The Hive – Week 4 edition
Welcome back to The Hive everyone, I hope you all had a productive week 3 in your IDP leagues, I know I did! We have some IDP studs on bye weeks in week 4, so hopefully this column will assist you in finding a waiver wire gem to replace a guy like Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, James Farrior, Antonio Pierce or Gibril Wilson for the week. As always the players are divided into studs, strong starts, gut checks and the dreaded stay away list. Let’s get right to it!
Arizona_@_Atlanta Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Adrian Wilson – The baddest safety in the land vs the best rushing attack in football. Fantasy gold right here.
Gerald Hayes – Has been playing well enough to earn his way into this spot. Could have a 10+ tackle day vs this group.
Strong Starts – Bert Berry – Vick is known to take plenty of sacks as he tries to get out of trouble; I think Berry gets on his yearly roll this week. Only a strong start based on a lack of production thus far.
Gut checks – Antrel Rolle – I don’t think Vick will go the WR’s enough to keep him busy.
Stay away – Karlos Dansby – He must not be 100% to not be getting more reps. We aren’t talking about the Steelers or Ravens LB’s here, the Cards have a thin group at the position.
Studs – Keith Brooking – always solid
Deangelo Hall – Will be super busy with Fitz and Boldin
Strong starts – Lawyer Milloy – What Hall doesn’t bring down in the passing game Milloy likely will.
Gut checks – John Abraham – as of right now the word is Abraham will give it a go. I am not fond of starting players who are coming off an injury, but if he is healthy a matchup versus a sorry o line and a QB with fumbling problems is particularly appealing. I am glad I don’t own Abraham right now, this is a tough call.
Michael Boley – Piling up the tackles the last 2 weeks. Is it an aberration? My gut says he will continue to produce, but he needs to do it for another couple weeks to get moved above.
Demorrio Williams – Worthless if Hartwell can go, solid as can be if Hartwell cant go. Keep tabs on the injury report.
Stay away – Edgerton Hartwell – I’ll believe he is playing when I see he is playing.
Dallas @ Tennessee Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Roy Williams – Vs this putrid offense Roy should be huge
Bradie James – Will be busy vs the run early and in coverage late
Strong starts – Demarcus Ware – If he is going to have a big game, this is the week.
Terrance Newman – The Titans will be down big all day and will have to pass. Should be on Drew Bennett all day.
Gut checks – Akin Ayodele – I like James better out of the 2 ILB’s but Akin might be a good start if you are in a pinch.
Pat Watkins – The NBA small forward sized Watkins is playing well and could make a name for himself in IDP very soon
Stay away – Greg Ellis – Was an IDP stud on the DL a few years back, now worthless.
Studs – Keith Bulluck – Massive day for the #1 LB in fantasy.
Kyle Vanden Bosch – Drew Bledsoe will be sacked twice during pregame warm-ups, get Vanden Bosch in your lineup
Chris Hope – Gets bumped up after another solid game. If your IDP league is extremely generous with the points for turnovers you can consider him just a strong start, but if your league is tackle heavy Hope deserves this spot.
Strong starts – David Thornton – will be on the field a lot
Gut checks – Pacman Jones – if T.O. is out and Pacman gets matched up with Glenn he should be OK, and if T.O. plays bump Jones to strong start.
Stay away – Peter Sirmon – The former Duck puts up sorry numbers for a MLB on a bad team.
Indianapolis @ New York Jets Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Robert Mathis – a must start in DL required formats this week
Strong starts – Gary Brackett – solid if not spectacular numbers, the lack of a running attack from the Jets makes me a little more hesitant than normal with him.
Marlin Jackson – Doesn’t matter where they put him on the field, is simply out playing all the other DB’s. With Harper gimpy again I really like this matchup.
Cato June – Could be big against the pass this week.
Gut checks – Dwight Freeney – coming off injury, but is facing a rookie LT. Unfortunately for Freeney the rookie LT is much better at pass blocking than run blocking, that combined with his injury issues makes me want to avoid him this week.
Bob Sanders – up in the air as to whether or not he is playing, keep your eyes on the injury report.
