The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, Guest. You are not logged in.JOINHELP
HOME FANTASY DRAFT KIT IN SEASON ARTICLES NEWS STATS FORUMS TEAMS PLAYERS NFL DRAFT NFL ABOUT myHuddle

FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

IDP Game Breakdowns - Week 8
Steve Gallo
October 29, 2010
Comments Comments       Print this page Print 

Weekly, I will break down each team’s matchup and offer ratings on the more important IDPs.  Preceding the game breakdowns is a reference chart that lists each team’s average tackle opportunities (TOs) given up, defensive scheme, defensive coordinator & fantasy relevant IDPs.  In addition the reference chart is color coded to identify teams that are giving up average (highlighted in yellow), below average (highlighted in red) & above average (highlighted in green) TOs based on this years stats.  Basically, if your LB is facing a RED team then it isn't a good matchup, conversely a GREEN team would be a GOOD matchup.  The historical average for TOs is 50 (highlighted in yellow) and anything 49 or less will be in red and anything above 51 will be in green.  Tackle opportunities are described as rushing attempts & pass completions faced plus sacks given up.  Average tackle opportunities are derived from data provided by nfldata.com.  Ratings are based on a 12-team league that assumes the following starting requirements: 2 defensive linemen (DL) (defensive ends (DE) & defensive tackles (DT)), 3 linebackers (LB), 3 defensive backs (DB) (cornerbacks (CB) & safeties (S)). 

Star Rating System:
Five-Star Play: Studly performance anticipated
Four-Star Play: Above average solid starter
Three-Star Play: Starter / Sleeper
Two-Star Play: Bench ‘em unless you don't have other options
One-Star Play: Bench ‘em no matter what

* Star Ratings boxes are now color coded to show the tackle opportunities the team they are facing is giving up:
average (highlighted in yellow), below average (highlighted in red) & above average (highlighted in green)  This will help so
that you don't have to continually scroll up to the reference chart and also if you are stuck between who to start out of say
two 3 Star players then you will probably want to go with the one that has a "Green" matchup versus a "Red" matchup
(remember Scheme Matters). 

Scoring system used for this article: solo tackle (2), assisted tackle (1), sack (3), forced or recovered fumble (3), interception (3) and pass defended (1).

Follow me on twitter @IDPSteve and if you have any questions, criticisms, or suggestions feel free to e-mail me at IDPSteve@gmail.com. For specific lineup questions please be sure to visit our IDP Forum.  Good luck & enjoy!

Team Avg TOs
Given Up
Year To Date
Avg TOs
Faced
Year To Date
Defensive
Scheme
Defensive
Coordinator
Fantasy Relevant IDPs
ARZ 39 57 3-4 Bill Davis Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington, Greg Toler, Paris Lenon
ATL 57 50 4-3 Brian VanGorder Kroy Biermann, John Abraham, Curtis Lofton,
Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore
BAL 53 47 3-4 & 4-3
Greg Mattison Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Dwan Landry
BUF 45 56 3-4 George Edwards Paul Posluszny, Andra Davis, Donte Whitner,
Dwan Edwards, Kyle Williams
CAR 46 53 4-3 Ron Meeks Charles Johnson, Jon Beason, James Anderson,
Dan Connor, Charles Godfrey
CHI 45 49 Tampa 2 Rod Marinelli Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Brian Urlacher,
Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings
CIN 54 48 4-3 Mike Zimmer Dhani Jones, Nedu Ndukwe, Leon Hall (CB mandatory leagues)
CLE 47 52 3-4 Rob Ryan TJ Ward, Scott Fujita, Kenyon Coleman
DAL 51 47 3-4 Wade Phillips Jay Ratliff, Bradie James
DEN 50 51 3-4 Don Martindale DJ Williams, Mario Haggan, Brian Dawkins (injured)
DET 51 51 4-3 Gunther Cunningham Kyle Vanden Bosch, Louis Delmas, DeAndre Levy
GB 46 51 3-4 Dom Capers BJ Raji (DT mandatory leagues), Desmond Bishop,
Clay Mathews, Charles Woodson, AJ Hawk
HOU 51 54 4-3 Frank Bush Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans (injured reserve) ,
Bryan Cushing, Zac Diles, Bernard Pollard
IND 55 51 Tampa 2 Larry Coyer Gary Brackett, Clint Session, Antoine Bethea,
Robert Mathis
JAX 51 50 4-3 Mel Tucker Aaron Kampman, Kirk Morrison, Justin Durant,
Daryl Smith, Sean Considine
KC 51 48 3-4 Romeo Crennel Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry
MIA 52 48 3-4 Mike Nolan Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell
MIN 49 49 4-3 & Tampa 2 Leslie Frazier Jared Allen, EJ Henderson, Chad Greenway,
Antoine Winfield
NE 51 56 3-4 Bill Belichick &
D-Staff
Jerod Mayo, Patrick Chung
NO 54 47 4-3 Gregg Williams Will Smith, Roman Harper, Jonathan Vilma,
Sedrick Ellis (DT mandatory leagues)
NYG 54 46 4-3 Perry Fewell Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka (injured), Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas
NYJ 50 46 3-4 Mike Pettine Sione Pouha (DT mandatory leagues), Shaun Ellis,
David Harris, Jim Leonhard
OAK 53 46 4-3 John Marshall Richard Seymour (DT mandatory leagues), Tyvon Branch, Matt Shaughnessy, Michael Huff
PHL 52 49 4-3 Sean McDermott Trent Cole, Stewart Bradley, Quintin Mikell
PIT 47 50 3-4 Dick LeBeau James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons,
Troy Polamalu,
SD 53 45 3-4 Ron Rivera Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett, Paul Oliver,
Antoine Cason
SEA 49 49 4-3 Gus Bradley Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Lofa Tatupu, Chris Clemons
SF 46 52 3-4 Greg Manusky Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson, Taylor Mays,
Nate Clements
STL 52 48 4-3 Ken Flajole James Laurinaitis, Oshiomogho Atogwe, James Hall,
Bradley Fletcher
TB 48 48 Tampa 2 Raheem Morris Stylez White Barrett Ruud, Geno Hayes,
Ronde Barber, Aqib Talib (CB mandatory leagues)
TEN 48 53 4-3 Chuck Cecil Jason Babin, Stephen Tulloch, Alterraun Verner
Chris Hope, Michael Griffin
WAS 46 55 3-4 Jim Haslett London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, LaRon Landry, DeAngelo Hall

REMINDER:  STAR RANKING BOXES ARE COLOR CODED BASED ON THE TACKLE OPPORTUNITIES THE TEAM THEY ARE FACING IS GIVING UP ON AVERAGE THIS YEAR.

