Folks… We made it. We have NFL Sunday from this weekend until January 25th. I can hardly wait for the kickoff octo-box and the soothing sounds of Scott Hanson’s voice to touch my ear drums. In preparation for this glorious moment, I give to you the second part of our week 1 NFL data evaluation. If you are just starting your week 1 prep, I recommend going back to the first article to review the Thursday night and early slate games.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

2014 Rankings: Top-200 | Top-200 (Half-PPR) |  Top-200 (PPR) | QB | RB | RB (PPR)| WR | WR (PPR) | TE | TE (PPR) | K | DST | IDP Rankings: Top-100 | DL | DB | LB

Now that Jay has paved the way on the offensive side of the ball, it’s time for me to pull my weight with the 2014 Razzball IDP Rankings. As always I’m starting up front with the big boys. For the second year in a row, J.J. Watt is the class of the position, but he has some company at the top this year. Robert Quinn and Chandler Jones are both coming off breakouts in 2013, and they should be able to challenge Watt for the DL crown if things break right.

After that, things get complicated. There are a number of big names who are looking for a bounce-back after a subpar 2013, in addition to a group of prospects who look primed for the big time. If you can’t land one of the top three, then it’s really a matter of preference. I tend to lean towards DEs who rack up a lot of tackles as opposed to DTs or big-play DEs, but there is no one way to handle your DL lineup slots. My ideal situation is grabbing a Tier 1 or 2 tackler and a Tier 3 sack threat as my starters, with a high-upside youngster to complement them. That strategy gave me Olivier Vernon on multiple rosters last year, and I think of guys like Damontre Moore and Star Lotuleli in that role this year.

Some guys that I’m higher on than most:

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The 2013 NFL draft was ripe with talent on the defensive side of the ball, and there are quite a few guys picked that should go on to be perennial Pro Bowlers. But even the best defensive players may not start lighting up the stat sheet until the end of their first season, or even later. JJ Watt and Jason Pierre-Paul didn’t take the league by storm until their second year, Ronde Barber didn’t truly break out until his fourth season in the league, and we’re still waiting on Vernon Gholston to show us what he’s got.

From a fantasy perspective, this year’s draft doesn’t have anyone who is likely to match Luke Kuechly’s LB1 output in 2012. In fact, we’ll be lucky to see something like Vontaze Burfict’s LB24 finish. The top talent is probably at Defensive Tackle, and while the big boys are vital to a team’s defensive success, they don’t tend to have much of an impact in IDP leagues that don’t require their presence.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t have any impact rookies this year, it just may take some time to figure out who they are. Here is a look at each position and how relevant the rookies will be in 2013 IDP leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?