The IDP Tipster: The “Unheralded” 2018 Linebacker Dynasty & Redraft Tier Changes Heading Into 2019/Part #3

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The IDP Tipster Spins Out “Takes” On Tier Changes On Those Linebacker Warranting A Tier Change In 2019 After Showing IDP Owners We Have A Good Reason To Adjust For 2019 Dynasty & Redraft Leagues.

The purpose of this ongoing mini-series article is to recognize the unheralded IDP players postseason that wasn’t exactly known before the 2018 season and where to tier them in dynasty leagues. And of course this will translate over into redrafts as well, but most of these players won’t likely be going anywhere anytime soon so from a dynasty point of view we will cover everything we need to know.

Unheralded Defined:

1. unknown, not previously announced, expected, or recognized.

There were quite a few IDP’s that before the 2018 season had their names thrown out as potential players that Fantasy football owners would want to keep in mind. As well as some that emerged as viable pieces we found useful as the season unfolded. From a personal perspective, I believe in the offseason we have four categories.

The “Known”

The “Hyped”

The “Potential

”The “Unknown”

But after the season we have more clarity on each in most cases and if they still hold those titles or if changes are in order. We’ll be dealing with the Hyped, Potential, and the Unknown players that succeeded in catching our attention in one form or another in 2018. And then set them into the appropriate tier heading into 2019 for trade value and drafting for dynasty leagues and redrafts.

Taking into account age, role, situation, and of course performance leading us towards that tier to target them in for the future. This will help allow us to gauge a “reach”, a “value”, or a “bargain” as we maintain a dynasty or prepare to build one.

Also, keep in mind as we go, you may know some or even all of these players now after this past season. But I assure you they were unheralded by almost everyone last offseason giving what they accomplished, even to the “gurus” in most cases. There is a difference between “the hyped” before we know, and the “known” that we come to expect.

These are players that are new to seeing the type of IDP production they produced in 2018. Before this, they have not made an impact as they have this season for whatever reason or situation. But now they have earned the right to be re-tiered because of what they accomplished for our IDP rosters purposes going forward.

If you would like to refer to the guidelines and such in more details please feel free to visit the first of the series HERE and scroll down to the lower section of the article. One thing to note, I have decided to move forward with all 17 weeks instead of just weeks 1-16. This did not affect the outcome of the players mentioned in the original article. The P.A.P.S. was still in-line as well as the final tier selected for 2019.

Before we get started I would like to note some changes have happened and the end result is a “revamping” of how we lay out this series of articles. We have recently launched the complete PAPS database at grading all IDP players for Fantasy Football purposes.
It has been a long time coming and the accumulation of about three years of development and testing. And personally want to say we are excited to offer a grading scale based on Fantasy Football over depending on real-life NFL grading scales that don’t always translate into this game we enjoy.
We are still in the first steps of offering PAPS (Beta view), and as 2019 rolls on we will be tweaking it more to the standard that people have come to expect from the IDPGuys site. This is an exciting time for the site as we do all we can do and develop ourselves into your go-to site with not only the tools to win now with but build those dynasty rosters for the long haul.

The Overall IDP 2018 PAPS 


This Particular Scorecard: The ILB, or inside linebacker color and numerical grading scorecard covers the weakside (WLB) and middle linebackers (MILB) in the 4 -3 defensive scheme. As well as the two inside linebackers in the 3 – 4 scheme known as the Mike inside linebacker (MILB) and the Will inside linebacker (WILB).

Both the MLB and the MILB are known as the run-stopping positions and the WLB and WILB are known as coverage players. In today’s NFL they can interact with each other’s roles but for the most part, when a defensive package is called depending on the offensive alignment, it is catered towards their main responsibilities as indicated by position name.

2018 IDP Mock Drafts Via

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The 49ers MILB Fred Warner stepped up as a rookie for the organization as well as for IDP owners. It took a little sorting out over the preseason with veteran situations for Warner to rise to the top, but it happened and anyone that took a flier on the rookie was rewarded nicely in 2018 with great IDP production. We could cover the “drama” of injuries and all that happen, but it would really just eat up article space considering the long story.

According to the P.D.W IDP “ALL MOCKS SUMMARY” in 2018 he was on average the:

139th overall IDP off the board.

57th linebacker off the board

Warner was really not much more than a deep flier at this range. He was just two picks on average after the Rams Corey Littleton and right after free agent Navorro Bowman, which is kind of ironic if you know Bowman’s connection to the 49ers. There really isn’t much we can say based off the late pick from an IDP owner’s standpoint other than the rookie got his chance and he took advantage of it.

Warner displayed above average abilities across the board on the field. But there are a few things we need to consider before we re-tier him for 2019. Before the 49ers let Reuben Foster go after yet another off-field incident he was lighting it up on the stat sheet at the WILB position.

When Foster was no longer in the picture Warner took over the MILB position as captain of the defense and the main run stopper between the two. We’ll just say that in that transition he didn’t perform as well for IDP after that switch took hold.  This isn’t taking much away from what he accomplished when we consider the responsibilities he took on at that point.

As the WILB and not as the play caller on the field while taking on the run stopping duties, he was free to “just play” over all the things the captain of the defense has to think about and be responsible for. This is more than a lot for any rookie at any level when going up against the pros. But when we add in the next likely scenario for this offseason with the above it is going to affect his tier in 2019.

