@BrianDFF walks you through the IDPGuys.org’s first Mock Draft. The staff gives insight into their teams and the decisions they were faced with/made.
Welcome back! My first article, IDP Questions For Beginners, took a round-table approach, asking some experienced IDP analysts questions I believed people dipping their feet into IDP formats need to know.
This will be the second article of the series. I gathered some of those same analysts for an all IDP mock draft. After the conclusion of the draft, I asked the analysts to talk a little bit about their teams. They gave some considerable insight into the decisions they made/could have made.
Note: Although most leagues don’t do all IDP players, this draft was. I will upload mock drafts including offensive players as well in future articles, but baby steps first. This article serves to articulate value for players/positions.
You can find all of these guys on twitter. Give them a follow and tell them about how they did!
@BrianDFF (BrianDerario): This being my first experience drafting IDP players, I wasn’t sure where to go. Sitting at the 4th spot, I could have gone a lot of ways. I decided on Kwon Alexander. I followed the advice of many experts that a linebacker on a team in a 4-3 scheme should see a lot of tackles. Looking back, Khalil Mack might have been my pick to secure an elite player on the defensive line. Aaron Donald is certainly elite, but the production of the Rams offense may limit upside.
On a macro level, I think my team is good, not great. TJ Watt was a value as the Steelers plan to move to a 4-3 defense which should increase his upside. I learned from the analysts and avoided cornerbacks at the DB position. Desmond King is my only one and the Chargers plan to use him as a Safety/Cornerback hybrid. It seems as though taking 2-4 defensive linemen is safe.
Looking back I regret loading up on DBs and not switching one-two of those picks for more linebacker depth. However, I have learned that linebackers can be streamed, so it shouldn’t present any issues.
@OrangeMan3142(RobinHood): “Love the DL picks, between Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones, and Bradley Chubb I have two guaranteed performers and one flier. Safety wise, no corners- they’re too spotty, I’ve got two young studs who should have amazing seasons and one veteran who has been very reliable over his career if I need to switch out one of the young guys.”
“Linebackers I’ve got a tier 1 with Zach Brown, two tier 2 LBs with KJ Wright and Brandon Marshall, and for the last flex spot can plug in whoever performs best out of Raekwon McMillan or Zach Cunningham and would probably use matchup to determine which one to start. Overall solid team. I don’t see any weaknesses, maybe eric berry coming off injury is a concern, Chubb and McMillan are unknowns. Overall good mix of guarantees and fliers.”
As a seasoned IDP player and analyst, I need not say more. Johny has a great mix of veterans and rookies, both with solid floors and high upside.
@ONUTyjo: “Favorite picks: Vontaze Burfict, Jaquiski Tartt, Jordan Hicks. So much upside at the values, top 10 at their respective positions, upside! Biggest regret: Myles Garrett… I love Myles this year but wish I had gone another route, specifically Chandler Jones. Strategy: Tackles = consistency, consistency = wins, loaded up on tackle heavy players. Specifically LBs.”
I asked him how he feels about Burfict’s value after learning about his four-game suspension.
“LB1 numbers when on the field, went as 25th LB here. LB depth is pretty solid this year so it’s fairly easy to fill in four weeks with players at or above replacement level. I’m ending up with Burfict almost everywhere.”
Seems like Burfict is a value and a player you might want to target if/when he falls in drafts.
@IDPGuys: “I was able to pull off a sweet one-two punch in the first two rounds between Reshad Jones and Alec Ogletree, drafting from the 3rd spot. Went for Derwin James as my second DB, and got some really good starters at LB with Myles Jack, Matt Milano, and Reggie Ragland.”
“For LB depth I took fliers in Navarro Bowman (yet to find a team), Josh Bynes (competing for a starting MLB spot in Arizona) and Fred Warner (backup to red flag-laden Ruben Foster). My weakest position group is defensive line with JPP, Mario Addison, and Geno Atkins. Overall I like my lineup.”
Nate seemed to take some high-floor, high-upside players while focusing his later rounds on fliers with really high upside. Shows his expertise in picking the backup to Reuben Foster, a potential MLB, and the current free agent Bowman. High-risk, high-reward type players.
