IDP Corner: 2019 Draft Landings

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 “best” players, these are the players who have great opportunities for getting to fantasy points, either this year or in the near future.

Defensive Linemen:

Great Landing spot:
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Oakland: No one was expecting Ferrell to be picked so early in the draft but, he has now found himself in the equivalent position that we found Darius Leonard in last year. Ferrell has a great opportunity since no lineman in Oakland last year recorded more than 4 sacks and while he certainly isn’t the best DL prospect this year he certainly has enough talent to clear 4 sacks. As I mentioned, this is just like Leonard last year, the opportunity will be there, he should be a week 1 starter, the question is what will he do with the chance. Overall picking Ferrell in a dynasty rookie draft will be high risk/high reward.

Good Landing spot:
Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco: Great potential player, very full D-line with play makers on the LB and DB levels, who will partially his upper limits of fantasy production. Still a very strong dynasty grab if your league uses DL positions, meaning he should be the first DL player picked in a rookie draft.

Dexter Lawrence, DT, New York Giants: I’m not normally one to get excited about interior linemen but, this Giants’ line has been able to support two seasons of a very healthy Damon Harrison career. Since Harrison is gone as of the middle of last season and Olivier Vernon departed this offseason the Giants need Lawrence’s help. If he was a DE I might have even classified this as a great landing spot. If your league starts DT spots Lawrence should be a target for you, if it’s just DL then he should be a late round or after draft target.

Keep an eye on:
Rashan Gary, Christian Wilkins, Brian Burns, Shaquan “Montez” Sweat, Quinnen Williams, Jachai Polite, Jeffery Simmons, and John Cominsky: this year’s draft was full of DL talent, these guys all have landed in some questionable situations as far as their ability to get to immediate fantasy points but should eventually get there in the next couple of seasons. I particularly like Gary, Burns, and Sweat due to their physical prowess.

Defensive Backs:

Great Landing spot:
Johnathan Abram, S, Oakland: Much like Ferrell earlier, opportunity is the biggest upside for Abram in Oakland. Even though he is very talented the reason he’ll see plenty of opportunity is that Abram is not Karl Joseph, who went on a rollercoaster ride of in and out of Jon Gruden’s favor last year, additionally Joseph profiles as the most likely on the team to cover the slot which will allow for Abram and Lamarcus Joyner to play as proper Safeties.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, New Orleans: I know it sounds strange that I think a player picked in the 4th round of the draft has a chance at being the best rookie DB this year, well here we are, deal with it. CG-J is crazy versatile and NO is going to take heavy advantage of that. More importantly he only needs to fend off Vonn Bell to win the starting job. Bell has been a deeper league gem in fantasy doesn’t have as good of a game in real life and really has been a default starter since Kenny Vaccaro left. Abram, Savage (see below), and Adderley (see below) will all likely get drafted before CG-J so I’ll be looking for him to drop into the late 3rd or 4th round of rookie drafts.

Good Landing spot:
Darnell Savage, S, Green Bay: While there are already a good number talented starters in Green Bay’s secondary, Savage is projecting to be a week 1 starter at safety. A position that has players landing in the top 15 DBs year over year in fantasy. So while there are plenty of other guys in GB that will get fantasy points, Savage should still be very relevant. He’s not my DB1 in rookie drafts but, you could do a lot worse.

Nasir Adderley, S, Los Angeles Chargers: Adderley would be my DB1 if he wasn’t going to be playing next to Derwin James. I think the silver lining here is that Adderley will be used similar to how Adrian Phillips has been over the past two seasons where, he’ll effectively be a deep Linebacker, especially since the Chargers did very little to upgrade their Linebacker group.

Keep an eye on:
Andraez “Greedy” Williams, CB, Cleveland: There is just an obscene amount of entrenched and talented players in Cleveland’s secondary, and even with that Williams is still looking like to be the 2nd CB starter. The problem is that not many CB2 players translate in to fantasy relevant DBs.

Linebackers:

Great Landing spot:
Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh: It’s not hard to speculate that incoming aging veteran Mark Barron should be starting alongside Bush this coming season since last year’s starters for PIT were Bud Dupree and Vince Williams. Bud and Vince did the best they could but, they were very obviously hold overs until PIT could make adjustments. Barron doesn’t have the gas in the tank to block Bush from being the primary starter between him and Bush at ILB, so it’s easy to expect that Bush will be a starter come week 1. Bush should be the first LB taken in rookie drafts, and if he isn’t make sure you get him ASAP.

Good Landing spot:
Devin White, LB, Tampa Bay: Shades away from being a great landing spot for White for fantasy scoring, there are a couple of issues that will have to shake out for us to understand how much White will get used this season. First, Tampa looks like they will be switching from 4-3 to 3-4 to 3-3 defensive schemes depending on their opponent each week and while this is the way things actually work anyway teams usually do have some actual defined scheme that they fall back to, which is not clear yet in TB. Additionally, Deone Bucannon is in front of White at ILB on the depth chart and will get that edge until proven otherwise, which may take a couple of weeks if not the whole season. White has amazing long term potential to be an elite fantasy LB, I just don’t expect to see his full production capability til next year. Based on my expectation that Devin Bush is the first LB picked, I think White will be the second LB taken in rookie drafts.

Keep an eye on:
Khalil Hodge, LB, Un-drafted/Not signed at time of writing: Criticized as not being a physical freak and running a 5.05 40 on his pro day, Hodge did lead the NCAA in total tackles between 2016 and 2018. I believe he’ll find a team eventually and will get a bigger shot than most un-drafted players get. Hodge would be a huge long shot pick in a rookie draft, so much so I don’t expect any fantasy relevance out of him this year, if I do try to add Hodge in my leagues, I’m waiting to get him after drafts.

Blake Cashman, LB, New York Jets: Currently sitting behind the literal wall of talent that the Jets have collected at the Linebacker position. Even if the Jets do jettison Darron Lee and others, Cashman projects to be just a special teamer this year. That said he has the capability to push for starting time and will likely do so next year. I’ll be looking to find a way to get Cashman on my Taxi Squad this year and expect that I’ll be picking him up post rookie draft.

If you’ve enjoyed this article then follow the site @TFFGurus and me @IDP_Decoy on twitter to see when I post more offseason articles over the summer, and then weekly articles in season.

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