QUICK GAME LINKS

BYE WEEK TEAMS: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, NY Giants & Philadelphia

Denver at San Francisco (London)

5 STAR
DJ Williams
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Brian Dawkins
2 STAR

Joe Mays
Champ Bailey
Jason Hunter
Mario Haggan
Renaldo Hill
Andre' Goodman

1 STAR
Ryan McBean
Justin Bannan
Jarvis Moss
Jamal Williams
Marcus Thomas
Nathan Jones
Kevin Vickerson (OUT)
Darcel McBath (OUT)
Wesley Woodyard (OUT)

Perrish Cox (OUT)
Robert Ayers (OUT)

BroncosAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 57

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Before you go crazy about the performance of any Broncos defenders realize that they faced 52, yes FIFTY-TWO rushing attempts last week.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Perrish Cox (concussion), Robert Ayers (foot), Wesley Woodyard (hamstring), Kevin Vickerson (groin) & Darcel McBath (ankle)have all been ruled OUT for this week.

Brian Dawkins (knee) & Andre' Goodman (quadricep) both practiced fully all week and are listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line: While the Broncos have been forced to run some 4-3 due to injuries their DL will still not have consistent fantasy value.  Last week Marcus Thomas recorded 10 total tackles but that won't be an every week occurrence and should just be written off a fluke. Same goes for the 8 total tackles that Jamal Williams put up.

Linebacker: The Broncos started out last week with DJ Williams and Joe Mays manning the two ILB positions, with Mario Haggan and Jason Hunter at the OLB spots.  It doesn't matter what scheme the Broncos play as Williams will continue to put up studly numbers.  This week the Niners will be trotting out Troy Smith at QB so expect an extra heavy dose of Frank Gore that will most certainly help Williams rack up tackles.  For Mays, it was first start ever for the Broncos.  He was able to put up a 5-0-0 line which is respectable for a LB3 but at this point I want to see how the Broncos continue to use him before I push him up to 3 star status.  Haggan was a nice LB3/4 depending on your league size and last week 7-1-0 was a strong performance. Now if you are feeling all giddy about Mays, Haggan or even Jason Hunter scroll back up and read the bolded part in blue.

Secondary:  Nathan Jones has gone 11-2-0 since taking over for at safety for Brian Dawkins who has been dealing with a knee injury.  Dawkins has started to practice and is reportedly making the trip to London so there is a chance that he could actually get back on the field this week. Check back for the Friday Injury Update to see if there is enough added clarity to recommend one of the two over the other.  As for the other Broncos secondary players I wouldn't even consider running them out since they will be facing Troy Smith.  Andre' Goodman is also back at practice and that is a good thing since Perrish Cox is now missing practice due to a concussion.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Dashon Goldson
Taylor Mays
Nate Clements

3 STAR
Patrick Willis
Justin Smith
Shawntae Spencer
2 STAR
Takeo Spikes
1 STAR
Manny Lawson
Parys Haralson
Travis Laboy
Navorro Bowman

49ersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  45
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 49

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Nate Clements (ankle) was limited in practice all week but is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line:  There just aren't many DL that you can start and feel good about in the NFL but Justin Smith is one of them.  He may not put up the gaudy type numbers of some or get the notoriety but he is a hard nosed, high motor guy that is rarely going to leave you high and dry.

Linebacker:  NEWS FLASH: Patrick Willis led the Niners in tackles in week 7, posting an 8-3-0 stat line.  While Willis has been Superman since entering the league he has struggled some this year so seeing him put up such a nice stat line deserves a bit of a "shout out" of sorts.  Of course the Niners did face 34 rushing attempts so he had that going for him too.  Since the Broncos don't run the ball very much, 20 or fewer rushing attempts in 4 of the past 5 weeks, I am having a hard time ranking Willis higher than a 3 star play this week.  We all know you won't be sitting him so just temper your expectations a bit.  Outside of Willis just say no to the rest of the Niners LBs.

Secondary: Outside of the last two weeks the Broncos have averaged almost 30 completions per game this year.  That adds up to what should be a very nice matchup for the Niners secondary.  Look for Dashon Goldson, Taylor Mays and Nate Clements to all be in line for a very good week.


Jacksonville at Dallas

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Sean Considine
Aaron Kampman
3 STAR
Justin Durant
Kirk Morrison
Daryl Smith
Courtney Greene
2 STAR

Don Carey
David Jones
Rashean Mathis
Jeremy Mincey
Tyson Alualu
Terrance Knighton

1 STAR
Russell Allen
Austen Lane
Derrick Harvey

JaguarsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 55

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jeremy Mincey (hand) was limited in practice on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Derrick Harvey has been on fantasy benches for a while now and this week he actually will be on the Jaguars real life bench.  Harvey, a former 1st round pick in 2008 is being benched in favor of Jeremy Mincey.  Don't expect Mincey to be a viable fantasy option.  If you are in deeper dynasty leagues you should keep an eye out to see if Austen Lane starts to see any extended play. As for fantasy relevance look for Aaron Kampman to put together a very nice week against the statuesque John Kitna.

Linebacker:  One would have to suspect that since Tony Romo is out due to injury that the Cowboys will be looking to run the ball more to take the pressure off of Kitna. If, and at this point, this is a big if, the Cowboys can commit to the run I see Daryl Smith, Kirk Morrison and Justin Durant all having decent games.  However, of the 3, Morrison probably has the most risk as he looks to be giving way to Durant in the nickle again.

Secondary: Sean Considine is an average at best NFL safety but it looks like he will be back in the starting lineup this week and well all he seems to do is rack up stats when he plays.  Courtney Greene looks like he is still going to be the other starting safety and if so looks like a decent DB3 play this week.  There is some risk associated with Greene in that Don Carey could steal away some of his snaps and if Greene falters then Carey could end up taking his place too. 

5 STAR

None

4 STAR
DeMarcus Ware
3 STAR
Bradie James
2 STAR

Keith Brooking
Gerald Sensabaugh
Allan Ball
Anthony Spencer
Mike Jenkins
Terance Newman
Jay Ratliff
Sean Lee

1 STAR

Marcus Spears
Igor Olshansky

CowboysAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2002-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 47

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Terrence Newman (ribs) was limited in practice on Wednesday but missed practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Bradie James (knee) was limited in practice on Thursday but was able to practice fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  The Dallas DL doesn't present much fantasy value at all and this week versus a Jaguars team that doesn't play well on the road I wouldn't even want to bank on Jay Ratliff putting up good numbers.

Linebacker: The lack of Cowboys being ranked 3 star or better is more of an indictment of how poorly the Jaguars seem to play on the road than it is about their defensive players.  Bradie James seems to be the safest play of the bunch but even then my expectations for anything above a LB3 is slim. In case you didn't notice, DeMarcus Ware has at least 1 sack in each of his past 4 games.  The Jaguars have only given up 2.5 sacks to LBs this year but with this game in Dallas and the Cowboys needing a win in the worst way I just have a feeling we will see Ware turn it up a notch this week.  As always there is risk associated with rush OLBs like Ware when they have 3 star or better rankings.

