IDP Post-Rookie Draft Waiver Targets

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Each season in dynasty leagues there are post-rookie draft waiver targets that provide a tremendous value for owners who were savvy or lucky enough to find them on their roster. Some provide an immediate “home-run” return like Kamren Curl did last season or Maxx Crosby in 2019. Others make great taxi squad stashes that provide value later (think Jerome Baker, Josey Jewell, Jeffery Simmons, Dre Greenlaw, D.J. Wonnum, Alex Highsmith, etc.). The majority will fall flat as expected. 

Below are your author’s picks for dynasty IDP post-rookie draft waiver targets to provide owners future value. This list will not include recent community darlings like Ernest Jones or Levi Onwuzurike that your author is seeing drafted in all of his leagues. Instead, it includes undrafted free agents (UDFAs) that primarily have gone undrafted in five, six, and seven-round IDP dynasty leagues. This list is designed for both true-position and full-positional IDP leagues, not position grouping cohort (DL, LB, DB) leagues. These are players that are ranked lower on the DFF IDP Rankings page but may hold great future potential or upside due to an injury to a veteran playing ahead of them. Alas, the list now unfolds! 

Milton Williams – DT – Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles’ defensive front boasts the unique situation in which it has talented veteran play-makers nearing the end of their prime. This allows for newly-drafted third-round pick Milton Williams to learn from and work with successful, experienced veterans. Additionally, it allows him to be surrounded by talented players when he does get opportunities on the field. Best of all, it means he has no immediate pressure or expectations laid on him by the organization or fans. Williams is a former high school basketball player who is a little undersized for the interior right now, but he is explosive with good footwork and active hands.

While the Eagles do bring in a new regime this season, new defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon has sat under the coaching tree and tutelage of many greats. Hall of Famer and former DC for the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons, as well as Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer and Colts’ DC Matt Eberflus, have each utilized Gannon in a vital role. Each of these coaches also has held a penchant for strong defensive line play and interior pressure. One of the best defenders in the C-USA that last few years, Williams appears to be in good hands in Philly. He is a nice taxi squad stash for true-position and full-positional IDP leagues.

Bobby Brown – DT – Los Angeles Rams

Admittedly, Bobby Brown is more of a run defender that excels at holding the point of attack as lineman struggle to move him. Players like these hold NFL value, but not so much fantasy value. However, any defensive lineman that may get an opportunity to play alongside Aaron Donald grabs your author’s attention.

Brown was a two-year starter over his three-year career at Texas A&M. While he was inconsistent with his technique and body control, his awareness and savvy for the game have been developed. He is already NFL-ready when it comes to size and strength. If he can play with more consistent technique and develop more interior pass-rush moves, Brown could be a huge value available for free after rookie drafts.

Dayo Odeyingbo – DE – Indianapolis Colts

A physically imposing specimen, Dayo Odeyingbo immediately passes the “eye-test” at 6’5” 285 lbs. After flying somewhat under the radar in a struggling Vanderbilt program, the Nigerian was on scouts’ radar last season as his older (less productive) brother Dare made a few NFL rosters as a UDFA in 2019. While he is still developing as a defensive lineman and learning the game, he started three seasons at Vandy due to his sheer, raw athleticism. Unfortunately, Odeyingbo tore his achilles tendon in January. Still, the Colts saw fit to draft him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Odeyingbo will miss the season due to his injury, but it may not be the worst thing for him. He is an ideal taxi squad stash as he needs time to develop some more strength, technique, and in-game awareness. When he returns, we hope to see him play with a lower pad level and better use of his hands. He will have quality opportunities when he does earn playing time, as fellow athletic specimen and perennial all-pro DeForest Buckner roams the middle. Additionally, the Colts drafted Kwity Paye in the first round. Grab Dayo at a discount and reap the rewards in 2022 and beyond!

Joseph Ossai – DE – Cincinnati Bengals

Many IDP owners are disregarding Joseph Ossai because he doesn’t have premier draft capital. Or perhaps since he landed on the lowly Bengals defense. This is where you can benefit. Another Nigerian athlete, your author was initially concerned that Ossai would get drafted to a base 3-4 team and lose his DE designation a la Jayson Oweh. However, Ossai landed in a better spot than most owners realize. While Ja’Marr Chase stole the headlines for the Bengals’ draft, they injected youth into their defensive front, selecting defensive lineman with four of their selections in rounds three through seven.

Ossai will get to come in and learn behind stout, established veterans Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson. He will play limited snaps in a pass-rush role as he develops strength and savvy to defend the run game. He does have some competition in fellow rookie edge defenders Cameron Sample and Wyatt Hubert, but neither have his athleticism or draft capital. Ossai has starter potential in the future with already developed pass-rush prowess. Grab him for free and add him to your IDP taxi squad collection.

