Last week, I kept Mario Williams out of my Top 30 but noted that he was surely a top defensive lineman if he was active against the Redskins. He answered by posting three sacks and two passes defended -- a huge day for any defensive player. If you didn't play him because he wasn't in my numbered rankings, I suggest you read the fine print. And please -- make sure you combine the info from this column with injury news as it develops over the course of the weekend.
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1. Trent Cole, PHI (at JAC)
2. Jared Allen, MIN (vs. DET)
3. Mario Williams, HOU (vs. DAL)
4. Julius Peppers, CHI (vs. GB)
5. Robert Mathis, IND (at DEN)
6. Darnell Dockett, ARI (vs. OAK)
7. Stylez G. White, TB (vs. PIT)
8. Dwight Freeney, IND (at DEN)
9. Justin Smith, SF (at KC)
10. Ray Edwards, MIN (vs. DET)
11. Juqua Parker, PHI (at JAC)
12. Kyle Vanden Bosch, DET (at MIN)
13. Justin Tuck, NYG (vs. TEN)
14. Ndamukong Suh, DET (at MIN)
15. Calais Campbell, ARI (vs. OAK)
16. Jason Babin, TEN (at NYG)
17. Aaron Kampman, JAC (vs. PHI)
18. Mathias Kiwanuka, NYG (vs. TEN)
19. Will Smith, NO (vs. ATL)
20. Trevor Scott, OAK (at ARI)
21. Alex Brown, NO (vs. ATL)
22. Glenn Dorsey, KC (vs. SF)
24. Haloti Ngata, BAL (vs. CLE)
25. Derrick Morgan, TEN (at NYG)
26. Chris Long, STL (vs. WAS)
27. Shaun Ellis, NYJ (at MIA)
28. Chris Kelsay, BUF (at NE)
29. Kenyon Coleman, CLE (at BAL)
30. Charles Johnson, CAR (vs. CIN)
• Osi Umenyiora was active last week but posted just one solo tackle. I'm not including "Useless" Umenyiora in my rankings until he's a regular part of the Giants' 4-3. Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka are the much better IDP plays in that scheme.
• Both Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis had great games on Sunday night, compiling seven tackles, four sacks between them and forcing a big fumble that was recovered for a TD. They're both must-start DL1.
• Tennessee DEs Jason Babin and Derrick Morgan are solid plays against the Giants this week. Babin had a career game against the Steelers last week, posting eight tackles and a sack.
• I'm expecting another big week from Stylez G. White, who continues to get to the quarterback with regularity. This week, with the Steelers likely starting Charlie Batch, the Bucs will apply a lot of pressure and turn Charlie's football pants into a... chocolate factory. Too much?
• Trent Cole and Juqua Parker are both becoming must-play DEs. Cole moves around a lot and is one of the most athletic linemen in the game, while Parker rotates in on passing downs and makes a good argument to be the starting LDE over rookie Brandon Graham. Dating back to last Dec. 27, Parker has sacks in four straight games. Giddyup.
• The Cardinals defense hasn't played well the first two weeks, but Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell both make excellent DE plays this week at home versus the Raiders. While the Raiders will supply heavy doses of Darren McFadden, both linemen are solid against the run -- and Oakland has to throw the ball at some point. For Oakland, hybrid OLB Trevor Scott provides a ton of fantasy value if he's DE-eligible.
• Antwan Odom has a huge matchup against the Panthers, who yield the most points in the league to opposing defensive linemen. He's got a sprained wrist, but if he plays there's an outstanding chance he gets "off the schneid" this week with his first sack of 2010. Stay tuned to the injury report.
• As always, the top plays this week include Vikings DEs Jared Allen and Ray Edwards, who should feast on Lions QB Shaun Hill. Other quality linemen in that matchup include rookie roadblock Ndamukong Suh and grizzled veteran DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, who's off to an impressive start (17 tackles, 1.5 sacks).
• I'm also giving Browns veteran DE Kenyon Coleman a shot this week in the rankings, considering his ability to get to the ball-carrier and pressure the QB.