Whether you are waiting to draft prior to the season’s opening night, or are pondering over how to adjust the roster(s) you have already assembled, if you play in a league that employs individual defensive players (IDP), there is still time to maximize your efforts. Below you will find a series of charts, broken down as the top 100 IDP and top 50 LB, DL and DB (with individual position designations) that you can take to your draft, or use to analyze those players currently residing on your squad(s).

If you have not yet drafted in your IDP leagues, or even if you already have a full roster, then perhaps a bit of a primer would be helpful. The following bits of advice are compiled from personal efforts playing in IDP leagues over better than a decade of fantasy football participation.

  1. Know your league rules, especially how scoring shakes out vis a vis your IDP players. Ideally, your commission will have constructed your league to emphasize both offensive and defensive players. A league that includes IDP but does not make the best defensive players potentially as valuable as at least a RB2 or WR2/3 is doing a disservice to the idea of using players on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
  2. If you league values IDP, determine just how valuable those players will be in the overall scoring scheme. Generally, you will want to draft your starting offensive roster before you dip your toe into the IDP pool, but this will vary from league to league. If you have an experienced group who have learned just how valuable a top LB (or DE or S) can be, you may need to adjust your draft patterns and begin taking your defensive players after you have taken your starting RBs and WRs. Certainly, you will probably want to select a start QB no later than after you have taken one IDP.
  3. Also, if you have experience IDP owners, you will find the top defensive options being drafted in bunches, once the seal has been broken by a daring drafter. Do not be afraid to jump in on a run, but also realize that there are plenty of excellent IDP options on the board.
  4. Work the waiver wire hard during the season. Our site will publish a weekly IDP Report that highlights the IDP that are rising and falling with their production on the field on a weekly basis. Except for true studs (think LB Luke Kuechly or S Reshad Jones ), do not be shy about swapping out an underperforming player for one that is stepping up his game significantly.
  5. If you rely on rookie IDP, just realize that the speed of the game at the NFL level is different for all players, and the impact of the longer season is significant, too. Rookies may shine early and then fade, or they not make much impact to open the season but come on like gangbusters as they get more comfortable with the manner in which their team’s scheme works. If a rookie projects to be a starter to open the season, go ahead and draft him; just be ready to jettison the youngster for a more established veteran if he falters.
  6. Injuries are always a part of the NFL fantasy experience, and obviously, defensive players are not immune to health issues. Once again, be aggressive in replacing injured IDP so maximize your weekly results. Our weekly IDP Reports will keep you up to date on the injury front, as well.

Below are the IDP rankings mentioned above. These are based on the following IDP point system:

Solo Tackle (or Total Tackles) 1 point

Assisted tackle 1/2 point

            Sack 4 points

            Interception 6 points

            Pass defended 1 point

            Fumble forced 4 point

            Fumble recovered 2 points

            Safety 2 points

            Blocked FG/PAT/Punt 6 points

            All defensive TDs 6 points

Realize that if your league has a different scoring system, your mileage may vary.

