The Hive – Week 5 edition
Welcome back to The Hive everyone! Hard to believe we are already a quarter of the way through the year, and much like on the offensive side the ball, the world of IDP’s has had its own share of surprises. If you had told me in July that 1/4 of the way through the season the #1 contender for defensive P.O.Y. would be from the Ravens, I wouldn’t have doubted that. If you had told me it was going to be Bart Scott, I would have had you sent to the padded room. And if you had told me that Troy Polamalu and Donnie Edwards would not be in the top 40 of their respective positions after the first month, I would have thought you to be equally insane. Now a lot of you are dealing with the bye week of such IDP superstars as Demeco Ryans, Keith Brooking, Deangelo Hall and Lofa Tatupu. While the waiver wire gems of the early part of the season like the aforementioned Scott, Chris Hope and Sean Jones are all probably gone off of your wire, there are some sneaky pickups that can help your team that we will cover. Let’s get to it!
Buffalo @ Chicago Sunday 10am PST
Studs- Angelo Crowell – has earned this spot over the first month of the year. An every week starter until further notice.
London Fletcher-Baker – will get his usual pile of tackles
Strong starts Terrance Mcgee – Clements is getting picked on less, so McGee should get some more work. Still an every week starter if you are getting return points too.
Donte Whitner – Proving his worth more by the week, if you are in a redraft league and need a spot starter for, say a Madieu Williams, you can likely find him on your wire.
Gut checks Nate Clements – The Bears have been airing it out more, so there is definitely the potential for a nice game, but teams seem to be throwing at him a little less this year. He has even hit the waiver wire in a couple of my IDP leagues.
Bills DL’s – Schobel is due, while Kelsey and Denney have had their moments. Definite potential here, but the tough call is who will get the sacks.
Stay away – Takeo Spikes – I don’t buy that he is healthy. He doesn’t look like the same guy on the field.
Studs Urlacher and Briggs – vs McGahee, who currently leads the league in rushing yards. This could be one of those just plain silly weeks for Urlacher, I would wager Losman is hiding under his bed right now wetting himself with the mere thought of what is going to happen to him this week.
Strong starts – Tommie Harris – 5 sacks so far, and the interior of the Bills line will likely be dominated by Harris. Another guy who is on a lot of wires right now.
Gut checks – Vasher and Tillman – I don’t know that the Bills will even be able to get the ball into the air. That being said I like Vasher better out of these two. I think the rest of the NFL has figured out you just don’t throw at Charles Tillman.
Ricky Manning – Hard to bet on him repeating last week considering he is playing a team with little WR depth.
Mark Anderson – a real sleeper here, this rookie has already started quietly piling up sacks, and with Ogunleye battling injuries he could produce.
Adewale Ogunleye – as I said above, O Gun is gimpy. As of right now he looks like he will give it a go, but I would be hesitant to start a hurt guy at a position like DL.
Stay away – Bears safeties – Mike Brown isn’t producing like he used to, and with the ridiculously good Bears front seven not a lot of RB’s make it to their level.
Cleveland @ Carolina Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Andra Davis – Mr Reliable, this guy gives you solid numbers week in and week out.
Sean Jones – the 3rd year safety has earned this designation, he is a top 10 DB in just about all formats.
Strong starts – Leigh Bodden – keep your eyes on the injury report, as of now he looks like a go. Bodden will be on Steve Smith. Fred Thomas was on Steve Smith last week and had 12 solo tackles. You figure the rest out.
Gut checks – Dqwell Jackson – seems to be finding his groove, but Andra is the big dog of Browns LB’s.
Stay away – Orpheous Roye – 2005 was an aberration apparently……..
Studs – Julius Peppers – the #1 defensive lineman in the game. Period. If you won him you love this guy right now, I know I do in all 3 of the leagues I own him in.
Strong starts – Thomas Davis and Chris Draft – The Browns are a fine matchup for most IDP DB’s, as they have a playmaking TE that needs to be chased around as well as a slow, between-the-tackles RB. Nice matchups here.
Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall – Gamble has already been an IDP stallion, and now the rookie Marshall has burst onto the scene. The Panthers have indicated that Ken Lucas is battling through some injuries that are rendering him ineffective, especially when he tries to tackle. Marshall may not let that job go.
Gut checks – none
Stay away – Mike Rucker – non existent
Shaun Williams – already ruled out this week. Ungood.
Detroit @ Minnesota Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Ernie Sims – Chester won’t know what hit him.
Strong starts – none
Gut checks – Shaun Rogers – has been playing well, but this Minnesota line is tough
James Hall – see above
Detroit DB’s – no.
Stay away – Boss Bailey – I actually had to start this jackass in a league this week. If I ever see Boss Bailey in the street I am going to slap him in the face for his performance the one time I start him. He is a turd sandwich. I hate him.
Studs – Antoine Winfield – The Lions will be throwing it all over the dome on Sunday, this is a fantastic matchup for Winfield.
Strong starts – Fred Smoot – starting DB’s vs a Mike Martz offense is usually a good thing. Smoot seems to be out of the doghouse now, and will likely be on the suddenly hot Mike Furrey.
Gut checks – Minnesota LB’s – Henderson and Harris have both put up solid games, but I wouldn’t trust either one on my fantasy team.
Pat Williams and Kevin Williams – the interior of the Lions line is penetrable, so one or both of these guys could make a solid fill in start for you.
Stay away – Minnesota DE’s – not a threat, even against this line.
Miami @ New England Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Zach Thomas – always
Jason Taylor – last week is why you don’t bench him. Nothing for 3 weeks then an EXPLOSION!
Strong starts – none
Gut checks – Channing Crowder – looking better than he did the first 2 weeks, but still not producing like many (including myself) thought he would. Don’t give up on him yet though, it’s a long season.
Vonnie Holiday – I know, I know, he is putting up numbers. But I’m not buying yet on this guy.
Stay away – Dolphins CB’s – Confucius say: if you don’t know which player Brady is going to throw to how can you know which player will tackle who catches the ball?
Studs – Rodney Harrison – Daunte is terrible, and whether he is tossing up ducks or Ronnie is running it, Mr Harrison will likely be there to inflict pain and suffering.
Strong starts – Ty Warren and Richard Seymour –you have to like these two against the pathetic Fins’ o line.
Gut checks – Tedi Bruschi – Don’t tell Madden or Theisman, but Tedi isn’t 100%. He fights through it, like the golden warrior god he is, but he still isn’t IDP relevant right now.
Stay away – Ellis Hobbs- would have been a good matchup between him and Chris Chambers, but a broken wrist threatens his P.T.
St Louis @ Green Bay Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Will Witherspoon – Earning that big FA paycheck he got from the Rams.
Strong starts –OJ Atogwe – should be a real busy day for all the Rams DB’s, as Favre will be airing it out. I like Atogwe the best out of the lot.
Leonard Little – Should be able to school the inexperienced Packers O line.
Fakhir Brown – Has been putting up decent numbers, and should be busy.
**10-6 update** Brown is now listed as questionable, if he cant start look for rookie Tye Hill to be picked on big time in this one.
Gut checks – Pino Tinoisamoa – his elbow dislocates when it gets hit. Ungood. Playing through it, and its not a bad matchup, but I’d be real leery of throwing a hurt guy into my starting lineup.
Stay away Tye Hill – The way Brown is playing this 1st round rookie is really going to have to shine in what little P.T. he is getting to get his chance.
Studs – Aaron Kampman – the Rams are having O line issues, and big Orlando Pace may sit again this week due to a concussion. Music to the Kampman owners’ ears.
Nick Barnett – Intriguing matchup between Barnett and SJax. Could be a huge tackle day for the inconsistent Barnett.
Nick Collins – Bulger will likely throw for over 300 yards again on these yahoos, so Collins should have lots of opportunities to make plays. He seems to improve weekly against the run as well.
Strong starts – AJ Hawk – up and down thus far, and is being outproduced in IDP by no less than 3 other rookie LB’s.
Gut checks – Charles Woodson – you would think he would be busy covering Holt, but just too inconsistent to get a hearty recommendation.
