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Retool my Defense


acarey50

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At @Gally's suggestion, going ahead and firing up a thread to help retool my IDP's, maybe something similar to what @rockactionwas doing last year. Lineups for defense are 2-3 DL, 3 LB and 2-3 DB. 

Scoring is 2 points per tackle, 1 per assist, 3 per sack, 2 per interception, 2 per fumble forced, 2 per recovered, 1.5 per pass defensed. Other things mixed in like safeties, etc. only other wrinkle is all players get 0.04 per kick/punt return yard, so if any of them double as a return guy (looking at the DBs here), then there is some chance for extra points, but usually not significant.

Top 5-6 DL score in the 150-160 range for the season typically with the 24-28 guy usually in the 110 range and the 36-40 guy in the 90 range.

Top 5-6 LB score in the 250-260 range, top guy is usually 275-280, with the 36th-40th LB in the 160 range.

Top 5-6 DBs score in the 200-225 range, the top guy may be around 250, with the 24-28 guy in the 160-170 range and the 36-40 guy in the 150 range.

Usually lots of volatility in who the top DBs are year to year. My strategy has been to load up at LB as best I can, and it had been to basically address DL and DB each year by picking up hot hand and tooling from there.

This is a dynasty league, however it is contract based, so you only get players for as long as the contract you assign them is, then they go through an RFA process in the offseason that their contract expires - I have traditionally done 1 year deals for DBs and just address each offseason/in season pick ups, done similar for DL (though I now have 2 top ones) and tried to lock up stud LBs. It's worked ok for me, but I think there is room for improvement on my end in finding players ahead of time rather than waiting to see who the hot hand is - though as we do take a hit to our contract years if we cut a player midseason, I have strategically tried to come into the season a little light on the depth with the intent to add backups/injury fillers as the season progresses. We can taxi squad rookies and keep them there up to 3 years. No limit on roster/taxi size in offseason, so I do have cuts to make. Cuts made before our deadline of next Monday have no "cost" associated with them, cute made after and you take a 1 year contract cap hit on the player, so this makes roster churning difficult as you can quickly run out of either roster space or contract cap space (we have a limit of 100 contract years)

Position by Position breakdown (number in parentheses is contract years left, a 0 means open and I need to assign a contract or cut, I can cut without penalty up until next Monday):

Defensive Line:

Current Roster: Chase Young (6), Danielle Hunter (2), Brandon Graham (0), Josh Sweat (0), Marcus Davenport (0), Aldon Smith (2)

Taxi Squad: None

Best Available DL (based on FBG projections): Fletcher Cox, Daron Payne

Current Plan: Cut Sweat, Davenport, Smith, don't pick up any one, give Graham 1 year contract to use as depth

Linebacker:

Current Roster: Bobby Wagner (4), Fred Warner (1), Tremaine Edmunds (3), Neville Hewitt (0), Alexander Johnson (2), Ifeadi Odenigbo (0)

Taxi Squad: Derrick Barnes, Alex Highsmith, Tanner Muse, Joe Tryon, Josh Uche

Best Available LB (based on FBG projections): Damien Wilson (JAX), Blake Cashman, Jermaine Carter (towards bottom of FBG ranks, I have waiver bid in on him)

Current Plan: If I get Carter, probably give him 2-3 year contract, cut Johnson and Odenigbo, debating if worth giving Hewitt 1 year deal and roster spot or cutting to keep the spot open. For taxi squad, for sure keep Barnes and Highsmith, debating other 3. I can easily fit 1 more on taxi, and could trim some deeper offensive taxi guys to make room for the others.

Defensive Back:

Current Roster: Justin Reid (2), Terrell Edmunds (0), Ronnie Harrison (0), Rayshawn Jenkins (0), Jordan Whitehead (2)

Taxi Squad: None

Best Available DB (based on FBG projections): Darnell Savage, Carlton Davis, Donovan Wilson

Current Plan: This is where I always struggle. Usually lots of rookie CBs show up and do well as teams throw at them, so I either will pick 3 of my current group and give 1 year deals (or keep Reid with 2) then pick up 1-2 more during the season, or I can just cut my current guys and pick up available guys to start the season.

 

While what I've done in the past has worked out ok for me, I feel like I am leaving value on the table by being less proactive in addressing some of these spots, in particular DBs.

We have a 40 man total active roster - as it stands I have 22 offensive players that I believe I'm for sure keeping with a couple borderline, and need 1 spot for a bye week/backup kicker. I tend to start the season with a bare bones defense and add as season goes. Ideally I will start with 3 DL, 5 LB and 3 DB active and will keep about 5 open roster spots heading into the season for adding DL/DB pickups, LB pickups if a 3 Down guy emerges, and as I am currently lacking WR depth, trying to keep a spot open to add to that position if someone pops up on waivers.

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Contracts are involved so this is a bit more difficult to assess and comment on when compared to a more general IDP discussion (like RA's thread last year). There is also no league size, which certainly makes a big difference. The names you list on the wire seem similar to those found in some of my 55+ roster size leagues, yet you note a roster limit of 40. 16 teams? More? 

With that said, here goes...

Strategy: I agree with the main strategy you employ. LB is clearly more important based on scoring and starting lineup. LB is also (for me across my leagues, at least) the easiest to trade, so having depth there puts you in good position to make deals. DE tends to be more scarce so has higher value but is the weaker scoring based on your notes about total points, and can also make other owners hesitant to trade with the dreaded Scheme Change and/or Re-Designation always a concern. Which brings us to DB... where you already seem to recognize your strategy isn't working. Behind Reid, the safeties you have are weak and the waiver wire is worse. CBs are not likely to score better than S in a manner that is consistent enough to be reliable. The Hot Hand is most likely translating to Sometimes Lucky... but that isn't a winning strategy.

How is the trade market on Safety? With the wire so barren, there has to be a team or two with some serious depth. Contracts make a difference, but I find S to be a buyer's market in most leagues, where only the top guys are really untouchable but the rest are fairly easy to acquire. 

DE: Current Plan: Cut Sweat, Davenport, Smith, don't pick up any one, give Graham 1 year contract to use as depth

Sound plan. I assume you can't trade Davenport or Sweat unless you assign a contract first, then hope you can move them? Best options on the wire are DT which is not a position teams want, which tells me Davenport & Sweat would be targets once they hit the wire.

LB: Current Plan: If I get Carter, probably give him 2-3 year contract, cut Johnson and Odenigbo, debating if worth giving Hewitt 1 year deal and roster spot or cutting to keep the spot open. For taxi squad, for sure keep Barnes and Highsmith, debating other 3. I can easily fit 1 more on taxi, and could trim some deeper offensive taxi guys to make room for the others.

Why would you consider cutting Alexander Johnson? He's a starting ILB that finished in the LB25-35 range, is young, AND is under contract. Unless I missed some news, I assume he's at least a very good trade chip. Definitely agree with keeping Barnes and Highsmith. Muse... maybe. Tough to trust what's going on with LVR personnel decisions. Taylor/Uche are "maybe next year we get True Positions" darts, imo, and Uche has to contend with BB's sub-package affinity that caps most DL at 75% snap share.

DB: Current Plan: This is where I always struggle. Usually lots of rookie CBs show up and do well as teams throw at them, so I either will pick 3 of my current group and give 1 year deals (or keep Reid with 2) then pick up 1-2 more during the season, or I can just cut my current guys and pick up available guys to start the season.

Mentioned above. CB streaming / rookie corner rule won't get you the points you need in a DB setup.

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