2010 IDP Return Men

In IDP leagues that reward points for return yardage, fantasy owners can get a little more creative with their defensive back selections. Often times relatively unknown secondary players can produce at a rate much higher than expected because of their role as return men. Even defensive backs who are limited to 3rd down nickel packages can have nice value in these leagues due to their return yardage production.

Listed below are defensive players who have a possibility to return either kicks, punts, or both this season. Most of these players are backups on most defensive packages, however, there are a few who actually start on defense as well. I've notated which players are starters and which players are bench players.

This list will continually be updated throughout the season.


Kick Returners
*Starting SS - Danieal Manning CHI
*Starting CB - Ellis Hobbs PHI

Backup CB - Javier Arenas KC
Backup FS - Akwisi Owusu-Ansah DAL
Backup CB - Perrish Cox DEN


Punt Returners
*Starting CB - Tramon Williams GB
*Starting SS - Jim Leonard NYJ
*Starting FS - Tom Zbikowski BALT
Backup CB - Javier Arenas KC
Backup CB - Captain Munnerlyn CAR


The player with the best chance to serve as a multi-faceted fantasy player is Danieal Manning. He's the current starter at strong safety in Chicago and gets a good amount of kickoff return attempts. He has Major Wright looking over his shoulder, however.

A player that I really think is going to have a great year in return yardage leagues is Javier Arenas. Not only is he likely to be the primary kick returner and punt returner, but he will play a decent amount in nickel packages as well. He was a great returner in college and it seems as though that quickly carried over to the NFL.

Eagles coach Andy Reid has declared Ellis Hobbs as the starting kickoff returner. Hobbs is also the starting cornerback for the Eagles and therefore had pretty darn good value in IDP leagues that reward for return yardage.

Other backup defensive players I like include are cornerback Perrish Cox from the Broncos and free safety Akwisi Owusu-Ansah ("AOA") from the Cowboys. Cox is currently returning both kicks and punts. AOA is primarily returning kicks, but gets an occasional punt return attempt as well.

Adam "Pacman" Jones played surprisingly well this preseason especially in the return game. In the week 3 preseason game against the Bills, he returned three kicks for 116 yards, highlighted by a 52-yarder. In the regular season, he returned punts in Week 1, but didn't see any action in the return game in Week 2. It's still unclear if he's the clear cut punt returner.

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is currently returning punts and the occasional kickoff in Carolina and is also playing in some nickel packages. Decent value to be had here in return yardage leagues.

Starting Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has value in CB-required based on his non-return game merits alone. Now that he is (surprisingly) being used as Green Bay's primary punt returner, he becomes one of the best IDP return men in the league.

Tom Zbikowski
is returning points while filling in at the free safety position for Ed Reed. Zbikowski made a bonehead play on a punt return in Week 1 that has him in some hot water and he may not hold onto the position. I would hold off on grabbing him for now.

Last but not least, Jim Leonard of the Jets is turning into an interesting IDP return man prospect. He's the starting SS in New York and is the primary punt returner as well. He should be rostered in leagues that award significant points for return yardage.

I've had quite a few requests via email and through the forums for further information on this topic. I hope this article helped all of you owners that are in these type of leagues.

Last Updated: September 21, 2010



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45 comments :

Anonymous said...

Great info. My IDP dynasty league uses return yardage so this is just what I needed. Thank you.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Thanks! Is there anything else you want to see on the site?

Anonymous said...

Great to know, thanks! I'm hoping you'll update again soon!

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Thanks! An update is forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

What about Josh Wilson? did he lose return duties?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
The kick returner situation in Seattle is somewhat unsettled. Wilson returned 2 kicks for 74 yards in the Seahawks latest preseason game against the Packers. My main concern is that Leon Washington (when fully healthy) will steal the KO return duties away from Wilson. I've added Wilson to the list though and also added some commentary.

Anonymous said...

What about Ellis Hobb?

