Fantasy Files: When to Go IDP

I have one thing about my current rookie draft, and that’s good instincts. I tried to trade up to pick 4.05 to pick up Alec Ogletree. The trade didn’t work but Ogletree went at that spot. I had a potential deal to trade my 5.11 and 6.11 for Josh Norris’s 5.05 and thought Jonathan Cyprien would be a good target. The deal did not go down and Cyprien went at 5.06.

It’s hard to draft IDPs in a rookie draft. You can get starters, and potential elite ones, in round two to three, but it’s so hard to not select those shiny lottery tickets in the form of running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks. Remember Adrian McPherson? He was a third-round rookie pick. While you’re dreaming of a sixth-rounder like Arian Foster, it’s usually a David Greene or Frank “the tank” Summers.

I had that choice with my 4.11 pick. After the hard wait between 2.11 and 4.11, including an attempt to trade up to get my 3.11 that I traded for Tony Gonzalez last year, a mid-season deal that seemed like a six-week rental. Nobody bit, even though this has been the most trade-heavy draft in league history. I lost Kelvin Sheppard in our free agency frenzy, and didn’t even notice that he was traded to the Colts for Jerry Hughes, which freed up a starting spot for second-round pick Kiko Alonso. Plus Alonso was top of the linebacker list alphabetically so that made for a decent joke.

Look at the 2008 rookie draft, five years ago so we know the tale of the players. The first round was naturally RB-heavy. First IDP was Keith Rivers at 2.04. Not so much of a winner. Chris Long went at 2.11. Like most defensive ends, it took until year three for him to be a player who could start. After that we have Curtis Lofton at 2.11 (worked out), Vernon Gholston (oh wow), Jordon Dizon (blarg), Derrick Harvey (lots o busts in 2008 IDP land) and Kenny Phillips who has been a decent, not spectacular player at safety.

If you look at the offensive guys taken in the second and third rounds of that draft, the “keepers” include Joe Flacco (still just a QB2 in fantasy), Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson (although you hate yourself every time you start him), Steve Slaton (good for a year), and that’s about it.

If we’re playing the ceiling/floor game, these mid-round picks are low floor, as low as you can go in some cases for offensive guys, and they do have that high ceiling although only a couple of guys a year usually make it. In terms of IDP, you’re usually taking a guy who either was a first-round pick and will get a starting shot or a guy drafted later who’s going to start immediately. The floor is lower, but the ceiling is as well. It’s a matter of risk.

I like drafting, but so far I can’t say whether I’m better or worse than the average. Over the years my top picks have improved, but the later round ones have been predictably unpredictable.

Here have been the picks of Rotoworld’s own Josh Norris, who knows a thing or two about rookies. Note that he took over a team with two draft picks and had to trade to get more:

2.06: Arthur Brown (talk about a golden opportunity)
3.05: Mike Gillislee (is Lamar Miller that entrenched?)
4.06: Josh Boyce (Pats rookies at WR have been trash lately, but why not)
5.05: Kenny Stills (note that Josh is taking chances on receivers from great offenses)

Josh has 5.10 and 6.10 and tried to pry away my 5.11.

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