The Cornerback Streaming Experiment: 2021 Edition

“WR Edgar Poe 1” by West Point – The U.S. Military Academy is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

NOTE: This is a article that will be updated throughout the season.


Welcome to the first edition of the Cornerback Streaming Experiment. The Streaming Cornerback Experiment is a living document that will be updated throughout the season, and will detail my Cornerback plays in the 2021 IDP Invitational run by

Cornerbacks can be unpredictable, at least season to season as noted in the tweet below from Tom Kislingbury of Dynasty League Football.

The IDP Invitational uses 22 total starters and 8 bench spots, so bench allocation is important. In fact, there are less bench spots than unique positions (9) in this league. Only 1 Cornerback is required in the starting lineup (2 if used in the flex), so this is an ideal league to try streaming, as there are plentiful options on waivers.

The benefit of being able to stream the position is the draft capital freed up to spend on another position. For example, here are all the Cornerbacks taken during my draft.

By spending a pick in 12th to 14th round on a Cornerback, teams were passing up on drafting their 4th WR, or their first edge rusher

The idea of streaming Cornerbacks is not new. Johnny The Greek wrote a weekly series last season detailing his start and sit recommendation at the position for IDP Guys. He described his process as follows:

We’re going to be looking at things like expected game script, opposing offensive tendencies, snap counts, role and historical production to inform our weekly decisions on what corners are an “ideal” streaming option. (From:

I will be generally following that method, but also adding some of my own ideas, which may evolve throughout the season. For example, I plotted team CB points allowed by pass attempts, interceptions, etc., and found that the strongest correlation was to pass attempts to Wide Receivers, as opposed to total attempts.

One issue with the chart above is that it is using team CB points allowed. It doesn’t adjust for the number of total Cornerback snaps being played against a team. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati among other ran a lot of 3WR sets last year. It would make sense that they also play against more nickle or dime than other teams, reducing the effect.


As this is a start 1 Cornerback league, we are aiming for streaming to cover at least the CB12 score, but ideally higher than CB6. Based on last year’s scoring, we are aiming for about 12.2 ppg for a top 12 finish and 15.2 ppg for a top 6 finish.

I want to note that past work I’ve done on rookie hit rates shows that the CB6 finish generally finishes around DB24. So if you can successfully stream the CB6 in a league, it’s potentially valuable even in leagues that start Defensive Backs as a group instead of Cornerback & Safety

Picks and Results

Week 1

Joe Haden, PIT vs BUF – Based on ESPN’s projections from July 14, 2021, Buffalo was projected to have the 2nd most WR targets this season. While Buffalo is the favourite in this game (-6.5 per The Score app), they passed on 57% of plays when up 7 or more points (via

Pittsburg is also a good match up for cornerbacks, and project to have a more favourable game script as the underdog, however Tre’Davious White and Taron Johnson were both drafted earlier in the draft, and I didn’t feel comfortable that Levi Wallace will play 100% of snaps.

Result – 12.5 points (3 solo tackles, 2 assists, 1 forced fumble). The matchup ended up being better than anticipated as Buffalo trailed late and attempted 51 passes. Haden made the best of only 4 targets. Cam Sutton ended up being the better play as he was targeted 7 times and had 19.5 points. Regardless, Haden’s 12.5 points was right around the expected CB12 season average.

Week 2

Chris Harris Jr., LAC vs DAL – Dallas is expected to be leading the league in pass attempts in 2021, and attempted 58 passes (41 to WRs) in week 1. Dallas is a 3 point underdog (via The Score app). Both Dallas and Los Angeles were in the top 12 in offensive pace (via sharpfootballstats). Numberfire projects this game to be one of the fastest in week 2, and projects Dallas to have a 77% pass rate.

Chris Harris played 98% of snaps in week 1 and – as far as I could tell – played primarily in the slot .

Saturday night revision: Michael Davis, LAC vs Dallas – same as above. Harris was declared out for this game. I lost having the player who is playing in slot, but I’d rather Davis, who just about played every snap last week. Asante Samuel Jr. played about 85% of snaps in week 1, but I feel less comfortable projecting his usage.

Result – 12 points (4 solo tackles, 2 assists). Davis played 100% of snaps, but was only targeted twice. Samuel got the interception, so in the end he was the better play.

Week 3

Byron Murphy, ARI vs JAX – Through 2 weeks Murphy has been the only Cardinals CB to play near 100% of snaps in both games. Both Arizona and Jacksonville are near the top of the league in pace of play. Jacksonville is about a touchdown underdog, and are leading the league is pass rate so far. As a bonus, we get a rookie QB who hasn’t played well so far this year.

