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 email@example.com if you want to discuss the players in further detail or recommend a name or two.
Dhani Jones (CIN): For the past few seasons, we all think a young Bengal buck is going to step up and take the reins on the linebacking corps. Well, so far, so not-so-good for that unit. Jones continues to be the consistent force here, and is averaging just south of 20 points per game over the past month’s worth of games. His outlook moving forward is favorable.
Pat Angerer (IND): Ladies and gentlemen, you have your Colt LB of the future right here. Ever since he was given regular playing time, he’s been in double digits (minus a “stinker” game against the Texans where he got you 4 assists and a forced fumble). As the MLB for the Colts, he’s been a solid tackling force. Those in dynasty leagues are satisfied, and if you’re in a redraft and nabbed him for the stretch run, he’ll be a consistent source of tackles.
Aaron Curry (SEA): I’ll admit it: I was/am a nervous Curry owner. He’s a big-play IDP’er who was lined up in a not-so-fortunate position. He’s made the most of what he’s been given, and in a sort of crazy, Demarcus Ware sort of way, is managing to put up points. He’s on a nice little streak over the past month, and we’ve seen what he’s capable of. You obviously can’t rely on him as an every-week starter, but if you see he’s on a roll with solid matchups ahead, throw him into your lineup and reap the rewards.
Kirk Morrison (JAC): So, the move over to Jacksonville wasn’t going to be a huge issue, right? Uhhhh. He’s only got a couple big games under his belt and has been averaging under 7 points per game in traditional IDP formats over the past month. That simply won’t get it done.
Keith Bulluck (NYG): Antonio Pierce was always the exception to the rule, as the LB for the Giants that actually mattered in terms of fantasy over the past 10 or so years. Jonathan Goff has been a decent fill-in LB, but we really thought Bulluck had enough in the tank to fill in as a bye-week replacement or LB3 in some leagues. No such luck.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
John Abraham (DE – ATL): There are few “sure things” in life: death, taxes, and John Abraham putting up stats every other year. He’s had bad years coupled with solid years over the past several seasons. This year, we had to assume he’d buck it back up. 9 sacks later (in Week 12), we’re looking at yet another solid season despite only 22 solos. In sack-heavy scoring leagues, he matters.
Gerald McCoy (DT – TBB): His DT counterpart Ndamukong Suh has got all the press – and rightly so – over the past month, but McCoy has been equally as good (if not moreso). He’s logged his first three sacks over the past two contests and is turning the heat up on tackles. The matchups look favorable to round the season out, so get him active in DT leagues.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Glenn Dorsey (DE – KCC): Way back when, we thought Dorsey would become a game-changer as a DT. He moved over to end with the new Chief scheme, and we thought this would increase his fantasy value. A half-sack later, 12 weeks into the 2010 season, we’re left wondering what happened.
Randy Starks (DT – MIA): What the heck happened here? Dude racked up 7 sacks and 42 solos last season, and only has. 1.5 and 14 thus far in 2010. The remaining schedule doesn’t look to help out in any fashion, so cut bait or bench the guy if you have him.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Earl Thomas- (S – SEA): He has the inside track on the rookie of the year vote, totaling 53 solos and 7 passes defended. He’s been a consistent source of solos over the past 3 weeks and doesn’t look to be slowing down given the schedule.
Glover Quin (CB – HOU): No CB has been hotter in terms of fantasy output over the past month, and it doesn’t look to change given the state of the Texan pass D. He can put up tackle numbers on a weekly basis and will get you a good number of pass defenses as well.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Bernard Pollard (S – HOU): He’s one of the best safeties – fantasy and otherwise – in the NFL, so it’s not like you’ll be able to sit him, but he’s been ultra-quiet over the past few weeks. We like the upcoming matchups, so we expect a huge turn here, but in case you didn’t recognize it, he’s been pretty weak over the past 3 games.
Mike Jenkins (CB – DAL): Jenkins is a solid corner who can get you some solos and a consistent pass defense on any given week, but has no pass defenses since Week 7, and that means single-digit weeks are the norm. Not good.