Stay away – Mike Doss – last week was a product of Doss being out, Doss is not an IDP factor most weeks.
Studs – Kerry Rhodes – emerging as a top 5 IDP DB. A must start.
Jonathan Vilma – Finds a way to put up the points every week.
Strong starts – Andre Dyson and David Barrett – starting CB’s vs the Colts passing attack is never a bad idea.
Eric Barton – Looking good so far
Gut checks – none
Stay away – Victor Hobson – #1 rule of IDP is never pick up scrubs who score fluke TD’s and have no other solid stats.
Jets DL’s – Manning doesn’t get sacked and this group doesn’t get a lot of sacks. Bad combo.
Miami @ Houston Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Zach Thomas – will slap Fat Ron Dayne so hard he wont stop jiggling til Tuesday.
Jason Taylor – I know he has been disappointing thus far, but I think he will bust out against a Texans line that is still pretty sorry.
Strong starts – None
Gut checks- Channing Crowder – Outside of Donnie Edwards there are few LB’s who are more disappointing at this early juncture than young Mr. Crowder. I am still hopeful that he can become an IDP stud at some point, but for now you may want to consider other options, especially against a Texans team that cant run the ball enough to make him relevant in addition to Zach.
Kevin Carter – Yeah it’s the Texans, but Carter’s best days are behind him. A possibility if you own, say, Simeon Rice and are desperate or in a real deep league though.
Stay away – The rest of the Dolphins IDP’s. Nothing to see here.
Studs – Demeco Ryans – the kid just keeps producing. And vs Ronnie Brown? I’d say 10 tackles easy.
Morlon Greenwood – and another 8 or so for Morlon
Dunta Robinson – just when you thought he was benchable, Dunta bust out a huge game in week 3. Should be on Chambers, and even if he isn’t he is the only member of the Texans secondary that can bring a ball carrier to the ground.
Strong starts – None
Gut checks – Anthony Weaver – Daunte gets sacked more than my drug addled cousin Lou, but the Texans cant put pressure on the QB. I’d bet on Weaver getting one before I bet on…..
Stay away – Mario Williams – bench him til he does something. For your own sanity. In fact, I’d cut him in all non keeper/dynasty leagues.
Minnesota @ Buffalo Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Antoine Winfield – Vs Losman? Oh yes. Yes please.
Strong starts – Napoleon Harris – nice bye week filler here vs McGahee. Should be on your wire unless you are in a super deep league.
Gut checks –Fred Smoot – too up and down for my taste, and his mysterious semi-benching makes me even more leery of Smoot.
Stay away –Pat Williams – If you are in a DT required league look elsewhere, the big man is gimpy
Studs – Angelo Crowell – the antithesis of Channing Crowder. This young stud keeps making play after play.
Terrance McGee – his return points are a nice bonus in a lot of formats, and he is due for one of his ridiculous games.
London Fletcher-Baker – Da man. Just keeps playing well and piling up the tackles.
Strong starts – Nate Clements – Teams are starting to throw at McGee a little more and Clements a little less. I think there is enough work for both of them this week.
Donte Whitner – The rook is getting it together, I like him this week
Chris Kelsey – In a DL required league this guy has been super hot and could be on your wire. Another Simeon Rice/Osi/Strahan fill in candidate.
Gut checks – Aaron Schobel – At this point I would probably bench him and see if he warms up if you have the roster capacity to be patient. This kid is a stud, I still think he will get it rolling. Maybe not this week though.
Ko Simpson – Potential for a decent game in run support vs Chester, but still a gut check.
Stay away – Takeo Spikes – Don’t bother til he makes it through a game or two.
New Orleans @ Carolina Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Will Smith – Should get a sack and a handful of tackles.
Strong starts – Scott Fujita – Is hot right now, and could be on your wire. A real nice bye week replacement LB.
Roman Harper/Josh Bullocks – Harper will be busy trying to contain the Carolina run game and Bullocks will be dealing with Steve Smith and Keyshawn after they get past the corners. Both should be busy.
Fred Thomas – will be covering Steve Smith. Borderline stud week for this guy. Great Ronde Barber/Champ Bailey fill in for CB required leagues.
