Recently I’ve asked my Twitter followers if they had any rookie drafts done recently that included IDPs. I got a good amount of responses, and using their draft results and the drafts I’ve completed as a database, I observe where each IDP rookie is getting drafted to help you prepare for your upcoming draft. Now, granted, if your draft is already over or you’re in the middle of one, I wish I could’ve gotten this information out for you sooner but as all fantasy football players are, we don’t do just one draft – right? Anyway, I’m here to tell you where the value lies with the IDP rookies and how long you could wait to get an impact player. All the information I received have come from 12-16 team drafts and it ranges from 4 rounds to 8 rounds, depending on your league situation I’ll help you get a feel on where to target your favorite IDP rookie (keep in mind your leagues scoring setting as well).
- ERIC KENDRICKS (MIN, LB): As of right now Kendricks is having an ADP of 20th overall and having a highest pick taken at 11th and lowest 26th. The IDP community is 50/50 on Kendricks but in actuality he’s in a prime spot to put up astounding numbers. You’re going to have to risk at least your second round pick for him, passing up guys like Funchess and Dorsett on offense. If you’re already comfortable with your offense then by all means think about grabbing Kendricks, but there’s value to be had later. I’ve targeted Kendricks in many drafts, succeeded in a handful and got him as high as the 21st pick where I felt comfortable.
- STEPHONE ANTHONY (NOS, LB): Anthony is currently being drafted around 28th overall, roughly towards the end of the second or early third. That’s not too bad of a value considering he could be best player available on both sides of the ball, in a tackle heavy league I’d heavily consider targeting Stephone in the second round as he’s in for a solid rookie season (think C.J. Mosley). The highest I’ve seen Stephone get drafted was at 15th overall (a little high but if your offense in stacked, by all means) and the lowest was at 40th overall and that’s insane value right there. So if you got a pick towards the end of the second round, take a shot with Stephone as you know once you see Kendricks off the board – Anthony will follow real quick.
- VIC BEASLEY (ATL, LB/DL): Lot of questions regarding whether or not Beasley will play SLB or LEO for the Falcons. We’re probably not going to find out until the official depth charts start flowing during training camp. With that being said, don’t question drafting Beasley – just do it! Vic is being drafted roughly around the 31st overall range and in big play leagues Beasley should be the 1st IDP off the board. He has tremendous upside and should lead the Falcons in sacks too (10+). The highest I’ve seen Beasley drafted was 25th overall and lowest came in at 40th overall. Where do I feel comfortable taking Beasley? Where I’ve taken him in a couple drafts, at 35th overall and I have a solid balance of LBs on my roster.
- DENZEL PERRYMAN (SDC, LB): Perryman is the future MIKE LB in SDC (Leader of the defense and calling plays, making sure everyone is in their spot) and without question if he excels throughout training camp he could make Butler expendable. He’s being drafted around 40th overall range, so roughly late third or early fourth. If you miss out on any of the three mentioned above, gladly target Perryman if you need a LB. He’s a thumper and tone setter, will see the field regardless and I have him pegged with a Lawrence Timmons IDP Profile, not flashy but gets the job done and consistent. Landing Perryman in the third also gives you leeway to get your offense intact with your first two picks. What’s even better is if you land Perryman in the fourth – that’s straight gold. The highest I’ve seen Perryman get taken was at 26th overall and lowest came in at 49th so if you know your league-mates and their draft tendencies, you’ll get a feel on where to get Denze. In a 12-team league I think you could wait until the fourth but in a 14 or more owner league you may have to swing a third for him.
- BENARDRICK MCKINNEY (HOU, LB): The thing with McKinney is, you don’t have to be like the Texans to trade up to get him. Scout your draft and have patience, McKinney is currently being drafted around 42nd overall and normally the LB taken after Perryman is gone. One could make an argument to draft him as the 3rd LB in drafts and rightfully so, early reports stated that Texans only saw him as a 2-down LB but you don’t trade up in the second round of the NFL draft for a 2-down LB. His only competition is veteran journeyman Akeem Dent, and Mike Mohamed – McKinney is an upgrade over both. I saw McKinney being drafted as high as 28th overall and once picked at 70th overall and 53rd overall (ridiculous value). If you do miss out on any of the top three, I believe you’ll be content with going after McKinney. He has the tools to be a 3-down LB and has ample opportunity to rack up tackles in Houston.
- DANTE FOWLER JR (JAC, DE): The unkind world known as injuries struck Fowler during mini-camp as he tore his ACL and is now out for his rookie season. He was primed to put together a stellar season for the Jaguars who needed his pass rushing ability. Prior to his injury Fowler was being drafted around the 20th overall range, which was arguably the first or second IDP off the board. Now we enter post injury draft season for Fowler and he’s seeing his value dipping into 39th overall range and if you have big rosters and able to hold I’d think hard about drafting Fowler because he’ll be worth the wait. If your league has a taxi squad where you can stash Fowler for the year, he’ become a steal in the end of the third or early fourth, sometimes fifth round. The highest I’ve seen Fowler drafted PRE-injury was 22nd overall and his lowest being 63rd (steal).
