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.
Akin Ayodele (BUF): In most cases, you always start your studs; Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Paul Posluszny to name a few. But you also need to add in some “hot right now” players in with your “guys that got you there”. Ayodele definitely fits into the “hot right now” category, scoring in double digits in each of the past 4 games, and scoring 17.5 in each of the past two. Two of his next three matchups are cherry, so you should have him in your lineup as a solid LB3.
Dhani Jones (CIN): Jones has been one of those LBs that largely gets ignored in most IDP drafts, but somehow ends up in the top-25 every year. He only has one game in single digits (a 9-point effort against the Fins) this season, and has some big solo tackle numbers in the past few weeks. We love two of his next three matchups, so Jones is a very solid LB2 here on out.
Paris Lenon (ARI): The vet has filled in admirably for the oft-injured Gerald Hayes and the departed Karlos Dansby on the Card LB corps. He has 20 solos in his past 3 contests and has a decent three games to end the season.
Rob Ninkovich (NEP): For those of you in larger leagues that are hanging on to the Pat LB, it’s definitely time to cut bait if you’re in the playoffs. Grab someone with some upside, because Ninkovich isn’t going to do much for you in the last three weeks. He hasn’t had a meaningful game since Week 6 and his matchups look less than favorable moving forward.
Sean Weatherspoon (ATL): The rookie started the season “en fuego”, but after suffering a knee injury, has been absolutely worthless since the first few weeks of the season. He’s still a solid dynasty option, but redrafters can definitely cut bait and target a sleeper to end the season.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Kenyon Coleman (DE – CLE): Coleman has had a pretty quiet season, but has been effective over the past six contests. We like his final three matchups enough to recommend him as a solid DL2 in most formats.
Sione Pouha (DT – NYJ): The big Samoan has had a pretty solid 2010 season, and has heated up big time in the past two weeks, tallying 13 solos, a sack and a fumble recovery. Gotta like the final three matchups for the Jets’ front seven, so Pouha is definitely a name to add if you’re in a deeper format.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Dwight Freeney (DE – IND): Freeney is an absolute beast who commands double teams on many occasions. That can sometimes translate into a desert in terms of fantasy output. Freeney has some huge games under his belt, but also only has 19 solos (compared to 8 sacks) on the season. He’s just not consistent enough to rely on.
Chris Long (DE – STL): Well it looks like Long is turning out to be a solid yet unspectacular NFL pro. Nothing to be ashamed of, but he’ll never be a fantasy force. The 6.5 sacks are a nice stat, but 23 solos make him a risky weekly proposition.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Malcolm Jenkins (S – NOS): Jenkins has made a very smooth transition to the safety spot in the NFL. He has three games with three pass defenses, 49 solos and had a pair of picks this past week. The final three weeks look fantastic for the Saint D and Jenkins in particular. Start him if you got him.
Josh Wilson (CB – BAL): Wilson looked fantastic in spells for the Seahawks over the past couple years and is again racking up the pass defenses and is on a two-game tackle tear. The next three weeks offer solid potential production, so he will be a nice option in all formats.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Louis Delmas (S – DET): Delmas is having a decent season, following up on a very productive rookie campaign. But after scoring in single digits in four of the past five games, he looks like a somewhat risky start.
Yeremiah Bell (S – MIA): He’s consistently ranked high because he typically puts up solid numbers and the Fins’ matchups have been solid. He only has 9 solos in the past three weeks, so we’re a little concerned, but he could easily turn things around regardless of how good the matchup is.