Okay, Shark fans, it’s time for some IDP (Individual Defensive Player) analysis, scouting, and (gulp!) predictions to make it’s way into the main articles section of this great website. Welcome to the first installment of the Seadog Report! For those of you who’ve never heard of me, let me share briefly a little of my IDP background. My fantasy football career began in 1994 when I became part of a dynasty league that featured both offensive and defensive players. As a result of that league, I’ve gotten some good experience scouting, drafting, and playing IDPs these past 10 years. I also happen to have the awesome responsibility of Defensive Coordinator for our mighty Fantasyshark’s Hafax team. (Hafax is a pretty intense “expert” league made up of fantasy football website “experts” from all over the country. You can check it out at: http://football.myfantasyleague.com/2004/home/60287.) Anyways, enough of that stuff, let’s get into a little IDP chatter here, shall we?
It’s that time of year where we are all preparing for upcoming drafts, trying to ferret out those hidden sleepers, working all the angles to make ourselves successful in this great hobby that we play…we are doing that now, aren’t we? Well, with all the prep work going on out there, I’d like to present a little insight and information based on my experience as to how you can have success using IDPs in this great hobby that we enjoy. Here are a few steps that I’ve found to be extremely helpful as I go about preparing for the IDP part of my draft (many of these steps can be helpful for all aspects of fantasy football, not just IDPs).
- Know your league scoring.
Will defensive ends (DEs) score more points than defensive tackles (DTs)? Do you get K/punt return points? You could draft some great players, but if they don’t fit in well to your league’s scoring then it won’t do you much good.
- Know your league rules
This kind of goes without saying, but it’s extremely important to know your league rules, as well as your league scoring.
- Read, read, read as much as possible
Everyone wants to grab as many of the tidbits and nuggets that will propel them into fantasy football stardom as they can. Reading can help you glean this info. Now a lot of you are probably like me – crunched for time. So how do you get around that? My best advice is this – concentrate on information that is gotten from local beat writers and proven NFL insider sources. These people are close to the teams and are more apt to be giving you the inside scoop of what is going on. Official team websites can be a good source as well. And by all means, check out some of the links posted on Fantasyshark’s main page – useful stuff. A good example of something I came across recently in my reading is a story about Green Bay LB Nick Barnett (http://www.jsonline.com/packer/news/jun04/235424.asp).
- Take notes
As you read stuff and start to accumulate some good nuggets of information so it’s a good to somehow take notes of it all – write it down, make a computer file, or just file it away in that old melon between your ears. It won’t do you much good if you don’t remember …. For example, in looking at the Nick Barnett article, it seems that the focus is to get him to make more big plays. He had a pretty good year last year so coupled with some big plays; he could have an awesome year. But, then again, Green Bay’s defensive line isn’t looking like it’s coming together so nicely. Does that mean their LBs will be fighting off more blocks (kind of what happened to Brian Urlacher last year when Teddy Washington wasn’t around)? Hmmm… Got to keep an eye on this…put it in your files!
- Keep in mind that, in general, LBs will be your best IDP performers
Please note that I said, “in general” – see step #1. If you are going to build on your IDP roster, I would base it around LBs. They tend to generate the best tackle numbers which tend to be the primary basis for most IDP scoring systems. Go to a place like NFL.com and take a look at the leaders from the past couple of years in tackles have been. LBs – they are like RBs for the defense.
- Keep the role of the IDPs on your team in perspective
It’s my opinion that if you are using IDPs you want to have them enhance your offensive statistics, but you don’t really want them to have to carry your team each week. It’s always a good thing to have a defensive player carry the load when a RB or WR in your lineup plays poorly on a particular week. IDPs can be a great asset to your fantasy team.
Well, that’s a little something to get us started with and to open the door for more IDP talk here at Fantasysharks. For those of you who are diehard IDP junkies, you may be looking for some more meat to sink your teeth into. Hopefully, the future will bring some scouting reports and player rankings that will whet your appetite. As for the rest of you, perhaps this has been in some way informative and helpful. Thanks for reading!