Fantasy Files: IDP, the yard cats of fantasy

During my Saturday exercise today, I listened to the Audible’s IDP Roundtable. It was nice to hear that John Norton survived his annual trip from cold storage. Even though half of my fantasy leagues (I’m in two, but still) have IDP elements, I’d say that about 2% of my fantasy football reading/listening/absorbing is on that side of the ball. I wondered how to make a comparison that would endear this style of fantasy to the masses.

I failed, but I have a comparison nonetheless. In early 2010 we searched for houses, and in the backyard of the first one there was a concrete slab, perfect for outdoor grilling and the like. Two feral cats stormed out from under the slab.

Yard cats arrive in a rotation, and they are a little like your IDP players. The first duo we met were eventually named Spot and Patches. We are less creative for yard cats. Spot was the leader of the two. She would climb onto our roof and meow at my wife when she wanted food and food she would get. I’d call Spot the stud linebacker who soaked up all of the attention and food. Patches was the strong safety behind Spot who would get whatever was left, and usually there was some left. We had a third, lovingly named Mange, who was a loner and a less frequent visitor to the yard. Mange was a bye-week replacement.

One day, Spot was gone. She disappeared and after a few months we gave up hope of her return. Patches became like Barry Church after the Sean Lee injury, a food target glutton. Mange showed up more often and moved into a starting spot in the lineup.

There were other cats over time, but none of them were frequent enough visitors to earn a name. There was one, a dark cat that I initially called “black kitty” but was told not to use that name out loud, seeing as I don’t want to be seen as kitty racially insensitive. I suggested Voldemont, lord of darkness, and we compromised at Mort. Mort became like that UDFA who starts on special teams but eventually earns a starting gig. Maybe Mort’s our James Harrison.

In most leagues, IDPs lack have the same “weight” as offensive guys and clearly we don’t like our yard cats as much as the indoor ones. We don’t give them a special diet food that costs almost as much as our food, for sure. We like to have them hang out in our yard, and think that of the many houses they visit for sustenance, that we’re in the top five at least.

When a Tiki Barber retires and leaves a cavernous hole in your roster, it’s a moment of sadness. When a London Fletcher retires, even if he’s been on your team for 12 years, it’s not the same. It still leaves an impression. Pouring one out for you, Spot.

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