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.