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IDP Notes
Week 8
10/27/10

Week 8 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

Bye Weeks: Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Giants, Eagles

Defensive Line

  • Green Bay DE Cullen Jenkins was inactive Sunday night after he pulled his calf during pre-game. On the other side, DE Ryan Pickett aggravate an ankle injury and left after the first series. Pickett sprained the ankle two games ago and sat out their previous game. Check the status of both on the injury report this week. With their starters both out almost the entire game, the team leaned on Jarius Wynn and rookie C.J. Wilson. Wilson had 8 tackles (5 solo), while Wynn got his first career sack. The depth on the line is thin with promising rookie Mike Neal now on the IR after season-ending shoulder surgery.

  • Buffalo had two former first-round picks as healthy scratches on Sunday. DE Aaron Maybin was left off the squad and DT John McCargo still hasnít gotten in a game this year. The Bills have switched back to a 4-3 defense and despite having drafted Maybin, a collegiate DE, before their brief experiment with a 3-4, they apparently donít have faith in him now to produce in either scheme. The new front four features Kyle Williams and rookie Torell Troup inside, with Dwan Edwards, a career 3-4 five technique DE, and Marcus Stroud, a career DT, as ends. Spencer Johnson plays RDE in passing sets with Edwards kicking inside and Troup sitting. Edwards thrived on Sunday with 7 tackles (5 solo), including his first sack of the season. I donít see how this front four full of defensive tackle bodies will improve one of the worst pass rushes in the league, so there may still be opportunity for Maybin this year.

  • Pittsburgh expects to get DE Brett Keisel (hamstring) back this week, although he is he remains questionable, but they lose DE Aaron Smith after he suffered partially torn triceps. He may be done for the season, but the team is waiting to see how surgery went this week Nick Eason and Evander Hood will continue to see more work.

  • Former third-overall pick Kansas City DE Tyson Jackson was active for the first time since Week One. He suffered a knee injury in the game, but HC Todd Haley said last week Jackson was a healthy scratch in their previous game.

  • Despite DE Jonathan Fanene being active and Michael Johnson the seemingly best choice, it was Frostee Rucker who got the start at RDE with Antwan Odom out on suspension. Rookie Carlos Dunlap saw more work than Fanene or Johnson. Good decision, the team had no sacks. Stay away from this mess.

  • Former UDFA DT Antonio Dixon got his second straight start for the Eagles in place of DT Brodrick Bunkley, who remains inactive with a torn elbow ligament, and Dixon blew up with 7 tackles (6 solo), including a sack and 2 TFLs. He also batted down 2 passes and had a couple other pressures. Rookie DE Brandon Graham was active after injuring his ankle in the previous game, but put up goose egg partially due to a new role he was used in this week, pass coverage on opposing TEs.

  • Just when I wrote Tennessee DE Dave Ball off as the guy I liked least in their rotation now that everyone was healthy, he had their only sack of the week among his 3 solo tackles and moved in to a tie for the team lead with DE Jason Babin. Ball and Babin also continue to remain the starters.

  • Teams allowing the most sacks this season (start your pass rushers against them):

    1. Chicago (31)
    2. Arizona (21)
    2. Philadelphia (21)
    4. Oakland (20)
    4. San Diego (20)

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: I like two tackles this week for a league that segregate them and ends. Antonio Dixon is an emerging force in Philly and Albert Haynesworth had his best game of the year. Granted it was against a poor Chicago OLine, but this could be your last chance to grab him if heís on the waiver wire and want to gamble on him turning his season around.

Linebacker

  • HC Gary Kubiak changed their mind about how Houston will replace DeMeco Ryans after reviewing practice over the bye week. Instead of WLB Zach Diles sliding in, it will be SLB Brian Cushing. Kubiak said he ďdidnít like what he sawĒ of Diles in the middle. Instead of rookie Darryl Sharpton getting a starting opportunity, it will be journeyman Kevin Bentley who gets another shot as a starter, taking over SLB for Cushing. The team added former Tennessee LB Stanford Keglar for depth with Ryans done for the season. Heíll play special teams and doesnít figure to see work on defense.

  • With his third consecutive double-digit tackle game, and fourth in six games this season, New England ILB Jerod Mayo takes over the league lead in tackles. He led the team with 11 (10 solo) on Sunday and recovered a fumble. He now has 72 on the season, an average of 12 per game, and is on pace for an incredible 192 this season. After a double-digit tackle performance in the previous game, rookie ILB Brandon Spikes had just 1 solo tackle on Sunday. As discussed in this column last week, Spikes is a run-stopper and a poor play against pass-heavy teams, because as a liability in coverage, he defers to Gary Guyton in passing sets. As San Diego leads the league in passing, it was no surprise there was heavy dose of Guyton and little of Spikes in the lineup on Sunday, despite Spikes remaining the nominal starter. Guyton was second on the team with 8 tackles (7 solo). This is about as straight forward as a platoon gets in deciding who to play each week based on the match-up.

