It’s been over a month since I posted my initial IDP rankings, and the only constant since then has been change. I’ve updated the rankings in those original posts, but some players warrant a closer look for those of you drafting late or trying to figure out Week 1 lineups. I’ll post a full set of Week 1 rankings next week, but for now here is a quick look at some players of interest as kickoff looms a week away:

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Jason Pierre-Paul – No news is good news right? Wrong? This is definitely one of the weirdest situations I’ve ever seen, and right now I’m avoiding it entirely. JPP has a high ceiling when he’s healthy, but that’s obviously the million dollar question. I would assume that we see him at some point this season, but everyone knows that when you assume you’re likely to blow off one of your fingers.

Greg Hardy – At least this situation has some clarity. Hardy will miss the first 4 games, but after that he joins Demarcus Lawrence in what will be a top tier DE duo. His weekly ranking will likely be top 15 if not top 10 at his position once he returns, and while I have him at 25 right now, I have no problem taking him higher due to his ceiling.

Sheldon Richardson – I slotted Richardson right between JPP and Hardy, which sums up how I feel about his situation. His current 4-game ban is bad enough, but with other pending legal issues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him miss the entire season. However, his talent level is so high that I’d still gamble on him as a DL3 in the draft.

Cameron Heyward – Finally some good news. Heyward has shown flashes throughout his budding career, and this year looks like the one that catapults him into the weekly starter discussion. His preseason performance hasn’t been statistically impressive, but he’s a clear talent on a defense that’s surprisingly lacking in that department. I like him as a low DL2 right now, and a nice pairing with a big-play guy like Cameron Wake or Mario Williams.

Navorro Bowman/Sean Lee – Rating two guys who missed all of 2014 in my top 10 has had me a little bit worried without seeing them play. Bowman returned for San Francisco’s second preseason game, and did not disappoint, with tackles on each of the three snaps he played. As long as he’s on the field, he has the potential to be the #1 overall LB, however I expect the Niners to be careful with him given their bleak 2015 outlook and the recent rash of retirements they’ve seen. Lee finally made his return during this past weekend, and while he only racked up 3 tackles in one half of play, just seeing him on the field was encouraging. Dallas doesn’t have many alternatives with Rolando McClain suspended, so I’d expect Lee to be out there Week 1. He might be a bit rustier than usual, but he’s still a legit LB1 when healthy.

Ryan Shazier/Telvin Smith – I’m lumping these two second year LBs together because they are among my biggest risers thanks to the preseason. Shazier has led all players in tackles this preseason (which includes the HoF game, but still), and has generally looked like the stud that Pittsburgh hoped they had drafted in the first round last year. I don’t know if he’ll join fellow NFC North sophomore C.J. Mosley as an LB1 in 2015, but after a miserable 2014, seeing him making plays is a good start. Smith has also looked good thus far, and his skill set is a perfect complement to Paul Posluszny’s. I expect him to get his share of passes defended, as well as a few interceptions, which has the potential to lead to a big year.

Clay Matthews – We finally got a look at Matthews this past weekend, and he played all 20 of his snaps at MLB. I’m still not a fan of this in general, as the Pack are wasting the talent of one of the top pass rushers in the league, but for IDP purposes it’s not terrible. There are still a few intriguing options who could ultimately push Matthews back outside, but Jake Ryan is a rookie 4th rounder who’s still learning the defense and Sam Barrington got beat for two touchdowns last weekend. I’d expect Matthews to stay in the middle for at least the first month of the season, if not much longer.

Landon Collins – I’m still high on Collins long term, but he might not be worth his current price if he can’t get on (or stay on) the field. He saw his first action against the Jets last weekend, and looked solid, but an August MCL sprain, combined with the usual rookie growing pains has dropped him out of the top 15 in my rankings. I’m not expecting starter-level production from him until he gets more reps at NFL speed.

