IDP Corner: 2017 Draft Landings

There were 5 Linebackers, 6 Defensive Linemen, and 7 Defensive Backs taken in the first round this year of the NFL Draft, many players deserving of such an honor, some… probably would have been still available a round later, but it is obvious teams recognized the amount of defensive talent that was available this year.

Below you will find players I think have landed in great or good spots to stand out in fantasy for IDP. This is not a list of the most talented or skilled, these are the players who will be earning points.

Defensive Linemen:

What we have with the Defensive Linemen is that some of the most talented players have landed on teams that already have a great deal of defensive wealth which will inhibit them from their true ceiling for scoring.

As should be the rule for all DL players, if your league does not have starting positions for them then drafting these players should be avoided. Now, let us see who landed where.

Defensive Linemen Great Landing spots:

Derek Barnett, PHI – While landing on a team that is flush with defensive talent Barnett has some good news, 32 year old Chris Long is currently occupying Barnett’s starting spot. Long, while having a career resurgence last year in NE, is a situational player and a locker room leader. Barnett has his mind committed to football since joining the Eagles, and has been working on his weaknesses to be as ready as possible for the coming season. He should quickly be gaining starting duties.

Jonathan Allen, WAS – While Washington has put together an abundance of talent at the linebacker and defensive back positions this offseason, the only thing they did to upgrade their defensive line was to add Jonathan Allen. More importantly only Ryan Kerrigan has a history of collecting sacks. Allen will be a day one starter, and in addition to his line play, he showed the ability to play both inside and as an Outside Linebacker in college, so there is a chance we see a 5 or 6 linebacker formation in the nation’s capital this year.

Takkarist McKinley, ATL – Besides Vic Beasley, no one on the Falcons had over 5 sacks last season. McKinley should have plenty of chances to visit opposing players behind the line of scrimmage this season.

Defensive Linemen Good Landing spots:

Taco Charlton, DAL – Can his nickname be “Tuesday”? It’s likely Taco Tuesday won’t be starting to start the season, Demarcus Lawrence has the starting role for now. Additionally, there are plenty of players built up sacks last year for the Cowboys, so he’ll have a hard time getting a chance to stand out amongst the crowd.

Myles Garrett, CLE and Solomon Thomas, SF – the First and Third overall picks, and arguably the two most talented players in this year’s draft, Garrett and Thomas have each landed in situations where they will help their real life defenses more than they will make an impact in fantasy IDP. Thomas, playing in a 4-3 defense, will be on the same said of the line as DeForest Buckner, on a team that also spent free agency money on good LBs and DBs, oh and drafted Reuben Foster. Garrett, playing in a 3-4 defense, will have Jamie Collins starting at the LB spot behind him. Cleveland improved other areas of their defense through both free agency and the draft as well. Both Garrett and Thomas look poised to do great in the NFL, but they have both landed on teams that have put a great deal of talent around them, which means there will be many mouths to feed. That said both will most likely produce a good deal of fantasy points for DL rookies this year, they could have produced more, had they landed else where is all.

Linebackers:

The thinnest of the three IDP positions in the draft, luckily the top players still provide us plenty to talk about. So let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy landings.

Linebacker great landing spots:

Reuben Foster, SF – Off the field and combine issues aside Foster has undeniable talent and had I been writing this a week ago, I would have categorized in the “good” landing spot, not the “great” but, it appears that NaVorro Bowman looks to be having a hard time recovering to his old form after his Achilles injury last year. The 49er’s have plenty of talent on defense, but if Bowman does get cut Foster will have plenty of chance to fill the void.

Haason Reddick, ARZ – 35, soon to be 36, year old Karlos Dansby stands between Reddick and full on starting. Reddick will get plenty of reps to start the year, which will likely transition into a full time role by mid season. The Cardinals have had plenty of work for their LBs over the past couple of season and with Calais Campbell departing there will be plenty more to be done.

Jarrad Davis, DET – Day 1 starter at middle linebacker on a team where even Tahir Whitehead was able to produce Pro-Bowl level stats.

Carl Lawson, CIN – Coach speak is usually not worth the paper it is written on, but Paul Guenther (CIN’s DC) has been down right giddy when talking about Lawson. It is looking like we may see Lawson open the season as left outside linebacker for the Bengals.

Linebacker good landing spots:

Zach Cunningham, HOU – The Texans defense was back into form last year, they play as a cohesive unit, and pretty much have a set front seven. This means the Texans will likely take their time to develop Cunningham, so while he will eventually develop into a 3 down player, his immediate value is low for his talent.

Defensive Backs:

Our friends who play the DB positions will not be denied their spot in the sun for this article, the most drafted position of IDP in the first round there are a couple players who could potentially have a great impact on fantasy this season.

Defensive Backs great landing spots:

Marshon Lattimore, NO – He’s already penciled in as a starter. New Orleans secondary had the stopping power of a matador’s cloak. He is going to get plenty of chances to produce plenty of numbers.

Malik Hooker, IND – The Colts did very little to remedy their putrid defense, aside from drafting Hooker. Given his skills and the vast amount of opportunities Hooker will have to make plays, there is a chance he not only ends up as the high scoring rookie IDP player, but could land in the top 10 overall for IDP.

Jamal Adams, NYJ – With the departure of Calvin Pryor, Adams has one less player competing for the starting spot he has already been given. The addition of Demario Davis will thin out how many tackles bleed down to the Safeties, but Adams will collect his fair share.

Jabrill Peppers, CLE – Greg Williams is Jabrill Peppers’ Defensive Coordinator, that is all you really need to know and understand. Greg Williams is the same coach who helped Mark Barron transition from Safety to Linebacker, Peppers has show the skill and ability to play both, and Cleveland looks ready to use him as such.

Defensive Backs good landing spots:

Josh Jones and Kevin King, GB – King will be a day 1 starter, Jones will be worked in eventually. The Packers are looking into changing how their defense operates and is constructed, we could be seeing 3 Safety sets in Lambeau this season.

Marlon Humphrey, BAL – The Ravens have tried dearly to rebuild a strong secondary. Jimmy Smith is sitting in front of Humphrey in the standard 2 CB setup, but we will likely see Humphrey on the field in the packages that include more of them.

Budda Baker, ARZ – Tyrann Mathieu 2.0, Baker will be used all over the field for many different roles, the issue is that there is so much talent kicking around in Arizona that he’ll get limited opportunities to shine early in the season.

Obi Melifonwu, OAK – Pure un-molded talent, Melifonwu will likely be a backup almost all season, but should be starting in 2018, luckily we’ll get to see him make some plays this year anyway.

That wraps up the great/good landing spots for IDP, there are plenty of other players I hope to see emerge, but the odds are not currently in their favor (Tim Williams in BAL comes to mind, who has entrenched players in front of him). Stay on the look out for our upcoming top 10’s at each position as we progress through the preseason.

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