Osi Umenyiora, DE, NYG - It appears that Umenyiora is willing to end his protest over not receiving a new contract or a trade, and he could be a full participant in practice as soon as Monday. Coming off a season that saw him total an NFL-record 10 forced fumbles, Umenyiora’s IDP appeal speaks for itself.
Matt Roth, DE, JAC - Roth's total of 86 tackles (59 solo) as an outside linebacker in Cleveland's 3-4 defense last year was nothing special by IDP standards, but he should stand out more as an IDP now that he's switching back to defensive end in Jacksonville's 4-3. The team is already thin at end, and Aaron Kampman has major durability questions, so Roth should get lots of snaps for a defense that could be on the field rather often in 2011.
Jaiquawn Jarrett, SS, PHI - It was only one play, but Jarrett’s interception against Baltimore on Thursday boosts his chances of earning the starting strong safety spot in Philadelphia. Jarrett was drafted to be an in-the-box type of safety, so each instance where he shows the ability to make plays in coverage adds another bullet point to his resume.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, NYG - With Osi Umenyiora likely to stick with the Giants, that means fewer snaps for Pierre-Paul. With just one year of experience at South Florida, and another spent in a part-time role as a rookie, Pierre-Paul is still raw and could use another year as a rotational player. However, he appears to be one of the league’s top talents at defensive end and could flourish in a starting role. Nonetheless, the Umenyiora situation should prevent him from posting big numbers out of the gate.
Robert Ayers, DE, DEN - Ayers is supposed to be a better fit for Denver’s 4-3 than the 3-4 scheme previously used, but it’s still not clear how he’s going to make an impact in his third NFL season. Jason Hunter is coming off a two-sack game against Dallas and should push Ayers for snaps, while Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller have the edge-rushing roles locked down in obvious passing situations. Ayers is only worth keeping an eye on in deep IDP leagues.
Clint Session, LB, JAC - Session is one of the league’s more effective linebackers when he’s on the field, but the injury problems that plagued him in Indianapolis wasted no time finding him in Jacksonville. He dealt out a huge hit to New England’s Aaron Hernandez in Thursday’s preseason opener, but he lit himself up in the process and may have suffered a concussion. Session should both strengthen the Jacksonville defense and be a good IDP option when active, but Thursday’s game was another reminder that Session is a risky draft investment.
Will Witherspoon, LB, TEN - Witherspoon could have a decent season in 2011, but the arrivals of free agent Barrett Ruud, and rookies Akeem Ayers and Colin McCarthy, might limit his snaps. Witherspoon is tentatively listed among the Titans’ three starting linebackers, but he looks likely to give up snaps to Ruud, Ayers and Gerald McRath in passing situations.
Jason Babin, DE, PHI - Babin is coming off a late-bloomer Pro Bowl season in Tennessee, and he should remain effective with the Eagles. The problem is the team is absurdly deep on the defensive line and figures to rotate as much as any team in the league. Trent Cole is the only untouchable defensive end on the team, as all of Babin, Darryl Tapp, Juqua Parker, Tony Hargrove and Brandon Graham (knee) figure to see the field regularly.