Welcome back to the ‘Man Coverage’ series presented by your favorite IDP Nerds. The team is locked in for another great week of NFL action with player breakdowns from an IDP perspective. We can’t seem to shake these mid-game injuries that are costing us higher accuracy ratings each week, but that’s a part of the game, and we have just to hope our luck turns around. We came in at 50% in Week 7, with three players being forced out of action early. The season total sits at 54%, and we continue to push to get those accuracy numbers up. Let’s see what we have for Week 8 as we officially approach the halfway point of the fantasy football season.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- QB: Mike Hicks (@DroptheMikeFF) – Changing the Call
- RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback
- WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern
- TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation
- FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Let’s Talk About Flex
- IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers
Will Anderson DL, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are coming off a bye week with a big matchup pitting the #1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft against the #2 and #3 picks in the draft in C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. These are teams heading in two different directions. This should be a fun game with a multitude of rookies and young talent starting. The Carolina Panthers were hit hard by injuries on defense. The Panthers allow 3.2 sacks per game this season and have allowed four DL1 weeks through their first seven games.
Will Anderson Jr. has just one sack through his first six games and has recorded 24 tackles. He’s been extremely efficient, posting an 80.3 overall PFF grade. Unfortunately for IDP managers, he has just two double-digit games this season. Anderson is averaging four pressures per game and has had at least one quarterback hit in every game this season. The former Alabama product has a safe tackle floor and should have a good chance to record his second sack of the season in Week 8.
Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
Damone Clark LB, Dallas Cowboys
Damone Clark has been forced into a full-time role with the Dallas Cowboys after the injury to veteran LB Leighton Vander Esch. The second-year pro from LSU has been very good over the past month, averaging 15 fantasy points per game. He’s had at least six tackles in his past four games. The Los Angeles Chargers are not the most favorable matchup for opposing linebackers, allowing just 12 tackles per game to the position this season. It’s not overall too concerning, considering Clark has been the most effective LB for the Cowboys over the past four games. This is a confident start for IDP managers who likely acquired Clark off of waivers this season.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Kenny Clark DL, Green Bay Packers
We are going to give our DT-premium IDP managers some love early this week. Kenny Clark comes in as our start this week at the DT position. The veteran has scored in double figures in four of six games this season. He finds himself in another matchup with a division rival he has been very productive against recently. Clark scored 10+ points in both games against the Vikings last season and averaged 14.5 fantasy points per game. He is coming off an unexpected zero last week, so I expect a bounce back this week, as his impact is very important to the success of the Green Bay defense.
New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts
Shaq Leonard LB, Indianapolis Colts
No, you’re not reading that incorrectly. Shaq Leonard is on the start list this week. This seems like something we haven’t seen in a few years, but the former dynasty LB1 has been picking up his play over the past few weeks. Leonard has played over 70% of the snaps in each of the past two games and has turned in back-to-back seven tackle games.
The New Orleans Saints have allowed four LB1 weeks this season. The Saints allow an average of 19.3 tackles per game to linebackers. I like the chances of Shaq Leonard finishing with three straight 10+ point games for those IDP managers who held out hope for him. This should be a defensive battle all game, and we may get lucky enough to see one of those throwback impact plays from the former Colts All-Pro linebacker.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Jerome Baker LB, Miami Dolphins
Jerome Baker is coming off a huge week on Sunday Night Football with a 36-point performance after scoring a defensive touchdown for the first time in his career. Baker has been a decent option at linebacker over his career but has never been quite a player that blows you away. He’s taken a backseat to LB David Long this season on the Dolphins defense.
The New England Patriots rank as the 18th most favorable matchup to LBs this season, allowing 16.6 tackles per game. The former Ohio State LB has failed to record at least 10 fantasy points in two of his last three starts against New England. As an IDP manager, there are no teams on the bye this week, so there should be better options available.
New York Jets @ New York Giants
Jason Pinnock DB, New York Giants
There have been very few players with the ‘Boom or Bust’ potential as much as New York Giants safety Jason Pinnock this season. The former Pittsburgh Panther has played in seven games this season. He’s finished with double-digit points in three games, averaging 28 fantasy points per game. On the flipside, he’s finished under 10 points in four of those seven games, averaging just four fantasy points. This is a player that will drive IDP managers to drink their sorrows away.
The New York Jets are one of two teams yet to allow a DB1 week this season. They also rank as the 25th most favorable matchup for safeties this season, allowing just 10.8 tackles per game. He has seen steady usage with 89 box snaps this season, but he hasn’t made the most of those. The New York Giants upgrading the LB position with Bobby Okereke and Micah McFadden has limited the tackle floor for their defensive backs. I would be fading Pinnock in this matchup against the Jets in Week 8.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Kwon Alexander LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
This week’s ‘Man Coverage’ article takes us back four years with linebackers we thought were past their prime. Kwon Alexander finds himself as a starter for the first time in years. Alexander is another former dynasty LB1 who saw his prime cut short due to injuries and inconsistent play.
