| Bye Weeks:
Ravens, Browns, Cowboys, Dolphins, Rams, Redskins
- NYG DE Osi Umenyiora returned with a vengeance in his first
game of the season. He started at RDE and, despite being eased
back in playing only about half the defensive snaps, he had
a pair of sacks, forcing a fumble on one of them. Umenyiora
had been inactive through the first three games after his surgically-repaired
right knee became a problem in the preseason. His return was
timely as DE Justin Tuck was inactive with a neck stinger and
groin strain he had been playing through. With Tuck out, Jason
Pierre-Paul kept his starting spot, moving over to LDE opposite
Umenyiora. JPP had 5 tackles (3 solo), a QB pressure and a pass
defensed. Tuck remains highly questionable for this week, already
on Monday referring to himself as a dreaded game-time decision.
Reserve DE Dave Tollefson took advantage of the additional snaps
and also racked up a pair of sacks. As JPP moved to the other
side with Umenyiora back, it appears confirmed that Umenyiora
will retain the starting RDE job and, of course, Tuck will start
at LDE when all are healthy, putting JPP as the third DE. This
shouldn't be a big hit to his fantasy value, especially in sack-heavy
leagues, as JPP will be worked in frequently. The rotation should
keep all three fresh and worth starting in even shallow leagues.
Umenyiora carries the biggest risk. While it appears he'll put
his issues with the front office and desire to be traded aside,
his knees are the greater concern about his performance the
rest of the year, and reason not to drop JPP even if his numbers
do slow when all three are playing.
- Injuries continue to devastate the PHI DLine. RDE Trent Cole
suffered a calf strain in the fourth quarter and was carted
off the field. The worst case scenario has him out the next
two games, through the team's Week 7 bye. Reserve DT Antonio
Dixon also tore his left triceps in the game and is done for
the season. The team was already without DE Darryl Tapp (torn
pec) and Juqua Parker (high ankle sprain), who were both inactive
on Sunday. Parker is out indefinitely, while Tapp could return
this week, but remains questionable. DE Brandon Graham (knee)
says he is ready to play, but he is on the PUP and not eligible
to come back until after the team's Week 7 bye. LDE Jason Babin
picked up the slack for the front four with 3 sacks, forcing
a fumble on one of them. He now leads the league 7 sacks on
the season. With three of the top four ends out, reserve DE
Philip Hunt will see another boost in snaps and the 2010 CFL
sack leader could get his first start, but I think the team
will use the versatile Jenkins at LDE in the base and kicks
him inside on passing downs and brings Hunt in on the edge.
That scenario brings DT Trevor Laws in on the base next to DT
Mike Patterson. Laws picks up more snaps regardless with Dixon
out. The team re-signed DT Derek Landri for depth after he was
one of the team's final cuts in the preseason.
- Minnesota DE Jared Allen remained en fuego, racking up 2
more sacks, giving him five in the last two games. He is second
in the league with 6.5 on the season.
- CAR DE Charles Johnson registered his fourth sack in as many
games. He now has a sack in eleven consecutive games. Amazingly
that was the only sack for the Panthers against a Chicago OLine
that has allowed the second-most sacks this year.
- OAK DE Matt Shaughnessy was inactive with a shoulder injury,
so the team gave Jarvis Moss his first start as a Raider coming
off his big game the previous week. Not much of an encore by
Moss, he had a TFL and a QB pressure. DT Richard Seymour was
flagged three times against his former team, two on the first
drive by the Patriots that resulted in a TD. The first penalty
was unfortunate, as the Raiders had New England with a third-and-nine
with his back up to the Black Hole and the crowd going wild.
There was a whistle for delay of game as the snap got off, but
Seymour didn't hear it and took Brady down after blowing through
the line and was flagged for a personal foul. However, Seymour
wasn't the only one who didn't know the play was dead. Players
on both teams and some other officials seemed equally unaware
the play was over before Seymour hit Brady.
- CIN DE Robert Geathers (shoulder) returned for the first
time since the opener, but it was Carlos Dunlap who got the
start at LDE. It didn't help Dunlap find his first sack of the
season, he finished with 2 assists, a QB pressure and batted
down a pass. Starting RDE Michael Johnson shared the only sack
of the game with DT Geno Atkins, who leads the team with 2.5
on the season. Atkins is an appealing option for leagues that
require starters at the position, but DE remains a fantasy wasteland
on Cincy. Their rotation and lack of an elite pass rusher (or
at least preventing Dunlap from the opportunities to prove he
is such) provide scraps in the box score.
