From The Shadow “Takes”: Polemic Thinking, McDougald Vs. Harrison, & Addressing The Million Dollar Question

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Gary VanDyke (@Hbogart27) goes through some of the questions he’s received recently and how he answered them.


My personal definition of a “take”: Any information applied to a topic and shared from a personal perspective. In these cases, anything concerning a Fantasy Football topic.

Shadow “Take’s”

Often I receive emails or private chats on Twitter from Fantasy Football owners asking me a general question on my thoughts about their personal situations pertaining to many different topics. These can range from trade talks, drafting, roster structure, to just everyday football. As I reply with my “take” to try to assist them I normally find myself using the same methods of deduction in doing so that I’ve developed over the countless years.

It really does not matter the players involved or the exact situation at hand that determines the process I may choose, but it is the simple idea that the methods work in general for each given case I’m presented. And after repeatedly using those methods and process for some time now, I would like to share via From The Shadow “Takes”.

Applying what goes on behind closed doors or out back in the alley of Fantasy Football as a tool. The overall thinking here is that there are other owners who may have a similar situation or dilemmas but not willing to reach out to ask. And that by simply reading the processes that happen in private will reach out and assist other people. I hope these and all that may follow help make me as well as anyone else reading them a better gamer.

There is no “fluffing” of content, it is as raw as it was at the time. Both in the “take” as well as the wording and slang as it is presented. We are not writing a proper novel here.

Via Private Message with @BobbyConwell

*(Polemic defined: controversial argument, as one against some opinion.)

  • Thoughts? I’m pretty shocked that XXXX” is saying this. He says that Wade Phillips traditionally doesn’t use an SS.
  • @BobbyConwell
  • Jul 24

Me Replying

  • Nope not really, other than never is a very long time to make such a call on.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade_Phillips …
  • New Orleans Saints (1981–1985)
    Defensive coordinator
    New Orleans Saints (1985)
    Interim head coach
    Philadelphia Eagles (1986–1988)
    Defensive coordinator
    Denver Broncos (1989–1992)
    Defensive coordinator
    Denver Broncos (1993–1994)
    Head coach
    Buffalo Bills (1995–1997)
    Defensive coordinator
    Buffalo Bills (1998–2000)
    Head coach
    Atlanta Falcons (2002–2003)
    Defensive coordinator
    Atlanta Falcons (2003)
    Interim head coach
    San Diego Chargers (2004–2006)
    Defensive coordinator
    Dallas Cowboys (2007–2010)
    Head coach
    Houston Texans (2011–2013)
    Defensive coordinator
    Houston Texans (2013)
    Interim head coach
    Denver Broncos (2015–2016)
    Defensive coordinator
    Los Angeles Rams (2017–present)
    Defensive coordinator
  • And that’s a very long list of personal and situations to make that call on.
  • I’ll add, this was in 11 starts, and he didn’t play basically any snaps to amount to anything in first 5 games as a rookie.

  • So, on the entire season he got about 700 snaps I think it was.

  • 715 to be exact.
  • I have stated, he should likely hit the lower tier 1 of DBs in 2018. No reason for me not to think that.
  • Let me know if I can do anything else for ya. Thx for asking.

@BobbyConwell Replying

  • Thank you very much for the reply. I’m a still a believer in Johnson and I trust your input. Just kind of shocked that he feels so strongly about him like that lol. I picked him up as soon as I heard you on the podcast. Really enjoy your stuff. Keep up the great work!

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Me Replying

  • Thx and np, anytime.

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Via Private Message with @BobbyConwell (Few days later)

  • I listen to the podcast yesterday and saw they mentioned the John Johnson situation as well.
  • @BobbyConwell
  • Jul 31
  • Quick question, thoughts on Bradley McDougald… With the Thomas holdout, it seems like he’s been playing a lot of free safety. Should I drop him and pick up somebody else or hold steady and see what happens when training camp ends?

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Me Replying

  • I’m thinking, let me ask this. Who is the “others” you might be able to get, because as far as I’m concern McDougald is a strong hold in either position he may play, as long as it works out for him.

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@BobbyConwell Replying

  • This might make it easy… Ronnie Harrison is still on waivers and this is a dynasty league lol. My safeties are Hyde, Johnson, and McDougald.

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Me Replying

  • So, no way to make room for Harrison without dropping McDougald? Say one too many cornerbacks if you are designated to line one up?

