Now that everyone has had their draft and the first week’s slate of games are in the books, it’s time to check in on the DLF IDP Rookies and Beginners leagues.
This week, we’re talking with two league participants, Jason Kamlowsky and Luke Brubaker, both in the Beginners league. They’ll give an insight as to their draft strategy, their opinions on the league and IDP play in general.
Why were you curious about IDP?
Jason Kamlowsky: I have been playing season-long fantasy leagues for almost 15 years now and the standard way of drafting a team defense is cumbersome to me, especially when you consider that get fantasy defenses aren’t always great in real life. For instance, we all know Philadelphia was a great team defense to own in 2014 because of the number of touchdowns they generated and through other stats like turnovers and sacks. However, they routinely gave up a ton of points and were the primary reason why the Eagles didn’t advance to the postseason so it felt cheap to have them contribute to a fantasy win. Additionally, I am always looking for something new to try (2QB, Super Flex, IDP, etc.) to enhance my own experience and I have heard good things about IDPs so it piqued my interest.
Luke Brubaker: I have several friends who play and really enjoy it and got me curious. I have two leagues where I can see the writing on the wall as well, so if one of them breaks up I would like to see if this is something for me
Why did you decide to sign up for the DLF IDP Beginners league?
JK: I actually dropped both of my local leagues at the end of last year because I wanted to focus on DFS and I was sick of the commissioner in the one so at the time the DLF IDP League was forming, I was involved in zero year-long leagues. I play MFL10s and I want to start testing myself more against people who take fantasy football seriously because I think with the amount of time I invest it’s time for a new challenge. If your entire fantasy universe revolves around what happens in your hometown league, then you’re in for a rude awakening if something would ever happen and that league folded or you decided to walk away from it. This is a chance to expand my own fantasy horizons and hopefully learn some things as well.
LB: I like the site and generally agree with most of the philosophies there so when I saw an opening for a league where I could get free advice I jumped at it. Plus, like I said, before some friends of mine got me interested in this style and I may be looking for a new league or two in the near future.
What was your plan (if any) heading into the draft?
JK: I’m a best player available type – especially early in drafts. I have found that for a slow draft, it is best to see what hand I am dealt and then go from there so as to better avoid reaching for guys a round too early. Drafting on the turn at the end of round one found me staring at two of the my top-5 players overall in Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas so I was pretty happy to be able to anchor my team with them. From there I was able to look at other positions and managed to get Travis Kelce (4.01) and Drew Brees (7.12) in spots that were solid values. Some people might look at Kelce as a reach there, but when you’re on the turn you sometimes have to jump up for a player you really want and that was the case there.
[inlinead]My biggest question mark heading into the draft was where and when to go defense because in my traditional redraft leagues that did not involve IDPs, I usually don’t draft a Team Defense and instead use the roster spot on a player who has a high ceiling or one who is an injury away from being a major contributor. Under this format I knew I would have to obviously alter that so I had a few players targeted that I was interested in, most notably Navarro Bowman. He is coming off that gruesome injury but he has the potential to be one of the most dominating defensive players in football and I wanted him on my roster. Another player I wanted and ended up getting was Eric Weddle because of how much he does on defense. He plays in the box a good bit so his chances for tackles are higher than the average DB. In general when it came to the IDP side, I targeted DBs who make a lot of tackles and playmaking LBs who are the centerpiece of their defense and I really feel like I got some quality players there.
LB: I did some research on several sites, but mainly treated it as a PPR dynasty startup. I waited till I had all offensive positions filled until I started looking at defensive positions. I also tried to focus on receivers and got a good pair, but was left with some high risk high reward running backs.
Did that plan change for your as the draft progressed?
JK: I think if you aren’t willing to change or be flexible during the draft you are hurting your chances for success, so there were times when I had to alter what I had planned. One big thing that happened was that at the 5/6 turn, my picks got auto drafted on accident because a guy was on vacation and had asked for some help taking care of making picks. When I saw my pick was up in my email I went to the site and showed Brandon Marshall and Rashad Jennings as my two picks when I had planned on taking Bowman and Amari Cooper there. They couldn’t figure out how to undo that, so I had to wait until the guy who was on vacation had his spots come up. I ended up getting Bowman but lost out on Cooper which I am still not real happy about; essentially I traded down from my 5/6 and got nothing in return. Sticking Cooper in there as my WR3 with Dez and Demaryius would have given me a monster receiver corps so that definitely forced me to try and string together some depth at that position as the draft went on.
I took some chances on players like Eric Berry and Jason Pierre-Paul towards the end of the draft, but as of now it doesn’t look like JPP will be suiting up any time soon. If Berry is healthy I might have got a steal there and it was one of those parts of a slow draft where news of him getting cleared happened two picks before I went in that round. As soon as it came across my Twitter feed, I immediately decided I was taking him if he was there.
LB: Not really, I was tempted to take a couple defensive players in the middle rounds but stuck to my original plan.
How much input did you get from the coaches? How much did you get from other resources (other sites, magazines, Twitter, etc)?
JK:I followed each coach on Twitter (which I have found to be an incredible resource in general) and I emailed back and forth as I was getting to my third and fourth round picks and then with some general strategy later on. The feedback was good and the response time was very quick so I was happy with that. You can tell the coaches know IDPs and in following them on Twitter, I have picked up valuable nuggets on players who I can keep an eye on who are currently on the WW.
I am a member over at Draft Sharks, so I used their IDP rankings as part of my draft prep. I have been using them for a couple of years now and have had quite a bit of success. I also looked at Pro Football Focus because their defensive statistics are unlike anything you can find anywhere else. I know some people will probably say this might be paralysis by analysis but I don’t think you can ever have too much information at your disposal. At the end of the day, it’s how you apply it that will make or break you.
LB: I asked our coach a lot of questions during the draft. Pretty much every defensive pick I made I was asking a question before hand. So I would say 75% coach and 25% outside resource.
What other teams in your league do you see as contenders?
JK: Bear Down has a really nice team with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Forte, ODB, Brandin Cooks and Martellus Bennett. MSFantasyDuo also did a good job with Justin Forsett, LeSean McCoy, Russell Wilson, Antonio Brown and Jordan Cameron. Both of those teams stood out for their work drafting on the offensive side of the ball.
StevenWDuke took JJ Watt in the first round and I was interested to see how his team turned out. It looks like he did fine with CJ Anderson and Jordan Matthews following that pick and he ended up with Cam Newton as well. It looks to me like taking Watt is kind of like taking Rob Gronkowski. If you are the type who feels confident in your drafting ability you can make it work and you’re giving yourself a big advantage over everyone else in the DL category.
LB: I like MsFantasyDuo as a contender. She has a solid core with some sleepers that I like. She has a great quarterback, good running back corps and if things fall the right way, a decent wide receiver base. I also like Ladarius as a contender. They have probably the best wide receiver corps in our league and a great positional advantage at tight end. It will depend on if running backs hit for them and how they play the waiver
Do you think IDP will change how you watch football from now on?
JK: This is a great question because I usually focus so much on the offensive side of the ball during NFL games, so I think this will definitely make me perk up and focus more on the defense. I think one of the greatest things about fantasy sports is being invested in certain players or teams and how it gives you a vested interest in games you may otherwise not pay any attention to and the IDP element adds another layer to that. Already this preseason I have paid far more attention to what is going on with the players I drafted in this league than I had before. It’s pretty exciting for me to expand my foundational knowledge of the game like this.
LB: I think it will. Since I am starting to look into go into a paid IDP league to accompany this one, I think I will pay a lot more attention to defensive stats and look at more strategies with IDP leagues.