Footballguys Staff vs Non-Staff: Draft 5 IDP PPR

The Footballguys staff, along with six writers in the industry got together and completed a 12-team 32-round IDP PPR draft. 

On August 10th, six members of the Footballguys staff, along with six highly regarded writers in the IDP fantasy football community, got together to complete a 12-team, 32-round, IDP draft with PPR scoring. Before the draft, each of the participants answered questions regarding strategies, players they coveted and how they plan to attack the draft. To top it off, Footballguys' Sean Settle will provide an evaluation of each team's roster strengths and weaknesses, chronicling the strategies and decisions that were made by each participant.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the minds of fantasy experts throughout the entire draft process. This includes preparation, decision making, and execution. What was their plan? Did they follow it? Why did they make the decisions they made? Some drafters had similar strategies and players of interest, but how they executed their plan and built their roster, varied from person to person.

We hope you will uncover or discover a strategy that might work for you in your draft(s) this year. Learn what players the experts are targeting and why. At Footballguys, when you win, we win! If we can help give you the tools and know-how to build a winning team, we've done our job.

LEAGUE PARAMETERS

  • 12 teams
  • 32 roster spots
  • Starting Lineup
    • 1 quarterback
    • 2 running backs
    • 3 wide receivers
    • 1 tight end
    • 1 offensive flex (RB, WR, TE)
    • 2 defensive ends
    • 1 defensive tackle
    • 3 linebackers
    • 2 cornerbacks
    • 2 safeties
    • 2 defensive flex (either DT, LB, S or CB)

LEAGUE SCORING

  • Offensive Players Only
    • 4 points - Passing Touchdown
    • 6 points - Rushing/Receiving Touchdown
    • 1 point - every 25 Passing Yards
    • 1 point - every 10 Rushing/Receiving Yards
    • 1 point - Reception (QB, RB, WR)
    • 2 points - Two-Point Conversion (rush, pass or receive)
  • Defense scoring
    • 6 points - fumble recovery touchdown
    • 3 points - fumble recovery
    • 3 points - forced fumble
    • 6 points - interception for touchdown
    • 4 points - interception caught
    • 2 points - pass defensed
    • 6 points - blocked field goal or punt for touchdown
    • 6 points - block field goal, extra point or blocked punt
    • 2 points - tackle
    • 1 point - tackle assist
    • 5 points - sacked quarterback
    • 10 points - safety

DRAFT PARTICIPANTS

  1. Justin Howe, Footballguys
  2. Daniel Simpkins, Footballguys
  3. Steve Gallo, The Huddle
  4. Tyler Loechner, Rotoviz
  5. Aaron Rudnicki, Footballguys
  6. Tommy Kislingbury, Dynasty League Football
  7. Jeff Haseley, Footballguys
  8. John Norton, Footballguys
  9. Brandon "Bee" Salamat, Dynasty League Football
  10. John Montgomery, Footballguys
  11. Gary Davenport, IDP Sharks
  12. Eric Olinger, Dynasty League Football

DRAFT GRID

View Grid

DRAFT SLOT 1

Justin Howe, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

For me, this will be an offensive draft through at least eight rounds or so. I don’t hate the idea of taking top defenders early, but if several of my draftmates want to do it, I’ll happily pick up the offensive crumbs. Those situations offer up great RB and WR value in the middle rounds – not long ago, I scooped James White and Cooper Kupp in Rounds 6 and 7 of a free-swinging IDP draft. As always, my goal is to come out of Round 8 with four RBs and four WRs.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

I doubt I’ll be in on Watt or Donald, who will likely go earlier than I’d prefer to go DL. I think Hunter has a ceiling near their level, and he’s going to come at a 1-2 round discount. Assuming I’m at least a few deep at RB and WR, I’ll take the plunge.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

Interior linemen have so many rotation and injury issues that I tend to stream them like kickers. Chris Jones and DeForest Buckner are my top two on the board, but for all their ceiling, they both have floors pretty close to the next 10-12 guys. In a cornerback, I’m looking later in the draft for guys who play a ton of snaps but are undervalued due to a lack of big plays last year. Interceptions and pass breakups aren’t very sticky numbers year-to-year, and wild turnarounds bring big ADP value. James Bradberry and Logan Ryan come to mind as guys with top-10 ceilings that will probably be sitting there in Round 20.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Benardrick McKinney’s ADP looks to slip and slip – our staff rankings have him at No. 43 right now – because he no longer takes many nickel snaps. But he’s still a playmaker, averaging 6.7 combined tackles per game as a pro. And even as an early-down specialist last year, he broke up a career-high seven passes. Further down the board, Patrick Onwuasor is currently locking down a starting job inside for the Ravens, yet he’s coming free in IDP drafts. That could mean 90+ dirt-cheap tackles.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Yannick Ngakoue is on my priority list for the late rounds – his awesome ceiling will allow me to stream this position instead of chasing big names. He doesn’t produce tackles but is a strong candidate for a monstrous, 15-sack season. I’m also higher than most on Michael Bennett, who will be used less in New England but probably see the same amount of pass-rush opportunity. If I get him, I think I’ll come away with 10-sack potential from the final 2-3 rounds.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

There’s a lot of speculative work to do for the higher-level guys, of course, like Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon III. But in the middle rounds (think Golden Tate or Antonio Callaway), I tend to just look elsewhere. Those are crowded tiers and giving up a few projected games dings that level’s value too much. The exception is Will Fuller V – I just think he’s the bee’s knees. I say he catches 60 high-impact balls.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

If James Washington can work past the mediocre Donte Moncrief, of course, watch out. He’s very gifted, and while the Steelers won’t approach 700 attempts again, they’ll likely top 600. The No. 2 role there is tantalizing.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Beyond the top tiers, the predictability and separation among IDP guys go way, way down. Tackles and splash plays fluctuate so much that there’s not much gap from, say, DL5 to DL15. Generally speaking, depth-seeking is more important than forcefully taking a bunch of second-tier defenders before better offensive contributors. Don’t ignore the position, and don’t necessarily be afraid to take a top-three stud like Aaron Donald. But if you miss out on him, don’t take Chris Jones three rounds too early in desperation.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.01
1
RB
NOS
2.12
24
RB
LAC
3.01
25
TE
PHI
4.12
48
WR
NEP
5.01
49
WR
SEA
6.12
72
DE
LAR
7.01
73
RB
MIA
8.12
96
LB
CLE
9.01
97
LB
HOU
10.12
120
WR
HOU
11.01
121
RB
SEA
12.12
144
WR
ARI
13.01
145
WR
GBP
14.12
168
LB
PHI
15.01
169
QB
LAR
16.12
192
DT
DET
17.01
193
WR
PIT
18.12
216
RB
MIA
19.01
217
QB
PIT
20.12
240
TE
MIN
21.01
241
LB
HOU
22.12
264
S
GBP
23.01
265
LB
DEN
24.12
288
RB
BAL
25.01
289
S
PIT
26.12
312
LB
PIT
27.01
313
CB
KCC
28.12
336
CB
NOS
29.01
337
DE
PIT
30.12
360
S
TBB
31.01
361
DE
GBP
32.12
384
LB
LAC

post-draft question

Explain how being in a draft with IDP players is a benefit to drafting offensive players. What strategy should others use when it comes to selecting offensive skill players in an IDP draft?

It allows you another avenue to take advantage of sharp gains in value throughout the draft. You don't want to fall too far behind the pack in selecting those top defenders, so you shouldn't be afraid of getting on the bus in the middle rounds. But IDP options tend to fall off VERY sharply from tier to tier, and shrewd drafters know not to chase the next level of guys. Put another way: feel free to chase Darius Leonard and J.J Watt. But if your league-mates are jumping on C.J. Mosley in the very next round, sit out and take advantage of the offensive value left for you.

Sean Settle's EVALUATION

Strengths

Drafting from the top spot had its advantages, and in this case, it came in the form of Alvin Kamara and Melvin Gordon III. There may be some worry over the current holdout situation by Gordon, but this is one of the most formidable backfields in the entire league. Snagging Aaron Donald when the run on defensive players started in the 6th round gives him an instant playmaker and Joe Schobert should lead a revamped Cleveland defense in tackles. This team has top-end talent at several key positions.

Weaknesses

This team falls flat in the wide receiver department and that can play a major role in a PPR league. Led by the trio of Julian Edelman, Tyler Lockett, and Will Fuller V, there will be a lot of points left off the board at wide receiver. Zach Ertz may play like a wide receiver at times, but there is not enough balance across the board at receiver.

How He’ll Win It All

It will take elite scoring every week from this team’s major players to win it all. Alvin Kamara will not be sharing the workload with Mark Ingram II and has a chance to be the number one overall scorer this season, Zach Ertz will be in the mix for top-scoring tight end, Aaron Donald will be amongst the top 2 at defensive end, and Joe Schobert could land in the top 5 at linebacker with a strong season. This team has the top-end talent but will need contributions across the board to win it all.

DRAFT SLOT 2

Daniel Simpkins, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

I typically don’t emphasize grabbing elite IDPs early. I treat the draft the same as a regular redraft league and wait for other folks to break the seal on taking the first IDPs. I want to spend early picks on running backs and wide receivers and take my quarterbacks and tight ends a little later. I am confident in my ability to identify IDP waiver wire talent in-season to shore up my team if I come up a little weak in that area. Positional scarcity is still so much more pronounced at the offensive positions.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

As you can see, these are three guys that aren’t premium players at their position, but neither are they scrubs that I’ll be wishing and hoping to hit. I’ll wait a couple or a few rounds later and jump into the IDP pool after I feel the offensive value has been extracted and the defensive value is greater. I don’t have trigger players, just a feel of the board that comes with years of drafting experience.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

Defensive tackle-required leagues are tricky because there are very few good players at that position. The thing is, most people still undervalue them, even in a format like this one. I’ll be looking hard at guys that are getting injury or team-change discounts, like Gerald McCoy and Sheldon Richardson. These guys were considered top options at the position not that long ago, but injuries or changing situations have pushed them down. I look for both to bounce back now that they are healthy and/or have good supporting casts.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Quincy Williams is getting more buzz lately thanks to John Norton and Aaron Rudniki, but I’ve also loved Williams since the news broke that Telvin Smith Sr would be sitting out this season. Williams is very similar to Smith in terms of his sideline to sideline speed and I think he’s an ideal replacement. Monitor his recent injury, but if he’s back in time for the regular season, I have no qualms about taking him at current ADP.

