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Eyes of the Guru: Week 8

IDP news, notes, analysis and speculation for Week 8.

Arizona Cardinals

With the exception of the pass rushers, all Cardinals defenders get a little boost in value from the loss of Carson Palmer. When the offense is not able to move the ball consistently it means more time on the field for the defense, and we know from the past that Drew Stanton is a considerable downgrade. The effect was seen immediately as three Cardinals defenders reached double-digit solo tackles against the Rams.

Karlos Dansby missed some time in Week 8 with a finger injury. He was able to return and finish the game but those injuries often become more painful in the days following. I expect he will play this week but his effectiveness could be lessened; especially if he plays with the hand wrapped up.

Nothing has changed in the secondary so we should not read anything into the recent production dip of Tyvon Branch or the big game by Antoine Bethea in Week 7. Bethea has averaged 50 plays per game this season but was on the field for 68 of the team's 80 against the Rams. We should not expect him to suddenly become an every week start but the recent turn of events could be enough to make Bethea a consideration on most weeks.

Tramon Williams is now starting ahead of Justin Bethel at the corner position opposite Patrick Peterson. Williams was one of the players with 10 tackles in the game. Obviously, we cannot expect that kind of production from him regularly but he does have a strong history of quality production. As a seven-year starter for the Packers Williams averaged 55 tackles, 15 passes defended and almost 6 turnovers per season. If he has another solid game when the Cardinals return from their bye next week, it will not be a fluke. 

Atlanta Falcons

Week 8 saw DeVondre Campbell play every down in a game for the first time this season; the result was an impressive 7-1-1 and a forced fumble. Campbell's full-time role was largely, if not completely, due to the knee injury suffered early in the game by Duke Riley. Riley is having his meniscus repaired this week and is expected to miss at least a month. While we never like to see a player get hurt, this is good news for fantasy owners in need of bye week help and maybe it will be the beginning of a trend. That said keep in mind the Falcons Week 9 matchup is a little shaky. Over the first month of the season the Jets were an excellent matchup for linebackers; in two of the last three games, no linebacker recorded more than 4 solo tackles against them. 

Kemal Ishmael stepped in for Riley on calls that had all three linebackers on the field. His 7 solo tackles and 2 assists have a lot of people picking him up this week. Don't be one of the ambulance chasers. Ishmael was only on the field for 28 snaps so the quality numbers were simply a mirage.    

Vic Beasley looked healthy on the field and in the box score but he is still playing a little less than half the snaps. The 35 plays against New England represent his highest snap count on the season, but it was 47% of the pie. The lack of opportunity makes me nervous but the Jets have allowed at least 3 sacks in four straight games. With so many teams on bye this week, he may be worth the risk to many.


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