We’re eight weeks into the 2011 season, and with only two bye weeks remaining it won’t be long until fantasy owners will once again have their full compliment of players to choose from. That said the injury bug took a couple good sized bites this past weekend, leaving holes in Pittsburgh and a potential chasm in Dallas and forcing IDP enthusiasts to once again start searching for injury replacements.
With that in mind here are some players that should be available on many IDP waiver wires that are worth targeting as we head into Week 9.
PICKUP OF THE WEEK
Larry Foote – ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh LB corps has been decimated by injuries, with James Farrior (calf) and Lamarr Woodley (hamstring) joining James Harrison (eye) on the shelf. The injuries have propelled the 31-year old Foote back into an every-down role on the inside for the Steelers, and with a favorable matchup upcoming against the hated Ravens, Foote is easily the most attractive option on most IDP waiver wires this week.
Marcell Dareus – DT/DE, Buffalo Bills: The Bills moved Dareus to nose tackle last week to take over for the injured Kyle Williams and the rookie responded, notching four tackles and 2.5 sacks in the win over the Washington Redskins. Dareus is a more appealing IDP option in leagues where he has DT eligibility, but IDP owners in need of DL help of any sort would be well advised to give the former Alabama standout a look.
Chris Long – DE, St. Louis Rams: A prolonged dry spell led to Long being jettisoned in many IDP leagues, but the fourth year pro broke out of it in a big way Sunday, sacking Drew Brees three times in the Rams’ shocking win over the New Orleans Saints. If an impatient owner in your league cut Howie’s kid loose snatch him up, as their loss could easily become your gain.
Keith Brooking – ILB, Dallas Cowboys: Sean Lee was forced from Monday’s blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with a dislocated wrist, thrusting Brooking back into the Cowboys’ lineup and giving Lee’s IDP owners a small aneurysm. Brooking looked every bit of 36 years old but did manage to rack up five solos, and while Lee will reportedly try to play through the injury Brooking is a decent speculative add or “handcuff” for Lee owners.
Gerald McRath – OLB, Tennessee Titans: McRath entered Sunday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts in place of the injured Will Witherspoon and played fairly well, making six total tackles in a game where tackle opportunities were few and far between. The third-year pro has shown flashes when given the chance to play in the past, and with Witherspoon’s status for this week in doubt McRath is worth a look from IDP teams that are thin at linebacker.
Richard Sherman – CB, Seattle Seahawks: Numerous injuries at the position have forced Sherman into the starting lineup for the Seahawks, and the rookie posted a decent stat line in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, tallying five total tackles and intercepting a pass. Sherman isn’t going to frighten many (or any) opposing quarterbacks, and while his being targeted mercilessly may be bad for him, it’s good for his IDP owners.
Darian Stewart – SS, St. Louis Rams: Stewart has emerged as the starter at strong safety in the Gateway City and has been solid of late, averaging six stops a game over the past three weeks and intercepting Drew Brees in last Sunday’s shocker. The second year pro has quietly posted DB3 numbers this season and is available in a surprising number of IDP leagues, so fantasy owners in need of DB help should give Stewart a long look.