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 7

Week 7 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Byes this week: Lions, Texans, Colts, Jets

Players who began the year on the PUP were eligible to begin practicing upon the conclusion of Week 6 (so conceptually they could have participated in a late night practice after MNF, but in reality most will return when teams begin their practice week on Wednesday, October 20th (as Tuesday is an off day for most teams). Teams now have three weeks (prior to Week Nine) to activate players on the PUP to their 53-man roster, so not all players will return this week.

Defensive Line

  • One of the hottest IDPs out there is Giants DE Osi Umenyiora. He had his third straight multi-sack game on Sunday as he racked up 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles for the second straight game. His 8 sacks move him up to second in the league, half a sack behind Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews. The team needs his production as they remain without tweener Mathias Kiwanuka for the third straight game. He is having another specialist look at his bulging cervical disk this week and expects to make a decision after that. First-round pick DE Jason Pierre-Paul finally got more involved this week, getting 2 solo tackles, including 1 for a loss. His time came at the expense of DE Dave Tollefson, who just worked on special teams.

  • Already having lost his starting job in Week 6, Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom was suspended four games last week for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. We first talked about this possibility back in Week Two when he initially tested positive. It shouldn’t impact too many fantasy teams, as Odom’s poor play as he struggles to regain form from the torn Achilles’ tendon that ended his breakout season last year shouldn’t have had him being played in any format most of the year. The Bengals will come out of the bye with Jonathan Fanene, if his hamstring is healthy, and Michael Johnson working RDE out of the bye.

  • Rookie first-round pick DE Brandon Graham was lost for Philadelphia after a brutal cut block in the fourth quarter. He appeared to suffer a serious ankle injury. Graham, who was demoted out of starting role in Week Five, was coming off the bench again, working both inside and outside. Darryl Tapp is doing the same and posted 3 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. Tapp gets a bump if Graham misses any time. After being kept off the QB the last two games, Trent Cole had 2 sacks, giving him a team high 5 sacks on the season, and a key third-down stop. DE Victor Abiamiri doesn’t sound like he’s coming off the PUP this week. He’s buried in the rotation regardless once he’s healthy and will likely be injured again soon. DT Brodrick Bunkley was inactive, as expected, with a torn ligament in his elbow. It looks like Bunkley will try to play through the injury as opposed to going on the IR, but will miss at least this week. Former UDFA Antonio Dixon got his first career start in place of Bunkley and had a strong performance with 3 tackles (2 solo). Bunkley’s status is uncertain, but Dixon should continue to start while he’s out and remain an important part of the rotation when he’s healthy. It’s hard not to root for Dixon, who is a great story of perseverance. With his father in prison, Dixon spent most of his childhood in temporary living situations in Miami, including homeless shelters, as his mother tried to provide for five kids. Challenged through school with learning disability and severe stuttering problem, that made him a subject of youthful ridicule despite his size, a year of prep school qualified him for the University of Miami, where he steadily progress as a defensive tackle. Washington originally signed him as an UDFA in 2009, but he was released before the season starter. The Eagles scooped him up and he was active all 16 games last season. With a tireless work ethic, he consistently progressed since then, culminating with hopefully the first of many starts for him as a professional football player.

  • In an excellent defensive display on MNF, Tennessee ends Jacob Ford and William Hayes looked fully healthy again and began to assert themselves. Ford had his first sack since Week One and Hayes had 3 solo tackles. Their increased workload came at the expense of starters Dave Ball and Jason Babin. The duo shared a sack, giving Babin a team-leading, and career best, 6 on the season and Ball also set a new career high with 5 sacks on the season. The upside of all four is now limited by all four being healthy. I like Babin the best by a slim margin. I think he is the best pure pass rusher, so he retains a bit more value in sack-heavy leagues. Ford will challenge him as the pass rush specialist on the right side. Hayes probably has the most all-around talent, but is not a great pass rusher and his tackle totals from stout run defense will be limited by the rotation. While it appears he’ll remain the starter, I like Ball the least. He is the least athletic of the group and a miscast 3-4 end benefitting from the talent up and down this front four.

