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Who is 2022's Denzel Perryman?
Hop in the IDP DeLorean with us as we travel to the end of the 2022 season and bring back some fun predictions across 11 categories.
Every summer, we in the IDP community survey the upcoming season with a fair amount of certainty. We know crazy things will have happened come January, but it’s hard to imagine just how crazy things can get during a 17-game season.
Denzel Perryman stands as the perfect example of this chaos theory. Left for the dead by the Chargers and IDP managers, Perryman signed with the Panthers before being dealt to the Raiders on September 1—that’s right, days before the season kicked off! Surely this meant nothing for IDP other than a slight annoyance for managers rostering other Raiders LBs… right? Wrong! Perryman averaged 13.1 PPG across 16 games and scored in the single digits only TWICE. Compare that to 2020, when Perryman only posted 3 double-digit performances across 13 games.
It’s not wise to bank on crazy things happening when planning your drafts or creating rankings for the upcoming season. But here, in the middle of June when NFL news is scarce, we thought it might be fun to make some crazy IDP predictions. So come on: let’s hop in the IDP DeLorean, head to the end of 2022, and see what we find.
Let’s start with who 2022’s Denzel Perryman will be…
1: Darkest Before the Dawn
The linebacker who had high hopes, is forgotten, and resurrects his career on a new team despite all odds.
Winner: Myles Jack
If you look at Myles Jack’s career so far, it’s not too hard to see a Marvel or DC character storyline. From the young sidekick in 2016-17 to the fully-fledged partner in 2018-19 (before injury). Then, being thrust into the limelight in 2020 with the early retirement of his “mentor” before finally capitulating to the pressure in 2021 and being cast aside. Well, 2022 is setting up to be quite the redemption arc.
Freed from the clutches of “Suburban” Meyer, Jack should find steady play time in a well-drilled Pittsburgh defense where he will no longer be required to be the lynchpin and can simply get back to the basics of doing what he does best: being a valuable and effective supporting character—just not the main protagonist.
Runner Up: Zach Cunningham
2: All Hat, No Cattle
The flashy, highly-drafted EDGE player who will disappoint you.
Winner: Montez Sweat
Sweat is a buyer-beware story for 2022. After being somewhat of a revelation in 2020, Sweat struggled in 2021, both with injury AND putting up points for IDP managers when he was healthy. Yet, that hasn’t seemed to dampen IDP managers’ outlook on Sweat for the 2022 season, with his average ADP as EDGE20 across the IDP only bestball drafts we’ve been running this summer. In multiple drafts, he was taken ahead of Odafe Oweh, Aidan Hutchinson, Kwity Paye, and Kayvon Thibodeaux—all players we like better for 2022 at their cost compared to Sweat’s price tag.
Runner Up: Joey Bosa
3: Can You Diggs It?
The breakout CB who will outscore most safeties.
Winner: A.J. Terrell
Terrell well and truly broke out in 2021 and we expect him to keep things going in 2022 despite playing in a bottom-5 defense in Atlanta. With a nose for the ball, he should be able to put up week-winning numbers at times due to a combination of big plays and a solid tackle floor that starting box safeties would be proud of.
Runner Up: Chauncey Gardner Johnson
4: The PFF-ttttt:
A player who grades well but will underwhelm for IDP.
Winner: Marcus Williams
We expect Marcus Williams to do exactly what Baltimore paid him $70 million to do: play the safety position at a very high level. Unfortunately for IDP managers, that likely means he’ll also do the same thing he does every year: fail to average 10 PPG.
Williams saw over 1,000 snaps in 2021, yet he averaged just 8.4 PPG by Big 3 scoring. Why? Because of where he lined up: of his 1,040 snaps, 88.6% came at free safety (922 total). Williams is very good at what he does. The new contract and the career PFF grades back that up. But what he’s not good at? Scoring points for IDP managers.
Antoine Winfield Jr.
5: Tris Speaker Award
That low ceiling, high floor player who always gets you 9-11 points every week but never wins you a week. (Note: Tris Speaker hit the most doubles in MLB history.)
Winner: Blake Martinez
Martinez should return to a starting role in 2022 following his ruptured ACL shortened season in 2021, but we’re not expecting week-winning production from the former Packer. Assuming he’s healthy, we see Martinez as a reliable LB2/3 with a solid tackle floor. He’ll be in the mix to start every week, but you won’t be excited about it.
