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

RankLinebackerPOSTm RankDefensive LinemanPOSTm RankDefensive BackPOSTm
1C.J. MosleyILBBAL/10 1Joey Bosa DELAC/8 1Keanu Neal SATL/8
2Luke Kuechly ILBCAR/4 2Chandler JonesDEARI/9 2Landon Collins SNYG/9
3Deion Jones ILBATL/8 3Calais Campbell DEJAX/9 3Reshad Jones SMIA/11
4Bobby Wagner ILBSEA/7 4J.J. Watt DEHOU/10 4Micah Hyde SBUF/11
5Lavonte David OLBTB/5 5Cameron Jordan DENO/6 5Kevin ByardSTEN/8
6Zach Brown ILBWAS/4 6Demarcus Lawrence DEDAL/8 6Budda BakerSARI/9
7Blake Martinez ILBGB/7 7Melvin Ingram IIIDELAC/8 7Eric WeddleSBAL/10
8Joe SchobertOLBCLE/11 8Jason Pierre-Paul DETB/5 8Harrison Smith SMIN/10
9Telvin Smith SrOLBJAX/9 9Everson Griffen DEMIN/10 9TreDavious WhiteCBBUF/11
10Kwon Alexander ILBTB/5 10Myles Garrett DECLE/11 10Ha Ha Clinton-Dix SGB/7
11Christian KirkseyOLBCLE/11 11Ezekiel Ansah DEDET/6 11Derwin James SLAC/8
12Jarrad DavisILBDET/6 12Aaron Donald DELAR/12 12Jordan Poyer SBUF/11
13Alec Ogletree ILBNYG/9 13Brandon Graham DEPHI/9 13Marcus Peters CBLAR/12
14Tremaine Edmunds ILBBUF/11 14Yannick Ngakoue DEJAX/9 14Barry ChurchSJAX/9
15Mark Barron ILBLAR/12 15Mario AddisonDECAR/4 15Adrian AmosSCHI/5
16Roquan Smith ILBCHI/5 16Carlos Dunlap DECIN/9 16Ronald DarbyCBPHI/9
17Vince Williams ILBPIT/7 17Bruce Irvin DEOAK/7 17Justin EvansSTB/5
18Darius Leonard OLBIND/9 18Danielle Hunter DEMIN/10 18Jalen Ramsey CBJAX/9
19Jamie Collins SrOLBCLE/11 19Vic Beasley JrDEATL/8 19Kurt Coleman SNO/6
20Kiko Alonso ILBMIA/11 20Trey Flowers DENE/11 20Eric Berry SKC/12
21Deone Bucannon ILBARI/9 21Robert Quinn DEMIA/11 21D.J. Swearinger SrSWAS/4
22Kyle Van NoyOLBNE/11 22Derek Barnett DEPHI/9 22Jaquiski Tartt SSF/11
23Danny Trevathan ILBCHI/5 23Jabaal Sheard DEIND/9 23Sean Davis SPIT/7
24Darron Lee ILBNYJ/11 24Dion Jordan DESEA/7 24Eddie JacksonSCHI/5
25Cory Littleton ILBLAR/12 25Frank Clark DESEA/7 25Bradley McDougald SSEA/7
26Jaylon Smith OLBDAL/8 26Malik JacksonDTJAX/9 26Clayton Geathers SIND/9
27Sean Lee OLBDAL/8 27Solomon Thomas DESF/11 27Antoine Bethea SARI/9
28Anthony Hitchens OLBKC/12 28DeForest Buckner DTSF/11 28Malcolm Jenkins SPHI/9
29Khalil Mack OLBCHI/5 29Geno Atkins DTCIN/9 29Tyrann Mathieu SHOU/10
30Myles Jack ILBJAX/9 30Akiem Hicks DECHI/5 30Marshon Lattimore CBNO/6
31Zach CunninghamILBHOU/10 31Cameron Heyward DEPIT/7 31Morgan Burnett SPIT/7
32Denzel PerrymanILBLAC/8 32Jurrell CaseyDTTEN/8 32Marcus Williams SNO/6
33Malcolm Smith ILBSF/11 33Kawann Short DTCAR/4 33A.J. Bouye CBJAX/9
34Demario Davis ILBNO/6 34Randy Gregory DEDAL/8 34Jamal Adams SNYJ/11
35Wesley Woodyard ILBTEN/8 35Emmanuel Ogbah DECLE/11 35Josh Norman CBWAS/4
36Eric Kendricks ILBMIN/10 36Jordan WillisDECIN/9 36Malik Hooker SIND/9
37B.J. Goodson ILBNYG/9 37Adrian Clayborn DENE/11 37Erik Harris SOAK/7
38Mason Foster ILBWAS/4 38Gerald McCoyDTTB/5 38Shawn Williams SCIN/9
39Tahir Whitehead OLBOAK/7 39Jerry Hughes DEBUF/11 39John Johnson IIISLAR/12
40Avery WilliamsonILBNYJ/11 40Ndamukong Suh DTLAR/12 40Justin Simmons SDEN/10
41Reuben Foster OLBSF/11 41Muhammad Wilkerson DEGB/7 41Kyle FullerCBCHI/5
42Jayon Brown ILBTEN/8 42Grady Jarrett DTATL/8 42Montae Nicholson SWAS/4
43Brandon Marshall ILBDEN/10 43Leonard Williams DENYJ/11 43Tavon Wilson SDET/6
44Jadeveon Clowney OLBHOU/10 44Anthony ZettelDEDET/6 44Casey Hayward CBLAC/8
45Von Miller OLBDEN/10 45Chris Jones DEKC/12 45Glover QuinSDET/6
46Raekwon McMillan ILBMIA/11 46Alex Okafor DENO/6 46Jeff Heath SDAL/8
47De'Vondre Campbell OLBATL/8 47Fletcher CoxDTPHI/9 47Kenny Vaccaro STEN/8
48Josh Bynes ILBARI/9 48Damon Harrison DTNYG/9 48Darius SlayCBDET/6
49Skai Moore OLBIND/9 49Shaq Lawson DEBUF/11 49Devin McCourty SNE/11
50Reggie Ragland ILBKC/12 50Julius Peppers DECAR/4 50Lamarcus Joyner SLAR/12