Jason McCourty – An unfortunate groin injury will likely sideline McCourty for the first few weeks of the season. Unfortunate because “groin surgery” sounds about as painful as it gets, and also because these types of injuries often get tweaked and re-injured as the season goes on. In CB-required leagues JMac is still in high-CB2 range given that he’s one of the few elite options at the position, but in more standard leagues I’m probably not drafting him.

Calvin Pryor – One of last year’s biggest disappointments, Pryor has the chance to bounce back now that he’s  moving to Strong Safety full time. I’m still a little bit gun shy, as he’s also in a new system, but Todd Bowles produced IDP gold in his secondary last year, so Pryor’s situation is pretty ideal.

Eric Berry – Saving the best for last, Berry’s comeback from cancer is likely the best story in football right now. He’s played more than a few snaps in the preseason, and all signs point to him becoming a factor in IDP leagues again in 2015. I currently have him just outside my top 30, but if you’re a believer in karma, there may not be a pick with more upside than Berry.



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  1. Jay

    Jay says:

    Kev, I’m not sure I like this format. There are just simply too many roster spots to be filled by Chargers…

    QB Philip Rivers
    WR Keenan Allen
    WR Pierre Garcon
    WR Markus Wheaton
    RB Matt Forte
    RB Melvin Gordon
    TE Delanie Walker
    WRT Andre Ellington
    DB Eric Weddle
    DB Charles Woodson
    DL J.J. Watt (13th overall pick… woooo)
    DL Fletcher Cox
    LB Karlos Dansby
    LB Alec Ogletree

    Darren McFadden
    Victor Cruz
    Reggie Bush
    Brandon Coleman
    Darren Sproles
    Darrelle Revis
    Melvin Ingram
    Donte Whitner

    Soooooooooo. How bad did I fuck up here?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Jay: Funny.

    • John says:

      @Jay: My wife is in the same league, and I just thought that you should know that you broke her little heart taking Watt before she ever had a real chance to get him. Shame on you!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:


      IDPs look solid across your starters, not bad for a rookie! I typically don’t hold any backup DBs unless I’m really worried about my starters, so you can probably ditch Whitner. As for Ingram, most people wouldn’t waste a roster spot on him, but I know that you’re not most people.

      I think you’re really going to enjoy having Weddle on a fantasy team.

      • A Wesley Snipes Life says:

        @Kevin Kumpf: wouldn’t revis be a drop before whitner by rankings? they don’t even throw at revis.

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:

          @A Wesley Snipes Life: Totally missed Revis name on that list! Yes, absolutely a drop before Whitner.

  2. Brahma Bull says:

    I’m in the same lg. what do you think:
    QB Peyton Manning
    WR AJ Green
    WR Andre Johnson
    WR Mike Wallace
    RB Lynch
    RB McCoy
    TE Rudolph
    WRT Joique Bell
    DB Michael Griffen
    DB Prince Amukamura
    DL Gerald McCoy
    DL DeMarcus Ware
    LB Posluszny
    LB Justin Houston
    Rashard Jennings
    Shane Vereen
    Michael Floyd
    Knile Davis
    Antonio Gates
    Marvin Jones
    Mike Adams safety
    Brandon Marshall LB

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:

      @Brahma Bull:

      Like I said to Jay, probably no need to keep Mike Adams with the DBs you already have. But I’m a big fan of your IDP strategy of taking one consistent performer and one big-play guy at each position. I try to do that wherever possible.

  3. Levo says:

    I think with how depleted the Giants saftey depth is, Collins is going to be forced to play a ton, and there is a question as to his health, but as of right now, I view him as a clear top 10 db.

    Wanted to know your thoughts on Nigel Bradham and Christian Jones? I’m pretty high on Jones, but Shea Mcclellin has been the more productive LB so far in preseason. And Bradham hasn’t put up much in the box scores, but is still in a very favorable position.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:


      By the end of the year I agree with you on Collins, and see him as a likely top 5 guy next year. But for season-long rankings at a position where many people stream, you’re going to be behind the curve if you’re starting a guy who’s not playing to that level yet. I hope I’m wrong here, but there are too many guys I don’t have those questions about right now.

