Each season a slew of rookie IDPs enter the fold, along with several veterans who have swapped teams, defensive coordinators, or have durability or injury concerns. This can create a minefield when it comes to drafting players based on past statistical data.
Let’s look at some players who are being overlooked in drafts, as well as some players who might not live up to the hype.
*Any reference to ADP (Average Draft Position) is based on data from myfantasyleague.com (MFL). For example, if an LB has an ADP of 6, they’re the 6th linebacker off the boards over at MFL. Any reference to tiers – DB1 or LB3 for example – assumes a typical 12-mean league. For instance, a DL1 would fall in the top 12 DLs.
Damon Harrison (DT, NYG) – I know it’s hard to look at a nose tackle and think “fantasy bonanza.” But this dude eats up ball carriers like they’re Rice Krispies Treats. Last season, “Snacks” posted 86 tackles on his way to a top-5 DL season. He averaged nearly 5 FPG and was one of the most consistent producers at a position known for wide swings from week to week. Lest you think this was a fluke season, Harrison posted 73 tackles the previous season with the Jets. So what changed to make him even better? The stat crew. The Giants own the distinction of being the most generous stat crew for tackles…and it’s not even close. So Harrison will return to the same elite stat crew (for fantasy at least), with a track record of posting elite tackle numbers, and in the same role he played last season. So why is he the 24th DL off the board? Beats us. But it seems like there’s a DL1 candidate being drafted as a DL2/DL3 if you want to wait an extra round on your DL. Updated 8/8
Jerry Hughes (DE, Buf) – Hughes was one of the more noticeable fantasy casualties under the Rex Ryan regime. After enjoying strong seasons as a DE under old DC Jim Schwartz, Hughes was moved to OLB under Ryan. While he still had a solid 2017 season, it was largely lost in the IDP world as an LB. Now, Hughes moves back to DE and in a more aggressive defense, which should allow him to post closer to his 2013-2014 production of 50-60 tackles and 9-10 sacks. Hughes finished as the #33 DL last season, and could easily see that rise this year. He’s currently being drafted as a DL4, but should be a solid DL2. Updated 8/8
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