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Tony Nowak | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

IDP Notes
Week 10

Bye Weeks: None
Early Game Alert: OAK @ SD Thursday night

Defensive Line

  • NYG DE Jason Pierre-Paul played through a neck injury suffered in practice last Thursday and notched a sack. He is third in the league with 9.5 on the season. JPP is back in the third DE role as LDE Justin Tuck and RDE Osi Umenyiora are about as healthy as they've been all season. Tuck's snaps were back up after being eased back in the previous game. He finished with 3 tackles (2 solo) and batted down a pass. Umenyiora had 5 tackles (1 solo) and a QB hit.

  • BAL DE Terrell Suggs couldn't make it three games in a row with a sack, but he did grab his second pick of the season. DL Haloti Ngata played through a quad injury, posting 2 tackles (1 solo) and getting a QB hit.

  • DEN DE Elvis Dumervil finally got on the sack board this season, sharing one with rookie SLB Von Miller before getting a solo of his own later in the game. They were his first since 12/27/09, as he missed last year with a torn pec. He has been plagued with shoulder and ankle injuries this year, impeding his return to form.

  • STL DE Chris Long and rookie third DE Robert Quinn brought relentless pressure for the second straight game. Long had a sack, his fourth in the last two games, and forced a fumble on it. He leads the team with 7 sacks on the season. Quinn got his third sack of the season. DE James Hall also got his third sack of the season.

  • CIN DE Carlos Dunlap got a pair of sacks, giving him all three he has this season in the last two games. All the hard work gave him hamstring cramps in the fourth quarter, but he should be fine this week. It looks like Dunlap is headed for a repeat of last year, when he had all of his team-high 9.5 sacks in the second half of the season.

  • BUF NT Kyle Williams remained inactive with his ankle injury on Sunday, reported as a bone spur hitting his Achilles' tendon, and is now officially done for the season as he was placed on IR this week. First-round pick Marcell Dareus remained at NT, but against NYJ star C Nick Mangold, he didn't dominate the middle like he did in the previous game. Dareus finished with 5 tackles (4 solo) and recovered a fumble forced by Spencer Johnson, who has moved from DE to a tweener OLB role with the injuries at the position. DE Alex Carrington, moved in to the starting lineup in the previous game where Johnson was, and had his first sack of the season on Sunday. Dareus looks like he'll remain at the nose with Williams done for the season.

  • ATL DT Corey Peters had a sack for the second straight game and his third of the season, which ties him with DE John Abraham for the team lead. Peters had to leave the game early, but HC Mike Smith said in his presser he isn't expected to miss time. DT Jonathan Babineaux had his first of the season.

  • NE LDE Shaun Ellis was inactive with a rib injury suffered in the previous game, giving Brandon Deaderick the start in his place. DL Ron Brace was activated from the PUP and immediately moved ahead of DL Albert Haynesworth in rotation, who was subsequently released this week.

  • HOU DE Antonio Smith suffered a shoulder injury in the first half on Sunday and missed most of the second half. He is expected to play this week. His 4.5 sacks are second on the team.

  • TB DT Gerald McCoy returned from an ankle sprain suffered before the bye and was back in the starting lineup on Sunday, but his stay wasn't long. He tore his right biceps in the game and is done for the season early with the same injury for the second year of his career. Last year he tore his left biceps. DT Roy Miller replaced him, with DE Da'Quan Bowers seeing time there, as well. Depth inside was already thin in the game with back up DT Frank Okam sidelined with a calf strain. The team signed 2006 BUF first-round pick DT John McCargo to fill McCoy's roster spot.

  • TEN DE Dave Ball suffered a concussion on Sunday and is being monitored this week. DE Derrick Morgan replaced him in the starting lineup at RDE before the injury, with Jason Jones at LDE.

  • SF DE Ray McDonald was inactive with a hamstring injury suffered in the previous game. In his place Ricky Jean-Francois got the start and had 4 tackles (2 solo).

