| Bye Weeks:
Texans, Colts, Saints, Steelers
Early Game Alert: N.Y. Jets
@ Denver, Thursday Night
- MIN DE Jared
Allen continues to bring relentless pursuit and great fantasy
results. He had 7 tackles (6 solo) with an impressive 3 TFL,
as well as a sack to maintain his league lead in sacks with
13.5 for the season. DT Remi
Ayodele was replaced by rookie Christian
Ballard in the starting lineup next to Kevin
Williams. Ballard had 3 tackles (2 solo) with a TFL.
- STL DE Chris
Long remained hot, getting his team-leading eighth sack
of the season, his fifth in the last three games. He is a half-sack
away from matching his career high, set last season.
- After losing TB DT Gerald
McCoy for the season in the previous game, the Bucs wasted
no time making a drastic move to try and replace him. The team
claimed DT Albert
Haynesworth off waivers from the Patriots and immediately
installed him in the starting lineup. By not waiting to see
if he cleared waivers, the Bucs assume Haynesworth’s contract,
which has a significant roster bonus next year. He’ll have to
be extremely impressive to be back with the team in 2012. In
his first game with TB, Haynesworth had 5 tackles (4 solo) and
blocked an extra point after Houston scored a long TD on the
first play from scrimmage of the game. Haynesworth started next
Price, bumping Roy
Miller back to a reserve role. Price had the team’s only
sack, his second of the season. Promising pass-rushing reserve
DE George Johnson is was placed on the IR after suffering a
knee injury on Sunday.
- PHI DE Trent
Cole got his fifth sack of the season, second in the last
three games since returning from a calf injury after their bye.
On the other side, DE Jason
Babin was unusually quiet. He was shut out of the box score
despite seeing a full workload. He remains tied for fourth in
the league with 9 sacks on the season.
- DEN DE Elvis
Dumervil shared a sack with rookie SLB Von
Miller for the second straight game. He now has two on the
season, all in the last two games. After missing last year with
a torn pec, he has been plagued with shoulder and ankle injuries
this year, impeding his return to form.
- CHI DE Julius
Peppers bounced all over the front four and was a problem
early and often for the Lions. He swung the momentum early when
he forced a fumble on DET WR Calvin Johnson on the first drive
of the game that was converted in to a TD for the Bears. He
also had 3 solo tackles, his team-leading sixth sack of the
season, and batted down a pass. A think Chicago front line brought
in veteran former Falcon DE Chauncey
Davis to help their pass rush.
- TEN RDE Dave
Ball was inactive after a concussion suffered in the previous
Morgan replaced him the starting lineup opposite LDE Jason
Jones. Jones had his third sack of the season, while Morgan
sits on a pair for the season and continues looking for his
first since Week 4.
- An unusually quiet game for the NYG front four. DE Osi
Umenyiora and DT Linval
Joseph each had a sack, the only ones for the team. It was
the seventh of the season for Umeyiora.
- DET DE Cliff
Avril had his team-leading sixth sack of the season on Sunday
and forced a fumble on it. He has four sacks and three forced
fumbles in his last three games.
- Apparently CIN DE Carlos
Dunlap had more than the self-diagnosed cramps he said he
suffered in the previous game. His hamstring kept him inactive
on Sunday. LDE Robert
Geathers had his first sack of the season and split another
with DE3 Michael
Johnson. RDE Frostee
Rucker had his fourth sack of the season. DT Geno
Atkins also had a sack and leads the team with 4.5 on the
- The injury woes continued for JAX DE Aaron
Kampman, who was inactive with a hamstring injury suffered
over the bye. As usual, Matt
Roth (LDE) and Jeremy
Mincey (RDE) were the starters. Mincey had 2.5 sacks, forcing
a fumble on one. He leads the team with 4.5 sacks on the season.
- NE DE Andre
Carter was turned loose and racked up 4.5 sacks on SNF,
doubling his previous total for the season. DE Mark
Anderson shared the half sack. Carter now has 8.5 sacks
in the last four games.
- KC DE Glenn
Dorsey was carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter.
