Cleat Geeks

The IDP Geek Huddle: Rashaan Evans

Tennessee Titans Rashaan Evans


Drafted: 22nd overall

Team Defense: 3-4 Base

State of Team’s Offence: Playoff Contenders in 2017

Rookie Tier: #1

Rookie IDP Draft: Wave #1

All IDP Position Draft: Late Wave #2

Potential 2018 Position Tier: Mid #2

Position Competition Level: Moderate

Potential 2018 Combined Tackle Range:80-100

Play Making Ability Potential: High

Dynasty Value: High


Why he has the potential to succeed at the pro level in 2018:

  1. Titans will give him all the opportunity he needs to do so.
  2. Coaching. Head coach is Mike Vrabel, a former linebacker.
  3. Only one other linebacker likely to compete for production.
  4. High-end athletic skills.
  5. Experience adapted to the pressure of the game with 3 NCAA championship appearances with Alabama.



Why he may not reach his potential at the pro level in 2018:

  1. Possible durability issues.
  2. Instincts are a bit slow at times.
  3. Physical stature.
  4. Can be caught up in the flow of the opposing blockers
  5. Form tackling needs improvement, tendency to go high.


Are you addicted to IDP? This is a relatively new space for @cleatgeeks but it is catching on quick with our fans! One of the main reasons for the outpouring of support from our fans is that we not only give you great articles on the subject, but the fact that we have partnered with a great podcast as well. That podcast is the IDP Guys Show. Check out their latest podcast right here!

The “Brain” Take:

Evans barely missed out on the number #2 spot on my list. It was extremely hard to not “take” on him over Raquan Smith of the Bears for my second player off the rookie IDP board. In my opinion, Evans is just like Smith and the new trend of linebacker taking hold in the NFL. The only real reason Evans is not above Smith is that in college Evans had a bit of durability concerns. And at 6’3” and 234 lbs along with the potential for him to be “washed” into the blocking leading to injury should be considered. Granted the Titans do have a margin better defensive line in front of Evans than the Bears do in front of Smith. Though the depth behind him is not as threatening as it sounds the Titans did sign veteran Will Compton who has a few solid years as a backup with plenty of starting experience in the same defensive scheme the Titans will be running. Compton was not a “star” per say, but solid. Then there is the Titans fifth-round pick from last season who found himself earning snaps last year as well. Jayon Brown did struggle a bit but had been rumored to have slotted in to have an expanded role in 2018. The Brown hype and the Compton signing was pre-draft and before Evans was drafted. This, in turn, should give that edge to Evans just based off draft status. Keep all this in mind while I now bring up the anchor of the Titans defense in Wesley Woodyard. We are likely fooling ourselves if the 31-year-old veteran isn’t the leader in stats again in 2018. Coach Vrabel may have a new toy in Evans, but being an “old hand” in the NFL and knowing how he approached rookies on the field as a linebacker’s coach and defensive coordinator in his NFL career, he may not be in a rush with Evans.



The “Gut” Take:

With all that was mentioned in the “Brain” take it is possible here that my “gut” take is a bit surprising. Though I do not believe that he will surpass Woodyard in 2018 I do believe he’ll have no problem adjusting and succeeding in outplaying Compton and Brown as long as he is healthy. Coach Vrabel will be able to help keep Evans cleaner on the field with the defensive unit in front of him allowing him to make some plays. I’ll be honest here, I don’t see Evans playing a full season. I’m going to set his 2018 game mark at 14 games played. It is the pros, and at this level with durability and how the Titans will likely not be 100% forced to have him on the field with Compton in the wings I can see a “hammy” or something coming up. In the end, I’m going to give Evans the same as I did Raquan Smith at #2 and say he’ll do nicely to hit the low-end of his potential in combined tackles of 80. I will “check” myself here, my gut tells me if I’m missing with a conservative “take” to this point it’s here on Evans. If he can stay healthy, it would not be surprising to see him surpass all the rookie IDPs and be the leading producer in stats out of them all. Just remember, Vrabel will depend on veteran Woodyard in 2018, experience matters.


My suggested order for rookie IDPs off the board for potential production in 2018.  

  1. Tremaine Edmunds
  2. Roquan Smith
  3. Rashaan Evans
  4. (soon)
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?

Missed any of the ten? Check them all out and more HERE.

Thanks as always for reading and please feel free to locate me on Twitter for everything IDP @HBogart27.

The IDP Geek Huddle: Roquan Smith

Chicago Bears Linebacker Roquan Smith


Drafted: 8th overall

Team Defense: 3-4 Base

State of Team’s Offence: Rebuild

Rookie Tier: #1

Rookie IDP Draft: Wave #1

All IDP Position Draft: Late Wave #2

Potential 2018 Position Tier: #2

Position Competition Level: High

Potential 2018 Combined Tackle Range: 80-100

Play Making Ability Potential: High

Dynasty Value: High


Why he has the potential to succeed at the pro level in 2018:

  1. Simply said, he has the right situation on top of the right skills as a player.
  2. An Atlanta Falcons Deion Jones “clone” with coverage skills and speed to get from sideline to sideline.
  3. His draft status as a top ten pick will give him every opportunity to learn on the field as a starter with the first unit.
  4. With the Bears offense in transition in the attempt to find their “mojo” on the field with a second-year quarterback and supporting cast could struggle to a point ensuring plenty of snaps for Smith and the defense.
  5. The other “main” supporting inside linebacker is veteran Danny Trevathan who has struggled to stay healthy over his career.

Are you addicted to IDP? This is a relatively new space for @cleatgeeks but it is catching on quick with our fans! One of the main reasons for the outpouring of support from our fans is that we not only give you great articles on the subject, but the fact that we have partnered with a great podcast as well. That podcast is the IDP Guys Show. Check out their latest podcast right here!

Why he may not reach his potential at the pro level in 2018:

  1. The Bears defensive scheme.
  2. The lack of talent on the defensive line and at outside linebacker for the Bears overall.
  3. If inside linebacker Danny Trevathan would stay healthy for the larger portion of the 2018 season.
  4. The development of third-year inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.
  5. His physical stature.


The “Brain” Take:

All indication should be that Smith is one of the two rookie IDP players we should consider for our IDP purposes if needing the chance to hit a home run with a rookie in 2018. There is nothing not to like about his situation’s potential. Even if there are a couple schematics that should be concerning, but again not to the point that he is shied away from as the first choice IDP rookie off the board. His 6’ 1” 236 lbs may not translate as a WILB/MILB so easily in year one as one may hope. That is a very “slight of build” as a rookie in my opinion as an ILB that will likely need to shed blocks a bit more in the 3-4 scheme compared to a 4-3 WLB/MLB. He’ll likely have to rely heavily on his instincts and that great speed to produce in the scheme at the pro level until he adds some more muscle mass. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in Chicago. The likely outcome from my point of view would be to have Smith as the starting WILB in more coverage duties and have Trevathan hold down the MILB for more of the run stopping and block shedding in 2018. And we shouldn’t forget Kwiatkoski who has flashed when healthy as a starter. The advantage for Smith is that Kwiatkoski doesn’t fit the WILB position nearly as well as he does as the MILB. This has to get us wondering exactly how the Bears will utilize Smith in 2018. His draft status should guarantee it is as a starter in one form or another. If he can find and hold his nitch for the Bears his first season we should see a very solid tier 2 type linebacker with upside.



The “Gut” Take:

I believe the concerns are real and that in 2018 the best we can hope for out of Smith in that scheme and with Trevathan and Kwiatkoski is he can push to win the WILB. I like Smith more as a dynasty player than one in 2018 with the different scenarios. If Trevathan can stay healthy, and he has a huge incentive to do so in the third year of a four year contract, the Bears are not going to bench the good veteran. This is the first year for him to make some real cash at $5.8 million and to set up the same amount in 2019 after only making just under $4 million combined in both his first two years of the contract. He does have a potential “out” in 2018 in his contract the Bears could exercise, but this is highly unlikely at this point and time with the depth of inside linebackers on the roster. Kwiatkoski is firmly in the third year of his rookie contract and shown growth as a 4th round pick each year so far. As for Smith, as much as being selected the 8th overall should mean, my gut is telling me that in this year’s draft it isn’t as relevant as most years. The gut tells me when there were 15 defensive players selected in the first round that there was a lack of talent overall to be had and concluding that some players in this years class would have simply gone in lower rounds in other years. I think Smith will be lucky to max out at his floor of potentially combined tackles at 80 total. Dare I say a possible time share among all three linebackers? I do like him enough to take him off the board 2nd overall, but in 2018 it was a fine line between him and the next player at 3 that I’ll be writing about soon.


My suggested order for rookie IDPs off the board.

  1. Tremaine Edmunds
  2. Roquan Smith
  3. (soon)
  4. (soon)
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?


Missed any of the ten? Check it all out and more HERE.


Thanks as always for reading and please find me on Twitter for everything IDP @HBogart27.


The IDP Geek Huddle: Buffalo’s Milano vs. Edmunds

Who you taken’?

Anyone that knows of me has known that I’ve pegged Buffalo’s second-year linebacker Matt Milano as my breakout player for 2018. And now that the Bills drafted Tremaine Edmunds I’ve received a few notifications asking if them doing so will effect Milano and his chances of that breakout this coming season. To answer this properly we will use this article to do some comparing and evaluation of each player versus the situation. Hopefully, in the end, clarifying who may have the upper hand when it comes the time that a choice may need to be made. Please keep in mind this is not full proof rocket science. At this time I’m writing this article all we got going for us is the “hype” of what should happen. It’ll be clearer around preseason before we have a better idea of what should unfold. And even when dealing with a Rookie and a second-year player who only played a portion as a starter last season, nothing is written in stone as we all know. Let’s see what we can come up with now.

Image result for matt milano bills

While Edmunds combine numbers are nice and fresh, Milano’s is only a year old and still pretty viable to match-up. If anything we need to keep in mind that if Milano has gone “all in” on Buffalo’s training methods he could have improved. Don’t get me wrong on “pulling” for Milano when I mention a few things as we go thru this. I’d do the same for Edmunds if he wasn’t a rookie and had a bit more to mention about concerning him if he had a year under his belt in the NFL. Just something to keep in mind, now to the combine and from what I see, neither attended a full Pro Day workout. And shockingly to actually get the full grid of each player’s results I had to refer to, and they don’t share well so you’ll have to google them. Draftscout breaks things down a little different including the 10-20 yard dash splits. And mentioning that neither player has recorded results for the 20-60 yard shuttles or 3 cone drill at the combine. I’m also not able to find out why Edmunds didn’t record a vertical jump. I do like to compare things to “known” solid players when comparing. So we are going to include two similar in size players with Atlanta Falcons MLB Deion Jones and Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly.

