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IDP Hot and Not - Week 12
Darin Tietgen
November 18, 2008
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Welcome to the Week 12 installment of The Huddle’s IDP Hot and Not.  Check us out every other week, where we’ll give you a flavor of what IDPs are hot and look to continue their streaks and which ones are not that you might consider benching in coming weeks or dropping altogether. 

LINEBACKERS

HOT

Eric Barton (NYJ) – Barton is making the most of the injury to David Harris.  He had a ridiculous 14 solos and a forced fumble against the Patriots this past week and should pile up the tackles again this week against the run-heavy offense of the Titans.  No LB has been hotter over the past three weeks.  Get him into your lineup if you were savvy enough to grab him after Harris got hurt.

Jerod Mayo (NEP) – If you think Barton had a monster game on Thursday night, go look at Mayo’s stat line:  16 solos and a pass defense.  He’ll have his share of quieter games, but the rookie is having a terrific season, and speaks volumes to his stud status as Bill Belichick prefers to run with more seasoned linebackers.  Look for Mayo to score well in the next two weeks, but could have limited production in the final three contests. 

Jamie Winborn  (DEN) – Another veteran LB who’s making good now that a teammate is out due to injury, Winborn has been racking up tackles over the past three weeks.  With D.J. Williams shelved, Winborn has been the main beneficiary.  Look for him to continue his tackling ways this week even with the Broncos’ opponents, the Oakland Raiders, struggling to move the ball.  Winborn is a guy you want in your lineup down the stretch, especially in tackle-heavy scoring systems. 

NOT

Akin Ayodele (MIA) – Those in deeper leagues were likely using Ayodele as a 2nd or 3rd LB in the middle part of the season, as he was posting double-digits with regularity.  Well, things have quieted down for the veteran LB, and he has a sparse 14 fantasy points over the past three weeks.  He’s got a decent matchup against the Pats this week, so maybe you wait a week before deciding to dump him.  But in smaller leagues, he should be waiver wire fodder.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

HOT

Brodrick Bunkley  (DT – PHI) – Those of you in leagues that start DT, pay attention.  Bunkley has games of 13 and 12 fantasy points over the past two weeks (decent stats for an interior lineman) and has a terrific Week 12 matchup against the Ravens.  He’s a nice stash-and-hold option and even startable in larger leagues. 

Julius Peppers (DE – CAR) –  Don’t look now, but the big man from North Carolina is starting to heat up.  Mind you, he’s had two big games in a row against real sub-standard competition.  This week should be tougher for Peppers and the Panther line, but if Peppers’ 9-point effort against the Falcons during Week 4 is any indication, he could certainly post 12-15 fantasy points in a big road matchup.

NOT

Leonard Little (DE – STL) – The Rams are simply a mess, on both sides of the ball.  Little is a premier pass rusher, but has battled injury all season and is experiencing a cold spell.  He does have 4.5 sacks on the season, and could easily double that total by the end of the season, but I wouldn’t count on big production fantasy-wise.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

HOT

Antoine Bethea (S – IND) – Bethea is a “hot” option because he performs whether Bob Sanders is in the lineup or not.  He’s not putting up stats other than tackles, but always has the opportunities.  A big game against the Bolts looms in Week 12 and Bethea will likely top 5 solos.

Jordan Babineaux (CB – SEA) – The “other” Seahawk CB is having a great stretch of games, scoring 16 fantasy points in each of the past three games.  Look for him to score well this week against the Skins as Jason Campbell will spread the ball around to his WRs and TE. 

Michael Lewis (S - SFO) – After the Niners’ Week 9 bye and a stretch of weak performances, Lewis has bounced back a bit, including a big game against the Rams this past week.  Figure he’ll be extra busy this week against the Cowboys’ passing attack.

NOT

Chris Harris (S – CAR) – Harris is actually an elite defensive back, he’s just having a real weak fantasy season.  He came out guns blazing to start the season but hasn’t scored in double digits since Week 2.  The Panthers are playing solid overall D and Harris has only had to sprinkle in the big play.  He should be off redraft league rosters, rostered only in larger or dynasty leagues.

Scoring system used for this report – solo tackle (2), assisted tackle (1), sack (3), forced or recovered fumble (3), interception (3) and pass defensed (1).

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