Welcome to The IDP Tipster’s suggested 2020 Fantasy Football IDP Breakout Candidates article on Gridiron Ratings. For the last few seasons, the Tipster has selected defensive players he believes are being overlooked or undervalued in IDP leagues. His lengthy process includes the dedication of tracking and researching and has hit on such names as Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, John Johnson, Matt Milano, and Tracy Walker. And all were successful selections well ahead of becoming popular with the fantasy football community.

2020 fantasy football

In full disclosure, don’t let the introduction above come across that I’m perfect at fantasy football. We all know as fantasy football fans that a lot of luck is required no matter the process, and I’ve certainly had the fantasy football gods on my side over the years. I just happen to have a football fetish that has helped develop a knack for eyeballing players before they hit it big. And it’s something I am very humbled to have and love sharing with the fantasy football community. So thank you for allowing me to share what I can in my effort to help you win those championships. And there are a total of four calls here, so be sure to catch the rookie at the end.

2020 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidate Defined

To be clear, my definition in making a call for a breakout in IDP is the following.

  1. He was not relevant in starting lineups as an every-week starter before I selected him.
  2. The player has the potential based on his situation just as much as his talent.
  3. He isn’t currently a high profile IDP in ownership among multiple fantasy football sites where we play the game.
  4. The Player is not to my knowledge one I’ve seen a lot of media hype on within the community before I’ve promoted him as such.
  • One special note for these 2020 selections. I normally would do this around the first of the year. But this year, that time was spent merging my old site content from TheIDPTipster.com to Gridiron Ratings for the foreseeable future. All to be apart of something bigger, better, and access to the best possible fantasy football resources for the delivery of my IDP content.

The Three 2020 Fantasy Football Second-Year Players Call

*GR’s projected stats will only include combined tackles  and sacks at this time, the two core baseline IDP stats for fantasy football.

Fantasy IDP Football

Chargers W/MLB Drue Tranquill

Off-Season baseline stat projections via Gridiron Ratings: 105 combined tackles / 0 sacks

Tranquill was not only a player I started to suggest paid members on TheIDPTipster.com should plug and play in 2019, but start stashing him for dynasty purposes. And not because he stood out as a fifth-round rookie either, but because of the dysfunctional way the Chargers have handled the inside linebacker position for the last few seasons. He hit the field running mid-season and became the best inside linebacker on the squad, in my opinion. And after multiple off-season moves, he is now sitting atop the Chargers depth chart.

Granted, the Chargers also draft Kenneth Murry in this year’s draft, but there is plenty of room for both players to become IDP relevant in 2020. And trust me when I say that after writing this article pre-draft, I did my homework post-draft. And as far as I can predict, he’ll likely be the starting MLB with Murry in the WLB position. I’ll also add we should see a couple of sacks and multiple playmaking type stats like passes defended and fumble related plays. I have no problem predicting a solid LB1 status when it is all said and done after the 2020 season.

IDP Dime Drop Fantasy Football

Lions SS/FS Will Harris

Off-Season baseline stat projections via Gridiron Ratings: 54 combined tackles / 1 sack

This second-year safety is an overlooked and undervalued veteran, and his GR projections certainly reflect that. He is likely un-owned or buried on dynasty rosters due to the fact the Lions traded for Duron Harmon this offseason. Who, when I looked at multiple major sites, was listed as the starting strong safety on depth charts. So let me be frank about this call if you don’t mind.

I know Harmon from being a writer and playing the game, and I also know the Detriot Lion’s way of doing things. After all, I have spent sometime before and after making my breakout call on Tracy Walker last year to know what we should expect. And I’m going to tell you Harmon will fail at strong safety, and that’s if he would even start the season out as the playing there. 

They love Will Harris, even after they used him out of position and as a roaming coverage safety last year, and he did struggle at times. He’ll get every opportunity going forward to play in the box with the first-team defense in 2020. And everything about his skillset screams box safety and one that ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine. Take my word for what it’s worth here, for the Lions and IDP owners, he is the Tracy Walker 2.0 of 2020. And although his ceiling may be capped playing on the same field with Tracy Walker, I’ll predict he can hit low DB1 status by the end of this season and heading into 2021.

Like a little more on Harris or a few other second-year safeties? Then check this article out HERE for more.

2020 fantasy football on Gridiron Ratings

Titans DT/DE 

Off-Season baseline stat projections via Gridiron Ratings: 58 combined tackles / 4 sacks

Imagine my surprise when browsing around and checking in on Simmons I noticed this first-round pick from last year’s draft was sorely under-owned. In three sites that show ownership, he was only owned in 30% of the leagues. I’m not sure if it is because of the fact he didn’t make an impact last season for IDP owners or what. But on paper, this is just nuts. Has no one thought about the Titans trading away Jurrell Casey?

Let’s think about this for a minute, shall we? Simmons only played in nine games last season because he tore his ACL preparing for the combine. And between weeks seven and seventeen was in a rotational role that he received just 28% of the available defensive snaps on the season. But yet he recorded 32 combined tackles and two sacks while averaging 49.2% of the snaps he did play. So let’s break that down more for a broader look. If we look at his tackles, sacks, and add in his four tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits, and his one pass defended. Then look at the total amount of snaps played (314), Simmons recorded some form of play on the ball every 7.6 snap he did play. Take it from me, that is comparable to an LB2 for fantasy football purposes.

