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My final installment of IDP advice before Week 1 Rankings will be the briefest. Simply put, DBs are the least predictable IDP position, and no matter what strategy you employ, you’ll likely see weeks with huge point totals, and weeks of near shut-outs. Even the top players aren’t models of consistency (Morgan Burnett had a week with 2 points, Charles Tillman and Antoine Winfield were both shut out), something that isn’t seen with any other position other than maybe kicker. Which is oddly the best comparison to DBs for fantasy purposes. So despite what you are about to read, don’t overthink things with your D-Backs, and for the love of God…

DON’T TAKE A DB BEFORE EVERY OTHER POSITION IS SET

I ranked Burnett as my #1 DB, and I absolutely love the potential of Harrison Smith, but there is not a chance in hell that either of them ends up on one of my teams this year. There is just too much value at too many other positions to sacrifice anything other than a very late round pick on a DB. It can be very hard to resist jumping in on a DB position run somewhere around the 12th round, especially as you see your top 10 guys all gone, but relax Sidney, have a cream soda. And instead spend that pick on someone like Jon Bostic or Da’Quan Bowers, who are much more likely to contribute consistent production to your squad. If you remember one thing I said about DBs this preseason, remember that Joe Haden wears purple pants to parties. But if you remember anything else, remember to wait on DBs.

Safety First!

Much like you would choose a DE over a DL and a MLB over an OLB, when in doubt choose Safeties over Cornerbacks. Tackles are the name of the game, even in the secondary, and Safeties just get many more chances at them in the middle of the field than CBs that are often glued to the sideline. For big play leagues, Safeties are also typically more likely to rush the passer, and get to play center field on deep passes, upping the odds of an interception or at least a pass defended. Lastly, the best cornerbacks often make terrible IDP options because QBs simply won’t throw the ball their way. It’s much more difficult to avoid throwing the ball anywhere near Bernard Pollard than it is to avoid Darrelle Revis.

Jail Bait Won’t Get You In Trouble

The younger the better, that’s what I say. If there’s grass on the field, play ball. If there’s turf on the field, don’t wear long cleats. While these words of wisdom should not be applied around high schools (other than the cleats thing; seriously, you’ll fall on your ass and end up with a rug burn.), they absolutely apply to defensive backs. The smartest QBs, and even some of the dumb ones, know how experienced each member of a secondary is. If they see Dee Milliner on one side of the field and Antonio Cromartie on the other, they are much more likely to target the rookie than the 2- time Pro- Bowler. Unless of course Cro is near the cheerleaders, in which case the QB will audible in his direction (I believe Tom Brady refers to this as Baby Makin’ Time). But in general, it holds that younger DBs, especially corners, rack up more points than their more experienced counterparts.

No Such Thing As Injury-Prone

It’s probably not smart to draft Hakeem Nicks, Danny Amendola and Jordy Nelson as your top 3 receivers, as all are known to miss time due to injuries. There is always the chance that you get 16 games out of all three, but it’s not worth three early picks to find out. For Defensive Backs there is no need to avoid players like this. Every NFL team has at least 4 DBs on the field on every single play, meaning that the waiver wire is guaranteed to have startable replacements if your guys get hurt. And if they do get hurt, there’s no reason to waste a roster spot for a month like you would for someone like Nicks. You just drop the DB and move on to the next one. Fantasy owners are always too loyal to players they draft, but if you can break that habit, it makes drafting guys like William Moore and Pollard a lot easier to palate. If they stay healthy, great. You just got a DB1 for a discount. If they get hurt, oh well. On to the next one.

 

That’s it for me this preseason. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in Week 1 for some actual, real-life football.

  1. One Man Crusade says:
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    Thanks for these IDP articles. I just recently began playing in an IDP format and these help

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @One Man Crusade:

      Thanks for reading! Good luck with your IDP leagues.

  2. kevin -

    been reading your IDP work, good stuff and keep up the content, really dig it. Just had our hometown draft earlier this week and wanted your take on my IDP roster.

    FORMAT: 14 team, deep 22 man rosters, redraft league. Big $$$, so everyone knows their stuff.

    ROSTER: We start 6 IDPS – 2 LB, 1 DB, 1 DL, 2 D (flex). Given the tackle oriented scoring below, I like rostering LB’s and mixing/ matching based on match-ups.

