Sunday - Jan 17, 2021



If you’ve read my work for any amount of time here at Fantasy Sharks, then you know that I have something of an annual rite of passage — the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) All-Value All-Stars.

The premise is relatively simple. It’s a “standard” IDP lineup featuring two defensive linemen, three linebackers, two defensive backs, and a “flex.” The catch is that every player has to be drafted a slot lower than the one they play. In other words, the DL1 has to be draftable in DL2 territory, the LB2 has to be draftable in LB3 territory, and so on.

It’s admittedly an inexact science — finding IDP ADP (average draft position, that’s a mouthful) information falls somewhere between tricky and impossible. But by this point in draft season, I’ve taken part in enough IDP drafts (most of them involving either IDP pundits or long-time veterans of the format) to have a pretty good idea who’s going where.

So, whether your plan all along was to wait a while before targeting defensive players or you just get frozen out of a run or two, here’s a look at some IDPs whose potential outweighs their draft-day price tag.

DL1: Trey Flowers, DE, Detroit

Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Flowers admitted that after spending a significant portion of camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list that he has a way to go to be ready for Week 1.

“Obviously, all the fundamentals and little things that you miss out on during camp and just conditioning in your pads and things like that,” Flowers said. “So, I came a long way, but I’ve got a long way to go.”

Admittedly, Flowers has yet to show huge sack potential — the 7.5 he tallied last year in New England was a career best. But Flowers is also an excellent edge-setter, as evidenced by his 119 total tackles over the last two seasons. Flowers has finished inside the Top 20 defensive linemen each of the past two seasons. If he can goose that sack total a bit a move just inside the Top 10 is by no means out of the question.

DL2: Everson Griffen, DE, Minnesota

Minnesota defensive end Stephen Weatherly told Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer-Press that Griffen looks well on his way toward putting a disappointing 2018 season behind him.

“He is a man on a mission,’’ Weatherly said. “He’s coming for everything and more. He’s motivated, he’s driven. He’s back in front leading the group, and we’re going to go as far as he goes.’’

As recently as two years ago, Griffen tallied 45 tackles, 13 sacks and finished as a Top 10 fantasy option in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring. This is a player who was annually drafted as a DL1 who isn’t coming off a major injury whose ADP has fallen off a cliff. If Griffen’s mental health issues are resolved, he could be the steal on the defensive line in 2019.

LB1: Joe Schobert, ILB, Cleveland

There are plenty of IDP pundits who have been pushing Schobert out the door from the moment the Browns drafted BYU standout Sione Takitaki in April. Partly it’s Schobert’s own fault — the fourth-year pro was leading the league in missed tackles last year when he got hurt. And when Schobert missed the exhibition opener and Takitaki and Mack Wilson played well, that was it. It was over. Throw some dirt on the box and call it a day.

I’m not quite as eager to cast off Schobert after one exhibition game. This isn’t to say that Takitaki isn’t the future in the middle of Cleveland’s defense. That was rather the point of drafting him — get younger (and quite possibly cheaper). And Schobert’s long been a trendy name in trade rumors. But those are maybes. What isn’t is that over the last two years — when healthy — Schobert’s produced like a Top 10 fantasy asset.

FYI — he missed the opener to be with his wife for the birth of their child. That jerk.

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an nine-time FSWA Award finalist and three-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last four years. He won the honor in 2017 and 2019. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.