2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

IDP Draft Strategy in Three Easy Steps

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Welcome back for a look at some IDP Draft Strategy! I’m here today to answer the day-old question, “How and when do I target IDPs in my Draft?”

The answer is relatively simple, yet complex since IDP league sizes and scoring are so diverse. This makes it impossible to answer with a blanket statement. There’s no one answer that could possibly be applied to all leagues and roster sizes.

While you’re prepping for your draft don’t miss out on my 2021 IDP Rankings.

Without further ado, let’s get into some IDP Draft Strategy.

IDP Draft Strategy

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IDP Draft Strategy Step One

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Identifying Your League’s Roster Construction

What I mean by this is to take note of how many starting positions are assigned for offense and defense. Yes, the offense as well. What this process does is defines the scarcity that there will be at each position in the draft.

Before diving into the roster construction basics, I want to define what creates positional scarcity in a league. This is how I attack all of my leagues when it comes to what positions I focus on when drafting.

Focus on how many players are required to start each week at each position. Now, take that and multiply it by your league size. Typically, the higher the number, the more focus needs to be placed on said position. If you don’t take positional scarcity into account, you could end up spending premium picks on players you could get at a similar overall value later in the draft.

Light IDP Roster Construction

For example, if a league has the somewhat standard set up on the offensive side (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Flex), and only one to three IDP Flex spots, this will impact the scarcity of IDPs very minimally and you should not prioritize IDPs, which hurts to say, but it’s the truth. This would be an example of what I call “Light IDP Roster Construction”.

Medium Roster Construction

In this instance, you’d have the standard offensive lineup, but now you have anywhere from four to seven IDP assigned positions. Now, this puts some scarcity on the availability of IDPs in your league. This automatically places more value on IDPs in your league and shoots them up your draft board.

Heavy Roster Construction

This is where the die-hards come out to play. With this type of roster construction, we’re looking at eight or more assigned IDP starting spots. This puts a great amount of scarcity on IDPs and almost puts them in the same realm as offensive player value. However, a large part of their overall value comes down to the scoring in your league.

Step Two

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Identifying Your League’s Scoring Settings

Now you’ve got your league’s roster settings figured out, but before you go drafting Devin White in the fourth round, we need to take a look at the scoring. Scoring is easily the most heated topic around IDP players. And honestly, it should be. In my opinion, it’ll make or break your league.

Scoring is arguably more important than roster construction, but they do go hand in hand and impact each other deeply. If you’re sitting in a league with weak scoring and draft an IDP real early in a “Light IDP” league, you’re going to hate yourself later in the season when your IDP is rocking 8 PPG on a good week.

If you’re on sleeper (I’m sure this is available on other platforms as well), you can easily look back at last years end of season scoring. This is a good way to start gauging how your league’s scoring settings will impact IDPs in your drafts. See where they finished on a PPG basis in comparison to some of the best offensive players.

Now let’s dive into specifics.

Weak Scoring

When I see a league with weak scoring it seems as though they just take the standard scoring from team defensive scoring and apply that to individual players. And why shouldn’t they? There still isn’t a guidebook on how to start an IDP League and what scoring to use.

So you’re looking at scoring like 2 points per sack, interception, and 1 point for fumbles and recoveries. This starts a slippery slope of, “Well, if that what turnovers reflect for scoring, tackles should be less than those.” Then that’s how you end up with .5 assisted tackles and 1 point tackles. YUCK. On top of that, things like tackles for loss and passes defended even get forgotten about when it comes to new IDP players because they’re so foreign to them.

My biggest issue with weak IDP scoring is that quite frankly it’s boring. When your best IDPs are “going off” for 8-10 PPG and it’s your first time playing in an IDP league, do you really want to try another one? It’s a great way to chase off new players and annoy the veteran players.

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Neutral Scoring

This is right around where most of my leagues tend to be when it comes to scoring, and this is what I consider pretty neutral scoring: 1.5-2 for tackles, .75-1 for assisted tackles, .5-.75 for tackles for loss, 1-2 passes defended, 2-3 for interceptions, 4 for sacks, 2 for fumble recoveries, and 2 for forced fumbles.



