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 11
Steve Gallo
November 19, 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
Two-Star Play: Risky Starter/ Sleeper/ 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 41 57 3-4 Bill Davis Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Gerald Hayes,
Daryl Washington, Greg Toler, Paris Lenon
ATL 57 48 4-3 Brian VanGorder Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon (injured),
Stephen Nicholas, William Moore
BAL 54 47 3-4 & 4-3
Greg Mattison Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Dwan Landry
BUF 47 56 3-4 George Edwards Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, Dwan Edwards,
Kyle Williams
CAR 46 53 4-3 Ron Meeks Charles Johnson, Jon Beason, James Anderson,
Charles Godfrey
CHI 47 48 Tampa 2 Rod Marinelli Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Brian Urlacher,
Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings
CIN 51 48 4-3 Mike Zimmer Dhani Jones, Leon Hall (CB Mandatory leagues)
CLE 48 53 3-4 Rob Ryan TJ Ward, Scott Fujita, Kenyon Coleman
DAL 49 51 3-4 Paul Pasqualoni Jay Ratliff, Bradie James
DEN 51 52 3-4 Don Martindale DJ Williams, Mario Haggan, Brian Dawkins
DET 51 50 4-3 Gunther Cunningham Kyle Vanden Bosch, Ndamukong Suh, Louis Delmas, DeAndre Levy
GB 47 49 3-4 Dom Capers Desmond Bishop, Clay Mathews, Charles Woodson,
AJ Hawk
HOU 50 54 4-3 Frank Bush Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans (injured reserve) ,
Bryan Cushing, Zac Diles, Bernard Pollard
IND 54 50 Tampa 2 Larry Coyer Gary Brackett, Clint Session (injured), Pat Angerer, Antoine Bethea, Robert Mathis
JAX 52 50 4-3 Mel Tucker Aaron Kampman, Justin Durant,
Daryl Smith, Courtney Greene
KC 54 50 3-4 Romeo Crennel Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry
MIA 51 49 3-4 Mike Nolan Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell
MIN 50 49 4-3 & Tampa 2 Leslie Frazier Jared Allen, EJ Henderson, Chad Greenway,
Antoine Winfield
NE 49 55 3-4 Bill Belichick &
D-Staff
Jerod Mayo, Patrick Chung
NO 55 46 4-3 Gregg Williams Will Smith, Roman Harper, Jonathan Vilma,
Sedrick Ellis (DT mandatory leagues)
NYG 57 43 4-3 Perry Fewell Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas
NYJ 53 46 3-4 Mike Pettine Sione Pouha, Shaun Ellis, David Harris, Jim Leonhard
OAK 53 47 4-3 John Marshall Richard Seymour, Tyvon Branch, Matt Shaughnessy, Michael Huff
PHL 52 48 4-3 Sean McDermott Trent Cole, Stewart Bradley, Quintin Mikell
PIT 47 51 3-4 Dick LeBeau James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons,
Troy Polamalu
SD 53 46 3-4 Ron Rivera Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett
SEA 46 51 4-3 Gus Bradley Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Lofa Tatupu, Chris Clemons
SF 47 52 3-4 Greg Manusky Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson, Taylor Mays,
Nate Clements
STL 53 47 4-3 Ken Flajole James Laurinaitis, Oshiomogho Atogwe, James Hall,
Bradley Fletcher, Chris Long
TB 47 49 Tampa 2 Raheem Morris Stylez White Barrett Ruud, Geno Hayes,
Ronde Barber, Aqib Talib (CB mandatory leagues)
TEN 47 55 4-3 Chuck Cecil Jason Babin, Stephen Tulloch, Alterraun Verner
Chris Hope, Michael Griffin
WAS 45 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
 
 

Chicago at Miami

BearsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 43

Pos Player Wednesday Practice Thursday Practice Friday Practice Official Designation Notes
DE Julius Peppers DNP L L Questionable Expected to Play
DE Israel Idonije PF PF PF    
DT Henry Melton L PF PF Probable Expected to Play
DT Amobi Okoye PF PF PF    
LB Brian Urlacher PF PF PF    
LB Lance Briggs PF PF DNP Doubtful Sprained MCL in Friday Practice
LB Nick Roach PF PF PF    
S Chris Harris DNP (Not injury related) PF PF   Will be in starting lineup this week.
S Brandon Meriweather PF DNP PF Questionable Will test knee prior to game.
CB Charles Tillman PF PF PF    
CB Tim Jennings PF PF PF    

IF YOU LIKE THE ABOVE WAY BETTER THAN PUTTING IT UNDER EACH POSITION BUT DON'T LIKE IT AT THE TOP OF THE WRITE UP IT COULD ALSO GO UNDER THE SECONDARY...PERSONALLY I THINK THAT IT LOOKS/WORKS BEST UNDER EACH POSITION.  ALSO, PF=PRACTICED FULLY....THAT WAY NO ONE HAS AN EMPTY BLOCK...OR I COULD STATE IN THE LEGEND THAT IF A PLAYERS DOESN'T HAVE ANY THING LISTED THAT IT MEANS THAT THEY PRACTICED FULLY.

Defensive Line: 
It is bad enough that over their past 4 games, Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije have just one double digit fantasy game between them.  Peppers has totaled 4 combined tackles in each of the past two weeks but without getting to the QB, his owners are pulling their hair out.  Add to it that the Dolphins are giving up less than 1 sack/game over their last 5 games and you can see that Peppers and Idonije don't make for very good fantasy options this week.  Reluctantly, I am ranking Peppers a 2 star play.   About the only thing he has going for him is that Tyler Thigpen will be starting at QB for the Dolphins and maybe, just maybe he will be rusty and the "football clock" in his head will be a bit off and Peppers can take advantage of that.

OR PUT EACH POSITION AFTER THAT POSITIONS WRITE UP and then the POS column can be deleted

Player Wednesday Practice Thursday Practice Friday Practice Official Designation Notes
Julius Peppers DNP L L Questionable Expected to Play
Israel Idonije PF PF PF    
Henry Melton L PF PF Probable Expected to Play
Amobi Okoye PF PF PF    

Linebacker: Trying to figure out what the Dolphins game plan will be on this short week, knowing that they are down to their QB3 isn't an easy thing to do.  On one hand I would think they really, really, really need and would want to lean heavily on their running game.  However, the last time Tyler Thigpen was starting in the NFL he was having success doing much of his damage from the shotgun. With that said,  I am of the camp that the Dolphins will try to lean on their running game and that should make Lance Briggs a nice option this week.  Brian Urlacher has now had two consecutive very strong tackle games, following 4 consecutive games where he wasn't able to eclipse more than 4 solos in any game.  Since Urlacher has struggled at times this year to rack up tackles I am only ranking him as a 3 star instead of a 4 star play. Compared to Briggs that might seem a bit odd considering that Urlacher has more fantasy points than Briggs does over the past 2 weeks but in the end I feel that Briggs is the safer of the two to rank as a 4 star play.

Player Wednesday Practice Thursday Practice Friday Practice Official Designation Notes
Brian Urlacher PF PF PF    
Lance Briggs PF PF DNP Doubtful Sprained MCL in Friday Practice
Nick Roach PF PF PF    

Secondary: Charles Tillman is by far the safest bet in the Bears secondary this week.  The following CBs have all had very good games against the Dolphins and there is no reason to think that Tillman won't do the same; Verner (8-0-0), Trent (9-2-1int), Taylor (6-0-0), T. Williams (7-1-1int) & Florence 9-1-0).  Outside of Tillman I think starting Tim Jennings, Danieal Manning or Chris Harris is a bit risky.  I do expect that either Manning or Harris will put up at least a 5-2-0 this week but neither has been consistent enough to tag as the guy that will do it this week.  If you were to hold a gun to my head and say which of the two, my answer would be Manning.

Player Wednesday Practice Thursday Practice Friday Practice Official Designation Notes
Chris Harris DNP* PF PF   Will be in staring lineup.
*Not injury related
Brandon Meriweather PF DNP PF Questionable Will test knee prior to game.
Charles Tillman PF PF PF    
Tim Jennings PF PF PF    

 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Karlos Dansby
Cameron Wake
Yeremiah Bell
3 STAR
Reshad Jones
2 STAR

Vontae Davis
Sean Smith
Channing Crowder

1 STAR
Kendall Langford
Quentin Moses
Randy Starks
Tim Dobbins
Al Harris
Tyrone Culver
Chris Clemons (OUT)

DolphinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 55

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Chris Clemons has been rule OUT for this week.

Yeremiah Bell (toe)
was limited in practice on Monday but practiced fully on Tuesday and Wednesday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Tyrone Culver (ankle) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONAVBLE on the injury report.