- As the team was held sackless on Sunday, STL DE Chris Long
was held without one for the first time this year and first-round
pickDE3 Robert Quinn is still looking for his first. Quinn did
force a fumble.
- He didn't get to the QB on Sunday, but AZ DE Calais Campbell
put together his second straight strong fantasy performance
with 6 solo tackles, a TFL and a forced fumble. After a slow
start, he's on a great pace for his numbers across the board.
- DET DE Kyle Vanden Bosch was held without a sack for the
first game this season. Reserve DE Willie Young had their only
sack of the game, the first of his career, on the final drive
of the game to help preserve the victory. Rookie DT Nick Fairley
remained inactive, recovering from a stress fracture in his
left foot from the preseason, but continues to move towards
returning as he practiced more last week.
- TB rookie DE Adrian Clayborn had a sack for the second straight
game as he is beginning to assert himself and show the explosiveness
that propelled him in to the upper tier of prospects after his
junior season in college. On the other side, DE Michael Bennett
helped hold down his starting spot over rookie Da'Quan Bowers
with a pair of sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Bowers looked good in reserve duty with 2 tackles (1 solo) and
a pass deflected. DT Gerald McCoy might have been the most impressive
of a good showing by the DLine. He led the team in tackles with
6 (5 solo), 3 TFL, had a sack and 3 QB pressures. DT Brian Price
appeared to aggravate a hamstring in the second quarter and
left the game. He has battled coming back from major offseason
surgery to reattach his hamstrings to his hips after fracturing
his pelvic bone.
- IND DE Robert Mathis had a sack for the second straight game,
while TB was able to contain Dwight Freeney, who was playing
on a sore ankle, on the other side to a goose egg in the box
score. Reserve DE Jerry Hughes got his first career sack, but
he has a long way to go before tipping the scales away from
pointing toward bust. The downer of the MNF was the gruesome
injury to DT Eric Foster who suffered a broken right fibula.
He would seem to be done for the season. The team was already
without DT Fili Mola (ankle) and rookie DT Drake Nevis left
early with a back injury, although he looks like he'll be back
- NO RDE Will Smith notched his first two sack of the season
in his second game back from suspension. Rookie DE Cameron Jordan
isn't putting up much in the box score, but the coaching staff
is happy with his run defense and he should retain his starting
- DEN DE Elvis Dumervil returned after missing two games with
a left shoulder strain. He had a solo tackle and QB pressure.
- TEN DE Derrick Morgan and rookie reserve DT Karl Klug each
had their second sack of the season, while DE Jason Jones had
his first. With all their ends now healthy, Jones and Dave Ball
continue to start with Morgan next in the rotation and working
in the nickel package.
- JAX DE Aaron Kampman (knee) has not yet been ruled out this
week, which is a change from previous weeks. Matt Roth returned
from a neck injury to replace him, kicking Austen Lane back
to third DE, but Lane still registered his first sack of the
- NE DLinemen Albert Haynesworth (back) and Mike Wright (concussion)
were both inactive again. DT Kyle Love twisted his right ankle
in the first quarter and had to leave the game, but returned
in the second half. He was replaced by Gerard Warren, who was
brought back last week for depth, after being among the final
cuts before the season, due to all the injuries up front. For
the second time in three weeks, DT Vince Wilfork had a pick
and produced a highlight-reel worthy return.
- PIT DE Aaron Smith suffered a foot sprain in the fourth quarter
on Sunday and had to be carried off the field. The team was
already without DE Brett Keisel, who remained inactive with
a PCL sprain in his left knee, so Evander Hood had another start
in his place. If both Smith and Keisel are out next week, first-round
pick Cameron Heyward will get his first career start.
- DAL DE Jason Hatcher was inactive with a calf pull suffered
in the previous game. As expected, Marcus Spears got the start
in his place.
- SD DE Jacques Cesaire was inactive, as expected, with a sprained
right knee. He's expected to miss next week and be out through
the team's bye for Week 6. The team had some good news up front
as rookie Corey Liuget returned and was back in the starting
lineup opposite Vaughn Martin, who replaced Cesaire. Cesaire
had replaced Luis Castillo, who remains out with a broken leg
in the season opener.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
GB DE Jarius
Wynn for his match up with the Rams this week. Degenerate
gamblers can also grab JAX DE Aaron
Kampman on the chance he returns this week.
