One of the most common questions our IDP experts here at DLF get regards when people should start taking IDPs in their drafts. The answer, of course, is it depends on a lot of things such as league size, scoring rules, and starting lineup requirements. Ranking players within a position is much easier. But in an attempt to help everyone out, here’s an early Average Draft Position for rookie drafts based on 30 leagues I have been tracking.
Now, no two leagues are alike. The leagues I’m following have a variety of different rules which will change the relative value of IDPs based on their position and the types of statistics they are likely to accrue. But inevitably patterns emerge, and players tend to be taken around the same spot regardless of these leagues’ idiosyncracies.
To qualify for these leagues, there must be at least 96 total IDP starters (such as eight starters in a 12-team league), and draft at least 60 rookies (such as five rounds in a 12-teamer). Seven of the leagues were Superflex, and I have distinguished the QB ADPs based on SF or Start 1.
Because many of these leagues began immediately following the conclusion of the NFL Draft, there was a good amount of volatility in where players went in the first few days. Then a consensus appeared to take hold. But new information could quickly alter perceived value.
For example, on April 31st, Nate Burleson on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football proclaimed Patriots running back Damien Harris the “steal of the draft” and compared him favorably to Ezekiel Elliott. Over the next two days, Harris was drafted quickly in just about every league running in which he was available, whether that was in the first round or third. Also, when LB Telvin Smith announced he was stepping away from football for a year, Jaguars rookie LB Quincy Williams, a player no one had heard of prior to the NFL draft, was immediately snatched up in most leagues.
13 is an odd place to stop but I wanted to show the complete top tier of IDPs. In almost all leagues, once one of Nick Bosa or the Devins is selected, the other two go in the next three picks. Bosa is the safest IDP selection in the entire draft. He has excellent talent, draft capital, and landing spot. I rate Devin White higher in talent, but Devin Bush in the better spot to hoover up stats. There is then a significant drop after these three to the next tier of IDPs.
There is a good amount of positional uncertainty surrounding Josh Allen. One of the most versatile and well-rounded IDPs, MFL.com has initially assigned an LB position designation to him rather than DE as he could very well ultimately play. Teams taking Allen early are betting on his talent. But he is sliding in many leagues due to the fear he sticks at LB.
At this point, we’re starting to see the high volatility in IDP selections. Offensive players still have Standard Deviations under 10.0 if not slightly above, whereas IDPs could be taken as high as the first round to perhaps even undrafted. But in most leagues with either DT premium or DT required settings, Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams are going no later than the third round.
We’re now seeing two Raiders – Clelin Ferrel arrive, thanks to the Raiders using such a high pick on him and obviously relying on him to be their primary edge rusher, and S Johnathan Abram, who is almost always the first DB off the board.
There has been a good amount of discussion amongst the IDP community, including within DLF’s own IDP writers, regarding the best positions for both Burns and Sweat.
The Carolina Panthers have talked about using more 3-4 base fronts this year, and their personnel moves indicate it may be more than just dabbling. The lightweight Burns, who has admitted it’s a struggle for him to maintain a weight of 250 pounds, is best suited as just a pass rusher, without much run defense responsibilities.
Sweat is probably better suited to play 4-3 end, but was taken by Washington who runs a strict 3-4 on base downs. Of course, both of these players will have the same role in almost every down, so we’re talking about semantics here. But unless you’re playing True Position IDP (with DI and Edge positions) then this really matters in determining these players’ fantasy value. Their first-round draft status suggests heavy usage, and they are both very talented players.
Germaine Pratt becomes the first non-first round defender to show up in the ADP, and at 47, that’s quite the gap at LB between him and the two Devins near the top of the draft.
For the first time, this grouping has more IDPs than offensive players, and there are still first-round defenders available in the controversial Rashan Gary, and the possibly overdrafted by Seattle LJ Collier. The Lions took Jahlani Tavai in the second round in a surprise move, and it looks like they want him to play Sam backer, in kind of a Dont’a Hightower role, which may limit his fantasy value. Bobby Okereke is an intriguing prospect who could play next to Darius Leonard to make up an incredibly quick Colts LB core. Juan Thornhill looks primarily as an in the box safety so should rack up some high tackle numbers. Jeffery Simmons is being taken by teams who are willing to be patient and wait a year before seeing his contributions on the field.
Once we get this deep into rookie drafts, you take who you want without worrying about how high or low you need to move to get proper value. Therefore, here’s the rest:
- 2019 IDP Projections: Arizona Cardinals - August 22, 2019
- 2019 IDP Projections: Cincinnati Bengals - August 19, 2019
- IDP Dynasty Analysis: Gerald McCoy Signs with the Carolina Panthers - June 4, 2019