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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Top 100 Overall
As ever, good luck and godspeed in all your fantasy endeavors. If you have an IDP question, feel free to send it to email@example.com.