Gut checks – Brian Young – Has been playing well, but I wouldn’t touch him as far as IDP’s go.
Charles Grant – Hasn’t done much yet. You can either look at that like he is due, or you can look at it as a trend. I think he can get a sack this week, and could be on your wire in DL required leagues due to his slow start.
Stay away – The rest of the New Orleans D. If they aren’t listed here, there is a reason.
Studs – Julius Peppers – Has been on a tear the last 2 weeks. Ride him.
Strong starts – Chris Draft and Thomas Davis – Both are sneaky starts this week vs Deuce and Reggie. I think they can both do 6-8 tackles easy, very solid bye week filler numbers.
Chris Gamble – A pick last week, should get tackles even if he doesn’t repeat that feat.
Gut checks –Mike Rucker – Make no mistake, the Saints still have a shaky line. Rucker has done nothing to warrant a fantasy start thus far, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him break out of his funk this week
Stay away – Shaun Williams – was killing it before he got hurt, the Panthers really need him back.
DONE Morgan. `Nuff said.
San Diego @ Baltimore Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Shawne Merriman – Will look to cheap shot McNair a few times, good bet for a sack.
Strong starts – Donnie Edwards – as much as it pains me to say it, Donnie Edwards has not played well enough to stay in the stud category. I am hopeful he will rebound this week, but man has he ever been a disappointment to the people that took him expecting top 5 production.
Marlon McCree – Will be even busier than normal with no Kiel around.
Luis Castillo – a nice bye week filler in DL required leagues.
Gut checks – Clinton Hart – will get the chance to show the coaches what he can do with Kiel out due to his little run in with the DEA and Jue out with an injury.
Stay away – Randall Godfrey – still old, still sucks.
Studs – Ray Ray – Vs LT! WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Bart Scott – Oh man is it a good week to own Ravens LB’s………
Adalius Thomas – Did I mention they play vs Ladanian?
Strong starts – Dawan Landry – This rookie hitting machine is probably on your wire, and he could be a fine bye week filler at DB. Vs a run oriented attack like San Diego I like his chances this week.
Gut checks – It makes me sick to type this. A lot of you know I have manlove for Ed Reed. I won a huge game back in the day on his 106 yard INT return for TD vs the Browns on Sunday Night Football. I was down 10 and Ed won me the game. That being said we are talking about right now and he is doing NOTHING outside of a week one pick. I’m going to keep starting him, because I am a stubborn Irishman and apparently a glutton for punishment. But I cant tell you to start him until he shows some of the old Ed Reed.
Stay away – Chris McCallister – Laugh again at the guy who picked him up after the week one TD and then cut him after week 3. Good times.
Terrell Suggs – Speed rusher + bad hammy + team that doesn’t throw a lot. You figure it out.
San Francisco @ Kansas City Sunday 10am PST
Studs – none. There hasn’t been a Frank Gore or Antonio Bryant as far as the Niners IDP’s are concerned.
Strong starts – Derek Smith – should have a solid day vs LJ.
Gut checks – Shawnte Spencer – If Kennison gets hot could have a good game.
Tony Parrish – Yawn.
Stay away – the rest of the Niners IDP’s
Studs- Jared Allen – if someone happened to cut him because of his bye last week go get him NOW. Seriously. It happened in my work league and I have Peppers and Allen now. Sweetness. Allen will manhandle the Niners o line, country boy style.
Derrick Johnson – Nolan is going to call for the run even if they are down. With the way Gore is playing you have to like that combo for LB’s going against the San Fran offense.
Strong starts – Kawicka Mitchell – lets see if the bye followed by a big helping of Frank Gore gets Mitchell out of his funk. I think it will.
Gut checks – Sammy Knight – could have a good game, might vanish
Greg Wesley – same deal for Wesley. Smith still has zero picks through 3 weeks so Wesley will have to rack up tackles to be relevant.
Stay away – Tamba Hali – I watched them play Denver and on more than one occasion Hali looked like he didn’t know what the heck he was doing out there. Cut him in redraft leagues.
