DLF Unveils the IDP Rookie Draft Board


idp-rookie-draft-boardIf there is one thing the DLF staff and the site’s ownership know about me, it’s that I absolutely love taking on a challenge. So when the end of the fantasy season came around, it was no surprise to many of them that before the Super Bowl had even been played I was onto my next fantasy football project for the new season –  “The DLF Rookie Draft Boards” are the culmination of that project. I unveiled the offensive draft board last month and am now excited to bring you “The DLF IDP Rookie Draft Board.”

Last season while playing and writing about fantasy football, I was also keeping detailed notes on college prospects every weekend (and through the week as I was able to catch more games). I’m always looking for that edge when my rookie drafts come around shortly after the NFL Draft. Dynasty fantasy football is built upon the infusion of new talent into our teams and a huge part of success in dynasty leagues revolves around not missing on your rookie picks. Nothing could be more true to that statement than the rookie draft this year with its lack of big names at the top of draft like we’ve had in years past. In an effort to share everything I’ve observed about the players being drafted this season with our great DLF audience I’ve developed the “The DLF Rookie Draft Boards.”

So, how does the “The DLF IDP Rookie Draft Board” work?

The board is divided into six player positions that matter for standard fantasy drafts – DL, DE, OLB, ILB/MLB, CB and S. Each list is arranged according to how that player ranks within his position according to my own research. Therefore, the player at the top of the list is the highest ranked prospect at that position, the player at the bottom is the lowest ranked prospect in the list. It is important to note that there are lots and lots of player not shown in these lists. Either the player didn’t get scouted by me or I didn’t feel they belonged on the list or some players do not have game clips available online that is required for the format I created.

Lists are great, but what about player analysis? Well, I’ve got that covered as well. To read up on a player’s strengths and weakness, simply click on the card associated with the player you want to learn about. The card will expand to show you an individual player’s write-up as well as video clips of their play. This will allow the DLF audience a chance to see the player in action and possibly allow each of you to pick up on some things I didn’t catch. I’ve also included tags on each player’s card that are viewable from the list for the player’s individual card. There are six possible tags which include:

Green – Top 10 Prospect at Position

Yellow – No Game Tape Available

Orange – Character Concerns/Questions

Red – Not Entering 2013 NFL Draft

Purple – College Injury

Blue – Small School Prospect

As you would expect, the yellow and red tags are for internal development of this board and don’t have any bearing on the end user. The other four are fairly clear and will allow you to quickly identify certain attributes of a player at a glance. Some of these tags are pretty broad, such as the tags about character concerns or injuries, but I feel the broadness will allow each of you to be aware of possible red flags and make your own decisions as opposed to simply ignoring possible issues and having them come back to affect your fantasy team in the future.

Now, my methodology for ranking these players is not your standard listing of where I think the player will go. In many instances I have players ranked much higher (or lower) than I think they will actually go in the draft. This board is based upon how I think I player will perform on your fantasy team given the opportunity. That’s what is different about this list than your standard NFL draft board – this board makes the assumption that every player listed will get a chance to start both in the NFL and on your fantasy team. That assumption is obviously not true, but in order to gauge worth in a fantasy setting, it needs to be true for this exercise. That is why some players might be completely out of line with the general consensus of the NFL Draft expert community, or draftniks, because this isn’t the NFL Draft I’m ranking here, nor is it how these players will, or should, be drafted. This is simply a ranking of which players will help fantasy owners the most given an ideal situation. Second, this board isn’t set in stone; it may, and most likely will, change from time to time as information becomes more available closer to the draft. It may also reorder following the NFL draft to better account for player value with NFL team situation factored in.

I’d like to make clear some things about this draft board. First off, the rankings are strictly my own, we have several draft enthusiasts here at DLF who each have their own rankings as well. Rankings are a personal interpretation of player skills so while we may agree with each other on many things we won’t agree all the time. The same goes for the DLF audience as well, you may agree with me on some assessments, you may disagree with me on others. I expect that, I understand that and I embrace that as well. One opinion might be right, both opinions might ultimately be right, only time will tell. I’m bound to have some player ranked too high or another not ranked high enough for everyone’s taste. The best I can do, and have done, is to share my thoughts as to why I’ve ranked the player as I have and to provide the reader a way to view video of the player being ranked.

Ultimately, I view this board as a way for everyone to obtain a better understanding of a player’s game and, if you want, an added assessment or opinion from me. Look at this as a tool –  if you disagree with my assessments or opinions, then look at it as a tool within a tool (we can at least agree to laugh, right?).

All in all, I’ve had a great time putting this together. I’d like to thank the DLF staff for providing me with a forum to present this and for the understanding it took to be down a writer while I worked on getting this together. It has been a ton of work to complete, but I hope all of you find it useful in your fantasy rookie drafts, or as a tool to follow along with the NFL Draft this month.

To access the ” DLF IDP Rookie Draft Board,” just click here.  For the offensive board, click here.