  • PHI DE Brandon Graham was activated from the PUP and played on MNF.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: A pair of familiar names finally started getting some sacks and might be sitting out on the waiver wire after frustrated owners gave up on their lack of production in the first half of the season - DEN DE Elvis Dumervil and CIN DE Carlos Dunlap.


  • PIT OLB James Harrison returned with a vengeance from a fractured right orbital socket that cost him four games. He had 8 solo tackles and 3 sacks, forcing a fumble on one that was turned in to a temporary lead in the fourth quarter. His problematic back, that he admitted slowed him earlier in the season, looked fine as he attempted to hurdled BAL RB Ray Rice, who sold out his QB ducking out of the way, and flew at Joe Flacco, forcing a hurried throw. The return of Harrison bumped Lawrence Timmons back inside, where he continued to put up disappointing numbers, finishing with 4 tackles (1 solo). The return of Harrison was offset by the loss of OLB LaMarr Woodley, who was inactive with a hamstring injury suffered in the previous game. Jason Worilds returned from a groin injury and started in place of Woodley, posing 3 tackles (2 solo). The team also was missing ILB James Farrior, out for a second game with a calf injury. Larry Foote replaced him and led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo) and broke up a pass. With a bye after this week, the team may not rush either Farrior or Woodley back, keep an eye out for updates this week.

  • DAL ILB Sean Lee was inactive with a dislocated right wrist, suffered in the previous game. There is some hope the team's leading tackler could return as soon as this week, playing with a cast, but he couldn't on Sunday and there have been some opinions that he should have season-ending surgery. To replace Lee, Bradie James and Keith Brooking both started inside, they had been splitting snaps opposite him previously. Brookings had 5 tackles (3 solo) and James had 4 (2 solo), while S Barry Church and rookie LB Bruce Carter saw work for them in pass packages. Carter registered the first stat of his NFL career, a pass defense, knocking away a throw in the third quarter. On the outside, DeMarcus Ware was held without a sack after putting up 7 in the previous three games. He is still second in the league with 12 sacks on the season. On the other side, Anthony Spencer had the team's only sack, his fourth of the season. Spencer also had 5 solo tackles and blocked a FG.

  • ATL MLB Curtis Lofton and WLB Sean Weatherspoon each had their fifth double-digit tackle game of the season. Lofton led the team with 12 (8 solo) and forced a fumble. He is tied for second in the league with 76 tackles. Weatherspoon had 10 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pair of passes. Weatherspoon had 70 on the season.

  • BAL MLB Ray Lewis knocked PIT WR Hines Ward out of the game in the second quarter after a head-to-head collision early in the second quarter, but wasn't flagged despite it being helmet-to-helmet and Ward also could have been considered defenseless. Lewis posted 5 tackles (2 solo) and broke up that pass.

  • After returning in the previous game, OLB Chris Kelsay missed this third game in the last four with a nagging calf strain. Danny Batten replaced him on one side, while converted DE Spencer Johnson plays a tweener role at the JACK spot, with Arthur Moats working as the third OLB. BUF ILB Nick Barnett led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo) and rookie Kelvin Sheppard, starting inside next to him, had 7 tackles (3 solo).

  • SF ILB Patrick Willis had his most productive game of the season, posting his second double-digit tackle game of the year. He led the team with 13 tackles (9 solo), forced 2 fumbles and broke up a pass. ILB NaVorro Bowman recovered one of those fumbles, broke up 2 passes and had 8 tackles (7 solo). He is tied for second in the league with 76 tackles, while Willis is gaining with 67 on the season now. OLB Ahmad Brooks had the team's only sack, his fourth in the last three games, giving him 5 on the season. Rookie third OLB Aldon Smith was held without a sack after getting 6.5, and at least one each, in the previous four games.

  • NYG SLB Mathias Kiwanuka continues to role, once again leading the team in tackles and turning in big plays. Kiwi had 12 tackles (6 solo) and grabbed his first pick since his rookie season in 2006. He has 32 tackles (18 solo), 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pick in his last four games. WLB Michael Boley also had his first double-digit tackle game of the season, finishing with 10 (7 solo). He also had his first sack of the season, forcing a fumble on it. Boley leads the team with 56 tackles.

