Welcome to the fantasy football’s Top 26 dynasty IDP targets under 26 in 2020. This series of articles is intended to help those fantasy football owners looking to revamp or start a dynasty roster. So why 26 under 26? Because our focus is on a group of fantasy football defensive players that are no older than 25. And have shown to be long term potential IDP assets at the highest level. The kind players we want to have on our rosters as they hit their prime years. And hopefully helping us earn a few titles as the seasons roll by.
Dynasty IDP Targets Ranking Ground Rules
Ranking fantasy football players can vary in opinions. So we will lay out the ground rules on how those IDP hairs were split between these players. Starting with the following things taken under consideration. And making this statement now.
No matter how, when. or why it’s an opinion. And the same can be said on who the players are that are chosen to be in the rankings.
So with that being said, my credentials in IDP knowledge runs around fifteen years now. And much of that time is not just spent on fantasy football data. It also includes researching and keeping up on the latest reports and news. And although “numbers” have to be used to rank. I find that those IDP hairs are so thin to split that normally I’d soon have any player within a difference of ten from any given rank.
The point here is we’ll list the considerations taken into these rankings. And my personal opinions are just that. Because all of the 26 and likely a few that didn’t make my list, boils down to my personal preferences.
Now on to our Top 26 Dynasty IDP Targets under 26 years old for 2020.
Consistency Margin Of Error
2020’s Fantasy Football Top Dynasty IDP Targets: #1
Green Bay Packer Linebacker Blake Martinez
Position: MILB – Height/Weight: 6-2, 238lb – Age As Of Jan.1, 2020: 25 ( 26 ⬇️ )
Martinez turned 26, Jan. 9, 2020, just making the cut. Rankings list was created in late December.
Salary / Contract
Martinez 2020 Calculated UFA Market Value
According to Spotrac.com, Martinez’s 2020 unrestricted free agent value is projected at a five year, $81,796,481 contract, with an average yearly salary of $16,359,296. As a fourth-round selection, there was not a fifth-year option mentioned in his four-year rookie contract for the option the Packers to pick up before becoming a 2020 free agent. And the following are the most up to date and some viable resources for potential or current owners to consider concerning his future as a Packer.
A quite from general manager Brian Gutekunst…
“We’re going to have to take a long look at inside linebacker and make sure we’re squared away there.”
( Not surprising coming from the team’s accountant 😉 )
We’ll mention here that while looking among resources that there were a lot of columnists already assuming the Packers are moving on from Martinez. Some were local beat writer, some are not. But there are a lot more making that assumption over thinking he’ll return to the team.
And then there is Martinez’s end of the season reaction…
Rank 8th* (tied)
Rank 9th* (tied)
Rank 2nd* (tied)
Note* His rankings are among inside linebackers in the overall Gridiron Linebacker Ratings.
20 Yd Shuttle
Blake Martinez played sparingly as a freshman and sophomore, with no notable stats worth mentioning. But as a starter his junior season, Martinex recorded 102 tackles, seven for loss, 4.5 sacks, and three interceptions, earning 2014 All-Pac 12 honors. And then in 2015, he recorded a team-high 141 tackles, two sacks, one interception and six passes defended. The strong effort earned Martinez All-Pac-12 first-team conference honors, again.
Drafted by the packer in the fourth-round of the 2016 draft, Martinez competed immediately for one of the inside linebacker positions next to Jake Ryan. And after beating out Sam Barrington, Carl Bradford, and Joe Thomas for the right to start, Martinez was used in rotation and suffered an MCL sprain limiting his overall playing time. He finished the season recording 69 combined tackles, a sack, four pass deflections, and an interception in thirteen games and nine starts. After his rookie season, he became a mainstay with the defense and eventually became the defensive captain leading the Packers each season with the following charts stats.
Fantasy Football Dynasty IDP Targets Summary
After Martinez got the ball rolling and became the core middle linebacker for Packers, he has done nothing but produces for IDP owners. And in the last three seasons, he averages making 147 combined tackles as a top-two producer in the league each year. Martinez has also been on average, a top-five option at solo tackles during that time, at the end of the season. This type of tackle production is also reflected in his 2nd ranked 2019 Gridiron solo ranking found above.
As a playmaker in other areas, like interceptions and sacks, he admittingly has been moderate. And what plays he has made in those terms has decreased from 2017 to 2019. That big dip did reflect hard in our 2019 Gridiron overall and performance ratings but likely had little effect on his latest overall IDP value over in leagues. And because of the strong tackling performances, he still was as a top-five option in most tackle based scoring formats. Martinez has been this way for three straight years now and not from what is known in the industry as being productive by default.
Why Martinez first over Leonard?