We should see more of Jerome Baker this year. He needed to improve his ability to shed blocks and hold up at the point of attack, and I think he got better at that later in the year. He’s extremely fluid, rangy, and able to cover if he needs to. Kiko Alonso was getting toasted last year, and if this regime is rational, they will start phasing Alonso out and Baker in.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

I feel like this will be the year for Derek Barnett to increase his snap counts and finally make a bigger impact in IDP. I’ve loved the skill set since he came out of Tennessee, but he’s been stuck behind a pair of quality ends for the last couple of years in Chris Long and Brandon Graham.

Olivier Vernon is a guy that has been forgotten about after injuries and playing outside linebacker. Now that he is moving back to his natural position on a stacked defensive front and opposite of Myles Garrett, Vernon could bounce back in a big way.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I love rookie corners. It’s important to identify which ones will get significant starting time out of the gate and also have a competent starter playing at the opposite corner position. That’s a recipe for good fantasy production and one I like to exploit every year. I’m a little more cautious about rookie linebackers and even more cautious about rookie defensive ends. In this class, I think that I would be comfortable taking Devin White, Devin Bush, Quincy Williams, and Nick Bosa at current ADP without much hesitation. As far as suspended players, it’s a case-by-case thing for me. If I can get them at the price of a backup, I’m likely to pull the trigger. Currently, there haven’t been any significant suspensions to top-end IDP guys, so it’s not something I’m particularly focused on for this draft.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

I could see Bobby Okereke being this player. He’s very similar to Darius Leonard in that he’s super athletic and seems to be a natural at the position. He may beat out Anthony Walker for the second inside spot as it is, but if he were to have to fill in for Leonard due to injury, I could see him being nearly as productive.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

If your benches aren’t crazy deep, don’t worry as much about IDP. There will be talent out there on the waiver wire that you can harvest. Put more of the emphasis on building a solid offense and turn your attention to IDP later in your draft. You can still construct a very solid IDP squad that doesn’t have a single premium IDP player on it.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.02
2
RB
NYG
2.11
23
WR
TBB
3.02
26
WR
LAC
4.11
47
RB
SEA
5.02
50
WR
ATL
6.11
71
TE
NYG
7.02
74
WR
TEN
8.11
95
LB
ARI
9.02
98
LB
DAL
10.11
119
RB
DEN
11.02
122
RB
LAC
12.11
143
QB
CAR
13.02
146
QB
BAL
14.11
167
DE
CIN
15.02
170
DE
MIN
16.11
191
TE
CAR
17.02
194
LB
TEN
18.11
215
LB
JAC
19.02
218
DE
SFO
20.11
239
LB
OAK
21.02
242
LB
MIA
22.11
263
S
HOU
23.02
266
LB
CIN
24.11
287
S
IND
25.02
290
S
JAC
26.11
311
DE
CIN
27.02
314
DT
NOS
28.11
335
DT
ATL
29.02
338
CB
TEN
30.11
359
DT
OAK
31.02
362
CB
NYG
32.11
383
WR
IND

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

Explain the importance of using waivers to your advantage in an IDP league. What one piece of waiver wire advice would you give when it comes to adding and dropping players in an IDP league?

Waivers may be even more important in an IDP league than a traditional-offense-only league, simply because injury attrition seems to happen more on the defensive side of the ball. Not only must a fantasy general manager monitor injuries, but it’s also critical that he watch for changing situations in which players are phased out or benched in favor of others. My best advice is to watch the games critically, monitor press conferences, and consult our fantastic snap count data on a weekly basis to keep up with the trends of a player’s usage. Of course, if you don’t want to do that all yourself, just check out John Norton’s Eyes of the Guru column that drops on Thursdays. It’s a great column in which he does all the heavy lifting for you.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Having arguably the top running back in the draft fall to number 2 is a great start with Saquon Barkley and the trio of Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, and Calvin Ridley should prove for a very strong receiving core. Daniel built his defensive side around linebackers and defensive ends, with 9 of his first 10 defensive picks falling in those categories. A strong rebound from Everson Griffen could make this a very impressive defensive line and there will be no shortage of tackles from the linebacker position.

Weaknesses

The run on defensive players started in the 5th round and Daniel waited until the 8th to make his first selection. This left him without a big name at linebacker and a few questions at defensive end. Everson Griffen has dealt with mental health issues in recent years and has seen his impact on the defense taken by Danielle Hunter. Nick Bosa is a wild card after suffering a high ankle sprain and missing the majority of his final season at Ohio State with a similar injury. This team focused on offense to start and may pay the price in the end because of it.

How He’ll Win It All

The best move here is Austin Ekeler in the 11th round. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the hold out of Melvin Gordon III, Ekeler has taken the snaps with the first-team offense and looked good doing so. If Nick Bosa is healthy and plays anything like his brother, he will be a steal in the 19th round, and a balanced offensive attack led by Cam Newton, Saquon Barkley, and Mike Evans may be enough to overcome any defensive deficiency.

DRAFT SLOT 3

Steve Gallo, The Huddle

Steve has over a decade of experience as a writer and analyst in the fantasy football industry. He is the author of “The Zero QB Theorem” as well as host and developer of The Blitzed Podcast where he’s interviewed Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, and others. Lastly, he’s an IDP enthusiast & creator of the #NoTeamD hashtag.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

The past 3 or so years I gravitated back to RB heavy. People love WRs, and so do I but WR is deep so I prefer to come out of the 1st 3 rounds with 2 RBs, sometimes three if I like a players value. WRs can be mined in the middle and late parts of the draft. As per usual I'll generally not just the last person to take a starting QB but take my starter after others already have their back-up QB.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

  • DL: Myles Garrett, Demarcus Lawrence, and Joey Bosa. I have Garrett as my 1.1 DL so the trigger is pulling it when I think DL is about to come off the board. Lawrence seems to be coming at a discount in drafts so after 8-9 DLs are off the board I'm nabbing him. Bosa is triggered if I miss on Garrett.
  • LB: Bobby Wagner, Tremaine Edmunds & CJ Mosley. No triggers on any of the 3 and if I miss it's not a big deal as I'll backfill from the rest of the LBs available.
  • DB: I'll generally wait on filling out DB but one guy I like in particular is Reshad Jones. Getting him in the 20s when in my mind he could finish as a top 5 DB is a steal. I have no faith in the Miami offense so I think their D will be on the field a TON.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

Doubtful I reach for either. They'll be addressed after the other IDP positions and possibly even after QB and that's saying something.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

  • Alec Ogletree. I'm not a believer in the offense with Eli under center and when they go to the rook later in the year the offense will likely be inefficient so Ogletree should be in line to face a ton of tackle opportunities. He doesn't have to be a good linebacker to be a linebacker or even better in fantasy. Sign me up with him as an LB3 or LB4.
  • Zach Brown. I don't think he's under the radar but I do think he's being undervalued. Likely not an LB1 but has that upside and more of an LB2 than the LB3/4 he's being drafted as.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

I don't generally target under the radar DEs. My goal is to come out of the draft with 2 top 10 DEs. With that said I do think Demarcus Lawrence is being undervalued some.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I am not afraid of adding them to my roster but the value has to be there and the "chemistry" has to fit the makeup of my team.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

Dallas Goedert. He has a role in the Philly offense and is coming off the board as a late TE2. If Ertz went down then Goedert is a league winning type of player to own.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

I have three main rules...

  1. If you are going to do IDP do it all the way, don't dip your toe by adding one or two IDPs, minimally go 2DL/2LB/2DB and a flex.
  2. Don't draft off of last year's stats. Way too many factors beyond a players ability that factors into their production to draft based on what they did last year.
  3. HAVE FUN!

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.03
3
RB
CAR
2.10
22
RB
GBP
3.03
27
WR
IND
4.10
46
WR
TBB
5.03
51
DE
CLE
6.10
70
DE
DAL
7.03
75
WR
LAC
8.10
94
LB
TBB
9.03
99
RB
PHI
10.10
118
TE
PIT
11.03
123
WR
GBP
12.10
142
RB
HOU
13.03
147
RB
KCC
14.10
166
LB
CHI
15.03
171
LB
OAK
16.10
190
S
BUF
17.03
195
WR
DAL
18.10
214
LB
BAL
19.03
219
QB
DAL
20.10
238
WR
SFO
21.03
243
QB
ARI
22.10
262
S
MIN
23.03
267
CB
CAR
24.10
286
TE
PHI
25.03
291
S
SEA
26.10
310
S
NYG
27.03
315
LB
PHI
28.10
334
LB
IND
29.03
339
CB
TEN
30.10
358
WR
WAS
31.03
363
TE
NEP
32.10
382
DT
ARI

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

You selected Myles Garrett (pick 5.03) as the first IDP pick in this draft. Explain why was defensive end your first IDP pick, and why Garrett?

The DL position isn't as thin as it has been in the past but it's still a thin position and having a difference-maker can lead to a big advantage over your opponents. It's sorta like the TE position and how Gronk used to be a huge advantage, and Kelce has been recently when compared to others at the TE position. That's also why I wanted to land two top 5 DL in this draft. Garrett, my 1.01 ranked DL, just makes a combo like that even sweeter, in my eyes. I see Garrett having a massive year and look forward to seeing him use all of his moves, not just the one that former DC, Greg Williams limited him too. He's a special talent that looks ready to blossom. And by blossom I mean I think a 15+ sack season is realistic for him.

