IDP Draft Reactions
Much like their NFL counterparts, a lot of a defensive player’s value in fantasy football relies on their landing spot. For instance, a premier pass rusher in college that lands on a 3-4 base defense is generally considered an outside linebacker. OLBs have relatively little value in IDP because they are lumped in with middle and inside linebackers who are volume tacklers. In most IDP scoring, tackle volume is king.
With that in mind, this article will go over five IDP players that have the best chance at making a fantasy impact both now and in the future. Without further ado, these are my top-five IDP players that should be taken in rookie drafts in 2019.
1. Nick Bosa
Unsurprisingly, former Ohio State Buckeye and new San Francisco 49er Nick Bosa is the best defensive player in the draft. He also landed in one of the best spots to make an impact early. You probably recognize the name Bosa, as Nick follows in his father John’s and brother Joey’s footsteps as a first-round pick in the NFL draft. While not nearly as prolific as his brother or other top pass rushers in college, Nick’s skill set compares favorably, as outlined in this article by @LedyardNFLDraft. Regardless, Bosa was still productive in college with 8.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and 34 total tackles in his sophomore season and 4 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and 14 tackles in just three games in his junior season.
49ers select Nick Bosa No. 2 overall! pic.twitter.com/auMQTldl0R
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 26, 2019
The reasons Bosa should be the first rookie defender of the board in rookie drafts are two-fold. First, defensive end is a relatively shallow position and dominant pass rushers are extremely valuable. In 2018, using 1 point per tackles, 0.5 points per assist, and 4 points per sack, only four defensive linemen finished inside the top-30. This includes Khalil Mack, who is technically an outside linebacker but was given LB/DE hybrid status in the wake of the trade to Chicago.
Second, the 49ers struggled to the quarterback in 2018, ranking 23rd in the league in sacks. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner led the team in sacks with 12. The next closest was defensive end Cassius Marsh with 5.5; underwhelming to say the least. This offseason, the 49ers traded their 2020 second-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for Dee Ford. Ford has two double-digit sack seasons in the last three, producing 13 last season in KC.
Adding Ford and Bosa should allow the 49ers to rush the passer much more effectively. It also should allow Bosa to see more one-on-one blocking, giving him a much better chance at being productive in his rookie season. While Bosa may not put up elite numbers in 2019, he should be able to produce second-tier numbers with a chance to reach the upper-echelon of defensive ends in 2020.
2. Quinnen Williams
Surprise, surprise, two of the top three picks in the NFL draft are the top-two players in this article. However, it should come as somewhat of a surprise considering New York Jets’ rookie Quinnen Williams is a defensive tackle. Many IDP leagues do not separate defensive linemen into defensive tackles and defensive end. Nor do they separate defensive backs into cornerbacks and safeties. This means the defensive tackles are generally less valuable than defensive ends. None of the defensive lineman listed in the table above are defensive tackles. In fact, there is only one defensive tackle among the top-10 defensive linemen using the same scoring listed above.
However, a defensive tackle that can generate a pass rush on the inside as well as be a run-stuffer is extremely valuable, i.e. DeForest Buckner, the only defensive tackle in the above list. Along with his ability to stuff the run, as shown in his 66 tackles, Buckner is able to produce pressure up the middle with 12 sacks in 2018. Williams has a similar skillset. In his sophomore season, Wiliams produced 71 tackles and 8 sacks.
The first Bama player is off the board!
Jets will select Quinnen Williams No. 3 overall pic.twitter.com/ip5SmCwj4u
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 26, 2019
Defensive tackles like Williams are few and far between. Thus, he should be taken early in rookie drafts.
3. Devin White
Now we get to the linebackers. Of course, as stated as well as shown above, middle and inside linebackers are king in IDP scoring. This is largely due to IDP scoring emphasizing tackles. Most middle and inside linebackers worth their salt produce over 100 tackles with the elite LBs producing upwards of 140. The newly minted inside linebacker of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devin White, was a prolific tackler of his own in college. Over his last two seasons, he combined for 256 tackles in 26 games. White also added 8.5 sacks over his college carer and 9 passes defended, proving to be well rounded.
— 🆎 (@ab89) April 26, 2019
Landing in Tampa Bay, White takes the place of Kwon Alexander who signed with the 49ers this offseason. Alexander proved to be effective in his time in Tampa Bay, producing 146 tackles in 2016. He was also on pace to break 115 tackles in every other season if not for injuries.
However, the Buccaneers coaching staff turned over this offseason, with former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles becoming the new defensive coordinator. LBs under Bowles were not overly prolific, with only three breaking 100 tackles. However, five broke 90 tackles in his four seasons as head coach.
White may not be able to match Alexander’s past numbers in his rookie season. However, he should see plenty of snaps and produce good numbers in 2019 and possibly elite numbers in the future.
4. Devin Bush Jr.
The second linebacker as well as second Devin off the board, Bush was not nearly as productive as White in college. At Michigan, Bush combined for 163 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 11 passes defended in his finals two seasons.
Steelers moved up to No. 10 to draft Devin Bush pic.twitter.com/NxeX6unpd4
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) April 26, 2019
Regardless, Bush steps into a starting role at inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since Ryan Shazier was lost due to injury, there has been a hole in the middle of the Steelers defense. Last season, the inside linebackers for the Steelers starting inside linebackers combined for only 149 tackles.
Shazier was on pace to break 100 tackles in every season had it not been for injuries. While Bush may not be as good as Shazier, he has the opportunity to see the significant majority of the snaps at inside linebacker. Opportunity is king in fantasy football, and Bush will be given plenty of opportunities.
5. Nasir Adderley
Nasir Adderley was not the first safety taken in the draft, but he is my favorite to see significant snaps early on. Adderley was fantastic for Delaware in all four seasons of his career. He is versatile, showing he can play single-high, in the box, or in the slot. However, Adderley was extremely adept in pass coverage. He accumulated 226 tackles, 31 passes defended, and 10 interceptions in his four-year career at Delaware.
Adderley pairs perfectly with Los Angeles Chargers star safety Derwin James. James, like Adderley, is extremely versatile, playing nearly every position on the defense. James’ counterpart last season, Jahleel Addae, has moved on to the Houston Texans. Adderley likely projects to fill that role. Addae played in the second most snaps on the Chargers defense to James. That means that Adderley could be given a ton of opportunity in his rookie season.
Addae was fairly productive in his time with the Chargers. In each of the seasons that he was a fulltime starter, Addae either broke or was on pace to break 75 tackles. He also combined for 18 passes defended in those four seasons.
There are a lot of snaps vacated in the Chargers secondary. Adderley has a legitimate chance to take a majority of those and make an impact. This is why he is my favorite rookie safety.