Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Tony Nowak | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

IDP Notes
Week 6

Bye Weeks: Cardinals, Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Seahawks, Titans

Defensive Line

  • After a setback in practice last week, NYG DE Justin Tuck remained inactive. HC Tom Coughlin said last week Tuck's groin strain may be bothering him more than the neck stinger. Tuck was fitted with new equipment last week to help deal with the neck. It seems likely Tuck will stay inactive through the team's Week 7 bye to heal up for the second half of the season. Jason Pierre-Paul replaced Tuck at LDE, as expected, and kept on rolling. JPP racked up another 2.5 sacks, as well as 6 tackles (5 solo), 2 TFL, 1 pass batted down and 4 QB pressures. He is tied for second in the league with 7 sacks on the season. On the other side, DE Osi Umenyiora also remained hot with 4 tackles (3 solo), 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks, forcing a fumble on one, and 2 QB pressures. In his first two games of the year after dealing with lingering problems in his right knee, Umenyiora as 3.5 sack and 2 forced fumbles. When healthy, the top three ends for the Giants are must-starts in all formats.

  • Minnesota DE Jared Allen racked up 2 more sacks for the second straight game, giving him seven in the last three games. He now leads the league with 8.5 sacks. Allen also recovered a fumble forced by DE Brian Robison on one of his two sacks. He has recorded a pair in two of the last three games and has 4.5 on the season. Allen was poked in the eye in the third quarter, but returned shortly with a visor.

  • An injury-ravaged Philly DLine got a boost with the return of end Darryl Tapp (torn pec) and Juqua Parker (ankle sprain). Tapp started on place of RDE Trent Cole, who was inactive, as expected, with calf strain suffered in the previous game. Cole is expected to be out through the team's Week 7 bye. On the other side, LDE Jason Babin was held without a sack for the first time this season and surrendered the league lead in sacks, falling to a tie for second, but he brought good pressure and had a couple QB hits. DT Cullen Jenkins had the only sack for the Eagles, his fifth of the season.

  • It was the end of streak for CAR DE Charles Johnson, who was held without a sack for the first time in 11 games. On the other side, DE Greg Hardy had 5 tackles (4 solo), a TFL, batted down a pass, and got his third sack of the season.

  • SEA DE Chris Clemons had a pair of sacks, forcing a fumble on one of them. He has 4 sacks on the season and a good bet to put up double-digit sacks again this year after his career year last season when given the chance to be a full-time starter for the first time in his career.

  • OAK DE Matt Shaughnessy missed his second game with a shoulder injury. It was DT Desmond Bryant who got the start in his place and worked on running downs, rotating with DE Jarvis Moss. Moss got the start in the previous game, but after an unimpressive performance against the run, was demoted to sharing more snaps. On the other side, DE Lamarr Houston grabbed his first career pick on a ball deflected by DT John Henderson. The team got great pressure from the interior, with DT Richard Seymour getting a pair of sacks, giving him five on the season, and DT Tommy Kelly had one.

  • IND DE Robert Mathis shared a sack with DE Dwight Freeney, giving Mathis at least a half-sack in three straight games. Freeney also had a solo sack and 4 QB hits. He leads the team with 4.5 on the season. A banged up interior got a boost with DT Fili Mola returning from an ankle injury. He started next to DT Antonio Davis. Rookie DT Drake Nevis remained inactive with a back injury. The team promoted DT Ricardo Mathews from the practice squad to fill the roster spot of DT Eric Foster, who was placed on the IR after a gruesome leg injury in the previous game, and added DT Daniel Muir.

  • TB DT Gerald McCoy suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday and will miss some time. Frank Okam took McCoy's place, but it appears the team is moving rookie DE Da'Quan Bowers inside to replace McCoy while he is out. The team promoted former UDFA DE George Johnson, who had 3 sacks in the preseason, from the practice squad to provide depth at end.

