Welcome to the next installment of my 2024 positional Top 10 IDP Dynasty Football Rankings, this time I'm going through the Defensive Lineman.
I will be going through each position breaking down my early top 10. If you missed the others follow the links below.
No other position shows a steady investment like the DL group. You will notice a steady increase each season until the market drops off.
The Defensive lineman position, unlike linebacker, continues to pay dividends and goes up in value with age. You will see a steady uptick in age from 24-29 years old. It is worth noting that the decline happens at 30, but you will see steady serviceable production just not elite into the window years of 30-32. Where there is a drop off is after 33. So the thought here is 30-33 is where pass rushers lose a step in regards to their quickness.
Another way to think about it is to treat your DLs like you would your QB-TEs groups. Still will get decent tier value at an accelerated age of 32. DTs peak much older and differently than above. The ripe peak age is 26-28 and will see steady growth as they get older. You want that old man strength. Where the drop-off starts is 29 but don't start to show until 32-34 years old because that position is more about strength than speed. Before the age of 34, you would want to get off the player. Translation, you don’t need to segment this list but could get away with playing 27-30-year-olds here.
2024 IDP Dynasty Football Top 10 Defensive Lineman Rankings
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No. 10: Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers
Burns down season is any Dynasty manager's asset to take advantage of. Sometimes, we have to consider "mulligans" and go back to the previous season, where Burns excelled.
While the season wasn't desired, his talent remains a compelling factor for his continued presence. As he approaches an uncertain off-season with the Carolina Panthers, there's a high probability of him being tagged as a franchise player.
However, considering the team's significant other issue he would not be one of them. I have him here late on my list as I anticipate a rebound out of this 25-year-old player
No. 9: Will Anderson, Houston Texans
The only rookie on this list but hey, just look at what he did in such a limited amount of time. Making the Pro Bowl and winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award is impressive but it does not stop there.
He had an amazing rookie season, finishing with 45 tackles, and 67 pressures in just 13 games starting.
Anderson also had 7.0 sacks this season and shattered the franchise record for most sacks in a single season, at just 22 years of age, this is rapidly ahead of his peer group and advanced metrics. Might be the last time we see him so low on this list.
No. 8: Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
At just 23 years old, Thibodeaux started the season red hot with 8.5 sacks in eight games, but then just like we expected a youngster simmered down a bit as younger players often do.
Concluding the season with 11.5 sacks, Thibodeaux nearly tripled his sack count from his rookie year. What's even more noteworthy is that he achieved this feat in almost the same number of games, underscoring his enhanced efficiency this season.
Ranking tied for 12th in sacks, Thibodeaux's durability played a crucial role in boosting his on-field presence, as he participated in nearly 90 percent of the team's defensive plays compared to 65 percent in his rookie season.
No. 7: Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars
It's hard to imagine but out of all the players on this list, Allen is the one that often gets overlooked. Despite having 17.5 sacks last season, he may leave in free agency but all news appears that the 27-year-old wants to continue being a Jaguar.
Josh Allen wants to remain with the Jacksonville Jaguars and be there for the future. pic.twitter.com/YUARB4bsst
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) February 4, 2024
No. 6: Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions
Did you guys know that in the final three games of the regular season, Aiden Hutchinson led the league in sacks (5) and pressures (20)?
At just 23 years old, he is not even in the prime window at this position so consider this a good omen of things to come.
He was second in the league in pressures, and with 11.5 sacks ranks him 14th in the league. The hope for this young player is as he develops should be able to connect and finish with more of those big plays.
No. 5: TJ Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
Yeah, I know what you are thinking but this is a Dynasty listing, and he is already 29 years old with an injury past. Turning 30 in October, we are starting to climb up into those forbidden years territory soon. Had these rankings been for redraft, he would have been in consideration for No. 1 at the position.
I have been an advocate of trading Watt while his value is at an all-time high, given his age. The return on such a trade would potentially set up any owner from a rebuild to fantasy success with assets. In my opinion, it is always smarter to get off a player before you have to while he still has good seasons.
Daily reminder that TJ Watt is a generational talent. https://t.co/p0f8VztiLz
— DJszn(10-7) (@PutridLobster) February 2, 2024
No. 4: Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers
A total of 52 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, along with 10.5 sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery might have gotten him a trip to the Pro Bowl. However, it's more about the stats that aren't recorded tell his story better.