  • MIA ILBs Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby are finally posting more of the numbers their fantasy owners expected, as an ineffective KC offense did less with more time of possession. Burnett made it back-to-back games with double-digit tackles, leading the team with 12 (10 solo) and getting to the QB for the first time this season, getting a solo sack and sharing another with OLB Cameron Wake. Wake leads the team with 5.5 sacks on the season. Dansby had his second double-digit tackle game of the season, both in the last three games, with 11 solo tackles and forced a fumble.

  • NE LB Jerod Mayo saw his workload increase in his second game back from a reported right MCL sprain, but he posted just 6 assists. LB Brandon Spikes left in the third quarter with a reported sprained MCL and was replaced by LB Gary Guyton. OLB Rob Ninkovich led the team with 7 tackles (4 solo), broke up a pass and recovered a fumble on special teams.

  • CLE SLB Scott Fujita led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo) and broke up a pass. MLB D'Qwell Jackson had 8 solo tackles and first pick of the season. He is sixth in the league with 73 tackles on the season. WLB Chris Gocong played through a neck stinger suffered in the previous game and posted 4 solo tackles, including one on special teams.

  • HOU rookie OLB Brooks Reed had a pair of sacks, making it three straight with at least one and four on the season. Reed also had 5 tackles (4 solo) and 3 QB. On the other side, Connor Barwin had his third sack of the season. ILB Brian Cushing again led the team with 7 tackles (4 solo) and had his second sack of the season.

  • The NYJ pass defense didn't turn up a sack, but frustrated BUF QB Ryan Fitzpatrick most of the day and forced two picks, the first of the season for OLB Calvin Pace and the second of the season for ILB David Harris, who showed nice concentration hanging on to a bobbling ball as he fell down. Opposite Pace, OLBs Jamaal Westerman and Aaron Maybin were non-factors, as the Jets showed plenty of nickel against Buffalo's spread offense. After 3 sacks in his first four games as a Jet, Maybin had just a QB hit on Sunday, while Westerman had just a solo tackle on special teams.

  • IND MLB Pat Angerer had 8 tackles (2 solo), but still leads the league by a wide margin with 98 on the season. SLB Philip Wheeler led the team with 12 tackles (7 solo, including 2 on special teams) and got his first sack of the season.

  • NO MLB Jonathan Vilma was missed his second game of the season (also missed Week 4) with a lingering left knee problem. I previous discussed concerns about his history of knee problems in this column a few weeks ago. In his absence, Jonathan Casillas got the start and led the team with 10 tackles (4 solo). JoLonn Dunbar started at SLB and Scott Shanle at WLB.

  • Although inaccurately reflected in the Game Book, TB WLB Geno Hayes was out of the starting lineup on Sunday. MLB Mason Foster started in the middle, as usual, with Quincy Black taking over at WLB and Adam Hayward starting at SLB. Foster and Black led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo), while Hayward had 3 tackles (1 solo) and Hayes had a solo on special teams. I'd temporarily bump Black's value, but Hayward isn't starting quality. Hayes should be back in the role soon, but needs to show more consistency.

  • WAS ILB London Fletcher had his third double-digit tackle game of the season, all in the last four games, posting 10 (7 solo) and breaking up a pass. The ageless warrior leads the team with 72 tackles, among the top ten in the league. OLBs Brian Orakpo and rookie Ryan Kerrigan each had a sack. It was the third for Kerrigan and Orakpo leads the team with 5.5 on the season.

  • As I mentioned in this column two weeks ago, before Oakland's bye, LB Darryl Blackstock could be an interesting play if MLB Rolando McClain wasn't over his left ankle sprain. McClain did not play and Blackstock filled in, posting 4 tackles (3 solo) and a sack. McClain was active, and available in an emergency, so it sounds like he'll be back this week, but Blackstock remains a decent emergency play for IDP if McClain misses more time with the injury that has been lingering over a month. OLB Kamerion Wimbley had 6 solo tackles and his second sack of the season. Wimbley's sack production should ramp up as the team relies on him more in that role with the loss of DE Matt Shaughnessy for the season.

