The Hive – Week Three edition
Hello all, and welcome to your week three edition of The Hive. Unfortunately, the bye weeks are up so a lot of you have to find replacements for guys like Kirk Morrison, Donnie Edwards, Derrick Johnson, and Roy Williams. The Hive will give you some insights on players you should be able to find on the wire this week to overcome your bye week dilemmas. As always matchups are broken down into studs, strong starts, gut checks and the dreaded stay away list. Without further ado, let’s get this bad boy rollin!
Week 3 byes- Oakland, Kansas City, San Diego, Dallas
Carolina @ Tampa Bay Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Julius Peppers – Julius’s 1st 2 weeks of the season are a perfect example of why you don’t panic when your DL’s don’t do much one week. Peppers went from a measly 2 tackles and zero sacks week one to 6 solos and 3 sacks vs Minnesota in week 2. Keep him in your lineup.
Chris Gamble – Chris Simms is just plain awful. Deangelo Hall looked like he knew the WR’s patterns better than they did last week. Simms is about as hard to read as the giant print edition of Readers Digest. Great matchup for Gamble.
Strong starts- Shaun Williams – Williams has put up back to back solid weeks, and for those of you who rely on Roy Williams or Greg Wesley at DB, Williams is on most IDP waiver wires.
Thomas Davis – Davis has been steady thus far, no reason for that to change.
Gut checks- Ken Lucas – I like Gamble more this week as he will be on Galloway, but Simms throws enough picks for everyone to have some fun. But when a player is likely to have to rely on the interception for production and is nursing an injury that makes him a gut check.
Adam Seward – Here is a LB that should be on your wire, and if the Caddy gets out of the garage he could have a nice game. But when you start one week and your team tries to bring Sam Cowart, whose main skill seems to be losing his starting gig, in for a visit, that is hardly a ringing endorsement of your abilities.
***9/21 UPDATE – reports out of Carolina indicate the Panthers may bench Seward and move Chris Draft to MLB. If this does indeed occur Draft would be a stronger start than Seward, but he would still be a gut check. FYI.
Stay away- Dan Morgan – the scheduled visit for Cowart certainly doesn’t give any indication that the Panthers really think Morgan will be back soon. I don’t think he will ever play again. Cut him if you still have him.
Studs- Ronde Barber- Delhomme has been all over the place. The numbers don’t show it, but if he had been going against Barber the last 2 weeks he’d sure have more picks than he does. I like Barber a lot this week, he faces a possession WR who isn’t running away from anyone (Keyshawn).
Derrick Brooks – one good thing about Simms being so terrible is the once and current stud Brooks gets more opportunities to help your fantasy team.
Simeon Rice – the Panthers o line is a mess!
Strong starts- Jermaine Phillips – WHO?? Better learn who he is quick before he is used against you. My favorite waiver wire scoop at the DB position this week, as the Tampa cover 2 has always rewarded safeties who are excellent tacklers, as opposed to ball hawks. Phillips could be the surprise of 2006 at the DB position.
Shelton Quarles – 4 and 3 last week, he needs to have one of his 7-10 solo games before I put him back in the stud level. If he can get to 100% he will be an IDP stallion as he was last year.
Gut checks- Brian Kelly – with the way Delhomme has been playing you might consider Kelly this week, but keep in mind he has a case of turf toe. Never good for a CB. He is listed as probable, but even with Delhomme struggling Kelly is a true gut check.
Stay away- Barrett Ruud – was just filling in for Quarles.
Chicago @ Minnesota Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Urlacher and Briggs – always.
Charles Tillman – should be on Williamson, and Brad is due for some turnovers.
Strong starts- Adewale Ogunleye – Hasn’t done much yet, but neither had Peppers before he played Minnesota last week.
Mike Brown – Should have a solid day.
Gut checks- Tommie Harris- a strong start in a DT required league, but the fact that Minnesota has given up sacks up the middle recently isn’t enough for me to recommend him strongly in a regular DL slot.
Nathan Vasher – Might do something, lots of weekly IDP potential on this team, but after the big name guys its anyone’s guess.
Stay away- Chris Harris – still in the process of losing his job to Danieal Manning, who will likely be making his debut in one of the above categories sometime in the next month or so the way things are looking.
****9/21 UPDATE!! – Harris has officially lost his job, drop him if you have him, and consider Danieal Manning a strong gut check this week.