- NE LB Jerod Mayo left Sunday's game in the second quarter
with an apparent left knee injury and did not return. Multiple
sources are reporting he has a MCL sprain and be out as long
as six weeks. As usual, take any injury report about Patriots
with a grain of salt and watch for clues in updates. Mayo suffered
a similar injury in his right knee in the season opener in 2009
and only missed two other games. Gary Guyton takes over as WLB
in 4-3 looks and pass packages, while Dane Fletcher will replace
him inside in 3-4 looks on running downs. Neither is particularly
appealing in most leagues with their specialized roles, so I
see the biggest fantasy impact coming to LB Brandon Spikes and
S Patrick Chung, who should capitalize the most on more tackle
opportunities without Mayo flying around out there.
- PHI MLB Jamar Chaney led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo)
and had a TFL. He also was now staying the dime package, so
he is pretty much on the field for every defensive snap, boosting
his outlook. He still flashes the inconsistency that cost him
the job previously, but the remains the team's best LB and only
fantasy asset on the team at the position, in most leagues.
Rookie Casey Matthews is now almost completely out of the picture,
seeing just a couple of snaps in their big short-yardage package.
Rookie WLB Brian Rolle had 5 solo tackles and broke up a pass
and remains a work in progress. He has the closing speed and
instincts of a playmaker, but his fundamentals as a tackler
are lacking and his size gets him easily caught in the wash.
- SF ILBs NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis each had 6 solo
tackles and a pass defensed. However, Bowman continued to out
produce Willis as he also had 2 TFL and recovered a fumble.
Bowman leads the team, and is tied for 8th in the league, with
36 tackles. Willis is second on the team with 28 and still looking
for his first double-digit tackle game. No injury has been reported
on Willis. He had a broken right hand last year, that finally
cost him the first game of his career in Week 17, as well as
battled bursitis (inflammation of the bursa sac) in his right
knee, and sat out the Pro Bowl because of it, so perhaps he
has some lingering effects there, but he still looked good on
Sunday. The main reason for the decline in the numbers of Willis
seems to be Bowman is a beast too and usurping some of his opportunities.
Bowman's ability was best on display in the third quarter when
he caught PHI QB Mike Vick from behind on a 3rd-and-3 to force
a punt and keep the momentum with San Francisco in their comeback
effort. First-round pick OLB Aldon Smith had a breakout game
with 5 tackles (4 solo, including 1 on special teams), 1.5 sacks
and 3 QB pressures. He lined up with his hand on the ground
in his role at RDE in the nickel and more standing up in space
and looked good doing both. Starting OLBs Parys Haralson and
Ahmad Brooks have been solid this season, but Smith's tremendous
talent was finally on display and he has shown he needs to be
on the field more.
- With IND MLB Gary Brackett (shoulder) placed on the IR last
week, the path is cleared for Pat Angerer to take over the rest
of the season for the second straight year, and likely doesn't
give the job back. Brackett is 31, increasingly injury prone,
and due a big salary increase next year. Dynasty owners can
rest easy that the future is now with Angerer locked in the
middle. Coming off a career night the previous week, Angerer
had "just" 8 tackles (6 solo) and a TFL. He now leads the league
with 50 tackles on the season. Watching the relentless Angerer
take on TB RB LeGarrette Blount was one of the highlights of
MNF. Angerer went high on Blount one-on-one at the line of scrimmage
on one play and I thought it wouldn't end well for Angerer,
but he stopped Blount's momentum and wrestled him right down
on seemingly sheer force of will, as he probably gives 30 pounds
to Blount. As the league caters more and more to offense and
sanitization of game play, making fans yearn more for throwback
brawlers on defense, Angerer is destined for wider fame shortly
with highlight-reel hits and piling up tackles for fantasy owners.
With a modest night of production for Angerer, WLB Kavell Conner
had his turn for a career night. He racked up 18 tackles (14
solo) and a TFL, putting him second in the league in tackles
with 43. Philip Wheeler also keeps a starting role. With Angerer
in the middle, Wheeler should remain at SLB the rest of the
year. Reserve LB Ernie Sims remained inactive with a knee injury.
