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Over the past month, I’ve gone through my top 50 Defensive Linemen, Linebackers and Defensive Backs, and now it’s time to put it all together. Below you will see my top 75 overall IDPs, regardless of position.

I’ll be brief with this write-up because it’s well over 100 degrees here in Austin, and I have busy day that involves floating down the San Marcos River in a tube with a few cases of Lone Star, followed by an ungodly amount of BBQ in Lockhart. But before we get to the actual rankings, here are a few topics merit some additional discussion:

JJ Watt – He’ll be the first defensive player off the board in every draft this year, but I don’t want you to take him. Watt’s current ADP puts him in late 4th round/early 5th round territory, which is just unheard of for a defensive player. Last year JPP lasted a full three rounds longer than that as the first IDP taken, and he finished 60 points behind Watt. As good as he is, the only way it makes sense to take Watt over guys like Hakeem Nicks, Frank Gore and Tom Brady is if you are physically drafting with Watt in your league and you’re worried about making him angry.

Positional Runs – You’ll notice that the overall rankings include 1 DE followed by 15 LBs, followed by 2 DEs, followed by 4 LBs, and so on. These positional runs basically amount to draft tiers. Yes I would prefer James Laurinaitis over D’Qwell Jackson, but I believe their overall value is going to be similar this year. The same goes Calais Campbell and Anthony Spencer later in the rankings. Your roster will dictate when and where you need to take certain positions, so these tiers can let you know when to make the move on a Linebacker and when you can wait because there are plenty of similar players left.

Overall Positional Strategy – The typical IDP draft strategy is to take your stud DLs early, followed by some tackling-machines at LB, and then pick up your DBs later on. My rankings somewhat agree with that, but this year I feel that outside of Watt, the next 14 DLs will all put up comparable numbers, so they are basically interchangeable. On the other hand, at LB I want to grab at least two of the top 16 guys, preferably more if your roster requirements are heavy at LB. After those 16, there are questions regarding a player’s health or situation that I don’t want to worry about with my starting LBs. There are only 10 DBs on this list of 75, and to be honest, I would be surprised if I had any on my team. I’ll take my DBs before my kicker, but that’s about it. The position is deep, with plenty of waiver wire options, and I’d rather grab a guy like Kiko Alonso or Sio Moore rather than reach for one of my top ranked DBs.

Disclaimer: For these and all of my rankings, I am assuming a balanced IDP scoring system with a 3:1 ratio of sacks/interceptions to solo tackles. If you have any questions regarding your league’s specific settings, please ask in the comments.


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  1. Ulysses says:
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    In my league we just have 3 defensive players so it can be any combination. It is standard IDP scoring so in that case would you say the best draft strategy is targeting 3 LBs for consistent scoring? In the last IDP gets drafted starting round 8 in this 12 team league. Last year I drafted watt and picked up kuechly off waivers so they carried me.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Ulysses:

      If you’re working with a 3:1 tackle:solo ratio or lower, then LBs will give you by far the most consistency. Watt is great, but he’s great because of the position he plays. Without looking at position, Watt wasn’t even in the top 20 in 2012 based on a 3:1 scoring system.

  2. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    what are your standard IDP categories and scoring? Here is what I’m working with

    TS = 1.5
    TA = .75
    Sack = 3
    Int = 4
    FF = 3
    FR = 3
    DTD = 7
    SFT = 5
    PD 2.5 OR 3, HAVEN’T DECIDED
    BK = 3
    TFL = .5

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Jack Full of Hate:

      I typically play a “standard” ESPN league which is:

      TS = 1
      TA = 0.5
      Sack = 3
      Int = 3
      FF = 3
      FR = 3
      DTD = 6
      SFT = 2
      PD = 1
      BK = 3
      TFL = 0

      TFL is the trickiest, because different sites treat sacks different ways. If a Sack counts as a TFL, then that immediately becomes a big play league if you gives points for TFLs.

      I personally like a 3:1 sack:solo ratio, and 4:1 INT:solo ratio, as well as a 2:1 FF:FR ratio, but I’m rarely the commish of my own leagues. My only major issue with the system you outlined is that PDs are weighted pretty heavily. For a somewhat inconsistent stat, that’s a lot of points.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: I try to boost it up to make DB’s a little more relevant, the good ones, in real life, are lucky to get 2 tackles a week but usually get a PD or two. When I had it at one point most teams would go without a DB in the line-up for half the season, like a defensive kicker, and that made me think whats the point of having them.

        I did 2 points for Solo’s one year but that was too much, the ratio I have settled on makes your good defensive players more relevant than your WR3, which I feel they should.

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @Jack Full of Hate:

          I see your point, and positional-specific scoring is probably the only real solution. I haven’t found a “perfect” scoring system yet, and one may not exist, seeing how shutdown corners and DTs still won’t rack up enough stats to be as important as they should be.

          In terms of how relevant IDPs should be, that’s another hot topic. In a league where you have a full offensive and defensive roster, I think LB1 should be about the same as RB1. If you only have a handful of IDPs, then WR3 level makes sense.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Kevin Kumpf: I go with 1 DL, 2 DB, and 3 LB in a 10 teamer, last year we had 8 teams and it was too much available in the FA pool. I want to go 4 LB’s but am afraid that 40 starting LB’s every week makes for a lot of hot garbage on someone’s team every week. The hardest thing in IDP with LB, is the top 25 can be separated by an average of only 3 points a week…..damn, now i think i want to go with 4 LB’s

            • Kevin Kumpf

              Kevin Kumpf says:
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              @Jack Full of Hate:

              Yeah that’s always a tough call. I agree with your ultimate point, that if you’re making a tackle heavy scoring system, you need to start more LBs in order to differentiate. Anyone can start Kuechly or Laurinaitis every week; it takes true talent to find the sleepers that will make the difference.

            • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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              @Jack Full of Hate: More. More. We want more.

              • Kevin Kumpf

                Kevin Kumpf says:
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                @Wallpaper Paterson:

                Nicky Flash is definitely a sleeper this year

  3. Andrew says:
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    I kind of like DT’s not having much value because in the league I run, sometimes the hardest decision is to roster that 2nd DT or drop a valuable player from your bench. With injuries and byes, sometimes I’ll forego the DT if I think I can win without his points. It’s fun to win with an incomplete roster, and also fun if you win because you dropped an offensive player with more value to pick up a DT who scores the 2 points you need to win.

    Here’s my settings from last year:
    10 team league H2H
    2 QB, 4 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, 1 WR/RB, 1 WR/TE, 1 WR/RB/TE
    1 K, 1 DEF
    2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

    Tack 1, Ast. Tack .5, Sack 3, Int 4, FF 3, FR 1, DTD 6, SFT 2, DEFL 1, BLK 2, TFL 1

    Any suggestions on scoring? I’m trying to make IDP more valuable in general, and like you, trying to make DT, CB, and S more valuable. Anything I do has J.J. Watt as a huge outlier and definitely worth a very high pick if he can repeat last year’s stats.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Andrew:

      I like that scoring system, and 2012 Watt would be an outlier in pretty much any system. Considering the huge amount of players started each week on both Offense and Defense, I might try bumping Solos up to 1.5, and Assists to .75. That is a small adjustment that won’t throw everything out of whack but still increases the value of your IDPs.

      Unless you can do positional-specific scoring, I don’t have a solution to the DT/CB/S issue unfortunately.

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