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

Linebacker: Karlos Dansby is coming off of a very nice week 10 where he posted a 6-2-0 with a forced fumble for 17 fantasy points.  This week should add to Dansby's nice run of fantasy production (14,14, 20 & 17 points).  Since week 4 the Bears have given up some very good games to opposing LBs, EJ Henderson (19 pts.), Greenway (18 pts.), Posluszny (16 pts.), McIntosh (20 pts.), Fletcher (20 pts.), Beason (18 pts.), Connor (17 pts.) & Goff (16.5 pts.) and Dansby is an impact LB like many that scored well and should have no problem reaching 4 star status and honestly I wouldn't be shocked to see him end up as a 5 star player this week.  The other Dolphin LB I like a ton this week is Cameron Wake.  Wake has what should be a great matchup against a Bears team that leads the league in sacks allowed with 29.  The past two weeks the Bears have been better in that department, giving up just 1 sack in each game. So the fact that Wake is a rush OLB adds to the risk in starting him and then there is the fact that the Bears have done a better job in pass protection the last two weeks that also makes him a risky play.  But with all of that said, I still like Wake very much in this game. Channing Crowder, yeah I am done with him.  Unless you are in extremely deep leagues, say like a 32 team league that starts 3-4 LBs then you shouldn't even consider starting Crowder.  And yes, I am that guy.

Secondary:  Yeremiah Bell was limited in practice on Monday due to his toe injury but he was able to return to a full practice on Tuesday.  With Bell practicing fully I think he is a safe start and should be in line for a very nice week this week. Yes, I know that Bell has been less than consistent this year and has seemed to alternate weeks with Chris Clemons as the productive fantasy option at safety for the Dolphins.  But Clemons had to leave the Titans game due to a hamstring injury and has missed the first two days of practice because of the injury.  More than likely Clemons won't play this week and Reshad Jones who replaced him against the Titans will start in his place.  I think that whoever starts is in line for a solid 3 star week so make sure to check the inactives before inserting either into you lineup.


Baltimore at Carolina

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Terrell Suggs
Ray Lewis
2 STAR

Dawan Landry
Ed Reed
Haloti Ngata
Jarrett Johnson
Josh Wilson

1 STAR
Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Jameel McClain
Kelly Gregg
Tavares Gooden
Cory Redding

Ravens Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  52
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 43

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

Defensive Line: I am sure that Haloti Ngata owners are cursing me this week after I pointed out just how well he had done, going into week 10 that is.  Ngata still ranks as the 3rd best DL, yes DL not DT but in week 10 he put up a paltry 5 fantasy points.  This week I wouldn't expect much if any rebound against the Panthers who could actually be starting Tony Pike at QB.  While Ngata struggled last week, Terrell Suggs didn't, he posted 14 fantasy points in route to recording 2 sacks too.  This week I am giving Suggs a 3 star ranking in anticipation of him getting to the QB again.  There probably won't be much in the way of tackles this week so there is a slight bit of risk with him.

Linebacker:  Ray Lewis doesn't have what appears to be a very good matchup this week. The Panthers are giving up the 3rd fewest TOs in the league this year and on average are running the ball just 27 times a game, 24 over their last 3 games.  With possibly their 3rd starting QB of the season giving it a whirl this weekend it is easy to see that the Panthers offense will more than likely be very limited against what has to be a PO'd Ravens defense.  Sure Barrett Ruud had a nice 7-3-1 against the Panthers last week but did you know that 5-1-1 of that came in the first quarter.  I don't know if his Wheaties wore off or what but what looked to be a big day in the makings got derailed real fast.

Secondary:  Dwan Landry had his worst fantasy effort of the year last week and no wonder considering the Dolphins only gave up a combined 39 rushes & pass completions.  This week I fully expect Landry to bounce back and I see him approaching 20 fantasy points scored.  Ed Reed has continued to do what Ed Reed does best, make plays, big plays.  From an NFL standpoint you just can't measure what Reed brings to the field but from a fantasy perspective banking on his INTs and big plays is just to risky.  As an example last week Reed scored 12 points which was tied for 45th best among DBs last week.  However, without the interception he would have ended up scoring just 8 points and would have ended up being tied for 77th in DB scoring for the week.  I know you can't take the stats away but it just goes to show how risky a play he is if he doesn't secure those types of plays.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Jon Beason
James Anderson

3 STAR
Richard Marshall
Charles Godfrey
Nic Harris
2 STAR
Chris Gamble
Charles Johnson
Tyler Brayton
Derek Landri
1 STAR
Jordan Senn
Jason Williams
Sherrod Martin
Everette Brown
Greg Hardy
Abdul Hodge

Panthers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 53

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Jon Beason (knee) missed practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and practiced fully on Friday, he is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Nic Harris (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Move along, nothing to see hear but non-relevant DLs.  Seriously, if you are looking for DL help here you have more problems than I am going to be able to help you out with.

Linebacker: You know you are smiling, admit it.  Yes, I am talking to those Jon Beason owners that were all up in arms and ready to dump him because he wasn't meeting your expectations.  What?  You still aren't happy because he only put up 6 solo tackles and Nic Harris outperformed him with a 8-3-0 stat line.  Well don't sweat it, you waited this long for Beason to come around and don't act like 6 solos is chopped liver.  This week Beason is a prime candidate to be the top scoring LB in fantasy football.  But with the production that James Anderson and now Nic Harris are putting up I am going to be a bit conservative with his ranking. On the injury front Beason did miss practice on Wednesday with what is listed as a knee injury and Nic Harris and was limited in Wednesday practice with a knee injury too.  As I pointed out in the Friday Injury Update last week, I was wrong in my guess that Jordan Senn would be the starter at WLB.  While I hate that I was wrong I am glad that I was able to get the information out well in advance of the games on Sunday, unlike the Washington Redskins who didn't key fantasy owners in about the health status of Ryan Torain.  But honestly there was nothing more that could be done in Torain situation.  He couldn't get lose in practice, it happens.  For what it is worth the Redskins were really expecting him to play as they only dressed 2 running backs against the Eagles.

Secondary:  The Ravens were supposed to have transformed into this new explosive passing offense but honestly that isn't what the numbers say.  They are only putting the ball in the air on average 33.86 times/game and only completing 20.14 of those passes.  For those keeping score at home that is just a 59% completion percentage.  So as much as I like Richard Marshall and want to rank him a 4 star play I think there is enough risk in a 3 star ranking that I am not going any higher.  The Ravens should have little trouble winning this game so as the game wears on their rushing attempts should build.  That is why I have Charles Godfrey a 3 star play..


Houston at NY Jets

5 STAR
Bernard Pollard
4 STAR
Brian Cushing
Zac Diles
3 STAR
Glover Quin
2 STAR
Mario Williams
Eugene Wilson
Kevin Bentley

Kareem Jackson
Troy Nolan
Antonio Smith
Amobi Okoye
1 STAR
Darryl Sharpton
Xavier Adibi
Jason Allen
Mark Anderson

TexansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2002*-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 46
*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:

Zac Diles (illness) missed practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report. Missing practice on Friday is never a good thing, make sure to check the inactive list before putting Diles into your lineup on Sunday.

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

Defensive Line: OK, I had to do it with Jared Allen and now I have to do it with Mario Williams.  There just comes a time when you have to admit you have a problem so you can move forward.  Not only do I think that Williams is an elite talent I like him as a player, unfortunately that doesn't generate fantasy points.  Williams has been dealing with a groin issue and at this point you have to wonder if that is the key factor that is limiting his fantasy production but in the end it doesn't really matter.  All that matters is that his fantasy production is lacking and at this point in time you have to just sit him down.  Hopefully, Williams will now go off after I just said to sit him and will then start producing down the stretch for his owners. Fingers are crossed. 

Linebacker: Brian Cushing and Zac Diles have the propensity for putting up big fantasy points.  The Jets have a propensity for giving up big points to opposing LBs.  That makes this matchup a perfect storm.  Start both Cushing and Diles with the utmost confidence this week.

Secondary:  Unbelievably the Jets haven't been as good a matchup for opposing DBs as they have been for LBs but that doesn't mean that Bernard Pollard isn't in line for a nice week.  Donte Whitner lit up the box score with a 9-4-0 against them, Yeremiah Bell put up a 8-1-0 and even Madieu Williams did work with a 4-5-0 line. Pollard will be looking to make amends for his 1 solo tackle performance in week 10.  As bad as Pollard was in week 10 is about as good as Glover Quin was, well that is excluding the very last play of the game.  Hard to fault Quin when he did what people preach, KNOCK IT DOWN!, unfortunately he didn't get the down part done.  Don't look for Quin to come close to replicating his 13 solo effort last week but a 5-6 tackle week should be possible.