- RANDY GREGORY (DAL, DE): Many believe Gregory is better suited as a strong-side linebacker because of his build. That’s true, but if Dallas sees him as a DE then that’s not a problem either because Gregory has the talent to get to the QB. With Hardy on the verge of being suspended for majority of the season, the Cowboys are going to need their risky rookie to compliment DeMarcus Lawrence. In rookie drafts, Gregory is either the second or third DE taken (depends if anyone grabs Leonard Williams and/or Fowler) and has an ADP of 41st. That’s not a bad spot to take a shot with Gregory; his highest draft spot was 30th overall and lowest at 59th (steal). Many may not take the risk of Gregory and his off-field issues but I’m one to put that aside and give him a chance. You’ll be rewarded.
- SHAQ THOMPSON (CAR, LB): The do-it-all LB has his drafters concerned, but don’t be that guy. Shaq is going to be the future weak-side linebacker for the Panthers; Thomas Davis will groom him while moving to strong side at the same time. I mean, who better than to learn from Davis and All-Pro Luke Kuechly? Thompson could have an Ogletree-type season but damper down on the tackles a little, Kuechly/Davis will get their share first so more so Shaq could contribute in other categories as well. His ADP is currently sitting around 41st overall, where 31st overall was his highest draft point and 44th being his lowest at the moment. I’m not going to lie, getting him around 31 overall is a bit high and I’d feel more comfortable taking him near the 40th overall mark but floats in the same tier as Perryman/McKinney.
- JAKE RYAN (GBP, LB): The future ILB for the Packers needs the off-season to move inside, don’t let the news of Clay staying inside ruin your hopes of drafting Ryan. You’re drafting Ryan to reap the benefits when he gets that starting nod because the plan is to groom Ryan for the job and get Clay back on the outside where he’s more comfortable. Right now you can get Ryan around 46th overall, probably the sixth LB off the board. I’ve seen Ryan go as high as 37th overall and his lowest being at 72nd; absolute value there.
- LANDON COLLINS (NYG, DB): Talk about prime opportunity for Collins to showcase his skill-set. A few concerns pre-draft, then he landed on a team that needs all the playmakers it can get. Collins will rake in the numbers this year and should be without question the first DB taken in rookie drafts. His ADP right now is floating around 38th overall, which is towards the end of the third round and just about where I’d take him as well. The highest I’ve seen him go was 23rd and 50th being his lowest (robbery). In tackle-heavy leagues, there is no other DB that’ll come close to him in that department so get him while you can.
- PAUL DAWSON (CIN, LB): A lot of question marks surround Dawson. Many are concerned about his “character issues” and his small frame but what overrides all this is he’s a great football player and has good instincts, and you can’t take that away. He couldn’t have landed in a better spot than Cincy. If you remember, they took a shot with Vontaze Burfict and I guess you can say it’s worked out (when he’s been on the field). With all the question marks surrounding Burfict and the other LB positions, Dawson could be primed for snaps right away, but I don’t see that unless Emmanuel Lamur gets hurt. Dawson is a solid buy in drafts. Stash him where you can. He has high upside that can vault him into the top 25 discussion and could pull a Christian Jones type impact when we reach late into the season. Dawson has an ADP of 50th overall (absurd value) with 28th being the highest and 57th being the lowest. I’d honestly draft him before Ryan and could go back and forth with Shaq.
- BUD DUPREE (PIT, LB): I can’t front, Dupree is a freakish athlete and makes the Steelers edge rushers much better. Will he make an impact in his rookie season? Yes, but at the very least he’s going to be in rotation with Moats, Harrison and Jones. Bud is better than most if not all, but he still has developing to do. Right now you’re looking at around 39th overall where folks start taking Dupree, but he was also not even drafted in a 12-team league that had a 4-round draft (shocking and confusing). His highest draft point was at 26th overall and lowest being 57th overall, anything after 50 is a steal and I’d definitely spend a late fourth on Dupree, especially if it’s a big play league.
- LEONARD WILLIAMS (NYJ, DL): Yes, Leonard is on a crowded and talented defensive line but after being taken 6th overall in the NFL Draft you think the Jets are just going to let him sit? In the near future they got some thinking to do with Wilkerson. He could very well play his last season in a Jets uniform, opening up the door for Williams. Would he be the first DL I take in the draft though? No, because his upside is limited and not as high as Fowler/Gregory. He does have a high floor though, and could be a mirror image of Sheldon Richardson (stat wise). In DE premium scoring, I saw Williams get taken 7th overall and yes your read that correctly – 7th overall, I’ll say it again 7th overall! Besides that though he’s being drafted around the 30th mark and that’s way too early for me but whatever floats your boat.
- ARIK ARMSTEAD (SF, DL): With future Hall of Famer Justin Smith retiring, the 49ers are in search of a pass rush or just a disruptor on that line. Arik could see himself in a rotation with Tank and Dial at the very least or he could just run away with one of the starting jobs. I’d be comfortable taking Arik after Fowler, Gregory, Williams and Anderson get drafted. Right now his ADP is around 55th. That seems a bit high but it depends on your roster need or who’s available, I wouldn’t take him higher than that though.