As I stated, my plan going into the draft was to land two of the top 5 DL and I knew that drafting from the 3-spot that I'd likely have that opportunity if I addressed the position at the 4/5 turn. I considered taking Garrett with my 4.10 pick but felt that I could risk waiting until 5.3 and in turn roll the dice that one of my other top 5 DL made it back to me. Bosa went a few picks before my 6th round pick but Lawrence was there so my plan worked. Based on chatter in the draft room Garrett wouldn't have made it back to me at 6.10 so drafting him at 5.03 was the right call, hopefully.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Steve got the defensive party started in the 5th round and in doing so brought home one of the best pairs of defensive ends in the draft. Myles Garrett and Damarcus Lawrence have a chance to build on breakout seasons and are both legitimate top 5 players at their position. Christian McCaffrey has shown up at camp ready to play and is a great value at the 3rd pick in a PPR league. Steve balanced offensive picks with defense and took a very balanced approach to this team.

Weaknesses

Steve got the defensive party started but left many big names on the board when taking Myles Garrett in the 5th round. Garrett is the 4th ranked defensive end behind Joey Bosa, JJ Watt, and Danielle Hunter and that made for an interesting pick. Steve also has a steep drop off at running back after McCaffrey and Aaron Jones and will have to rely on Duke Johnson Jr being given a large role in Houston after his trade from Cleveland. Vontaze Burfict is always a gamble since he cannot stay on the field due to suspension and may not be worth the 15th round pick that he was.

How He’ll Win It All

Steve is all in on Myles Garrett having a monster year after making him the top defensive player selected and that is what it is going to take for him to win it all. Duke Johnson Jr will also have to play a big role in Houston and Kyler Murray is going to have excel at the NFL level right away. Lavonte David and Danny Trevathan will bring a lot of tackles from their linebacker position, but they will have a lot of points to make up for.

DRAFT SLOT 4

Tyler Loechner, Rotoviz

Tyler Loechner writes for RotoViz and specializes in DFS, redraft, and dynasty. He is a member of the FSWA and won the Best Football Series award in 2017. Tyler previously wrote for PFF Fantasy and Bleacher Report.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

Even in an IDP league, offensive players are still the main attraction for me. It wouldn't surprise me if my team had the most or almost the most, offensive players halfway through the draft.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

Cornerback will be one of — if not the — last position I draft for. There are so many cornerbacks playing in the NFL each week that it's not too difficult to find production, even off the waiver wire. At DT, I will likely wait a long time as well, unless a top-ranked player falls a round or two below where I think he should go. But I will be drafting DT before a CB.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

He may not be "under the radar," but I'm interested in Devin White, the rookie LB for the Buccaneers. He went fifth overall and will be an immediate starter, and the Bucs have produced some elite LB talent in IDP leagues in recent seasons. I'm also keeping an eye on Tennessee's Jayon Brown, who had 97 total tackles last year, including six sacks.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

In this league, sacks are worth 5 points apiece, I think I'll target a couple of DEs that could post big sack numbers and win me some weeks. One such player is Yannick Ngakoue, who had 12 sacks in 2017 (10th in the NFL) before dipping to 9.5 in 2018. That should put him somewhat under the radar. Another interesting returning-from-down-year player is Ezekiel Ansah, who had 12 sacks and 44 tackles in 2017 before losing much of 2018 to injury. He's now on the Seahawks with no attention.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I love scooping up injured or suspended players to start the year, assuming the injury isn't anything severe. Fantasy players tend to overrate the negative impact of suspensions and early-season injuries. As for rookies, I usually fill a few spots with rookies at skill positions, but I rarely go overboard. You can find good rookies on the waiver wire, too.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

Kareem Hunt in Cleveland. He's a backup and he's suspended, so it's not like Hunt is a slam-dunk pick by any stretch, but if something were to happen to Nick Chubb, Hunt would be a dominant workhorse in a (should-be) high-flying offense once again. We know he can be a league-winner in such a setting.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Don't ignore the IDP positions just because you aren't as familiar with the names, don't be the first person to draft a CB, and do equal amounts of research on the IDP side as you do on the offensive side. There's a big edge to gain in IDP leagues, but that also means there's an edge to lose if you aren't sharp.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.04
4
WR
HOU
2.09
21
TE
KCC
3.04
28
RB
KCC
4.09
45
WR
DET
5.04
52
RB
DEN
6.09
69
WR
CIN
7.04
76
WR
KCC
8.09
93
QB
HOU
9.04
100
RB
WAS
10.09
117
LB
NOS
11.04
124
LB
MIA
12.09
141
S
LAC
13.04
148
DE
DET
14.09
165
LB
DET
15.04
172
DE
CHI
16.09
189
RB
Ronald Jones
TBB
17.04
196
WR
IND
18.09
213
TE
CHI
19.04
220
WR
NYG
20.09
237
LB
TEN
21.04
244
RB
ATL
22.09
261
QB
NEP
23.04
268
TE
WAS
24.09
285
DT
NYJ
25.04
292
S
BAL
26.09
309
RB
WAS
27.04
316
S
CHI
28.09
333
CB
CAR
29.04
340
LB
MIA
30.09
357
WR
KCC
31.04
364
CB
KCC
32.09
381
DT
PHI

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

You waited until round 10 to draft your first IDP player, Demario Davis (10.09). Explain why securing your offensive players first is a good strategy to use in an IDP draft.

This is a common strategy of mine in IDP redraft leagues because it enables me to fill out my starting offensive roster with studs. The big-play IDP point generators, such as sacks or turnovers, are a bit more volatile, and the most stable position (LB) has a ton of options to go around. I am sacrificing my defensive floor with such a strategy - so this approach is not without a downside - but the idea is that my offensive upside will more than make up for it.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Tyler walked away with a very balanced team after drafting 9 straight offensive players followed by 7 straight on defense. He did not jump on the defensive player run in the 5th round and instead walked away with Philip Lindsay, AJ Green, Sammy Watkins, and Deshaun Watson. The pairing of DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson as well as stacking the Kansas City offense with Travis Kelce, Damien Williams, and Sammy Watkins will make for a very high-powered offense. The steal of the entire draft may be Tom Brady in the 22nd round after showing he still has plenty left in the tank. It will be a tough decision each week on whether to start Watson or Brady but that is a good problem to have.

Weaknesses

The biggest question here is whether Tyler waited too long to take his first defensive player. Demario Davis is the 23rd rated linebacker coming into the season and was his first pick on the defensive side of the ball. There is a lot of variance on who gets tackles week to week and defense is much more difficult to predict than offense but waiting to fill your last 6 defensive positions until your last 6 picks could spell disaster.

How He’ll Win It All

For this team to win it will be carried by the offense. Tyler will have to accurately predict whether to start Watson or Brady each week and hope that Kansas City scores at the same rate it did last season. On the defensive side of the ball, it will take consistent tackle numbers each week and watching the waiver wire for the inevitable injuries that happen every year. Tyler’s team has a high ceiling on the offensive side of the ball and that could be enough to carry them to a championship.

DRAFT SLOT 5

Aaron Rudnicki, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

Given the depth at most IDP positions and relative scarcity on offense, I usually try to build a solid core of offensive players first. It’s difficult to build a strong and balanced roster if you wait too long on a position like running back for example, so that’s typically a primary focus in the first 2 or 3 rounds. Next priority is wide receiver given how important and prolific they are in today’s game. After I have a strong group of 4 or 5 (non-quarterback) offensive players in place, I’ll likely start considering the best available IDPs.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

I’m pretty high on Myles Garrett given the upside he has in Cleveland this year, but I think he is part of a tier of players that I’d like to get my DE1 from. That includes Demarcus Lawrence, Danielle Hunter, Calais Campbell, and Cameron Jordan. At defensive tackle, there’s a clear top-2 this year (Chris Jones and DeForest Buckner) so if I miss out on them, I’m content to wait at the position. At linebacker, Darius Leonard is in a tier by himself, but I love the next group of young linebackers almost as much. This group includes Leighton Vander Esch, Tremaine Edmunds, and Roquan Smith. At safety, there is a bit more depth this year and I’d be satisfied with six or seven options to be my first pick. I’ll probably let somebody else take Jamal Adams and then start looking for another great option like Derwin James, Landon Collins, or Budda Baker. At cornerback, I’ll likely wait to fill those spots until late in the draft as I don’t think there’s much separation between the top options and the rest.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

Ideally, I’d love to wind up with Chris Jones or DeForest Buckner to give my team an edge at the defensive tackle position. Barring that, there are plenty of other DT1 options to consider so I’m not too concerned about spending a premium pick at the position. There’s less separation at cornerback than just about any other position so I don’t expect to draft one until the draft is well into the second half. This is a position you can normally stream players off the waiver wire by targeting favorable matchups each week, so there’s even less of a need to spend draft capital on it.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

There’s likely to be some value coming from the replacement for C.J. Mosley in Baltimore. Kenny Young was the early favorite but Chris Board has been running with the starters in camp. Similarly, with Mason Foster being released in Washington, there’s a good chance that Shaun Dion-Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons will see a ton of playing time this year. Opportunity is the most important factor in IDP success, and both seem headed for 3-down roles on a bad team.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Olivier Vernon wasn’t a great fit in the 3-4 defense the Giants ran last year but he still posted 7 sacks in 11 games. Now he’ll move back to a more natural 4-3 front in Cleveland with Myles Garrett and even Sheldon Richardson drawing a lot of attention. He has considerable upside with a chance at double-digit sacks if he can stay healthy. For a different reason, Cassius Marsh also could provide some nice value. He posted 6.5 sacks on 550 snaps last year for San Francisco but should see more playing time in Seattle given their lack of depth up front.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I do try to target younger players, which includes rookies, as I think they often have the potential to dramatically outperform their draft position. Concerning injured players and suspended players though, I’m less inclined to take chances on them given how much pressure they can put on your roster decisions. Holding onto these players while waiting for them to return limits your ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances early in the season. Any player is worth considering if the price is right though so it kind of depends on the player and what other options are available.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

I’m not sure whether he even needs an injury, but Rashaan Evans is a young player who could supplant a veteran like Wesley Woodyard this year. Woodyard has had a nice career but he’s 33 years old and it’s likely the Titans will want to give their former 1st round pick a larger opportunity. I’m also concerned Joshua Allen will have to share time with Yannick Ngakoue in Jacksonville early on, but an injury could potentially open him up to a full-time role. Darron Lee in Kansas City is another interesting player since he figures to be a nickel option but could take on a full-time role if one of the starters went down with an injury.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Pay close attention to tiers as there are often small differences in projections between relatively large groups of players at a position. If you see a large group of players from one tier available, it’s easier to wait at that position and fill a need elsewhere. Otherwise, similar to what happens in offense-only drafts, you want to target positions with more scarcity early in the draft. For me, this typically means the defensive end position as there aren’t many options who can put up reliable numbers each week. Linebackers tend to be higher scoring as well so that’s not a position you want to wait too long to address. In general, I gravitate towards IDPs who are most likely to produce reliable tackle numbers each week rather than the playmakers who are more variable from week to week (and year to year).

