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Fantasy Football: Rookie draft board, combined offense and IDP draft strategy

Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) outruns Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns cornerback AJ Washington (16) as quarterback Casey Thompson (11) looks on in the second half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

• Strategy and a walkthrough up to seven rounds: With 84 players across nine positions, there is an abundance of options to sort through. This guide will help you through it all.

• Where to take the first IDPs: This is the perfect guide for fantasy managers who want more clarity on how to value defensive players alongside offensive players. 

• Check out PFF’s standalone rankings: Nathan Jahnke and Jon Macri also have separate rankings for offensive and IDP rookies.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

With rookie drafts starting up in full force, fantasy managers are presented with plenty of different rankings to help them understand which players to value at each pick.

Those rankings are helpful, but it is rare to find a guide that details how to value offense and IDPs combined in rookie drafts — and this is exactly what this draft board aims to provide.

Offensive scoring is based on standard PPR and starting roster requirements of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and 3 FLEX. 

IDP positions are “true position” settings and based on 2-EDGEs, 1-2-DTs, 2-3-LBs, 2-Safeties, and 2-CBs starting roster requirements.

The following IDP rankings are based on the scoring laid out below:

Position Solos Assists Sacks Pass breakups Interceptions
Linebacker 1.5 0.75 4 2 6
Defensive line (EDGE/DI) 2.5 1.75 6 2 6
Defensive back (CB/S) 2 1 6 2 6

1.01: Bijan Robinson is locked in as the No. 1 overall rookie pick. He found an ideal landing spot and has the draft pedigree to solidify his case as the potential top dynasty asset.

1.02 – 1.03: The first opportunity for fantasy managers to pick between a top-tier running back with elite receiving upside in Jahmyr Gibbs or PFF’s top-ranked wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

1.04: Jordan Addison has the talent and versatility to jump K.J. Osborn as WR2 on the Vikings depth chart and potentially earn the highest target share among rookie wide receivers.

1.05 – 1.07: Depending on the fantasy team's need, there are three potentially high-end fantasy options to choose from here, including the first IDP in Will Anderson Jr., who figures to be an elite dynasty asset at his position. 

Wideout Quentin Johnston has a tougher path to snaps as a rookie but is paired with Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future and should advance up the depth chart over the next couple of seasons. 

The ultra-athletic Anthony Richardson offers the most fantasy upside of any rookie quarterback, given his rushing ability and opportunity to start under Shane Steichen.

1.08 – 1.09: Zach Charbonnet and Zay Flowers will compete for opportunities on their new teams. However, both players have top-five talent at their respective positions, which will help them produce even if they don’t see ideal involvement as rookies.

1.10 – 1.11: Kendre Miller has three-down capabilities, and with Alvin Kamara facing a possible suspension and being a relatively ineffective runner last season as he gets older, Miller is in the right spot to potentially emerge as the Saints’ next RB1, even over 2022 rushing touchdown leader Jamaal Williams

Dalton Kincaid has the receiving profile fantasy managers crave from the tight end position, but he may have to share snaps with Dawson Knox for a few seasons.

1.12 – 2.02: As the draft bleeds into the second round, some very enticing options could emerge as fantasy stars, even as rookies. Achane and his 4.32 speed joins one of the fastest offenses in the NFL and should fit right in with the potential to earn a starting spot on a weaker running back depth chart.

Michael Mayer went from being a lot of analysts’ TE1 to falling into the second round of the NFL draft but still finds a roster spot that could utilize him in a volume-heavy role as time goes on, which should lead to ideal production. 

Josh Downs was PFF’s No. 5 wide receiver in this class and should push for the starting slot role, depending on if he can win the job over Isaiah McKenzie as a rookie. 

2.03 – 2.05: Jack Campbell is the LB1 of this rookie class, and this is the right spot to take him in most drafts, even if teams have a need the linebacker position. He should step into a starting role as a rookie with a shot to be very productive in Detroit. 

Roschon Johnson boasts a strong rushing profile and lands in a backfield that he could take hold of to emerge as the team's rushing leader. 

Jonathan Mingo was the fifth wide receiver taken in this year’s draft and gets paired with No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young for the next few years at least. He’ll have a chance to supplant Terrace Marshall Jr. on the depth chart and start next to Adam Thielen as soon as this year if he can perform well as a rookie.


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