Edmunds: 6’4” – 253 lbs              Luke Kuechly: 6’3” – 238 lbs

Milano: 6’0” – 223 lb                     Deion Jones: 6’1”

So in general what are we looking at? Well, the whole point was to compare Edmunds and Milano to a point. And the two “known” players are our high base as both of them are considered to be current top five linebackers by most football fans and experts. So as a whole I believe that by the numbers Milano and Edmunds do stand out. So now we will take on the two we are discussing these combine results. Keep in mind without extending this article really long I have the NFL combine results for 2017 and 2018 in front of me. You can locate them HERE (Milano Bench) or HERE (Edmunds 40 YD) if you’d like.

Edmunds Take: His size compared to his speed in the top end and the short burst has him at the Beast level. His power or strength needs a bit of work. The bench press especially is glaring considering his size. And the broad jump doesn’t inspire much either to make up the difference. Looking at it now, is there a seeded reason he did not participate in the vertical jump? But in general over the last two rookie classes of linebackers, he is fast, man is he fast and larger than 90% of the NFL inside linebackers. His power will come as the Bills work with him these next couple of years. But as of now, we will just say it again, not impressed compared to his size and the past two rookie classes. I do want to ask, I wonder how often he’ll need that top end speed a season to run down guys. Just a thought.

Milano’s Take: His speed in the top end is just about average or comparable to most per combine, but his short area burst is a lot better and just above average. Likely due to his leg strength with such strong results in the jumping categories. The bench press is another story. He pushed his body weight 24 times. That’s no small feat. Comparable to the last two classes he is tied in seventh. The most was 27 reps and out of those players here are the body weights of those players, including who he tied with: 266,248,244,244,240,236,230. So I believe we may go out on a limb here as we did saying Edmunds was really fast for a big man, pound for pound Milano seems to have the power to burn. I wonder how often that top end speed matters each season for him versus his strength. Just a thought.

Are you addicted to IDP? This is a relatively new space for @cleatgeeks but it is catching on quick with our fans! One of the main reasons for the outpouring of support from our fans is that we not only give you great articles on the subject, but the fact that we have partnered with a great podcast as well. That podcast is the IDP Guys Show. Check out their latest podcast right here!

So we have split the hairs on the (physical) combine numbers, that was the easy part. Now to address tendencies on the field.

Here is where I’ll ask you that know me to trust me, and those that don’t know me feel free to follow up on what I’m about to state about each player. I’ve spent my time watching tape on both players and have researched many resources to get all this information together. Of course, depending on the same resources that never lead me to wrong very often at all. As I sat here I was trying to figure out the best way to write out this information. In the end, I’m cheating a bit. I’ll first use what the NFL draft profiles have listed by Because overall, I believe they are 100% correct anyhow and mirror 90% of what I’ve seen with all the other resources. And again, I watched some tape myself to see what exactly is being pointed out.

Edmunds Weaknesses

  • Instincts are average and relies on athletic gifts
  • Can be a step slow to diagnose
  • Lured by misdirection
  • Will take random downhill paths that trap him in the quagmire
  • Patience is lacking
  • Races ahead of plays and voids his leverage and run fits at times
  • Needs to add more upper and lower body strength
  • Average base strength and high center of gravity create issues holding up at the point of attack
  • Needs to be quicker to punch in order to maintain clearance
  • Mental busts in man coverage hurt his team
  • Takes time to process moving pieces

I 100% agree, and also happen across a YouTube video that shows and explains in depth exactly what’s listed. High five to this gentleman doing the video.


Milano Weaknesses

  • Needs to add a little more size to his frame
  • Can be outmuscled by size
  • Hand usage is inconsistent
  • Needs to improve in the art of discarding blockers
  • Just average at punching and shedding to keep himself clean in take-on situations
  • Bad habit of ducking head into crunching tackles rather than seeing what he hits
  • Tightly wound with average change-of-direction talent
  • Can improve his path to the perimeter to avoid traffic around him

Again, I 100% agree. And want to point out that most of this is more “size” related. I’d have another video added here like the “Boom or Bust” on Edmunds, but unfortunately, I can not find one that anyone took the time to make. In light of this, I did find this one if you’re interested. Hopefully, the volume works better for you than it did me. To hear it I had to boost the old laptop with added speakers. Please, if anyone out there can locate anything on Milano other than highlights and more of scouting material please let me know. Who knows one of these days I may venture into making my own.

Now on to an overall comparing of the flaws. When it comes to Edmunds it seems he has a mental lapse at times and some technique habits that the Bills will need to work on for him to reach his potential. He is just 20 years old so all this will be either worked out of him or he’ll struggle and depend on his freakish size and athleticism for the length of his career. But, he isn’t quite as polished as one may think at the moment. And some don’t “get it” for a few years. I’m betting he’ll be fine sooner than later.

As for Milano, I think we can say that he has already had the luxury to prove his potential in his rookie season and overcame the “too small” tag to play at the pro level. He has a full year to learn and acclimate to the NFL and grow. Advantages yes, but perfect, no. He did grade out well as the highest graded Bills linebacker in 2017 and also as one of the top rookies in his limited snaps as well. Again, with Milano already “showing” last season there is an unfair advantage to this part of the assessment. But I can not simply ignore his rookie season and follow this up as if he was a rookie right now. You’ll need to decide what you think about that in the end.

Position Battle: So we know by the current reports that Edmunds is penciled in as the middle linebacker and possibly calling the plays while Milano is penciled in as the likely weakside linebacker. I do agree this is the more plausible outcome. But what should be pointed out is if things go as they should both of these players will be in prime spots no matter which position they play, as long as it isn’t the strongside linebacker. Traditionally that position in the 4-3 is the least productive among the 3 linebackers. And yes I understand how Preston Brown cleaned up at the middle linebacker spot last season. And whoever, odds are Edmund, mans the middle will have an advantage. But as I’ve stated in this article HERE, the weakside linebacker can be just as viable. As someone that has followed the Bills LBs over the last few years let me just say they have not managed to have a “set” group to stay in their positions, this is why we are seeing a changing of the guard.

In Conclusion: Time to add it up.

  1. Is there a clear favorite in a clear path to the most production between these two in 2018?
  2. Does either player have a real advantage at this point and time?
  3. As you read this was there any one thing that made you waiver one way or the other?
  4. Is either of them a “sure thing” to be better than the other long-term in Dynasty?

My Conclusion: I have been toting Milano as a “breakout” player in 2018. That does not change for me. At no time did I state he would be the next top 5 linebacker in the league. I simply thought and think he’ll be relevant for our IDP purposes in our starting lineups, possibly as a third or fourth option with upside. Do I think after they have drafted Edmunds that Milano’s ceiling is as high as it would have been if they hadn’t drafted such a prospect, no I do not! Here’s how I look at it currently altogether. In 2018 I think if both players stay healthy we will see them both produce within 15% of each other per your league’s fantasy points scoring by the end of the season in 2018. Simply based on the advantages I’ve mentioned for Milano versus Edmunds being an unpolished rookie and the odds that Edmunds is the middle linebacker and Milano is the weakside linebacker. As for Dynasty, until I see Edmunds do his thing, I feel safer with Milano at this moment and will accept it in a couple years if I’m wrong and coming up on the short in of the stick in dynasty. I’m pretty confident in any drafts going forward this year that Milano’s ADP to draft him should be a bargain compared to Edmunds also. If I’m in a rookie only draft, Edmunds is the guy, the number one target overall off the board. If I’m in any sort of all player draft, I’m gambling on Milano who I can likely get at least a round or two later. That’s my thoughts.

ADP: So by this recent poll, who’ll be the better value by round?

I can’t leave Edmunds with no video love. My pride is not that strong to not give him his dues.

And of course, there’s my breakout player pick, with some college highlights. Was the 2017 class that deep he slipped thru the holes? And a special shout-out to Brian Serrano @Ano_611 For turning me loose and bringing Milano to my attention shortly after the 2017 draft. Thanks, Brian! He has some great stuff and should be followed on Twitter. When he talks, I listen.

Additional Thought: Micah Hyde should see an uptick in production in 2018 as the young linebackers adjust to the pro level. And as long as all goes well 34 years old Lorenzo Alexander will man the strongside linebacker position where he’ll be solid, but unlikely to top his 73 combined tackles from last season.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to catch me on Twitter @HBogart27, I love talking IDP. And catch my other articles HERE if you would like to see more.

The IDP Geek Huddle: Tremaine Edmunds

Buffalo Bills Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds


Drafted: 16th overall

Team Defense: 4-3 Base

State of Team’s Offence: Rebuild

Rookie Tier: #1

Rookie IDP Draft: Wave #1

All IDP Position Draft: Wave #2

Potential 2018 Position Tier: High #2

Position Competition Level: Moderate

Potential 2018 Combined Tackle Range: 80-110

Play Making Ability Potential: High

Dynasty Value: High


Why he has the potential to succeed at the pro level in 2018:

  1. Physical Beast.
  2. Lack of real competition at his position.
  3. The state of the Buffalo Bills offense as it rebuilds.
  4. Draft status
  5. Defensive Scheme in favor of his skill set.

Are you addicted to IDP? This is a relatively new space for @cleatgeeks but it is catching on quick with our fans! One of the main reasons for the outpouring of support from our fans is that we not only give you great articles on the subject, but the fact that we have partnered with a great podcast as well. That podcast is the IDP Guys Show. Check out their latest podcast right here!

