"The rankings are here! The rankings are here!" In the grand tradition of Navin R. Johnson and his excitement over the newly published phone books, I am giddy with excitement that post-draft Individual Defensive Player (IDP) rankings are beginning to crop up.
If that reference is throwing you, I can only assume you have yet to see the cinematic classic, "The Jerk." If that's the case, you must immediately go rent, borrow or Netflix it and enjoy. Seriously, go now ... I'll wait. Done? OK, you're welcome.
One of the many joys fantasy football brings is the chance to discuss and dissect the latest rankings with our league mates, friends or even strangers on the streets (I'm not going to lie, that last one has gotten me some sideways glances).
While standing around the virtual water cooler recently and having one such discussion with a peer in the IDP community (as well as a friend I daresay), it occurred to me that maybe some other folks out there may enjoy our thoughts and ideas on these initial ranks. If not enjoy then at least be enraged by and either way it gets the IDP fantasy juices flowing ... a win/win.
If you play IDP football and are not acquainted with Joe Buccalleto and FantasyleagueGM, you should be. He is what I would deem an IDP savant, and when he has something to say that's IDP related, my radar goes up. We recently bounced some underrated and overrated names that jumped out in some of the most recent IDP rankings off of each other.
In the same vein as one of those awesome "Law and Order" episodes that crossed over with "Homicide Life on the Street," here are those players.
We will start with Buccalleto's thoughts:
Justin Tuck, DE, N.Y. Giants: Formerly a premier fantasy defensive lineman, Tuck has suffered through consecutive subpar seasons. However, I'm not ready to dismiss him. Injuries have caused his play to lag, but he's only 30 years old. I'd rather add him to my team and hope for a rebound. If Tuck is washed up, useful linemen are easy to find on the waiver wire.
Patrick Willis, ILB, San Francisco: Willis was injured in 2011, and suffered through a "down" year in 2012. The presence of NaVorro Bowman in San Francisco and sexier, younger linebackers around the league have caused Willis' value to drop. In reality, his worst games were Week 13 (four solo tackles) and Week 1 (four solo tackles, two assists). That's his floor! Just like the NFL draft, you don't hit home runs in Round 1. You want safe, productive...