  • JAX DE Aaron Kampman (knee) remained inactive on Sunday, but is now expected to play this week for the first time. DE Matt Roth had a goose egg in his place, while DE Jeremy Mincey had his first sack of the season and former CFL star reserve DE John Chick had his first career sack in the NFL.

  • CIN DE Robert Geathers resumed starting at LDE across Michael Johnson. Geathers had 1 solo tackle, Johnson had a goose egg. Pass rush specialist Carlos Dunlap had a QB hit, but is still looking for his first sack of the season. He leads the team in QB pressures, so it looks like he could have another big second half of the season. Reserve ends Jonathan Fanene and Frostee Rucker each had a sack, Fanene leads the team with 3 sacks on the season. DT Geno Atkins picked up his first career TD when he picked up a fumble after the Jaguars futilely latteralled the ball around deep in Cincinnati territory on the final play of the game.

  • SF NT Isaac Sopoaga was out with a staph infection. He is expected back this week. Ricky Jean-Francois started in his place on the nose and took every snap on defense, posting 3 tackles (2 solo). DE Justin Smith had 4 solo tackles, a TFL, a QB hit and his third sack of the season, coming off his game-saving forced fumble to clinch the team's comeback victory at Philadelphia in the previous game.

  • BUF NT Kyle Williams injured his ankle on Sunday and HC Chan Gailey hadn't revealed the extent as of Monday.

  • PIT RDE Brett Keisel returned after missing the last two games with a left PCL sprain, but LDE Aaron Smith was inactive with a foot sprain, so Evander Hood, who had been starting in place of Keisel, remained in the starting lineup in place of Smith. Hood shared a sack with OLB LaMarr Woodley and had 4 tackles (2 solo). Rookie DE Cameron Heyward had his first career sack. Smith has been ruled out this week already, so Hood gets another start. NT Casey Hampton was a late scratch with a shoulder injury, giving Chris Hoke the start.

  • SD ends Jacques Cesaire (sprained right knee) and Luis Castillo (broken leg) remained inactive. Vaughn Martin continues to replace Castillo opposite rookie Corey Liuget.

  • DEN DE Elvis Dumervil, who missed the two previous games, didn't have a sack in his second game back and is still looking for his first this season. DE Robert Ayers had his first. He also saw some work inside at DT when OLB Von Miller played at end in some pass packages.

  • NE DE Mark Anderson has 1.5 sacks and leads the team with 3.5 on the season. DT Albert Haynesworth was active for the first time since Week 2 due to a back injury.

  • ATL DE John Abraham was inactive with a hip injury on SNF, giving Kroy Biermann the start. Abraham is expected back this week. Biermann had 3 assists, while Lawrence Sidbury took advantage of his opportunity for more snaps with his second sack of the season. On the other side, DE Ray Edwards got his first sack as a Falcon. DT Jonathan Babineaux returned from a knee injury.

  • Rookie DT Nick Fairley made his debut on MNF, after being out with a stress fracture in his left foot. He registered just 1 QB hit, but saw a decent amount of snaps and looked promising.

  • CHI DE Julius Peppers briefly left the game in the second quarter after landing awkwardly and twisting his knee. He returned soon after.

  • CLE DE Marcus Benard broke his hand in a motorcycle accident this week coming off their bye. Jayme Mitchell should be the main beneficiary of more snaps.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: The same degenerate gamblers I recommended last week trying for JAX DE Aaron Kampman on the chance he returns can try again this week, or go for CIN DE Carlos Dunlap and hope those pressures finally turn in to sacks.


  • Houston OLB Mario Williams suffered a torn pectoral muscle on Sunday and is expected to be done for the season. He got his fifth sack of the season early in the game. Rookie Brooks Reed replaced him in the second quarter and finished with 4 tackles (3 solo) and 2 QB hits. This is huge opportunity for Reed who should see most of the snaps opposite OLB Connor Barwin the rest of the year. To help compensate for the loss, expect ILB Brian Cushing to be used more on blitzes to help generate a pass rush. Cushing had his best game of the season, posting 8 tackles (7 solo), a TFL, breaking up a pass and getting his first sack of the season, as well as another QB hit. ILB DeMeco Ryans had 4 tackles (2 solo) and 2 TFL.