Why he may not reach his potential at the pro level in 2018:

  1. Youth (20)
  2. Instincts.
  3. Mental mistakes.
  4. Matt Milano presents.
  5. Acclimatizing to pro level.


The “Brain” Take:

The perfect example of the perfect situation in landing with the Bills. At only 20 years old and a physical beast with above average size and speed combo he will rely on those traits until he mentally can process the pro level of play. He’ll likely be “coached” up and given priority by the coaching staff to help him along and be as ready as possible for week one. With the Bills having a lack of youthful talent, other than Matt Milano, with some proven aspects of their game he’ll dominate as an opposing figure in camp. The 4-3 scheme is well suited to his style of play as either the middle linebacker or the weakside linebacker. If there is any struggling he still could play the strongside with his size at 6’5” and 253 lbs, which in turn would still likely leave him on the field every snap available increasing his odds of producing stats. Unless he just completely flops and cannot get his head into what the coaches are saying the Bills have no real other choices but to make him a part of the plans in 2018. With the Bills in a rebuilding mode on the offensive side of the ball, he could be a leader in the league in snap counts among linebackers if he can stay healthy.

The “Gut” Take:

I see no reason that Edmunds won’t reach his potential as a rookie. In this case, the “brain” take above coincides well with the “gut” take. As I have toted Matt Milano as a breakout player for 2018 with the situation in Buffalo it is not surprising to me that I was likely now going to tote whoever the Bills selected at linebacker as long as it was one of the upper prospects. There are two questions in my gut on this take, but neither seem enough to worry about at this moment. If I had a rookie pick in a draft and I needed a linebacker, he would be my safest pick every time. Off the top and after doing my research and watching his college tape I do agree with many “gurus” that his mental approach to his game needs to catch up to his physical traits. His youth is likely the collaborate there and will be overcome by simply being thrown into the fire because the Bills just don’t have any other viable choice. The other thing of no real concern will be that he’ll have to outplay Matt Milano for the prime opportunities to stack the stat box. All I can say for now is don’t let Milano’s draft status versus Edmunds fool you into thinking there is a large gap between the two. There were 15 defensive players selected in this year’s class in the first round. I 100% believe that was due to the lack of talent in this years class versus last years class overall versus the league’s needs. But no matter this situation between picking Milano versus Edmunds, which I plan on writing an article soon about, know that Edmunds will be viewed as the top linebacker prospect to succeed his first year in the league because of his situation. Opportunity is where a rookie lands are just as important to his chances to succeed as anything. Hence, see Preston Brown, who Edmunds will be replacing him somewhere in the lineup. With the difference being that Edmunds looks like a better talent on paper at this time.


My suggested order for rookie IDPs off the board.

  1. Tremaine Edmunds
  2. (Soon)
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?


Missed any of the ten? Check it all out and more HERE.


Thanks as always for reading and please find me on Twitter for everything IDP @HBogart27.










Fantasy Football Fan Focus

After receiving yet another interesting in-depth email inquiring about my thoughts on an IDP roster recently. And talking with the gentleman about sharing with the fantasy football community, we’ll see what assessment we can “take” to address anything IDP to possibly assist.

Please keep in mind, there will be little to no editing to keep the personal touch of the email and replies. But some formatting may occur for the sake of publishing. My assessments are in RED.

Before we go to his email let’s look at some additional info I asked for to help in the assessment.

First, the leagues scoring set up, minus kicker(s). I personally love this scoring format. When using IDPs in a league it clearly is a set up to bring up the defensive players to balance the league. I was told it is a 12 team league, so this approach in the standard size league shows very well for IDP formats coming up in the Fantasy Football realm.

Good Afternoon,

I recently went from doing nothing more than your basic PPR league to joining a 12 team, full IDP Dynasty that keeps a salary cap. As one article I recently read put it, I chose to take the cannonball approach vice testing the waters with a toe dip. I have been in the league about 1 month now and have already made about a dozen trades with over half the league. At this point in time I am finally getting where I feel the team is mine. I have definitely turned it into a rebuild but feel with the right rookie picks it could be competitive this year even. If you would be so kind maybe you could look over my IDP list and give me some insight as to who you think would be worth something now, in the future, or isn’t worth keeping? Also, would you maybe give your input for what defensive rookies are looking good to grab? Listed below are is my IDP list followed by what picks I have this year.

Roster usage is: DT-1, DE-2, LB-3, CB-2, S-2

Flex -1 that can come from any of the positions.

** – Starter as I view it now      * – Back up



I gave up: Ryan Tannehill, Melving Gordon, Joe Mixon, Amari Cooper, Donte Moncrief
Received: Tarik Cohen, Lesean McCoy, AJ Green, Jalen Mills, Picks 2019 Rd 5, 2019 Rd 6, 2019 Rd 7
2. **I admit I gave up more than I should have, but was wanting to get rid of picks and those were for JG mostly**
I gave up: Preston Smith, Wesley Woodyard, Picks 1.04, 5.04, 5.08, 7.04, 7.09, 2019 Rd 1
Received: Jimmy Garoppolo, Chris Thompson, Adoree Jackson, Marshon Lattimore, Pick 4.08
I gave up: Jameis Winston, Giovanni Bernard, Chris Hogan, Anthony Barr
Received: Marcus Mariotta, Jonathan Stewart, Julius Peppers, Pick 5.11
4. ***When I gave up D. Jones, but I wanted Neal as I needed Safeties and had tons of LBs***
I gave up: Corey Coleman, Zay Jones, Deion Jones
Received: Kendell Beckwith, AJ Klein, Keanu Neal, Pick 3.01
I gave up: Brandon Cooks, Jeff Janis, Pick 2019 Rd 4
Received: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jadeveon Clowney, Picks 3.06, 5.12, 2019 Rd 3
I gave up: Tyrell Williams
Received: Pick 4.02
I gave up: Philip Rivers, Tarik Cohen
Received: Kiko Alonso, Pick 3.10
8.**Maybe could have gotten more if I had put it to the whole league for a bidding war in hindsight**
I gave up: LeSean McCoy, Chris Thompson, Picks 2020 Rd 1, 2020 Rd 2
Received: Picks 1.02, 3.12, 6.09, 7.12, 2019 Rd 6, 2020 Rd 4
I gave up: Keenan Allen
Received: Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, Carlos Henderson, Picks 1.10, 2019 Rd 2, 2020 Rd 3
I gave up: 2.04, 4.08, 2019 Rd 2, 2020 Rd 3
Received: 1.07
Following Trades have been accepted but not pushed through yet:
I gave up: Michael Crabtree
Received: Eli Apple, 1.08, 5.04
I gave up: Soloman Thomas
Received: Pick 2019 Rd 3
Current Trades are pending or waiting for the previously mentioned trades to be pushed to happen:
1. **Proposed to another**
I give up: KJ Wright, Pick 3.12
Receive: 1.12
2. **Proposed to another…needing to reduce my LB numbers also**
I give up: AJ Green, Kiko Alonso, Kendell Beckwith, Preston Brown, Vincent Rey
Receive: Marquise Goodwin, Emmanuel Sanders, Luke Kuechly, David Lavonte, Malcolm Butler, Ty Montgomery
3. **Waiting for trades to be pushed to send but already agreed on**
I give up: Peyton Barber, Picks 1.08, 1.10
Receive: Deion Jones, Tre Flowers, Pick 5.01
Hope that was easy to actually process and understand. Those are all of the trades I have made, or am currently processing.


The IDP Geek Huddle: New York Giants

Scheme Overview

Because it is likely we see a major overhaul with the Giants defensive scheme, I’d like to start this article on the team IDPs with a recent Q&A from early April. The question was directed to the new defensive coordinator James Bettcher in a press conference.

Reporter Q: “It seems like that from the personnel moves that you guys have made that at least the base of your defense is going to look like a 3-4. Is that something that has to be declared or decided?”

Bettcher A: “I think each and every down we might look different on defense. But again, I’ll tell you what — I can’t tell you today who we’re going to be on defense and really what we’re going to look like until we get through training camp, until we get into meetings, until we actually get on the field, until we don’t just play some basketball on grass in the offseason program. Until we get to training camp and we have helmets and pads on and we’re striking and separating and playing off of blocks and what we’re really going to look like. But yeah, there are certainly some 3-4 principles if that’s a term we want to use. There are certainly some 4-3 principles if that’s a term you want to use. At the end of the day, it’s about playing hard with a relentless mindset, playing fast, playing physical and being a smart football team.”

In the process of doing this series I’ve received a lot of interest in this Giants article to the point I’ve decided to make my statement on what scheme we should see, and then do the “takes” as such. But at the end of each, I will mention the other case scenario for whoever we cover just to try and get it right.

We have found a great partner in the IDP space with The IDP Guys Podcast! In this weeks episode the guys look at Free Agent Linebackers with our own Gary VanDyke, Defensive Back Invesments with another Cleatgeeks writer George Murphy as well as New & Notes, Gut Check, and the continuation of the Top 100 IDP list. It is great audio to have in the background while you read our articles on cleatgeeks!

With that being said and knowing the recent moves the Giants have made on the defensive side of the ball with Jason Pierre-Paul traded away to Tampa Bay along with Alec Ogletree being acquired from the L.A. Rams, we will expect a 3-4 scheme in base packages. The new DC James Bettcher came from Arizona where he ran the 3-4 with a lot of success and there is no reason to think the intentions are not to run “his” defense in New York. We need to keep in mind this article and my “take” here is pre-draft. So barring any major draft picks this is along the lines of what we should count on per our IDP purposes.

There will be one change how I approach this article over most of the articles I have recently done on the different team’s IDPs. I will not go by position category as DB, LB, and DL. We are going to address this by the player and his likely role in the defensive schemes, again mainly from the 3-4 to start with. And also from who we should consider in order the most relevant to probably produce for our lineups. With this approach, we won’t cover every single defensive starter, but simply the ones we should target for some form of significant impact in IDP.

The Tier 1 Targets

Alec Ogletree has to be by far our top potential upper-tier 1 player at linebacker. It was big news when the Giants made a trade with the Rams to get him in New York, and for good reason. He is a “known” top linebacker in the NFL by skill set and talent. If not for a down year in 2017 when the Rams switched from the 3-4 scheme to the 4-3 scheme and one injury year in 2015 holding us back, he would likely be a top-five option in IDP linebacker rankings by every “guru” doing the ranking. The Giants have not had a great track record with linebackers over the last few seasons and it’s apparent to someone something had to be done. As a result not only was it probably our best option as IDP owners who may have Ogletree but after how the Rams used him as the MLB in the 4-3 scheme it’ll likely be the best thing on a personal note for Ogletree and his career. 2017 was the first year other than the year he was hurt that he did not total more than 100 combined tackles at a still solid 95 combined. The way that the Rams DC Wade Phillips runs his 4-3 scheme doesn’t favor the MLB in tackle opportunities as most 4-3 schemes in the league. Hence the Rams willing to trade Ogletree as he was “overkill” at the position and in the cap hit on the team for the role he played.

