Dynasty League Football


IDP Buy Low Opportunities: Defensive Ends


Editor’s Note: This article is penned by a new Member Corner writer, Adam Held. We welcome Adam to the crew and look forward to his contributions moving forward. With that said, this is the first in a series on IDP players to be targeting as buy low opportunities this offseason. Today we will take at Defensive Ends. These are players you should be able to get at a discount and Adam has ranked them in order of preference.

There is nothing more exciting in dynasty IDP leagues than having a terrible day on offense completely wiped away because a few of your IDP players went nuts, allowing you to eek out a victory. Last year if you drafted Sheldon Richardson, or had Greg Hardy or Robert Quinn in your defensive end rotation, you likely knew this type of elation several times over the course of the season. I wanted to highlight four players who you should be able to get for reasonable prices this off-season. These are players who I expect to make huge leaps forward (in three cases) or return to a previous level of excellence. I’ve also included what I think are fair prices in a typical IDP league with a six round rookie draft, fairly standard scoring (not big play heavy) and the most convincing line to give the owner of the player you want to help facilitate the deal. I’ll throw in a “wink, wink” because you know (or you will know after reading this article) the player is actually primed for a standout season.  Without further ado, I present the “Fantastically Undervalued Four – DE edition.”

Margus Hunt, DE CIN

A second round pick last year out of SMU, Margus Hunt is Jadeveon Clowney without the hype. In Bruce Feldman’s CBS Sports annual Freak List, highlighting the ten guys in college football who are genetic “freaks,” he referred to Hunt’s height/speed ratios and performance benchmarks as “a PlayStation football creation.” Check it out: Hunt checks in at 6’9” and 280 pounds, and at the Combine last year he measured out with an 82 inch wingspan, pumped out 35 reps on the bench, and most amazingly ran a 4.6 40 yard dash. Hunt spent his first season buried on the Bengals bench, essentially because he has only been playing football for a few years and was extremely raw. A native of Estonia, Hunt is raw. However, with Michael Johnson a free agent and possibly moving out a town, a spot on the Cincinnati defensive line just opened up. Oozing potential and a ridiculous ceiling, Hunt is an ascendant player who doesn’t have name brand recognition – see if you can get him for a late round rookie pick and you won’t be disappointed.  Don’t wait long, because like Hunt himself, his price is soon going to be enormous.

Most I’d pay: 2014 Second round rookie pick
I’ll bet you’ll pay: 2014 Fourth round rookie pick
Best line for convincing owner to do the trade (wink, wink): Hunt is inexperienced and will be 27 years old when the season starts.

Anthony Spencer, DE DAL

The next player on my list has already proven himself on the football field. A Pro Bowler in 2012, Spencer’s 2013 contract year season was shaping up to be a monster until a microfracture on his knee ended his season. The Cowboys have been saying all the right things this off-season regarding Spencer’s future with the team, indicating they want to keep him. Spencer lost most of his bargaining power with the injury and I fully expect him to get a one-year “prove it” contract. He will be 30 when the season starts and recovery from microfracture surgery is no sure thing, but if he is fully healed, expect Spencer to post numbers similar to his 2012 stat line: 11 sacks, 95 tackles and 27 quarterback hurries. In fact, Spencer was the only defender in the NFL that year to have over 90 tackles and ten sacks. He should be motivated for a big payday and that could pay off for you.

Most I’d pay: 2014 Fourth round rookie pick
I’ll bet you’ll pay: 2014 Sixth round rookie pick
Best line for convincing owner to do the trade (wink, wink): Old and coming off micro fracture surgery, he might not even play!

Devin Taylor, DE DET

Time for a quiz. Last year the Lions drafted a raw Defensive End who was long and athletic, with an extremely high ceiling. This player had his critics, but an exceptional performance at the Combine changed perception and the Lions snapped him up. Who is he? Did you say Ziggy Ansah? There are actually two right answers to this quiz. The second answer is Devin Taylor. Together, those two could be wreaking havoc on quarterbacks for the next decade.

Taylor, who isn’t even rostered in my own IDP league, is an athletic marvel. Josh Norris (Rotoworld) recently tweeted “My mind just blew up again trying to comprehend Devin Taylor’s 3 cone.” At 6’7” and 267 lbs., Taylor had the second best 3 cone time in the draft last year, exceptional for a man of his size. Picked in the fourth round, he flashed during the season, finishing with 14 tackles, two and a half sacks and two forced fumbles. The Lions have to make a decision on starting Defensive End Willie Young. The situation bears close watching. If they let him go, it opens up a big opportunity for Devin Taylor next year. He has the same type of frame and athleticism as John Abraham, only he is 24 years old and plays on the fast turf in Detroit. If he’s available in your league, I would try to grab him.

Most I’d pay: 2014 Fifth round rookie pick
I’ll bet you’ll pay: Free Agent/Waiver Claim
Best line for convincing owner to do the trade (wink, wink): He couldn’t even start until his last year in college, how good could he be? He was behind Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney, so there’s that.

Datone Jones, DE GB

The final member of this group might have the most name brand recognition of this group. Jones was the number one pick of the Pack last year and was expected to come in and contribute right away. Instead, he played just 276 snaps and was perceived as a disappointment in some circles. Mike McCarthy, however, recently said he expects Jones to make a “huge jump,” and the Packers are expected to let go of both BJ Raji and Ryan Pickett. That will open door for Jones and based on his great work this last year at Texas A&M, Jones has a chance this season to take a huge step up. Green Bay is looking to get younger and faster on defense, and Jones seems like a lynchpin of that youth movement. As always, monitor free agency and as long the Packers stay away from the Defensive End position, Jones should be on your radar.

Most I’d pay: 2014 Fourth round rookie pick
I’ll bet you’ll pay: 2014 Sixth round rookie pick
Best line for convincing owner to do the trade (wink, wink): His combine was not great, and he couldn’t make much of an impact last year for a team that needed defense.

Make sure you check back soon for the next installment.

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  1. Raymond

    March 6, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Nice article! Wow a second rounder for hunt?,he must be good.

  2. JBFootball

    March 6, 2014 at 7:45 am

    What do you think about Everson Griffen? I’ve gone back and forth picking him up and dropping him. With Allen leaving will he break out this season?

    • Jacob Feldman

      March 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      The current talk is that the Vikings will bring in a free agent end, possibly Johnson given the Mike Zimmer connection. That would keep Griffen in a reserve role.

  3. Jason

    March 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I have Hunt and Griffen sitting on my taxi squad.

    I also have Quinn, Ziggy, and Campbell on my active roster. I feel good about my DFlex since I’m rebuilding my LBs at the moment with Derrick Johnson as my headliner…

  4. Will6779

    March 7, 2014 at 1:36 am

    What about cornelius carradene? Big time talent and a clean bill of health.

    • jorbie

      April 5, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      I had debated putting him in…I think in retrospect he should have been included. Especially considering Justin Smith will be 34 when the 2014 rolls around.

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