      I’m not super high on Bradham, given his relatively low ceiling, but at least you know what you’re getting there. The Bears LB situation has been a mess for years now, and this year looks no better. Between Jones, McClellin, Bostic and Foster, I assume someone will take the reins on that defense, but your guess is as good as mine. Bradham’s a solid LB3, and if Preston Brown gets hurt or falters (he wasn’t drafted by Rex, so who knows), then he could jump even higher.

  4. Hellawaits says:

    I have to fill a CB slot for a week one IDP league and I have Brent Grimes and Cortez Allen. Grimes is facing the Skins and Allen the Pats. Who would you start of the two? Thanks.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:


      Pretty much a coin flip. If your league is more big-play, Grimes definitely has a better chance for an interception, but I expect Allen to get more tackles.

  5. What's a Drexl? says:

    ok, how’s this one look, start 3 RB, 3 WR, 2 Flex (can be a TE), 1 K, 1 DEF TEAM, 2 LB, 2 DL, 2 DB, 1 QB. 12 bench, but can have at most 6 RB, 6 WR. standard league.
    QB rivers (8), taylor (24), dalton (30)
    RB- McCoy (keeper 2), Ingram (keeper 3), Hyde (5), Sankey (10), R.Bush (15), K.Davis (18)
    WR – Julio (keeper 1), Allen (6), Robinson (7), Cruz (12), Royal (14), Quick (17)
    TE – Olsen (keeper 4), Cameron (11), Gates (19)
    K Novak (27)
    TEAM D – CAR (21), PIT (29)
    LB – David (9), Wagner(16), Dansby (25)
    DL – C.Jones (13), Ansah (20), C.Johnson (26)
    DB – R.Jones (22), Cyprien (23), Church (27)

    1. probably should’ve remembered before grabbing Quick and maxing out my WR that i wanted to restash Jordy (we have 5 RES’s). If keepers go up to 5 or 6 next year this sound like good idea (but K.Benjamin not good enough also to do this i’m guessing?)? Other WR out there if i lose Quick doing this are Sano/Britt/
    2. I wanted to grab NYJ as backup D, but then saw that they have the same bye as CAR. dropping PIT since i don’t need a backup D that’s this bad. best add a LB #4 or DL #4? Names are Vernon, Bennett, Marks, Tuck, Long, Hardy at DL and Robinson, Jenkins, Burfict, P.Brown, Shazier at LB. I know overall rankings here, but maybe one group of these gets injured more than the other to offset that.

    I’m not sure but this is and EXE status might be stashable in RES slots, i think it is.

    • What's a Drexl? says:

      @What’s a Drexl?: other WR’s out there hawkins, hogan, jennings.

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:

        @What’s a Drexl?:

        I like Quick more than Sanu/Britt, but stashing Jordy sounds preferable if that’s an option. Less so with Kelvin, but still not a bad strategy to give yourself more options.

        If you’re going to add another IDP (which I don’t think you do, given how stacked that IDP roster is), I’d go with Shazier, as he has the highest ceiling of the group you mentioned.

        • What's a Drexl? says:

          @Kevin Kumpf: i’d only want to go with best backup spot, and once i realized i won’t need another team D often (CAR bad matchups or bye week), and all of these are available:CHI, SD, ATL,WAS, NO,TEN, TB, OAK,DAL, PIT, and i’d rather be set up good in case of catastrophic injuries with my LB/DL than keep a D that’s on par with those. So Jordy is good enough, Kelvin on the bubble, what about stashing Gordon? Do you think he’d make a top 6 keeper on this roster if i don’t get Jordy?

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:

            @What’s a Drexl?:

            If you’re just looking for best, then I like Robinson as insurance for a Wagner injury/Dansby age-related ineffectiveness.

            As for Gordon, he’s the ultimate lotto ticket right now, but if you can keep in a Reserve slot all season, I’d do it. Worst case you just let him go when making your roster decisions, but it’s always nice to have more potentially elite options.

