Another week, another huge performance from J.J. Watt. I have nothing else to say about that. The man is just really, really, really, ridiculously good at football. He's not only IDP gold, but I'm lobbying to be able to put him in my regular lineup as a flex. On to the rest of the IDP roundup for the week.
What in the name of St. Louis-style barbecue is going on with Robert Quinn? Last season, the Rams defensive end was a monster on the field and in fantasy with 19 sacks. In the end, he finished tied with J.J. Watt as the best defensive lineman in fantasy. This year, we're waiting for Quinn to record his first quarterback takedown. I'm not joking. Look it up, I'll wait.
It's not just Quinn, actually. It's become an epidemic throughout the Rams roster. As a team, St. Louis has just one sack -- thanks, Aaron Donald! -- which is an NFL record low through the first five games of the season. So what exactly is the problem?
Part of it is a lack of Chris Long. In 2013, the Rams other bookend pass rusher accounted for 8.5 sacks and created more worries for opposing offenses. This season with Long out after ankle surgery, St. Louis hasn't yet found an equivalent. In the meantime, opposing passing games are also getting the ball out faster. Jsut watching film of St. Louis' last two games, neither Colin Kaepernick nor Nick Foles held on to the ball very long. That doesn't allow Quinn or his teammates much time to get to the passer.
Finally, there's just a little bit of bad luck involved. There have been a couple of times when Quinn has gotten his hands on the quarterback, only to have the QB throw the ball away before going to the ground. Watching Quinn rush shows that he's certainly going hard after the quarterback and it's hard not to think that he could start getting sacks in bunches. While this is definitely a head-scratcher, he's too talented for it to continue for much longer.
Vontaze Burfict's injury situation is starting to become a little worrisome. The Bengals star linebacker has already missed two games this season while dealing with concussion symptoms. Then he was forced to leave the Week 6 game against Carolina after helmet-to-helmet contact. While he did return to the contest, it's concerning that he's had to deal with so many head injuries in such a short amount of time.
There's little doubt that Burfict is a game-changer when he's on the field. Look no further than the 8.50 fantasy points he tallied this past week. But with the number of head injuries beginning to add up, there's always the chance that Burfict could be lost for an extended period of time. As long as he's on the field, he should be in your lineup, but it's also a situation worth keeping a close eye on.
» The Patriots will play the rest of the season without Jerod Mayo. The linebacker was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury, robbing New England of the man who was its quarterback on defense. Similarly, fantasy GMs will have to replace a player who was among the top 10 at his position and on pace to return to his 2010 form when he was tops among fantasy linebackers. Undrafted rookie Deontae Skinner is likely next up in Mayo's spot, but don't expect anywhere near the same level of production.
» Patrick Willis was forced out of Monday night's game against the Rams with a toe injury after awkwardly jamming his foot into the turf at the Edward Jones Dome. The severity of the issue isn't yet known, but if Willis is forced to miss time, it would be another big loss to a 49ers defense that is already thin. Michael Wilhoite and Dan Skuta have done yeoman's work filling in for a battered corps of linebackers, but neither one of them can fully replace Willis if he has to miss time.
» Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner could be out of action as he deals with a turf toe issue. At the moment, the team isn't sure how serious the injury is or how long it could keep Wagner off the field. Brock Coyle is listed behind Wagner on the depth chart, but Mike Morgan could also potentially slide into the role if need be.
» The Steelers will have linebacker Ryan Shazier back at practice this week. The rookie hasn't played since Week 3 because of a knee injury and it's not certain whether he'll be ready for the Week 7 contest against the Houston Texans. With Pittsburgh playing on Monday night, the extra day could help Shazier, but this probably isn't the week to stick him back in your lineup.