If you don’t know me, I am a big fan of IDP leagues. I play in too many to count. Most have a very unique scoring system. Some are even designed to balance the scoring on either side of the ball. I love the intricacies of building in this setting and I never really understood why people don’t give it a try.
I have often wondered how to equate IDP players in a rookie draft to their offensive counterparts. Most dynasty owners carry more offensive bench players than defensive. This should mean that the waiver wire is always primed with defensive starters. This has made me wonder if it is worth it to draft IDP players at all? I know my friends in IDP Nation might find that statement sacrilegious. After all, I live and die by the practice of drafting an LB in the third round every year. Doing this should ensure you some kind of stability, as surely some of them will hit. Unfortunately, that line of thinking is getting washed away by people reaching for the top LBs in the early second round in recent years. Like run-on sentences, this trend seems to have an extended life.
-What was that I said early about the worthiness of drafting IDP players?
-Is the top of the 2nd round fringing on out-valuing said value?
By now, you may be forming an opinion on the above questions. That opinion likely includes the risk versus reward deliberation that is undertaken with an early second-round pick. Would you rather have eighth best WR or RB of the rookie class… or the top LB? You would probably want the top LB.
Some of you may also think that the top DE is also a worthy pick in the early 2nd round. This is called the Jevon Kearse/Joey Bosa outlier. Yet, some forget this time of year that pass rushers need 20-25 games to truly develop. Not mention many DEs will get the pre-draft designation of EDGE. Do not think any DE is safe from becoming an LB. Preston Smith played as a 271 pound 3-4 OLB as a rookie for the Redskins. Jared Allen did so as well for a brief period with the Bears. Chicago also made Lamarr Houston (who’s combine weight with 305!) trim down to 275 to play as a 3-4 OLB. Houston was rumored to be in the 290-295 range in his four years with Oakland, prior to joining Chicago. Rex Ryan even asked 300-pounder Mario Williams, to drop back in pass coverage. The point is coaches are stubborn when it comes to deploying their agenda. Frankly, we are at their mercy. The more we understand that the better IDP players we become.
Let’s take a look at the drafted IDP talent
over the last four years of rookie drafts:
Name/Cumulative Rookie Draft ADP (7 drafts)
Eric Kendricks -19.4 ADP – Kendricks has been a solid player in his very stable situation in Minnesota. I would definitely say he was worth the price tag.
Leonard Williams -29.6 ADP – ”Big Cat” walked into a seemingly good situation with Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson along the same D-line. The jury is still out but this deliberation is maddening.
Stephone Anthony – 26.4 ADP – After Year-1 he was worth it. Then, he found himself in the Sean Payton dog house.
Landon Collins – 33.3 ADP – Aside from the Giants not really knowing what they had in him, he remains worth it.
–I caused a big IDP run when I took Kendricks with the 17th (2.05) overall pick in a 1QB/PPR/Full IDP league. It wasn’t a major shockwave, but it did push some talent like Jameis Winston, David Johnson, Marcus Mariota, Duke Johnson, and Tyler Lockett down to the end of the 2nd/early 3rd. Some stinkers and some ”meh” players like David Cobb, Maxx Williams, Jaelen Strong, Phillip Dorsett, Matt Jones, Mike Davis (guilty), Javorius Allen, Tre McBride, Devin Smith, Cameron Artis-Payne, Chris Conley, and Josh Robinson were also mixed in that range with rest of the IDP talent shown above.
Bernardrick McKinney – 35.3 ADP – I was never really a fan, but his 6.2 tackles per game as a Texan make him worth it.
Vic Beasley – 36.4 ADP – This is a notable pick. However, the back and forth positional designation doesn’t sit well with me.
Jake Ryan – 46.9 ADP – It took until pick number 80 for him to go in one of my leagues. His ADP otherwise, would be 41.3, and he is still worth it.
Shaq Thompson – 46.2 – His 4.3 tackles per game are okay, I guess. Yet, that production is likely replaceable.
Denzel Perryman – 40.9 ADP – He missed 22 games in his four years in the league.
Dante Fowler – 45.6 ADP – I actually tracked owners selecting him with the 19th and 26th overall picks.
Randy Gregory – 46.1 ADP – Some moron likely smoking the same ”wacky tobaccy” that Gregory does, took him with the 16th overall pick. Thus, his ADP is a little skewed.
Paul Dawson – 46.3 ADP – I loved him but he was over drafted everywhere.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa – 58.9 ADP – I also had some love here but I was stable at DE in most cases, thank God!
Kwon Alexander – 83.5 ADP – He was only drafted in two of the seven drafts I tracked.
Name/Cumulative Rookie Draft ADP (8 drafts)
Myles Jack – 10.5 ADP – I saw Jack go as high picks #2 and #3 overall. I took him 14th overall in my 16-teamer, worth it. He turns 24 in September.
Darron Lee – 19.5 ADP – I liked his 4.47 speed and that was about it. Despite his yearly tackle average of 79 and per game average of 5.95, I still think this is a little high.