Studs- Antoine Winfield- Grossman has been going off lately, but he hasn’t faced a set of corners like this yet. Start Winfield if you have him, he should be solid in run support too.
Strong starts- Fred Smoot- Should at least get enough passes defended and solos to put him here this week.
Napoleon Harris- I’m still not sold, but against this rejuvenated Bears O I think he will have a good game. Put up 9 solos against a limping Panthers O last week.
Gut checks- Darren Sharper – His skill set is not what you want out of his position in the Tampa cover 2. Sharper was always a ball hawk, not a hitting machine. Not a reliable IDP option anymore.
Stay away- Erasmus James – one of my favorite young DE’s for this season is done for the year with a knee injury.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh Sunday 10am EST
Studs – none.
Strong starts- Madieu Williams – 4 solos last week, but against the Browns “offense” that’s excusable. I think he will do better this week.
Brian Simmons- The Bengals should expect a heavy dose of FWP and maybe a little Najeh and Verron as well. Simmons is the best LB still standing for Cincy.
Landon Johnson- Here is a LB some of you DJ, Morrison and Edwards owners can likely find on your wire that would make a nice one week filler for you. Landon will continue his efforts to impress the coaches enough to continue allocating him P.T. after Odell Thurman gets back after the bye.
Gut checks- Deltha O’Neal – is still hurting and hasn’t done much yet. Start at your own risk, but I like him this week vs Big Ben, who obviously isn’t 100%.
Stay away- David Pollack- The talented 2nd year LB seems to be snake bitten when it comes to injuries. My thoughts and prayers go out to Pollack after he broke his neck last week. Scary, scary stuff.
Dexter Jackson- Gimpy.
Studs- Ike Taylor – Ike Taylor is an IDP stud twice a year, and that’s when he plays versus Chad Johnson. Get him in your lineup.
Troy Polamalu – he is obviously affected somewhat by the shoulder, but Polamalu at even 80% is still better than all but a handful of DB’s in football.
James Farrior- Rudi is hot, Farrior’s job is to cool him off.
Strong starts- Ryan Clark- Just because of the opponent I’ll put him here. Another good bye week DB fill in that is probably on your wire, unless your IDP league is infested with Steelers homers.
Larry Foote- Should be busy.
Gut checks- Joey Porter – see what I mean about Porter being inconsistent? Will either get you 15-20 points or 3-5 points each week, get used to it if you own him.
Stay away- Steelers DL’s – Don’t look here Jared Allen or Derrick Burgess owners, there is nothing to see.
Green Bay @ Detroit Sunday 10am PST
Studs- A.J. Hawk – Hawk came through with 7 solos last week, start him if you have him.
Nick Collins – Making me feel smart for touting him this offseason. Should do well vs Martz’ offense.
Aaron Kampman – another guy whose bandwagon I have been on for a while, he is the #1 DL in most formats. Start him with confidence.
Strong starts- Nick Barnett – Last week Barnett pulled one of his all-too-frequent vanishing acts. Keep him in your lineup this week, but remember what I told you last week about trading Barnett. If he has a good game this week trade him for a more reliable option. They cant keep Abdul Hodge on the bench for long.
Gut checks- Kabeer Gbaja-Biamilia – Basically just a name to distract teams from Kampman on the other side these days. Not a reliable starter, but a possibility vs Detroit.
Charles Woodson- could have a solid game. That’s why we call it a gut check!
Stay away- Brady Poppinga – No.
Studs- Ernie Sims – The rookie has done nothing but impress in his 1st 2 weeks. Should have another solid game.
Strong starts- Dre Bly – Doesn’t matter if he is on Driver or Jennings, Favre will be chucking the rock, and not always to the right team.
Fernando Bryant – see above.
Gut checks- Boss Bailey – always the potential to go off, but not a consistent option. If your stud LB is out and you really feel like rolling the dice, maybe, but don’t come crying to me if it doesn’t work out.
Stay away- Alex Lewis – Gimpy
Kenoy Kennedy – Ditto
****9/21 UPDATE!! Kennedy is now listed as OUT, so Daniel Bullocks gets the start. He’s a gut check with the possibility of a solid week vs Favre and the pack.
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Mike Peterson – kills it vs Indy, but should be in your lineup regardless of opponent.
Rashean Mathis – don’t expect the picks, but Mathis will be very busy vs the pass happy Colts
Strong starts- Brian Williams – makes a nice bye week filler at DB, my above comment about Mathis applies to Williams as well. They have to face the best WR duo in football.