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

Eric Smith
Brodney Pool
Mike Devito
Vernon Gholston

JetsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 53

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

David Harris (calf) was limited in practice on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  For the season only three opposing DLs have posted more than 5 solo tackles against the Jets.  Robert Mathis, Antonio Garay and Jeremy Mincey are the three and Garay and Mincey did it over the last two weeks.  With Garay and Mincey posting solid numbers in back to back weeks you could probably consider starting Sione Pouha or Shaun Ellis but if it were me I wouldn't take the chance this week.

Linebacker: When it comes to being hit or miss the Texans have been much more miss than hit for opposing LBs this year.  They have given up some good games but there is enough evidence that David Harris could have a 4-2-0 about as easily as he could a 3-0-0 week.  Derrick Johnson who has been playing very well this year was only able to muster up a 6-3-0, which is a respectable stat line but one that doesn't show much upside.  Outside of Harris I wouldn't start Bart Scott or any of the Jets rush OLBs this week.  Just to much risk and not enough reward with them.

Secondary:  Between 5-7 solos seems like the number of solos the leader in the Jets secondary will log this week.  And like most weeks that should be Jim Leonhard.  Since week 5 Leonhard is averaging just under 14 PPG and ranks as the 18th best DB.  That makes Leonhard a very safe DB2 option and with consecutive 18 point efforts shows he has some upside too.  This week should be no different for the Jets safety.  Look for Antonio Cromartie to be busy as he should be the one that gets challenged much more so than Darrell Revis.  Those opportunities should turn into a decent day of fantasy production..


Buffalo at Cincinnati

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Donte Whitner
Paul Posluszny

3 STAR

Kyle Williams
Dwan Edwards

2 STAR

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

1 STAR
Terrence McGee
Torell Troup
Keith Ellison
Shawne Merriman (OUT)

BillsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  47
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 54

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Shawne Merriman (calf, achilles) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Kyle Williams (hamstring) was limited in practice on Wednesday, missed practice on Thursday and then returned to practice in a limited fashion on Friday, he is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Ten weeks (9 games) into the season and only one DL in the top 10 has scored in double digits in 6 of their 9 games played.  Hard to believe but it isn't Trent Cole, Justin Tuck or Jared Allen, the DL to pull off the feat is none other than Kyle Williams.  Yep, Kyle Williams. Williams is currently tied for 5th among all DLs with 94 fantasy points, 10.44 PPG.  As hard as that is to believe it is probably even harder to believe that Williams is tied with teammate Dwan Edwards for that 5th spot.  Both Edwards and Williams have been big surprises and each easily deserves to be in starting lineups this week.

Linebacker: Paul Posluszny is still just plugging away and putting up killer fantasy numbers.  If you are a Posluszny owner how can you not feel good about putting him in your lineup each and every week. Outside of Posluszny you won't find any LB help from any of their other LBs. Not that it is of relevance in fantasy circles but Shawne Merriman will once again be OUT this week.

Secondary:  The Bengals have been very good matchups for opposing DBs this year and that bodes well for Donte Whitner. Also, CBs are doing very well against the Bengals and as much as I would like to make Drayton Florence, Leodis McKelvin or Terrene McGee a 3 star play I just can't do it. Florence has scored in double digits just twice this year, McKelvin just four times and McGee hasn't recorded a fantasy point since week 3. So basically you start Whitner and ignore the rest.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Dhani Jones
Leon Hall

Nedu Ndukwe
2 STAR
Jonathan Joseph
Rey Maualuga

Roy Williams
Michael Johnson
Robert Geathers
1 STAR
Keith Rivers
Reggie Nelson
Chris Crocker

Antwan Odom (OUT)
Jonathan Fanene (IR)

BengalsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Antwan Odom (wrist) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Nedu Nkukwe (quadricep) practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Jonathan Joseph (neck) missed practice on Wednesday and then practiced in a limited fashion the rest of the week.  He is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Jonathan Fanene has been put on IR, ending his season.  Hard to believe it but yes the Bengals do have DL they just don't have any fantasy relevance.

Linebacker: Dhani Jones not only put up another double digit performance last week but he put up his best of the season, recording 25 fantasy points. As I have previously, Jones has been and should continue to be a solid LB2/3 on a weekly basis.  To put the season Jones is having into perspective a bit just look at how his 73 total tackles compares to Ray Lewis (73), Curtis Lofton (73) & Patrick Willis (78).  Last week I went out on a limb, in hindsight it was a dead and brittle limb and said that I like Keith Rivers as a 4 star play.  Mr. Rivers, I hate you!  I couldn't have been more wrong as Rivers racked up, wait for it, wait, wait, wait for it, ZERO tackles.  No not just 0 tackles but 0 total fantasy points.  All I can say is, I am sorry.

Secondary:  Last week Nedu Ndukwe and Roy Williams started at the safety positions for the Bengals and both stunk up the joint in a big way. Ndukwe outpointed Williams 5-4.  Yes, 9 combined fantasy points for the duo. That makes both relatively risky plays against the Bills but I think of the two it will be Ndukwe who has the best fantasy day. Leon Hall hasn't been the most consistent CB but this look for him to be pretty active against the Bills passing attack


Oakland at Pittsburgh

5 STAR
Tyvon Branch
4 STAR
Richard Seymour
3 STAR

Rolando McClain
Michael Huff
Matt Shaughnessy

2 STAR
Trevor Scott
Quentin Groves
Kamerion Wimbley
Stanford Routt
Mike Mitchell
1 STAR
Nnamdi Asomugha
John Henderson

Lamarr Houston

Raiders Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 47
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) & John Henderson (foot) were both limited in practice all week and are listed on the injury report as QUETIONABLE.

Defensive Line: Richard Seymour doesn't get nearly the credit for how good an NFL player he is and much of that is because he is "just a DL" but trust me when I say that Seymour is one of the best players in the game today.  But none of that matters to fantasy players, all we worry about are points, fantasy points.  Well, guess what Seymour is pretty good on that front too as he ranks as the 9th best DL in PPG with 10.24.  Matt Shaughnessy isn't a household name when it comes to fantasy football but he is doing his best to change that. Over the Raiders last 5 games he has scored in double digits in 4 of them.  The Steelers OL is far from impenetrable so look for Shaughnessy to have a solid week coming out of the bye.

Linebacker: Yes this looks to be a very very very good matchup this week but I just can't bring myself to rank Rolando McClain higher than a 2 star play.  His play has just been far to poor this year.  I mean if you find yourself having bye week issues then you could take a chance on McClain.

Secondary:  Tyvon Branch should be very busy against the Steelers this week, be it in run support or in coverage. Michael Huff has had a very productive year so far for his owners and this week should continue that trend.  Nnamdi Asomugha looks like he will be back in the starting lineup this week so Huff should get to return to his starting safety roll.  Of course that means that Mike Mitchell will see less snaps and won't be an option for fantasy purposes this week.

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

SteelersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  52
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Lawrence Timmons (hip) practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Troy Polamalu (achilles) practiced fully on 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. 

Linebacker:  Lawrence Timmons suffered a hip injury in week 10 and has many a fantasy owner worried about week 11.  Listen and listen good,  I don't care if Timmons has to have his hip and leg amputated you play him this week because on one leg he will rack up at least 6-7 solos against the Raiders rushing attack.  Now the good news is that the Steelers expect Timmons to be ready to go this week.  He was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced fully on Thursday so he does look to be on track to play this week.  Just imagine what he will be able to do with both legs.  James Harrison has been a bit up and down with tackles this year but that shouldn't come as a surprise.  All he does to offset his lack of tackles is make a difference with big plays.  Big plays are normally hard to count on but Harrison has scored in double digits in all but one game this year.  Harrison looks to be a relatively safe 4 star play this week.  I have a feeling that with the Steelers coming off a loss and needing to get back in the win column that Harrison is going to come up with not just a nice game but possibly the game changing play too.

Secondary: Troy Polamalu isn't an impact fantasy DB like he has been in the past.   For the year he is averaging just 9.78 PPG (64th overall in points scored) and much of the reason for his downturn has to do with the performance of Lawrence Timmons. Polamalu should be a safe DB3 play this week just don't expect much more than 10-13 fantasy points scored. Now as hard as this might be to believe but Bryant McFadden is the top fantasy option in the Steelers secondary. McFadden has a 14.44 PPG average and ranks 6th in fantasy points scored among DBs and since week 6 his 78 points scored is tops among all DBs.