Monty Rice – LB – Tennessee Titans

Featured in your author’s weekly draft stock watch article during last season, Monty Rice came through with third-round draft capital and landed in an outstanding spot. The reasons why Monty Rice is not being drafted in IDP rookie drafts are unknown. This is a player who, aside from smaller size, provides nearly everything to an NFL defense from the LB role. He can cover, he can run down players sideline-to-sideline, he can blitz, and he has a penchant for splash plays. He does not get off blocks well, which was the reason he fell some in the draft.

Rice looks to be the heir-apparent to Jayon Brown (who is still rehabbing from a broken/dislocated elbow) in the coverage ILB role. However, both Brown and teammate Rashaan Evans could depart after 2021. Regardless, there appears to be a feature role awaiting Rice.

Baron Browning – LB – Denver Broncos

Admittedly, your author has seen Baron Browning drafted in a few leagues (most in which he drafted Browning himself). Most of those are deeper leagues though. More often than not, Browning has gone undrafted in IDP rookie drafts. Denver has been looking to upgrade its ILB position for the last four seasons or so. They even cut incumbent tackle-machine, Todd Davis, just before the 2020 season began. While A.J. Johnson stood out in limited action in 2019, he has largely overachieved, and some coverage limitations were exposed in 2020. Josey Jewell is a fine throwback 1990s ILB, but he cannot cover at all. Enter Baron Browning, who is a physical freak, but needs to increase his awareness and football IQ as he continues to learn the game.

Browning boasts third-round draft capital after many analysts (as well as your author) had given him a second-round grade. Like Monty Rice, he has routinely made plays at the highest level of college football. Several beat writers of different teams referred to Baron Browning as the “steal of the draft” taken at #105 overall. Over time, as he learns Vic Fangio’s defense, we should see him usurp Josey Jewell in the lineup.

Dylan Moses – LB – Jacksonville Jaguars

Another undersized ILB that can do it all, Dylan Moses went undrafted solely due to injuries. He should have held a third-round grade had he not struggled with foot and ACL injuries. Moses has a lot of the same limitations that Monty Rice has on the field. He was introduced to fame and spotlight at a young age, however, as he graced the cover of ESPN The Magazine as he was entering high school. The five-star recruit was sought after by every program in the country. 

While Jacksonville has a lot of holes in their roster, the LB position is relatively strong. Moses is afforded the opportunity to get in an NFL strength and training program and continue to learn the position and improve his craft. He could find himself as the replacement to either Joe Schobert or Myles Jack in a couple of seasons. Moses is another ideal taxi squad stash that could provide tremendous value for an owner who is willing to wait. 

Talanoa Hufanga – S – San Francisco 49ers

It is widely known that your author prefers not to waste draft capital on DBs. However, this does not mean he won’t target them as a post-rookie draft waiver target. When evaluating the safety position for the benefit of fantasy production, one should look for the player that has the most opportunity to play close to the line of scrimmage and accumulate tackles. While the strong safety role appears to be dying off in today’s NFL, some teams still utilize this position. When it comes to fantasy IDP production at safety, draft capital means nothing (as evidenced by the aforementioned Kamren Curl). Scheme and opportunities are what we look for with safeties. 

Talanoa Hufanga has serious coverage limitations. However, he is savvy and can hang with a man long enough to handle most TEs and RBs in the short-to-intermediate zones. San Francisco has a loaded defense but has been looking for the answer at the safety position. Hufanga will start as a special-teams guy. His propensity for making plays at USC gives your author hope he will eventually earn time at safety. With players like Nick Bosa, Javon Kinlaw, Fred Warner, and Dre Greenlaw commanding the attention of blockers, the safety position should be rendered opportunities. Grab Hufanga for free, stash him on your taxi squad, and hope he is the benefactor of those opportunities in 2022 and beyond. 

HAPPY WAIVERING

While it is easy to dig for reasons to get excited about these players, none of them should require more than 10% of your free agent acquisition budget. There are always two or three big waiver pick-ups per season that prove to be difference-makers. You will want to keep a majority of your budget for one of those types of players. Still, there is much to be gained from filling your taxi squad or surplus bench spots with high-upside post-draft targets! 

I appreciate your time! If you enjoyed this piece, you can find more of my work and countless other quality reads and content offered here at Dynasty Football Factory. Please consider our yearly DFF subscription, so we can continue to deliver top-notch analysis and fantasy breakdowns for you. Also, you can interact with me on Twitter at @DocFFFN.

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Founder of Fantasy Football Fright Night | #FFFN | @FFFrightNight| PhD | Staff Writer; Copy Editor @DFF_Dynasty| #IDP | #Devy | #DynastyFootball | #DFFArmy

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