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IDP Interactive - Week 13
Steve Gallo
November 29, 2008
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Welcome to our week 13 edition of IDP INTERACTIVE.  In our IDP Forum you will find a thread entitled "IDP INTERACTIVE" pinned to the top where you can submit your questions for consideration.  If you question is not chosen to be answered in this column every effort will still be made to answer your question in the IDP Forum.

Let’s take a look at the dynasty question forum member Robash has this week.

Robash  wrote,
My question is which out of these DL offer up the best long term prospects? The obvious choices to me would be Grant and McBride, who was having a nice season till his injury, but are there any others worthy of a multiple year deal here? Also Calais Campbell could be thrown into that mix as he is stashed away on my Taxi Squad. I have a couple extra draft picks this year, but I’m hesitant to use them on a "low scoring" position when this rebuilding team has glaring holes elsewhere.

I’d give you the league link, but DW2 requires you to login to view anything i believe.

Patterson, Mike PHI DT 56.0 $2.00
Edwards, Ray MIN DE 65.5 $1.00
Grant, Charles NOS DE (I) 74.0 $1.00
McBride, Turk KCC DE (I) 73.0 $1.00
Montgomery, Mike GBP DE 69.5 $1.00
Richardson, Jay OAK DE 75.5 $1.00

Relavant Scoring (minus TDs)
Fumble Recoveries (from Opponent) - 2 points each
Forced Fumbles - 3 points each
Interceptions Caught - 3 points each
Passes Defensed - 1.5 points each
Tackles - 2 points each
Assists - 1 point each
Sacked a QB - 1.5 point for every .50
Safeties - 3 points each”

Background
Since I am familiar with the Dynasty Wars family of leagues I will give a small explanation about the type of league it is.  DW2 (Dynasty Wars 2) is a 16 team Dynasty/Contract league.  Rosters consist of 40 active players and up to a 13 player DTS (Developmental Taxi Squad).  There is an annual 8 round rookie draft and only rookies can be placed on a team’s DTS.  Once on a DTS a player can stay there for a maximum of 3 years before having to be promoted to the active roster with a contract or cut.  Waivers are handled in a blind bid format and teams receive $75 (“Dubloons”) annually to use for waiver bids and they can also be used in trades and in RFA (Restricted Free Agency).  Money is rolled over on an annual basis too.  Starting requirements on the defensive side consists of a total of 8 starters and can be any combo of 2-3 DLs, 2-3 LBs & 2-3 DBs.  Most teams start a combo of 2 DLs, 3 LBs & 3 DBs because as Robash stated, DL is a low scoring position.  Outside of the TE position, DLs are the lowest scoring players in DW2.  Just like the TE position the DL has a few studs and then a big drop off.  What the DL position does offer that the TE position doesn’t is depth.  For the most part, you will find that players ranking from 25-60 score between 6-7 points/game (PPG).

Roster/Contract Management
Teams in DW2 have up to 100 contract years that can be assigned to active roster players.  That is an average of 2.5 years/player.  Just the fact alone that the average contract length available breaks down to 2.5 years lends itself to trying to conserve contracts at lower scoring positions.

Future Telling…Not Fortune Telling!
Before we look at the players that Robash has to decide on I think we should take a look at the past and see what it tells us about the future.  I looked at the top 24 scoring DLs for 2006, 2007 & through week 12 of 2008 to see how often players repeated a top 24 performance.  The reason I am cutting off at 24 is because most teams in DW2 will try to start a max of 2 DL/week since they are the lowest scoring position on the defensive side of the ball.  Also, I should point out that I am in a league with almost the exact same scoring system and that is what I am using to pull my numbers from.

DL Repeatability
Over the past 3 years I looked at the top 24 scorers (72 total) and out of those 72 possible players only 5 repeated a top 24 performance in all 3 years.  For the most part those 5 fall under stud status.  The following  5 players accounted for 21% of the DL that made up the top 24 the past 3 years.

