Spoiler alert! There are fantasy football studs all over the defensive side of the ball. Week 7 like every other week was dominated by the offensive guys. Yeah, Peyton Manning broke another record. Yes, Russell Wilson broke a record in a losing effort. And OK, maybe Percy Harvin is a little difficult to get along with. Who cares? Week 7 is all about the fantasy football studs on the other side of the ball. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, fantasy football studs are a case in point. They proved fantasy football studs work both sides of the ball in Denver. And they weren’t alone.
Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, Linebacker/Defensive End, Denver Broncos: It was all about the Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning breaking the record for total touchdowns. Was anyone paying attention to the dominance that was on display from the Broncos defense? Forget the defense only allowed the San Francisco 49ers 17 points. Try not to focus on the fact that the defense held running back Frank Gore to 20 yards, allowing a miserly 2.2 yards a carry. Remember this, the ever elusive quarterback Colin Kaepernick was sacked six times. Five of those sacks belonged to the duo of Miller and Ware. Miller contributed two sacks while Ware was responsible for three sacks. They dominated the 49ers offensive line. Joe Staley will be forever remembered as the man who was faked out by Ware, completely and utterly turned around. Replayed over and over again, and still faked out. It was a dominant performance. This duo is for real. Peyton who?
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Jerry Hughes, Defensive End, Buffalo Bills: Speaking of dominance, sometimes when you least expect it, it shows. Take for instance the Buffalo Bills versus the Minnesota Vikings? Who knew? The Vikings were first-and-goal in the fourth quarter. Who is worried? A sack by Hughes turned first-and-goal into second-and-14. That’s not all he did. Hughes finished the game with five tackles and 1.5 sacks.
James Ihedigbo, Safety, Detroit Lions: The Detroit Lions’ defense is loaded with studs. or at least players who were drafted for their stud potential. Ziggy Ansah, Nick Fairley and everyone’s underachiever (see below) Ndamukong Suh to name the most prominent three. However, when it came to crunch time against one of the most potent offenses in the league it was Ihedigbo that prevailed. Ihedigbo, the undrafted safety out of Massachusetts, demonstrated stud status is more than just name value. It is eight tackles, one sack and one fumble recover against Drew Brees and the Saints. , It is the stats compiled by Ihedigbo but you can call him Misters I.
Alec Ogletree, Linebacker, St. Louis Rams: Overlooked because the Rams special teams was so special was the mishaps of one Alec Ogletree. Let’s examine the facts: the Seattle Seahawks and uber overachiever quarterback Russell Wilson are facing a third-and-nine. What do you do hot shot? What do you do? How about toss a pump fake to linebacker Ogletree. How about having Ogletree going for the fake. How about Wilson then sprinting pass Ogletree down the sideline for a 52 yard gain. All that was missing was Wilson turning around waving to Ogletree as he ran by him. If your only responsibility was to stop Wilson and you don’t stop Wilson, is that good?
Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle, Detroit Lions: He was unceremoniously referred to as “Donkey Kong”. I am not quite sure how it applies to Suh, unless he was saying Suh like the game is overrated. Flash forward five weeks. In week seven, Suh mustered up the energy to aid his team with one tackle against the Saints. Perhaps Suh could utilize barrels in his next adventure … er, game. Throwing his body in the direction of opposing offensive players isn’t working. Barrels anyone?
Tramaine Brock, Cornerback, San Francisco 49ers: Brock was part of a defense that was in a thankless position. There was little doubt that Manning would break the record for most touchdowns Sunday night against the Niners. The only question was who would get the ball and who would get burnt. So we know that this was Brock’s first game back from injury. We knew it and apparently Manning took note also. Brock was the target for the record breaking touchdown, well honestly for most touchdowns. In the first quarter, Wes Welker was the wide receiver who was on the receiving end of the tying touchdown pass. Welker caught the pass by getting behind Brock. And then in the moment, first targeted was Emmanuel Sanders. Brock messed up Sanders’ chance, and Terrance Knighton’s bet, by committing pass interference in the end zone. And then the inevitable moment, Demaryius Thomas dismissed Brock’s coverage. The result is Thomas catching Manning’s third touchdown pass of the night and the 509th touchdown pass of Manning’s career. It had to be someone. Unfortunately, for Brock it was him.