- After a slow start due to lingering back problems from offseason
surgery, OLB James Harrison was just getting back on track the
last couple weeks, but his season is now derailed by a fractured
right orbital socket after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the second
quarter. He's expected to miss several weeks. Reserve OLB Jason
Worilds may get his shot to replace Harrison, once he's over
a groin injury, but the short-term solution appears to be moving
ILB Lawrence Timmons outside and starting Larry Foote inside.
This scenario is maybe a bit detrimental to Timmons in tackle-heavy
leagues, but boosts his value in sack-heavy leagues. Foote and
ILB James Farrior, who Foote had been rotating with regularly,
both get a boost in tackle-heavy leagues with the additional
snaps each will get and reserve ILB Stevenson Sylvester will
get some more action too. Rookie OLB Chris Carter could also
see more work, once he's over his hamstring problems.
- CLE MLB D'Qwell Jackson had another double-digit tackle game,
leading the team with 10 (5 solo). He is third in the league
in tackles with 40 though the season.
- JAX MLB Paul Posluszny finally had the breakthrough patient
fantasy owners have been waiting for. He posted his first double-digit
tackle game, leading the team with 13 tackles (9 solo), 1 TFL,
2 QB pressure, a sack and he broke up 2 passes. Contributing
to his breakout game was the Saints dominating the time of possession.
- BUF ILB Nick Barnett posted double-digit tackles for the
third straight game and is 4th in the league in tackles on the
season. OLB Shawne Merriman had his first sack of the season.
Reserve ILB Kirk Morrison remained inactive with a hamstring
- While it might not be a surprise an AFC North team has the
top-rated statistical defense at this point in the season, Cincinnati
would have been a distant third behind Pittsburgh and Baltimore
in a preseason poll of which team in the division it would be
after four games. But it is the Bengals who are allowing the
least ypg in the league so far this year. MLB Rey Mauluga stacked
up back-to-back strong fantasy performances as he led the team
with 11 tackles (3 solo and a TFL). The career of WLB Thomas
Howard has been rejuvenated with another starting opportunity
under DC Mike Zimmer and he posted 6 tackles (4 solo) while
tasked with shadowing Buffalo RB Fred Jackson on Sunday. Howard
isn't putting up great numbers, but he's good for around 7 tackles
each week and is locked in as a starter with the trust of the
- Denver WLB D.J. Williams returned from a dislocated left
elbow and was back in the starting lineup for his first game
of the season. He led the team in tackles with 8 (7 solo). Instead
of that sending his replacement back to the bench, Wesley Woodyard
took over the middle from Joe Mays. Woodyard had 6 tackles (4
solo). Rookie SLB Von Miller had a pair of sacks and put on
relentless pressure. He is up to four sacks and is one of the
few bright spots for Denver this season.
- The nominal starting label on new CAR WLB Jason Williams
didn't translate to production on Sunday as he put a goose egg
up in the box score. There was no report of an injury, so I
assume his time on the bench was performance-related and he
was seen as part of the problem in their inability to stop CHI
RB Matt Forte. Omar Gaither saw the bulk of work in the second
half and appeared assigned to spy Forte. MLB Dan Connor saw
plenty of work facing a run-heavy focus from Chicago and he
led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).
- With DET SLB Justin Durant inactive with a concussion, Bobby
Carpenter got his first starter for the Lions against his first
team. He was the playmaker he never showed he could be Dallas
when he took his first career interception back 34 yards for
a score. He also had 6 tackles (4 solo). MLB Stephen Tulloch
had his best game of the season, leading the team with 12 tackles
(10 solo) and also grabbing a pick. WLB DeAndre Levy also posted
double-digit tackles, as Dallas dominated the time of possession,
giving the Detroit defense plenty of opportunities.
- WAS OLB Brian Orakpo broke out on Sunday with 2.5 sacks and
the team exploited the St. Louis offensive line and rang up
seven sacks after having just eight in the previous three games.
On the other side, first-round pick Ryan Kerrigan continues
to make plays and rack up fantasy numbers. He had a season-high
6 tackles (5 solo) and a sack for the third straight game, forcing
a fumble on it. He has 18 tackles (12 solo), 2.5 sacks, 2 forced
fumbles, 3 passes defensed and an interception returned for
a TD. Kerrigan played all 71 defensive snaps. So did ILB London
Fletcher, but he managed only 1 solo tackle. Both are the only
two players on defense who have played every snap so far this
- Houston OLB Mario Williams shook off a right knee injury
in the previous game and had 5 tackles (4 solo), 2 TFL, 2 QB
pressures and 2 sacks. It was his first sacks since he racked
up a pair in the season opener.