Cleveland at Jacksonville

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
TJ Ward
3 STAR

Ahtyba Rubin
David Bowens

2 STAR

Kenyon Coleman
Eric Wright
Joe Haden
Abram Elam
Eric Barton
Sheldon Brown
Matt Roth
Chris Gocong

1 STAR

Shaun Rogers
Marcus Benard
Scott Fujita (OUT)

BrownsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  45
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 46

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Scott Fujita (knee) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Kenyon Coleman (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday, missed practice on Thursday but then returned to practice in a limited fashion on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The Jaguars are a different team when they play at home and RB Maurice Jones-Drew is coming off of consecutive 100 yard rushing games so if Jones-Drew can keep that going then Ahtyba Rubin should be a nice DL2 this week. 

Linebacker: Last week Scott Fujita left the Jets game when he injured his knee.  Coach Mangini is being tight lipped about the injury but the one thing we know is that Fujita is expected to miss multiple games.  David Bowens will start in place of Fujita and looks like he should provide LB3 value this week.  Prior to week 10 Fujita was averaging 13.2 PPG so there is some upside for Bowens to be a solid add while Fujita recovers.

Secondary: TJ Ward is tied for 5th in fantasy points scored with Bernard Pollard and for the season Ward has scored in double digits each and every week.  This week Ward should be very busy trying to keep Jones-Drew in check and a 15-20 point week seems realistic to me.  Outside of  Ward I would only start the likes of rookie Joe Haden or Abram Elam in much deeper leagues.

 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Courtney Greene
Daryl Smith
Justin Durant
Jeremy Mincey
2 STAR

Kirk Morrison
Sean Considine
David Jones
Rashean Mathis
Tyson Alualu
Terrance Knighton
Austen Lane
Derrick Cox

1 STAR
Russell Allen
Derrick Harvey
Don Carey

JaguarsAverage 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:

Justin Durant (shin) was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Jeremy Mincey (hand) after being limited in practice on Wednesday practiced fully on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Due to the loss of Aaron Kampman for the season and the horrid play of Derrick Harvey, Jeremy Mincey and rookie Austen Lane started at DE for the Jaguars against the Texans in week 10.  Lane was a non-factor in the box score but Mincey posted a very nice 10 fantasy points.  Mincey doesn't present much upside but against the Browns rushing attack he should be able to put up 8-10 points playing the run.  Also, Mincey was limited in practice on Wednesday so make sure to check the Friday Injury Report Update to make sure he doesn't have any setbacks.  While Lane was a non-factor I still like him from a dynasty perspective.  Stash and hold is the call for Lane right now.

Linebacker:  Peyton Hillis is running like a man possessed this year and is a large part of the success the Browns are having this year.  Yes, even at 3-6 I think it is safe to say that he Browns are having success. As much as I think this could be a very good week for Justin Durant I just can't look past the 3 solo tackles he had last week.  The "Hillis Train" could very easily make Durant a 4 star play when it is all said and done.  Also, I should note that Durant was limited in practice due to a shin injury.  After posting 3 consecutive 11 point weeks Daryl Smith also only logged 3 solos and scored just 6 fantasy points, his lowest output of the season.  This week I think worst case scenario is that both Smith and Durant will be LB3s.  Kirk Morrison has basically been a huge bust for his owners and at this point is just to risky a play.  And that is a shame because this week looks like a week where Morrison could see more playing time as I don't see the Jaguars needing to be in the nickle very often against the Browns.

Secondary: Courtney Greene ranks as a top 15 DB since week 7 with a 16 PPG average.  Don't go and mistake Greene as some stud at DB but at this point he doesn't have much competition and should be safe to start going forward for the rest of this year.  This week he probably tops out at 5 solos and maybe an assist or two.  Sean Considine used to be the mediocre player putting up stats for the Jaguars but now he has passed that torch.  Only in the deepest of leagues would I consider starting Considine.


Arizona at Kansas City

5 STAR
Paris Lenon
4 STAR
Gerald Hayes
3 STAR
Calais Campbell
Kerry Rhodes
Greg Toler
2 STAR
Daryl Washington
Joey Porter

Darnell Dockett

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Adrian Wilson
1 STAR
Alan Branch
Clark Haggans

Cardinals Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Darnell Dockett (shoulder) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Kerry Rhodes (hand, back) was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Paris Lenon (ankle) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Clark Haggans (groin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as QUESTONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: Prior to last week Darnell Dockett had played in 104 consecutive games for the Cardinals.  Dockett missed last week due to a neck/nerve/shoulder injury.  Dockett actually tweeted that he didn't play because that type of injury is very serious and that if he played he would have taken a chance that he could have basically injured himself further and then missed the rest of the season.  So at this point you have to keep Dockett on your bench until we hear that he is healthy enough to not just practice but see the field.  With Dockett out of the lineup it could make things a bit harder on Calais Campbell as he could see more double teams now.  This week Campbell should be able to cobble together a solid enough stat line versus the Chiefs.

Linebacker: Lenon ranks as the 14th best LB in fantasy scoring and has scored in double digits in all but one game this year.  This week versus a Chiefs team that could end up running the ball 40+ times, something they have done twice in the last 4 games, he looks like one of the safest and highest upside LBs this week.  Just in the last two weeks the Chiefs have seen Joe Mays post 6-0-0, Mario Haggan go 6-0-3 and Paul Posluszny put up a massive 11-7-0.5. And Lenon isn't the only Cardinals LB that I think will have a big week this week.  I am looking for Gerald Hayes to also put up very nice numbers. As for Joey Porter, thanks for nothing Joey. Porter was far from the strong play that I thought he would be last week but that is the risk that you take with rush OLBs.  I know I continue to repeat that but that is because it can't and shouldn't be ignored.

Secondary: I doubt that the Chiefs will need to put the ball in the air much this weekend but Greg Toler should be able to see just enough action to make him a safe 3 star play.  Toler has put up 8 solos in each of his last two games so we know he has the ability to put up big numbers but I still think you need t o temper expectations some this week.  At the safety position Adrian Wilson outscored Kerry Rhodes this pasts week but on the season it is Rhodes that has been much more consistent.  Actually, week 10 was the 1st time since week 1 that Rhodes didn't score in double digits.  Wilson is surely a talented player but I am not going to to try and chase his performance and instead am recommending that you go with the more consistent Rhodes.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

None

3 STAR
Derrick Johnson
Brandon Flowers
Eric Berry
2 STAR

Brandon Carr
Tamba Hali
Kendrick Lewis
Jon McGraw
(OUT)
Wallace Gilberry
Glenn Dorsey

1 STAR
Mike Vrabel
Jovan Belcher
Tyson Jackson
Demorrio Williams
Corey Mays
Javier Arenas

ChiefsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

John McGraw (head, knee) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Kendrick Lewis (hamstring) practiced fully all week but is still listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: For the most part the Chiefs DL doesn't provide consistent fantasy production.  The pass heavy attack of the Broncos surely won't do the Chiefs DL any favors either.

Linebacker: Derrick Johnson just continues to produce top notch fantasy numbers.  In last week's blowout loss to the Broncos Johnson racked up a season high 12 solo tackles and tied his season high in fantasy points scored with 26.  On the season Johnson has scored in double digits in all but one week (9pts in week 3) and currently ranks 6th among LBs in fantasy points scored.  This week Johnson has a very tough matchup against a Cardinals team that is giving up a league low 41 TOs/game.  Most LBs wouldn't warrant more than a 2 star ranking with a matchup like this so understand that there isn't much upside for Johnson this week.  Outside of Johnson there really isn't another safe start among the Chiefs LBs.  The Cardinals have given up the 2nd most sacks in the league, 33, 11 of which have come in their last two games, so Tamba Hali could be a sneaky, yet risky play.

Secondary: Eric Berry will try to add to his four consecutive double digit fantasy efforts this week against the Cardinals.  Unfortunately, for the same reasons that I expect Derrick Johnson to be limited are working against Berry too.  All hope isn't lost as there were seven DBs that were able to log 6 or more solos versus the Cardinals this year.  Last week Jon McGraw was inactive due to injury and this week he was limited in practice on Wednesday.  Kendrick Lewis was a full participant but even if McGraw is out again this week would be a risky play against the Cardinals offensive offense.