Secondary:  For the most part the Jaguars have been a horrible matchup for opposing DBs this year.  Surely much of the reason is because they have only completed more than 20 passes in a game twice this year.  Starting Gerald Sensabaugh, Allan Ball or any other Cowboys secondary player wouldn't be a prudent move this week. 


Miami at Cincinnati

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Yeremiah Bell
Karlos Dansby
3 STAR
Channing Crowder
2 STAR

Vontae Davis
Chris Clemons
Sean Smith
Cameron Wake
Jason Allen

1 STAR
Kendall Langford
Quentin Moses
Randy Starks
Bobby Carpenter
Tim Dobbins
Reshad Jones (OUT)

DolphinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 4 opponent: 47

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Reshad Jones (knee) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Defensive Line: The Dolphins play a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL fantasy irrelevant.

Linebacker: I highly doubt that we see Carson Palmer put the ball in the air 50 times and throw for 400+ yards again this week.  The Bengals are actually averaging 30 rushing attempts/game in home games so I look for them to lean on the ground game more this week.  That should help to boost Karlos Dansby to a 4 star play and also make Channing Crowder a fringe LB3 option with some upside.  If the Bengals end up putting the ball in the air 35+ times then I can see Cameron Wake out-playing his 2 star ranking.  If you like to watch high-motor type guys play you should watch Wake when you get the chance.

Secondary:  Yeremiah Bell should be a very nice play this week and that shouldn't be affected by the Bengals run-pass ratio either.  Plus the Bengals for the most part have been a fantastic matchup for opposing DBs, especially safeties. Jason Allen put up strong stats in the first two weeks of the season but since hasn't really done much to warrant being in starting lineups.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Nedu Ndukwe
Chris Crocker
Dhani Jones
Keith Rivers

3 STAR
Leon Hall
Jonathan Joseph
2 STAR
Rey Maualuga
Michael Johnson
Robert Geathers
1 STAR
Domata Peko
Roy Williams
Jonathan Fanene (OUT)

BengalsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 53

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) has been rule OUT for this week.

Roy Williams (knee) didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday but practiced in a limited fashion on Friday, he is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report. 

Nedu Ndukwe (knee) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced in a limited fashion on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Johnathan Joseph (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday but returned to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Leon Hall (hamstring) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced in a limited fashion on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Keith Rivers (foot) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but returned fully to practice on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Just pretend that the Bengals play a 3-4 that keeps their DL from having fantasy value.  While they don't play a 3-4 it is true that they don't have any fantasy value.  Do yourself a favor and look for help elsewhere.

Linebacker: This week could be a perfect storm for Dhani Jones owners.  Jones has posted at least 5 combined tackles in every week so far and the Dolphins have given up some very nice games to opposing LBs.  The same could possibly be said for Keith Rivers too.  While Rivers has been up and down all year his 3 good games have come when he has faced at 48+ TOs.  The Dolphins happen to be giving 52 TOs/game, good for the 9th most in the NFL.  On top of that the Dolphins are averaging over 40 pass attempts/game so I am looking for Rivers to have a very good game this weekend.  A 3 star ranking would probably be bit more prudent but I am going to go out on a limb with this call.  If you are a dynasty owner you have to be frustrated as all get out with Rey Maualuga, and I speak from experience as a Maualuga owner.  The thing is I still think you need to stay the course.  It wasn't long ago that many were ready to throw the towel in on Lawrence Timmons and for those that were patient are now being richly rewarded.  

Secondary:  As I mentioned above, the Dolphins are putting the ball in the air over 40 times/game in their past four games.  That will go a long way to helping Nedu Ndukwe and Chris Crocker put up high DB2 type numbers at the worst this week.  Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph should also be pretty active but I don't quite see the upside with the two of them compared to the safeties. Joseph did miss last week's game due to an ankle injury so be sure to check back for the Friday Injury Update for him and the rest of the Bengals.


Buffalo at Kansas City

5 STAR
Donte Whitner
4 STAR

Paul Posluszny

3 STAR

Andra Davis
Kyle Williams

2 STAR

Dwan Edwards
Leodis McKelvin
Jairus Byrd
Drayton Florence
Akin Ayodele
Chris Kelsay
Marcus Stroud

1 STAR
Terrence McGee
Torell Troup

BillsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  47
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jairus Byrd (thigh) missed practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday, practiced fully on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Terrence McGee (back) missed practice on Wednesday, was limited in practice on Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  It looks like the Bills switch from the 3-4 is going to give the IDP world another viable DL.  Dwan Edwards posted a very nice 16 point effort last week versus the Ravens.  What makes that number particularly encouraging is that the Ravens RBs only ran the ball 27 times and on a whole the Ravens only presented 46 TOs.  This week however he is going up against a KC team that hasn't been a very good matchup for opposing DEs this year.  Aaron Kampman's 3-2-1 last week was good for 11 fantasy points and that is the best fantasy performance by a DE to date versus the Chiefs.  Robert Mathis was able to post a 4-2-0 line and outside of that all other DEs have really struggled to rack up stats versus the Chiefs.  If Edwards were to log a sack this weekend it would also be just the second that KC has surrendered to an opposing DE all year long. At DT, Kyle Williams looks like a bit of a sneaky play as a few DTs have posted solid scores against the Chiefs, with the best being in week 6 as Shaun Cody and Amobi Okoye combined for a 7-8-1 line. 

Linebacker:  ATTENTION PAUL POSLUSZNY OWNERS: DO NOT PANIC!  I REPEAT, DO NOT PANIC! Posluszny struggled statistically last week, that much is true and many are fearful that the switch to the 4-3 that has him at WLB is to blame.  Well, back in week 6 he posted a 21 point fantasy effort from that same WLB position.  He had a down week but I fully expect him to bounce back.  Here is a did you know for Posluszny.  Did you know that since coming into the league that Posluszny and Patrick Willis have the same number of single digit fantasy performances, three, yes just three times have those two failed to post double digit fantasy points. If you are still worried about Posluszny this week just realize that Justin Durant, 7-1-0 and Clint Session 8-2-0 both fared very well against the Chiefs from their WLB spots.  Andra Davis owners should be able to eek out LB2/3 numbers this week, look for around 6-7 total tackles from him. As far as the rest of season goes I still expect the Bills to be at or near the top in TOs faced and that will help to pad Posluszny's and the rest of his teams stats.

Secondary:  The Chiefs don't put the ball in the air very much so expecting much from Jairus Byrd, Drayton Florence or any other Bills secondary player not named Donte Whitner wouldn't be very wise.  Whitner should be plenty active in run support though as the Chiefs have ran the ball at least 26 times in each game this year and in four of those six games they have ran it between 38-42 times.  That is called being committed to the run.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

None

3 STAR
Derrick Johnson
Brandon Flowers
Brandon Carr
2 STAR

Eric Berry
Mike Vrabel
Jovan Belcher
Javier Arenas
Glenn Dorsey
Tamba Hali

1 STAR
Tyson Jackson
John McGraw
Kendrick Lewis
Demorrio Williams
Corey Mays

ChiefsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 51

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line: Leave Glenn Dorsey and the rest of the Chiefs DL on your bench this week.  There just isn't enough consistency to make starting Dorsey or anyone else from KC a worthwhile thing to do.

