If you’re interested enough to be reading this article, then you’re doing fantasy football correctly.
Most leagues still play only half the game, pretending that defenses are mere collections of faceless tacklers, interceptors and Aaron Donald. But we know that splitting those team defenses up into individual players adds layers of strategy and makes us pay attention to an area of the game most fans barely glance at.
If you’ve already set up your Draft War Room for an IDP league, then you can see how the players are arranged among your overall rankings. And you can try some mock drafts to find out where you might be comfortable picking them.
That said, it can be tough to truly gauge where defensive players will go in your draft. Scant ADP data for the format will leave you basically guessing at how certain players are valued. And, of course, league formats vary so wildly on both lineup and scoring settings that even a good set of ADP numbers might not apply to your drafting.
Well, I’ve projected more than 300 IDPs, numbers that now include QB hits and tackles for loss. You can check out those default site rankings, and also see how those projections fit within your particular format (Draft War Room).
But we’re here to talk about a plan of action before the draft. Well, multiple plans of action, really. Let’s get to it.
This format makes defensive players an afterthought. It’s a cursory treatment of a pool that includes even more players than the offensive side. So you should basically treat it as an afterthought.
Leave the defensive positions until the end of your draft. That’s even more true this year, as LB looks flatter than usual. Shaquille (not Darius anymore) Leonard’s slow-progressing recovery from June back surgery is a primary culprit. It’s not yet clear just when he’ll be ready to play. HC Frank Reich said this week that they don’t plan to put Leonard on the PUP, but he said it remains a possibility. That makes it sound like we should expect at least a couple of missed games to begin the year.
Without Leonard dominating the top of the rankings, no 2 consecutive spots in our default LB rankings are separated by more than 5 total points. That’s 0.3 points per week over the 17-week fantasy season.
So just wait until late and grab however many LBs you need. Even if 1 of the guys misses, you’ll find replacement options on waivers.
I’m assuming here that your format will feature scoring that’s either balanced between tackles and sacks/pressures or lean on tackle scoring. If your scoring differs, then the Draft War Room should reflect that valuation.
I’ll have some specific LB value targets later in this article.