Washington at Tennessee

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
London Fletcher
Rocky McIntosh
3 STAR

DeAngelo Hall
LaRon Landry

2 STAR

Kareem Moore
Brian Orakpo
Carlos Rogers

Lorenzo Alexander

1 STAR
Albert Haynesworth
Phillip Daniels
HB Blades
Andre Carter

RedskinsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 48

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

LaRon Landry (Achilles) & Carlos Rogers (hamstring) both missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and both were able to practice in a limited fashion on Friday and are 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:  The Titans are giving up just 47 TOs/game which ranks as tied for the 5th fewest in the league.  But considering that they run the ball in excess of 30 times/game they still end up being a good matchup for opposing LBs.  The odds of both London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh both ending up as 4 star plays isn't as good as one ending up a 4 and the other a 3 star play but both should no doubt be in starting lineups this weekend.

Secondary:  We all know that Landry is having one heck of a season, and is currently the #1 overall DB with 171 fantasy points scored and a 19.00 PPG average.  Last week Landry had a strong week even though he was given the job of spying Michael Vick at times.  This week I doubt that Landry is put in a spy position and should continue to put up top notch fantasy points but be honest that isn't what you want to see this week.  You know that deep down you want to see Randy Moss catch a ball as he comes across the middle of the field.  Landry isn't the only Redskins secondary player having fantasy success this year as DeAngelo Hall is right there at the top of the heap with Landry.  Hall has just 8 fewer points than Landry and has a strong hold on second place with Greg Toler being the 3rd best DB with 18 fewer points than Hall.  So why do I have Hall ranked only as a 3 star play you ask, well it is simply because the Titans passing attack or should I say lack of one will in my opinion limit Hall's numbers some this week.
UDPATE:  The Redskins write-up was completed prior to the release of the first injury report on Wednesday and LaRon Landry was initially a 5 star play but he has missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to an Achilles injury.  Landry is at risk of missing this week's game and I moved him from a 5 star to a 3 star play. You will need to check the inactives on Sunday before inserting him into your lineups.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Stephen Tulloch

3 STAR

Chris Hope
Michael Griffin
Jason  Babin

2 STAR

Cortland Finnegan
Jason McCourty
Alterraun Verner
Jacob Ford
Jason Jones
Gerald McGrath
Will Witherspoon
William Hayes

1 STAR
Dave Ball
Vincent Fuller
Colin Allred
Tony Brown

TitansAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 48

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

Defensive Line: Last week the Eagles DLs didn't have a single player register more than 1 solo against the Redskins.  I am not sure I would put to much stock into that when ranking the Titans DLs but it is in the back of my mind, especially when you realize that the Colts DL only logged a total of 3 solo tackles combined.  However, the Redskins have given up some nice games to opposing DLs so expecting Jason Babin to be a solid start doesn't seem like a stretch to me. Babin was putting up much better numbers during the early part of the season and while his last two games haven't been in double digits (9 & 7 points) they have been OK for DL2 production.  Outside of Babin I would recommend that you stay away from the rest of the Titans DLs.  Over their last 3 games Jason Jones is the only DL to have posted a double digit fantasy effort.

Linebacker:  When you have a team that has been hit or miss against a position one of the things I look at is how well the player I am ranking has been performing.  Well, the Redskins have been hit or miss for opposing LBs but Stephen Tulloch has been pretty much nothing but a hit this year.  Not only is Tulloch the 6th ranked LB but he also has scored in double digits in all 9 games this year.  Tulloch is a must weekly start from here on out, at least as far as I am concerned.  Now Will Witherspoon and Gerald McGrath, that is another story.  Neither has been very consistent and short of having a crystal ball trying to predict who will have the better game has been next to impossible.  Leave them both on your bench this week, that is unless you are in a very deep league.

Secondary: With how the Redskins played on MNF it really is hard to get a gauge on what to expect from them.  Donovan McNabb historically has thrown very few INTs so that makes the 3 versus Philadelphia very uncharacteristic.  Chris Hope and Michael Griffin's value hinge on how the Redskins offense performs this week. Poignant insight there isn't it. I guess what I am trying to say is that Hope and Griffin should be able to post 3 star numbers but they actually present quite a bit of risk too.


Detroit at Dallas

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Louis Delmas
3 STAR

Kyle Vanden Bosch
Ndamukong Suh
Amari Spievey
DeAndre Levy

2 STAR
Alphonso Smith
Julian Peterson
Chris Houston
Ashlee Palmer
CC Brown
Lawrence Jackson
1 STAR
Cliff Avril (OUT)
Bobby Carpenter

LionsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  46
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 44

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Cliff Avril (quadricep) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Defensive Line:Ndamukong Suh has posted back to back pedestrian numbers the last two weeks but this week I am looking for him to break out of his semi-mini slump.  Suh has definitely made an impact on the NFL and and fantasy landscapes in his rookie year.  Suh currently ranks 10th in DL scoring but what is a bit shocking is that he only has two weeks with double digit fantasy points scored.  This week should be his 3rd week.  Kyle Vanden Bosch ranks one spot in front of his teammate but has four weeks with double digit fantasy production under his belt this year.  I don't think either player will go crazy this week but both should be solid. I can see Vanden Bosch putting up a 3-2-1 type week with Suh doing something similar. Lawrence Jackson started due to an injury to Cliff Avril last week and he did a great job in racking up 18 fantasy points.  Avril didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday so it looks like Jackson will get another start this week.

Linebacker:  Well the Cowboys looked like a much different team last week under the leadership of their new coach Jason Garrett.  The problem is trying to figure out if they can sustain the effort they brought forth last week.  That is why I have DeAndre Levy as just a 3 star play.  If I had any confidence in the Cowboys to put together back to back good games then I would most likely have Levy ranked as a 4 star play.  So if you think the "Boys" will keep rolling then feel free to bump Levy up a level.  On the injury front I have to say that I had to look at the injury report like 3 or 4 times to make sure that my eyes weren't playing tricks on me, meaning that Levy wasn't on it at all.

Secondary: Louis Delmas is coming off of his worst performance (5 points) of the season last week and Amari Spievey is coming off his best (10 points).  This week I see Delmas bouncing back and Spievey being able to replicate his 10 points at a minimum.  CC Brown isn't on the injury report this week but he was active last week and Spievey still got the start so I am expecting the same this week. 

5 STAR

None

4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Bradie James
Keith Brooking
2 STAR

Orlando Scandrick
Jay Ratliff

DeMarcus Ware
Gerald Sensabaugh
Allan Ball
Anthony Spencer
Mike Jenkins
Terence Newman

1 STAR

Igor Olshansky
Jason Hatcher
Stephen Bowens
Sean Lee

CowboysAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2002-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 53

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

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

Bradie James (knee) practiced fully on Thursday and Friday, he is listed PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  The only value on the Cowboys DL lies in Jay Ratliff and for the most part that is only in DT mandatory leagues.

Linebacker: At some point I am expecting that we will start to see much more of Sean Lee but until that happens both Bradie James and Keith Brooking should continue to be solid starts.  James has LB1/2 value most weeks with Brooking being more of a LB3.  The Lions have given up 10 or more total tackles to 6 different LBs this year so both James and Brooking even have some upside this week.

Secondary:  One thing that makes ranking players the most difficult is when there is no consistency in who is the best performer among a group of players.  The Cowboys secondary is a prime example of this in that over the past 3 weeks a different DB has led the secondary in tackles each week.  Orlando Scandrick would be my pick to be the guy this week but the risk is just to much to give him a 3 star ranking and the same goes for Mike Jenkins, Allan Ball and the rest of the secondary.


Green Bay at Minnesota

5 STAR
Desmond Bishop
4 STAR
Charles Woodson
3 STAR

Tramon Williams
Clay Matthews
AJ Hawk

2 STAR

Brandon Chillar
Nick Collins

1 STAR
Frank Zombo
Charlie Peprah
Ryan Pickett
Cullen Jenkins
BJ Raji
Anthony Smith
Atari Bigby

Packers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 49

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Desmond Bishop (hip) was limited in practice on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Clay Matthews (shin) was limited in practice all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Charles Woodson (toe) practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

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

Linebacker: Forget about the Favre vs GB part of this matchup and focus on the Adrian Peterson running the ball part of it.  That is what gives Desmond Bishop his 5 star ranking this week.  In their last matchup Bishop posted 23 fantasy points, tied for the most he has scored in a game so far this year.  AJ Hawk also had a nice effort that week as he posted 18 fantasy points.  The concern with Hawk is that in his last 2 games he has failed to crack double digits.  Look for Clay Matthews to come off the bye week a bit energized as he looks to add to  his league leading 10.5 sacks.  At least as of this writing  the 10.5 leads the league, as Cameron Wake is currently playing against the Bears and is now just 1 sack behind Matthews.

