Of the 30 active teams last week, 15 had 3 or more sacks. The Bills, Broncos, Ravens, and Vikings all had 5 or more which led to 10+ fantasy points. The Eagles, who are coming off of a bye, had 8 sacks in Week 6 against the Giants. The single game team record for sacks is 12, which last happened in 2007, interestingly in another Giants vs. Eagles matchup, although at the time it was the Giants with the defensive dominance. Osi Umenyiora, who now plays for the Falcons, had 6 sacks in that game, 1 shy of the all-time single game sack record of 7 by Derrick Thomas back in 1990. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the theme of this week’s D/ST rankings is quarterback takedowns.
Sacks are arguably the easiest defensive statistic to predict (given the more scarce nature of turnovers, blocks, and touchdowns). The key scenario to identify for a higher chance of sacks is a team with 1 or more solid pass rushers playing against an opponent with a weak offensive line. Identifying the best pass rushers becomes easier as the season progresses. Just look at the individual sack leaders, the numbers speak for themselves.
The Eagles top the rankings for Week 8. They’re averaging an absurd 15.7 PPG and have had an extra week to prepare for Arizona. The Texans should be a popular play this week against Zach Mettenberger making his rookie debut. Let’s face it, whoever plays Jacksonville will be a top 5 D/ST each week. This week that’s the Dolphins,who are playing well anyway. The Bills are coming off of a 10 point 5 sack performance and face the Jets who are falling apart. The Ravens are coming off of a 5 sack performance too, and face the Bengals who might be without A.J. Green again. The cheapest team to crack the top 10 are the $2,700 Browns because of a matchup at home against a winless Oakland team. The Patriots fall to 20th in the rankings this week, they lost their best pass rusher Chandler Jones for at least a month. Filling out the bottom of the Week 8 D/ST rankings are the Redskins@Dallas, the Packers and Saints against each other, and the Panthersvs. the Seahawks. They will cost you under 3,000 but are just not worth it this week against opponents who score often and/or protect the ball well.
Projected Week 8 D/ST Rankings
*OPP = Opponent
*PLW = Points Last Week
*PPG = Points Per Game