| Bye Weeks:
Bills, Patriots, Bengals, Giants, Eagles, 49ers
- NYG DE Justin Tuck remained inactive with a neck stinger
and groin strain. He hasn't played since Week 3, but with a
bye coming up this week, Tuck has vowed to return in Week 8.
As usual, Jason Pierre-Paul replaced Tuck at LDE and Osi Umenyiora
started at RDE. Each had a sack on Sunday, with Umenyiora up
to 5 already despite this just being the third game he played
in this season. JPP is second in the league with 7.5 sacks on
the season. For the second straight game, DC Perry Fewell has
also been using SLB Mathias Kiwanuka more at his natural position,
as an end, in certain pass packages. JPP and reserve DE Dave
Tollefson play inside, with Kiwanuka and Umenyiora coming from
- CHI DE Julius Peppers surprised Bear fans, and fantasy owners
who had benched him, when he was introduced before the SNF game
and came out in his equipment. Listed as doubtful with what
was labeled as a MCL knee sprain, Peppers not only started,
but racked up a pair of sacks and brought relentless pressure
despite the bum knee. Peppers claims he didn't know he'd play
until he came in to the locker room that day, but rumors abound
that it was payback for the Vikings listing Brett Favre as doubtful
last year and then playing him. If Peppers was inactive, DT
Henry Melton was expected to start in his place and Amobi Okoye
would have replaced Melton as the UT. Anthony Adams started
at NT with Matt Toeania out with a sprained PCL. Toeania is
expected to miss a few weeks. With the opening up front, rookie
Stephen Paea was active for the first time and wasted no time
making an impression with a safety on his first career sack
in the first quarter, helping the team get out to a big early
- MIN DE Jared Allen was somehow handled by one of the worst
OLines in the league for most of Sunday night, as he faced relentless
double teams by TEs and chips from RBs. He finally broke through
for a strip sack and recovered the fumble himself, one of the
team's few highlights. He has eight sacks in the last four games
and leads the league with 9.5 sacks on the season.
- After ending a streak of 11 consecutive games with a sack
in the previous contest, CAR DE Charles Johnson started new
streak with his fifth sack of the season on Sunday. It was the
team's only sack. The team is showing more 3-4 fronts with all
the injuries at LB, using Johnson and reserve DE Antwan Applewhite,
who had experience playing in space for San Diego and likely
one of the reasons they recently added him, at OLB.
- ATL DE John Abraham returned from a hip injury that kept
him out of the previous game and had 2 solo tackles and a QB
hit. On the other side, DE Ray Edwards is finally starting to
get his Falcon career going. He had his second sack in as many
- SF DE Justin Smith had another big game with 7 tackles (5
solo), 3 QB hits, and 1.5 sacks. He now has 4.5 sacks on the
season. NT Isaac Sopoaga returned from a staph infection.
- PHI DE Darryl Tapp continued to start at RDE with Trent Cole
remaining active, as expected, with a calf strain. The team
is on a bye this week and Cole is expected back for Week 8,
as is DE Brandon Graham, who has been on the PUP due to his
knee. Tapp got his second sack of the season in the game and
DT Mike Patterson had his first.
- JAX DE Aaron Kampman (knee) was active for the first time
this week and put up a goose egg on a handful of snaps. Kampman
is expected to eventually return to starting at LDE, but Matt
Roth remained the starter on Sunday and remained their most
productive pass rusher with his third sack. DE Jeremy Mincey
is expected to remain the starter on the right side. The rotation
got a little shorter as Austen Lane was lost for the season
after suffering a shoulder injury in the game on Sunday. His
loss gives former CFL star reserve DE John Chick more opportunities.
Chick had his second sack in as many games on Sunday.
- OAK DE Matt Shaughnessy missed his third game with a shoulder
injury. DT Desmond Bryant continues to start in his place and
worked on running downs, rotating with DE Jarvis Moss. On the
other side, a week after getting his first career pick, DE Lamarr
Houston had his second sack of the season.
- CIN DE Michael Johnson had the team's only sack, giving him
2.5 on the season. Pass rush specialist DE Carlos Dunlap is
still looking for his first sack of the season, but he clinched
the win when he returned a fumble 35 yards for a TD.