- HENRY ANDERSON (IND, DL): To be honest I haven’t done enough research on this guy, but I got back to it and I can see why Colts drafted him — the dude is a force. He has definitely moved up my rankings, I’d probably peg him as a top five DL. He will see snaps right away and ADP is a cheap 76th overall, so if you have a 8-round draft you should be targeting him in the 6th at the earliest – he’ll be there.
Here are some good value picks if you have a 6-8 round rookie draft, you could even think about drafting some of these guys in 4-5 round rookie drafts if you have a taxi squad to stash them.
- PRESTON SMITH (WAS, LB): Preston is getting straight disrespected in rookie drafts, he’s gone undrafted in 10 of the 12 rookie draft I saw and that’s crazy talk. He’s better than Trent Murphy, brings more versatility to the defense and can replace Orakpo’s vacant spot. In big play leagues, target him in the 4th or 5th round. He could even fall to the 6th – not many know his name, now’s the time to buy.
- ZA’DARIUS SMITH (BAL, LB): the entire buzz he’s getting through mini-camps and OTA’s is not a fluke as this kid can play. With Suggs and Dumvervil not getting any younger, the Ravens needed youth behind them as well as finding a replacement for McPhee. He was only drafted in one of the 12 I saw; time to buy him on the cheap.
- CLAYTON GEATHERS (IND, DB): Geathers is turning heads this off-season, he may not earn the starting job (yet) but he’s earning his way on the field and could even play LB in some packages. If you miss out on Collins, you can wait until your last round and grab Geathers, think Bucannon out in Arizona and how he’s used.
- DANIELLE HUNTER (MIN, DL): Hunter should already be on your draft and stash radar, he has high upside alongside the MIN D-LINE, and definitely has the skill-set to get to the QB. He needs a little time to develop, so while Crichton tries to get a hold on the starting job – Hunter will be right behind him. Doesn’t get drafted often but when he does it’s around 90th.
- DANNY SHELTON (CLE, DL): Shelton is going to eat up a bunch of tackles in CLE, already showcasing the force he is. In DT-required leagues he should be the first DT taken, has an ADP of 53rd overall which falls into late 4th early 5th and that’s not too bad of a price to pay in DT-required leagues.
- MALCOM BROWN (NEP, DL): Brown is being drafted before Shelton (51st overall) and one could make an argument both are 1a and 1b in DT-required leagues. Brown has a little more competition along that NEP front though, he’s moved up my rankings too but I have Shelton, Brown and Goldman close to each other.
- EDDIE GOLDMAN (CHI, DL): Goldman should have every opportunity to rack up a bunch of tackles for the Bears this season. He has an ADP of 79th overall right now, not a high price to pay in DT-required leagues and could provide solid depth in DL leagues. Keep him on your radar in the late rounds, could be a best buy.
- MARIO EDWARDS (OAK, DL): looks like he’s going to get every opportunity to make plays for the Raiders, which boots his IDP value some. His ADP is floating around 73rd overall so another late round sleeper. He has the upside, and could find his way into DL2 territory as season goes on.
- OWA ODIGHIZUWA (NYG, DL): Robert Ayers is already battling an off-season injury and if Damontre Moore hasn’t improved against stopping the run then the door is open for Owa to get meaningful snaps in 2015. Owa’s ADP is floating around 55th overall, although he’s not being drafted in 4-round drafts and real late in 8-round drafts. He’s going to be a solid DL option in dynasty and since the DL is thin, go get him now and let the others draft Arik and Leonard.
- KWON ALEXANDER (TBB, LB): Kwon was featured on my draft and stash article, that’s exactly where you’re drafting him (69th overall ADP). When you’re entering the late 5th or 6th round that’s when you take your stashes, Kwon is near the top of this list. He could even go into the 4th (if someone does their homework), can have Avery Williamson type impact in the second half of the season.
- JORDAN HICKS (PHI, LB): he’s falling around 80th overall in drafts; he should be taken either before or after Kwon honestly. Another perfect example of draft and stash because he’s buried on the depth chart since Philly decided it was ok to roster a hundred middle linebackers, but Jordan is far more talented than Brad Jones and figures to be DeMeco’s replacement or if they ship out Kendricks.
To name a few more that have some solid value late in your drafts are Adrian Amos (95th overall ADP), Hau’oli Kikaha (74th overall), James Sample (85th overall), Eric Rowe (80th overall), Ramik Wilson (78th overall) and Jaquiski Tartt (98th overall). All these guys are worth a roster spot towards the end of your draft. A handful will be battling for a starting job in training camp (like Sample and Rowe) and getting them at a cheap price is worth the benefit. One thing I see happening in drafts though is Shane Ray having an ADP of (48th overall) – he should not be drafted in McKinney/Perryman range so don’t be that guy that does, let someone else draft that one trick pony.
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Good luck in your drafts, as always reach me on twitter @IDPwithBEE_8o8