2014 IDP Rankings - Rookies (Redraft)

Listed below are my 2014 IDP Rookie Rankings for IDP Redraft Leagues. I will continually update these throughout the off-season to reflect changes in free agency, defensive schemes, playing time, draft selections, etc. However, keep in mind that the information listed here is just a small sample of a much larger set of rankings and descriptions that are accessible through purchasing my 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Scoring System:
Solo Tackle = 1 point
Assist = 0.5 point
Sack = 3 points
Interception = 4 points
Forced Fumble = 2 points
Fumble Recovery = 2 points
Pass Deflection = 1 point
Defensive TD = 6 points

Key:
S = Sleeper/Undervalued Player
B = Bust/Overvalued Player
R = Injury Risk


Tier 1

C.J. Mosley 1. ILB C.J. Mosley (BAL) - Just one year after taking ILB Arthur Brown in the second round last year, GM Ozzie Newsome took another inside linebacker in the first round of this year's draft, selecting Alabama standout C.J. Mosley. This isn't as surprising as it seems on the surface. The Ravens have long valued the MLB position and have adopted a best player available draft philosophy in recent years. All that said, Mosley figures to compete with Brown immediately for the spot next to Daryl Smith who was just signed to a long-term contract. This ranking assumes Mosley will win out and assume a near every down role.

Charles Tillman 2. ILB Ryan Shazier (PIT) - There's no doubting the Steelers had a serious hole to fill at inside linebacker next to Lawrence Timmons. Although not a perfect fit in this scheme, Shazier has the speed and athleticism to thrive in Dick Lebau's system. He will slot into the weak side role previously occupied by Lawrence Timmons who will move to the strong side. Shazier figures to be an immediate three down starter and could very well wind up outproducing Timmons come season's end. Consider him a LB3- with upside.



Tier 2

Deone Bucannon 3. FS Deone Bucannon (ARZ) - Bucannon is my top ranked defensive back rookie - with Daryl Washington suspended and the Honey Badger's status unknown for the regular season, he could very well top 80 solos tackles. Look for Arizona to play the youngster close to the line of scrimmage early and often as they look to help out a shaky linebacking crew.

Calvin Pryor 4. SS Calvin Pryor (NYJ) - Pryor landed in a great spot for his fantasy value - the Jets run an aggressive scheme and will surely put him situations to make plays. The interior linebackers shouldn't pose a huge threat to his tackle upside. He could wind up being the top producing rookie DB if the Jets defense gets enough tackle opportunity.

Janoris Jenkins 5. OLB Telvin Smith (JAX) - Smith was one of the Jaguars' better value picks in this year's draft and also fills a significant need for them. He was projected as a third-rounder prior to testing positive at the Combine. He's a great fit in Jacksonville and could see the most snaps of any rookie linebacker. As long as he stands up physically, the numbers should be there. There's enough tackle opportunity for 85-90 solos if he can snag a starting role.

DeMarcus Lawrence 6. DE DeMarcus Lawrence (DAL) - The Cowboys surrendered both their 2nd and 3rd round picks in this years draft to move up and select Lawrence with the 34th overall pick. In his two years at Boise State, he managed to fill the stat sheet and establish himself as an imposing pass rush threat. He does tend to play stiff at times and needs to improve on disengaging from offensive lineman, but he fills a significant need for Dallas and should start immediately. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is renowned for getting the most out of his linemen and should be able to help Lawrence develop his pass rushing repertoire and fine-tune his technique. Although not the most talented edge rusher in this rookie class, Lawrence has the potential to be the top scoring rookie fantasy DL given the large amount of snaps he's likely to see, along with strong coaching and the relative lack of competitive pressure around him.

Aaron Donald 7. DT Aaron Donald (STL) - Donald (6-foot 7/8, 288) was a dominant interior penetrator at Pitt, earning the ACC Defensive POY award as a senior. Donald is smallish in stature, but shoots gaps with quick-twitch explosion, He will play three-technique tackle and should begin causing interior disruption as soon as he steps on an NFL field. His addition to the St. Louis line makes them the most fierce in the league. He's the top rookie fantasy DT and could have big upside as soon as this year.



Tier 3

Christian Kirksey 8. ILB Christian Kirksey (CLE) - Kirksey is a highly athletic run-and-chase linebacker with athleticism to hold his own in coverage. He projects as upgrade over Craig Robertson and is ticketed for a starting role right out of the gate. That said, IDP owners need to get him on their radar. New head coach Mike Pettine isn't afraid to throw his rookie linebackers right into the fire as we saw with Kiko Alonso last year. Cleveland has been a fairly healthy spot for fantasy linebackers and if Kirksey can lock down an every down role, he may be one of the most surprising rookie IDPs this year.

Khalil Mack 9. OLB Khalil Mack (OAK) - Mack was the 5th overall pick in this year's draft and was considered the #1 overall prospect by a handful of draft pundits. He'll be used in the Von Miller base SLB/nickel edge rusher role. That said, he's likely to be an immediate every down starter and could reach 60-65+ total tackles and double digit sacks given he plays up to expectations.

Jadaveon Clowney 10. OLB Jadaveon Clowney (HOU) - There's no denying that Clowney is one of the more physically gifted defensive players to come out of the draft in the last several years and has the potential to be one of the all-time greats. He will need to polish his pass-rushing skills and prove that he can play with 100% motivation at the next level. Although the OLB classification really hurts his fantasy value, playing opposite J.J. Watt is an ideal situation. He has the ceiling to be one of the top pass-rushing fantasy OLBs as early as this season. His unknown tackle production potential knocks him a tad below Mack for me this year, however.


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Questions, comments, or concerns with any of these rankings? If so, please let me know by posting a comment below or emailing me at theidpguru@idpguru.com. You can also hit me up on Twitter


Last Updated: June 23, 2014
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