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.05
5
RB
DAL
2.08
20
WR
KCC
3.05
29
TE
SFO
4.08
44
RB
NEP
5.05
53
LB
IND
6.08
68
WR
LAR
7.05
77
DE
JAC
8.08
92
DE
NOS
9.05
101
LB
SFO
10.08
116
QB
IND
11.05
125
DT
KCC
12.08
140
LB
CLE
13.05
149
WR
NYG
14.08
164
S
ARI
15.05
173
RB
TBB
16.08
188
WR
DEN
17.05
197
LB
CIN
18.08
212
RB
BUF
19.05
221
S
NYG
20.08
236
WR
MIA
21.05
245
QB
NOS
22.08
260
RB
BUF
23.05
269
WR
ATL
24.08
284
DE
NEP
25.05
293
TE
DAL
26.08
308
LB
LAC
27.05
317
DE
IND
28.08
332
CB
GBP
29.05
341
DT
CLE
30.08
356
S
TEN
31.05
365
CB
JAC
32.08
380
WR
BUF

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

Who is one IDP player that you are particularly high on that others don't share the same level of interest? Explain why you are so high on that player this year.

This is a tough question, but looking through my rankings and projections I do seem to be pretty high on a couple of linebackers; Jordan Hicks in Arizona and Shaun Dion-Hamilton. Hicks is 27 years old and coming off a breakout season, which helped earn him a nice big contract in Arizona. He'll be playing inside linebacker as they transition back to a 3-4 front, but I assume this is a defense that is going to be on the field a lot this year. The offense is going to try and be much more aggressive in terms of their pace, which should help boost the numbers of many Cardinals IDPs with Hicks likely the biggest benefactor. Similarly, in Washington, I have very low hopes for the offense they have put together this year, which should leave their defense on the field perhaps as much as any team in the league. With the release of Mason Foster, I expect Dion-Hamilton to emerge as a 3-down linebacker there and post excellent numbers primarily due to the opportunity. Jon Bostic is around to compete for playing time as well, but I assume he'll primarily steal snaps from Josh Harvey-Clemons.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Aaron wasted no time in snagging Darius Leonard when the run on defensive players started. Leonard has been the top linebacker off the board and is a great player to center your defense around. There is a lot of upside on the offensive side of the ball as well with Ezekiel Elliot, Tyreek Hill, George Kittle, and Andrew Luck headlining the top offensive positions. It is a very strong core of players that lead a balanced team. Drew Brees in the 21st round is another steal at the quarterback position and LeSean McCoy should outperform his 18th round selection.

Weaknesses

There are many factors about this team that could spell disaster. Between Elliot threatening to sit out the season until he gets a new deal, the legal issues with Hill, injury recovery from Cooper Kupp, and the calf issue with Luck there could be a lot of holes to fill very quickly. Not knowing what is going to happen with a player at one position is easy to overcome, but having to possibly replace your top quarterback, running back, and wide receiver is all but impossible to come back from.

How He’ll Win It All

To win it all for Aaron, all of the players mentioned above will have to play and not suffer any sort of setback. Losing out on any of these starting players without having their handcuff is a great strategy when they are all healthy and not facing off the field issues. This is a true boom-or-bust type situation that will not become clear until we get closer to the start of the season.

DRAFT SLOT 6

Tom Kislingbury, Dynasty League Football

Tom is a senior writer at Dynasty League Football. He contributes to the non-fantasy magazine Gridiron and is a consultant at Dynasty Command Centre. Tom primarily focuses on the defensive side of the ball but has a deep love of running backs as well.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

I want to make sure I've got enough running backs early on in the draft. I'll fill out my wide receivers later on.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

  • DL - Joey Bosa. I'll be looking to be the 2nd or 3rd guy to take a DE
  • LB - Avery Williamson. Gregg Williams does great things for LBs.
  • DB - Vonn Bell. For someone reason, he's always undervalued

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

I'll be happy with any corners. I doubt I'll take any until the very end of the draft. The tackle position I'm fussier. I'll want one of the top group of interior pass rushers.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

  • Shaun Dion Hamilton. Because the Redskins are going to see a lot of work this year and their top LB is a productive role.
  • Chris Board. It seems he's going to be their starting WLB. I'm very interested in that

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Jerry Hughes and Brandon Graham. Both piled up a ton of pressure last year but had relatively few sacks. I'll bet that changes this year with a positive regression of sacks on the same or increased level of pressure on the quarterback.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I'll leave them until later in the draft. In the IDP world, I'm all about immediate production. Although there are players I love I just don't want to gamble much on them playing more later on.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

Blake Cashman. Gregg Williams loves to leave his starting LBs out there for every snap. If either CJ Mosley or Avery Williamson go down Cashman is next man up and an exciting prospect.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Have a good idea of tiers or projections. A lot of people divide IDPs up into simply "good" or "not good". That's not enough

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.06
6
RB
ARI
2.07
19
RB
DET
3.06
30
RB
ATL
4.07
43
WR
LAR
5.06
54
TE
TBB
6.07
67
DE
LAC
7.06
78
WR
PHI
8.07
91
WR
DEN
9.06
102
DE
KCC
10.07
115
WR
DET
11.06
126
LB
NYJ
12.07
139
QB
SEA
13.06
150
RB
TEN
14.07
163
S
ATL
15.06
174
DT
CIN
16.07
187
LB
BUF
17.06
198
LB
CAR
18.07
211
RB
NEP
19.06
222
TE
IND
20.07
235
WR
JJ Arcega-Whiteside
PHI
21.06
246
LB
Ja'Whaun Bentley
NEP
22.07
259
LB
WAS
23.06
270
WR
BAL
24.07
283
QB
TEN
25.06
294
DE
PHI
26.07
307
RB
SFO
27.06
318
WR
MIA
28.07
331
LB
BAL
29.06
342
S
SFO
30.07
355
S
KCC
31.06
366
CB
BAL
32.07
379
CB
CLE

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

Is there a particular team that you like to draft linebackers, defensive ends, or defensive backs from that give you an advantage over a similar player on a different team? On the same angle, is there a team that you tend to shy away from in this regard? Which teams offer the most in terms of home-score operator advantage? Which have the worst home-score operators?

I'm more influenced by coaches than teams. I want coaches who rely on their starting LBs and leave them out there for every snap. The gold standard is Gregg Williams. In his last 5 years as a coordinator, he has produced 8 LBs with over 1,000 snaps. The other two were around the 900 snap mark. Hitting 1,000 snaps makes a linebacker extremely likely to finish in the top 12 and hitting 900 should equate to a top 24 finish. CJ Mosley is rightly being taken early but Avery Williamson is being underrated.

With defensive backs volume is also important but even more so is alignment. The amount a safety plays in the box ix the key here. Someone like Ricardo Allen or Jessie Bates III can play a ton but not match the output of a true box safety. Which makes players like Derwin James or Keanu Neal so valuable. Ronnie Harrison in Jacksonville might be the best breakout candidate in 2019.

Stat crews are useful but only serve as a tie-breaker for me. When pushed I'll favor players from the Giants, Bills, Buccaneers or Titans. So marginal options like Matt Milano, Rashaan Evans or Tae Davis are interesting. However, paying attention to scoring systems is key. No stat crews hand out a lot of tackles where they don't exist - it's more whether they are solo-heavy or assist heavy. Knowing your scoring systems means you can take advantage of this.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Picking right in the middle of the draft can be a tough spot but it allowed Tom to build a team-centered around David Johnson, Devonta Freeman, Robert Woods, and Joey Bosa. Bosa has been in a dead heat with JJ Watt for the top defensive end billing heading into the season and there is no going wrong with either pick. Frank Clark is another top 10 rated defensive end and puts forth the potential for 20+ sacks from the duo this season. Jon Bostic was brought in by the Redskins to play a major role in their defense and should outperform his 22nd round selection.

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness here may be relying on David Johnson to be the same player he was a few seasons ago. There have been several changes in Arizona, and it is difficult to predict what the offense is going to look like. With James Conner and a rested Le’Veon Bell coming off the board just behind Johnson it was not the safest pick. Tom also lacks a big-time wide receiver or tight end that could factor immensely into this PPR league. Starting the draft with 3 straight running backs left a lot to be desired at other positions.

How He’ll Win It All

To win it all for Tom, it will take a resurgence from David Johnson and a big season from Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. A bounce-back season from Albert Wilson in Miami and a breakout performance from Greedy Williams in Cleveland could help Tommy’s team make a run at the title.