    SCORING: Tackle Solo (1 pt), Tackle Assist (0.5 pt), Sack (3 pt), Int (3 pt), Fumble Forced (2 pt), Fumble Recovery (2 pt), Passes Defended (1 pt), Tackle for Loss (1 pt), Safety (2 pt), Block Kick (2pt), Defensive Touchdown (6 pt)

    LB – Derrick Johnson (KC)
    LB – Donald Butler (SD)
    DB – Morgan Burnett (GB)
    DL – Chandler Jones (NE)
    D – Perry Riley (WAS)
    D – Desmond Bishop (MIN)
    BENCH – Mychal Kendricks (PHI), Pat Angerer (IND)

    Question 1 — I took Pat Angerer with my last IDP pick. He has looked spry in pre-season and now word on the street is that Colts are actively trying to trade Kavell Conner (https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/373456233279143936) to free up a starting spot for him. Not sure if its speculation, but certainly sounds enticing. Wasn’t too long ago when this dude had 150 tackles. What are your thoughts on this?

    Question 2 – How would you rank these 3 available upside/ sleeper LBs and are any of them worth rostering now over my guys above?:
    KJ Wright (SEA)
    Demario Davis (NYJ)
    Jon Beason (CAR)

    Appreciate the help in advance and good luck Week 1.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @EL Burro:

      I like Angerer as a upside bench player for sure. I’ve been touting Freeman all year, and my only worry with that is that Angerer steals some of his tackles. If Conner does in fact get moved, then that would only open the door for him even more.

      I rank Wright/Beason/Davis in that order, and while I love Wright, the only guys you have that I’d drop for him would be Kendricks or Angerer. But when it comes to lotto tickets like these guys, personal preference matters. Your starters are solid, so you might as well hold onto the guys you chose and see what happens. It’s easy enough to make a change in the first month of the season. Good luck!

      • @Kevin Kumpf:

        THanks for the prompt reply. I share your sentiments regarding Angerer, so may just hold for a few weeks and see what happens. Upside is too great for a Defense that doesn’t really stop anyone, which is fantastic in IDP.

        Appreciate the rankings as well – I’ll be watching them closely, especially those who plays in the 3rd down sub-packages. Not sure if you have a piece or a link to the 3 down LB yet on each squad, but that would be a great reference point for IDP junkies. I keep my own make-shift list, but thought I would throw it out there as a suggestion for the site as well…

        THanks for the take.

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @EL BURRO:

          The 3-down thing is definitely a good idea, though it’s nearly impossible during the preseason. I’ll see what I can do once the season starts.

          • @Kevin Kumpf:

            Agreed on the pre-season nonsense. I can email you what I have after Week 1, if you’d like… i think it would be good to have another person’s eyes on it…help me, help you ; )

  3. Grey's Goatee says:
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    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for the great work all summer long. So I just finished my first ever IDP draft, and my squad looks like this:

    D-Posluszny
    D-Woodyard
    D-Burfict
    LB-Arthur Brown
    LB-Desmond Bishop
    DB-Harrison Ford
    DB-Eric Berry
    DL-Anthony Spencer
    DL-Mario Williams
    Bench-Rob Ninkovich

    My question is, would you drop any of these guys for any of Bruce Carter, Butler from SD, or even a guy like Bostic?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Grey’s Goatee:

      I’m assuming you mean Harrison Smith as your DB1, but if not, you must really be sold on the new Star Wars franchise.

      I love the rest of your roster, particularly having Ninkovich as Spencer-insurance. I’m sold on Arthur Brown, but he’s not currently listed as the starter in Baltimore, so if you wanted more consistency from Butler I wouldn’t blame you. The upside from Brown is huge though, so I would hold if I were you, to see how the Ravens LB situation pans out over the first month.

      • Grey's Goatee says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf:

        Ha! Yeah, I meant Harrison Smith. FWIW, I used your rankings as the Holy Grail during the draft.

        I guess I’ll hold for now until things clear up in Baltimore.

        Also, what are your thoughts on Ogeltree (sp?) (the rookie out of Georgia now with STL) and Bostic?

        Thanks for the help!

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @Grey’s Goatee:

          I like Bostic, Ogletree, and Brown in the long term, but I would be hesitant to draft any of them as a starter. Neither Bostic nor Brown is listed as a starter right now, and while I think they take over in the middle as soon as this year, I wouldn’t be comfortable relying on them for Week 1. I do believe they have the highest ceilings of any rookie MLBs though, with apologies to Kevin Minter.

          Ogletree is a different situation. He’s slated as the starter on the weak side in St. Louis, a spot that was fantasy gold for Jo-Lonn Dunbar last year. The only problem with that is that Dunbar is still around, and will likely play next to Laurinaitis on 3rd down. Again, Ogletree will likely be a three-down back by the end of the year. But right now there are a lot of other three-down options that I’m more comfortable drafting.