Secondary: You just know that Brett Favre is going to throw an inopportune pick or 5 and Charles Woodson is the guy in the Packers secondary with the best nose for the ball.  Woodson may not be putting up fantasy numbers like he did last year but he has still been a solid DB1 and that shouldn't change this week.  The surprise in the Packers secondary has to be the play of Tramon Williams who ranks 32nd in fantasy points scored among DBs with just under a 12 PPG average and since week 6 he is averaging 14.75 PPG and is he 14th best DB in points scored.

5 STAR
Chad Greenway
Antoine Winfield
4 STAR

Jared Allen

3 STAR
EJ Henderson
Madieu Williams
2 STAR
Ray Edwards
Ben Leber
Husain Abdullah
Chris Cook
1 STAR
Tyrell Johnson
Jamarca Sanford
Asher Allen

Pat Williams
Kevin Williams
Lito Sheppard

VikingsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009: 52
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 49

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

Defensive Line:  Since Jared Allen owners had to put up with his early season struggles I want to point out that the Elias Sports Bureau has issued it's stat changes for week 10 and one of the changes was to award Allen an additional sack.  In Huddle scoring that would give Allen an additional 3 points and a total of 16 for the week.  It also means that Allen now has 7 solos, 2 assists and 4.5 sacks in his last two games.  Allen is turning it up at the best possible time for his owners but it is something that he started back after the bye week. Since the bye Allen ranks 5th among all DL in fantasy points scored. His 55 points is actually more than Trent Cole who is the YTD leader with 107 fantasy points.  One would like to think that with Allen getting things going that it would also jump start Ray Edwards but on the season Edwards only has two quality starts and remains a risky play, so leave him on your bench.

Linebacker:  Chad Greenway, START HIM.  Nuff' said, seriously!  I also expect that we should see EJ Henderson put up solid 3 star numbers this week.  The last time these two teams met Henderson went 3-1-0 but since then in his last 3 games he is averaging just under 8 total tackles per game.  I think Henderson continues his solid play and hence why he is a 3 star play this weekend.

Secondary:  Antoine Winfield is easily one of the best CBs in the game today.  He may not be a shutdown guy like Revis, Nnamdi or Champ but he is a hard hitter that can hold his own in coverage. The last time he played the Packers he put up a 6-1-0 and I see that as a floor for him this week.  Winfield would probably be a safer 4 star play but I have a feeling we see Winfield sniff double digit tackles this week.  Madieu Williams has been playing well of late with a PPG of just under 11 since week 5.  Also, if you believe in the every other week trend I will point out that Williams has gone double digit, single digit performances since week 5 and last week was a single digit performance.  Husain Abdullah had by far the best game of his career last week, don't chase the points!


Seattle at New Orleans

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Earl Thomas
Marcus Trufant
3 STAR

Lawyer Milloy

2 STAR

Lofa Tatupu
Aaron Curry
David Hawthorne
Chris Clemons
Kentwan Balmer
Kelly Jennings

Jordan Babineaux
Kam Chancellor
Walter Thurmond

1 STAR
Brandon Mebane
Colin Cole (OUT)

SeahawksAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 55

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Colin Cole (ankle) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Lofa Tatupu (knee) didn't practice on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced fully on Friday, he is listed as PROBALE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: When it comes to the Seattle the only one worth discussing is really just Chris Clemons.  Clemons has gotten to the QB in 5 of the Seahawks 9 games this year and 3 of those 5 games were multi sack games. So while Clemons has been overly productive at times he is facing a Saints team that does a fine job of protecting Drew Brees.  I can understand why you might want to start Clemons this week, I just think he will more than likely post a 2-1-0 or 3-0-0 type week and leave you a bit flat.

Linebacker:  As we enter the stretch run where fantasy teams are solidifying their playoff spots or making a push for them you have to really take care in managing your roster and starting lineups.  One thing is for sure, if you own any of the Seahawks LBs you put yourself in a precarious position if you start any of them.  Lofa Tatupu is the highest scoring LB of the bunch but since their week 5 bye he has just one game with double digit fantasy points scored.  David Hawthorne and Aaron Curry have each posted a 20+ point game this year but unfortunately they have been very inconsistent because each has scored double digits in just 2 games.  What I am getting at is there is far to much risk to start any of the Seahawks LBs at this point in time.  Now that could change as Curry is working on 2 consecutive nice games but until he does it for a couple more week I doubt that I can rank him above a 2 star play.

Secondary:  Lawyer Milloy has tailed off of late but facing a Saints team that has been kind to opposing DBs should be just what the doctor ordered.  Well that and a drink from the fountain of youth wouldn't hurt Milloy either.  Marcus Trufant has led the Seahawks secondary in tackle in 2 of their last 3 games and he could easily make it 3 of 4 this week.  Rookie Earl Thomas has shown a nose for the ball but Drew Brees is one of the more accurate passers in the NFL so Thomas will more than likely have to derive his value this week from tackling receivers in the second level of the defense.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Roman Harper
Jonathan Vilma
Jabari Greer
2 STAR

Will Smith
Malcolm Jenkins
Sedrick Ellis
Remi Ayodele
Danny Clark
Darren Sharper
(OUT)
Scott Shanle
Scott Shanle
Tracy Porter

1 STAR
Jo-Lonn Dunbar
Jeff Charleston
Patrick Robinson
Alex Brown

Leigh Torrence
Anthony Waters

SaintsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:53
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 49

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Darren  Sharper (hamstring) has been ruled OUT for this week.

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

NOTE: Will SMITH is NOT listed on the injury report at all this week.

Defensive Line:  The Seahawks have given up 15 sacks in their last 4 games and that would normally equate to a 3 to 4 star ranking for a player like Will Smith.  Unfortunately, Smith just doesn't look much like Will Smith lately.  While he has been able to play in each of the last 3 games it looks like his groin injury most likely has been limiting his effectiveness. I know that most Smith owners will need to start him even with a 2 star ranking and I do understand that, just don't be disappointed if he doesn't post solid numbers.

Linebacker: The Seahawks have been very Jekyl and Hyde'ish this year so that makes figuring out how an opposing team will do a challenge to say the least.  Jonathan Vilma has had some poor performances this year but he still remains one of the better fantasy options for owners. This week will probably be a little less productive as the Seahawks will probably end up in catch-up mode which will hinder Vilma's TOs.  But even then the 3 star ranking should be attainable for him.  As far as Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Danny Clark and Scott Shanle goes I wouldn't even think about starting them this week.

Secondary:   Matt Hasselbeck does make the Seahawks a different team and he is starting this week so Roman Harper should be able to be productive enough to warrant starting this week.  The thing that I see limiting him this week is that I foresee the Seahawks struggling in the dome this weekend and thus limiting Harpers TOs, just like I do for Vilma. 


Atlanta at St. Louis

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Curtis Lofton
William Moore
Brent Grimes

2 STAR

Stephen Nicholas
Kroy Biermann
John Abraham
Jonathan Babineaux
Mike Peterson
Eric Coleman
Thomas Decoud
Dunta Robinson

1 STAR
Jamaal Anderson
Sean Weatherspoon

FalconsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 47

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Sean Weatherspoon (knee) practiced fully on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

John Abraham (groin) didn't practice on Wednesday and then was limited in practice the rest of the week, he is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.

Curtis Lofton (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday but returned to practice fully the rest of the week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line: The Falcons DL has been far from reliable this year so starting Kroy Biermann or John Abraham is a risky proposition, especially when the matchup isn't a very good one.  The one thing the Falcons DLs have going for them is that the Rams are actually surrendering more sacks at home than they do on the road this year.  But it still isn't enough to push either Biermann or Abraham into a 3 star play.

Linebacker: Curtis Lofton is one of those players that you just plug and play and more often than not he pays off in spades for his owners.  This week, temper expectations some as he is playing in St. Louis where their official scorekeeper is known to be stingy when it comes to giving out assisted tackles.  That very well could limit Lofton to a 6-0-0 or 7-0-0 type week.  A solid week but not a "my LB put my team on his back and carried us to a win" type of performance.  Sean Weatherspoon made it back to practice on Thursday, albeit in a limited fashion, at least he still practiced.  At this point it is unknown if Weatherspoon will play or not but considering that he could I have dropped Stephen Nicholas down to a 2 star play.  If Weatherspoon ends up not playing then I would bump Nicholas back up.  As for Weatherspoon, even if he were to play I would leave him on my bench for a week to see how much the Falcons work him back into things.

Secondary:  The Rams are giving up above average TO's this season and at home they are giving up almost 10% more TOs than they have YTD. William Moore should find himself very busy as the Rams have given up some very nice games to opposing DBs this year.  I also think that Brent Grimes will be very busy this week as the Rams have given up big games in recent weeks to opposing CBs.  And by big games I am talking about what Nate Clements (6-0-0), Richard Marshall (9-0-0) and Ronde Barber (9-1-0) have done the last 3 weeks against the Rams.

