Cleveland finally stopped the streak, however the Miami Dolphins get a chance to start a new streak of defenses going against Jacksonville in week eight. Cleveland had a couple of sacks and an interception, while allowing 24 points against the Jaguars – they scored a solid eight points so they didn’t win you a week but hopefully didn’t lose you a week either. The Buffalo Bills gave up 16 points to the Vikings, but they did sack Teddy Bridgewater five times to go with two interceptions, for a cool 10 points. The Baltimore Ravens were the gamble of the week and they came through. They gave up just 7 points to the Atlanta Falcons and paired that with 5 sacks and a fumble recovery for 13 points on the week. Overall it was a nice week for my picks, and two of the three from week seven are back again for week eight.
Miami Dolphins (available in 77% of Yahoo! leagues)
The Miami Dolphins get the Jacksonville Jaguars in week eight, who actually showed some life. However, the Miami Dolphins defense actually managed to slow down the high powered Chicago Bears offense in week seven. They had three sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception last week for 10 points – now they get to face a much lesser offense in Jacksonville. Even though Cleveland didn’t break double digits last week, I have confidence that the Miami Dolphins defense is going to get after Brian Hoyer and shut that offense down. Last quick note – the Miami Dolphins defense ranks 3rd in the league in pass rush metrics according to Pro Football Focus.
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Buffalo Bills (available in 13% of Yahoo! leagues) and New York Jets (available in 97% of Yahoo! leagues)
I previously mentioned how solid Buffalo’s defense was last week, so I won’t repeat myself. They’re not widely available, but if you do have them I hope that you start them. The Patriots only sacked Geno Smith three times last week, but I think Kyle Orton is a little less mobile than Geno. According the Pro Football Focus, these teams are the top two in rush defense in the league through week seven. Both quarterbacks are going to have to throw and both quarterbacks are prone to making costly mistakes. I especially like the Jets defense this week after the C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson news. Minnesota’s defense actually manhandled the Buffalo offensive line last week, accounting for six sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception, so there is some hope for a big game from the New York Jets. Buffalo has been one of the best defenses in fantasy this year, as they are 7th in points against, 1st in sacks and 5th in interceptions in the NFL.
Cleveland Browns (available in 43% of Yahoo! leagues)
The Cleveland Browns get to face the lowly Oakland Raiders in week eight and I love their chances of a rebound game. Oakland ranks 27th according to Pro Football Focus in rush blocking, though they are 8th in pass blocking. Though the Raiders gave up just one sack to the Arizona Cardinals last week (with no interceptions and no fumbles), they only had a total of 220 yards for the entire game while scoring just 13 points. I always like a good matchup with a decent defense against a struggling (or terrible) offense, and that’s what we have right here. They’re more available than some of my other picks, but this is a solid match-up and they have nice match-ups the next couple of weeks as well. I think the Cleveland Browns are a solid pick for week eight, but unless they manage a pick-six, don’t expect a huge game from them.