  6. S.H says:

    Kevin what are your thoughts on LB McPhee from Chicago, now CBS has his with the most points on defence is he that good. I know that there predictions are a tad off wall. Thanks with the D help.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:


      As of right now, I’d project him as the most points on that D as well, but only because of the confusion in the middle. There are at least 4 guys fighting for MLB snaps, and whoever wins that battle will end up with the most points.

      McPhee is an above average OLB, however unless you’re in a super big play league, he won’t get enough tackles to matter from an IDP perspective.

  7. Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:

    on wed drafting my first 2 QB (actual 2 QB, not a super flex) league. 12 team, .5 PPR. 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex (can be TE), 1 K, 1 team D, 4 IDP of any kind (so really only top S class is draftable if everything goes well by Kevin’s rankings). .1 for completions, -3 for picks, 6 for passing TD’s, -.5 for sacks against, small bonuses for going over, 2/3/4 for passing 300/350/400, 2/3/4 for rushing 100/150/200, same for catching as rushing. Sacks 2, tackles .75. Dynasty also (which i’m sure changes a lot in spots). 7 BN spots, with 1 going to QB #3. 2 IR’s.

    Since entire league is likely to only draft 48-72 IDP total (i’ll probably have 5, so 1 backup), does anybody move up (or down) large amounts with it being dynasty? Positionally this would take me to LB 36, DL 21, DB 15 from your ranks just from top 100.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:

      @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves:

      Given that sacks are worth less than 3x tackles, and there is no positional differentiation, this de-values defensive linemen a lot from my overall rankings. I’d drop Watt below David/Kuechly overall, then probably take the next two tiers of LBs before taking another DL.

      I would draft through LB 36/DB16/DL15. After that, most of the guys rely on either big plays or their positional value, both of which don’t really matter in your league. You’ll be better off streaming at that point.

      • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:

        @Kevin Kumpf: ok, so if i’m reading that correctly it goes
        1. David/Kuech
        2. Watt
        3. LB 2-16 (what used to be LB groups 2 and 3, through Worrilow)
        4. DE’s 2-8 (through Ansah)
        5. S’s 1-6
        6. i’m guessing move LB’s 17-23 also ahead of
        7. DE’s 9-12 (so i’m inverting coinciding LB and DE groups)
        8. LB’s 24-30
        9. DE 13-16
        10. S 7-13
        11. LB 31-36
        and then streamer land
        Also, that sounds something like David/Kuech move into around Jay’s Tier 4 territory, with everybody else being spaced in maybe 8 at a time after Jay Tier 7. And when i say Jay’s tiers i have to first add in the extra QB amount that get grabbed by Tier 7, over 1 QB leagues.

  8. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    ok, in that 20 teamer where it’s about to be time for the draft finally a bunch of crap happened since i was forced to send keepers (25), rosters of 30. Half PPR but also pts for completions and negative for incompletions. good thing i kept KC1. min 10 WAS players (but we have a grace period post draft to get that in line). start 1 QB, only 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex (can be TE), 1 TE and each real life D spot. Expected starters in caps. also return yds worth the same as scrimmage.
    QB- KC 1, RG3
    RB AP, MORRIS, Sims, Helu, Michael
    WR – D-JAX, ROBERTS, Garcon
    TE – REED, Donnell, ASJ
    DT -empty
    The changes are Novak’s out, S. Moore may be a backup, KC vs RG, i picked bryd over w.moore and now it seems moore was less hurt than byrd. The original plan was to draft (i have picks at 4, 24, 33, 44, 84) WR, 1 of LB or S, the other LB or S, DT or CB, the other one of DT or CB.
    At 4 the easy plan was to grab Cooper, but the team at #1 actually might need WR as badly as i do. teams 2 and 3 badly need RB and/or other stuff. If Cooper is gone do I go Agholor or one of these guys who are projected to do returns. I’ll show their projected pts (yahoo). Some of these guys it makes no sense they weren’t kept.
    montgomery 237
    lockett 236
    ginn 207
    cooper 189
    agholor 166
    funchess 156
    jacoby jones 155
    d.parker 149
    t.will 138
    mal floyd 137
    I left out some others that returns seem to be their only value (d.harris). So if i miss on Cooper (i’m guessing his upside trumps return yds) go Agholor or one of montgomery/lockett? Also these could have big time trade value to SEA or GB owners.

