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Fantasy Football: Ranking IDP rookies among the entire 2021 NFL rookie draft class

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane linebacker Zaven Collins (23) during the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Tulsa won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie fever is still in full swing, as the majority of dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts are taking place right now. Leagues of all shapes and sizes are gearing up to add future stars to their dynasty rosters, but one of the more challenging drafts involve those with both offensive players and IDPs.

Many wonder where to value IDPs among the sea of offensive players whose names are becoming more well known in fantasy circles due to the abundance of offense-only fantasy leagues. That's why I've detailed six rounds of rankings (72 players) covering both sides of the ball in order to get a better feel for where the best values lie.

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If you’re looking for rankings on offense only, Nathan Jahnke has put those together for here. If you’re looking strictly for IDP rookie rankings, we have those here. Within those separated ranks you’ll find even more players whose names don’t appear below, so you can target them in free agency after drafts conclude.

When doing combined rankings like this, it’s important to provide additional context on the league size and general scoring. I’ve laid out those important details below. Of course, not all leagues are created equal, but this should offer a better idea of why players are valued the way they are for these dynasty rookie rankings.

Roster Size 
Position Starters (9 offense + 9 IDP)
QB 1
RB 2-3
WR 3-4
TE 1-2
DL 2-3
LB 3-4
DB 2-3
Bench (Offense) 8
Bench (IDP) 8
IDP Scoring
Position Solos Assists Sacks Pass breakups Interceptions
Linebackers 1.5 0.75 4 2 6
Defensive Line (DI, ED) 2.5 1.75 6 2 6
Defensive Back (CB, S) 2 1 6 2 6

With scoring settings and roster sizes cleared up, let’s get into it.

First Round 
Rank Position Name Team Position Rank Draft Round Draft Pick
1 WR Ja’Marr Chase Bengals WR1 1 5
2 TE Kyle Pitts Falcons TE1 1 4
3 RB Najee Harris Steelers RB1 1 24
4 RB Travis Etienne Jaguars RB2 1 25
5 RB Javonte Williams Broncos RB3 2 35
6 WR DeVonta Smith Eagles WR2 1 10
7 WR Jaylen Waddle Dolphins WR3 1 6
8 WR Rashod Bateman Ravens WR4 1 27
9 WR Elijah Moore Jets WR5 2 34
10 QB Trevor Lawrence Jaguars QB1 1 1
11 QB Justin Fields Bears QB2 1 11
12 RB Trey Sermon 49ers RB4 3 88

Ja’Marr Chase at 1.01 might not be for everyone, especially those who highly value running backs. I tend to prefer players who will hold their value longer, and Chase brings a skill set that separates him from your average receiver. After reuniting with Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, Chase is my top option, but I certainly understand anyone who would prefer to go running back here.

After going back and forth between Kyle Pitts and Najee Harris for the second spot on the list, I’m willing to take a shot on Pitts over Harris in dynasty. Both players’ positions are scarce when it comes to finding top-end talent, but tight end is truly shallow.

New, attractive running backs like Harris are available most seasons, but that is certainly not the case with Pitts at tight end. Pitts put up truly generational numbers in 2020 at Florida, with a 96.1 receiving grade and a 96.2 overall grade. This included 12 touchdowns and 770 receiving yards on 43 receptions. An argument can be made for any of the top three players to go first overall, and I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for taking Pitts as their top choice — or even at five or six depending on positional preference.

The first round feels pretty standard, especially as the top eight players round out. Normally, I wouldn’t take one or even two quarterbacks in the first round, but there is plenty of reason to feel good about the long-term outlooks and fantasy upside of Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. I prefer them in dynasty over other players that I’m less confident about in the second round.

Trey Sermon rounds out the top-12 as the fourth running back off the board. I think consensus is pretty clear on the top three RBs in this draft, but Sermon is the hottest commodity after them. This is understandable given his elite rushing grades through four years of college across two top-end programs.

Sermon ended his college career with over 3,000 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns for a 94.9 career rushing grade. Heading into the famous Kyle Shanahan system has a lot of people excited about his NFL prospects. He’s going earlier and earlier in drafts, so if you want him on your roster, best to grab him around that 1.12 spot.

With no Chase Young-type talent on defense in this year’s NFL Draft, there is unlikely to be any IDPs taken in the first round of rookie drafts. That being said, a lot of people will draft based on need — or even fandom — so don’t be surprised if an IDP does sneak in here.

Second Round

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