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.
David Hawthorne (SEA): All this guy is score fantasy points. Each time he’s in the starting role, he’s scoring at least 22 fantasy points. And it’s not just a fluky, huge tackling effort. He’s intercepting the football, forcing fumbles and batting thrown balls down. As long as he’s the starter (which he will be to close the season out), he’s got the potential to put up LB1 numbers at this pace.
Jon Beason (CAR): Beason is keeping his value high despite Thomas Davis’ explosion. The Panther MLB has three solid matchups coming up on the schedule and will have a chance at 7-10 tackles in each.
Jonathan Vilma (NOS): The Saint had six weeks of mediocre to poor outings, but has looked better in the past three efforts, and has the potential at making some big plays in the next two games.
Derrick Johnson (KCC): Yikes. This guy was once a fantasy stalwart, now he’s just a fantasy afterthought. He’s been in HC Todd Haley’s doghouse and continues to play in a backup and situational role.
Aaron Curry (SEA): Could be the return of Leroy Hill, could be the emergence of David Hawthorne next to him, could be a combination of both or perhaps that he’s hit some kind of rookie wall. Any way you slice it, though, he’s quieted down since a nice 3 or 4 game stretch. Don’t give up on the young stud though.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Tony Hargrove (DT – NOS): The big man in the middle of the improved Saint front seven is Tony Hargrove, who now has 3 double digit outings in a row. In leagues that start DT, he’s certainly an option moving forward.
Chris Kelsay (DE – BUF): Kelsay has 3 double digit outings in his past three games and will have a chance at doing the same after this week’s bye. If he’s available, grab him and reap the rewards against the Titans and Jags.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Charles Grant (DE – NOS): Grant was granted a pardon by the NFL in the early part of the season and had a couple good efforts. But he’s tailed off since then and simply isn’t getting to the opposing QB.
Ryan Pickett (DT – GBP): Pickett is a bit of a tease, getting you 10 points against a tough Viking squad and then pitching a near goose egg against a struggling Buc squad. He apparently loves playing the Vikings, totaling 23 fantasy points in two games.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Tanard Jackson (S – TBB): Since returning from injury (and a one game refresher), he’s been on fire, averaging over 20 fantasy points per game. Sabby Piscitelli will continue to have some value on the other side, but expect Jackson to continue to post good numbers against the next opponents.
Ronald Bartell (CB – STL): Bartell’s been in double digits all but one game (9, against a run-heavy Viking team that week) and after his Week 9 bye has a superb matchup against the Saints.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Atari Bigby (S – GBP): I actually had to go look up the Packer depth chart to see if Bigby was actually still the starting SS. He is, but his numbers would say otherwise. He has only sniffed double digits twice all season and is only good for about 3 solos a game. This guy’s wildly talented and should have the potential for 5-6 solos a game.
Al Harris (CB – GBP): Harris is an example of a studly “real life” player that leaves something to be desired fantasy-wise. He’s a big hitter can make plays, but he can also disappear. With the position so deep, you’re better off going with someone who’s more consistent.