  • CIN MLB Rey Maualuga has now missed a month with a lateral ankle sprain, but returned to practice this week and should play (although that was the expectation last week too - watch for updates). Dan Skuta continued to replace him in the middle. WLB Thomas Howard led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) and forced a fumble.

  • DEN rookie SLB Von Miller had 5 tackles (4 solo), 3 QB hits and shared a sack. He now leads the team with 6.5 on the season. Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard continue to rotate in the middle.

  • AZ OLB Joey Porter was inactive again with a knee injury, giving fourth-round pick Sam Acho his second straight start on the right side and OLB O'Brien Schofield also saw more work. Acho has had a sack in each game and now has 3 on the season. Porter had the knee scoped this week and is likely to miss another couple weeks.

  • SD OLB Shaun Phillips was inactive for the second straight game with a foot injury, giving Antwan Barnes another start opposite Travis LaBoy. Barnes had 7 tackles (6 solo) and a pair of sacks. He had 5 sacks on the season, 3 in his last two games.

  • Carolina can't even get through the bye week without losing a linebacker. Back up LB Thomas Williams was placed on the IR with a neck injury after being knocked out, literally, of their game before the bye.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: In sack-heavy leagues, HOU rookie OLB Brooks Reed is doing an acceptable job replacing OLB Mario Williams.

Defensive Back

  • Over the bye, MIN CB Chris Cook was reinstated to the roster, but will not participate in "football activities" indefinitely. So basically he's getting paid again, but won't play. Likely just a procedural move to appease the NFLPA - the bottom line is Cook won't be back with the Vikings soon, if ever. CB Antoine Winfield has declared himself ready to return, after missing four games with a muscle strain in his neck. With a MNF tilt with GB on the schedule after their bye, he even has an extra day this week. On the other side, HC Leslie Frazier said Cedric Griffin will remain the starting corner, despite being exploited this year as he struggles to return from having blown both ACLs over the last two years. Asher Allen will remain the nickel CBfor now.

  • BAL SS Bernard Pollard remains the starter and continues to dominate the playing time with Tom Zbikowski in his second game back after missing almost a month with a concussion. It looks safe to once again start Pollard regularly in most leagues. Pollard led the team with 7 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass.

  • A scary moment when NO CB Tracy Porter had to be carted off the field after a collision on the first play of the game. He apparently is fine, except for soreness in his neck. Expect him to be questionable this week. Leigh Torrence replaced him. SS Roman Harper had a sack for the second consecutive game and leads the team with a career best 5.5 sacks on the season. He also had 9 tackles (8 solo) and forced a fumble. Harper also leads the team with 56 tackles.

  • NE CB Kyle Arrington grabbed his fifth pick of the season, moving in to a tie for the league lead. S Josh Barrett returned from a thumb injury that left him inactive in the previous game. Barrett and Sergio Brown remain behind James Ihedigbo, who continues starting with S Patrick Chung.

  • NYG rookie nickel CB Prince Amukamara remained inactive, despite returning to practice and some expectations he was ready to return from a broken foot.

  • DAL CB Mike Jenkins was inactive, as expected, with a right hamstring injury suffered the previous Sunday night. Orlando Scandrick replaced him and led the team with 7 solo tackles. On the other side, CB Terence Newman grabbed his second pick of the season, as did FS Gerald Sensabaugh.

  • MIA CB Vontae Davis remained inactive with a hamstring injury for the third week, but apparently would not have played regardless, as the team reportedly suspended him for showing up late and allegedly hung-over to practice last week, prompting a confrontation with WR Brandon Marshall. HC Tony Sparano didn't get in to specifics, but at his presser on Monday, said Davis will play this week, if healthy. CB Nolan Carroll leapfrogged rookie Jimmy Wilson and was the starter in place of Davis this week, opposite CB Sean Smith, with CB Will Allen remaining the nickel. Tyrone Culver remains the starter at FS, rotating with Reshad Jones, in his second game back from a right knee sprain. Culver had 3 solo tackles, including one on special teams, and his first career sack. Jones also had 3 solo tackles, including one on special teams.