Linebacker: Derrick Johnson may have struggled to rack up tackles last week (3 solos, 3 assists) but he was active in pass defense as he picked off a pass and was credited with 3 passes defended.  This week Johnson probably won't post 8 solo tackles but he should again be active in the passing game and a LB2/3 type week looks like a good probability.  Don't get all giddy seeing that Ray Lewis posted a 14-1-0 and expect the same from Johnson because they Bills ran the ball 35 times last week, a very out of character number of rushing attempts for them.

Secondary: Outside of his first two weeks, Eric Berry has under-performed expectations.  At this point until he shows a marked improvement or faces a seriously great matchup I am recommending that he be left on fantasy benches.  Watch him go nuts this week now. For those looking for actual fantasy production and not just expected production look no further than too Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers this week.  The Bills have started to move the ball well in the air and these two corners are good enough to be DB3 plays this week.


Washington at Detroit

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
London Fletcher
Rocky McIntosh
DeAngelo Hall
3 STAR

LaRon Landry

2 STAR

Brian Orakpo
Carlos Rogers
Kareem Moore

Lorenzo Alexander
Andre Carter

1 STAR
Albert Haynesworth
Phillip Daniels
HB Blades

RedskinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 51

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

LaRon Landry (achilles) was limited in practice all week and is lilsted as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

DeAngelo Hall (back) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Brian Orakpo (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced fully on Thursday and Friday but is still listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Kareem Moore (knee) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Washington plays a 3-4 defense that basically renders their DL useless in the realm of fantasy football.

Linebacker:  Simply put the Lions have been a boon for many opposing LBs this year and both London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh have put up some massive games in their own rights.  So look for both to post 15+ fantasy points this week. This matchup looks so good that I almost ranked both as 5 star plays so that means that I do see some upside in their current ranking.

Secondary:  As we know, LaRon Landry is dealing with an achilles injury and because of that we will need to monitor the practice reports as well as the game day inactives, just to make sure he doesn't have any last minute set-backs.  As for Landry's fantasy performance, I did warn last week that he could be in for a not so great week due to his matchup.  Well he did put up a respectable 11 point effort but that was a far cry from the 21+ PPG he was averaging prior to last week.  This week as long as he can play thru his injury I think we see Landry jump back up towards that 20 point range but the only reason I have him ranked as a 3 star play is because of my concern with his injury.  Sometimes it just isn't worth the risk to run a guy out there at a deep position like DB. I wonder how popular DeAngelo Hall Halloween costumes will be at Jay Cutler's house this year.  Oh yeah, I went there.  Last week, Hall was a beast as he intercepted Jay Cutler not once, not twice, not three times but FOUR times and to top it off he took one to the house. I wouldn't expect near a repeat of that performance but consider that Antoine Winfield posted an 8-1-1(int) and Charles Woodson 11-2-1(int) and you can see that you should have Hall back in your lineups this week.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

DeAndre Levy
Ndamukong Suh
Kyle Vanden Bosch
Louis Delmas

2 STAR
Julian Peterson
Jonathan Wade
Chris Houston
CC Brown
Alphonso Smith
Ashlee Palmer
1 STAR
Cliff Avril
Bobby Carpenter
Zack Follett (injured reserve)

LionsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  46
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

DeAndre Levy (ankle) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Louis Delmas (groin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Look for Kyle Vanden Bosch to have a bit more pep in his step after having the bye to recharge his batteries with.  The Redskins have given up a sack to an opposing DE in three consecutive games and Vanden Bosch should make it four straight this week.  Rookie Ndamukong Suh surely didn't need the rest like the veterans did but it sure couldn't hurt. When it comes to fantasy production Suh is also holding his own.  His production has been very consistent and in combined leagues he ranks as a high level DL2 but in DT mandatory leagues he is a must start top 5 DT.  The Redskins will run the ball just enough to warrant keeping Suh as a 3 star play and their line is just bad enough that he even has some upside in that ranking.

Linebacker: Heeeee's back! Well, maybe not back since you had to be here to then get back. Ok, enough of the semantics, DeAndre Levy looks like he is all healed up and raring to go this weekend.  Normally I would suggest you wait to see how he looks before putting him into your lineups but with Levy if you wait you might not get another chance to start him this year.  Yes, he very well could be Mr. Glass but with six teams on a bye this week I think it is safe to look at using Levy as a bye filler or at least as a LB3 who could actually have some upside.  So the Lions get one LB back and then lose another one.  Zack Follett has been placed on season ending IR due to a neck injury.  Replacing Follett in the starting lineup at WLB will be Ashlee Palmer. Back in week 6 Palmer posted a 9-4-0 but I would severely temper expectations going forward.  At best he could end up being a LB3/4 but that is a best case scenario.  Bobby Carpenter, who was with the Cowboys back in May, then the Rams, then the Dolphins is now a member of the Lions.  Carpenter will be hard pressed to log as many tackles as teams he has been on this year.

Secondary: The big question this week is how will the return of DeAndre Levy at MBL affect Louis Delmas. Levy will most definitely eat up some tackles in front of Delmas but Delmas has a good nose for the ball and should still have no problems being a productive starter for fantasy GMs this week.  The Redskins haven't been the best matchup for free safeties so I cautiously ranked Delmas a 3 star play but I do see some possible upside for him this week.  Outside of Delmas I would probably pass on the rest of the Lions secondary this week. 


Carolina at St. Louis

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

James Anderson

3 STAR
Jon Beason
Charles Godfrey
Richard Marshall
2 STAR
Dan Connor
Derek Landri
Charles Johnson
Chris Gamble
Tyler Brayton
1 STAR
Jamar Williams
Sherrod Martin
Everette Brown
Greg Hardy

Panthers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line: The Panthers DL has been for the most part a fantasy wasteland this year.  Last week Charles Johnson posted his second double digit fantasy game of the year on the strength of a 4-0-1 stat line.  Yes, nothing to write home about there but still it was a productive game to say the least.  This week I wouldn't expect a repeat performance and instead would leave Johnson on the bench. The Rams haven't been the best matchup for opposing DEs so I think that is a safe recommendation. 

Linebacker: Well the bye week has come and gone and James Anderson is still putting up the best numbers among the Panthers LBs.  Last week Anderson put up 15 fantasy points which was more than Jon Beason (8) and Dan Connor (2) combined.  Surely, Beason owners don't like to hear that but at this point it looks like Beason is going to be second fiddle for the rest of the year.  Don't go dropping him as I still expect solid LB2 type numbers with some upside that could have him finish as a LB1.  Connor's value will still be determined by the matchup and this week with the question marks surrounding Steven Jackson I am taking a pessimistic stance on Connor.

