Getting your IDP MVPs in place for 2022 is important if you want to compete in your IDP leagues this season. Let’s be honest everyone, we all love looking for value, and believing we found the deep draft gold that will carry our team aloft, to dance with FF champions. However, the truth is maybe one, or if you are lucky two, of those deep drafts will be consistent, dependable, point-producing studs. The fact is most of your leagues are won with picks 1-7 in non-idp leagues.
With IDP leagues, generally your top 2 picks carry your points. It is easier to find a stud, rookie, or a player that moved to a different team on the waiver, but you aren’t going to find a top 5 DL, LB, DB. If you want to win a championship, know your scoring first, but have a roster with a few of the Best of the Best. The following are guys that I think will be in the top 5 in their position.
2022 IDP MVPs - Defensive Lineman
Nick Bosa (SF)
Bosa landed 15.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles last year and still managed 52 tackles from the end position. The 49ers are still a premier team in the NFC. All 3 NFC WEST opponents have below average offensive line, which should allow Bosa to make big plays. Expect him to be the sack specialist he is.
Myles Garrett (CLE)
Garrett has been hungry for a Defensive Player of the Year award. He has been vocal about wanting to lead the league in sacks. The Browns offense could lean on their defense to help win games this year. Garrett had 51 tackles, 16 sacks, and 33 QB hits (which led all TRUE DL). This could be the year he leads the NFL in sacks, make sure to grab him. He often starts hot and cools off in the latter part of year.
Jonathan Allen (WAS)
Allen has been a quite, under the radar IDP. The commanders had a dismal year last year but Allen was a bright spot. 62 tackles, 9 sacks, and 30 QB hits made him the most dominate lineman on what is a great front four. If he makes slight improvements, and the offense puts points up, Allen will improve on his numbers from last year. 5 of his first 6 games are against teams with bad offensive lines, he could have a hot start.
Cameron Heyward (PIT)
Heyward is entering his 12th year. Most would be on snap count or rotation, I don’t see that being the case for the former Ohio State Buckeye. Most of the opposing coordinators focus will be on stopping Watt and Highsmith which allows the 2021 1st team All Pro to do what he does best, wreck the middle of the line. He tallied 89 tackles, 10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 9 passes defended, 17 QB hits, 1 INT, 1 fumble forced and recovered… talk about covering the stat sheet. Have faith in the ol’ vet.
Aaron Donald (LAR)
You really can’t have this list without Aaron Donald. He may be triple teamed again this year, and still fill the stat sheet. Some could be concerned about effort after winning the Superbowl, but ripping an opponents helmet away and bashing him with it repeatedly should put any competitive worries you have to rest. He’s a nasty monster that earned 25 QB hits, 12.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 4 fumble recoveries, 4 passes defended, and 84 total tackles. He will be eager to display dominance, and the Rams offense will not be as good as last season. Help will have to come from the defense, luckily they have a 3 time DPoY.
2022 IDP MVPs - Linebacker
T.J. Watt (PIT)
The reigning defensive player of the year has been the best defensive player the past 2 seasons. An NFL record 22.5 sacks, 39 QB hits, 64 tackles, 5 forced fumbles, and 3 recoveries were enough to lead all LBs in most IDP scoring formats. He was banged up in the last preseason game but expect him to be in the forefront for DPoY again. High draft capital, but always lives up to it.
Micah Parsons (DAL)
Parsons won the Rookie DPoY in 2022 and look for Dan Quinn to utilize him to the best of his ability. Some IDP heads are worried about where he will be lined up, DON’T BE! Do not fall for that silly notion. Cream rises to the top and Quinn will use him to exploit the weak spot of any offense. 84 tackles, 13 sacks (he played inside LB too), 20 tackles for loss, 30 QB hits, 3 forced fumbles… players don’t luck their way into those numbers, especially as a rookie. Look for improvement from the best defensive NFL talent I have seen since Clay Matthews, and Micah’s better.