  • Miami first-round pick DE Jared Odrick remained inactive. He hasn’t played since Week One when he suffered a hairline fracture in his right fibula and has been complicated by ankle problems since trying to return.

  • Pittsburgh DE Brett Keisel left the game early with a left hamstring injury and is expected to miss this week. Nick Eason and Evander Hood replaced him and should continue to rotate in his place this week.

  • St. Louis ends James Hall and Chris Long both had a pair of sacks as the Rams got to San Diego QB Phillip Rivers seven times on Sunday. It was the second two-sack game of the season for Hall and he leads the team with 6 on the season. He’s on pace for his first double-digit sack season since 2004, the only time in 11 seasons the 33-year old achieved the feat. While he hasn’t been an elite pass rusher historically, the defense finally seems to be coming together under HC Steve Spagnuolo and Hall is in the right place at the right time.

  • Cleveland HC Eric Mangini revealed DE Robaire Smith may be done for the season with a back injury. AP was reporting it was a done deal per an unnamed team source on Tuesday night. He was inactive on Sunday due to the back, but there was no previous indication it was season-threatening. Former UDFA Brian Schaefering replaces him.

  • Chicago is already done with DE Charles Grant after he showed up out of shape (being waived by the UFL Omaha Nighthawks after two games apparently was not enough of a preemptive warning sign for the Bears). The team activated DE Barry Turner off the practice squad. Turner had a nice preseason, but as a UDFA, was the easier choice for the practice squad. Corey Wooton and Henry Melton will now compete to be the third DE.

  • It was understandable that Washington DT Albert Haynesworth was inactive Week Five to be with his family after the accidental death of his half-brother, but he was a surprise healthy scratch again for SNF, as NBC’s Andrea Kremer reported before the game that Haynesworth told her he was ready and willing to play. HC Mike Shanahan seemed to contradict that when he said after the game Haynesworth missed too much practice time when out the previous week. Kremer also reported she talked to Washington GM Bruce Allen and he said Haynesworth “will still be a member” of the Redskins after Tuesday’s trade deadline. Regardless, this latest incident could restart tension between Haynesworth and Shanahan.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: James Hall continues flying under the radar and while I wouldn’t want him as my starter every game, he’s a great bye week substitute. I’d try to sell high on Osi Umenyiora in all formats and in dynasty leagues, would be even happier if Jason Pierre-Paul was out there on the waiver wire and I had room to roster him.


  • A devastating loss for Houston and his fantasy owners as MLB DeMeco Ryans is lost for the year with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Run, don’t walk, to your waiver wire to add Zach Diles, who slides in to take over the middle. Rookie Darryl Sharpton also gains value as he take over the WLB position that Diles vacates.

  • After his surgery last week and the projected 8 week recovery, Green Bay decided to put ILB Nick Barnett on the IR. Desmond Bishop is locked in the starting lineup at ILB now and put up his second straight double-digit tackle game, posing 10 tackles (7 solo) and breaking up a pass. ILB A.J. Hawk led the team with 13 tackles (5 solo) as Miami dominated time of possession and pounded the ball. The team was without OLB Clay Matthews, who was inactive with a left hamstring. Matthews was able to hold on to his league lead in sacks with 8.5 despite missing the game. He is expected to be back this week for a key divisional match-up with Minnesota and the team needs him, they got no sacks in a game for the first time this season with Matthews out of the lineup. Brady Poppinga replaced Matthews opposite Brad Jones, but Poppinga left in the second quarter with a problem in his left knee. Poppinga tore the ACL in that knee in 2005 and it looks like he’ll miss some time as he had the knee cleaned up on Tuesday. UDFA rookie Frank Zombo returned to the first team to fill in for Poppinga on Sunday, but should return to a back-up role with Matthews expected back this week.

  • Atlanta MLB Curtis Lofton limped off the field late in the fourth quarter, but returned the next series, the final one of the game, to get his 14th and final tackle of the game (11 solo). He should be fine this week and the team needs him, as rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon was inactive after injuring his left knee in the previous game. Stephen Nicholas had 6 solo tackles, including 1 TFL, in his place, and will get another start this week as Weatherspoon has already been ruled out. It will be the third game Weatherspoon missed, also sitting out Week Four with an ankle sprain and may have a fight on his hands to get his starting job back when he’s healthy.