He suffered an unspecified leg injury. HC Todd Haley said in
his Monday presser he is “day-to-day”, so it doesn’t sound too
- WAS reserve DE Kedric
Golston is done for the season with a torn MCL and ACL in
his knee. The team signed Darrion
Scott to take his roster spot. Kentwan
Balmer moves up to the third DE.
- BAL DL Haloti
Ngata led the team with 11 tackles (3 solo) as the Seahawks
were able to pound it on the ground with success against the
- CLE rookie DT Phil
Taylor got his team-leading fourth sack of the season.
- More of a youth movement up front in Carolina as veteran
DT Ronnie Fields was released last week, making second-year
Neblett the primary back up to rookie starters Sione
Fua and Terrell
McClain. Neblett responded with his first career sack and
5 tackles (3 solo). Rookie DE Thomas Keiser was brought up from
the practice squad to take Fields’ roster spot and had 2 solo
tackles, including a TLF, in his NFL debut.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
I won’t call it a fluke, because NE DE Andre
Carter has proved to be capable of double-digit sacks, but
his 4.5 sacks on Sunday was clearly an outlier and he probably
won’t get that many the rest of the season. Regardless, he’s
the hottest property in the front four this week that has the
potential to be available in a number of standard-to-shallow
- DAL ILB Sean Lee returned from a dislocated wrist, playing
with a cast on his arm. He saw a decent number of snaps, including
working as the MLB in the nickel package early in the game before
being rested a bit as the game got out of hand for Buffalo.
Without many opportunities, as Dallas dominated the time of
possession, Lee finished with 4 tackles (3 solo). Keith Brooking
was ILB2 and run-stopping ILB Bradie James saw little work against
Buffalo's spread offense and with them far behind early in the
game. Rookie ILB Bruce Carter also continues to be worked in.
OLB DeMarcus Ware had the team's only sack, giving him 8 in
the last four games. He remains second in the league with 13
sacks on the season.
- PIT OLB James Harrison had a quieter afternoon in his second
game back from a fractured right orbital socket that cost him
four games. He had 4 tackles (2 solo) and a QB hit. On the other
side, OLB LaMarr Woodley remained inactive with a hamstring
injury. He's expected back after the bye this week. Jason Worilds
continued to replace Woodley, posting 2 tackles (1 solo) and
a QB hit. ILB Lawrence Timmons was a bit more productive than
he's been lately, grabbing his first pick of the season and
getting 5 tackles (4 solo, including 1 on special teams). ILB
James Farrior returned from a calf injury that cost him two
games. He had 6 tackles (3 solo) and Larry Foote was back to
the ILB3 role, while Stevenson Sylvester returned to work on
- The outlook for NO MLB Jonathan Vilma becomes increasingly
negative as he missed his second straight game, and third this
season, with lingering knee problems. The concerns I had in
this column a few weeks ago about the history of his knees are
more worrisome now that HC Sean Payton has shrouded the situation
in similar secrecy, denying surgery despite multiple reports
to the contrary. JoLonn Dumbar started in the middle, with Jonathan
Casillas at his SLB spot and Scott Shanle at WLB, as usual.
- ATL MLB Curtis Lofton led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo).
He fell to third in the league in tackles with 85 on the season.
A bit of down game for WLB Sean Weatherspoon, who had just 6
tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass. Both have been tackle
machines this year, with five double-digit tackle games each
and in the top ten in tackles, with Lofton third overall with
85 tackles on the season.
- IND MLB Pat Angerer had 7 tackles (3 solo) and still leads
the league with 105 tackles on the season.
- SF ILB Patrick Willis made it back-to-back double-digit tackles
games, his third of the season. Willis had 11 tackles (9 solo)
and his second sack of the season. Next to him, ILB NaVorro
Bowman had his fifth double-digit tackle game of the season,
leading the team with 15 tackles (11 solo, including 1 on special
teams). He is second in the league with 92 tackles.
- TEN MLB Barrett Ruud was inactive with a shoulder stinger
and groin injury suffered in the previous game, giving fourth-round
pick Colin McCarthy his first career start. McCarthy responded
by leading the team in tackles with 8 (5 solo) and getting high
praise from DC Jerry Gray and teammates. McCarthy was pegged
with potential to start as rookie before the team signed Ruud
right before the preseason. The team has Ruud on only a one-year
deal, so there is no financial considerations or otherwise to
stand in the way of McCarthy taking the job over sooner than
later. HC Mike Munchak gave Ruud a vote of confidence when asked
about the situation for the rest of year.
