Rotoworld IDP Draft Recap
by Matt Schauf
Industry mock drafts start piling up this time of year, but they rarely include IDPs.
That’s why I was particularly pleased to be invited to this recent draft hosted by Jeff Ratcliffe of Rotoworld. The scoring was PPR on offense, with the following for defenders:
solo tackle = 1.5 pts
assist = 0.5 pts
sack = 4 pts
tackle for loss = 2 pts
pass breakup = 1 pt
forced fumble = 4 pts
fumble recovery = 2 pts
INT = 6 pts
1 D Flex
The defensive lineup obviously calls for a lot more IDPs than most fantasy outfits, but I didn’t find that it skewed the defensive drafting too much. At least the start didn’t come earlier. The middle of the draft was probably more densely packed with defenders because of owners filling out their lineups rather than loading up on offensive backups. That didn’t mess with the order of defensive draftees, though. Nor did the inclusion of TFLs or big INT points in the scoring.
One last note before I get to the picks: This draft finished up July 25, before training camps opened.
Now, on to the important stuff ...
1.06 -- Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
2.07 -- Darren Sproles, RB, Saints
3.06 -- Roddy White, WR, Falcons
I picked Chris Johnson ahead of Calvin. I won’t call you a dummy for going the opposite way. I just feel a whole lot better about my team if I get that RB early. The position gets questionable in a hurry, whereas WR is stupidly deep (kinda like Keanu Reeves in Parenthood) this year. Think of it like this: Chris Johnson and Roddy White or Calvin Johnson and Ahmad Bradshaw? Which of those duos would you rather have? I think it’s a no-brainer, PPR or not. I thought it atypical to land Roddy in the middle of Round 3, but his PPR ADP is 3.07 right now. Same for Julio Jones. A.J. Green’s sitting 3.05. Victor Cruz 3.11. Hakeem Nicks 4.03... you get the point. Sproles has become a favorite of mine in Round 2 of PPR drafts for the same reason. His ADP sits between Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson right now, 2 ACL comebacks I’m not touching that early. Only 2 other RBs are regularly going after that in Round 2: Steven Jackson, who scores about as often as you did freshman year of high school, and Marshawn Lynch, who might well be staring at a 1 or 2-game suspension. Sproles feels comfy. Roddy, meanwhile, has a chance to turn into the kind of steal he was in fantasy 2 years ago.
4.07 -- Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
It might seem as though I don’t like Cam Newton if you read the stuff I’ve written about him. Not true. I just think he belongs right here. If you’re talking the 1-2 turn, I see a risky player bound for regression in rushing TDs with potential for regression in passing yardage. In the middle of Round 4, though, he’s a guy who was among the most consistent fantasy performers at the position last year and has the upside to lead the position in scoring.
5.06 -- Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys
6.07 -- Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
This is why I don’t feel pressured to chase WRs in rounds 2 and 3 (or Calvin over Chris). Obviously, the hamstring strain since suffered by Austin makes him more worrisome. If healthy, though, he has all the upside of the Round 2 crew. Pittsburgh just showed us what it thinks of Brown by giving him Mike Wallace’s contract. We liked him for that kind of production before the money arrived. In a 2-WR league, I landed 3 guys with top-10 potential.
7.06 -- Trent Cole, DE, Eagles
You don’t have to start your IDP lineup with a defensive lineman, but it’s a good idea. I took Cole as the 3rd defender off the board but about 2.5 rounds after JPP and Jared Allen were picked. I could have gone Fred Davis at TE, but I like the depth too much at that position. I also viewed this as the spot to get out in front of a potential run. Two more linemen and 5 total IDPs went among the 12 picks before my next turn. Honestly, I opted for Cole over Justin Tuck mostly for homer value. I have them ranked right next to each other, so it’s easy for me to talk myself into the Eagle over the Giant. Pragmatically, though, Tuck’s basically in a rotation with JPP and Osi Umenyiora and has a longer injury history. Cole is finally comfy in a system that helped Jason Babin put up 18 sacks last year. Both could finish the season #1 at the position. It’s a tossup between Cole and Tuck.