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@BobbyConwell Replying

  • The only CB I have is Adoree Jackson. Only reason why I have him on the roster is his versatility in potentially playing offense and for potential return TD ’s. This is not a position designated league.

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Me Replying

  • Right on Jackson, great call. So no fliers there that Harrison could take their spot……hmm…………………Right?

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@BobbyConwell Replying

  • Lol… well if the Chargers would put Hunter Henry on IR then I could add him for this year.
  • But at this point no at the moment. I’m mainly waiting on the Chargers to do that so I can add him and worry about t next year. That’s why I’m not overly panicking bc my other leagues mates don’t know his name yet or they are in the same predicament as me.

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Me Replying

  • Gotcha, again, great plan. As for McDougald, he is a great hold over the rookie at the moment. So I think your good to go and see how it plays out.

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@BobbyConwell Replying

  • Sweet. I really appreciate you taking the time in helping me out. This is my first year in IDP so I’ve done a lot of research but you’re the first guy I’ve been going too if I need any info. I’ve learned a lot in the last 2-3 months.

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Me Replying

  • Thank you, and anytime. I’m all about the IDP and helping, it goes hand in hand for me.

End.

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Via Private Message with @fantasyrayg

  • Gary in a Dynasty IDP Startup, in which round should I target my stud LB?
  • @fantasyrayg
  • Jul 26

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Me Replying

  • Your asking the million dollar question. A question that in my mind doesn’t have a complete answer. And whoever can come up with a sure-fire answer will have earned that million dollars. I’ll be back shortly to try and give you my best answer.

(Pause here)

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@fantasyrayg Replying

  • Great article, thanks

End.

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Via Private Message with @fantasyrayg (Two days later)

Summary of what transpired: It was at this point the gentlemen returned with a few personal follow-up questions pertaining to a draft that he was involved in. Because there were just various chit-chat about players available we are going to skip that part of the conversation.

What the conversation did flow into was suggesting my personal “IDP Bible” to attempt to assist him by providing a base set up for his IDP lineup. He had already referred to my personal IDP rankings to judge who may hold the best value on his own. Those personal rankings can be found HERE. I’ll mention that I commend him for taking the initiative by doing so.

Where we will pick up the conversation is at the point that together we cover a very important topic when drafting in a league using IDP. Please keep in mind this league he is drafting in is on my personal favorite site myfantasyleague.com. It’s a site I know how to navigate very well.

So when I learned that his draft was there it dawned on me right away just how to split the hairs among players and deciding the best course of action to take. It’s something that is very important and also translates over into any site I have personally ever played on. And that would likely cover all of the popular sites out there.

I’ll also admit here that I had forgotten that I hadn’t actually covered this directly with the gentlemen other than referring him to the “Determining IDP Trade Values” article in our first session above.

This gentlemen actually made the following statement deep into the omitted section about certain players to choose from:

@fantasyrayg Replying

  • Many years in Dynasty, First season learning about IDP ……..(and so on)

My Reply was

  • Yes sir, gotta start somewhere, IDP is the new PPR.

I then posted a link containing some information all IDP owners should keep in mind while drafting and selecting players for their starting lineups: “Five Year Rookie Success Rate Tracker”

There is also one more thing to mention and then we will cut back to the conversation to help explain how things went thru the process. We had determined that the IDP scoring in this league wasn’t exactly real “heavy” per-say on the sacks over combined tackles. But it was enough to favor a few players left on the board offering sack potential over other that didn’t play a position that didn’t.

With that, we pick up with our conversation here.

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@fantasyrayg Replying

  • Not sure if I should go with WR ( Stills, Meredith or Goodwin) or IDP

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Me Replying

  • Remember here, I don’t know the whole scoring format with O vs IDP.
  • Are those guys the best WRs available?

(I am looking over multiple snapshots of his roster and players available at this point)

  • There’s a lot to like there on IDP side.
  • This is MFL?

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@fantasyrayg Replying

  • Yes

(He sends link to his league.)

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Me Replying

  • KK, so no projected score to go by.

(Pause)

  • Looking at ur squad, knowing a little more about the scoring, I’d get ya another DE if you start more than 1 a week, is that the case?

(Pause)

  • Wait, just seen the link, give me a few.

(Pause, and defining moment as things start clicking in my head.)

  • Wow, Dude, go look at top performers under reports up top and tell me what you see.
  • You see LB Wagner sitting there at 14th in overall points scored last yr?