Result – 31.5 points (3 solo tackles, 1 assist, 2 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown) – So this obviously was a good result, but I think it’s noting that this wasn’t actually a good game to stream off of in the end. Jacksonville had 34 passing attempts, which is right around the league median through 3 weeks. Jacksonville had 29 rushing attempts in this game, including 6 from Trevor Lawrence), something that is happening a lot to Arizona this year.

As I’m updating this late in the week, I’ll note that Jacksonville only had 24 attempts on Thursday Night Football. It is looking like their 51 attempts in week 1 against Houston might be noise, and they aren’t going to be as pass happy as I thought after 2 weeks.

Week 4

Vernon Hargreaves, HOU vs BUF – So I have going back to streaming against Buffalo this week, a team near the top of the league in pace and passing rate in all situations. Houston is a 15 point underdog here, so the hope is that Buffalo passes even while winning and/or Houston keeps this game closer than expected for a while.

I could have used Byron Murphy again against the Rams, who also pass at a high rate a run a lot of plays. I didn’t want to partly because I don’t want to re-use someone here in back-to-back weeks, and also because Arizona has been run on a lot… a lot more than you would think…

It is entirely possible that I’m putting too much weight into this, because the Rams are otherwise a good match-up for streaming the Arizona Cornerbacks.

Result – 2.5 points. Hahahaha this was a horrible pick. Hargreaves lost his starting spot and played only 14 snaps in the game

Week 5

Charvarius Ward, KC vs BUF – Taking advantage of a game with two very pass heavy offenses, this pick is going back to playing against Buffalo (see week 1 & 4). Not much to say here. Buffalo one of the fastest and highest neutral-script passing teams. They re a slight underdog in this game.

Result – 0 points. Hughes played 32% of snaps this week, before going back to 80% the following week.

Week 6

Anthony Averett, BAL vs LAC – I didn’t do a proper update before this game, but LAC passes a lot and plays fast. The betting line was also close so a decent script was expected.

Result – 16 points

Week 7

Donte Jackson, CAR vs NYG – Some of my favourites are on bye (LAC, BUF). The giants actually play fairly fast. They throw a lot, because they don’t win a lot. I didn’t want to play a Lions (vs Rams) or Bears (vs TB) player because I don’t expect those games to stay close.

Result 12.5 points (YTD 87 points (12.4 ppg; tied with Avonte Maddox for CB4 on the year (not accounting for bye weeks) <- That’s wrong. Not sure how I got mixed up there.

Week 8

Taron Johnson, BUF vs MIA – both teams play quickly. Miami is expected to trail, and they’ve thrown a lot more with Tua back (47 pass attempts vs Jacksonville)

Result 12.5 points

Week 9

Darius Slay, PHI vs LAC – 7.5 points

Week 10

Jamel Dean – 11 points

Week 11 –

Xavian Howard – 12.5 points

Week 12 –

Fabian Moreau – ATL vs JAC. Jacksonville has given up a lot of points to CBs this year

Result – 7.5 points

Week 13

Nevin Lawson (JAX vs LAR) – 17.5 points

Week 14

Sean Murphy-Bunting (TB vs BUF) – 18.5 points

Week 15

I’m finally doing this early enough in the week to write a proper write up.

Xavian Howard (MIA vs NYJ) – The Jets are a sneaky 4th in WR targets this year and 8th in point allowed to CB’s (via The Jets are also about a 10 point underdog on the road, so it’s a good script for Howard.

Result – 7 points

Week 16

Desmond King (HOU vs LAC) – At least the third time I picked a chargers opponent this season. Same story as the previous weeks

Result – 27.5 points – With Houston surprisingly winning this game, it led to a better script for King.

Week 17

I was fortunate enough to make it through to the final week of the tournament, and got to select a full week of picks this year.
Byron Murphy (ARI vs DAL) – I’ve used Murphy once before. Since week 9, both Dallas and Arizona are top half of the league in pace, and Dallas is close to the league lead in team attempts and WR attempts.

Result – 20 points – 7 solo tackles and 1 pass defended is a nice result to end the year. Dallas attempted 38 passes in this game.

Season Summary

Total points scored – 228 (13.4 ppg), I beat the benchmark of 12.2 ppg which was projected to be a top 12 CB finish, but was below the 15.2 ppg benchmark for a top 6 finish.

Having said that, here are the top 12 Cornerbacks on the season, after week 17

Source: IDP Invitational League on Fantrax

It’s notable that the 13.4 ppg I achieved this season was beat by every player on the list. 13.4 ppg ends up around 14th or 15th at the position this year (varies because I’m sorting by total points). Of the top 12 players shown above, Moore, Ryan, Diggs, Lattimore and Terrell were drafted in my division, with the other 7 players undrafted.