Stay away – Ahmad Carroll – burnt so bad on MNF he got cut the next day. Ouch. Wonder how fat your unemployment check is when you get fired by your NFL team?
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Ronde Barber – will be real busy.
Derrick Brooks – still putting up the numbers.
Strong starts – Jermaine Phillips – was killing it before the bye week, no reason to think it will stop.
Simeon Rice – should abuse the Saints line at least once or twice.
Gut checks – Shelton Quarles – if he could give me an indication he is 100% that would be one thing, but he also has the Uber-talented Barrett Ruud behind him. Proceed with caution.
Stay away – Will Allen – Phillips is the Tampa safety to own, make no mistake about it.
Studs – Will Smith – Kenyatta Walker is now out, and the Bucs O line wasn’t much before he got hurt. Smith could have a field day.
Strong starts – Charles Grant – as could Grant.
Scott Fujita – Unimpressive week last week after a real strong start, I think he will bounce back.
Gut checks – Bryan Young – a top 10-15 DL in a lot of formats, I am just not buying it. Yet.
Roman Harper – for a run stopping safety like Harper this is a nice matchup. He will take part in the 8 or 9 in the box and could get some stats out of it.
Stay away – Saints CB’s – I know, I know, a rookie QB and all. But Gradkowski is known for his accuracy, and I think this will be a week of super conservative WCO from Gruden. The youngster will not be chucking balls all over the field this week, so proceed with caution with the Saints CB’s. I do not see a repeat of Fred Thomas’ 12 tackle week, that’s for darn sure.
Tennessee @ Indianapolis Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Keith Bulluck – always does well vs Indy, and is a n every week stud regardless.
Chris Hope – has certainly earned his way here. I wouldn’t expect him to keep out producing most LB’s, but he is certainly looking like he will be in the top 5-10 DB’s this year when it is all said and done.
Strong starts – David Thornton – Could have a big game vs his old mates.
Gut checks – Kyle Vanden Bosch – Mannign just doesn’t get sacked a lot.
Stay away – Pacman Jones – all talk, no points.
Studs – Gary Brackett – will get his usual pile of solo tackles
Cato June – I LOVE this matchup this week. June is best against the pass and is tremendous at covering TE’s. Tennessee will be down big, they are starting a rookie QB and said rookie QB relies on his TE’s. A lot. June could be massive this week.
Robert Mathis – An every week starter in DL required leagues now.
Strong starts – Dwight Freeney – if there is an O line to get healthy against, this is it.
Gut checks – none
Stay away – Bob Sanders, Corey Simon, Marlin Jackson – none of the 3 look like they will play as of now, Simon and Sanders are already declared as out and its not looking good for Jackson either.
**10-6 update** Jackson now looks like he will play. Bump him to gut check, as it still concerns me to start a guy coming off an injury like that.
Washington @ New York Giants Sunday 10am PST
Studs – Lemar Marshall – will get out of his 2 week funk this week.
Strong starts – Carlos Rogers – will be very busy versus Plex and Toomer this week. I like this matchup.
Adam Archuleta – tackles and more tackles vs this group.
Gut checks – Marcus Washington – just too inconsistent for my taste
Sean Taylor – ditto
Stay away – Andre Carter – just isn’t very good.
Studs – Antonio Pierce – Will be after Portis all day long.
Gibril Wilson – Will be after Santana and Cooley all day long.
Strong starts – Osi and Strahan – these two have been highly ineffective thus far, but you still pretty much have to start these guys in DL required leagues, because the second you bench them it will be a 3 sack week.
Gut checks – Gerris Wilkinson – for those that need an emergency LB start this week due to byes or injuries, peep my man Gerris here. He dominated in the preseason, and if he plays well in place of the injured Carlos Emmons he may not let go of the job.
**10-6 update** Reports out of New York indicate that the Giants have done a 180 and Brandon Short will now start at WILL with Emmons out, not the rookie Wilkinson. Short would still be a gut check with decent upside going against Portis.
Stay away – Lavar Arrington – doesn’t scare (or impress) anyone anymore.
Kansas City @ Arizona Sunday 1:05pm PST
Studs – Derrick Johnson – showed what he is capable of last week. I think he follows it up with another great outing.
