Welcome folks. For all you defensive-minded fantasy footballers, we are going to take a look at some defensive starts to target in week eight of the NFL regular season, as well as some starts to avoid this week.
It looks like some fairly elite players could end up riding the pine in week eight.
Players like Calvin Pace and Will Witherspoon showed last week that they are playing some incredible football for their respective teams, and DBs Darren Sharper and Jairus Byrd are making plays weekly.
Let’s take a look at some good matchups on the IDP side of fantasy football.
Shawne Merriman (OLB)
I know—how can you start this guy the way he’s playing? Well, if you take a look at the matchup against Oakland, you should be able to see why. Oakland has been giving up sacks and INTs at a rapid pace, giving Merriman a chance to step back into the spotlight and produce some decent sack totals against a vision-less JaMarcus Russell. This is his best chance to get back on track!
Kerry Rhodes (DB)
Rhodes should be all over the field against Miami. With his ability to stop the run, he should be busy against the Wildcat offense early and often.
The Jets have been known to scheme fairly well in the run game. This time around the Dolphins will be pressured heavily from every angle, and Rhodes will take charge and shut down the run game early and force Chad Henne and Ted Ginn to work the passing game—good luck Miami! This could be a very productive day for tackles by Rhodes.
Eric Weddle (DB)
If you are looking for a huge day from a DB, go back to the team that’s playing Oakland. Weddle has played some good football, but this week he is going to go off! He has the ability to rack up tackles, sacks, and INTs against this offense at a rampant pace. I expect Weddle to have a monster game against Oakland.
Jared Allen (DE)
It’s not like you are going to sit this guy, but he should be considered the best IDP start in football this week. Last time Allen faced the Packers he racked up 4.5 sacks; this time around he could possibly eclipse that feat. He is undeniably the highest-running motor in the game, and no one on the Packers' O-line can contain him.
He is the start of the week for sure. There is nothing more to say about this beast; eight sacks for the Vikings the last time these two teams played is more than enough said.
Kamerion Wimbley (OLB)
Wimbley should be busy this week against the Bears. Jay Cutler is proving to be turnover-prone, and Wimbley will be the piece of the pie that creates the havoc off the edge.
With Matt Forte struggling, this game has the potential to go to the air and give Wimbley plenty of chances to get after Cutler. If the Browns can pressure Cutler early, Wimbley will have plenty of opportunities to get in the Bears' backfield and make big plays.
John Abraham (DE)
Abraham has a tough matchup this week against the Saints' O-line. Although he has tons of talent, he will be hard-pressed to put his hands on Drew Brees. The Saints are not going to let Abraham disrupt the rhythm of their passing game. They will do whatever it takes to make sure that Abraham is chip-blocked consistently and shouldn’t have the impact his skill set should have.
If you have Abraham in your lineup, you should look to replace him in week eight.
Julius Peppers (DE)
Peppers has been a terror lately, but that should come to an end this week against Arizona. Kurt Warner is proving to be a hard target to get to the ground, and his ability to throw the ball quickly in the face of a pass rush is legendary.
Peppers is an extremely talented football player, but his team's struggles have limited his ability. We have to take into consideration teams are scoring early and running the ball over the Panthers defense. It’s not unheard of to think Peppers will get into the backfield this week; it just doesn’t seem likely against the Cardinals.
Terrell Suggs (OLB)
It doesn’t look like a very good week for Suggs. He goes up against a Denver team that has a monster (Ryan Clady) working the edge. Suggs is an extremely high-motor pass rusher, but Clady and the Broncos know what they have to do in terms of blocking the Ravens' fierce pass rush.
Suggs is usually productive on the field, but against Clady and company he could be stopped short on a consistent basis. I would take him out of my lineup in week eight against the Broncos. When Clady is in the picture, your guy should be on the bench!
Patrick Willis (LB)
I can’t believe I am saying this, but Willis could prove to be human this week. The reason I am saying sit him is San Francisco is a run-first offense, and Peyton Manning is a one-throw offense. This game should be about keeping Manning off the field, which means run the ball and control the clock.
The problem (with Willis) is Manning will be fully aware of Willis at all times, and he will use his WRs to score as fast as possible to let his defense pressure Alex Smith and force turnovers.
Manning doesn’t need to be on the field for more than two or three plays to score, and Mike Singletary won’t want Manning on the field (meaning run the ball as much as possible) for too many plays.
This matchup will be about San Fran’s ability to run the ball, giving Willis fewer opportunities to make plays. Manning is too smart to let the best LB in football burn him or his team. Sit’em this week!
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