Lastly, inspired by reading Adam Harstad’s Dynasty, in Theory: You’ll Never Stand in the Same Stream Twice (yes it is 6 years old now, yes, I read it for the first time 4 weeks ago, and also yes, it’s a better read than what you are currently reading so you can just stop and go read that), I compared the points I scored with the players I started vs their seasonal average. Here are the results:

Harstad looked at Quarterback and Team Defence Streaming and found that players did a bad job of picking matchups throughout the season. Here I scored a little more than 1.8 points per game higher for the players I started their combined season averages. So streaming Cornerback may be more viable than Quarterback or Team Defense, but this is also a sample size of 1 team, where Harstad looked at 42 teams.


So does streaming the Cornerback position work? I’m inclined to say that you can get pretty to your baseline starter production, in this case near CB12 production, without spending any draft capital. I’m not sure whether you can get a season of one of the elite players, but the challenge there is knowing exactly who those are and then you have to potentially spend the draft capital to get them (like a 14th round pick on Kenny Moore).

As the season went on I focused more on players with good matchups and had scored a bunch of points throughout the season, as opposed to just any corner getting full time snaps with a good matchup. I think that helped achieve better scores in the 2nd half of the year.

Find me on twitter @djkelltown. When I’m not talking about fantasy football, I’m probably talking about my NHL team (Winnipeg Jets) or CFL team (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

A Comparison of IDP Average Draft Position and Fantasy Points Scored

“Jared Allen” by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This article is a look at Average Draft Position (ADP) and fantasy points scored for each IDP position, and a comparison, between each position, including the offensive positions.  Each year, the end of year results is different from how we project them in August.  This is a review to see which positions we were better or worse at, and if there is anything that can be learned for 2021 and beyond.

As there are many different scoring systems and league formats that affect ADP, I’ve chosen to use the IDP Guys 2020 Invitational (IDP Invitational) for the data set.  The IDP Invitational was a charity tournament that consisted of 8 divisions of 12 teams.  Participants included fans and a variety of writers from several websites that cover IDP fantasy football.  The benefits of using this league for the analysis is we can see 8 identical leagues, both in scoring and starting roster requirements, plus the group drafting can be assumed to be about as knowledgeable as any league you can find.  The downside is that this league had 8 bench spots for 9 unique positions, so the resulting data set for ADP doesn’t go as deep as it could.

The roster settings and IDP scoring settings are as follows:

The scoring and starting requirements for offensive players was identical to that year’s Scott Fish Bowl (SFBX).  All touchdowns were 6 points, yardage scoring was standard. Quarterbacks gained points for completions and lost them for sacks, incompletions and interceptions.  Non-quarterbacks received a half point per reception and per first down, with a half point premium to Tight Ends for both.


I took the draft results for each of the eight IDP Invitational divisions, and calculated the average draft position for each player drafted in at least five of the eight divisions. I also looked at the top scorers at each position at the end of the season to see which undrafted, or infrequently drafted players made significant impacts during the season. That’s important as well because if one position has a large number of undrafted players with high seasonal finishes, that’s also an indication of pre-season projections missing more for that position than other positions.

The notable limitation of this analysis is that fantasy football is a weekly game, and this is a look at seasonal finishes. Thus, it is hard to comment on fragility strategies like zero RB, for which you would need to look at frequency of high finishes, or something like win rate, which is more of a best ball analysis.

The Results


There wasn’t much too surprising at the Quarterback Position in 2020. Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen both had incredible seasons, finishing 1st and 2nd in scoring with overall ADPs of 46 and 51 respectively. Taysom Hill was undrafted and finished as QB22 in this league. Mitchell Turbisky was drafted in 4 of the 8 leagues (ADP of 191 in those leagues) and finished as QB23.

Running Back

The McCaffery (ADP 1) and Barkley (ADP 3) injuries hurt the managers who selected those players at the top of the draft. Three undrafted players appear in the top 24 at the end of the season (James Robinson RB7, Mike Davis RB 15, JD McKissic RB20), as well as Myles Gaskin finishing just outside at RB 27.

Wide Receiver

With 73 Wide Receivers drafted in at least 5 of the 8 divisions, the only top 24 finish from an undrafted player was fellow Canadian Chase Claypool at WR 19. Tee Higgins (drafted 3 times) and Corey Davis (drafted 4 times) had top 36 finishes while just missing being drafted enough for to be included in the ADP set.

There were several players drafted in the second half of the draft to score around 200 points, which was just past the top 24 cut off. In a way it is similar to Running Back, where there were a couple of top 24 finishers who were not drafted, however with Wide Receiver they were just drafted late.

Tight End

With injuries to Kittle and Ertz, Tight End was very much Kelce & Waller, and then everyone else clustered around the same score. Logan Thomas, Robert Tonyan and Dalton Schultz all finished in top 12 after being undrafted in all divisions.

