by The “Don” Piccolo @PiccoloPodcast
If you’ve been keeping up with this series then you know it’s time to divulge a little bit of draft strategy.
Everyone has their own way of drafting and most people don’t deviate from their strategy. It’s the cold hard truth. No matter how the draft changes, you stick to your strategy… you know who you are. That’s why I don’t want to get into specifics and tell you HOW to draft. Rather, I want to guide you to make the right decisions based on league settings and the flow of your individual draft. Let’s not forget, the premise for IDP is still the same as it is for non IDP leagues: field a competitive player at each position in order to maximize fantasy output. As long as there is a reasonable balance in your league scoring settings, you should be golden.
Let’s begin with a hypothetical 11 v 11 setting. In this scenario, the IDP scoring rubric is set at the minimums (specified in this article) while the offense is a SuperFlex/TE Premium PPR.
The way your league draft settings will be crucial to determining your strategy. Are you doing a standard random order with all rookies and vets together? Are you doing a derby draft order with inverse rookie draft where the #1 pick gets the last pick in the rookie round? The list goes on and on. For the previous example, I would like to use 3 DL, 3 DB, 3LB, and 2 Flexes. Even in IDP Leagues, it’s a good idea to start by filling offensive positions (unless you REALLY want to shake the tree) and establish depth. Whether you go Zero RB or draft 3 RBs and two other skill positions, make sure you’re comfortable with the offense before moving on.
Now that you’ve gotten through the first 4-5 rounds without making any trades, it’s time to start focusing on defense. If someone reached and picked a player like Darius Leonard in Round 3, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty more options to choose from and it’s important not to panic pick a defensive player in the first few rounds. Don’t take the bait and wait patiently for rounds 5-12.
The Linebacker position is the staple of an IDP Defense and my suggestion is to target an ELITE Linebacker as your 1st IDP pick. Once you have the foundation of your IDP defense, target elite playmakers at every level of the defense. For example, a core of Roquan Smith, Joey Bosa, and Landon Collins are established IDP studs that will anchor your defense and save you the headache of streaming. Side note: Don’t be afraid to take 2 TOP LB if it’s too good to pass up. However, considering DL is the shallowest IDP position I would suggest you pick a DL with one of your 1st 3 IDP picks.
Now that you’ve loaded up your roster with some IDP studs we find ourselves in rounds 8-9 with core Offensive and Defensive pieces on our squad filled. It will be hard for some owners to draft IDP all because of the offensive value they see. That’s just fine… IDP counts for half this of the points in this hypothetical league and just like offense, top defense does stand out weekly. This is where you can make a decision based on your rankings and value which way you want to go based on the way the draft has played out. By this point owners should be drafting IDP on the regular so there should be some nice offense hidden away to put you over the top.
The rest of the way you need to focus on building quality depth and finding valuable trade pieces for those owners who completely ignored their IDP roster spots. It’s critical that you’re on top of your game for the first 15 rounds: take note of trends, don’t get lazy, and scout for possible value picks as your turn comes up. Just make sure to not be the guy who ignored his IDP positions because of Draft rankings (which are never right anyways). Make sure to add players to your queues so you don’t forget them.
Final Tip: add players to your watchlist that may go undrafted. This will save you a lot of time when the waiver wire opens up.
If you follow this guide, you’ll be in position to prosper in any IDP league you’re in.
Next week, I will be releasing this season’s the 1st player rankings! Prepare yourselves for “The Ultimate Victory 250” IDP Rankings by The DON Piccolo. Make sure to follow me @PiccoloPodcast on Twitter for all the latest IDP tips and tricks and click here to listen to my podcast.