The first week of byes are behind us and hopefully last week's waiver wire pickups helped supplement your fantasy team with enough fantasy points to keep you in the thick of the championship race.
Before we get to the waiver wire writeups for this week however, let's take a brief moment to cover off on some important IDP notes from week 5:
Mario Williams tore his pectoral muscle and is done for the rest of the season. He wasn't doing much as a LB anyway, but for those in leagues that classified Williams as a DL, it presents a decent sized blow to a position that is by far the thinnest of all the positions on the defensive fantasy side of the ball.
Barrett Ruud (7-3-0) and Paul Posluszny (6-3-0) both had another solid outing. I wouldn't overreact too strongly to their strong performances, however. Both players received above average tackle opportunity once again and I doubt their ability to put up LB2+ numbers against teams that aren't strong matchups. In other words, both players who were previously considered matchup independent LB1s have now become matchup dependent LB2s.
Justin Tuck sat out the Giants week 5 game against the Seahawks as his neck injury is still giving him serious problems. This is the second straight game he's missed due to this injury and he will likely not return until after the team's week 7 bye at the earliest. This type of injury tends to affect players all season and I don't feel confident that Tuck will play up to his ability the rest of the season. If you have room on your bench, move him there. Otherwise, in shallower leagues, you may have to dump him depending on how thin your league's waiver wire is at the position.
Brandon Browner had another nice fantasy day with 6 solo tackles and INT which he returned to the house. He's on bye this week, but could be a sneaky pickup come week 7 for those in CB-required leagues.
Panthers linebacker Omar Gaither is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain. This is good news for Jason Williams owners as he will now be inserted back into the starting lineup on Carolina's weak side. If Thomas Williams is inactive again this Sunday, J. Williams becomes a solid LB3 play against the Falcons.
The Indianapolis scorekeeper awarded a ridiculous 84 assists last week in the Colts vs. Chiefs game. Moral of the story: in leagues that reward for assists, start the majority of your IDPs if they are playing in Indianapolis that week.
With last week's notes out of the way, let's move on to the Guru's waiver wire selections for this week.
LDE Brian Robison (MIN) - Robison has made my waiver wire list in previous weeks this season and was also on my preseason sleeper list. He seems to have hit his stride as he's had 4 sacks in his last 3 games. As long as Jared Allen continues to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines, Robison will see one-on-one matchups. He gets the Bears this week and goes up against pathetic excuse for a right tackle, Frank Omiyale. He's a must start DL1/2.
RDE Richard Seymour (OAK) - Seymour was moved to DE last week to help in run support as the Raiders were a bit thin at the position with Matt Shaughnessy still out with a shoulder injury. Seymour had two sacks against Matt Schaub and the Texans to up his season total to 4.5. He's on pace for a career year from a sack perspective. Combine this with the fact that Seymour is an above-average run defender and you have a solid DL3 at a position that is extremely thin from a fantasy perspective.
RDE Jeremy Mincey (JAX) - Mincey is a player than many IDP writers have been expecting to break out for some time now. With Aaron Kampman still struggling to return from ACL surgery, Mincey has gotten a good amount of playing time and was finally able to capitalize on it last week with 5 solo tackles and a sack. He's been getting better with each week, but still hasn't done enough to firmly supplant himself as anything more than a DL4 for the rest of the season. However, this week he draws the Steelers which is a great matchup and therefore makes for a good fill-in option as a DL3.
LDE Greg Hardy (CAR) - Hardy has been mentioned in this article multiple times already this season. However, he's still not owned in a lot of leagues and he has a great matchup this week against the Falcons. If he's on your roster, start him as a high upside DL2. If he's not on your roster and available on the waiver wire, he's worth serious consideration as a pickup to fill one of your starting DL spots this week and possibly for the rest of the season.
