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  • IDP Guys’ IDP Rookie Rankings “Goldilocks” Review

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    Need an edge in the second round of your rookie IDP draft? Let’s put our 11th-20th ranked IDP rookies through the IDP Goldilocks review!


    It’s the middle of June, right smack dab in the middle of rookie draft season. If you are reading this, odds are good you are in a rookie draft yourself and are looking for some direction. Look no further, dear reader. I will share my thoughts on the IDP rookies most likely going in the second round in your IDP rookie draft.

    Judging who you should target is not as simple as just gauging talent. So much of a rookie defender’s fantasy relevance is predicated on getting on the field, especially in year one. For players in the zone we are looking at, it is pivotal to look for a path to playtime. Where opportunity and talent meet is the part of the Venn diagram we are looking for!

    Let’s put a sub-section of our rookie IDP players through the Goldilocks review, shall we? Oh, you haven’t heard of this test? As you remember from the story, a little girl named Goldilocks goes for a walk in the forest and comes upon a house where she enters and finds three bowls of porridge. The first one she tastes is too hot, the next too cold, but the third one is just right, so she eats it all.

    We can apply the same test to our rankings. Which players’ draft positions are too hot? Too cold? Just right? Let’s take a look at the players we will be talking about today and get going! Below is a screenshot of our 11th to 20th ranked IDP rookies as per our June rankings:

    11 through 20 IDP Players Ranked in June

    Too cold: IDP rookies who will out-perform their ADP

    In this section, I identify which rookies we are “too cold” on. In time I think their ADP will heat up, so get them while they are still cold!

    Jaquan Brisker, S, Chicago Bears

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 19

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    I already have a write-up on Brisker which you can check out here, but this advice Bears repeating. (Ha! Get it?) As I am oft to say, the best way to score fantasy points is by being on the field.

    Brisker has a clear path to a starting role on a Bears defense that desperately needs playmakers in the second level. According to sources at the Chicago Tribune, he is already making his physicality known in practice.

    Brisker has a clearer path to meaningful minutes than a few of the rookies we have above him. Not only is the playing time potential there, but he also exhibits the traits of the highest-scoring safeties. A physical player who is not afraid to help support the run game while also racking up pass defense statistics? Yes, please!

    While it is yet unclear if he will be able to reap the rewards of the opportunities, I like his chances. I see him as an impact player on day one who will not only be a top fantasy IDP rookie but a top safety across the board. Take him with confidence in your rookie drafts.

    Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, New York Jets

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 14

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    As a Patriots fan, I am not looking forward to facing Jermaine Johnson twice every year. One look at his draft profile on nfl.com and you’ll see why. And I quote: “Johnson’s blend of strength and athleticism should make him a firm edge-setter and playmaker near the line of scrimmage for odd or even fronts.” An athletic marvel, it is clear Johnson has the physical attributes to be successful in the NFL.

    What about the opportunity to play? Johnson is behind John Franklin-Myers presently on the depth chart, but I am not worried about that. Since drafting him in the first round, the Jets will be eager to get Johnson on the field and rushing opposing quarterbacks. Ranking 17th in total sacks last year, according to statmuse.com, the Jets are eager to see improvement. Cue the intro music the first-round playmaker!

    Another factor in Johnson’s upside is the Jets getting Carl Lawson back from injury and Quinnen Williams returning to form. When opposing offensive lines have to game plan against multiple playmakers, all will be given opportunities to thrive. All these reasons lead me to believe Johnson ends up in the top 10 rookie IDP performers this upcoming year. Especially in dynasty formats, he is a guy I want on my team.

    Too hot: Rookies I want another team drafting at that ADP

    In this section, I identify which rookies we are “too hot” on. These rookies’ rankings are simply too hot for me to touch. If they cooled down a bit I might be interested, just not at these draft pick prices.

    Daxton Hill, S, Cincinnati Bengals

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 12

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    Hill winding up in this section is entirely based on his landing spot. According to PFF, The Bengals finished last year with the 11th best secondary. None of the players that led this charge are off the team, with Jessie Bates, Chidobe Awuzie, and Vonn Bell all returning. This is excellent news for the Bengals football team, as Hill will not be relied on immediately and will be afforded time to get up to NFL speed.