- CLE DE Jabaal Sheard and fellow rookie DT Phil Taylor each
had their second sack of the season.
- BUF NT Kyle Williams was inactive with an ankle injury suffered
in the previous game. Kellen Heard replaced him.
- PIT RDE Brett Keisel had a pair of sacks while LDE Aaron
Smith remained inactive with a foot sprain, giving Evander Hood
another start in his place. NT Casey Hampton missed his second
straight game with a shoulder injury. Chris Hoke got the start
in his place, but suffered a stinger on Sunday and left the
game. Steve McLendon replaced him.
- DEN DL Ryan McBean allegedly spent the bye week stalking,
after being arrested for it on Friday. Not many details yet.
He's a role player with no fantasy value, but it should be an
interesting story when it comes out.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
If someone gave up after the slow start by ATL DE Ray Edwards,
he's worth a look in deeper leagues. JAX DE John Chick replaces
PHI DE Philip Hunt as my Ex-CFL Pass Rush Specialist Flavor
of the Week for the deepest of dynasty leagues.
- PIT OLB James Harrison remained inactive with fractured right
orbital socket and Lawrence Timmons continues to replace him
on the right side, but put up a goose egg in the box score on
Sunday. However, that was largely due to the attention he received
by the Jacksonville offense. The Jaguars only ran left on 6
of RB MJD's 22 carries, and only three of those were off-tackle
or outside. The main beneficiary of Harrison's absence continues
to be ILB James Farrior. With Larry Foote replacing Timmons
inside, Farrior is no longer rotating with him and the result
is Farrior leading the team with double-digit tackles for the
second straight game. Farrior had 11 tackles (6 solo), a QB
hit and sack, and broke up a pass. In the two games Harrison
had been out, Farrior has 24 tackles (15 solo), 2 QB hits, a
sack and 2 passes defensed. OLB LaMarr Woodley also continues
to bring more pass rush, getting a pair of sacks and QB hits.
Woodley has 3.5 sacks in the last two games and leads the team
with 5 on the season. Harrison's backup, Jason Worilds remains
sideline with a groin injury, but has returned to practice.
- The trade for QB Carson Palmer this week quickly overshadowed
the trade by Oakland of a 2012 seventh-round pick and conditional
2014 pick to Seattle for OLB Aaron Curry last week. The Raiders
wasted no time installing Curry in the starting lineup opposite
Kamerion Wimbley. He posted 3 tackles (2 solo) in his first
game in the Black and Silver. Quentin Groves lost his starting
job to Curry. MLB Rolando McClain had 7 tackles (6 solo), a
QB hit and broke up 2 passes playing through a twisted ankle.
- As discussed under the DLine notes above, NYG SLB Mathias
Kiwanuka has been seeing some work with his hand on the ground
in the absence of DE Justin Tuck. Kiwanuka had a sack for the
second straight game thanks to that. He forced a fumble on that
sack and also had 7 tackles (6 solo). Allowing Kiwanuka more
flexibility to work up front has been facilitated by the emergence
of rookie LB Jacquian Williams, who I covered in more detail
in this column last week.
WLB Michael Boley led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo).
- CIN MLB Rey Maualuga suffered an ankle injury at practice
last Thursday and was a late scratch. Former UDFA Dan Skuta
replaced him in the base defense and posted 5 tackles (2 solo),
with Brandon Johnson seeing work for him in the nickel. The
severity of Maualuga's ankle injury hasn't been specified by
HC Marvin Lewis, other than saying he's expected to be out "a
couple weeks", but Maualuga was seen with a cast on the foot
at their practice facility on Monday. The Bengals are on a bye
this week, so we'll see where Maualuga is at next week.
- IND MLB Pat Angerer had "just" 8 tackles (5 solo) and continues
to lead the league by a wide margin with 73 on the season. WLB
Kavell Conner led the team with 9 tackles (4 solo) and is second
in the league with 58 tackles, as the Colts continue to spend
most of their time on defense.