  • CLE SS T.J. Ward left the game after dislocating a finger on the second play of the game. He returned after the half to start the third quarter and then late in the game suffered an injury on his right foot, saying he felt it "pop" around his arch. X-rays were negative, he'll have more tests this week. Usama Young replaced him in the first half. Nickel CB Dimitri Patterson was inactive with a knee sprain and replaced by rookie Buster Skrine.

  • WAS FS Oshiomogho Atogwe was out for the second time in three games with a lingering knee problem. Reed Doughty started in his place and had 11 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams). CB DeAngelo Hall led the team with 12 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble that was recovered by SS LaRon Landry. Landry also had 8 tackles (5 solo). CB Phillip Buchanon was placed on the IR with a shoulder injury. Seventh-round pick Brandyn Thompson was promoted from the practice squad to fill his roster spot.

  • TEN SS Chris Hope has been cleared to return from his broken left forearm, but may be eased back in, if he gets the starting job back at all, as Jordan Babineaux did very well in his place. On Sunday, Big Play Babs led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo, including 2 on special teams) and broke up a pass. Fantasy machine CB Jason McCourty had 8 tackles (6 solo).

  • KC SS Jon McGraw was inactive after suffering a shoulder on MNF. Donald Washington got the start in his place and Sabby Piscitelli also worked in.

  • TB CB Ronde Barber grabbed his second pick of the season. In his last two games, he has 11 tackles (8 solo), 4 passes defensed, a sack, a safety and that INT.

  • HOU FS Danieal Manning remained inactive with a broken left fibula. He is two weeks in to a 4-6 week window for recovery. Troy Nolan continues to start in his place. SS Quintin Demps had his first pick of the season.

  • IND FS Antoine Bethea had his third double-digit tackle game, as the Colts' opponents continue to dominate time of possession. He had 11 tackles (8 solo) and broke up a pass.

  • SF FS Dashon Goldson had a pick for the second straight game, his second of the season. Nickel CB Shawtae Spencer was inactive after aggravating a toe injury in the pregame warm-up.

  • DEN UDFA rookie nickel CB Chris Harris put up more great numbers in his second game with a full-time role, as teams understandably would rather target him than even an aging Champ Bailey - especially when Bailey grabbed his first two picks of the season in the game. Harris led the team in tackles again with 11 (9 solo) and grabbed his first career INT. FS Rahim Moore regained his starting job on Sunday, only to leave with a concussion in the first quarter. Fellow rookie Quinton Carter once again replaced him.

  • After being activated off the PUP prior to the previous game, CIN CB Pacman Jones promptly pulled his hamstring on a 63-yard punt return in the first quarter and was done for the day. He was inactive on Sunday against his former team, but is expected to return to practice this week.

  • After being benched in the previous game, AZ CB A.J. Jefferson remained demoted with CB Richard Marshall now starting opposite rookie Patrick Peterson. Peterson returned his third punt of the season for a TD, a walk-off 99-yarder to win the game in overtime. He also grabbed his second pick of the season. CB Michael Adams is apparently OK after having to be carted off the field in the fourth quarter. As AZ FS Kerry Rhodes remains inactive with a broken left foot, Rashad Johnson continues to replace him.

  • SD CB Antoine Cason apparently won't have lost his starting gig for long, as rookie Marcus Gilchrist struggled on Sunday and Cason will be starting again Thursday night. Gilchrist led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo, including 1 on special teams.

  • CAR rookie CB Brandon Hogan was activated from the PUP over the bye. The third-round pick is an intriguing prospect is a first-round talent who fell because of injury and character concerns. He could be the Greg Hardy of their secondary.

  • PHI S Nate Allen suffered a concussion early on MNF, so Jaiquawn Jarrett replaced him with the first significant action of his career.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: As discussed above, DEN UDFA rookie CB Chris Harris should continue to be tested and have plenty of fantasy opportunity.