    From a fantasy perspective, however, this is less than desirable. When investing a late first-round/early second-round pick on a player, I want them to produce right away. Even in an article from Bengals Wire, where coaches praise Hill’s work ethic, it still acknowledges he will primarily be in a support role this upcoming season.

    If you are fortunate enough to have a roster where you can stash Hill on a taxi squad and save him for a year or two, I can make an argument for that. When comparing him to players who have a better path for immediate success, however, I find that I want to fade Hill until playing time becomes more secure.

    David Ojabo, EDGE, Baltimore Ravens

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 15

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    In case I haven’t made this point clear, let me repeat myself. To score fantasy points, you need to be on the field. There are a few red flags for Ojabo from a fantasy perspective related to this. For one, he is recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered during his pro day. Some, like SBNation’s Ravens feed, think there is a chance Ojabo redshirts his entire rookie year.

    The second and largest red flag is that, once healthy, Ojabo finds himself buried on the Ravens’ depth chart. With Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser locked into the starting roles at this point, Ojabo will need to prove himself to get snaps. While this certainly can happen eventually, he will need to first get healthy to even have a chance to win the coaching staff over.

    Just like with Daxton Hill, if your team is in a spot where you can redshirt a player, Oweh might appeal to you. The other players around him in our rankings, however, provide just as much upside with a much clearer path to fantasy relevance. I’ll let someone else take that risk.

    Just right: that ADP sweet spot

    Not all articles have to only contain sleepers and busts! Winning your league will also require you to know when a player is being valued correctly. Let’s talk through a couple of such players who are “just right”.

    Leo Chenal, LB, Kansas City Chiefs

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 11

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    Eleven is the perfect rank for Chenal. Looking at his draft profile on nfl.com, you will see that Chenal projects to be an every-down linebacker who will excel in run support. I am not sure you saw this, but the Chiefs released Anthony Hitchens this off-season, the primary run stopper on last year’s team. This paves the way for players like Chenal and Nick Bolton to rack up the tackles left behind.

    There are some things that Chenal will need to get better at to be a real force in IDP. The biggest weakness in his game is in pass coverage, which limits his initial 3-down potential. Given NFL-level coaching, I see him becoming a major piece in this defense, especially once Jermaine Carter Jr. leaves next year. Unlike Daxton Hill in the previous section, I believe Chenal sees the field a lot as a rookie.

    This is why 11 is the perfect spot for Chenal: plenty of opportunity and upside, and once he hits the field, he’ll be a points machine. Look for him at the beginning of the second round and look forward to seeing tackle after tackle on NFL Sunday!

    Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, New York Jets

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 20

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    In terms of winning real NFL games, Gardner is a huge asset for the Jets. Expectations are high, some going as far as to say he will become the NFL’s top cover corner. The issue is that we are here to win fantasy football matchups, not stop opposing wide receivers from catching the ball. Shut-down corners historically haven’t been great fantasy producers, as quarterbacks avoid throwing the ball their way.

    For example, AJ Terrell was the second-rated coverage cornerback in 2021 according to PFF. There’s no question that he had an excellent corner campaign, as that is what he is paid to do. Terrell’s fantasy production? Based on Fantasy Pros’ scoring, he finished 27th.

    This is not to say that Garner won’t have his success in the NFL or he won’t have fantasy starting worth! History is just not on his side to become a fantasy star.

    With all this being said, I think 20 is right where he belongs. Between the second and third rounds is when we start looking at players who might not get much playing time in year one. We know the Jets are going to play their first-round pick and play him a lot. It is yet to be seen if Garner can be fantasy relevant as a shut-down corner, but 20 is a price I’m willing to pay to find out.

    Find all IDP Guys Rookie player rankings — including those referenced above — here.


    Thank you for reading my rookie IDP Goldilocks review article! Be sure to reach out and let me know what you think I got right and what I got wrong! Happy drafting! You can find all my work on my IDP Guys Author page. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @mrecord21 and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date with all the latest fantasy news!

    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!

    Discussion

    1. […] Let’s put another section of our rookie IDP players through the Goldilocks review! If you missed my first article, here’s the story again. […]

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