  • ILB Desmond Bishop continues to take advantage of his opportunity in Green Bay with Nick Barnett on the IR. Bishop missed having his third straight double-digit tackle game, but he had 8 (5 solo) and took his first career interception back for the eventual game-winning TD. Next to him, A.J. Hawk continues to put up big numbers, as well. Hawk had a pick of his own and a game-high 11 tackles (6 solo). Hawk has double-digit tackles in 3 of the last 4 games (he had 9 in the other). He leads the team with 60 tackles on the season despite not starting and posting just 1 solo tackle in Week One. OLB Clay Matthews returned after missing the previous game with a hamstring. He had a 2 solo tackles and a couple pressures, but no sack. However, he retained the league lead with 8.5 sacks on the season as Giants DE Osi Umenyiora was barely kept in check on SNF. Reserve OLB Brady Poppinga is done for the season after surgery on his reconstructed left knee. Brad Jones remains the starter opposite Matthews. The Packers added former San Diego starter Matt Wilhelm for depth with Barnett and Poppinga done for the year.

  • Due to aggravating his ankle sprain in the game, Chicago WLB Lance Briggs left Sundayís game early. Brian Iwuh replaced him and had 3 solo tackles, including his first career sack, and also forced a fumble. The Bears are on a bye this week, so Briggs should be good to go for their trip to Toronto to face Buffalo in Week Nine. The time off should also help MLB Brian Urlacher, who has been impacted by a groin strain and sprained thumb the last couple of weeks. He has just 11 tackles (7 solo) in the last two games. He looked a little better in spurts on Sunday, particularly when he shed a block and negotiated the congestion down the line to catch Washington RB Ryan Torain from behind for a 3-yard loss early in the second quarter, his only big play the last two games.

  • Detroit HC Jim Schwartz says DeAndre Levy will start in the middle this week, coming off resting his groin and ankle injuries over their bye. Iíll believe it when I see it, but you can finally be cautiously optimistic if you own him. WLB Zack Follett is seeing a spine specialist over the bye week after the scary collision in Week Six that resulted in him being taken off in a stretcher and a hospital visit. If he canít go this week, expect Ashlee Palmer to get the start.

  • Buffaloís new 4-3 scheme features Paul Posluszny at WLB, Andra Davis in the middle and converted DE Chris Kelsay at SLB. Kelsay was still used in blitzes and got his first sack of the season. Davis led the trio with 6 tackles (1 solo), while Poz had 5 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass.

  • Indianapolis MLB Gary Brackett (groin) is expected to return coming off the bye last week.

  • Arizona ILB Gerald Hayes (back) was not activated off the PUP last week, but could be this week. He is expected to be eased back in the lineup, likely at the expense of rookie ILB Darryl Washington. However, Washington is coming off the most productive game of his young career. He had his second double-digit tackle game with 11 (7 solo), including his first career sack.

  • Iím not even sure if you are in a 32-team league with deep rosters you benefit from reserve Cleveland LB David Bowens returning 2 picks for TDs on Sunday. Donít count on that happening again. Ever. The guy to talk about here is OLB Scott Fujita. After some steady, but unspectacular, production most of the season, he broke out with his first double-digit tackle game, leading the team with 11 (10 solo), including a sack. He also grabbed his first pick of the season. It took the Browns some time to sort out their LB corps, but Fujita has not surprisingly risen to be the most productive member. With 3.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles on the season, he is on pace for career highs in both categories, as well as to push 100 tackles on the season.

  • Cincinnati SLB Rey Maualuga put up a goose egg and his missed tackles on Atlanta RB Michael Turner got Brandon Johnson more work in his place. Maualuga has been disappointing, but the coaching staff has been reluctant to give the versatile Johnson, who has displayed good instincts and playmaking ability when he has the chance, more of an opportunity. That could be changing.

  • Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon missed his second straight game after injuring his left knee in Week Five. Stephen Nicholas filled in well again.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: We all rushed out to grab Zach Diles last week and then got thrown a curve ball by Cushing getting the MLB job. Well heís not going to be on the waiver wire anywhere, so letís look at Andra Davis this week for tackle-heavy leagues. He seems to be the main beneficiary of Buffaloís switch to a 4-3. A couple injured guys coming off bye who might be on the wire are Gary Brackett and DeAndre Levy. Another plug for Scott Fujita, although he has a bye this week if you need immediate help.

Defensive Back

  • New England SS Patrick Chung left Sundayís victory in the second quarter after coming up lame without contact as he approached a pile. He limped off the field and headed to the locker room under his own power. The reports are it was a knee injury and an unconfirmed report from local radio station said heíll miss a week or two. As expected, HC Bill Belichick has given no details, but if Chung is on the injury report at all Wednesday, heís a highly risky play this week. Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders both get a bump if Chung misses any time.

  • Picking up right where he left off any time heís healthy, Baltimore FS Ed Reed stepped right off the PUP and in to the starting lineup to grab a pair of picks and force a fumble. He also had 4 solo tackles and was the only bright side in pass defense for a secondary that was surprisingly torched by Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. CB Fabian Washington was benched for Josh Wilson in a move that could remain after their bye this week.