You’ll notice that some of the scoring is pretty similar to “Weak Scoring” but the big changes here are the added emphasis on tackles, sacks, and interceptions, and adding passes defended and tackles for loss.

The way I view tackles is that these are the main source of most defenders’ production. Similar to yardage as an offensive player. However, unless your tracking yardage for interception/fumble returns, that doesn’t apply in IDP leagues.

In this style of scoring the good players are still rewarded for their big plays, and maintain a strong baseline of tackle scoring, thus solidifying their value.

Strong Scoring

The strongest and most favorable scoring I’ve seen for IDP is IDP123 Scoring. As you can see above it takes an aggressive approach to IDP Scoring across the board. Any scoring similar to this really puts IDP on the map and makes more players roster and start worthy in deeper leagues.

While this is a controversial scoring method it is here because it is becoming more popular and it’s even now Sleeper’s default IDP Scoring.

Step Three

Putting It All Together

Now that you know how to decipher all of the roster constructions and scoring settings let’s put a bow on this and wrap it up.

Light Roster Construct With Weak Scoring

IDPs can wait until the absolute end of your draft. Draft the elites like Jamaal Adams with your kickers.

Light Roster Construct with Neutral Scoring

There’s better value to be had here but I’m still waiting as long as I can to draft these guys. Draft elites like Joey Bosa before your kickers, but fill out your offensive roster first and maybe some upside players too.

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Light Roster Construct With Strong Scoring

This is when the IDPs can sneak up your board. I’m still not looking at them until the sixth or seventh round most likely, solely because of the depth there will be in this roster construct. Draft your elites like Darius Leonard with confidence and watch them put up points.

Medium Roster Construction with Weak Scoring

Since there is some scarcity I’ll be looking to draft a little earlier but I’m still waiting until the double-digit rounds, and I want my offensive roster flushed out with some depth pieces first.

Medium Roster Construct With Neutral Scoring

Again the scarcity drives up the value of these players, and the scoring helps out their value a lot. I’m willing to start drafting elites like Budda Baker as early as the eighth or ninth rounds, these guys will likely be rivaling the scorers on the offensive side that you could be drafting instead.

Medium Roster Construct With Strong Scoring

With some scarcity and strong scoring bump up the value yet again. I’m willing to look at elites like Zach Cunningham as early as the sixth or seventh rounds. These players in this scoring format will easily rival the offensive players being drafted here.

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Heavy Roster Construct With Weak Scoring

Even though the roster setting is deeper I don’t want to draft these guys in this scoring format. But I have to. I tend to look around the 10th round and draft the elites like Bobby Wagner. Be first to the punch in this case.

Heavy Roster Construct With Neutral Scoring

This is where drafting IDPs can get a little crazy. I’m looking at elites like Nick Bosa in this format as early as the fifth and sixth rounds. With as many spots you need to fill, why draft a WR4 when you can draft a weekly starter at LB?

Heavy Roster Construct With Strong Scoring

I’m looking at elites as early as the fourth round. It’s crazy sure. But when you compare this scoring to that of offensive players you’ll see that it makes sense. I still want to grab my starting RBs and probably a WR first, but then I’m open to looking at IDPs like Roquan Smith, and Jaylon Smith.

Overall

Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to target IDPs that early. I’m just highlighting where IDPs make sense and why. I hope you all enjoyed my IDP Draft Strategy article! Feel free to hit my up on Twitter @BobVan_IDP if you have questions, my DMs are always open.

If you enjoyed my IDP Draft Strategy article, I hope you consider checking out my YouTube video describing this subject for Dynasty Startups as well!



Don’t miss out on my 2021 Rookie Post-Draft Evaluation articles featuring Quarterbacks, Defensive Backs, Linebackers, and Defensive Linemen!

Learn more about IDP123 Scoring Made Easy!

About Bob Van Duser

Here to shed some light on the IDP side of Fantasy Football. With years of experience I intend to expand the horizons of players and show them how exciting IDP can be in their leagues, as well as providing a reputable source to those who play in IDP leagues already but may want to see a differing opinion or may be looking for further details and research

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