2013 Fantasy Football IDP Tips

2013 Fantasy Football – IDP Tips:

By Matt Schauf of DraftSharks.com

Matt Schauf writes about IDPs and everything else for DraftSharks.com . Online since 1999, Draft Sharks won the 2010 and 2012 FSTA awards for the most accurate fantasy football projections .

I’m not here to convince you to add Independent Defensive Players (IDP) to your league.

I could certainly make the case, but why? If you’re not committed to the concept, you probably won’t enjoy it anyway. Just think about your one friend who loves to watch football but said his fantasy team was too much work. Aren’t you the guy who just hit Level 271 in Candy Crush Saga? But you can’t set your lineup once a week?

You don’t try to talk that guy into coming back, because the league is better off without him. So if you sneer at the idea of IDPs in your fantasy league, click on over to the next article. Enjoy your simpler game.

If you’re still here, then you must appreciate both sides of the ball. Besides, we’re all in fantasy for the challenge and the satisfaction of winning, right? Well, expanding the lineup only adds to that experience.

As you prepare to dominate your IDP league in 2013, here are five important points to keep in mind:

1. Monte Kiffin has taken over Dallas’ defense.

The veteran coordinator represents only one of the five teams making significant scheme shifts this season, but he also stands as the most impactful for fantasy owners.

Kiffin’s famed “Tampa 2” style finds Cowboys players who already fit it well. Middle linebacker Sean Lee and weakside linebacker Bruce Carter should become stars. I especially like the IDP profile of Carter since he is big, fast and athletic, plus filling the role that helped make Derrick Brooks a star with the Bucs.

Up front, DeMarcus Ware moves from 3-4 outside linebacker to 4-3 end – but he’ll basically be doing the same thing. Dallas rarely dropped Ware into coverage from its old alignment. He’s a dominating pass-rusher, whether he has a hand on the ground or not. The move only boosts his fantasy value, as Ware’s sack-driven stat line plays much better in a defensive line slot than at linebacker in a typical tackle-friendly IDP league.

We’ll have to wait to see how the other end, Anthony Spencer, handles the move. He has sat out nearly all of camp with a knee injury.

Other teams making impactful scheme changes on defense include Philadelphia, Buffalo, Cleveland and New Orleans.

The Eagles’ expected switch to primarily a 3-4 front crushes the fantasy value of defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. Both looked like potential value picks before shifting to linebacker. Second-year linebacker Mychal Kendricks appears headed for a big boost, though. He’ll move inside from last year’s strong-side post and should prove a three-down player. The active, versatile linebacker from California brings strong statistical upside.

Buffalo will go multiple with its front, which will fortunately keep Mario Williams eligible for the defensive line.

Cleveland’s move to a 3-4 under former Arizona Cardinals coordinator Ray Horton turns Jabaal Sheard from a defensive line sleeper to a linebacker fighting first-round pick Barkevious Mingo for pass-rushing snaps. Inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson put up big numbers in Eric Mangini’s 3-4 back in 2008, though.

The Saints’ change under new coordinator Rob Ryan doesn’t help anyone’s fantasy stock. Of course, the team is just hoping it can get the unit performing better than historically bad.

2. Each IDP position brings a clear No. 1 player into 2013.

No matter where you get your IDP rankings, you’re likely to see Houston’s J.J. Watt atop the linemen, Carolina’s Luke Kuechly leading the linebackers and Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett first among defensive backs.

Anyone who saw Watt play at all last year won’t question his spot. He scored like a LB1 for fantasy owners, which was way ahead of any other linemen.

Kuechly led the league in tackles from Week 5 on. That was the week the rookie took over in the middle for an injured Jon Beason. Beason won’t get that job back.

Burnett, meanwhile, has spent the past two years establishing himself as a 100-plus tackle producer and good bet for turnovers. You can’t ask for much more out of a fantasy safety.

All three players are worth drafting earlier than you normally address those positions.

3. Sleepers are easier to find on defense.

By August, most serious fantasy players are familiar with anyone showing up on sleeper lists around the Web. It’s just a matter of how much you like any specific player compared to your fellow drafters.

On defense, though, there’s still the chance of surprising your leaguemates. Average draft-position rankings prove much more scarce for IDPs, and it’s easier to sneak values up the board.