- Last week I mentioned OAK OLB tweener Kamerion Wimbley should
see his sack production ramp up as the team would need him more
with the loss of DE Matt Shaughnessy for the season. Wimbley
went out and tripled his sacks on Thursday night, getting to
SD QB Philip Rivers four times, largely thanks to the loss of
LT Marcus McNeill early in the game. SD replacement LT Brandyn
Dombrowski looked like he didn't belong in the league, as Wimbley
regularly blew by him. Wimbley also had 7 solo tackles, 5 QB
hits and batted down a pass. He leads the team with 6 sacks
on the season and in his last two games has 13 solo tackles
and 5 of those sacks. MLB Rolando McClain was active after missing
the previous game with a lingering left ankle sprain. He had
5 tackles (3 solo) and broke up 3 passes. McClain's return kicked
LB Darryl Blackstock back to a reserve and role primarily special
- CLE MLB D'Qwell Jackson led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo)
and is sixth in the league with 82 tackles. SLB Scott Fujita
had 5 tackles (4 solo) and broke up 2 passes, grabbing one for
his first pick of the season.
- STL MLB James Laurinaitis had his third double-digit tackle
game of the season, leading the team with 10 tackles (6 solo)
and continued to fill up the box score with second sack of the
season and a pass defensed.
- After a slow start to the season as a pass rusher, GB OLB
Clay Matthews is catching up. With a pair of sacks on MNF, he
has four in the last four games. ILB Desmond Bishop had 8 tackles
(6 solo), broke up a pass and had his fifth sack of the season,
tied with Matthews for the team lead. OLB Frank Zombo was inactive
on Sunday with a hamstring.
- JAX WLB Daryl Smith led the team with 10 tackles (5 solo)
and shared a sack with DE Jeremy Mincey. MLB Paul Posluszny
shared a sack with DE John Chick, grabbed his first pick of
the season, and had 6 tackles (4 solo).
- CIN MLB Rey Maualuga returned after missing a month with
a lateral ankle sprain. He was back in the middle with 7 tackles
(4 solo). SLB Manny Lawson had his most productive game as a
Bengal, sharing his first sack in Cincy with DT Domata Peko
and leading the team with 10 tackles (4 solo). WLB Keith Rivers
has resumed practicing and the team has three weeks left to
activate him from the PUP. Thomas Howard has been solid in place
of Rivers and I wouldn't expect him to necessarily displace
Howard when he returns.
- SD OLB Shaun Phillips was inactive for the third straight
game with a foot injury, giving Antwan Barnes another start
opposite Travis LaBoy. There are no details on Phillips' injury
or timetable for his return. Barnes came through big again,
forcing a fumble on the team's only sack and getting 6 solo
tackles, including one on special teams. As a starter the last
three games, Barnes has 17 tackles (15 solo), 4 sacks and a
forced fumble. He leads the team with 6 sacks on the season.
Injury issues at LB worsened when ILB Takeo Spikes left with
a concussion in the second half. He was already battling a biceps
injury suffered in the previous game. Veteran Na'il Diggs replaced
- HOU rookie OLB Brooks Reed had another sack, giving him five
on the season and four straight games with at least one. On
the other side, OLB Connor Barwin had one for the second straight
game and shared another with DE J.J. Watt. Barwin is up to four
on the season. ILB Brian Cushing again led the team in tackles,
posting 8 solo. He a sack for the second straight game and his
third of the season. He continued filling up the box score with
his second pick of the season.
- CAR SLB James Anderson (8 solo) and WLB Omar Gaither (7 solo)
shared the team lead in tackles with 10. Anderson leads the
team with 76 on the season. He played through a sore ankle he
dinged in practice last week.
- WAS rookie OLB Ryan Kerrigan had a pair of sacks, forcing
a fumble on each. He has three in his last two games and is
up to 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles on the season, as well as
a pick. Perry Riley got the start over Rocky McIntosh at ILB
next to London Fletcher. McIntosh was benched for his performance
and Riley becomes the rare intriguing late season fantasy FA.
