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), we get to go IDP bargain hunting! These bargains may allow you to draft those reliable point producing linebackers first and go against my commandment.
We’ve all played in enough fantasy leagues to know that winning your league is hoping your first few picks don’t get hurt and don’t crap the bed, but the key is hitting on those late round picks that exceed their expectations and draft slots. When I looked at some of the drafts I’ve already done, I found two defensive linemen that could be big hits. They both play on good teams and should have many opportunities to produce.
Last year Marcus Davenport played in 13 games and finished 42nd among defensive linemen based on Fantasy Data’s scoring. He only played in 50% of the defensive snaps as he missed 3 games. A former first round pick in 2018, he has secured the starting position opposite Cam Jordan. Averaging 13.3 fantasy points per 100 snaps, Jordan was in line with top ranked defensive linemen such as Sam Hubbard and DeMarcus Lawrence on a per snap basis.
With his potential, what is keeping Davenport’s ADP low? He is going as the 40th DL/26th DE off the board on MyFantasyLeague.com. In the three drafts I’ve done so far he has gone between 35 and 45 which is in line with MFL. He ended last season with a Lisfranc foot injury and had surgery in December. This injury has an 8-12 month timeline, but it was reported by CBS Sports in late June that his rehab was going well and has had no setbacks.
He may miss a game or two (or three), but as someone going off the board as a DL3 in 12 team leagues, his per game point production is something I’m willing to gamble on. Considering you probably wouldn’t need him as a bye week sub until week 4, he’s a potential bargain. He played in 73% of the snaps until week 7. If he can stay healthy and play in 65-75% of the snaps per game, Davenport has the ability to exceed his ADP value.
The Vikings had two formidable pass rushers last year in Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. Griffen is still a free agent but it’s pretty clear he’s not returning to Minnesota. Taking his place opposite Hunter is Ifeadi Odenigbo. Odenigbo finished 2019 as the top points per 100 snap producer in the league. He had 329 snaps last year and is projected by our own Rudy Gamble to have 562. Last year Everson Griffen had 863 playing opposite of Danielle Hunter which is the spot Odenigbo will occupy. Rudy’s projection may be a little conservative which makes the case for Odenigbo’s breakout even more compelling. I think he’ll easily double his snaps from last year. He had 7 sacks 8 TFL 3 FF/FR and 14 QB hits last year and should easily get 10 sacks and TFL and 20 QB hits by just reaching Rudy’s projected snap count.
Odenigbo has gone off the board as DL 44 and DE 30 on MFL. In my drafts he has gone as DL 27/36/37. In 12 team leagues on MFL this is a DL 4 folks! DO NOT SLEEP on this guy! Once 25 or so DLs are taken in your draft, put him in your queue and get ready to take him. These are the moves that win championships if he produces at a similar rate to last year.
Okay, so I just told you how to go against my commandment of Thou Should Draft Defensive Linemen First, but you are a devout follower (well I hope there are one or two out there this early in my IDP writing career) and drafted two defensive lineman before moving on to another position. Are there any bargains out there at LB and DB? I wrote about some LB ADP potential bargains and drafting strategy a few weeks ago but I noticed one more after doing these drafts.
CJ Mosely of the Jets has an ADP of around 20. His rankings on Fantasy Pros ranges from 6 to 64 with the average being 20. Mosley has a wide range of potential outcomes considering his groin injury and December surgery but he is deemed recovered entering training camp. What type of outcome on the upside can we get from him? To give a perspective of what potentially is there and why the Jets signed him to a big contract before last season, consider this. From 2014 – 2018 there had been only two linebackers who had at least 500 tackles, 8 sacks and 8 interceptions and he was one of them (Kuechly was the other).
What did he do in the first game of the season last year before his injury? He had 6 total tackles, an interception, 2 passes defensed and a touchdown. He was on pace for 16 TDs! Ok, yeah that’s a stretch, but you get my point. Mosely is an extremely productive linebacker who can easily exceed his ADP. So if you obey my commandment, Mosely should be on your list of linebackers that could be available to take when you start looking for them.
One of my other commandments is to wait on taking defensive backs. The key to this next player is his position designation by the website you use. On Fantrax he’s a CB but on MFL he’s a safety. The player being the green haired guy from the Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Mills. Mills will be taking over for Malcolm Jenkins at the strong safety position. This is a relatively “positionless” position as the Eagles used Jenkins in a variety of positions in a variety of formations over the past few years. It gives the opportunity for both tackles and big plays.
Mills wasn’t a great corner by any stretch. He had trouble with one on one coverage, especially on deep routes, and with finding the ball. This move allows him to play more to his strengths of tackling and covering shorter routes. So why am I touting him? If he is listed as a cornerback in your league, this is a huge advantage in leagues that separate out cornerbacks and safeties. You can put him in your lineup as a corner but get the better stats that come with playing the safety position. Since his designation is safety in MFL, his ADP is relatively high as DB 37 and the 28th safety. In one of the leagues I drafted on Fantrax where he’s a corner, he went as the 55th DB taken. Take advantage of this if A: he’s designated a CB and B: you draft both CB and S. He can give you top 25 safety points and be drafted as a CB 3-4.
I’ll continue to monitor ADP as we continue along towards week 1 and let you know if there are any other potential bargains that emerge. As always, keep safe and remember: If you’re not playing IDP, you’re doing it wrong!