SILB James Farrior (PIT) - This 15 year veteran has been a fantasy staple for IDP owners since entering the league in 1997. The emergence of Lawrence Timmons at WILB has put a substantial dent in his production over the last year, however. The injury to James Harrison has forced Timmons to move outside with veteran Larry Foote moving inside next to Farrior. This move has obviously benefited Farrior as he put up 13 total tackles last week (9 solo) in the Steelers thrashing of the Titans. As long as Harrison is out, Farrior remains a solid LB3+ with upside as an every down linebacker. He's a very nice start next week against a run-heavy Jacksonville offense that has given up a generous amount of fantasy points to opposing linebackers.
WILB Gary Guyton (NE) - I recommended Guyton last week as a low-end LB3 as he would be the linebacker who would receive the most significant bump in fantasy value with Jerod Mayo out of the lineup. He didn't put up overwhelming numbers against the Jets last week, but he was at the top of the team box score with 9 total tackles (4 solos). Those numbers are above average against a team like the Jets who are struggling to control the time of possession on the offensive side of the ball. He gets one of the best matchups for fantasy linebackers in the Dallas Cowboys next week. Consider him a solid LB3 start.
MLB Jamar Chaney (PHI) - During the last few games of 2010, Chaney took over the MLB responsibilities for Stewart Bradley and put up monster LB1-type numbers. With this said, many thought he was the next coming of David Hawthorne. He started off a bit slow this season as he was stuck on the less productive weak side of the defense, however since being moved back to MLB two weeks ago, Chaney has put up 16 total tackles. Teams are beginning to run A LOT against the Eagles which should give Chaney a good amount of opportunity. He's a safe LB3 option with LB2 upside moving forward.
SLB Daryl Smith (JAX) - Smith has been Jacksonville's most consistent fantasy option so far this season. He's become one of the more productive strong side fantasy linebackers over the couple of seasons and his numbers don't seem to be effected by the additions of linebackers Paul Posluszny and Clint Session. Smith's fantasy ceiling is limited, but he's a safe, reliable option for IDP owners looking for steady production out of their third linebacker. Additionally, he has a very favorable upcoming schedule with his next three opponents being the Steelers, Ravens, and Texans.
ROLB Aldon Smith (SF) - The 49ers used their 7th overall pick in this year's draft on Smith and he is beginning to pay dividends for them as he has registered 3.5 sacks in his last two games as a situational pass rusher. For those in big play, dynasty leagues, Smith is a must grab. He has DeMarcus Ware-type of potential and will likely become an LB1 in leagues that reward heavily for sacks. He's not currently receiving enough playing time to start in balanced or tackle-heavy redraft leagues, however.
FS Nate Allen (PHI) - It's taken Allen some time to fully recover from his knee injury and get back to playing at full game speed. However, he seemed to turn the corner last week against the Bills as he had 13 total tackles (10 solos). Don't expect huge tackle numbers from Allen every week, but playing behind a leaky front seven will benefit Allen in that department and he should have decent big play upside moving forward. For right now, he's a DB4 with upside that could leap him up a few tiers within the next couple of weeks.
SS Charlie Peprah (GB) - The season-ending injury to Nick Collins has opened the door for Peprah to come in and get substantial playing time at the safety position in Green Bay. He's had a pick in each of his first two weeks as a starter and has posted 11 total tackles during that time frame as well. Morgan Burnett is still the safety to own in Cheese City, but Peprah is making a case to be rostered as a low-end DB3 in balanced or big-play scoring systems.
LCB Captain Munnerlyn (CAR) - Munnerlyn has been on my watch list since preseason and although he's put up numbers below what I was expecting, he's still been productive at times this season. He had 6 solo tackles and a sack last week against the Saints and has the pleasure of covering the dynamic WR duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones this week. I'm expecting at least 6-7 solo tackles.
RCB Terence Newman - Newman has been out for the majority of the season while nursing an injury. He posted a 4-1-0 statline in week 4 against the Lions and draws Wes Welker and the Patriots this week. There have been rumblings in Dallas that Newman may be replaced by Orlando Scandrick as the starting corner opposite Mike Jenkins, so that is a situation that must be monitored. However, if Newman does start and has the responsibility of covering Welker, he's a very nice one week, waiver wire grab as he's bound to rack up a good amount of tackles chasing Wes around all day.
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Last Updated: October 11, 2011