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  • IDP Rookie Rankings “Goldilocks” Review: Part Two

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    Need an edge in the third round of your rookie IDP draft? Let's put our 21st-30th ranked IDP rookies through the IDP Goldilocks review!

    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.

    If you remember the story, let me refresh your memory. 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 21st-30th ranked IDP rookies as per our July rankings:

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

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

    Nick Cross, S, Indianapolis Colts

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 26

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    Nick Cross has seen his value sky-rocket over the past few weeks. What happened? The surprise retirement of Khari Willis! This has left a starting spot available at the exact position Cross plays! How convenient!

    Many are now projecting that Cross will see more playing time than he would have this year, which immediately puts him in the IDP discussion. But will he produce? Let's talk about that!

    I am of the mindset that Cross is going to be excellent at the NFL level. Take a look at his NFL.com draft profile, and you will see why. Cross is described as one who "plays the role of enforcer in the middle of the field." One thing that is HUGE in IDP relevance for safeties is the ability to get pass defense statistics and a stable floor of tackles, so this is an excellent thing to know about Cross.

    It almost feels like stealing to be able to nab him as the 26th rookie. I think he easily out-performs that ranking this year!

    Trent McDuffie, CB, Kansas City Chiefs

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 22

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    There are few players I liked more coming out of college than McDuffie, and I love his landing spot in Kansas City. The Chiefs lack big names at the cornerback position, so McDuffie will often be on the field early this year. Especially in this tier of IDP rookies, finding a path to playing time is pivotal. McDuffie certainly checks this box.

    Reading his NFL.com draft profile, there is a lot to like. He's a versatile player who is not afraid to get his nose dirty in the run game and will excel in the passing game. From the draft profile: "He lacks lockdown traits but has lockdown talent, and his competitive energy is contagious." I figure the Chiefs will be in a lot of shootouts, meaning opposing teams will have to throw a lot.

    Suffice it to say, I am high on the high-motor cornerback that will be thrown at a lot in his rookie year. I wouldn't put him much higher than 22nd in the rankings, but he certainly will be a top-20 play.

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

    I identify which rookies we are "too hot" in this section. These rookies' rankings are simply too hot for me to touch. I might be interested if they cooled down a bit, just not at these draft pick prices.

    Ahmad Gardner, CB, New York Jets

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 23

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    Now let's pivot to another cornerback: Ahmad Gardner. The issue for me with Gardner is that he is TOO good of a corner. Defensive backs are a fascinating position in fantasy, as often the best players just aren't relevant in fantasy. I wrote a little about it in another article you can find here.

    Two main ways for a cornerback to score points are interceptions and tackles. To get those stats, the cornerback has to be thrown at. If Gardner is as good as advertised, I just don't see many passes going his way for him to score fantasy points.

    The one thing he does have going for him is that he is going to play right out of the gate. While this is important to consider, I still think the 23rd rookie spot is still a little high for my taste. I'll let someone else take that gamble.

    Bryan Cook, S, Kansas City Chiefs

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 29

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    Do you remember when I talked about Trent McDuffie's path to early playing time on the Chiefs' defense? The exact opposite is true for Cook. With Justin Reid, Juan Thornhill, and L'Jarius Sneed in front of him, it will take a lot for Cook to see action this year. I might sound like a broken record, but it's so important for IDP players: you need to be on the field to score points!

    Cook's draft profile indicates that Cook will need to improve his open-field tackling and might struggle with the speed of the NFL. These items are things he can improve on with NFL-level coaching, I just don't see it happening fast enough for Cook to be relevant in 2022.

    I think there are higher upside picks around pick 29 in rookie IDP drafts.

    Just right: that ADP sweet spot

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

    Jordan Davis, DT, Philidelphia Eagles

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 27

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    If you haven't been paying attention, the Eagles have injected a ton of youth into their defensive line. It started with Milton Williams last year, and now Jordan Davis joins him. As the 13th overall pick in the draft, you know that the Eagles are high on his potential. And honestly? I am, too.

    An absolute tank, Davis is going to rack up enough tackles to be worth the price of admission, especially in the run-heavy NFC East.

    Defensive tackles often take a couple of years to become stalwarts on the defensive line, as they typically have to grow into their body. This is why I think that 27 is the right ranking for Davis. He is going to become a force in the NFL, it just might not be this year.

    There is enough potential here that I'm interested in Davis when I'm on the clock towards the back end of the second round of an IDP rookie draft.

    Logan Hall, EDGE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    IDP Guys Rookie Ranking: 28

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    By pick number 28, you are just looking for potential. In college, Hall showed traits that would indicate he can be an adequate pass rusher. Based on his draft profile, he "needs a scheme fit and extended runway as a rotational lineman." Insert the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' excellent defense! If any team knows how to develop defensive talent, it's the Buccaneers.

    Working with the likes of Vita Vea, Akiem Hicks, and William Gholston, Hall will be learning from the best. I especially like Hall in dynasty format, as all those players above him on the depth chart are getting up there in age, so he'll be able to take over the reins soon.

    He's down fairly low in redraft rankings because of his limited path to playing time this year, which is fair. Even with that said, he's worth a stash on the back end of your bench in case there are some injuries upfront for the Bucs. With that coaching staff, you know he'll be put in a position to succeed. If you are willing to wait for the pick to pay off, Hall will be your guy!

    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!
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