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.
Paul Posluszny (BUF): Poz has been solid since returning from being injured, and despite the massive Marcus Stroud making plays in the middle of the front seven. He’s on bye this week but has four very solid matchups after that. If you’re able to get him via trade, go ahead and make it happen.
D.J. Williams (DEN): After being moved around and different schemes, Williams has found a groove and has been in double digit fantasy points in each week this season. Four very good matchups are next up for Williams, so plug him in as your LB1 and expect plenty of tackles and other game-changing stats.
Bradie James (DAL): James started the season putting up average numbers, which was a mild disappointment after having a very solid 2008-9 campaign. He’s turned things around a bit over the past four games, averaging just over 14 fantasy points per. He’s a very capable LB2 with potential to put up bigger stats.
Gary Brackett (IND): The veteran is making a decent number of tackles (25 solos in 5 games played), but is offering little else. If you have better options, it’s probably prudent to keep him on your bench until he starts posting bigger numbers.
A.J. Hawk (GBP): Hawk has been the model of inconsistency this season, showing potential in 15-point fantasy efforts, but also throwing up goose eggs. The Packers have some decent matchups coming up, but do you want to risk having Hawk give you 3 or 4 fantasy points?
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Julius Peppers (DE – CAR): Peppers is starting to perform like the physical freak that he is. After starting the season rather slow (4 points Week 2, 3 points week 3), he’s been a monster. He’s got a pretty tough matchup here this week, but he’ll likely still make things happen.
Kevin Williams (DT – MIN): The big guy is the highest-scoring DT over the past month of games. He’s got a bye this week, but you’ll certainly want to plug him in against the Lions and Seahawks after that.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Robert Mathis (DE – IND): Mathis shows that he can dominate (23 fantasy points, including 3 sacks) or disappear (5 ppg over last 3). He’s got a few tough matchups coming up, but it’s really tough to bench a guy that has tier-one talent.
Amobi Okoye (DT – HOU): Okoye is a high-motor guy that was thought to be a key cog in the improving Texan offense. While he may make things happen defensively, none of those things are really showing up in the box score. He’s only got 1.5 sacks on the season.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Jarius Byrd and George Wilson (S – BUF): The rookie (Byrd) and 4th-year vet (Wilson) are filling in for the injured starters Bryan Scott and Donte Whitner (who both started the season on fire). Both Byrd and Wilson are playing just as well as the starters, posting solid fantasy stats. Unfortunately, it looks like both Whitner and Scott are closing in on returning.
Terence Newman (CB – DAL): Newman seems to provide steady points, constantly getting at least one or two pass defenses every game. He’ll be plenty busy this coming week as the Boys head east to face the high-flying Eagles.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Michael Griffin (S – TEN): After a breakout season last year, it was thought Griffin would again post good if not great numbers, especially with no Haynesworth causing havoc up front. No such luck, as Griffin struggles to get into double digit fantasy points on a weekly basis.
Richard Marshall (CB – CAR): Marshall’s bread and butter is the big play, and he simply hasn’t had many thus far. DB is such a deep position, so you have to consider dropping – or at very least benching – Marshall until he starts heating up.