Eight in the box: Individual defensive player rankings
Atogwe has become the IDP equivalent of a short-yardage back. He's not interested in anything but interceptions. No free safety gambles more than Atogwe, and few get burned so often. But those gambles pay off sometimes, which is how Atogwe has picked off 11 passes in his past 15 games. His numbers are slightly inflated thanks to that fluky fumble return for a TD against the Redskins in Week 6, but in leagues that emphasize turnovers in their scoring system, Atogwe is your No. 1 DB.
KC's rookie second-round pick (not to be confused with The Killers front man) had his coming out party in the Meadowlands last Sunday, picking off two
Johnson was solid playing the strong side over his first three seasons, registering 82 solo tackles a year ago. So when he was switched to the weak side for 2008, Johnson was supposed to blow up. It hasn't happened. Johnson still has been solid, but is averaging just five solo tackles per game, putting him on the same pace as last season. His consistency makes him a serviceable back-up LB for IDPers, but it doesn't look like he's going to be much more than that.
The defensive end-turned-linebacker-turned-defensive end is coming off a career day in Pittsburgh, sacking
Parker has been solid in his first full year as a starter, but not quite good enough to warrant any IDP starts. He had 2.5 sacks of Roethlisberger back in Week 3, not a difficult task considering Big Ben's tendency to hold onto the ball for eight seconds each drop back. Parker's numbers are also inflated by a pick six of
In his first year as a starter, Weddle's numbers have been phenomenal thanks to San Diego's bend (and then break) defense. Even playing more of a centerfield role as the free safety, Weddle is on pace for 102 solo tackles this season. With the San Diego front seven in shambles minus
There was some worry that the move from the middle to the weak side would cut into his tackle opportunities. But with Denver's undersized front four struggling again, Williams is actually on pace for a bigger year than he had in '07, when he had 106 solo tackles. He's already at 53 through seven games, and has even added a career-high 2.5 sacks (though when it comes to calling the blitz, no one should ever confuse Broncos coordinator