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2009 IDP Update
 
2009 Fantasy Football IDP Studs, Duds and Surprises
By: Robert Kirlin aka: The IDP Guru

This is my first article since last year, I know many of you wondered what happened to me, well like so many others, our current economy dealt me some tough blows, but I’ve been able to rebound and hope the rest of you are doing well. As many know I am a huge Steeler fan and missed out on all of the gloating, I thought about it and decided against it, instead I will issue a few apologies to some fantasy football IDP players on my hometown team. Last year I stated that James Harrisons’ previous season was a fluke, and that he was overrated based on the one Monday Night game where he almost single handedly destroyed the Ravens. I was more than proven wrong and for that I must give the man the credit he is due. But James, if you’re reading this, I know you won’t blame me for being a bit skeptical if you’re going to perform this year with the big contract you’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, you’re more than deserving, but some players have a tendency to lose interest once they get that big payday. This guy better be at the top of everyone’s 2009 fantasy football IDP rankings.

My second apology goes out to Troy Polamalu whom I stated would not last more than 3 more years in the league due to your wreckless style you play, your injuries and concussions aside, you had an awesome year in bouncing back from a previously disappointing past 2, and you made perhaps the greatest interception we have ever seen.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to take a look at this years fantasy football IDP studs and duds.

Defensive Line Studs:

1. Mario Williams Houston Texans: Williams’ play was solid last year, once many balked at the Texans drafting him, over Reggie Bush and Vince Young, and it ended up costing Charlie Casserly his job as GM. Hindsight being 20/20, Casserly made the best pick and the franchise has benefited from his great pick. Williams will have a monster season and should surpass 15 sacks.

2. Justin Tuck New York Giants: Tuck was supposed to be the replacement for Michael Strahan and proved even in a reserve role he could play 2 years ago. Last year with Strahan gone and Umenyiora out for the year, many expected Tuck to struggle, boy were they wrong. With a healthy Umenyiora back this season Tuck could have a huge season and push the Giants deep into the playoffs.

3. Trent Cole Philadelphia Eagles: In my eyes he is the most reliable numbers guy over the past 3 seasons, he’s not flashy or a big name outside of Philly, but without a doubt the most solid and safest bet for your IDP league.

Defensive Line Duds:

1. Chris Long St. Louis Rams: After a so-so rookie season, Howie’s kid is expected to step up, but with no real improvement on the defensive side of the ball Long will struggle. He will have a good game here or there, but his stats will be erratic at best.

2. Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins: His stint with the Washington Redskins over after just 1 year, Taylor has gone back to the Dolphins to give them some veteran leadership, but it appears his days of being an every down player are over. I don’t see him being used (barring injuries) for more than half the snaps on defense, and he may even be dropped to linebacker where he probably wouldn’t even make my top 50 list.

3. Aaron Schobel Buffalo Bills: Schobel has been injury prone the past 2 seasons, and he’s not getting any younger. He will have a few good games at times, but his play this season if healthy will be spotty at best.

Surprises:

1. Albert Haynesworth Washington Redskins: After a huge year with the Titans last year, Haynesworth became the most sought after free agent in the NFL, his talent is unquestioned, but unfortunately he went for the money, and the man with the deepest pockets, Dan Snyder signed him. Unfortunately while a good businessman, Snyder still fails to understand that you can’t buy a Super Bowl, and he always finds a way of throwing money away on the “big name” out there, and he always seems to flop. Don’t be surprised if Haynesworth struggles this year.

2. Aaron Kampman Green Bay Packers: His numbers dropped last year and the switch to a 3-4 will not do him any favors. Kampman will be reduced to no more than a set up man for the linebacking corps.

3. Julius Peppers Carolina Panters: Peppers may not end up playing this year for Carolina. New England is still hot on his trail and would like nothing more than to add him to their roster, if this happens, Peppers could be extremely motivated at a chance for a Super Bowl, if he remains with Carolina, look for him to just go through the motions. Not the fantasy football IDP player he use to be.

Linebacker Studs:

1. Patrick Willis San Francisco 49er’s: Slowed a bit by injuries he will rebound this year, he’s not a sack master, but is without a doubt the most solid tackler in the league.