  • A good sign Philadelphia MLB Stewart Bradley is fully recovered from his torn ACL was his sack on the first third down of Sunday’s win over Atlanta. For Bradley, who is not much of a pass rusher or often used as such, it was his first sack since opening day 2008. Don’t expect him to turn in many other big plays, but it’s good to see from the big fella. He led the team with 7 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass.

  • Not known for his pass coverage ability, Minnesota MLB E.J. Henderson picked off Dallas QB Tony Romo twice. The first was a lucky bounce deflected off a helmet, but the second was a misread by Romo trying to force the ball in to TE Jason Witten. Henderson also had 9 tackles (4 solo). It was the second straight solid performance by Henderson, who is less than a year removed from a gruesome broken leg. After a slow start to the season, he seems to have been rejuvenated by the rest over their Week Four bye and looks like he can be started regularly again. WLB Chad Greenway led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo), including 1 TFL, and broke up a pass. He leads the team by a significant margin with 51 tackles on the season.

  • With DeAndre Levy (groin) and Landon Johnson (concussion) both out in Detroit, it was Ashlee Palmer who got the start and he responded with 13 tackles (9 solo) as an every-down player with depth lacking on Sunday. Palmer was signed as an UDFA out of Mississippi by Buffalo in 2009. He was released after the season despite getting the opportunity to start there because of a rash of injuries at LB. A JUCO safety, he was converted to LB at Mississippi and had a solid, but unspectacular, career. He played in the Senior Bowl, but wasn’t invited to the Combine. An athletic, but undersized, player, Palmer’s ceiling should be special teams, but he’s been in the right place at the right time for the second straight year. The Lions have a bye this week, so we’ll check back next week if Levy is finally ready to go. If not, Johnson should be ready and I would expect him to get the nod over Palmer. The Lions also had a scare with WLB Zack Follett having to leave on stretcher with his heads in a brace after a violent collision during the kick-off of the second half. Vinny Ciurciu got some rare PT in place of Follett. Thankfully the reports are all positive about Follett’s head and spine and he has feeling and movement. Palmer could get the opportunity at WLB if Follett isn’t ready after the bye and Johnson is in the middle.

  • With MLB Gary Brackett out with a groin injury, rookie Pat Angerer got his first career start for Indianapolis in the middle. He responded with 11 tackles (4 solo), including his first career sack, and broke up 2 passes. With the Colts heading to a bye, his value for the year may be done for redraft leagues, but he definitely looks appealing for dynasty leagues. However, it might not be at MLB soon, as the 30-year old Brackett just signed a five-year extension before the season.

  • Ageless Washington ILB London Fletcher continues to be the most consistent IDP fantasy producer in NFL history, as he posted his third double-digit tackle game of the season. He led the team with 14 tackles (7 solo) and jumped to third in the league with 60 tackles on the season.

  • New England ILB Jerod Mayo led the team with 18 tackles (11) solo and has 34 (25 solo) in his last two games alone. He has jumped up to second in the league in tackles off that strong run, with 60 on the season. To focus on stopping the Baltimore run game, rookie ILB Brandon Spikes got a heavy workload and responded with his first career double-digit tackle game, totaling 16 (8 solo) in the victory. A liability in pass coverage, Spikes is unable to push Gary Guyton completely out of the picture, so don’t expect stat lines like this every week, but clearly Spikes is showing himself to be a productive two-down run stopper and a great play any time New England faces a run-heavy opponent.

  • Arizona ILB Gerald Hayes (back) and fourth-round pick OLB O’Brien Schofield (knee) are expected to begin practicing Wednesday, as they are now eligible to come off the PUP. Hayes is expected to be ready, but Schofield might not be activated yet as he continues to recover from tearing his left ACL during practice for the Senior Bowl. The return of Hayes is expected to eventually move underperforming rookie ILB Darryl Washington to the bench. Hayes should resume his SILB job and overachieving journeyman Paris Lenon should remain a starter, moving over to WILB.