Strong starts – Jared Allen – will look to rebound this week.
Kawicka Mitchell – will look to put together back to back solid outings.
Gut checks – Ty Law – got his 1st pick as a Chief last week, does he have another in him for the rookie Matt Leinart?
Stay away – Pat Surtain – not a fantasy factor.
Studs – Adrian Wilson – great matchup for the stud DB
Gerald Hayes – has to be put here after the 1st four weeks. Hayes is a top 10 LB in almost all formats.
Strong starts – none
Gut checks – Antrel Rolle – raise your hand if you disagree with the following statement : The Chiefs could throw less than 10 times and still roll the Cards up. I just don’t think there will be enough to make Rolle relevant this week.
Stay away – Bert Berry – doing NOTHING, and looking terrible while doing it.
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Sunday 1:05pm PST
Studs – Vilma and Barton – both are producing, and while Vilma isn’t the top 3 LB most thought he would be thus far, I highly doubt you have the depth on your fantasy team to actually consider benching him. Barton is a comeback player of the year candidate at this point in my eyes.
Kerry Rhodes – an absolute stud.
Strong starts – Andre Dyson – has been putting up solid numbers, he really isn’t very good at coverage, which is money for IDP. His guy always is open and the Andre just mops up his own mess and gets you fantasy points. Gotta like that.
Gut checks – Justin Miller – has been performing OK even without the huge return. If your league rewards return yardage he deserves a little extra consideration.
Stay away – Jets DL’s. In their scheme they aren’t meant to get you points, they are meant to get in the way and allow Vilma and Barton score you points.
Studs – Mike Peterson – stick with him, a monster game is coming soon. Maybe even this week.
Strong starts – Rashean Mathis – on fire right now! Picks galore for this physical CB.
Gut checks – Darryl Smith- just not putting up big numbers next to Peterson.
Stay away – Jags DL’s – Hayward was the only one of this lot that had any fantasy value, and he is done for the year. Marcus Stroud is likely out this week as well, which hurts Henderson. Stay away.
**10-6 update** Stroud is now out for sure, and Marcellus Wiley is out as well.
Oakland @ San Francisco Sunday 1:05pm PST
Studs – Kirk Morrison – My number one reason to still watch my team.
Thomas Howard – My number two reason to still watch my team.
Strong starts – Derrick Burgess – finally did something last week, I think it will continue here.
Gut checks – Stuart Schweigart – A borderline strong start here, Adam Archuleta Lite should be busy chasing red and gold around the field.
Stay away – Michael Huff – will be an IDP stud one day. That day is not today.
Studs – none.
Strong starts – Derek Smith – really the only 49er IDP I would give serious consideration to. The Raiders O might not be on the field much, but when they are I expect lots of Lamont Jordan. This should result in a nice tackle day for Smith.
Gut checks – Shawnte Spencer and Tony Parrish – both of these guys could be huge, but I have a hard time getting excited about DB’s going against a passing “attack” that couldn’t cross the 70 yard plateau last week.
Stay away – 49er D lineman –nothing to see here. Move along.
Dallas @ Philadelphia Sunday 1:15pm PST
Studs – Bradie James – those of you who have been tuning into The Hive know I like James a lot, and he rewarded all of his owners with a sick game last week. Should be a fixture in Big D for many many moons.
Roy Williams – remember what he did to McNabb last year. Don’t be expecting another pick return for a TD, but Roy should have a studly game nonetheless.
Strong starts – Terrance Newman – Will be all over Reggie Brown and may get in on the “try and tackle LJ Smith” party as well.
Gut checks – Demarcus Ware – just not getting the sacks as expected. I wouldn’t expect much, as the only sack given up by the Eagles line on MNF this week was actually given up by the aforementioned LJ Smith. Don’t expect much here.
Stay away – Greg Ellis – no longer a fantasy producer.
Studs – Dawkins and Lewis – 2 cans of whoopazz on deck for T.O. and Glenn. Want some get some bad enough take some!
Jeremiah Trotter – will be busy with JJ and maybe Barber as well.
Strong starts – Matt McCoy – Solid weeks 3 of the last 4, this could be a real nice week for him.