@CoachX: “I thought back to back LBs was the way to go in this draft. C.J. Mosley is a tackling machine. Telvin Smith had some injuries towards the end of the year but he consistently leads the defense when healthy. Vic Beasley is surely slept on. He is finally moving back to the DL after spending a season an LB. His production in 2016 was there and will come back in 2018.”
“DB core is filled with veterans and young guys. The rest of the DL is strong in Solomon Thomas (dynasty) and Snacks Harrison. Overall I’m happy with my team and would give them an 8/10 if this wasn’t a mock draft.”
@CoachX decided to go LB back-to-back to start the draft. The decision to do that is contrary to many other teams in this draft, who looked to find LB depth later. The key here is that there are many different strategies to utilize, and this mock shows what players you end up when trying those strategies. @FFStompy took the opposite approach, and you can compare their teams directly.
@FFStompy (Stompy33): “I think my team is a testament to how deep linebacker is. Williamson is my favorite sleeper this season and I feel he can finish top 10 in the league in tackles. I got him in the 3rd round. I also got Jarrad Davis in the 5th, who finished with 96 combined tackles last season in 14 games as a rookie.”
“Because the linebacker position is so deep, it allowed me to grab top end talent in shallow positions at safety and DL. Possibly my favorite pick is Justin Simmons in the 9th. In his first season as a starter, he produced 68 combined tackles and 5 PDs in 13 games. I think he can take a step this season and become a tier 1 safety. Overall, I really like how my team turned out. A lot of top-end talent with some high risk, high reward guys.”
Exactly the opposite of @CoachX. Sam decides to hold off on linebackers, essentially loading up on a top-tier DB and DL. Again, it’s all about preference. No strategy is the right one. Compare it to dynasty owners who like to wait on running backs (zero-RB) vs. owners who load up on top-tier RB talent. All a matter of preference.
@a5crack: “Drafting first is a blessing and a curse. You have to get it right because by the time you pick again the obvious elite players for IDP are gone. I went with Joey Bosa because he is going to be in exactly the same situation he was in last year. The same role, same coaches, same supporting cast for the most part. That’s about as close as you can get.”
“After, I made sure I had a guy I liked at the LB and DB spots, again, based on past performance in a similar role to what they will have this year. I like to get a baseline.”
“Erik Kendricks and Jordan Poyer are likely to put up similar numbers to last year. The league had two flex spots, and the best bet for consistent points there is linebackers, so my next two picks were Blake Martinez and Demario Davis. Martinez is still going to play on nickel downs on a poor defense. Davis will take over one of the nickel spots in New Orleans most likely. At least he should, the Saints linebackers were awful in coverage last year.”
“I filled my second DB spot with Devon McCourty because I really don’t know what New England is going to do defensively with Matt Patricia, the playcaller since 2012, having moved on to Detroit. I do, however, think their defensive personnel is awful which will give their free safety a lot of opportunities for tackles when other players make mistakes.”
“Preston Brown is going to play three downs for the Bengals in a Teryl Austin-led defensive scheme that often asks its linebackers to chase slot receivers across the field. He will have the opportunity to make a lot of tackles after they burn him for short passes. He fills my second flex role.”
“From that point on, I just took gambles. Brandon Graham has, at times, been the most productive run stopping 4-3 defensive end in football. If that team sees any injuries to its older edge defender group, Graham could wrack up stats. Rashaan Evans is a rookie I like because he doesn’t have a lot of competition for passing down snaps, but rookie linebackers tend to get burned a lot and rack up tackles that way.”
“Deforest Buckner is a popular breakout candidate, and at the point where you’re drafting your fourth DL……… that’s the kind of player that can win you a league if he explodes. Glover Quinn, my DB 4, was a ballhawk extraordinaire when he was playing for a defense with the talent around him to force teams to come at him in the secondary.”
“The Lions linebackers are questionable which could also give Quinn some tackle opportunities in run support and in the passing game, where none of their players have shown the ability to stick with a tight end downfield.”
For the final analyst, I let Ash walk you through picking from the one spot. He gave great insight into how he picked his players and who were values at his draft position.
Excellent analysis from the IDPGuys.org staff. Keep following my work on twitter @BrianDFF to learn the ropes of the IDP format and a step-by-step guide on how to dominate your leagues. Make sure you follow all of our staff, as they have some excellent work and insight.