General Admission - Week 11
by Dave Baker
November 15th, 2012

Time for another football season and time for another year of IDP General Admission. In my ninth year with this column, it remains an honor and a privilege to play a small role in by far the best fantasy football website on the net. My focus is on the IDP slice of this hobby and hope I can offer some interesting tidbits as we go along. I encourage reader feedback and suggestions. So let's kick things off for 2012. Welcome to IDP General Admission...

A look at week 10...

Chicago Bear DT Henry Melton came in last year as the replacement for Tommie Harris. Harris had a played a valuable role for the Bears for eight seasons and had moved on to San Diego. While Melton finished the season with six sacks, he also tended to disappear from games and in fact in eleven of his games, he posted only one solo tackle or less...

Still, the Bears gave the starting nod to Melton again this year in hopes of seeing a more consistent player. The Bears realized that in Melton they had a special combination of strength, size and athleticism. At the University of Texas, Melton had played running back for his first two seasons and in fact rushed for 625 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Texas switched him to defense in his third year and he hasn't looked back...

On his NFL Pro Day, Melton wowed scouts by running a 4.64 40-yard dash, along with bench pressing 225 pounds 23 times and added a vertical leap of 34 1/2 inches. But with Melton's lack of experience on defense (he had only been playing it for two years), along with some off-field issues, Melton wasn't drafted until the fourth round...

Fast forward back to this year, Melton has been nothing short of spectacular. He has 22-10 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles and has been an essential component to what's arguably the best defense in the league right now. Melton has stated recently that he wants to remain a Bear after this season when his contract expires. Good news for the Bears....

Atlanta Falcon DE John Abraham continues to drink from the fountain of youth. The 34 year old former first round pick (13th overall) has seven sacks already this year, to go with 20 solo tackles and three forced fumbles. And it's not a coincidence that he's a member of an Atlanta team that has one of the better defenses and tied for the best record...

Abraham spent the first half of his career with the New York Jets, where he compiled 53.5 sacks in six seasons. He was traded to the Falcons for a first round draft pick in 2006, where he has since added 65.5 sacks. His 119 sacks rank him 15th on the all-time list and he also has 40 career forced fumbles. I'm not sure how much longer he will remain as competitive as he is, but it sure is fun to watch...

DE Robert Quinn has quite an interesting story. He grew up and played his high school ball in South Carolina. Besides being a star on the football field, Quinn was also a three time heavyweight champ in 4A wrestling. Before finishing his senior football season, after he already had 54 tackles and five sacks, doctors found a tumor in Quinn's brain and he was forced to undergo brain surgery to remove it. The tumor was benign, and after a full recovery, Quinn was able to resume his football career...

Quinn went to North Carolina to play college ball and after a solid freshman season he turned in an even better sophomore season, including 11 sacks. However, after violating NCAA rules, Quinn was declared ineligible for his junior season. After the season, Quinn elected to turn pro. Despite missing his senior season, despite the brain surgery just a couple years before that, and despite violating NCAA rules, Quinn was still highly regarded enough to be chosen by the Rams with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft...

While Quinn's rookie season of 20-3 tackles and five sacks was far from spectacular, he displayed enough to continue to whet the coach's appetite for his future. This season has proven the Rams were correct in their analysis of Quinn, as he has 8.5 sacks (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 18-4 tackles. At only 22 years old, Quinn has dynasty DE1 written all over him for years to come...

LB Akeem Ayers was a second round draft pick by the Tennessee Titans last year and really came on strong as the season progressed, as evidenced by his 34-11 tackles in the second half of the season. He has continued that path of success this year with 46-29 tackles and three sacks. His torrid pace has cooled a bit since the first three games of this year, and Ayers has the unfortunate circumstance of playing on one of the worst defenses in the league, but he remains a poor man's LB1 and a good LB2 in most IDP leagues...

Until next week...

Please e-mail me with any comments or suggestions at baker@footballguys.com.

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