Welcome to The Huddle’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 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): Some were curious as to Davis' prospects of keeping up his torrid pace, but his athleticism and position/scheme is a recipe for success. With the Panther offense continuing to struggle, the Panther D will see extended action and Davis will keep racking up the tackles.
Paul Posluszny (BUF): In his first game back since being out with an injured arm, Posluzny went for 6 solos, 3 assists and an INT. Safe to say he'll be back in form now that he's returned, and has a solid stretch of matchups sandwiching the Bill bye week.
Nick Barnett (GBP): Don't look now, but the once tier-one fantasy LB is posting decent stats in the 3-4 scheme. He has 17 and 18.5 points (respectively, in "standard" scoring) over the past two efforts and has a great stretch of matchups. As a third or perhaps even second LB (in larger leagues), he should be a steady source of points.
Shawne Merriman (SDC): Merriman certainly does not look like the Merriman of old. Perhaps he's hampered by the groin (or perhaps another) injury. Either way, he's averaging 3.8 points per game, a far cry from what Merriman owners are used to. For now, you gotta bench the guy and hope it turns around.
Adalius Thomas (NEP): Strangely, Thomas was made inactive for the Patriots' game this past weekend. He hasn't scored in double digits since Week 1 and if he's inactive, he'll sure have trouble bucking that trend.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Andre Carter (DE - WAS): Carter has 22 and 21.5 points in his past two games, and with the amount of time the Skin defense should be on the field, he should have a solid opportunity to continue those kinds of numbers. In those two efforts, he has 4.5 sacks. Carter's always been a solid talent, so this spike in points is not much of a surprise.
Aaron Schobel (DE - BUF): Schobel's always been a borderline tier-one defensive lineman. He won't have outbursts of huge points, but is a steady source of points from the DL spot. He's at his best when he's actively batting balls down and getting to the opposing QB. He's pretty much a must start against weak offensive lines.
"NOT" DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Ray Edwards (DE - MIN): Edwards started the season off as opposing OLs focused all their efforts into stopping Jared Allen. Once they figured out that was simply not possible, Edwards came back down to Earth and is now averaging around 3 or 4 points per game.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Brandon McGowan (S - NEP): The Patriot safety is averaging about 16 points in his past three games and to boot, might be a free agent in your league. He has scored in double digits since Week 2 and minus his Week 8 bye, has a nice string of matchups.
Derek Cox (CB - JAC): The athletic rookie from William & Mary is getting tested, and he's passing the test. He's got a couple picks on the season and is tackling well from the corner spot.
Following this week's bye, you'll want to get Cox in your lineup. Grab and stash him now if he's a free agent, or be prepared to use him if you already have him rostered.
"NOT" DEFENSIVE BACKS
Michael Johnson (S - NYG): The hope was that Johnson's stats would rise with the injury to Kenny Phillips, but Johnson hasn't done much of anything. His best effort, actually, was Week 1 when Phillips was in the lineup. He's droppable at this point.
Madieu Williams (S - MIN): Williams was once a top-tier defensive back, now he's scoring less than 8 fantasy points per game. With the position ultra-deep, those numbers can't help you. He only has one pass defense on the season and no INTs (not that he was ever an INT machine, but still). He'll have to add some "other" stats (rather than just tackles), if he's to matter fantasy-wise again.