8.07 -- James Starks, RB, Packers
I elected to wait on a 3rd RB here because I have a couple of every-week PPR starters and 3 weekly WR starters to fill the flex spot. Starks was a bit more attractive before apparently disappointing early in training camp. We’ll see how he looks as the summer moves along, though. Upside clearly remains, if for no other reason than because the next guy up is less than a year removed from an ACL tear.
9.06 -- Daryl Washington, LB, Cardinals
10.07 -- Lawrence Timmons, LB, Steelers
11.06 -- James Harrison, LB, Steelers
Must say, I was pretty happy after these 3 selections. You’re looking at my starters in the 3-LB lineup, and I think the ceiling for each is #1 at the position. Harrison is a bit risky right now, simply because a “sore knee” has yet to allow him on the field. He entered last season admittedly slowed, though, after offseason back surgery. Harrison looked like a big decline risk then. He proceeded to tally 9 sacks in his 11 games. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now -- especially as my 3rd LB. He’s an IDP sleeper right now, simply because so many are down on him. Washington, meanwhile, is an obvious rising star at the position. He was the 6th LB off the board and 1 of 7 to go in Round 9. I think one of the worst things you can do in fantasy drafting is to get caught up in position runs and reach for the next guy on your list over better value elsewhere. It’s not a reach if the value matches, though. I was hoping Derrick Johnson would reach me -- he went 2 picks earlier -- but Washington is my #5 LB and comes with a glass ceiling. (That means he could shatter it on his way up.) I already pointed to Timmons as my IDP Comeback Pick. Having him ranked 6th -- right behind Washington -- after such a crappy 2011 will put him on a lot of my IDP teams this season. I’m obviously cool with that. Timmons brings the same kind of all-around scoring (and athletic) ability as Washington.
12.07 -- Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers
Johnson said late last month -- after I drafted him -- that the knee he had scoped this offseason wasn’t yet 100%. Then HC Ron Rivera half called him out in camp, saying “Charles Johnson is very consistent right now, but we need him to take it to another level.” Perhaps Johnson responds well to that a plays a little harder. He doesn’t necessarily need to, though. He just needs to be healthy. Then he can produce like he did the first half of last season and all of 2010. That would make Johnson a top-10 DL and a strong second starter at the position in fantasy.
13.06 -- Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots
We’ve heard everything from “he could be their #1” to “he’s starting slowly in camp.” Let’s wait to see what Vereen does in exhibition-game action. He has seen precious little actual game time so far in his young career. It was only a year ago, however, that Bill Belichick drafted Vereen a round ahead of Stevan Ridley. We also know that Belichick is not afraid to juggle his RBs to ride the hot hand or play matchups. I really like Vereen as a low-risk, high-reward bench option in fantasy this year.
14.07 -- Brent Celek, TE, Eagles
An MCL sprain has kept him off the camp field so far, but it’s not expected to last much longer. That’ll give Celek plenty of time to reestablish himself as the team’s most attractive red-zone target. If he can get and stay healthy, his situation puts top-10 status at the position well within reach. Celek was the 11th TE off the board here and sits 15th at the position in PPR ADP. That’s stupid. He’s going 4.5 rounds after Jacob Tamme (on average). Don’t be the guy contributing to that.
15.06 -- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
The depth of the defensive lineup clearly pushed backup QBs down the board here. I finally took Roethlisberger as the 14th passer off the board, nearly 7 rounds after the final starter and a round and a half after the first backup. If you draft Cam Newton, I think it’ll be prudent to secure a quality backup. The running is great... until it leads to a concussion.
