Hello and welcome to "2023 IDP When to Draft Position Groups," an article where I discuss, you guessed it, when to target and decide when to draft specific position groups in your fantasy drafts.
One of the most asked questions I get from beginners in the IDP Realm is when to target every position in a startup draft. Starting your league with a strong showing in your draft is not all that matters. However, it is a solid way to set yourself up for success.
Every league is different and has specific quirks, so I strongly encourage you to assess your roster and the starting positions, how many bench spots, and the scoring before anything else.
This article is for leagues that draft with IDP-only rosters. I will share my thoughts on where and how to draft position groups based on three standard IDP scoring systems.
2023 IDP When to Draft Positions
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The Scoring Systems
Now, I will highlight and briefly give a summary of a few scoring systems. There are many ways to score your league, but I will review three of the most common. As well as what each scoring system means for the individual positions and where you should be targeting each position in your drafts according to the scoring system.
Ensure that you dive into your league's scoring predraft. I would also suggest that if you are utilizing a mobile application, you review the top performers for the past three seasons and see if you can identify any trends.
Which position group ultimately scored more points? Was there a significant gap between players at any of the positions? Anything that stands out to you could be information that could make all of the difference in your drafts and beyond.
Here are the scoring systems and how they divide out points. For more clarification, I have provided a link to each scoring system if you wish to learn more about it or get a more in-depth look at them.
- 1pt- Assisted Tackle and QB Hit
- 2pt- Solo Tackle and Tackle For Loss
- 3pt- Pass Defended, Forced Fumble, Fumble Recovery, Safety, and Any Blocked Kick
- 6pt- Interception, Sack, and Touchdown
|IDP/23 Yearly Finish||Player||Team||Fantasy Points|
|2022 DL1||Maxx Crosby||Las Vegas Raiders||326|
|2022 DL10||Uchenna Nwosu||Seattle Seahawks||242|
|2022 LB1||Foyesade Oluokun||Jacksonville Jaguars||384|
|2022 LB10||Jordyn Brooks||Seattle Seahawks||300|
|2022 DB1||Jalen Pitre||Houston Texans||317|
|2022 DB10||Richie Grant||Atlanta Falcons||240|
|2021 DL1||T.J. Watt||Pittsburgh Steelers||373|
|2021 DL10||Matthew Judon||New England Patriots||232|
|2021 LB1||T.J. Watt||Pittsburgh Steelers||373|
|2021 LB10||Denzel Perryman||Las Vegas Raiders||287|
|2021 DB1||Kenny Moore II||Indianapolis Colts||267|
|2021 DB10||Jayron Kearse||Dallas Cowboys||238|
- .1pt- Sack yards and Any Return Yards
- .75pt- Assisted Tackles
- 1.25pt- Solo Tackles
- 2pt- QB Hit
- 3pt- Fumble Recovery and Tackle For Loss
- 4pt- Passes Defended, Forced Fumble
- 5pt- Blocked kick, Sack, and Safety
- 6pt- Interceptions and Touchdown
|Big 3 Yearly Finish||Player||Team||Fantasy Points|
|2022 DL1||Maxx Crosby||Las Vegas Raiders||338.6|
|2022 DL10||Daron Payne||Washington Commanders||251.7|
|2022 LB1||Foyesade Oluokun||Jacksonville Jaguars||301.2|
|2022 LB10||Drue Tranquill||Los Angeles Chargers||258.7|
|2022 DB1||Jalen Pitre||Houston Texans||249.3|
|2022 DB10||Donovan WIlson||Dallas Cowboys||206|
|2021 DL1||T.J. Watt||Pittsburgh Steelers||393.8|
|2021 DL10||Chandler Jones||Arizona Cardinals||237.7|
|2021 LB1||T.J. Watt||Pittsburgh Steelers||393.8|
|2021 LB10||Harold Landry||Tennessee Titans||238|
|2021 DB1||Trevon Diggs||Dallas Cowboys||237.7|
|2021 DB10||Xavier Woods||Minnesota Vikings||202|
- .75pt- Assisted Tackles
- 1.5pt- Passes Defended and Solo Tackles
- 2pts- Safteies and Tackles For Loss
- 4pts- Fumbles Forced, Fumble Recoveries and Sacks
- 5pts- Interceptions
- 6pts- Touchdowns
|FantasyPros Yearly Finish||Player||Team||Fantasy Points|
|2022 DL1||Maxx Crosby||Las Vegas Raiders||236.5|
|2022 DL10||Jonathan Allen||Washington Commanders||169.3|
|2022 LB1||Foyesade Oluokun||Jacksonville Jaguars||295.5|
|2022 LB10||Rashaan Evans||Atlanta Falcons||225.5|
|2022 DB1||Jalen Pitre||Houston Texans||238|
|2022 DB10||Jaquan Brisker||Chicago Bears||177.3|
|2021 DL1||Aaron Donald||Los Angeles Rams||211|
|2021 DL10||Joey Bosa||Los Angeles Chargers||147.8|
|2021 LB1||T.J. Watt||Pittsburgh Steelers||269|
|2021 LB10||Bobby Wagner||Seattle Seahawks||225.3|
|2021 DB1||Kenny Moore II||Indianapolis Colts||199|
|2021 DB10||Logan Ryan||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||177.8|
Where to Draft Defensive Lineman
Defensive linemen can/should be a high-priority target in most leagues as the position can be "top-heavy," though there is value to be found in the later rounds.