DRAFT SLOT 7

Jeff Haseley, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

Regarding offensive positional players, my strategy for this draft is to target the best available pass-catching running back in the first round followed by highly targeted wide receivers. With all of the uncertainty surrounding Ezekiel Elliot, Todd Gurley, and Melvin Gordon III it moves Le'Veon Bell and Dalvin Cook into the radar with the 7th pick. The draft looks to be very offensive heavy in the early rounds with the first defensive player ranking at pick 108. This will not leave a lot of meat on the bone after the run on defensive players starts. Filling a balanced roster is the goal over drafting best available and filling holes later. In the later rounds, it will be about finding guys who see a high percentage of snaps and backups to starting running backs around the league.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

LB is the biggest target for me as it brings about the highest rate of tackles per game, a greater chance of sack than a safety, and still the opportunity to make plays in the passing game. Ideally, I would walk away with either Bobby Wagner, Luke Keuchly, or Darius Leonard as my top defensive pick. From there I would covet Aaron Donald, Danielle Hunter, or Joey Bosa. Donald will most likely be the next name off the list after JJ Watt is selected and that would be an instant trigger for me for my top-rated DE. Defensive back comes down to finding a top-flight safety. Harrison Smith, Budda Baker, and Jordan Poyer round out my top picks. There is no real trigger for safeties as there are many guys across the league that will rack up tackles. Safety is a position I am willing to wait on and spot fill throughout the year as needed.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

These positions can be hit and miss every week and that is how I tend to treat them. Once the big names are gone it is all about looking for the best matchup. When looking for a DL you want to find a guy with a high snap count that is playing against a team that traditionally runs the ball. Regarding the cornerback position, I prefer a guy who tends to play the run rather than sit back and look for an interception. While an interception returned for a touchdown may go a long way towards winning in a certain week, it is a stat that you cannot accurately predict and should not count on. I would rather start a guy who averaged 5 tackles a game for an entire season with no interceptions than a guy who averages 1 tackle with 5 interceptions. Consistency and snap count are key when filling these positions.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Tyus Bowser in Baltimore is one name that I have flying under the radar. Bowser has not lived up to his second-round draft choice yet and struggled with a change in defensive coordinators. He has since learned the new terms and is producing well in camp so far. He returned an interception for a touchdown during a joint practice with the Jaguars and looks poised to finally break out this season. Brandon Marshall may not get confused with the wide receiver anymore, but he is certainly flying under the radar in Oakland. After leaving the defensive-minded Broncos, Marshall is poised to get out from the shadow of Von Miller and make a name for himself with the Raiders. The biggest question will be health, but he has shown the ability to get the job done in the past.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Jurrell Casey is a name I always watch along the defensive line. He seems to be good for 5-6 sacks a season and usually racks them up in bunches. He made it a point to get bigger and faster this offseason as he prepares for his 9th NFL season and is a name that is often forgotten about. Watch the board as other big DEs come off the board and keep Casey in the back of your mind. Michael Bennett is another name to watch as he changed teams and went to the Patriots. The National Anthem protests seem to be handled in New England and he can get back to focusing on football. With Trey Flowers on the other side, it could be a very big year for Bennett.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I try to have the same approach in these situations no matter what the league is. These are the guys that you hope may pan out and play a role at some point, but they are never a name that I want to have to rely on. After watching Le'Veon Bell owners last season, I do not want to rely on a guy I know will not be starting. If I have the position filled with a reliable stop-gap then I will take some late-round fliers, but I will not risk an entire season on a guy I am not sure is going to play.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

Julian Stanford is the next guy up behind Tremaine Edmunds and would greatly benefit from an injury. The entire defense in Buffalo flows through Edmunds and that role would fall to Stanford in the event of an injury. Lorenzo Alexander on the other side would take some of the pressure off and allow Stanford to ease into the role. Having the backup to the second-rated linebacker in the draft is a good handcuff to have in the later rounds.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

The best advice to give is to just not get overwhelmed by what seems like a lot of extra positions to fill. We track the number of plays a wide receiver has in the offense the same way we do a linebacker in the defense. The more someone is on the field the more opportunity they have to score points for you. Do not worry if all of the big names are gone at a certain position either. Injuries happen all season long and paying attention to the waiver wire is important. I value tackles over the big stats like sacks and interceptions as they remain more consistent week to week,

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.07
7
RB
PIT
2.06
18
WR
ATL
3.07
31
WR
OAK
4.06
42
RB
NEP
5.07
55
WR
CIN
6.06
66
LB
GBP
7.07
79
RB
SFO
8.06
90
LB
JAC
9.07
103
DE
IND
10.06
114
WR
CAR
11.07
127
TE
ATL
12.06
138
QB
ATL
13.07
151
S
NYJ
14.06
162
LB
NYG
15.07
175
DE
PHI
16.06
186
RB
PIT
17.07
199
LB
WAS
18.06
210
WR
HOU
19.07
223
DT
GBP
20.06
234
TE
OAK
21.07
247
QB
SFO
22.06
258
CB
DEN
23.07
271
DE
CIN
24.06
282
LB
NEP
25.07
295
S
PHI
26.06
306
TE
CAR
27.07
319
DT
CAR
28.06
330
RB
BAL
29.07
343
S
ARI
30.06
354
CB
DAL
31.07
367
DE
CAR
32.06
378
WR
TEN

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

Who is one IDP player that is poised for a big leap forward this year? Share why you have an interest in that player.

One linebacker who comes to mind is second-year Rashaan Evans of the Titans. It took nearly half the season to recover from injury, find his way into the lineup, and make plays but he did just that. Evans has Alabama pedigree in him and it showed later in the season. There is room for Evans to continue to grow, but he has a strong opportunity to wrestle the job away from veteran Wesley Woodyard. Dean Pees was the defensive mastermind in Baltimore and he brings that same tradition to Tennessee. The team's top linebacker in Pees system is one that I want to have on my team. Evans may not be there just yet, but he is poised to earn more playing time this season as he continues to blossom into a highly regarded IDP linebacker.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Jeff's team walked away with the best trio of wide receivers in the draft and it is not close. Even a frost-bitten Antonio Brown paired with Julio Jones and Tyler Boyd make for an elite trio that will put up big numbers in a PPR league. Blake Martinez and Myles Jack headline a stout defense that also boasts the top-rated safety in Jamal Adams. The stack of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Austin Hooper have the potential to put up big numbers on offense.

Weaknesses

The biggest hole on this team comes at the running back position. Jeff had the sense to draft Jaylen Samuels as a handcuff to James Conner, but he is very thin outside of that. There is no telling what New England’s plan is for how they split carries between James White and Sony Michel and Tevin Coleman has never worked as a lead back and we do not know what to expect from him in San Francisco. For all of the balance at other positions, Jeff is lacking at running back.

How He’ll Win It All

This team will come down to how well Brown recovers from frostbite and how much of a bump Boyd gets from the injury to A.J. Green. Jeff has 3 great wide receivers, especially in a PPR league, but some factors will play into their success. Jeff is also deep at linebacker and there should not be any shortage of tackles this season.

DRAFT SLOT 8

John Norton, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

Old habits are hard to break. I think it's much harder to find free agent help at RB during the season so I still like to hit running backs hard right out of the gate. It is particularly important in a league format like this where three can be started. If everything goes according to plan I'll open with three backs then go with receivers or tight end in rounds four and five. I probably won't look at a Quarterback before round 15.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

I rarely have a specific player targeted for my first at any defensive position. Instead, I use tiers. If I can get my targeted number of guys from the top-tier, I feel successful. The trigger that makes me take these guys is usually the size of the tier. If it's a big tier I'll wait and address shallower positions first. For example; J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, and Danielle Hunter are my top three defensive linemen but there are 10 guys on my first tier. My goal is to land two of them. Darius Leonard is my clear cut number one linebacker. After that, there are eight players I consider to be virtually equal. I would like to land two of these nine guys but there are a lot of quality players on the second tier at linebacker, including a few that have top-10 upside. For that reason, I will likely address other positions after getting one of them. Defensive backs are a strange position. Even though it is a relatively thin position, managers tend to wait very late to break the position. My top-three at the position are Derwin James, Landon Collins and John Adams, on a top-tier that has seven players. I want to make sure to land at least one on that tier.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

There are not many corners that can be counted on from year to year. Outside the first ten or so, it becomes a crapshoot in large part. This position is often impacted by matchups on a week to week basis. It's a 32 round draft; I probably won't take a corner until at least round 28. If I don't get a good one, I can play matchups until I find him.

With the option to play one or two interior linemen, I will not put a lot of emphasis on the position. If their scoring was boosted a little to equalize the value or we had to start two, my approach would be different. There are enough quality targets for everyone to have at least one solid starter.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

My two biggest sleeper targets at linebacker are Jaguars rookie Quincy Williams and Colts rookie Bobby Okereke. Before the knee sprain, Williams was running as a three-down WLB; the same position previously held by fantasy stud Telvin Smith Sr. The team and his fellow players have been impressed with Williams from the start. There is a chance he could miss a game or two with the sore knee but Williams will be back early in the season.

Okereke has created a buzz in Indianapolis. His skill set is similar in many ways to that of Darius Leonard. Okereke was highly productive in college, is more athletic and better in coverage than Anthony Walker who is currently penciled in at middle linebacker, Is smart, fast and all the other good things you can say about a guy. That doesn't necessarily mean he will be a great fantasy option he is a good late-round sleeper that could prove a steal as your LB5.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Sam Hubbard and Olivier Vernon are a couple of guys lurking in the shadows at end. Olivier is being overlooked by many after playing OLB last year. He is not much of a threat to reach double-digit sacks but the guy makes a lot of tackles when he plays end in a 4-3. The last time he was at the position Olivier reached 40+ tackles and at least 7.5 sacks in consecutive seasons.