Jaylon Smith – 21.3 ADP – The risk here was huge! I would say this is a tad high but then I realized his 6.3 tackles per game is likely going get better if he stays healthy.
Joey Bosa – 23.1 ADP – This one is worth it, but a hold-out and injuries have not made things easy.
Reggie Ragland – 25.8 ADP – For as long as it has taken him to become relevant I would say he is not worth the price of admission.
Deion Jones – 26.1 ADP – Ding, Ding, DING! Worth it alert! Jones is the undersized outlier we all speak of and will reference for years to come.
DeForest Buckner – 29.3 ADP – This was one of the more consistent ADPs I charted. Here are the results over 8 drafts (31, 31, 32, 33, 33, 24, 31, and 20). He has proven himself worthy.
-Among the Jack ADPs were players like Devontae Booker, Jay Ajayi, Will Fuller, Keith Marshall, Paul Perkins, Kenyan Drake, Wendell Smallwood, Jared Goff, and Leonte Carroo. In one league I even took the Rams’ Mike Thomas in front of Jack! The rest of rookies scattered in with the IDP players above include Carson Wentz, Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, Malcolm Mitchell, Pharoh Cooper, Paxton Lynch, and DeAndre Washington.
Keanu Neal – 42.3 ADP – When healthy he has been totally worth this price.
Karl Joseph – 46.4 ADP – So far he’s not been worth it. He has a lot to prove after falling out of favor last season.
Leonard Floyd – 56.7 – Floyd has been okay so far. However, I believe the Bears have used him incorrectly. Maybe a new DC can get him more involved in all of the action. Still, his production is waiver-wire replaceable.
Su’a Cravens – 47.4 ADP – I’m sorry, who?
Blake Martinez – 79.9 ADP – Patience is a virtue and this why taxi squads exist. Green Bay is notorious for burying rookies on the depth chart, especially defensive players. They also always seem to be planning ahead, remember this.
Chris Jones – 88.9 ADP – In one of my rookie drafts, he went with 39th overall. He went undrafted in the other seven drafts.
Name/Cumulative Rookie Draft ADP (9 drafts)
Jarrad Davis – 13.6 ADP – I went back and forth on Davis prior to the rookie draft season. Ultimately, I thought his limitations might hurt his early production. Not many agreed with me as I watched him go as high as the 8th pick and never lower than the 22nd overall pick. He has averaged 98 tackles per season in his first two years in the league.
Reuben Foster – 17.2 ADP – Oh the drama! His stunt at such an important event like the combine should have given us all more pause.
Jamal Adams – 22 ADP – When you remember Landon Collins had an ADP of 33.3, this one seems a little off. Although, I am very bullish on Adams. #WorthIt
Myles Garrett – 22.6 ADP – By now this one is worth it. It was not an instant step into glory. Let that be a lesson to us all.
-Alvin Kamara and Zay Jones were sandwiched around the Davis picks. John Ross, David Njoku, and Deshaun Watson (1QB Leagues) bracketed Garrett and Adams. Evan Engram, D’Onta Foreman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Curtis Samuel, and Chris Godwin filled in the gaps between Garrett and Watt. Joltin’ Joe Williams, Marlon Mack, Patrick Mahomes, Taywan Taylor, Jeremy McNichols, and Jamaal Williams were scattered around the Thomas, Cunningham, Reddick, and Peppers shares.
Haason Reddick – 27.3 ADP – Inconsistency has plagued him almost as much as a snap minority. This is a big year coming up for him.
Zach Cunningham – 35 ADP – An average of 6.3 tackles per game has made this an end-of-third-round value pick. No one is happier for him or loves him more than DFF’s own John Orr.
Jabrill Peppers – 44.6 ADP – He has started 29 career games and has 4.7 per game. Kind of worth it, I guess? He will start a chapter as a New York Giant in 2019.
Solomon Thomas – 49.4 ADP – This kid had so many disciples prior to his rookie season. Some designation shifting left his owners frustrated. In fact, I am not so sure his current DT designation (via MFL) is going to hold true all offseason. He is just two years in, but so far I will say not worth it.
T.J. Watt – 56 ADP – Big play Watt is killing this ADP. Seven forced fumbles, 10 passes defended, and 20 sacks in his first 31 games. “Worth it” is an understatement. Believe it or not, I saw him go with the 75th overall pick (6.03!) in one draft and undrafted in another?
Derek Barnett – 52.9 ADP – Injuries forced him to miss the final 10 games of 2018. This year could prove my 20-25 game development theory for pass rushers. Also, I am too heavily invested to put him in the flop section.
Jonathan Allen – 56.5 ADP – Allen lost 11 games to injury as a rookie. He returned with a wild 60 tackle and eight-sack sophomore season. He also recorded 15 total QB hits. His first-round NFL draft pedigree makes him well worth this rookie draft ADP.
Budda Baker – 60.3 ADP – Drafting second-tier safeties like Baker is tricky and you must have patience. It took him a while to become a starter. Since then, he has proven his ADP to be a bargain.
