To say that Houston Texans defensive end
J.J. Watt had a phenomenal season in 2012 does him a disservice. The 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year tallied 81 tackles, 21.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 962 passes defensed (OK, it was 16, but crying out loud, that’s a lot for a defensive lineman).
In Individual Defensive Player (IDP) fantasy football leagues Watt was Godzilla, the rest of the league was Tokyo, and the team that had to face him each week was the Japanese Army, vainly tossing tiny plastic missiles at 295 pounds of jackstomp in a latex lizard suit.
That historic campaign (Watt’s 184.5 fantasy points in
Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring in 2012 was the most by a player at his position since the turn of the century, and only Michael Strahan of the New York Giants in 2001 came close), has both sent Watt’s price tag in fantasy drafts this year through the roof and raised an interesting question.
Is the advantage Watt could potentially give your IDP squad worth his lofty draft day price tag?
This article is actually borne of a draft I’m participating in. I was asked to take part in the
IDP “Experts” mock draft for Rotoworld, among a group of owners that contains some of the best IDP minds in the business (and me …go figure). It’s a “mixed” IDP league, with scoring that’s pretty similar to what you’ll find in the majority of IDP leagues (points per recepton, one flex spot on each side, tackle-heavy IDP scoring).
In that draft, in a mixed league where most teams were still worried about running backs and wide receivers, Sigmund Bloom of
FootballGuys took Watt with the eighth pick of the third round.
Mind you, that’s not really reaching. I haven’t seen Watt make it out of the fourth round of any similar drafts so far this year. In IDP Only drafts, he’s been the almost-universal top pick (in drafts where he wasn’t, there was mockery, ridicule and snickering.)
Mmmmmm …. Snickers.
Anyway, if you’re familiar with Bloom’s work (and if you’re not, you should be) he’s a man who isn’t afraid to think outside the box. He takes value where he sees it, what others think be damned.
Bloom saw value with Watt, writing on
Twitter that “in VBD terms, Watt is an easy first-round pick.”
(For those wondering if “VBD” is some sort of rash, Bloom refers to “Value Based Drafting,” a strategy pioneered by FootballGuys founder Joe Bryant. Long story short, in VBD it’s not about how many fantasy points a player scores. It’s all about how many points they score relative to other players at their position.)
It’s a draft strategy that’s become very popular in recent years, and
The Huddle’s Steve Gallo (another great IDP writer and participant in the draft)
chimed in with some VBD goodness to back Bloom’s assertion.
“Based on 2012, Watt had a VBD value of 198.75. Using five-year averages, the top VBD for each position is: quarterback 100.8, running back 174.79, wide receiver 155.46 and tight end 113.64. The VBD for the top defensive lineman using a five-year average (
SOFA Scoring) is 81.6. Only 20 offensive players (two quarterbacks, seven running backs, 10 wide receivers and one tight end) have a five-year VBD average higher than that.)
Granted, it’s just one year, but those are some eye-popping numbers.