John Henderson- an every week starter in DT required leagues, but recognize the Colts rarely give up sacks.
Donovan Darius- all the Jags DB’s are going to need a massage on Monday
Gut checks- Daryl Smith – Colts don’t have enough of a run game for me to recommend any Jags LB’s outside of Peterson.
Stay away- Paul Spicer – Should be the beneficiary of Hayward being out, but not vs the Colts
Studs- Gary Brackett – seems to be permanently on the injury report, but will have a solid game vs Fred Taylor
Bob Sanders- The Steelers DB’s could have had a couple picks on Monday night. I like Sanders this week.
Strong starts- Marlin Jackson – keeps putting up the stats, a nice waiver wire gem.
Gut checks- Robert Mathis – Jags held the sack happy Steelers in check.
Stay away- Dwight Freeney – Hurt, should at least miss one week.
NY Jets @ Buffalo Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Jonathan Vilma – That blocked kick was massive for me in a couple of leagues last week. Vilma is a stallion.
Kerry Rhodes – You just can’t sit this guy in a DB required league unless you have Adrian, Gibril and/or Polamalu ahead of him. He is that good.
Strong starts- Eric Barton – Has been solid thus far.
Gut checks- Andre Dyson – Has had a solid start, but will the Bills pass enough to make him a factor? Dyson is certainly no Antoine Winfield when it comes to run support.
Stay away- Shaun Ellis – Writing some sort of “I miss you” card to John Abraham as I type this.
Studs- Angelo Crowell- makes his debut on the stud list after two rather studly weeks to start the year. Angelo is coming into his own.
London Fletcher- Keep giving him last new names, with every addition he gains more power!!
McGee and Clements – Will both be very busy.
Strong starts- Donte Whitner – The rookie ball hawk should also be busy vs the second coming of Pennington to Coles.
Aaron Schobel – put up a fat zero last week, but keep him in there in DL required leagues. Up and down numbers are the nature of IDP DL’s. If Ryan freakin Denney gets Schobels sacks again this week then maybe start to worry.
Gut checks- Ko Simpson – if the other 3 DB’s leave anything behind Simpson will be all over it. They like to use this kid in blitz packages too, so his sack last week could be a sign of things to come.
Chris Kelsey – has put up sacks each of the 1st 2 weeks, so this is a guy that could be a nice fill in for a Jared Allen or a Derrick Burgess.
Ryan Denney- almost put up as many sacks last week (three) as he had all of last season (four). In my opinion this was an aberration.
Stay away- Takeo Spikes – questionable on the injury report. You can do better.
Tennessee @ Miami Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Keith Bulluck – the best IDP in the business.
Strong starts- Kyle Vanden Bosch – Again, Ryan freakin Denney got CPep not once, not twice, buit thrice last week. I like this matchup.
Chris Hope – Along with Jermaine Phillips and Shaun Williams, Hope is another fine waiver wire pickup at DB. 19 solos in two weeks is better than some of your LB’s are doing, if you don’t believe me go take a peek.
Gut checks- David Thornton- hit and miss
Pacman Jones – Cpep has been wildly inaccurate, which could spell a big game for Pacman.
Stay away- Reynaldo Hill – questionable and has done nothing so far
Studs- Zach Thomas – start him even versus this pathetic run game
Jason Taylor- should go nuts versus KFC and the sorry Titans o line.
Strong starts- Renaldo Hill – KFC and/or Vince Young should continue to lob picks out there, Hill could snag one.
Gut checks- Kevin Carter – if he was going to perform, this would be the week.
Stay away- Travis Daniels – still questionable on the injury report, you don’t want to bother.
Washington @ Houston Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Lemar Marshall – is proving himself to be a top 10-15 LB. Keep him in your lineup.
Strong starts- Andre Carter – This should be his week to bust out. It is the Texans after all.
Sean Taylor/ Adam Archuleta- The Texans will have to rely on the pass, as the 3 headed RBBC wont be able to run on this d. The Skins DB’s should be busy.
Carlos Rogers – see above, and Rogers should be on AJ on Sunday.
Gut checks- Marcus Washington – streaky LB’s are not what I look for in IDP’s
Stay away- Shawn Springs – not back yet
Studs- Demeco Ryans – The most impressive rookie IDP of the lot, expect another solid game this week.
Strong starts- Morlon Greenwood – Making the plays, bump him up tostud status this week once it is 100% certain that Portis is a go.
