Fantasy football mock drafts: IDP lessons from a rookie draft

The PFF Fantasy team held an IDP rookie mock draft. Jeff Ratcliffe looks at the lessons to be learned.

| 1 week ago
(Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

(Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Fantasy football mock drafts: IDP lessons from a rookie draft

What I’m about to tell you might tick you off if you’re a diehard IDP player. You might get angry at me or even, dare I say, unfollow me on Twitter. But it’s something you need to know if you play in IDP leagues.


You don’t need J.J. Watt or Luke Kuechly to win your league. In fact, you don’t really need a strong IDP roster at all. The secret to taking down IDP leagues is putting together a strong offensive roster and then backfilling with mid-range options on the defensive side of the ball. This philosophy is true whether you’re in a re-draft league or deep dynasty format.

Recently, the PFF fantasy staff, along with Gary Davenport of Fantasy Sharks and Mike Woellert of, got together for a rookie mock draft with individual defensive players. This review won’t be like the previous one I wrote for our post-draft rookie mock. If you’re interested in the fits and fantasy prospects of this year’s offensive rookies, give that post a read. For this piece, I’m going to focus on the strategy involved on the defensive side of the ball.

Round 1

1.01 Dan Schneier Leonard Fournette, RB, JAX
1.02 Gary Davenport Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
1.03 Mike Castiglione Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR
1.04 Pat Thorman Corey Davis, WR, TEN
1.05 Mike Woellert Joe Mixon, RB, CIN
1.06 Michael Moore Mike Williams, WR, LAC
1.07 Brandon Marianne Lee O.J. Howard, TE, TB
1.08 Tyler Loechner John Ross, WR, CIN
1.09 Jeff Ratcliffe Kareem Hunt, RB, KC
1.10 Scott Barrett Zay Jones, WR, BUF
1.11 Daniel Kelley David Njoku, TE, CLV
1.12 Walton Spurlin Samaje Perine, RB, WAS

So far, so good. No defensive players come off the board in the first round, and that’s as things should be this year. There really isn’t a defensive player in the 2017 class who is worthy of a first-round rookie pick. And even if there was, the best approach in the first round is to key in on a future producer on the offensive side of the ball. In dynasty leagues, it’s very important to keep cycling in young talent at the skill positions. Often, you’ll be able to find start-level players on the defensive side of the ball on waivers during the season. The same typically cannot be said about offensive players.

Round 2

2.01 Dan Schneier Evan Engram, TE, NYG
2.02 Gary Davenport Alvin Kamara, RB, NO
2.03 Mike Castiglione Jamaal Williams, RB, GB
2.04 Pat Thorman Chris Godwin, WR, TB
2.05 Mike Woellert JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT
2.06 Michael Moore Taywan Taylor, WR, TEN
2.07 Brandon Marianne Lee Carlos Henderson, WR, DEN
2.08 Tyler Loechner D’Onta Foreman, RB, HST
2.09 Jeff Ratcliffe Curtis Samuel, WR, CAR
2.10 Scott Barrett ArDarius Stewart, WR, NYJ
2.11 Daniel Kelley Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC
2.12 Walton Spurlin Jarrad Davis, LB, DET

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

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