In this format, it is possible to have a defensive lineman finish as the No.1 IDP scorer in a season, as T.J. Watt accomplished in 2021. With that said, the difference in points between the DL10 and the DB10 favored the DB10, making the need for a high-end defensive lineman much more valuable in this format.
Tackles are awarded the most points of any format stated in this article, with sacks worth six points. This makes a defensive lineman with tackles and sacks a high-priority player. I would target a player as an anchor for your defensive lineman in the first two rounds of any draft in the IDP/123 format.
Big 3 Scoring
You must draft a defensive lineman or two early in the first three rounds in Big 3 scoring. Sacks are worth five points, and you get a bonus of .1 point per sack yards. Don't be the human who goes Linebacker and then defensive back in your first two rounds, take two elite defensive linemen and then follow up with a linebacker.
When drafting a defensive lineman, you would like to select a player early as the position has a relatively decent drop-off of points between the DL1(236.5 fantasy points) and the DL10(169.3 fantasy points). I would say of the three formats, this format is the one that you don't need to panic and draft a few of these defensive linemen early. You would be better off taking one and rounding out your roster before stacking up at the position.
Where to Draft Linebackers
Depending on your league, linebackers can be targeted as early as round one, and tremendous value can be found in the middle rounds of a draft.
Linebackers are king in IDP/123 as a player at the position who can consistently bring down the ball carrier and be sent into the backfield to bring down the quarterback is the biggest scorer in this format. Though a gratuitous amount of sacks aren't needed, a player is atop the points scored, and a player who can do both pass rush and has a high tackle upside is what you're looking for.
The point difference between the LB10 and the DL10 in this format in 2022 was 58 points. The points difference between the LB10 and the DB10 was 60 points. Depending on your roster configuration, I would take an elite linebacker in the first round and then follow up the next few rounds with another linebacker or two.
Big 3 Scoring
In this format, I would wait until the second or third round before eyeing a linebacker. Defensive linemen are usually the higher scorers in Big 3 scoring. The top defensive lineman regularly outscored the top players at the other two positions. However, the points seem to even out between Defensive Linemen and Linebackers around the tenth-highest-scoring player at those positions.
Please wait for a round or two on Linebacker, then pepper your roster by selecting them in the middle rounds.
In 2022, eight of the top-10 IDP scoring finishers were linebackers. The highest scorer in 2022, according to FantasyPros, was Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Foyesade Oluokun who finished with 295.5 fantasy points. The second-highest Linebacker was Roquan Smith, who finished with 273.5 fantasy points.
This scoring system seems to favor the top linebackers, and it would be wise to draft at least one of them in the first two rounds of your draft. For comparison, the DB10 finished with 177.3 fantasy points, and the LB10 had 225.5 fantasy points. Tackles are not the highest-scored stat of these three formats; however, the sacks are only four points, so a player who consistently gathers tackles on the stat sheet scores higher than a player who has a multi-sack game.
Where to Draft Defensive Backs
This position I typically fade and don't even consider drafting until I have solidified the other two positions on my roster.
The value of the defensive back is much higher and more evened out in this format, as the DB1 scores more points than the other two explained in this article. That said, I am not entirely fading the position in this format. I am not taking a defensive back in the first three rounds, but I may get froggy, depending on how the board looks after the first three rounds.
I am still filling this position last, though this format is the earliest I would draft a defensive back and feel good about it.
Big 3 Scoring
Fade the position until the middle to end of your drafts. The points gained per week aren't enough to compare with the other positions, so it would be wise to load up on the other positions to ensure you have a steady amount of points and then look for players who have consistently performed at the position but who have slipped in ADP (i.e., Harrison Smith, Kamren Curl, and Jonathan Owens)
I will fade the defensive back position as I feel there isn't a big enough difference in player scoring to make me jump the gun at the position in a draft. In 2022 Rasul Douglas finished as the DB20 (161.8 fantasy points), and Taylor Rapp finished as the DB45 (140.5 fantasy points).
Drafting a top defensive back when decent linebackers and defensive linemen are still on the board is a great way to put yourself at a disadvantage as you draft. I would wait past the first four rounds at least before selecting a defensive back and stack up at defensive lineman and or Linebacker before looking to draft a defensive back in this scoring format.
Things to Consider While Drafting
Some things I always try to consider and account for in some fashion when drafting:
- A player/team strength of schedule
- How often is the player's defense on the field?
- Where are you drafting a player compared to their ADP?
- Defensive schemes
- When is the players/team's bye week?
- Player consistency
- Please keep your eyes on the other rosters to see who their next target may be.
Know that every draft is different, and there isn't any one particular strategy that is the ultimate solution to drafting a winning fantasy roster. It is up to the manager to recognize the trends in their draft and find value in their draft selections.
A big thank you for reading. If you are looking for IDP rankings, CLICK HERE.
These things to consider when drafting doesnt turn every stone, but it's a good baseline of thoughts I keep in the back of my brain when drafting. Every draft is different; stay attentive to your surroundings and keep your head on a swivel; you'll do just fine.
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