When I wrote about the top 25 defensive lineman, it was easy to get excited about it. There were players who got you revved up when thinking about their explosiveness coming off the ball, dominating the offensive lineman and putting a hit on the quarterback.  

Writing about the next 25 conjures up very little of those feelings. Historically, this is the shallowest position for IDP leagues as once you get past the top 10-20 players, there is very little difference in the next 30-40. Last year in my home league (scoring was 0.5/tackle, 3/sack/FF/INT, so big play skewed), Joey Bosa finished as DL22 with 4.16 ppg.  Brian Burns was DL51 with 3.12 ppg. That’s only 1 ppg difference between those two players. Is it better to have Bosa, well of course, but over a season, it probably made little difference in your record on a week to week basis. Now this may change a bit with the change in position designation by some sites as many OLBs will be designated at Edge and moved into the defensive line category. This will expand the choices at defensive line and make this group of 25 more interesting. I’ll cover this topic as we get more clarity as to what most sites will do.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s been over a month since I posted my initial IDP rankings, and the only constant since then has been change. I’ve updated the rankings in those original posts, but some players warrant a closer look for those of you drafting late or trying to figure out Week 1 lineups. I’ll post a full set of Week 1 rankings next week, but for now here is a quick look at some players of interest as kickoff looms a week away:

If you haven’t already, join one of our several RazzDP leagues!

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?