Secondary:  Charles Godfrey and Richard Marshall have been putting up nice numbers over their past 3-4 games.  Godfrey is averaging 15 PPG over his past 4 games and Marshall is averaging 16.7 PPG over his last 3 games.  The Rams have given up some very nice games to opposing safeties and CBs so expecting the duo to keep up their production has merit.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

None

3 STAR

James Laurinaitis
Oshiomongo Atogwe
James Hall

2 STAR
Bradley Fletcher
Craig Dahl
Larry Grant
Chris Long
1 STAR
Na'il Diggs
Fred Robbins
Ronald Bartell
James Butler

RamsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

James Laurinaitis (knee) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

James Butler (knee) missed practice on Wednesday and then was limited in practice the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Good news for Chris Long owners, Long has shown that he indeed can get to the QB as he recorded 3 sacks in his last 2 games.  Unfortunately, he isn't doing much more than that.  In his last two games he was only able to add 3 solos, 1 assist and 1 forced fumble to his box score.  Sure the forced fumble is nice but 4 combined tackles over 2 games just doesn't cut it.  If you are in bye week trouble then you can look at plugging Long into your lineup but until he can start to be more consistent with tackles he isn't going to be anything more than Dwight Freeney Extra-Light.  James Hall on the other hand is showing that even at his age that he can be relied upon as a DL2.  The one thing that I should point out about this matchup is that last week was the first time all season the Panthers didn't give up a sack to a DL.  Maybe, just maybe the Panthers were able to make the most of their bye in week 6 with regards to protecting their QB.

Linebacker:  DeAngelo Williams looks like he could miss this week so that would leave the Carolina running game a bit thin but Jonathan Stewart is more than capable of picking up the slack if Williams is a no-go. The only other thing to remember is that this game is being played in St. Louis, you know where their scorekeeper is super stingy with the assisted tackles.  If this game were being played in Carolina I would have James Laurinaitis ranked as a 4star play but alas it isn't in Carolina and I foresee a 5-0-0 type week for "Lil Animal".

Secondary:  Laurinaitis isn't the only Rams player to be hit by a lack of assists, Oshiomongo Atogwe has yet to be credited with an assisted tackle at home this year.  This week look for Atogwe to log between 5-7 solo tackles.  The Carolina passing attack was much improved last week but I would rather see it be productive a couple of more times before I start recommending to start much more than a teams top secondary option.


Green Bay at NY Jets

5 STAR
Desmond Bishop
4 STAR
Charles Woodson
AJ Hawk
3 STAR

Tramon Williams

2 STAR

Clay Matthews
Nick Collins
Frank Zombo
Charlie Peprah

1 STAR
Ryan Pickett
Cullen Jenkins

Brad Jones (OUT)
BJ Raji
Anthony Smith

Packers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 43

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

Defensive Line:  The Packers DL play a vital role in the success of their 3-4 scheme but offers little to no fantasy value.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Brad Jones (shoulder) has been rule OUT for this week.

Cullen Jenkins (calf) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Ryan Pickett (ankle) didn't practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Charles Woodson (toe) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Nick Collins (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but returned to practice fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Linebacker: Since taking over the starting role for an injured Nick Barnett three weeks ago all Desmond Bishop has done is average 21.33 PPG, good for 5th among LBs over that span.  This week against a Jets team that is running the ball on average 32 times/game he should once again put up top 5 numbers.  Over that same span AJ Hawk is averaging 18 PPG and ranks 9th among all LBs.  Not bad for a guy that I called fools gold not so long ago.  As long as Bishop and Hawk are hot and facing good matchups you just keep plugging and playing them.  Clay Matthews started off the year hot but was limited by a hamstring injury he suffered against the Redskins.  Matthews isn't on the Wednesday injury report so we could possibly see him starting to build on his league leading 8 1/2 sacks sooner rather than later.  For fantasy purposes I would leave him on my bench this week as the Jets have only given up 1 sack to an OLB this year.

Secondary: Charlie Peprah has come on like gang busters the last two weeks but if there is one thing that has been evident since the Packers have switched to their current 3-4 scheme last year it is that their safeties are going to be inconsistent fantasy producers. With as deep as the position is I think it is safer to look elsewhere for DB help than to chase Peprah's stats.  Last week was the first time since week 1 that Charles Woodson didn't at least post 5 solo tackles.   I fully expect him to get back above that plateau this week.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Jim Leonhard
Calvin Pace
3 STAR
David Harris
Kyle Wilson
2 STAR
Antonio Cromartie
Shaun Ellis
Sione Pouha
Bart Scott
Jason Taylor
Bryan Thomas
Darrelle Revis
1 STAR

Eric Smith
Brodney Pool
Mike Devito
Vernon Gholston

JetsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 54

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Calvin Pace (foot) was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced fully the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

Darrelle Revis (hamstring) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Believe it or not the Packers OL has only given up 1 sack to opposing DEs.  Yes jus 1 and that went to Phillip Daniels, not Julius Peppers, Kyle Vanden Bosch or Jared Allen.  With that in mind it is easy to see why Shaun Ellis is just a 2 star play.  I am sure that Rex Ryan will whip something up to get to Aaron Rodgers but it probably won't be coming from Ellis.

Linebacker: I really like Calvin Pace to have a very big week this week.  I want to rank him as a 5 star play but decided to back off that a bit and give him a 4 star ranking that has some upside in it.  Why am I so high on Pace this week?  Well for starters he is a very talented rush OLB.  On the season the Packers have faced three 3-4 teams and in those games the oppositions top rush OLBs have combined to post an unbelievable 12-1-5.  So yes I expect Mr. Pace to be a big part of the Jets attack this week.  David Harris owners have to be happy that he seems to be getting back into the swing of things too.  This week may not be the best matchup for him but he should be able to at least post 10 fantasy points.

Secondary:  The Packers have been a mixed bag when it comes to matchups for opposing DBs but Jim Leonhard should be in position to make the most of the passing opportunities that he faces this week.  He probably doesn't have much upside to his 4 star ranking but I do feel pretty good about it anyway.  Since we know the Packers are going to put the ball in the air I am looking for Kyle Wilson to be the guy that gets picked on the most.  But even then I was this close to ranking Wilson a 2 star play this week.


Tennessee at San Diego

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Chris Hope
Stephen Tulloch

3 STAR

Cortland Finnegan

2 STAR

Alterraun Verner
Michael Griffin
Jason  Babin
Gerald McGrath
Will Witherspoon
Vincent Fuller
William Hayes
Dave Ball
Jacob Ford

1 STAR
Jason McCourty
Colin Allred
Tony Brown (OUT)

TitansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 46

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Tony Brown (knee) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Jacob Ford (hamstring) missed practice on Wednesday but practiced fully on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line: Phillip Rivers must really like playing at home because when the Chargers play at home he only ends up sacked an average of 1.33 times/game versus the 4/game on the road.  To make matters even worse for Jason Babin, William Hayes and the rest of the Titans DL is the fact that Mike Wright's sack last week was the 1st and only one the Chargers have given up at home to an opposing DL this year.