2. John Beason Carolina Panthers: I had an opportunity to draft him last year in my league along with Willis, but I was helping my wife who has never played in a fantasy football IDP league, he is #2 only to Willis, but has the players around him to make him a better player this year than last.

3. Barrett Ruud Tampa Bay Bucs’: Ruud had an awesome season last year, and with the youth movement in Tampa, Ruud is going to have to be extra good this year. I believe he will be.

Linebacker Duds:

1. Antonio Pierce New York Giants: He’s been one of my favorite IDP linebackers and he could still put up good numbers, but injuries and age may have caught up to him. I like him because he’s been an overachiever his entire career, but heart can only take the body so far.

2. Julian Peterson Detroit Lions: Peterson is now playing for the worst team in the NFL. They have a good linebacking corps with Ernie Simms and Paris Lenon, but no defensive line and no secondary help, it will be a long year for Peterson.

3. Keith Bulluck Tennessee Titans: Bullucks’ numbers have slipped each of the past 2 seasons, he’s on a great defense, but is more a product of a system, and also does not appear to be able to stay healthy.

Surprises:

1. James Harrison Pittsburgh Steelers: The defensive player of the year landed a big fat contract in the off season, I would worry about him, but when I consider where he has come from early in his career (he was cut by the Ravens and 3 times by the Steelers) I have got to give the man the benefit of the doubt and say that if you are in a league that pays big for sacks, Harrison will still be there for you.

2. Jonathan Vilma New Orleans Saints: Now 3 years removed from a devastating knee injury, Vilma is in a system that allows him to play the way he can. I look for him to have many who know IDP to bring back memories of his early years with the Jets.

3. Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears: Urlacher is just a beast, but I just don’t think at his pace he will be able to put up numbers the full year. He’ll still put up good numbers, but not as high as you’d like, and not when you need him in the playoffs.

Defensive Back Studs:

1. Adrian Wilson Arizona Cardinals: The past couple seasons he’s really not lived up to the billing. But a loss in the Super Bowl has left a bad taste and I think he will rebound and show his old skills from 2-3 years ago.

2. Sean Jones Cleveland Browns: Injuries limited him early and he never played a down last year that he wasn’t hurt. With last season gone and time to get healthy, I look for him to rebound and have a good season.

3. Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers: Polamalu was finally healthy last year and looked like the Pro Bowl safety of years past. If he is able to take care of himself and not try to go for the big hit on each down, he should have a solid year.

Defensive Back Duds:

1. Jermaine Phillips Tampa Bay Bucs’: I drafted this guy 2 years in a row, I won’t be burned again. Stay away from him.

2. Roy Williams Free Agent: The former Cowboys 1st round draft pick has seen better days, known for hard hitting in college, he’s only been above average in his NFL career, (plus I’ve heard Jerry Jones is easily confused and only want 1 Roy Williams on his team).

3. Marcus Trufant Seattle Seahawks: Last year I had him rated very high, and he fell apart. He may have a decent points season if he can duplicate the INT’s from 2 seasons ago, but the tackles are not there.

Surprises:

1. Kenny Phillips New York Giants: Last years number one draft pick got some playing time late in the year, he should beat out Sammy Knight for the starting position this year and could be a solid Safety for years to come.

2. Ed Reed Baltimore Ravens: Every year I predict Reed will break down and fall apart due to his hard hitting style, this season I’m going to predict that he will be the same Ed Reed that we’ve seen in years past and will have another 10 interception season.

3. Cortland Finnegan Tennessee Titans: Last year he had a career year and really opened a lot of eyes, this year I see him taking a step or two back and not being as big a factor ending up with only 3 INT’s.

Again, it’s so good to be back to share my thoughts and hopefully help you win in your 2009 fantasy football IDP league. I will try to answer as many IDP questions as I can this year although I will probably be limited to Saturdays and Sundays this year with my regular work schedule, so the best time to post them may be Friday night. Next month I will be working on my top 100 at D-Line, Linebacker and D-Backs and hopefully by the end of July have them narrowed down to the top 50.

Sincerely, Bob Kirlin The IDP Guru

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