• IDP Fantasy Football 2022: Targets and Busts for Redraft

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    You need to know which players will live up to their ADP. Which IDP Players should you target and which should you avoid?

    Winning a re-draft league is about knowing which IDP players to target and which players to avoid when you are on the clock.

    A few years ago, I was asked to join my first-ever IDP league. It was the greatest decision I’ve made in my fantasy sports life. I had been playing fantasy football for 15 years or so in traditional offensive-only leagues, so I figured it was time to up my fantasy game and an IDP league seemed like the next logical step.  

    Let me tell you two things about IDP leagues that have led to success:

    1. There is no better indicator for an IDP player’s fantasy success than usage rate and a team’s defensive scheme
    2. You are always looking to minimize risk and maximize upside.

    In order to win your league, you’re going to need your star players to play like stars and your mid-round/late draft picks to exceed expectations. Let’s talk through a few of the IDP players to target to help you win your league, and a few players I think you should avoid.

    Players To Target:

    Note: These are players I think will outperform their current ADP.

    Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, New York Giants 

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    Looking for an under-the-radar fantasy breakout candidate? As a rookie, Ojulari did nothing but exceed expectations. Let’s look at the resume: Played 67% of the Giants' defensive snaps, led the team with 8.0 sacks and was second on the team with 13 QB hits. All of this is super encouraging production as a rookie, but what gets me the most excited about him? The Giants' fifth overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux.

    Thibodeaux is a force that opposing offensive lines will need to account for, which will only increase the opportunities for Ojulari. Based on where he is being drafted Ojulari is a player I want stock in come September.

    Kyle Dugger, S, New England Patriots

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    When Bill Belichick drafts a physically gifted D2 athlete, you know he will be given every opportunity to play. Dugger saw such an opportunity last year, seeing his usage skyrocket up to 77% of the Pats' defensive snaps. Dugger delivered production, leading the Patriots with 70 solo tackles and tied for second on the team with 4 INTs.

    Where I see upside in Dugger’s fantasy profile is how he is used in the Pats' defensive scheme. Even though he’s listed as a safety, Dugger plays a crucial role in run defense. With no new LBs of note on the Patriots roster to take away his stats, Dugger will once again have a solid floor for tackles in 2022. Draft him and reap the fantasy gains of this under-rated safety.

    Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Cleveland Browns

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    I know, I know: JOK is a hot name in the IDP community so this name isn’t that big of a stretch. Even with that I can’t help but include him based on what we saw in 2021. Despite injuries and position on the depth chart JOK turned his 65% of defensive snaps into 76 combined tackles (49 solo). This was second on the team, all while JOK was getting acclimated to the speed of the NFL.

    All accounts out of Cleveland say the Browns are locked in on having JOK in the starting lineup in Week 1, giving him every opportunity to produce. With no roster moves to detract from this narrative, assuming JOK’s health plus his perceived increase in usage this upcoming year puts him in an excellent spot to outperform his current draft position.  

    Players To Avoid:

    Note: These are players I think are being drafted too high. At the right price, I’d love to have them on my team, just not at the price they currently are at. 

    Matthew Judon, EDGE, New England Patriots

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    Last year was a tale of two seasons for Judon. In Weeks 1 through 13 he was a revelation, racking up 12.5 sacks and being a relatively dominant EDGE rusher. Come fantasy playoffs, however, this carriage turned back into a pumpkin: racking up only six total tackles over the last three weeks of the season.

    Glass half full: one can argue that an injury slowed Judon down and once he’s back to full health he’ll become a star again. Glass half empty: opposing teams started game planning against the one consistent pass rusher the Patriots had and effectively took him out of games.

    With no major pass rushing personnel improvements for the Pats this offseason, Judon will be in the same tough situation. There are enough red flags from a fantasy standpoint that I will be letting someone else take the gamble. 

    Johnathan Abram, S, Las Vegas Raiders        

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    When looking at fantasy prospects it’s important to consider floor and upside. My issue with Abram has less to do with the fantasy production floor and more to do with the ceiling. After three years in the league, we have a decent idea of who Abram is as a player: a good tackling safety who struggles in pass protection and simply won’t put up many pass defense stats.

    Last year went as well as it could for Abram from a fantasy perspective, racking up 116 combined tackles. This only translated to being the 16th highest scoring safety in the league, however, which is not ideal.

    While tackles provide a great fantasy floor, a CB/S really needs to start putting up pass defense stats to become elite. Abram, despite his difficulties covering pass-catchers, will continue to provide some fantasy value. I’d much rather take my chances on someone with more upside when I’m on the clock.

    Trevon Diggs, CB, Dallas Cowboys

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    One piece of advice you will often hear comes in the form of a question: “What is most likely to happen?”. Trevon Diggs led the league last year with 11 interceptions, three more than the runner-up J.C. Jackson and an astonishing five more than the bronze medal season of Amani Oruwariye.

    You have to go back to, checks notes, in 1981 for a player to have 11 interceptions in a season (Everson Walls for those keeping track at home). While it’s not a hot take to say Diggs will regress back towards the mean, it is worth noting.

    Diggs offers very little fantasy-wise from tackles and virtually nothing from sacks. To repeat the historic production, he needs to replicate something from over 30 years ago. Is this out of the question? Of course not, anything is possible. But I ask you, reader: what is most likely to happen? I’ll let someone else reach for the big name this year.

    Let me know in the comments if you agree with my IDP players to target and which to avoid! Happy drafting!

    Thank you for reading! You can find all my work on my IDP Guys Author page. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @mrecord21and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date. 

    Matt Record

    I got started in Fantasy Football over 15 years ago and have never looked back! I'm just a regular guy who loves to analyze data and watch and talk about sports. Outside of all things fantasy, I enjoy playing disc golf, playing board games, and enjoying a nice hazy IPA. I can't wait to share with you all my thoughts on Fantasy Football!

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