Now that New York Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis is finished for the year because of a torn ACL, Gang Green is looking for help to try and shut down opposing passing games. For that reason, they have inexplicably turned to running back Joe McKnight, with coach Rex Ryan saying McKnight was "traded to the defense."
Actually it's probably not so crazy for a team that regularly lines up its backup quarterback as a slot receiver and where Antonio Cromartie proclaimed himself the team's second-best wideout. Still, it means IDP owners will have to search elsewhere for defensive back production. Sadly, McKnight isn't eligible for IDP scoring in NFL.com leagues ... not that you'd want him anyway.
While some would look across the way to the aforementioned Cromartie (after all, he's going to have to cover team's best receivers, right?), a better option is standing a little further back in the secondary. LaRon Landry is currenty a top 20 defensive back and figures to get a whole lot busier with Revis down for the duration.
Of course, there are better options still if you leave the Big Apple. Consider a pair of ball-hawking Falcons down in Atlanta. Through three weeks, it's been hard to find a better safety tandem than William Moore and Thomas DeCoud -- especially with the interception-prone Cam Newton next on the schedule.
First down: When you think sack masters, the names Jared Allen, Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware probably come to mind. Let me add one more to that list -- Justin Houston. Don't panic if you've never heard the name, but the Kansas City Chiefs' second-year linebacker should certainly start gaining attention. He earned his first sack in Week 13 last season against the Bears (he finished with three that day) and has ripped off 6.5 more in the subsequent seven games -- including three in last week's win over the New Orleans Saints.
Second down:Andre Carter is back in the NFL. The veteran defensive end signed with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week. He'll try to help a defense that has registered just three sacks through the first three weeks -- and just one in last week's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carter notched 10 sacks in 14 games with the New England Patriots last season. He'll have a tough job trying to get to Peyton Manning this week.
Third down: Things still aren't looking good for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The veteran suffered another setback on his surgically-repaired knee and appears to be in danger of missing the Steelers' Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. So far, IDP owners have been having a nice time with Harrison's replacement, Larry Foote, who is a top ten linebacker in most leagues.
Fourth down:Richard Marshall's back is balky and it could keep the Miami Dolphins cornerback out of action this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. That's bad news after Larry Fitzgerald's resurgence last week. Miami doesn't have much depth at the corner spot, especially after trading away Vontae Davis in the preseason. It looks like Nolan Carroll is next in line, but with Carroll dealing with an Achilles' injury, it's not a great situation.