Jordyn Brooks (SEA)
The Texas Tech product really busted out in his sophomore season. There was never a doubt for me as the college tape looked amazing. Most are expecting a regression from this stud, but all evidence implies that is far from the truth. 184 tackles don’t just disappear. His stats are a little bleak outside of the tackles, but in 12+ years of playing IDP, an obvious truth is you want the tackle monster. You want the guy that is going to average over 10 tackles a game (which should be a bonus in most formats). Listen, the Seahawks are going to be bad (worse over/under for season wins on Draftkings). Their offense will have trouble putting long drives together allowing more opportunities for Brooks. Bobby Wagner is in L.A., Brooks is by far their best LB, and their defensive line is not great. All this allows another 150+ tackle season well within reach. Grab him.
Roquan Smith (CHI)
The Chicago Bears will be a bottom 5 team. Their offense is atrocious, they are managed horribly, and they have a new coach. Once again, this helps your IDPs. Roquan Smith has been one of the best since being drafted out of Georgia. Another tackling machine, he tallied 163 tackles, 3 sacks, and one pick 6. He is the unquestioned stud of the team even with veteran Quinn staying. Look for him to be on the field often, and racking up about 10 tackles per game.
De'Vondre Campbell (GB)
The 2021 All-Pro was paid, and is the ‘green dot’ (signal caller) for the defense. The Packers have the most complete defense in the NFL, Campbell will be asked to cover, plug runs, and make audibles. He will be joined by rookie Walker in the middle, which should allow more plays for Campbell. 146 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended, and 6 QB hits. The stats indicate he’s all over the field and still earning about 9 tackles per game. Don’t miss out on a linebacker you can get later than the 4 previous mentioned and still get equal point production.
2022 IDP MVPs - Defensive Backs
Derwin James (LAC)
James put together 128 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended, 7 QB hits… He’s a do it all safety. James is a B grade LeRoy Butler, but it’s difficult to be better than a Hall of Fame(r). His issue is staying healthy, but he has been considered the best safety in league since entering it. He got paid to be the best safety of all time, and the Chargers have their best DL since his arrival. From a production standpoint there is not a question about his ability. It’s a gamble to take an oft injured player so early, but his ceiling as the #1 DB is too much to pass up on.
Kevin Byard (TEN)
Byard is SOMEHOW still under the radar. He’s little known outside of the IDP community, and even within it. The Middle Tennessee State product is a two time All-Pro. Last year he tallied 88 tackles, 13 passes defended, 4 QB hits, 5 INTs, and scored 2 TDs (a difficult task for an IDP). He plays with intensity and is Coach Vrabel’s guy. Byard stated he changed his diet which has led to improvement in quickness and alertness. Don’t be surprised if he’s the starting All-Pro safety again.
Jeremy Chinn (CAR)
Chinn had a relatively quiet year last year but still managed 108 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 INT, 1 forced and recovered fumble, and 5 passes defended. He is another hybrid safety and is still on his rookie contract, meaning there will be improvement. With the loss of H. Reddick the Panthers could utilize him more for pass pressure. No matter how’s he utilized another 100+ tackle season is well within reach. 100+ tackles from a DB is rare, and although he goes earlier in drafts. He’s well worth the draft capital.
Kenny Moore II (IND)
Moore has been one of the most reliable DBs the past 3 years. He earned 102 tackles 4 INTs, 13 passes defended, and 1 sack. It is extremely difficult to garnish 100 tackles as a corner but Kenny is a bit of hybrid himself. The Colts could have the best defensive in the league if Gus Bradley can utilize the great talent they have. Moore will have great pass rushers in front of him, and could improve on his 4 INTs while maintaining near 100 tackles. He’s ranked inside top 100 players of the NFL for a reason. Utilize him.
Harrison Smith (MIN)
An oldie but a goodie. Smith has been arguably the best safety in the NFL the past decade. He does his job with little to no praise from the media or the IDP community. The loss of former coach M. Zimmer could hurt his production, but it’s not likely. He tallied 114 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT, and 7 passes defended. There is no reason to think he will finish outside the top 5 DBs of 2022. He is 1 INT away from 30 (an ‘all-time’ landmark) and only 138 tackles away from 1,000 tackles, an impressive feat for any IDP. Expect him to make a push for another All-Pro season.