Now onto his likely role in 2018. Ogletree will be inserted as the defensive captain and calling the plays for the defense on the field. In the 3-4 he’ll assume the “money backer” role that Deone Bucannon benefited from in Arizona. The huge difference is that Ogletree is a true linebacker with speed and strength to make the most out of the position. Something that Bucannon has struggled with in recent years due to his size as a safety converted into the “money backer” role. Ogletree will be better at this position by being able to cover when he needs to and having the size to shed thru blocks to stop the run. And on those occasions, they might field the 4-3 scheme his role will not likely change. The only obvious situation is that the “money backer” could simply be looked at as a roaming weakside linebacker allowing him to cover and support the run. The overall purpose of his role will be to have him as the main one of two players on defense in position to make the play every defensive snap. In our waves we should draft him in redraft leagues it is pretty cut and dry. He should never fall out of the top upper half of the first wave. As for rookie picks value versus acquiring him in standard size leagues, here is one of the few that a rookie first rounder is setting the bar. Personally, if I own him, he simply isn’t on the block for trade unless someone manages to flat out overpay, and I mean a huge overpay. He just isn’t a replaceable talent in my starting lineup unless it is another top of the top tier linebackers such as Jones, Wagner, Kuechly, etc.


There is no surprise to many that Landon Collins will be inserted here as the “other” one of the two main IDP players to be targeted at the highest level. He has managed to surpass 100 combined tackles in each of his first three seasons while being the backbone of the defense overall. Granted he may have benefited over this time from the lack of quality linebackers in front of him to a point, but the addition of Ogletree isn’t going to affect his outlook for our IDP purposes in 2018 or beyond. Collins has managed to be an upper-tier prospect thru hard work by default and lucky for us this new scheme won’t hamper that output. There is only one current concern with Collins, it was recently announced he needs a second surgery on his forearm that he broke in Week 16 of last season. This is a set back in terms of us wondering if he can make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2018 season. At the moment the timetable for him to recover is at six to eight weeks. As long as this holds true and there are no setbacks his IDP owners can breathe a sigh of relief when training camp begins. If he is not ready his owners will want to put him on the shelf until he is ready. We just don’t bail on a talent like his when we can simply find other adequate, but temporary, replacements.

Collins role is likely to be massive in the new scheme. It’ll be big enough that we should see either him or Ogletree leading the defense in IDP points in any given contest. He’ll be in the stud producing strong safety spot that has made household names out of a few players for the Cardinals over the last few seasons. It is a key position in the scheme and how Bettcher runs it. Here is exactly what that role has done for the players who held the role in recent seasons.

Tony Jefferson in 2014 & 2015 reached solid upper-tier 2 level while verging on low-end tier 1. Then in 2016, he reached his peak of an upper-top tier 1 before heading to Baltimore in 2017.

Tyvon Branch was well on his way to upper-tier 1 status until he was hurt in Week 9 and missed the rest of the 2017 season. In 8 games he was already in tier 1 with 69 combined tackles.

After Branch went down rookie Budda Baker took over full time at the position all the way into Week 17. And according to my math in that span, he recorded 62 combined tackles. Now, this can be a bit or take on his numbers as he did play some special teams, but not enough to note. These numbers would have him well into the upper-top tier 1 if he also had a full season at the position.

So what does this mean for Collins who clearly is already a top-tier safety before the change to this scheme? I’ll simply copy and paste from Ogletree’s “take” from here. He should never fall out of the top upper half of the first wave. As for rookie picks value versus acquiring him in standard size leagues, here is one of the few that a rookie first rounder is a bar. Personally, if I own him, he simply isn’t on the block for trade unless someone manages to flat out overpay, and I mean huge overpay. He just isn’t a replaceable talent in my starting lineup unless it is another top of the top tier safeties. As the main safety in this scheme, his role will not change in the 4-3 base, so fingers crossed that he recovers in full from the broken forearm and second surgery.


Damon Harrison may end up falling just a bit in tier 1 to the lower half but just based on his dominating play we can’t take him out of our tier 1 targets among the defensive lineman. The only reason we mention this is that DLs in the 3-4 are not known to get the numbers the same player could in the 4-3 scheme. A perfect example is Harrison himself. Before joining the Giants he was with the Jets and their 3-4 base defense. Let’s have a look at his career stats.


As we can see with the Jets he dipped more into the tier 2 level for two of his three seasons he was a full-time starter of production in the 3-4. But it is a positive he managed the one tier 1 indicating it is safe enough to still think he can pull the tier one off when the Giants roll out the 3-4.

As for his likely role on the D-Line we have to assume the three-technique DT or even the DE of the three-man set. As long as he isn’t wasted away as the nose tackle over the center he’ll produce very well. If they run a 4-3 then all is still great and his role stays the same. He should safely take him in the first wave of DLs off the board and worth a generous rookie pick. We will go with “generous” based more off what the leagues score setting is set for the league in question. He doesn’t rake up the sacks as much as he does the run stopping tackles so that range can vary.


The Tier 2 Targets


B.J. Goodson took a bit of a hit when the Giants brought in Ogletree or we would have had him firmly inserted in the Tier 1 portion of this “take”. At times in 2017, he looked like a solid contributor and the unquestionable leader among the linebackers. But when he could only manage to play in seven total contests is the likely reason they made the trade for Ogletree as much as anything. In 2016, which was Goodson’s rookie season, he didn’t receive any significant time with the starting unit at all. This should be taken with a bit of caution also, the 2016 linebacker corp was a mess and had a huge lack of overall talent. So why couldn’t he make an impact other than nine combined tackles? At this point, I need to add, be sure to check out the player I’ve added as a “flier” at the end of this “take”.

As for Goodson’s role with the starting unit in 2018 we have to assume it will be as the “other” inside linebacker next to Ogletree. But to what extent his snap count will be in question at this point. The odds are he’ll be a full-time player so we should approach it as that. In the case, they run the 4-3 he may actually find himself as the MLB as they would likely shift Ogletree to the weak side for coverage purposes. The obvious “safe” part of the second wave to select Goodson in would have to be no earlier than the midsection. It shouldn’t be surprising to see him slip a bit in some redrafts. As for a rookie pick, it would have to be in the second round range if we own him, but if offering a trade for him the base offer should start with a nice third rounder. We need to keep this in mind, it is unlikely we see Goodson hit tier 1 numbers. Between Collins, Harrison, and Ogletree, there just won’t be a huge amount of opportunities left for the rest of the front seven. His ceiling should be around the mid to upper Tier 2 if he can stay on the field.


Free Safety Darian Thompson didn’t actually have a stellar season in 2017 as a full-time starter, but in his defense, the defensive unit as a whole didn’t. We also need to note here that this is a pre-draft “take” and that some caution should be applied until after we see who the Giants select. Some may wonder why I’d be willing to insert Thompson into the tier 2 range here. It really is a “gut call” that if he enters 2018 as the free safety that the improved talent added to the squad this year could force some more opportunities his way. The odds are that he’ll likely receive some production by default as teams work to find ways to avoid Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, and Ogletree. If Eli Apple enters 2018 as the starter across from Jenkins at the cornerback position we may see Thompson cleaning up what Apple misses as he has struggled since being in the league.

Thompson’s role will not change much from the 3-4 to 4-3 base. With the history of how defensive coordinator Bettcher used his safeties in Arizona Thompson should receive a firm tier 2 tag and be considered in the late second wave of safeties coming off the board. When acquiring him versus a rookie pick we would have to believe that after a lackluster season in 2017 he could be had for as little as a 4th round pick.


Olivier Vernon’s tier of production may be a little tricky to make a call on at this point. And can hinge greatly on his position classification in any given fantasy league. We should still consider him as a possible low tier 2 type at the moment simply because there just isn’t any other option for the Giants at the outside linebacker position that will likely outplay him. We have to think that outside linebacker could be a position that the Giants address early in the draft but shouldn’t affect Vernon’s role. After trading Jason Pierre-Paul to Tampa Bay he is simply the best option as a pass rusher on the squad.

As an outside linebacker in the 3-4 base, he’ll likely stick his hand in the dirt as a defensive end when the 4-3 is applied. I personally can not suggest taking him earlier than the third wave of linebackers off the board and I have no suggested rookie pick that could be offered. His best value will likely be if a site has him listed as an edge rusher or defensive end in 2018.


The “Flier”

Calvin Munson was a player I wrote about back in early March before the Giants acquired Alec Ogletree. Because of Goodson’s situation is currently not a lock I’m still inserting him here as a player to watch as a “flier” with some upside. Of course, a “flier” deserves just a flier acquisition. If you would like more on Munson please refer HERE to why he remains on our radar.


Thank you again for reading. Please feel free to catch me on Twitter @HBogart27 for anything IDP.

Fantasy Football Fan Focus

Over some time while writing, I’ve received a lot of emails with IDP questions in general. This particular email was by far the most in-depth I have ever had and has put in motion the idea that maybe I could assist anyone willing to go as far as this gentleman has with an overall team assessment. The email included detailed information that allowed me to sit back and break things down in general. I will point out that this particular gentleman had only sought out possible reassurance in his own assessment and that I merely tried to break down what he supplied.

After approaching trusted fellow writers and asking if there was a benefit to other fantasy football owners by publishing such an email and assessment, the response was that it very well could. With that being said, I’d like to thank Ray @RaymondBrace for sharing and agreeing to share an overall assessment from my point of view of his IDP lineup and situation. Please, if anyone is willing to share this in-depth type information and like to help the IDP committee as it grows, please follow me @HBogart27 and email me with this kind of detailed info to share. 


Please keep in mind that I’ve limited the editing of this email to keep from altering the “feel.” After all, emails are a personal touch way of corresponding and there is no real reason to lose that effect. My replies are in Red.


The Email and Assessment:

Hi Gary


After joining my first IDP league, I feel more overwhelmed now than when I first started doing FF in 2001. Being a fan of the NFL, in general, at least I already knew who many of the league’s best players were. On the other side of the ball, still only marginally paying attention is my leagues with DSTs or occasional match-ups v. my guys. So I’ve been reading some of your articles with great interest and trying to up my game.

