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.
Lawrence Timmons (PIT): We knew it was going to happen; well, we knew it’d happen to either Timmons or LaMarr Woodley, but the money was on Timmons making it happen first. Timmons is now THE linebacker to own for the solid Pittsburgh defense. He is making all the plays James Harrison once made, without the cheap shots. He’s now the #1 ranked LB in traditional IDP formats and doesn’t look like he’ll skip a beat moving forward.
James Harrison (PIT): Ha, fooled ya, didn’t I? Harrison is still a top fantasy LB option. He’s moved into the top-10, and even with the youngsters Timmons and Woodley performing well, he’s putting up consistent numbers, after many wrote him off. Some may say he’s a cheap hitter, but fantasy owners can’t argue with 19 fantasy points per game.
Zac Diles (HOU): This isn’t as much a “who’s hot” note as it is a “who COULD be hot” note. Expect him to be in the weekly sleepers come Thursday, with DeMeco Ryans out for the season. Diles filled in admirably for Brian Cushing to start the season, and will now likely man the middle for the Houston D.
Thomas Howard (OAK): Howard went from solid third fantasy LB to fantasy irrelevant in a snap. He’s battling a knee injury and simply isn’t roster worthy in redrafts at this point. Dynasty owners need to hold on to him, but should obviously have him firmly placed on their bench.
Calvin Pace (NYJ): The best pass-rushing LB the Jets have finally returned to action, but has only averaged 7.75 fantasy points per game in his two games back. He’s a buy-low candidate right now in dynasty formats and a guy you might wanna watch in redrafts.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Osi Umenyiora (DE – NYG): The guy was basically left for dead this time last year, and all he’s done is keep up with fellow DE stud Justin Tuck (11.25 fantasy points per game for Osi versus 13.03 per game for Tuck). Where’s the value there? The Giant D is only going to get more dominant as the weather starts to suck. I would love to be a Tuck or Osi owner.
Sione Pouha (DT – NYJ): With Kris Jenkins out to start the season, Pouha was our Samoan prince. We thought Jenkins was coming back and Pouha’s flavor started to wear off. Well, Pouha’s value continues to remain pretty constant, and as the Jet D continues to dominate, Pouha’s value should also steadily rise.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Tommie Harris (DT – CHI): Oh, Tommie, what a waste of space you are. One of the most potentially-dominant forces in the NFL has 2 tackles and an assist…. For the season. That would be a barely manageable game stat, let alone season stat. Ouch.
Darryl Tapp (DE – PHI): Hate to keep including this guy on this list, but he was not only drafted in many leagues, but is continued to start in many in 2010. Why? Sure, he’s shown a little promise, but has yet to break double digits, despite being given a solid opportunity playing opposite Trent Cole.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Kerry Rhodes (S – ARI): I’m not sure what article it was in, but we pimped Rhodes this year, moving into Antrel Rolle’s spot opposite Adrian Wilson. Wilson has been thought to be on the overrated side over the past couple years, while Rolle (and now Rhodes) have represented the “value” in the Cardinal defensive secondary. Look, Wilson has been startable, so we won’t admit defeat there. But Rhodes has been straight-up solid all season.
Jerraud Powers (CB – IND): This guy keeps getting mentions on the IDP sleeper list, but perhaps now it’s time for the Colt CB to get some props here. Aside from “the usual suspects”, Powers is leading traditional scoring formats for CBs. He’s also the highest-ranked DB in my 12-team dynasty. It’s time to own and start Powers.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Sabby Pisctelli (S – TBB): Another week, another disappointing Buc defender. Sean Jones, Tanard Jackon, Piscitelli… doesn’t matter, they’re all playing well below expectations. Piscitelli was once a top-15 DB, and now is barely an option in the deepest of dynasty fomats.
Chris Johnson (CB – OAK): Holy demise, Batman! Where the heck has this guy gone? He only had 59 solos and 18 pass defenses last season! He and Tyvon Branch were solid contributors in the Raider secondary last season. This year, Branch is still hanging around and Michael Huff has emerged. Johnson? The #200 DB. What?