Ellis Hobbs said he expects to return kickoffs once the regular season starts.
Hobbs, who is coming off neck surgery, hasn't been returning kicks in the exhibition games but has looked sharp as a starting corner. We'll see if coach Andy Reid puts his thin secondary in harm's way by using Hobbs as his primary kick returner. Quintin Demps is also a candidate if he makes the team.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
If/once we get more solid confirmation that Hobbs will be returning kicks, I will add him to the list. Even though he says he's in line for these duties, the coaching staff hasn't confirmed it.

Anonymous said...

Have you heard anything about Devin McCourty returning kicks for New England?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
McCourty had kickoff returns of 50 and 52 yards against the Saints and figures to play in nickel packages on defense.

He is currently listed as the 3rd kick returner behind Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman, however. I'm just waiting to hear more solid news on his return duty status before I add him to the list.

Anonymous said...

Great info here, thanks for the quick response!

Anonymous said...

Great info Mr Sitzmann, keep us updates please!!

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing that:

Eddie Royal is returning KR/PR in Denver
Johnny Knox is returning KF in Chicago; and
I'm thinking that CJ Spiller will return kicks in Buffalo

Anonymous said...

Eddie Royal has competiton in Parrish Cox

Anonymous said...

Coach Reid is saying Hobbs is the return man over Demps.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I just saw that today. Thanks for the update. I will make the necessary changes when I revise this document in a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Josh Wilson has been traded to the Ravens

Anonymous said...

How is Josh Wilson's trade going to affect his PR/KR duties? Any ideas?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
With Fabian Washington and Ladarius both coming off ACL surgeries, Wilson will probably start at cornerback for the 1st few games of the regular season. I wouldn't count on him holding that position, however. He's more likely going to end up being a nickel cornerback.

As far as return duties go, it's still undecided on how expansive his role is going to be (if he even has a role). The Ravens are fairly thin on good returners, so my guess is he at least get's a shot at some of the duties.

Jared said...

Witherspoon was released, Pacman is the primary KR/backup PR, and it looks like multiple people will be returning kicks in Dallas

Anonymous said...

You still thinking Manning is a lock?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I never really thought Manning was a lock. I do think he has the potential to be the top IDP return man though (assuming he can hold onto his starting strong safety gig).

Anonymous said...

@Jared

The depth chart has Pacman as primary PR backup KR. Have you seen news that says different?

I appreciate this site. Thanks for the hard work.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
It was looking like he was the starter at both return positions. However, according to the below news article, he is going to be the primary punt returner and the #2 kick returner.

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.aspx?sport=nfl&id=3127

Jared said...

Any news on Cox? All I kind find are rumors and a couple of remarks from McDaniels; nothing official (beyond the currently listed #2 duties on KR/PR).

Jared said...

From my research, there are only four DBs guaranteed to return kicks (there are a couple others like Pacman who will return PR). They are:

J. Arenas - primary KR/PR
D. Manning - splitting KR
E. Hobbs - primary KR, and
N. Caroll out of Miami - splitting KR

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Jared
You are correct in stating that those four guys are the only players known to be returning kicks for sure. The other players I listed have a good chance at returning kicks sometime during the early part of the season. It's always hard to tell who will win the job this early in the season.

Jared said...

Another guy I've been tracking is Scotty McGee out of JAX. He's slated to be the primary PR and secondary KR. Also, I wasn't correcting anyone's input; I just wanted to state the primary DBs of choice for my fellow fantasy owners.

Anonymous said...

With the arrival of RB Clifton Smith in Miami, will DB Nolan Carroll cede kickoff returns to him?

Any updates on SS/NYJ Jim Leonhard and his role in returns?

I'm in a league with 1pt/10 return yards, so any defender with primary return duties skyrockets in value.

Thanks for a very helpful article and thread, and in advance for more updates.

Jared said...

Wow, things can completely change in the span of a few days. It looks like Carroll will no longer return kicks (the aforementioned C. Smith), and it also looks like Major Wright has returned quicker than expected expected from injury (will take over the SS position from Manning, possibly this Sunday; in which case, he will move to the nickel). The only safe options at KR (as of right now) are Hobbs, Arenas, and Manning (splitting with Knox).