He had 9 tackles (7 solo), an impressive 4 TFL and a QB hit.
- PHI MLB Jamar Chaney had 6 solo tackles, broke up a pass
and had his first sack of the season. He was used extensively
on the blitz. Akeem Jordan replaced Moise Fokou as the starter
at SLB. Rookie WLB Brian Rolle was dinged up in the third quarter
and Fokou replaced him.
- TB WLB Geno Hayes remained demoted on Sunday, with Quincy
Black continuing to play the WLB and Adam Hayward replacing
Hayes in the starting lineup and taking Black's SLB spot. Hayward
led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo).
- DEN rookie SLB Von Miller had 7 tackles (4 solo), 4 QB hits,
a solo sack and shared another with DE Elvis Dumervil. Miller
leads the team with 8 sacks on the season. WLB D.J. Williams
led the team in tackles with 9 (7 solo), got his third sack
of the season and forced a fumble. Wesley Woodyard was inactive
with a knee, giving Joe Mays more work in the middle. Mays had
8 solo tackles and broke up a pass.
- MIA ILB Karlos Dansby had his third double-digit tackle game
of the season, all in the last four games as he remains hot.
Dansby filled up the box score, leading the team with 10 tackles
(9 solo), broke up two passes - grabbing one for his first pick
of the season - and had his second sack of the season. Next
to him, ILB Kevin Burnett didn't make it three games in a row
with double-digit tackles, but he was second on the team with
7 (5 solo) and broke up a pass.
- NE LB Brandon Spikes was inactive, as expected, with a reported
sprained MCL suffered in the previous game. LB Gary Guyton was
active, but DNP, so rookie Jeff Tarpinian got his first career
start. OLB Rob Ninkovich grabbed a pair of picks, his first
of the season, returning one for a TD.
- AZ ILB Daryl Washington led the team with 9 solo tackles
and picked up his third sack of the season.
- NYG WLB Michael Boley left in the second quarter with a hamstring
injury and is questionable for this week. Rookie LB Spencer
Paysinger replaced him.
- BUF OLB Chris Kelsay missed this fourth game in the last
five, and second straight, with a nagging calf strain. Danny
Batten continued replacing 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. Sixth-round pick LB Chris
White is done for the year with a torn ACL.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
I'm extremely pessimistic about NO MLB Jonathan
Vilma's knee, so JoLonn Dunbar in tackle-heavy leagues and
Casillas in big-play leagues are appealing to me.
- CIN CB Leon Hall is done for the season after suffering a
torn left Achilles' tendon. It's a devastating blow to one of
the surprise top defenses this season. Hall hasn't put up the
big fantasy numbers this season he has in the past, but is one
of the league's top corners in real football terms. Kelly Jennings
was his immediate replacement, while Pacman Jones could be the
long-term solution, if he can stay healthy. Jones was inactive
for the second straight game with a hamstring injury he suffered
in his first game coming off the PUP on a punt return in the
first quarter of that game. The team promoted CB Brandon Ghee
from the practice squad to fill Hall's roster spot.
- NO SS Roman Harper continues to terrorize opposing QBs on
the blitz, and be the team's only consistent pass rusher. Harper
led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo), broke up a pass, had
2 QB hits and had their only sack. He leads the team in tackles
and sacks, with 69 and 6.5, respectively, on the season. CB
Tracy Porter was in the starting lineup with just soreness in
his neck after a scary collision had him carted off the field
in the previous game. He had 6 tackles (5 solo), forcing a fumble
on one of them.
- CLE SS T.J. Ward is expected to miss at least a month with
a right foot injury suffered in the previous game. Details weren't
discussed, but Ward reported feeling the foot "pop" around his
arch. He has been in a cast since the game. Usama Young takes
over at SS. He had 5 tackles (3 solo) on Sunday as he plays
through a hip injury. Rookie S Eric Hagg is next in line. Nickel
CB Dimitri Patterson missed his second straight game with a
knee sprain and continues to be replaced by rookie Buster Skrine.
