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

Today we close out the preseason IDP Rankings with my top 100 overall. This can be used as a cheat sheet for your draft, as it mixes all of the positions together, but the most important aspect is the tiering system used. You may have a different preference between Bobby Wagner and C.J. Mosley, and that’s fine! But it’s hard to argue that they don’t belong in the same tier of IDPs, or that one should be taken several rounds before the other. The tiers used in these rankings should help you determine who’s value is similar across all IDPs, and when to expect a run on defensive players as your drafts get past the 6th round.

The obvious gap here when prepping for your draft is the omission of offensive players, so I wanted to briefly hit on that. The most common question I get in the Comments section, on Twitter, and by random strangers stopping me in the streets is, “When do I start taking IDPs in my draft?” It’s a great question, and one without a right answer across the board. The biggest factors that determine when IDPs should go in a fantasy draft are:

1. Total IDPs Started – If you only start 1 IDP, then there is no way they should be treated like anything more than kickers or team defenses. I personally hate this setup, but I know it exists. In a 12-team league, there just isn’t a way for one defensive player to make that much of a difference, even if you know who the top guy will be. My assumption is that if you’re in an IDP league, you’re starting at least 6 players, so hopefully this is a non-issue.

2. Positional Requirements – Slightly different from #1, in that some IDP leagues use the flex concept more frequently than you would on offense. If you’re not required to start at least one DL, then J.J. Watt loses some (but not all) of his luster. The rankings below take positional scarcity into consideration, and at this point I think that most leagues do as well.

3. Scoring System – This is where we currently see the most variation from league to league. Traditionally, IDPs just don’t score enough raw points to warrant consideration until most, if not all, of your offensive starting lineup has been drafted. From what I’ve seen, the tides appear to be turning towards a more balanced scoring culture for IDPs, but we still have a long way to go.

On to the rankings…


Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

Tier 1 – No surprise here. In a league where you need to start 2+ Defensive Linemen, and IDPs are not an afterthought in the scoring system, Watt definitely deserves consideration in the first 3 rounds. I probably won’t pay that price, but someone in every draft will, so that’s where his value lies.

Tier 2 – The only other IDPs that should be “reached” for are the top two LBs. Rounds 4-6 are probably where they will fall, and while I’m still not paying that much for IDPs, that’s what it will cost for peace of mind at LB.

Tier 3 – This is where the fun begins. These guys may start going as early as the 5th, which is far too soon, but once the 7th round starts, game on. I have the DLs above the LBs due to relative positional scarcity, but the difference between Robert Quinn and Jamie Collins is not too large. Your choice should come down to your league’s scoring system, as well as your confidence in guys that are lower in the rankings at other positions.

Tier 4 – This is the last tier that I’m breaking out, because it includes the top Defensive Backs. In draft after draft, I’ll see people reach for the top ranked DBs with the logic that it’s better to have the best at some position than the 15th best at another. Those are the same people who routinely take their kicker before the last round. There’s a lot of talent at DB right now, which is all the more reason to wait until you’ve solidified positions that aren’t known for their inconsistency.

Everyone else is broken out by positional runs to show relative value. Depending on your league size, the players after Tier 4 may be in the streaming category, so make sure to address offensive depth before making a move on any of these guys.

  1. S.H says:
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    I don’t see a top 100 list my friend

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @S.H:

      There seems to be an issue with the Fantasy Pros connection, it should be resolved soon. Technology!

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @S.H: We’ve fixed the error. Thanks!

  2. Dorian says:
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    Hurray! Now I’ll know who to draft for my IDP league. Though, I still can’t convince my league to come up with better scoring so that IDP would be drafted higher than say 8th round, which since we keep 8, means that’s like the 16th… :( Oh well.

    Thanks again guys for the info! I appreciate it.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Dorian:

      That’s the biggest issue with IDP leagues right now, but as time goes on I have faith that things will change. Fantasy owners tend to get bored with the same old settings year after year, so hopefully you get your wish sooner rather than later.

      • Dorian says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf:
        I’m hoping so too. Especially when the league I’m in is 20 teams. I’d like to be able to draft on both sides of the ball equally. The amount of depth for drafting players would be much better if the defense was scored better.

        Then again, coming up with a good scoring system I think is half the problem. :(

    • MrMojoRisin says:
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      @Dorian:
      Ive done IDP for many years and had many different scoring systems and defensive players are just too volatile to invest high picks on.
      I like the scoring systems that mean the best defensive players are equal points wise. and I still wont take a defender before round 6-7
      We started an IDP dynasty league 4yrs ago and the teams that went heavy defense early are the bottom feeders for most of league history. The guy who picked first defender was ecstatic to get Patrick Willis at 1.03 while “stealing” Jon Beason and David Harris IN 2nd and 3rd.. The guys who invested in offense are kings of the league and most have good defensive players

      • Kevin Kumpf

        Kevin Kumpf says:
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        @MrMojoRisin:

        That’s typically how it goes. Even if IDPs score a lot, things are still much more consistent on the offensive side of the ball.

  3. Randy says:
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    In what round would you target JJ Watt in a 20-round league where you only start 1 DL, 1 LB, and 1 DB. In prior years, he has been drafted around round 7 and I’m wondering if he should be considered any earlier. I think round 6 would get him. Thanks!

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Randy:

      Because you only start 1 DL, it lowers Watt’s value slightly. I would personally wait until I had my starting RBs, WRs, and at least QB or TE, if not both, before looking at defense. Depending on your roster setup that means 6th at the earliest. That’s still rich for my taste, but if you’re confident that Watt continues his reign of terror, that’s probably what it will cost.

  4. Yaomiiing says:
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    We created an IDP only league last year (10 team) which was a lot of fun. Redrafting this year for that league 3LB, 2DE, 2DT, 2CB & 2S with a bench of 5… Would anything change from your rankings?

    Also, what kind of strategy would you potentially go for?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Yaomiiing:

      The biggest change here is the requirement to start 2DT and 2CB. The overall rankings won’t change too much, other than the top DTs and CBs. They’re typically devalued because they have the same position as the higher scoring DEs and Safeties respectively. If your league is now starting 20 DTs and CBs, the top 5 guys become more valuable.

      It’s probably worth reaching for a guy in my top tier of DTs (Dareus-Marks) and a guy like Amukamara or McCourty to a lesser extent. Then you can stream the other starting spots at DT/CB based on matchup. Sounds like a fun league!

      • Yaomiiiing says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf:

        I was thinking along those same lines. Thanks for your quick response and all your write ups throughout the year. Awesome stuff and keep em coming! It’s a really fun league that makes watching games on Sundays so much better because you really care for what happens on both sides of the field…but I am sure you are more aware of that than anyone else lol

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