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The ABC's of IDP, Pt 3

So now let’s talk about positional values in IDP leagues. There are three positions in Sleeper for IDP assets. DL is defensive line, and is made up of defensive tackles and defensive ends. LB is Linebackers, the highest scoring and for the most part, the most sought after players in the IDP universe. Lastly, the DB is the defensive backs, a group made up of Safeties and Cornerbacks.

I save the DB for last, because literally, they should be saved for last, as they have the lowest value of any position in the IDP universe. The recent for their low value is due to the volatility of the DB position year after year. Many of the top DB’s are younger players, rookies, 2nd and 3rd year players, who then tend to fade as injuries mount. The likes of Jamal Adams and Budda Baker were legends when they were younger, their first few seasons, but have missed a lot of time the past few years.

Whereas DL and LB positions tend to be much more stable over a longer period of time, generally this is where most IDP managers will spend most of their draft capital. As stars like TJ Watt, Foyesade Oluokun, Roquan Smith, Bobby Wagner, Myles Garrett, and more tend to be top producers year after year.

For players unfamiliar with IDP, I like to compare the IDP positions like these offensive positions in PPR leagues. LB is like the WR’s, the highest scoring and deepest position in the IDP pool.Just as many PPR managers will fill their Flex slots with WR’s, an IDP manager wants to fill their Flex slots with LB’s.DL is like RB’s as the few top scoring DL are very valuable. Overall, the DL is the lowest scoring position in IDP, but if you can land a top 5-8 DL, they can be worth their weight in gold, just like a top RB.Finally, DB is like TE, in a non-TE Premium league. Just like most people will wait to grab a TE in the later rounds, that is also the best practice for IDP leagues with the DB position.

Normally I will fill out my starting LB’s, DL, and LB’s in my Flex before I start to worry about DB’s.Once the season starts, DB’s are usually the easiest spot to fill off the waiver wire. So I tend to carry very few on my bench, as I will use waivers as an extension of my bench for DB’s. Just grab one if you need on a bye week.

Now, the secret: The secret to fielding a good IDP lineup is to plug as many LB’s as you can into you lineup. Now in a standard 3 DL, 3 LB, 3 DB, 2 IDP Flex you might be asking how can I do that?Well, there are some tricks. Like some outside linebackers in the NFL in a 3-4 scheme, will have a DL/LB tag on their bill, meaning you can plug them into either DL or LB position.

So naturally we would like to plug some of these LB’s into our DL if possible, thereby sneaking another LB into our lineup. DT are also DL, but in general, the top scoring DL tend to be DE’s like Maxx Crosby, Myles Garrett, or OLB like TJ Watt, Micah Parsons. Those are 4 of the top 10 DL assets.

Now you are saying, that is great, how can I sneak LB’s into my DB slots. This is a little trickier, but I find it best to go after strong safeties, who tend to sneak up into the box for run support. The closer you are to the ball, the more action you tend to see. More action equals more points in a normal game script. So I will look for Safeties first, some free safeties, like Antoine Winfield Jr., score as well as strong safeties like Derwin James. I try to avoid Cornerbacks, especially shutdown CB’s, as QB’s tend to avoid them, so they see little action. While Sauce Gardner is a fabulous CB, he is not even a top 100 DB in IDP leagues. Some CB’s can score, usually nickel CB’s, because again, they are closer to the ball, so they tend to see more action. A lot of defensive coordinator’s will blitz nickel CB more, or they are more in the middle of the field for tackles and such. So if I can get 1 or 2 OLB in my DL slots, and a couple safeties who sneak into the box during 8 man fronts, then I can get 9 or 10 LB type players in my IDP lineup instead of just the basic 5 LB’s in the 3 LB slots and 2 Flex slots. Remember, overall, LB’s score the most points in IDP.

For those who are familiar with Wins over Replacement (WoRP) or the WoRP tool on Dynasty Daddy, for offense, yes, you can use this for IDP as well, let’s take a look:

Looking at the spaghetti plot above, I can see all 4 offensive positions, and all 3 defensive positions plotted in one of my leagues. As I stated earlier, we can see that the yellow line, LB’s, are always over the pink, DL, and dark red, DB in scoring, and Wins over Replacement. However, if we look at the left side, we can see that the top 2 DB, and the top 6 DL seem to score more WoRP than the lower level ones, as we can see the line slope up more as it goes left, even sloping more than the yellow LB line, which shows 1 LB standing out amongst the rest (Foyesade Oluokun).

As we watch the dark red line cross over the pink line as we go to the right, we can see that DB’s overtake the DL. What this means is significant, in that it shows the value of the top 4-8 DL assets in IDP leagues.

Basically, what this means is that if you watch the IDP assets in a startup draft, you will see of the top 10 IDP assets taken off the board, there will probably be 5 DL and 5 LB’s. If you find yourself in one of these dynasty combination startup drafts, the best advice I can give you is do NOT be the first manager to grab an IDP asset. One last thing we can see by looking at the WoRP tool is that QB, RB, and WR lines are all clearly above even the LB as the top IDP line. This re-enforces our reasoning behind going offensive talent earlier in drafts. I have done a few startups, and have found IDP assets start coming off the board somewhere between round 4 and round 8. Even when they start to come off the board, do not panic. The reason I wait is because all drafts are different, and I don’t want to be that guy who grabs an IDP asset in round 4, and then IDP2 doesn’t come off the board for another 4 rounds. Offensive assets will always be more valuable, but it is hard to win with a lopsided team, so we must look for balance.

As an example, in a startup I did last season, the IDP1 went off the board at 8.01, yet over 4 rounds later, at 12.08, I took my 1st IDP asset, a DL, Maxx Crosby, who was DL1 in 2022, and DL3 in 2023.I hope that you all enjoyed this, and got something out of it.For me, a combination offense and defense draft like this is MUCH more intriguing than the stock:     

  1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, K, DST draft.

More complexity equals less boredom for me. Add SF, add TEP, add IDP, mo’ positions equal mo’ fun!!

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