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The Seadog Report

Greetings Sharkfans! The Seadog Report is getting cranked up once again for another fun-filled fantasy football season. As you may or may not know, I try to present a little bit of Individual Defensive Player (affectionately referred to as IDP) analysis and advice on pretty much a weekly basis during the football season. Welcome to the 2005 preseason!

When I originally got involved with the Fantasyshark Staff as an IDP contributor, my main purpose was to generate a little bit of interest in the realm of IDP. Whether that has been accomplished, I don’t know. However, for whatever reason, it seems like this season, more than others, there has been a large increase of people playing in IDP leagues for the first time. Time to catch the wave!

As more people get into IDP for the first time, a common question keeps popping up, “When do I draft my defensive players”? I think a lot of people get slightly intimidated at the thought of throwing IDPs into their normal mix of drafting and putting a team together, but in reality, it’s not all that different from offensive player drafting and strategy – just different personnel that’s all. There are basically just a couple of things to remember and anyone can have success with drafting IDP as well as non-IDP.

The first (and probably the most important) thing to focus on is to know your scoring system. There is no really set formula as to where to draft your IDPs, because league scoring will vary greatly. In some leagues linebackers can be worth as much as some running backs due to their point total and they should be drafted accordingly. In other leagues, IDPs have very minimal value and probably should be drafted in the late rounds of the draft. My suggestion for those dabbling in IDP for the first time, would be to grab some basic stats from last year’s league leaders (split them up by position – linebacker, defensive linemen, and defensive backs) and plug them into your league’s scoring system. See how they compare in scoring to some of your offensive player scoring and then kind of figure your draft accordingly. For example, Rodney Harrison (DB for New England) might put up as many points as a #3 running back or better, so he’d have to be considered in the top 3rd rounds of drafting. That being said, I would have to say that, in general, most people would look to be drafting IDPs towards the lower 3rd of their draft.

The second thing that I keep telling people that aren’t familiar with defensive players is don’t sweat the IDP stuff. Try hard, do your best, and learn personnel, but if you aren’t familiar with the IDP aspects, you have to give yourself a little bit of time to adjust. Observe and take notes each week so you can either work the waiver wire or prepare for the following year. It really doesn’t take too long to get a feel for using IDPs in your fantasy football league. If you are looking for particular IDP advice, I highly recommend checking out the IDP message board here at Fantasysharks (you might have to register to get there, but it’s free with no hassles!) There are some really knowledgeable IDP “experts” swimming around in there and they can give out some excellent insight and wisdom to your IDP queries.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Seadog Report. Please tune in for some more in-depth and insightful IDP articles and reports this preseason as well as the regular season. Playing fantasy football with IDPs is a blast and, in my humble opinion, I think it really opens your eyes up to the entire NFL, not just offensive players and stats. Besides, you can really wow your friends and co-workers by spouting off the names of the defensive backs on the Cleveland Browns. Then further your prowess by going into some of their stats and what their strengths and weaknesses are against a particular opponent – They will be amazed!

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