5 STAR
Craig Dahl/James Butler
4 STAR

Bradley Fletcher
Oshiomongo Atogwe

3 STAR

James Laurinaitis
Chris Long
James Hall

2 STAR
Larry Grant
1 STAR
Na'il Diggs
Fred Robbins
Ronald Bartell

RamsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  48
2000-2009 Versus week 3 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

James Butler (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday but returned to practice fully on Thursday and Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.  Since Butler looks like he will be good to go this week you should drop Dahl down to a 2 star play.

Defensive Line:  Coming out of the bye you might have forgotten about Chris Long and James Hall but you shouldn't. Since week 6, granted it is only a 3 game stretch, Chris Long and James Hall have been must start DLs.  Long actually ranks as a DL1 (11th-10.7) over that time, while Hall ranks as a DL2 (13th-10.2) in PPG.  With as much flack as Long has gotten from fantasy owners I thought he deserved a bit of an "attaboy". Coming off a bye should do good things for James Halls old legs too.  Look for both to have productive games versus the Niners.

Linebacker:  The Niners will need to establish their running game with Frank Gore if they hope to get a win this week.  That means that James Laurinaitis should be in for a very nice week, especially considering that he won't have to worry about a stingy score keeper in St. Louis screwing him out of any assists.  Outside of Laurinaitis there isn't any reason to even think about starting another Rams LB.

Secondary:  Initially, it was thought that safety James Butler suffered a high ankle sprain but luckily that wasn't the case and the team could see him back on the field as early as this week.  As it stands now Butler didn't practice Wednesday so you will have to check back for the Friday Injury Update to see what his status looks like.  If Butler can't got then Craig Dahl should be a solid 3 star play and of course if Butler can go then bump Dahl down a notch.  The best play in the Rams secondary like usual should be Oshiomongo Atogwe.  For the most part the opposition's top safety has done fairly well against the Niners and this week should be no different.  Look for Atogwe to put up a line similar to 6-2-0.


Tampa Bay at San Francisco

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Barrett Ruud
3 STAR

Geno Hayes
Aqib Talib
Ronde Barber

2 STAR

Sean Jones
Quincy Black
Adam Hayward
Dekoda Watson
Cody Grimm
Stylez White

1 STAR

Gerald McCoy
Kyle Moore (OUT)

Buccaneers Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 50

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Kyle Moore (shoulder) has been ruled OUT for this week.

Quincy Black (ankle) was inactive last week and this week missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, he could only practice in a limited fashion on Friday and is listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.  Black will more than likely miss his second consecutive game.

Defensive Line: Gerald McCoy finally made some noise in the box score as he posted 15 fantasy points this past week.  I do think that McCoy will end up becoming a fantasy relevant DT, I just don't think it will be this year. Basically I am saying, don't chase the points.  In dynasty leagues he should be stashed but that is about it at this point in time.  As for Stylez White maybe he can change his name again but this time he should use "The Invisible Man" White. 

Linebacker: Last week I suggested that both Barrett Ruud and Geno Hayes be benched against the Panthers. Ruud proved me wrong as he posted 20 fantasy points by racking up a 7-3-1 stat line. What is crazy is that in the first quarter Ruud posted 4-1-1 and was then only able to add another 3 solos over the next 3 quarters. So it is still pretty easy to see why I was so cautious with his ranking last week.  Hayes on the other hand I was spot on with.  All he was able to do was record 1 solo tackle and that came with just 46 seconds left in the game.  This week should be a much safer play for both Ruud and Hayes.  If it makes you feel any better DJ Williams and Mario Haggan combined for a 17-0-0 against the Niners and Curtis Lofton and Stephen Nicholas bested that by going 22-2-1 against them.  Of course that is the upside for Ruud and Hayes this week, I would think they can combine for 14-2-0 this week.

Secondary: Aqib Talib brings in a stat line of 15-1-2 with 4 passes defended over his last 3 games.  Talib might struggle a bit in the tackle department this week but I do think he ends up picking off Troy Smith to help pad his numbers.  Talib has only put up double digit points in consecutive games just once this year so there is some risk associated with him. Ronde Barber has been a bit more consistent that Talib this year as he has scored in double digits 6 times, 3 straight to start the year and 3 of the last 5 games.  Barber should be good for about 10-12 points this week but makes for a much stronger play in CB mandatory leagues versus DB combined leagues.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Patrick Willis

3 STAR
Justin Smith
Dashon Goldson
Nate Clements
2 STAR
Taylor Mays
Reggie Smith
Takeo Spikes
Shawntae Spencer
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: 46

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

Defensive Line:  Season to date Justin Smith is a top 8 DL but since week 5 you may find it hard to believe that he is the top DL in fantasy points scored with 64 and in PPG with 12.80. Smith most likely won't get to the QB but you know that he will be solid in run support and will do what he does best, produce.

Linebacker:  For the season the Buccaneers are averaging just over 24 rushing attempts/game but in their last 3 games they are averaging 29.  But it's not like Patrick Willis owners need any additional reasons to start him.  Willis owners were a bit disappointed earlier in the season but since week 7 he has a much more Willis like 20.67 PPG average.  And guess what, that average is the 2nd best among LBs (Ray Lewis 21.00) over that span of time.  I would love to be able to say that Willis should be a 5 star play but I can't when you consider that only 2 LBs Nic Harris (8-3-0) & James Anderson (8-2-0)have recorded more than 7 solos against the Buccaneers this year it is easy to see why he holds a 4 star ranking..

Secondary: Not long ago it looked like Taylor Mays was going to be one of those no brainer must start players but Mays put up the goose egg last week and to make matters worse he gave way to Reggie Smith.  At this point I would steer clear of the situation and look for help elsewhere.  Dashon Goldson has been a bit up and down this year, more down than up lately but against the Buccaneers I think he should be able to at least hit the 5 solo plateau.  Nate Clements has been pretty good for much of the year and I see him having a good game as he tries to help keep the young Tampa WRs in check.



Indianapolis at New England

5 STAR
None
4 STAR

Aaron Francisco

3 STAR
Robert Mathis
Kavell Connor
Kelvin Hayden
Jerraud Powers
Pat Angerer
2 STAR
Antoine Bethea
Jacob Lacey

Dwight Freeney
Phillip Wheeler
1 STAR
Tyjuan Hagler
Clint Session
Gary Brackett

Colts Average Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 53

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Clint Session (elbow) & Gary Brackett (toe) both missed practice all week and are listed as QUESTIONABLE on the injury report.  Both missed last week's game and look like they will give way to Pat Angerer and Kavell Connor again this week.

Defensive Line:  Robert Mathis is one of those DLs that is able to play the run and not rely completely on sacks for all of his fantasy value.  And that is a good thing because he faces a Patriots team that usually doesn't give up many sacks and to top it off over their last 3 games the Patriots have given up just 1 sack.  Mathis should be able to put up around his average of 9 PPG this week so he may not be a strong DL1 play but he still can be looked at as a DL2 at worst this week.  Add to it that a player like Mathis always has upside of being able to put up a monster game and I think you have yourself a solid 3 star play. I won't be surprised at all to see Dwight Freeney get to Tom Brady this week but I will be surprised if he logs more than 2 solos.

Linebacker: The Colts still have the looks of a M.A.S.H. unit.  Gary Brackett and Clint Session have yet to practice as of Thursday and we could very well see both miss another game.  However, if that does happen at least we know a bit more of what to expect.  By that I mean we know that Pat Angerer will start at MLB and be flanked by Kavell Connor at WLB and Phillip Wheeler at SLB. This week I am ranking Connor and Angerer under the assumption that both Brackett and Session will not play this week.

Secondary:  Since Aaron Francisco was inserted into the starting lineup he is averaging over 14 PPG.  This week Francisco should be plenty busy no matter if the Patriots decide t o go run heavy or pass heavy.  For the past couple of years safety Antoine Bethea has quietly been a nice fantasy options but recently he has just been sort of quiet.  Sure the Patriots don't have Randy Moss and aren't passing the ball for 34,394 yards/game like they were a few years ago but they still toss the ball around enough for Jerraud Powers to be a solid play this week and I don't see how you can keep Kelvin Hayden out of lineups with how well he has been playing of late, excepting week 9 of course.

5 STAR
Patrick Chung
Jerod Mayo
4 STAR
None
3 STAR
Devin McCourty
2 STAR

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

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

PatriotsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  55
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 52

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.