  4. George says:
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    Good column Kevin – I look forward to your column next year when Jonathan Cyprien is a top 10 defensive back…..

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @George:

      Thank you sir! And I have little doubt that you’re correct about Cyprien. Unless Goodell suspends him for taking a receiver’s head off…

  5. Ryan says:
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    Playing IDP for the first time this year and read your articles. Great stuff. I plan on drafting my offense first and then am kind of clueless where to go from there. From what you said(at least my interpretation of it) was to go DL then LB(focusing on tackles) and then DB(looking at safeties). Is that right? Any other quick tips for an IDP newbie who drafts tomorrow?

    • Ryan says:
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      @Ryan:

      In case you need it: Scoring system is standard scoring in yahoo(1pt tackle, .05 assist, etc.). The only change is we get 1 point for every 50 yards on turnover return yards.

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:
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        @Ryan:

        Welcome to the IDP side and thanks for reading. After your offense is set, if there are elite DL options available (Watt/JPP/Wake), then I would look there. That is usually not the case.

        What I’ve been doing the most is targetting some two top LBs (Sean Lee, D’Qwell, Fletcher to name a few), and then looking at what’s left at DL. That’s usually been someone in the Michael Johnson/Justin Smith/Derrick Morgan tier, and I’m fine with that. Then after you’re set at DL and LB, you can look to draft some DBs.

        The beauty of this strategy is that for owners who target IDPs early, they struggle to find offensive depth later in drafts. That’s the time when I’m loading up on my IDPs, so if I’m torn between two players, I often can get both of them.

        • Ryan says:
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          @Kevin Kumpf: Awesome. Thanks!

          One more question. I looked into our positions and noticed that we have two general defensive positions. I assume I want to take the highest scoring defensive people possible here? So linebackers?? Also looks like it is 1 player for every other defensive position. Does this change any strategy for the draft?

          Thanks again!

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Ryan:

            With the one player for each position situation, you definitely want to focus on tackles for DL and DB. So look at a Wilkerson type up front, with a strong safety as your DB. The rest of your spots should be LBs.

            This will give you overall consistency on the defensive side of the ball, and allow you to focus the rest of your roster on offense. It might not be as fun as targeting high risk/reward guys, but it is more effective.

  6. JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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    Just had my 14 team auction…pretty standard IDP settings…thoughts? Seems like some went cheaper, from what I expected anyways. Then again, it’s standard offensive roster slots with the same $200 budget you find without IDP’s…so maybe not that surprising.

    D – Kuechly $10
    D – Brad Jones $4
    DB – Barron $3
    LB – Riley $2
    LB – Burfict $3
    CB – Jenkins $3
    S – Branch $2

    Bench K.J. Wright $1

    As you can see, most were pretty cheap. Seemed to be the trend of this draft…which is what I love about auctions…they are all different in some aspect. Overall I think it’s fairly competitive and don’t see any glaring holes…thoughts?

    Also, to note I would like to see this league replace one D slot with DL, and or simply add the DL…but no dice as of now. Maybe I can talk them into it next year.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @JoeMorgan’sMustache:

      You make a great point about IDP auctions: assigning a value to each player can be worthless because each owner is different and the player pool is so large. My only surprises with your draft is that your league has no DL slots (literally never heard of that), and that you only have 1 IDP at $1. Every draft is different as you said, but I’m used to seeing more dollar players on D than on offense. Having said that, I have no problem with any of the guys you spent money on. This is a pretty DB-heavy league and you got three good ones, and nabbed Kuechly while still maintaining LB depth. I would keep pushing to get DLs involved, but you are set for 2013.

      • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: Thanks for the positive feedback, and yep…every auction is different…but that’s a big reason I love them. Maybe I can talk them into the DL slot next year…I tried! I will try again!

  7. Dan says:
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    Hey Kevin,

    If you’re in an IDP league where return yardage counts, who gets bumped up in your rankings? Do you have a list of kr/pr that are defensive players?

    Thanks!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Dan:

      The NFL as a whole has started to move away from using its best position players as return men, for fear of injury. So it’s becoming more and more rare for a player with IDP value to also have return yardage value. Best I can tell, these are the only players who fit both categories:

      Patrick Peterson – gets the biggest bump of anyone in return yardage leagues, but may see some of his chances go to…

      Tyrann Mathieu – has a wide range of possibilities this year, but worth reaching for in return yardage leagues.

      Devin McCourty – returned kicks last year, but may lose that job to Leon Washington this year.

      Leodis McKelvin – not my favorite IDP option, but he should get return chances when he’s healthy.

      Overall, I’d bump Peterson and Honey Badger up in the rankings, but that’s about it.

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