  • Brian Iwuh got the start at WLB in Chicago with Lance Briggs out with an ankle injury. Iwuh led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo). It was a nice opportunity for Iwuh, but Briggs is expected back this week.

  • In a week that saw several concussion on violent hits, leading to the announcement of a league policy of potential suspensions in the future for such hits, Pittsburgh OLB James Harrison led the way with two KO’s. He knocked both Cleveland WR Mohammad Massaquoi and WR Josh Cribbs out of the game on separate occasions Sunday. Ed Bouchette, beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said the league told him the Cribbs hit was legal, and the helmet contact appeared inadvertent, so his $75,000 fine must have been for the Massaquoi hit, where he seemed to be going for a head shot. Harrison was flagged for neither, but didn’t help himself when he challenged the league’s authority in post-game comments saying, there is “no way” he’ll be fined and if he is, it’s a “travesty”, adding he doesn’t want to “injure” people, but he is “not opposed to hurting anybody”. In Roger Goodell’s kinder, gentler NFL, there’s unfortunately no place for truths like that. As for Harrison’s fantasy production, he had his second double-digit tackle game of the season and 1.5 sacks, as well as forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass. After a relative down year in 2009 compared to the huge numbers he put up as the AP Defensive POY in 2008, he’s back to projecting to put up those same kind of big numbers this year.

  • Miami OLB Cameron Wake abused Green Bay rookie RT Bryan Bulaga, racking up 3 sacks and 6 other QB hits. Wake now has 6 sacks in 5 games, as Miami had their bye last week. The Jets were the only team to keep him off their QB so far this year. Rookie Koa Misi got his third sack of the season on the other side. ILB Channing Crowder was active for the first time this season and posted 3 solo tackles. As expected, Tim Dobbins and Bobby Carpenter were back mostly on special teams work. Carpenter saw some work on defense briefly in OT when ILB Karlos Dansby had to leave with an apparent left leg injury. Danby said he’s fine after the game and Miami went on to release Carpenter on Monday. Not much of a surprise, he was disappointing on defense and a liability on special teams.

  • Instead of relying on former first-round bust Jarvis Moss to takeover at OLB in their 3-4 after Elvis Dumervil and then Robert Ayers for the season, Denver opted to switch to a 4-3 to compensate for their depleted rush LB corps. The move was also to provide a “big base” against the league’s top rushing offense in the Jets. After some initial success, the Jets stuck to the run and eventually wore them down. With the Raiders up next on the schedule, another team you’d prefer to try to beat you in the air, expect the 4-3 experiment to last at least another week. In this set, D.J. Williams manned the middle with Mario Hagan and converted DE Jason Hunter outside. Williams led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo), including a sack. He also broke up 2 passes. It was the fourth double-digit tackle game of the season for Williams, who leads the team and is fourth in the league with 56 tackles on the season.

  • Tennessee OLB David Thornton (hip) is not ready to come off the PUP yet, but he’s only a reserve at this point. He’s fallen far since his top 25 season in 2007 and at 31, the undersized LB won’t be having another year like that again.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: It’s all about Zach Diles this week and his opportunity as an every-down MLB. After him, if any deep leagues left Desmond Bishop behind last week before Nick Barnett’s season was officially ruled over, you can try for him. Watch practice reports to see if Gerald Hayes is ready and grab him if he is expected to play this week. In dynasty leagues, grab Pat Angerer if you have room to stash him away. I’m not very excited about Channing Crowder, let someone else pick him up. Keep an eye on the Detroit LB situation over the bye, it looks like there might be enough injury problems there that Ashlee Palmer could still see some work in the short term and if there’s finally anything positive about DeAndre Levy, snatch him up.

