Isaiah Simmons is one of the best defensive prospects I’ve ever seen. He’s a generational talent that will be moved all over the field to create mismatch nightmares for opposing offenses. He’s got the rare size/speed combination that allows him to bully would-be blockers to make plays in the backfield one play, and then seamlessly drop back into coverage and stick with pass catchers the next.
Every season there are many consensus opinions for dynasty rookie drafts. Most of the players who are consistent contributors to your fantasy teams were at one point early picks in dynasty rookie drafts, but also every year there are players who slip through the cracks in the drafting process. These are who I project will be some of the Darius Slayton or the Preston Williams type of players who turned a few FAAB dollars into a mid second round value in trades, or locked in a spot on your roster. This article isn’t to say that you should be valuing that 6th round wide receiver who’s getting some hype in training camp (if it even happens this year) over guys like Bryan Edwards or Zack Moss. For every Darius Slayton or Preston Williams there’s many more Darwin Thompson’s who had an ADP in the 1st round of rookie drafts at one point last year which amounted to nothing. These are just some of the guys I’m targeting in the 4th or 5th round of my rookie drafts or allocating a decent amount of FAAB dollars to. I’m not necessarily saying all these guys will become fantasy relevant to the casual player sometime in the near future, but these are six guys who I’m keeping on my watch list in my leagues.
If you are in a deep enough dynasty IDP league, then you probably know that cornerback is pretty much the least significant position across the board. For one, many of the best cornerbacks in the league are not the highest scoring players at the position. “Shutdown” cornerbacks don’t usually get the ball thrown in their direction. The scoring is usually so sporadic with performances being up and down from week to week. Corners that don’t cover well will get good tackle numbers, but you can’t count on those players, because the coaches are always trying to upgrade them. If you can look at anything from the position with any sort of consistency, really good slot and nickel cornerbacks are the best to own. They’re usually asked to come into the box and play the middle of the field, where the action is.
After linebackers in dynasty leagues with IDP’s, defensive ends and safeties are the next most important positions. The safety position is closer to middle linebacker in that tackle numbers lead to more consistent scoring. Defensive end scoring is more about sack production because typically pass rushers won’t put up big tackle numbers. If you’re in a sack heavy league, a league that has a higher reward for sacks, then defensive ends will have a higher value. It is important to learn the scoring in your league in order to make the right personnel decisions for your team.
In smaller dynasty leagues the defensive tackle position may not even be a relevant position. Many leagues have a DL (defensive lineman) designation, which means you can either start a defensive end or defensive tackle. Most defensive lineman don’t get a lot of tackles, so it’s sacks that you are looking for. There is a small top tier of defensive tackles that can get you good sack numbers, but it’s a big drop off after those few elite players.
In this installment of the IDP scouting report, I’m going to go over second year defensive ends. When it comes to the defensive line in dynasty leagues, in your smaller leagues, especially ones that have the DL (defensive line) designation, defensive ends are what you want to target.