Greetings! If you are reading this, it likely means you are one of my favorite types of fantasy players. You care about the defensive side of the ball and play in a league in which individual defensive players (IDPs) are utilized. Once considered a niche format, IDP continues to grow, as evidenced by the increased demand for content. Even Bovada recently offering prop bets for individual defensive players. As the great Sigmund Bloom recently put it, “IDPs’ time is coming eventually…”
As we prepare for draft season, this article will endeavor to help you get ready by aiding you in identifying a few later-round and sleeper targets at each position. All of these are players that will not be premium scorers but will give you serviceable production so that you can focus your early draft capital on offensive skill position players. Scoring tends to be different from league to league, but for the purposes of this article, we will assume a 12-team league, use MyFantasyLeague.com for position designations, and use the defensive scoring system found here. The important highlights of this scoring system:
- DEs and DTs net 2.5 points per tackle as opposed to EDGEs/LBs netting 1.5 points per tackle and defensive backs netting 2 points per tackle.
- DEs, DTs, and defensive backs net one point per assist as opposed to EDGEs/LBs netting .75 points per assist.
- DEs and DTs net 7 points per sack while all other positions net 6 points per sack.
Maurice Hurst, OAK
Current ADP: 267
Reasoning: Hurst acquitted himself nicely in his rookie year on a unit that simply was not good by placing 31st in this scoring format. We can expect a better finish this year. With better supporting talent added through the draft, namely pass rusher Clelin Ferrell, the Raiders are slated to improve their pass rush, which in turn may help Hurst generate pressures, hits, and sacks.
Expectations: 30-35 tackles, 7-10 assists, 5-7 sacks