- A week after a breakout game by SF ILB Patrick Willis, fellow
ILB NaVorro Bowman reclaimed the team's fantasy crown. Bowman
led the team with a season-high 14 tackles (8 solo), including
an assist on special teams, his third double-digit tackle game
of the season. He also broke up a pass. Bowman is fifth in the
league with 56 tackles on the season. Willis had 7 tackles (5
solo) and broke up 3 passes. Rookie Aldon Smith continued rolling,
racking up 2 more sacks and forcing a fumble on one. He leads
the team with 5.5 sacks, all in the last three games. OLB Parys
Haralson left the game halfway through the fourth quarter with
a hamstring injury. Along with Ahmad Brooks, who also had his
second sack of the season in the game, Haralson and Smith are
rotating regularly at the three OLB spots.
- NE LB Jerod Mayo returned to practice on a limited basis
last week, but remained inactive on Sunday with a knee injury.
LB Gary Guyton continued to pick up most of his snaps, sharing
the team lead with 10 tackles (5 solo).
- JAX MLB Paul Posluszny continues to trend up. He had his
second double-digit tackle game of the season, leading the team
with a season-high 16 tackles (9 solo). In the last three games
he has 38 tackles (25 solo), a sack and 4 passes defensed. OLB
Daryl Smith was active after being expected to miss the game
due to a concussion suffered in the previous game. Smith had
8 tackles (5 solo).
- GB ILB Desmond Bishop posted his third double-digit tackle
game, leading the team with a season-high 14 tackles (9 solo).
He is tied for third in the league with 57 tackles on the season.
ILB A.J. Hawk had the curious celebration of flipping the bird
to his own sideline after a sack. Hawk said it was a running
joke on the defense. CB Charles Woodson disagreed and didn't
get the joke, and most interestingly, had no problem throwing
Hawk under the bus on the "joke" reasoning publically. Hawk's
career has gone in reverse after an impressive rookie season,
perhaps some of his teammates had been reminding of that lately.
OLB Clay Matthews had his second sack of the season. On the
other side, OLB Frank Zombo made his season debut, after missing
the first five games with a shoulder injury, and proceeded to
ding his knee in the game. Zombo stayed in, sharing snaps with
Erik Walden, who replaced Zombo as the starting ROLB and remained
the starter on Sunday. Walden has once again failed to seize
the opportunity and should eventually yield the base role to
Zombo and be used in coverage, his strength, and some blitzes.
- DAL OLB DeMarcus Ware racked up 5 tackles (4 solo), 3 TFL,
2 QB hits and 2 sacks. He has moved in to a tie for third in
the league with 7 sacks on the season. He battled some back
spasms during the game, but is expected to play this week. ILB
Sean Lee posted his third double-digit tackle game of the season,
leading the team with 12 tackles (6 solo). He also had 2 TFL
and his third pick of the season.
- BUF OLB Chris Kelsay remained out with a calf strain and
their other starting OLB, Shawne Merriman, joined him on Sunday,
missing the game after his surgically-repaired Achilles' tendon
acted up. Merriman says he'll be ready to go after the bye this
week. Sixth-round pick Danny Batten continued to replace Kelsay
and Arthur Moats saw more work in place of Merriman. ILB Andra
Davis was benched during the game and replaced by rookie Kelvin
Sheppard, a move that HC Chan Gailey confirmed would remain
in place going forward.
- With his second sack of the season on Sunday, BAL ILB Ray
Lewis has 40.5 for his career and with 31 career picks in his
HOF career, as well, become the first player in NFL history
with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions.
- Another week, another injury to the Carolina LB corps. This
week reserve LB Thomas Williams suffered a concussion. Williams
had taken over for Omar Gaither, lost to a sprained left MCL
in the previous game, in replacing MLB Dan Connor in the nickel
next to SLB James Anderson. Anderson led the team with 12 tackles
(7 solo). The team has been employing some 3-4 looks, with their
ends at OLB and Connor and Anderson inside, to deal with their
issues at LB.
- WAS ILB's London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh each posted
double-digit tackles on Sunday.
- MIN MLB E.J. Henderson continues to be the less productive
Henderson brother as he battles left knee soreness. WLB Erin
Henderson had 8 solo tackles and forced a fumble as he continues
to work in the nickel package in place of E.J., who had 5 tackles
- TB SLB Quincy Black was active again, but didn't start, as
he continues to battle an ankle injury. Black did manage a pick
in limited work. Dekota Watson started in his place. MLB Mason
Foster played through his own ankle injury, posting just 3 tackles
(1 solo). Reserve Adam Hayward saw more work with Foster and
- The season officially ended for HOU OLB Mario Williams last
week when he was placed on the IR with a torn pectoral muscle.
