IDP Rookie Death Match
I thought it would be fun to pose head to head matchups between rookies for IDP purposes. I polled Twitterverse for their opinions, and this is how they voted. I provided my own personal take on the match up with some analysis and insight. Sometimes I agreed and other times I disagreed with the Twitterverse. Let’s check out the battles and how they voted!
Here are the battles:
Trenton Simpson vs. Dorian Williams (83% Simpson)
The Twitterverse selected Trenton Simpson as the winner in one of the few landslides the voters created with their decisions. However, the answer is not so obvious. IF the Ravens hold on to Patrick Queen this season, I am not 100% sure Simpson is on the field enough to make that type of impact; Simpson is certainly not pushing Roquan Smith for playing time. As of now, Dorian Williams has an easier path to minutes with Edmunds signing a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears. In this battle, I would have chosen Dorian Williams. I believe his team and likelihood of a snap share over 55% would provide enough opportunity to score more IDP points this year over Simpson. I love Trenton Simpson’s long term potential, but this battle was about this year. So, for those reasons, Williams is my winner.
Daiyan Henley vs. Dorian Williams (80% for Henley)
Again, the Twitterverse went against Williams; this time voting for Daiyan Henely . And again, a player that does not have a clear path to minutes was voted the winner by the fans. Of the three, Henley, Williams, and Simpson, I believe Henley to currently have the most opposition to minutes. Again, IDP is all about playing time. If you are not on the field, you can’t accrue points. I would also select Williams in this match up. If the Chargers make any cuts and Henley has a clearer path to minutes, then I would have to reconsider. For now, Dorian Williams is my pick to amass more IDP points with his current situation. And, I would like to stress this again: This poll does not measure the overall future prospects. Instead, we are gauging the impact for this year. And, for this year, I see Henley’s path to minutes impeded by more established players on the Chargers.
Christian Gonzalez vs. Deonte Banks (75% for Gonzalez)
The Twitterverse selected Christian Gonzalez. This is another interesting match up. I believe Gonzalez to be the better player, and has the better long term potential as an IDP contributor. However, Deonte Banks has a “Sauce Gardner” vibe to him in regards to making plays and converting them into pick-sixes. Saying all that, I believe Gonzalez was the right choice. The only way for Banks to outscore Gonzalez is if he has 5 to 7 interceptions and returns half of them for touchdowns. That is too much of a “hot take” to predict that type of first year explosion for a cornerback. I believe Gonzalez is a perfect fit for the Patriots and will probably log 50 to 60 tackles.
Lukas Van Ness vs. Nolan Smith (62% for Van Ness)
I respect our followers on Twitter for not getting swayed by Nolan Smith’s “value” as he was selected as the 30th pick in the 1st round. Nolan Smith was lucky to get drafted by a team that does not need him to be a superstar right away. With Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat, the Eagles only need Smith to be a rotational player this year. In Lukas Van Ness’ situation, he will be relied on to be more than that for the Packers. And with more playing time, comes more opportunity to be IDP relevant. I believe both players have bright futures ahead of them; I just see Van Ness accelerating that future and performing in 2023.
Jalen Carter vs Tyree Wilson (53% for Carter)
As stated above about Nolan Smith, Jalen Carter will not be counted on to be an instant impact player this year. The Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams already in a rotation at DT and Jalen Carter will only be used in certain packages. For that reason, I don't anticipate Jalen Carter to make an immediate impact as a rookie. Instead, I believe Carter will have some flashes of greatness. Tyree Wilson, on the other hand, looks to be set for a rotation with Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby; mostly subbing for Jones. I can see Wilson, with approximately 50% snap share recording 5 to 8 sacks. I think this battle will be close, I believe Tyree Wilson will slightly outscore Jalen Carter.
Brian Branch vs Joey Porter (64% Branch)
The Twitterverse has spoken, and I believe this to be the most egregious result of our little experiment. I believe Brian Branch is going to struggle to get on the field for the Lions to start the season. Cameron Sutton, CJ Gardner Johnson, Kerby Joseph, Emmanuel Moseley, and Tracy Walker all provide obstacles toward Branch seeing significant time in the Lions defensive backfield. Joey Porter has a clearer path to playing time; either at corner or safety. Based on that, I believe Joey Porter will have a better first year as an IDP contributor. Brian Branch could see a HUGE bump in playing time if one of his teammates in the defensive backfield is traded away or cut. If that’s the case, he may be a better choice over Porter. However, I don’t believe the Lions are currently looking to cut away the experience they have amassed on defense.
Calijah Kancey vs. Mazi Smith (70% for Kancey)
Rumor has it that the Buccaneers were all ready to take Jack Campbell until the Lions drafted him before the Buccaneers. Instead, Tampa Bay drafted Kancey to help fortify the defensive line. A lot of comparisons between Kancey and Aaron Donald have surfaced. However, I don’t believe Kancey will meet that lofty expectation in year one. Mazi Smith was drafted by the Cowboys to help collapse the pocket and allow the edge rushers more one-on-one matchups with the guards. I believe Mazi Smith may be a more impactful player to the Cowboys defense, but I agree with the Twitterverse that Kancey will have more IDP points this year. Kancey is currently listed as an edge rusher for the Buccaneers and that playing time will allow him to rack up 4 to 7 sacks and 40 to 50 tackles as he sets the edge.
Jack Campbell vs. Will Anderson (Campbell 55%)
In our final IDP Death Match, I decided to poll Twitterverse on their opinions for the top overall IDP Rookie for 2023. As of now, the general population has Campbell and Anderson as the top two IDP rookies. After the poll was completed, Twitterverse was in favor of Jack Campbell at 55%. Will Anderson is a tremendous player that will help lead the Texans defense for the next ten years. Jack Campbell, shockingly, was drafted by the Lions and addressed a huge need;albeit a bit early for a middle linebacker by NFL standards. Either way, both players look to post solid numbers for rookies in IDP scoring. Anderson should post 40 to 50 tackles, with 7 to 10 tackles for loss and 8 to 10 sacks. Campbell could eclipse the 100 tackle mark as a middle linebacker. I also see Campbell’s 6’4” frame knocking down a few passes and grabbing 1 or 2 interceptions. I also see Campbell notching 2 to 4 sacks with 4 to 6 tackles for loss. Campbell and Anderson will battle for the title of the TOP IDP ROOKIE for 2023. And at the conclusion of the season, I stand alongside the Twitterverse and anoint Campbell as the top rookie.
Needless to say, this year’s crop of defensive talent will infuse a lot of energy into the IDP world. With the additions of Will Anderson, Tyree Wilson, Christian Gonzalez, Joey Porter and others, the future of IDP looks strong with this crop of rookies.
Any future IDP star you would like to see in a Death Match?
Check me out on Twitter and let’s put it to a debate!
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I try to look at fantasy sports through my own lens and share that vision with my readers I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: C2C, dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
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