Hubbard was flat impressive in a part-time role for the Bengals last year. He was 28-13-6 with a pair of turnovers on less than half the team's defensive snaps. This year he takes over as a starter and will likely hold a three-down role.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I believe we have to take these situations on an individual basis. Rookie corners are normally targeted more often so rookie starters can be legitimate late-round targets. Just like the running back position, rookie linebackers can be great options. Just look at last year when three of them finished in the top-10. Receivers and pass rushers often need a year or two before they flourish. There will always be exceptions, but generally, I try to avoid rookies at these positions, at least until the late rounds.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

On offense, I would go with Latavius Murray. He is a capable NFL starter that can play all three downs, is a goal-line threat and is on a team with a strong, well-balanced attack. Target him as depth because even if Alvin Kamara does not get hurt, Murray is going to get enough carries to provide decent depth.

Defensively I'll go with Mychal Kendricks. He is set to start on the strong side, but as a two-down player, he is not going to have enough opportunity. If either Bobby Wagner of K.J. Wright is lost, Kendricks becomes a three-down starter at that position. He has the versatility to play any linebacker spot in a 4-3, along with a history of quality production whenever holding a three-down role. Kendricks played about three and a half games last season, going 15-5-2 in those games. He is a great insurance policy for the Seahawks and a guy we should grab immediately if one of the starters is going to miss time.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

The best advice I can give is to be flexible and don't get into a chase position. You will never win a league by taking the slim pickings at the end of positional runs. Don't be afraid to break a new position early on if the flow dictates it. Also, keep in mind it is easier to find free-agent help on defense during the season. You want to have at least one first-tier player at each defensive position but fill out your offense before completing the defense.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.08
8
RB
Le'Veon Bell
NYJ
2.05
17
RB
CIN
3.08
32
RB
OAK
4.05
41
WR
LAR
5.08
56
DE
MIN
6.05
65
LB
DAL
7.08
80
TE
LAC
8.05
89
LB
TBB
9.08
104
WR
SFO
10.05
113
WR
ARI
11.08
128
WR
JAC
12.05
137
RB
CLE
13.08
152
QB
TBB
14.05
161
S
LAR
15.08
176
WR
OAK
16.05
185
LB
DEN
17.08
200
LB
ARI
18.05
209
DE
NOS
19.08
224
RB
LAC
20.05
233
QB
MIN
21.08
248
TE
NYJ
22.05
257
S
CIN
23.08
272
DE
SEA
24.05
281
DT
IND
25.08
296
LB
IND
26.05
305
DT
CLE
27.08
320
S
NOS
28.05
329
WR
Tre'Quan Smith
NOS
29.08
344
CB
WAS
30.05
353
LB
LAR
31.08
368
CB
TBB
32.05
377
CB
PHI

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

Who is one IDP player that you are particularly high on that others don't share the same level of interest? Explain why you are so high on that player this year.

I'm going to throw out three names; Quincy Williams, Bobby Okereke and Micah Kiser. All three are under the radar linebacker I am targeting in late rounds, I got two of them in this draft. Williams was running with the Jaguars first team until a sprained knee shut him down for the rest of the preseason. Both the coaching staff and his teammates were talking about how well he was playing at a position that has produced 98 or more solo tackles in three of the last four seasons. He could miss a game or two in September but should return to the lineup as soon as he is healthy.

Okereke has a skill set remarkably similar to that of Darius Leonard and appears to be working ahead of Anthony Walker at middle linebacker for the Colts. In the first preseason contest, Walker moved over to the weak side because Leonard did not play, while Okereke started in the middle. He is faster, more athletic and a more significant big-play threat than Walker. There is a lot of competition for tackles with Leonard in the mix but I still believe Okereke can put up good numbers.

People are beginning to warm to the first two guys but everyone is still sleeping on Kiser, who is taking over the job previously held by Mark Barron. Barron didn't do much last year when is role was reduced, but the two prior season he averaged better than 5.3 solo tackles and 1.5 assists per game. The Rams like to have both inside backers on the field full time so I believe Kiser will be a solid LB3 and an absolute steal in round 30.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

John had a very balanced first 6 picks and walked away with Le’Veon Bell and Joe Mixon back to back and then solidified his defensive core with Danielle Hunter and Leighton Vander Esch back to back when the defensive run started. Bell has fresh legs after sitting out an entire season and Mixon should continue to be a workhorse for the Bengals. John also walked away with Kirk Cousins in the 20th round and he is expected to put up big numbers in his second season with the Vikings.

Weaknesses

John reached for Kareem Hunt in the 12th round in this draft as he will most likely not out preform that position after serving his 8-game suspension. Hunt is a great play in a PPR league, but he will also be splitting carries with Nick Chubb after his breakout season with the Browns last year. Dante Pettis also seems to have fallen out of favor in San Francisco and may not live up to his 9th round selection.

How He’ll Win It All

John is going to need Bell to get back to the 200+ touches that he was getting with the Steelers and to start Cousins over Jameis Winston if he wants a shot at the title this season. There is a great core on defense with Hunter, Vander Esch, and Devin White and they should provide enough tackles and sacks to put up a strong showing each week on defense.

DRAFT SLOT 9

Brandon "Bee" Salamat, Dynasty League Football

Bee has been involved with fantasy football for about 15 years and I’ve contributed to multiple sites over the years. Today, he is a part of the Dynasty League Football (DLF) team and covering the IDP landscape from the sunny state of Hawaii. Aloha.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

I don’t pay much attention to ADP because it varies in every draft so although I won’t reach I'll be aiming for high upside players. I usually start WR-WR but if the draft turns out a different way I’ll just adapt and land some value picks.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

The trigger for me is the DL trio I mentioned, I believe they’re weekly winners or x-factors because of their high ceiling/high floor.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

For defensive tackle, I will be targeting a top 10 option on my end. All eyes on DeForest Buckner for sure and it’ll be a welcoming sight once Aaron Donald gets the DT tag once again. As for cornerback, I will wait it out towards the end of the draft as you can always find a couple of gems.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

The two Linebackers that I think are under the radar that I’ll be targeting are Jayon Brown, I still think he doesn’t get enough credit for what he’s done and only getting better. The other linebacker for me would be Fred Warner since the Kwon Alexander signing it seems many devalued Warner, therefore he’s a cheap solid LB2 value right now and you’ll be getting LB1 numbers throughout the season.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

The two under the radar defensive ends that I'll be targeting are Justin Houston and Dorance Armstrong. Houston has a new home in Indy and they’re in dire need of pass rushers, some say Houston lost a step but now we get him as a DE in IDP and he’s gonna thrive even if his full-time days are over, it didn’t stop Cam Wake it won’t stop Houston. Many may not know Armstrong but the opportunity is there for him to shine, even in a rotation, he’s gonna be useful for some weeks. With Robert Quinn out, the nation will know Armstrong’s name, he’ll fit perfectly opposite Demarcus Lawrence.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

My approach to drafting rookies will depend on their situation and the possibilities they’ll bring aboard. As for injured players, more times than not i’ll just stay away from them unless they’re worth the headache. I don’t have any interest in drafting suspended players.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

Blake Cashman, LB NYJ - if anything were to happen to either Avery Williamson or CJ Mosley, we’re talking on the fence LB1 option. Cashman attacks the ballcarrier and we’ve seen the type of numbers Joe Schobert put up for Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams back in CLE, I believe those are the type of numbers Cashman can put up when opportunity knocks.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

I would say, watch for positional runs like how there are on the offensive side. At the same time know your values and how deep each position can go, since there are plenty of linebackers to choose from you don’t want to be the one missing out when there’s a Defensive End run. Become familiar with your leagues scoring setting, that’s going to help set the tone on the type of IDP unit you want to build. Lastly, just have fun and there’s no wrong-doing drafting IDPs you want to root for or you like.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.09
9
WR
CLE
2.04
16
WR
NOS
3.09
33
RB
JAC
4.04
40
WR
MIN
5.09
57
LB
SEA
6.04
64
LB
BUF
7.09
81
RB
CHI
8.04
88
WR
CAR
9.09
105
DE
LAC
10.04
112
RB
SFO
11.09
129
QB
PHI
12.04
136
LB
SFO
13.09
153
LB
TEN
14.04
160
DE
JAC
15.09
177
TE
CLE
16.04
184
S
TEN
17.09
201
S
KCC
18.04
208
RB
IND
19.09
225
WR
N'Keal Harry
NEP
20.04
232
DE
CAR
21.09
249
TE
DET
22.04
256
DE
BUF
23.09
273
CB
CLE
24.04
280
QB
CHI
25.09
297
S
DEN
26.04
304
DT
MIA
27.09
321
DT
MIN
28.04
328
CB
LAC
29.09
345
S
PIT
30.04
352
CB
MIA
31.09
369
LB
TEN
32.04
376
WR
IND

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

You selected Brian Burns at 20.04. He was the 27th DE picked in this draft. What are your expectations for the rookie this season? Are you concerned that he may lose his DE distinction?

With my selection of Brian Burns, I went after the potential upside blended in with his talent. He reminds me of Harold Landry, and I already planned where he'd lose his DE tag by drafting another DE a couple of rounds later; and I have no concerns on that because of the way I look at it with edge players is that at any given week they can be a big x-factor and help me pick up the win.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Brandon went hard and heavy with wide receivers early in the draft. With Odell Beckham Jr, Michael Thomas, and Stefon Diggs, there may not be a better trio in the draft. He also pairs that with Bobby Wagner, Tremaine Edmunds, and Melvin Ingram III. This could easily be the best offensive and defensive pairing within the whole league. Brandon is very strong in the tackle and catch department and that is key in an IDP PPR league.

Weaknesses

With the strength of wide receiver, comes a weakness at the running back position. Leonard Fournette has not been the same running back and the problems in Jacksonville look to continue this season. Tarik Cohen and Matt Breida have never put it together for a full season and that leaves this team without any true star power at the running back position.

How He’ll Win It All

This team wins it all by consistently scoring points through catches and tackles. Brandon may lack a true star running back, but he has 2 guys who catch the ball out of the backfield in Cohen and Breida. He also has a trio of wide receivers that could easily top 300 receptions and a pair of linebackers that could top 200 tackles. It is strictly a points game for this team, and he chased all of the right stat categories to get it done.