Defensive End

Injuries to Danielle Hunter and Nick Bosa, as well as Myles Garrett’s Covid-19 illness made this a very tough year for those who invested early in Defensive End. It is worth noting that the first 5 Defensive Ends selected (Hunter, N. Bosa, J. Bosa, Young, Allen) were 2nd to 6th in overall IDP ADP (Darius Leonard was the first IDP, Bobby Wagner and Aaron Donald were 7th and 8th respectively). The trendline for Defensive End is the flattest of all IDP positions, indicating that for 2020 it was best to wait on the position.

There were only 33 Defensive Ends drafted in at least 5 leagues, so there’s no surprise that there would be many top 24 finishers who were not drafted. At Defensive End there was 11. They were Leonard Williams (DE2), Stephon Tuitt (DE7, drafted three times), Romeo Okwara (DE9), Quinnen Williams (DE13, drafted once), Emmanuel Ogbah (DE14), Kerry Hyder (DE16), Trey Hendrickson (DE17), Olivier Vernon (DE18, drafted two times), Aldon Smith (DE20), Chase Winovich (DE21) and Akiem Hicks (DE23, drafted four times).

Defensive Tackle

Defensive Tackle went as expected in 2020 with Buckner and Donald being drafted 2 rounds ahead and finishing 40 points ahead of all other Defensive Tackles. Former University of Manitoba Bison David Oynemata (DT8) and Dexter Lawrence (DT11) both had top 12 finishes after going undrafted in all divisions. Da’Ron Payne (DT5) and Ndamukoong Suh (DT6) were drafted 4 times each, and thus don’t appear in the chart above.

With just 16 Defensive Tackles drafted in at least 5 divisions, most drafters planned on streaming for bye weeks.


Darius Leonard was the only defensive player drafted inside the top 50 picks. He missed two games and finished as LB7. His 16 game pace would have been a close LB3 finish to Roquan Smith. Regardless, it’s hard to get value when drafted that far ahead of everyone else at the position.

The trendline for Linebacker is steeper than all other IDP positions, indicating that drafters got this position more correct than any other position. Five top 24 finishers were either undrafted or drafted in less than four divisions. They are Foyesade Oluokun (LB9), Eric Wilson (LB11), Neville Hewitt (LB12, drafted in one division). Alex Singleton (LB18) and Tyrell Adams (LB19). An additional four players were undrafted and achieved LB 3 finishes.


There isn’t much to say about Cornerback. There were only 11 players drafted in at least five leagues (32 total drafted at least once, none before pick 250). Their seasonal finish varies wildly. Cornerback is a position that is often streamed, and with the limited bench size in this league, it looks like some managers planned on doing during the season.


Safety was a very flat position in 2020, in part due to injuries to Derwin James and Landon Collins, as well as Jamal Adams missing four games. With several players scoring well with late ADPs (Jessie Bates S3, Jeremy Chinn S4), there was just five players that were undrafted that made the top 24. They are Daniel Sorenson (S11), Kamren Curl (S12), Eric Rowe (S21, drafted in four divisions), Marcus Maye (S23, drafted in two divisions) and Darnell Savage (S24, drafted in four divisions).

Most Safetys were drafted at pick 170 (Jordan Poyer) or later. This is much later than what’s seen at Linebacker and Defensive End. Drafters were right to wait on this position after the elite options (Adams, James, Baker, Collins, Walker and Johnson) were taken.

Final Thoughts

It’s important not to take too much from one season of data. That said the most notable thing for me was Defensive End could be faded early in drafts for Linebacker, as I’ve always prioritized Defensive Line positions early in my drafts. As some of the highest drafted Defensive Ends were injured, it’s hard to project that as a trend that will continue.

Safety is a position with a lot of turnover from season to season, making it hard to project. Like Defensive End, a couple of the top options were injured during the season, making that position look very flat once the season-long finishes are compared.

Defensive Tackle was the opposite of Safety and Defensive End, where the two players projected to be at the top of the position (Aaron Donald and DeForest Buckner) finishing as the top two players at their position. Aaron Donald’s positional advantage is often compared to Travis Kelce at Tight End, and if you compare those two charts, they look quite similar.

I’ve posted the link for the 2021 version of this tournament at the bottom of the page for those interested in this year’s tournament.

Find me on twitter @djkelltown. When I’m not talking about fantasy football, I’m probably talking about my NHL team (Winnipeg Jets) or CFL team (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)


IDP Guys 2020 Invitational League Link –

IDP Guys 2021 Invitational Sign-up Link –

Scott Fish Bowl Ten (SFBX) Scoring Settings –