Detroit @ St Louis Sunday 1:05pm PST
Studs – Ernie Sims – last week might have sucked a little for you if your league doesn’t reward assists, but keep Sims active in all formats vs SJax.
Strong starts – Dre Bly and Fernando Bryant – will be getting burnt repeatedly all day long. Lots of tackles between these two on Sunday.
Gut checks – Boss Bailey – Here is an opportunity for a nice game out of Boss. He will then get hurt the following week after you pick him up and start him. But still a bye week filler possibility vs Jackson.
Shaun Rogers – will be up and down, but what d lineman isn’t?
Stay away – Terrance Holt – Not the Holt to be playing in Holt Bowl 06. May even get the chance to get posterized by big brother.
Studs – Will Witherspoon – Meh last week, will be back to his week 1 & 2 numbers this week
Strong starts – O.J. Atogwe – 3 straight solid, if not spectacular games. A great bye week candidate at DB vs Martz’ offense.
Leonard Little – I think Kitna is trying to preserve his completion percentage by taking more sacks. It’s the opposite of what Brad Johnson does. Zany!
Gut checks – St Louis CB’s – could be in for a big game, but picking which one is next to impossible. The lack of stats for Tye Hill in particular is disappointing.
Stay away – Anthony Hargrove – Dummy. Way to lose your starting gig over a night out at the casino with your idiot friends.
Cleveland @ Oakland Sunday 1:15pm PST
Studs –Andra Davis – The Raiders will try to get Lamont rolling again, so Davis will have a his usual studly performance
Strong starts DQ’well Jackson – Wants to join Ryans, Sims and Howard among the IDP stud rookie LB’s.
Sean Jones – I’m still stunned he beat our Pool, but Jones is certainly making the most of it.
Leigh Bodden – will be on Moss
Gut checks – Willie McGinest – Father Time might actually get a sack vs this lot.
Stay away – Gary Baxter – no way, even against the Raiders I wouldn’t start a DB coming off an injury.
Studs – Thomas Howard/Kirk Morrison – Both are officially studs, start them at will.
Strong starts – Derrick Burgess – off to a slow start, but I’d trot him out this week.
Stuart Schweigart – always good for some tackles
Gut checks – Michael Huff – might be real busy with Kellen Winslow Jr, but hasn’t done enough to warrant a start at this point.
Stay away Raiders CB’s, one of them will be getting torched by Braylon Edwards, and your league probably doesn’t give you points unless they actually tackle him.
Jacksonville @ Washington Sunday 1:15pm PST
Studs – Mike Peterson – hasn’t been himself coming off that knee injury, but he will come around.
Strong starts – Darryl Smith – Portis ensures enough tackles for all.
Donovan Darius – and Portis gets to the 2nd level plenty for Darius to get in on the fun as well.
Gut checks – Rashean Mathis/Brian Williams – who gets Santana? Will the Skins even throw? I wouldn’t start either of these guys this week. Mathis in a pinch because its fun to start guys that look like Predator.
Stay away – John Henderson – this is why you don’t draft DT’s early. Ever.
Studs – Lemar Marshall – if ya don’t know, now ya know!
Strong starts – Sean Taylor/ Adam Archuleta – These 2 are both due for silly good games, I think vs the Jags run game and the sometimes erratic Leftwich is a fine opportunity for that to occur.
Gut checks- Carlos Rogers – I don’t know if the Jags will throw to the WR’s enough to make him relevant.
Stay away – Andre Carter -Change of location apparently does not affect your level of suckitude.
New England @ Cincinnati Sunday 4:15pm PST
Studs – Rodney Harrison – you Harrison owners just send CJ a thank you note right now for talking smack about #37.
Strong starts – Asante Samuel – and Samuel is in store for a busy day too, look for him to be fired up after CJ woofed about him too.
Tedi Bruschi – This guy is due for a big game.
Mike Vrabel – and he doesn’t have any TD catches yet!
Eugene Wilson – Palmer will be chucking the rock.
Gut checks – Richard Seymour/Ty Warren – Who knows who will get the points here? The New England D line is not a source of IDP goodness most weeks.