  • NYG LB Jacquian Williams has been a teammate of DE Jason Pierre-Paul for some time now. They came to Fort Scott C.C. together before both committed to South Florida in 2009. While JPP would immediately blow up and leave for the draft early to be the Giants first round pick, Williams spent his first season paying his dues on special teams and as a backup LB. Last year, he started every game at OLB and was a team captain on his way to second-team All-Big East honors. Maybe Williams caught the eye of some scout who needs a raise when he was looking at JPP a year early, but for whatever reason, the Giants took the unknown tall, skinny LB with the 202nd pick in April. Now, thanks to injuries, Williams is making an impact faster in the NFL than he did in college. Expected to just be a special teams ace with his speed and competitiveness, he impressed enough to earn a bigger role when MLB Jonathan Goff suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. With fellow rookie Greg Jones moved to MLB in the base defense being athletically limited, Williams took the spot in the nickel. In Week 3 he was tasked with shadowing PHI QB Michael Vick and led the team in the tackles 10. He continued to see more snaps and on Sunday tied for the team lead in tackles with 8 (7 solo) and broke up a pass. He is already up to second on the team in tackles with 33 on the season. Williams is still raw, you see him fooled easily on counters and over committing early, but the speed and athleticism are impressive and we still haven't seen the finished product after he packs some more bulk on his 6'4" frame in the future. A gamble any given week in redraft, but an increasingly promising dynasty prospect. SLB Mathias Kiwanuka has his first sack of the season.

  • IND tackle-machine MLB Pat Angerer had another huge game, racking up 15 tackles (4 solo). He leads the league with 65 tackles and is running away with the category. Reserve OLB Ernie Sims returned from a knee injury.

  • BUF ILB Nick Barnett continues his career revival for the Bills. He returned his first pick of the season for 31 yards for a TD in the second quarter and sealed the victory grabbing a tipped pass for his second interception with less than two minutes to play. He only had 3 tackles (2 solo) as the Eagles only ran 19 times playing from behind the whole game. OLB Shawne Merriman had his second sack of the season in as many games. He's moved from a player to ignore to someone to monitor or bye week filler in sack-heavy leagues, he won't get you any other numbers, but I still wouldn't be starting him in most leagues. On the other side, OLB Chris Kelsay is out indefinitely with a calf strain. Sixth-round pick Danny Batten, the converted pass rushing DE out of South Dakota State, replaced Kelsay in the starting lineup. He put up a goose egg in the box score and only notable play was a late hit on PHI QB Michael Vick on third down that kept a drive alive that resulted in a TD. Batten shared time with OLB Arthur Moats, who posted 5 tackles (4 solo, including 1 and an assist on special teams) and a QB hit.

  • JAX MLB Paul Posluszny stacked up back-to-back solid performances. Poz (7 solo) and OLB Daryl Smith (7 solo and a TFL) led the team with 9 tackles. Poz also broke up a pair of passes. After a slow start, in the last two games Poz has 22 tackles (16 solo), 1 TFL, 2 QB pressure, a sack and he broke up 4 passes.

  • Minnesota MLB E.J. Henderson has been removed from the nickel package as he continues to struggle with soreness in his left knee. The beneficiary has been his brother, WLB Erin Henderson, who replaced him in the nickel. E.J. had 4 tackles (3 solo), while Erin had 6 tackles (2 solo) and a pair of QB hits.

  • The hits keep coming to the Carolina LB corps. Omar Gaither, who had been taking over WLB from Jason Williams and replacing MLB Dan Connor in the nickel package, left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left MCL. He is expected to miss a few weeks, likely out through the team's Week 9 bye. The team has already lost MLB Jon Beason and WLB Thomas Davis for the season with knee injuries. Williams, who was unable to take control of the role previously, will get more snaps and the team will be looking to the street for another free agent.