I realize this is long-winded, so if you don’t have time, it’s all good. *In-depth, made time.

12 Team League – Roster 50 plus 5 Rookie Only Taxi plus 5 IR *HUGE, but when reading on I see with 20 starters total each week, understandable.

Offense Start 10 – 1QB, 2-5RB, 2-5WR, 2-5TE *Wide open “flex” lineup.

Scoring is Stock PPR except TE Rec = 1.75 *Interesting making TE’s a prime target in the upper tier while helping the value of the lower tiers.

IDP Start 10 – 2-5DT/DE, 3-6LB, 2-5DB/S *Wide open “flex” type lineup.

Scoring is DT/DB premium *Suspect to level the playing field with 10 total starters.

Fum = 2, Int/Sack = 4 *As stated, Scoring is DT/DB premium. Assuming it brings DTs up in-line more with DEs and a bump up for playmaking DBs.

DE/LB/S  Assists/Passes Defensed = 1, Tackles/TFL = 1.5 *A base setting for positions that normally have the edge over its counterparts (DT/DB)

DT/DB  Assists/Passes Defensed = 1.25, Tackles/TFL = 2 *Additional increases to try and level the playing field across the IDP lineup.

Current roster has 54 (Check)

Offense 23 – 2QB, 5RB, 9WR, 7TE (Check)

Defense 31 – (Check)

DT – KClark, FCox

DE – DLawrence, CHeyward, SLawson, DFowler, WGholston, JWillis

LB – VWilliams, NVigil, MSmith, BIrvin, JRyan, ELee, DJohnson, RQuinn, KPierre-Louis, JJenkins

DB – JPoyer, DKing, KFuller, PRobinson, TWilliams, GConley, MClaiborne

S – SDavis, HSmith, JTartt, JAddae, Swearinger, JJohnson

Scoring observations with year one in the books: (Check)

Highest scoring IDP is LB at #41 overall with 15 LBs in top 100 overall *LB still kept the edge in scoring even with scoring settings adjusted, noted.

Highest scoring DB/S was #63 overall with 6 DB/S in top 100 overall *Indications that score settings helped, but didn’t go overboard.

Top 36 DB/S – 13 were S, 23 were DB *CB gained a small edge, likely do to INT premium. Safety is more tackle dependent overall.

Highest scoring DT/DE was #95 overall *Indications that score settings helped, but didn’t go overboard.

Top 24 DT/DE – 14 were DE, 10 were DT *Indications that score settings helped, but didn’t go overboard.

With above roster within position groups (Check)

DT/DE – I think I did okay with Lawrence #4, Heyward #11, and Clark #21 *Agree with “ok”, think some luck with Lawrence breakout helped a lot.

LB – I must have been asleep at the wheel with Williams #18, Irvin #51, Vigil #61, Ryan #63 *Agree, overall LBs need a major overhaul.

DB/S – Again pretty good with King #2, Poyer #6, Fuller #11, Davis #18, Smith #23, Addae #27 *Agree, overall might be best looking as a unit.

My final thoughts on this squad are 1)  I need a serious upgrade at LB, and 2) I’m carrying too may DB/S considering the drop-off from #36 to #85 is only 1.4 points per game and with average weekly team scoring in excess of 200 points. 100% agree.

Finally to my questions…

Upcoming rookie only draft in June is 6 rounds, I have 1.03, 1.08, 1.10, 1.12, 2.01, 2.03, 2.04, 2.07, 2.09, 3.05, 3.11, and 6.03.

-Considering this is my first go with a rookie draft that includes IDP, at what point do I consider jumping in for the top LB prospects?

-Do I have too many 2nd rounders and would be better trading back to acquire more 3rd/4th or later/future picks as a better value?

Answer: Going to address this with one “take.” You’re asking “the” million dollar question that has recently been a very hot topic among people on Twitter in the fantasy football realm. Mainly the question as to when you should jump in on the IDPs in a rookie draft. I would also like to note that in a redraft I’d approach answering this the same way. And I also want to say I wish there was a more clear answer to pass on to you. But realistically there is not. There are simply too many variables from league to league with many different owners involved and how a draft will “flow” as picks are made. Yes, there may be a trend overall, but not one to a point a decisive answer can be given. It only takes one of the owners to reach for an IDP or a group that would decide that overall IDPs should slide over deeper fliers on the offensive side of the ball along with many scenarios in between. The best advice I have is to play the market as the draft unfolds versus your roster needs if wanting to draft help on the defensive side of the ball. By your in-depth email here I will assume your an owner that would take the time to use rookie rankings (suggest after the draft rankings) while paying attention to activities like OTAs. You should consider that if you have an offense your happy with either entering the draft or reach that point during the draft that you start picking when you’re comfortable. I say this because there simply are no sure things at any round. I would think that your second round picks would be where you would want to jump in on the best IDPs. Trading back is an option, but doing so may not actually garner an edge in the quality of rookie IDPs you’ll have to select from. If your dead set to draft and improve you IDPs thru the draft I will add this simple fact. Over the many years I have been playing IDP on average I’d guess I say that only about 15% of rookie IDPs “matter” to a point that they can make your squad better the first year or even beyond. I’m making this statement to prepare you if things don’t quite work out as well as you may want with your rookies in year one of selecting them. My final word would be if you’re going for it, don’t hesitate to jump in with your second round picks starting with linebackers and be the first to take them off the board. Assuming no one else has at that point. If they have then join in asap with your next selection. One would have to think that by the 2nd round all premium rookies are off the board on the offensive side of the ball. There is just no simple way to say when it is too broad of a situation to determine from draft to draft. If anyone could answer this million dollar question correctly and element any variables as they did, they would rise to fame in a matter of no time among the fantasy football realm.

Of the lower scoring IDPs I have rostered, which ones are worth hanging onto v. which ones are simply roster-cloggers?

Answer: In my personal assessment of your IDPs I would say that a major overhaul is needed. I believe I may just be agreeing with your own assessment as you’ve emailed me about the situation. I also believe with all the information you’ve sent me that your IDP side of the ball is do for a rebuild or upgrade, depending on your method you choose. I’m choosing to instead of listing who you can drop, to list who should be worth keeping and why along with who is expendable if needing space. I believe you have a large amount of work to do to bring this lineup into a position that it’ll be competitive enough to help you win.


Keep: ✔ = one of your best players to hold out of those players your roster offers. ✖ = expendable

DT Clark Should be on the upside course with a better 2018 season.

DT Cox ✔ Worth a hold to see if he reclaims his 2014/15 form.

DE Lawrence  ✔ May have a top 10 DL on your hands for next few years.

DE Heyward ✔ Your second best DL.

DE Lawson ✔ Worth a hold for one more year, needs to get it together, depth.

DE Fowler ✔ Looked like a top-notch breakout player to start 2017, but tailed off. A hold, depth.

DE Gholston ✖  Time has simply run its course and now Bucs have moved on adding Vinny Curry and JPP.

DE Willis ?  A tough call here. Has his “upside” enough to keep as Bengals worked him in and he actually had first-round pedigree taken in third.

Overall DL assessment: Solid and likely not needing a major overhaul off the top. Might think about adding a third DT if a solid option can be added/located.


LB Vigil ✔ Might be your best option at the moment at LB. Burfict SSPD/Limbo and only Preston Brown right now as competition to start.

LB Smith Odds are your next best hold to see if he’ll recover from injury and earn a role with 9ers.

LB Williams ✖ Steelers signed Bostic for a reason, Williams can’t cut it as Shazier replacement. Might not even be on a team in 2018 or possible trade bait.

LB Ryan ? Out of this group worth a hold to see what new defensive coordinator works out in Green Bay.

LB Johnson ✖ Old and lost a step a couple years ago. “IF” he finds another team, unlikely to amount to enough to miss him.

LB Pierre-Louis ? Out of this group may be worth a hold to see if he can unseed Lee. A “flier” so still expendable at this time.

LB Lee ✖ Had to actually look him up. Placing odds he ever became relevant for 9ers at 1 in 10,000 chances.

OLBs Irvin & Jenkins ✖✖ Unless Mack, Clowney, Miller or maybe in top 5 of OLBs, can not suggest you’ll ever want to use them more than depth.

OLB/DE Quin ✔ Only reason he is a great option to keep is the fact he is likely moving back to DE after being traded to Miami, an asset for trade or possible becomes a top DL play.

Overall LB assessment: However you decide to do it you were 100% correct, this entire unit needs rebuilt and/or upgraded. Likely only one serviceable LB in 2018 with Vigil. With being able to start up to six Lbs each week this is also another reason to focus on improving to the max. By your own indications of what position scored the best in year-end rankings, you’re best case scenario will be to have six viable starters and all of them inside linebackers from the 3-4 scheme or WLB and MLB from the 4-3 scheme. A major focal point! If at all possible you want to start all six that you can at LB each week. Even at 4-5 would benefit you greatly. Six is the target number, even if you use other positions as depth if needed for bye weeks and such per your league range of flex spots.


CB: Before we go on I need to state my thoughts before we look at who you have on the roster to help explain my assessment. I have a saying I live by if forced to use CBs in a lineup. I’m simply not a fan, but your case I see the need as INTs are at a very high premium level. The saying is “CBs are dime a dozen on the waiver wire in most standard size leagues throughout the season”. In this case with a nice sized roster for each team and the circumstances involved, I can see why learning heavily for now on this fact might work in your favor. But I don’t actually suggest it.

CB King 100% hold and number one play at DB from what I see. As long as they use him as they did in 2017.

CB Fuller ? If this is kyle, expendable and replaceable later as you rebuild, not an INT magnet so far in his career with the Bears. If this is Kendall Fuller who just recently became a Chief, he is worth a hold to see what they do with him on a defense being revamped. He holds “upside”.

CB Robinson ✖ Could be picked on across from Latimore with the Saints. But no INT history to a pt that makes him not expendable right now.

CB Williams  ✖ Can not locate any T. Williams highlighting INTs as their “fortia”, so to speak. Replaceable.

CB Conley  ✖  Unknown, high draft pick means likely not going to be “picked” on down the road. Roster spot expendable versus his odds.

CB Claiborne  ✖ In six season had one INT in in five of those seasons a year. Most expedable!

