By: Gary VanDyke II (Twitter: @HBogart27)
Updated: 8/2/2017

FFD260 IDPs: Primed 4.0; Second & Third Year Linebackers

In the real world of football, a player’s second and third year can be crucial in his development as a player. The same can be said for fantasy owners who may own the player on their rosters. No matter how we acquired them it is time to decide whether they are to become trade bait or a core player for our rosters. As we all strive to load up with top notch players to win our leagues we have to be able to determine the player’s values and whether we should combine them for upgrades in order to win now. Depth is always obtainable in most standard size leagues off the waiver wire or by trade when it comes to IDP players. So to bolster the defensive side of your roster can be critical in gaining an edge over your league mates. An edge that can be overlooked by many.

A strategy I personally like to use and doubt this is groundbreaking here is to take lower “tiered” but good players and combine them with top tiered players. When it is possible to locate a complete stud player on a roster that is struggling or may need more “across the board” good players I will not hesitate to throw two, three and even four good player (or picks) his way to get my target. The odds are this has been the case I used to get the good players to begin with so why not keep flipping until I acquire the most productive players I can. At each IDP position, you have to set for a line up should always have no less than ½ the amount filled in with these studs. And by “studs” I mean top 10 type players in their respected positions.

In most cases, the rest of your lineup and depth can be filled in with players off the waiver wire or trade that can come within a small margin of the production of the players you may have traded to get the studs for. We see it every year that players develop into usable weekly plays that can be picked up for next to nothing as the season progresses. There is no reason I can think of not to plan on this happening to support my studs and get thru the season. Be active and keep track and you’ll find what you need.

Don’t let rankings fool you into holding on forever onto players when you consult them either. In a lot of cases a player’s “name” has them ranked higher than the actual productions they turn out. Always cross check statistics for consistency. Don’t get me wrong, owning a star player’s name on your roster is always pretty, but pretty doesn’t win you championships in the end. Also, don’t let what you may have paid or what pick you used to select a player keep you from dealing them. It means nothing if you’re not going for the win each year with him on your roster. If you can’t swallow some pride to win now then this isn’t the strategy for you.

On to our topic…Let’s look at a few second and third-year players that it is either time for them to become those top notch guys or at least time for them to take a step up on their way to becoming top notch. Because if they don’t or haven’t in their important second or third year it may be time to consider them just another good player and that they are expendable for upgrades going forward.

MIN LB Eric Kendricks: 3rd year

A highly touted linebacker in the 2015 class Kendricks has been a very serviceable player to use in lineups. He has had respectable numbers but never has reached elite status. Now in his third year, it is time for him to put it all together or he should become expendable to use to upgrade. If not this year the odds are he will never be more than what he has been.

PHI LB Jordan Hicks: 3rd year

A nice surprise for fantasy owners when he became relevant and a starter. Production hasn’t been tiptop as of yet and nowhere close to consistent enough on weekly bases. His number has been fluffed by interceptions and pass’s defended. Those are great when it’s a bonus but as for relying on them weekly leads to let downs. We need to see the tackles go up. Those are the core of any top notch IDP. Last season was a prime season for him to really make the leap into top notch fantasy play but his play on the field was better than his statistics for fantasy. If it isn’t this year it’s time to move on.

NYG B.J. Goodson: 2nd year

Personally, he is a “sell” for me right now, as his hyped rumors as this year’s starting MLB for the Giants is peaking. When was the last time a Giants LB was really top notch for fantasy purposes? They have a habit of the MLB being a two down thumper or a part of a rotation and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. It is the Landon Collins show in New York and other than him or the DLs there is nothing to see here. If you own Goodson going into next offseason the odds are his value won’t be as good as what it is now. If I owned him I’d be willing to risk moving him in an upgrade trade with no problem of doing so.

GBP Jake Ryan: 3rd year

Ryan actually was set up nicely going into last year to become relevant. And he started the season off nicely, but an ankle injury in mid-November hampered his play for the rest of the season. The result was an ugly three-way rotation that wouldn’t let us see how to gauge his value. I don’t think he’ll ever hit top notch but would be willing to see how this year plays out. If he can become that good player at the least then maybe in year four he becomes tradable for the upgrade. For right now he is worth the risk and hold. He still has the potential for a weekly play now.

CHI Nick Kwiatkoski: 2nd year

As far as the potential here for a future stud I like him a lot. If you own him right now you have to be thinking the same. Danny Trevathan seems to be one injury away from ending his career and Kwiatkoski looks like the next man up. Another hampering fact of the matter is Jerrell Freeman. He is 31 right now and should have a few more good years left to play. It is his defense right now so the real question is how long do we wait to see if Kwiatkoski is the top notch player he could end up being? If you are wanting to win now there is a line of things that have to happen that may take some time. I do believe his value will increase this year and then we can recap what to do going into 2018 again. He is worth a stash but I wouldn’t hesitate if someone is knocking on my door to acquire him from me, that is if they can give me a good reason not to sit on him.

GBP Blake Martinez: 2nd year

Martinez is like Jake Ryan, a very intriguing player to see how it plays out for him in 2017. He also sustained an injury last November shortly after Ryan and also was a part of that ugly three man rotation on the inside. The potential is there, who is it that claims the top spot for the Packers defense is anyone’s guess. But I’m having a hard time believing it’ll be Martinez. He is another guy if someone has the interest in him I’m willing to sell now if given a good reason to.

Stay tuned for part two of this article.

If I’ve overlooked someone you’d like to hear my “take” on feel free to let me know at my twitter account @HBogart27 or email me at gmtvandyke@gmail.com.