  • PHI Rookie WLB Brian Rolle had 9 tackles (5 solo) and a TFL as he continues to look solid as a full-time player. MLB Jamar Chaney had the team's only turnover with his first pick of the season, as well as another pass defensed, and had 8 tackles (4 solo). He blew a few plays, but remains their most competent LB.

  • With PIT OLB James Harrison inactive with fractured right orbital socket and his backup Jason Worilds sidelined with a groin injury, the LB corps was shuffled, as expected. ILB Lawrence Timmons move outside to replace Harrison and Larry Foote replace Timmons inside next to James Farrior. Timmons had 5 tackles (3 solo), a TFL, a pass defensed and a QB hit. Farrior, who had been splitting snaps with Foote, capitalized on the additional work and led the team with 13 tackles (9 solo) and broke up a pass. OLB LaMarr Woodley had 1.5 sacks and leads the team with 3 on the season.

  • NE LB Jerod Mayo (knee) was inactive, as expected and the big fantasy winner was Gary Guyton, who took over as the MLB in the base 4-3, with Brandon Spikes and Rob Ninkovich outside. Guyton shared the team lead with 9 tackles (4 solo). Spikes had 6 (5 solo) and Ninkovich had 6 assists and shared a sack with DE Mark Anderson.

  • TEN MLB Barrett Ruud had his second double-digit tackle game of the season, his first since Week 1, with 10 tackles (7 solo).

  • SEA OLB Leroy Hill strained his hamstring in the fourth quarter and was unable to return. He led the team in tackles with 8 (5 solo). Rookie K.J. Wright continues to start at the other OLB and rotate with Aaron Curry, a fantasy mess. MLB David Hawthorne had 7 (5 solo) and a TFL. After a slow start, Hawthorne has 26 tackles in the last three games.

  • SF ILB Patrick Willis clearly was motivated by my comments last week that fellow ILB NaVorro Bowman is in his class. Willis had his first double-digit tackle game, leading the team with 12 tackles (10 solo), breaking up a pass and picking up a fumble. Bowman had 6 tackles (5 solo). Rookie Aldon Smith had a fine encore to his breakout game the week before. Smith racked up 2 more sacks on Sunday, giving him 3.5 in his last two games. DC Vic Fangio is moving around starting OLBs Parys Haralson and Ahmad Brooks to find the best place and time to fit Smith in, but it looks like Smith's snaps will come more at the expense of Brooks than Haralson.

  • TB SLB Quincy Black was inactive again after aggravating an ankle injury. Dekota Watson started in his place and had 7 tackles (5 solo) and a TFL.

  • SD ILB Donald Butler grabbed his first career pick, despite reportedly being removed from the nickel package in favor of Na'il Diggs last week. It was hard to take much away from what they were doing on defense on Sunday, as the Chargers absolutely dominated the time of possession, spending less than a third of the game on the field. It also prevented third OLB Larry English from building on his breakout two-sack performance the previous week. English had 2 tackles (1 solo) and could eat in to the time of starter Travis LaBoy if he remains hot. The team put reserve ILB Stephen Cooper on the IR with a biceps injury and added former Cardinal ILB Gerald Hayes.

  • Denver started the game with Joe Mays back in the middle, after Wesley Woodyard got the start there last week, then WLB D.J. Williams and rookie SLB Von Miller outside, as usual. However, Mays and Miller had some struggles on Sunday, so Mario Haggan spend some time replacing Mays at MLB in the base package, then time in place of Miller at SLB in the base package. In the nickel, they were also giving Miller some looks at DE, kicking Robert Ayers inside to DT, with Woodyard replacing Mays, as usual, and joining Williams as the two LBs. Miller still got his fifth sack later in the game. Williams (7 solo) and Mays (8 solo) led the team with 9 tackles. Williams also had a sack.