I loved Falcons safety William Moore last summer, as well as Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons. All proved easy to draft even a bit later than I had them valued.

Keep an eye on Vikings MLB Erin Henderson and Raiders LB Sio Moore near the end of your IDP draft this year. (Draft Sharks Insiders can see exactly where those two rank.)

4. There’s plenty of sleeper value just among the rookie safeties.

They weren’t the biggest-named players at NFL Draft time, but this class of safeties looks terrific for immediate IDP value. And I’m not even including Kenny Vaccaro, the first one off the board in April.

Johnathan Cyprien has finally rejoined practice with the Jaguars and can resume his collision course with an opening-day starting job. He produced across multiple statistical categories at Florida International.

Matt Elam did the same at Florida and now seems poised to draw attention at the back of Baltimore’s defense. The Ravens’ decision-makers were thrilled to draft the All-American, who ranked among Gators leaders in tackles for loss in each of his two starting years.

Further down the board lies T.J. McDonald, who is headed for St. Louis’ starting strong safety spot. At 6-foot-2, 219 pounds, he screams “in the box” type as a run-defender. That’s good news for his tackle production.

5. Jason Pierre-Paul is Rob Gronkowski.

Nah, I’m not talking secret identity. I’m talking 2013 fantasy profile.

If healthy, Gronkowski is right there with Jimmy Graham as dominant a fantasy force at tight end. Well, a healthy Pierre-Paul would be the closest thing to Watt among linemen. The problem – as with Gronkowski – is that Pierre-Paul isn’t healthy. He had back surgery at the beginning of June and doesn’t know whether he’ll be ready for Week 1.

So what’s a fantasy owner to do? Well, I’ve seen some folks draft Pierre-Paul like they normally would. I can’t get behind that. If anything, players tend to spout foolish optimism about their rehab timelines. If Pierre-Paul doesn’t know about Week 1, that tells me Week 2 could be in jeopardy as well. And who says his back will be right even after he returns?

At some point, the immense upside outweighs the risk with Gronkowski, and it’s the same with Pierre-Paul. Unfortunately, it’s kind of up to you to decide where that point falls in your draft.

More 2013 Fantasy Football Articles:
2013 Fantasy Football: Home

2013 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/1 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: RUNNING BACKS - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/2 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/3 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/3 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Auction Values - 4/24 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/5 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 8/28 (Walt)

2013 Fantasy Football Season Features:
Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings - 12/26 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings: PPR - 12/26 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Injury Reports - 12/26 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - 12/26 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Add/Drop: Week 15 - 12/9 (Walt)
Week 14 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - 12/8 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Fan Duel Picks - 11/22 (Walt)
FanDuel FanDuel $15,000 Contest - 11/22
FanDuel Exclusive Offer to WalterFootball.com Readers - 8/24
FanDuel Week 1 $500 Freeroll - 8/24

2013 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets (Printable Option):
2013 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Traditional Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: PPR Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Touchdown Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 2-QB Format - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Downloadable Spreadsheets - 9/2 (Walt)

2013 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team, 3-WR, Flex - 9/2 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team, PPR - 8/29 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team, Standard - 8/22 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team, Dynasty - 8/15 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 14-team, PPR - 8/8 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 8/1 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2-QB - 7/26 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 14-teamer - 7/19 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/11 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 6/29 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Four-Man Mock - 6/13 (Walt)

2013 Fantasy Football Articles:
2013 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Training Camp - 9/4 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/30 (Walt)
2013 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 8/30 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets - 8/30 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 8/28 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Busts - 8/28 (Walt)
2013 ESPN Fantasy Football Magazine: 10 Reasons Not to Buy It - 8/21 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football IDP Tips - 8/17 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Round-by-Round Strategy - 8/16 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Draft Boards for Sale - 6/13
2013 Fantasy Football All-Value Team - 6/9 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Hot Finishers - 4/24 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Quarterbacks - 4/24 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 4/24 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Wide Receivers - 4/24 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football: Overdrafted Players - 2/17 (Walt)
2013 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/17 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/17 (Walt)

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper
Rank higher in touchdown leagues
Rank lower in touchdown leagues
Rank higher in PPR (points per reception) leagues
Rank lower in PPR leagues