As expected, rookie OLB Brooks Reed replaced him. Reed had 6
tackles (3 solo), a QB hit and broke up a pass in his first
- DET WLB DeAndre Levy posted double-digit tackles for the
third straight game, leading the team with 12 (7 solo). MLB
Stephen Tulloch had 6 tackles (2 solo) and his second sack of
the season. SLB Justin Durant remained inactive with a concussion,
giving Bobby Carpenter another start. Durant has been cleared
to return to practice this week.
- CLE SLB Scott Fujita left the game in the second half after
suffering a concussion. Kaluka Maiava replaced him. MLB D'Qwell
Jackson led the team with 9 solo tackles and 2 TFL.
- St. Louis benched veteran WLB Ben Leber and will go younger,
giving 2008 seventh-round pick Chris Chamberlain an opportunity
with the job.
- With the departure via trade of Aaron Curry, rookie K.J.
Wright will be the full time SLB. He had been rotating with
- NYJ OLB Jamaal Westerman followed up his breakout first career
start with 2 tackles (1 solo), 2 QB hits and sharing a sack
with ILB Bart Scott. The Westerman Meter is at 2.5 sacks in
2 games. On the other side, OLB Calvin Pace had a pair of sacks.
Stanford QB Andrew Luck must have had shiver run up his spine
when the Miami OLine even yielded a sack to backup OLB Aaron
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
If anyone overlooked PIT ILB James Farrior last week, you'll
have a lot more competition for him this week. I'm interested
in giving new OAK WLB Aaron Curry a second chance in new surrounding
for deeper leagues and definitely in dynasty leagues.
- GB nickel CB Sam Shields suffered a concussion after grabbing
his second pick of the season in the end zone in the third quarter.
Jarrett Bush replaced him and should get the work as the third
CB this week as it looks like the team will hold Shields out
through their bye in Week 8. SS Morgan Burnett played with a
cast on his right hand after breaking it in practice last week.
It didn't slow down his production as he posted 9 tackles (6
solo) and forced a fumble. CB Charles Woodson had his first
sack of the season.
- Despite coming off a bye, BAL SS Tom Zbikowski was inactive
with a concussion suffered in their last game. Bernard Pollard
got the start and posted 5 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.
- PIT SS Troy Polamalu suffered a minor concussion late in
the fourth quarter on Sunday, but is expected to play this week.
- PHI S Kurt Coleman was given another chance when starter
Jarrad Page was demoted and not active on Sunday. Coleman responded
by leading the team in tackles with 7 (5 solo) and picking off
3 passes. Take the performance with a grain of a salt, as it
was Bad Rex who showed up to QB Washington, throwing four total
picks on the day before being benched. FS Nate Allen had the
- For those patient/desperate enough to have continued starting
him, WAS FS Oshiomogho Atogwe finally turned in the playmaker
performance his owners have been waiting for. O.J. filled up
the box score with 8 tackles (6 solo), 2 TFL, and his first
pick and sack as a Redskin. After tying his career high with
6 picks last year, CB DeAngelo Hall had his first pick of the
season. Not playing against CHI QB Jay Cutler this year (not
to mention his own QB, Rex Grossman) has hampered Hall's interception
production. SS LaRon Landry had a solid day with 8 solo tackles
and a QB pressure. CB Kevin Barnes remained the nickel despite
the return from suspension of CB Phillip Buchanon.
- BUF CB Terrence McGee returned to the starting lineup with
a vengeance on Sunday, leading the team with 11 solo tackles
and breaking up 2 passes. With McGee's return, it was Leodis
McKelvin who was demoted to nickel, with Drayton Florence remaining
the other starter opposite McGee. Rookie CB Aaron Williams (collarbone)
missed his third straight game. SS George Wilson had double-digit
tackles for the third straight game, posting 10 (7 solo). He
is tied for third in the league with 57 tackles this season.
- NYG CB Corey Webster did a great job on Buffalo's top WR,
Stevie Johnson. Webster held Johnson to just 5 catches for 39
yards and 1 TD on 10 targets, breaking up 3 pass and picking
two of those off for his first two interceptions of the year.
