Can you win your league with your first round pick? Maybe, but it can definitely lose you your league. When you take late round flyers (not the ones from Philadelphia since this isn’t a hockey article), these are the moves that help. There are two players I’ve come across that I believe can be difference makers in the late rounds of your IDP drafts.  Defensive lineman Kemoko Turay of the Colts and linebacker Drue Tranquill are highlighted here.

 The Colts’ acquired Justin Houston last year, and he led the team in sacks with 11.  He averaged 17.2 pts/100 snaps per Fantasy Data which led the league by DL with over 500 snaps. Another Colts player who was limited by injury to just 84 snaps, was second in the league with 21.7pts/100 snaps. Right now he is listed as a backup to Al-Quadin Muhammad per ESPN, but if can produce like he has when healthy, Kemoko Turay may be that breakout candidate that can help your IDP team this year.

A second round pick in 2018, Turay played in just 385 snaps and had 4 sacks and 13 QB hits. Last year in his limited 84 snaps, he had 1.5 sacks and 5 QB hits. Pro Football Focus gave him a 91.3 grade last year which compared to TJ Watt’s 91.3, Joey Bosa’s 89.8, and Carlos Dunlap’s 89.7.  

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Joe Douglas traded the best player on his team.  The Jets, a perennial team of dysfunction, has found itself a worse team than it was less than 24 hours ago.  Did they get a good return for a player who was vocal about his displeasure and contract status? Absolutely. When comparing this trade to the Dolphins trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins were absolutely ripped off by the Steelers. 

Jamal Adams and a fourth round pick go from the Jets to the Seahawks for Bradley McDougald, two first round picks and a third round pick. The Jets made out well and will have two first round picks in each of the next two drafts.  The Seahawks get a top 5 safety, who some consider the best safety in the league. So where does this leave Adams’ fantasy value? Stock DOWN is the forecast. 

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Zigging when you’re supposed to zag. More than one way to skin a cat. I have to say that admitting there is another way to do something is tough. I have preached that you should take defensive linemen first in your IDP draft because it’s a shallow position and that the more productive linebackers are plentiful.  As we begin getting clarification on some ADP trends for IDP leagues, (and it’s not so easy to find because there are too many who don’t play yet), some potential bargains are emerging. These bargains may allow you to draft those reliable point producing linebackers first and go against my commandment.

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One of the keys to IDP leagues is knowing your scoring system. They are sort of like dates, whether it be a guy or girl, they all have the same two chromosomes, but they can all be vastly different. If you’re just starting out playing in an IDP league this is the most important thing to know before you draft. Your rankings will be highly dependent on the scoring system so do not go into it blindly with some list of rankings.

The scoring for IDP generally breaks down into three categories, similar to standard and PPR scoring for offense, and they are based on the ratio of points given to tackles and “big plays”. Balanced scoring systems will have a ratio of big play to solo tackle points of 3:1 to 4:1.  If it’s above 4:1, the scoring is considered ‘big play heavy” and if it’s less than 3:1, it’s “tackle heavy”.

I’ve played in an IDP league for about 15 years and it’s big play heavy.  So what I’ve done is look at two other scoring systems and compared the players who finished 1-25 in my league with how they would finish in the other scoring systems.  It’s obviously not the complete picture, but it gives you an idea of the types of players that are favored in each format. I used the scoring from Fantasy Pros to use as our “tackle heavy” format as their big play to tackle ration is a little less than 3:1.  For the balanced approach I used the IDP 123 system from Expand the Boxscore’s Jordan Rains.  The scoring categories included are Solo Tackles, Assisted Tackles, Sacks, Forced Fumbles, Recovered Fumbles, Interceptions, Passes Defensed, and TDs. Each player’s stats are from MyFantasyLeague.  The scoring systems points are in the chart below.

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If you’ve never played in an IDP league you probably have one major question. When do you start taking defensive players in your draft? With July’s arrival the fantasy draft season starts to ramp up and we can take a look at early ADP. The linebacker position is your bread and butter when it comes to consistent fantasy scoring and finding value here can allow you to take a top defensive lineman early in your draft.  

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When looking at defensive back rankings you’ll notice a fair amount of variance. Scoring systems play a role, but attempting to predict how many passes a player will “defense” or intercept is far from a science. It is why the top of most IDP rankings are filled with safeties with high tackle profiles and not the highly touted cornerbacks. Here I’ll highlight players 26-50 after covering 1-25 last week.

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Defensive back rankings can be highly variable based upon your scoring system and even with that, there is a lot of year to year fluctuations especially at cornerback. If you read my DB drafting strategy article you know that my advice is to wait on drafting them.  Yes there are some elite players, but in general, the production from this position varies from week to week based upon who the player is going up against and what you expect the game flow to be. This is the most streamable position in IDP leagues, especially if the league separates out the safety and cornerback positions.  

The reliability of the linebacker position to get you points and the lack of depth at the defensive line position should lead you to drafting them first before going after defensive backs. The main exception is if you play in a very tackle heavy format where getting one the top safeties could be an advantage. Regardless, safeties remain the backbone of combined rankings as the volatility of corners on a week to week basis is what makes them streaming candidates.

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As we all know there are many ways to skin a cat and drafting your fantasy football team is no different. Don’t draft a QB early. Zero RB strategy. Grab at least 2 RBs in the first 3 rounds. Which one is right? Well the one that wins of course as each season presents us with different options depending on trends in the NFL. With IDP leagues becoming more and more popular and many trying them out for the first time, what are some strategies that will help you win?

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When I wrote about the top 25 defensive lineman, it was easy to get excited about it. There were players who got you revved up when thinking about their explosiveness coming off the ball, dominating the offensive lineman and putting a hit on the quarterback.  

Writing about the next 25 conjures up very little of those feelings. Historically, this is the shallowest position for IDP leagues as once you get past the top 10-20 players, there is very little difference in the next 30-40. Last year in my home league (scoring was 0.5/tackle, 3/sack/FF/INT, so big play skewed), Joey Bosa finished as DL22 with 4.16 ppg.  Brian Burns was DL51 with 3.12 ppg. That’s only 1 ppg difference between those two players. Is it better to have Bosa, well of course, but over a season, it probably made little difference in your record on a week to week basis. Now this may change a bit with the change in position designation by some sites as many OLBs will be designated at Edge and moved into the defensive line category. This will expand the choices at defensive line and make this group of 25 more interesting. I’ll cover this topic as we get more clarity as to what most sites will do.

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Defensive backs are like the kickers of IDP leagues.  There really aren’t too many players that need to be picked early in your drafts.  They are also like tight ends after the first 5 or so where streaming on a week to week basis can be the way to go based on the weekly matchup.  Outside of some top end safeties who rack up tackles, guessing who will finish near the top of DB scoring is a crap shoot.  In tackle heavy scoring systems it’s a little easier to go after safeties, but in big play leagues, trying to predict who will garner interceptions, passes defensed, and sacks from this position is tough. A typical drafting strategy for DBs in IDP leagues is to wait and here’s why.

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