most productive performance of the year against the Ravens. Starting ILB Mario Haggan started outside for the Broncos all last year, so moving him there is another option, but depth at ILB is hurting as well, with top reserve Wesley Woodyard expected to miss this week after aggravating a hamstring injury that has already cost him two games this season. ILB D.J. Williams had his third double-digit tackle game of the season with a game-high 15 tackles (10 solo) with plenty of opportunities as Baltimore running the ball 47 times.

  • Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon returned after missing the previous game with an ankle sprain, only to leave in the second half with a left knee injury. It sounds like it isn't serious, but the play of Stephen Nicolas is. In the previous game, Nicolas led the team with 13 tackles in place of Weatherspoon. Stepping in again to finish up on Sunday, Nicolas had 4 tackles and a pick.

  • Dallas ILB Bradie James suffered a right knee sprain in Sunday's loss and has not practiced this week, although it sounds like the team is still optimistic he'll play this week. Jason Williams likely replaces him if he is out.

  • Arizona ILB Gerald Hayes is expected to return after the team's bye this week. He began the season on the PUP due to a back injury and can begin practicing next week. His return likely puts him back as the starting SILB and bumps rookie Darryl Washington out of the starting lineup and cagey journeyman Paris Lenon to WILB in his place. Washington has struggled to make the transition this year, but still has plenty of promise in dynasty leagues. Lenon has been their glue in the interior.

  • ILB Channing Crowder is practicing and finally expected to suit up for the first time this season after battling groin problems. Bobby Carpenter and Tim Dobbins lose what little value they have once Crowder is back.

  • Oakland MLB Rolando McClain broke his string of just 6 tackles in each of the first four games this season. He had 7 on Sunday. [Special Ed] Yay! [\\\\Special Ed]

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: It's all about Desmond Bishop this week. Kevin Burnett might still be there in deep leagues. Deeper leagues can get a head start on Gerald Hayes before he returns. See my note on Antwan Barnes under DLine recommendations, but I like him less as a deep, deep flyer if he must be classified as a LB.

Defensive Back

  • Washington SS LaRon Landry advanced his case of early contention for the Defensive POY. He started the game forcing a fumble on the first drive that was recovered by FS Kareem Moore and finished the game grabbing his first pick of the season in overtime to set up the game-winning FG. In between he had a team-high 13 tackles (10 solo), his third double-digit tackle game of the season, and is second in the league with 52 tackles on the season. CB DeAngelo Hall also continues to be a fantasy star with his second double-digit tackle game, putting up 12 (6 solo).

  • Philadelphia SS Quintin Mikell had a great performance on SNF, leading the team with 8 solo tackles, breaking up a pass, and returning a fumble recovery for his first career TD in the fourth quarter, his second fumble recovery of the game. Mikell leads the team with 31 tackles on the season. Rookie Trevor Lindley had his first career interception in the prevent defense on the final play of the game after SF QB Alex Smith was hit while throwing the ball. Lindley was inactive the last two games because of spotty special teams play.

  • With Steve Gregory serving the first game of his four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on PEDs, it was Paul Oliver who got the start at SS for San Diego, as expected. However, what was in question is how much rookie Darrell Stuckey would be involved and the answer was not at all. Still battling a hamstring injury, the team was comfortable enough to leave Stuckey inactive, along with veteran Tyrone Carter, who was signed last week for depth. Oliver secured the job by leading the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).

  • Having just lost Melvin Bullitt for the season and still without Bob Sanders, it was a surprise to see Indianapolis cut DaJuan Morgan, who was next on the depth chart at SS, on Saturday - right before the opportunity for Morgan to face his former team, Kansas City. Instead they gave journeyman Aaron Francisco, who they signed off the street last week, the start at SS. Francisco had 2 solo tackles and broke up a pass.

  • A healthy Charlie Peprah is the new SS in Green Bay. As discussed here last week, DC Dom Capers said Peprah was ahead of Derrick Martin, who replaced Morgan Burnett when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the previous game. Peprah started and his nagging quad held up for the whole game. He had 5 tackles (4 solo). Martin is totally out of the picture after hurting his knee on Sunday and being placed on the IR. As Capers was uncertain if Peprah could go this week, and they've lost more depth at safety with Martin done, nickel CB Jarrett Bush had been practicing at safety, so Patrick Lee worked more as nickel this week. Martin was back to strictly a special teams role. Rookie UDFA Sam Shields, who started the season as the nickel corner, missed his second straight game with a calf injury. Reserve CB Brandon Underwood is also dinged up, he was active, but limited to just special teams work as he works through a shoulder injury. Another wrinkle was CB Charles Woodson moving inside in the nickel to cover the slot to make him more available for blitzing.

  • Denver's defensive injury woes continued in the secondary. SS Brian Dawkins is out for a few weeks after suffering a strained right knee in the fourth quarter. The team had already lost their top back-up safety, Darcel McBath, earlier in the game with an ankle injury that has him listed as out indefinitely. That leaves David Bruton, a fourth-round pick last year, as the SS for now. CB Andre Goodman returned, but didn't last long, aggravating his hamstring. He is out again this week, so the Jets will look to pick on rookie Perrish Cox this week.

  • Devastating news for Minnesota CB Cedric Griffin, he tore his right ACL late on MNF and is done for the season. He was rushed his rehab back after tearing his left ACL in the NFC Championship in January and now has blown the other knee. The team is pushing for rookie Chris Cook to be ready this week, as he is dealing with a tear in his right meniscus and has only suited up once this season after a promising preseason. The team added journeyman Frank Walker for depth to fill Griffin's roster spot.

  • I hope someone desperate at safety benefitted from my late correction last week that rookie seventh-round pick Cody Grimm was the new starting FS in Tampa Bay after the loss of Tanard Jackson. Russ Grimm's son had quite the performance coming out of the bye. With Cincinnati leading 7-0 in the first half, Grimm returned his first career pick for a TD to contribute to the eventual victory. He also led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo).

  • After his two-interception performance the previous game, Houston gave Troy Nolan his first career start and he had 7 tackles (5 solo).

  • Looks like Denver gave up too early on Detroit CB Alphonso Smith. After trading a 2010 first-round pick to select Smith in the second round in 2009, he was traded prior to the season for TE Dan Gronkowski, a seventh-round pick in 2009. Smith grabbed his third pick of the season on Sunday and returned it for a TD. This week he was promoted to a starting role, with Jonathan Wade getting benched.

  • Jacksonville CB Derek Cox has regained his starting job from David Jones after Jones was benched for being the only person to allow Buffalo WR Lee Evans to do anything this year. Whichever one is in there will be the favorite target for opposing QBs and manage some decent fantasy production because of it.

  • The Bengals reserve CB formerly known as Pacman Jones was cuffed and stuffed after being involved in a car accident after the team's loss on Sunday. Apparently the name "Adam Jones" brought up hits for outstanding warrants, but it was for a different Adam Jones. Police originally didn't buy Pacman's explanation that he was not the man they wanted, but he was released shortly after it was sorted out a bit later. So Jones lives to play another day in the NFL.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: Charlie Peprah and Paul Oliver have the most job security of a group of new guys at SS this week, most of whom are likely temporary. Oliver has more big play potential.