IDP Analysis: Week 8 Review

IDP Analysis: Week 8 Review

This article is part of our IDP Analysis series.

With Week 8 in the books, most leagues have about six weeks until the playoffs start. Injuries are starting to stack up, and some players with preseason injuries are about to return. It's important to keep an eye on those players, but there are a litany of defensive studs who have been making names for themselves through eight weeks. Most importantly, there are players who need to be let go so they can clog up another fantasy team's roster. 

RISING

Jonas Griffith, LB

Alex Singleton was dominant as a starter when Josey Jewell was on the sidelines. However, Jewell is healthy again, and Griffith is still the No. 2 linebacker, as he played 36 defensive snaps in Week 8 while Singleton logged just 18 snaps. Griffith has been mediocre this season, but he has produced two games with double-digit tackles, so fantasy managers shouldn't be scared off by Singleton's moment in the spotlight.

Jaquan Brisker, S

Brisker has posted at least five tackles in every game since the season opener. He made a statement with nine tackles (seven solo) and a sack in the Week 8 loss to the Cowboys. The rookie safety has now posted three sacks over the last five games, so he has well-diversified upside going forward. Target him in redraft and dynasty. 

Derrick Brown, DT

With 40 tackles (19 solo) through eight games, Brown is just one stop short of his career high. A 2020 first-round pick (seventh overall), Brown has always been

With Week 8 in the books, most leagues have about six weeks until the playoffs start. Injuries are starting to stack up, and some players with preseason injuries are about to return. It's important to keep an eye on those players, but there are a litany of defensive studs who have been making names for themselves through eight weeks. Most importantly, there are players who need to be let go so they can clog up another fantasy team's roster. 

RISING

Jonas Griffith, LB

Alex Singleton was dominant as a starter when Josey Jewell was on the sidelines. However, Jewell is healthy again, and Griffith is still the No. 2 linebacker, as he played 36 defensive snaps in Week 8 while Singleton logged just 18 snaps. Griffith has been mediocre this season, but he has produced two games with double-digit tackles, so fantasy managers shouldn't be scared off by Singleton's moment in the spotlight.

Jaquan Brisker, S

Brisker has posted at least five tackles in every game since the season opener. He made a statement with nine tackles (seven solo) and a sack in the Week 8 loss to the Cowboys. The rookie safety has now posted three sacks over the last five games, so he has well-diversified upside going forward. Target him in redraft and dynasty. 

Derrick Brown, DT

With 40 tackles (19 solo) through eight games, Brown is just one stop short of his career high. A 2020 first-round pick (seventh overall), Brown has always been productive, but he's finally living up to his draft pedigree. These types of tackling numbers will keep him relative even when he's not getting to the quarterback. 

Za'Darius Smith, LB

Smith was absent in 2021, so perhaps we forgot how dominant he is when healthy. Smith posted three sacks in Week 8 and is now up to 8.5 sacks through seven games. He drives his fantasy value through sacks because he has averaged just 3.1 tackles per game. We should feel good about his upside in Week 9, though, because Commanders quarterbacks have been sacked 24 times this year – the third-most in the league. 

Shaq Thompson, LB

Thompson wasn't an every-snap player to start the season, as Frankie Luvu played nearly every snap while Thompson handled 79.5 percent of the snaps through the first four weeks. That was an odd setup, but luckily, Thompson has played every snap over the last four games. Thompson stacked up 100-plus tackles in three straight seasons before 2022, so we should be more confident in Thompson now that he's in his usual role. 

Christian Harris, LB

The Texans cut Kamu Grugier-Hill this past week, and Harris – a rookie third-round pick – has taken over as the starter. He played every snap in the 17-10 loss to the Titans and tied for the team lead with seven tackles. Harris should be busy against the run-heavy Eagles on Thursday Night Football. 

Uchenna Nwosu, LB

Nwosu has been an excellent pass rusher this season with five sacks through eight games. He also has produced 4.5 tackles per game, which isn't great but is enough to keep him afloat when he doesn't get to the quarterback. Nwosu has enough upside to be useful in deeper leagues. 

FALLING

Jonathan Owens, S

Owens was an elite IDP option through the first six games, as he posted 56 tackles (40 solo) while logging every snap in that stretch. However, the Texans started rotating safeties in Week 8, possibly because of Owens' missed tackles. Fellow safeties Eric Murray and M.J. Stewart both combined for 12 tackles while Owens finished with just two stops. This is a red alert for Owens; he'll be tough to trust in Week 9 against the Eagles. 

Tae Crowder, LB

Crowder's playing time has been slipping since Week 4, and he plummeted in Week 8 against the Seahawks and finished a 34 percent snap share and just two solo tackles. With a total of 14 stops through the last four games, Crowder can't be trusted anymore for fantasy purposes. Right now, Jaylon Smith – who played 84 percent of the snaps in Week 8 – is the clear lead linebacker. 

Bobby Okereke, LB

Okereke stacked up 132 tackles last year as the No. 2 linebacker in Indianapolis, but he has been supplanted by Zaire Franklin, who has played every defensive snap this season. Okereke has been highly productive this season because Shaquille Leonard has been hurt. Leonard returned on a pitch count this week, but there's a decent chance that he's full-go in Week 9, which would make Okereke the No. 3 linebacker. The Colts traditionally don't allot many snaps for that role. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jordan Mazzara
Jordan has produced NFL and NHL content for RotoWire since 2017. He's the beat writer for the St. Louis Blues and Seattle Seahawks.
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