2023 IDP Football Top-Tier Players

by Steve Hungarter (IDPHunter)
2023 IDP Football Week 1 Matchups

In this article, our focus will be on examining the 2023 IDP Football Top-Tier Players for the three major positions: DL (Defensive Linemen), LB (Linebackers), and DB (Defensive Backs). To properly evaluate their performances, we will delve into their unique attributes and potential hybrid roles they may assume.

These are the elite players at each position. Additionally, I will share my insights on these players, discussing why I consider them to be at the pinnacle of their positions.

Breaking down and being able to explain fantasy rankings and their tiers is fundamentally helpful for owners to understand better what separates a player from his positional group. These elite players demonstrate vital attributes that make them better.

In the following entries below, I will explain some of the criteria that make them elite and what statistics made them that way. Also, how to rank and value them.

2023 IDP Football Top-Tier Players

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Defensive Lineman

When it comes to drafting players, the defensive lineman position is considered to be the most challenging to find impactful talent. It is, therefore, advisable to prioritize selecting players designated as DL (defensive lineman), DT (defensive tackle), DE (defensive end), or dual-designated pass rushers (edge rushers) in any form.

Because of the scarcity, it is an excellent strategy to take quality players to these positions. It is advisable to draft at least one of these formidable frontmen as early as possible, ensuring you secure their services before the talent pool diminishes significantly in the upper tiers of available players.

Maxx Crosby, Los Vegas Raiders

In 2022, Maxx Crosby, the defensive end for the Raiders, showcased a significant improvement in his ability to convert quarterback pressures into sacks, demonstrating his growth as a top edge rusher. Throughout the season, he consistently hit home on a higher average. He achieved a career-best record of 12.5 sacks.

In addition to those sacks, he also had an impressive 47 pressures, drawing attention and praise from the best in the league.

Analyzing his contributions as a designated defensive end/defensive lineman in most fantasy football formats, it becomes evident that his impact extends beyond just sacks and backfield statistics. Crosby's third career-best 89 tackles further bolstered his Individual Defensive Player (IDP) value.

Every week, his consistent performance in this area sets him apart and solidifies his position among the league's top edge rushers. It's rare to have a player produce at this volume; no wonder he led the league in the highest snap count in 2022.

Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

In 2022, Bosa was honored with the prestigious NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. He earned this recognition by topping the league in pressure with an impressive count of 90.

Additionally, he secured a commendable third-place ranking in pass rush win percentage, boasting a success rate of 21%. Bosa's contributions extended beyond his pass-rushing prowess, as he exhibited exceptional strength in defending the run. He achieved an impressive run defense grade of 82.6 and remarkably did not miss a single tackle while performing his duties as a run defense.

Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns

Despite being recognized as one of the league's premier players, Myles Garrett, the edge rusher for the Cleveland Browns, has yet to receive the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award as he enters his seventh season.

In 2022, Garrett showcased his exceptional skills by finishing second in the league in sacks with an impressive tally of 16.0. Furthermore, he achieved a career-high in tackles, recording 60 throughout the season, and demonstrated versatility by adding four pass deflections to his impressive stat line. He is always a top player. It's just splitting hairs among the top three.

Linebackers

The best position by far! Among the various positions on a team, linebackers hold paramount importance. The Quarterback of the Defense usually gets them on the field often to make key plays. Elevated significance stems from their consistent ability to accumulate the highest number of tackles per game.

This ability serves as a primary source of scoring points for defensive players. Although outside, weakside, and edge defenders are essential, the best player at the IDP position is usually the inside linebacker and plays center of the field, but not always.

Foyesade Oluokun, Jacksonville Jaguars

Led the league in tackles in back-to-back seasons. What makes this feat even more impressive is that it was on two different teams. Crown this man, the King of Linebackers now.

Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens

Some will argue this is their LB1. At 25, he is an accomplished and exceptional NFL linebacker who will remain a key pillar of IDP rosters. At the very least, he will maintain his elite status for the next five years.

Nick Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs

The youngest player on our list at just 23 years old. Bolton is a fantastic prospect to roster on any Dynasty team.
Nick Bolton, the linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, had a highly successful second season. He achieved the franchise's single-season record for tackles, contributing significantly to the team's steadily improving defense each week.

Defensive Backs

When considering consistency, we prefer the defensive back position for both starting safety positions, which is significant in IDP.

However, in the past couple of seasons, there has been a slight shift towards favoring slot cornerbacks (CBs). This trend shows some impact, but it's not strong enough to permanently solidify their position. Since Strong Safeties still yield the highest net reward for elite defenders, we recommend them. However, cornerback is becoming more abundant; you will see plenty of them in later tiers.

Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers

James stands out as the most dynamic playmaker in the safety position in the league. His exceptional combination of run defense (graded at 75.3), coverage skills (graded at 74.5), and pass-rushing ability (graded at 90.9) at fantasydata.com set him apart.

In 2022, he earned an impressive overall grade of 77.6, ranking 13th among all qualified safeties. He can do it all; a jack of all trades, he made notable contributions with two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and four sacks. With his upcoming 27th birthday, he can play with the best of them, reminding me to look at this wrestling-style hit from the 2022 season.

Jalen Pitre, Houston Texans

The number one DB scorer for IDP League in '22, the 23-year-old recorded 147 tackles to lead all rookies in the category; with a new defensive-minded head coach, the Dynasty future is bright for this player.

Jaquan Brisker, Chicago Bears

Another solid rookie. The 24-year produced straight off the bat with 104 tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. In just 15 games, Brisker broke out and helped shore up the Bear's backfield. Expect many solid seasons for years to come out of this Dynasty asset.

If you have any questions about these players and where I have them, or others ranked, feel free to check out my rankings here, and thank you for reading.


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