Top 50 at Each Position

Rank Linebacker POS Tm   Rank Defensive Lineman POS Tm   Rank Defensive Back POS Tm
1 C.J. Mosley ILB BAL/10   1 Joey Bosa DE LAC/8   1 Keanu Neal S ATL/8
2 Luke Kuechly ILB CAR/4   2 Chandler Jones DE ARI/9   2 Landon Collins S NYG/9
3 Deion Jones ILB ATL/8   3 Calais Campbell DE JAX/9   3 Reshad Jones S MIA/11
4 Bobby Wagner ILB SEA/7   4 J.J. Watt DE HOU/10   4 Micah Hyde S BUF/11
5 Lavonte David OLB TB/5   5 Cameron Jordan DE NO/6   5 Kevin Byard S TEN/8
6 Zach Brown ILB WAS/4   6 Demarcus Lawrence DE DAL/8   6 Budda Baker S ARI/9
7 Blake Martinez ILB GB/7   7 Melvin Ingram III DE LAC/8   7 Eric Weddle S BAL/10
8 Joe Schobert OLB CLE/11   8 Jason Pierre-Paul DE TB/5   8 Harrison Smith S MIN/10
9 Telvin Smith Sr OLB JAX/9   9 Everson Griffen DE MIN/10   9 TreDavious White CB BUF/11
10 Kwon Alexander ILB TB/5   10 Myles Garrett DE CLE/11   10 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S GB/7
11 Christian Kirksey OLB CLE/11   11 Ezekiel Ansah DE DET/6   11 Derwin James S LAC/8
12 Jarrad Davis ILB DET/6   12 Aaron Donald DE LAR/12   12 Jordan Poyer S BUF/11
13 Alec Ogletree ILB NYG/9   13 Brandon Graham DE PHI/9   13 Marcus Peters CB LAR/12
14 Tremaine Edmunds ILB BUF/11   14 Yannick Ngakoue DE JAX/9   14 Barry Church S JAX/9
15 Mark Barron ILB LAR/12   15 Mario Addison DE CAR/4   15 Adrian Amos S CHI/5
16 Roquan Smith ILB CHI/5   16 Carlos Dunlap DE CIN/9   16 Ronald Darby CB PHI/9
17 Vince Williams ILB PIT/7   17 Bruce Irvin DE OAK/7   17 Justin Evans S TB/5
18 Darius Leonard OLB IND/9   18 Danielle Hunter DE MIN/10   18 Jalen Ramsey CB JAX/9
19 Jamie Collins Sr OLB CLE/11   19 Vic Beasley Jr DE ATL/8   19 Kurt Coleman S NO/6
20 Kiko Alonso ILB MIA/11   20 Trey Flowers DE NE/11   20 Eric Berry S KC/12
21 Deone Bucannon ILB ARI/9   21 Robert Quinn DE MIA/11   21 D.J. Swearinger Sr S WAS/4
22 Kyle Van Noy OLB NE/11   22 Derek Barnett DE PHI/9   22 Jaquiski Tartt S SF/11
23 Danny Trevathan ILB CHI/5   23 Jabaal Sheard DE IND/9   23 Sean Davis S PIT/7
24 Darron Lee ILB NYJ/11   24 Dion Jordan DE SEA/7   24 Eddie Jackson S CHI/5
25 Cory Littleton ILB LAR/12   25 Frank Clark DE SEA/7   25 Bradley McDougald S SEA/7
26 Jaylon Smith OLB DAL/8   26 Malik Jackson DT JAX/9   26 Clayton Geathers S IND/9
27 Sean Lee OLB DAL/8   27 Solomon Thomas DE SF/11   27 Antoine Bethea S ARI/9
28 Anthony Hitchens OLB KC/12   28 DeForest Buckner DT SF/11   28 Malcolm Jenkins S PHI/9
29 Khalil Mack OLB CHI/5   29 Geno Atkins DT CIN/9   29 Tyrann Mathieu S HOU/10
30 Myles Jack ILB JAX/9   30 Akiem Hicks DE CHI/5   30 Marshon Lattimore CB NO/6
31 Zach Cunningham ILB HOU/10   31 Cameron Heyward DE PIT/7   31 Morgan Burnett S PIT/7
32 Denzel Perryman ILB LAC/8   32 Jurrell Casey DT TEN/8   32 Marcus Williams S NO/6
33 Malcolm Smith ILB SF/11   33 Kawann Short DT CAR/4   33 A.J. Bouye CB JAX/9
34 Demario Davis ILB NO/6   34 Randy Gregory DE DAL/8   34 Jamal Adams S NYJ/11
35 Wesley Woodyard ILB TEN/8   35 Emmanuel Ogbah DE CLE/11   35 Josh Norman CB WAS/4
36 Eric Kendricks ILB MIN/10   36 Jordan Willis DE CIN/9   36 Malik Hooker S IND/9
37 B.J. Goodson ILB NYG/9   37 Adrian Clayborn DE NE/11   37 Erik Harris S OAK/7
38 Mason Foster ILB WAS/4   38 Gerald McCoy DT TB/5   38 Shawn Williams S CIN/9
39 Tahir Whitehead OLB OAK/7   39 Jerry Hughes DE BUF/11   39 John Johnson III S LAR/12
40 Avery Williamson ILB NYJ/11   40 Ndamukong Suh DT LAR/12   40 Justin Simmons S DEN/10
41 Reuben Foster OLB SF/11   41 Muhammad Wilkerson DE GB/7   41 Kyle Fuller CB CHI/5
42 Jayon Brown ILB TEN/8   42 Grady Jarrett DT ATL/8   42 Montae Nicholson S WAS/4
43 Brandon Marshall ILB DEN/10   43 Leonard Williams DE NYJ/11   43 Tavon Wilson S DET/6
44 Jadeveon Clowney OLB HOU/10   44 Anthony Zettel DE DET/6   44 Casey Hayward CB LAC/8
45 Von Miller OLB DEN/10   45 Chris Jones DE KC/12   45 Glover Quin S DET/6
46 Raekwon McMillan ILB MIA/11   46 Alex Okafor DE NO/6   46 Jeff Heath S DAL/8
47 De'Vondre Campbell OLB ATL/8   47 Fletcher Cox DT PHI/9   47 Kenny Vaccaro S TEN/8
48 Josh Bynes ILB ARI/9   48 Damon Harrison DT NYG/9   48 Darius Slay CB DET/6
49 Skai Moore OLB IND/9   49 Shaq Lawson DE BUF/11   49 Devin McCourty S NE/11
50 Reggie Ragland ILB KC/12   50 Julius Peppers DE CAR/4   50 Lamarcus Joyner S LAR/12

