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IDP Hot and Not - Week 2
Darin Tietgen
September 9, 2008
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Welcome to the first installment of The Huddle’s IDP Hot and Not.  This bi-weekly article will give you a flavor of what IDPs are hot and look to continue their hot streaks and which ones are not that you might consider benching in coming weeks or dropping altogether. 

LINEBACKERS

HOT

London Fletcher (WAS) – Fletcher was super busy on Thursday night, racking up an amazing 17 tackles (12 solos) against the G-men.  No reason to think the tackling will stop with the Saints and Cardinals coming to town over the next two weeks. 

Lance Briggs (CHI) – Briggs outscored his fellow LB mate Brian Urlacher in the Bears’ upset win on Sunday night.  He was busy making solos (5), assisted tackles (3) and even recovered a fumble.  Expect Briggs to continue his hot streak against the Panthers next week, and could potentially put up huge numbers against a Jeff Garcia-less Buc squad in Week 3.

Shaun Phillips (SDC) – With Shawne Merriman nursing the balky knee (and only putting up two total tackles), Phillips was the high scorer for the Charger D in their last-second loss to the Panthers.  Phillips and the Bolts travel to Denver next week and their defense will be key in avoiding an 0-2 start.

NOT

Omar Gaither (PHI) – Gaither has been touted as a sleeper the past two years and hasn’t performed much at all.  Still, it was a bit of a shock to see him only log one tackle and one pass defense.  Looks like Stewart Bradley is definitely the Eagle LB to own this year.  If you’re relying on Gaither as your third LB, it might be time to try out another LB for the coming weeks or even cut bait if you’re in a more shallow league.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

HOT

Mario Williams (DE – HOU) – Not much of a surprise: Williams was the highest DL scorer in Week 1.  Expect even bigger and better things in the next two weeks, as the Texans face the Ravens and the Titans (without Vince Young).  Looks like Super Mario is ready to take the leap into the defensive elite of the NFL.

Justin Tuck (DE – NYG) – Tuck silenced those that were worried about his ability to step in and fill the shoes of Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora with six tackles and a sack against the Redskins in the NFL’s opener.  He’ll probably have at least a couple more sacks going into the Giants’ Week 4 bye, as he’ll be facing a Ram and Bengal offensive line that gave up a total of 6 sacks in Week 1. 

John Abraham (DE – ATL) – If Abraham can remain healthy, he could be a nice DL sleeper for the rest of the season. He’s been one of the better DLs in the NFL, but has been handcuffed by injuries.  He’s got a pair of cupcake matchups upcoming:  against the Bucs (without Garcia) and the Chiefs, who will give up their share of sacks.  He racked up three sacks in Week 1, and could get a couple more in the next few weeks.

NOT

Vonnie Holliday (DE – MIA) – Holliday’s move to defensive end made him a questionable fantasy choice, and disappointed those owners that stuck by him by only making two tackles on Sunday.  If he can’t rack up some fantasy points against the Cards and Pats over the next two weeks, it might be time to cut bait altogether.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

HOT

Yeremiah Bell (S – MIA) – Bell was flying a bit under the radar in the pre-season, but could end up being a nice weekly start at DB for your fantasy team.  We’ll get a real good indication of his worth in the next two weeks, as he’ll face a pass-happy Cardinal team next week, and then the Matt Cassel-led Patriots. 

Rodney Harrison (S – NEP) – With Tom Brady done for the season, expect the Patriot defense to be on the field a bit more.  Good news for Patriot IDP owners.  Harrison appears to have shaken the injury bug (at least for now) and will stay hot against AFC East rivals (Jets and Fins) in the next two weeks. 

Charles Tillman (CB – CHI) – Regardless of whether your league forces you to start CBs, Tillman is an elite defensive back and should be started every week.  He racked up six solo tackles, forced a fumble and defended a pass.  He should continue to fill up the box score in the coming weeks.  The Bear defense looked like the Bear defense of old, which could mean big things for the Bear IDPs.

NOT

Asante Samuel (CB – PHI) – Samuel’s bread and butter is his knack for intercepting the football, and breaking up passes that he doesn’t pick.  He did knock down three balls last week, but had no INTs (and tackles).  He’s going to have to do more than that to warrant a stat in some shallower leagues.  His Eagles play against the Cowboys and Steelers in the next two weeks; teams with highly effective quarterbacks.  Samuel’s season could continue to start out quietly.  Might want to explore other options if you have them.

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