Trent Cole – can he sack the human statue? My money says yes.
Gut checks – Darren Howard – not producing as I had hoped out of Kearse’s spot. But the potential is definitely there.
Stay away – Dhani Jones – just the fact that they took the time on MNF to discuss this tard and his bowties made me throw up in my mouth. Dhani Jones needs to be thrown off a cliff.
Pittsburgh @ San Diego Sunday 5:15pm PST
Studs – James Farrior – vs Ladanian. You saw what Ray Ray, Scott and Thomas did vs BLT last week right? Of course you did.
Strong starts – Larry Foote and Clark Haggans – did I mention they face this Tomlinson cat? Neither one is an every week guy like Farrior, but I sure like them both this week. Marty ball is in full effect.
Troy Polamalu – claims he is feeling better after the bye week. Lets see if he can earn his way back into stud status by showing me he is healthy. Troy just hasn’t been his dominating self yet this season.
Gut checks – Joey Porter – the ultimate gut check player. 1 point or 20? Your magic 8 ball has better odds of getting this right than I do!
Ike Taylor – not even Ike Turner could make Marty air it out.
Stay away – Steelers DL’s – worthless as ever.
Studs – Shawne Merriman – will be looking to blow up on the national stage.
**10-6 update** Merriman is now listed as questionable with an achillies issue. Reports out of San Diego indicate he will play, but I would bump him down to strong start instead of stud this week, the injury does cast a shadow of doubt.
Strong starts – Donnie Edwards – the biggest bust of all LB’s at this point, Donnie finally showed some signs of life last week. He has started slow before and still ended up top 10, keep that in mind if someone if your league dropped him.
Gut checks – Chargers DB’s – will Ben throw it either? Will Cowher and Marty call any passing plays to WR’s at all?? Time will tell, but I wouldn’t start any of this lot except maybe McCree.
Luis Castillo – Steelers have a heck of an O line, but this kid is coming into his own.
Stay away – Terrence Kiel – is in jail. Tip of the day: don’t mail drugs to Texas. Kinda makes the DEA mad.
**10-6 update** Apparently Marty is more concerned with winning that the police blotter, Kiel is back at practice and will start this week and every week thereafter til until he gets tossed in the slammer. Kiel is a gut check this week.
Baltimore @ Denver Monday Night 5:30pm PST
Studs – Bart Flippin Scott!!! Holy moly!!! Bart Scott is the #1 LB in every format I play in. Whodathunkit?? I think he will be huge again this week vs Satanahan and the Donkeys running game.
Ray Ray –loves the bright lights of MNF, still da man!
Adalius Thomas – basically, the Ravens LB’s are good.
Strong starts – Ed Reed – started to come around a bit last week, and Plummer has been known to throw a pick or two in his day.
Gut checks – Terrell Suggs – gave it a go last week, but the hammy didn’t allow him to finish. I would sit him this week regardless of whether or not he “attempts” to play. Suggs should rest and get better so this doesn’t linger all season.
**10-6 update** Suggs says he will “definitely” play this week, but he started last week and came out early when the hammy flared up. Still a big fat gut check in my eyes, and I personally would not start him this week. I’d rather start a guy with a lower ceiling that i am 100% certain will play the whole game than start a studly gimp who might not make it out of the 1st half.
Stay away – Chris McCallister- even Plummer isn’t dumb enough to throw at McCallister. Right?
Studs – Al Wilson – should have a big game vs Fat Jamal and Heap.
Strong starts – Ian Gold – ditto
John Lynch – the old man should get plenty of tackles
Gut checks – DJ Williams – had a huge game right before the bye, is his all world talent finally going to translate into on field production? A gut check for sure, but definitely a guy to keep your eyes on in the coming weeks.
Darrent Williams & Champ Bailey – They say the stars come out on Monday Night football, and Champ is due for a big game. I am not comfortable calling him a strong start though after his week 3 performance.
Stay away – Bronco’s DL’s – no one worth starting in this group.
Well that’s about it IDP fanatics, I hope you found this week’s edition of The Hive to be useful and informative. Good luck in all your IDP matchups this week!!