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.
Antonio Pierce (NYG): Pierce is climbing back up the rankings every week, and after a month's worth of 14+ fantasy points per game (in typical IDP scoring), he's worthy of not only a roster spot, but starting in most leagues.
Eric Barton (CLE): Barton's been in double digits every week this season, and with D'Qwell Jackson now shelved for the season, there may be more opportunities for him. If nothing else, expect Barton to continue this pace with the Brown defense on the field a bunch.
DeMeco Ryans (HOU): Ryans continues to get outscored by the rookie Brian Cushing, but over the past month, he's averaged 13+ fppg and is starting to tackle with a bit more regularity now. You know he's still one of the elite in terms of talent, so the points will come.
Keith Rivers (CIN): We thought Rivers might be in for a big season but aside from a few solid weeks, he's been disappointing. 6 solos in the past two games, and only one non-tackle stat all season. That's not gonna get it done.
Andra Davis (DEN): No real need to panic, just bears mention that prior to Denver's Week 7 bye, Davis had put up 17.5 fantasy points in the previous two weeks. He should get things going against the Ravens this week, but if he doesn't, you might want to consider benching him against the Steelers in Week 9.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Randy Starks (DE - MIA): Starks is by no means a star, but if you lost a guy like Antwan Odom or have an ineffective Osi Umenyiora, he's a nice fill-in. He's starting to get to the QB, and showed he can figure into assisted tackles this past week too. The next couple weeks don't look great matchup-wise, but keep him on your radar for Weeks 10-12.
Chris Kelsay (DE - BUF): Over the past month, Kelsay is averaging just a tick less than his DE mate Aaron Schobel. Both Bill ends look like they should not only be rostered, but starting on a weekly basis.
"NOT" DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Kyle Vanden Bosch (DE - TEN): The Titans, as a whole, are a mess, and it trickles right down to fantasy production from key defenders. Vanden Bosch certainly isn't the player he once was, and it very well could be due to the loss of Albert Haynesworth in the middle of the Titan defense. Vanden Bosch only has one game in double digit fantasy points, and has nary a sack this season. He's benchable in all leagues, and certainly droppable in some.
Vince Wilfork (DT - NEP): Just a quick note to further explain how NFL talent doesn't always directly translate into fantasy worth. Wilfork is a beast and is plugging up the middle for the Pats on a consistent basis, but he's only getting around 4-5 fantasy points per game on a weekly basis. He can dominate, so if you're in a dynasty league that starts DT, you want to have him around just in case he gets hot.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Thomas DeCoud (S - ATL): There was some controversy with who was going to man the two safety spots for the Falcons in the preseason, but DeCoud has played extremely well and has been especially effective over the past two weeks. He's a big hitter that can make the INT as well as get to the opposing QB.
Leon Hall (CB - CIN): No corner is hotter over the past month, and only one other DB is averaging more per game (Darren Sharper) over that period. Hall is making tackles and knocking balls down with regularity. If you're in a league that starts CB, he's a must-play. Heck, he looks like a solid play in leagues that lump CBs in with safeties, too.
"NOT" DEFENSIVE BACKS
Jarrad Page (S - KCC): Guessing the Chiefs are sorry they let Bernard Pollard go. Page has been dealing with injuries and below-par play all season and now has been surpassed on the depth chart. Go ahead and cut bait.
Kevin Payne (S - CHI): it more than "Paynes" me to type this, as a Bear fan and a Payne owner in a dynasty league, but Payne has been pretty lousy fantasy-wise this season. He's scoring about 6.3 fppg, which is simply not enough to rely on him on a weekly basis.