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Kevin’s 2015 IDP RankingsTop-100 | DL | DB | LB

For the last few weeks, Jay has been unveiling his 2015 rankings on the offensive side of the ball, and now it’s time for IDPs to join the party. If you’re new to IDP leagues, or thinking about joining one, I encourage you to read my annual case for using IDPs in fantasy football. Assuming you’ve already taken the leap into the IDP world, you know that positional rankings are not quite one-size-fits-all. Depending on your league’s roster requirements and scoring system, my DL20 could be your DL5, and potentially even your LB50. I try to cover the most “standard” settings with the rankings below, but if you have questions about a particularly customized league, feel free to post in the Comments section. One of the many beauties of IDP leagues is the level with which they can be customized, and I love hearing about the more exotic options out there.

Without further ado, here are the Razzball 2015 Defensive Linemen rankings, as well as a brief take on each of my tiers below:


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Tier 1 – Assuming that past performance equals future results can be a dangerous proposition, but I think it’s safe to say that, barring an asteroid hitting Earth (and even then, who knows), J.J. Watt will be the top DL for the fourth straight year in 2015. Instead of continuing to discuss his absolute dominance, I’ll leave you with a question to ponder: Would Watt be as dominant if he went by Justin instead of J.J.? Would opposing QBs tremble in their cleats knowing that Justin Watt was chasing them down? With that name he sounds more like an electrician than a football player, am I right? Sorry J.J.! I’m sorry! Please don’t hurt me.

Tier 2 – The next tier down is also known as “Guys fighting for #2”. None of them have the weekly dominance that Watt has, but each has an extremely high ceiling based on their talent and situation. I prefer Robert Quinn over Jason Pierre-Paul and Chandler Jones, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

Tier 3 – This tier starts to have a lot of questions. How much will Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson see the field now that Leonard Williams is in the fold? How will the move to OLB affect the stats of Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes (and will they even be eligible at DL in most leagues)? Will Ndamukong Suh’s presence help or hurt Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon? These guys are all weekly starters, but some are certainly safer than others.

Tier 4 – 2014 was a banner year for interior Defensive Linemen in IDP leagues, and this tier highlights the best of them. Big-play leagues can pretty much ignore these guys entirely, but in more tackle-heavy leagues, some of the best values can be found here. I wouldn’t necessarily call sophomore Aaron Donald a sleeper, but he’s still a great bet to outproduce his draft position.

Tier 5 – This is the last tier that you should even think about drafting, and even then, only in leagues where you start 2+ DLs. There is a mix of high-upside guys like Demarcus Lawrence and Damontre Moore (and Vic Beasley if he’s classified as a DE), as well as established, if boring, veterans like Justin Tuck and Jared Allen. The most intriguing name is obviously Greg Hardy, who’s value will be directly tied to how long he’s suspended. Expect his ranking to change one way or the other based on that news, but for now I’m assuming he misses at least 6 games.

Everyone else should really be streaming material based on playing time and opponent, but if you play in a super-deep league, my sleeper recommendations would be Ra’Shede Hageman and Malik Jackson.

 

 

  1. Clint says:
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    What order would you put drafting IDP’s (we start a DL, LB, DB) round-wise in a league w/this scoring?

    Forced fumble/assisted tackle=1pt
    Fumble recovery/INT/Safety/Sack/Solo Tackle=2pts
    TD=6pts

    And I am the commissioner so if you have any score tweaking suggestions, I’m all ears. I tried to find a way to balance the scoring amongst each IDP spot so there wasn’t a heavy emphasis on LB over others, which has happened before in leagues I’ve been in but if I’ve inadvertently created some by doing that, let me know what you think.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Clint:

      For me the best case scenario is position-specific scoring, but I haven’t found a platform that I like (or that is widely used), that supports it.

      The goal is always to make each position relatively equal, while also matching the points being put up on the offensive side of the ball. My favorite settings are:

      Solo tackle: 1 points
      Assisted tackle: 0.5 points
      Sack: 4 points
      Tackle for loss: 2 points
      Interception: 4 points
      Pass defended: 1.5 points
      Forced fumble: 3 points
      Fumble recovered: 2 points
      TD/Safety/Blocked kick: 6 points

      Incorporating Tackles for loss and bumping up passes defended can go a long way towards balancing the positions without relying too much on random plays.

      • Clint says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf:
        So I switched to your system, where does that leave drafting the corresponding positions round-wise? Still wait until later in the drafts (post round 5 or so?) & start w/the LB, then DL and DB?

        • Kevin Kumpf

          Kevin Kumpf says:
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          @Clint:

          Typically it doesn’t change too much about the draft, but that’s more of a product of there being more consistent studs on the offensive side of the ball. Watt is certainly a unique case, and I can see him being worth a 1st or 2nd round pick in these leagues, though I’ll rarely pay that price.

          In general it makes owners take IDPs more seriously, and creates more variability in draft strategy, which is always fun. It also promotes more in-season trading, because rosters tend to be more imbalanced post-draft.

          Just like on offense, some positions are more consistent producers than others, so the LB/DL/DB dynamic is still present, but once you get past the top guys, those decisions become a little bit harder.

  2. MrMojoRisin says:
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    Youre crazy ranking 50 DL lol
    I’d have stopped at 25 and then put best matchup haha

    All jokes aside nice job. Love that you chose Quinn out of the next 3, hope he can put up 2013 stats again! He was almost as good as Watt that year. (at least in my league lol)

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @MrMojoRisin:

      Thanks! With Fairley in town, and Donald having a year of experience, I thought about putting Quinn at #1 for a half-second. But Watt is Watt.

  3. Troy says:
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    So if JJ is gonna be the first defensive player off the board, where should he go in respect to offensive players and tier 1 linebackers?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Troy:

      I’ll be releasing overall IDP rankings in a couple of weeks, but *SPOILER ALERT* Watt will be #1, followed by the top tier LBs. In a “standard” scoring system, I’d take him as early as the 4th round if I was happy with my first 3 offensive picks, but I know people who would have no qualms taking him in the 1st, given the positional advantage he provides.

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