CB Poyer ✔ If you hit Bills FS Poyer at a designated CB for 2017, u hit gold. In 2018, expect a change to S, but the “upside” remains as one of the few FS you should target at a high end DB. Worth seeing if he can do it again in 2018.

SS/FS Davis ✔ A “hold”, played SS in 2017 with some “upside”, might be a FS for Steelers in 2018 holding even more “upside”.

S Smith ? Worth a hold but mainly as trade bait if there is a buyer or tail end of your lineup. Good enough to be avoided by QBs. Hit his peak in 2017 with 5 INTs while averaging as a mid-S2 most of his six year career. Hold and/or shop.

S Tartt ✔ Should be heavy in tackles enough if he can stay healthy in 2018. Worth the hold.

S Addae ✔ A “hold” as long as he stays at SS. Tackle heavy and works into depth/starter. Huge questions on all IDPs for Chargers in 2018. But he should be safe.

FS Swearinger ✔ Depth for your roster with upside, on the Redskins, wide open how he could work out.

SS Johnson ✔ Might be the most “under the radar” player for you roster in 2018 at DB. LB Ogletree trade to Giants might be a major play for his outlook in 2018.


After our rookie draft in June, we’re scheduled to make our roster cuts at some point before FABB opens.  We have $200. Some FA players available:

DT/DE – Pierre Olsen, Trevon Coley, Willie Henry

LB – Zach Vigil, John Simon, Martrell Spaight, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Jabaal Sheard, Nicholas Morrow

DB/S – Ken Crawley, Reggie Nelson, Ryan Smith, Justin Simmons

Overall: Nothing to see here, we move on and shoot for higher. I would consider Justin Simmons over the cornerbacks I suggested you could move on from.

Are any of those guys worth adding to my roster as upgrades and, if so, should I spend $$ or add them only if they’re free? One, Justin Simmons.


Am I on the right track with my analysis? YES

Thank you in advance 

Ray @RaymondBrace

My overall thoughts here are simple. And in order of what I would try to do if this was my roster and I was wanting to win now or soon, which is the only way I know how to look at things. As I may have mentioned, I do not see a short-term fix thru the draft(s) over the next couple of seasons. The odds are just not that great you’ll replace any players that should be upgraded on by risk thinking that rookies can get the job done. I would use my players of value and the rookie picks to trade for “known” linebackers off the top. My number one goal would start the maximum linebackers as possible. And I’m not suggesting starting any linebackers lower than the second tier. If I cannot work trades between now and your draft and at least upgrade to 4-5 (hopefully) 6 starting linebackers then try to pick the best linebackers you can in the draft if you have any picks left after upgrading. I’ll venture to say if you look at the leagues strongest rosters they will have strong linebackers and a full compliment to insert every week. The remaining part of my lineup would then be the best strong safety, free safety and DLs I can keep or get my hands on. If I want to win, I’ll pay what it costs to do so. If not, I fear you are in a long-term rebuild that could last for years and never may work out even if trying so thru the rookie drafts alone. From my standpoint, it rarely works. And one last thought which I believe was clearly apparent in what you provided in information is that increasing the points in favor a DT/DB premium with sacks and INTs didn’t actually seem to affect their standings to a point that would make them prime targets to use in the lineup overall. I suggest that if such scoring is implicated that it isn’t a distraction from the actual prime positions that are known to be the most tackle dependant. Sacks and INTS are simply bonus stats and can’t be depended on. This is only a suggestion and not assuming that is what happened. The “trick” to IDP lineups are the dependable stats and the positions that consistently reward us each and every week.

Thank you again Ray for sharing and I hope from whatever angle you try to build you IDPs up that the fantasy gods bless you with achieving your goal.

To anyone who may be interested in why I look at things as I do, please feel free to check out my article I consider my “Bible” for building a top-notch IDP lineup HERE. It’s taken years to accumulate and has never let me down.In other words, it’s always got me into the playoffs to have that chance to win the league. And to possibly help anyone in another major question concerning IDP Trade Values please feel free to check out what I suggest HERE.

Always feel free to reach out to me for all IDP.

Gary @HBogart







The IDP Geek Huddle: Tennessee

Scheme Overview

While we have been covering the NFL teams with new head coaches over the last couple of months all indications at the moment are that Tennessee will remain the same in terms of defensive scheme. New head coach Mike Vrabel has a lengthy history of being a defensive coordinator and even a player in the NFL with the 3-4 defensive scheme. Vrabel also hired former Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees who also has a history with the 3-4 scheme and all but locks down this assumption. So for our fantasy football IDP team purposes, this “take” may not be as informative in the aspect that things will be any different for 2018 in Tennessee. However, there may be some changes in how they use the personnel that may be inserted into the lineup so we will “take” on the likely IDP players that should have roles we will want to pay attention to for our starting IDP lineups.

On a personal note, I’m not excited for us to cover the Titans at this time. I did “poll” on what team we should cover next on Twitter and have to say when the Titans became the next team I sighed a little. To any Titans fans, this isn’t personal, I just had it in mind that from what I knew already about Vrabel being hired that it would likely not result in much of a change to “take” on. Granted we should still take the look at the situation, I’m just not excited about any certain player we are going to cover from a personal standpoint. With this being said let’s dive into our main IDP targets off the squad and why we should consider them for our IDP lineups. We do need to keep in mind that the draft is just around the corner and this status of the IDPs may change some.


Defensive Backs

I never realized that when I started this series that I would find myself repeating the same thing as each team was covered. I don’t “take” nor do I suggest cornerbacks for our IDP leagues. I will point out that Malcolm Butler has been signed by the Titans and can likely be seen as the “shutdown corner” and less likely to be targeted. For that reason, he’ll likely not be the cornerback to target for our IDP lineups if so. The likely target would probably be Adoree’ Jackson on the other outside position and possibly Logan Ryan who should be the slot guy. I will make an assumption here from what I know about the tendencies of Vrabel. We will likely see a large amount of the nickel package placing all three cornerbacks on the field at the same time. I will touch on this farther down the road here in another portion of this article. If you are looking to target a cornerback off of the Titans defense, the best option should end up being Jackson in 2018. Butler has his rep and experience while Ryan’s snap count may not be at a full amount. Thus the likely odds are that even if Jackson was outstanding last year he is still the likely candidate to be tested again in 2018 by default. It’s one of those situations where a team has no obvious “target” at the moment because all three have the same skillset per their likely roles.


Currently, at safety, we are looking at breakout star Kevin Byard from 2017 returning to his free safety role. If there is one player that we should assume will be a top-tier player at his position for IDP off this squad its him. He recorded a total of 87 combined tackles with an astonishing 24 passes defended, 8 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. Not only is this good production in our base target of combined tackles from a safety, but the “playmaking” stats are fundamental indication he is a great player. Byard just may be the most talented player on the defensive unit, to be honest. Now we will throw a red flag at the situation for 2018. Neither Vrabel or Pees has produced a defense with an outstanding free safety for our IDP purposes in recent years. Without writing a completely in-depth article of its own on this subject lets just take a look at the numbers the past two season’s from each of the coaches free safeties.

They are not exactly inspiring as one would want as a top-tier safety in terms of consistency by position. While it does range from a lower tier 1 to a tier 3, we have to think that Byard is that special of a talent and versatile enough retain about the same numbers in 2018. I’ll add also that before Weddle’s first season in 2016 with Baltimore that they haven’t had a great free safety produce high in IDP.

As we “lean” into the next player with a “take” let’s keep this in mind. The former head coach and defensive coordinator found it was more plausible to use Byrd closer to the line as more of a strong safety at times, depending on the situation last season. Thus putting him in position to have those opportunities to make the play more. Surely leaving us to want Byard as a tier 1 safety option in 2018 as they build the defense up to the standard in 2018 with a new regime. Byard has to be seen as the number one player to target as far as the Titans IDPs are a concern and in the first wave of our safeties taken off the board in re-drafts for 2018. The question would be at what part of the wave. Because there are going to be questions I believe the safe bet is towards the end of that wave. And compared to rookie picks this year, it’s “risk versus reward” with potential top-notch production as the pecking order is confirmed in Tennessee. A second-round pick isn’t out of the question here in standard size leagues. Byard is our number one target for IDP purposes off of the Titans defense currently, but with risk. As the Titans “tweak” that defense in 2018 they have to be thinking that Byard is a special talent and must be put in position for opportunities to make plays for them.



Currently, the strong safety position would likely be Johnathan Cyprien, who in his first season with the Titans after signing a nice contract didn’t perform as well as they wanted. He did suffer a knee injury that cost him time early in 2017 and may have hampered him thru the rest of the season even after he returned to the field. There are a couple things we need to point out here about Cyprien. There was a reason that Jacksonville let him walk in free agency to the Titans in 2017. And this same reason is why above I mentioned that Byard received a lot of time in the strong safety position at times.
Cyprien’s coverage skills are not his best talent. He has always seemed to struggle to cover receivers off the line of scrimmage. With this being said let’s add up all I have mentioned above about the Titans secondary overall. A likely scenario will be we see a lot of nickel packages in 2018 by the team. Possibly even when it’s not necessarily a passing situation. Hence the Butler signing, tendencies of Vrabel, and the talent of Byard, Jackson, and Ryan. Where does this leave Cyprien? It actually may not leave him out in the cold as much as all these things can indicate. If they decide to run packages leaving Cyprien on the field he simply could become that targeted player as the opposing teams avoid the rest of the secondary. Another situation that may work in Cyprien’s favor is that if they feel that he is the best option to stay on the field as a run stopper in those packages and let all the other secondary players take the coverages. He may then end up playing an inside linebacker-strong safety role that could stack his tackle box stats.

Be sure to check out our friends at The IDP Guys Podcast. This week they have several great guests and topics they cover including Dynasty Football with Tyler Ghee, plus the Gut Check Twitter poll reactions, the guys continue with their Top 100 IDP Countdown and our own Gary VanDyke has a spot on the show as well.