- One of the few highlights for the NYJ D after being thoroughly
outplayed by Baltimore was ILB David Harris returning a pick
six. He also had 7 tackles 4 solo). The lowlight was OLB Bryan
Thomas suffering a torn Achilles' tendon in the first quarter.
The longest-tenured Jet, he'll be 33 before next season and
his time with the team, and possibly his career, are likely
at an end. Thomas never lived up to being the speed rusher from
the edge he was expected to be after being a workout wonder
at the Combine in 2002 and drafted in the first round by the
Jets. He was miscast as the 4-3 end and first flourished after
being converted to a 3-4 OLB by new HC Eric Mangini in 2006.
He posted a career-high 8.5 sacks in a contract year, but reverted
to his underachieving form the next year. While he struggled
to keep a starting role with inconsistent effort, his career
was rejuvenated under Rex Ryan, who got the work rate out of
him previous coaches couldn't. He was a reliable presence on
the team, as well. The durable veteran hadn't missed a game
since 2004 and only 3 in his career. Jamaal Westerman replaced
him on Sunday night in the base defense, but disappointed once
again when given an opportunity on defense. His avoidance of
Baltimore lead blocker Vonta Davis on a 3-yard TD run by RB
Ray Rice in the first quarter is the only film clip HC Rex Ryan
needs to see to know Westerman isn't cut out for his defense.
Options on the roster include ILB Josh Mauga, who has impressed
more than Westerman, but is undersized for the position in Ryan's
defense. The other is former first-round pick Aaron Maybin,
who was picked up in the preseason after Buffalo finally gave
up on him, and released just before the season started, then
signed again last week. Maybin actually had his first career
sack on Sunday night helping replace Thomas. He'll be at least
part of the short-term solution, but expect the Jets to bring
in a street free agent for competition and possibly attempt
a trade before the deadline.
- NO MLB Jonathan Vilma was active after missing the previous
game with a left knee injury. Jo-Lonn Dunbar moved back to SLB
and Scott Shanle remains the starter at WLB.
- Minnesota MLB E.J. Henderson had just 5 tackles (4 solo)
as he continues to battle knee problems. Back up Xavier Adibi
could start to see more work. His brother, WLB Erin Henderson,
showed signs of fantasy life for the first time since his huge
Week 1 performance. Erin had 6 tackles (5 solo) and a TFL.
- TEN MLB Barrett Ruud continues to play through a lingering
shoulder injury, posting 7 solo tackles and a TFL on Sunday.
WLB Will Witherspoon had 8 solo tackles (7 solo), a TFL and
broke up 2 passes. Rookie SLB Akeem Ayers had his first career
- TB SLB Quincy Black returned after missing the previous game
with an ankle injury. MLB Mason Foster continues to play a three-down
role as he replaced Black in the nickel. WLB Geno Hayes started
and played as usual after suffering a concussion in the previous
game. As the TB offense dominated time of possession, there
weren't a lot of tackles to go around.
- Trade rumors continue to swirl around Seattle former fourth-overall
pick, Aaron Curry, who has been replaced as the starting WLB
by fourth-round pick K.J. Wright. Carolina, whose LB corps has
been devastated by injuries, has been mentioned and the Jets
become a sleeper after losing Bryan Thomas for the season and
lacking the depth to replace him. However, after Wright put
up a goose egg in the previous game, he managed a couple assists,
but deferred more time to Curry, who had 5 tackles (2 solo)
off the bench. Perhaps Curry will regain his role soon, as Wright
doesn't appear ready for it. I'd buy low on Curry in dynasty
leagues. MLB David Hawthorne put up his second straight solid
fantasy performance, leading the team with 10 tackles (3 solo),
his first double-digit tackle game of the season.
- Kansas City OLB Tamba Hali had a pair of sacks, giving him
three in his last two games and four on the season.
- Now that he's over a calf strain, AZ ILB Daryl Washington
was back in the starting lineup, next to ILB Paris Lenon, and
up to full complement of snaps. This bumps Stewart Bradley back
to a reserve role.