It’s this writer’s opinion that Leonard and Martinez may not be on the same level physically, but there are a couple of things we should take note of. One, Martinez went to Stanford and graduated, you don’t just go to Stanford and get a degree. And I’m not saying Leonard is not smart or football smart either. I’m saying I prefer the guy who likely got where he is by being intelligent over just being a beast in this case. Two, experience at doing what they do best. Martinez has three years under his belt of getting it done at a high level to Lenards two seasons. It’s not much, but again we are splitting those IDP hairs here, so all things are on the table to look at.
And three, situation, even if Martinez’s situation might change soon, I don’t believe it’ll change his IDP value going forward. And with Leonard, as big of a beast that he is, that Colts defense got way better production out of their players around him this season. They are still building under a somewhat new regime, and likely will still add key pieces this offseason. Who knows, it could be Martinez (lol).
The Colts have some emerging players that I think could actually make plays more often going forward. And as long as Leonard is the weak side linebacker, this could mean fewer opportunities to clean up the mess or have to be the one to make the play. As for the Packers defense, they seem to be a couple of steps behind the Colts in those terms. The personnel beyond the defensive lineman and outside linebackers are lacking a bit, at least for now. And remember, this is even if Martinez is in Greenbay next season.
It is this Writer’s Opinion
It’s this writer’s opinion that I’m going to catch a lot of grief over ranking Martinez over Leonard. And that’s fine, we all have our preferences but back to the task at hand.
From my point of view, I believe the odds are good Martinez returns to being a Packer the next few seasons. They have not addressed the inside linebacker position next to him effectively in years. Or should we say since Martinez has been a packer? And that is what I think that the general manager we quote is talking more about over Martinez. They have swung and missed on some many potential replacements that it’s been sad. And relegated the team to using Martinez as a swiss army knife that both linebackers would normally cover.
According to PFF HERE, Martinez hasn’t put all aspects of his game together at one time, in any given season. They did not say he has never been able at some point do the things they grade. And what can we really expect from a player asked to do more than normally asked to do at his position?
Dynasty IDP Targets: Defending Martinez
Another thing mentioned is his yearly double-digit missed tackles. Which on paper, I get what they mean, but again Martinez has been responsible for playing over what he should be expected to do for years now. And has always been the center of the defense with poor play by his fellow teammates around him. Let’s test ourselves here and ask a few questions to help talk this out.
Name a defensive lineman that’s played at a real Pro-Bowler level before Kenny Clark emerged. Ok, now try and name an outside linebacker that played at the level Preston Smith and Za’ Darius Smith played at this past season. Clay Matthews? I don’t think so. He hasn’t had a real Pro-Bowl caliber season since 2015, which we can see HERE. The last great year is the season before Martinez joined, and the last time as a Packer Matthews had double-digit sacks and more than 43 combined tackles.
We already talked about a sidekick inside linebacker worth anything, something that all 4-3 defensive schemes need in the NFL. These are all key positions needed as part of the front seven around Martinez. So, are these not factors to consider when evaluating Martinez overall?
It is this Writer’s Opinion, Final Thoughts
It’s this writer’s opinion that with all the teams out there that would love to have Martinez and leaving Green Bay wouldn’t be all that bad. And the likelihood that there are so many options in free agency and the draft that he won’t land somewhere to continue being very relevant is very slim.
Either Green Bay will try again to help him inside, or they’ll move on. But their options are low as any teams out there. And if they replace him, there are only really a couple of free-agent options and likely not that much better either. And trying to replace him in the draft and find a sidekick worth anything at the same time will be just as hard. Arron Rodgers isn’t a spring chicken anymore, so just how much do you fool around messing with father time?
And all those teams out there rebuilding and needing his leadership skills, talent, and versatility are vast. He is only 26, about to hit his physical and mental prime and has been a key cog for a long time. This writer has no doubt that either Green bay fixes things and keeps him, or someone pays him and uses him as an inside linebacker with his skillset is meant to be used.
Potential Homes For Linebackers Dynasty IDP Targets In 2020
The following are potential landing spots for any inside linebacker in 2020, indicating if it’s solid to a strong situation to land in. These are based on my opinion and with no in-depth detail at this time due to time restraints. Please take into consideration that these teams could use inside linebacker help to some degree in one form or another. And they are in no certain order.
Top 26 Dynasty IDP Targets To "Click On" And...
- Blake Martinez
- Darius Leonard
- Landon Collins –Tied– Danielle Hunter
- T.J. Watt
- Roquan Smith
- Zach Cunningham
- Joey Bosa
- Budda Baker
- Jaylon Smith
- Nick Bosa
- Jamal Adams
- Devin Bush
- Devin White
- Leighton Vander Esch
- Jayon Brown
- John Johnson
- Myles Garrett
- Derwin James
- Deforest Buckner
- Tremaine Edmunds
- Fred Warner
- Bradley Chubb
- Deion Jones
- Tracy Walker
- Shaq Thompson
- Kenny Clark
Thank you for joining me as we rank the top 26 under 26 fantasy football dynasty IDP targets for 2020.
“The IDP Tipster”
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