Dunta Robinson- Will be busy chasing Santana Moss around the field. That is if Brunell can get the ball to go higher than Santana’s shoelaces.
Gut checks- Jason Babin – had a sack last week, but not a reliable option
Stay away- Phillipina Buchanon – She got her skirt dirty.
Baltimore @ Cleveland 1:05pm PST
Studs- Ray Lewis – Questionable on the injury report, so keep your eyes peeled for updates. I think he will play and will completely own Reuben Droughns.
Adalius Thomas – looks like the 4-3 suits him just fine
Terrell Suggs- Poor Charlie Frye. Suggs cannot be contained by the Browns line, and Suggs is hot hot hot right now, as is most of the Ravens defense.
Ed Reed- I know, I know, he dropped a zero on you last week. As someone who has owned Ed Reed in at least one of my IDP leagues every year of his career I can tell you it happens with him. But he has a great history against Cleveland (remember the 100+ yard pick return vs the Brownies 2 seasons ago?) so I would have a hard time benching him this week in most formats.
Strong starts- Bart Scott- has been very, very impressive so far. No reason to think he cant keep it up this week.
Gut checks- Dawan Landry- The rookie hit machine almost removed Alvis Whitted’s head from his torso last week. A sneaky pickup for those with bye week issues.
Stay away- Chris McCallister- Go ahead, laugh at that dummy (that doesn’t read The Hive) that picked McCallister up and started him after his week one TD. I’ll laugh with you!
Studs- Andra Davis- always shows up vs Jamal Lewis
Strong starts- Sean Jones – has been solid so far, and should have to contribute in run support this week.
Gut checks- D’Qwell Jackson – Starting to pick it up, but might not be ready to start for you yet.
Leigh Bodden- will matchup with Mason, but will the Ravens have to throw more than 10-15 times?
Stay away- Daylon McCutcheon- on I.R., done til 07.
NY Giants @ Seattle 1:15pm PST
Studs- Osi & Strahan – Walter Jones is mortal, and the other side of the Hawks line can be beaten easily by either of these two studs.
Antonio Pierce – Great game vs SA in 2005, start him without reservations.
Gibril Wilson- Will be very busy versus DJax and Branch.
Strong starts- Will Demps – Will be busy vs the run and the pass, see what Adrian Wilson did versus these guys last week.
Gut checks- Carlos Emmons – I think last week was a complete aberration, and I would not recommend Carlos in the IDP world.
Stay away- Lavar Arrington – Lets play spot the IDP newb. Here is a hint, it’s the guy with Lavar on his roster in your league.
Studs- Lofa Tatupu – Has picked up right where he left off last season. Studly.
Strong starts- Marcus Trufant/Kelly Herndon – The way Toomer and Burress are playing these two will have their hands full.
Julian Peterson- Two whole games played and no injuries for Julian Peterson. Amazing. Roll with it while you can.
Michael Boulware- Has been piling up the tackles, that should continue this week.
Gut checks- Leroy Hill – looked good last week, but not a solid starter.
Darryl Tapp- The rookie is coming on. Another bye week fill in guy that is probably available in almost all non dynasty/keeper IDP leagues.
Stay away- Rocky Bernard – stats so sad I dumped him in a DT required league. Ungood.
Philadelphia @ San Francisco Sunday 1:15pm PST
Studs- Jeremiah Trotter – will be tackling Frank Gore all day long
Michael Lewis – will be a force versus the suddenly effective Niners passing attack.
Strong starts- Matt McCoy – finally doing what he was expected to do coming out of college, will be busy with Gore as well.
Trent Cole/Darren Howard – I think these two will be out to prove the loss of Kearse will not affect this stellar defense, and Cole in particular is on fire right now.
Brian Dawkins- Smith hasn’t been throwing picks, but that doesn’t mean he wont.
Gut checks- Juqua Thomas – will get plenty of work with no Kearse, but I prefer Cole and Howard.
Stay away- Jevon Kearse – out for the year.
Strong starts- Derek Smith – solid if not spectacular MLB.
Walt Harris – ride the hot hand, plus he should be on Stallworth on Sunday.
Gut checks- Tony Parrish – rotten numbers through two games, but I think he busts out this week.
Stay away- Manny Lawson – He wont get to McNabb. Period.
St Louis @ Arizona Sunday 1:15pm PST
Studs- Will Witherspoon – Looking like he was worth the free agent loot. Will be in Edge’s grill all game long.