Player 2006 Ranking 2007 Ranking 2008 Ranking
Jared Allen 1st 1st 10th
Trent Cole 13th 2nd 2nd
Aaron Kampman 2nd 16th 23rd
Justin Smith 6th 13th 8th
Terrell Suggs 8th 4th 1st

The next segment we will look at are the DLs that ranked in the top 24 for 2 of the 3 years.  That number is a bit more than twice that of the 3 year performers.  Out of the 12 players that ranked in the top 24 for 2 of the 3 years 10 of them did it in consecutive seasons and only Julius Peppers and Robert Mathis took a year off in between.  This segment of players accounted for 33% of the top 24.  I think you might see where this is going.  Here is a list of the 2 year top 24 repeaters.

Player 2006 Ranking 2007 Ranking 2008 Ranking
Marques Douglas 22nd 15th 117th
Kelly Gregg 23rd 7 th N/A
Tamba Hali 12 th (rookie) 24 th 60th
Robert Mathis 9 th 71st 9th
Adewale Ogunleye 53rd 6 th 19th
Julius Peppers 5th 35th 7th
Aaron Schobel 14th 18th 129th
Darryl Tapp 133rd (rookie) 23rd 21st
Jason Taylor 3rd 5th 135 th
Justin Tuck 218th (rookie) 19th 4th
Kyle Vanden Bosch 10th 8th 90th
Mario Williams  44th (rookie) 9th 17th

So now all that is left are the players that haven’t repeated their top 24 performance over the past 3 years.  Rather than list those 33 players let’s just take a look at what the numbers tell us.  What we can see when looking at the numbers is that those 33 players accounted for 46% of the top 24 over the past 3 years.  Yes, that basically shows that almost half of the top 24 DLs are going to be one hit wonders.

Pick Me, Pick Me
Since Robash was curious which DL he should pick I guess we should at least take a look at each one of those players. 

Mike Patterson:  His best year saw him score 8 PPG.  If DW2 were a league that had a DT requirement Patterson would be a decent option to receive a multiyear deal but since they don’t I don’t see enough upside to tie up multiple years with him.

Ray Edwards:  Edwards past performances make him look like a 6 PPG DL and with Jared Allen as a fellow line mate now it is hard to see Edwards ever having a value much above the top 24.

Charles Grant:  Grant is by far the most talented of this bunch but he is also the oldest too.  If I had to put money on one of these 6 to be a top 24 DL again, it would be Grant.  Just don’t forget that he was lost for the season due to injury and has a possible suspension looming over his head too.

Turk McBride:  Just take a look at the Chiefs and it is easy to see why it’s dangerous to bet on any of them.  A coaching change could be imminent and that could very well be a bad thing for guys that were a part of a previous regime.  Top that off with the fact that McBride was serviceable but doesn’t look to have any “stud” in him and he ends up on the outside looking in for consideration.

Mike Montgomery:  Aaron Kampman is struggling some lately but make no mistake about it he is the stud of that DL.  Montgomery at best will probably be a 7PPG DL.

Jay Richardson:  Another player that just doesn’t look like a stud to be to me.  He is only averaging 6.7 PPG this year and I don’t see that increasing much in the next couple of years.  Of course it could happen but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Final Answer…
Since this is a rebuilding squad I would probably look to give Charles Grant a 2-3 year contract and then look to move him to a contending team after a couple of good games next year.  The good thing is that you should know about his possible suspension well in advance of when contracts have to be assigned.  If Grant does happen to get a suspension and it is between 2-4 games I would probably still give him that 2-3 year contract and still look to move him after he returns when he strings together a couple of good games.  I would possibly consider keeping Mike Montgomery with a 1 year contract but you will have training camp next year to watch to help you make that decision.  The other thing I would do is probably look to draft a DL in round 5 or so.  Rounds 3 and 4 will still present you with viable dynasty LBs and there is usually some decent value to be had in the round 5 area for DLs.  Just make sure that you are aware of the scheme that they will be playing in and focus on DLs that will be playing in 4-3 defenses.

I hope that everyone has enjoyed our first installment with IDP Interactive and I look forward to seeing more questions in the coming weeks.  If you have any comments or recommendations on what you would like to see in IDP Interactive you can email me at idpsteve@gmail.com

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