The Jacksonville Jaguars offense has been moving the ball fairly consistently all season and, in turn, has allowed an average of 65 tackles per game to opposing defenses. The Jaguars also rank as the 2nd most favorable matchup for linebackers this season, allowing 19.7 tackles per game to the position. The Jaguars have also surrendered three LB1 weeks this season. If you require help at the LB position, Kwon Alexander can be a productive start this week.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tennessee Titans
Amani Hooker DB, Tennessee Titans
Amani Hooker will step into a veteran leadership role in the Titans secondary after the trade that sent Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Atlanta Falcons have allowed a league-leading six DB1 weeks this season. Amani Hooker has finished with 10+ points in four of his five games played this season. He’s averaging 6 tackles per game and 18 fantasy points per game in 2023. This will likely be an ugly game with two coaches who like to run the ball and protect their young quarterbacks. The former Iowa Hawkeyes safety has played at least 18 box snaps in each game this season, and that should continue against the Titans this week.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders
Nakobe Dean LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nakobe Dean came into this season with a lot of hype. An early injury forced him to miss some time, which saw the Eagles turn to veterans at the LB position in his absence. He returned in Week 6 and has only played 62 snaps, resulting in just 7 total tackles. He continues to split time with Nick Morrow, who was signed as a free agent during Dean’s injury but has performed well. I’m not sure the Eagles will promote Dean to the every-down role unless an injury happens. The addition of DB Kevin Byard also sours IDP managers on the potential for Dean to be a high-volume tackler. I would fade Dean as a starter until he proves he will play enough snaps to give you the peace of mind that he can turn in consistent production for your dynasty teams.
Cleveland Browns @ Seattle Seahawks
Julian Love DB, Seattle Seahawks
I’ll admit I had real concerns about Jamal Adams’ return and how that would affect Julian Love’s value as an IDP. Jamal Adams has seen his snap count increase each of the past two weeks, but that hasn’t kept Love off the field. The Seattle defense has multiple high-volume tacklers at both LB and DB positions.
The Seahawks defense will likely be in a tough matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland has continued to win close games this season despite some significant injuries. Julian Love has finished with double-digit fantasy points in every game except one in which he left early due to injury. Jamal Adams did carry a questionable tag this week but is expected to play. If Adams is limited in any capacity, it should only boost Love’s value. The Browns have allowed four DB1 performances this season, which should be the green light for IDP managers to feel comfortable having Love in their lineups this week.
Baltimore Ravens @ Arizona Cardinals
Josh Woods LB, Arizona Cardinals
This one appears to be another blowout win coming for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have been able to score early and grind out wins early on in the season. The Baltimore offense has allowed an average of 62 tackles per game with 20.6 of those tackles being surrendered to the LB position.
Josh Woods has had six tackles in each of his last two games returning from injury. The Cardinals’ defense is likely to be spending the majority of the afternoon on the field trying to contain Lamar Jackson and company. Woods has continued to produce when he’s given snaps, and I expect him to continue to put up numbers on this Arizona defense.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Dru Tranquill LB, Kansas City Chiefs
The injury to stud LB Nick Bolton has officially made the Kansas City LB position a wasteland for IDP managers. Dru Tranquill looks to step in as the likely replacement for Bolton, but it’s not that simple in the Chiefs defensive system. Outside of Nick Bolton, no other LB has played more than 52% of the defensive snaps this season. The Kansas City defense has been playing very well together as a unit. However, there’s very little consistency at LB, which can drive IDP managers crazy.
The Denver Broncos have allowed just 16.4 tackles per game to the LB position this season; that ranks 19th in the NFL through seven weeks. I wouldn’t be able to trust any Kansas City LBs in this matchup unless I were desperate. That shouldn’t be the case with every team scheduled to play this week.
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Francisco 49ers
Charvarius Ward DB, San Francisco 49ers
The CB position deserves love, too, for those IDP managers who are forced to play them in their league settings. This is a nice matchup for the 49ers’ top guy Charvarius Ward. He will spend the day guarding Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. The 49ers CB ranks 9th in the NFL in targets (42) and is coming off being targeted 14 times over his last eight quarters. The Bengals have allowed an average of 13.5 tackles per game to cornerbacks this season. Charvarius Ward has scored 10+ points in five of seven games this season, and I expect another big performance from him in this big Week 8 matchup.
Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa DL, Los Angeles Chargers
There aren’t many opportunities where we are used to seeing Joey Bosa as an afterthought at the DL position in IDP leagues. The former All-Pro EDGE rusher has just three tackles and seven fantasy points over his last two games. He hasn’t recorded a sack since Week 3 and has already missed two full games due to injury this season.
The former Ohio State EDGE rusher has his best matchup of the season in a primetime matchup against the Chicago Bears. The Chicago offense has surrendered an average of 3.9 sacks per game and has allowed 4 DL1 weeks this season. The Chargers defense are tied for 5th in the NFL in sacks (22) despite Bosa being in and out of the lineup. His snap counts have increased over the past two weeks. I expect him to get up for this one in a must-win for the slumping Chargers team, who need to turn it around to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. IDP managers deserve a big performance from the elder Bosa brother, and he should deliver in this plus matchup.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Detroit Lions
Tre’Von Moehrig DB, Las Vegas Raiders
Tre’Von Moehrig was labeled a deep safety in the NFL coming out of TCU in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s doing all he can to curb that narrative this season. He ranks fourth on the Riders in tackles (36) this season. He’s averaging 5 tackles per game while scoring 10+ points in all but one game this season. The Raiders DB has played 100% of the snaps in all but one game this season. Moehrig continues to prove he’s one of the team’s best defenders.
The Detroit Lions have allowed an average of 68 tackles per game to opposing defenses. That includes 14.6 tackles per game to the safety position. Four different DBs have recorded a top-12 performance against them this season. This is a nice spot for IDP managers to start Moehrig in a primetime matchup in case they require that ‘Monday Night Miracle’ that we all need from time to time.
That will do it for a jam-packed Week 8 in the NFL. This is a huge week with some highly productive IDPs going on bye in the coming weeks. Each matchup is important as you are contending for a dynasty championship, but this one feels like you need to get the most out of your lineup with no bye weeks. We aim to keep providing you with the best IDP content you can find and hope you continue to enjoy this article weekly. Until next week, keep building those dynasty championships and enjoy the games this weekend.