DRAFT SLOT 10

John Montgomery, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

Since I am drafting in the 10th position, I likely will not have the first tier RB available, thus I will be looking QB / WR in my first two picks. Unfortunately, this will force me to go RB / RB in rounds 3 & 4. There will be solid value but will look for RB #1 upside. Rounds 5 & 6 will be for TE & WR#2. Rounds 7 & 8 will be RB#3 / WR #3. Rounds 9 & 10 LB #1 / LB#2. After this, I will look at DL and then filling in with best available offensive players.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

DL – Unless you get one of the big 4 (Garrett / Donald / Watt / Hunter) It is best to wait on this position to pick. I will start looking in the 10th – 12th round and will hope one of these players are still around.

  • Myles Garrett is my first target. He is a freak with good players around him
  • Demarcus Lawrence – Injury will scare some owners away. I will draft and assume he will miss the first week or two; that’s fine, he will carry a team through the playoffs when healthy.
  • Deforest Buckner – DT’s are tough to draft over DE’s, but he is the best and likely will fall because of others reaching for the “name” DE. I am sure I will reach on him. He has great supporting talent around

LB – There are several great LB’s, but the 3 I am targeting in rounds stated above are

  • Deion Jones – A tackle and scoring machine, will reach on him.
  • Blake Martinez – Often overlooked by other names, not me.
  • Roquan Smith – great defensive and has skills to be a top LB

DB – Like DL, unless you get one of the top 3, you can wait on this position and fill in with quality DB2. DB’s don’t win or lose your league.

  • Kenny Moore II – Colts defensive improved, but look who they play…QB’s that love to throw
  • Marshon Lattimore – Same as Colts, Saints can be thrown on, and I am betting he was better than last year
  • Denzel Ward – You will see the common theme….who is the opposing QB and how often they will be lined up on single coverage
  • Jamal Adams – Best Safety in-game and will play up on the ball behind a solid LB core. He is my #1 DB/S target, perhaps in round 12 / 13
  • Jordan Poyer – Always is around the ball, and will not be on anyone’s radar.
  • Damarious Randall- He can be drafted very late and has top 10 skillset

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

As laid out above, if I cannot get one of the top 4, I will wait and take linebackers.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Devon White and Myles Jack. This is a make or break year for Jack, and he will not have Telvin Smith Sr to worry about. Jack has flashed in games. This year he will be a consistent and top 10 LB. Devon White is in the perfect situation, although not under the radar, I bet he falls because of bigger names ahead. Not me, I will grab him as an LB#1 after my target 3 listed earlier

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Allen. Hicks is easy, opposing teams will have their hands full with K. Mack and R. Smith…that leaves one of the best pass rushers over the last 3 years free to go at the QB. Allen was a top DE at the end of 2018 and came on as DaRon Payne started to develop. I love Washington's DL and think it will be a top 10.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

Take injured players after you have filled out your starters. I do not gamble on the unknown and there is no reason to, plenty of quality players that are not hurt. Rookie IDP players seem to transition better than offensive players. Piece of advice heard many times from our own John Norton, “rookie corner rule” draft them for early season success (being thrown on) until they prove they belong.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

On offense, Jacoby Brissett. He will be a starter somewhere else next year and has great weapons in Indy. Luck dealing with soft tissue injury that can be aggravated or linger…Let’s hope not as I love a healthy Luck. In a 32 round draft, there is a spot for Brissett. Also, Teddy Bridgewater in a similar situation. On the Defensive side, only LB’s would be considered. So look at the top-scoring LB’s and know who their back up is. Use injury history as a guideline, age or players who have switched teams, as they never seem to be the same player as his prior team (this applies to offensive players).

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Linebackers win or lose you IDP leagues. Have at least 6 on your roster, more if you have space. I would rather have an LB#7 than a WR#7. Wait on Corners and only take Strong safeties (albeit some of the FS the last couple of years have been great performers).

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.10
10
WR
GBP
2.03
15
QB
KCC
3.10
34
RB
IND
4.03
39
RB
TEN
5.10
58
LB
ATL
6.03
63
LB
CHI
7.10
82
LB
LAR
8.03
87
WR
CHI
9.10
106
TE
IND
10.03
111
TE
NOS
11.10
130
RB
LAR
12.03
135
WR
PIT
13.10
154
S
WAS
14.03
159
WR
SEA
15.10
178
DT
BUF
16.03
183
DE
TEN
17.10
202
S
CHI
18.03
207
WR
NYJ
19.10
226
DE
WAS
20.03
231
S
CLE
21.10
250
QB
BUF
22.03
255
S
MIA
23.10
274
DT
Da'Ron Payne
WAS
24.03
279
CB
IND
25.10
298
TE
DEN
26.03
303
LB
DEN
27.10
322
CB
NOS
28.03
327
WR
NEP
29.10
346
WR
NEP
30.03
351
DE
NYG
31.10
370
QB
OAK
32.03
375
S
BUF

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

You selected three Top 10 linebackers in this draft (Deion Jones, Roquan Smith, and Corey Littleton) in consecutive picks starting in round five. Explain why you tripled-down on linebacker early on and how that affected the rest of your draft strategy.

My strategy going in was to take Mahomes in the 2nd (2.03) round. Since I had the 10th pick, I didn’t feel he would be there at 3.10. I was happy to take Davante Adams at 1.10, which secured my WR#1, and was necessary. My next two rounds had to be the best available RB, which was Marlon Mack at 3.10 and Derek Henry at 4.03. Once both of these picks were secured, I knew my next 3 would be top LBs and I was thrilled to get 2 of the 3 guys I wanted. Deion Jones at 5.10, Roquan Smith at 6.03 and to my surprise, Corey Littleton at 7.10. The way for my team to offset the running back weakness was to pick up the points at position (s) that can offer more starters (4) than at the RB position. 3 of the 4 should be 325+ points. Lastly, I drafted several safeties that have 225+ where I can start 3 weekly.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

John went a slightly different route than most and took a quarterback in the 2nd round and then made a run on linebackers that could lead the league in combined points. Patrick Mahomes II was the best quarterback in the draft and should provide consistent points week in and week out for this team. From there the strength came in picks 5 through 7 where John took Deion Jones, Roquan Smith, and Cory Littleton. This is an elite trio that could be tops in the league by the end of the season.

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness for this team is the lack of diversity. John targeted 3 straight linebackers in Deion Jones, Roquan Smith, and Cory Littleton and then took back to back tight ends in Eric Ebron and Jared Cook. He also took a big chance on DK Metcalf putting it together at the next level after suffering an injury and not looking good in camp. This team put everything into a single basket and may pay the price at the end.

How He’ll Win It All

They say that defense wins championships and that is what John went for here. He will need a great showing from his linebackers and just enough scoring from the offense to take the crown. A similar MVP season from Mahomes could go a long way in bringing a championship.

DRAFT SLOT 11

Gary Davenport, IDP Sharks

Gary Davenport is an NFL and Fantasy Football Analyst at Bleacher Report, the IDP Senior Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks, an IDP Writer at Rotoworld and The Athletic and a Contributing Author and Associate Editor at Football Diehards. An eight-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards Finalist, Gary's been a finalist for Football Writer of the Year in each of the past three years, winning the award in 2017.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

I don't know that I necessarily have one—I've always been more of a "let the draft come to me" type. I'm generally pretty aggressive at running back and unlikely to draft a QB early. There's also something to be said for being aggressive at tight end this year. But how I start my draft off is going to depend mostly on what all those fine folks picking ahead of me do.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

As you can see, I usually target second-tier guys after the big names come off the board. This isn't to say I won't pull the trigger on a Bobby Wagner or J.J. Watt, but in more drafts than not, I'll let someone else set the pace with the IDPs. I also almost always wait on defensive backs until the later rounds, so if they get hit early, I'll wind up with a whole lotta "who?"

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

I'm much more inclined to be aggressive about acquiring a dependable weekly starter at defensive tackle than at cornerback. Just too many matchup options are available at the end of the draft to spend real draft capital on a corner. Living the stream, man—living the stream.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

  • Nick Vigil (OLB, CIN) – A lot of people seem to have forgotten that Vigil was a top-10 fantasy linebacker in many scoring systems before he got hurt last year, and he's Cincinnati's best linebacker (although that's not saying much).
  • Vontaze Burfict (ILB, OAK) – I think I may have just thrown up in my mouth a little. Burfict's a chowderhead, but he's capable of elite production when healthy and wearing the "green dot" for the Raiders. For what he's costing in most drafts I'll roll those dice.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

  • Jurrell Casey (DE, TEN) – Casey's perennially underrated in both the NFL and IDP leagues. Casey was DE13 in this scoring a year ago but regularly falls well outside the top 20 in IDP drafts. He's a great guy to have as a third player at the position for depth, bye weeks and two matchups against what passes for an O-Line in Houston.
  • Michael Bennett (DE, NEP) – Bennett's not the player he once was, but he snuck inside DE2 territory in this scoring in 2018 and should be able to at least back that up in his new home. Like Casey, he's got a depth price tag but weekly starter potential.

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I'll draft just about anyone if the price is right, whether it's an injured guy like A.J. Green or Lavonte David, a suspended guy like Kareem Hunt or one of the holdout tailbacks. Just like with every other player, it's all about trying to get value.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

This is a toughie where defensive players are concerned. If an injury were to befall one of the inside linebackers in Baltimore or Pittsburgh it could potentially clear up a couple of muddy situations. I've targeted Mark Barron of the Steelers late in a few leagues in the hope he can carve out a full-time role next to Devin Bush.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Be aggressive on the defensive line (there's better depth there than in past years, but it's still the thinnest IDP position by a fair margin), hoard linebackers like a squirrel getting ready for winter (in the overwhelming majority of leagues they're the backbone of a strong defense) and patient in the secondary (defensive backs are equal parts plentiful and unpredictable).