16.07 -- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
How much is there to say about this guy right now? Seattle is a team of question marks. Baldwin doesn’t look very questionable. He looks like the guy who will quietly finish somewhere between 30th and 40th in the PPR WR rankings again, and his QB can only be better than last year. I’ll gladly take him as my fourth, no matter how many has-beens Pete Carroll brings in.
17.06 -- Charles Woodson, CB, Packers
Why you wait on DBs #1: This guy finished each of the past 4 seasons among fantasy’s top 6 DBs. He was the 10th off the board in this draft -- 5 rounds after the 1st went. The big points for INTs only boost Woodson further.
18.07 -- Erin Henderson, LB, Vikings
Henderson performed very well in run D in limited playing time last year. This time around, he could be a 3-down guy. That remains to be seen as the Vikings sort through an altered LB corps, but he’s well worth a shot as a late LB4.
19.06 -- Rashad Jennings, RB, Jaguars
With MJD continuing his holdout, Jennings figures to climb draft boards. He’s well worth a pick in the double-digit rounds whether you have drafted the Jaguars’ starter or not. I don’t see a big difference between Jennings’ value and Ben Tate’s -- except that one plays behind a guy with a questionable knee and can be had about 5 rounds later.
20.07 -- Lance Kendricks, TE, Rams
It’s wide open as to who settles in as Sam Bradford’s favorite targets. Kendricks has drawn strong early reviews under Jeff Fisher’s staff, yet he’s not even going among the position’s top 20 on average. Talk about low-risk.
21.06 -- William Moore, S, Falcons
Moore could have easily been our selection for IDP Breakout Player. You won’t find anyone else ranking him nearly as high. Check out his profile for the full explanation. In a nutshell, this is a guy with proven tackle chops, proven turnover ability, and a new DC with a long history of productive safeties. Let’s call this reason #2 you wait on DBs.
22.07 -- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions
A year ago, Suh was leaving the board as a top-5 fantasy lineman. He was the 32nd lineman off the board in this draft and my 3rd. I’m going to head out on a limb and state that Suh belongs somewhere between those two spots. We have him 19th, and that might be a bit low.
23.06 -- Justin Houston, LB, Kansas City
24.07 -- Rey Maualuga, LB, Cincinnati
Houston showed well in limited playing time last year, including 5.5 sacks over the final 5 games. Playing across from Tamba Hali can only help. He carries added sleeper value in this format that is friendly to sacks and includes TFLs. Pass-rushing OLBs can work as matchup plays across many formats. Maualuga disappointed as a first-time MLB starter last year. He’s past a tough ankle injury, though, and should be motivated by his DC calling him out and reproving himself after a February incident that produced an assault charge. Maualuga is a good buy-low in the defense that made Dhani Jones a worthwhile IDP.
25.06 -- DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington
I have to be honest: This was one of several picks I made while at the hospital for the birth of my son. I point that out because I failed to realize that Alterraun Verner was still on the board. I’d have taken the Titan first had I realized. That said, Hall certainly belongs on a roster. His combo of big-play ability plus toting a large, blinking target for opposing QBs makes for some big games. Last year was the first time since his 2004 rookie campaign that Hall failed to grab at least 4 INTs. He has 6 career defensive TDs. He posted his 2 best tackle totals the past 2 seasons in Washington.
26.07 -- Jon Baldwin, WR, Chiefs
Already a 2011 1st-round pick, Baldwin just looks better with each day that Dwayne Bowe is absent.
QBs -- Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger
RBs -- Chris Johnson, Darren Sproles, James Starks, Shane Vereen, Rashad Jennings
WRs -- Roddy White, Miles Austin, Antonio Brown, Doug Baldwin, Jon Baldwin
TEs -- Brent Celek, Lance Kendricks
DL -- Trent Cole, Charles Johnson, Ndamukong Suh
LBs -- Daryl Washington, Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison, Erin Henderson, Justin Houston, Rey Maualuga
DBs -- Charles Woodson, William Moore, DeAngelo Hall