Folks… We made it. We have NFL Sunday from this weekend until January 25th. I can hardly wait for the kickoff octo-box and the soothing sounds of Scott Hanson’s voice to touch my ear drums. In preparation for this glorious moment, I give to you the second part of our week 1 NFL data evaluation. If you are just starting your week 1 prep, I recommend going back to the first article to review the Thursday night and early slate games.

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When drafting Defensive Lineman, you pick your studs early, then look for some pass-rush specialists to complement them. When drafting Linebackers, you look for consistency in tackles above all, focusing on three-down backers. When drafting Defensive Backs? Anything goes.

Some owners will only take safeties, and pretty much just strong safeties at that, knowing that tackles are more predictable than any other DB stat. Others look for deflections, interceptions and tackles in coverage by focusing on DBs that play alongside a shutdown corner, or rookie corners in general. Still others will go for the gold, taking a return man who might win you a matchup all by himself by taking one to the house.

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The 2013 NFL draft was ripe with talent on the defensive side of the ball, and there are quite a few guys picked that should go on to be perennial Pro Bowlers. But even the best defensive players may not start lighting up the stat sheet until the end of their first season, or even later. JJ Watt and Jason Pierre-Paul didn’t take the league by storm until their second year, Ronde Barber didn’t truly break out until his fourth season in the league, and we’re still waiting on Vernon Gholston to show us what he’s got.

From a fantasy perspective, this year’s draft doesn’t have anyone who is likely to match Luke Kuechly’s LB1 output in 2012. In fact, we’ll be lucky to see something like Vontaze Burfict’s LB24 finish. The top talent is probably at Defensive Tackle, and while the big boys are vital to a team’s defensive success, they don’t tend to have much of an impact in IDP leagues that don’t require their presence.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t have any impact rookies this year, it just may take some time to figure out who they are. Here is a look at each position and how relevant the rookies will be in 2013 IDP leagues.

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