Did someone convince you to play IDP? Enjoying it? Played before and are basking in the glory of still winning despite not starting Marcus Maye? Need some waiver advice? Let’s take a quick look at last week’s highlights and then see who can help you this week and the rest of the season on the IDP waiver wire.

The Football Team’s defensive line were the stars of the week. Eight sacks of Carson Wentz led by Ryan Kerrigan’s 2 sacks. Rookie Chase Young looked good and had 1.5 sacks along with unheralded NT Matt Ioannidis. Are they that good? Well….they’re good, but don’t expect this production across the board each week. The Eagles were playing with a decimated offensive line. The only player playing their projected position was C Jason Kelce. All-Pro G Brandon Brooks and LT Andre Dillard are done for the season. Lane Johnson missed the game still recovering from ankle surgery and Jason Peters, signed to replace Brooks at guard moved over to left tackle, a position that the Eagles moved on from him after last season. The Football Team had its way with a second and third-string line. Do not expect the same production in Arizona, but they are a good group and will be heard from again.

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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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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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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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Individual defensive player (IDP) leagues have been around for a long time.  I’ve been playing in one for over 15 years, but why are they so scarce?  “I don’t have time for that” “It’s too complicated” “Makes the draft too long” are the excuses you hear by those who don’t play in this format.  These excuses come from the same people who will play in a 50 round dynasty league in both baseball and football.  It’s not that difficult and adds a level of competition that goes beyond picking a team defense.  Your league can make it as simple or as complicated as it wants.  Start with the basics and tweak each year as the owners in your league get more comfortable with the format.  

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