Welcome to The Huddle’s IDP Hot and Not Report for Week 2. 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 stumbled out of the gate. 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.
Thomas Davis (CAR): We’ll lead with Davis, who was the 2nd-highest scoring LB Week 1 (London Fletcher was #1), and really outperformed his ADP and ranking. Looks like Davis has hit a stride and will be valuable in leagues of all sizes. He racked up an impressive 14 solo tackles against the Philly offense.
Justin Durant (JAX): Durant, coming off a preseason where he was nursing a hip flexor injury, looked solid against the Colt offense, racking up 10 solos and certainly looking like the Jags’ defensive leader with Mike Peterson departed. Expect another solid game against a Cardinal offense very similar to the Colts’.
Larry Foote (DET): So far so good with the “by default” MLB for the Lions. He’ll continue to have plenty of tackling opportunities for this defense. No reason to think he can’t rack up 6-7 solos and a few assists against the Vikes next weekend.
Lance Briggs (CHI): Worth mentioning here because he’ll be without his running mate, Brian Urlacher, for the remainder of the season. Whether or not they move him inside or bring Derrick Brooks in remains to be seen. Either way you slice it, he started the season scoring a paltry 6 fantasy points. He could easily move back into the “hot” category, especially if he’s able to step up and lead the defense in Urlacher’s absence.
Barrett Ruud (TBB): We realize the Cowboys were burning the Buc defense through the air, but that’s no excuse for Ruud only having 3 solos and an assist. Ruud is a talented LB that will certainly lead the Buc defense in tackles in 2009, but he’s not off to a hot start.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Osi Umenyiora (DE – NYG): We’ll let the big Giant end lead this section after his solid effort against the Skins, coming off an injured 2008 season. He was a difference maker as an edge rusher, and will continue to wreak havoc, especially if fellow end Justin Tuck continues to draw attention.
Victor Abiamiri (DE – PHI): The Eagles need someone to step up to play second fiddle to Trent Cole. Last year it was Juqua Parker (and it still could be), but the big end out of Notre Dame looked good Week 1 and could become a hot pickup if Parker fizzles.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Jared Allen (DE – MIN): I’ll include Allen’s name here only because I want to point out how hot and cold defensive linemen can be in fantasy football. Allen was the consensus #1 DL on just about every fantasy football draft board, but he only managed one measly assisted tackle against the Browns this week. Let’s just say we expected a little more. Now, am I recommending you go and bench Allen next week? Of course not. But many owners have to be more than disappointed in this effort.
Gaines Adams (DE – TBB): Expectations were very high – and rightly so – for Adams this season, and starting out with a goose egg is definitely not the best way to kick it off. Look for Adams to find better success against the Bills this week, though.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Mike Brown (S – KCC): There could be a few reasons the Chiefs let Bernard Pollard go, one of which being Mike Brown is healthy – for now – and when healthy, can be a dominant force. He recorded 8 solos and 4 assists this past Sunday and could be a very viable starting DB in all leagues if he can remain off the injury report.
Abram Elam (S – CLE): A reader was kind enough to alert us of our exclusion of Elam in our preseason rankings. At the final press time, it was still unclear whether Elam would lose much time to Mike Adams and Nick Sorensen. Well, if he plays like he did Week 1, he’ll likely see just about every defensive snap for the Browns. Elam had some solid efforts for the Jets in seasons past, and will have every opportunity to be the leader of the Brown secondary with Sean Jones gone. He should find similar success against the Broncos in Week 2.
Cedric Griffin (CB – MIN): In a couple preseason articles, I mentioned that Griffin was probably the better value in terms of drafting a Viking CB. Yes, Antoine Winfield is a mega-stud, but in some cases you had to overpay to get him. Probably not so with Griffin, and he’s off to a nice start.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Nedu Ndukwe (S – CIN): Ndukwe had some opportunities on Sunday, despite playing second fiddle to newcomer Roy Williams. Still, he came up with next to nothing fantasy-wise. The Bengal defense will likely spend a good deal of time on the field, but it appears that even with a decent amount of playing time, Ndukwe's fantasy value is limited unless Williams gets hurt.
Darrelle Revis (CB – NYJ): Revis is ultra-talented and showed it on Sunday in his coverage of the extremely productive Texan passing attack. Unfortunately, it just resulted in a meager amount of fantasy production.