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Thanks for the updates Jared! Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Any updates? This thread has been really helpful to me in my IDP+returns league. I already have Ellis Hobbs, Javier Arenas and Jim Leonhard. And I'm still interested in tracking Perrish Cox, Captain Munnerlyn and Pacman Jones. Any further thoughts on which IDP players might be "locking down" primary opportunities on KRs or PRs?
Thanks for all the hard work so far.

Jared said...

Go for Perrish Cox (returned all the kicks in the low-scoring Denver/Jax game; so imagine what he'll do when Denver's bad defense goes up against a good team) and Danieal Manning (starting SS who splits KR duties).

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Jared
Nice reply Jared. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance Josh Wilson gets some KR's in week 2?

Anonymous said...

Great site! IDP info is still relatively hard to find!

This is the first year I'm in a FF league that awards return yards for IDP players.

I'd like to ask the Guru: I have J. Beason and I'm wondering if he is still an IDP monster in this format? D. Manning, E. Hobbs, and P. Willis are all off the board. I'm looking at J. Arenas and P. Cox as better value...any advice would be appreciated!

toobitterforyou said...

we start 5 IDP's.
1 DL, 1 LB, 1 DB and 2 flex

currently running Manning and Leonhard with Dansby, David Harris and Chris Kelsay.

we get a point for every 20 return yards and a point for every 100 return yards.

only guy who's not available from the list above is ellis hobbs.

would i benefit from replacing leonhard with any of these guys, or even replacing dansby with one of em? defensive stats are a little elevated in our league. eg tackles=1.5, assists=.5, ints=3, sacks=2.5

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Beason is a monster in pretty much every format and shouldn't be dropped.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@toobitterforyou
As long as he continues to return punts, Tramon Williams will provide good value. He's the starting CB opposite Pro Bowler Charles Woodson and should therefore see a lot of balls thrown his way.

toobitterforyou said...

but isn't a safety generally more valuable than a cornerback because they will consistently get more tackles?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@toobitterforyou
As a generality, yes. However, Leonard isn't that great of a fantasy safety. He's never had more than 55 solo tackles in a season and he's playing behind a very strong front seven which limit his tackle opps. Tramon Williams has put up very similar tackle numbers to Leonard in past seasons and added 4-5 INTs. He's upside is much greater in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Think the starting CB for the Colts J.Powers is returning kicks in Indianapolis.

Jared said...

Powers is returning punts, and appears to be a good defender. I'd take him first amongst the PR corners.

Jared said...

CB Justin Tryon is listed as the primary KR in Indy (Devin Moore is on the IR). We'll see if he can hold on to the role...

luddite1965 said...

Kinda quiet around here lately! I was hoping for more follow-ups because return yards make the difference for IDPs in my league. Does anyone have any info or thoughts on the following IDPs' roles in their teams' return games:

1. Javier Arenas DB/KC: great on KRs earlier but seems to have lost them lately to McCluster. His role on D has increased but McCluster's role on O might start to increase.

2. Bryan McCann DB/DAL: with Dez Bryant on IR, might McCann also get PRs in addition to KRs?

3. Justin Tryon DB/IND: seems to have resumed his earlier (brief) role on KRs. Anyone know if he'll keep it?

4. Leodis McKelvin DB/BUF: seems to have done some KRs lately (though also some fumbling too). Maybe because C.J. Spiller is doing more on Offense? Any info?

5. Danieal Manning DB/CHI: As a Bears fan, I'm disgusted that Hester doesn't get all returns, but I'm also embarassed to not know how the Bears plan to split KRs bewteen Hester and Manning. Maybe Manning still gets KRs from teams who decide against kicking to Hester?

P.S.
6. Sam Shields GB
7. Captain Munnerlyn CAR
8. Perrish Cox DEN
9. Will Blackmon NYG

Any info, thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks

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