Eight in the box: Individual defensive player rankings
With stud LB
He came into 2008 a complete unknown. Graham was a '07 fifth-round pick out of might New Hampshire, and he spent his rookie year playing special teams only. Then Chicago secondary's annual injury-fest came around, and Graham was thrust into the starting lineup out of necessity. It was the best of both worlds from an IDP standpoint. Graham held his own well enough in coverage to stay on the field. And between opposing QBs picking on him, and Graham's outstanding ability in run support, he racked up a nice number of solo tackles -- 30 in his four starts. Graham will move back to sub packages now that
It will be Johnson, not
He's shown flashes so far this season, and it's reasonable to expect Long to improve in the second half of the year. And with
He's up to his old tricks again. After a relatively disappointing start to the season (as far as IDP owners are concerned), Morrison's numbers have been on the rise as the Oakland offense continues to fall apart. With the Raiders D stuck on the field for more than 36 minutes in Week 8 at Baltimore, and for more than 45 minutes last week against the Falcons, Morrison has been piling up tackles. After averaging just 5.5 solo tackles over the season's first six games, Morrison has 20 in the past two weeks. As long as
After flashing some of his old skills the past few weeks, Peterson's IDP value may have just imploded for the third straight season. Once an annual candidate for 100 solo tackles and five sacks, injuries took Peterson off the radar in '06 and '07. But even last year, he still piled up a respectable 60 solo tackles and two sacks in 10 games before breaking his hand. He was mediocre at best this season, but recently he had 10 solo tackles against Cleveland, and four solos and a sack in Cincinnati last week. It was enough to keep him on fantasy league benches, until now. Peterson has mysteriously been booted from practice this week. He isn't talking. The Jags aren't talking. The best guess is that Peterson was still griping about the lack of a contract extension this summer. Considering the Jags have plenty of young depth at linebacker, and this is pretty much a lost season anyway, Peterson should be waiver fodder right now.
He was high on plenty of lists coming into the season, especially in tackle-heavy leagues. But while Posluszny hasn't necessarily been a disappointment this season, he hasn't exactly broken out. If you take away last year's Week 3 game in New England in which he broke his arm, Posluszny now has 63 solo tackles in 10 career games. But he's a vanilla Cover-2 middle linebacker. Poz doesn't do a lot of blitzing, and he doesn't have the coverage or ball skills to pick up any INTs. In fact, in those 10 career games Poz has no sacks, no interceptions, and only four passes defensed. The consistent tackles make him worthy of a back-up spot in most leagues, but while Posluszny is low-risk, he's not very high-reward.
It's about time this started happening. New York's ridiculous pass rush forces more bad throws than just about any team in the league. And over the past two weeks, Webster has finally been able to take advantage. He picked off