It’s that magical time of year, rookie drafts are upon us! As you either prepare or start your drafts, I wanted to give you some IDP sleepers, hopefully help you win not only your rookie drafts but your leagues! We also did a four-round rookie mock on the May 9th episode of the IDP Heatseekers, and I’ll put those results in here to, it was a combo of friends from the community as well as the team.
I want to lay out some basics, for the mock draft we told the drafters to act as though its start 2DL-2LB-2DB and 1 flex, as well as the RotoHeat scoring. And like most years, I see IDP’s start to get taken in the middle part of the second round, with all that being said here are some IDP sleepers I am looking to target, somewhere from the fourth round on in my rookie drafts:
IDP Sleeper: Defensive Lineman
Boye Mafe – DE Seattle Seahawks. Seattle’s been looking for pass rush help for some time now, and he has the tools to develop into a solid pass rusher, it remains to be seen if he can do so as the SAM in Seattle’s 4-3. Like most of the IDP sleepers on my list, they have someone in their way to playing time but I expect them all to get a shot either due to their talent or draft capital (or both).
Sam Williams – DE Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is a team trying to find their pass rushers, and Williams is just behind former fourth rounder Dorance Armstong for playing time. Williams best ability appears to be his explosiveness and that could help get him in the rotation early on this year.
Arnold Ebiketie – DE Atlanta Falcons. So he appears to be a linebacker, I see him as an edge so I left him here but either way he is a sleeper because I think they will use him as a pass rush specialist, and hopefully that develops into some sacks/TFLs/etc.
Drake Jackson – DE San Francisco 49ers. Jackson has a few players ahead of him on the depth chart, though with his talent and draft capital, I expect to see him get a chance to start opposite Bosa sooner rather than later.
IDP Sleeper: Linebackers
Christian Harris – Houston Texans. If you’ve seen me on any of our live streams, I’ve said multiple times I’m targeting Houston draft class for fantasy purposes, and Christian Harris is definitely on that list! Houston’s current starting linebackers are all journeymen who have a chance to hold those jobs but I would think they want to get Harris into a starting role as soon as possible because of his athletic profile and ability to thrive in space, which would suit him well in a Lovie Smith defense.
Troy Andersen – Atlanta Falcons. Andersen’s currently slotted in behind free agent acquisition Rashaan Evans, and with Andersen being a second-round pick I’d think the team wants to get him into the starting lineup quickly and due to his versatility, don’t be surprised if he’s pushing for playing time at any of the linebacker positions.
Brandon Smith – Carolina Panthers. These last two players would be longer-term plays because they appear to have been drafted to replace aging players (potentially). Is Smith the next great Penn State linebacker? Maybe, he certainly has the athletic profile as well as the fact that the former five-star recruit brings some intriguing traits to the NFL, that could pay someone dividends if they are patient.
Channing Tindall – Miami Dolphins. I mean any pieces of that stellar 2021 Georgia defense seem like a smart play right? Tindall appears to be the forgotten man but he has a strong athletic profile, with elite speed, plus tackling ability and so much more! Tindall is currently looking buried on the depth chart but I’d argue he’s one of the more gifted (athletically) on this Miami defense, so he could push Elandon Roberts or even Van Ginkel for their spots quickly.
IDP Sleeper: Defensive Backs
Bryan Cook – S Kansas City Chiefs. Current starters Juan Thornhill and free-agent acquisition Justin Reid should be set for now but with the way the league is moving towards deploying more safeties on the field at one time, Cook could see playing time early. Cook is good in run support and his physicality is exactly what the Chiefs needed after losing Mathieu but Cook can do so much more in terms of dropping back into coverage and being a versatile safety.
Kerby Joseph – S Detroit Lions. Joseph was an interesting pick, as he hadn’t been playing the position long (converted wideout) but Detroit loves his growth in just one season at Illinois. The reason Detroit drafted him was his ability to be a playmaker and Detroit needs players that can get some turnovers. Joseph won’t start day one with Tracy walker and Deshon Elliott pretty well locked into those starting spots but Elliot’s coming off an injury and the depth behind those two isn’t strong, so never say never with Joseph!
Thanks for reading my rookie IDP sleepers article!
Do you have guys you love as sleepers? you can always hit me up over on Twitter and we can talk about it! If you want to see who we do have in our rankings, they can be found here on RotoHeat! And don’t forget to pop over to our YouTube channel for fantasy content on everything from devy to IDP and everything in between. We also stream weekly and answer your questions live on air!!!