Linebacker:  Prior to last weeks horrible game against the Patriots where they only ran the ball 19 times the Chargers had averaged running the ball 34 times/game in their prior home games. I look for the Chargers to get back to their running game and for Stephen Tulloch to be the biggest beneficiary. At this point the way that Tulloch is playing it honestly doesn't even matter what the matchup looks like, you just keep plugging and playing him. Will Witherspoon has had three consecutive very poor fantasy performances and should be left on benches for the foreseeable future.

Secondary: Yes, Michael Griffin and Alterraun Verner have put up some very nice fantasy performances this year but the man to own in the Titans secondary is Chris Hope.  Hope has only really had one subpar game this season and has consistently posted good fantasy numbers.  While Griffin and Verner have posted good numbers too their recent play has been anything but inspiring and at this point even in what looks like should be a good matchup I would leave each on the bench this week.   In all fairness to Griffin he has found a way to put up fantasy stats but his tackle numbers haven't been there and that is what worries me with him. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Kevin Burnett
Stephen Cooper
3 STAR

Paul Oliver
Eric Weddle

2 STAR
Shaun Phillips
Antoine Cason
Quentin Jammer
1 STAR

Luis Castillo
Brandon Siler
Darrell Stuckey

ChargersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 55

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Brandon Siler (foot) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line: The Chargers 3-4 scheme doesn't offer consistent fantasy value for it's DL. 

Linebacker: Believe it or not the Titans run the ball 31% more on the road than they do at home.  For the season the Titans are running the ball 35.67 times/game on the road and only 27.25 times/game at home.  If that holds true for this week then both Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett should be in line for very nice games. If you are in need of a bye week flier you could look at plugging Shaun Phillips into your lineup.  The Titans are only giving up 1.33 sacks per game on the road but 3 of the 4 they have given up came in one game to rush OLBs DeMarcus Ware (2) and Anthony Spencer (1) so it wouldn't be to surprising to see Phillips have a productive day.

Secondary: For those that nabbed Paul Oliver off the waiver wire when Steve Gregory got suspended you have at least one more week that you should be able to safely start him.  One would think that this should be a prime matchup but he has missed his fare share of tackles and could be his own worst enemy.  If Oliver plays above his head then he will more than likely negatively impact Eric Weddle's performance this week.


Minnesota at New England

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Antoine Winfield
Chad Greenway
Asher Allen

3 STAR
EJ Henderson
Madieu Williams
2 STAR
Jared Allen ;)
Ray Edwards
Ben Leber
Husain Abdullah
Chris Cook
1 STAR
Tyrell Johnson
Jamarca Sanford
Pat Williams
Kevin Williams
Lito Sheppard

VikingsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 52
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 55

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Lito Sheppard (hand) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Pat Williams (quadricep) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Husain Abdullah (concussion) & Chris Cook (knee) both practiced fully all week and are listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Hi, my name is Steve and I said last week that I wouldn't tell my readers to bench Jared Allen.  Well, I am going back on my word.  Do it, bench him, bench him now!  You heard me right, plant his purple ass firmly on your fantasy bench and don't look back.  Of course you know what that means, don't you? It means read between the lines because you know what happens when you finally bench a guy like Allen.  Ok, now I have a headache and have to go and get some aspirin.

Linebacker:  I could be wrong but something has gotten into Chad Greenway.  I mean he was a very nice prospect coming out of college and there were high hopes for him from a fantasy standpoint but man is this cat just playing out of his mind or what.  Beastly is probably the best way to put it, especially when you realize he is 4th among LBs in PPG with just over 19 a game. Makes me wonder if Chad didn't steal the Allen's mullet off the floor when he had it cut off.  If he did I wish he would at least be a good teammate and let Allen touch it or something.  Um yeah, that didn't sound very good did it.

Secondary:  From high flying to dink and dunk is what the Patriots offense as transcended into without Randy Moss.  Either way, look for Antoine Winfield to put up strong numbers this week.  If ever there was a QB that is going to exploit an Asher Allen matchup with his receivers it is Tom Brady, which is why I have Allen as a 4 star play.  That is probably a bit aggressive but a ranking that looks fruitful to me.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Jerod Mayo
3 STAR
Brandon Meriweather
2 STAR

Brandon Spikes
Rob Ninkovich
James Sanders
Tully Banta-Cain
Devin McCourty
Darius Butler
Vince Wilfork
Jermaine Cunningham

1 STAR
Gary Guyton
Kyle Arrington
Gerard Warren
Mike Wright
Patrick Chung
Jarrad Page

PatriotsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  55
2000-2009 Versus week 4 opponent: 48

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

Defensive Line: The Patriots 3-4 scheme limits the fantasy value of their DL and therefore none of their DL are safe starts.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jarrad Page (calf) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Patrick Chung (kneef) missed practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice the rest of the week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Mike Wright (knee) missed practice on Thursday, practiced fully on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Linebacker:  Favre or no Favre this week doesn't matter as there should be a good dose of Adrian Peterson and when coupled with how Jerod Mayo is playing it is easy to see why he is a 4 star play.  If the QB situation was a bit clearer I probably would have had this as a 5 star matchup.  Last week is prime example of why you shouldn't chase numbers from guys like Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes.  Either could go off this week but relying on it to happen is the risky part and one that I wouldn't be partial to doing.

Secondary:  Patrick Chung suffered a knee injury last week and it was initially reported that he was expected to miss the next 1-2 games.  Of course that was just speculation by the media because you know that Bill Belichick isn't going to offer up any viable information on the injury.  However, when asked about his knee Chung who was seen not limping said he felt great.  This looks exactly like the type of situation you hate to be in if you are a Chung owner. Left up in the air.  You don't want to sit him if he is going to play but then what if it was a smoke screen.  At this point I think it is best to find a fill in for Chung this week and proceed as if he is out and see what happens.   If there is any additional information on Chung I will add it into the Friday Injury Update.


Tampa Bay at Arizona

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Barrett Ruud
Ronde Barber
Geno Hayes

2 STAR

Aqib Talib
Cody Grimm
Sean Jones
Quincy Black
Stylez White

1 STAR

Gerald McCoy
Kyle Moore

Buccaneers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 54

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Brian Price (pelvis) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Geno Hayes (knee) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Aqib Talib (calf) missed practice on Wednesday but was able to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Kyle Moore (shoulder) practiced fully on Wednesday, then missed practice on Thursday and returned to practice fully on Friday.  Moore is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: If coach Raheem Morris thinks the Buccaneers are the best team in the NFC I wonder how good he "thinks" his DL is.  Well, we don't have to wait for Morris to respond because we all know that from a fantasy standpoint they are inconsistent at best.  There is some hope that either Stylez White or Kyle Moore could make an impact this weekend since the Cardinals have given up 6 sacks in their previous two home games but if you have better options you really should use them instead.