- PHI FS Nate Allen remained inactive with a concussion suffered
in the previous game. Rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett, who replaced
him in the previous game, got his first career start. Jarrett
had 7 tackles (6 solo) and brought great pressure when used
on the blitz. SS Kurt Coleman led the team with 11 tackles (8
solo, including 1 on special teams). In more examples of confounding
scheming by DC Juan Castillo, Jarrett was alone on AZ WR Larry
Fitzgerald numerous. Jarrett missed his first career pick in
he third quarter when a ball bounced off his hands and was secured
by Fitzgerald for a long completion. When CB Nnamdi Asomugha
was on Fitzgerald, he mostly shut him down, but Castillo seemingly
continues to refuse to scheme coverage to Asomugha's strengths.
Asomugha grabbed his third pick of the year in the game. CB
Asante Samuel got the team off to a good start when he returned
his second pick of the season for a TD. Samuel battled cramps
in his legs and was in and out of the game. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday and will miss a few weeks.
He got his first career sack before leaving. Another player
miscast in Castillo's system, DRC's deep speed is usually negated
using him on the slot receiver.
- TEN SS Chris Hope returned, as expected, from a broken left
forearm, but Jordan Babineaux, who as discussed last week has
done very well in Hope's place, remained the starter at SS.
Hope made his case to regain the job, grabbing his first pick
of the season in limited snaps in situation pass packages. Babineaux
had 6 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.
- BAL SS Bernard Pollard remains the starter and had another
solid game. He had 8 tackles (3 solo) and forced a fumble.
- SD SS Steve Gregory was a late scratch last week after suffering
a thigh injury in practice last week. Paul Oliver got the start
at SS and posted 7 tackles (5 solo) and broke up 2 passes, grabbing
his first INT of the season on one. As expected, CB Antoine
Cason regained his starting role opposite Quentin Jammer, who
had a tough night getting lit up by OAK rookie WR Denarius Moore.
- OAK FS Michael Huff was inactive with a right ankle sprain,
giving Matt Giordano the start. Giordano had his team-leading
second pick of the season in the end zone late in the game to
preserve the win. The team once again brought back S Jerome
Boyd up for depth from the practice squad after parting ways
with S Chinedum Ndukwe, who saw action in two games before getting
dinged up again. The team with also without CB Chris Johnson
and rookie corners DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa, all
out with hamstring injuries. That left team starting Lito Sheppard,
just signed two weeks ago, opposite Stanford Routt.
- ATL SS William Moore was inactive with a thigh injury. Veteran
James Sanders replaced him in the starting lineup and posted
5 tackles (3 solo).
- DAL CB Mike Jenkins remained inactive for the second straight
game with a right hamstring injury. Orlando Scandrick continued
to replace him. CB Terence Newman grabbed a pair of picks, including
returning the second 43 yards for a TD to add insult to injury
in the blowout of Buffalo. It was his team-leading fourth of
the season and his third in the last two games.
- JAX CB Rashean Mathis is done for the year with a torn left
ACL. Drew Coleman replaced him and grabbed his second pick of
the season. William Middleton move up to the nickel role. The
team signed CB Ashton Youboty to fill Mathis' roster spot.
- IND FS Antoine Bethea had 9 tackles (1 solo). He is tied
for fourth in the league with 84 tackles. SS David Caldwell
led the team with 11 tackles (4 solo), including an assist on
special teams. CB Jerraud Powers grabbed his first pick of the
- WAS FS Oshiomogho Atogwe was active, but did not play for
the third time in four games with a lingering knee problem.
He was only suited up in case of emergency. Once again, Reed
Doughty started in his place and performed well. He led the
team in tackles with 9 solo. SS LaRon Landry had 7 solo tackles.
Landry is playing through some pain in his bad left Achilles'
tendon. As the team's season continues spiraling down the drain,
Landry becomes more of a risk to finish the year out.
- The Chicago secondary had a field day on a struggling DET
QB Matthew Stafford after jumping out to a big lead early. CHI
SS Major Wright returned his second pick of the season for a
TD and CB Charles Tillman returned his first of the season for
six on the next drive. The underrated Tillman had a dominating
performance on DET WR Calving Johnson. He broke up 2 other passes
and had 5 solo tackles. CB Tim Jennings led the team with 10
tackles (9 solo), grabbed his first pick of the season, and
recovered a fumble he forced after missing a tackle.
