Welcome to my 2022 Fantasy Football IDP Overrated & Underrated Players!
When it comes to Fantasy Football, it is hard to go wrong when selecting a proven star on draft day.
No one will question starting a draft with Justin Jefferson or Derrick Henry. Yet, when looking at the other side of the ball in an IDP league, sometimes it is the unknown commodity that proves to be the best value.
2022 Fantasy Football IDP Overrated & Underrated Players
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Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in football. His placement here is not an indictment on his immense talent or resume. Unfortunately, over the last three seasons, Donald has finished as the 35th overall IDP player on average. That includes his DPOY season in 2020. Donald’s rankings stem from relatively low tackle statistics, not surprising for a defensive lineman playing along the interior.
When it comes to IDP drafts, linebackers reign supreme. In the last five seasons, there have only been five instances of a non-linebacker finishing the season in the top ten of total points scored. In leagues that reward a wider variety of pass-rushing stats, such as tackles for a loss or QB hits, Donald’s value rises. It might sound sacrilegious, but as it stands players like Jordyn Brooks or Foye Oluokun are safer bets to start building your defense around.
Harrison Smith, DB, Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Smith has been one of the premier safeties in the NFL for close to a decade. His age 32 season in 2021 was arguably his best. He set a career-high in total tackles and tied his career-high in sacks. All of this led to Smith finishing as the 3rd overall defensive back in 2021 and now finds himself as Fantasy Pros 8th overall defensive back for this coming season.
The issue with Harrison’s ranking is twofold. First, defensive backs tend to be the most stream-able position in an IDP league. In 2021 Smith averaged 12.9 fantasy points per game. L'Jarius Sneed posted 10.3 points per game and finished the season 28th overall all while playing the same number of games as Smith. Secondly, banking on a 33-year-old to replicate career-high numbers is bold. Is it possible Smith has another great year? Absolutely. Do I want to take that bet? No.
Haason Reddick, DL, Philadelphia Eagles
Here at Fantasy Six Pack, we have Cleveland star pass rusher Myles Garrett ranked as our top defensive lineman. His fellow 2017 draftmate Haason Reddick is all the way down at 33. Yet, over the past two seasons, Reddick has averaged more fantasy points per game. His tackle numbers are superior and have managed to produce double-digit sacks in both 2020 and 2021.
While there may be a concern that he is joining his third team in three years, Reddick has shown the ability to thrive in a variety of pass-rushing scenarios. Next to fellow standout Brian Burns, he produced 11 sacks. As the leader of the defensive front with the Cardinals in 2020, he had six forced fumbles alongside 63 total tackles. Playing alongside veterans like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham could easily lead to another strong season.
Alex Singleton, LB, Denver Broncos
Currently, the Fantasy Six Pack team has established linebackers Lavonte David and Tremaine Edmunds ranked 18th and 19th respectively at the position. All the way down at 61st sits Alex Singleton. As a Philadelphia Eagle, Singleton had amassed more total tackles than either David or Edmunds over the last two years. In IDP scoring, tackles are king and Singleton finished 12th in total tackles in 2021 and 15th in 2020.
Alex Singleton had a 74.9 Run Defense Grade in 2021...
8th among LBs 💪
Welcome to Denver, Alex! pic.twitter.com/2B2xbqz3tt
— PFF DEN Broncos (@PFF_Broncos) March 21, 2022
Singleton is now a member of the Denver Broncos and is currently listed as one of their starting linebackers. One of the more interesting aspects of Singleton’s value is how impactful he was despite only starting 19 games the last two years. He still was a constant threat to produce double-digit tackles and threw in a few fumble recoveries and touchdowns. If he locks down a starting job, he could easily outperform his ranking.
At the end of the day, IDP rankings may seem contradictory to how we view defensive players in real life. Top cornerbacks like Marshon Lattimore or J.C. Jackson just barely make the top 50 defensive backs for this coming season.
As with many positions, volume is a huge factor in determining a player’s success. Securing a starting linebacker, even on a struggling team, could put your roster over the top. You might just find yourself in a New York Jets jersey, rooting for C.J. Mosley as he outscores Terry McLaurin. Just like he did in 2021.
Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Team Previews!