Linebacker: Ranking both Barrett Ruud and Geno Hayes as 3 star plays this week might seem a bit risky, and honestly it probably is but there is a glimmer of hope that brought me to a 3 star ranking for each.  The Cardinals are running the ball fewer than 20 times/game this season but their home vs away split is of interest for this matchup. At home the Cardinals are running the ball 47% more than they do on the road. That in and of itself is the main contributing factor to Ruud and Hayes being ranked as 3 star plays.

Secondary: One thing is for sure, the Cardinals passing game won't do the Buccaneers secondary players any favors.  The only real reason I have Ronde Barber as a 3 star play is because of how well he has been playing of late.  I wouldn't expect much from rookie Cody Grimm this week as the Cardinals will most likely struggle to complete 15 passes.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Daryl Washington
Kerry Rhodes
2 STAR
Paris Lenon
Greg Toler
Darnell Dockett
Calais Campbell
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Adrian Wilson
1 STAR
Joey Porter
Gerald Hayes
Alan Branch
Clark Haggans (OUT)

Cardinals Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 36

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Clark Haggans (groin) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Alan Branch (back) was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Greg Toler (back) & Joey Porter (groin) were both limited in practice all week and are listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The Buccaneers have given up multiple sacks in all but two of their games this year but only once, last week versus the Rams, did they come at the hands of the oppositions DL.  As much as I wanted to rank Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett as 3 star plays I just think there is to much inherent risk in doing so.  If you are in a bind and really had to pick between them I would go with Campbell over Dockett.

Linebacker: It seems like once a week there is one matchup that just leaves me scratching my head with regards to how I think it will play out, this week, this is that matchup.  I have gone back and forth on Daryl Washington or Paris Lenon as the 3 star play at least a dozen or more times.  As it stands now I think both are slightly risky but I am giving Washington the 3 star play as I think his youth and speed will serve him better this week. 

Secondary: The Buccaneers have given up some nice games to opposing safeties this year and if anyone is going to put up good numbers from the Cardinals secondary my money would have to be on Kerry Rhodes this week.  Rhodes has posted solid starting numbers in every week since week 1.  While Rhodes has been good since week 1 the same can't be said of Adrian Wilson who outside of weeks 3 and 4 has been largely disappointing this year.  Greg Toler has easily been the best fantasy CB on the Cardinals this year but this week against the Buccaneers I would severely temper expectations for him.


Seattle at Oakland

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Earl Thomas
Lawyer Milloy
Chris Clemons
3 STAR

Lofa Tatupu

2 STAR

Marcus Trufant
Red Bryant
Kelly Jennings
Aaron Curry
David Hawthorne
Colin Cole
Jordan Babineaux

1 STAR
Walter Thurmond
Brandon Mebane

SeahawksAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 4 opponent: 52

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Kelly Jennings (hamstring) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Brandon Mebane (calf) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Walter Thurmond (head) missed practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Chris Clemons has firmly established himself as the best DL option on the Seahawks DL this year.  Over the past four weeks Clemons has gotten to the QB each week and has totaled 5 1/2 sacks over that span of time.  This week versus a Raiders team that is giving up almost 3 sacks/game and has given up multiple sacks in each one of their games makes for a nice matchup for Clemons owners.

Linebacker:  Lofa Tatupu has far from lived up to expectations and his previous season's performances.  However, this week versus a Raiders team that is running the ball in excess of 33 times a game he should at worst be able to put up LB3 type numbers.  Even David Hawthorne and Aaron Curry should be able to post some decent numbers this week but with their lack of production this year I just can't bring myself to rank them above a 2 star play but if you are in a bind due to byes you could take a stab with either one.  Curry has the better chance to post a sack while Hawthorne should rack up more tackles between the two.

Secondary:  For the most part, starting safeties have fared very well against the Raiders this year.  Look for Earl Thomas and Lawyer Milloy to both put up DB2/3 type numbers this week.  At CB  Marcus Trufant's value is closely tied to the Raiders passing attack and it looks like that "attack" could be limited due to an injury to Louis Murphy.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Tyvon Branch
Michael Huff
3 STAR

Richard Seymour
Matt Shaughnessy

2 STAR
Trevor Scott
Quentin Groves
Kamerion Wimbley
Stanford Routt
Rolando McClain
1 STAR
Nnamdi Asomugha
Mike Mitchell
Lamarr Houston
John Henderson (OUT)

Raiders Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 47
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 47

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

John Henderson (foot) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Kamerion Wimbley (groin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line: In all but one game that he has played in this year Richard Seymour has been a solid start for fantasy owners.  He won't go nuts and carry your team to a win but he is going to give you solid consistent weekly production and this week should be no different for him.  While Richard Seymour has been solid this year, Matt Shaughnessy has been up and down but as shown that he can put up good fantasy numbers.  This week looks like a good matchup for Shaughnessy too.  The Seahawks have given up 3 or more sacks in three of their last four games and I see both Shaughnessy and Seymour contributing to make that stat extend out another week.

Linebacker: Straight and to the point, don't even think about starting any Raiders LB at this point in time.  When the best line your LBs can muster over the past two weeks is a 3-0-0 then you know you have issues and that should make it easy to sit Rolando McClain, Quentin Groves & Kamerion Wimbley. 

Secondary:  Of course the lack of tackling by the LBs has helped to pad the stats of the secondary but even there the production hasn't been what you would expect it to be.  With that said Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff should be able to garner enough from the LBs struggles to put up 4 star plays this weekend.  Just don't forget that this is Halloween weekend and you never know if you are going to get Jekyl or Hyde when it comes to the Raiders.


PIttsburgh at New Orleans

5 STAR
Lawrence Timmons
4 STAR
Troy Polamalu
3 STAR
Ryan Clark
Ike Taylor
Bryant McFadden
2 STAR
William Gay
LaMarr Woodley
James Farrior
James Harrison
1 STAR
Brett Keisel
Evander Hood
Aaron Smith (OUT)

SteelersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  52
2000-2009 Versus week 4 opponent: 49

Notes: Star ranking boxes are now color coded based on tackle opportunities given up by opponent for the 2010 season. 

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Aaron Smith (triceps surgery) has been ruled OUT for this week.

LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) missed practice on Wednesday but practiced fully on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report. 

Defensive Line: The Steelers run a 3-4 scheme that basically renders their DL useless for fantasy purposes. The Steelers have also lost Aaron Smith to a triceps injury that could be season ending.  The loss of Smith will impact the Steelers more NFL wise than fantasy wise.  Rookie Ziggy Hood and veteran Nicholas Eason will need to step up to help alleviate the loss of Smith.

Linebacker:  Talk about a tale of two weeks, just look at what Lawrence Timmons did the past two weeks.  I know that i would have never believed that  Timmons would rack up 9 solos, 2 assists, 2 sacks and an interception against the Browns in week 6 and then only post a 3-0-0 stat line last week against the Dolphins. Part of the issue is that LaMarr Woodley suffered a hamstring injury that required Timmons to slide over to OLB and give up playing his more productive ILB position. As it stands now the Steelers are hopeful that Woodley will be able to play this week.  If news comes out that he won't be able to play then I will update Timmons during the Friday Injury Update and downgrade him to a 3 star play.