Top 100 Overall

1C.J. MosleyILBBAL/10 51Reuben Foster OLBSF/11
2Luke Kuechly ILBCAR/4 52Jayon Brown ILBTEN/8
3Deion Jones ILBATL/8 53Budda BakerSARI/9
4Bobby Wagner ILBSEA/7 54Demarcus Lawrence DEDAL/8
5Lavonte David OLBTB/5 55Eric WeddleSBAL/10
6Zach Brown ILBWAS/4 56Harrison Smith SMIN/10
7Blake Martinez ILBGB/7 57TreDavious WhiteCBBUF/11
8Joe SchobertOLBCLE/11 58Brandon Marshall ILBDEN/10
9Telvin Smith SrOLBJAX/9 59Jadeveon Clowney OLBHOU/10
10Kwon Alexander ILBTB/5 60Ha Ha Clinton-Dix SGB/7
11Christian KirkseyOLBCLE/11 61Von Miller OLBDEN/10
12Jarrad DavisILBDET/6 62Raekwon McMillan ILBMIA/11
13Alec Ogletree ILBNYG/9 63De'Vondre Campbell OLBATL/8
14Tremaine Edmunds ILBBUF/11 64Josh Bynes ILBARI/9
15Mark Barron ILBLAR/12 65Derwin James SLAC/8
16Roquan Smith ILBCHI/5 66Jordan Poyer SBUF/11
17Vince Williams ILBPIT/7 67Marcus Peters CBLAR/12
18Keanu Neal SATL/8 68Barry ChurchSJAX/9
19Darius Leonard OLBIND/9 69Adrian AmosSCHI/5
20Joey Bosa DELAC/8 70Ronald DarbyCBPHI/9
21Jamie Collins SrOLBCLE/11 71Skai Moore OLBIND/9
22Landon Collins SNYG/9 72Justin EvansSTB/5
23Kiko Alonso ILBMIA/11 73Reggie Ragland ILBKC/12
24Deone Bucannon ILBARI/9 74T.J. Watt OLBPIT/7
25Kyle Van NoyOLBNE/11 75Kyzir White OLBLAC/8
26Chandler JonesDEARI/9 76Matt JudonOLBBAL/10
27Danny Trevathan ILBCHI/5 77Jalen Ramsey CBJAX/9
28Darron Lee ILBNYJ/11 78Preston Brown ILBCIN/9
29Cory Littleton ILBLAR/12 79Kurt Coleman SNO/6
30Jaylon Smith OLBDAL/8 80Eric Berry SKC/12
31Sean Lee OLBDAL/8 81Matt Milano OLBBUF/11
32Anthony Hitchens OLBKC/12 82Fred Warner OLBSF/11
33Khalil Mack OLBCHI/5 83D.J. Swearinger SrSWAS/4
34Myles Jack ILBJAX/9 84Christian Jones ILBDET/6
35Calais Campbell DEJAX/9 85Vontaze Burfict OLBCIN/9
36Zach CunninghamILBHOU/10 86Oren Burks ILBGB/7
37Denzel PerrymanILBLAC/8 87Jaquiski Tartt SSF/11
38Malcolm Smith ILBSF/11 88Sean Davis SPIT/7
39Demario Davis ILBNO/6 89Nigel Bradham OLBPHI/9
40J.J. Watt DEHOU/10 90Eddie JacksonSCHI/5
41Reshad Jones SMIA/11 91Melvin Ingram IIIDELAC/8
42Wesley Woodyard ILBTEN/8 92Bradley McDougald SSEA/7
43Eric Kendricks ILBMIN/10 93K.J. Wright OLBSEA/7
44B.J. Goodson ILBNYG/9 94Clayton Geathers SIND/9
45Mason Foster ILBWAS/4 95Haason Reddick ILBARI/9
46Micah Hyde SBUF/11 96Antoine Bethea SARI/9
47Tahir Whitehead OLBOAK/7 97Malcolm Jenkins SPHI/9
48Cameron Jordan DENO/6 98Tyrann Mathieu SHOU/10
49Avery WilliamsonILBNYJ/11 99Marshon Lattimore CBNO/6
50Kevin ByardSTEN/8 100Morgan Burnett SPIT/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.