This week’s teams on bye are ATL, DAL, LAC, and TEN.
Let’s take a look at how last week’s IDP recommendations panned out in week 7:Starts: Vic Beasley (1 Tackle) Calais Campbell (9 TT) Alec Ogletree (4 TT) Vontaze Burfict (2 TT) Jordan Poyer (5 TT)
Verdict: Calais Campbell led the group with a very solid performance, while an injury on Sunday night hampered Burfict and caused him to leave the game: 2/5 Hit
Sits: Carlos Dunlap (2 TT, 1 Sack) Brandon Graham (2 TT, 0.5 Sack) Mark Barron (4 TT) Reggie Ragland (3 TT) Glover Quin (4 TT)
Verdict: Good calls all around last week as far as ‘Sit’ recommendations go. Counting Dunlap as the only loss here simply because he wasn’t able to notch a sack, something I predicted wouldn’t happen: 4/5 Hit
IDP STARTS OF THE WEEK
Cameron Heyward, DE, PIT (vs. CLE)
Starting off the ‘Start’ section this week is Steelers veteran lineman Cameron Heyward, who will be playing against divisional rival Cleveland this weekend. Heyward has feasted against the Browns in past matchups, recording a sack in seven of his last eight games against Cleveland. Additionally, the Browns have allowed a league-high 31 sacks through seven games, four more than any other team.
Trey Flowers, DE, NE (@ BUF)
Up next, a lineman who’s been off to an abnormally slow start to the year. Trey Flowers. Last year in Week 16 against Buffalo, Flowers didn’t manage to record a sack, but he did tally eight tackles on the day. I think he has a high chance to take down Derek Anderson, or whoever may be taking snaps for the Bills, on Sunday.
Roquan Smith, LB, CHI (vs. NYJ)
Over the last three weeks, the Jets offense has averaged the fourth-most rushing attempts per game, with 32.7 attempts per game in that time frame. Even though Roquan Smith was only on the field for 55% of the Bears’ defensive snaps last week, I’m not too concerned over the drop in playing time. Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio attempted to outsmart the Patriots in Week 7 by using LBs Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd in pass coverage while disguising their blitzes. Unfortunately, that led to plays like this easy conversion and this TD, both to James White. I expect Roquan to be back on the field for close to 100% of plays once again this week.
Bud Dupree, LB, PIT (vs. CLE)
Still keying in on the Steelers pass rush vs. Cleveland’s league-worst offensive line, Bud Dupree could line up to be a fantastic play this weekend. While T.J. Watt and his six sacks on the year is the easy choice, a player at Watt’s caliber should be a plug-n-play starter week in and week out. Dupree has a monster ceiling this week and could be a huge payoff for a player available on waivers.
John Johnson, SS, LAR (vs. GB)
Aaron Rodgers vs. DBs, I repeat, Aaron Rodgers vs. DBs. Always a matchup to covet, and that’s no exception this week as the Packers head to LA to square off against the unbeaten Rams. What makes this week’s Green Bay game even more interesting is that the Packers are 9.5 point underdogs to Los Angeles, meaning Rodgers will most likely be throwing more than usual. John Johnson for the Rams has all the variables lining up for a big score in Week 8.
IDP SITS OF THE WEEK
Danielle Hunter, DE, MIN (vs. NO)
Last time I featured Hunter as a ‘Sit’ in this column, he had a sack. Of course he did. He’s had a sack in Every Single Game this year. An astounding feat for the 24-year-old veteran. This week though he’ll face his toughest test against a Saints team who has allowed Drew Brees to be sacked only nine times the entire season. If there’s anything that could prove this prediction wrong, it’s probably going to be the fact that Hunter is celebrating his 25th birthday on Monday, and all shots are called off when it comes to players playing so close to their birthday.
Jerry Hughes, DE, BUF (vs. NE)
While Jerry Hughes has been a very consistent pass rusher this season and a reliable fantasy asset, I’d be looking elsewhere this weekend as a fantasy owner when it comes to starting lineups. The Patriots offensive line has stoutly protected Tom Brady these last few weeks, and I expect that to continue in Buffalo this weekend. Since losing to Detroit in Week 3, the Patriots have only given up one sack to opposing team’s edge rushers in four games. A key piece that has helped New England go 4-0 in those game.
Jordan Hicks, LB, PHI (@ JAX)
Even though Jordan Hicks has been a fringe top-ten IDP linebacker this season, I’d fade him in his upcoming matchup in Jacksonville. Hicks is tied for seventh in tackles among linebackers this season with 57 through Week 7, but playing against the Jaguars inept offense does him no favors this weekend. Jacksonville has ranked second-to-last in rushing attempts in Weeks 5-7, and even though newcomer Carlos Hyde should be active this week, I don’t think his presence will change the tune of their offense dramatically.
Vince Williams, LB, PIT (vs. CLE)
While I am optimistic about Steelers defenders Watt and Dupree this week, I’m sour on teammate Vince Williams against the Browns this weekend. Williams had his best game of the season in Week 6, just before Pittsburgh’s bye, but I think a regression back to the mean is likely here. I’m not looking to compare Williams efforts in Week 1 against Cleveland to this upcoming game because Week 1 was played in a monsoon in Cleveland, in which the game lasted an extra ten minutes on top of that. Don’t get your hopes up too high for the Steelers inside linebacker this weekend.
D.J. Swearinger, FS, WAS (@ NYG)
Fading free safeties against the New York Giants from this point forward. Eli Manning and New York’s underwhelming offense have been leading headlines for their inability to turn absurd expectations into reality, and a fire sale is in progress at the Meadowlands. Manning’s whithering arm can’t make throws past the line of scrimmage, and Odell Beckham is getting heated on the sidelines (as long as he’s not headed to the locker room before halftime). Realistically though, defensive backs are requiring turnovers to score points against the Giants this year, as Manning’s intended air yard average of just seven yards ranks fourth worst in the NFL.
Thanks for reading! If you’re looking for more Week 8 IDP content, check out some material from the DFF staff. Find week 8 waiver wire recommendations from our IDP crew. If you like what you’ve read, share, comment and reach out to me on Twitter @BrumleyNFL if you have any questions about IDP or anything else football related!