And for Pete's sake, enjoy yourself—fantasy football's supposed to be challenging, not give you an ulcer.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.11
11
RB
LAR
2.02
14
RB
CLE
3.11
35
RB
BAL
4.02
38
WR
MIN
5.11
59
DE
HOU
6.02
62
LB
CAR
7.11
83
WR
NYJ
8.02
86
LB
NYJ
9.11
107
QB
GBP
10.02
110
RB
PHI
11.11
131
DT
SFO
12.02
134
DE
HOU
13.11
155
LB
KCC
14.02
158
WR
PHI
15.11
179
WR
BUF
16.02
182
S
CIN
17.11
203
LB
OAK
18.02
206
DE
PIT
19.11
227
TE
TEN
20.02
230
CB
CHI
21.11
251
WR
CLE
22.02
254
S
OAK
23.11
275
TE
GBP
24.02
278
RB
MIN
25.11
299
LB
SEA
26.02
302
S
BAL
27.11
323
QB
DET
28.02
326
DT
SEA
29.11
347
RB
WAS
30.02
350
LB
NEP
31.11
371
DE
Matt Ioannidis
WAS
32.02
374
CB
DEN

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

Who are some key players that stand to benefit or face a disadvantage with upcoming positional distinction changes?

I don't know that we're going to see any major changes from here out. Didn't want to re-invent the wheel in the first year that the Fantasy Sharks depth charts have been used to determine eligibility at My Fantasy League—say be re-classifying 3-4 ends that play a lot of three-technique in sub packages like Jurrell Casey and Cameron Heyward as defensive tackles. That's not to say that isn't a conversation to be had down the road (just like the possibility of adding EDGE as a position designation), but dynasty owners deserve some time to get used to changes that have that wide an impact.

The big changes that were made this summer were made because the overwhelming preponderance of evidence pointed toward a switch. It was especially true with Aaron Donald—whether it was depth charts, snap counts or other IDP providers, when everyone and their mother says a bird is a duck there's a pretty good chance it quacks.

There could be a few defensive backs who see their designation flipped before the season, but only a couple of those (off the top are IDP relevant). The Broncos seem pretty intent to use Kareem Jackson as a safety, although he's been banged up so we haven't had a chance to see it in-game action. Minkah Fitzpatrick will be the death of me. Were the Dolphins 100 percent healthy, I think he'd be playing mostly at cornerback. But they aren't, so he's been lining up a lot at safety (his current designation). Whether to base things on where he might be or where he is now is honestly a question I'm wrestling with ahead of the second set of pre-season games.

Then there are rookie edge-rushers like Brian Burns (who I get asked about a lot after his two-sack debut). I could make a slightly educated guess about designations there and make a bunch of people angry. Or I can wait a bit longer, make a more educated assessment and—still make a bunch of people angry.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

The biggest strength of this team was Gary’s ability to take a risk on guys who have shown an ability to get it done in the past, but many questioned coming into the season. Todd Gurley has been falling down draft boards and came to Gary at the 11th pick. He also grabbed Adam Thielen who showed he could be a top receiver in the league for the first 8 weeks before falling off last season. The biggest strength comes in back to back defensive picks with JJ Watt and Luke Kuechly. Throwing DeForest Buckner and Jadeveon Clowney into the mix will also bring about one of the best defensive line constructions in the league.

Weaknesses

What could be seen as a strength for this team could also be its weakness. We do not know what is going to happen with Gurley this year and why he was really shut down at the end of last season. Thielen disappeared in the second half for the Vikings and despite looking good in camp, there is no way to know which receiver you will get this year. Gary has a lot of guys who are trying to make it back this year and that will make or break his season.

How He’ll Win It All

There are former MVPs and defensive players of the year littered all over this roster and it will take several of them playing at that same level again to make a run at the championship Mark Ingram II needs to show he has something left in the tank in Baltimore to live up to the 3rd round pick that it cost, and Aaron Rodgers needs to regain his MVP form. Several guys have shown they can do it in the past and they will have to do it again to make a serious run.

DRAFT SLOT 12

Eric Olinger, Dynasty League Football

Eric has been playing dynasty fantasy football for over twenty years with a focus on the IDP side of the ball. He contributes to DynastyLeagueFootball as an IDP writer.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. What is your strategy for selecting offensive positional players in this draft?

I want two running backs and a stud pass catcher in the first three rounds. I'm ok with that pass-catcher being Travis Kelce too. I'll wait for a long time to grab a QB as most everyone else in this draft will do too I'm guessing.

2. Name three players at DL, LB, and DB that you are most interested in targeting as your first player at those positions on your roster. Is there a particular trigger player that will prompt you to draft these players?

J.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, and Aaron Donald are my target defensive linemen simply because they're better than anyone else at the position. At linebacker, I want Luke Kuechly, Deion Jones or Devin Bush. It's a tall order to place Bush with these two but I think he could finish as the LB1 overall.

3. Defensive tackle and cornerback are part of the starting lineup in this draft. How will you address both of these positions?

I'll place an emphasis on the defensive tackle position because they're a lot like the tight end position in there are a couple of elite options, a few solid options and then there's a bunch of streamers. Cornerbacks are like kickers. They'll probably be my last picks and I'll figure it out later.

4. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at linebacker? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Mack Wilson of the Browns is a guy who is going fight his way onto the field this season. He's a talented playmaker with a nose for the football. I think he forces the Browns to shuffle the deck at linebacker sooner rather than later.

Kenny Young isn't the next All-Pro linebacker for the Ravens but he finds himself in an elite IDP position for fantasy. When CJ Mosley bolted in free agency it opened up the door for someone to step into that role. The situation often accentuates talent.

5. Name two under the radar players you are targeting at defensive end? Explain why others should be targeting them.

Brian Burns of the Panthers as long as he doesn't get tagged as an OLB. He's a nasty rookie who looks like he's fully ready for the NFL. Double-digit sacks in his rookie year aren't out of the question.

Olivier Vernon is toeing the line of "under the radar" but the Twitterverse is very quick to declare someone "sucks" or "isn't good at football". Vernon is going back to a 4-3 defense and playing across from a truly elite defensive end in Myles Garrett and on a potentially dominant front four. He's going to prove to be one of 2019's greatest IDP draft day values.p>

6. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I'm not against taking injured or suspended players as long as their relative price is fair and it's at a position deep enough I can grab someone to offset the zeroes. Rookies are just unproven players. It comes down to risk vs. reward.

7. Choose a player who would benefit greatly if an injury elevated him in the depth chart. Explain why is that player someone to target?

Mack Wilson of the Browns is easily my choice. Right now he's fighting his way onto the field bit Schobert is talented in his own right. If something were to happen to him he probably won't get his job back.

8. What advice would you give to others who are competing in an IDP draft?

Read the rules and know your scoring. Oh, and Telvin Smith Sr is sitting out this year. Don't forget that.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.12
12
WR
PIT
2.01
13
RB
MIN
3.12
36
RB
CHI
4.01
37
WR
DAL
5.12
60
WR
CLE
6.01
61
LB
PIT
7.12
84
QB
CLE
8.01
85
LB
CHI
9.12
108
RB
HOU
10.01
109
RB
NOS
11.12
132
DE
SFO
12.01
133
DE
CLE
13.12
156
LB
BAL
14.01
157
LB
MIN
15.12
180
S
MIA
16.01
181
TE
BAL
17.12
204
WR
CHI
18.01
205
DE
OAK
19.12
228
S
CAR
20.01
229
WR
MIA
21.12
252
LB
PIT
22.01
253
DT
PHI
23.12
276
QB
LAC
24.01
277
TE
CIN
25.12
300
DE
JAC
26.01
301
DT
TBB
27.12
324
S
CLE
28.01
325
CB
CHI
29.12
348
RB
GBP
30.01
349
S
DET
31.12
372
CB
IND
32.01
373
WR
MIA

POST-DRAFT QUESTION

How big of a drop-off in production is a good outside linebacker compared to a good middle linebacker? Who are some of your favorite outside linebackers who can put up comparable numbers to middle linebackers?

This all depends on what you're considering an outside linebacker. In a 4-3 defense an outside linebacker can put up elite numbers in the right system, Darius Leonard, Lavonte David, Jaylon Smith, Christian Kirksey, Kiko Alonso, and Fred Warner are a few guys who I like. Outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense is a different story though. These guys are mostly sack-dependent and are incredibly inconsistent in a boom or bust fashion. Their points come in chunks and I like to pair them with high floor options to offset the down weeks. The obvious guys are Khalil Mack, Jadeveon Clowney and Von Miller with guys like T.J. Watt and rookie Brian Burns being guys I like a whole lot.

SEAN SETTLE'S EVALUATION

Strengths

Drafting with the last pick can often have its advantages and Eric was able to turn it into JuJu Smith-Schuster and Dalvin Cook on the back end. That would be a great start to any draft, and he continued with Amari Cooper and Jarvis Landry to round out an elite core of receivers. The defensive side is led by wrecking ball Khalil Mack and Devin Bush and it is all held together with Baker Mayfield at quarterback. It is a very balanced team on the offensive side of the ball and several guys could start each week as needed.

Weaknesses

The biggest head-scratcher has to be David Montgomery in the 3rd round. Maybe he was trying to catch lightning in a bottle and find the next Saquon Barkley, but Eric would have been safer with James White, Sony Michel, or Chris Carson who were all taken after this pick in the draft. There is simply no way to know what you are going to get from a rookie running back and that is not something you want to gamble on with your third pick in a draft.

How He’ll Win It All

This team is going to need that same 3rd round pick mentioned above as a weakness to out perform projections and be a star running back in Chicago. Eric has a great group of receivers, which is important in a PPR league and can count on Mayfield to put up good numbers with Cleveland’s revamped offense. The defense will need Mack to play as he did for the first half of the season last year and get big-time sack numbers from Dee Ford in San Francisco to make a difference.

Full rosters

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