  • All the talk of different options the Jets were exploring to replace OLB Bryan Thomas was apparently a ruse by HC Rex Ryan. Occam's razor held true as backup Jamaal Westerman replaced him and proved more than sufficient with 5 tackles (3 solo), 2 QB pressures and 2 sacks. OLB Aaron Maybin also saw more work. To counter the Patriots spread offense, Ryan showed some 3-1-7 looks with OLB Calvin Pace with his hand the ground and ILB David Harris the only LB. Harris shared the team lead with 9 tackles (7 solo) and had a sack.

  • ATL WLB Sean Weatherspoon continued his breakout season, leading the team with 11 tackles (6 solo), 2 TFL and getting his first sack of the season. MLB Curtis Lofton had 10 tackles (4 solo). SLB Stephen Nicholas returned from a calf injury.

  • DET SLB Justin Durant remained inactive with a concussion, giving Bobby Carpenter another start. WLB DeAndre Levy posted double-digit tackles for the second straight game.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: An oldie, but a goodie, PIT ILB James Farrior was productive again with added snaps, thanks to injuries. NE LB Gary Guyton looks like he gets the bulk of the benefit with Mayo out. In dynasty leagues where you can store him for a roster spot, NYG LB Jacquian Williams is looking like a good one for the future.

Defensive Back

  • After missing the previous game with a thigh bruise, SEA SS Kam Chancellor returned and had 6 tackles (5 solo), recovered a fumble and grabbed his second career pick. CB Brandon Browner, whose improbable path to a starting job I discussed a few weeks back, continues to be picked on, but it continues to make him an appealing fantasy play. He had 6 solo tackles, broke up 3 passes, and returned his first career interception 94-yards to seal the victory after NYG WR Victor Cruz couldn't handle a pass deep in Seattle territory and it bounced off Chancellor right to Browner. At the other corner, Walter Thurmond started in place of Marcus Trufant, who was inactive with a back injury. Thurmond forced a fumble on Cruz earlier in the game.

  • OAK FS Michael Huff returned from a concussion and strained groin to grab his first interception of the season, a game-saving pick off a desperation throw by HOU QB Matt Schaub as the clock expired. S Matt Giordano, who had been starting in place of Huff while he was out, suffered a concussion in the game. CB Chris Johnson remained inactive with a hamstring and this time it was third-round pick Demarcus Van Dyke getting his first career start in his place. He had 4 solo tackles, including 1 on special teams. SS Tyvon Branch led the team in tackles again with 7 (6 solo).

  • NYG CB Aaron Ross had his third pick of the season, joining a tie with a number of players for the league lead. The team released veteran journeyman CB Brian Williams last week and brought in CB Justin Tryon, released by Indianapolis the week before. The younger Tryon presumably has more upside and value on special teams. Rookie CB Prince Amukamara (broken foot) is now not expected back until after the team's Week 7 bye.

  • TEN SS Jordan Babineaux, replacing Chris Hope who is out with a broken arm, posted 10 tackles (5 solo). Fantasy-machine CB Jason McCourty made it back-to-back double-digit tackle games as he led the team with 14 tackles (8 solo) and broke up a pass. On the other side, CB Cortland Finnegan grabbed his first pick of the season. FS Michael Griffin tore some ligaments in his elbow, but is not expected to miss any time.

  • Last week I discussed the struggles of CB Nnamdi Asomugha to adapt to the new defensive schemes and DC Juan Castillo not doing him any favors in putting too much on him. On Sunday, Castillo seemed to utilize more man coverage and Asomugha had a solid game, helping shut down BUF leading WR Stevie Johnson, although the team found other ways to win. Missed tackles across the board helped FS Nate Allen lead the team 13 (10 solo) and a TFL, and SS Jarrad Page put up 11 tackles (7 solo).