Stay away – Junior Seau – getting assists, but still old and slow.
Studs – Madieu Williams – will be real busy vs Brady and his rotation of pass catchers.
Strong starts – Landon Johnson – is now a starter for the rest of the year thanks to Odell Thurman being a complete moron. A superb waiver wire scoop this week, a lot of people had stayed away due to Odell’s impending return. No worries there anymore!
Brian Simmons – will be busy vs Dillon or Maroney or both.
Gut checks – Deltha O’Neal – just hast been himself.
Justin Smith – 5 layers of Visa protection says Smith’s recent hot streak ends this week.
Stay away – Odell Thurman – this is the last time I discuss this turd sandwich in The Hive til 07. What a waste of sperm and an egg this guy is. Get a clue. Can you tell I am a bitter Odell dynasty owner? Didn’t think so. I HATE YOU ODELL!! Oh, sorry. My bad.
Seattle @ Chicago Sunday 5:15pm PST
Studs – Lofa Tatupu – I love this matchup. Tatupu will be huge!
Strong starts- Ken Hamlin/Michael Boulware – both are playing lights out football right now. I think both will have really good games, and Hamlin might still be on your wire.
Gut checks – Julian Peterson – healthy, but doing the up and down numbers thing that used to drive his owners nutty in San Fran. Still very startable, but a gut check due to inconsistency.
Stay away – Kelly Herndon /Marcus Trufant – I don’t see the Bears passing a ton this week.
Studs – Urlacher/Briggs – Their owners were likely drooling over this matchup vs SA, but these 2 are must starts even if they bring Curt Warner off the car lot to run the ball.
Charles Tillman – will be on DJax and looking to shine in prime time.
Strong starts – Adewale Ogunleye – finally gave his owners something to smile about last week. Has a good shot to repeat versus a Seattle team that figures to attempt to pass a ton.
Gut checks – Danieal Manning – I think his coverage skills make him startable this week versus the 4 wide sets the Hawks used last week.
Nathan Vasher – too streaky.
Tommie Harris – almost playing well enough to think about him in DL required leagues and not just DT required leagues. Almost.
Stay away – Mike Brown and Chris Harris – send them both to the CFL and clone Manning!
Green Bay @ Philadelphia Monday night 5:30pm PST
Studs A.J. Hawk – lets see if he can catch westy
Nick Collins- a dream matchup for the young stud safety
Aaron Kampman – finally had a down week in week 3, but such is the life of the IDP DL. I think he gets back into the sack column this week on MNF, and Kampman has pretty much earned an every week start ticket in DL required leagues.
Strong starts – Marquand Manuel – don’t count on any more TD’s, but should be busy. At least in the 1st half before the Eagles get to 50 points and stop throwing.
Gut checks – Nick Barnett – he will drive you insane. You probably have to start him if you own him, and if you do own him I’m sure I don’t have to tell you he is just as likely to get you 2 points as he is to get you 20.
Stay away – Al Harris/Charles Woodson – kind of like the Raiders corners this week, these 2 arent going to get points for letting Reggie Brown and Westy run past them into the end zone. Woodson is a gut check in CB required leagues only.
Studs – Brian Dawkins/Michael Lewis – Two things are certain about MNF this week. Theisman will not shut up about Brett Favre and the Packers will be playing from behind. Dawkins and Lewis will be huge. Keep an eye on the injury reports to see if Lewis’ thigh keeps him out, but I don’t think it will.
Jeremiah Trotter – another old man who just keeps getting it done.
Strong starts – Trent Cole/Darren Howard – Cole is muy caliente right now, ride him if you have him. And Howards move to Kearses old spot seems to have helped, he finally got a sack last week. I think they both get to Favre this week.
Gut checks –Shawn Barber- I still don’t trust this guy.
Mike Patterson – I started this guy last week in a DT required league, so I had to throw out some props. That being said, you really shouldn’t be starting Patterson unless it is DT required.
Stay away – Rod Hood – gimpy
Well that’s about it for your week 4 edition of The Hive. May you all dominate your IDP matchups this week!