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Breaking down the top individual defensive players in Week 8 fantasy football

IDP leagues are growing in popularity, and we’re here to help you sort through the best fantasy football options at each position. We break down the top players at defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back in Week 8

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake carries the ball as Washington strong safety Landon Collins makes the tackle at Hard Rock Stadium. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL returns for Week 8 and so do our individual defensive player fantasy football leagues. Thankfully, we’ll only have the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens on bye, which means we’ll need to replace key players like Earl Thomas, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith this week.

Matchups will be important when deciding who to start at each position with most teams and players available. For the defensive ends, Danielle Hunter has the best matchup this week going up against a weak Washington offensive line. Linebacker Luke Kuechly will have plenty of opportunities going up against the run-heavy San Francisco 49ers. Defensive back Landon Collins gets the Minnesota Vikings, who give up the eighth most fantasy points to the safety position.

So far this season, the teams giving up the most fantasy points to defensive ends are the Tennessee Titans, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers are still giving up the most fantasy points to opposing linebackers with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos not too far behind. Lastly, the Atlanta Falcons remain as the offense who gives up the most fantasy points to the Safety position with the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears rounding out the top three most fantasy-friendly offenses for opposing secondaries.

Defensive Line IDP rankings, Week 8

Rk Name Team Opp
Rk Name Team Opp
1 Danielle Hunter MIN v. WSH
2 Joey Bosa LAC at CHI
3 Calais Campbell JAX v. NYJ
4 J.J. Watt HOU v. OAK
5 Cameron Jordan NO v. ARI
6 Aaron Donald LAR v. CIN
7 Myles Garrett CLE at NE
8 Sam Hubbard CIN v. LAR
9 DeForest Buckner SF v. CAR
10 Nick Bosa SF v. CAR
11 Justin Houston IND v. DEN
12 Josh Allen JAX v. NYJ
13 Cameron Heyward PIT v. MIA
14 Everson Griffen MIN v. WSH
15 Trey Flowers DET v. NYG
16 Mattew Ioannidis WSH at MIN
17 Jadeveon Clowney SEA at ATL
18 Johnathan Allen WSH at MIN
19 Frank Clark KC v. GB
20 Marcus Davenport NO v. ARI
21 Jabal Sheard IND v. DEN
22 Grady Jarrett ATL v. SEA
23 Brian Burns CAR at SF
24 Yannick Ngakoue JAX v. NYJ

Injuries: Carl Lawson (status uncertain), Kenny Clark (status uncertain), Marcell Dareus (status uncertain), Chris Jones (week to week), Alex Okafor (status uncertain), Melvin Ingram (week to week)

Linebackers IDP rankings, Week 8

Rk Name Team Opp
Rk Name Team Opp
1 Luke Kuechly CAR at SF
2 Darius Leonard IND v. DEN
3 Bobby Wagner SEA at ATL
4 Blake Martinez GB at KC
5 Joe Schobert CLE at NE
6 Jordan Hicks ARI at NO
7 Cory Littleton LAR v. CIN
8 Devin Bush PIT v. MIA
9 Roquan Smith CHI v. LAC
10 Shaq Thompson CAR at SF
11 Deion Jones ATL v. SEA
12 Kwon Alexander SF v. CAR
13 Rashaan Evans TEN v. TB
14 Benardrick McKinney HOU v. OAK
15 C.J. Mosley NYJ at JAX
16 Eric Kendricks MIN v. WSH
17 Devin White TB at TEN
18 Kwon Alexander SF v. CAR
19 Lavonte David TB at TEN
20 Nick Vigil CIN v. LAR
21 Zach Cunningham HOU v. OAK
22 De'Vondre Campbell ATL v. SEA
23 Jaime Collins NE v. CLE
24 T.J. Watt PIT v. MIA

Injuries: Jayon Brown (Questionable)

Defensive Backs IDP rankings, Week 8

Rk Name Team Opp
Rk Name Team Opp
1 Landon Collins WSH at MIN
2 Jamal Adams NYJ at JAX
3 Jordan Poyer BUF v. PHI
4 Tracy Walker DET v. NYG
5 Harrison Smith MIN v. WSH
6 Ronnie Harrison JAX v. NYJ
7 Hasean Clinton-Dix CHI v. LAC
8 Kevin Byard TEN v. TB
9 Von Bell NO v. ARI
10 Shawn Williams CIN v. LAR
11 Logan Ryan TEN v. TB
12 Antoine Bethea NYG at DET
13 Eric Reid CAR at SF
14 Reshad Jones MIA at PIT
15 Jessie Bates III CIN v. LAR
16 Budda Baker ARI at NO
17 Jabrill Peppers NYG at DET
18 Minkah Fitzpatrick PIT v. MIA
19 Damarious Randall CLE at NE
20 Kyle Fuller CHI v. LAC
21 Justin Simmons DEN at IND
22 Tyrann Mathieu KC v. GB
23 Jordan Whitehead TB at TEN
24 Justin Reid HOU v. OAK

Injuries: Dre Kirkpatrick (Week to week), Greedy Williams (Week to week), Denzel Ward (Week to week), Darius Slay (Questionable), Kendall Fuller (Week to week), Xavien Howard (Week to week), Eli Apple (Status uncertain), P.J. Williams (out)