- SD former first-round pick OLB Larry English showed some
signs of life with a pair of sacks on Sunday. He remains battling
Antwan Barnes for time behind starters Shaun Phillips and Travis
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
The guy everyone should be chasing this week is Wesley
Woodyard, as it appears he is the new MIKE in DEN. If he
is floating around in shallower redraft leagues, NE LB Brandon
Spikes is the top guy I go after this week. I think he ends
up being the biggest benefactor of Mayo's absence. His numbers
were an anomaly helped by the opponent dominating time of possession,
but IND WLB Kavell
Conner is locked in a job for a team that will spend a lot
of time on defense.
- NE S Patrick Chung (thumb) returned to the starting lineup
and had 4 tackles (2 solo) and his first interception of the
season. Josh Barrett and Sergio Brown went back to a job share
at the other safety position. Rookie CB Ras-I Dowling missed
another game with a reported hip injury and they were also missing
Leigh Bodden, who was out with a groin injury. Kyle Arrington
got the start opposite CB Devin McCourty and Antwaun Molden
handled the nickel. McCourty (7 solo) and Arrington (5 solo)
shared the team lead with 8 tackles. McCourty continues to rack
up fantasy numbers as he continues to be targeted by opposing
QBs and the Patriots employ more man-to-man coverage this year.
- After leaving with injuries in the previous game, OAK starting
FS Michael Huff (groin, concussion) and CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)
were both inactive on Sunday. Huff was replaced by Matt Giordano,
with Jerome Boyd also seeing more work. The team also had reserve
S/LB Mike Mitchell back. He played in his first game this season
after being sidelined since camp with a knee injury. Mitchell
had the team's only sack. At corner, Joe Porter started in place
of Johnson with fourth-round pick Chimdi Chekwa playing the
corner. The team had third-round pick CB DeMarcus Van Dyke back
from a knee laceration and promoted CB Ron Parker from the practice
squad for depth, but both were limited to special teams work.
SS Tyvon Branch led the team with 8 tackles (4 solo). Huff had
been a limited participant in practice last week and was thought
to have a chance to play on Sunday, so he should be back this
- While problems percolate in all phases of the game for Philadelphia,
the most surprising has been the struggles of shut-down CB Nnamdi
Asomugha as he continues to adapt to moving away from playing
straight man-to-man coverage. He gave up his third big play
through four games on a 38-yard catch by WR Michael Crabtree
in the third quarter that contributed to a TD on a second consecutive
drive during the 49ers' comeback run. Asomugha will be fine,
but DC Juan Castillo might have adapted his schemes a bit to
better utilize Asomugha's talent and ease his transition. Despite
still battling knee tendinitis off his patellar tendon surgery
and looking a step slow out there, FS Nate Allen was back in
the starting lineup, kicking Kurt Coleman to the bench, as expected.
Rookie S Jaiquawn Jarrett was active for the first time, but
limited to special teams work and as precaution for Allen's
health. He or special teams ace Colt Anderson could be next
in line for snaps on defense if Allen can't stay healthy and
as SS Jarrad Page continues to be inconsistent. Anderson had
a couple tackles on special teams and recovered a blocked FG
- WAS SS LaRon Landry gave fans and fantasy owners a scare
when he left the game in the fourth quarter and went to the
locker room. Apparently it was just an urgent bathroom break,
per HC Mike Shanahan, and not related to his Achilles' tendon
or hamstring. He returned the next series and played in 64 of
the 71 defensive snaps, but posted just 3 tackles (2 solo).
CB Phillip Buchanon has finished his four-game suspension for
violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances
and is eligible to return this week. He suffered a shoulder
injury in the preseason, so he may not be ready to replace Kevin
Barnes as the nickel CB this week.
- Injuries continue to ravage the Baltimore secondary. SS Tom
Zbikowski suffered a concussion early in Sunday's game and was
replaced by Bernard Pollard. Pollard had an unspectacular performance
with 3 tackles (2 solo) and with a bye for the team next week,
Zbikowski should be back before Pollard has a decent chance
to steal the job. Depth was thin at S as Haruki Nakamura remained
sidelined with a PCL knee injury. The team had planned for a
heavy dose of Zbikowski and Pollard in the nickel as depth was
even scarcer at corner, where nickel CB Chris Carr was inactive
after aggravating his left hamstring in practice last week.