Raekwon McMillan – 52.1 ADP – He missed his entire rookie season with an injury. Thus, those that drafted him had to justify burning a hole in their roster.
Malik Hooker – 60.9 ADP – This is a classic case of a player being a better on-field difference maker than an IDP asset. Sometimes natural free safeties have a specific role away from the line of scrimmage. If you are an IDP realist, you should already be abiding this proverb.
Taco Charlton – 61.8 ADP – The early fifth round is always a low-risk gamble. Yet, when you reach high on a player with chicken legs you miss out on the likes of Kenny Golladay, Aaron Jones, and Budda Baker.
Takkarist McKinley – 67.7 ADP – Like Charlton, McKinley was also a 1st-Round NFL draft pick. Unfortunately, pass rushers, aside from maybe the top-two, usually don’t warrant our love until season three. Also, remember McKinley and Charlton were the sixth and seventh EDGE players off the board.
Duke Riley – 77.4 ADP – The situation Riley inherited in Atlanta was not one that assured him snaps for at least two years. No matter how much he tried to warrant where he was going to get snaps. #replaceable
Obi Melifonwu – 75.9 ADP – As a Raiders fan, the only draft pick I was more excited about was Tim Brown. Melifonwu was my guy, I wanted him in the first round and I was ecstatic (almost inconsolable) when Oakland landed him the second round. Injuries and coaching changes left him out of favor. Amazingly, I was somehow unable to draft him, so this ADP is legitimate, even with someone grabbing him with the 30th overall pick.
Justin Evans – 79 ADP – His 5.2 tackles per game average has been nice. I just don’t trust that he can maintain stable production. He is a safety three at best, regardless.
Name/Cumulative Rookie Draft ADP (9 drafts)
Tremaine Edmunds – 10.9 ADP – Worth it up to 1.02.
Roquan Smith – 11 ADP – Worth it up to 1.02.
Rashaan Evans – 20 ADP – He had a decent rookie season. However, at that price, you likely would have expected twice the production. Edmunds and Smith really drove his price up.
Leighton Vander Esch – 20 ADP – This rookie recorded 140 tackles and 7 pass breakups! LVE was value even at his higher ADP. However, I am slightly skeptical that he can keep up that extraordinary pace.
Derwin James – 26.4 ADP – This might be a little high, but if you want the best safety of any class, the early third-round is a cost worth paying.
Bradley Chubb – 29.2 ADP – 12 sacks and 60 tackles are worth it to me, no matter what the positional designation.
-Guys like Calvin Ridley, Royce Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, and Nyheim Hines appeared around and in-between Edmunds and Smith. Michael Gallup, Anthony Miller, Mike Gesicki, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Kalen Ballage bridged the gap to Rashaan Evans and LVE. Finally, Dante Pettis, Lamar Jackson, Hayden Hurst, James Washington, Antonio Callaway, Jordan Wilkins, Dallas Goedert, Sam Darnold, and Tre’quan Smith were siphoned in alongside James, B. Chubb, and Leonard.
Darius Leonard – 32.6 ADP – Anybody would piss their pants if they got 163 tackles from any linebacker, but a rookie! “Worth it” is a grave understatement.
Fred Warner – 49.6 ADP – Mister Warner benefited (in many ways) from Reuben Foster missing time to start the season. After 28 tackles in his first three games. the Niners had no reason to peel back his snaps. In the late fourth/early fifth round, after guys like Ian Thomas, J’mon Moore, Jaylen Samuels, Josh Allen, and Mark Andrews, Warner was a great value.
Justin Reid – 72.2 ADP – Reid went undrafted in two of the nine drafts that I tracked. He is not a definite thing going forward. Yet, Houston does not have much in the way of competition for him at either safety spot.
Maurice Hurst – 74.6 ADP – It’s hard to justify taking a DT at all (outside of DT-premium leagues). Hurst put up modest but very encouraging numbers. I am fine with this ADP if you have a need at the position.
Josey Jewell – 78.6 ADP – This is a mid-sixth round value stab. Denver has cleared the path for Jewell to run roughshod all over in 2019 and beyond.
Terrell Edmunds – 57.9 ADP – You may disagree with Edmunds being a flop, and that’s okay. I feel he has a lot to live up to as a former 1st-rounder. Yet, he has only 78 total tackles on 92% of the defensive snaps and leaves plenty of stats on the table. He is limited laterally and we might have already seen his ceiling.
Malik Jefferson – 62.4 ADP – I know Jefferson is raw. Yet, the Bengals spent a third-round pick on him. He literally played on only 11 defensive snaps all season. Cincinnati does not seem to be in any rush to increase his snap-share. It looks like it will be another year of special teams.
Jessie Bates – UDFA – So far Bates outperformed his fantasy expectations. He was taken in the 2nd round (54th overall) of the actual NFL draft.
Jordan Whitehead – 85 ADP – I am a Whitehead super fan. You can’t deny his 76 total tackles on just a 63% snap share. That’s huge.