Eight in the box: Individual defensive player rankings
All season long, this is the place for your weekly Individual Defensive Player Report. We'll be focusing on the three main statistics for most IDP leagues (solo tackles, sacks, and takeaways) in three-position formats (defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs).
He finally forced our hand. Eight in the Box had been waiting Finnegan out, trusting that he would come back down to Earth after an absurd start to the season. So far, he just keeps topping himself. Finnegan picked off two passes in the opener, and added another in Week 2. Just when it looked like he'd finish with an ordinary day in Week 3, he picks off
The formula is there for a moderate breakout for Jackson. As a weakside ILB, he's in the right spot in Cleveland's 3-4. Unlike last season, he has massive space eater
Keiaho was off to a solid start last season before he was derailed by a series of injuries. He's a rangy linebacker on the weakside of
Through three games, the Patriots have done nothing to hold back their rookie. Mayo has played just about every snap as the weakside ILB this season, the most tackle-friendly spot in New England's defense. So far, he has 21 solo tackles, including eight in the trouncing the Pats got from the Dolphins last Sunday. Teams won't have to abandon the run against the Pats this year like they did a season ago. If you're looking for this year's
Polamalu has always been a player whose real-life value far outweighs his fantasy value. He doesn't get a ton of tackles in run support because the Steelers' linebackers eat up the tackles. And while he gets the occasional interception or sack, they never come consistently enough to make up for the good-not-great tackles. The good news is that Polamalu is 100 percent for the first time since '05. But his value has been vastly exaggerated after interceptions in each of his first three games.
Is Robbins the latest D-lineman who will get a boost in
Tillman is back at it after two injury-plagued seasons (at least so far). He's a classic Cover-2 corner -- a solid tackler who's great in run support. But he's far from a shutdown corner against the pass. And that's what makes Tillman such an attractive IDP option. Teams will throw at him. Tillman has the ball skills to get the occasional pick, but more importantly he'll get those tackles when a catch is made in front of him. Tillman is one of the few DBs with a shot at 90 solo tackles, making him a top 5 option at the position.
Vanden Bosch has always been a favorite of mine. He's so consistent, notching 40-plus tackles in each of his three seasons with the Titans. Even better, he works next to stud DT