    IDP only stuff
    2. with paea still being listed as DE at WAS, you buying that. I have him listed as the 67th best DT open, behind marks,mcdonald, hankins, floyd, hageman,jernigan, is he worth more though if he actually plays DE?
    3. you buying s.moore is only a backup now? drat i gave j.jenkins LB for him at end of last year and now i might have to drop moore. there are more good LB’s (7 in top 100, many many more from fantasy pros later), and i’ll be drafting 1 high one (burfict, anthony,e.kendricks, mckinney, hightower) anyway. but post draft i could drop moore for another one.
    4. should i move collins above rolle and mathieu since it’s a dynasty?
    Man i wish I would’ve known prekeepers that hardy wasn’t kept. i would’ve dropped m.johnson (CIN).

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

        @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: i’m seeing ourlads say collins is starting now. so he likely does move over rolle/mathieu for dynasty (he might’ve anyway)

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:

          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

          For your rookie pick, I’m not dynasty expert, but if Cooper is gone, Kevin White seems like the pick to me. He’s obviously not going to contribute much, if at all, this year, but his talent is hard to ignore. I saw him go 1st overall in rookie drafts before he got hurt, and this injury doesn’t seem like one that will affect him long term. Agholor would be my next in line, but if you can get White at 4, I’d have a hard time passing.

          If Paea is lining up at DE, then he definitely has increased value as a DT play, but he’s never going to be a stud either way. Given your league setup though, definitely a good option at DT2.

          As for Sio Moore…I don’t even know what to say. He went from an IDP stud to a borderline IDP starter, to an actual backup in Indy. At this point he’s droppable, though I think Indy does intend on him taking over for either Freeman or D’Qwell, possibly as soon as next year. But in your league, I’d ditch him for anyone that’s useful this year, as painful as that is.

          In a dynasty format, Collins is a top 5 DB, so I’d definitely drop Byrd for him. I’m not sold on his early performance, but he’s a great talent in a situation to succeed long term.

          • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

            @Kevin Kumpf: i wished i knew you answered this 13 minutes before my draft, as cooper went at pick 3, and i went agholor,i completely forgot about kevin white. damn. The CHI owner got him at pick i did get
            24 – Anthony
            33 Collins
            44 Roby
            84 C.Mcdonald
            So now i can try to waiver Rolle/R.Johnson (ARI) over Byrd, Moore is around still too (i dropped the one injured less apparently). Also i can drop DE M.Johnson for a higher ranked DE (there’s 2). Forbath was somehow drafted (Lambo too) so i’ll grab a IR WAS player to make minimum 10. Pretty sure in yahoo suspended guys don’t get stash status (like in they do), so Breeland will just sit. Roby seems too good to drop for a WAS rookie CB (C.collins i think is the name), or amerson.

            • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

              @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: also s.moore can be dropped for one of burfict, kendricks, mckinney, barrington

              • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

                @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: oh yeah, this ends the debacle that was the comish forgetting to put in the trade last year (start of league draft) that i got mid-early pick in 2nd round that would’ve been WATT, i got his 2nd this year and it became Collins! So that was how F’d i got by that. I went David/M.Johnson last year rather than Watt/David i would’ve gone had the trade been done correctly.

                • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

                  @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: ok, with these 4 moves, which has least value such that i can stash n.paul to make my WAS minimums (this is actually a smart stash for me anyway, not just cosmetic) and then come back on the upgrade after the stash
                  1. upgrade novak to one of franks/mcmanus/janikowski/myers/brindza
                  2. upgrade s.moore to one of LB mentioned above
                  3. upgrade m.johnson (backup DE) to one of DE’s listed above)
                  4. upgrade byrd to one of S mentioned above

                  gotta be the DE one.