  • New Orleans eased Darren Sharper (knee) back in as the third safety and on special teams on Sunday, as Malcolm Jenkins remained the starting FS. Jenkins may not lose the starting job, but if Sharper returns to his playmaking form, there will be negative impact to productivity of some others in the secondary. Currently there is plenty of PT to go around because they are dinged up at corner. The team was without their top three corners as Randall Gay (concussion) was placed on the IR last week, while Jabari Greer was inactive with a shoulder injury suffered in the previous game and Tracy Porter remained out, as expected, after surgery for a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee earlier this month. On Sunday, Usama Young and first-round pick Patrick Robinson got the starts at corner, with Jenkins moving to the slot in certain packages and Sharper taking FS. Leigh Torrence is the nominal nickel. Jenkins lead the team with 9 tackles (8 solo), while Sharper had a pair of solo tackles in his season debut. Robinson had just 3 solo tackles, but performed well and demonstrated some good open-field tackling. Greer and Porter both are questionable this week, so the rotation should look the same if both miss another week.

  • After entering the game with just one pick in the first six games, Washington CB DeAngelo Hall left their victory in Chicago with the league lead in interceptions. He tied a single-game league record with 4 interceptions, including returning one 92 yards for the game-winning TD. Hall also had 7 solo tackles, putting him among the top 20 in the league. In addition to a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a TD this year, he is second in the league with 12 passes defensed and is having a monster fantasy season. SS LaRon Landry had just 5 solo tackles and lost the league lead, heís now tied for third with 68 tackles on the season and is also one of the top producing fantasy defensive backs. Both should be locked in as starters every week.

  • Resting over the bye week wasnít long enough to heal the ankle of CB Johnathan Joseph. After testing the ankle in before the game, Joseph couldnít go and Adam Jones, the cornerback formerly known as Pacman, got his first start in over two years. Jones responded with the type of big play that keeps giving the convicted felon opportunities in the league. Late in the third quarter, he stripped Atlanta WR Roddy White, picked up the fumble, and returned it 59 yards for a score to give the Bengals their first, and last, lead in the game. He also had 6 tackles (5 solo) as White dominated most of their match-up with Jones, grabbing 11 balls for over 200 yards. However, Jones suffered a neck injury in the game and was placed on the IR with a herniated disc. With SS Roy Williams (knee) still out, Chinedum Ndukwe got another start and had solo tackles. Williams remains questionable this week with a MCL sprain.

  • Green Bay didnít activate SS Atari Bigby or CB Al Harris off the PUP despite both practicing last week. It sounds like they will this week. The plan is unclear, but Iíd expect Bigby (vs. run) to rotate at SS with current starter Charlie Peprah (vs. pass) and Harris to be third or fourth corner. Rookie UDFA Sam Shields returned from a calf injury to resume the nickel role, where Harris could be eased in.

  • It was only a matter of time, but former first-round pick Jason Allen is fading away again in Miami. Sean Smith regained his starting job at corner from Allen on Sunday and the two saw a similar number of snaps. Smith started the season in a sophomore slump after a promising rookie season, and is the better long term bet, but it appears the two will cannibalize each otherís value until one steps up.

  • The bye week appears to have done Jets CB Darrelle Revis good. After struggling since returning, he declared himself 100% for this week.

  • Buffalo HC Chan Gailey indicated FS Jairus Byrd was dinged up on Sunday, but didnít give any specifics. Byrd is still looking for his first pass defensed this season, much less his first pick, after sharing the league lead with 9 interceptions as a rookie last year. Groin surgery slowed his start to the season, which may be contributing, but a porous front seven on the worst run defense in the league has also required the secondary to look for the run first and resulted in them seeing just 167 pass attempts this year, the lowest in the league. His best chance of the season to grab one should be in two weeks when pick-machine Chicago QB Jay Cutler faces the Bills.

  • Denver SS Brian Dawkins (right knee strain) and CB Andre Goodman (hamstring) practiced this week and are expected to take the trip to London to face San Francisco this week.

  • St. Louis CB Ronald Bartell suffered a stinger on Sunday, but played through it. The team signed CB Quincy Butler this week, so Bartell may be in jeopardy of playing.

  • Dallas corners Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman were both dinged up on MNF. Keep an eye on their status, but they should play this week.

  • It apparently wasnít the fine-inducing hit that gave Atlanta CB Dunta Robinson a concussion that kept him out Sunday, but a knee injury. The Falcons are on a bye this week, so watch for practice updates next week.

  • Top waiver wire recommendations of the week: My cautious recommendation of Ed Reed in deep leagues last week is now a full-fledged alert to add him in most formats after his big season debut. However, know he is streaky with the big plays and prone to disappoint in tackle-heavy leagues. Richard Marshall has not lived up to expectations this year, but heís turned in at least one big play in each of the last three games while also boosting his tackle production over the first three games of the season. He gets rookie QB Sam Bradford this week who is overdue to throw a couple picks.