Linebacker:  Last week I said the following about Jerod Mayo, "Jerod Mayo, start him, every week!  Got it?  Good!" Well this week all I will add is, rinse and repeat!.  I know you understand that Mayo is a must start but to help you understand why he is a 5 star play let me point out that in 6 of 9 games this year the Colts have given up double digit tackles to an opposing LB.  Outside of Mayo starting Brandon Spikes or Rob Ninkovich would be a risky proposition.  Especially for Spikes considering that the Colts are running the ball just 21 times/game in their last 2 games. 

Secondary:  Patrick Chung didn't miss a beat as he returned to the lineup after missing 2 games due to injury. Chung's 18 points on 6-5-0 with 1 pass defended shows that he is going to continue to be a fantasy factor down the stretch for his owners.  The Colts have given up some nice games to opposing DBs, not as big games as to LBs but still solid production.  Look for Peyton Manning to test Devin McCourty enough to make the rookie a safe 3 star play this week.


NY Giants at Philadelphia

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Justin Tuck
Osi Umenyiora

Antrel Rolle

2 STAR

Terrell Thomas
Kenny Phillips
Michael Boley
Jonathan Goff
Aaron Ross
Corey Webster
Deon Grant

1 STAR
Jason Pierre-Paul
Keith Bulluck

GiantsAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  51
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 54

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Osi Umenyiora (knee) missed practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday but practiced fully on Friday and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.

Defensive Line:  Last week was a prime example of why they play the games.  All signs pointed to the Giants and their DL abusing the Cowboys.  Of course that didn't happen.  Justin Tuck didn't live up to his 5 star ranking as he only posted 9 fantasy points.  Nine points while not great is still solid for a DL, even the caliber of Tuck. For the year Tuck still ranks as the 2nd best DL in the league.  As far as Osi Umenyiora goes, last week I ranked him a 3 star play and he was able to meet that and provide a bit of upside as he did post 12 fantasy points.  This week I am being a bit more cautious with both of their rankings but the truth is that you can't and shouldn't bench either. 

Linebacker:  Figuring out how the Giants will use their LBs week in and week out is about as fun as having your eyes poked out with an ice pick.  My guess is that the Giants will try to spy Michael Vick with one of them, probably Michael Boley but honestly, who knows and it doesn't really matter.  And I say that simply because it isn't worth the risk in starting Boley, Jonathan Goff or Keith Bulluck.  If I had to pick one of the 3 to have a productive week it would be Boley but I would rather look for help elsewhere if at all possible.

Secondary: The Redskins used LaRon Landry to spy Michael Vick at times on Monday night but Landry was still able to be very productive as he posted 16 fantasy points.  The Giants are deep at safety with Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips and Deon Grant but I don't see any of them having the impact in the box score that Landry did. If I had to roll the dice on one of them I guess it would be Rolle, who I happen to think will be the 1st player to intercept a Michael Vick pass this year.

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Stewart Bradley
Quintin Mikell
Trent Cole
3 STAR
Dimitri Patterson
2 STAR

Brandon Graham
Moise Fokou
Ernie Sims
Asante Samuel
Kurt Coleman

1 STAR
Akeem Jordan
Omar Gaither
Nate Allen
Ellis Hobbs

EaglesAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 46

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

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT UPDATE:

Nate Allen (neck) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report.  Bump Allen up to a 2 star play this week.

Ellis Hobbs (hip) practiced fully all week and is listed as PROBABLE on the injury report but Dimitri Patterson is expected to start at CB over Hobbs.

Defensive Line: Trent Cole is currently the #1 fantasy DL and a major reason is because he plays the run well and doesn't rely on sacks for the majority of his fantasy points. With the Giants being down to just three healthy WRs (Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham & Duke Calhoun, yes Duke Calhoun...Derek Hagan was also signed this week) I fully expect to see them force feed Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs an above average number of times this week.  But that won't hurt Trent Cole's value because as I pointed out he is able to play against the run too. 

Linebacker: I really think that the Giants are going to come out and play smash mouth run the ball down your throat type football this week.  If that is the case then Stewart Bradley owners can start smiling now because Bradley should be able to rack up plenty of tackles if so.  Ernie Sims and Moise Fokou have been far to inconsistent to even think about starting and with bye weeks out of the way you don't even have that as an excuse to use.  Just leave them on your bench and thank me later, or ridicule me later if need be.

Secondary: Last week I go an acknowledge that Quintin Mikell is having a nice season and all he does is go out and put up a lousy 6 fantasy points, the least he has scored all year long.  This week look for Mikell to bounce back in a big way, for the same reasons that I expect Stewart Bradley to have a good game.  Dimitri Patterson has started the past 2 weeks for an injured Ellis Hobbs and it looks as if he isn't about to give up the starting gig either. Patterson has played very well in relief duty and has also put up nice fantasy numbers too.  I think Patterson's upside is a bit limited this week so don't expect a repeat 24 point effort but 10-12 should be within reach.  Nate Allen who missed last week due to injury practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday and he should return to the starting lineup this week.  Allen has posted some nice numbers this year but this week I am being a bit more conservative and suggesting he be left on fantasy benches.


Denver at San Diego

5 STAR
Brian Dawkins
4 STAR
Perrish Cox
DJ Williams
3 STAR
Mario Haggan
Renaldo Hill
2 STAR

Champ Bailey
Jason Hunter
Joe Mays
Marcus Thomas

1 STAR
Ryan McBean
Justin Bannan
Jamal Williams
Nathan Jones
Kevin Vickerson
Darcel McBath
Wesley Woodyard
Robert Ayers
Andre' Goodman
Jarvis Moss

BroncosAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  50
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: For the most part the Broncos DL have little to no fantasy value.  Yes, I know that Kevin Vickerson put up 12 fantasy points last week but do you know that prior to last week Vickerson totaled just 11 fantasy points in his last 3 games.

Linebacker: Last week wasn't a good week for DJ Williams or his owners.  Of course we all know Williams was charged with DUI and was in jeopardy of missing week 10.  In the end Williams wound up playing the game and was only held out for the 1st series of the game.  Unfortunately, it probably would have been better for Williams owners if he was suspended or just held out because all he could do was put together 2 solo tackles and a pass defended which totaled just 5 fantasy points. While Williams was leaving his owners going, "What the F#@* happened", Joe Mays and Mario Haggan had very nice games.  It is doubtful that Mays was in many lineups but Haggan probably was in his share and if so his 6-0-3 with a forced fumble that added up to 24 fantasy points surely was a nice surprise for his owners. If Haggan remains at OLB with Mays inside with Williams he could see his value drop some as he would be more inconsistent due to the position switch.  As far as Williams and a possible suspension by the NFL goes there is no new information but if and when there is it will be updated as soon as possible.

Secondary:  The Chargers are coming off a bye week, they look like they will get some of their injured receivers back this week and Phillip Rivers was already on fire, no matter who was catching the ball.  I point all this out because I think that means big things for the Broncos secondary.  I might be a bit high on Brian Dawkins considering coverage isn't  his strong suit but something tells me he goes big this week.  Perrish Cox should get the start at CB opposite Champ Bailey and if so Cox should be a strong 4 star play. 

5 STAR
None
4 STAR
Lance Briggs
3 STAR

Charles Tillman
Brian Urlacher

2 STAR
Julius Peppers
Israel Idonije
Chris Harris
Danieal Manning
Tim Jennings
DJ Moore
1 STAR
Nick Roach
Zackary Bowman
Pisa Tinoisamoa (OUT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 STAR
Eric Weddle
4 STAR
None
3 STAR

Kevin Burnett
Stephen Cooper
Antoine Cason

2 STAR
Paul Oliver/Steve Gregory
Shaun Phillips
Quentin Jammer
1 STAR

Luis Castillo
Brandon Siler
Darrell Stuckey

ChargersAverage Tackle Opportunities/Game Given Up
2007-2009:  49
2000-2009 Versus week 9 opponent: 47

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

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

Linebacker: The Broncos have been a mixed bag when it comes to points given up to opposing LBs this year. There have been some very nice games but when you see Ray Lewis held to just 5 solo tackles you have to see that Kevin Burnett and Stephen Cooper are slightly risky starts this week.  Considering how much the Broncos like to throw the ball I would have to say that I think Burnett looks to be the slightly better play of the two.

Secondary: As of this writing the Chargers had not published a completed practice report. Because this game is Monday night I see to much risk in ranking either Paul Oliver or Steve Gregory above a 2 star play.  I do think whoever ends up starting between the two should post 4 star type numbers but unless you own both you are taking a risk that you probably shouldn't take by starting either.  Eric Weddle should be the strongest play in the Chargers secondary no matter what goes down with Oliver and Gregory.


 
 
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