So, in the full-time role in place of Casey, who averaged about 75% of the snaps available per game, his ceiling is huge for IDP owners. Especially because in all the sites I checked, he was designated as a defensive tackle. So comparably, we have the potential to have a Grady Jarret (DT1), and that’s only because he’ll wear down over the season.

Dynasty IDP Targets / IDP Dime Drop

Titans Edge Rusher/OLB Harold Landry

Off-Season baseline stat projections via Gridiron Ratings: NA

The Tipster’s Off-Season baseline stat projections: 70 combined tackles / 14 sacks

Landry is a June 1st addition here to the breakout candidates. I originally struggled to name two players from the same team or an outside linebacker. But after having Landry on my mind when naming the original group, I’ve decided to make him my fifth and final addition here. And we are going to do it as a designated edge rusher for general purposes, not as a linebacker play.

The argument could be made that Landry had a mild breakout in 2019. He recorded 68 combined tackle and added nine sacks. But for general scoring formats, his weekly average was just that, average. With Brian Orakpo now gone, he should assume the weakside edge rusher role, and likely right next to Jeffery Simmons. Who we mentioned above as another breakout candidate. These two young players together are likely going to see a lot of time side by side in the formation. And will feed off each other’s talents at getting to the quarterback. There can and will be room for both players to become more relevant for IDP purposes in 2020.

2020 Fantasy Football How? 2020 Fantasy Football

So exactly how can Landry improve in his third season on some already great looking stats? He played 86% of the available stats last year as the strong side outside linebacker for the Titans. And that isn’t the prime position to rush the backfield from. So we’ll make the call here that he’ll get more with about the same amount of the playing time. We could suspect about the same in snap counts, and about the same ceiling in combined tackles. The difference will be his playmaking type plays he’ll record this coming season. From the blind side, we should expect a nice jump in sacks and plays like forced fumbles and tackles for loss. Something that fueled the Steelers T.J. Watt last season, who I’m comparably seeing in Landry’s breakout.

It’s simple, Landry only recorded one interception, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and one pass defended in 2019. And from the weakside, entering a notorious third season for breaking out, he’ll have more opportunities to be a game-changer. In 2019 he only had the five playmaking type plays with nine sacks. There isn’t any reason with his skillset we can’t expect those playmaking type plays to double. Or possibly even come close to tripling. And we can add another 1/3 amount of opportunities from the blindside to record more sacks. When he does, we are talking a potential top-five edge rusher in favorable sack scoring formats. And likely more IDP relevancy in tackle based formats helping our IDP lineups.

The 2020 Fantasy Football Rookie Call

We are going to separate the rookie call here for a couple of different reasons. One, I am not a huge “rookie” guy because of their low hit rate percentage found HERE. And the other reason will be the definition of breaking out as a rookie. This will be the first time I have ever gone this far, so we’re adding one detail when including him.

The “breakout” is based on being undervalued at his current ADP.

And not because I’m 110% he’ll be a year-one LB1 option in 2020, or relevant enough to be used every week. Hopefully, after readers check out what I’ve got to say, they understand where I’m coming from.

Ravens ILB Malik Harrison

Off-Season baseline stat projections via Gridiron Ratings: 106 combined tackles / 0 sacks

It’s well worth listening to the Ravens General Manager in this one.

Harrison’s Current Competition

First Round Rookie Patrick Queen

L.J. Fort

Chris Board

Otaro Alaka


ADP On MyFantasyLeague.Com (< Click)

Undraftd as of  5/13/2020


Harrison is a third-round pick, was in PFF top 10 (HERE), and has no competition to speak of. In the Ravens scheme, it takes two inside linebackers. Don’t be fooled, if the Ravens were going to repeat the way they used their ILBs last year, they wouldn’t have used two picks in the top three rounds of the draft.

These facts are a part of why we rank him high in our rookie IDP rankings (HERE) at Gridiron Ratings. And if owners grab him off the board as the third ILB taken, I think they’ll have the third most productive rookie ILB in 2020. They’ll likely use Queen as the WILB in coverage, and use Harrison as the run-stopping MILB. Where his opportunities to make those tackles will justify GR’s combined tackle production. He literally would only have to record 50% of the snaps in year one and half our projected tackle to smash his current ADP. He is a breakout based on being undervalued and overlooked right now in rookie drafts.

Simple enough, don’t reach for him, you shouldn’t have too. But don’t forget about him or wait to long, because he’ll start trending upward when some form of NFL activities start.


In closing, thanks for joining me for my breakouts. Hopefilly we hit on everyone of these players which would boost our IDP ranks. But realistically I’ve averaged hitting two of three calls (no rookie calls) over the last few seasons. So there is our realistic odds everything goes right. And the fantasy football gods gift us rights to picking these players up before they breakout.

Thank you for joining us at Gridiron Ratings.  

Gary VanDyke

“The IDP Tipster”

The IDP Tipster

Would you like directly to have access to Gary VanDyke and his fantasy Football IDP “takes” or interact? You can find him here @TheIDPTipster via Twitter. His most active account. Or chat with us using our member’s chat on site. We look forward to hearing from you.

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