Rookie CB Jimmy Smith remained inactive with a high ankle sprain
and CB Domonique Foxworth was placed on the IR after being unable
to overcome issues in his surgically-repaired right knee that
he tore the ACL in over a year ago. Staring corners Lardarius
Webb and Cary Williams stepped up with Webb getting his second
pick in as many games, returning it 73 yards for a score, and
Williams leading the team with 8 solo tackles and forcing a
fumble. With all the injuries at corner, former UDFA and practice
squad journeyman Danny Gorrer saw his first significant action
since 2009. He let a certain interception bounce off his hands
in the fourth quarter, but otherwise did an impressive job,
frequently on NYJ WR Santonio Holmes. The team added CB Bryan
McCann this week for depth. He flashed some potential as playmaker
and returner with Dallas last year, but doesn't have the upside
to be an every-down player. FS Ed Reed forced a fumble on a
- CHI SS Chris Harris (hamstring) was inactive for the third
straight game and is now expected to miss a few more weeks after
aggravating the injury last week in practice. Major Wright returned
after missing the previous game with a concussion, so he replaced
Harris at SS and Brandon Meriweather started at FS. Third-year
CB D.J. Moore grabbed his fifth career interception on a deflected
pass and made it the second one he's returned for a TD (he had
another nullified by a penalty last year). The undersized Moore
has struggled to hang on to the nickel corner job, but is a
playmaker when given the opportunity.
- TEN SS Chris Hope returned from a dislocated shoulder on
Sunday and promptly suffered a broken arm. It requires surgery,
so he will be out for at least a month, but is expected to return
this year. Hope will once again be replaced by Jordan Babineaux,
who once again flashed his big-play ability with a 97-yard interception
return for a TD. CB Cortland Finnegan led the team in tackles
with 11 (10 solo), broke up a pass and had a couple QB pressures.
CB Jason McCourty didn't have a big fantasy play, but continues
to produce with 10 solo tackles and a pass defensed. He now
has 35 tackles (34 solo), 2 interceptions, a sack and a forced
fumble through four games. The high tackle numbers were thanks
to Cleveland dominating the time of possession.
- CAR CB Chris Gamble was inactive, as expected, with a concussion.
Darius Butler replaced him to get his first start as a Panther.
Gamble is expected back this week. SS Charles Godfrey returned
after missing the previous game with a concussion and grabbed
his first pick of the season.
- With a lack of depth at corner, Cincinnati used SS Chris
Crocker in coverage on the slot in their nickel package and
brought on reserve S Gibril Wilson in the box with FS Reggie
Nelson in centerfield. Nelson continues to be the star of the
secondary, with 7 more tackles (5 solo) and a pass defensed
- SF SS Donte Whitner was active, but did not play on Sunday
due to a hip injury and was replaced by Madieu Williams, who
got the start, with Reggie Smith also seeing plenty of work.
After missing the first two games due to a knee injury, FS Dashon
Goldson had his second strong performance. He led the team with
10 solo tackles, broke up a pass and recovered a fumble. CB
Carlos Rogers had a pick for the second straight game.
- Buffalo was without three corners on Sunday as CB Terrence
McGee (hamstring) missed another game, rookie CB Aaron Williams
(collarbone) was out after being injured in the previous game
and recently-added CB Terrence Wheatley, a former second-round
pick of the Patriots, was also inactive. CB Drayton Florence
continued to replace McGee opposite Leodis McKelvin. The team
went with Reggie Corner at the nickel over rookie Justin Rogers.
SS George Wilson led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo) and had
a pick for the second straight game. Tweener S Bryan Scott also
had a pick.
- DAL FS Gerald Sensabaugh left Sunday's game early in the
third quarter with a concussion and was replaced by Barry Church,
who led the team with 6 tackles (5 solo, including 1 on special
teams). Nickel CB Orlando Scandrick remains inactive with an
ankle sprain, but is expected back after the bye.
- DET SS Amari Spievey left Sunday's game in the third quarter
with a hamstring injury. His back up, Erik Coleman, left shortly
after with an ankle sprain, giving special teamer John Wendling
some work on defense. CB Chris Houston continues to put up great
numbers in Detroit. He had 6 tackles (5 solo) and a TFL, as
well as grabbed his third interception of the season.