Secondary: The Saints and Drew Brees put the ball in the air on average 41 times/game so there will be plenty of opportunities for Troy Polamalu and company to rack up stats.  Not only do I expect Polamalu to put up very nice stats but also look for Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden to all be startable this week.  It might be a stretch to expect all four to put up starting caliber numbers but I am looking for the Saints to really come out firing this week as they need to get back into the win column in a very bad way.  And for that to happen we know that it isn't going to be because of the running game.

5 STAR
Roman Harper
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Jonathan Vilma
Malcolm Jenkins
Patrick Robinson
2 STAR

Will Smith
Sedrick Ellis
Jo-Lonn Dunbar
Remi Ayodele
Alex Brown
Jeff Charleston
Danny Clark

1 STAR
Junior Galette
Leigh Torrence
Jabari Greer
Scott Shanle
Anthony Waters
Darren Sharper

SaintsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:53
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 52

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jabari Greeer (shoulder) missed practice on Wednesday and was limited the rest of the week, he is listed as DOUBTFUL on the injury report. 

Tracy Porter (knee) missed practice on Wednesday but then practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Scott Shanle (hamstring) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Will Smith (groin), Darren Sharper (knee), Leigh Torrence (shoulder) & Anthony Waters (hamstring) all practiced fully this week and are listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  As much as you would like to be able to rely on Will Smith as a weekly starter at this point his performance hasn't shown that he should be anything more than depth or a bye filler. The Steelers have shown a propensity to give up sacks in bunches so Smith could end up with his best game of the season this week, problem is, I wouldn't want to bet on it.

Linebacker: Zero solos  Zero gosh d#mn f#@*ing SOLOS!  I am sure that is what was emanating out of the mouths of many Jonathan Vilma owners last week as he failed to post even just one single solitary solo tackle for the second consecutive week.  . Yes,  once again I felt the Vilma sting too.  Normally facing the Steelers would warrant a 4 or 5 star ranking for Vilma but due to his lack of production recently I just can't rank him above a 3 star play.  Hopefully, this will be the week he breaks out of his funk and starts putting up top 10ish LB numbers again.

Secondary:   Roman Harper posted 5 fantasy points last week, by far his worst performance year to date.  This week though Harper has a very good matchup and should have no problem putting up DB1 numbers.  Patrick Robinson is still starting for an injured Tracy Porter and while he won't put up gaudy numbers he should be able to put up DB3 numbers at worst.  Malcolm Jenkins has also been a solid play for much of the year so I have no issues starting him this week against the Steelers.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Darren Sharper practiced fully on Wednesday. As far as the fantasy outlook for Sharper I am taking a wait and see approach.


Houston at Indianapolis

5 STAR
Bernard Pollard
4 STAR
Brian Cushing
3 STAR
Zac Diles
Mario Williams
Glover Quinn
Eugene Wilson
2 STAR
Kevin Bentley
Kareem Jackson
Troy Nolan
Mark Anderson
1 STAR
Antonio Smith
Darryl Sharpton
Xavier Adibi
Amobi Okoye

TexansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2002*-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 49
*1st year in the NFL .

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Kevin Bentley (knee) was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday.

Defensive Line: Mario Williams has been very erratic this year and is coming off of a 2 game span where his cumulative fantasy points add up to just 11 points scored.  In week 1 Williams did post a 2-2-1 against the Colts so we know he can have some success this week.  The hard part will be deciding if the risk of putting him in your lineup is worth the possible reward.  And remember that reward comes with a limited ceiling as Manning is one of the least sacked QBs in the league.

Linebacker: Big news for the Texans LBs this week is that Brian Cushing is taking over at MLB for the injured DeMeco Ryans.  On the surface it probably looks like a great thing to see Cushing move to MLB but in hashing it out it looks like it could limit his upside some. If the Texans continue to work Cushing into blitzes then he should easily be able to lock down his value as a LB1 but if not I can see him in the mid to high LB2 range.  This week against a beat up Colts team he is probably a bit risky as a 4 star play but in the end you are going to play him anyway so it doesn't really matter how he is ranked.  The big winner could be Zac Diles owners, as Diles is expected to be the other nickle LB with Cushing.  Kevin Bentley is taking over the SLB position and provides little to no fantasy value.

Secondary:  Bernard Pollard should probably see a bump in his production with the loss of DeMeco Ryans in front of him. This week versus a very thin Colts WR corps Pollard could struggle some but I think that Peyton Manning will find a way to keep the passing attack clicking.  If that is the case then I have no problem expecting to see Glover Quinn and Eugene Wilson post fantasy starter numbers this week.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Robert Mathis
Antoine Bethea

3 STAR
Gary Brackett
Clint Session
Kelvin Hayden
Jerraud Powers
2 STAR
Dwight Freeney
1 STAR
Phillip Wheeler
Pat Angerer
Jacob Lacey

Colts Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 54

Notes: Star rankings are based off of average tackle opportunities given up by current week's opponent.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jacob Lacey (foot) & Jerraud Powers (foot) both missed practice on Thursday and Friday.

Defensive Line:  Coming into the season Matt Schaub was one of the least sacked QBs in the NFL but this year that just isn't the case. Schaub as been sacked multiple times in all but one week so far.  With the Colts looking for redemption from an earlier season loss to the Texans I would expect that Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney will do their part to keep that stat going.  As good as Freeney can be I just can't recommend starting him when he just isn't consistent enough with tackles to offset any lack of production he may have if he doesn't get to the QB.  Robert Mathis on the other hand is able to cobble together enough tackles in run support to make him a good fantasy option.

Linebacker: Gary Brackett is expected back in the starting lineup this week and while i think this is a pretty good matchup for Brackett I am being a bit cautious with his ranking as he is returning from a back injury.  Look for Clint Session to put up a safe 5-1-0 type stat line this week but a 7-3-0  wouldn't surprise me in the least either. In dynasty leagues Pat Angerer looks like a good stash and hold as an eventual replacement for Brackett in the middle of the Colts defense.

Secondary:  Antoine Bethea put up an 8-5-0 with a pass defended in the first meeting between these two teams. What I wouldn't do is let the 3-4-0 that Bethea put up last week affect your decision to start him or not. Jerraud Powers actually led the team in tackles last week with 11 combined tackles (8-3-0) and versus a Texans team that should put the ball in the air an above average number of times this week I think it is safe to rely on Powers as a DB2/3 play this week.


Other Features
IDP Weekly Sleepers
IDP Weekly Player Rankings
IDP Deep Sleepers
IDP Who's Hot and Who's Not
Free Agent Forecast
Under the Numbers
a d v e r t i s e m e n t
a d v e r t i s e m e n t