                  • Kevin Kumpf

                    Kevin Kumpf says:

                    @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

                    Agreed, the DE move gives you the least value. I’ve always been a fan of Johnson when healthy, and even if he doesn’t get double digit sacks again, he’s still a very serviceable DE3.

                    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

                      @Kevin Kumpf: ok, post draft and waivers it’s
                      QB Cousins/RG3
                      RB- AP/Morris/Sims/Michael/Helu
                      WR – D-Jax/Agholor/Garcon/Roberts
                      TE – Reed/Donnell/ASJ
                      IR -N.Paul
                      K McManus (how DEN’s kicker wasn’t drafted when really bad ones were i have no clue)
                      LB David/Trevathan/Anthony AND Kendricks (MIN)
                      DE- Campbell/Heyward/Long (moved up 3 spots on M.Johnson)
                      DT Donald/McDonald (the donald gang at DT)
                      S – Bucannon/Collins/Byrd
                      CB – Hall/Roby/Breeland

                      1. you like Roby over all of these (i had to go off fantasy pros for most CB rankings): tillman, hayden, or could go with amerson or collins at WAS if maybe the starter of those gets lots of targets being opposite Hall.
                      2. try to waiver kam chancellor over byrd, or drop byrd for w.moore? I can hold Byrd till he’s healthy now with collins.
                      3. got a trade offer from NO, his lofton LB + stills for my Donnell + Anthony LB. He gets rid of 2 ex-NO players i move one of the TE i have probably too many of and get WR depth. I might move ASJ str up in another separate deal (but not doing both). Not quite sure if losing Anthony’s upside is worth it. Till i was able to add Hendricks i wasn’t doing it for sure.

                  • Kevin Kumpf

                    Kevin Kumpf says:

                    @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

                    At corner, I think it’s really a toss up between Roby/Tillman/Haden on a weekly basis. It’s also a good slot to get an extra WAS player for whoever sees more time opposite Hall.

                    I would try for Kam over Byrd. Collins has the potential to start slow, so I’d rather have the consistency that Kam brings. Byrd and Moore are more boom/bust.

                    I don’t like the Lofton trade. Even with Sio out of town, Lofton is likely a two-down player in Oakland. And given the dynasty nature, Anthony is a keeper for sure. I also am low on ASJ, so anything you can get for him is a bonus. I’d prefer Donnell.

                    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

                      @Kevin Kumpf: wow, must be a good 2 downs for lofton, you have him LB# 16, but this is good to know. I figured being that high he played more. Hayden at CB was who i meant (not Haden), but answer is likely the same either way.

                  • Kevin Kumpf

                    Kevin Kumpf says:

                    @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow:

                    I expect Lofton to be startable this year, but Anthony won’t be too far behind him by the end of the year. And Lofton could be gone as soon as next year, making Anthony much more valuable long term.

  9. Hellawaits says:

    I have to fill TWO LB slots this week for a tackle heavy IDP league. I currently have Preston Brown who faces IND at home….Karlos Dansby who faces NYJ away and Vincent Rey who faces OAK away. Def start Brown and Dansby right?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:


      Yup, those are the two I’d go with. Week 1 IDP Rankings will be published Thursday as well.

  10. S.H says:

    Hey Kevin, Week 1 starters question.

    Dressing 3 LBS Do I dress S.Lee, Dansby, and Mayo or do I sit one for Derrick Johnson
    Also 2 DBs Do i dress Mcdonaldand Beatha over Branch and W.Moore

    Thanks again for your help this off season

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:


      Full Week 1 rankings come out Thursday but I’d take the McDonald/Bethea duo at DB. For LB, I’m definitely starting Lee and Dansby, but Mayo/DJohnson is basically a coin flip. I have Johnson on top, but you can’t go wrong either way.

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