  • BUF CB Terrence McGee was active after missing the previous three games with a hamstring, but he did not play. The team was still without rookie CB Aaron Williams (collarbone) for the second straight game. CB Drayton Florence continued to replace McGee opposite Leodis McKelvin and the duo was solid in coverage on Philly WRs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, so the team picked on nickel corner Reggie Corner, giving PHI WR Jason Avant a career day, but Corner did have a pick on the first drive that resulted in a TD and got the Bills going. The safety play was dominant as SS George Wilson led the team for the second straight game with double-digit tackles, posting 11 solo and a TFL. Wilson also had a QB hit, broke up 3 passes and had his third pick of the season, in as many games, fall in to his hands. FS Jairus Byrd had 8 solo tackles, a TFL, a strip and a fumble recovered.

  • AZ FS Kerry Rhodes broke his left foot on Sunday and will be out 4-6 weeks. Rashad Johnson replaced him and should continue to start while he is out. The team added Sean Considine for depth.

  • Houston CB Kareem Jackson returned from a knee injury, but after a big performance the previous week, Jason Allen remained the starter in place of Jackson. Allen had another big game, leading the team in tackles and had a pick, both for the second straight week. Allen is a must-play while he's hot, but as I mentioned last week, he typically ends up in the doghouse after a few weeks.

  • CAR CB Chris Gamble returned from concussion, pushing CB Darius Butler to the nickel role. On the other side, CB Captain Munnerlyn got his first career sack. FS Sherrod Martin grabbed his second pick of the season.

  • MIN CB Antoine Winfield was inactive with a muscle strain in his neck and replaced by Chris Cook. On the other side, CB Cedric Griffin was benched for the first series for disciplinary reasons, so Asher Allen officially got the start before Griffin was back with the first team and Allen was back at the nickel. SS Jamarca Sanford had his first two career interceptions in the game.

  • IND CB Jerraud Powers suffered a hamstring injury late on Sunday. UDFA nickel CB Terrence Johnson and fellow rookie Chris Rucker will have a bigger role if Powers can't play this week. Former UDFA David Caldwell continues to start at SS with rookie Joe Lefeged replacing him in the nickel.

  • JAX CB Derek Cox missed another game with a groin strain. William Middleton again replaced him starting opposite CB Rashean Mathis. Drew Coleman replaced Middleton at the nickel and suffered a concussion on Sunday. UDFA rookie CB Kevin Rutland is the only corner on the roster currently.

  • PIT CB Bryant McFadden returned from missing the previous game with a hamstring injury, but did not get his starting role back. William Gay remains in the starting role opposite Ike Taylor.

  • The breakout of SF CB Carlos Rogers continued when he took his third pick in as many games to the house. SS Donte Whitner was back in the starting lineup after a hip injury kept him out or limited the last few games, sending Madieu Williams back to the bench. Rookie CB Chris Culliver had his first career pick. He'll see a bit more work as the fourth corner with Tramaine Brock out indefinitely with a broken right hand.

  • TB S Tanard Jackson was reinstated after being suspended for more than a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The team has two weeks to activate him to the active roster. GM Mark Dominik said there is no timetable for him. The team lost FS Cody Grimm for the season for the second straight year in the previous game. Corey Lynch continued to hold down the spot on Sunday.

  • DEN SS Brian Dawkins suffered a neck strain and is questionable this week. Rookie Quinton Carter replaced him and had 5 solo tackles. Dawkins has a bye this week to recover. CB Cassius Vaughn returned his first career pick for a TD.

  • ATL nickel CB Chris Owens left Sunday night's game with a concussion and was replaced by Kelvin Hayden. SS William Moore left with a left shoulder injury and was replaced by James Sanders.

  • STL CB Bradley Fletcher tore his right ACL over the bye at practice last week. The Rams have now lost their top three corners for the season.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: SF CB Carlos Rogers is looking like the first round pick he was on his new team. HOU CB Jason Allen - as usual, ride him while he's hot. Keep an eye on the status of BAL SS Tom Zbikowski, who still wasn't over his concussion over the bye. If Bernard Pollard gets the start this week, he is a must-add bye week filler.