  • That is HUGE, means that the league is very IDP strong.
  • By that, I’d look at my rankings and just keep picking by the overalls.
  • And compare to those last year numbers on if u want O or IDP.
  • Delete this message sent 14 hours ago from “The IDP Tipster”
  • Reports, players Top performers.

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@fantasyrayg Replying

  • Sean Lee or Jordan Poyer are top of your rankings.

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  • 1 sec
  • Trying to set you up to run on your own.
  • Use the overall (My IDP rankings) vs. who scored that (2017 end of season top performers) last year, cross check and pick as you go.
  • Works in all leagues
  • By that, top performers, I’d been drafting top IDP about the 4th-5th rounds.
  • No lie.

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@fantasyrayg Replying

  • Thanks Gary

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Me Replying

  • Always look in leagues at projected points like that, because when you see IDP scoring like WR/TE/RB 1’s, you’ll know an “edge”.

End.

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The conversation did continue, but it was again more of on a personal level about players.

The Moral Of The Story (Chat)

The chat started out with that million dollar question of when he should start drafting stud linebackers. A legit and very popular question that just on average I probably answer one time a week. In this particular situation, I had been distracted by multiple factors and had a lapse of memory to start the conversation. Likely a result of knowing I had already talked to him and also the multiple factors going on with the break in the conversation for a couple of days.

Here is what it boils down to. If you are wondering when to start selecting IDP in any form of a draft the information to help you decide is normally right there. On some sites, it might come in the form of projected points for the season, in other by looking at last season’s end of year results. Just simply trust what you are looking at.

Now there is no full proof and 100% answer to the million dollar question, I do not care who tells you they have one. There are normally always entirely too many variables involved, from a draft position, other owners preferences, and so on. If you can locate whichever information I have mentioned and you see that the first IDP being listed is among Tier 1, Tier 2, or whatever tier of players on the offensive side of the ball, that is the indicator where IDP should start to come off the board as those offensive players start coming off the board.

I offer my “IDP Bible”, “Trade Values”, and “Rookie Success Rate” articles for what positions to target, to look for those comparable values, and to let owners know that depending on rookies for your starting line up isn’t a solid plan. It is a lot to take in if you happen to be new to the IDP world, but they are essential things to know from my perspective to help answer that million dollar question. But the actual answer is in the league reports or set up, it’s just a matter of taking the time to locate it and then access the information with your preferences.

Links: IDP BibleTipster RankingsTrade valuesRookie Success Rate

The IDP Dilemma

I made a comment at the very end of the chat about how if I had caught the situation at hand a bit earlier that I would have started suggesting or drafting the IDPs in the 4th or 5th round. That had to sound completely crazy to many readers who may have caught that. And to be honest I may have simply waited for a round or two after that projection based on one simple fact. Fantasy Football owners have not yet acclimated to IDP as I have. Or in the same way. Those IDP players would have been sitting there a few rounds later because no one trusts the IDP like an offensive player no matter the tier.

This fact is mind-blowing to me to a point. I have won so many leagues over the years with what looked like a mediocre offense but with a high-end IDP unit. The numbers don’t lie and we need to start trusting the information in front of us over the idea that a “known” IDP player is putting us at risk any more than a “known” offensive player. It does not matter how “pretty” our starting lineups look if the statistics are not in play when we build our teams we are not going to have the odds of winning the championship on our side. Someday we all will learn this, but for now, use this to your advantage and try it in a free league or somewhere one time, you just may find it to be that edge or way of thinking that gives you that edge in every league.

There we have it, hopefully, at the least, you find them as interesting as I did. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime @HBogart27 or Email at gmtvandyke@gmail.com. Be sure to add keywords in the title such as Tipster or IDP to catch my attention ASAP.

I can’t promise your chat or email content will make it to the article, but I can tell you that I’m very interested in all things IDP and will do my best to give you my best “Take” from the Shadows.


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It is all about the IDP and to bring those interested the tools and content to win now. If you ever need a "follow-up" on anything I've written or would like to ask a general question feel free to contact me on Twitter @HBogart27. I'll also reply by email at gmtvandyke@gmail.com if in the title the words "IDP Tipster" are included. As always thank you for supporting my IDP fetish by reading my articles. Additional: News Desk Correspondent for FantasyPros @nfl_alerts Experience: give or take 20 yrs Proudest Accomplishment As IDP Guy: Developing "one of a kind and original" in-season "Easy Charts" for IDP start/sit advice by using multiple resources and trade secrets to win now. Go Buckeyes!