Welcome to The Huddle’s IDP Hot and Not Report. It’s high time to get yourself postured for a playoff spot. This article will highlight the guys you absolutely need to be starting and those that you might want to consider benching. 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.
Jon Beason (CAR): Beason’s stats could have taken a minor hit this season with Thomas Davis’ breakout. With Davis sidelined, Beason is again the tackling machine he’s been for several years. A whopping 11 solos, 6 assists and a fumble recovery highlight his last effort, and his next four games all offer tackling and big-play potential.
Clint Session (IND): Only David Hawthorne has scored more points than Session in the past month. The Colt WLB has a string of solid matchups here in Weeks 13-16. He had a big game against the Texans and will look to slow down the speedy Chris Johnson here this week. Spying Vince Young could also present opportunities for Session as well.
James Lauranaitis (STL): The rookie has put up a few weak efforts this season but has also been solid in many others, and his past two games total 53 fantasy points. His final games shall offer plenty of tackling opportunities as he approaches 100 solos.
Gerald Hayes (ARI): Hayes has battled a bad back and has only 3 double digit fantasy efforts this season. It’s best to leave him on your bench until he’s 100% and putting up numbers again.
Shawne Merriman (SDC): He’s been battling injuries all season and has aggravated the foot injury again. He had a string of 3 decent outings but has reverted to near absence once again.
HOT DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Darnell Dockett (DE – ARI): Dockett is on a 4-game sack streak, delivering three of them to his owners this past weekend against Vince Young. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to close the season, and absolutely cherry matchups in Weeks 15 and 16 against the Rams and Lions.
Kelly Gregg (DT – BAL): You never really know what you’re going to get with defensive tackles in terms of fantasy production, but the veteran Gregg has games of 11 and 14 fantasy points in his past three and faces the Lions and Bears in the next three weeks.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Osi Umenyiora (DE – NYG): As an Umenyiora dynasty owner, it pains me to type these sentences. What has happened to this guy? Unhappy with contract? Still hurt? Well whatever it is, it’s affecting his fantasy value. Started the season off hot but has been all but worthless since. At this point, you have to keep him benched unless you want 4 fantasy points.
Shaun Rogers (DT – CLE): Rogers is probably one of the most potentially dominant forces in the NFL, and had a great 2008 season which backed that up. He has a whopping two sacks on the season and has only reached double digits three times; twice to start the season, and last week against the Bengals. The “Super Bowl” week matchups look nice, so if you have no other DT option, you might as well roll him out there and hope for the best.
HOT DEFENSIVE BACKS
Jordan Babineaux (S – SEA): The Seahawk safety is quietly having a great fantasy season, with 58 solos and 5 passes batted down already. His final month’s worth of games are very good and he could average 6-7 solos from here on out.
Cortland Finnegan (CB – TEN): After battling injuries towards the middle of the season, he’s come back and posted decent numbers. The final matchups will present plenty of opportunities for the Titan CB.
“NOT” DEFENSIVE BACKS
Jarius Byrd (S – BUF): The rookie may have hit the proverbial “rookie wall” after a string of very solid games. He’s dealing with a sore groin to boot, so it might be best to bench the rookie and play a more consistent option.
Nnamdi Asomugha (CB – OAK): If there were a way to give fantasy points to shutdown corners for how much an opposing QB avoids him at all costs, Asomugha would be a top-tier defensive back. He simply doesn’t get the opportunities that other corners get in terms of INTs, batted balls and even tackles.