These are some big “ifs” and “maybes”. And to throw yet another red flag, and along the same lines as what I pointed out with the free safety position with Byard, the strong safety is not a position in the past for this defensive scheme to be a known producer at a high level. Tony Jefferson went from a top-tier 1 safety with the Cardinals to a tier 2 safety in Baltimore under Pees. And as for Vrabel’s defenses in Houston, the strong safety position was basically a black hole. By that I mean I can not think of a strong safety on the Texans over the last 5 years that has made a big IDP impact. Now granted they haven’t had the “talent” at that strong safety position either, and Cyprien would be the most talented that Vrabel has had on his roster. But all of this leaves into question exactly what Cyprien can do for us and our IDP purposes in 2018. With this risk versus reward situation, we shouldn’t reach any higher than the end of the second wave of safeties taken off the board in redrafts. And with that risk, we shouldn’t overpay at the moment with rookie picks. I personally think a “safe” investment in a rookie pick would be a third. Overall I feel he is an “avoid” in redrafts for 2018 and a “sell” if I can find someone willing to give me more than a third-round pick if I own him. The only clear thing we have to look at this time would be the lack of overall talent on the depth chart and the question of who Vrabel depends on in 2018. As I mentioned, Vrabel doesn’t seem to covet the strong safety position by his track record. So we are unlikely to see them draft high in this year’s rookie draft at that position. If he does, and a strong safety type is selected in the top two rounds, be worried, really worried, if you are a Cyprien owner.


Defensive Lineman

At the moment we only have one defensive lineman we should consider on the Titans in 2018 as a possible starter in our lineups. And that is our “known” and main defensive end Jurrell Casey. He has had an up and down career in IDP production from a tier 1 to a tier 3 with the Titans. But this has been the situation due to the fact that he is a force on the line and it has left him as the guy to get blocked off the top by opposing lineman. He is still in his prime and possibly can reach the tier 1 to an upper-tier 2 in 2018. They’ve just signed Bennie Logan to play the nose tackle and that’s simply a position that barely registers on our IDP formats. At the other end of the line is DaQuan Jones. He is a solid run defender but has really only reached a solid tier 2 level in his four years in IDP production one time. Leaving him as a depth player if we need one. It boils down to one simple fact with Casey being our only real DL target. The 3-4 scheme doesn’t on average produce highly productive IDP players per defensive lineman. And if it wasn’t for Casey being a “monster” we would have been avoiding him as well. But based on his potential he could be an option in the late first wave of DLs off the board with a safer bet being in the second. If we are to gamble on him in 2018 as a possible tier 1 DL, we can really only suggest a fourth-round pick to acquire him. There should be other options we consider first.



Unfortunately, at this time, there is only one linebacker we should consider for our starting lineups in 2018 also. Wesley Woodyard is likely the main linebacker in 2018 for Vrabel. Again leaning on his known players in a year they piece together the defense. Woodyard is a ten-year vet that had roles that have had him reaching from a tier one and as low as a tier three. He is not a top talent, but he has had some good years of production by default. The Titans also just signed longtime Washington linebacker Will Compton and they also have a second-year player with “upside” in Jayon Brown. But both of them are not suggestable players at this time other than maybe stashing at the end of our rosters. The likely scenario at the moment would be Woodyard as the main every down player and Compton getting the two down thumper type roll. Brown did see a lot of playing time last season but overall he struggled. There is just simply not enough here to recommend taking either Brown or Compton at this time before the later 3rd wave in redrafts. And because of risks with Woodyard and not 100% knowing how this plays out until later in the summer, he can only be suggested as a mid 2nd wave pickup with risk. Don’t be shocked if we see a rookie selected by the Titans in the 2nd or 3rd round of this years draft adding another curveball.

As for the outside linebackers they are currently depending on at the moment, they should be avoided. Brian Orakpo has seen his better days and Derrick Morgan and Kevin Dodd haven’t been notable. This is also another area we may see Vrabel address in the draft early. But we shouldn’t exactly jump for joy and target whoever they may select if the player is an OLB simply because we think they could be a starter. If we are to roster any OLB it has to be for depth, deep depth. Feel free to check out exactly why HERE.


The Titans IDP Overview In 2018

This is my personal overview of how to handle the Titans IDPs in 2018. And I’m going to apologize to all the Titan fans who may have voted to cover their team in my last poll on who I should cover. This was one of the teams, maybe the only team in the poll I actually didn’t think would win out and have us making a “take” on at this time. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it, it’s that I didn’t think they win the poll before the rookie draft. If I made my “take” after the rookie draft I thought I might have more “flier appeal” to talk about and even reach into the OTA area of the offseason to have more positives in general. But as this defense stands at the moment I’m sorry to say I don’t have the best outlook overall for the group as a whole for our IDP purposes. Yes, there is a new coaching staff and yes the future does look a bit more positive beyond 2018. But as of the moment, all indications are that for 2018 that we are looking at only a couple players that could make an impact for our IDP purposes at a level we want. One or two at a possible tier 1, but both with risks. Don’t get me wrong there are great upside players, but we simply can’t “jump” of the charts and say at this time of the off-season we should go and draft them as more than what we have covered. I’m going to look at the past Houston defenses over the last couple of seasons to explain myself. With J.J. Watt fighting a back injury, there has been basically two players worthy of our starting lineups to target over the last couple of seasons. That would be OLB Clowney (BEAST) and ILB Mckinney. As for the rest, there has been some great talent but little to suggest as players we have to target for our starting lineups. And because Clowney is an outside linebacker and in McKinney’s three seasons he has only been a tier 1 (barely) ILB, there’s just nothing to see here at the moment. And the one huge player in Byard isn’t actually showing us any favors by the coaching staff from the past history as a top-notch position.

I tried, I really did try hard to “spin” something out of this team IDP take. But it boils down to what we have to suggest at the moment as status quo and that there is no top of the top-tier players to go out of our way and target at this time with 100% confidence. So my best suggestions are as follows.

  1. Kevin Byard: The only true target.
  2. Johnathan Cyprien: At the risk of being wrong, an avoid or trade bait.
  3. Adoree’ Jackson: This should show how desperate I am to suggest as an IDP. If you 100% need to start a cornerback, great target here.
  4. Wesley Woodward: If you had to start a max 4 LBs each week, he is a 3rd at best. And hopefully your 4th option or 1st depth.
  5. Jurrell Casey: If you have to start 2 DLs, hopefully, he is your 2nd option at best.

I do wish I had better to “take” on here at this time. But a new coaching staff does not mean a better outlook. Talent is “talent” and production by default cannot be predicted at this time with the Titans. If the Titans offense is better in 2018 and the defense sees less time on the field because of it, things could actually be worse off than I’m setting the bar at here.

Thank you again for reading. Please feel free to catch me on Twitter @HBogart27, I’d love to hear from you.




The IDP Geek Huddle: Spring Time IDP Rankings


Before we have a look at my IDP rankings at this time of the off-season there are a few things we should know about how I approach this early off-season order.

  1. These are my Pre-draft rankings and I would not have included any rookie’s anyhow. I am not one to over-hype a rookie his first off-season. I play it safe in a “win-now” state of mind with known players. If or when I cover any rookie rankings it will be in or near the pre-season after they have established themselves, and still unlikely in a position that would suggest an upper-tier. I make sure they earn their position in my rankings first.
  2. With the linebackers, I prefer and suggest inside linebackers over outside linebackers. This reason can be seen in my IDP Bible HERE. With this in mind, note that there are none in my top 32. These rankings are not based on “talent” as much as an “opportunity” to produce for our IDP purposes, at least after the top 10. If you’ll read my Bible you’ll understand exactly why then the OLBs fall out of my top 32. If it would matter the first OLB would be right outside of my top 32.
  3. As for defensive lineman. I will be ranking the top 16 only at this time. At this time of the year and for the standard size leagues I believe it is “splitting hairs” beyond that top 16.
  4. As for defensive backs, I also do not suggest cornerbacks as main targets for our IDP lineups as explained in my IDP Bible either. So with that said the DB ranking is basically a safety ranking. Again, if wanting my thoughts on how to handle leagues that force its members to insert cornerbacks, please see the IDP Bible. I also think at this time of the year that out of the top likely 16 (Top Tier), we start “splitting hairs” and limited my rankings on the safeties.


Note: Because Khalil Mack is somewhat in limbo if he is an OLB he would be the first OLB I ranked at about 33 to 35 on LB list if it included OLBs and went past 32. If he happens to be a DE in 2018 with a scheme change with a new coaching staff, then he would slot in my top 3 somewhere.



Be sure to check out our friends at The IDP Guys Podcast. This week they have several great guests and topics they cover including Dynasty Football with Tyler Ghee, plus the Gut Check Twitter poll reactions, the guys continue with their Top 100 IDP Countdown and our own Gary VanDyke has a spot on the show as well.


Defensive Lineman


Thank you for taking interest in my “limited” rankings for this early offseason. Please feel free to find me on twitter @HBogart27 for anything IDP.

The IDP Geek Huddle: The 2018 Free Agent Linebacker Review 0.3

If you would like to recap the introduction to the series or simply check out the 0.1 linebacker review featuring Anthony Hitchens, Nigel Bradham, Demario Davis, and Avery Williamson click HERE. Or perhaps the 0.2 of this three-part series featuring Zach Brown, Tahir Whitehead, Devon Kennard, Kareem Martin, Todd Davis, Brock Coyle, Josh Bynes, and Barkevious Mingo click HERE. But for the simple purpose of getting right to our “takes”, we’ll move on with no delay.

We do need to take note that since I have started this series that a few lower key linebackers have signed with teams. And for the benefit of our attention spans, we’ll be adjusting plans on the length of “takes” accordingly. In other words, “adjusting on the fly” from this point as this will be the final of the three-part series. Hang thru the first few “takes”, there are more relevant “takes” as we go.


Detroit’s Christian Jones: 2 year $6.35 million, $1.75 million signing bonus, $2.8 million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $3.175 million.
Take: Four-year journeyman with Chicago’s. Definitely, one to keep on the radar as he competes for a role with the Lions. Jones had flashed at times for the Bears when called on and basically has a one in three chance right now he can possibly earn one of the likely two inside linebacker roles with the starting unit. It should be a level playing field between Jones, Reeves-Maybin, and Kennard entering spring activities. He actually has the skills to earn a role one way or the other with the starting defensive unit. Great Flier!