Looking at Bosa's tapes in 2023 reveals 60 hurries, 95 pressures, and 35 QB hits. By doing all the dirty work and taking care of the little things it's no wonder his team is in the Super Bowl.
Expect the 26-year-old to be at full throttle level of production and carry this team for seasons to come.
Nick Bosa is putting the 49ers defense on his back. pic.twitter.com/2A8reQEVdB
— Alex Tran (@nineralex) January 29, 2024
No. 3: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Garrett earned the Defensive Player of the Year (PFWA) award and was tied for seventh this season with 14 sacks, before being injured and had 13 through Week 11. Now 28 years old and thriving in the new defensive coordinator scheme, fantasy managers should enjoy more seasons of this sort of production. It is my opinion he would have been No. 1 on this list if it hadn't been for setbacks.
Further evidence of why he should be No. 3, Garrett shared the seventh spot in the NFL with 86 pressures, according to fantasydata.com. He is the only player to have 10 or more sacks in each of the last six season.
Fun fact: he joins only seven other players in NFL history to have that sort of six-year run. Furthermore, his 30% win rate, is only behind Micah Parsons.
— Matthew Luciow (@matthewluciow92) January 30, 2024
No. 2: Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
At 24 years old, Parsons has made the Pro Bowl in all three of his NFL seasons. The two-time first-team All-Pro and 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year adds another accolade to his collection, capping off a stellar season with 14 sacks, 64 tackles, and an impressive 102 pressures.
Expect to see this high level of production for the season to come. The defensive coordinator is changing in Dallas, but that should not affect this super-elite talent.
Cowboys’ Micah Parsons selected to 2024 NFL Pro Bowl, third straight https://t.co/7jIQ7zSjmp
— Penn State Football (@psufootball) January 4, 2024
No. 1: Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders
Now in his fifth season, Crosby secures his third consecutive Pro Bowl. At the age of 26, Crosby ranked first in tackles for loss (21) second in tackles (88), and third in sacks (13.5).
In a remarkable feat, Crosby becomes the sole defensive lineman since 2000 to achieve 85-plus tackles and 20-plus tackles for loss in back-to-back seasons (2022-23).
Notably, he boasts three multi-sack games, placing him among the league's top five, and stands as one of only six defensive linemen to achieve 10-plus tackles in a single NFL game this season.
He had to undergo hand surgery this off-season, and pending no setbacks he should be the number one DL.
@CrosbyMaxx Prayers and thoughts for a speedy and full recovery Maxx. Once you’re back and able to prepare for the 2024 season…THIS is what opponents are going to see. Madd Maxx Crosby coming at them from ALL angles. 1% better every day. You’re an inspiration to us all pic.twitter.com/CouTjLUGr1
— Raider66 (@R8r66) February 1, 2024
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
See this is what happens when people don't understand age values even though he is the oldest player on this list he certainly deserves the dynasty mention as DL drops off much later than most positions. The true reason he is lower is we don't know his status for next season and he is a bit older than guys on this list.
Carl Granderson, New Orleans Saints
Kudos to you if you were an owner able to snag him before the breakout. Granderson is a tackle machine so he is an awesome player in any format.
A fifth-year breakout, at the age of 27, he represents exactly what this model represents for a defensive lineman. He played all 17 games and produced 8.5 sacks and produced 78 tackles (44 solo), all of which led his team.
Jaelan Phillps, Miami Dolphins
Oh man, it stinks having to put Phillips so low but his injury truly prevented the season we were hoping to expect. He is a fringe-tier one talent to me and will jump ahead of some of these guys. In only eight games last season, he recorded 43 tackles (seven for a loss), 11 quarterback hits, and 6.5 sacks. If he had a full 17 games under his belt, he had 14 sacks. Why is that relevant, well that would have put this 24-year-old tied for the seventh with the likes of Micah Parsons, and Myles Garrett, and .05 sacks away from Maxx Crosby.
Rashan Gary, Green Bay Packers
Just a hopeful dynasty stash as he has been hot and cold for owners. PFF gives a better analysis as they measure sacks +hits +hurries per a snap basis, and when you do that you create win pass rush rates. Rashan Gary is an absolute gem and would have a 17% win rate (on 60 total pressures) within this narrative, he is the 15th-best pass rusher. So the 26-year-old certainly deserves consideration.
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