- TB S Corey Lynch got the start at FS with Cody Grimm (torn
right ACL) done for the season. No word last week on the reinstatement
of former starter Tanard Jackson.
- CLE CB Joe Haden sprained his left knee on Sunday and HC
Pat Shurmur expects he could "miss some time". Dimitri Patterson
replaced him in the game and he or rookie CB Buster Skrine would
start in his place if he misses time. FS Mike Adams had a pick
for the second straight game and currently has the hot hand
in the job share with Usama Young.
- Emerging SEA SS Kam Chancellor was inactive with thigh bruise.
Atari Bigby got the start in his place and posted 3 solo tackles,
including 1 on special teams, and picked off a pass.
- After being benched in favor of veteran James Sanders earlier
in the season, Atlanta FS Thomas DeCoud helped solidify his
status as the starter with his second pick in as many games.
SS William Moore led the team with 8 solo tackles.
- Indianapolis put SS Melvin Bullitt on the IR last week with
a right shoulder injury and started former UDFA David Caldwell,
who replaced Bullitt in the previous game. Rookie Joe Lefeged
replaces Caldwell in the nickel and will push for a bigger role,
while DB Stevie Brown, signed off the street the previous week,
is there for depth after flashing some potential with Oakland
last year. Unfortunately that's a fantasy mess. Caldwell had
a productive game with 5 tackles (4 solo) and a pass defensed
to just 2 tackles (1 solo) for Lefeged, but TB dominated the
time of possession and ran the ball 36 times. I'd avoid the
situation in redraft leagues with Lefeged being slightly more
interesting for dynasty. There was also some non-injury changes
at corner. The Colts waived Justin Tryon and promoted undersized
former UDFA Terrence Johnson to nickel CB and have given rookie
Chris Rucker a bigger role. Both are now pushing Jacob Lacey
for a starting role.
- Houston CB Kareem Jackson was inactive on Sunday with a knee
injury. Jason Allen replaced him and as the former first-round
is wont to do from time to time, flashed his potential by leading
the team with 7 solo tackles, including 1 on special teams,
broke up 2 passes and picked one off. However, whenever Allen
is given a full-time role, he inevitably blows it.
- With Nick Collins done for the season in Green Bay, and possibly
his career after undergoing cervical fusion surgery last week,
Charlie Peprah took over, as expected, at FS and had a pick.
Also grabbing interceptions were CB Charles Woodson, who returned
his 30 yards for a TD, and nickel CB Sam Shields.
- KC CB Brandon Flowers played through an ankle injury suffered
in the previous game. SS Jon McGraw was inactive with a knee
injury suffered in the previous game, giving Donald Washington
the start. Washington posted 5 solo tackles.
- Pittsburgh nickel CB William Gay started in place of Bryant
McFadden who was inactive again with a hamstring.
- After returning from chest injuries in the previous game,
JAX CB Derek Cox was again inactive after suffering a groin
injury late last week in practice. William Middleton replaced
him again. SS Dawan Landry had his first big fantasy day for
his new team, posting 11 tackles (7 solo) and picking off a
- CB Tracy Porter returned from calf injury and was back starting
opposite Jabari Greer. Patrick Robinson was kicked back to the
nickel and had his second pick in as many games.
- Denver CB Champ Bailey missed his third straight game with
a pulled left hamstring, but says he'll be back next week. Cassius
Vaughn remained his replacement in the starting lineup opposite
Andre Goodman with CB Jonathan Wilhite in the nickel role. Wilhite
and rookie FS Rahim Moore each had a pick.
- In the least shocking injury news of the year, the season
is over for SD SS Bob Sanders, who was placed on the IR last
week with knee problems. Steve Gregory is now the full-time
SS for the Chargers. CB Quentin Jammer was inactive with a hamstring,
despite saying he'd play last week. Rookie Marcus Gilchrist
replaced him and posted 6 solo tackles, broke up 2 passes and
picked one off, as he was tested. Expect Jammer back this week.
- Miami CB Vontae Davis was inactive for the second straight
game with a hamstring injury and continues to be replaced by
Nolan Carroll. SS Yeremiah Bell had the fantasy day his owners
have been waiting for, leading the team with 14 solo tackles.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
I previously pimped him here, but since nothing much jumps out
at me this week, I'll put in another plug for BAL CB Lardarius
Webb. The guy is a playmaker and fun to watch.