Eight in the box: Individual defensive player rankings
It's a bit of a knee-jerk reaction for fantasy owners. A stud starting running back goes down, you rush to pick up his replacement. A stud IDP linebacker like
At the beginning of 2007, Jones was out of the NFL (of course, it could be argued that playing in Cincinnati is a lateral move). He latched on with the Bengals and was a solid fill-in starter on the weak side for Cincy, recording 33 solo tackles in his eight starts at the WILL. New defensive coordinator
Will anyone even bother throwing on the Seattle Seahawks again? It's a legitimate question to ask, and one that should make Kerney owners very nervous. The run/pass splits against Seattle have been evened out by matchups with the pass-happy 49ers and Rams. But Week 5 was an eye-opener. Coming off a bye no less, Seattle's front seven almost refused to tackle anyone coming out of the Giants backfield. And considering their banged up offense isn't putting opposing offenses back on their heels, there's little reason to think the next few opponents won't go right back to attacking Seattle on the ground. Kerney isn't a slouch in run support, but his main value is in the sacks. He has four in his first four games, but Kerney's opportunities could start drying up.
Has it happened? Is IDP's most chronically overrated defensive lineman now underrated? Peppers was essentially out of the minds of IDPers after last year's 2.5-sack debacle. It was the result of a lack of an option on the other side of the line, and with the Panthers offense incapable of moving the ball, other teams weren't inclined to go pass-happy very often. But the offense is better with
Porter will never be an every-week option at linebacker. But he's back in the IDP discussion in
First of all, if your league still counts Ware as a defensive lineman, you best find a new league. He hasn't been a lineman since he played at Troy. And, of course, having only linebacker eligibility hurts Ware's value in fantasy leagues. But if there were ever a rush linebacker to own, he's the one. Like most 3-4 OLBs, Ware doesn't rack up tackles -- 53 games into his NFL career, he's never had more than seven solo tackles in a game. But no one gets to the quarterback more consistently. Including the playoffs, Ware has at least a sack in each of his past nine games.
After a borderline-disastrous couple of seasons in Jacksonville, the Jaguars finally conceded that in Williams, they had invested a lot of money in a cover corner who couldn't actually cover anyone. New defensive coordinator
Most fantasy owners already know Winfield is awesome. He plays the run better than any corner in the NFL. Actually, he plays the run better than a lot of linebackers. And as an added bonus this season, the Vikings are boosting his big-play ability by blitzing him off the corners a little more often. So far, he's had two sack-strip-recover plays, one that he ran back for a TD. On top of that, Winfield had a blocked field goal return for a TD on Monday night. But the most beautiful part for fantasy owners was his eight solo tackles in New Orleans. That kind of consistent tackle production, with the big-play ability piled on top, is what makes Winfield the No. 1 DB in fantasy for my money.