It is pretty simple, the organization must again address the ILB position in one form or another. At what level we do not know. Will it be a veteran signing? Will it be another rookie drafted? Did Elijah Lee step into the point at WILB that he’ll remain there in 2019? Lee was the player that pretty well took over the IDP production that Warner was receiving before he took over the MILB position. With all this in mind, we have to re-tier Warner safely to the point we don’t “reach” for him in 2019.

2018 Tier: 4 or “flier” depth

2019 Re-Tier: Upper Tier Two

In a standard sized league and with how the linebacker tiers fall, there will be other solid options with fewer question marks involved entering 2019. We shouldn’t expect Warner to fall off the map, and we aren’t going to take away what this young man did for the 49ers this past season. But even in dynasty leagues, we have to consider the facts as they present themselves.

Fred Warner is a great player, but he isn’t Reuben Foster or Navorro Bowman and with the 49ers being in the middle of the pack on offense we have to consider some production by default happened. Hence the PAPS “good” grade or score you see on the scorecard.

Mr. Warner was third overall in snap counts amongst the linebackers with 1060. That is just another factor for us to consider the production by default scenario. Just something to keep in mind. He was on the field a lot offering up more opportunities to stack the stats. Will this be the case in 2019?

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The Cowboys MLB (listed on team site) Jaylon Smith proved a lot of doubters wrong after mixed reviews from 2017. We might all know the story about his knee injury and how it unfolded, but after struggling in 2017, according to many, Smith showed he actually wasn’t the expendable one after the Cowboys drafted rookie sensation, Leighton Vander Esch. Not only did Smith come into form in 2018 but he could be considered to have made a statement. That statement, there is room for two highly productive and talented linebackers on the field in Dallas.

According to the P.D.W IDP “ALL MOCKS SUMMARY” in 2018 he was on average the:

70th overall IDP off the board.

35th linebacker off the board

When we consider that Smith ended up as a top-tier one linebacker in production and with the names that came off the board before him, Smith was a great pick at those averages. With linebackers like Darren Lee, Preston Brown, Vince Williams, Von Miller, Mark Barron, and Eric Kendricks (small sample) coming off the board before Smith I believe it’s clear to see there was not a lot of faith in Smith. And certainly a lot of disappointed IDP owners who passed on Smith for some of those names. But adding a lot of happy dynasty owners who didn’t pass up or may have taken him that late.

Heading into 2019 we have to think that Smith will be one of the two starting linebackers for the Cowboys no matter the situation with Vander Esch and Seam Lee. He proved he belonged and that he can produce on his own merits no matter who is on the field with him. This one is simple to re-tier.

2018 Tier: Low Tier Two to Upper Tier Three

2019 Re-Tier: Low Tier One

The only thing keeping Smith from an upper tier one is the future of Vander Esch, period. With that being said he is a great candidate to see if he would fall into the tier two range and again be a steal in 2019. On any other team and in many other situations we have to think if he wasn’t competing with the likes of Vander Esch his PAPS would have been teetering on Elite.

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The Bills Rookie MLB Tremaine Edmunds did and did not live up to expectations in 2018. As far as the real-life scenario he was “average” overall, but this is not really surprising considering the situation. And as for his IDP production and his future, he was what we figured he would be.

Edmunds did enough to hold his own and get the job done showing that he has room to grow into his role as a physical beast of a linebacker. As long as he keeps growing with the Bills he is going to keep his status as it was entering 2018 as a rookie. We’ll cover that shortly as to why.

According to the P.D.W IDP “ALL MOCKS SUMMARY” in 2018 he was on average the:

11th overall IDP off the board.

7th linebacker off the board

The number one reason that anyone should consider Edmunds again at a mid-tier One in 2019 comes down more to the situation than the player at this point. He plays for the Buffalo Bills. So we are going to skip the “fluff” of where he went last year and not change a thing going forward.

2018 Tier: Mid-Tier One

2019 Re-Tier: Mid-Tier One

The Bills have been a gold mine for many years now at the MLB position for IDP purposes. Just ask any Preston Brown owner who didn’t heed that warning after he left Buffalo. We aren’t going to exactly compare Edmunds to Brown, that wouldn’t be fair. Especially with 2018 being Edmunds’s rookie season. And realistically we shouldn’t care just how good he is for the next four years in real life.

All that matters is that as long as we know that he’ll enter each season as the main linebacker in that dysfunctional organization’s defense he is going to produce just like Preston Brown did, or whoever was playing the position over the last ten years. We will address this again when his rookie contract is up and go from there when the time comes.


Colts WLB Darius Leonard2019 Re -Tier: Low Tier One / Solid upper Tier Two

Cowboys MLB Leighton Vander Esch2019 Re -Tier: Mid Tier One / Low Tier One

Chiefs WILB Anthony Hitchens2019 Re -Tier: Low Tier Two / Tier Three

Redskins MILB Mason Foster2019 R e-Tier: Upper Tier Two, with “avoid” warning

Rams MILB Cory Littleton2019 Re -Tier: Upper – Mid Tier One


Thank you as always for reading and feel free to find me on Twitter @HBogart27 for any follow-up questions or anything IDP. Or reach out at


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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 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!