Top 100 Overall

Rank IDP POS Tm   Rank IDP POS Tm
1 C.J. Mosley ILB BAL/10   51 Reuben Foster OLB SF/11
2 Luke Kuechly ILB CAR/4   52 Jayon Brown ILB TEN/8
3 Deion Jones ILB ATL/8   53 Budda Baker S ARI/9
4 Bobby Wagner ILB SEA/7   54 Demarcus Lawrence DE DAL/8
5 Lavonte David OLB TB/5   55 Eric Weddle S BAL/10
6 Zach Brown ILB WAS/4   56 Harrison Smith S MIN/10
7 Blake Martinez ILB GB/7   57 TreDavious White CB BUF/11
8 Joe Schobert OLB CLE/11   58 Brandon Marshall ILB DEN/10
9 Telvin Smith Sr OLB JAX/9   59 Jadeveon Clowney OLB HOU/10
10 Kwon Alexander ILB TB/5   60 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S GB/7
11 Christian Kirksey OLB CLE/11   61 Von Miller OLB DEN/10
12 Jarrad Davis ILB DET/6   62 Raekwon McMillan ILB MIA/11
13 Alec Ogletree ILB NYG/9   63 De'Vondre Campbell OLB ATL/8
14 Tremaine Edmunds ILB BUF/11   64 Josh Bynes ILB ARI/9
15 Mark Barron ILB LAR/12   65 Derwin James S LAC/8
16 Roquan Smith ILB CHI/5   66 Jordan Poyer S BUF/11
17 Vince Williams ILB PIT/7   67 Marcus Peters CB LAR/12
18 Keanu Neal S ATL/8   68 Barry Church S JAX/9
19 Darius Leonard OLB IND/9   69 Adrian Amos S CHI/5
20 Joey Bosa DE LAC/8   70 Ronald Darby CB PHI/9
21 Jamie Collins Sr OLB CLE/11   71 Skai Moore OLB IND/9
22 Landon Collins S NYG/9   72 Justin Evans S TB/5
23 Kiko Alonso ILB MIA/11   73 Reggie Ragland ILB KC/12
24 Deone Bucannon ILB ARI/9   74 T.J. Watt OLB PIT/7
25 Kyle Van Noy OLB NE/11   75 Kyzir White OLB LAC/8
26 Chandler Jones DE ARI/9   76 Matt Judon OLB BAL/10
27 Danny Trevathan ILB CHI/5   77 Jalen Ramsey CB JAX/9
28 Darron Lee ILB NYJ/11   78 Preston Brown ILB CIN/9
29 Cory Littleton ILB LAR/12   79 Kurt Coleman S NO/6
30 Jaylon Smith OLB DAL/8   80 Eric Berry S KC/12
31 Sean Lee OLB DAL/8   81 Matt Milano OLB BUF/11
32 Anthony Hitchens OLB KC/12   82 Fred Warner OLB SF/11
33 Khalil Mack OLB CHI/5   83 D.J. Swearinger Sr S WAS/4
34 Myles Jack ILB JAX/9   84 Christian Jones ILB DET/6
35 Calais Campbell DE JAX/9   85 Vontaze Burfict OLB CIN/9
36 Zach Cunningham ILB HOU/10   86 Oren Burks ILB GB/7
37 Denzel Perryman ILB LAC/8   87 Jaquiski Tartt S SF/11
38 Malcolm Smith ILB SF/11   88 Sean Davis S PIT/7
39 Demario Davis ILB NO/6   89 Nigel Bradham OLB PHI/9
40 J.J. Watt DE HOU/10   90 Eddie Jackson S CHI/5
41 Reshad Jones S MIA/11   91 Melvin Ingram III DE LAC/8
42 Wesley Woodyard ILB TEN/8   92 Bradley McDougald S SEA/7
43 Eric Kendricks ILB MIN/10   93 K.J. Wright OLB SEA/7
44 B.J. Goodson ILB NYG/9   94 Clayton Geathers S IND/9
45 Mason Foster ILB WAS/4   95 Haason Reddick ILB ARI/9
46 Micah Hyde S BUF/11   96 Antoine Bethea S ARI/9
47 Tahir Whitehead OLB OAK/7   97 Malcolm Jenkins S PHI/9
48 Cameron Jordan DE NO/6   98 Tyrann Mathieu S HOU/10
49 Avery Williamson ILB NYJ/11   99 Marshon Lattimore CB NO/6
50 Kevin Byard S TEN/8   100 Morgan Burnett S PIT/7

As ever, good luck and godspeed in all your fantasy endeavors. If you have an IDP question, feel free to send it to ia@fantasyalarm.com.