IDP Showdown: DeAndre Levy vs. Lance Briggs

I thought it would be fun to start a series entitled "IDP Showdown" in which I compare two IDPs who have very similar ADPs. Each player will be judged on five different categories: Tackles, Big Plays, Opportunity, Health, and Safeness of the Pick.

For simplicity's sake, when analyzing these players only 2010 production will be taken into account. In other words, I am only judging their redraft value.

DeAndre Levy
MLB DeAndre Levy

Detroit Lions

Current ADP: 150.38
Min Pick: 87
Max Pick: 302
Lance Briggs
WLB Lance Briggs
Chicago Bears

Current ADP: 151.39
Min Pick: 90
Max Pick: 266
Big Plays

I see both players producing 90-95 solo tackles with 20-25 assists. Levy has the higher tackle ceiling of the two but also has the lower tackle floor. Levy is a relative unknown in that we haven't seen him start a full season and, although I think he will be fine, you inherit more risk with Levy since he may struggle the first few games as he is still learning the finer points of the defense. Briggs on the other hand hasn't finished below 83 solo tackles and 19 assists since his rookie campaign which was over six years ago.

Big Plays: Neither one of these players creates many big plays, but if I had to choose a player I would go with Briggs. He's had a couple three sacks seasons and is usually good for an interception or two. I don't expect Levy to be blitzing much at all. I see him being a pure tackle monger.

Opportunity: I gave this category to Levy. He finds himself in an optimal place and situation. He's playing in a 4-3 scheme which funnels the majority of plays into the middle of the field. There is little competition for tackles among the other Detroit Linebackers as Julian Peterson's best days are behind him and Zack Follett is nothing special. Briggs meanwhile has Brian Urlacher to contend with for tackles and Chicago's defense doesn't figure to be on the field nearly as much as Detroit's defense.

Health: This one is a draw. Briggs has been quite healthy throughout his career and although Levy is currently struggling with a back injury, it's nothing serious. Plus, Levy is only 23 years young.

Safeness: You don't get much more reliable than Lance Briggs here. This is Levy's first year starting at MLB for the Lions. This category has to go to Briggs.

WINNER: This is a close call and could even be considered a draw. But the whole point of these articles is to take a stand on one player. That player for me is Lance Briggs. I tend to be a conservative drafter and Briggs is the safer pick. If you "like to live dangerously" Levy may be the better option. But come draft day if Lance Briggs and DeAndre Levy are sitting on my board as options, I am going with big daddy Briggs.

***Obviously in dynasty leagues, Levy would probably be the better choice since he's six years younger and has better long-term upside and value.

So who do you think wins this battle?? Any suggestions for future battles? Please leave your comments below. I'm really interested on any input you may have or any ideas for future showdown articles.

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