This is the third and final installment in the series of articles discussing multi-position IDP available in Yahoo! fantasy football leagues. We go back to the LB/DL realm of dual-eligibility players on defense, discussing some lower tier players that still have some utility in later rounds, mostly in deeper IDP leagues.
As noted, the dual-position status is only in Yahoo football, with ESPN, CBS and other platform opting to use an IDP’s primary position only for draft purposes. Keep you eyes open, though, as the other platforms will potentially add position flexibility depending on a particular player’s use in the defensive schemes his team utilizes.
If you play fantasy baseball, you will be familiar with the concept of the player that is able to be inserted at various different offensive positions to replace an injured starter, or fill in for a player getting a day of rest. In football, lineup decisions are not made day-to-day, of course, but rather on a week-by-week basis, so dual eligibility for an IDP does not translate into quick replacement strategies when setting lineups. Instead, as we discussed last week, finding a linebacker that has defensive line eligibility transforms a lesser-producing IDP into a player that potentially can provide greater point production, since linebackers generally provide a stronger base for fantasy value than a linesman.
In this final installment, we seek to unearth a linebacker that has defensive line eligibility, transforming a lesser-producing IDP (DL) into a player that potentially can provide greater point production (LB), since linebackers generally provide a stronger base for fantasy value than a linesman.
Projections for the 2020 season are set forth as follows: Total Tackles/Solo Tackles/Sacks/Forced Fumbles/Fumble Recoveries/Pass Deflections
Terrell Lewis LAR LB/DE
The Alabama product fell to the third round due to concerns about his injury history as a member of the Crimson Tide defense. He missed 10 games in 2017 as a result of an elbow injury, and all of 2018 due to a torn ACL. At 6’5” and 262 lbs., he has the ability to be a disruptive outside rush force, although he is the third option on the depth chart heading into camp. When he was active in his final college season, he collected 11.5 tackles for loss of yards (TFL) over 11 games played, demonstrating his potential impact when on the field.
2020 Projections: 25/15/3/1/0/0
Jonathan Greenard HOU LB/DE
Another edge rushing rookie drafted in the third round, the former Gator standout is coming into Houston after racking up 15.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks in 12 games for Florida in 2019. He will slot in well as an outside LB in the Texan 3-4 defensive scheme. He played both as a linesman and linebacker at Gainesville in his final college season (he transferred from Louisville after the 2017 season) and will likely have the opportunity to be a versatile piece being added to the Texan defense. He also has an opportunity to learn from a couple of standout defenders in the form of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus , which should aid in his development as a pro.
2020 Projections: 22/15/2.5/.5/.5/0
Anfernee Jennings NE LB/DE
Three picks before Greenard, the player profiled just above, the Patriots selected Jennings with the 87th selection in this year’s draft. As with the first player discussed this week(Lewis), Jennings comes out of Alabama, with a reputation as a solid tackler and a disciplined defensive player. He is a force against the run, but does not possess the first step quickness to be a top-level edge rusher. He did collect 83 TT in his senior year (12.5 TFL), and the Patriots are hoping for similar production in the season(s) to come.
2020 Projections: 20/13/2/.5/.5/0
Alex Highsmith PIT LB/DE
Our next IDP was also a third-round selection in the draft, and while he is behind a couple of top-level outside linebackers in T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree , he profiles with excellent speed and movement at the position. The former walk-on at UNC-Charlotte, he became a top defender in Conference USA with 15 sacks and 22 TFL in his senior season. He has obviously overcome previous impediments in his football endeavors, and thus is a good young LB to keep on your watchlist even if he does not earn a starting role this year, as he has the skillset to be a top IDP in seasons to come.
2020 Projections: 21/13/2/1/0/0
Jonathan Garvin GB LB/DE
The 20-year old decided to come out early, forgoing his final year at Miami, and the Packers selected him as a project with upside in the seventh round of the draft. He has plenty of competition in front of him on the depth chart heading into 2020, and his relative youth may be an impediment, or a reason for the team to keep him onboard. He does have potential as an edge rusher with the speed to get to the passer, and may make the team as a special teams addition and occasional replacement rush specialist. This season, though, he is not worth a draft selection for fantasy owners in redraft leagues, although is worth consideration in a dynasty league situation, or as a waiver wire pickup mid to late season depending on injuries in front of him on the depth chart.
2020 Projections: 7/3/0/0/0/0
Derrek Tuszuka DEN LB/DE
After learning of other teams’ potential interest in the edge defender out of North Dakota State, the Broncos decided to use a seventh-round selection on Tuszuka instead of attempting to sign his as an undrafted free agent after the draft wrapped. He will seek a role as a backup edge rushing outside LB this season, certainly not a guarantee for the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year for 2019. He accumulated those accolades against somewhat lesser skilled opponents than he will face in the pros, naturally, and he is a risky selection even in a dynasty league.
2020 Projections: 5/2/0/0/0/0
Next week, these articles will begin focusing on IDP that are either overvalued or undervalued according to early drafts and their ADPs. The initial plan is to focus on one position per week, going into more depth on two LB/DL/DB per article. Next week, look for two linebackers to be in the spotlight in this space, one with upside and one that may be avoided unless his draft slot adjusts downward.
As ever, godspeed and best of luck in your fantasy endeavors. If you have any questions regarding IDP, or fantasy football in general, you can send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalized suggestion (or two, if the spirit moves).