With a new regime in town and Martinez approaching 30 (he’s 28), we don’t anticipate the Giants will re-sign Martinez after this season when his contract expires. So enjoy those doubles while you can… because they might be strikeouts before long.
Runner Up: Bobby Okereke
6: Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen
That player you’ve been waiting to break out for years, but it’s time to come to terms with the fact it’s never going to happen.
Winner: Tremaine Edmunds
It’s time to give up the dream of Edmunds ever becoming the LB1 for your rosters that we envisioned when he entered the league in 2018. He’s shown us over the past 4 seasons that he’s more of a rotational piece for IDP, and with the Bills picking up his 5th-year option but also drafting Terrel Bernard in the 3rd, it seems unlikely he’s going to reach new heights in Buffalo. Could he have a late breakout like Shaq Thompson did last season? Sure, but it’s not something we’re banking on.
We’re not saying Edmunds is worthless in IDP—just that we need to reset our expectations. He’s never going to be an LB1, but he can still be valuable.
Runner Up: Kenneth Murray
7: The Chick-fil-A Breakfast Award
The league winner it might be worth overpaying for to secure them for your roster.
Winner: Aaron Donald
When the Rams locked up Donald this offseason, it essentially closed the very tiny buy-low window that had cracked open with the rumors about him retiring. But even if his value has returned to its peak, the price tag is still worth paying regardless of whether you’re league is DT-required. Even if DL leagues like on Sleeper, there’s a case to be made Donald should be drafted as the 4th DL after some combination of Bosa, Garrett, and Watt. But especially in those DT or IDL leagues, being able to secure a huge positional advantage at a onesie position gives you a big edge over the competition. Donald is as set-it-and-forget-it as Gronk or Kelce in their primes.
8: The Late Round Gem
He might have looked like an end-of-bench addition in the draft, but come Week 3, he’ll be your every-week starter.
Winner: David Long
The 8-week sample we got at the start of 2021 was just a precursor to the fully-fledged breakout that we see happening in 2022. With Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown no longer in the picture, it’s shaping up to be the “David Long Show” in Tennessee. In the bestball drafts we’ve been running, it’s a coin flip as to who goes first between Long and running mate Zach Cunningham. But if you see Cunningham go first, smile to yourself and draft Long a round of two later. You won’t regret it.
Runner Up: Troy Anderson
9: Prettiest Girl (Not) At the Dance
He won’t move the needle for most, but should an injury pop up or someone gets waived/traded, he’s a top add from the waiver wire.
Winner: Ernest Jones
Might Ernest save Christmas after all? Despite our best efforts to derail Bobby’s hype train this offseason, there’s no denying that Ernest Jones is at the top of the list for waiver wire additions should one of two things happen: 1) Bobby Wagner gets injured 2) the Rams totally change the game and deploy 2 full-time LBs in Week 1.
Could Jones be a “schemebuster” who upends our preconceived notions of how a team deploys its personnel? Logic says “no.” But what if the answer is… “yes”? Yes, dance with the girl you brought, but keep an eye on the door for a dramatic entrance!
Runner Up: Channing Tindall
Azeez Al Shaair/Dre Greenlaw
10: The Best Ball Baller
His highs will win you a week, but you never know when he’ll go off, and in other weeks, it will feel like you left the roster spot blank.
Winner: Chris Jones
In 2021, Chris Jones had 8 games where he scored under 10 points. But he also had games where he scored 25.45 (Week 1), 48.05 (Week 11), and 28.7 (Week 17). With Jones playing a onesie position (DT/IDL), that’s a week-winning output, so we’ll take our lumps when he fails to score double digits. And the beautiful part of bestball is that you don’t have to decide when to bench Jones and when to play him.
Just draft him and enjoy those splash games that swing your weekly matchups or push you over the top in bestball leagues that name winners based on total points.
11: Ain’t Washed Yet
That veteran people like to avoid due to age or injury history, but he’ll still score well.
Winner: Lavonte David
The original “Discount Bobby Wagner” missed some games in 2021, but in the 12 games he played, he averaged 13.46 PPG by Big 3 scoring. For comparison, our mulleted hero Cole Holcomb averaged 13.25 PPG across 17 games on his way to an LB9 finish. Yes, David is 32 years old, and speaking from experience, that age hits like a ton of bricks. But David is an all-time LB playing in a defense where not much has changed. And for where he’s being drafted right now—LB31 according to IDP Guys ADP data for June—that makes “Discount Bobby Wagner” an absolute steal.
Runner Up: C.J Mosley
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