Defensive Back

  • It remains Charlie Peprah at SS in Green Bay, at least for now. He posted 10 tackles (7 solo) as Miami dominated time of possession in the win. The team traded an undisclosed pick to Jacksonville for S Anthony Smith, who the team released prior to last season. That move should be for depth and doesn’t challenge Peprah as much as the news that Atari Bigby (ankle) is reportedly ready to resume practicing with the team on Wednesday. He’ll need to get back in to playing shape, but should eventually reclaim the starting job. The moves also allow Jarrett Bush to move back to CB now. It is also reported CB Al Harris will be ready to return from the PUP this week. The 35-year old is coming off a torn ACL last season and ruptured spleen the season before, so expectations are low for what he has left. He should be eased in as the nickel corner in certain packages, as I don’t expect he’ll supplant CB Tramon Williams as a starter. Williams had a pick for the second straight game on Sunday and is turning in to a shutdown corner. Rookie CB Sam Shields returned to the nickel role last week after missing 2 games with a calf injury.

  • Baltimore FS Ed Reed has been cleared to return to the team and is eligible to come off the PUP this week. He is expected to return to practice Wednesday and play this week, but HC John Harbaugh has said it will be up to Reed when he is ready. Reed remains a huge injury risk once he returns and doesn’t tackle much anymore, but he has a knack for the big play and will be worth returning to fantasy lineups in leagues that reward heavily for such when he is back. Tom Zbikowski, who has been underwhelming as Reed’s replacement, suffered a foot injury and had to leave the game early.

  • New Orleans HC Sean Payton was ambiguous about the status of FS Darren Sharper and whether he’d be ready to come off the PUP this week. Malcolm Jenkins has been solid in his place, and is the future, but the team might Jenkins back at corner. CB Jabari Greer left early with a shoulder injury, but it sounds like he’ll be OK this week, but Tracy Porter (knee) and Randall Gay (concussion) were inactive last week.

  • Washington SS LaRon Landry had his fourth double-digit tackle game of the season on SNF and has reclaimed the league lead with 63 on the season.

  • With SS Brian Dawkins out for a few weeks with a right knee strain and top back-up Darcel McBath out indefinitely with an ankle injury, the team turned to nickel corner Nathan Jones, instead of David Bruton, at SS. Jones responded with 7 tackles (6 solo) and a pass defensed. Seventh-round pick Syd'Quan Thompson worked as the nickel and got his first career pick. The team was also without Andre Goodman (hamstring) again, as expected, giving rookie Perrish Cox another start. Cox has been beaten often when inserted this year, but it was an aging Champ Bailey who was beaten by the Jets one passing TD. Bailey appeared to get kicked in the mid-section on the play and left the game briefly, but returned.

  • A concussion knocked Minnesota SS Husain Abdullah out Sunday afternoon. Jamarca Sanford replaced him and should get the start if Abdullah can’t go this Sunday night.

  • For Indianapolis, Aaron Francisco remained the starter at SS and sealed the victory on SNF with an incredible one-handed diving interception with seconds left in the game. He also posted 6 tackles (4 solo) and seems to have locked down the SS job after being without a team just two weeks ago.

  • To paraphrase NBC’s Tony Dungy on the play of Jets star CB Darrelle Revis the last couple of games, a lot of people have been visiting Revis Island. The shutdown corner has struggled to return to form from his hamstring injury and their bye week comes just in time.

  • Atlanta CB Dunta Robinson was fined $50,000, but won’t be suspended, after a violent head-on collision that knocked both players out of the game on Sunday. Robinson suffered a concussion on the hit and was replaced by Chris Owens. Robinson is not expected to play this week, so Owens gets the start.

  • Same as Robinson in Atlanta, New England S Brandon Meriweather was fined $50,000, but won’t be suspended, after helmet-to-helmet hit on Baltimore TE Todd Heap on Sunday.

  • Tennessee CB Jason McCourty has returned to practice after suffering a broken arm earlier in the season and it on track to return this week. Rookie Alterraun Verner has played well in his absence, so they can afford to ease McCourty back in.

  • With neither Derek Cox nor David Jones able to lock down the corner job opposite Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville brought in street FA Chevis Jackson, a former third-round pick of Atlanta, to add to the competition. They also released SS Gerald Alexander as Sean Considine is ready to return from his hamstring injury. Considine was producing well the first few games before going down.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: In deep redraft leagues in the unlikely event you can afford to stash him, I’d grab Ed Reed now if he’s still on the waiver wire and hope for the best. For a much safer bet, it looks like Aaron Francisco has some job security after a couple good starts.