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8 Overlooked IDP Studs That You Need to Target

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IDP Value Picks

IDP is not the easiest realm to give broad advice on. Many of the major hosting sites still treat IDP as a quirky addition. Few places make IDP rankings (though here is an interesting one). Also, standard scoring is hard to come by. Many leagues set up their scoring ad hoc. To give a frame of reference, I will try to frame my points using the Pro Football Focus standard points system. Still, I will have to make some points about other ways scoring might happen. More than any other position, this is the spot where the scoring system must be reviewed well before drafting.

Solo Tackles 1 point
Assisted Tackles .5 points
Sacks 4 points
Tackles for a Loss 3 points
Passes Defensed 1 point
Interceptions 6 points
Forced Fumbles 4 points
Fumble Recoveries 2 points
Touchdowns 6 points
Safeties 10 points
Blocked Kicks 6 points

The other thing to bear in mind is what your roster makeup must be. Some rosters will require a DE, DT, LB, CB, S line up. Some might only have a single IDP player. Anything in between is possible of course. So, for the frame of reference, the table shown is the PFF standard scoring.

Make sure to check out Gridiron Experts 2017 IDP Rookie Rankings here

Benardrick McKinney

Linebacker | Houston Texans

McKinney is likely ranked somewhere in the bottom of the top ten in Linebackers. In a single IDP roster team, he might not make a standard 12-team league. It actually seems like McKinney should be more involved in the passing game than he is. Still, he gives you solo tackles and plays behind the line of scrimmage (8 TFL and 5.0 sacks). Also, McKinney can pad his stats some with his high assisted tackle numbers (50 in 2016). If you go DL or DB early in the IDP draft, McKinney gives you solid play and performance.

K.J. Wright

Linebacker | Seattle Seahawks

The second LB on his own team, but like his teammate Bobby Wagner, Wright is an all-around player. He manages to be involved in the passing game. Wright is good for four or five PDs a year. Furthermore, he has had a minimum of 70 solo tackles and 41 assisted tackles each of the last three years. Last year also saw an increase in sacks. Could be a good signal of a more varied use of Wright’s skills. Wright is another player who has value while sitting as a low LB1 to a high-end LB2. He is consistent and resilient.

Lavonte David

Linebacker | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

David finished as an LB2 last year. It was a down year for him. Passes defended were down and the solo tackles as well. He had a few rough games in the early part of the year. This included a game with zero tackles and another with just one. He ended on a much better run. David has a shot to be a low-end LB1 again. He plays the run and the pass. He is also a good blitzing linebacker. Success in the NFC South needs pass coverage linebackers. He is not that old yet, and there is more to his career. A Decent pick in a redraft league, especially if you start several positions.

Jonathan Cyprien

Safety | Tennessee Titans

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Cyprien is not the all-around guy that Landon Collins is. He will not produce the sack numbers and does not touch the ball as often. Cyprien has just two interceptions in four years. Still, Cyprien is a hitter and has the athleticism to be everywhere else. Cyprien had 80+ solo tackles in each of his first two season, but dipped slightly in 2015. 2016 saw a full return and Cyprien had over 90 solo tackles, a career best. Remember, that was a contract year, and he is on a new team now. Numbers should still be among the best for safeties, but maybe a letdown. He functions much like a linebacker in terms of the numbers.

Zach Brown

Linebacker | Washington Redskins

Brown is another player who will be on a new team this year. Washington had a terrible defense last year. He had some early success before an injury in 2014. 2015 saw a small return to the field. In 2016, Brown moved from Tennessee to Buffalo and had his best season to date. He finished with 97 solo tackles and 52 assisted tackles. There will be plenty of defensive snaps this year in Washington. He is not a great pass defender, but he produces very well.  More valuable in a league starting multiple positions. Probably too deep a sleeper for single IDP leagues.

Telvin Smith

Linebacker | Jacksonville Jaguars

Smith is more a pick for single IDP leagues. He should be fully owned in leagues with multiple positions. In such a league Smith would only be competing with other LBs. In a single starter league, there are all the pass rushers in the competition as well. Smith has been one of the best linebackers over the last two years. He has approached 100 solo tackles in each of the last two years. Furthermore, he posted seven and eight passes defended over the last two seasons respectively. His sack numbers are pedestrian, but his tackles for loss are very respectable. He would be somewhere around toward the bottom of single IDP leagues.

Kawann Short

Defensive Tackle | Carolina Panthers

Adding this name for the leagues with multiple positions. Short does not give you enough to be a starter in most leagues, but in leagues with a DT spot, he is valuable. Short has great pass rushing numbers. Over the last two years, he has managed 66 solo tackles, 44 assisted tackles, 17.0 sacks and seven passes defended. Good option at DT in the mid-level.

Steven Nelson

Cornerback | Kansas City Chiefs

Again, not much value in a cornerback generally speaking, but if your league has a cornerback roster spot, then Nelson is good. If you have just a DB slot, get a safety. Nelson gets to line up across from Marcus Peters and get the increased targets. Nelson will be a sleeper because he does not have interceptions. Still, he has good PD numbers. The tackle numbers are good enough to make him valuable, and we should expect some increase in interceptions.

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About the author

Jonathan Barnett

Jonathan Barnett

Jonathan Barnett is a son of Wisconsin, born and raised. He grew up playing every sport he could. After High School he attended Seminary before moving on to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Jonathan went on to study History and Economics in undergraduate work before attending UW Law School. Jonathan is also a retired Army Combat Engineer officer. Jonathan uses his considerable training in research to manage his many fantasy teams. Jonathan writes for several different websites focusing on professional football and fantasy sports. Jonathan is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). Jonathan now practices law in Central Wisconsin.

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