- BUF rookie CB Aaron Williams has been cleared to return to
contact from a broken collarbone, but remained inactive on Sunday.
FS Jairus Byrd and SS George Wilson led the team with 8 tackles
(6 solo). Byrd also forced a fumble. Wilson leads the team with
79 tackles, among the top ten in the league.
- The hits keep coming to the St. Louis secondary. Veteran
CB Al Harris, whose comeback this year from a devastating left
leg injury two years ago has been an inspirational story, tore
his right ACL and is done for the season, and likely his career.
The team has already lost four corners this year, including
opening day starters Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher. Former
UDFA Josh Gordy will now start opposite CB Justin King with
2010 seventh-round pick Marquis Johnson in the nickel.
- CAR rookie CB Brandon Hogan was activated from the PUP over
the bye, but inactive on Sunday. CB Chris Gamble had his second
pick of the season.
- HOU FS Danieal Manning remained inactive with a broken left
fibula. He is three weeks in to a 4-6 week window for recovery.
Troy Nolan continues to start in his place. SS Quintin Demps
had his second pick of the season, both coming in the last two
- NE CB Devin McCourty left SNF with a right shoulder injury,
reported as a separation. Antwaun Molden took his spot and should
get the start this week. The secondary was already without S
Patrick Chung, a surprise inactive with a foot injury, and S
Josh Barrett, who was put on the IR with a calf injury. James
Ihedigbo remained the starter at one safety and Sterling Moore,
signed off the practice squad last week, was the other starter
over Sergio Brown. Ihedigbo led the team with 7 solo tackles.
The team waived S Ross Ventrone (again), which could be a sign
Chung is ready to go this week.
- DEN UDFA rookie nickel CB Chris Harris continues to put up
numbers in his third game with a full-time role. Harris had
8 solo tackles and broke up a pass. In the last three games
he has 27 tackles (23 solo), 2 passes defensed and an INT. Rookie
Rahim Moore was active, despite suffering a head injury in the
previous game, but fellow rookie Quinton Carter remained the
starter at FS.
- KC SS Jon McGraw was returned after missing the previous
game with a shoulder injury. CB Brandon Carr left the game with
a leg injury in the first quarter, but retuned in the second
half and played the rest of the game.
- MIA CB Vontae Davis was healthy and, as promised by HC Tony
Sparano, back in the starting lineup after being suspended the
previous game for disciplinary reasons, despite the fact he
wouldn't have played due to a hamstring. Davis grabbed his first
pick of the season.
- SF CB Carlos Rogers had a pair of picks, adding to his new
career best with 5 interceptions on the season. Rogers has been
an excellent surprise for the 49ers secondary that was expected
to be a weak spot.
- SEA SS Kam Chancellor suffered a concussion and his back
up, Atari Bigby, also left early with a hamstring injury. Former
UDFA Chris Maragos is the next man up.
- NYG rookie nickel CB Prince Amukamara remained inactive,
despite returning to practice and some expectations he was ready
to return from a broken foot.
- After missing four games with a neck strain, MIN CB Antoine
Winfield was finally active on MNF coming out of the bye. Unfortunately
he didn't make it through his first game back. Winfield suffered
a broken clavicle in the game and is done for the season. CB
Asher Allen replaces him in the starting lineup across from
CB Cedric Griffin, who has struggled to regain form returning
from having blown ACLs the last two years. CB Chris Cook remains
suspended indefinitely, so former UDFA Marcus Sherels becomes
the de facto nickel and rookie CB Brandon Burton, who hasn't
been active yet this season, enters the picture. The team brought
in former nickel CB Benny Sapp for a workout, so he or whoever
takes Winfield's spot could be an immediate contender for the
nickel role. The secondary took another hit with FS Husain Addullah
suffering his second concussion of the season. Tyrell Johnson
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
Defensive backfields across the league took a lot of hits on
Sunday. New CLE SS Usama
Young edges out picking the name of a St. Louis Rams corner
out of a hat for most appealing this week. For riverboat gamblers
in deep leagues, CIN CB Pacman Jones could get a prominent role
with the lost of Leon
Hall for the season.