N.Y. Jets Kevin Pierre-Louis: 2 year $6 million, N/A million signing bonus, N/A million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $3 million.
Take: Four-year journeyman who would have likely had an expanded role for the Chiefs in 2018 if not for an off-field issue earlier this year. He could possibly be suspended a few games during the 2018 season. Regardless, a player to keep in mind as the off-season rolls on and the Jets seem determined to change the culture of the team per reports. Darren Lee has not quite lived up to expectations by some reports and there will likely be a door opened for an opportunity to earn a role down the road. Good Flier!

Chicago’s Sam Acho: 2 year $5.5 million, $.5 million signing bonus, $2.95 million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $2.75 million.
Take: Seven-year journeyman drafted by Arizona and spent the last three seasons with the Bears. Likely a depth player for them with a possible rotational role. Can’t advise him as an outside linebacker that hasn’t managed to earn a large role to a point that matters for IDP purposes. Nothing to see here.

Jacksonville’s Lerentee McCray: 2 year $5 million, $.5 million signing bonus, $2 million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $2.75 million.
Take: Four-year undrafted journeyman who has spent time with Denver, Buffalo, and now Jacksonville for a second season if he makes the squad. There are no indications this is more than a depth signing. Nothing to see here.


Pittsburgh’s Jon Bostic: 2 year $4 million, $1.4 million signing bonus, $1.4 million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $2 million.
Team status: 2017 playoff contender, likely a 2018 playoff contender.
Player past history: Five-year veteran drafted in the second round by Chicago in 2013. Never quite “fit” in with the Bears during rebuilding years and struggled some with Injuries. Traded to New England who in turn traded to Lions and he promptly sat out 2016 with an injury. Then signed by the Colts in 2017 to man the main inside linebacker position.
Best tier reached: Upper Tier 2 (2017)
Average overall tier: Tier 2 when healthy
Prior position held by: Ryan Shazier (Vince Williams)
Take: Managed to take his game to a nice level for Colts in 2017 in the 14 games he was healthy as he ended the year on injured reserve for the last two games of the season. He showed well enough as a run-stopper that the Steelers actually might have acquired his services for 2018 at a cut-rate signing. His signing speaks more of the situation with Ryan Shazier and his back injury over the Steelers wanting him. All indications are that Bostic is likely the middle starting linebacker for the Steelers in 2018 barring any further moves. He should be considered at the tail end of the second wave of linebackers off the board in re-drafts. We should note that his dynasty value may hinge on Shazier’s health beyond 2018. While noting that situation, a lower second round pick for his potential opportunity in 2018 to produce for our IDP purposes isn’t as far fetched as some might think. I personally would have no problem planning on Bostic as a top 20 type linebacker in 2018 and would likely spend and draft him accordingly. It is highly unlikely we see Shazier in 2018 and very questionable that he recovers to full health by 2019. Our thoughts and prayers are still with you Mr. Shazier, get well soon sir.


Are you down with IDP? (that is an 80’s song reference, only old people will get that) Then You should also get UP to date on everything IDP with The IDP Guys’ Podcast and Cleatgeeks! Where together we bring Reality to Fantasy!

Cincinnati’s Preston Brown: 1 year $4 million, $2 million signing bonus, $2 million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $4 million.
Team status: struggling, rebuild perhaps while trying hard to win.
Player past history: Four-year starter for Buffalo after being drafted in the third round in 2014.
Best tier reached: Upper Tier 1 (2016/2017)
Average overall tier: Tier 1
Prior position held by: Multiple
Take: First, off I’d like to say this might be the big “take” of these “takes” for me personally in this final 0.3 installment of the series. In 0.2, if you happen to catch that article, I included the definition of an enigma to be able to describe a couple of players we featured. And I’ve spent some time now debating whether to use this description with Brown here in this segment. In the end and with a strong “gut call”, I’ll not be using the term here because I’m confident enough to fall on my sword and straight out make this “take.” And while I’m sure this will not end up being a welcome “take” for many to hear, it is one I can’t find it in my heart to “fluff” anything concerning the situation. All I can mention is that I have followed Preston Brown’s whole career from the time he was drafted until this very moment. And I’ll risk being wrong here over not getting some things said about him going forward. Everyone take a seat, this may be a rough ride for some fans.

Preston Brown has been the poster child for the theory of production by default his entire career. From his rookie season when the Bills endured injuries across the starting linebacker unit it landed him in the starting lineup to 2017 when he had massive numbers as the main clog. Brown has benefited from a lack of talent around him among the linebackers for one reason or another and a struggling Bill’s team in general. The team has been in a sort of rebuild mode one way or another sense Brown joined the team. There has been a couple of defensive scheme changes in the process that Brown has endured with some success and some not so successful results. Meanwhile, he has benefited from a defensive line that on paper looks like it should be top-notch those seasons but just hasn’t lived up to the hype. They have not aggressively address bringing in major competition at the linebacker position that would have pushed Brown. He has shown well as a run stopping linebacker by so much opportunity allowed to him because of these and probably a few other factors that we don’t have time to cover here. He has simply been that productive IDP linebacker by default because of the state of the Bill’s. I simply have no other way to describe it. We should consider what I’m saying here off the top simply because as I’ve said thru this series on the free agent linebackers for 2018 he is just now coming up in order of what he received for a contract and the number of linebackers who have signed before him this off-season. As of the time I’m writing this he is 18th on list of total worth by contracts signed among free agent linebackers. He is also the first one out of the reported main group of linebackers to only receive a one year contract. I also don’t have an exact number, but there was also a large portion of free agents signed before he landed with the Bengals. This in itself should raise a red flag. It isn’t like he was holding out to get paid like a top-10 linebacker as we saw with Zack Brown. If we look at it by the per year average he currently falls to the 34th position among all linebackers. 34th!, for a player that has been highly productive in the tackle department for our IDP purposes that is notable. We should wonder just what the NFL teams saw that this situation happens with a player that toted such a high volume of tackling stats over his four-year career. And why exactly in just a one year $4 million contracts didn’t the Bill’s resign him?

So above in total is one red flag, now let’s consider another area of concern. A sure sign of a player being “productive by default” will be in his history of playmaking stats. By those stats we mean and any other stats other than his tackle numbers.

In four years of running as an every-down player with 93% of the snaps in 2014, 98 % in 2015, 99% in 2016 and 2017 for a grand total of 4,250 snaps on the field on defense, he has a career total of one sack, ten passes defended, three interceptions, and one touchdown.

The Math: 4250 divided by 15 total “playmaking” stats = 1 “playmaking” stat every 283 plays he was on the field with the starting defense.

Without saying much here, let me say this is mediocre at best. And our second red flag, but probably our most important one.

Now we’ll address where he landed with the Bengals and a bit of recent history for the linebacker core. Unless the last name is Burfict, which has spent lots of time suspended recently, they’ve had this thing where the run thru linebackers like a newborn runs thru diapers. Not saying they haven’t been worthy as IDP guys for our lineups to a point. But just saying that it’s a black hole as of late in dependability. For whatever reasons; from injury to rotation of players, the Bengals have been a team for linebackers to just simply fall off the map for the most part. Again in terms of dependable top IDP plays. The most recent was Kevin Minter last season. He had success in Arizona as the starting middle linebacker for a couple of seasons before joining the Bengals for 2017. He also received a one year contract worth $4.25 million (¼ million more than Brown). Now granted Minter was not as successful in default production as Brown has been over his career to that point of joining the Bengals. But Minter is just one example here for me to throw out for us to think about. And we can not tell the future of course. But as the example, Minter ended the season with 32 combined tackles, that’s it. And I can tell you as I was promoting his signing with the Bengals as one to watch this time last year, he was slated at the time for a major role as the starting middle linebacker. I will add he did miss seven contest with injury from what I can locate. But 32 tackles in nine games and the fact that he hasn’t been resigned as of yet and they went after Brown has its own notable facts. Minter was coming of a tier 2 type season in 2016 and had approached the bottom of tier 1 in 2015. We’ll also note Minter was a second round talent in 2013 versus Brown’s third-round selection in 2014. All in all, this is splitting hairs, I know. But he is the recent example along with the fact of how the Bengals seem to be a place that linebackers seem to go to only become just another guy for our IDP purposes. The Bengals situation here has to also be factored in as another red flag.

So to recap, three red flags, and together from my point of view to end this with Brown I’m suggesting to SELL!-SELL!-SELL! as high as you can now, if you can. I personally think I’d take the risk I was 100% wrong by the end of next season and retained some type of value Brown offers up now by trading him rather than to be disappointed this time next season I hadn’t moved on. In a redraft, there is no wave of linebackers that can be suggested with this thinking. As for trade value versus a rookie pick, last round as a flier is as far as we go there. When Burfict is suspended Brown may show well at the start of the season, but can only suggest that is another window to sell him and take my chances. I’d prefer to be wrong on this take rather than “fluff” it up and allow whoever will listen to me to take the hit on a high profile IDP. I’m falling on my sword, avoid this situation at all cost.


With this lengthy “take” on Preston Brown, I’ll be ending this series with this third article here. It isn’t exactly how I pictured ending the series but at this time I’ll make the call that it is as good of a point as any when I look further down the list of recently signed linebackers. We have featured the top current 18 by contracts signed in the series and more than likely any relevant signings. But as a little bonus for sticking with me thru this series and in this third article that isn’t what I would call jammed packed, I want to skip over a couple signings and suggest a player that may be flying under most radars.


New England’s Marquis Flowers: 1 year $1.7 million, $.2 million signing bonus, $.2 million guaranteed, average yearly salary of $1.7 million.
Take: Flowers is one I have dropped a few hints on in a prior article and on twitter. This was before he was re-signed to the Patriots. Instead of me recapping my hints on my “gut call that he’ll have a major role in 2018 and why he should be on the tail end of your roster right now as a potential tier 2 LB/DE, I’ll just finish it with another hint. Flowers just signed a $1.7 million deal after two obscure seasons with the Bengals and traded to be a key cog in the Patriots playoff run and championship in 2017. As a third-year guy who was a sixth-round pick and coming out of nowhere, he got paid for a very good reason. If he is or ends up on your waiver wire he’ll deserve to be kept an eye on for now, or even just picked up if we have room. We need to think of him as a Bill Beliche guy, something we shouldn’t take lightly in this case. I’m positive I’ll expand on this thought as time rolls on this off-season somewhere.

Thank you for reading thru this series and please if you have any follow up questions or anything IDP, please find me on Twitter at HBogart27 and let me know. Until next time, have a good one!




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