Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football IDP Strategy: Tackles Rule


Fantasy Football IDP Strategy

Credit: Karen Brit

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my 2016 IDP rankings, please feel free to do so before reading this article.

Alright you’ve read the article and you want to know the thoughts behind the madness of IDP fantasy football! Just like on the offensive side of the ball, defensive players get points for nearly sacks, tackles, interceptions, fumble recoveries in most leagues.

Other leagues, like PPR on the offensive side, will also aware points for pass break-ups, hits on the quarterback, forced fumbles. A standard league is made up the first group of statistics and that’s what my rankings are based on.

You see, by no surprise, that the number one overall ranked player in fantasy football is also the most dominating defensive player on Sundays, J.J. Watt. J.J. is a force who changes games by getting after the quarterback and even making tackles into the second level of the defense.

All time, he averages nearly one sack in every game he plays. This is something you’d be looking for in your number one overall pick.

Fantasy Football IDP Strategy

Analyzing the Rankings

A quick look over the top 10 shows which position truly dominates the IDP fantasy game.

Although we have a defensive end ranked number one, the linebacker position is where you’re going to find your wealth of scoring as in my 90 players ranked, I have 39 linebackers ranked nearly half. Linebackers offer you that versatility of getting a lot of sacks and also making a difference in coverage.

Fantasy Football IDP Strategy

Photo Credit: Jeff Beall

A position not well represented in my rankings is definitely the defensive backs. Some defensive backs, as you know, can go the entire game without a pass being thrown their way ala Richard Sherman.

That truly shows their dominance at a position and how much the opponents gunslinger may fear this defensive back. However, there is no value to a defensive back who sees now passes thrown his way in the fantasy game.

Look for impact DBs; look for tackle points

You are going to want the defensive backs who make the most impact to represent your squad. Defensive backs who make a lot of tackles or spend time near the line of scrimmage such as formerly Troy Polamalu, but now guys like Mark Barron and Reshad Jones top the list.

Even more sparsely represented are the guys who fight in the trenches the defensive tackles and defensive ends. These guys do a lot of the dirty work and if you’re not getting to the quarterback, you’re value is going to be heavily diminished. Other than J.J. Watt being at the top of the list, there’s only 20 defensive ends and six defensive tackles in the top 84.

When scouting this position, versatility is going to be what you look for the most. A player like J.J. Watt isn’t always in the 3-point stance and will go out in coverage if the Texans require him to. The versatility most of these guys are missing at this position keeps them lower on the rankings.

Strategy: Draft Day Guide

It’s draft day and this is your first IDP draft. Your buddies thought it would be cool if you could give the defensive side of the ball this year some love and make the ENTIRE football game interesting where you’re always rooting for a player on either side of the ball.

You may be mixing your league with an influx of  defensive players mixing both the offensive and defensive side of the ball or maybe you’re doing a separate IDP league, either way there’s definitely a few strategies to consider.

Mixed Drinks

You’ve changed your yearly redraft league into one that include the defensive players. Your wondering when and where you should pick your first defensive player. Depending on how your league handles scoring, your defensive players shouldn’t score much higher than your WR2.

However, you want to be aware of what the scoring system is for your defensive guys and ensure you’re aware of how many points they scored last year by doing some pen and paper math.

Into the fifth or sixth round, you may want to consider snagging up J.J. Watt. From my experience with the IDP and offensive redraft leagues, you are going to have that guy who thinks he’s ahead of the curve and select J.J. Watt in the first two rounds.

Don’t be that guy. The points that J.J. puts up as compared to my number two ranked defensive player, Khalil Mack, isn’t the difference between Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant. Khalil Mack is definitely a nice 1A selection for IDP.

Always be patient in a league where you’re mixing offensive and defensive players!

Strictly Straight

Fantasy Football IDP Rankings Strategy

Credit: Keith Allison

If you’re doing your own strictly defensive redraft league, there’s one sure fire way to ensure you make it on the top of your league. Only one person can lock down the man beast known as JJ Watt, but solid picks within the first three rounds will ensure success.

You want to target in the first two rounds the two men you consider most likely to be breakout play makers for you. Of course you could get lucky in the later rounds, but defense usually means consistency.

Wait for the right moment to draft defensive backs

As noted earlier, the defensive backs aren’t something you want to be jumping at in the early rounds.

On the football field, it is easy to argue who the better player is between Richard Sherman or Harrison Smith. One will out perform the other one, but it’s not going to be the difference between a defensive back and one of your top ten defensive ends. Their position is paramount when you are drafting.

With only defensive players, a solid line backing core is the key to ensuring your team success. On paper, it’s a lot like the actual game of football that our fantasy world is based on. If you aren’t landing a handful of the top linebacker prospects in your draft, you’re going to need to land a couple of Revis islands  or Reggie Whites!

About Gage Padula

Fantasy Sports writer at, jack of all trades in the fantasy world, prefer dynasty over redraft

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