CB Justin Tryon, signed off the street last week, worked as
the nickel in his first game with the Giants. First-round pick
CB Prince Amukamara said he is ready to return from a broken
foot after the team's bye this week and should assume the nickel
role and push starter Aaron Ross.
- TB S Tanard Jackson was back in the starting lineup on Sunday
after just being reinstated after being suspended for more than
a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He
posted 5 solo tackles and picked off a pass. Corey Lynch returned
to a reserve role.
- Chicago benched both starting safeties after an embarrassing
performance in their loss to Detroit in the previous game. Major
Wright replaced Chris Harris at SS and rookie Chris Conte got
his first career start at FS in place of Brandon Meriweather.
Conte was more productive with 6 tackles (3 solo). Chris Harris
requested a trade on Monday and the team granted his agent permission
to find a partner. Good luck. Once an athletic turnover machine,
injuries and age have unfortunately left Harris a slow shell
of the playmaker he once was. He can still lay the wood on a
hit, if he gets there in time, so he could find a role playing
strictly in the box as a poor man's Bernard Pollard.
- CIN CB Leon Hall, who has been a fantasy waste of roster
space to start the season, had his most productive game this
year, posting 5 solo tackles, breaking up 2 passes and grabbing
his first pick of the season. After the bye this week, CB Pacman
Jones will be eligible to come off the PUP and play in their
- CAR FS Sherrod Martin, who had been battling illness all
week, wasn't able to finish the game because of it. He was replaced
by Jordan Pugh, who then had to leave in the fourth quarter
after suffering a concussion. Jermale Hines replaced Pugh.
- ATL nickel CB Chris Owens remained sidelined with a concussion
and Kelvin Hayden continues to replace him. FS Thomas DeCoud
led the team in tackles with 8 (7 solo) and had his third pick
of the season, all in the last four games.
- IND CB Jerraud Powers played through a hamstring injury.
On the other side, CB Jacob Lacey was demoted during the game
in favor of UDFA nickel CB Terrence Johnson. Former UDFA David
Caldwell continues to start at SS with rookie Joe Lefeged replacing
him in the nickel.
- STL CB Al Harris made his first start in almost 2 years against
the team he made that last start for, the Packers. Harris returned
to Green Bay where he suffered the devastating left knee injury
in November 2009 that has had him on the long road back to a
prominent role since. Harris got the start as the Rams have
lost their top three corners to season-ending injuries. Harris
finished with 1 solo tackle.
- Houston CB Kareem Jackson reclaimed his starting role, putting
Jason Allen back on the bench despite good production in the
couple of games Jackson was out.
- CLE CB Joe Haden was inactive with a knee sprain and is expected
to miss another week or two. Nickel CB Dimitri Patterson started
in his place and had 7 tackles (6 solo) and broke up a pass.
- NE S James Ihedigbo got the start as Sergio Brown and Josh
Barrett were both inactive. CB Kyle Arrington took over the
league lead in interceptions with his fourth of the season.
- MIN CB Antoine Winfield missed his second straight game with
a muscle strain in his neck. CB Chris Cook replaced him once
again and Asher Allen handled the nickel. SS Jamarca Sanford
suffered a concussion and left the game early, replaced by Tyrell
- A thin Seattle secondary lost their most experienced player
as CB Marcus Trufant was placed on the IR over the bye with
a back injury. Walter Thurmond will replace him as a starter.
- NYJ CB Darrelle Revis was tested more than usual on MNF as
new Miami QB Matt Moore kept forcing the ball to WR Brandon
Marshall despite Revis being in his hip pocket. When you play
with fire, you get burned, as a stumble by Marshall near the
end zone left an easy pick six for Revis in the first quarter.
Revis had another pick and broke up 4 passes, as well as posted
3 solo tackles, on the night.
- Waiver Wire Recommendations:
Not a good sign BAL SS Tom Zbikowski wasn't over his concussion
after the bye, Bernard Pollard is the top guy I'm interested
in this week. I'll gamble on WAS S Oshiomogho Atogwe returning
to form as a playmaker now in case he strings together a few
good games and it's too late.