Welcome to this week's IDP Hot and Not Report. Here, we’ll take a look at a few linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs that are off to hot starts and a few that have stumbled out of the gate a bit. This article is designed to assist the beginning IDP’er or those in “play ‘em once” leagues, or to just foster some discussion about the future prospects of IDPs that were more than likely drafted in most leagues.. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two.
Stephen Tulloch (TEN): Alright, you can put me in the camp of pundits that never thought that Tulloch would ever amount to a tier-1 fantasy LB for the Titans. I thought he was no Keith Bulluck and could never put up the points that would put him in the elite category. Well, after 5 weeks in 2010, Tulloch is the #3 LB in “traditional IDP formats” and with his schedule, will not slow down.
Paul Posluszny (BUF): The guy is a walking injury risk, but when he plays, he simply puts up huge stats. His 3 games this season have been solid, and with the Bill defense yielding chunks of yardage, Poz will continue to post excellent stats if he can stay upright.
Jon Beason (CAR): Sure, everyone’s talking about the #1 fantasy LB, James Anderson (the first to 100 fantasy points in traditional formats) and the early flavor was Dan Connor, but please do NOT sleep on Beason. May be a “buy low” candidate at this point; Beason is putting up steadily solid stats and will likely blow up before you know it
Brandon Spikes (NEP): We had high hopes for the hard-hitting ex-Gator. But 5 points over the past 2 weeks simply won’t get it done in any formats. If you’re in a deep dynasty format, it may be time to bench him.
Shawne Merriman (SDC): For those of you hanging on by the most slender of strings to this once game-changer, it’s time to cut bait. It might be lingering injury concerns, it might just be that he’s just not effective anymore. Either way, he’s waiver wire fodder.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Jason Babin (DE – TEN): The Titans always seem to churn out a solid fantasy DE. We thought it may be the rookie Derrick Morgan or even William Hayes, but both are injured and Babin has stepped in and has been effective. 3 out of 5 games have been in double digits and there are a few solid matchups on the schedule. Be warned, though, there are also a few real difficult matchups as well.
Kyle Williams (DT – BUF): Williams is the only DT that has 3+ double digit fantasy outings this season. With the Bills giving up plenty of yards on the ground, expect Williams to keep racking up a good number of solos.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Derrick Harvey (DE – JAC): Averaging less than 2.5 fantasy points per game, and is owned in (just a guess here) 99.9% of large dynasty leagues. Too many goose eggs, too many 4-5 point outings. It’s time to give up.
Albert Haynesworth (DT – WAS): Wow, talk about a fall from grace. Haynesworth is worth just about zero at this point. He has 12.5 fantasy points on the season and is now hurt. Cut bait. Bye.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
LaRon Landry (S – WAS): The Huddle LOVES LaRon Landry. Go ahead and ink him into the top-3 of the weekly rankings every single week despite the matchup. The guy is going to find a way to log big points. The schedule is simply awesome to boot, so there’s absolutely no reason he should be out of your lineup if you own him.
Terrell Thomas (CB – NYG): What’s this? A Giant corner with some fantasy value? I officially have bitten my tongue, because I certainly recall just a week or two back indicating that Giant corners never, ever have value. Well a quick scan of the overall rankings shows us that Thomas is the #15 DB at this point. What? Yep. Behind 5 solos per game and a healthy 6 passes defended (granted, 4 were in the first week), Thomas has been a consistent scorer. Sell high though, if given the chance.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Sean Jones (S – TBB): It appeared, if not for a minute there, that Jones looked like he could catch on with the Tampa-2 and be fantasy relevant again. Oops. He’s nursing a back injury and will be limited at least for another couple weeks. We still like him in theory, so if you’re scouting a potential add in the next month, keep him back-burnered.
Joe Haden (CB – CLE): Look, dude’s a stud and at some point could put up solid fantasy points for the Brown D, but right now he’s just average at best. Hasn’t topped the 10-point mark this season and isn’t active enough in pass coverage for our liking. Are offenses avoiding him or is he just not skilled enough to really make big plays in the NFL?