Strong starts- O.J. Atogwe – lots of waiver wire gems at DB this week, here is another. Second on the team in tackles to Witherspoon, he will have to deal with inept corners trying to contain Boldin and Fitz. Very solid start this week.
Leonard Little – could make Warner miserable with a couple of mean sacks.
Gut checks- Corey Chaveous – has done nothing, so I cant recommend him, but he could do something vs this offense.
Stay away- Pino Tinoisamoa – I don’t care if he is listed as questionable as opposed to doubtful or out, I’m not starting a guy with a dislocated elbow. End of story.
Studs- Adrian Wilson – He played where last week?? DE??? Awesome! Expect the sacks to continue as the best IDP DB in the biz gets even better.
Strong starts- Gerald Hayes – has been surprisingly solid, a waiver wire plug in if you need bye week LB help.
Antrel Rolle – will be on Torry Holt. Big day for Antrel.
Bert Berry – should already be penciled in at DL after the Rams gave up 6 sacks last week to San Fran.
Gut checks- Darnell Dockett – in a DT required league, sure, but I’d be hesitant to start him at DL unless you have no ends worth starting.
Stay away- Karlos Dansby – there are many angry IDP’ers out there who burned an early pick on this guy only to see him return last week from injury in a backup role. He will get his gig back, but now is not the time to start him.
Denver @ New England Sunday 5:15pm PST
Studs- Al Wilson – Dillon, Maroney and the Pats parade of tight ends and multiple tight end sets means a busy day for Wilson and
Ian Gold – I would be surprised if both of these guys didn’t get 8 solos or more this week.
Strong starts- Champ Bailey – He will shine in the national spotlight.
John Lynch – what gets past Wilson and Gold will go to Lynch
Gut checks- Darrent Williams – Brady barely throws to WR’s enough to make Bailey relevant, I’d be hesitant to start any other Broncos CB’s outside of Champ.
Stay away- D.J. Williams – I give up on this kid. Just not an IDP performer.
Studs- Rodney Harrison – Will be ringing Bells all night long.
Strong starts- Mike Vrabel – Streaky as can be, but is due for some silly receiving TD or some other nonsense.
Eugene Wilson – Newsflash! Plummer is an erratic QB! Film at 11!
Gut checks- Richard Seymour – Could make Plummer more miserable than a Jay Cutler loving heckler.
Tedi Bruschi – Coming back from injury, I’d hold off for now unless you have no other reasonable options. I don’t like players in my lineup who have just come off an injury. But then again I avoid all NE LB’s like the plague anyways.
Stay away- Junior Seau – Bruschi’s return will terminate Seau’s starting gig.
Atlanta @ New Orleans Monday Night Football 5:30pm PST
Studs- Deangelo Hall – Brees threw a ton last week, and with this Atlanta offense playing as well as they are I think it’s a safe bet that New Orleans will be playing from behind. I pity Brees and Horn owners this week, Hall is at the top of his game right now.
Keith Brookings – studly. Will be all over Deuce like white on rice.
Strong starts- Lawyer Milloy – should get a pile of tackles this week.
Demorrio Williams – only if Hartwell cant go. If he does go bump Demorrio down to gut check. This kid should be starting regardless in my opinion.
Gut checks- Pat Kerney – due for a big game, but has done nothing to indicate said big game is on the horizon.
Stay away- John Abraham – there is talk from Atlanta that Abraham wants to play this week, but I don’t think they will let him play with that tender groin of his. Why risk losing him for the rest of the season.
Edgerton Hartwell – now listed as questionable, but even if he plays I wouldn’t touch him til he shows you something. Next week, maybe, but not this week.
Studs- Will Smith – pretty much the only stud on this defense. A must start in DL required leagues.
Strong starts- Roman Harper/Josh Bullocks – The hard hitting rookie Harper and the ball hawk 2nd year man Bullocks have made quite an impression for the Saints thus far. I like Harper more this week, but both make solid starts versus the red hot Falcons offense.
Gut checks- All New Orleans LB’s – not a star in the bunch and they have not defined Danny Clark’s role at this point.
Stay away- Mike McKenzie – Falcons WR’s are just decorations, I doubt Mike will have much to do this week.
Well there you have it folks, another exciting week in the world of IDP is on the table, and I cannot wait for Sunday. Good luck to all of you in your leagues this week, and please visit The Hive again next Thursday!