Jevon Holland and Divine Deablo make some intriguing options
Using Individual Defensive Players (IDPs) in fantasy football leagues can take your game to a new level. However, judging when to sign IDP players can be difficult. Therefore, the important thing is to know which players you could get late in the draft and who can start for you during the season. It takes the pressure off of jumping into the pool early and sacrificing to other positions.
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One thing to be aware of when it comes to IDP is that scoring systems vary more in this format than what we typically find in attack. The IDP sleepers listed below will cover a variety of different scoring systems and feature different options in a range of positions. The numbers quoted below are from Fantasy Data, using their standard IDP rating system.
Additionally, fantasy managers should also be aware that job assignments can vary wildly from site to site. Therefore, it’s important to check both your rating system and where individual players can be used well before you jump into your draft.
Chandler Jones, DL/LB, Raiders
Chandler Jones is a confusing IDP player to judge. His fantastic 8.7 points per game in 2021 was fourth-best among defensive linemen. However, 36.6 of his 130.95 points came in Week 1. The remaining 14 games saw him average a fantastic 6.7 points per game. It was still good enough to finish tied for 16th in points per game.
Therefore, it doesn’t make sense for Jones to be ranked 27th among DL options on Fantasy Pros. Even if he was just repeating his performance in Arizona, he would surpass that ADP. Meanwhile, there’s reason to think he could top those numbers in 2022. Last year, Jones was in the center of opposition attacks following his Week 1 heroics. to Maxx Crosby, who himself is a force. Jones could find plenty of one-on-one matchups he can exploit in 2022.
Shaq Barrett, DL/LB, Buccaneers
If you can get Shaq Barrett as DL eligible, then selecting him is an easy call. Barrett is averaging a fantastic 8.2 points per game in 2022, which would have been good enough for a top 10 at that position. Even at linebacker, he was among the top 24 players at that position in what was just an average year for him.
Barrett is now two years away from his 19-sack season. However, for two years, he has been the pivot of the defense. The hope is that Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will grow and divert some of that attention. If that happens, Barrett could head into the 15-sack range and make his current ADP and Expert Consensus (ECR) rankings look like a mistake.
Matt Judon, DL/LB, Patriots
Judon is another player you need to jump at the chance if you can make him DL eligible. He celebrated his big deal in 2021 with a career-high 12.5 sacks. He topped that off with a more than solid return of 60 combined tackles, including 14 for loss. His ceiling could potentially be even higher if he can force turnovers. In the last three years in Baltimore, he’s forced seven fumbles but failed to force a single one in 2021.
In New England, Judon is part of a very talented front for the Patriots. There are plenty of very talented players who should allow Judon to continue to exploit one-on-one opportunities. His current value as a 47th-ranked defensive lineman and a 78th-ranked linebacker leaves plenty of room for value this season.
Devin Lloyd, LB, Jaguars
Don’t sleep on Devin Lloyd just because he’s a rookie. He was a multi-faceted player at Utah, capable of rushing the passer and going into coverage effectively. As a senior, Lloyd had seven sacks, four interceptions, six passes defended and 111 total tackles, including 66 solo tackles.
He is set to start as an inside linebacker alongside big-money free agent Foyesade Oluokun. Lloyd has the potential to be a three-man back for the Jaguars, but given low expectations for the Jaguars, teams could face them a lot, keeping them in baseline formation. Lloyd can be a threat, whether it’s tackling, tackling the QB, or tracking tight ends and backs on passing routes.
Damien Wilson, LB, Panthers
Wilson has almost become a forgotten asset this year, and it’s a strange situation. He just finished a season of 106 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss with the Jaguars. He can also work well in pass coverage, with a QB rating down from just 88.9 last season.
Wilson is now set to start at Carolina amid that defense. He’s more than capable of repeating or bettering the numbers that saw him as LB37 in 2021. While those aren’t exactly incredible numbers, as a last-round pick Wilson could be a starting option. solid in deep IDP alignments.
Divine Deablo, LB/DB, Raiders
It’s exciting to see what role Divine Deablo could play for the Raiders in 2022. The young linebacker-safety hybrid played more than 50% of the defensive snaps in each of the final six weeks of last season. In four of those games, Deablo scored 7.5 or more fantasy points. While there’s nothing to shout about from the rooftops, it’s potential.
Deablo is now set to start at linebacker for the Raiders in 2022 and could be a three-way option. Currently, Deablo is ranked 62nd linebacker and 70th defensive back by consensus. He’s another player you can add in the latest round of drafts who could be an intriguing starter any week in, given his projected role with the Raiders.
Jevon Holland, DB, Dolphins
If you have Dolphins fans in your life, then Jevon Holland isn’t a sleeper for you – trust me, I have way too many in my life. Holland was an emerging star as a rookie, playing over 90% of the snaps in all but one game he was active in as of Week 5. Although he was not a full-time player in in the first four weeks of the season, he finished 41st DB in fantasy points per game.
He should open the season as a starter in Miami and is well worth his price as the current DB28. What makes Holland an intriguing option is how versatile he was as a rookie. Holland finished with 69 total tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 10 passes defended.