Reading the Defense: Kiko Alonso to cook in Week 7

Week 6 was a weird one across fantasy. Any week, where Jay Ajayi and Case Keenum are among the scoring leaders at their respective positions, can't be classified any other way than "weird". Some of the same things applied on the IDP side as well. Reading the Defense will try to make sense of what happened and figure out what's next.

Game Balls

Defensive line: The Cowboys defensive line hasn't exactly been a source of strength this year, but in Week 6 David Irving rose to the occasion. He took advantage of a slumping Packers offense to force three fumbles with a sack, a recovery and a pass deflection for good measure. He's been used sparingly this season, never seeing more than 36 snaps in a game so this isn't a performance you'll be looking to chase in the coming weeks.

Linebacker: In the wake of the injury to Manti Te'o, the Chargers have turned to rookie Jatavis Brown with positive results. The fifth-round pick from Akron has logged sacks in three of the past four games and had his best contest in Week 6 with 14 total tackles, a forced fumble and a sack in the win over Denver. With Te'o gone, Brown has seen 62 or more snaps in each of the last three games and will continue to be a key piece for the Chargers defense. This might not be the last time we mention his name.

Defensive back: The Eagles didn't win, but their defense did have a decent week for fantasy owners. Involved in that was Malcolm Jenkins, who notched six total tackles and a pick six against Kirk Cousins. While this was Jenkins' biggest week so far this season, he's a pretty consistent IDP option week in and week out.

What went wrong

» After a quick start to the season, things have slowed down for Aqib Talib. One-half of the Broncos dynamic cornerback duo, Talib tallied six or more fantasy points in three straight games from Weeks 2-4 with three interceptions in that stretch. Since then, he's come back to Earth with a combined 6.50 fantasy points in Denver's next two contests.

This is how it goes with Talib. He's a player who thrives on creating big plays on defense, but it also means he's occasionally vulnerable to giving up big plays to the offense. The upside is that he wins more often than he loses but it also means that he's liable to have a low floor once in awhile. The good is certainly worth putting up with the bad.

Week 7 boomer

Brian Orakpo, LB, Tennessee Titans: Orakpo has landed in this space before and he's continued to put together the best season of his career. The veteran has picked at least one sack in five straight games and is on pace to destroy his career-best in that category. This week, he'll take aim at a Colts offensive line that has allowed Andrew Luck to be sacked a league-worst 23 times and hit numerous more times. Look for Orakpo to pin his ears back and go after the passer with reckless abandon.

Week 7 buster

Markus Golden, LB, Arizona Cardinals: Heading into Monday night's game against the Jets, Golden was fourth in the NFL with six sacks and has made it clear why the Cardinals were okay with letting Dwight Freeney go. But this week, he'll have to try and chase down a healthy Russell Wilson. The Seahawks offensive line hasn't been great, but Wilson is one of the NFL's premier escape artists and a quarterback who generally doesn't hold onto the ball a very long time. Golden might have a tough time picking up sacks in this one.

Week 7 sleeper

Kiko Alonso, LB, Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins haven't given us much to get excited about this season, but last week they flexed their muscle against the Steelers. This week, Alonso might give us something to watch for the first time since Kiko was in the kitchen. Alonso's best fantasy game this year came against the Titans in Week 5 -- a run-heavy team with a mobile quarterback. He'll face a similar situation against the Bills this week. Oh ... and there's also a little bit of revenge working as well with Alonso facing the team that drafted and eventually traded him.

Four downs

First down: The Seahawks should have a pair of key defensive pieces for their Week 7 showdown with the Cardinals. Michael Bennett suffered a knee injury after a cut block but expects to be good to go next week. Safety Kam Chancellor sat out Sunday's win over Atlanta with a groin injury but head coach Pete Carroll expects Chancellor to be ready to go for the game against Arizona.

Second down: The Ravens are awaiting word on Terrell Suggs after the linebacker suffered a torn biceps in Sunday's loss to the Giants. It's pretty likely that Suggs won't play this week against the Jets but his long-term prognosis remains to be seen. Losing the star pass rusher for an extended period of time would be a big blow to the Ravens defense and fantasy players.

Third down: The Eagles defense did not have its best day against Washington on Sunday but help is on the way with news that cornerback Leodis McKelvin is expected back in Week 7. McKelvin missed Sunday's game because of a hamstring injury but is arguably Philadelphia's best corner. His return will be a boost for Malcolm Jenkins' IDP value.

Fourth down:Texans' second-year corner Kevin Johnson is likely finished for the season after going on injured reserve with a broken foot. The young defensive back has played well in his two Texan campaigns and should be worth a look in plenty of IDP leagues next season.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG or on Snapchat at marcasg9.

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